William Shakespeare: Pericles, Act IV, Scene II
Enter Pandar, Bawd, and Boult
Search the market narrowly; Mytilene is full of gallants. We lost too much money this mart by being too wenchless.
We were never so much out of creatures. We have but poor three, and they can do no more than they can do; and they with continual action are even as good as rotten.
Therefore let's have fresh ones, whate'er we pay for them. If there be not a conscience to be used in every trade, we shall never prosper.
Thou sayest true: 'tis not our bringing up of poor bastards,—as, I think, I have brought up some eleven—
What else, man? The stuff we have, a strong wind will blow it to pieces, they are so pitifully sodden.
Thou sayest true; they're too unwholesome, o' conscience. The poor Transylvanian is dead, that lay with the little baggage.
Three or four thousand chequins were as pretty a proportion to live quietly, and so give over.
O, our credit comes not in like the commodity, nor the commodity wages not with the danger: therefore, if in our youths we could pick up some pretty estate, 'twere not amiss to keep our door hatched. Besides, the sore terms we stand upon with the gods will be strong with us for giving over.
As well as we! ay, and better too; we offend worse. Neither is our profession any trade; it's no calling. But here comes Boult.
Re-enter Boult, with the Pirates and Marina
Master, I have gone through for this piece, you see: if you like her, so; if not, I have lost my earnest.
She has a good face, speaks well, and has excellent good clothes: there's no further necessity of qualities can make her be refused.
Well, follow me, my masters, you shall have your money presently. Wife, take her in; instruct her what she has to do, that she may not be raw in her entertainment.
Exeunt Pandar and Pirates
Boult, take you the marks of her, the colour of her hair, complexion, height, age, with warrant of her virginity; and cry 'He that will give most shall have her first.' Such a maidenhead were no cheap thing, if men were as they have been. Get this done as I command you.
Alack that Leonine was so slack, so slow!
He should have struck, not spoke; or that these pirates,
Not enough barbarous, had not o'erboard thrown me
For to seek my mother!
Yes, indeed shall you, and taste gentlemen of all fashions: you shall fare well; you shall have the difference of all complexions. What! do you stop your ears?
Marry, whip thee, gosling: I think I shall have something to do with you. Come, you're a young foolish sapling, and must be bowed as I would have you.
If it please the gods to defend you by men, then men must comfort you, men must feed you, men must stir you up. Boult's returned.
Now, sir, hast thou cried her through the market?
And I prithee tell me, how dost thou find the inclination of the people, especially of the younger sort?
'Faith, they listened to me as they would have hearkened to their father's testament. There was a Spaniard's mouth so watered, that he went to bed to her very description.
Ay, he: he offered to cut a caper at the proclamation; but he made a groan at it, and swore he would see her to-morrow.
Well, well; as for him, he brought his disease hither: here he does but repair it. I know he will come in our shadow, to scatter his crowns in the sun.
Pray you, come hither awhile. You have fortunes coming upon you. Mark me: you must seem to do that fearfully which you commit willingly, despise profit where you have most gain. To weep that you live as ye do makes pity in your lovers: seldom but that pity begets you a good opinion, and that opinion a mere profit.
O, take her home, mistress, take her home: these blushes of hers must be quenched with some present practise.
Thou sayest true, i' faith, so they must; for your bride goes to that with shame which is her way to go with warrant.
Boult, spend thou that in the town: report what a sojourner we have; you'll lose nothing by custom. When nature flamed this piece, she meant thee a good turn; therefore say what a paragon she is, and thou hast the harvest out of thine own report.
I warrant you, mistress, thunder shall not so awake the beds of eels as my giving out her beauty stir up the lewdly-inclined. I'll bring home some to-night.
If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,
Untied I still my virgin knot will keep.
Diana, aid my purpose!