2.1[1]                                   Enter Shaparoon and Mopas.


And as I said—nay pray, my friend, be covered—the business hath been soundly followed on my part. Yet again, in good sooth, I cannot abide you should stand bare before me to so little purpose.


Manners is a jewel, madam, and as for standing bare, I know there is some difference—[2]the putting down of a man’s cap and the putting down of his breeches before a reverend gentlewoman.


You speak very properly, there is a great deal of difference indeed. But to come to the point—fie, what a stir I had to make her to receive the letter and, when she had received it, to open it and then to read it, nay, to read it again and again—that as I am a very woman, a man might have wrung my smock dripping wet[3] with the purse-sweat[4] that came from my body. Friend, I took such pains with her—on[5] my conscience, to bear a child at these[6] years would not trouble me half so much as the delivery of that letter did.


A man-child of my age perhaps, madam, would not.[7]


Yet that were a sore burden for one that is not used to’t, I may tell you. O these coy girls are such wild cattle to have dealing with.


What ancient madams cannot do one way, let them do another; she’s a rank jade that, being past the breeder, cannot kick up her heels, wince,[8] and cry wee-hee. Good examples cannot choose from one’s elders, but work much to the purpose, being well plied[9] and in season.


In season? True, that’s a chief thing. Yes, I’ll assure you, my friend, I am but entering into eight-and-twenty.


Wants somewhat of that too, I take it—I warrant ye your mark[10] appears yet to be seen for proof of your age, as plain as when you were but fifteen.


Truly, if it were well searched, I think it does. Your name is Mopas, you told me?


Mopas my name is; and yours Madam Shaparoon, I was told.


A right madam born, I can assure ye.


Your ancestors will speak that, for the Shaparoons have ever took place of the best French-hoods in the parish;[11] ever since the first addition.


All this, with a great deal of modesty, I must confess. Ud’s pittikins,[12] stand by, aside a little—see where the lady comes. Do not appear before you are called in any case, but mark how I will work her like wax.

Enter Salassa reading a letter.


“… Your servant in all commands, Velasco.” So, and I am resolved to put ye to the test, servant, for your free fool’s heart ere I give you the slip, I warrant ye.


Your ladyship hath considered the premisses ere this time at full, I hope.


O, Shaparoon, you keep true sentinel. What? I must give certain answer, must I not?


Nay, madam, you may choose, ’tis all in your ladyship’s discreet consideration. The sum of all is that if you show him not some favour, he is no long-lived man.[13]


Very well. How long have you been a factress[14] for such merchants, Shaparoon?


O my religion! I a factress? I am even well enough served for my good will, and this is my requital?[15] Factress, quoth you?


Come, your intercession shall prevail. Which is his letter-carrier?


At your ladyship’s service.


Your lord Velasco sent you?


Most true, sweet madam.


What place hold you about him?


I am his drugster, madam.


What, sir?


Being hard-bound with melancholy, I give him a purge—with two or three soluble[16] stools of laughter.


Belike you are his fool or his jester.


‘Jester’ if you please, but not ‘fool’, madam; for baubles belong to fools, and they are then only fit for ladies’ secrecies, not for lords’.


But is he indeed sick of late?


Alas, good heart, I suffer for him. 

Enter Lodovico.


By your leave, lady, without ceremony, you know me, and may guess my errand.


Yet more trouble? Nay, then I shall be hail-shot.[17]


To be brief. By the honours of a good name, you are a dry-skinned widow, and did not my haste concern the life of the noblest gentleman in Europe, I would as much scorn employments of this nature to you, as I do a proud woman of your condition.


Aye, marry, here’s one will thunder her widowhead[18] into flitters—stand to’t, signor, I am your second.


Sir, y’are uncivil to exclaim against a lady in her own house.


A lady, yet a paraquito, popinjay[19]—your whole worth lies in your gay outside and your squalling[20] tongue. A wagtail is a glorious fowl in respect of many of ye; though most of ye are in nature as very foul as wagtails.[21]


Are such as you the lord Velasco’s agents in his hot affection?


Sweet cousin Lodovico, pray now, the lady is most virtuously resolved.


Hark ye, middle-aged countess,[22] do not take another’s tale into your mouth.[23] I have occasion to use you in private, and can find you work enough myself; a word in your ear. [Draws Shaparoon aside.]


I protest, I meant more noble answer for his satisfaction than ever your railing language shall force from me.


Were I the man that doted on you, I would take a shorter course with you than to come humbly whining to your sweet—pox of all such ridiculous foppery—I would—


Weep yourself to death, and be chronicled among the regiment of kind, tender-hearted souls?


Indeed, forsooth, I would not. What? For a widow? One that hath jumped the old mule’s trot[24] so oft that the sciatica founders her yet in both her thighs?


You abuse me grossly.


One that hath been so often drunk with satiety of pleasure, that fourteen husbands are but as half a draught to quench her thirst in an afternoon.


I will no longer endure ye.


For you! You? That are neither noble, wise, rich, fair, nor well-favoured. For you?

Mopas [to Shaparoon]

You are all these, if you can keep your own counsel and let nobody know, mistress madam.


Nay, I am so persuaded, and assure yourself nobody shall know.


Yet, forsooth, must you be the only precious piece the lord Velasco must adore, must die for. But I vow, if he do miscarry—as I fear he cannot recover—


Goodness forbid! Alas—is he sick, sir?


Excellent dissimulation! Yes sure, he is sick, and an everlasting silence strike you dumb that are the cause on’t. But, as I said, if he do go the wrong way, as I love virtue, your ladyship shall be balladed[25] through all Christendom and sung to scurvy tunes,[26] and your picture drawn over every ballad, sucking of rotten eggs among weasels.


Pray, give me leave! Is lord Velasco sick? And lies there aught in me to comfort or recover him?


Marry, does there? The more infidel he. And what of all this now?


What would you have me do?


Wonders[27]—either go and visit him, or admit him to visit you—these are mighty favours, are they not?


Why, good sir, I will grant the latter willingly; he shall be kindly welcome.


And laughed at while he is here, shall he not?


What would you have me say? My best entertainment shall be open to him, I will discourse to him freely. If he requires it privately, I will be all what in honour I should.


Certify him so much by letter.


That cannot stand with my modesty. My word and truth shall be my gage.


Enough. Do this, and by this hand I’ll ask you pardon for my rudeness, and ever heartily honour you.[28]

Mopas [to Shaparoon]

I shall hear from you when my leisure serves?[29]


Most assuredly. Good destinies speed your journey.


All happiness ride ever before you, your disgraces behind you, and[30] full pleasure in the midst of ye.                                      Exeunt.




[2.2]                          Enter Bufo in fresh apparel, ushering[31] Herophil.


My over-kind captain, what would you say?


Why, mistress, I would say, as a man might say, forsooth, indeed I would say.


What, captain?


Even whatsoever you would have me to say, forsooth.


If that be all, pray say nothing.


Why look ye, mistress, all what I say, if you mark it well, is just nothing—as, for example, to tell you that you are fair, is nothing, for you know it yourself; to say you were honest, were an indignity to your beauty and, upon the matter, nothing, for honesty in a fair woman is as good as nothing.


That is somewhat strange to be proved.


To a good wit, dear mistress, nothing’s impossible.


Sure the court and your new clothes have infected you. Would I were a purse of gold, for your sake, captain, to reward your wit.


I would you were, mistress, so you were not counterfeit metal, I should soon try you on the too-true touchstone of my affections, indeed, forsooth.


Well, witty captain, for your love I must pass away in debt, but will not fail to think on’t. But now I am in haste.


If you would but grant me but one poor request before you go, I should soon dispatch and part.


Name it, captain.


Truly, and as I live, ’tis a very small trifle for your part, all things considered.


But cannot you tell what it is?


That were a fine jest indeed, why, I would desire, entreat, and beseech you.


What to do?


There you have it, and thank you too.[32]


I understand you not.


Why, to do with you, forsooth, to do with you.


To do what?


In plain words, I would commit with you, or as the more learned phrase it, if you be pleased to consent, I would ravish you.


Fie, fie, captain, so uncivil—you made me blush.


Do, I say. Why, I am glad I have it for you.[33] Soldiers are hot upon service, mistress, and a wise man’s bolt is soon shot, as the proverb says.


Good captain, keep up your bolt till I am at leisure to stand fair for your mark. If the court stallions prove all so rank, I will vow all to ride henceforth upon an ass. So, captain, I must leave you.

                                                                                                  Exit Herophil.


Farewell heartily to you, forsooth. Go thy ways for as true a mistress as ever fouled clean napery.[34] This same whoreson court diet, cost, lodging, change of clothes, and ease, have addicted me villainously to the itch of concupiscence.

Enter Alphonso; Pynto and Muretto complementing on either side of him.


They all shall not entreat me.


Your majesty were no King, if your own will were not your own law.


Always, my lord, observing the domination of the planets as, if Mars and Venus being in conjunction, and their influence working upon your frailty, then in any case you must not resist the motion of the celestial bodies.


All which, most gracious sovereign, this most famous scholar will at a minute foretell.


All hail to the King himself, my very good liege, lord, and most gracious benefactor.


What need I other counsellors than these?

Shall I be forced to be a woman’s slave,

That may live free and hate their fickle sex?


O, ’tis a glorious virtue in so magnificent a prince to abstain from the sensual surfeits of fleshly and wanton appetites.


I find the inclination of such follies—[35]

Why, what are women?


Very pleasant, pretty, necessary toys, an’t please your majesty. I myself could pass the time with them, as occasion might[36] serve, eight-and-forty hours outright, one to one always provided.


Yet of all the seven planets, there are but two women among them, and one of them two is chaste,[37] which is as good as if she were a boy.


That is not to be questioned. The best of women are but troubles and vexations; ’tis man that retains all true perfection, and of all men, your majesty.

Enter Almado[38] and Collumello.


Ye are too rude to enter on our privacies

Without our licence. Speak your business, lords.[39]


We came from your most virtuous Queen.


                                                                  No more.


A month is well-nigh past, and yet you slack

Your love to her. What mean you, sir, so strangely

To slight a wife whose griefs grow now too high

For womanhood to suffer?


                                                       Is’t your pleasure

To admit her to your bosom?


                                               Y’are too saucy.

Return, and quickly too, and tell her thus—

If she intend to keep her in our favour,

Let us not see her.


                                Say you so, great sir?

You speak it but for trial.

[Alphonso and his men]

                                                   Ha, ha, ha.[40]


O, sir, remember what you are, and let not

The insinuations of these servile creatures,

Made only men by you,[41] soothe and traduce

Your safety to a known and wilful danger.

Fix in your thoughts the ruin you have ’scaped;

Who freed you, who hath raised you to this height;

And you will then awake your judgment’s eye.

The commons murmur, and the streets are filled

With busy whispers—yet in time recall

Your violence.


                          As I am King, the tongue

Forfeits his head that speaks another word!

Muretto, talk we not now like a King?


Like one that hath the whole world for his proper

Monarchy, and it becomes you royally.[42]

Enter Queen, Petruchi, and Herophil.


The Queen, and my mistress. O brave, we shall have some doings hard to hand now, I hope.


What means the woman? Ha! Is this the duty

Of a good wife? We sent not for you, did we?


The more my duty that I came unsent for.

Wherein, my gracious lord, have I offended?

Wherein have I transgressed against thy laws,

O sacred marriage, to be sequestered

In the first spring and April of my joys

From you, much dearer to me than my life?

By all the honour of a spotless bed,

Show me my fault and I will turn away

And be my own swift executioner.


I take[43] that word. Know then you married me

Against my will, and that’s your fault.



Against your will? I dare not contradict

What you are pleased to urge. But by the love

I bear the King of Aragon—an oath

As great as I can swear by—I conceived

Your words to be true speakers of your heart,

And I am sure they were—you swore they were.

How should I but believe, that loved so dearly?


Come, then you are a trifler, for by this

I know you love me not.


                                          Is that your fear?

Why la[45] now, lords, I told you that the King

Made our division but a proof of faith.

Kind husband, now I’m bold to call you so,

Was this your cunning to be jealous of me

So soon? We women are fine fools to search

Men’s pretty subtleties.[46]

Muretto Aside[47]

                                       You’ll scarce find it so.

Alphonso [Aside]

She would persuade me strangely.


                                                        Prithee, sweetheart,

Force not thyself to look so sadly; troth

It suits not with thy love, ’tis well. Was this

Your se’nnight’s respite? Yet, as I am a Queen,

I feared you had been in earnest.


                                                      Earnest? Hence

Monstrous enchantress; by the death I owe

To nature, thou appear’st to me in this

More impudent than impudence. The tide

Of thy luxurious blood is at the full;

And ’cause thy raging pleurisy[48] of lust

Cannot be sated by our royal warmth,

Thou try’st all cunning petulant charms to raise

A wanton devil up in our chaste breast.

But we are cannon-proof against the shot

Of all thy arts.


                         Was’t you spoke that, my lord?


Phaeton is just over the orb of the moon, his horses are got loose, and the heavens begin to grow into a combustion.


I’ll sooner dig a dungeon in a mole-hill,

And hide my crown there, that both fools and children

May trample o’er my royalty, than ever

Lay it beneath an antic woman’s feet.

Couldst thou trans-shape thyself into a man,

And with it be more excellent than man

Can be, yet, since thou wert a woman once,

I would renounce thee.


                                                Let the King remember

It is the Queen he speaks to.


                                               Pish! I know

She would be well contented but to live

Within my presence; not for love to me,

But that she might with safety of her honour

Mix with some hot-veined lecher, whose prone[49] lust

Should feed the rank impostume[50] of desires,

And get a race of bastards, to whose birth

I should be thought the dad. But thou, thou woman,

Ere I will be the cloak to thy false play,

I’ll couple with a witch, a hag—for if

Thou canst live chaste, live by thyself[51] like me.

Or, if thou wouldst persuade me that thou lov’st me,

See me no more, never. From this time forth

I hate thy sex. Of all thy sex, thee worst.

                                                                Exit Alphonso, Bufo [and] Pynto.


Madam, dear madam, yet take comfort: time

Will work all for the best.[52]


                                             Where must I go?


Y’are in your own kingdom, ’tis your birthright,

We all your subjects. Not a man of us

But to the utmost of his life will right

Your wrongs against this most unthankful King.


Away, ye are all traitors to profane

His sacred merits with your bitter terms.

Why, am I not his wife? A wife must bear

Withal what likes her lord t’upbraid her with,

And yet ’tis no injustice. What was’t he said?

That I no more should see him, never, never?

There I am quite divorced from all my joys,

From all my paradise of life. Not see him?

’Twas too unkind a task. But he commanded,

I cannot but obey. Where’s Herophil?


Here, madam.


Go hang my chamber all with mourning black.

Seal up my windows, let no light survey

The subtle tapers that must eye my griefs.

Get from me, lords, I will defy ye all,

Y’are men, and men, O me, are all unkind.

Come hither, Herophil, spread all my robes,

My jewels and apparel on the floor,

And for a crown get me a willow wreath.[53]

No, no, that’s not my colour, buy me a veil

Ingrained in tawny. Alas, I am forsaken,

And none can pity me.


                                     By all the faith

I owe to you, my sovereign, if you please

To enjoy[54] me any service, I will prove

Most ready and most true.


                                           Why should the King

Despise me? I did never cross his will,

Never gainsaid his “yea”[55]—yet sure I fear

He hath some ground for his displeasure.



Unless because you saved him from the block.


Art thou a prattler too? Peace, Herophil,

Tempt not a desperate woman. No man here

Dares do my last commands to him?


If your excellent majesty please to repose confidence in me, I will not only deliver him your commendations, but think myself highly dishonoured if he return not his[56] back to you by letter.[57]


Off, beast, made all of baseness; do not grieve

Calamity or, as I am a knight,[58]

I’ll cut thy tongue out.


                                    Sweet signor, I protest—[59]     Exit Muretto.


Madam, believe him not, he is a parasite;

Yet one the King doth dote on.


                                                   Then beshrew ye,

You had not used him gently.[60] Had I known’t,

I would have kneeled before him and have sent

A handful of my tears unto the King.

Away, my lords, here is no place to revel

In our discomforts.[61] Herophil, let’s haste,

That thou and I may heartily like widows

Bewail my bridal-mocked virginity.

                                                                            [Exit Queen and Herophil]


Let’s follow her, my lords; I fear too late

The King will yet repent these rude divisions.




[2.3]                           Enter Velasco, Lodovico [and] Mopas.


Compliment?[62] ’Tis for barbers’ shops. Know your own worth. You speak to a frail commodity, and bartered away roundly, my lord.[63]


She promised free discourse?


She did. Are ye answered?

Enter Salassa [and] Shaparoon.


Madam, my lord Velasco is come; use him nobly and kindly or—I say no more.


To a poor widow’s house, my lord is welcome.

Your lordship honours me in this favour;

In what thankful entertainment I can,

I shall strive to deserve it.[64]


Your sweet lordship is most heartily welcome, as I may say.


Instead of a letter, Madam Goodface,[65] on my lord’s behalf, I am bold to salute you.


Madam Salassa, not distrusting the liberty you granted, now you and my lord are in your[66] own house, we will attend ye in the next room. Away, cousin; follow, sirrah.


It is a woman’s[67] part to come behind.


But for two men to pass in before one woman, ’tis too much a conscience on reverend antiquity.[68]

                                                        Exit Lodovico, Shaparoon [and] Mopas.


What is your lordship’s pleasure?


                                                      To rip up

A story of my fate[69]—when by the Queen

I was employed against the late commotioners,

Of whom the now-King was chief leader, then

In my return you pleased to entertain me

Here in your house.


                                Much good may it do your lordship.


But then, what conquest gained I by that conquest,

When here mine eyes and your commanding beauty

Made me a prisoner to the truest love

That ever warmed a heart?


                                            Who might that be?


You, lady, are the deity I adore,

Have kneeled to in my heart, have vowed my soul to,

In such a debt of service, that my life

Is tenant to your pleasure.


                                           Pah, my lord;

It is not nobly done to mock me thus.


Mock you? Most fair Salassa, if e’er truth

Dwelt in a tongue, my words and thoughts are twins.


You wrong your honour in so mean a choice.

Can it be thought[70] that that brave man Velasco,[71]

Sole champion of the world, should look on me?

On me, a poor, lone widow? ’Tis impossible.


I am poorer[72]

In my performance now than ever; so poor

That vows and protestations want fit credit

With me to vow the least part of a service

That might deserve your favour.


                                                    You are serious?


Lady, I wish that for a present trial,

Against the custom of so sweet a nature,

You would be somewhat cruel in commands.

You dare not sift the honour of my faith[73]

By any strange injunction, which the speed

Of my glad undertaking should not cheerfully

Attempt, or perish in the sufferance of it.


You promise lordly.


                                You too much distrust

The constancy of truth.


                                       It were unnoble[74]

On your part to demand a gift of bounty

More than the freedom of a fair allowance—

Confirmed by modesty and reason’s warrant—

Might without blushing yield unto.


                                                        O, fear not,

For my affections aim at chaste contents,

Not at unruly passions of desire.

I only claim the title of your servant;

The flight of my ambitions soars no higher

Than living in your grace. And for encouragement,

To quicken my attendance now and then,

A kind, unravished kiss.


                                         That’s but a fee

Due to a fair deserver. But admit

I grant it, and you have it, may I then

Lay a light burden on you?


                                            What is possible

For me to venture on, by how much more

It carries danger in’t, by so much more

My glory’s in the achievement.


                                                   I must trust ye.


By all the virtues of a soldier’s name,

I vow and swear.


                            Enough, I take that oath,

And thus myself first do confirm your warrant.


I feel new life within me.


                                         Now be steward

For your own store, my lord, and take possession

Of what you have purchased freely.


                                                         With a joy

As willing as my wishes can arrive at.         Kisses her.


So, I may claim your oath now?


                                                    I attend it.


Velasco, I do love thee, and am jealous

Of thy spirit, which is hourly apt

To catch at actions. If I must be mistress

Of thee and my own will, thou must be subject

To my improvements.


                                   ’Tis my soul’s delight.


Y’are famed the only fighting sir alive;[75]

But what’s this, if you be not safe to me?


By all—


You shall not swear, take heed of perjury.

So much I fear your safety, that I command,

For two years’ space, you shall not wear a sword,

A dagger or stiletto—shall not fight

On any quarrel, be it ne’er so just.




            Hear more yet: if you be baffled,

Railed at, scorned, mocked, struck, bandied,[76] kicked—


                                                                                         O, lady!


—Spit on, reviled, challenged, provoked by fools,

Boys, antics, cowards—


                                      ’Tis intolerable!


I charge you, by your oath, not to reply

In word, deed, look. And lastly, I conjure ye

Never to show the cause to any living[77]

By circumstance or by equivocation;

Nor, till two years expire, to motion love.


Why do you play the tyrant thus?


                                                     ’Tis common

T’observe how love hath made a coward valiant;

But that a man as daring as Velasco

Should, to express his duty to a mistress,

Kneel to his own disgraces and turn coward

Belongs to me and to my glories only—

I’m empress of this miracle. Your oath

Is passed: if you will lose yourself[78] you may.

How d’ye,[79] sir?


                           Woman, thou art vain and cruel.


Wilt please your lordship taste a cup of wine,

Or stay and sup, and take a hard bed here?

Your friends think we have done strange things this while.

Come, let us walk like lovers. I am pitiful,[80]

I love no quarrels.


                              Triumph in my ruins.

There is no act of folly but is common

In use and practice to a scornful woman.




[1] ‘Act II.’ in Q.

[2] This interpolated dash (a comma in Q) covers the apparent ellipsis where ‘in’ has to be understood.

[3] wrung / dripping, ‘wrong’ and ‘dropping’ in Q. The OED records ‘wrong’ as a common variant and gives ‘drop’ as a separate verb, equivalent to ‘drip’ (‘drop’ v. 2a). The emendations are modernizations, therefore rather than corrections.

[4] purse-sweat, ‘purse sweat’ in Q. The adjective ‘pursy’ means ‘fat’ / ‘corpulent’ (OED 2) or ‘short of breath’ (OED 1); cf Hamlet 3.4.155. The OED has no record of ‘purse’ in this adjectival sense, but emendation to ‘pursy sweat’ (ie: ‘fat sweat’) seems a semantically odd construction. I have decided to retain Q’s ‘purse’ but added a hyphen to form a compound noun: ‘purse-sweat’ = ‘sweat from fat’ just as ‘horse-sweat’ = ‘sweat from a horse’.

[5] on my conscience, ‘oh my conscience’ in Q. Q’s reading seems corrupt; either ‘on’ or ‘o’’ were conjectured by Bang.

[6] these, ‘those’ in Q. That Shaparoon is referring to herself is confirmed by Mopas’ reply.

[7] ie: “would not trouble you.”

[8] wince = “To kick restlessly from impatience or pain,” (OED v1. 1). Since the verb follows “kick up her heels,” this seems rather tautological. There appears to be no OED precedent for ‘wince’ as a variant of ‘whinny’, which would, in any case, set up a tautological clash with “wee-hee.”

[9] plied = applied, (OED v2 ‘ply’).

[10] mark, continuing the equine allusions, ‘mark’ (OED III. 1c) = “A depression caused by a fold in the enamel of a horse’s incisor tooth, which gives some indication of the age of the animal,”; also II. 3 = “a target, butt or other object set up to be aimed at.” (In this context the target is Shaparoon’s ‘secrecies’, cf: l. 65 below). The comparison to her ‘mark’ at fifteen suggests, perhaps, an allusion to her loss of virginity, her mark being her hymen.

[11] the Shaparoons …. The primary OED definition of ‘chaperon’ (‘shaparoon’ is given as a variant) is ‘a hood or cap’. Its earliest usage as an escort for an unmarried woman is 1720. Cotgrave’s Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues (1611) has “Chaperon, a hood, or French hood (for a woman); also any hood, bonnet, or lettice cap.” Given the pervasive sexual innuendo in the current exchange, however, there may be a glance at ‘syphilis’ (‘French crowns’ is a recognized reference). Also, OED records a possible 1568 reference to ‘French-hood’ as “[a] head-dress worn by women when punished for unchastity,” (‘French hood’ b).

[12] Ud’s pittikins, mangling and diminution of ‘God’s Pity’.

[13] long-lived, ‘long lives’ in Q. The sense is, presumably, ‘he will not live much longer’.

[14] factress = agent, broker; suggestion of ‘procuress’.

[15] requital = reward.

[16] soluble, primary OED definition = “Free from constipation or costiveness; relaxed.”

[17] hail-shot, “Small shot which scatters like hail when fired,” (OED 1).

[18] widowhead, ‘widow-head’ in Q, a play on ‘maidenhead’.

[19] paraquito, popinjay, ‘paraquitto’ in Q = parakeet; ‘popingjay’ in Q = parrot; by extension, a chatterer. Interestingly, both are used in Henry IV pt 1 in Hotspur contexts: 2.3.88 and 1.3.49 respectively.

[20] squalling, ‘squall’ in verbal sense, “Of birds and animals: To scream loudly or discordantly,” OED. The earliest citation given is c. 1631, which makes its use in an avian context here very early.

[21] ‘as fowl as wagtayles’ in Q; ‘wagtail’ in the previous sentence. A pun is present in both ‘fowl’ and ‘wagtayles’.

[22] countess, quite possibly an obscene pun on ‘cunt’ here.

[23] ie: “Let them argue between themselves,” plus Mopas’ characteristically obscene quibble.

[24] mule’s, ‘moile’s’ in Q. OED (n1 2b) defines ‘mule’ as “a promiscuous woman” and cites a reference in John Ford’s Fancies I. 8 (1638): “Trudging betweene an old moyle, and a young Calfe, my nimble intelligencer.”  ‘The old mule’s trot’ = sexual intercourse. Cf: 1.1.97 and note for a different usage of ‘mule’ / ‘moile’.

[25] balladed, ‘balleted’ in Q.

[26] scurvy, ‘sciroy’ in Q, presumably a ‘foul-case’ error for ‘scirvy’, a recognized variant of ‘scurvy’.

[27] Wonders, the word is preceded by an apostrophe in Q (’Wonders) which might imply an ejaculation of exasperation, the apostrophe implying ‘God’s wonders’—possibly an extreme mangling of ‘God’s wounds’. However, since I can find no precedent for such a construction, I have removed the apostrophe, the word now suggesting sarcasm rather than exasperation (although I feel a stronger outburst better suits Lodovico’s manner to Salassa in this scene).

[28] It is tempting here to supply an exit for Lodovico and Salassa but it can be assumed that they will retire upstage to enact their farewells while Mopas and Shaparoon come forward to confirm their agreement.

[29] ‘my leasures serves’ in Q (C1v). I have made ‘leisure’ singular. Note 2.2.40 where Q also spells ‘leasure’.

[30] and, ‘and and’ in Q. Mopas’ patter is too smooth for a hesitant repetition here.

[31] ushering = escorting ceremonially.

[32] Bufo has construed her reply as “What? To do?” with ‘do’ standing for the sex act, as becomes clear.

[33] ie: ‘Do blush—I am glad I have the capacity to bring it forth,’ (with a glance at post-coital flush?). Blushing, perhaps, informs Bufo’s next comment about soldiers being hot upon service.

[34] napery, ‘napary’ in Q. OED gives ‘napery’ as ‘household linen’ (although the context here suggests more specifically ‘under-linen’?).

[35] This line ends on a full stop in Q, its meaning thus punctuated escapes me. Having Alphonso break off in mid-sentence suggests that he finds ‘the inclination of such follies’ too troubling to consider.

[36] might, ‘migh’ in Q.

[37] Seven planets = Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and Moon. The two women are Venus and Diana (the moon), Diana, a type of virginity, being the one ‘chaste’.

[38]Almada’ in Q; cf: 1.1.188 & Note.

[39] Set as verse in Q although ‘without’ is not capitalized. A page break comes between the two lines (C2r–C2v) which might account for this, although the catchword ‘with’ on C2r is also lower case. The first line scans if “Ye are” is elided.

[40] Alphonso and his men, SP ‘All’ in Q. This would not, presumably, include Almado; the laughter would appear to mock Collumello’s interpretation of Alphonso’s rejection of the Queen. “Ha, ha, ha” is probably extra-metrical; two iambic feet are required to complete Collumello’s line, but I have tentatively lineated the laughter as if it were part of the verse.

[41] men, here = people “of position, importance, or note,” OED II 4.

[42] These two lines set as prose in Q, as is usual for Muretto, but they can be scanned and verse seems appropriate to Muretto’s public response to Alphonso’s metrical question. Contrast the following speech of Bufo’s, which could also be approximately scanned into two lines of verse, but seems inappropriate being more of a private aside.

[43] take = ‘accept’; see also 2.3.74 for similar usage.

[44] ‘Alas!’ is part of the following line in Q. The reordering here supplies the foot missing from Alphonso’s last line and makes the Queen’s response perfectly metrical.

[45] la, an exclamation introducing an emphatic statement, OED.

[46] Q’s lineation = “So soon? We women are fine fools/To search mens pretty subtilties.” Emendation improves the metre in these and the following lines, although they are still rather ragged.

[47] Aside, this direction given in Q, the following one for Alphonso is not.

[48] pleurisy = excess, superfluity (Crystal). The phrase ‘pleurisy of lust’ also appears in ’Tis Pity 4.3.18, again in close connection to ‘luxury’: “Must your hot itch and pleurisy of lust, / The heyday of your luxury.”

[49] prone = eager, ready (Crystal).

[50] impostume = “A purulent swelling or cyst … an abscess,” OED 1. Note the cluster of disease imagery here.

[51] thyself, ‘thy sel’ in Q.

[52] Q’s lineation = “Madam, dear Madam, yet/Take comfort, time will work all for the best,” resulting in a 2½ foot first line and a subsequent, unresolved short line by the Queen.

[53] willow wreath, willow was emblematic of grief and unrequited love. Cf the ‘willow cabin’ Twelfth Night 1.5.272.

[54] enjoy, the sense apparently requires ‘enjoin’ (and Bang conjectures ‘enjoyn’) but Lisa Hopkins has drawn my attention to an example of ‘enjoy’ for ‘enjoin’ in Ford’s The Broken Heart (1633): “Penthea: Not to detaine your expectation, Princesse, / I haue an humble suit. Calantha: Speake, I enioy it,” (3. 599).

[55] In Q: “Never gainsaid his, yea;” (C3v) ie: ‘if he said ‘yes’, I never said ‘no’—I never contradicted him.’ The repunctuation is intended to bring this out.

[56] ie: ‘his commendations’.

[57] Muretto’s speech, as here, is set as prose in Q. However, it could be scanned thus: “If your [completing the preceding four-foot line]/Excellent…repose/Confidence…only/Deliver…but/Think… he/Return…letter.” Q normally sets Muretto in prose but occasionally verse seems possible and more appropriate (cf 2.2.97-98). Muretto’s exit line (l. 212) below could also be a completion of Petruchi’s short verse line.

[58] knight ‘knigh’ in Q.

[59] Muretto’s speech is apparently interrupted; is he fleeing a threatening gesture of Petruchi’s? The Queen’s, “you had not used him gently,” (line 215) suggests that this is the case.

[60] Presumably meaning, “you did not use him gently.” Q’s punctuation, with a comma after ‘gently’, increases the confusion.

[61] discomforts, ‘discomfits’ in Q. ‘Discomfit’ tends to denote defeat in a struggle, whereas ‘discomfort’, indicating ‘sorrow’ or ‘distress’ seems more fitting here, though both semantic fields are present.

[62] Compliment?, ‘Complement?’ in Q. We join the conversation in medias res, I take Velasco to have just asked whether Salassa had complimented him during Lodovico’s previous visit (2.1.67 ff).

[63] The meaning seems to be: “No need for compliments (when you woo her); you are of so much more worth that she is yours for the asking.”

[64] Set as prose in Q. It reads like verse, and one would expect a verse greeting from Salassa to Velasco. The speech ends on a short line: this could be resolved by setting Shaparoon’s greeting in verse, but that seems too out of character.

[65] Initial lower case in Q, “Madam good-face”.

[66] your, ‘you’ in Q.

[67] woman’s, ‘woman’ in Q. Bang points to a similar notion of women’s ‘natural’ place in the order of precedence from The Broken Heart: “Instead of following them, they’ll follow vs. / It is a womans nature,” (1.2.184).

[68] Superficially, ‘Ladies first’ but no doubt an obscene quibble is also present. Bang again notes an echo in The Broken Heart: “Virgin of reuerence and antiquity,” (3.328).

[69] To rip up / A story…; Bang notes a similar usage in The Lady’s Trial:

So toucht to the quicke,
Fine mistresse, I will then rip up at length
The progresse of your infancie [read infamy] (2.267)

Cf: discussion of ‘rip’ in Ford in Hopkins’ Political Theatre, p 132.

[70] thought, ‘though’ in Q (C4r). Although Q’s reading seems possible, ‘though’ as an intensifier (here, of ‘be’) is a modern phenomenon (the earliest OED citation is 1905).

[71] Velasco, ‘Valasco’ in Q (C4r).

[72] A seriously short line here. The previous line seems to carry an extra foot (it is just possible that the repetition of “On me” is due to eye-slip but that doesn’t help the short line). I have retained Q’s lineation for want of a reasonable alternative.

[73]Almada’ in Q; cf: 1.1.188 & Note.

[74] unnoble = ‘ignoble’. This variant appears in Antony and Cleopatra, 3.11.50, where modern editors (Arden, Oxford) retain this form. ‘Unnoble’ occurs again at 3.3.43 below.

[75] only = outstanding, peerless, pre-eminent; ‘sir’ = man (Crystal).

[76] bandied, ‘baffl’d’ in Q (C4v). The repetition of ‘baffled’ from the previous line seems unlikely (‘baffle’ = ‘To subject (esp. a perjured knight) to public disgrace or infamy [OED 1, 1660]). I have adopted Bang’s suggestion (‘bandy’ = to strike to and fro); originally a term from tennis and apt, given its context between ‘struck’ and ‘kicked’.

[77] any living = ‘anyone alive’.

[78] lose yourself, ie: if you wish to perjure your soul.

[79] d’ye, ‘d’ee’ in Q; another characteristic Fordism that Bang drew on in his attribution, cf: 1.2.51 and note; (changed silently hereafter).

[80] pitiful = compassionate, tender – OED 2.