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  • Title: The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Quarto 2, 1604)
  • Editor: Joost Daalder
  • 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 2, 1604)

    1960Enter Candidoes wife, in her shop, and the
    two Premises.
    Wife. Whats a clocke now?
    2. Pren. Tis almost twelue.
    Wife. Thats well.
    1965The Senate will leaue wording presently,
    But is George ready,
    2. Pre. Yes forsooth, hees furbusht.
    Wife. Now as you euer hope to win my fauour,
    Thtow both your duties and respects on him,
    1970With the like awe as if he were your maister,
    Let not your lookes betray it with a smile,
    Or ieering glaunce to any customer,
    Keepe a true setled countenance, and beware,
    You laugh not whatsoeuer you heare or see.
    19752. Pren. I warrant you mistris, let vs alone for keeping our
    countenance: for if I list, theres neuer a foole in all Millan shal
    make me laugh, let him play the foole neuer so like an Asse,
    whether it be the fat Court foole, or the leane Cittie foole.
    Wife. Enough then, call downe George.
    19802. Pren. I heare him comming.
    Enter George.
    Wife. Be ready with your legs then, let me see,
    How curtzy would become him: gallantly!
    Beshrew my bloud a proper seemely man,
    1985Of a choice carriage walkes with a good port,
    Geo. I thanke you mistris, my back's broad enough, now
    my Maisters gown's on,
    Wif. Sure I should thinke it were the least of sinne,
    To mistake the maister, and to let him in.
    1990Geo. Twere a good Comedy of errors that yfaith.
    2. Pre. Whist, whist, my maister.
    Enter Candido, and Exit presently.
    Wif. You all know your taskes: gods my life, whats that
    hee has got vpon's backe? who can tell?
    1995Geo. That can I, but I will not.
    Wife. Girt about him like a mad-man: what: has he lost
    his cloake too; this is the maddest fashion that ere I sawe:
    what said he George when he pasde by thee?
    G 4 Geor.
    Geo. Troth Mistris, nothing: not so much as a Bee, he did
    2000not hum: not so much as a bawd he did not hem: not so
    much as a Cuckhold he did not ha: neither hum, hem, nor ha,
    onely star'de me in the face, past along, and made hast in, as if
    my lookes had workt with him, to giue him a stoole.
    Wi. Sure hees vext now, this trick has mou'd his speene.
    2005Hees angred now, because he vttered nothing:
    And wordlesse wrath breakes out more violent,
    May be heele striue for place, when he comes downe,
    But if thou lou'st me George, affoord him none.
    Geo. Nay let me alone to play my maisters prize, as long as
    2010my Mistrisse warrants me: Ime sure I haue his best cloathes
    on, and I scorne to giue place to any that is inferiour in appa-
    rell to me, thats an Axiom, a principle, & is obseru'd as much
    as the fashion; let that perswade you then, that Ile shoulder
    with him for the vpper hand in the shop, as long as this
    2015chaine will maintaine it.
    Wif. Spoke with the spirit of a Maister, tho with the
    tongue of a Prentise.
    Enter Candido like a Prentise.
    Why how now mad man? what in your tricksicoates!
    2020Cand. O peace good Mistrisse:
    Enter Crambo and Poh.
    See what you lack, what ist you buy? pure Callicoes, fine
    Hollands, choise Cambrickes, neate Lawnes: see what you
    buy? pray come neere, my Maister will vse you well, hee can
    2025affoord you a pennyworth.
    Wi. I that he can, out of a whole peece of Lawne yfaith.
    Cand. Pray see your choise here Gentlemen.
    Wi. O fine foole? what a mad-man? a patient mad-man?
    who euer heard of the like? well sir Ile fit you and your hu-
    2030mour presently: what? crosse-points, Ile vntie em all in a trice,
    Ile vex you faith. Boy take your cloake, quick, come. Exit.
    Cand. Be couered George, this chaine, and welted gowne,
    Bare to this coate: then the worlds vpside downe.
    Geo. Vmh, vmh, hum,
    2035Cram. Thats the shop, and theres the fellow.
    Poh. I but the Maister is walking in there.
    Cram. No matter, weele in.
    Poh. Sbloud doest long to lye in Limbo?
    Cram. And Limbo be in hell, I care not.
    2040Cand. Looke you Gentlemen, your choise: Cambricks?
    Cramb. No sir, some shirting.
    Cand. You shall.
    Cram. Haue you none of this strip'd Canuas for doublets.
    Cand. None strip'd sir, but plaine.
    20452. Pren. I thinke there be one peece stri'pd within.
    Geo. Step sirra and fetch it, hum, hum, hum.
    Cand. Looke you Gentlemen, Ile make but one spred-
    ding, heres a peece of cloth. fine, yet shall weare like Yron, tis
    without fault, take this vpon my word, tis without fault.
    2050Cram. Then tis better than you sirra.
    Cand. I, and a number more. ô that each soule
    Were but as spotlesse as this Innocent white,
    And had as few brakes in it.
    Cram. Twould haue some then: there was a fray here last
    2055day in this shop.
    Cand. There was indeed a little flea-biting.
    Poh. A Gentleman had his pate broake, call you that but
    a flea-biting.
    Cand. He had so.
    2060Cram. Zownes doe you stand in't He strikes him.
    Geo. Sfoot clubs, clubs, prentices, downe with em, ah you
    roagues, strike a Cittizen in's shop.
    Cand. None of you stir I pray, forbeare good George.
    Cram. I beseech you sir, we mistooke our markes, deliuer
    2065vs our weapons.
    Geo. Your head bleeds sir, crie clubes.
    Cand. I say you shall not, pray be patient,
    Giue them their weapons, sirs you're best be gone.
    I tell you here are boyes more tough then Beares:
    2070Hence. least more fists do walke about your eares.
    Both. We thanke you sir. Exeunt.
    Can. You shall not follow them.
    Let them alone pray, this did me no harme,
    Troth I was cold, and the blow made me warme,
    H I thanke
    2075I thanke em for't: besides I had decreed
    To haue a vaine prickt, I did meane to bleede,
    So that theres mony sau'd: they are honest men,
    Pray vse em well, when they appeare agen.
    Geo. Yes sir, weele vse em like honest men.
    2080Cand. I well said George, like honest men, tho they be ar-
    rant knaues, for thats the phrase of the citty; helpe to lay vp
    these wares
    Enter Candido's wife, with Officers.
    Wife. Yonder he stands.
    2085Off What in a Prentise-coate?
    Wif. I, I, mad, mad, pray take heed.
    Cand. How now? what newes with them? what make they
    with my wife? officers? is she attachd? looke to your wares.
    Wif. He talkes to himselfe, oh hees much gone indeed.
    2090Off. Pray pluck vp a good heart, be not so fearfull,
    Sirs hearke, weele gather to him by degrees.
    Wi. I, I. by degrees I pray: oh me! what makes he with
    the Lawne in his hand, heele teare all the ware in my shop.
    Off. Feare not weele catch him on a sudden.
    2095Wi. O you had need do so, pray take heed of your warrant
    Off. I warrant mistris. -- Now Signior Candido?
    Cand. Now sir, what newes with you sir?
    Wi. What newes with you he sayes: oh hees far gon.
    Off. I pray feare nothing, lets alone with him,
    2100Signior, you looke not like your selfe me thinkes,
    (Steale yon a tother side) y'are changde, y'are altred.
    Cand. Changde sir, why true sir, is change strange, tis not
    the fashion vnlesse it alter: Monarkes turne to beggers; beg-
    gers creepe into the nests of Princes, Maisters serue their
    2105prentises: Ladies their Seruingmen, men turne to women.
    Off. And women turne to men.
    Cand. I, and women turne to men, you say true, ha ha, a
    mad world, a mad world.
    Off. Haue we caught you sir?
    2110Cand. Caught me: well, well: you haue caught: me.
    Wi. Hee laughes in your faces.
    Geo. A rescue Prentises, my maister's catch-pold.
    Off. I charge you keepe the peace, or haue your legs gar-
    tered with Yrons, we haue from the Duke a warrant strong
    2115enough for what we doe.
    Cand. I pray rest quiet, I desire no rescue.
    Wi. La: he desires no rescue, las poore heart,
    He talkes against himselfe.
    Cand. Well, whats the matter?
    2120Off. Looke to that arme,
    Pray make sure worke, double the cord.
    Cand. Why, why?
    Wi. Looke how his head goes! should he get but loose,
    Oh twere as much as all our liues were worth.
    2125Off. Feare not, weele make all sure for our owne safetie.
    Cand. Are you at leisure now? well, whats the matter?
    Why do I enter into bonds thus? ha?
    Off. Because y'are mad, put feare vpon your wife.
    Wi. Oh I, I went in danger of my life, euery minute.
    2130Cand. What? am I mad say you, and I not know it?
    Off. That proues you mad, because you know it not.
    Wi. Pray talke as little to him as you can,
    You see hees too farre spent.
    Cand. Bound with strong corde!
    2135A Sisters thred yfaith had beene enough,
    To lead me any where: Wife do you long?
    You are mad too, or els you do me wrong.
    Geo. But are you mad indeed Maister?
    Cand. My Wife sayes so,
    2140And what she sayes; George, is all trueth you know:
    And whether now? to Bethlem Monastery? -- ha! whether?
    Off. Faith eene to the mad-mens pound.
    Cand. A Gods name, still I feele my patience sound. Exe.
    Geo. Come weele see whether he goes, if the maister be
    2145mad, we are his seruants, and must follow his steps, weele
    be mad caps too; Farewell mistrisse, you shall haue vs all in
    Bedlam. Exeunt.
    Wi. I thinke, I ha fitted now, you and your clothes,
    If this moue not his patience, nothing can,
    H 2 Ile
    2150Ile sweare then I haue a saint, and not a man. Exit.