Michaelmas Term – Monologue (Hellgill)

A monologue from the play by Thomas Middleton

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Michaelmas Term. Thomas Middleton. London: Arthur Johnson, 1607.


Come, leave your puling and sighing. Wouldst thou, a pretty, beautiful, juicy squall, live in a poor thatched house i’ th’ country,

in such servile habiliments, and may well pass for a gentlewoman i’ th’ city? Does not five hundred do so, thinkest thou, and with worse faces?

O, now in these latter days, the devil reigning, ’tis an age for cloven creatures! But why sad now?

Yet indeed ’tis the fashion of any courtesan to be sea-sick i’ th’ first voyage; but at next she proclaims open wars, like a beaten soldier.

Why, Northamptonshire lass, dost dream of virginity now? Remember a loose-bodied gown, wench, and let it go;

wires and tires, bents and bums, felts and falls, thou that shalt deceive the world, that gentlewomen indeed shall not be known from others.

I have a master, to whom I must prefer thee after the aforesaid deckening; Lethe by name, a man of one most admired property;

he can both love thee, and for thy better advancement, be thy pander himself: an excellent spark of humility.

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