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Pericles, Prince of Tyre

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ACT IV SCENE VI The same. A room in the brothel.
[Enter Pandar, Bawd, and BOULT]
PandarWell, I had rather than twice the worth of her she
had ne'er come here.
BawdFie, fie upon her! she's able to freeze the god
Priapus, and undo a whole generation. We must
either get her ravished, or be rid of her. When she5
should do for clients her fitment, and do me the
kindness of our profession, she has me her quirks,
her reasons, her master reasons, her prayers, her
knees; that she would make a puritan of the devil,
if he should cheapen a kiss of her.10
BOULT'Faith, I must ravish her, or she'll disfurnish us
of all our cavaliers, and make our swearers priests.
PandarNow, the pox upon her green-sickness for me!
Bawd'Faith, there's no way to be rid on't but by the
way to the pox. Here comes the Lord Lysimachus disguised.15
BOULTWe should have both lord and lown, if the peevish
baggage would but give way to customers.
LYSIMACHUSHow now! How a dozen of virginities?
BawdNow, the gods to-bless your honour!
BOULTI am glad to see your honour in good health.20
LYSIMACHUSYou may so; 'tis the better for you that your
resorters stand upon sound legs. How now!
wholesome iniquity have you that a man may deal
withal, and defy the surgeon?
BawdWe have here one, sir, if she would--but there never25
came her like in Mytilene.
LYSIMACHUSIf she'ld do the deed of darkness, thou wouldst say.
BawdYour honour knows what 'tis to say well enough.
LYSIMACHUSWell, call forth, call forth.
BOULTFor flesh and blood, sir, white and red, you shall30
see a rose; and she were a rose indeed, if she had but--
LYSIMACHUSWhat, prithee?
BOULTO, sir, I can be modest.
LYSIMACHUSThat dignifies the renown of a bawd, no less than it
gives a good report to a number to be chaste.35
[Exit BOULT]
BawdHere comes that which grows to the stalk; never
plucked yet, I can assure you.
[Re-enter BOULT with MARINA]
Is she not a fair creature?
LYSIMACHUS'Faith, she would serve after a long voyage at sea.
Well, there's for you: leave us.40
BawdI beseech your honour, give me leave: a word, and
I'll have done presently.
LYSIMACHUSI beseech you, do.
Bawd[To MARINA] First, I would have you note, this is
an honourable man.45
MARINAI desire to find him so, that I may worthily note him.
BawdNext, he's the governor of this country, and a man
whom I am bound to.
MARINAIf he govern the country, you are bound to him
indeed; but how honourable he is in that, I know not.50
BawdPray you, without any more virginal fencing, will
you use him kindly? He will line your apron with gold.
MARINAWhat he will do graciously, I will thankfully receive.
LYSIMACHUSHa' you done?
BawdMy lord, she's not paced yet: you must take some55
pains to work her to your manage. Come, we will
leave his honour and her together. Go thy ways.
[Exeunt Bawd, Pandar, and BOULT]
LYSIMACHUSNow, pretty one, how long have you been at this trade?
MARINAWhat trade, sir?
LYSIMACHUSWhy, I cannot name't but I shall offend.60
MARINAI cannot be offended with my trade. Please you to name it.
LYSIMACHUSHow long have you been of this profession?
MARINAE'er since I can remember.
LYSIMACHUSDid you go to 't so young? Were you a gamester at
five or at seven?65
MARINAEarlier too, sir, if now I be one.
LYSIMACHUSWhy, the house you dwell in proclaims you to be a
creature of sale.
MARINADo you know this house to be a place of such resort,
and will come into 't? I hear say you are of70
honourable parts, and are the governor of this place.
LYSIMACHUSWhy, hath your principal made known unto you who I am?

MARINAWho is my principal?
LYSIMACHUSWhy, your herb-woman; she that sets seeds and roots
of shame and iniquity. O, you have heard something75
of my power, and so stand aloof for more serious
wooing. But I protest to thee, pretty one, my
authority shall not see thee, or else look friendly
upon thee. Come, bring me to some private place:
come, come.80
MARINAIf you were born to honour, show it now;
If put upon you, make the judgment good
That thought you worthy of it.
LYSIMACHUSHow's this? how's this? Some more; be sage.
MARINAFor me,85
That am a maid, though most ungentle fortune
Have placed me in this sty, where, since I came,
Diseases have been sold dearer than physic,
O, that the gods
Would set me free from this unhallow'd place,90
Though they did change me to the meanest bird
That flies i' the purer air!
LYSIMACHUSI did not think
Thou couldst have spoke so well; ne'er dream'd thou couldst.
Had I brought hither a corrupted mind,95
Thy speech had alter'd it. Hold, here's gold for thee:
Persever in that clear way thou goest,
And the gods strengthen thee!
MARINAThe good gods preserve you!
LYSIMACHUSFor me, be you thoughten100
That I came with no ill intent; for to me
The very doors and windows savour vilely.
Fare thee well. Thou art a piece of virtue, and
I doubt not but thy training hath been noble.
Hold, here's more gold for thee.105
A curse upon him, die he like a thief,
That robs thee of thy goodness! If thou dost
Hear from me, it shall be for thy good.
[Re-enter BOULT]
BOULTI beseech your honour, one piece for me.
LYSIMACHUSAvaunt, thou damned door-keeper!110
Your house, but for this virgin that doth prop it,
Would sink and overwhelm you. Away!
BOULTHow's this? We must take another course with you.
If your peevish chastity, which is not worth a
breakfast in the cheapest country under the cope,115
shall undo a whole household, let me be gelded like
a spaniel. Come your ways.
MARINAWhither would you have me?
BOULTI must have your maidenhead taken off, or the common
hangman shall execute it. Come your ways. We'll120
have no more gentlemen driven away. Come your ways, I say.
[Re-enter Bawd]
BawdHow now! what's the matter?
BOULTWorse and worse, mistress; she has here spoken holy
words to the Lord Lysimachus.
BawdO abominable!125
BOULTShe makes our profession as it were to stink afore
the face of the gods.
BawdMarry, hang her up for ever!
BOULTThe nobleman would have dealt with her like a
nobleman, and she sent him away as cold as a130
snowball; saying his prayers too.
BawdBoult, take her away; use her at thy pleasure:
crack the glass of her virginity, and make the rest malleable.
BOULTAn if she were a thornier piece of ground than she
is, she shall be ploughed.135
MARINAHark, hark, you gods!
BawdShe conjures: away with her! Would she had never
come within my doors! Marry, hang you! She's born
to undo us. Will you not go the way of women-kind?
Marry, come up, my dish of chastity with rosemary and bays!140
BOULTCome, mistress; come your ways with me.
MARINAWhither wilt thou have me?
BOULTTo take from you the jewel you hold so dear.
MARINAPrithee, tell me one thing first.
BOULTCome now, your one thing.145
MARINAWhat canst thou wish thine enemy to be?
BOULTWhy, I could wish him to be my master, or rather, my mistress.
MARINANeither of these are so bad as thou art,
Since they do better thee in their command.
Thou hold'st a place, for which the pained'st fiend150
Of hell would not in reputation change:
Thou art the damned doorkeeper to every
Coistrel that comes inquiring for his Tib;
To the choleric fisting of every rogue
Thy ear is liable; thy food is such155
As hath been belch'd on by infected lungs.
BOULTWhat would you have me do? go to the wars, would
you? where a man may serve seven years for the loss
of a leg, and have not money enough in the end to
buy him a wooden one?160
MARINADo any thing but this thou doest. Empty
Old receptacles, or common shores, of filth;
Serve by indenture to the common hangman:
Any of these ways are yet better than this;
For what thou professest, a baboon, could he speak,165
Would own a name too dear. O, that the gods
Would safely deliver me from this place!
Here, here's gold for thee.
If that thy master would gain by thee,
Proclaim that I can sing, weave, sew, and dance,170
With other virtues, which I'll keep from boast:
And I will undertake all these to teach.
I doubt not but this populous city will
Yield many scholars.
BOULTBut can you teach all this you speak of?175
MARINAProve that I cannot, take me home again,
And prostitute me to the basest groom
That doth frequent your house.
BOULTWell, I will see what I can do for thee: if I can
place thee, I will.180
MARINABut amongst honest women.
BOULT'Faith, my acquaintance lies little amongst them.
But since my master and mistress have bought you,
there's no going but by their consent: therefore I
will make them acquainted with your purpose, and I185
doubt not but I shall find them tractable enough.
Come, I'll do for thee what I can; come your ways.

Continue to Pericles, Act 5, Scene 1


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