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  • Title: The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1604)
  • Editor: Joost Daalder
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-490-5

    Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton
    Editor: Joost Daalder
    Peer Reviewed

    The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1604)

    Gasparo the Duke, Doctor Benedicke, two seruants.
    Duke Give charge that none do enter, locke the doores;
    310And fellowes, what your eyes and eares receave,
    Vpon your lives tru st not the gadding aire
    To carry the lea st part of it: the gla s s e, the houre-gla s s e.
    Doctor Heere my Lord.
    Duke. Ah, tis meere spent.
    315But Doctor Benedick, does your Art speake truth?
    Art sure the soporiferous streame will ebbe,
    And leave the Chri stall banks of her white body
    (Pure as they were at fir st) iu st at the houre?
    Doctor Iu st at the houre my Lord.
    320 Duke Vncurtaine her.
    Softly sweete Doctor: what a coldi sh heate
    Spreads over all her bodie.
    Doctor Now it workes:
    The vitall spirits that by a sleepie charme
    325Were bound vp fa st, and threw an icie ru st
    On her exterior parts, now gin to breake:
    Trouble her not my Lord.
    Duke Some stooles, you calld
    For mu sicke, did you not? Oh ho, it speakes,
    330It speakes, watch sirs her waking, note those sands,
    Doctor sit downe: A Dukedome that should wey mine
    Owne downe twice, being put into one scale:
    And that fond desperate boy Hipolito,
    Making the weight vp, should not (at my hands)
    335Buy her i'th tother, were her state more light
    Than hers, who makes a dowrie vp with almes.
    Doctor Ile starve her on the Appenine
    Ere he shall marrie her: I mu st confe s s e,
    Hipolito is nobly borne, a man;
    340Did not mine enemies blood boile in his veines,
    Whom I would court to be my sonne in law?
    But Princes whose high spleenes for empery swell,
    Are not with ea sie arte made paralell.
    2 Ser. She wakes my Lord. Duke Looke Doctor Benedick.
    345I charge you on your lives maintaine for truth,
    What ere the Doctor or my selfe averre
    For you shall beare hes hence to Bergaine
    Inf. Oh God, what fearefull dreames?
    Doctor Lady. Inf. Ha.
    350 Duke Girle.
    Why Infaeli sha, how i st now, ha, speake?
    Inf. I'me well, what makes this Doctor heere? I'me well.
    Duke Thou wert not so even now, sicknes pale hand
    Laid hold on thee even in the dead st of fea sting,
    355And when a cap crownde with thy lovers health
    Had toucht thy lips, a sencible cold dew
    Stood on thy cheekes, as if that death had wept
    To see such beautie alterd.
    Inf. I remember
    360I sate at banquet, but felt no such change.
    Duke Thou ha st forgot then how a me s s enger
    Came wildely in with this vnsavorie newes
    That he was dead.
    Inf. What me s s enger? whoes dead?
    365 Duke Hipolito, alacke, wring not thy hands.
    Inf. I saw no me s s enger, heard no such newes,
    Doctor Tru st me you did sweete Lady.
    Duke La you now. 2 Servants Yes indeede Madam.
    Duke La you now, tis well God knowes.
    370 Inf. You ha slaine him, and now you'le murder mee.
    Duke Good Infaeli sh ae vexe not thus thy selfe,
    Of this the bad report before did strike
    So coldly to the heart, that the swift currents
    Of life were all frozen vp.
    375 Inf. It is vntrue,
    Tis mo st vntrue, O mo st vnnaturall father!
    Duke And we had much to do by Arts be st cunning,
    To fetch life backe againe.
    Doctor Mo st certaine Lady.
    380 Duke Why la you now, you'le not beleeve mee, friends,
    Sweate we not all; had we not much to do?
    2 Ser. Yes indeede my Lord, much.
    Duke Death drew such fearefull pictures in thy face,
    That were Hipolito alive agen,
    385Ile kneele and woo the noble gentleman
    To be thy husband: now I fore repent
    My sharpenes to him, and his family;
    Nay, do not weepe for him, we all mu st die:
    Doctor, this place where she so oft hath seene
    390His lively presence, haunts her, does it not?
    Doctor Doubtle s s e my Lord it does.
    Duke It does, it does.
    Therefore sweete girle thou shalt to Bergamo.
    Inf. Even where you will, in any place theres woe.
    395 Duke A Coach is ready, Bergamo doth stand
    In a mo st wholesome aire, sweete walkes, theres diere,
    I, thou shalt hunt and send vs venison.
    Which like some gods in the Coprian groves,
    Thine owne faire hand shall strike; sirs, you shall teach her
    400To stand, and how to shoote, I, she shall hunt:
    Ca st off this sorrow. In girle, and prepare
    This night to ride away to Bergamo.
    Inf. O mo st vnhappie maid. Exit.
    Duke Follow it close.
    405No words that she was buried on your lives,
    Or that her gho st walkes now after shees dead;
    Ile hang you if you name a funerall.
    1 Ser. Ile speake Greeke my Lord, ere I speake that dead-
    ly word.
    410 2 Ser. And Ile speake Welch, which is harder then Greek. ( Exeunt.
    Duke Away, looke to her; Doctor Benedick,
    Did you observe how her complexion altered
    Vpon his name and death, O would t'were true.
    Doctor It may my Lord.
    415 Duke May? how? I wi sh his death.
    Doctor And you may have your wi sh: say but the word,
    And tis a strong Spell to rip vp his grave:
    I have good knowledge with Hipolito;
    He calls me friend, Ile creepe into his bosome,
    420And sting him there to death; poison can doo't.
    Duke Performe it; Ile create thee halfe mine heire.
    Doctor It shall be done, although the fact be fowle.
    Duke Greatnes hides sin, the guilt vpon my soule. Exeunt