The scene: Milan]
Enter at one door a funeral, a coronet lying on the hearse, scutcheons and garlands hanging on the sides, attended by Gasparo Trebatzi, Duke of Milan, Castruchio, Sinezi, Pioratto, Fluello, and others. At another door, enter Hipolito in discontented appearance, Matheo, a gentleman his friend, labouring to hold him back.
Behold, yon comet shows his head again;
Twice hath he thus at cross-turns thrown on us
Prodigious looks, twice hath he troubled
The waters of our eyes. See, he's turn'd wild;
Go on, in God's name.
On afore there, ho!
Kinsmen and friends, take from your manly sides
Your weapons to keep back the desp'rate boy
From doing violence to the innocent dead.
I pray thee, dear Matheo!
Come, y'are mad!
I do arrest thee, murderer! Set down,
Villains, set down that sorrow, 'tis all mine.
I do beseech you all, for my blood's sake
Send hence your milder spirits, and let wrath
Join in confederacy with your weapons' points;
If he proceed to vex us, let your swords
Seek out his bowels: funeral grief loathes words.
Set down the body!
Oh, my lord!
Y'are wrong. I' th' open street! You see she's dead.
I know she is not dead.
Frantic young man,
Wilt thou believe these gentlemen? Pray speak:
Thou dost abuse my child, and mock'st the tears
That here are shed for her. If to behold
Those roses withered that set out her cheeks,
That pair of stars that gave her body light
Dark'ned and dim forever, all those rivers
That fed her veins with warm and crimson streams
Frozen and dried up: if these be signs of death,
Then is she dead. Thou unreligious youth,
Art not asham'd to empty all these eyes
Of funeral tears, a debt due to the dead
As mirth is to the living? Sham'st thou not
To have them stare on thee? Hark, thou art curs'd
Even to thy face by those that scarce can speak!
What wouldst thou have? Is she not dead?
Oh, you ha' kill'd her by your cruelty!
Admit I had, thou kill'st her now again,
And art more savage than a barbarous moor.
Let me but kiss her pale and bloodless lip.
Oh, fie, fie, fie!
Or if not touch her, let me look on her.
As you regard your honour--
Or if you lov'd her living, spare her now.
Ay, well done, sir; you play the gentleman.
Steal hence. 'Tis nobly done. Away. I'll join
My force to yours to stop this violent torment.
Exeunt [courtiers and attendants] with funeral.
Matheo, thou dost wound me more.
I give you physic, noble friend, not wounds.
Oh, well said, well done, a true gentleman!
Alack, I know the sea of lovers' rage
Comes rushing with so strong a tide: it beats
And bears down all respects of life, of honour,
Of friends, of foes. Forget her, gallant youth.
Nay, nay, be but patient.
For why? Death's hand hath sued a strict divorce
'Twixt her and thee? What's beauty but a corse?
What but fair sand-dust are earth's purest forms?
Queens' bodies are but trunks to put in worms.
[Aside to Duke] Speak no more sentences, my good lord, but slip hence. You see they are but fits; I'll rule him, I warrant ye. Ay, so, tread gingerly, your grace is here somewhat too long already.
[Aside] 'Sblood, the jest were now, if having ta'en some knocks o' th' pate already, he should get loose again, and like a mad ox toss my new black cloaks into the kennel! I must humour his lordship.--My Lord Hipolito, is it in your stomach to go to dinner?
Where is the body?
The body, as the duke spake very wisely, is gone to be worm'd.
I cannot rest: I'll meet it at next turn;
I'll see how my love looks.
Matheo holds him in's arms.
How your love looks? Worse than a scarecrow. Wrastle not with me: the great fellow gives the fall, for a ducat!
I shall forget myself!
Pray do so, leave yourself behind yourself, and go whither you will. 'Sfoot, do you long to have base rogues that maintain a Saint Anthony's fire in their noses by nothing but two-penny ale make ballads of you? If the duke had but so much mettle in him as is in a cobbler's awl, he would ha' been a vex'd thing: he and his train had blown you up, but that their powder has taken the wet of cowards; you'll bleed three pottles of Aligant, by this light, if you follow 'em, and then we shall have a hole made in a wrong place, to have surgeons roll thee up like a baby in swaddling clouts.
What day is today, Matheo?
Yea, marry, this is an easy question: why, today is, let me see, Thursday.
Here's a coil for a dead commodity! 'Sfoot, women when they are alive are but dead commodities, for you shall have one woman lie upon many men's hands!
She died on Monday then.
And that's the most villainous day of all the week to die in. And she was well, and ate a mess of water-gruel on Monday morning.
Ay, it cannot be
Such a bright taper should burn out so soon.
Oh, yes, my lord, so soon: why, I ha' known them that at dinner have been as well, and had so much health, that they were glad to pledge it, yet before three a' clock have been found dead drunk.
On Thursday buried, and on Monday died!
Quick haste, byrlady: sure her winding sheet
Was laid out 'fore her body, and the worms,
That now must feast with her, were even bespoke,
And solemnly invited like strange guests.
Strange feeders they are indeed, my lord, and, like your jester or young courtier, will enter upon any man's trencher without bidding.
Curs'd be that day forever that [robb'd] her
Of breath, and me of bliss: henceforth let it stand
Within the wizards' book, the calendar,
Mark'd with a marginal finger, to be chosen
By thieves, by villains, and black murderers
As the best day for them to labour in.
If henceforth this adulterous bawdy world
Be got with child with treason, sacrilege,
Atheism, rapes, treacherous friendship, perjury,
Slander, the beggar's sin, lies, sin of fools,
Or any other damn'd impieties,
On Monday let 'em be delivered!
I swear to thee, Matheo, by my soul,
Hereafter weekly on that day I'll glue
Mine eyelids down, because they shall not gaze
On any female cheek. And being lock'd up
In my close chamber, there I'll meditate
On nothing but my Infelice's end,
Or on a dead man's skull draw out mine own.
You'll do all these good works now every Monday because it is so bad, but I hope upon Tuesday morning I shall take you with a wench.
If ever whilst frail blood through my veins run,
On woman's beams I throw affection,
Save her that's dead, or that I loosely fly
To th' shore of any other wafting eye,
Let me not prosper, heaven! I will be true,
Even to her dust and ashes: could her tomb
Stand whilst I liv'd, so long that it might rot,
That should fall down, but she be ne'er forgot.
If you have this strange monster, honesty, in your belly, why, so jig-makers and chroniclers shall pick something out of you: but and I smell not you and a bawdy house out within these ten days, let my nose be as big as an English bag-pudding. I'll follow your lordship, though it be to the place aforenamed.
[I.ii. A street]
Enter Fustigo in some fantastic sea-suit at one door, a Porter meets him at another.
How now, porter, will she come?
If I may trust a woman, sir, she will come.
[Giving him money] There's for thy pains, godamercy. If ever I stand in need of a wench that will come with a wet finger, porter, thou shalt earn my money before any clarissimo in Milan, yet, so God sa' me, she's mine own sister body and soul, as I am a Christian gentleman! Farewell, I'll ponder till she come: thou hast been no bawd in fetching this woman, I assure thee.
No matter if I had, sir: better men than porters are bawds.
Oh, God, sir, many that have borne offices! But, porter, art sure thou went'st into a true house?
I think so, for I met with no thieves.
Nay, but art sure it was my sister Viola?
I am sure by all superscriptions it was the party you ciphered.
Not very tall?
Nor very low: a middling woman.
'Twas she, faith, 'twas she! A pretty plump cheek like mine?
At a blush, a little very much like you.
Gods-so, I would not for a ducat she had kick'd up her heels, for I ha' spent an abomination this voyage; marry, I did it amongst sailors and gentlemen. [Giving him money] There's a little modicum more, porter, for making thee stay; farewell, honest porter.
I am in your debt, sir; God preserve you.
Not so neither, good porter.
Exit. Enter Viola.
God's lid, yonder she comes! Sister Viola, I am glad to see you stirring. It's news to have me here, is't not, sister?
Yes, trust me: I wond'red who should be so bold to send for me. You are welcome to Milan, brother.
Troth, sister, I heard you were married to a very rich chuff, and I was very sorry for it, that I had no better clothes, and that made me send, for you know we Milaners love to strut upon Spanish leather. And how does all our friends?
Very well. You ha' travelled enough now, I trow, to sow your wild oats.
A pox on 'em! Wild oats? I ha' not an oat to throw at a horse. Troth, sister, I ha' sow'd my oats, and reap'd two hundred ducats if I had 'em. Here, marry, I must entreat you to lend me some thirty or forty till the ship come; by this hand, I'll discharge at my day, by this hand.
These are your old oaths.
Why, sister, do you think I'll forswear my hand?
Well, well, you shall have them: put yourself into better fashion, because I must employ you in a serious matter.
I'll sweat like a horse if I like the matter.
You ha' cast off all your old swaggering humours.
I had not sail'd a league in that great fishpond, the sea, but I cast up my very gall.
I am the more sorry, for I must employ a true swaggerer.
Nay, by this iron, sister, they shall find I am powder and touch-box if they put fire once into me.
Then lend me your ears.
Mine ears are yours, dear sister.
I am married to a man that has wealth enough, and wit enough.
A linen-draper I was told, sister.
Very true, a grave citizen; I want nothing that a wife can wish from a husband. But here's the spite: he has not all things belonging to a man.
God's my life, he's a very mandrake, or else, God bless us, one a' these whiblins, and that's worse! And then all the children that he gets lawfully of your body, sister, are bastards by a statute.
Oh, you run over me too fast, brother! I have heard it often said that he who cannot be angry is no man. I am sure my husband is a man in print for all things else save only in this: no tempest can move him.
'Slid, would he had been at sea with us, he should ha' been mov'd and mov'd again, for I'll be sworn, la, our drunken ship reel'd like a Dutchman!
No loss of goods can increase in him a wrinkle, no crabbed language make his countenance sour, the stubbornness of no servant shake him; he has no more gall in him than a dove, no more sting than an ant. Musician will he never be, yet I find much music in him, but he loves no frets, and is so free from anger that many times I am ready to bite off my tongue, because it wants that virtue which all women's tongues have, to anger their husbands. Brother, mine can by no thunder turn him into a sharpness.
Belike his blood, sister, is well-brew'd then.
I protest to thee, Fustigo, I love him most affectionately, but I know not--I ha' such a tickling within me, such a strange longing; nay, verily I do long.
Then y'are with child, sister, by all signs and tokens; nay, I am partly a physician, and partly something else: I ha' read Albertus Magnus, and Aristotle's Emblems.
Y'are wide a' th' bow hand still, brother: my longings are not wanton, but wayward: I long to have my patient husband eat up a whole porcupine, to the intent the bristling quills may stick about his lips like a Flemish mustacho, and be shot at me. I shall be leaner than the new moon, unless I can make him horn-mad.
'Sfoot, half a quarter of an hour does that: make him a cuckold!
Puh, he would count such a cut no unkindness!
The honester citizen he. Then make him drunk and cut off his beard.
Fie, fie, idle, idle: he's no Frenchman, to fret at the loss of a little scald hair. No, brother, thus it shall be, you must be secret.
As your midwife, I protest, sister, or a barber-surgeon.
Repair to the Tortoise here in Saint Christopher's Street. I will send you money; turn yourself into a brave man: instead of the arms of your mistress, let your sword and your military scarf hang about your neck.
I must have a great horseman's French feather too, sister.
Oh, by any means, to show your light head, else your hat will sit like a coxcomb! To be brief, you must be in all points a most terrible wide-mouth'd swaggerer.
Nay, for swaggering points let me alone.
Resort then to our shop, and, in my husband's presence, kiss me, snatch rings, jewels, or anything so you give it back again, brother, in secret.
By this hand, sister.
Swear as if you came but new from knighting.
Nay, I'll swear after four hundred a year.
Swagger worse than a lieutenant among freshwater soldiers; call me your love, your ingle, your cousin, or so, but sister at no hand.
No, no, it shall be cousin, or rather coz: that's the gulling word between the citizens' wives and their madcaps, that man 'em to the garden. To call you one a' mine aunts, sister, were as good as call you arrant whore; no, no, let me alone to cousin you rarely.
H'as heard I have a brother, but never saw him, therefore put on a good face.
The best in Milan, I warrant.
Take up wares, but pay nothing, rifle my bosom, my pocket, my purse, the boxes for money to dice withal; but, brother, you must give all back again in secret.
By this welkin that here roars, I will, or else let me never know what a secret is! Why, sister, do you think I'll coney-catch you, when you are my cousin? God's my life, then I were a stark ass! If I fret not his guts, beg me for a fool.
Be circumspect, and do so then. Farewell.
The Tortoise, sister? I'll stay there. Forty ducats.
Thither I'll send. This law can none deny:
Women must have their longings, or they die.
[I.iii. A private chamber of the Duke's]
[Enter] Gasparo the Duke, Doctor Benedict, two Servants.
Give charge that none do enter, lock the doors,
And fellows, what your eyes and ears receive,
Upon your lives trust not the gadding air
To carry the least part of it: the glass,
Here, my lord.
Ah, 'tis near spent.
But Doctor Benedict, does your art speak truth?
Art sure the soporiferous stream will ebb,
And leave the crystal banks of her white body
Pure as they were at first just at the hour?
Just at the hour, my lord.
[The Doctor draws the curtain to reveal Infelice in bed.]
Softly, see, doctor, what a coldish heat
Spreads over all her body.
Now it works:
The vital spirits that by a sleepy charm
Were bound up fast, and threw an icy [crust]
On her exterior parts, now 'gin to break.
Trouble her not, my lord.
Some stools! You call'd
For music, did you not?
[The Servants bring stools. Soft music.]
Oh ho, it speaks,
It speaks! Watch, sirs, her waking, note those sands.
Doctor, sit down. A dukedom that should weigh
Mine own down twice, being put into one scale,
And that fond desperate boy, Hipolito,
Making the weight up, should not at my hands
Buy her i' th' tother, were her state more light
Than hers who makes a dowry up with alms.
Doctor, I'll starve her on the Appenine
Ere he shall marry her. I must confess,
Hipolito is nobly borne, a man
(Did not mine enemies' blood boil in his veins)
Whom I would court to be my son-in-law.
But princes whose high spleens for empery swell
Are not with easy art made parallel.
She wakes, my lord.
Look, Doctor Benedict.
I charge you on your lives maintain for truth
Whate'er the doctor or myself aver,
For you shall bear her hence to Bergamo.
Oh, God, what fearful dreams!
Why, Infelice, how is't now, ha? Speak.
I'm well. What makes this doctor here? I'm well.
Thou wert not so even now: sickness' pale hand
Laid hold on thee even in the midst of feasting,
And when a cup crown'd with thy lover's health
Had touch'd thy lips, a sensible cold dew
Stood on thy cheeks, as if that death had wept
To see such beauty alter.
I sat at banquet, but felt no such change.
Thou hast forgot then how a messenger
Came wildly in with this unsavoury news
That he was dead.
What messenger? Who's dead?
Hipolito. Alack, wring not thy hands.
I saw no messenger, heard no such news.
Trust me you did, sweet lady.
La you now.
Yes, indeed, madam.
La you now. [Aside to Servants] 'Tis well, good knaves.
You ha' slain him, and now you'll murder me!
Good Infelice, vex not thus thyself:
Of this the bad report before did strike
So coldly to thy heart, that the swift currents
Of life were all frozen up.
It is untrue,
'Tis most untrue! Oh, most unnatural father!
And we had much to do by art's best cunning
To fetch life back again.
Most certain, lady.
Why, la you now, you'll not believe me. Friends,
Sweat we not all, had we not much to do?
Yes, indeed, my lord, much.
Death drew such fearful pictures in thy face,
That were Hipolito alive again,
I'd kneel and woo the noble gentleman
To be thy husband; now I sore repent
My sharpness to him and his family.
Nay, do not weep for him; we all must die.
Doctor, this place where she so oft hath seen
His lively presence hurts her, does it not?
Doubtless, my lord, it does.
It does, it does.
Therefore, sweet girl, thou shalt to Bergamo.
Even where you will, in any place there's woe.
A coach is ready. Bergamo doth stand
In a most wholesome air: sweet walks, there's deer--
Ay, thou shalt hunt and send us venison,
Which like some goddess in the Cyprian groves,
Thine own fair hand shall strike. Sirs, you shall teach her
To stand and how to shoot. Ay, she shall hunt.
Cast off this sorrow. In, girl, and prepare
This night to ride away to Bergamo.
Oh, most unhappy maid!
Follow her close.
No words that she was buried, on your lives,
Or that her ghost walks now after she's dead;
I'll hang you if you name a funeral.
I'll speak Greek, my lord, ere I speak that deadly word.
And I'll speak Welsh, which is harder than Greek.
Away, look to her.
Did you observe how her complexion alt'red
Upon his name and death? Oh, would 'twere true!
It may, my lord.
May? How? I wish his death.
And you may have your wish; say but the word,
And 'tis a strong spell to rip up his grave.
I have good knowledge with Hipolito;
He calls me friend: I'll creep into his bosom
And sting him there to death; poison can do't.
Perform it; I'll create thee half mine heir.
It shall be done, although the fact be foul.
Greatness hides sin, the guilt upon my soul.
[I.iv. The court]
Enter Castruchio, Pioratto, and Fluello.
Signior Pioratto, Signior Fluello, shall's be merry? Shall's play the wags now?
Ay, anything that may beget the child of laughter.
Truth, I have a pretty sportive conceit new crept into my brain will move excellent mirth.
Let's ha't, let's ha't, and where shall the scene of mirth lie?
At Signior Candido's house, the patient man, nay, the monstrous patient man; they say his blood is immoveable, that he has taken all patience from a man, and all constancy from a woman.
That makes so many whores nowadays.
Ay, and so many knaves too.
To conclude, the report goes, he's so mild, so affable, so suffering, that nothing indeed can move him: now do but think what sport it will be to make this fellow, the mirror of patience, as angry, as vex'd, and as mad as an English cuckold.
Oh, 'twere admirable mirth, that! But how wilt be done, signior?
Let me alone: I have a trick, a conceit, a thing, a device will sting him, i'faith, if he have but a thimble full of blood in's belly, or a spleen not so big as a tavern token.
Thou stir him? Thou move him? Thou anger him? Alas, I know his approved temper. Thou vex him? Why, he has a patience above man's injuries: thou mayest sooner raise a spleen in an angel than rough humour in him. Why, I'll give you instance for it. This wonderfully temper'd Signior Candido upon a time invited home to his house certain Neapolitan lords of curious taste, and no mean palates, conjuring his wife of all loves to prepare cheer fitting for such honourable trenchermen. She, just of a woman's nature, covetous to try the uttermost of vexation, and thinking at last to get the start of his humour, willingly neglected the preparation, and became unfurnish'd, not only of dainty, but of ordinary dishes. He, according to the mildness of his breast, entertained the lords, and with courtly discourse beguiled the time, as much as a citizen might do. To conclude, they were hungry lords, for there came no meat in; their stomachs were plainly gull'd, and their teeth deluded, and, if anger could have seiz'd a man, there was matter enough, i'faith, to vex any citizen in the world if he were not too much made a fool by his wife.
Ay, I'll swear for't. 'Sfoot, had it been my case, I should ha' play'd mad tricks with my wife and family! First I would ha' spitted the men, stew'd the maids, and bak'd the mistress, and so served them in.
Why, 'twould ha' tempted any blood but his.
And thou to vex him? Thou to anger him
With some poor shallow jest?
'Sblood, Signior Pioratto, you that disparage my conceit, I'll wage a hundred ducats upon the head on't that it moves him, frets him, and galls him!
Done; 'tis a lay, join golls on't. Witness, Signior Fluello.
Witness: 'tis done.
Come, follow me: the house is not far off.
I'll thrust him from his humour, vex his breast,
And win a hundred ducats by one jest.
Enter Candido's wife [Viola], George, and two Prentices in the shop.
Come, you put up your wares in good order here, do you not think you? One piece cast this way, another that way? You had need have a patient master indeed.
[Aside] Ay, I'll be sworn, for we have a curs'd mistress.
You mumble. Do you mumble? I would your master or I could be a note more angry, for two patient folks in a house spoil all the servants that ever shall come under them.
[Aside] You patient! Ay, so is the devil when he is horn-mad.
Enter Castruchio, Fluello, and Pioratto.
ALL THREE [PRENTICES]
Gentlemen, what do you lack? What is't you buy? See fine hollands, fine cambrics, fine lawns.
What is't you lack?
What is't you buy?
Where's Signior Candido thy master?
Faith, signior, he's a little negotiated; he'll appear presently.
Fellow, let's see a lawn, a choice one, sirrah.
The best in all Milan, gentlemen, and this is the piece. I can fit you gentlemen with fine calicoes too for doublets, the only sweet fashion now, most delicate and courtly, a meek gentle calico, cut upon two double affable taffetas, ah, most neat, feat, and unmatchable!
[Aside to Pioratto] A notable, voluble-tongu'd villain!
[Aside to Fluello] I warrant this fellow was never begot without much prating.
What, and is this she, sayst thou?
Ay, and the purest she that ever you finger'd since you were a gentleman: look how even she is, look how clean she is, ha, as even as the brow of Cynthia, and as clean as your sons and heirs when they ha' spent all!
Puh, thou talk'st! Pox on't, 'tis rough!
How! Is she rough? But if you bid pox on't, sir, 'twill take away the roughness presently.
Ha, signior! Has he fitted your French curse?
Look you, gentleman, here's another; compare them I pray, compara Virgilium cum Homero, compare virgins with harlots.
Puh, I ha' seen better, and as you term them, evener and cleaner.
You may see further for your mind, but trust me you shall not find better for your body.
[Aside to Fluello and Pioratto] Oh, here he comes! Let's make as tho' we pass.--Come, come, we'll try in some other shop.
How now? What's the matter?
The gentlemen find fault with this lawn, fall out with it, and without a cause too.
Without a cause!
And that makes you to let 'em pass away?
Ah, may I crave a word with you gentlemen?
[Aside to Castruchio] He calls us.
[Aside to Fluello] Makes the better for the jest.
I pray come near, y'are very welcome, gallants;
Pray pardon my man's rudeness, for I fear me
H'as talk'd above a prentice with you. Lawns?
Look you, kind gentlemen. This? No. Ay, this:
Take this upon my honest-dealing faith
To be a true weave, not too hard, nor slack,
But e'en as far from falsehood as from black.
Well, how do you rate it?
Very conscionably: eighteen shillings a yard.
That's too dear. How many yards does the whole piece contain, think you?
Why, some seventeen yards I think, or thereabouts.
How much would serve your turn, I pray?
Why, let me see. Would it were better too.
Truth, 'tis the best in Milan at few words.
Well, let me have then--a whole pennyworth.
Ha, ha! Y'are a merry gentleman.
A penn'orth I say.
Of lawn? Ay, of lawn, a penn'orth. 'Sblood, dost not hear? A whole penn'orth! Are you deaf?
Deaf? No, sir, but I must tell you,
Our wares do seldom meet such customers.
Nay, and you and your lawns be so squeamish, fare you well.
Pray stay, a word, pray, signior. For what purpose is it I beseech you?
'Sblood, what's that to you? I'll have a pennyworth.
A pennyworth! Why, you shall. I'll serve you presently.
'Sfoot, a pennyworth, mistress!
A pennyworth! Call you these gentlemen?
[To Candido, who is beginning to cut] No, no: not there.
What then, kind gentleman? What, at this corner here?
Nor there neither.
I'll have it just in the middle, or else not.
Just in the middle? Ha! You shall too. What?
Have you a single penny?
Yes, here's one.
Lend it me I pray.
[Aside] An ex'lent followed jest.
What, will he spoil the lawn now?
Patience, good wife.
Ay, that patience makes a fool of you. Gentlemen, you might ha' found some other citizen to have made a kind gull on besides my husband.
Pray, gentlemen, take her to be a woman;
Do not regard her language. Oh, kind soul,
Such words will drive away my customers.
Customers with a murrain! Call you these customers?
Patience, good wife.
Pax a' your patience!
'Sfoot, mistress, I warrant these are some cheating companions!
Look you, gentleman, there's your ware; I thank you.
I have your money here; pray know my shop,
Pray let me have your custom.
Custom, quoth 'a!
Let me take more of your money.
You had need so.
[Taking Castruchio aside] Hark in thine ear: t' hast lost an hundred ducats.
Well, well, I know't. Is't possible that homo
Should be nor man nor woman, not once mov'd?
No, not at such an injury, not at all!
Sure he's a pigeon, for he has no gall.
Come, come, y'are angry tho' you smother it.
Y'are vex'd, i'faith, confess.
Should you conceit me to be vex'd or mov'd?
He has my ware, I have his money for't,
And that's no argument I am angry. No,
The best logician cannot prove me so.
Oh, but the hateful name of a pennyworth of lawn,
And then cut out i' th' middle of the piece!
[Aside] Pah, I guess it by myself, would move a lamb
Were he a linen-draper, 'twould, i'faith!
Well, give me leave to answer you for that:
We are set here to please all customers,
Their humours and their fancies, offend none;
We get by many, if we leese by one.
Maybe his mind stood to no more than that;
A pen'worth serves him, and 'mongst trades 'tis found,
Deny a penn'orth, it may cross a pound.
Oh, he that means to thrive with patient eye
Must please the devil if he come to buy!
Oh, wondrous man, patient 'bove wrong or woe,
How bless'd were men if women could be so!
And to express how well my breast is pleas'd
And satisfied in all: George, fill a beaker.
I'll drink unto that gentleman who lately
Bestowed his money with me.
God's my life,
We shall have all our gains drunk out in beakers
To make amends for pennyworths of lawn!
Here, wife, begin you to the gentleman.
I begin to him? [Throws down the beaker.]
George, fill 't up again:
'Twas my fault, my hand shook.
[Aside] How strangely this doth show!
A patient man link'd with a waspish shrow.
[Taking Castruchio aside] A silver and gilt beaker! I have a trick
To work upon that beaker: sure 'twill fret him;
It cannot choose but vex him. Signior Castruchio,
In pity to thee, I have a conceit
Will save thy hundred ducats yet; 'twill do't,
And work him to impatience.
I should be bountiful to that conceit.
Well 'tis enough.
Here, gentleman to you:
I wish your custom; y'are exceeding welcome.
I pledge you, Signior Candido.
[Aside to Pioratto] Here to you, that must receive a hundred ducats.
[Aside to Castruchio] I'll pledge them deep, i'faith, Castruchio.--
Come, play 't off to me;
I am your last man.
George, supply the cup.
So, so, good honest George.
Here, Signior Candido, all this to you.
Oh, you must pardon me, I use it not.
Will you not pledge me then?
Yes, but not that:
Great love is shown in little.
Blurt on your sentences!
'Sfoot, you shall pledge me all!
Indeed I shall not.
Not pledge me? 'Sblood, I'll carry away the beaker then!
The beaker! Oh, that at your pleasure, sir.
Now, by this drink, I will.
Pledge him, he'll do't else.
So, I ha' done you right, on my thumbnail.
What, will you pledge me now?
You know me, sir:
I am not of that sin.
Why then, farewell;
I'll bear away the beaker, by this light.
That's as you please; 'tis very good.
Nay, it doth please me, and as you say, 'tis a very good one.
Farewell, Signior Candido.
Y'are welcome, gentlemen.
[Aside] Heart, not mov'd yet?
I think his patience is above our wit!
Exeunt [Castruchio, Fluello, Pioratto].
I told you before, mistress, they were all cheaters.
Why, fool! Why, husband! Why, madman! I hope you will not let 'em sneak away so with a silver and gilt beaker, the best in the house too. [To Prentices] Go, fellows, make hue and cry after them.
Pray, let your tongue lie still, all will be well.
Come hither, George; hie to the constable,
And in calm order wish him to attach them:
Make no great stir, because they're gentlemen,
And a thing partly done in merriment;
'Tis but a size above a jest, thou know'st,
Therefore pursue it mildly. Go, be gone;
The constable's hard by, bring him along.
Make haste again.
Oh, y'are a goodly patient woodcock, are you not now? See what your patience comes too! Everyone saddles you and rides you, you'll be shortly the common stone-horse of Milan: a woman's well holp'd up with such a meacock. I had rather have a husband that would swaddle me thrice a day than such a one that will be gull'd twice in half an hour. Oh, I could burn all the wares in my shop for anger!
Pray wear a peaceful temper. Be my wife,
That is, be patient, for a wife and husband
Share but one soul between them. This being known,
Why should not one soul then agree in one?
Hang your agreements! But if my beaker be gone--
Exit. Enter Castruchio, Fluello, Pioratto, and George.
Oh, here they come!
The constable, sir, let 'em come along with me because there should be no wond'ring; he stays at door.
Constable, goodman Abram.
Now, Signior Candido. 'Sblood, why do you attach us?
'Sheart! Attach us!
Nay, swear not, gallants:
Your oaths may move your souls, but not move me.
You have a silver beaker of my wife's.
You say not true: 'tis gilt.
Then you say true.
And being gilt, the guilt lies more on you.
I hope y'are not angry, sir.
Then you hope right,
For I am not angry.
No, but a little mov'd.
I mov'd! 'Twas you were mov'd: you were brought hither.
But you, out of your anger and impatience,
Caus'd us to be attach'd.
Nay, you misplace it.
Out of my quiet sufferance I did that,
And not of any wrath; had I shown anger,
I should have then pursu'd you with the law,
And hunted you to shame, as many worldlings
Do build their anger upon feebler grounds.
The more's the pity: many lose their lives
For scarce so much coin as will hide their palm,
Which is most cruel; those have vexed spirits
That pursue lives. In this opinion rest:
The loss of millions could not move my breast.
Thou art a bless'd man, and with peace dost deal;
Such a meek spirit can bless a commonweal.
Gentlemen, now 'tis upon eating time;
Pray, part not hence, but dine with me today.
I never heard a courtier yet say nay
To such a motion. I'll not be the first.
The constable shall bear you company;
George, call him in. Let the world say what it can,
Nothing can drive me from a patient man.
[II.i. A brothel]
Enter Roger with a stool, cushion, looking-glass, and chafing-dish. Those being set down, he pulls out of his pocket a vial with white colour in it, and two boxes, one with white, another red painting. He places all things in order and a candle by them, singing with the ends of old ballads as he does it. At last Bellafront, as he rubs his cheek with the colours, whistles within.
[Within] What are you playing the rogue about?
About you, forsooth: I'm drawing up a hole in your white silk stocking.
[Within] Is my glass there? And my boxes of complexion?
Yes, forsooth, your boxes of complexion are here, I think; yes, 'tis here. Here's your two complexions, and if I had all the four complexions, I should ne'er set a good face upon't. Some men I see are born under hard-favour'd planets as well as women. Zounds, I look worse now than I did before, and it makes her face glister most damnably; there's knavery in daubing, I hold my life, or else this is only female pomatum.
Enter Bellafront not full ready, without a gown; she sits down, with her bodkin curls her hair, colours her lips.
Where's my ruff and poker, you blockhead?
Your ruff and your poker are ingend'ring together upon the cupboard of the court, or the court-cupboard.
Fetch 'em. Is the pox in your hams, you can go no faster?
Would the pox were in your fingers, unless you could leave flinging. Catch!
I'll catch you, you dog, by and by! Do you grumble?
There's your ruff. Shall I poke it?
Yes, honest Roger. No, stay: prithee, good boy, hold here. [Singing] "Down, down, down, down, I fall down and arise I never shall."
Troth, mistress, then leave the trade if you shall never rise.
What trade, goodman Abram?
Why that of down and arise, or the falling trade.
I'll fall with you by and by.
If you do I know who shall smart for't.
Troth, Mistress, what do I look like now?
Like as you are: a panderly, sixpenny rascal.
I may thank you for that: no, faith, I look like an old proverb, "Hold the candle before the devil."
'Ud's life, I'll stick my knife in your guts and you prate to me so. What!
Why, as I hold your door: with my fingers.
Nay, pray thee, sweet honey Roger, hold up handsomely. (Sing.) "Pretty wantons warble, etc." We shall ha' guests today, I lay my little maidenhead: my nose itches so.
I said so too last night, when our fleas twing'd me.
So poke my ruff now. My gown, my gown. Have I my fall?
Where's my fall, Roger?
Your fall, forsooth, is behind.
Gods my pittikins, some fool or other knocks.
Shall I open to the fool, mistress?
And all these baubles lying thus? Away with it quickly. Ay, ay, knock and be damn'd, whosoever you be. So, give the fresh salmon line now: let him come ashore, he shall serve for my breakfast, tho' he go against my stomach.
Roger fetch in Fluello, Castruchio, and Pioratto.
How does my sweet acquaintance?
Save thee, little marmoset. How dost thou, good pretty rogue?
Well, godamercy, good pretty rascal.
Roger, some light I prithee.
You shall, signior, for we that live here in this vale of misery are as dark as hell.
Exit for a candle.
Good tobacco, Fluello?
It may be tickling gear, for it plays with my nose already.
Here's another light angel, signior.
What? You pied curtal, what's that you are neighing?
I say God send us the light of heaven, or some more angels.
Go fetch some wine, and drink half of it.
I must fetch some wine, gentlemen, and drink half of it.
No, let me send prithee.
Hold, you canker worm.
You shall send both, if you please, signiors.
Stay, what's best to drink a-mornings?
Hypocras, sir, for my mistress, if I fetch it, is most dear to her.
Hypocras! There then, here's a teston for you, you snake.
Right, sir, here's three shillings sixpence for a pottle and a manchet.
Here's most Herculean tobacco; ha' some, acquaintance?
Fah, not I; makes your breath stink, like the piss of a fox. Acquaintance, where supp'd you last night?
At a place, sweet acquaintance, where your health danc'd the canaries, i'faith; you should ha' been there.
Ay, there among your punks. Marry, fah, hang 'em! Scorn 't! Will you never leave sucking of eggs in other folks' hens' nests?
Why, in good troth, if you'll trust me, acquaintance, there was not one hen at the board. Ask Fluello.
No, faith, coz; none but cocks. Signior Malavolta drunk to thee.
Oh, a pure beagle! That horse-leech there?
And the knight, Sir Oliver Lollio, swore he would bestow a taffeta petticoat on thee but to break his fast with thee.
With me! I'll choke him then; hang him, mole-catcher! It's the dreaming'st snotty-nose.
Well, many took that Lollio for a fool, but he's a subtle fool.
Ay, and he has fellows: of all filthy dry-fisted knights, I cannot abide that he should touch me.
Why, wench? Is he scabbed?
Hang him, he'll not live to be so honest, nor to the credit, to have scabs about him; his betters have 'em. But I hate to wear out any of his coarse knighthood, because he's made like an alderman's nightgown, fac'st all with cony before, and within nothing but fox. This sweet Oliver will eat mutton till he be ready to burst, but the lean-jaw'd slave will not pay for the scraping of his trencher.
Plague him, set him beneath the salt, and let him not touch a bit till everyone has had his full cut.
Sordello the gentleman-usher came into us too; marry, 'twas in our cheese, for he had been to borrow money for his lord of a citizen.
What an ass is that lord to borrow money of a citizen!
Nay, God's my pity, what an ass is that citizen to lend money to a lord!
Enter Matheo and Hipolito, who, saluting the company as a stranger, walks off. Roger comes in sadly behind them with a pottle-pot and stands aloof off.
Save you gallants. Signior Fluello, exceedingly well met, as I may say.
Signior Matheo, exceedingly well met too, as I may say.
And how fares my little pretty mistress?
E'en as my little pretty servant; sees three court dishes before her, and not one good bit in them. [To Roger] How now? Why the devil stand'st thou so? Art in a trance?
Why dost not fill out their wine?
Forsooth, 'tis fill'd out already: all the wine that the signior has bestow'd upon you is cast away, a porter ran [a-tilt] at me, and so [fac'd] me down that I had not a drop.
I'm accurs'd to let such a withered artichoke-faced rascal grow under my nose! Now you look like an old he-cat, going to the gallows: I'll be hang'd if he ha' not put up the money to cony-catch us all.
No, truly, forsooth, 'tis not put up yet.
How many gentlemen hast thou served thus?
None but five hundred, besides prentices and serving-men.
Dost think I pocket it up at thy hands?
Yes, forsooth, I fear you will pocket it up.
Fie, fie, cut my lace, good servant! I shall ha' the mother presently, I'm so vex'd at this horse-plum!
Plague, not for a scald pottle of wine!
Nay, sweet Bellafront, for a little pig's wash.
Here, Roger, fetch more; a mischance, i'faith, acquaintance.
Out of my sight, thou ungodly puritanical creature!
For the tother pottle? Yes, forsooth.
Spill that too! What gentleman is that, servant? Your friend?
Gods-so, a stool, a stool! If you love me, mistress, entertain this gentleman respectively and bid him welcome.
He's very welcome. Pray, sir, sit.
Count Hipolito, is't not? Cry you mercy, signior, you walk here all this while and we not heed you? Let me bestow a stool upon you, beseech you. You are a stranger here; we know the fashions a' th' house.
Please you be here, my lord.
No, good Castruchio.
You have abandoned the court I see, my lord, since the death of your mistress; well, she was a delicate piece. Beseech you, sweet; come, let us serve under the colours of your acquaintance still, for all that. Please you to meet here at the lodging of my coz, I shall bestow a banquet upon you.
I never can deserve this kindness, sir.
What may this lady be whom you call coz?
Faith, sir, a poor gentlewoman, of passing good carriage, one that has some suits in law, and lies here in an attorney's house.
Is she married?
Hah, as all your punks are, a captain's wife or so! Never saw her before, my lord?
Never; trust me, a goodly creature.
By gad, when you know her as we do, you'll swear she is the prettiest, kindest, sweetest, most bewitching honest ape under the pole! A skin, your satin is not more soft, nor lawn whiter.
Belike then she's some sale courtesan.
Troth, as all your best faces are, a good wench.
Great pity that she's a good wench.
Thou shalt have it, i'faith, mistress. How now, signiors? What? Whispering? Did not I lay a wager I should take you within seven days in a house of vanity?
You did, and I beshrew your heart, you have won.
How do you like my mistress?
Well, for such a mistress: better, if your mistress be not your master.
I must break manners, gentlemen; fare you well.
'Sfoot, you shall not leave us!
The gentleman likes not the taste of our company.
Beseech you, stay.
Trust me, my affairs beckon for me; pardon me.
Will you call for me half an hour hence here?
Perhaps I shall.
Perhaps? Fah! I know you can swear to me you will.
Since you will press me on my word, I will.
What sullen picture is this, servant?
It's Count Hipolito, the brave count.
As gallant a spirit as any in Milan, you sweet Jew.
Oh, he's a most essential gentleman, coz!
Did you never hear of Count Hipolito, acquaintance?
Marry muff a' your counts, and be no more life in 'em.
He's so malcontent! Sirrah Bellafront, and you be honest gallants, let's sup together, and have the count with us: thou shalt sit at the upper end, punk.
Punk, you sous'd gurnet!
King's truce: come, I'll bestow the supper to have him but laugh.
He betrays his youth too grossly to that tyrant melancholy.
All this is for a woman.
A woman? Some whore! What sweet jewel is't?
Would she heard you.
Troth, so would I.
And I, by heaven.
Nay, good servant, what woman?
Prithee tell me, a buss and tell me: I warrant he's an honest fellow if he take on thus for a wench. Good rogue, who?
By th' Lord I will not, must not, faith, mistress. Is't a match, sirs, this night at th' Antelope? For there's best wine and good boys.
It's done; at th' Antelope.
I cannot be there tonight.
Cannot? By th' Lord, you shall.
By the lady, I will not. Shall!
Why then, put it off till Friday. Wut come then, coz?
Y'are the waspishest ape. Roger, put your mistress in mind, your scurvy mistress here, to sup with us on Friday next. Y'are best come like a madwoman without a band in your waistcoat, and the linings of your kirtle outward, like every common hackney that steals out at the back gate of her sweet knight's lodging.
Go, go, hang yourself!
It's dinner time, Matheo. Shall's hence?
Yes, yes; farewell, wench.
Roger, what wine sent they for?
Bastard wine, for if it had been truly begotten, it would not ha' been asham'd to come in; here's six shillings to pay for nursing the bastard.
A company of rooks! Oh, good sweet Roger, run to the poulter's and buy me some fine larks.
Yes, faith, a couple, if they be not dear.
I'll buy but one: there's one already here.
Exit. Enter Hipolito.
Is the gentleman my friend departed, mistress?
His back is but new-turn'd, sir.
Fare you well.
I can direct you to him.
Can you? Pray.
If you please stay, he'll not be absent long.
I care not much.
Pray sit, forsooth.
If may use your room, I'll rather walk.
At your best pleasure. Whew! Some rubbers there.
Indeed, I'll none. Indeed I will not: thanks.
Pretty--fine--lodging. I perceive my friend
Is old in your acquaintance.
Troth, sir, he comes
As other gentlemen, to spend spare hours;
If yourself like our roof, such as it is,
Your own acquaintance may be as old as his.
Say I did like, what welcome should I find?
Such as my present fortunes can afford.
But would you let me play Matheo's part?
Why, embrace you, dally with you, kiss.
Faith, tell me, will you leave him and love me?
I am in bonds to no man, sir.
Y'are free for any man: if any, me.
But I must tell you, lady, were you mine,
You should be all mine: I could brook no sharers;
I should be covetous and sweep up all.
I should be pleasure's usurer; faith, I should.
Why sigh you, lady? May I know?
'T has never been my fortune yet to single
Out that one man whose love could fellow mine,
As I have ever wish'd it. Oh, my stars!
Had I but met with one kind gentleman,
That would have purchas'd sin alone (to himself,
For his own private use, although scarce proper)
Indifferent handsome, meetly legg'd and thighed,
And my allowance reasonable--i'faith,
According to my body--by my troth,
I would have been as true unto his pleasures,
Yea, and as loyal to his afternoons
As ever a poor gentlewoman could be.
This were well now to one but newly fledg'd,
And scarce a day old in this subtle world:
'Twere pretty art, good birdlime, cunning net.
But come, come, faith, confess: how many men
Have drunk this selfsame protestation
From that red 'ticing lip?
Indeed, not any.
Indeed? And blush not!
No, in truth not any.
Indeed! In truth! How warily you swear!
'Tis well; if ill, it be not: yet had I
The ruffian in me, and were drawn before you
But in light colours, I do know indeed
You would not swear indeed, but thunder oaths
That should shake heaven, drown the harmonious spheres,
And pierce a soul that lov'd her maker's honour
With horror and amazement.
Shall I swear?
Will you believe me then?
Worst then of all:
Our sins by custom seem at last but small.
Were I but o'er your threshold, a next man,
And after him a next, and then a fourth
Should have this golden hook and lascivious bait
Thrown out to the full length. Why, let me tell you,
I ha' seen letters sent from that white hand,
Tuning such music to Matheo's ear.
Matheo! That's true, but if you'll believe
My honest tongue, mine eyes no sooner met you
But they convey'd and led you to my heart.
Oh, you cannot feign with me! Why, I know, lady,
This is the common fashion of you all,
To hook in a kind gentleman, and then
Abuse his coin, conveying it to your lover;
And in the end you show him a French trick,
And so you leave him, that a coach may run
Between his legs for breadth.
Oh, by my soul!
Not I: therein I'll prove an honest whore
In being true to one, and to no more.
If any be dispos'd to trust your oath,
Let him: I'll not be he. I know you feign
All that you speak, ay, for a mingled harlot
Is true in nothing but in being false.
What, shall I teach you how to loathe yourself?
And mildly too, not without sense or reason.
I am content, I would fain loathe myself
If you not love me.
Then if your gracious blood
Be not all wasted, I shall assay to do't.
Lend me your silence and attention.
You have no soul; that makes you weigh so light:
Heaven's treasure bought it
And half a crown hath sold it, for your body,
It's like the common shore that still receives
All the town's filth. The sin of many men
Is within you, and thus much I suppose,
That if all your committers stood in rank,
They'd make a lane in which your shame might dwell,
And with their spaces reach from hence to hell.
Nay, shall I urge it more? There has been known
As many by one harlot, maim'd and dismemb'red,
As would ha' stuff'd an hospital: this I might
Apply to you, and perhaps do you right.
Oh, y'are as base as any beast that bears:
Your body is e'en hir'd, and so are theirs!
For gold and sparkling jewels, if he can,
You'll let a Jew get you with Christian,
Be he a Moor, a Tartar, tho' his face
Look uglier than a dead man's skull;
Could the devil put on a human shape,
If his purse shake out crowns, up then he gets.
Whores will be rid to hell with golden bits:
So that y'are crueler than Turks, for they
Sell Christians only, you sell yourselves away.
Why, those that love you, hate you, and will term you
Liquorish damnation, wish themselves half sunk
After the sin is laid out, and e'en curse
Their fruitless riot, for what one begets
Another poisons. Lust and murder hit:
A tree being often shook, what fruit can knit?
Oh, me unhappy!
I can vex you more:
A harlot is like Dunkirk, true to none,
Swallows both English, Spanish, fulsome Dutch,
Back-door'd Italian, last of all the French.
And he sticks to you, faith, gives you your diet,
Brings you acquainted first with monsieur doctor,
And then you know what follows.
Rank, stinking, and most loathsome misery!
Methinks a toad is happier than a whore
That with one poison swells; with thousands more
The other stocks her veins. Harlot? Fie, fie!
You are the miserablest creatures breathing,
The very slaves of nature; mark me else:
You put on rich attires, others' eyes wear them,
You eat, but to supply your blood with sin,
And this strange curse e'en haunts you to your graves.
From fools you get, and spend it upon slaves.
Like bears and apes, y'are baited and show tricks
For money, but your bawd the sweetness licks.
Indeed you are their journey-women, and do
All base and damn'd works they list set you to,
So that you ne'er are rich, for do but show me,
In present memory or in ages past,
The fairest and most famous courtesan
Whose flesh was dear'st, that rais'd the price of sin
And held it up, to whose intemperate bosom
Princes, earls, lords, the worst has been a knight,
The mean'st a gentleman, have off'red up
Whole hecatombs of sighs, and rain'd in showers
Handfuls of gold, yet for all this, at last
Diseases suck'd her marrow, then grew so poor
That she has begg'd, e'en at a beggar's door.
And, wherein heav'n has a finger, when this idol
From coast to coast has leapt on foreign shores,
And had more worship than th' outlandish whores,
When several nations have gone over her,
When for each several city she has seen
Her maidenhead has been new and been sold dear,
Did live well there, and might have died unknown
And undefam'd, back comes she to her own,
And there both miserably lives and dies,
Scorn'd even of those that once ador'd her eyes,
As if her fatal-circled life thus ran:
Her pride should end there where it first began.
What, do you weep to hear your story read?
Nay, if you spoil your cheeks, I'll read no more.
Oh, yes, I pray, proceed!
Indeed, 'twill do me good to weep indeed.
To give those tears a relish, this I add:
Y'are like the Jews, scatter'd, in no place certain,
Your days are tedious, your hours burdensome;
And were 't not for full suppers, midnight revels,
Dancing, wine, riotous meetings, which do drown
And bury quite in you all virtuous thoughts,
And on your eyelids hang so heavily
They have no power to look so high as heaven,
You'd sit and muse on nothing but despair.
Curse that devil lust that so burns up your blood
And in ten thousand shivers break your glass
For his temptation! Say you taste delight,
To have a golden gull from rise to set,
To meet you in his hot luxurious arms,
Yet your nights pay for all: I know you dream
Of warrants, whips, and beadles, and then start
At a door's windy creak, think every weasel
To be a constable and every rat
A long-tail'd officer. Are you now not slaves?
Oh, you have damnation without pleasure for it!
Such is the state of harlots. To conclude,
When you are old and can well paint no more,
You turn bawd, and are then worse than before.
Make use of this; farewell.
Oh, I pray, stay!
I see Matheo comes not. Time hath barr'd me;
Would all the harlots in the town had heard me.
Stay yet a little longer. No? Quite gone!
Curs'd be that minute--for it was no more
So soon a maid is chang'd into a whore--
Wherein I first fell, be it forever black!
Yet why should sweet Hipolito shun mine eyes,
For whose true love I would become pure-honest,
Hate the world's mixtures and the smiles of gold?
Am I not fair? Why should he fly me then?
Fair creatures are desir'd, not scorn'd of men.
How many gallants have drunk healths to me
Out of their dagger'd arms, and thought them bless'd,
Enjoying but mine eyes at prodigal feasts!
And does Hipolito detest my love?
Oh, sure their heedless lusts but flatt'red me!
I am not pleasing, beautiful nor young;
Hipolito hath spied some ugly blemish,
Eclipsing all my beauties: I am foul.
Harlot! Ay, that's the spot that taints my soul.
His weapon left here? Oh, fit instrument
To let forth all the poison of my flesh!
Thy master hates me 'cause my blood hath rang'd,
But when 'tis forth, then he'll believe I'm chang'd.
Mad woman, what art doing?
Either love me
Or cleave my bosom on thy rapier's point!
Yet do not neither, for thou then destroy'st
That which I love thee for, thy virtues. Here, here
Th'art crueler and kill'st me with disdain;
To die so sheds no blood, yet 'tis worse pain.
Not speak to me! Not look! Not bid farewell!
Hated! This must not be. Some means I'll try.
Would all whores were as honest now as I.
[III.i. Candido's shop]
Enter Candido, his wife [Viola], George, and two Prentices in the shop; Fustigo enters, walking by.
See, gentlemen, what you lack! A fine holland, a fine cambric, see what you buy!
Holland for shirts, cambric for bands! What is't you lack?
[Aside] 'Sfoot, I lack 'em all; nay, more, I lack money to buy 'em. Let me see, let me look again. Mass, this is the shop!--[Approaching Viola] What, coz! Sweet coz! How dost, i'faith, since last night after candlelight? We had good sport, i'faith, had we not? And when shall's laugh again?
When you will, cousin.
Spoke like a kind Lacedemonian: I see yonder's thy husband.
Ay, there's the sweet youth, God bless him.
And how is't cousin? And how? How is't, thou squall?
Well, cousin, how fare you?
How fare I? Troth, for sixpence a meal, wench, as well as heart can wish, with calves' chaldrons and chitterlings; besides I have a punk after supper, as good as a roasted apple.
Are you my wife's cousin?
I am, sir; what hast thou to do with that?
Oh, nothing but y'are welcome.
The devil's dung in thy teeth: I'll be welcome whether thou wilt or no, I! What ring's this, coz? Very pretty and fantastical; i'faith, let's see it.
Puh! Nay, you wrench my finger!
I ha' sworn I'll ha't, and I hope you will not let my oaths be crack'd in the ring, will you? I hope, sir, you are not mallicolly at this for all your great looks. Are you angry?
Angry? Not I, sir; nay, if she can part
So easily with her ring, 'tis with my heart.
Suffer this, sir, and suffer all, a whoreson gull, to--
Peace, George; when she has reap'd what I have sown,
She'll say one grain tastes better of her own
Than whole sheaves gather'd from another's land:
Wit's never good till bought at a dear hand.
But in the meantime she makes an ass of somebody.
See, see, see, sir, as you turn your back, they do nothing but kiss.
No matter, let 'em; when I touch her lip,
I shall not feel his kisses, no, nor miss
Any of her lip: no harm in kissing is.
Look to your business, pray, make up your wares.
Troth, coz, and well rememb'red, I would thou wouldst give me five yards of lawn to make my punk some falling bands a' the fashion, three falling one upon another, for that's the new edition now; she's out of linen horribly too: troth, sh'as never a good smock to her back neither, but one that has a great many patches in't, and that I'm fain to wear myself for want of shift too. Prithee put me into wholesome napery, and bestow some clean commodities upon us.
Reach me those cambrics and the lawns hither.
What to do, wife? To lavish out my goods upon a fool?
Fool! 'Snails, eat the fool, or I'll so batter your crown that it shall scarce go for five shillings!
Do you hear, sir? Y'are best be quiet and say a fool tells you so.
Nails, I think so, for thou tell'st me!
Are you angry, sir, because I nam'd thee fool?
Trust me, you are not wise in mine own house
And to my face to play the antic thus:
If you'll needs play the madman, choose a stage
Of lesser compass, where few eyes may note
Your action's error; but if still you miss,
As here you do, for one clap ten will hiss.
Zounds, cousin, he talks to me as if I were a scurvy tragedian!
[Taking George aside] Sirrah George, I ha' thought upon a device how to break his pate, beat him soundly, and ship him away.
I'll go in, pass thorough the house, give some of our fellow prentices the watchword when they shall enter, then come and fetch my master in by a wile, and place one in the hall to hold him in conference, whilst we cudgel the gull out of his coxcomb.
Do't! Away, do't!
Must I call twice for these cambrics and lawns?
Nay, see, you anger her, George; prithee dispatch.
Two of the choicest pieces are in the warehouse, sir.
Go fetch them presently.
Ay, do; make haste, sirrah.
Exit [Second] Prentice.
Why were you such a stranger all this while, being my wife's cousin?
Stranger? No, sir, I'm a natural Milaner born.
I perceive still it is your natural guise to mistake me, but you are welcome, sir; I much wish your acquaintance.
My acquaintance? I scorn that, i'faith; I hope my acquaintance goes in chains of gold three and fifty times double: you know who I mean, coz; the posts of his gate are a-painting too.
Enter the [Second] Prentice.
Signior Pandulfo the merchant desires conference with you.
Signior Pandulfo? I'll be with him straight.
Attend your mistress and the gentleman.
When do you show those pieces?
Ay, when do you show those pieces?
Presently, sir, presently; we are but charging them.
Come, sirrah, you flatcap, where be these whites?
Flatcap? [Aside to him] Hark in your ear, sir: y'are a flat fool, an ass, a gull, and I'll thrum you!--Do you see this cambric, sir?
'Sfoot, coz, a good jest! Did you hear him? He told me in my ear I was "a flat fool, an ass, a gull, and I'll thrum you. Do you see this cambric, sir?"
What, not my men, I hope?
No, not your men, but one of your men, i'faith.
I pray, sir, come hither. What say you to this? Here's an excellent good one.
Ay, marry, this likes me well; cut me off some half score yards.
[Aside to him] Let your whores cut; y'are an impudent coxcomb: you get none; and yet I'll thrum you!--A very good cambric, sir.
Again, again, as God judge me! 'Sfoot, coz, they stand thrumming here with me all day, and yet I get nothing!
[Aside to him] A word, I pray, sir: you must not be angry; prentices have hot bloods, young fellows.--What say you to this piece? Look you, 'tis so delicate, so soft, so even, so fine a thread that a lady may wear it.
'Sfoot, I think so: if a knight marry my punk, a lady shall wear it. Cut me off twenty yards; th'art an honest lad.
[Aside to him] Not without money, gull, and I'll thrum you too!
[Aside to him] Gull, we'll thrum you!
Oh, Lord, sister, did you not hear something cry thump? Zounds, your men here make a plain ass of me!
What, to my face so impudent?
Ay, in a cause so honest, we'll not suffer
Our master's goods to vanish moneyless.
You will not suffer them?
No, and you may blush
In going about to vex so mild a breast
As is our master's.
Take away those pieces.
Cousin, I give them freely.
Mass, and I'll take 'em as freely!
We'll make you lay 'em down again more freely.
[They beat Fustigo.]
Help, help, my brother will be murdered!
How now, what coil is here? Forbear, I say!
He calls us flatcaps and abuses us.
Why, sirs? Do such examples flow from me?
They are of your keeping, sir. Alas, poor brother!
I'faith, they ha' pepper'd me, sister! Look, does 't spin? Call you these prentices? I'll ne'er play at cards more when clubs is trump. I have a goodly coxcomb, sister, have I not?
Sister and brother, brother to my wife!
If you have any skill in heraldry, you may soon know that: break but her pate, and you shall see her blood and mine is all one.
A surgeon, run, a surgeon!
[Exit First Prentice.]
Why then wore you that forged name of cousin?
Because it's a common thing to call coz and ningle nowadays all the world over.
Cousin! A name of much deceit, folly and sin,
For under that common abused word
Many an honest temp'red citizen
Is made a monster, and his wife train'd out
To foul adulterous action, full of fraud
I may well call that word "a city's bawd."
Troth, brother, my sister would needs ha' me take upon me to gull your patience a little, but it has made double gules on my coxcomb.
What, playing the woman? Blabbing now, you fool?
Oh, my wife did but exercise a jest upon your wit.
'Sfoot, my wit bleeds for't, methinks!
Then let this warning more of sense afford:
The name of cousin is a bloody word.
I'll ne'er call coz again whilst I live, to have such a coil about it: this should be a coronation day, for my head runs claret lustily.
Exit. Enter an Officer.
Go wish the surgeon to have great respect.
[Exit Second Prentice.]
How now, my friend; what, do they sit today?
Yes, sir, they expect you at the senate-house.
I thank your pains; I'll not be last man there.
My gown, George, go, my gown.
A happy land,
Where grave men meet each cause to understand,
Whose consciences are not cut out in bribes
To gull the poor man's right, but in even scales
Peize rich and poor without corruption's vails.
Come, where's the gown?
I cannot find the key, sir.
Request it of your mistress.
Come not to me for any key.
I'll not be troubled to deliver it.
Good wife, kind wife, it is a needful trouble,
But for my gown.
Moths swallow down your gown!
You set my teeth an edge with talking on't.
Nay, prithee, sweet, I cannot meet without it;
I should have a great fine set on my head.
Set on your coxcomb: tush, fine me no fines!
Believe me, sweet, none greets the senate-house
Without his robe of reverence, that's his gown.
Well, then y'are like to cross that custom once:
You get nor key, nor gown, and so depart.
[Aside] This trick will vex him sure and fret his heart.
Stay, let me see, I must have some device;
My cloak's too short: fie, fie, no cloak will do't!
It must be something fashioned like a gown,
With my arms out. Oh, George, come hither, George!
I prithee lend me thine advice.
Troth, sir, were it any but you, they would break open chest.
Oh, no! Break open chest? That's a thief's office;
Therein you counsel me against my blood:
'Twould show impatience that; any meek means
I would be glad to embrace. Mass, I have got it!
Go, step up, fetch me down one of the carpets,
The saddest colour'd carpet, honest George;
Cut thou a hole i' th' middle for my neck,
Two for mine arms. Nay, prithee look not strange.
I hope you do not think, sir, as you mean.
Prithee about it quickly, the hour chides me:
Warily, George, softly, take heed of eyes.
Out of two evils he's accounted wise
That can pick out the least; the fine impos'd
For an ungowned senator, is about
Forty cruzadoes, the carpet not 'bove four.
Thus have I chosen the lesser evil yet,
Preserv'd my patience, foil'd her desperate wit.
Here, sir, here's the carpet.
Oh, well done, George; we'll cut it just i' th' midst.
'Tis very well, I thank thee; help it on.
It must come over your head, sir, like a wench's petticoat.
Th'art in the right, good George, it must indeed.
Fetch me a nightcap, for I'll gird it close,
As if my health were queasy: 'twill show well
For a rude careless nightgown, will 't not, think'st?
Indifferent well, sir, for a nightgown, being girt and pleated.
Ay, and a nightcap on my head.
That's true, sir; I'll run and fetch one, and a staff.
For thus they cannot choose but conster it,
One that is out of health takes no delight,
Wears his apparel without appetite,
And puts on heedless raiment without form.
So, so, kind George, be secret now, and prithee
Do not laugh at me till I'm out of sight.
I laugh? Not I, sir.
Now to the senate-house:
Methinks I'd rather wear without a frown
A patient carpet than an angry gown.
Now looks my master just like one of our carpet knights, only he's somewhat the honester of the two.
Enter Candido's wife [Viola].
What, is your master gone?
Yes, forsooth, his back is but new-turn'd.
And in his cloak? Did he not vex and swear?
[Aside] No, but he'll make you swear anon.--No, indeed, he went away like a lamb.
Key sink to hell: still patient, patient still!
I am with child to vex him. Prithee, George,
If e'er thou look'st for favour at my hands,
Uphold one jest for me.
Against my master?
'Tis a mere jest, in faith. Say, wilt thou do't?
Well, what is't?
Here, take this key, thou know'st where all things lie;
Put on thy master's best apparel, gown,
Chain, cap, ruff, everything: be like himself,
And 'gainst his coming home, walk in the shop,
Feign the same carriage and his patient look.
'Twill breed but a jest, thou know'st; speak, wilt thou?
'Twill wrong my master's patience.
Well, if you'll save me harmless and put me under covert bar'n, I am content to please you, provided it may breed no wrong against him.
No wrong at all; here take the key, be gone:
If any vex him, this; if not this, none.
[III.ii. The brothel]
Enter a Bawd and Roger.
Oh, Roger, Roger, where's your mistress, where's your mistress? There's the finest, neatest gentleman at my house but newly come over! Oh, where is she, where is she, where is she?
My mistress is abroad, but not amongst 'em: my mistress is not the whore now that you take her for.
How! Is she not a whore? Do you go about to take away her good name, Roger? You are a fine pander indeed!
I tell you, Madonna Fingerlock, I am not sad for nothing; I ha' not eaten one good meal this three and thirty days: I had wont to get sixteen pence by fetching a pottle of Hypocras, but now those days are past. We had as good doings, Madonna Fingerlock, she withindoors and I without, as any poor young couple in Milan.
Gods my life, and is she chang'd now?
I ha' lost by her squeamishness, more than would have builded twelve bawdy houses.
And had she no time to turn honest but now? What a vile woman is this! Twenty pound a night, I'll be sworn, Roger, in good gold and no silver: why here was a time, if she should ha' pick'd out a time, it could not be better! Gold enough stirring; choice of men, choice of hair, choice of beards, choice of legs, and choice of every, every, everything: it cannot sink into my head, that she should be such an ass, Roger, I never believe it.
Here she comes now.
Oh, sweet madonna, on with your loose gown, your felt and your feather. There's the sweetest, prop'rest, gallantest gentleman at my house: he smells all of musk and ambergris, his pocket full of crowns, flame-colour'd doublet, red satin hose, carnation silk stockings, and a leg and a body, oh!
Hence, thou our sex's monster, poisonous bawd,
Lust's factor, and damnation's orator,
Gossip of hell! Were all the harlots' sins
Which the whole world contains numb'red together,
Thine far exceeds them all; of all the creatures
That ever were created, thou art basest!
What serpent would beguile thee of thy office?
It is detestable, for thou liv'st
Upon the dregs of harlots, guard'st the door,
Whilst couples go to dancing. Oh, coarse devil!
Thou art the bastard's curse (thou brand'st his birth),
The lecher's French disease (for thou dry-suck'st him),
The harlot's poison, and thine own confusion.
Mary come up with a pox, have you nobody to rail against but your bawd now?
And you, knave pander, kinsman to a bawd--
You and I, madonna, are cousins.
Of the same blood and making, near allied,
Thou, that slave to sixpence, base-metall'd villain!
Sixpence? Nay, that's not so: I never took under two shillings fourpence; I hope I know my fee.
I know not against which most to inveigh,
For both of you are damn'd so equally.
Thou never spar'st for oaths, swear'st anything,
As if thy soul were made of shoe-leather:
"God damn me, gentleman, if she be within,"
When in the next room she's found dallying.
If it be my vocation to swear, every man in his vocation: I hope my betters swear and damn themselves, and why should not I?
Roger, you cheat kind gentlemen?
The more gulls they.
Slave, I cashier thee!
And you do cashier him, he shall be entertain'd.
Shall I? Then blurt a' your service!
As hell would have it, entertain'd by you!
I dare the devil himself to match those two.
Marry gup, are you grown so holy, so pure, so honest with a pox?
Scurvy, honest punk! But stay, madonna, how must our agreement be now? For you know I am to have all the comings in at the hall door, and you at the chamber door.
True, Roger, except my vails.
Vails? What vails?
Why, as thus: if a couple come in a coach, and light to lie down a little, then, Roger, that's my fee, and you may walk abroad, for the coachman himself is their pander.
Is 'a' so? In truth, I have almost forgot for want of exercise. But how if I fetch this citizen's wife to that gull, and that madonna to that gallant, how then?
Why then, Roger, you are to have sixpence a lane: so many lanes, so many sixpences.
Is't so? Then I see we two shall agree and live together.
Ay, Roger, so long as there be any taverns and bawdy houses in Milan.
[III.iii. Bellafront's chamber]
Enter Bellafront with a lute; pen, ink and paper being plac'd before her.
Oh, 'tis in vain to write! It will not please:
Ink on this paper would ha' but presented
The foul black spots that stick upon my soul,
And rather make me loathsomer than wrought
My love's impression in Hipolito's thought.
No, I must turn the chaste leaves of my breast,
And pick out some sweet means to breed my rest.
Hipolito, believe me I will be
As true unto thy heart as thy heart to thee,
And hate all men, their gifts and company.
Enter Matheo, Castruchio, Fluello, Pioratto.
You, goody punk, subaudi cockatrice! Oh, y'are a sweet whore of your promise, are you not, think you? How well you came to supper to us last night: mew, a whore and break her word! Nay, you may blush and hold down your head at it well enough. 'Sfoot, ask these gallants if we stay'd not till we were as hungry as sergeants!
Ay, and their yeoman too.
Nay, faith, acquaintance, let me tell you, you forgot yourself too much: we had excellent cheer, rare vintage, and were drunk after supper.
And when we were in our woodcocks, sweet rogue, a brace of gulls, dwelling here in the city, came in and paid all the shot.
Pox on her, let her alone.
Oh, I pray do, if you be gentlemen!
I pray depart the house; beshrew the door
For being so easily entreated: faith,
I lent but little ear unto your talk;
My mind was busied otherwise in troth,
And so your words did unregarded pass.
Let this suffice, I am not as I was.
I am not what I was! No, I'll be sworn thou art not, for thou wert honest at five, and now th'art a punk at fifteen; thou wert yesterday a simple whore, and now th'art a cunning coney-catching baggage today.
I'll say I'm worse. I pray forsake me then;
I do desire you leave me, gentlemen,
And leave yourselves. Oh, be not what you are,
Spendthrifts of soul and body!
Let me persuade you to forsake all harlots,
Worse than the deadliest poisons; they are worse,
For o'er their souls hangs an eternal curse:
In being slaves to slaves, their labours perish;
Th'are seldom bless'd with fruit, for ere it blossoms,
Many a worm confounds it.
They have no issue but foul, ugly ones
That run along with them, e'en to their graves,
For stead of children, they breed rank diseases,
And all you gallants can bestow on them
Is that French infant, which ne'er acts but speaks.
What shallow son and heir then, foolish gallant,
Would waste all his inheritance to purchase
A filthy, loath'd disease, and pawn his body
To a dry evil? That usury's worst of all,
When th' interest will eat out the principal.
[Aside] 'Sfoot, she gulls 'em the best! This is always her fashion when she would be rid of any company that she cares not for, to enjoy mine alone.
What's here? Instructions, admonitions, and caveats? Come out, you scabbard of vengeance!
Fluello, spurn your hounds when they fist, you shall not spurn my punk; I can tell you my blood is vex'd.
Pox a' your blood! Make it a quarrel.
Y'are a slave. Will that serve turn?
[Matheo and Fluello draw.]
'Sblood, hold, hold!
Matheo, Fluello, for shame, put up!
Spurn my sweet varlet!
Oh, how many thus
Mov'd with a little folly have let out
Their souls in brothel houses, fell down and died
Just at their harlot's foot, as 'twere in pride?
Matheo, we shall meet!
Ay, ay, anywhere, saving at church: pray take heed we meet not there.
There's more deceit in women than in hell.
Exeunt [Castruchio, Fluello, Pioratto].
Ha, ha, thou dost gull 'em so rarely, so naturally. If I did not think thou hadst been in earnest. Thou art a sweet rogue for't, i'faith.
Why are not you gone too, Signior Matheo?
I pray depart my house: you may believe me;
In troth I have no part of harlot in me.
Indeed, I love you not, but hate you worse
Than any man, because you were the first
Gave money for my soul; you brake the ice,
Which after turn'd a puddle: I was led
By your temptation to be miserable.
I pray seek out some other that will fall,
Or rather I pray seek out none at all.
Is't possible to be impossible, an honest whore! I have heard many honest wenches turn strumpets with a wet finger, but for a harlot to turn honest is one of Hercules' labours. It was more easy for him in one night to make fifty queans than to make one of them honest again in fifty years. Come, I hope thou dost but jest.
'Tis time to leave off jesting; I had almost
Jested away salvation: I shall love you,
If you will soon forsake me.
God buy thee.
Oh, tempt no more women; shun their weighty curse!
Women at best are bad; make them not worse.
You gladly seek our sex's overthrow,
But not to raise our states for all your wrongs.
Will you vouchsafe me but due recompense
To marry with me?
How! Marry with a punk, a cockatrice, a harlot? Marry foh, I'll be burnt thorough the nose first!
Why la, these are your oaths; you love to undo us,
To put heaven from us, whilst our best hours waste:
You love to make us lewd, but never chaste.
I'll hear no more of this: this ground upon
Th'art damn'd for alt'ring thy religion.
Thy lust and sin speak so much. Go thou my ruin,
The first fall my soul took; by my example
I hope few maidens now will put their heads
Under men's girdles: who least trusts, is most wise;
Men's oaths do cast a mist before our eyes.
My best of wit be ready: now I go,
By some device to greet Hipolito.
[IV.i. Hipolito's chamber]
Enter a Servant setting out a table, on which he places a skull, a picture, a book, and a taper.
So, this is Monday morning, and now must I to my huswif'ry: would I had been created a shoemaker, for all the gentle craft are gentlemen every Monday by their copy and scorn then to work one true stitch. My master means sure to turn me into a student, for here's my book, here my desk, here my light, this my close chamber, and here my punk: so that this dull drowsy first day of the week makes me half a priest, half a chandler, half a painter, half a sexton, ay, and half a bawd, for all this day my office is to do nothing but keep the door. To prove it, look you, this good face and yonder gentleman, so soon as ever my back's turn'd, will be naught together.
Are all the windows shut?
Close, sir, as the fist of a courtier that hath stood in three reigns.
Thou art a faithful servant and observ'st
The calendar, both of my solemn vows
And ceremonious sorrow. Get thee gone;
I charge thee on thy life let not the sound
Of any woman's voice pierce through that door.
If they do, my lord, I'll pierce some of them.
What will your lordship have to breakfast?
What to dinner?
The one of them, my lord, will fill you too full of wind, the other wet you too much. What to supper?
That which now thou canst not get me, the constancy of a woman.
Indeed that's harder to come by than ever was Ostend.
I'll make away myself presently, which few servants will do for their lords, but rather help to make them away. Now to my door-keeping; I hope to pick something out of it.
[Taking up her picture] My Infelice's face: her brow, her eye,
The dimple on her cheek, and such sweet skill
Hath from the cunning workman's pencil flown,
These lips look fresh and lively as her own,
Seeming to move and speak. 'Las! Now I see
The reason why fond women love to buy
Adulterate complexion: here 'tis read
False colours last after the true be dead.
Of all the roses grafted on her cheeks,
Of all the graces dancing in her eyes,
Of all the music set upon her tongue,
Of all that was past woman's excellence
In her white bosom, look, a painted board
Circumscribes all! Earth can no bliss afford.
Nothing of her, but this? This cannot speak,
It has no lap for me to rest upon,
No lip worth tasting: here the worms will feed,
As in her coffin. Hence then, idle art:
True love's best pictur'd in a true love's heart.
Here art thou drawn, sweet maid, till this be dead,
So that thou liv'st twice, twice art buried.
Thou figure of my friend, lie there. What's here?
[Taking up the skull] Perhaps this shrewd pate was mine enemy's.
'Las! Say it were: I need not fear him now.
For all his braves, his contumelious breath,
His frowns (tho' dagger-pointed), all his plots
(Tho' ne'er so mischievous), his Italian pills,
His quarrels, and that common fence, his law:
See, see, they're all eaten out; here's not left one!
How clean they're pick'd away! To the bare bone!
How mad are mortals then to rear great names
On tops of swelling houses! Or to wear out
Their fingers' ends in dirt to scrape up gold!
Not caring, so that sumpter-horse the back
Be hung with gaudy trappings, with what coarse,
Yea, rags most beggarly, they clothe the soul!
Yet after all their gayness looks thus foul.
What fools are men to build a garish tomb,
Only to save the carcass whilst it rots,
To maintain 't long in stinking, make good carrion,
But leave no good deeds to preserve them sound,
For good deeds keep men sweet long above ground,
And must all come to this: fools, wise, all hither;
Must all heads thus at last be laid together.
Draw me my picture then, thou grave neat workman,
After this fashion, not like this: these colours
In time kissing but air will be kiss'd off,
But here's a fellow; that which he lays on,
Till doomsday, alters not complexion.
Death's the best painter then. They that draw shapes
And live by wicked faces are but God's apes:
They come but near the life, and there they stay.
This fellow draws life too: his art is fuller;
The pictures which he makes are without colour.
Enter his Servant.
Here's a person would speak with you, sir.
A parson, sir, would speak with you.
Vicar? No, sir, h'as too good a face to be a vicar yet. A youth, a very youth.
What youth? Of man or woman? Lock the doors.
If it be a woman, marybones and potato pies keep me for meddling with her, for the thing has got the breeches. 'Tis a male varlet sure, my lord, for a woman's tailor ne'er measur'd him.
Let him give thee his message and be gone.
He says he's Signior Matheo's man, but I know he lies.
How dost thou know it?
'Cause h'as ne'er a beard: 'tis his boy, I think, sir, whosoe'er paid for his nursing.
Send him and keep the door.
[Exit Servant. Hipolito] reads.
"Fata si liceat mihi
Fingere arbitrio meo
Temperem Zephyro levi
I'd sail, were I to choose, not in the ocean;
Cedars are shaken when shrubs do feel no bruise.
Enter Bellafront like a page [and hands him a paper, keeping her face averted].
How? From Matheo?
Yes, my lord.
Not all in health, my lord.
[Aside] Hard fate when women are compell'd to woo.
This paper does speak nothing.
Yes, my lord,
Matter of life it speaks, and therefore writ
In hidden character; to me instruction
My master gives, and, 'less you please to stay
Till you both meet, I can the text display.
Do so: read out.
[Showing her face] I am already out:
Look on my face and read the strangest story!
What villain, ho!
Enter his Servant.
Call you my lord?
Thou slave, thou hast let in the devil!
Lord bless us, where? He's not cloven, my lord, that I can see: besides the devil goes more like a gentleman than a page. Good my lord, boon couragio.
Thou hast let in a woman in man's shape,
And thou art damn'd for't.
Not damn'd I hope for putting in a woman to a lord.
Fetch me my rapier! Do not: I shall kill thee.
Purge this infected chamber of that plague
That runs upon me thus! Slave, thrust her hence!
Alas, my lord, I shall never be able to thrust her hence without help. Come, mermaid, you must to sea again.
Hear me but speak, my words shall be all music:
Hear me but speak.
Another beats the door;
T'other she-devil, look.
Why then hell's broke loose.
Hence, guard the chamber: let no more come on;
One woman serves for man's damnation.
Beshrew thee, thou dost make me violate
The chastest and most sanctimonious vow
That e'er was ent'red in the court of heaven:
I was on meditation's spotless wings,
Upon my journey thither; like a storm
Thou beats my ripened cogitations
Flat to the ground, and like a thief dost stand
To steal devotion from the holy land.
If woman were thy mother, if thy heart
Be not all marble--or if't marble be,
Let my tears soften it to pity me--
I do beseech thee do not thus with scorn
Destroy a woman.
Woman, I beseech thee
Get thee some other suit, this fits thee not;
I would not grant it to a kneeling queen:
I cannot love thee, nor I must not. See
The copy of that obligation
Where my soul's bound in heavy penalties.
She's dead, you told me; she'll let fall her suit.
My vows to her fled after her to heaven;
Were thine eyes clear as mine, thou mightst behold her
Watching upon yon battlements of stars
How I observe them: should I break my bond,
This board would rive in twain, these wooden lips
Call me most perjur'd villain; let it suffice,
I ha' set thee in the path. Is't not a sign
I love thee when with one so most, most dear,
I'll have thee fellows? All are fellows there.
Be greater than a king; save not a body,
But from eternal shipwrack keep a soul:
If not, and that again, sin's path I tread;
The grief be mine, the guilt fall on thy head.
Stay and take physic for it; read this book,
Ask counsel of this head what's to be done:
He'll strike it dead that 'tis damnation
If you turn Turk again. Oh, do it not!
Tho' heaven cannot allure you to do well
From doing ill, let hell fright you, and learn this:
The soul whose bosom lust did never touch
Is God's fair bride, and maidens' souls are such;
The soul that leaving chastity's white shore
Swims in hot sensual streams, is the devil's whore.
Enter his servant.
How now! Who comes?
No more knaves, my lord, that wear smocks. Here's a letter from Doctor Benedict; I would not enter his man, tho' he had hairs at his mouth, for fear he should be a woman, for some women have beards. Marry, they are half witches! 'Slid, you are a sweet youth to wear a codpiece and have no pins to stick upon't!
I'll meet the doctor, tell him; yet tonight
I cannot, but at morrow rising sun
I will not fail. Go, woman; fare thee well.
Exeunt [Hipolito and his Servant].
The lowest fall can be but into hell;
It does not move him. I must therefore fly
From this undoing city, and with tears
Wash off all anger from my father's brow:
He cannot sure but joy seeing me new born.
A woman honest first and then turn whore
Is, as with me, common to thousands more,
But from a strumpet to turn chaste, that sound
Has oft been heard, that woman hardly found.
[IV.ii. A street]
Enter Fustigo, Crambo and Poh.
[Giving them money] Hold up your hands, gentlemen: here's one, two, three--nay, I warrant, they are sound pistols and without flaws, I had them of my sister, and I know she uses to put up nothing that's crack'd--three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine. By this hand bring me but a piece of his blood, and you shall have nine more. I'll lurk in a tavern not far off, and provide supper to close up the end of the tragedy. The linen-draper's, remember: stand to't, I beseech you, and play your parts perfectly.
Look you, signior, 'tis not your gold that we weigh.
Nay, nay, weigh it and spare not; if it lack one grain of corn, I'll give you a bushel of wheat to make it up.
But by your favour, signior, which of the servants is it, because we'll punish justly.
Marry, 'tis the head man; you shall taste him by his tongue: a pretty, tall, prating fellow with a Tuscalonian beard.
Tuscalonian: very good.
Cods life, I was ne'er so thrumm'd since I was a gentleman: my coxcomb was dry-beaten as if my hair had been hemp!
We'll dry-beat some of them.
Nay, it grew so high that my sister cried murder out very manfully: I have her consent in a manner to have him pepper'd, else I'll not do't to win more than ten cheaters do at a rifling. Break but his pate or so, only his mazer, because I'll have his head in a cloth as well as mine; he's a linen-draper and may take enough. I could enter mine action of battery against him, but we mayhaps be both dead and rotten before the lawyers would end it.
No more to do but ensconce yourself i' th' tavern; provide no great cheer, couple of capons, some pheasants, plovers, an orangeado pie or so: but how bloody soe'er the day be, sally you not forth.
No, no, nay, if I stir, somebody shall stink; I'll not budge: I'll lie like a dog in a manger.
Well, well, to the tavern; let not our supper be raw, for you shall have blood enough, your belly full.
That's all, so God sa' me, I thirst after: blood for blood, bump for bump, nose for nose, head for head, plaster for plaster, and so farewell. What shall I call your names, because I'll leave word if any such come to the bar.
My name is Corporal Crambo.
And mine, Lieutenant Poh.
Poh is as tall a man as ever opened oyster; I would not be the devil to meet Poh. Farewell.
Nor I, by this light, if Poh be such a Poh.
[IV.iii. Candido's shop]
Enter Candido's wife [Viola] in her shop, and the two Prentices.
What's a' clock now?
'Tis almost twelve.
The senate will leave wording presently.
But is George ready?
Yes, forsooth, he's furbish'd.
Now as you ever hope to win my favour,
Throw both your duties and respects on him
With the like awe as if he were your master;
Let not your looks betray it with a smile,
Or jeering glance to any customer:
Keep a true settled countenance, and beware
You laugh not whatsoever you hear or see.
I warrant you, mistress, let us alone for keeping our countenance, for if I list, there's never a fool in all Milan shall make me laugh, let him play the fool never so like an ass, whether it be the fat court fool or the lean city fool.
Enough then, call down George.
I hear him coming.
Be ready with your legs then; let me see
How curtsy would become him. Gallantly!
Beshrew my blood, a proper seemly man,
Of a choice carriage, walks with a good port.
I thank you, mistress; my back's broad enough now my master's gown's on.
Sure I should think it were the least of sin
To mistake the master and to let him in.
'Twere a good comedy of errors, that, i'faith.
Whist, whist, my master!
You all know your tasks.
Enter Candido and exit presently.
God's my life, what's that he has got upon's back? Who can tell?
That can I, but I will not.
Girt about him like a madman! What, has he lost his cloak too? This is the maddest fashion that e'er I saw! What said he, George, when he pass'd by thee?
Troth, mistress, nothing. Not so much as a bee, he did not hum; not so much as a bawd, he did not hem; not so much as a cuckold, he did not ha; neither hum, hem, nor ha, only star'd me in the face, past along, and made haste in, as if my looks had work'd with him to give him a stool.
Sure he's vex'd now; this trick has mov'd his spleen:
He's ang'red now because he utt'red nothing;
And wordless wrath breaks out more violent.
Maybe he'll strive for place when he comes down,
But if thou lov'st me, George, afford him none.
Nay, let me alone to play my master's prize, as long as my mistress warrants me. I'm sure I have his best clothes on, and I scorn to give place to any that is inferior in apparel to me: that's an axiom, a principle, and is observ'd as much as the fashion; let that persuade you then, that I'll shoulder with him for the upper hand in the shop, as long as this chain will maintain it.
Spoke with the spirit of a master, tho' with the tongue of a prentice.
Enter Candido like a prentice.
Why, how now, madman? What in your tricksy coats?
Oh, peace, good mistress!
Enter Crambo and Poh.
See what you lack, what is't you buy? Pure calicoes, fine hollands, choice cambrics, neat lawns! See what you buy! Pray come near, my master will use you well; he can afford you a pennyworth.
Ay, that he can, out of a whole piece of lawn, i'faith.
Pray see your choice here, gentlemen.
[Aside] Oh, fine fool! What a madman! A patient madman! Whoever heard of the like? Well, sir, I'll fit you and your humour presently. What? Cross-points? I'll untie 'em all in a trice; I'll vex you, faith.--Boy, take your cloak; quick, come.
Exit [with First Prentice].
Be covered, George; this chain and welted gown
Bare to this coat: then the world's upside down.
Umh, umh, hum.
That's the shop, and there's the fellow.
Ay, but the master is walking in there.
No matter, we'll in.
'Sblood, dost long to lie in limbo?
And limbo be in hell, I care not.
Look you, gentlemen, your choice: cambrics?
No, sir, some shirting.
Have you none of this strip'd canvas for doublets?
None strip'd, sir, but plain.
I think there be one piece strip'd within.
Step, sirrah, and fetch it, hum, hum, hum.
[Exit Second Prentice.]
Look you, gentlemen, I'll make but one spreading; here's a piece of cloth, fine, yet shall wear like iron: 'tis without fault, take this upon my word, 'tis without fault.
Then 'tis better than you, sirrah.
Ay, and a number more. Oh, that each soul
Were but as spotless as this innocent white
And had as few breaks in it!
'Twould have some then. There was a fray here last day in this shop.
There was indeed a little flea-biting.
A gentleman had his pate broke. Call you that but a flea-biting?
He had so.
Zounds, do you stand in't?
He strikes him.
'Sfoot! Clubs, clubs, prentices! Down with 'em! Ah, you rogues, strike a citizen in's shop?
[The Prentices rush in and with George they disarm and beat Crambo and Poh.]
None of you stir; I pray, forbear, good George.
I beseech you, sir, we mistook our marks; deliver us our weapons.
Your head bleeds, sir: cry clubs!
I say you shall not; pray be patient.
Give them their weapons. Sirs, you're best be gone;
I tell you here are boys more tough than bears:
Hence, lest more fists do walk about your ears.
BOTH [CRAMBO AND POH]
We thank you, sir.
Exeunt [Crambo and Poh].
You shall not follow them.
Let them alone pray, this did me no harm;
Troth, I was cold, and the blow made me warm.
I thank 'em for't; besides I had decreed
To have a vein prick'd: I did mean to bleed,
So that there's money sav'd. They are honest men;
Pray use 'em well when they appear again.
Yes, sir, we'll use 'em like honest men.
Ay, well said, George, like honest men, tho' they be arrant knaves, for that's the phrase of the city. Help to lay up these wares.
Enter Candido's wife [Viola] with Officers [to one side].
Yonder he stands.
What, in a prentice coat?
Ay, ay, mad, mad; pray take heed.
How now? What news with them? What make they with my wife? Officers? Is she attach'd? Look to your wares.
He talks to himself. Oh, he's much gone indeed!
Pray pluck up a good heart; be not so fearful.
Sirs, hark, we'll gather to him by degrees.
Ay, ay, by degrees I pray. Oh, me! What makes he with the lawn in his hand; he'll tear all the ware in my shop.
Fear not, we'll catch him on a sudden.
Oh, you had need do so! Pray take heed of your warrant.
I warrant, mistress. [Approaching Candido] Now, Signior Candido?
Now, sir, what news with you, sir?
What news with you, he says. Oh, he's far gone!
I pray fear nothing, let's alone with him.
Signior, you look not like yourself methinks.
[To Second Officer] Steal you a' t'other side.--Y'are chang'd, y'are alt'red.
Chang'd, sir? Why, true, sir. Is change strange? 'Tis not the fashion unless it alter? Monarchs turn to beggars, beggars creep into the nests of princes, masters serve their prentices, ladies their serving-men, men turn to women.
And women turn to men.
Ay, and women turn to men, you say true. Ha, ha, a mad world, a mad world!
[The Officers seize Candido, and the Second Officer begins to bind him.]
Have we caught you, sir?
Caught me? Well, well, you have caught me.
He laughs in your faces.
A rescue, prentices, my master's catchpol'd!
I charge you keep the peace, or have your legs gartered with irons; we have from the duke a warrant strong enough for what we do.
I pray rest quiet; I desire no rescue.
La, he desires no rescue! 'Las, poor heart,
He talks against himself.
Well, what's the matter?
Look to that arm;
Pray make sure work: double the cord.
Look how his head goes! Should he get but loose,
Oh, 'twere as much as all our lives were worth!
Fear not, we'll make all sure for our own safety.
Are you at leisure now? Well, what's the matter?
Why do I enter into bonds thus, ha?
Because y'are mad, put fear upon your wife.
Oh, ay, I went in danger of my life, every minute!
What? Am I mad say you, and I not know it?
That proves you mad, because you know it not.
Pray talk as little to him as you can;
You see he's too far spent.
Bound with strong cord?
A sister's thread, i'faith, had been enough
To lead me anywhere. Wife, do you long?
You are mad too, or else you do me wrong.
But are you mad indeed, master?
My wife says so,
And what she says, George, is all truth you know.
And whither now? To Beth'lem Monastery?
Faith, e'en to the madmen's pound.
A' God's name, still I feel my patience sound.
Exeunt [Candido with Officers].
Come, we'll see whither he goes. If the master be mad, we are his servants and must follow his steps: we'll be madcaps too. Farewell, mistress, you shall have us all in Bedlam.
Exeunt [George and the other Prentices].
I think I ha' fitted now you and your clothes!
If this move not his patience, nothing can;
I'll swear then I have a saint and not a man.
[IV.iv. Doctor Benedict's house]
Enter Duke, Doctor, Fluello, Castruchio, Pioratto.
Give us a little leave.
[Exeunt Fluello, Castruchio, and Pioratto.]
Doctor, your news.
I sent for him, my lord. At last he came,
And did receive all speech that went from me
As gilded pills made to prolong his health:
My credit with him wrought it, for some men
Swallow even empty hooks, like fools that fear
No drowning where 'tis deepest 'cause 'tis clear.
In th' end we sat and ate: a health I drank
To Infelice's sweet departed soul;
This train I knew would take.
He fell with such devotion on his knees
To pledge the same--
Fond, superstitious fool!
That had he been inflam'd with zeal of prayer,
He could not power 't out with more reverence.
About my neck he hung, wept on my cheek,
Kiss'd it, and swore he would adore my lips
Because they brought forth Infelice's name.
Ha, ha! Alack, alack!
The cup he lifts up high, and thus he said,
"Here, noble maid," drinks, and was poisoned.
And died, my lord.
Thou in that word
Hast piec'd mine aged hours out with more years
Than thou hast taken from Hipolito.
A noble youth he was, but lesser branches
Hind'ring the greater's growth must be lopp'd off
And feed the fire. Doctor, w'are now all thine,
And use us so. Be bold.
Thanks, gracious lord.
My honoured lord--
I do beseech your grace to bury deep
This bloody act of mine.
Nay, nay, for that,
Doctor, look you to't. Me it shall not move;
They're curs'd that ill do, not that ill do love.
You throw an angry forehead on my face,
But be you pleas'd, backward thus for to look,
That for your good this evil I undertook--
Ay, ay, we conster so.
And only for your love--
Confess'd, 'tis true.
Nor let it stand against me as a bar
To thrust me from your presence, nor believe,
As princes have quick thoughts, that now my finger
Being deep'd in blood I will not spare the hand,
But that for gold, as what can gold not do,
I may be hir'd to work the like on you.
Which to prevent--
'Tis from my heart as far--
No matter, doctor, 'cause I'll fearless sleep;
And that you shall stand clear of that suspicion
I banish thee forever from my court.
This principle is old but true as fate:
Kings may love treason, but the traitor hate.
Is't so? Nay then, duke, your stale principle
With one as stale the doctor thus shall quit:
He falls himself that digs another's pit.
Enter the Doctor's Man.
Where is he? Will he meet me?
Meet you, sir! He might have met with three fencers in this time and have received less hurt than by meeting one doctor of physic! Why, sir, h'as walk'd under the old abbey wall yonder this hour till he's more cold than a citizen's country house in January; you may smell him behind, sir. La you, yonder he comes.
I' th' lurch, if you will.
Oh, my most noble friend!
Few but yourself
Could have intic'd me thus to trust the air
With my close sighs. You send for me. What news?
Come, you must doff this black, dye that pale cheek
Into his own colour; go. Attire yourself
Fresh as a bridegroom when he meets his bride.
The duke has done much treason to thy love;
'Tis now revealed, 'tis now to be reveng'd.
Be merry, honour'd friend: thy lady lives.
Infelice. She's reviv'd.
Reviv'd? Alack! Death never had the heart
To take breath from her.
Umh, I thank you, sir.
Physic prolongs life when it cannot save:
This helps not my hopes; mine are in their grave.
You do some wrong to mock me.
By that love
Which I have ever borne you, what I speak
Is truth: the maiden lives. That funeral,
Duke's tears, the mourning was all counterfeit:
A sleepy draught cozen'd the world and you;
I was his minister and then chamb'red up
To stop discovery.
Oh, treacherous duke!
He cannot hope so certainly for bliss,
As he believes that I have poison'd you.
He woo'd me to't, I yielded, and confirm'd him
In his most bloody thoughts.
A very devil!
Her did he closely coach to Bergamo,
Will I ride! Stood Bergamo
In the low countries of black hell, I'll to her.
You shall to her, but not to Bergamo.
How passion makes you fly beyond yourself!
Much of that weary journey I ha' cut off,
For she by letters hath intelligence
Of your supposed death, her own interment,
And all those plots, which that false duke her father
Has wrought against you. And she'll meet you.
Nay, see how covetous are your desires;
Early tomorrow morn.
Oh, where, good father?
At Beth'lem Monastery. Are you pleas'd now?
At Beth'lem monastery. The place well fits:
It is the school where those that lose their wits
Practise again to get them. I am sick
Of that disease; all love is lunatic.
We'll steal away this night in some disguise;
Father Anselmo, a most reverend friar,
Expects our coming, before whom we'll lay
Reasons so strong that he shall yield in bands
Of holy wedlock to tie both your hands.
This is such happiness
That to believe it 'tis impossible!
Let all your joys then die in misbelief;
I will reveal no more.
Oh, yes, good father,
I am so well acquainted with despair,
I know not how to hope: I believe all.
We'll hence this night; much must be done, much said,
But if the doctor fail not in his charms,
Your lady shall ere morning fill these arms.
Heavenly physician, far thy fame shall spread,
That mak'st two lovers speak when they be dead.
[V.i. Outside the Duke's castle]
[Enter] Candido's wife [Viola] and George; Pioratto meets them.
Oh, watch, good George, watch which way the duke comes.
Here comes one of the butterflies; ask him.
Pray, sir, comes the duke this way?
He's upon coming, mistress.
I thank you, sir.
George, are there many mad folks where thy master lies?
Oh, yes, of all countries some, but especially mad Greeks; they swarm. Troth, mistress, the world is altered with you; you had not wont to stand thus with a paper humbly complaining, but you're well enough serv'd: provender prick'd you, as it does many of our city-wives besides.
Dost think, George, we shall get him forth?
Truly, mistress, I cannot tell; I think you'll hardly get him forth. Why, 'tis strange! 'Sfoot, I have known many women that have had mad rascals to their husbands, whom they would belabour by all means possible to keep 'em in their right wits, but of a woman to long to turn a tame man into a madman, why, the devil himself was never us'd so by his dam!
How does he talk, George? Ha, good George, tell me!
Why, you're best go see.
Alas, I am afraid.
Afraid! You had more need be asham'd: he may rather be afraid of you.
But, George, he's not stark mad, is he? He does not rave, he's not horn-mad, George, is he?
Nay, I know not that, but he talks like a justice of peace, of a thousand matters and to no purpose.
I'll to the monastery: I shall be mad till I enjoy him, I shall be sick till I see him, yet when I do see him, I shall weep out mine eyes.
Ay, I'd fain see a woman weep out her eyes; that's as true as to say a man's cloak burns when it hangs in the water. I know you'll weep, mistress, but what says the painted cloth:
"Trust not a woman when she cries,
For she'll pump water from her eyes
With a wet finger, and in faster showers
Than April when he rains down flowers."
Ay, but George, that painted cloth is worthy to be hang'd up for lying, all women have not tears at will unless they have good cause.
Ay, but mistress, how easily will they find a cause, and as one of our cheese-trenchers says very learnedly:
"As out of wormwood bees suck honey,
As from poor clients lawyers firk money
As parsley from a roasted coney,
So, tho' the day be ne'er so sunny,
If wives will have it rain, down then it drives:
The calmest husbands make the [stormiest] wives."
[True], George, but I ha' done storming now.
Why, that's well done, good mistress; throw aside this fashion of your humour: be not so fantastical in wearing it; storm no more, long no more. This longing has made you come short of many a good thing that you might have had from my master. Here comes the duke.
Enter Duke, Fluello, Pioratto, Sinezi.
Oh, I beseech you pardon my offense,
In that I durst abuse your grace's warrant!
Deliver forth my husband, good my lord.
Who is her husband?
Candido, my lord.
Where is he?
He's among the lunatics.
He was a man made up without a gall;
Nothing could move him, nothing could convert
His meek blood into fury: yet like a monster,
I often beat at the most constant rock
Of his unshaken patience, and did long
To vex him.
Did you so?
And for that purpose,
Had warrant from your grace to carry him
To Beth'lem Monastery, whence they will not free him
Without your grace's hand that sent him in.
You have long'd fair. 'Tis you are mad, I fear;
It's fit to fetch him thence and keep you there.
If he be mad, why would you have him forth?
And please your grace, he's not stark mad, but only talks like a young gentleman, somewhat fantastically, that's all: there's a thousand about your court, city, and country madder than he.
Provide a warrant, you shall have our hand.
Here's a warrant ready drawn, my lord.
Get pen and ink, get pen and ink.
Where is my lord the duke?
How now? More madmen?
I have strange news, my lord,
Of what? Of what?
Of Infelice and a marriage.
Ha! Where? With whom?
[Offering the Duke a pen] Here, my lord.
Hence with that woman, void the room!
Away, the duke's vex'd.
Whoop! Come, mistress, the duke's mad too.
Exeunt [Viola and George].
Who told me that Hipolito was dead?
He that can make any man dead, the doctor; but, my lord, he's as full of life as wild-fire, and as quick. Hipolito, the doctor, and one more rid hence this evening; the inn at which they light is Beth'lem Monastery: Infelice comes from Bergamo and meets them there. Hipolito is mad, for he means this day to be married; the afternoon is the hour, and Friar Anselmo is the knitter.
From Bergamo? Is't possible? It cannot be,
It cannot be.
I will not swear, my lord,
But this intelligence I took from one
Whose brains works in the plot.
Matheo knows all.
He's Hipolito's bosom.
How far stands Beth'lem hence?
Six or seven miles.
Is't even so!
Not married till the afternoon, you say?
Stay, stay, let's work out some prevention. How!
This is most strange! Can none but madmen serve
To dress their wedding dinner? All of you,
Get presently to horse; disguise yourselves
Like country gentlemen,
Or riding citizens, or so, and take
Each man a several path, but let us meet
At Beth'lem Monastery, some space of time
Being spent between the arrival each of other,
As if we came to see the lunatics.
To horse, away! Be secret on your lives;
Love must be punish'd that unjustly thrives.
Exeunt [all but Fluello].
Be secret on your lives! Castruchio,
Y'are but a scurvy spaniel. Honest lord,
Good lady! Zounds, their love is just, 'tis good!
And I'll prevent you, tho' I swim in blood.
[V.ii. Bethlehem Monastery]
Enter Friar Anselmo, Hipolito, Matheo, Infelice.
Nay, nay, resolve, good father, or deny.
You press me to an act both full of danger
And full of happiness, for I behold
Your father's frowns, his threats, nay, perhaps death
To him that dare do this; yet noble lord,
Such comfortable beams break through these clouds
By this bless'd marriage; that, your honour'd word
Being pawn'd in my defense, I will tie fast
The holy wedding knot.
Tush, fear not the duke.
Wisely to fear is to be free from fear.
You have our words, and you shall have our lives,
To guard you safe from all ensuing danger.
Ay, ay, chop 'em up and away.
Stay: when is't fit for me, safest for you,
To entertain this business?
Not till the evening.
Be 't so; there is a chapel stands hard by,
Upon the west end of the abbey wall:
Thither convey yourselves, and when the sun
Hath turn'd his back upon this upper world,
I'll marry you; that done, no thund'ring voice
Can break the sacred bond. Yet lady, here
You are most safe.
Father, your love's most dear.
Ay, well said. Lock us into some little room by ourselves that we may be mad for an hour or two.
Oh, good Matheo, no, let's make no noise.
How! No noise! Do you know where you are? 'Sfoot, amongst all the madcaps in Milan, so that to throw the house out at window will be the better, and no man will suspect that we lurk here to steal mutton: the more sober we are, the more scurvy 'tis. And tho' the friar tell us that here we are safest, I'm not of his mind, for if those lay here that had lost their money, none would ever look after them, but here are none but those that have lost their wits, so that if hue and cry be made, hither they'll come, and my reason is, because none goes be married till he be stark mad.
Muffle yourselves; yonder's Fluello.
Oh, my lord, these cloaks are not for this rain; the tempest is too great: I come sweating to tell you of it that you may get out of it.
Why, what's the matter?
What's the matter? You have matter'd it fair: the duke's at hand.
The very duke.
Then all our plots
Are turn'd upon our heads, and we are blown up
With our own underminings. 'Sfoot, how comes he?
What villain durst betray our being here?
Castruchio, Castruchio told the duke, and Matheo here told Castruchio.
Would you betray me to Castruchio?
'Sfoot, he damn'd himself to the pit of hell if he spake on't again!
So did you swear to me, so were you damn'd.
Pox on 'em, and there be no faith in men, if a man shall not believe oaths! He took bread and salt, by this light, that he would never open his lips.
Oh God, oh God!
Son, be not desperate;
Have patience: you shall trip your enemy down
By his own sleights. How far is the duke hence?
He's but new set out. Castruchio, Pioratto, and Sinezi come along with him: you have time enough yet to prevent them if you have but courage.
You shall steal secretly into the chapel
And presently be married; if the duke
Abide here still, spite of ten thousand eyes,
You shall scape hence like friars.
Oh, bless'd disguise! Oh, happy man!
Talk not of happiness till your clos'd hand
Have her by th' forehead, like the lock of time.
Be not too slow nor hasty now you climb
Up to the tower of bliss, only be wary
And patient, that's all: if you like my plot,
Build and dispatch; if not, farewell, then not.
Oh, yes, we do applaud it; we'll dispute
No longer, but will hence and execute.
Fluello, you'll stay here; let us be gone.
The ground that frighted lovers tread upon
Is stuck with thorns.
Come then, away: 'tis meet,
To escape those thorns, to put on winged feet.
Exeunt [Hipolito, Infelice, and Anselmo].
No words I pray, Fluello, for it stands us upon.
Oh, sir, let that be your lesson.
Alas, poor lovers, on what hopes and fears
Men toss themselves for women! When she's got
The best has in her that which pleaseth not.
Enter to Fluello the Duke, Castruchio, Pioratto, and Sinezi from several doors muffled.
Peace, send that lord away:
A lordship will spoil all; let's be all fellows.
Fluello, or else Sinezi by his little legs.
All friends, all friends.
What, met upon the very point of time!
Is this the place?
This is the place, my lord.
Dream you on lordships! Come, no more lords, pray.
You have not seen these lovers yet?
Castruchio, art thou sure this wedding feat
Is not till afternoon?
So 'tis given out, my lord.
Nay, nay, 'tis like; thieves must observe their hours:
Lovers watch minutes like astronomers.
How shall the interim hours by us be spent?
Let's all go see the madmen.
Enter a Sweeper.
Oh, here comes one; question him, question him.
How now, honest fellow. Dost thou belong to the house?
Yes, forsooth, I am one of the implements; I sweep the madmen's rooms, and fetch straw for 'em, and buy chains to tie 'em, and rods to whip 'em. I was a mad wag myself here once, but I thank Father Anselm: he lash'd me into my right mind again.
[Aside to Castruchio] Anselmo is the friar must marry them;
Question him where he is.
And where is Father Anselmo now?
Marry, he's gone but e'en now.
Ay, well done. Tell me, whither is he gone?
Why, to God A'mighty.
Ha, ha, this fellow is a fool, talks idly!
Sirrah, are all the mad folks in Milan brought hither?
How! All! There's a wise question indeed. Why, if all the mad folks in Milan should come hither, there would not be left ten men in the city.
Few gentlemen or courtiers here, ha?
Oh, yes! Abundance, abundance! Lands no sooner fall into their hands, but straight they run out a' their wits. Citizens' sons and heirs are free of the house by their father's copy. Farmers' sons come hither like geese in flocks and when they ha' sold all their cornfields, here they sit and pick the straws.
Methinks you should have women here as well as men.
Oh, ay, a plague on 'em! There's no ho with them; they are madder than march hares.
Are there no lawyers here amongst you?
Oh, no, not one: never any lawyer! We dare not let a lawyer come in, for he'll make 'em mad faster than we can recover 'em.
And how long is't e'er you recover any of these?
Why, according to the quantity of the moon that's got into 'em. An alderman's son will be mad a great while, a very great while, especially if his friends left him well. A whore will hardly come to her wits again. A puritan, there's no hope of him, unless he may pull down the steeple and hang himself i' th' bell-ropes.
I perceive all sorts of fish come to your net.
Yes, in truth, we have blocks for all heads; we have good store of wild oats here, for the courtier is mad at the citizen, the citizen is mad at the country man, the shoemaker is mad at the cobbler, the cobbler at the carman, the punk is mad that the merchant's wife is no whore, the merchant's wife is mad that the punk is so common a whore--
Gods-so, here's Father Anselm! Pray say nothing that I tell tales out of the school.
God bless you, father.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Pray may we see some of those wretched souls
That here are in your keeping?
Yes, you shall,
But, gentlemen, I must disarm you then.
There are of mad men, as there are of tame,
All humour'd not alike: we have here some,
So apish and fantastic, play with a feather,
And tho 'twould grieve a soul to see God's image
So blemish'd and defac'd, yet do they act
Such antic and such pretty lunacies,
That spite of sorrow they will make you smile;
Others again we have like hungry lions,
Fierce as wild bulls, untamable as flies,
And these have oftentimes from strangers' sides
Snatch'd rapiers suddenly and done much harm,
Whom if you'll see, you must be weaponless.
With all our hearts.
[Calling offstage] Here, take these weapons in.
[Enter Sweeper, then exits with their swords.]
Stand off a little pray; so, so, 'tis well.
I'll show you here a man that was sometimes
A very grave and wealthy citizen,
Has serv'd a prenticeship to this misfortune,
Been here seven years, and dwelt in Bergamo.
How fell he from himself?
By loss at sea.
I'll stand aside; question him you alone,
For if he spy me, he'll not speak a word
Unless he's throughly vex'd.
Discovers an old man, [the First Madman,] wrapp'd in a net.
Alas, poor soul.
A very old man.
God speed, father.
God speed the plough: thou shalt not speed me.
We see you, old man, for all you dance in a net.
True, but thou wilt dance in a halter, and I shall not see thee.
Oh, do not vex him, pray!
Are you a fisherman, father?
No, I'm neither fish nor flesh.
What do you with that net then?
Dost not see, fool? There's a fresh salmon in't. If you step one foot furder, you'll be over shoes, for you see I'm over head and ear in the saltwater, and if you fall into this whirlpool where I am, y'are drown'd, y'are a drown'd rat! I am fishing here for five ships, but I cannot have a good draught, for my net breaks still, and breaks, but I'll break some of your necks and I catch you in my clutches. Stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. Where's the wind, where's the wind, where's the wind, where's the wind? Out, you gulls, you goose-caps, you gudgeon-eaters! Do you look for the wind in the heavens? Ha, ha, ha, ha! No, no, look there, look there, look there! The wind is always at that door. Hark how it blows, poof, poof, poof!
Ha, ha, ha!
Do you laugh at God's creatures? Do you mock old age, you rogues? Is this gray beard and head counterfeit, that you cry, "Ha, ha, ha?" Sirrah, art not thou my eldest son?
Yes indeed, father.
Then th'art a fool, for my eldest son had a polt foot, crooked legs, a vergis face, and a pear-colour'd beard; I made him a scholar, and he made himself a fool. Sirrah! Thou there! Hold out thy hand.
My hand? Well, here 'tis.
Look, look, look, look: has he not long nails and short hair?
Yes, monstrous short hair and abominable long nails.
Tenpenny nails, are they not?
Yes, tenpenny nails.
Such nails had my second boy. Kneel down, thou varlet, and ask thy father blessing. Such nails had my middlemost son and I made him a promoter, and he scrap'd, and scrap'd, and scrap'd till he got the devil and all, but he scrap'd thus, and thus, and thus, and it went under his legs, till at length a company of kites taking him for carrion swept up all, all, all, all, all, all, all. If you love your lives, look to yourselves. See, see, see, see, the Turks' galleys are fighting with my ships! Bounce goes the guns! "Oooh!" cry the men. Romble romble go the waters. Alas! There! 'Tis sunk, 'tis sunk! I am undone, I am undone! You are the damn'd pirates have undone me! You are, by th' Lord, you are, you are, stop 'em, you are!
Why, how now, sirrah! Must I fall to tame you?
Tame me? No, I'll be madder than a roasted cat. See, see, I am burnt with gunpowder; these are our close fights.
I'll whip you if you grow unruly thus.
Whip me? Out, you toad! Whip me? What justice is this, to whip me because I'm a beggar? Alas, I am a poor man, a very poor man! I am starv'd, and have had no meat by this light, ever since the great flood. I am a poor man.
Well, well, be quiet and you shall have meat.
Ay, ay, pray do, for look you here be my guts. These are my ribs; you may look through my ribs. See how my guts come out! These are my red guts, my very guts, oh, oh!
Take him in there.
[Enter the Sweeper and takes away the First Madman.]
A very piteous sight.
Father, I see you have a busy charge.
They must be us'd like children, pleas'd with toys,
And anon whipp'd for their unruliness.
I'll show you now a pair quite different
From him that's gone; he was all words, and these,
Unless you urge 'em, seldom spend their speech,
But save their tongues. La you!
[Enter the Second and Third Madmen.]
Fell from the happy quietness of mind,
About a maiden that he lov'd and died.
He followed her to church, being full of tears,
And as her body went into the ground,
He fell stark mad. That is a married man
Was jealous of a fair but, as some say,
A very virtuous wife, and that spoil'd him.
All these are whoremongers and lay with my wife! Whore, whore, whore, whore, whore!
Gaffer shoemaker, you pull'd on my wife's pumps, and then crept into her pantofles: lie there, lie there. This was her tailor; you cut out her loose-bodied gown and put in a yard more than I allowed her. Lie there by the shoemaker. Oh, master doctor, are you here? You gave me a purgation and then crept into my wife's chamber to feel her pulses, and you said, and she said, and her maid said that they went pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat. Doctor, I'll put you anon into my wife's urinal. Heigh, come aloft, Jack! This was her schoolmaster, and taught her to play upon the virginals: still his jacks leapt up, up; you prick'd her out nothing but bawdy lessons, but I'll prick you all! Fiddler, doctor, tailor, shoemaker; shoemaker, fiddler, doctor, tailor: so, lie with my wife again now!
See how he notes the other now he feeds.
Give me some porridge.
I'll give thee none.
Give me some porridge.
I'll not give thee a bit.
Give me that flap-dragon.
I'll not give thee a spoonful. Thou liest; it's no dragon, 'tis a parrot that I bought for my sweetheart, and I'll keep it.
Here's an almond for parrot.
Here's a rope for parrot.
Eat it, for I'll eat this.
I'll shoot at thee and thou 't give me none.
I'll run a-tilt at thee and thou 't give me none.
Wut thou? Do and thou dar'st!
Oh! I am slain! Murder, murder, murder, I am slain, my brains are beaten out!
How now, you villains! Bring me whips! I'll whip you!
I am dead, I am slain! Ring out the bell, for I am dead!
How will you do now, sirrah? You ha' kill'd him.
I'll answer 't at sessions: he was eating of almond-butter, and I long'd for't; the child had never been delivered out of my belly, if I had not kill'd him. I'll answer 't at sessions, so my wife may be burnt i' th' hand too.
[Enter the Sweeper.]
Take 'em in both: bury him, for he's dead.
Ay, indeed, I am dead; put me I pray into a good pit hole.
I'll answer 't at sessions.
Exeunt [Sweeper with Madmen]. Enter Bellafront mad.
How now, huswife, whither gad you?
A-nutting, forsooth. How do you, gaffer? How do you, gaffer? There's a French curtsy for you too.
[Aside] 'Tis Bellafront!
[Aside] 'Tis the punk, by th' Lord!
Father, what's she I pray?
As yet I know not;
She came but in this day, talks little idly,
And therefore has the freedom of the house.
Do not you know me? Nor you? Nor you, nor you?
Then you are an ass, and you are an ass, and you are an ass, for I know you.
Why, what are they? Come, tell me, what are they?
Three fishwives. Will you buy any gudgeons?
Enter Hipolito, Matheo, and Infelice disguis'd in the habits of friars.
God's santy, yonder come friars! I know them too. How do you, friar?
Nay, nay, away, you must not trouble friars.
[Aside to Hipolito] The duke is here; speak nothing.
Nay, indeed, you shall not go: we'll run at barley-break first, and you shall be in hell.
[Aside to Hipolito] My punk turn'd mad whore, as all her fellows are?
[Aside to Matheo] Speak nothing, but steal hence when you spy time.
I'll lock you up if y'are unruly, fie!
Fie! Marry foh, they shall not go indeed till I ha' told 'em their fortunes.
Good father, give her leave.
I pray, good father, and I'll give you my blessing.
Well then, be brief, but if you are thus unruly,
I'll have you lock'd up fast.
Come to their fortunes.
Let me see--one, two, three, and four--I'll begin with the little friar first. Here's a fine hand indeed; I never saw friar have such a dainty hand. Here's a hand for a lady. You ha' good fortune now.
Oh, see, see what a thread here's spun:
You love a friar better than a nun,
Yet long you'll love no friar, not no friar's son.
Bow a little.
The line of life is out, yet I'm afraid
For all you're holy, you'll not die a maid.
God give you joy.
Now to you, Friar Tuck.
God send me good luck.
You love one, and one loves you.
You are a false knave, and she's a Jew.
Here is a dial that false ever goes.
Oh, your wit drops!
Troth, so does your nose.
[To Hipolito] Nay, let's shake hands with you too;
Pray open. Here's a fine hand.
Ho, friar, ho! God be here,
So he had need: you'll keep good cheer.
Here's a free table, but a frozen breast,
For you'll starve those that love you best.
Yet you have good fortune, for if I am no liar,
Then you are no friar, nor you, nor you no friar.
Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Are holy habits cloaks for villainy?
Draw all your weapons!
Do, draw all your weapons!
Where are your weapons? Draw!
The friar has gull'd us of 'em.
Oh, rare trick!
You ha' learnt one mad point of arithmetic.
Why swells your spleen so high? Against what bosom
Would you your weapons draw? Hers? 'Tis your daughter's!
Mine? 'Tis your son's!
Son, by yonder sun.
You cannot shed blood here, but 'tis your own;
To spill your own blood were damnation.
Lay smooth that wrinkled brow, and I will throw
Myself beneath your feet;
Let it be rugged still and flinted o'er,
What can come forth but sparkles that will burn
Yourself and us? She's mine; my claim's most good:
She's mine by marriage, tho' she's yours by blood.
[Kneeling] I have a hand, dear lord, deep in this act,
For I foresaw this storm, yet willingly
Put forth to meet it. Oft have I seen a father
Washing the wounds of his dear son in tears,
A son to curse the sword that struck his father,
Both slain i' th' quarrel of your families.
Those scars are now ta'en off, and I beseech you
To seal our pardon; all was to this end,
To turn the ancient hates of your two houses
To fresh green friendship, that your loves might look
Like the spring's forehead, comfortably sweet,
And your vex'd souls in peaceful union meet.
Their blood will now be yours, yours will be theirs,
And happiness shall crown your silver hairs.
You see, my lord, there's now no remedy.
Beseech your lordship!
You beseech fair: you have me in place fit
To bridle me. Rise, friar; you may be glad
You can make madmen tame and tame men mad.
Since fate hath conquered, I must rest content;
To strive now would but add new punishment.
I yield unto your happiness; be bless'd:
Our families shall henceforth breathe in rest.
Oh, happy change!
Yours now is my consent;
I throw upon your joys my full content.
Am not I a good girl for finding the friar in the well? Gods-so, you are a brave man! Will not you buy me some sugar-plums because I am so good a fortune-teller?
Would thou hadst wit, thou pretty soul, to ask
As I have will to give.
Pretty soul! A pretty soul is better than a pretty body. Do not you know my pretty soul? I know you. Is not your name Matheo?
Baa, lamb! There you lie, for I am mutton. Look, fine man, he was mad for me once, and I was mad for him once, and he was mad for her once, and were you never mad? Yes, I warrant. I had a fine jewel once, a very fine jewel, and that naughty man stole it away from me, a very fine jewel.
What jewel, pretty maid?
Maid? Nay, that's a lie. Oh, 'twas a very rich jewel call'd a maidenhead, and had not you it, leerer?
Out, you mad ass! Away!
Had he thy maidenhead?
He shall make thee amends and marry thee.
Shall he? Oh, brave Arthur of Bradley then!
And if he bear the mind of a gentleman,
I know he will.
I think I rifled her of some such paltry jewel.
Did you? Then marry her; you see the wrong
Has led her spirits into a lunacy.
How, marry her, my lord? 'Sfoot, marry a madwoman? Let a man get the tamest wife he can come by, she'll be mad enough afterward, do what he can.
Nay then, Father Anselmo here shall do his best
To bring her to her wits, and will you then?
I cannot tell I may choose.
Nay, then law shall compel: I tell you, sir,
So much her hard fate moves me, you should not breathe
Under this air unless you married her.
Well then, when her wits stand in their right place I'll marry her.
I thank your grace. Matheo, thou art mine;
I am not mad, but put on this disguise
Only for you, my lord, for you can tell
Much wonder of me: but you are gone; farewell.
Matheo, thou didst first turn my soul black;
Now make it white again: I do protest,
I'm pure as fire now, chaste as Cynthia's breast.
I durst be sworn, Matheo, she's indeed.
Cony-catch'd, gull'd! Must I sail in your fly-boat
Because I help'd to rear your mainmast first?
Plague 'found you for't! 'Tis well:
The cuckold's stamp goes current in all nations.
Some men have horns given them at their creations:
If I be one of those, why, so it's better
To take a common wench and make her good,
Than one that simpers and at first will scarce
Be tempted forth over the threshold door,
Yet in one se'nnight, zounds, turns arrant whore!
Come wench, thou shalt be mine, give me thy golls;
We'll talk of legs hereafter. See, my lord;
God give us joy.
God give you joy.
Enter Candido's wife [Viola] and George.
Come, mistress, we are in Bedlam now. Mass, and see we come in pudding-time, for here's the duke.
My husband, good my lord.
Have I thy husband?
It's Candido, my lord; he's here among the lunatics. Father Anselmo, pray fetch him forth.
This madwoman is his wife, and tho' she were not with child, yet did she long most spitefully to have her husband mad, and because she would be sure he should turn Jew, she plac'd him here in Beth'lem.
Enter Candido with Anselmo.
Yonder he comes.
Come hither, signior. Are you mad?
You are not mad.
Why, I know that.
Then may you know I am not mad that know
You are not mad, and that you are the duke.
None is mad here but one. How do you, wife?
What do you long for now? Pardon, my lord,
She had lost her child's nose else. I did cut out
Pennyworths of lawn, the lawn was yet mine own;
A carpet was my gown, yet 'twas mine own;
I wore my man's coat, yet the cloth mine own;
Had a crack'd crown, the crown was yet mine own:
She says for this I'm mad; were her words true,
I should be mad indeed. Oh, foolish skill,
Is patience madness? I'll be a madman still.
[Kneeling] Forgive me and I'll vex your spirit no more.
Come, come, we'll have you friends; join hearts, join hands.
See my lord, we are even.
Nay, rise, for ill deeds kneel unto none but heaven.
Signior, methinks patience has laid on you
Such heavy weight that you should loathe it.
For he whose breast is tender, blood so cool
That no wrongs heat it, is a patient fool.
What comfort do you find in being so calm?
That which green wounds receive from sovereign balm:
Patience, my lord. Why, 'tis the soul of peace.
Of all the virtues 'tis near'st kin to heaven.
It makes men look like gods; the best of men
That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer,
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
The first true gentleman that ever breath'd.
The stock of patience then cannot be poor;
All it desires, it has: what monarch more?
It is the greatest enemy to law
That can be, for it doth embrace all wrongs,
And so chains up lawyers' and women's tongues.
'Tis the perpetual prisoner's liberty,
His walks and orchards; 'tis the bondslave's freedom,
And makes him seem proud of each iron chain,
As tho' he wore it more for state than pain.
It is the beggar's music, and thus sings,
Although their bodies beg, their souls are kings.
Oh, my dread liege, it is the sap of bliss,
Rears us aloft, makes men and angels kiss,
And, last of all, to end a household strife,
It is the honey 'gainst a waspish wife!
Thou giv'st it lively colours. Who dare say
He's mad whose words march in so good array?
'Twere sin all women should such husbands have,
For every man must then be his wife's slave.
Come therefore, you shall teach our court to shine;
So calm a spirit is worth a golden mine:
Wives with meek husbands that to vex them long
In Bedlam must they dwell, else dwell they wrong.
Textual analyses indicate that Middleton seems to have written relatively little of 1 The Honest Whore; Dekker's hand is visible in every scene of the play, but Middleton's in only a few, the most significant of these being I.i, I.iii, I.iv, an the first parts of I.v and III.i (cf. David Lake's The Canon of Thomas Middleton's Plays). On the other hand, Peter Ure ("Patient Madman and Honest Whore" in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama) argues that Middleton at the very least engineered the design of the Candido sections, an argument based on a comparison to two other models of patience, Quieto in The Phoenix and Water Chamlet in Anything for a Quiet Life.
For an in-depth textual examination and collation of 1 The Honest Whore, consult Volume II of Fredson Bowers's The Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker (1955), and the companion Introductions, Notes, and Commentaries by Cyrus Hoy (1980). I follow Bowers's editorial decisions unless otherwise noted; I do not gloss variants between Q1 and the often more authoritative Q2, and I indicate emendations only when they come from sources other than Qq.
FUSTIGO: from fustian, full of inflated, high-sounding words and phrases; the word is derived from the thick, twilled cotton cloth, much like bombast, which was stuffing used to puff out breeches.
INFELICE: unhappy, unfortunate
CANDIDO: white, pure (Lat. candid), in reference to his patience, and also possibly to his trade
CRAMBO: from crambe, a game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to which each of the others has to find a rhyme, apparently often played in taverns; cf. Dekker's The Seven Deadly Sins, Jonson's The Devil an Ass V.v, The New Inn I.iii.
POH: an ejaculation of contemptuous rejection
ANSELMO: from St. Anselm (1033-1109), Archbishop of Canterbury, the scholastic philosopher
comet: Comets often heralded or were provoked by evil events on earth; a common dramatic device. Mentioned or alluded in The Roaring Girl I.ii & III.ii, The Changeling V.iii, The Revenger's Tragedy V.i & V.iii, The Bloody Banquet V.ii, Julius Caesar I.iii & II.i.
mad: A word with particular thematic relevance. In this play, the link between love and madness, popular in Elizabethan drama (indeed, in genres of all times and cultures), culminates in Bethlehem Monastery and Bellafront's feigned lunacy.
set down that sorrow, 'tis all mine: cf. Hamlet's possessiveness of grief for Ophelia in V.i.
Honour? Smoke!: Hoy notes the allusion to the phrase "smoke of honour," as in Donne's Elegy VI. Also cf. Goffe's The Raging Turk vii.
Ay, well done, sir; you play the gentleman: Throughout this speech the Duke addresses Matheo and his attendants alternately.
torment: "Although adopted by no editor, Dyce's suggestion torrent is attractive, especially since...the Duke shortly employs a flood image, and several water images are found in his speeches in I.iii. It is possible that an error was overlooked by the corrector of the standing type in this forme; nevertheless, torment is a quite satisfactory enough reading not to require emendation" (Bowers).
For why?: i.e., for what reason do you take on so?
Queens' bodies are but trunks to put in worms: a commonplace; cf., e.g., Hamlet IV.iii.
'Sblood: by God's blood, an oath
kennel: gutter; cf. The Shoemakers' Holiday I.iv, A Fair Quarrel IV.i.
'Sfoot: by God's foot, a popular oath; cf. The Phoenix I.ii, A Yorkshire Tragedy ix, Blurt, Master Constable I.i, The Bloody Banquet I.iv, The Revenger's Tragedy I.iii, The Roaring Girl V.i, A Fair Quarrel V.i.
Saint Anthony's fire: erysipelas, an inflammatory eruptive disease; cf. Northward Ho! III.i.
make ballads of you: Hoy notes this is a common Elizabethan threat; cf. 1 Henry IV II.ii, Bartholomew Fair II.ii, Northward Ho! V.i, The Noble Spanish Soldier II.ii.
mettle: spirit, courage, with the popular pun on "metal"; cf. III.ii, The Witch IV.iii, The Bloody Banquet I.iv.
train: 1) persons following in attendance, 2) siege artillery
powder: gunpowder, with a possible pun on the cosmetic powder worn by foppish courtiers
pottle: half a gallon
Aligant: red Spanish wine made at Alicant
swaddling clouts: Clothes consisting of narrow lengths of bandage wrapped round a new-born infant's limbs to prevent free movement (OED); cf. Hamlet II.ii.
marry: a common oath derived from the name of the Virgin Mary
coil: fuss, ado; cf. Hengist, King of Kent III.iv, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's V.i, Hamlet III.i.
dead drunk: a pause between these words emphasizes the joke
byrlady: by our Lady, an oath (appears variously as berlady and be-lady); cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One IV.ii, The Puritan III.vi, The Roaring Girl III.ii, Hengist, King of Kent I.ii, The Second Maiden's Tragedy V.i.
[robb'd]: robd (Qq)
jig-makers: writers of ballads
bag-pudding: "Pudding made of the paunch of an animal and stuffed, a sort of haggis" (Hoy); cf. The Shoemakers' Holiday IV.i, Satiromastix IV.iii, The Noble Spanish Soldier IV.ii
fantastic sea-suit: outlandish garb for sea travel
with a wet finger: readily, easily; cf. III.iii & V.i, Westward Ho! III.ii & V.iv.
clarissimo: an Italian grandee
God sa' me: God save me, an oath
kick'd up her heels: died
chuff: contemptuous term for a miser; cf. 2 The Honest Whore II.i, Northward Ho! V.i, The Devil's Law-Case V.i.
Spanish leather: expensive Cordovan leather, often associated "with a degree of effeminate luxury" (Hoy); cf. Blurt, Master Constable I.ii, Patient Grissil II.i, Match Me in London II.i, Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas V.i.
touch-box: A box for touch-powder, or priming-powder, part of a musketeer's equipment
mandrake: a term of abuse, from the poisonous plant whose forked root is thought to resemble the human form. Used in this manner in Satiromastix I.ii, 2 Henry IV I.ii & III.ii; the plant proper referred to in The Witch III.iii, Othello III.iii, Antony and Cleopatra I.v, 2 Henry VI III.ii.
whiblin: an impotent creature, a term of contempt (Hoy, citing Skeat and Mayhew, A Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words)
man in print: a perfect or precise man, i.e., not impotent; cf. Blurt, Master Constable III.ii, Westward Ho! II.i.
'Slid: by God's (eye)lid; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One I.iii, The Changeling V.i, The Revenger's Tragedy II.i.
drunken ship reel'd like a Dutchman: The Dutch were stereotyped for a number of vices, including drinking; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One V.ii ("Dutch flap-dragons"), The Revenger's Tragedy I.iii, Cynthia's Revels V.iv.
gall: bitterness, rancor; also said of pigeons in I.v; cf. Blurt, Master Constable V.ii.
fret: a popular pun on 1) stress, worry, 2) a bar of gut, wood, or metal on the fingerboard used to regulate the fingering. Cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.ii, A Yorkshire Tragedy x, The Revenger's Tragedy I.i, The Roaring Girl I.ii, The Nice Valour I.i, Hamlet III.ii, Henry VIII III.ii, Chapman's Monsieur D'Olive I.i.
Belike his blood, sister, is well-brew'd then: In Renaissance psychology, an individual had four basic "humours," or temperaments, which were determined by the amount of their corresponding bodily fluids secreted in the spleen. The four humours are choleric (anger) derived from bile (as in The Revenger's Tragedy II.iii & The Roaring Girl II.i), phlegmatic (cold torpor) from phlegm, sanguine (geniality) from blood (as with Candido), and melancholy from black bile (as in The Revenger's Tragedy IV.i, The Witch I.i). [The spleen, often regarded as the seat of passions and/or impulsive behavior, was also held responsible for sexual desire (as in The Old Law III.ii, Anything for a Quiet Life III.ii).] Candido's blood is "well-brew'd," mixing healthfully with the other secretions and predominating in Candido's calm and genial personality--as opposed to the Passionate Lord's in The Nice Valour, whose humours are "ill-brew'd," causing the madman to manifest one temperament entirely and then changing to another sporadically.
tickling: hankering, with the pun on tickle = whip; cf. Blurt, Master Constable passim, Hengist, King of Kent III.iv, The Puritan III.iv, Your Five Gallants IV.viii, Anything for a Quiet Life III.ii.
Albertus Magnus, and Aristotle's Emblems: "Cf. John Stephens, New Essays and Characters (1631), pp. 214-215, of the would-be gentleman of wit, called 'A weake-brain'd Gull': 'He studies a new fasion by the six months together, and reades Albertus Magnus, or Aristotles Problems in English, with admiration'.... Aristotles emblemes, as Professor Bowers suggested in a note on the passage...is Fustigo's blunder for Aristotle's Problems" (Hoy). Cf. Antonio's Revenge III.ii.
wide a' th' bow hand: wide of the mark; cf. Satiromastix III.i.
eat up a whole porcupine...mustacho: cf. Richard Brome's The Northern Lass IV.iv
horn-mad: raging mad; Fustigo picks up the common pun on cuckoldry; cf. The Merry Wives of Windsor III.v, If This Be Not a Good Play V.iv, Match Me in London I.ii, Old Fortunatus I.ii.
Frenchman: an allusion, which recurs throughout this play, to the pox, commonly called morbus Gallicus or "the French disease." Cf. Blurt, Master Constable I.ii, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside V.i, Your Five Gallants III.i, Anything for a Quiet Life II.iv, A Fair Quarrel IV.iv, A Midsummer Night's Dream I.ii, The Revenger's Tragedy I.i, The Roaring Girl II.i.
scald: scurvy, scabby, "burnt off" by the pox
barber-surgeon: secretive because he treated those infected with venereal disease
Tortoise here in Saint Christopher's Street: Sugden cannot identify the tavern, but proposes that St. Christopher's Street was suggested by Christopher Street in London, running from the northeast corner of Finsbury Square to Clifton Street.
brave: resplendent, handsomely dressed
came but new from knighting: A jibe at the declining standards of knighthood. Almost immediately after he was crowned, James I began conferring many new knighthoods, considered lavish and undiscriminating by those who felt the rank was being cheapened. These new knights were called "carpet knights" (George puns on this in III.i) because they were dubbed upon the carpet in peacetime, and not upon the field of battle. Cf. The Phoenix I.vi, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.ii, The Witch II.i, A Yorkshire Tragedy i, Bussy D'Ambois I.ii, Westward Ho! V.i, Massinger's The Unnatural Combat III.iii, and especially Eastward Ho! by Jonson, Chapman, and Marston, whose satirical barbs regarding opportunistic Scots had them imprisoned by James.
after four hundred a year: in the style of someone who has 400 pounds a year, i.e., extravagantly; cf. 2 The Honest Whore II.i
freshwater: untrained, raw
ingle: a term of affection, properly a catamite, or favorite boy; sometimes ningle, a contraction of mine ingle. Cf. The Roaring Girl III.iii, Blurt, Master Constable V.ii, The Witch of Edmonton III.i, Satiromastix I.ii
garden: An area for private love-making in brothels; cf. the upper left corner of the illustration at fairq.html#KEPTTHED
aunts: bawds, prostitutes; cf. The Changeling III.iii, A Trick to Catch the Old One II.i & V.ii, The Shoemakers' Holiday IV.i, Northward Ho! I.iii & II.i.
cousin: Fustigo makes the subtle distinction between whore and mistress, but cousin/coz was also slang for prostitute, a term the courtiers later use to address Bellafront. Fustigo employs the popular cousin/cozen (cheat) pun.
welkin: sky, often used in conjunction with loud noises; cf. The Puritan III.i, A Fair Quarrel IV.i, The Tempest I.ii, The Merry Wives of Windsor I.iii, Twelfth Night II.iii, 2 Henry IV II.iv, King John V.ii, Titus Andronicus III.i.
coney-catch: cheat; cf. Blurt, Master Constable IV.iii, A Trick to Catch the Old One III.iv.
beg me for a fool: "Since idiots having property were wards in Chancery, 'to beg for a fool' was to petition the Court of Wards for his custody, which not only involved the charge of the person but also the complete control of such a one's estate. The King could grant this to any subject" (Hoy).
[crust]: "Although Q1 rust is unaltered in Q2(r), Dyce's emendation crust seems necessary. The image is of a stream in winter (bound up fast), confirmed by lines 56-57" (Bowers).
music: The use of soft or low music in scenes of "wonderment"--e.g., healing, resuscitation, or discovery of one who was thought dead--was a common theatrical device; cf., e.g., The Old Law V.i, The Winter's Tale V.iii, Pericles III.ii & V.i.
tother: the other
spleens: cf. earlier note
made parallel: equaled
Bergamo: The capital of the province of the same name in Northern Italy, lying 39 miles northwest of Milan; it is mentioned in The Taming of the Shrew V.i. Click here to go to Bergamo.
[BOTH SERVANTS]: 2 Ser. (Qq); Dyce's emendation
Death drew such fearful pictures in thy face: cf. IV.i, "Death's the best painter"
Welsh, which is harder than Greek: Cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and A Match at Midnight for parodies of the Welsh language.
tavern token: Halfpenny and tavern token (small pieces of brass or copper) were issued by victuallers and tradesmen generally, for use as small change" (Hoy). Cf. Westward Ho! II.ii.
of all loves: for love's sake
stew'd: with the connotation of sweating, i.e., in tub to rid of venereal disease; cf. The Family of Love III.iii, Blurt, Master Constable I.ii, The Bloody Banquet IV.ii.
lay: bet; cf. The Revenger's Tragedy V.i, The Changeling III.iii.
golls: hands; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside II.ii, Blurt, Master Constable I.i, The Revenger's Tragedy V.i, Hengist, King of Kent V.i, A Fair Quarrel IV.iv.
[VIOLA]: The s.p. from here on is Wife., except once in I.v ["A pennyworth!"] where it is Mist.
Gentlemen, what do you lack? What is't you buy?: the standard cry of shopkeepers; cf. Anything for a Quiet Life II.ii, The Shoemakers' Holiday III.iv, The Roaring Girl II.i.
hollands: linen fabric from Holland
cambrics: a kind of fine white linen, originally made at Cambray, France; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.i, The Roaring Girl II.i, The Nice Valour V.i.
lawns: linen so called because it was bleached on a lawn instead of the ordinary bleaching grounds; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.i, Your Five Gallants II.iii, The Witch II.i, The Revenger's Tragedy II.iii, The Roaring Girl II.i, A Fair Quarrel IV.iv.
calico, cut upon two double affable taffetas: Hoy cites Lodge's Wit's Misery (1596): "his doublet is of cast Satten, cut sometime upon Taffata, but that the bumbast hath eaten through it." Cf. Your Five Gallants IV.iv, Match Me in London II.i.
finger'd: with the bawdy innuendo
Cynthia: the moon (Diana, said to have been born on Mount Cynthus)
sons and heirs: a recurrent phrase in Middleton; cf. No Wit, No Help like a Woman's II.iii, More Dissemblers besides Women V.ii, Anything for a Quiet Life IV.i, The Puritan I.i & I.ii, The Revenger's Tragedy I.i & I.iv, and Michaelmas Term IV.i, IV.iii, IV.iv (also The Bloody Banquet I.iv).
But if you bid pox on't, sir, 'twill take away the roughness presently: alluding to loss of hair from venereal disease
compara Virgilium cum Homero: compare Virgil with Homer (Lat.)
murrain: plague, pestilence; cf. The Bloody Banquet II.i, The Revenger's Tragedy III.vi, Hengist, King of Kent V.i.
conceit: believe; cf. The Phoenix III.i, Hengist, King of Kent III.i, A Fair Quarrel II.ii.
leese: lose; cf. Blurt, Master Constable II.ii, Your Five Gallants IV.viii.
beaker: goblet; cf. Your Five Gallants II.i.
begin: pledge a toast
shrow: shrew (obs.)
Blurt: an exclamation of contempt, equivalent to pooh, a fig for; "based on the phrase 'blurt, master constable'" (Hoy)
thumbnail: "A reference to the custom of drinking super nagulum, described by Nashe in a marginal note to Pierce Penilesse as 'a deuise of drinking new come out of Fraunce; which is, after a man hath turnd vp the bottom of the cup, to drop it on his naile, & make a pearle with that is left; which, if it shed, & he cannot make stand on, by reason thers too much, he must drinke againe for his pennace'" (Hoy).
Heart: by God's heart, an oath; also 'sheart
woodcock: a bird easily trapped and hence a dupe; cf. No Wit, No Help like a Woman's III.i, The Witch II.iii, The Family of Love II.iv, A Fair Quarrel V.i, the character Woodcock in Blurt, Master Constable
stone-horse: stallion, with the bawdy innuendo; cf. The Family of Love V.iii, The Second Maiden's Tragedy I.i, Northward Ho! II.i, The Roaring Girl II.i.
well holp'd up with such a meacock: i.e., it's easy to mount such a weakling (holp'd = helped)
swaddle: beat; cf. The Knight of the Burning Pestle ii.
Abram: thieves' slang for a man who shams madness to beg or otherwise gain his ends
from a patient man: i.e., from being a patient man
chafing-dish: a vessel containing fuel such as charcoal or oil, used for heating; Bellafront plans to heat the curling-bodkin and the poking-stick.
painting: cosmetics; the Elizabethan preference for pale skin led fashionable ladies to an exaggeration of their natural coloring.
four complexions: the sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholy temperaments
Zounds: by God's wounds, an oath; cf. The Puritan IV.iii, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's V.i, The Roaring Girl I.ii.
bodkin: an ornamental pin used for fastening the hair
poker: poking-sticks (or poting-sticks) were steel sticks used to set the plaits of the ruff; cf. Blurt, Master Constable III.iii, A Yorkshire Tragedy i, The Roaring Girl IV.ii.
court-cupboard: sideboard; cf. The Roaring Girl IV.i, Romeo and Juliet I.v, An Humourous Day's Mirth viii, Monsieur D'Olive II.ii.
Would the pox were in your fingers...Catch: Bellafront has obviously thrown something from her table at Roger, and Roger throws it back at her. Fling is a contemptuous name for a harlot: cf. Fletcher's Wild Goosechase IV.i, "She is an English whore, a kind of fling-dust,/One of your London light-o'-loves."
Down, down, down, down, I fall down and arise I never shall: the closing refrain of Dowland's "Sorry, Stay," which is also sung in The Knight of the Burning Pestle ii.
falling trade: i.e., prostitution
'Ud's life: God's life, an oath; cf. The Second Maiden's Tragedy V.i, The Roaring Girl III.ii "Ud's light" and IV.ii "'Ud's soul"
Marry muff: an expression of contempt; cf. Blurt, Master Constable II.ii & IV.i, Satiromastix I.ii, 2 The Honest Whore V.ii, Northward Ho! IV.iii. Marry-muff is cheap, textile fabric (mentioned in Middleton's "The Ant and the Nightingale" and "A Meeting of Gallants in an Ordinary")
I hold your door: i.e., as a pimp; cf. The Second Maiden's Tragedy IV.iii & V.i, A Fair Quarrel IV.iv, Troilus and Cressida V.x, Pericles IV.vi.
my nose itches so: "If your nose itches you will kiss a fool" was proverbial.
fall: a ruff falling flat around the neck, a new fashion at the time; cf. The Roaring Girl I.i, Westward Ho! II.ii, If This Be Not a Good Play IV.ii.
Gods my pittikins: God's my pity
marmoset: properly, a small monkey, used as a term of playful reproach in The Phoenix IV.ii, but more commonly used as a term of abuse for an effeminate man, as in The Puritan I.iii, Cynthia's Revels III.iv, Chapman's Sir Giles Goosecap I.i.
gear: stuff. The word also refers specifically to tobacco in The Roaring Girl II.i and Satiromastix I.ii; Middleton frequently uses the word with bawdy innuendo elsewhere. Illustration: woodcut showing gallants carousing with tobacco, reproduced in Thomas Lodge and Other Elizabethans, ed. Charles J. Sisson.
angel: gold coins worth ten shillings each, with the figure of St. Michael defeating the dragon, a frequent pun; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One II.i, The Phoenix I.vi, Blurt, Master Constable II.i, A Yorkshire Tragedy ii, The Old Law IV.ii, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's I.ii, The Puritan III.iv, The Bloody Banquet II.i, The Revenger's Tragedy II.i, The Roaring Girl II.i, 2 The Honest Whore IV.ii, The Wonder of a Kingdom I.iv. "Light" angels were coins whose gold weight was diminished during coining.
curtal: a castrated horse; also cant for rogue who wears a short cloak
Hypocras: White or red wine mixed with cinnamon, ginger, long pepper and sugar pounded, mixed together, and strained through a flannel bag called Hippocrates' sleeve, from which it took its name. It was preferred as a morning cordial.
manchet: white bread, the finest kind of wheaten bread; cf. Anything for a Quiet Life II.i.
Herculean: i.e., strong
makes your breath stink, like the piss of a fox: Tobacco was steeped in urine apparently to give it a distinct ("sophisticated") aroma; cf. A Fair Quarrel IV.i, The Alchemist I.iii, 1 Return from Parnassus 1051-54, Bartholomew Fair II.vi, Northward Ho! I.ii, William Rowley's A Search for Money
canaries: 1) a lively Spanish dance, 2) a light sweet wine from the Canary Islands
Malavolta: "a quibbling allusion to the name of the dance" (Hoy)
mole-catcher: For context of this epithet, Hoy cites Richard Brome's The Covent Garden Weeded II.ii, Crosswill regarding his profligate son: "See how he stands like a mole-catcher! What dirty dogged humour was I in when I got him, trow?"
dry-fisted: niggardly; cf. Match Me in London III.ii.
sweet Oliver: "An allusion to the ballad titled 'O swete Olyuer Leaue me not behind the[e]', entered to Richard Jones in the Stationers' Register on 6 August 1584. Two weeks later 'the answeare of "O sweete Olyuer"' was entered to Henry Carr. Both ballads are lost, but Touchstone quotes from the first and possibly the second in As You Like It III.iii" (Hoy).
mutton: slang for strumpet; cf. Your Five Gallants III.iii, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.i, II.i, IV.i, Blurt, Master Constable I.ii, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's I.i, The Bloody Banquet II.i, The Roaring Girl III.ii, A Fair Quarrel IV.iv.
beneath the salt: "Social distinctions were reflected at table in the seating of guests above or below the large salt-cellar in the center; persons of inferior rank were seated below it" (Hoy).
walks off: i.e., retires to the background
aloof off: the same phrase is in s.d.'s for Michaelmas Term I.i, III.i, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's IV.i, The Roaring Girl IV.ii.
[a-tilt]: a litle (Qq); Dyce's suggestion. "A-tilt" does occur in V.ii.
[fac'd]: fac'st (Qq)
cut my lace: i.e., "cut the laces of my corset or I shall faint"
mother: a form of hysteria, thought to arise from the womb; cf. Hengist, King of Kent IV.ii, The Revenger's Tragedy I.iii & II.i, The Second Maiden's Tragedy I.iii, King Lear II.iv.
horse-plum: small, red variety of plum
pig's wash: the swill of a brewery or kitchen given to pigs, hogwash, applied contemptuously to weak, inferior liquor
puritanical: Bellafront is thinking of Roger's destruction of the liquor bottle.
colours: flags, a military metaphor; cf. No Wit, No Help like a Woman's Epi., The Witch II.ii, The Family of Love V.i, The Second Maiden's Tragedy I.i, Hengist, King of Kent I.i.
sale: i.e., for sale
sweet Jew: here, a familiar term of affection
Hipolito,: Hipolitos (Qq); Dyce's emendation
Sirrah: This form of address for social inferiors was sometimes used for women; cf. The Second Maiden's Tragedy I.ii, Hengist, King of Kent III.ii, The Roaring Girl III.ii, 2 The Honest Whore I.ii, Antony and Cleopatra V.ii, Patient Grissil I.ii.
gurnet: fish with a large, spiny head; cf. Blurt, Master Constable II.ii and, for the combination "soused gurnet," Satiromastix V.ii, The Shoemakers' Holiday I.iv, 1 Henry IV IV.ii.
King's truce: also king's peace, a ratification or treaty of peace between two powers previously at war; cf. Satiromastix Epil.
Antelope: Sugden believes Dekker was thinking of the Antelope Inn on the west side of West Smithfield, London.
waistcoat: A short garment, often elaborate and costly, worn by women about the upper part of the body, usually beneath an outer gown. "To wear the waistcoat only with no outer gown was disreputable. Prostitutes were called waistcoaters" (Hoy). Cf. Westward Ho I.i.
kirtle: skirt or outer petticoat
Bastard wine: a sweet Spanish wine, often punned upon; cf. The Roaring Girl II.i, Measure for Measure III.ii, The Noble Spanish Soldier II.ii, Match Me in London II.ii.
rooks: simpletons, gulls; cf. Westward Ho! V.i, Northward Ho! I.ii, A Fair Quarrel IV.i.
Pretty--fine--lodging: I retain the Q punctuation, which seems to convey something--apprehension? disdain?--about Hipolito's thoughts as he surveys Bellafront's chamber.
stars: According to medieval astrology, the stars controlled men's fate and were fixed and incorruptible.
birdlime: a glutinous substance spread upon twigs, by which birds may be caught and held fast; cf. The Witch III.i, The Puritan I.iv, the bawd Mistress Birdlime in Westward Ho!
Indeed? And blush not!: "Regarded as a characteristically Puritan--and so hypocritical--oath" (Hoy)
were drawn before you/But in light colours: light = 1) of a light hue, consistent with the painting metaphor of the phrase, 2) frivolous, i.e., "were I a fop", 3) lustful, i.e., "were I a satyr." The same multifaceted use of "light" can be found in, e.g., The Second Maiden's Tragedy II.i.
harmonious spheres: in Ptolemaic astronomy, crystal spheres revolved between earth and God's throne, regulating harmonious accord on earth; cf., e.g., The Revenger's Tragedy II.i, The Roaring Girl IV.ii.
pierce a soul that lov'd her maker's honour: Beginning at this point in the text, Hoy, frequently citing R. B. McKerrow, draws parallels between Hipolito's invective and Nashe's Christ's Tears over Jerusalem.
French trick: with the allusion to venereal disease; cf. I.ii, 2 The Honest Whore III.ii
coach may run/Between his legs for breadth: an allusion to one of the results of venereal disease; cf. The Malcontent II.v.
mingled: impure, the image deriving from multicolored (as opposed to white) cloth
hit: agree with or are suited to one another
Dunkirk: "The port was a haven of pirates of all countries who were notorious for their indiscriminate preying on the ships of all nations. The word is often used by Dekker to signify a kind of band or company so ill-assorted that it can absorb anything, a short of ultimate wantonness" (Hoy). Cf. 2 The Honest Whore I.i, Northward Ho! I.iii, Satiromastix I.ii, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's I.i.
Back-door'd: Blacke-doord (Qq). Emending to black-beard, Bowers rejects Dyce's emendation here because he could find no evidence of back-door'd = sly or devious. As Hoy notes, Dyce's emendation is correct, but not his definition; back-door'd refers to the Italians' supposed propensity to anal intercourse, a favorite joke of Middleton's. Cf. Michaelmas Term III.i, A Mad World, My Masters III.iii, More Dissemblers besides Women I.iv, The Nice Valour IV.i & V.iii, A Game at Chess, Marston's The Insatiate Countess III.i.
toad: thought to be poisonous; cf. The Changeling II.i.
hecatombs of sighs: cf. Massinger's The Roman Actor III.ii.
rain'd in showers/Handfuls of gold: a favorite image of Dekker's; cf. 2 The Honest Whore V.ii, Westward Ho! II.ii, The Whore of Babylon III.i.
marrow: Hollow bones was often mentioned as one of the ravages of syphilis; cf. A Fair Quarrel IV.iv, Measure for Measure I.ii, Timon of Athens IV.iii.
Y'are like the Jews, scatter'd: An allusion to the Diaspora, or the dispersion of the Jewish people
luxurious: : lecherous; for its various forms (e.g., luxur, luxury) cf. The Nice Valour III.iii, The Old Law I.i, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's IV.ii, The Revenger's Tragedy, passim.
think every weasel...officer: cf. Falso's remarks in The Phoenix III.i.
mixtures: sexual trysts
drunk healths to me/Out of their dagger'd arms: Gallants would stab themselves in the arm and drink wine mixed with their blood to their mistresses' health; cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One V.ii, If This Be Not a Good Play III.ii, Lust's Dominion I.i, Greene's Tu Quoque, The Dutch Courtesan IV.i, Cynthia's Revels Palinode.
blood hath rang'd: i.e., been wanton
Here, here: i.e., in her bosom
[Exit.]: Exeunt. (Qq)
Mass: by the Mass, an oath
Lacedemonian: a cant term for whore (properly, a Spartan); cf. The Changeling III.iii, The Malcontent III.iii.
squall: a term of endearment as well as of reproach, often found in Middleton; cf. Your Five Gallants IV.ii, Michaelmas Term I.ii & III.i, A Mad World, My Masters I.ii, More Dissemblers besides Women III.i.
chaldrons: chawdrons, sauces consisting of chopped entrails, spices, and other ingredients; cf. The Nice Valour III.ii.
chitterlings: small intestines of an animal filled meat, a kind of sausage
crack'd in the ring: "There was a ring on the coin, within which the sovereign's head was placed; if the crack extended from the edge beyond this ring, the coin was rendered unfit for currency" (Hoy, citing Douce on Hamlet II.ii); also cf. Your Five Gallants II.iv.
mallicolly: melancholy; cf. Love's Labours Lost IV.iii
new edition: latest fashion; cf. The Nice Valour I.i, Every Man out of His Humour II.v
smock: woman's undergarment, with the bawdy innuendo
'Snails: by God's nails; cf. The Bloody Banquet II.i, A Fair Quarrel V.i.
eat the fool: i.e., take it back, eat your words
antic: grotesque figure, clown; cf. The Revenger's Tragedy III.v, The Changeling IV.iii, The Roaring Girl I.i.
[Second]: I. (Qq). The Second Prentice uses the excuse of finding the choicest pieces in the warehouse to leave so that he may return with the invented story of Pandulfo. The only action unaccounted for is his giving the watchword to the other prentices who will hold Candido in conference, but, as Bowers explains, theater companies often sought to minimize the number of actors needed, and so the Second Prentice is most likely referring to other prentices whom we never see on the stage.
posts of his gate are a-painting: "Fustigo sees himself the acquaintance of a high city official, with whom chains and painted posts were associated. The latter allusion is to the posts set up before the doors of the mayor's, sheriffs' or aldermen's houses for proclamations to be posted on them, and which were newly painted on the inhabitant's entering upon his term of office" (Hoy). Cf. The Widow II.i, Cynthia's Revels I.iv.
flatcap: a derisive term for London citizens in allusion their head gear; cf. A Fair Quarrel IV.iv, and especially Candido's praise of flatcaps in 2 The Honest Whore I.iii.
thrum: beat. The use of this word arises from its proximity to cap, resulting in a hidden pun on thrum-cap, as Hoy notes. A thrum is the loose end of a weaver's warp-thread, which is left unwoven and sometimes used for tufts of coarse woolen or hempen yarn (cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One IV.iii, The Family of Love IV.iv, A Midsummer Night's Dream V.i); a thrum-cap (or thrummed-cap) is one "furnished with thrums (tufts, tassels, or short pieces of thread projecting from the surface of the woven fabric). It would thus have a rough, shaggy, uneven surface. Such caps, or hats, are frequently mentioned.... The pun on 'thrum' as here defined, and 'thrum' the verb meaning play (or strum) a stringed instrument gives rise to the phrase 'thrumming of caps'...and this is the basis of George's use of the verb here." Cf. A Mad World, My Masters IV.ii, Northward Ho! V.i, Massinger's The Renegado I.iii.
He told me in my ear...sir?": The feeble joke is that Fustigo repeats all of what was said, not just the sotto voce threat.
does 't spin: Fustigo is referring to his head spinning.
gules: heraldic term for red
coronation day, for my head runs claret: Hoy cites Holinshed's report of Queen Mary's coronation, when the water conduits in the old city ran wine.
lustily: full of healthy vigor; cf. The Second Maiden's Tragedy I.i, The Roaring Girl II.ii, The Nice Valour III.i, A Fair Quarrel I.i, the "Lusty Servant" in A Yorkshire Tragedy
Peize: weigh; cf. The Family of Love II.iv
vails: money given to a servant or attendant, especially by guests on their departure from their host's home, which is the sense in III.ii; cf. Your Five Gallants I.i.
carpets: tablecloths; cf. The Phoenix IV.i
saddest: most serious
cruzadoes: Portuguese coins bearing the figure of a cross, originally of gold, later also of silver, worth about two shillings each; Old Fortunatus II.ii, Othello III.iv.
conster: construe, with the accent on the first syllable; cf. The Revenger's Tragedy I.iii, The Second Maiden's Tragedy I.i.
am with child: long
covert bar'n: protection; bar'n is a corruption baron, a legal term for a wife being sheltered by marriage to her husband; cf. The Phoenix III.i, Your Five Gallants V.ii.
[BAWD]: om. (Qq)
sink into my head: cf. Beaumont and Fletcher's The Coxcomb I.v.
loose gown: characteristic dress for a strumpet, along with the following items; cf. Michaelmas Term I.ii, 2 The Honest Whore V.ii.
ambergris: a wax-like substance of marbled ashy colour, found floating in tropical seas, and as a morbid secretion in the intestines of the sperm-whale. It is odoriferous and used in perfumery (OED); cf. The Changeling II.ii.
factor: agent. Notice that now that she is honest, Bellafront (except when feigning madness) will always speak in verse, not prose.
dry-suck'st: cf. above note
entertain'd: employed (by the Bawd); cf. A Trick to Catch the Old One IV.iv, The Phoenix III.i, The Old Law II.i, The Roaring Girl I.ii.
subaudi: understand, read; cf. The Family of Love III.ii, Your Five Gallants III.iv
cockatrice: prostitute; cf. The Family of Love III.iii, Satiromastix IV.iii
mew: a derisive noise like a cat cry; cf. The Roaring Girl Prol., 2 The Honest Whore V.ii, Northward Ho! I.ii, The Witch of Edmonton I.ii
baggage: wanton; cf. The Second Maiden's Tragedy II.i, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside passim, A Fair Quarrel IV.iv, The Roaring Girl III.iii, Romeo and Juliet III.v, Pericles IV.ii, The Comedy of Errors III.i, The Merry Wives of Windsor IV.ii.
French infant, which ne'er acts but speaks: another allusion to the pox
fist: fart; cf. The Witch of Edmonton IV.i
brake the ice/Which after turn'd a puddle: for the linking of chastity and ice imagery, cf. The Revenger's Tragedy IV.iv, Measure for Measure II.i; Hoy supplies similar quotations.
Hercules' labours: "The reference is to his exploit with the 50 daughters of King Thespius of Boeotia whom, according to one tradition, Hercules deflowered in a single night" (Hoy).
God buy thee: God be with thee, an appropriate farewell
burnt thorough the nose: The advanced stages of syphilis involved the disintegration of cartilage and tissue, and the disfigurement of the nose was an obvious sign; cf. No Wit, No Help like a Woman's IV.ii, The Roaring Girl IV.ii.
shoemaker, for all the gentle craft...stitch: Monday was a holiday for shoemakers; cf. A Shoemaker, A Gentleman V.i, The Shoemakers' Holiday II.iii. Recall that Monday is the day on which Hipolito believes Infelice died and promised to mourn.
naught: naughty, immoral, unchaste; cf. The Revenger's Tragedy II.i, The Roaring Girl I.ii, A Fair Quarrel V.i, The Second Maiden's Tragedy I.ii, Chapman's The Gentleman Usher III.ii, Westward Ho! V.i, Northward Ho! IV.i, The Noble Spanish Soldier IV.ii.
pierce: with the bawdy innuendo
Ostend: Spanish forces led by the Archduke Albert and later by the Marquis Ambrosia Spinola besieged (and eventually captured) the town of Ostend, Belgium, from July 5, 1601, to September 11, 1604; cf. Westward Ho! I.i.
Perhaps this shrewd pate was mine enemy's: Cf. Hamlet V.i; the apparent influence of Hamlet is particularly strong in this speech.
contumelious: cf. Hamlet III.i
Italian pills: poisons
all his braves...his law: cf. "the whips and scorns of time," Hamlet III.i
swelling: proud, haughty
Not caring, so that sumpter-horse...soul: i.e., "as long as their pack horse (a metaphor for their own bodies) is finely arrayed, people don't care how they clothe their souls;" cf. Satiromastix V.i, The Wonder of a Kingdom III.i.
What fools are men to build a garish tomb: cf. a possibly censored passage in Hengist, King of Kent II.iii, "There's the fruits/Of their religious shows too, to lie rotting/Under a million spent in gold and marble,/When thousands left behind dies without shelter,/Having nor house nor food."
good carrion: Cf. Hamlet II.ii
these colours/In time kissing but air will be kiss'd off: cf. Hamlet V.i; Hipolito is comparing the picture to the skull.
here's a fellow; that which he lays on,/Till doomsday, alters not complexion: cf. The Revenger's Tragedy III.v
wicked faces: "This phrase has previously appeared in The Shoemakers' Holiday III.ii.... In view of the direct association made between painters and wrinkled faces in The Whore of Babylon, II.i.125, if it were not for the second use here, which would force us to assume identical double error, the tempting emendation in either place would certainly have been wrinkld faces. Although double error is not unknown within single plays, one always hesitates to invoke it in support of emendation, especially if it must arise from two different manuscripts. Sense of some sort may possibly be made in both passages. The wicks are the lips. If wicked be taken as Dekker's private pun, the allusion is doubtless to faces made ugly by prominent lips or over-large mouths" (Bowers)
parson: person, spelled so to indicate mispronunciation, cf. No Wit, No Help like a Woman's III.i
marybones and potato pies: marrowbones (bones containing edible marrow) and potato pies were supposedly aphrodisiacs; cf. The Roaring Girl II.i, A Mad World, My Masters I.ii, Venus and Adonis, If This Be Not a Good Play I.iii, The Devil's Law-Case I.ii, Massinger's The Picture IV.ii, Beaumont and Fletcher's Love's Cure I.ii.
'Cause h'as ne'er a beard: The Servant is quibbling on the distinction between a man and a boy.
Fata si liceat mihi/Fingere arbitrio meo/Temperem Zephyro levi/Vela.: "Let it be our fate to mold our career according to our own judgment that we may trim our sails to the gentle Zephyrus" (Seneca, Oedipus 882-885).
Cedars are shaken when shrubs do feel no bruise: proverbial; cf. Patient Grissil II.ii, The Whore of Babylon II.i.
boon couragio: a corruption of buono coraggio (Ital., good courage); cf. The Roaring Girl V.i ("alla corago"), All's Well that End's Well II.v, The Tempest V.i.
mermaid: whore; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside IV.ii, The Old Law IV.i, The Roaring Girl I.ii, A Fair Quarrel IV.iv, All's Lost by Lust III.iii, 2 The Honest Whore I.ii & IV.iii, Satiromastix IV.ii, Match Me in London V.ii
path: i.e., path of righteousness.
codpiece and have no pins to stick upon't: the pin/penis pun was common; for this particular context, cf. The Two Gentlemen of Verona II.vii, The White Devil V.iii.
my father's brow: Bellafront's father appears, in fact, in Part Two.
pistols: pistoles, Spanish gold coins each worth from 16s.6d. to 18s.
Tuscalonian: golden yellow, straw-colored
dry-beaten: beaten severely; cf. The Roaring Girl III.iii, The Nice Valour IV.i, The Shoemakers' Holiday I.iv.
cheaters: in thieves' cant, false dice, or those who win money by false dice; cf. The Roaring Girl V.i, Hengist, King of Kent V.i, A Fair Quarrel IV.iv
mazer: mazard (obs.), head
orangeado: candied orange peel
And mine, Lieutenant Poh: Qq have Exeunt. after this line.
as tall a man as ever opened oyster: tall = valiant; cf. The Merry Wives of Windsor II.ii
wording: speaking, talking (obs.)
comedy of errors: an allusion to Shakespeare's play; also cf. Satiromastix Ad lectorem
Candido: Dyce points out the inconsistency that Candido has just returned from the Senate House, although it appears from the intermediate scenes that since he left home a night has elapsed.
not so much as a bawd, he did not hem: Clearing the throat was often a sound of invitation by prostitutes or their customers; cf. A Fair Quarrel IV.iv, The Puritan I.ii, Othello IV.ii.
not so much as a cuckold, he did not ha: i.e., giving out an exclamation of discovery
play my master's prize: Fencing schools awarded three degrees--Master's, Provost's, and Scholar's--for each of which a match, or prize, was played in public; cf. The Family of Love V.iii, Volpone V.ii, Titus Andronicus I.i, Brome's The Antipodes IV.iii.
tricksy: 1) spruce, elegant (said sarcastically), 2) whimsical, capricious (OED cites the passage for this definition)
Cross-points: "Dance-steps, with a quibble on 'points' meaning tagged laces for attaching doublet to hose and fastening various other articles of clothing where buttons are now used. The phrase also carries the meaning (present here) of 'tricks', as in Marston, The Malcontent II.v" (Hoy).
welted gown: trimmed with a welt, a narrow strip of material put on the edge of a garment, etc., as a border, binding, or hem; a frill, fringe, or trimming (OED)
stand in't: persist
rescue: forcible removal of a person from legal custody; cf. A Fair Quarrel I.i, The Comedy of Errors IV.iv, and the comic rescues of The Roaring Girl III.iii and The Phoenix IV.iii.
catchpol'd: A catchpole was sheriff's officer who acted as tax gatherer and made arrests, chiefly for debt; cf. The Second Maiden's Tragedy V.i, The Roaring Girl III.i, Blurt, Master Constable II.i, The Puritan III.v, A Fair Quarrel I.i, Westward Ho! III.ii, Munday's The Downfall of Robert, Earl of Huntington I.ii.
sister: seamstress; cf. The Revenger's Tragedy II.ii, Chapman's The Widow's Tears II.iii, Ford's The Lady's Trial III.iii.
Beth'lem Monastery: St. Mary of Bethlehem Hospital, London's lunatic asylum outside Bishopsgate, where Liverpool Street Station now stands. It was founded in 1246, appropriated for lunatics in 1402, and passed into the hands of the City in 1546. Visiting the asylum to see the lunatics was a favorite recreation among London's citizens, as is mentioned in V.i, as well as Epicoene IV.i, The Alchemist IV.iv, Bartholomew Fair I.v, and Northward Ho! IV.iii. Like the city of Alicant in The Changeling, here Milan is a thinly veiled representation of London (as are the scenes of many Elizabethan and Jacobean plays), and audiences were meant to think of London's Bedlam in particular. Bedlam in its modern sense (i.e., chaos) was actually in use in the early sixteenth century. Cf. the map in the notes for A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, the subplot of The Changeling, The Roaring Girl III.iii, Anything for a Quiet Life V.i.
gilded pills: cf. If This Be Not a Good Play II.i, The Roaring Girl IV.ii
branches/Hind'ring the greater's growth must be lopp'd off: cf. Michaelmas Term IV.i, Richard II III.iv, The Welsh Ambassador III.i.
They're curs'd that ill do, not that ill do love: cf. The Revenger's Tragedy I.ii, The Phoenix II.ii, Women Beware Women II.ii, Richard II V.vi.
You throw an angry forehead on my face: cf. Your Five Gallants IV.v ("undaunted forehead")
deep'd: plunged deeply
nor believe,/As princes have quick thoughts...on you: for such a belief, cf. Antonio to Vindici at the end of The Revenger's Tragedy V.iii.
more cold than a citizen's country house in January: cf. The Revenger's Tragedy II.i
butterflies: courtiers; cf. The Witch of Edmonton IV.i, The Noble Spanish Soldier II.i
mad Greeks: merry fellows, roisterers; cf. The Old Law IV.i, The Shoemakers' Holiday I.iv, Westward Ho! II.i, Northward Ho! IV.i
painted cloth: a cheap substitute for tapestry, cloth painted or worked with biblical or allegorical figures, mottoes or verses; cf. Westward Ho! V.iv, If This Be Not a Good Play IV.ii, 1 Henry IV IV.ii, Troilus and Cressida V.x, Arden of Faversham I.i.
cheese-trenchers: wooden or metal plates for cheese upon which proverbial phrases and rhymes were sometimes inscribed; cf. The Old Law II.i, No Wit, No Help like a Woman's I.i, A Fair Quarrel IV.i, Northward Ho! III.i
firk: cheat, rob; cf. The Family of Love II.iv
[stormiest]: stormest (Qq)
[True]: Tame (Qq); Dyce's emendation
wild-fire: 1) material used to start fires in war, suggesting swift-spreading violence, 2) lightning; cf. The Witch IV.i, The Revenger's Tragedy II.ii, 1 Henry IV III.iii.
quick: 1) alive, 2) moving/making ground rapidly
throw the house out at window: cause a great disturbance
none goes be married till he be stark mad: cf. A Mad World, My Masters V.ii, Michaelmas Term III.v
cloaks are not for this rain: a variation of the proverb "to have a cloak for the rain," i.e., to have an excuse to cover one's actions; cf. Westward Ho! V.iv
bread and salt: from the ancient practice of those taking an oath to eat bread and salt
sleights: tricks, contrivances; cf. Your Five Gallants II.iii, The Changeling IV.i, The Roaring Girl III.ii, A Fair Quarrel III.ii
prevent: anticipate, act before; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside IV.i, The Family of Love II.iii, The Old Law I.i, The Phoenix II.iii, A Trick to Catch the Old One III.i, Your Five Gallants I.i, The Changeling V.iii, The Revenger's Tragedy I.iii, Hengist, King of Kent V.ii, The Nice Valour I.i, The Second Maiden's Tragedy III.i
clos'd hand/Have her...time: In Renaissance emblem books, the goddess "Opportunity" (here, "time") was depicted as a mostly bald woman whose long forelock had to be seized if she were not to escape. Cf. The Family of Love III.i & IV.iii, The Revenger's Tragedy I.i, Northward Ho! V.i, Match Me in London III.i.
now you climb: i.e., now that you climb
send that lord away: i.e., don't call me lord and betray our disguises
feat: 1) deed, 2) crime
Enter a Sweeper.: Enter Towne like a sweeper. (Qq). The actor Thomas Towne was a member of the Admirals' Men (later Prince Henry's Men) from 1584 to 1610; he died in 1612. For the sake of economy, I have chosen this character to transact the minor stage business in the remainder of this scene.
copy: , 1) example, 2) copyhold, control of the land by the owner; cf. No Wit, No Help like a Woman's III.i, A Trick to Catch the Old One II.i, The Phoenix IV.ii, The Family of Love V.iii, The Puritan I.i.
no ho: no stopping; cf. 2 The Honest Whore I.ii, Brome's The Antipodes V.iii
moon: believed to inspire lunacy (from Luna, the moon); cf. The Witch IV.i, The Phoenix IV.i, The Changeling III.iii, The Revenger's Tragedy II.iii, The Roaring Girl V.ii, Hengist, King of Kent II.iii, The Nice Valour V.iii, The Second Maiden's Tragedy IV.i, The Winter's Tale II.ii.
hang himself i' th' bell-ropes: cf. Northward Ho! IV.ii
dance in a net: act with practically no disguise or concealment, while expecting to escape notice
halter: noose; cf. The Puritan I.iv, The Bloody Banquet II.i, A Fair Quarrel IV.ii, Hengist, King of Kent III.iv
gudgeon-eaters: Gudgeons are small fish that are easily caught, therefore fools, hence gudgeon-eaters are those who will swallow anything; cf. the character Gudgeon in The Family of Love, The Roaring Girl IV.ii, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside IV.ii, The Bloody Banquet II.i, 2 The Honest Whore II.ii, Northward Ho! I.ii, Match Me in London V.ii, Chapman's Monsieur D'Olive IV.ii.
polt foot: club foot
vergis: verjuice, the acid juice of unripe grapes, crab-apples, or other sour fruit; cf. The Shoemakers' Holiday I.ii, 2 The Honest Whore IV.iii
pear-colour'd: russet-red; cf. Westward Ho! II.ii
Tenpenny nails: cf. the same pun in Blurt, Master Constable I.i
promoter: one who prosecutes, informs on, or denounces law-breakers; cf. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, A Yorkshire Tragedy ii, Hengist, King of Kent III.iv, A Mad World, My Masters III.ii, If This Be Not a Good Play I.i, Marston's The Insatiate Countess IV, Jack Drum's Entertainment
Turks' galleys are fighting with my ships: "The Turk" was a frequent allusion in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, an image of pagan cruelty; cf. The Phoenix V.i, Anything for a Quiet Life I.i, The Changeling I.i, A Fair Quarrel III.i
Bounce: commonly used for the noise of guns, i.e., bang! Cf. Blurt, Master Constable IV.i, If This Be Not a Good Play V.iv, Match Me in London I.ii, The Sun's Darling II.i, 2 Henry IV III.ii, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Heywood's 1 The Fair Maid of the West IV.iv
All these are whoremongers and lay with my wife: The Madman probably refers to or addresses each courtier in turn.
pull'd on my wife's pumps...pantofles: This entire speech contains bawdy innuendo. "For the double entendre on 'puld on' cf. The Shoemakers' Holiday IV.i. 'Pumps' were single-soled, low shoes, and 'pantofles' were shoes with high cork soles that thickened towards the heel, and with a piece of leather or velvet over the front of the foot up to the instep. 'The shoe had no upper at the heel, but was like the modern "mule"'. Since pumps were singled-soled shoes and often made of expensive materials, they were unfit to wear on the street. 'The thick-soled pantofle was therefore slipped over the pump when the wearer went out; but so rich did the pantofles soon become, that the fashion of wearing both pumps and pantofles indoors and out superseded all other modes of footwear'" (Hoy, citing Linthicum's Costume in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries).
yard: 1) three feet, the tailor's yardstick, 2) slang for penis; cf. The Old Law IV.i, Anything for a Quiet Life passim, The Revenger's Tragedy II.i, The Roaring Girl II.i, Love's Labour's Lost V.ii.
purgation: a purge, or laxative; cf. Peter Purge the apothecary in The Family of Love, and the Lawyer in The World Toss'd at Tennis, "There's a familiar phrase implies thus much:/I'll put you to your purgation, that is,/The law shall cleanse you."
urinal: a vessel for the diagnostic inspection of urine by physicians; cf. The Family of Love V.i., The Changeling IV.iii, The Puritan IV.i, The Revenger's Tragedy I.iii, The Merry Wives of Windsor II.iii.
come aloft, Jack: "The cry of the master to a trained ape" (Hoy), with the bawdy innuendo
jacks: an upright piece of wood fixed to the back of the virginal's key-lever and fitted with a quill which plucked the string when the key was pressed and the jack was raised
prick'd her out: wrote down for her in musical notation by means of pricks, or notes; a common bawdy pun: cf. Women Beware Women III.ii, The Phoenix I.ii, Your Five Gallants II.i, The Roaring Girl IV.i, Romeo and Juliet II.iv, The Witch III.ii, Match Me in London IV.ii.
flap-dragon: a small item (from raisins to candle ends) soaked in brandy and lit, then swallowed by gallants to show devotion to their mistresses; cf. The Old Law III.ii, A Trick to Catch the Old One V.ii, Love's Labours Lost V.i, Barry's Ram Alley, Marston's The Dutch Courtesan IV.i
almond for parrot: along with "rope for parrot," common phrases at the time; cf. Old Fortunatus I.i, Mother Bombie III.iv, Haughton's Englishmen for My Money 1769-73, Match Me in London II.i
almond-butter: a preparation made of cream and whites of eggs boiled, to which is afterwards added blanched almonds
burnt i' th' hand: branded as a felon; cf. The Roaring Girl I.ii, 2 Henry VI IV.ii.
good pit hole: with the bawdy innuendo
French curtsy: another reference to venereal disease; cf. Women Beware Women III.i
God's santy: God's sanctity, an oath
barley-break: the children's game, in which a couple occupy a middle ground called "hell" and try to catch two other couples as they run through it to change partners (or "break"); if caught, players remained in "hell" until the last couple remained. Cf. The Changeling III.iii (it has extremely important thematic implications for the play as a whole), Patient Grissil II.i, Match Me in London IV.vi.
Bow a little.: Obviously a stage direction and not the beginning of the next line, as in Qq; the significance of her bow, however, is not clear.
die: with the pun on experience orgasm (petit mort)
dial: compass; cf. The Old Law III.i, The Bloody Banquet I.iv
drops: falls off; Bellafront's rejoinder is an allusion to the effects of syphilis.
table: 1) table for dining, 2) the palm of the hand; cf. the same pun in Anything for a Quiet Life II.i
one mad point of arithmetic: i.e., subtraction (of the weapons)
forehead: i.e., just when new growth appears
friar in the well: An allusion to an old ballad about a friar who attempts to woo a maid, who tricks him into falling down a well; cf. Munday's Downfall of Robert, Earl of Huntington
Arthur of Bradley: "A ballad titled 'A merry wedding, or, O brave Arthur of Bradley' was entered in the Stationers' Register on 8 May 1656, and again on 1 March 1675" (Hoy). Cf. Bartholomew Fair II.ii.
I may choose: i.e., how I may choose
fly-boat: a light, swift, sailing-vessel.
cuckold's stamp goes current in all nations: i.e., cuckolds are coins that are universal legal tender
legs: bows, as Bellafront has probably knelt or bowed to Matheo; "to leg" or "to make legs" = to bow: cf. The Revenger's Tragedy II.ii & IV.ii, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside I.ii, 2 The Honest Whore II.ii
in pudding-time: just at the right moment
Jew: i.e., severe, heartless, with the pun on a literal inhabitant of Bethlehem. Jews were often depicted as greedy and ruthless in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama (the OED explains the historical link between Jews and usury, and the stereotyping that resulted); the most notable examples are of course The Merchant of Venice and The Jew of Malta. Also cf. The Phoenix II.ii, Your Five Gallants IV.viii, The Family of Love I.iii, The Roaring Girl III.iii.
green wounds: fresh, or raw wounds; cf. Dick of Devonshire 602-604.
best of men: i.e., Job
state: worldly or spiritual prosperity