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Mitylene. A Room in a Brothel.
Enter PANDAR, Bawd, and BOULT.
Pand. Search the market narrowly; Mitylene is full of gallants. We lost too much money this mart, by being too wenchless.
Bard. We were never so much out of creatures. We have but poor three, and they can do no more than they can do; and with continual action are even as good as
Pand. 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.5
Bard. Thou say'st true: 'tis not the bringing up of poor bastards, as I think, I have brought up some ele
Boult. Ay, to eleven, and brought them down again." But shall I search the market?
4 and with continual action -] Old copies-and they with &c. The word they was evidently repeated by the carelessness of the compositor. Malone.
5 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.] The sentiments incident to vicious professions suffer little change within a century and a half.-This speech is much the same as that of Mother Cole, in The Minor: ""Tip him an old trader! Mercy on us, where do you expect to go when you die, Mr. Loader ?” Steevens.
6 Thou say'st true: 'tis not the bringing up of poor bastards,] There seems to be something wanting. Perhaps that will do or some such words. The author, however, might have intended an imperfect sentence. Malone.
7 Ay, to eleven, and brought them down again.] I have brought up (i. e. educated) says the Bawd, some eleven. Yes, (answers Boult) to eleven (i. e. as far as eleven years of age) and then brought them down again. The latter clause of the sentence requires no explanation.
Thus, in The Play of the Wether, by John Heywood, 4to. bl. 1. Mery Report says:
"Oft tyme is sene both in court and towne,
Longe be women a bryngynge up, and sone brought downe." Steevens.
Bawd. What else, man? The stuff we have, a strong wind will blow it to pieces, they are so pitifully sodden. Pand. Thou say'st true; they are too unwholesome o' conscience. The poor Transilvanian is dead, that lay with the little baggage.
Boult. Ay, she quickly pooped him; she made him roast-meat for worms: but I'll go search the market. [Exit BOULT.
Pand. Three or four thousand chequins were as pretty a proportion to live quietly, and so give over.
Bawd. Why, to give over, I pray you? is it a shame to get when we are old?
Pand. O, our credit comes not in like the commodity; nor the commodity wages not with the danger; there fore, 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.
The modern copies read-I too eleven. The true reading, which is found in the quarto, 1609, was pointed out by Mr. Steevens. Malone.
8 Thou say'st true; they 're too unwholesome o’conscience.] The old copies read-there's two unwholesome o' conscience. The preceding dialogue shows that they are erroneous. The complaint had not been made of two, but of all the stuff they had. According to the present regulation, the pandar merely assents to what his wife had said. The words two and too are perpetually confounded in the old copies. Malone.
9 Ay, she quickly pooped him;] The following passage in The Devil's Charter, a tragedy, 1607, will sufficiently explain this singular term:
foul Amazonian trulls,
"Whose lanterns are still lighted in their poops." Malone. This phrase (whatever be its meaning) occurs in Have with you to Saffron Walden, or Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, &c. 1596: "But we shall l'envoy him, and trumpe and poope him well enough."
The same word is used by Dryden, in his Wild Gallant "He's poopt too." Steevens.
1 the commodity wages not with the danger:] i. e. is not equal to it. Several examples of this expression are given in former notes on our author. So, in Antony and Cleopatra: his taints and honours
"Wag'd equal with him." Steevens.
Again, more appositely, in Othello:
"To wake and wage a danger profitless." Malone.
Bawd. Come, other sorts offend as well as we.2
Pand. 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.
Enter the Pirates, and BoULT, dragging in MARINA. Boult. Come your ways. [To MAR.]--My masters, you say she's a virgin?
1 Pirate. O, sir, we doubt it not.
Boult. Master, I have gone thorough' for this piece, you see: if you like her, so; if not, I have lost my
Bawd. Boult, has she any qualities?
Boult. She has a good face, speaks well, and has excellent good clothes; there's no further necessity of qualities can make her be refused.
Bawd. What 's her price, Boult?
Boult. I cannot be bated one doit of a thousand pieces. Pand. 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.5 [Exeunt Pander and Pirates. Bawd. 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
Come, other sorts offend as well as we.] From her husband's answer, I suspect the poet wrote-Other trades, &c.
Malone. Malone suspects that we should read-other trades, but that is unnecessary; the word sorts has the same sense, and means professions or conditions of life. So, Macbeth says:
"I have won
"Golden opinion of all sorts of people." M. Mason. 3 I have gone thorough -] i, e. I have bid a high price for her, gone far in my attempt to purchase her. Steevens.
4 I cannot be bated one doit of a thousand pieces.] This speech should seem to suit the Pirate. However, it may belong to Boult.-I cannot get them to bate me one doit of a thousand pieces. Malone.
5 that she may not be raw in her entertainment.] Unripe, unskilful. So, in Hamlet: "- and yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick sail." Malone.
6 age,] So, the quarto, 1619. The first copy has—her age. Malone.
and cry, He that will give most, shall have her first.]
men were as they have been. Get this done as I com
Boult. Performance shall follow.
Mar. Alack, that Leonine was so slack, so slow!
(He should have struck, not spoke ;) or that these pirates, (Not enough barbarous) had not overboard
Thrown me, to seek my mother!8
Bawd. Why lament you, pretty one?
Mar. That I am pretty.
Bawd. Come, the gods have done their part in you. Mar. I accuse them not.
Bawd. You are lit into my hands, where you are like to live.9
The prices of first and secondary prostitution are exactly settled in the old prose romance already quoted: “Go thou, and make a crye through the citye that of all men that shall enhabyte with her carnally, the fyrst shall gyve me a pounde of golde, and after that echone a peny of golde." Steevens.
or that these pirates
(Not enough barbarous) had not over-board
(Not enough barbarous) had not o'erboard thrown me,
I suspect the second not was inadvertently repeated by the compositor. Marina, I think, means to say, Alas, how unlucky it was, that Leonine was so slack in his office; or, he having omitted to kill me, how fortunate would it have been for me, if those pirates had thrown me into the sea to seek my mother. Malone.
We should recur to the old copies, and read:
Not enough barbarous, had not overboard, &c. which is clearly right;-for Marina is not expressing what she wished that Leonine and the Pirates had done, but repining at what they had omitted to do. She laments that Leonine had not struck, instead of speaking, and that the Pirates had not thrown her overboard. M. Mason.
The original reading may stand, though with some harshness of construction. Alas, how unfortunate it was, that Leonine, was so merciful to me, or that these pirates had not thrown me into the sea to seek my mother.
If the second not was intended by the author, he should rather have written--did not o'er-board throw me, &c. Malone.
9 You are lit into my hands, where you are like to live.] So, in Antony and Cleopatra:
Be of good cheer;
"You have fallen into a princely hand; fear nothing."
Mar. The more my fault,
To 'scape his hands, where I was like to die.
Bawd. 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? Mar. Are you a woman?
Bawd. What would you have me be, an I be not a woman?
Mar. An honest woman, or not a woman.
Bawd. Marry, whip thee, gosling: I think I shall have something to do with you. Come, you are a young foolish sapling, and must be bowed as I would have you. Mar. The gods defend me!
Bawd. 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? Boult. I have cried her almost to the number of her hairs; I have drawn her picture with my voice.1
Bawd. And I pr'ythee tell me, how dost thou find the inclination of the people, especially of the younger sort? Boult. '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.
1 Now, sir, hast thou cried her through the market?
I have drawn her picture with my voice.] So, in The Wife for a Month, [by Fletcher, Vol. V, p. 285, edit. 1778,] Evanthe says,
"I'd rather thou had'st deliver'd me to pirates,
"Betray'd me to uncurable diseases,
'Hung up her picture in a market-place,
"And sold her to vile bawds!"
And we are told in a note on this passage, [by Mr. Reed] that it was formerly the custom at Naples to hang up the pictures of celebrated courtezans in the publick parts of the town, to serve as directions where they lived. Had not Fletcher the story of Marina in his mind, when he wrote the above lines?
M. Mason. The Wife for a Month was one of Fletcher's latest plays. It was exhibited in May, 1624. Malone.
2 a Spaniard's mouth so water'd, that he went &c.] Thus