Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Enter the three Bawds


Well, I had rather than twice the worth of her

she had ne'er come here.


Fie, fie upon her! She's able to freeze the god

Priapus and undo a whole generation. We must either
undo (v.) 1 ruin, destroy, wipe out

get her ravished or be rid of her. When she should

do for clients her fitment and do me the kindness of our
fitment (n.) 2 fitting action, duty, what is called for
kindness (n.) 4 kind act, fond display

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
cheapen (v.) bargain for, bid for, settle the price of

of her.


Faith, I must ravish her, or she'll disfurnish us
disfurnish (v.) deprive, strip, dispossess

of all our cavalleria and make our swearers priests.
cavalleria (n.) body of fine gentlemen, society of knights


Now, the pox upon her green-sickness for me!
green-sickness (n.) 2 sexual squeamishness, sickly naivety


Faith, there's no way to be rid on't but by the way

to the pox. Here comes the Lord Lysimachus disguised.


We should have both lord and lown if the peevish
lown, loon (n.) rogue, sluggard; worthless idiot

baggage would but give way to customers.

Enter Lysimachus
how (adv.) how much?, at what rate?


How now, how a dozen of virginities?


Now, the gods to bless your honour!


I am glad to see your honour in good health.


You may so; 'tis the better for you that

your resorters stand upon sound legs. How now, wholesome
resorter (n.) regular, frequenter, customer
wholesome (adj.) 3 sound, firm, in good condition

iniquity have you, that a man may deal withal and
deal (v.) 3 have dealings, have to do
iniquity (n.) piece of wickedness, little devil

defy the surgeon?
defy (v.) 1 reject, despise, disdain, renounce
surgeon (n.) doctor, physician


We have here one, sir, if she would – but there

never came her like in Mytilene.


If she'd do the deeds of darkness, thou

wouldst say.


Your honour knows what 'tis to say well enough.


Well, call forth, call forth.


For flesh and blood, sir, white and red, you shall

see a rose. And she were a rose indeed, if she had but –


What, prithee?


O, sir, I can be modest.


That dignifies the renown of a bawd no
bawd (n.) pimp, procurer, pander, go-between See Topics: Frequency count
renown (n.) 1 reputation, good name, honour

less than it gives a good report to a number to be chaste.

Exit Boult


Here comes that which grows to the stalk, never

plucked yet, I can assure you.

Enter Boult with Marina

Is she not a fair creature?


Faith she would serve after a long voyage

at sea. Well, there's for you.

He gives her money

Leave us.


I beseech your honour, give me leave a word, and

I'll have done presently.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count


I beseech you, do.


(to Marina)

First, I would have you note this is an

honourable man.


I desire to find him so, that I may worthily note



Next, he's the governor of this country, and a man

whom I am bound to.


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
virginal (adj.) 1 typical of a virgin

you use him kindly? He will line your apron with gold.


What he will do graciously, I will thankfully
graciously (adv.) through divine grace, in all holiness



Ha' you done?


My lord, she's not paced yet; you must take some
pace (v.) 1 [horse-training] break in, teach one paces, properly train

pains to work her to your manage. Come, we will leave
manage (n.) 1 management, handling, control [especially of a horse, as a result of training]

his honour and her together. Go thy ways.

Exeunt, Pandar, Bawd, and Boult


Now, pretty one, how long have you been

at this trade?


What trade, sir?


Why, I cannot name it but I shall offend.


I cannot be offended with my trade. Please you

to name it.


How long have you been of this profession?


E'er since I can remember.


Did you go to't so young? Were you a
go to it 1 copulate, engage in sexual intercourse

gamester at five, or at seven?
gamester (n.) 2 one drawn to amorous sport, one who plays the game, prostitute


Earlier too, sir, if now I be one.


Why, the house you dwell in proclaims you

to be a creature of sale.


Do you know this house to be a place of such

resort, and will come into't? I hear say you're of
resort (n.) 1 visits, visitings, approaches

honourable parts and are the governor of this place.
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]


Why, hath your principal made known
principal (n.) 2 mistress, superior, manager

unto you who I am?


Who is my principal?


Why, your herb-woman; she that sets
herb-woman (n.) woman who sells herbs

seeds and roots of shame and iniquity. O, you have

heard something of my power, and so stand aloof for
something (adv.) 2 a little, to some extent

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 judgement good
put (v.) 5 bestow, grant, place officially

That thought you worthy of it.


How's this? How's this? Some more. Be sage.


                         For me

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 –
physic (n.) 1 medicine, healing, treatment See Topics: Frequency count

That the gods

Would set me free from this unhallowed place,

Though they did change me to the meanest bird

That flies i'th' purer air!


I did not think thou couldst have spoke so well,

Ne'er dreamt thou couldst.

Had I brought hither a corrupted mind,

Thy speech had altered it. Hold, here's gold for thee.

Persever in that clear way thou goest,
clear (adj.) 2 innocent, blameless, free from fault, not guilty
persever (v.) 1 persevere, persist, keep at it

And the gods strengthen thee.


The good gods preserve you.


For me, be you thoughten
thoughten (adj.) assured, of a mind, thinking

That I came with no ill intent; for to me
ill (adj.) 2 evil, wicked, immoral
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

The very doors and windows savour vilely.
savour (v.) 1 smell, reek, stink

Fare thee well. Thou art a piece of virtue, and
piece (n.) 3 [of virtue] model, picture, paragon

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.

Enter Boult


I beseech your honour, one piece for me.


Avaunt, thou damned door-keeper!
avaunt (int.) begone, go away, be off See Topics: Frequency count
door-keeper (n.) procurer, pander, whoremaster

Your house, but for this virgin that doth prop it,

Would sink and overwhelm you. Away!
sink (v.) 2 be ruined, give up, perish



How's this? We must take another course with
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

you. If your peevish chastity, which is not worth a
peevish (adj.) 2 obstinate, perverse, self-willed [contrast modern sense of ‘irritable, morose’]

breakfast in the cheapest country under the cope, shall
cope (n.) sky, heavens, firmament

undo a whole household, let me be gelded like a spaniel.

Come your ways.


Whither would you have me?


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.

Enter Pandar and Bawd


How now, what's the matter?


Worse and worse, mistress. She has here spoken

holy words to the Lord Lysimachus.


O, abominable!


She makes our profession as it were to stink afore

the face of the gods.


Marry, hang her up for ever!


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



An if she were a thornier piece of ground than she

is, she shall be ploughed.


Hark, hark, you gods!


She conjures! Away with her! Would she had never
conjure (v.) 4 engage in magic, cast spells, invoke supernatural aid

come within my doors! Marry, hang you! She's born to

undo us. Will you not go the way of womenkind?
undo (v.) 1 ruin, destroy, wipe out

Marry come up, my dish of chastity with rosemary and

bay (n.) 3 leaf of the bay-tree [used as a herb; symbol of triumph]

Exit Pandar and Bawd


Come, mistress, come your way with me.


Whither wilt thou have me?


To take from you the jewel you hold so dear.


Prithee tell me one thing first.


Come now, your one thing.


What canst thou wish thine enemy to be?


Why, I could wish him to be my master, or rather

my mistress.


Neither of these are so bad as thou art,

Since they do better thee in their command.
better (v.) excel, outstrip, have an advantage over
command (n.) 2 position of authority, superior role

Thou holdest a place
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

For which the pained'st fiend of hell
pained (adj.) tormented, distressed, persecuted

Would not in reputation change. Thou art
change (v.) 1 exchange, trade

The damned doorkeeper to every custrel
custrel (n.) scoundrel, rogue, low fellow
door-keeper (n.) procurer, pander, whoremaster

That comes inquiring for his Tib.
Tib (n.) [type name for] strumpet, harlot, whore

To the choleric fisting of every rogue
choleric (adj.) 2 irritable, angry, enraged
fisting (n.) punching, knock, boxing

Thy ear is liable. Thy food is such

As hath been belched 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 anything but this

Thou doest. Empty old receptacles
receptacle (n.) repository, storehouse, receiving-chamber

Or common shores of filth;
common (adj.) 6 public, open, outdoor
shore (n.) 3 waterside dump, sewage channel

Serve by indenture to the common hangman.
indenture (n.) 2 contract, agreement

Any of these ways are yet better than this,

For what thou professest, a baboon, could he speak,

Would own a name too dear. That the gods
dear (adj.) 7 noble, honourable, worthy
name (n.) 1 reputation, fame, renown

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.


But can you teach all this you speak of?


Prove that I cannot, take me home again
prove (v.) 3 demonstrate, establish, show to be true

And prostitute me to the basest groom
groom (n.) 2 fellow, character, creature

That doth frequent your house.
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count


Well, I will see what I can do for thee. If I can

place thee, I will.


But amongst honest women.


Faith, my acquaintance lies little amongst them.

But since my master and mistress hath bought you,

there's no going but by their consent. Therefore I will

make them acquainted with your purpose, and I doubt
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

not but I shall find them tractable enough. Come, I'll

do for thee what I can. Come your ways.


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