William Shakespeare: Pericles, Act IV, Scene VI
Enter Pandar, Bawd, and Boult
Fie, 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 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 puritan of the devil, if he should cheapen a kiss of her.
'Faith, I must ravish her, or she'll disfurnish us of all our cavaliers, and make our swearers priests.
'Faith, there's no way to be rid on't but by the way to the pox. Here comes the Lord Lysimachus disguised.
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?
For flesh and blood, sir, white and red, you shall see a rose; and she were a rose indeed, if she had but—
That dignifies the renown of a bawd, no less than it gives a good report to a number to be chaste.
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?
If he govern the country, you are bound to him indeed; but how honourable he is in that, I know not.
Pray you, without any more virginal fencing, will you use him kindly? He will line your apron with gold.
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. Go thy ways.
Exeunt Bawd, Pandar, and Boult
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 governor of this place.
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.
If you were born to honour, show it now;
If put upon you, make the judgment good
That thought you worthy of it.
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,
Though they did change me to the meanest bird
That flies i' the purer air!
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 had alter'd it. Hold, here's gold for thee:
Persever in that clear way thou goest,
And the gods strengthen thee!
For me, be you thoughten
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.
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.
Avaunt, thou damned door-keeper!
Your house, but for this virgin that doth prop it,
Would sink and overwhelm you. Away!
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.
I must have your maidenhead taken off, or the common hangman shall execute it. Come your ways. We'll have no more gentlemen driven away. Come your ways, I say.
The nobleman would have dealt with her like a nobleman, and she sent him away as cold as a snowball; saying his prayers too.
Boult, take her away; use her at thy pleasure: crack the glass of her virginity, and make the rest malleable.
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!
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 doorkeeper to every
Coistrel 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.
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?
Do 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,
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,
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.
Prove that I cannot, take me home again,
And prostitute me to the basest groom
That doth frequent your house.
'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 I doubt not but I shall find them tractable enough. Come, I'll do for thee what I can; come your ways.