Act 4, Scene II

Scene: The Street before the Bagnio.

Enter Pandar.

Pandar.
Here hope I to meet my citizen, and here hopes he to meet his scholar: I am sure I am grave enough to his eyes, and knave enough to deceive him: I am believed to conjure, raise storms and devils, by whose power I can do wonders: Let him believe so still; belief hurts no man. I have an honest black cloak for my knavery, and a general pardon for his foolery, from this present day, till the day of his breaking. Is't not a misery, and the greatest of our age, to see a handsome, young, fair enough, and well-mounted wench, humble herself in an old stammel petticoat, standing possesed of no more fringe than the street can allow her; her upper parts so poor and wanting, that you may see her bones through her bodice; shoes she would have, if her captain were come over, and is content the while to devote herself to ancient slippers. These premises well considered, gentlemen, will move; they make me melt, I promise you, they stir me much; and were't not for my smooth, soft, silken citizen, I would quit this transitory trade, get me an everlasting robe, sear up my conscience, and turn sergeant. But here he comes is mine; as good as prize: Sir Pandarus, be my speed!—You are most fitly met, sir.

Enter Mercer.

Mercer.
And you as well encountered. What of this heir? Have your books been propitious?
Pandar.
Sir, 'tis done! She's come, she's in my house; make yourself apt for courtship, stroke up your stockings, lose not an inch of your legs' goodness; I am sure you wear socks.
Mercer.
There your books fail you, sir; in truth I wear no socks.
Pandar.
I would you had, sir! it were the sweeter grace for your legs. Get on your gloves; are they perfumed?
Mercer.
A pretty wash, I will assure you.
Pandar.
'Twill serve. Your offers must be full of bounty; velvets to furnish a gown, silks for petticoats and foreparts, shag for lining; forget not some pretty jewel, to fasten after some little compliment! If she deny this courtesy, double your bounties; be not wanting in abundance: fullness of gifts, link'd with a pleasing tongue, will win an anchorite. Sir, you are my friend, and friend to all that profess good letters; I must not use this office else; it fits not for a scholar and a gentleman. Those stockings are of Naples, they are silk?
Mercer.
You are again beside your text, sir; they are of the best of wool, and they are cleped Jersey.
Pandar.
Sure they are very dear?
Mercer.
Nine shillings, by my love to learning!
Pandar.
Pardon my judgment; we scholars use no other objects but our books.
Mercer.
There is one thing entomb'd in that grave breast, that makes me equally admire it with your scholarship.
Pandar.
Sir, but that in modesty I am bound not to affect mine own commendation, I would enquire it of you.
Mercer.
Sure, you are very honest; and yet you have a kind of modest fear to show it: Do not deny it; that face of yours is a worthy, learned, modest face.
Pandar.
Sir, I can blush.
Mercer.
Virtue and grace are always paired together: But I will leave to stir your blood, sir;— and now to our business!
Pandar.
Forget not my instructions.
Mercer.
I apprehend you, sir; I will gather myself together with my best phrases, and so I shall discourse in some sort takingly.
Pandar.
This was well worded, sir, and like a scholar.
Mercer.
The muses favour me, as my intents are virtuous! Sir, you shall be my tutor; 'tis never too late, sir, to love learning. When I can once speak true Latin——
Pandar.
What do you intend, sir?
Mercer.
Marry, I will then beggar all your bawdy writers, and undertake, at the peril of my own invention, all pageants, poesies for chimnies, speeches for the Duke's entertainment, whensoever and whatsoever; nay, I will build, at mine own charge, an hospital, to which shall retire all diseased opinions, all broken poets, all prose-men that are fallen from small sense to mere letters; and it shall be lawful for a lawyer, if he be a civil man, though he have undone others and himself by the language, to retire to this poor life, and learn to be honest.
Pandar.
Sir, you are very good, and very charitable; you are a true pattern for the city, sir!
Mercer.
Sir, I do know sufficiently, their shop-books cannot save them; there is a further end—
Pandar.
Oh, sir, much may be done by manuscript.
Mercer.
I do confess it, sir, provided still they be canonical, and have some worthy hands set to 'em for probation.—But we forget ourselves.
Pandar.
Sir, enter when you please, and all good language tip your tongue!
Mercer.
All that love learning pray for my good success!
[Exit into the house.

Enter LAZARILLO and Boy.

Lazarillo.
Boy, whereabouts are we?
Boy.    
Sir, by all tokens, this is the house; bawdy, I am sure, because of the broken windows.— The fish-head is within; if you dare venture, here you may surprise it.
Lazarillo.
The misery of man may fitly be compared to a didapper, who, when she is under water, past our sight, and indeed can seem no more to us, rises again, shakes but herself, and is the same she was; so is it still with transitory man: This day, oh, but an hour since, and I was mighty, mighty in knowledge, mighty in my hopes, mighty in blessed means, and was so truly happy, that I durst have said, "Live, Lazarillo, and be satisfied!" But now——
Boy.    
Sir, you are yet afloat, and may recover; be not your own wreck: Here lies the harbour; go in, and ride at ease!
Lazarillo.
Boy, I am received to be a gentleman, a courtier, and a man of action, modest and wise; and, be it spoken with thy reverence, child, abounding virtuous; and wouldst thou have a man of these choice habits, covet the cover of a bawdy-house? Yet, if I go not in, I am but——
Boy.    
But what, sir?
Lazarillo.
Dust, boy, but dust; and my soul, unsatisfied, shall haunt the keepers of my blessed saint, and I will appear.
Boy. [Aside.]
An ass to all men.—Sir, these are no means to stay your appetite; you must resolve to enter.
Lazarillo.
Were not the house subject to martial law——
Boy.   
If that be all, sir, you may enter, for you can know nothing here that the court is ignorant of; only the more eyes shall look upon you, for there they wink one at another's faults.
Lazarillo.
If I do not——
Boy.   
Then you must beat fairly back again, fall to your physical mess of porridge, and the twice-sack'd carcase of a capon: Fortune may favour you so much, to send the bread to it: but it's a mere venture, and money may be put out upon it.
Lazarillo.
I will go in and live; pretend some love to the gentlewoman, screw myself in affection, and to be satisfied.
Pandar.
This fly is caught, is meshed already; I will suck him, and lay him by.
Boy.   
Muffle yourself in your cloak by any means; 'tis a received thing among gallants, to walk to their lechery as though they had the rheum. 'Twas well you brought not our horse.
Lazarillo.
Why, boy?
Boy.    
'Faith, sir, 'tis the fashion of our gentry, to have their horses wait at door like men, while the beasts their masters are within at rack and manger; 'twould have discovered much.
Lazarillo.
I will lay by these habits, forms, and grave
Respect of what I am, and be myself:
Only my appetite, my fire, my soul,
My being, my dear appetite, shall go
Along with me;
Arm'd with whose strength I fearless will attempt
The greatest danger dare oppose my fury.
I am resolved, wherever that thou art,
Most sacred dish, hid from unhallow'd eyes,
To find thee out!
Be'st thou in hell, by rap'd Proserpina,
To be a rival in black Pluto's love;
Or mov'st thou in the heavens, a form divine,
Lashing the lazy spheres; or if thou be'st
Return'd to thy first being, thy mother sea,
There will I seek thee forth: Earth, air, nor fire,
Nor the black shades below shall bar my sight,
So daring is my powerful appetite!
Boy.    
Sir, you may save this long voyage, and take a shorter cut: You have forgot yourself; the fish-head's here; your own imaginations have made you mad.
Lazarillo.
Term it a jealous fury, good my boy!
Boy.    
'Faith, sir, term it what you will, you must use other terms before you can get it.
Lazarillo.
The looks of my sweet love are fair,
Fresh and feeding as the air!
Boy.    
Sir, you forget yourself.
Lazarillo.
Was never seen so rare a head,
Of any fish alive or dead!
Boy.    
Good sir, remember! this is the house, sir.
Lazarillo.
Cursed be he that dare not venture——
Boy.    
Pity yourself, sir, and leave this fury.
Lazarillo.
For such a prize! and so I enter.
[LAZARILLO and Boy exeunt into the house.
Pandar.
Dun's i' th' mire; get out again, how he can; My honest gallant, I'll show you one trick more than ever the fool your father dream'd of yet. Madonna Julia!

Enter JULIA.

Julia.  
What news, my sweet rogue? My dear sins' broker, what good news?
Pandar.
There is a kind of ignorant thing, much like a courtier, now gone in.
Julia.  
Is a' gallant?
Pandar.
He shines not very gloriously, nor does he wear one skin perfumed to keep the other sweet; his coat is not in or, nor does the world run yet on wheels with him; he's rich enough, and has a small thing follows him, like to a boat tied to a tall ship's tail. Give him entertainment; be light and flashing, like a meteor; hug him about the neck, give him a kiss, and lisping cry, "Good sir!" and he's thine own, as fast as he were tied to thine arms by indenture.
Julia.  
I dare do more than this, if he be of the true court cut; I'll take him out a lesson worth the learning: But we are but their apes.—What's he worth?
Pandar.
Be he rich or poor, if he will take thee with him, thou may'st use thy trade, free from constables and marshals.—Who hath been here since I went out?
Julia.  
There is a gentlewoman sent hither by a lord: She's a piece of dainty stuff, my rogue; smooth and soft as new sattin; she was never gummed yet, bcy, nor fretted.
Pandar.
Where lies she?
Julia.  
She lies above, towards the street; not to be spoke with, but by the lord that sent her, or some from him, we have in charge from his servants.

Enter LAZARILLO.

Pandar.
Peace! he comes out again upon discovery: Up with all your canvass, hale him in! and, when thou hast done, clap him aboard bravely, my valiant pinnace!
Julia.  
Be gone! I shall do reason with him.
[Pandar retires.
Lazarillo.
Are you the special beauty of this house?
Julia.  
Sir, you have given it a more special regard by your good language, than these black brows can merit.
Lazarillo.
Lady, you are fair.
Julia.  
Fair, sir? I thank you! all the poor means I have left to be thought grateful, is but a kiss, and you shall have it, sir.
[Kisses him.
Lazarillo.
You have a very moving lip.
Julia.  
Prove it again, sir; it maybe your sense was set too high, and so over-wrought itself.
Lazarillo. [Kisses her.]
'Tis still the same. How far may you hold the time to be spent, lady?
Julia.  
Four o'clock, sir.
Lazarillo.
I have not eat to-day.
Julia.  
You will have the better stomach to your supper; in the mean time, I'll feed you with delight.
Lazarillo.
'Tis not so good upon an empty stomach: If it might be without the trouble of your house, I would eat.
Julia.  
Sir, we can have a capon ready.
Lazarillo.
The day?
Julia.  
'Tis Friday, sir.
Lazarillo.
I do eat little flesh upon these days.
Julia.  
Come, sweet! you shall not think on meat; I will drown it with a better appetite.
Lazarillo.
I feel it work more strangely; I must eat.
Julia
'Tis now too late to send: I say you shall not think on meat; if you do, by this kiss, I'll be angry.
Lazarillo.
I could be far more sprightful had I eaten, and more lasting.
Julia
What will you have, sir? name but the fish, my maid shall bring it, if it may be got.
Lazarillo.
Methinks your house should not be so unfurnished, as not to have some pretty modicum.
Julia
It is so now: but, could you stay till supper——
Lazarillo.
Sure I have offended highly, and much, and my inflections make it manifest! I will retire henceforth, and keep my chamber, live privately, and die forgotten.
Julia
Sir, I must crave your pardon! I had forgot myself: I have a dish of meat within, and 'tis fish: I think this dukedom holds not a daintier; 'tis an umbrana's head.
Lazarillo.
Lady, this kiss is yours, and this.
Julia
Ho! within there! cover the board, and set the fish-bead on it.
Lazarillo.
Now am I so truly happy, so much above all fate and fortune, that I should despise that man durst say, "Remember, Lazarillo, thou art mortal!"

Enter Intelligencers with a Guard.

2 Intelligencer.
This is the villain: Lay hands on him!
Lazarillo. [He is seized.]
Gentlemen, why am I thus entreated? what is the nature of my crime?
2 Intelligencer.
Sir, though you have carried it a great while privately, and (as you think) well, yet we have seen you, sir, and we do know thee, Lazarillo, for a traitor!
Lazarillo.
The gods defend our Duke.
2 Intelligencer.
Amen! Sir, sir, this cannot save that stiff neck from the halter.
Julia
Gentlemen, I am glad you have discovered him: he should not have eaten under my roof for twenty pounds; and surely I did not like him when he call'd for fish.
Lazarillo.
My friends, will ye let me have that little favour—
1 Intelligencer.
Sir, you shall have law, and nothing else.
Lazarillo.
To let me stay the eating of a bit or two for I protest I am yet fasting.
Julia
I'll have no traitor come within my house.
Lazarillo.
Now could I wish myself I had been traitor! I have strength enough for to endure it, had I but patience. Man, thou art but grass, thou art a bubble, and thou must perish.
Then lead along; I am prepared for all:
Since I have lost my hopes, welcome my fall!
2 Intelligencer.
Away, sir!
Lazarillo.
As thou hast hope of man, stay but this dish this two hours; I doubt not but I shall be discharged: By this light, I will marry thee!
Julia
You shall marry me first then.
Lazarillo.
I do contract myself unto thee now, before these gentlemen.
Julia
I'll preserve it till you be hanged or quitted.
Lazarillo.
Thanks! thanks!
2 Intelligencer.
Away, away! you shall thank her at the gallows.
Lazarillo.
Adieu, adieu!
[Exeunt LAZARILLO, Intelligencers, and Guard.
Julia
If he live, I'll have him; if he be hang'd, there's no loss in it.
[Exit.

ORIANA and her Waiting-woman, looking out a Window

Oriana.
Hast thou provided one to bear my letter to my brother?
Waiting-woman.
I have enquired; but they of the house will suffer no letter nor message to be carried from you, but such as the lord Gondarino shall be acquainted with: Truly, madam, I suspect the house to be no better than it should be.
Oriana.
What dost thou doubt?
Waiting-woman.
'Faith, I am loth to tell it, madam.
Oriana.
Out with it! 'Tis not true modest to fear to speak that thou dost think.
Waiting-woman.
I think it be one of these same bawdy-houses.
Oriana.
'Tis no matter, wench; we are warm in it; keep thou thy mind pure, and, upon my word, that name will do thee no hurt; I cannot force myself yet to fear anything. When I do get out, I'll have another encounter with my Woman-Hater. Here will I sit: I may get sight of some of my freinds; it must needs be a comfort to them to see me here.

Enter DUKE, GONDARINO, VALORE, and ARRIGO, disguised.

Gondarino.
Are we all sufficiently disguised? for this house where she attends me, is not to be visited in our own shapes.
Duke.  
We are not ourselves.
Arrigo.
I know the house to be sinful enough; yet I have been, heretofore, and durst now, but for discovering of you, appear here in my own likeness.
Duke.  
Where's Lucio?
Arrigo.
My lord, he said the affairs of the commonwealth would not suffer him to attend always.
Duke.  
Some great ones, questionless, that he will handle.
Valore.
Come, let us enter.
Gondarino. [Aside.]
See, how fortune strives to revenge my quarrel upon these women! She's in the window; were it not to undo her, I should not look upon her.
Duke.  
Lead us, Gondarino!
Gondarino.
Stay; since you force me to display my shame,
Look there! and you, my lord! know you that face!
Duke.  
'Tis she.
Valore.
It is.
Gondarino.
'Tis she, whose greatest virtue ever was
Dissimulation; she that still hath strove
More to sin cunningly, than to avoid it;
She that hath ever sought to be accounted
Most virtuous, when she did deserve most scandel;
'Tis she that itches now, and, in the height
Of her intemperate thoughts, with greedy eyes
Expects my coming to allay her lust.
Leave her! forget she is thy sister!
Valore.
Stay, stay!
Duke.  
I am as full of this as thou canst be;
The memory of this will easily
Hereafter stay my loose and wand'ring thoughts
From any woman.
Valore.
This will not down with me; I dare not trust this fellow.
Duke.  
Leave her here! That only shall be here punishment, never to be fetch'd from hence; but let her use her trade to get her living.
Valore.
Stay, good my lord! I do believe all this, as great men as I have had known whores to their sisters, and have laugh'd at it. I would fain hear how she talks, since she grew thus light: will your grace make him show himself to her, as if he were now come to satisfy her longing? whilst we, unseen of her, overhear her wantonness. Let's make our best of it of it now; we shall have good mirth.
Duke.  
Do it, Gondarino.
Gondarino.
I must:—Fortune, assist me but this once!
Valore.
Here we shall stand unseen, and near enough.
Gondarino.
Madam! Oriana!
Oriana.
Who's that? Oh! my lord!
Gondarino.
Shall I come up?
Oriana.
Oh, you are merry; shall I come down?
Gondarino.
It is better there.
Oriana.
What is the confession of the lie you made to the Duke, which I scarce believe yet you had impudence enough to do? Did it nor gain you so much faith with me, as that I was willing to be at your lordship's bestowing, till you had recovered my credit, and confessed yourself a liar, as you pretended to do? I contest I began to fear you, and desired to be out of your house; but your own followers forced me hither.
Gondarino.
'Tis well suspected; dissemble still, for there are some may hear us!
Oriana.
More tricks yet, my lord? What house this is I know not; I only know myself; 'twere a great conquest, if you could fasten a scandal upon me. 'Faith, my lord, give me leave to write to my brother!
Duke
Come down!
Valore.
Come down!
Arrigo.
If it please your grace, there is a back door.
Valore.
Come, meet us there then.
Duke.  
It seems you are acquainted with the house.
Arrigo.
I have been in it.
Gondarino.
She saw you, and dissembled.
Duke.  
Sir, we shall know that better.
Gondarino.
Bring me unto her! if I prove her not
To be a strumpet, let me be contemn'd
Of all her sex.
[Exeunt.