1 Honest Whore – Act Five, Scene One

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Enter VIOLA and GEORGE; PIORATTO meets them.

 VIOLA
Oh, watch, good George, watch which way the duke comes.

GEORGE
Here comes one of the butterflies; ask him.

VIOLA
Pray, sir, comes the duke this way?

PIORATTO
He’s upon coming, mistress.                                                                           [Exit.

VIOLA
I thank you, sir.                                                                           [Exit PIORATTO.

George, are there many mad folks where thy master lies?

GEORGE
Oh, yes, of all countries some, but especially mad Greeks; they swarm.  Troth, mistress, the world is altered with you; you had not wont to stand thus with a paper humbly complaining, but you’re well enough serv’d:  provender prick’d you, as it does many of our city-wives besides.

VIOLA
Dost think, George, we shall get him forth?

GEORGE
Truly, mistress, I cannot tell; I think you’ll hardly get him forth.  Why, ’tis strange!  ‘Sfoot, I have known many women that have had mad rascals to their husbands, whom they would belabour by all means possible to keep ’em in their right wits, but of a woman to long to turn a tame man into a madman, why, the devil himself was never us’d so by his dam!

VIOLA
How does he talk, George? Ha, good George, tell me!

GEORGE
Why, you’re best go see.

VIOLA
Alas, I am afraid.

GEORGE
Afraid!  You had more need be asham’d:  he may rather be afraid of you.

VIOLA
But, George, he’s not stark mad, is he? He does not rave, he’s not horn-mad, George, is he?

GEORGE
Nay, I know not that, but he talks like a justice of peace, of a thousand matters and to no purpose.

VIOLA
I’ll to the monastery:  I shall be mad till I enjoy him, I shall be sick till I see him, yet when I do see him, I shall weep out mine eyes.

GEORGE
Ay, I’d fain see a woman weep out her eyes; that’s as true as to say a man’s cloak burns when it hangs in the water. I know you’ll weep, mistress, but what says the painted cloth:
“Trust not a woman when she cries,
For she’ll pump water from her eyes
With a wet finger, and in faster showers
Than April when he rains down flowers.”

VIOLA
Ay, but George, that painted cloth is worthy to be hang’d up for lying, all women have not tears at will unless they have good cause.

GEORGE
Ay, but mistress, how easily will they find a cause, and as one of our cheese-trenchers says very learnedly:
“As out of wormwood bees suck honey,
As from poor clients lawyers firk money
As parsley from a roasted coney,
So, though the day be ne’er so sunny,
If wives will have it rain, down then it drives:
The calmest husbands make the stormiest wives.”

VIOLA
True, George, but I ha’ done storming now.

GEORGE
Why, that’s well done, good mistress; throw aside this fashion of your humour:  be not so fantastical in wearing it; storm no more, long no more.  This longing has made you come short of many a good thing that you might have had from my master.  Here comes the duke.

Enter DUKE, FLUELLO, PIORATTO, and SINEZI.

VIOLA
Oh, I beseech you pardon my offense,
In that I durst abuse your grace’s warrant!
Deliver forth my husband, good my lord.

DUKE
Who is her husband?

FLUELLO
Candido, my lord.

DUKE
Where is he?

VIOLA
He’s among the lunatics.
He was a man made up without a gall;
Nothing could move him, nothing could convert
His meek blood into fury: yet like a monster,
I often beat at the most constant rock
Of his unshaken patience, and did long
To vex him.

DUKE
Did you so?

VIOLA
And for that purpose,
Had warrant from your grace to carry him
To Beth’lem Monastery, whence they will not free him
Without your grace’s hand that sent him in.

DUKE
You have long’d fair.  ‘Tis you are mad, I fear;
It’s fit to fetch him thence and keep you there.
If he be mad, why would you have him forth?

GEORGE
And please your grace, he’s not stark mad, but only talks like a young gentleman, somewhat fantastically, that’s all:  there’s a thousand about your court, city, and country madder than he.

DUKE
Provide a warrant, you shall have our hand.

GEORGE
Here’s a warrant ready drawn, my lord.

DUKE
Get pen and ink, get pen and ink.

Enter CASTRUCHIO.

CASTRUCHIO
Where is my lord the duke?

DUKE
How now?  More madmen?

CASTRUCHIO
I have strange news, my lord,

DUKE
Of what? Of what?

CASTRUCHIO
Of Infelice and a marriage.

DUKE
Ha! Where? With whom?

CASTRUCHIO
Hippolito.

GEORGE
Here, my lord.

DUKE
Hence with that woman, void the room!

FLUELLO
Away, the duke’s vex’d.

GEORGE
Whoop!  Come, mistress, the duke’s mad too.      [Exeunt VIOLA and GEORGE.

DUKE
Who told me that Hippolito was dead?

CASTRUCHIO
He that can make any man dead, the doctor; but, my lord, he’s as full of life as wild-fire, and as quick.  Hippolito, the doctor, and one more rid hence this evening; the inn at which they light is Beth’lem Monastery:  Infelice comes from Bergamo and meets them there.  Hippolito is mad, for he means this day to be married; the afternoon is the hour, and Friar Anselmo is the knitter.

DUKE
From Bergamo? Is’t possible? It cannot be,
It cannot be.

CASTRUCHIO
I will not swear, my lord,
But this intelligence I took from one
Whose brains works in the plot.

DUKE
What’s he?

CASTRUCHIO
Matheo.

FLUELLO
Matheo knows all.

PIORATTO
He’s Hippolito’s bosom.

DUKE
How far stands Beth’lem hence?

OMNES
Six or seven miles.

DUKE
Is’t even so!
Not married till the afternoon, you say?
Stay, stay, let’s work out some prevention. How!
This is most strange! Can none but madmen serve
To dress their wedding dinner? All of you,
Get presently to horse; disguise yourselves
Like country gentlemen,
Or riding citizens, or so, and take
Each man a several path, but let us meet
At Beth’lem Monastery, some space of time
Being spent between the arrival each of other,
As if we came to see the lunatics.
To horse, away! Be secret on your lives;
Love must be punish’d that unjustly thrives.                [Exeunt all but FLUELLO.

FLUELLO
Be secret on your lives!  Castruchio,
Y’are but a scurvy spaniel.  Honest lord,
Good lady!  Zounds, their love is just, ’tis good!
And I’ll prevent you, though I swim in blood.                                               [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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