1 Honest Whore – Act One, Scene Four

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Enter CASTRUCHIO, PIORATTO, and FLUELLO.

 CASTRUCHIO
Signior Pioratto, Signior Fluello, shall’s be merry?  Shall’s play the wags now?

FLUELLO
Ay, anything that may beget the child of laughter.

CASTRUCHIO
Truth, I have a pretty sportive conceit new crept into my brain will move excellent mirth.

PIORATTO
Let’s ha’t, let’s ha’t, and where shall the scene of mirth lie?

CASTRUCHIO
At Signior Candido’s house, the patient man, nay, the monstrous patient man; they say his blood is immoveable, that he has taken all patience from a man, and all constancy from a woman.

FLUELLO
That makes so many whores nowadays.

CASTRUCHIO
Ay, and so many knaves too.

PIORATTO
Well, sir.

CASTRUCHIO
To conclude, the report goes, he’s so mild, so affable, so suffering, that nothing indeed can move him:  now do but think what sport it will be to make this fellow, the mirror of patience, as angry, as vex’d, and as mad as an English cuckold.

FLUELLO
Oh, ’twere admirable mirth, that!  But how wilt be done, signior?

CASTRUCHIO
Let me alone:  I have a trick, a conceit, a thing, a device will sting him, i’faith, if he have but a thimble full of blood in’s belly, or a spleen not so big as a tavern token.

PIORATTO
Thou stir him?  Thou move him?  Thou anger him?  Alas, I know his approved temper.  Thou vex him?  Why, he has a patience above man’s injuries:  thou may’st sooner raise a spleen in an angel than rough humour in him.  Why, I’ll give you instance for it.  This wonderfully temper’d Signior Candido upon a time invited home to his house certain Neapolitan lords of curious taste, and no mean palates, conjuring his wife of all loves to prepare cheer fitting for such honourable trenchermen.  She, just of a woman’s nature, covetous to try the uttermost of vexation, and thinking at last to get the start of his humour, willingly neglected the preparation, and became unfurnish’d, not only of dainty, but of ordinary dishes.  He, according to the mildness of his breast, entertained the lords, and with courtly discourse beguiled the time, as much as a citizen might do.  To conclude, they were hungry lords, for there came no meat in; their stomachs were plainly gull’d, and their teeth deluded, and, if anger could have seiz’d a man, there was matter enough, i’faith, to vex any citizen in the world if he were not too much made a fool by his wife.

FLUELLO
Ay, I’ll swear for’t.  ‘Sfoot, had it been my case, I should ha’ play’d mad tricks with my wife and family!  First I would ha’ spitted the men, stew’d the maids, and bak’d the mistress, and so served them in.

PIORATTO
Why, ‘twould ha’ tempted any blood but his.  And thou to vex him? Thou to anger him with some poor shallow jest?

CASTRUCHIO
‘Sblood, Signior Pioratto, you that disparage my conceit, I’ll wage a hundred ducats upon the head on’t that it moves him, frets him, and galls him!

PIORATTO
Done; ’tis a lay, join golls on’t. Witness, Signior Fluello.

CASTRUCHIO
Witness: ’tis done.
Come, follow me: the house is not far off.
I’ll thrust him from his humour, vex his breast,
And win a hundred ducats by one jest.                                                      [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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