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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)

    SCENA 9.
    Enter Bellafronte with a Lute, pen, inke and paper
    being placde before her.
    1570 Song.
    THe Courtiers flattring Iewels,
    (Temptations onely fewels)
    The Lawyers ill-got monyes,
    That sucke vp poore Bees Honyes:
    1575 The Citizens sonne's ryot,
    The gallant co stly dyet:
    Silks and Veluets, Pearles and Ambers,
    Shall not draw me to their Chambers. Shee writes.
    Silks and Veluets, &c.
    1580Oh, tis in vayne to write: it will not please,
    Inke on this paper would ha but presented
    The foule blacke spots that sticke vpon my soule,
    And rather make me lothsomer, then wrought
    My loues impre s sion in Hipolitoes thought.
    1585No, I mu st turne the cha ste leaues of my bre st,
    And pick out some sweet meanes to breed my re st.
    Hipolito, beleeue me I will be
    As true vnto thy heart, as thy heart to thee,
    And hate all men, their gifts and company.
    1590 Enter Matheo, Ca struchio, Fluello, Pioratto.
    Mat. You, goody Punck, subandi Cockatrice, O yare a
    sweet whore of your promise, are you not think you? how
    wel you came to supper to vs la st night: mew, a whore &
    breake her word! nay you may blu sh, & hold downe your
    1595head at it wel ynough: Sfoot, aske these gallants if we staid
    not till we were as hungry as Seriants.
    Flu. I, and their Yeoman too.
    Ca st . Nay fayth Acquaintance, let me tell you, you forgat
    your selfe too much: we had excellēt cheere, rare vintage,
    1600and were drunke after supper.
    Pior. And when wee were in our Woodcocks (sweete
    Rogue) a brace of Gulles, dwelling here in the City, came
    in & payd all the shot. Mat. Pox on her, let her alone.
    Bel. O, I pray doe, if you be Gentlemen:
    1605I pray depart the house; be shrew the dore
    For being so ea sily entreated: fayth,
    I lent but little eare vnto your talke,
    My mind was bu sied otherwise in troth,
    And so your words did vnregarded pa s s e:
    1610Let this suffice, I am not as I was.
    Flu. I am not what I was! no Ile be sworne thou art not:
    for thou wert hone st at fiue, & now th'art a Puncke at fif-
    teene: thou wert ye sterday a simple whore, and now th'art
    a cunning Conny-catching Baggage to day.
    1615 Bel. Ile say Ime worse, I pray forsake me then,
    I doe de sire you leaue me, Gentlemen,
    And leaue your selues: O be not what you are,
    (Spendthrifts of soule and body)
    Let me perswade you to forsake all Harlots,
    1620Worse thē the deadlie st poysons, they are worse:
    For o're their soules hangs an eternall curse,
    In being slaues to slaues, their labours peri sh,
    Th'are seldome ble st with fruit; for ere it blo s s oms,
    Many a worme confounds it.
    1625They haue no i s s ue but foule vgly ones,
    That run along with them, e'ene to their graues:
    For stead of children, they breed ranke diseases,
    And all, you Gallants, can be stow on them,
    Is that French Infant, which n'ere acts but speaks:
    1630What shallow sonne & heire then, fooli sh gallāt,
    Would wa ste all his inheritance, to purchase
    A filthy loathd disease? and pawne his body
    To a dry euill: that vsurie's wor st of all,
    When th'intere st will eate out the principall.
    1635 Mat. Sfoot, she guls em the be st: this is alwaies
    her fa shion, when she would be rid of any com-
    pany that she cares not for, to inioy mine alone.
    Flu. Whats here? in structions, Admonitions, and Caue-
    ats? come out, you scabberd of vengeance.
    1640 Mat. Fluello, spurne your hounds when they fy ste, you
    shall not spurne my Punk, I can tell you my bloud is vext.
    Flu. Pox a your bloud: make it a quarrell.
    Mat. Y'are a Slaue, will that serue turne?
    Omn. Sbloud, hold, hold.
    1645 Ca st . Matheo, Fluello, for shame put vp.
    Mat. Spurne my sweet Varlet!
    Bel. O how many thus
    Mou'd with a little folly, haue let out
    Their soules in Brothell houses, fell downe and dyed
    1650Iu st at their Harlots foot, as 'twere in pride.
    Flu. Matheo, we shall meet.
    Mat. I, I, any where, sauing at Church: pray take heed
    we meet not there.
    Flu. Adue, Damnation.
    1655 Ca st . Cockatrice, farewell.
    Pi. There's more deceit in women, then in hel. Exeunt,
    Mat. Ha, ha, thou doe st gull em so rarely, so naturally: if
    I did not think thou had st bin in earne st: thou art a sweet
    Rogue for't ifayth.
    1660 Bel. Why are not you gone to, Signior Matheo?
    I pray depart my house: you may beleeue me,
    In troth I haue no part of Harlot in me.
    Mat. How's this?
    Bel. Indeed I loue you not: but hate you worse
    1665Then any man, because you were the fir st
    Gaue money for my soule; you brake the Ice,
    Which after turnd a puddle: I was led
    By your temptation to be miserable:
    I pray seeke out some other that will fall,
    1670Or rather (I pray) seeke out none at all.
    Mat. I st po s sible, to be impossible, an hone st whore! I
    haue heard many hone st wenches turne Strumpets with
    a wet finger; but for a Harlot to turne hone st, is one of Her-
    cules labours: It was more ea sie for him in one night to
    1675make fifty queanes, then to make one of them hone st a-
    gen in fifty yeeres: come, I hope thou doo st but ie st.
    Bel. Tis time to leaue off ie sting, I had almo st
    Ie sted away Saluation: I shall loue you,
    If you will soone forsake me.
    1680 Mat. God buy thee.
    Bel. Oh, tempt no more womē: shun their weighty curse,
    Women (at be st) are bad, make them not worse,
    You gladly seeke our sexes ouerthrow:
    But not to rayse our states for all your wrongs.
    1685Will you vouchsafe me but due recompence,
    To marry with me?
    Mat. How, marry with a Punck, a Cockatrice, a Har-
    lot? mary foh, Ile be burnt thorow the nose fir st.
    Bel. Why la? these are your othes you loue to vndo vs,
    1690To put heauen from vs, whil st our be st houres wa ste:
    You loue to make vs lewd, but neuer cha ste.
    Mat. Ile heare no more of this: this ground vpon,
    Th'art damn'd for altring thy Religion. Exit.
    Bel. Thy lu st and sin speake so much: go thou my ruine,
    1695The fir st fall my soule tooke; by my example
    I hope few maydens now will put their heads
    Vnder mens girdels: who lea st tru sts, is mo st wise:
    Mens othes do ca st a mi st before our eyes.
    My be st of wit be ready: now I goe,
    1700By some deuice to greet Hipolito.