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  • Title: The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1604)
  • Editor: Joost Daalder
  • Contributing editor: Brett Greatley-Hirsch
  • Coordinating editor: Brett Greatley-Hirsch
  • General textual editor: Eleanor Lowe
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-490-5

    Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton
    Editor: Joost Daalder
    Peer Reviewed

    The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1604)

    Enter Candidoes wife, George, and two prentices
    in the shoppe.
    Wife Come, you put vp your wares in good order heere, do
    485you not thinke you, one peece cast this way, another that way?
    you had neede have a patient maister indeede.
    The Honest Whore.
    George I, ile be sworne, for we have a curst mistris.
    Wife You mumble, do you mumble? I would your maister
    or I could be a note more angry: for two patient folkes in a
    490house spoyle all the servants that ever shall come vnder them.
    1. prentise You patient! I, so is the divell when he is horne
    Enter Castruchio, Fluello, and Pioratto.
    All three Gentlemen, what do you lacke? what ist you buy?
    495See fine hollands, fine cambrickes, fine lawnes.
    George What ist you lacke?
    2. prentise What ist you buy?
    Cast. Wheres signior Candido thy maister?
    George Faith signior, hees a little negotiated, hee'le appeare (presently.
    500Cast. Fellow, lets see a lawne, a choice one sirra.
    George The best in all Millan, Gentlemen, and this is the
    peece. I can fit you Gentlemen with fine callicoes too for dub-
    lets, the onely sweete fashion now, most delicate and courtlie, a
    meeke gentle calico, cut vpon two double affable taffataes, ah,
    505most neate, feate, and vnmatchable.
    Flu. A notable-voluble tongde villaine.
    Pio. I warrant this fellow was never begot without much
    Cast. What, and is this shee saist thou?
    510George I, and the purest shee that ever you fingerd since
    you were a gentleman: looke how even she is, look how cleane
    she is, ha, as even as the browe of Cinthia, and as cleane as your
    sonnes and heires when they ha spent all.
    Cast. Puh, thou talkst, pox on't tis rough.
    515George How? is she rough? but if you bid pox on't sir, twill
    take away the roughnesse presently.
    Flu. Ha signior; haz he fitted your French curse?
    GeorgeLooke you Gentleman, heeres an other, compare
    them I pray, compara Virgilium cum Homero, compare virgins
    520with harlots.
    Cast. Puh, I ha seene better, and as you terme them, evener
    and cleaner.
    Geor. You may see further for your mind, but trust me
    you shall not find better for your body. Enter Candido.
    525Cast. O here he comes, lets make as tho we passe,
    Come, come, weele try in some other shop.
    Cand. How now? what's the matter?
    Geor. The gentlemen find fault with this lawne, fall out
    with it, and without a cause too.
    530Cand Without a cause!
    And that makes you to let 'em passe away,
    Ah, may I craue a word with you gentlemen?
    Flu. He calls vs.
    Cast. Makes the better for the iest.
    535Cand. I pray come neare, - y'are very welcome gallants,
    Pray pardon my mans rudenesse, for I feare me
    Ha's talkt aboue a prentice with you, - Lawnes!
    Looke you kind gentlemen - this! no: - I this:
    Take this vpon my honest-dealing faith,
    540To be a true weaue, not too hard, nor slack,
    But eene as farre from falshood, as from black.
    Cast. Well, how doe you rate it?
    Cand. Very conscionably, 18.s. a yard.
    Cast. That's too deare: how many yards does the whole
    545piece containe thinke you?
    Cand. Why, some 17. yardes I thinke, or there abouts,
    How much would serue your turne? I pray.
    Cast. Why let me see - would it were better too.
    Cand. Truth, tis the best in Millan at fewe words.
    550Cast. Well: let me haue then - a whole penny-worth.
    Cand. Ha, ha: y'are a merry gentleman.
    Cast. A pennorth I say.
    Cand. Of lawne !
    Cast. Of lawne? I of lawne, a pennorth, sblood dost not
    555heare? a whole pennorth, are you deaffe?
    Cand. Deaffe? no Syr: but I must tell you,
    Our wares doe seldome meete such customers.
    Cast. Nay, and you and your lawnes be so squemish,
    Fare you well.
    560Cand. Pray stay, a word, pray Signior: for what purpose
    is it I beseech you?
    C Cast
    Cast. Sblood, whats that to you: Ile haue a penny worth.
    Can. A penny-worth! why you shall: Ile serue you (presently.
    2. Pren. Sfoot, a penny-worth mistris!
    565Mist. A penny-worth! call you these Gentlemen?
    Cast. No, no: not there.
    Can. What then kinde Gentle-man? what at this corner (here?
    Cast. No nor there neither.
    Ile haue it iust in the middle, or els not.
    570Can. Iust in the middle: - ha - you shall too: what?
    Haue you a single penny>?
    Cast. Yes, heeres one. Can. Lend it me I pray.
    Flu. An exlent followed iest.
    Wife. What will he spoile the Lawne now?
    575Can. Patience, good wife.
    Wife. I, that patience makes a foole of you: Gentlemen,
    you might ha found some other Citizen to haue made a
    kind gull on, besides my husband.
    Can. Pray Gentlemen take her to be a woman,
    580Do not regard her language. -- O kinde soule:
    Such words will driue away my customers,
    Wife. Customers with a murrē: call you these customers?
    Can. Patience, good wife. Wife. Pax, a your patience.
    Geor. Sfoot mistris, I warrant these are some cheating
    Can. Looke you Gentleman, theres your ware, I thank
    you, I haue your mony; heare, pray know my shop, pray
    let me haue your custome.
    Wife. Custome quoth a.
    Can. Let me take more of your money.
    590Wife. You had need so.
    Pio. Harke in thine eare, thast lost an hundred duckets.
    Cast. Well, well, I knowt: ist possible that Homo,
    Should be nor man, nor woman: not once mooud;
    No not at such an iniurie, not at all!
    595Sure hees a pigeon, for he has no gall.
    Flu. Come, come, y'are angry tho you smother it:
    Yare vext ifaith, - confesse. Can. Why Gentle-men
    Should you conceit me to be vext or moou'd?
    He has my ware, I haue his money fort,
    600And thats no Argument I am angry: no,
    The best Logitian can not proue me so.
    Flu. oh, but the hatefull name of a pennyworth of lawne,
    And then cut out, ith middle of the peece:
    Pah, I guesse it by my selfe, would moue a Lambe
    605Were he a Lynnen-draper - twould ifaith.
    Can. Well, giue me leaue to answere you for that,
    Were set heere to please all customers,
    Their humours and their fancies: - offend none:
    We get by many, if we leese by one.
    610May be his minde stood to no more then that,
    A penworth serues him, and mongst trades tis (found,
    Deny a pennorth, it may crosse a pound.
    Oh, he that meanes to thriue with patient eye,
    Must please the diuell, if he come to buy.
    615Flu. O wondrous man, patient boue wrong or woe,
    How blest were men, if women could be so.
    Can. And to expresse how well my brest is pleasd,
    And satisfied in all: - George fill a beaker. Exit George.
    Ile drinke vnto that Gentleman, who lately
    620Bestowed his mony with me. Wife. Gods my life,
    We shall haue all our gaines drunke out in beakers,
    To make amends for pennyworths of lawne. Enter Georg.
    Can. Here wife, begin you to the Gentleman.
    Wife. I begin to him. Can. George, filt vp againe:
    625Twas my fault, my hand shooke. Exit George.
    Pio. How strangely this doth showe?
    A patient man linkt with a waspish shrowe.
    Flu. A siluer and gilt beaker! I haue a tricke to worke vp-
    on that beaker, sure twil fret him, 630it cannot choose but vexe
    him. Seig. Castrachio, in pittie to thee, I haue a cōceit, wil saue
    thy 100. Duckets yet, twil doot, & work him to impatience.
    Cast. Sweet Fluello, I should be bountiful to that conceit.
    635Flu. Well tis enough. Enter George.
    Can. Here Gentleman to you,
    I wish your custome, yare exceeding welcome.
    Cast. I pledge you Seig. Candido, - heere you, that must re-
    ceiue a 100. Duccats. C 2 Pio.
    640Pior. Ile pledge them deepe yfaith Castruchio,
    Signior Fluello?
    Flu. Come: play't off: to me,
    I am your last man.
    Cand. George, supply the cup.
    Flu. So, so, good honest George,
    645Here Signior Candido, all this to you.
    Cand. Oh you must pardon me, I vse it not.
    Flu. Will you not pledge me then?
    Cand. Yes, but not that:
    Great loue is showne in little.
    650Flu. Blurt on your sentences, - Sfoot you shall pledge
    mee all.
    Cand. Indeed I shall not.
    Flu. Not pledge me? Sblood, Ile cary away the beaker (then.
    655Cand. The beaker! Oh! that at your pleasure sir.
    Flu. Now by this drinke I will.
    Cast. Pledge him, heele do't else.
    Flu. So: I ha done you right, on my thumble naile,
    What will you pledge me now?
    660Cand. You know me syr, I am not of that sin.
    Flu. Why then farewell:
    Ile beare away the beaker by this light.
    Cand. Thats as you please, tis very good.
    Flu. Nay it doth please me, & as you say, tis a very good (one:
    665Farewell Signior Candido.
    Pio. Farewell Candido.
    Cand. Y'are welcome gentlemen.
    Cast. Heart not mou'd yet?
    I thinke his patience is aboue our wit,
    670Geor. I told you before mistresse, they were all cheaters. (Exeunt.
    Wife Why foole, why husband, why madman, I hope
    you will not let 'em sneake away so with a siluer and gilt
    beaker, the best in the house too: goe fellowes make hue and
    cry after them.
    675Cand. Pray let your tongue lye still, all wil be well:
    Come hither George, hye to the Constable,
    And in calme order wish him to attach them,
    Make no great stirre, because they're gentlemen,
    And a thing partly done in meriment.
    680Tis but a size aboue a iest thou knowst,
    Therefore pursue it mildly, goe be gone,
    The Constabl's hard by, bring him along, - make hast a-(gaine.
    Wife. O y'are a goodly patient Woodcocke, are you not
    now? (Exit George.
    685See what your patiēce comes too: euery one sadles you, and
    rydes you, youle be shortly the common stone-horse of
    Myllan: a womans well holp't vp with such a meacocke, I
    had rather haue a husband that would swaddle me thrice a
    day, then such a one, that will be guld twice in halfe an how-
    690er, Oh I could burne all the wares in my shop for anger.
    Cand. Pray weare a peacefull temper, be my wife,
    That is, be patient: for a wife and husband
    Share but one soule between them: this being knowne,
    Why should not one soule then agree in one?
    695Wife Hang your agreements: But if my beaker be gone. (Exit.
    Enter Castruchio, Fluello, Pioratto, and George.
    Cand. Oh, heare they come.
    Geor. The Constable syr, let'em come along with me,
    because there should be no wondring, he staies at dore.
    700Cast. Constable goodman Abram.
    Flu. Now Signior Candido, Sblood why doe you attach (vs?
    Cast. Sheart! attach vs!
    Cand. Nay sweare not gallants,
    Your oathes may moue your soules, but not moue me,
    705You haue a siluer beaker of my wiues.
    Flu. You say not true: tis gilt.
    Cand. Then you say true.
    And being gilt, the guilt lyes more on you.
    Cast. I hope y'are not angry syr.
    710Cand. Then you hope right, for I am not angry.
    Pio. No, but a little mou'de.
    Cand. I mou'd! twas you were mou'd, you were brought (hither.
    Cast. But you (out of your anger & impatience,)
    Caus'd vs to be attacht.
    715Cand. Nay you misplace it.
    C 3 Out
    Out of my quiet sufferaence I did that,
    And not of any wrath, had I showne anger,
    I should haue then pursude you with the lawe,
    And hunted you to shame, as many worldlings
    720Doe build their anger vpon feebler groundes,
    The mores the pitty, many loose their liues
    For scarce so much coyne as will hide their palme:
    Which is most cruell, those haue vexed spirits
    That pursue liues, in this opinion rest,
    725The losse of Millions could not moue my brest.
    Flu. Thou art a blest man, and with peace dost deale,
    Such a meeke spirit can blesse a common weale.
    Cand. Gentlemen, now tis vpon eating time,
    Pray part not hence, but dyne with me today.
    730Cast. I neuer heard a carter yet say nay
    To such a motion. Ile not be the first.
    Pio. Nor I,
    Flu. Nor I,
    Cand. The constable shall beare you company,
    735George call him in, let the world say what it can,
    Nothing can driue me from a patient man. (Exeunt.