William Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre in the complete original text.
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Pericles, Prince of Tyre

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Act IV. Scene VI.

Scene VI.—The Same. A Room in the
Brothel.

Enter Pandar, Bawd, and BOULT.

Pand. Well, I had rather than twice the
worth of her she had ne'er come here.
Bawd. Fie, fie upon her! she is able to freeze
the god Priapus, and undo a whole generation;
we must either get her ravished, or be rid of
her. When she 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 puri-
tan of the devil if he should cheapen a kiss other.
Boult. Faith, I must ravish her, or she'll
disfurnish us of all our cavaliers, and make all
our swearers priests.
Pand. Now, 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.
Boult. We should have both lord and lown
if the peevish baggage would but give way to
customers.

Enter LYSIMACHUS.
Lys. How now! How a dozen of virginities?!
Bawd. Now, the gods to-bless your honour
Boult. I am glad to see your honour in good
health.
Lys. You 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?
Bawd. We have here one, sir, if she would—
but there never came her like in Mitylene.
Lys. If she'd do the deed of darkness, thou
wouldst say.
Bawd. Your honour knows what 'tis to say
well enough.
Lys. Well; call forth, call forth.
Boult. For flesh and blood, sir, white and
red, you shall see a rose; and she were a rose
indeed if she had but—
Lys. What, prithee?
Boult. O! sir, I can be modest. [Exit.
Lys. That dignifies the renown of a bawd no
less than it gives a good report to a number to
be chaste. [Exit BOULT.
Bawd. Here 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?
Lys. Faith, she would serve after a long
voyage at sea. Well, there's for you; leave us.
Baivd. I beseech your honour, give me leave;
a word, and I'll have done presently.
Lys. I beseech you do.
Bawd. [To MARINA.] First, I would have you
note, this is an honourable man.
Mar. I desire to find him so, that I may
worthily note him.
Bawd. Next, he's the governor of this country,
and a man whom I am bound to.
Mar. If he govern the country, you are bound
to him indeed; but how honourable he is in that
I know not.
Bawd. Pray you, without any more virginal
fencing, will you use him kindly? He will line
your apron with gold.
Mar. What he will do graciously, I will
thankfully receive.
Lys. Ha' you done?
Bawd. My lord, she's not paced yet; you
must take some pains to work her to your
manage. Come, we will leave his honour and
her together.
Lys. Go thy ways. [Exeunt Bawd, Pandar,
and BOULT.] Now, pretty one, how long have
you been at this trade?
Mar. What trade, sir?
Lys. Why, I cannot name't but I shall
offend.
Mar. I cannot be offended with my trade.
Please you to name it.
Lys. How long have you been of this pro-
fession?
Mar. E'er since I can remember.
Lys. Did you go to't so young? Were you a
gamester at five or at seven?
Mar. Earlier too, sir, if now I be one.
Lys. Why, the house you dwell in proclaims
you to be a creature of sale.
Mar. Do you know this house to be a place
of such resort, and will come into 't? I hear say
you are of honourable parts, and are the gover-
nor of this place.
Lys. Why, hath your principal made known
unto you who I am?
Mar. Who is my principal?
Lys. Why, your herb-woman; she that sets
seeds and roots of shame and iniquity. O! you
have heard something 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.
Mar. If you were born to honour, show it
now;
If put upon you, make the judgment good
That thought you worthy of it.
Lys. How's this? how's this? Some more;
be sage.
Mar. For me,
That am a maid, though most ungentle fortune
Hath plac'd 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,
Though they did change me to the meanest
bird
That flies i' the purer air!
Lys. I did not think
Thou couldst have spoke so well; ne'er dream'd
thou couldst.
Had I brought hither a corrupted mind,
Thy speech bad alter'd it. Hold, here's gold for
thee;
Persever in that clear way thou goest,
And the gods strengthen thee!
Mar. The good gods preserve you!
Lys. For me, be you thoughten
That I came with no ill intent, for to me
The very doors and windows savour vilely.
Farewell. Thou art a piece of virtue, and
I doubt not but thy training hath been noble.
Hold, here's more gold for thee.
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.
Boult. I beseech your honour, one piece for
me.
Lys. Avaunt! thou damned door-keeper.
Your house,
But for this virgin that doth prop it, would
Sink and overwhelm you. Away! [Exit.
Boult. How'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, shall undo a whole household,
let me be gelded like a spaniel. Come your
ways.
Mar. Whither would you have me?
Boult. I must have your maidenhead taken
off, or the common hangman shall execute it.
Come your ways. We'll have no more gentle-
men driven away. Come your ways, I say.
Re-enter Bawd.
Bawd. How now! what's the matter?
Boult. Worse and worse, mistress; she has
here spoken holy words to the Lord Lysima-
chus.
Bawd. O! abominable.
Boult. She makes our profession as it were to
stink afore the face of the gods.
Bawd. Marry, hang her up for ever!
Boult. The nobleman would have dealt with
her like a nobleman, and she sent him away as
cold as a snowball; saying his prayers too.
Bawd. Boult, take her away; use her at thy
pleasure; crack the glass of her virginity, and
make the rest malleable.
Boult. An if she were a thornier piece of
ground than she is, she shall be ploughed.
Mar. Hark, hark, you gods!
Bawd. She 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!
[Exit.
Boult. Come, mistress; come your ways with
me.
Mar. Whither wilt thou have me?
Boult. To take from you the jewel you hold
so dear.
Mar. Prithee, tell me one thing first.
Boult. Come now, your one thing.
Mar. What canst thou wish thine enemy
to be?
Boult. Why, I could wish him to be my mas-
ter, or rather, my mistress.
Mar. Neither 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
fiend
Of hell would not in reputation change;
Thou art the damned door-keeper to every
Coystril that comes inquiring for his Tib,
To the choleric fisting of every rogue
Thy ear is liable, thy food is such
As hath been belch'd on by infected lungs.
Boult. What 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?
Mar. Do any thing but this thou doest.
Empty
Old receptacles, or common sewers, 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,
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 me,
Proclaim that I can sing, weave, sew, and dance,
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.
Boult. But can you teach all this you speak
of?
Mar. Prove that I cannot, take me home a-
gain,
And prostitute me to the basest groom
That doth frequent your house.
Boult. Well, I will see what I can do for thee;
if I can place thee, I will.
Mar. But, amongst honest women.
Boult. Faith, my acquaintance lies little a-
mongst 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 I doubt not but I shall
find them tractable enough. Come; I'll do for
thee what I can; come your ways. [Exeunt.
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