Open Source Shakespeare

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

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Act IV, Scene 2

Mytilene. A room in a brothel.


[Enter Pandar, Bawd, and BOULT]

  • Pandar. Boult!
  • Boult. Sir?
  • Pandar. Search the market narrowly; Mytilene is full of 1670
    gallants. We lost too much money this mart by being
    too wenchless.
  • Bawd. 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. 1675
  • Pandar. 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.
  • Bawd. Thou sayest true: 'tis not our bringing up of poor
    bastards,—as, I think, I have brought up some eleven— 1680
  • Boult. Ay, to eleven; and brought them down again. But
    shall I search the market?
  • Bawd. What else, man? The stuff we have, a strong wind
    will blow it to pieces, they are so pitifully sodden.
  • Pandar. Thou sayest true; they're too unwholesome, o' 1685
    conscience. The poor Transylvanian 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.


  • Pandar. 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?
  • Pandar. O, our credit comes not in like the commodity, nor 1695
    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. 1700
  • Bawd. Come, other sorts offend as well as we.
  • Pandar. 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]

  • Boult. [To MARINA] Come your ways. My masters, you say
    she's a virgin?
  • First Pirate. O, sir, we doubt it not.
  • Boult. Master, I have gone through for this piece, you see:
    if you like her, so; if not, I have lost my earnest. 1710
  • 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? 1715
  • Boult. I cannot be bated one doit of a thousand pieces.
  • Pandar. 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. 1720

[Exeunt Pandar 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 1725
    thing, if men were as they have been. Get this done
    as I command you.
  • Boult. Performance shall follow.


  • Marina. Alack that Leonine was so slack, so slow! 1730
    He should have struck, not spoke; or that these pirates,
    Not enough barbarous, had not o'erboard thrown me
    For to seek my mother!
  • Bawd. Why lament you, pretty one?
  • Marina. That I am pretty. 1735
  • Bawd. Come, the gods have done their part in you.
  • Marina. I accuse them not.
  • Bawd. You are light into my hands, where you are like to live.
  • Marina. The more my fault
    To scape his hands where I was like to die. 1740
  • Bawd. Ay, and you shall live in pleasure.
  • Marina. No.
  • 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? 1745
  • Marina. Are you a woman?
  • Bawd. What would you have me be, an I be not a woman?
  • Marina. An honest woman, or not a woman.
  • Bawd. Marry, whip thee, gosling: I think I shall have
    something to do with you. Come, you're a young 1750
    foolish sapling, and must be bowed as I would have
  • Marina. 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 1755
    you up. Boult's returned.
    [Re-enter BOULT]
    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. 1760
  • Bawd. And I prithee 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 1765
    her very description.
  • Bawd. We shall have him here to-morrow with his best ruff on.
  • Boult. To-night, to-night. But, mistress, do you know the
    French knight that cowers i' the hams?
  • Bawd. Who, Monsieur Veroles? 1770
  • Boult. 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.
  • Bawd. Well, well; as for him, he brought his disease
    hither: here he does but repair it. I know he will 1775
    come in our shadow, to scatter his crowns in the
  • Boult. Well, if we had of every nation a traveller, we
    should lodge them with this sign.
  • Bawd. [To MARINA] Pray you, come hither awhile. You 1780
    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 1785
    opinion, and that opinion a mere profit.
  • Marina. I understand you not.
  • Boult. O, take her home, mistress, take her home: these
    blushes of hers must be quenched with some present practise.
  • Bawd. Thou sayest true, i' faith, so they must; for your 1790
    bride goes to that with shame which is her way to go
    with warrant.
  • Boult. 'Faith, some do, and some do not. But, mistress, if
    I have bargained for the joint,—
  • Bawd. Thou mayst cut a morsel off the spit. 1795
  • Boult. I may so.
  • Bawd. Who should deny it? Come, young one, I like the
    manner of your garments well.
  • Boult. Ay, by my faith, they shall not be changed yet.
  • Bawd. Boult, spend thou that in the town: report what a 1800
    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.
  • Boult. I warrant you, mistress, thunder shall not so awake 1805
    the beds of eels as my giving out her beauty stir up
    the lewdly-inclined. I'll bring home some to-night.
  • Bawd. Come your ways; follow me.
  • Marina. If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,
    Untied I still my virgin knot will keep. 1810
    Diana, aid my purpose!
  • Bawd. What have we to do with Diana? Pray you, will you go with us?