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  • Title: The Whore of Babylon (Quarto, 1607)
  • Editors: Frances E. Dolan, Anna Pruitt

  • Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Thomas Dekker
    Editors: Frances E. Dolan, Anna Pruitt
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Whore of Babylon (Quarto, 1607)

    985 The third King to the King of Portugall.
    3. King. Stands my beard right? the gowne I mu st looke graue,
    White haires like siluer cloudes a priuiledge haue,
    Not to be search'd, or be suspected fowle:
    Make away those 2. turne coates. Suite me next
    990Like to a Sattin diuell (brauely) flie
    Your sayles shape: be here immediatly. Enter
    So: excellent: a subtile masque: alls fit,
    This very cap makes my head swell with wit.
    Mong st souldiers, I haue plaid the souldier,
    995Bin mutinous, raild at the State, cursd peace:
    They walke with cro s s e-armes, gaping for a day,
    Haue vnder- shorde their eie-lids (like trap windows.)
    To keep them open, and with yawning eares,
    Lie li stning on flocke bol sters, till rebellion
    1000Beat vp her drum: this lards me fat with laughter,
    Their swords are drawn halfe way, & all those throats
    That are to bleed are mark'd: and all those doores,
    Where ciuill Ma s s acres, murders (di'd in graine)
    Spoile, riflings, and sweet raui shments shall enter,
    1005Haue tokens stamp'd on them (to make 'em knowne)
    More dreadfull then the Bils that preach the plague:
    From them, with oyl'd hammes (lap'd in seruile blew)
    I stole, and fil'd out wine of Babylon,
    To liue things (made of clods) poore countrey sots,
    1010And drunke they are: whole shires with it do reele,
    Poysons run smooth, because men sweetnes feele.
    Now to my schoole-men, Learnings fort is strong,
    But poorely man'd, and cannot hold out long
    When golden bullets batter.--- Yonders one ---
    1015Y'are a poore scholler?
    Campeius. Yes.
    3. King. What read you?
    Camp. A booke.
    3. King. So learned, yet so young?
    1020 Camp. Yee may see Sir.
    3. King. You feede some discontent?
    Camp. Perhaps I ha cause.
    3. King. What troubles you?
    Camp. You trouble me: pray leaue me.
    1025 3. Kin. Put your selfe, and your griefe into my hands.
    Camp. Say yee?
    3. King. Put your selfe & your grief into my hands.
    Camp. Are you a Doctor? your hands Sir, pray why?
    3. King. You know me not.
    1030 Camp. Do you know your selfe? your bu sines?
    Are you a scholler?
    3. King. Iudge of that by these.
    Camp. Oh Sir, I haue seene many heads vnder such (wool.
    That scarce had braines to line it: if y'are a scholler,
    1035Mee thinks you should know manners, by your leaue Sir.
    3. Ring. Pray leaue your name behind you.
    Camp. Name, Campeius.
    3. King. Campeius! vmh: Campeius? a lucky plannet
    Strikes out this houre: Campeius! Babylon,
    1040His name hath in her tables: on his forehead,
    Our Queene hath set her marke: it is a mould
    Fit to ca st mischeife in: none sooner rent
    A Church in two, then Schollers discontent.
    I mu st not loose this Martines ne st,--- once more
    1045Y'are happely met.
    Camp. This bur stil hang on mee!
    And you Sir.
    3. King. Tell me pray, did you neuer ta st - I'me bold - did you nee'r ta st
    Those cleere & redolent fountains that do nori sh,
    1050In viue and fre sh humiditie those plants
    That grow on thother side (our oppo sites)
    Those that to vs here, are th'Antipodes,
    Cleane again st vs in grounds - you feele me - say
    Ne're drunke you of that nectar.
    1055 Camp. Neuer.
    3. King. Neuer!
    I wi sh you had, I gather from your eyes,
    What your disease is, I ha bin your selfe,
    This was Campeius once (tho not so learn'd)
    1060For I was bred (as you) in Fairy Land,
    A Country! well but tis our country: and so,
    Good to breed beggers. Shee starues Arts: fatts fools,
    Shee sets vp drinking roomes, & pulls downe schools.
    Camp. So Sir.
    1065 3. King. No more but so Sir? this discourse
    Pallats not you.
    Camp. Yes.
    3. King. Nothing hath pa s s ed me
    I hope, again st my countrey, or the State,
    1070That any you can take hold of.
    Camp. If they could,
    Tis but mine I, to your no.
    3. King. Y'are to sowre:
    Vnmellowed: you stand here in the shade,
    1075Out of the warmth of those ble st ripening beames,---
    Goe to --- I grieue that such a blo s s ome ---
    Camp. Sir, I know you not: this thing which you haue (raiz'd,
    Affrights me: schollers of weake temper need
    To feare (as they on sunbankes lie to read)
    1080Adders i'th highe st gra s s e: these leaues but turn'd,
    Like willow stickes hard rub'd may kindle fire,
    Cities with sparkes as small haue oft beene burn'd.
    3. King. Doe you take me for a hangman?
    Camp. I would be loath,
    1085For any har sh tune that my tongue may warble,
    To haue the in strument vn strung.
    3. King. You shall not:
    Welfare vnto you.
    Camp. And to you. A word Sir:
    1090Bred in this countrey?
    3. King. Yes.
    Camp. I am no bird
    To breake mine own nea st downe: what flight soeuer
    Your words make through this ayre (tho it be trobled)
    1095Myne eare Sir, is no reaching Fowling piece
    What pa s s es through it, kills: you may proceed,
    Perhaps you would wound that, I wi sh should bleed.
    You haue th'aduantage now,
    I put the longe st weapon into your hands.
    1100 3. King. It shall guard you:
    You draw me by this line: let's priuate walke.
    Camp. This paths vnbruz'd: goe on Sir.
    3. King. Sir I loue you.
    The Dragons that keep learnings golden tree,
    1105As you now haue, I fought with, conquered them,
    Got to the highe st bough, eat of the fruit,
    And gathered of the seauen-fold leaues of Art,
    What I de sir'd; and yet for all the Moones
    That I haue seene waxe olde, and pine for anger,
    1110I had outwatched them: and for all the candles
    I wa sted out on long, and frozen nights,
    To thaw them into day; I fild my head
    With books, but scarce could fil my mouth with bread:
    I had the Muses smile, but moneyes frowne,
    1115And neuer could get out of such a gowne.
    Camp. How did you change your starre?
    3. King. By changing Aire:
    The god of waues wa sht of my pouertie,
    I sought out a new sunne beyond the seas,
    1120Whose beames begat me gold.
    Camp. O me dull a s s e!
    I am nail'd downe by wilfull beggerie,
    Yet feele not where it enters: like a horse
    My hoofes are par'd to 'th quicke) euen til they bleed)
    1125To make me runne from hence, yet this Tortois shell,
    (My countrey) lies so heauy on my backe,
    Pressing my worth downe, that I slowly creep
    Through base and slimie waies.
    3. King. Countrey!
    1130 Camp. Shee hangs
    Her owne brats at her backe, to teach them begge,
    And in her lap sets strangers.
    3. King. Yet your countrey.
    Camp. I was not borne to this, not school'd to this,
    1135My parents spent not wealth on me to this,
    I will not stay here long.
    3. King. Doe not.
    Camp. Beeing hence,
    Ile write in gall and poyson gain st my nurce
    1140This Fairie land, for not rewarding merit:
    If euer I come backe Ile be a Calthrop
    To pricke my countries feet, that tread on me.
    3. King. O shee's vnkind, hard-hearted!
    Camp. In disputation
    1145I dare for latine, hebrew, and the greeke,
    Challenge an vniuer sitie; yet (O euill hap!)
    Three learned languages cannot set a nap
    Vpon this thred-bare gowne: how is Arte curs'd?
    Shee ha's the sweete st lymbes, and goes the wor st:
    1150Like common Fidlers, drawing down others meate
    With lickori sh tunes, whil st they on scraps do eate.
    3. King. Shake then these seruile fetters off.
    Camp. But how?
    3. King. Play the mules part, now thou ha st suckt a dam
    1155Drie and vnholsome, kicke her sides.
    Camp. Her heart --- her very heart ---
    Would it were dried to du st, to strew vpon
    Th'inuenomed paper vpon which Ile write.
    3. King. Know you the Court of Babylon?
    1160 Camp. I haue read,
    How great it is, how glorious, and would venter
    A soule to get but thither.
    3. King. Get then thither; you venture none, but saue
    a soule going thither:
    1165The Queene of Babylon rides on a bea st,
    That carries vp seauen heads.
    Camp. Rare.
    3. King. Each head crow'nd. Enter his man like a say-
    Camp. O admirable! ler with rich attires vnder his arme.
    1170 3. King. Shee with her owne hand
    Will fil thee wine out of a golden bowle.
    There's Angels to conduct thee. Get to sea,
    Steale o're, behold, here's one to waft thee hence,
    Take leaue of none, tell none, th'art made, farewell.
    1175 Camp. Thus to meet heauen, who would not wade through hell?
    Exeunt Campeius and Sayler, manet 3. King,
    enter Sayler presently.
    3. King. To flea off this hypocri sie, tis time,
    Lea st worne too long, the Foxes skinne be known:
    1180In our di s s embling now we mu st be braue,
    Make me a courtier: come; A s s es I see,
    In nothing but in trappings, different be
    From foote-cloth nags, on which gay fellows ride,
    Saue that such gallants gallop in more pride.
    1185Away. Stow vnder hatches that light stuffe:
    Tis to be worne in Babylon. Exit Sayler.
    At this groue,
    And much about this howre, a slaue well moulded,
    In profound, learned villany, gaue oath Enter Coniurer.
    1190To meet me: Art thou come! Can thy blacke Arte
    This wonder bring to pa s s e?
    Con. See, it is done.
    3. King. Titaniaes picture right.
    Con. This virgin waxe,
    1195Burie I will in slimie putred ground,
    Where it may peece-meale rot: As this consumes,
    So shall shee pine, and (after languor) die.
    These pinnes shall sticke like daggers to her heart,
    And eating through her brea st, turne there to gripings
    1200Cramp-like Convul sions, shrinking vp her nerues,
    As into this they eate.
    3. King. Thou art fam'd for euer,
    If these thy holy labours well succeed,
    Statues of molten bra s s e shall reare thy name,
    1205The Babylonian Empre s s e shall thee honour.
    And (for this) each day shalt thou goe in chaines.
    Where wilt thou burie it?
    Coniur. On this dunghill.
    3. King. Good:
    1210And bind it down with mo st effectuall charmes,
    That whosoeuer with vnhallowed hands,
    Shall dare to take it hence, may raue and die.
    Con. Leaue me.
    3. King. Farewell and prosper: be blinde you skies,
    1215You looke on things vnlawfull with sore eies. Exit.
    Dumbe shewe. The Hault-boyes sound, and whil st hee is burying the pi-
    cture, Truth and Time enter, Fideli, Parthenophil, Elfiron, and a
    Guard following aloofe. They discouer the follow, hee is taken, the picture
    found, hee kneeles for mercy, but they making signes of refusall,
    1220 he snatcheth at some weapon to kill himselfe, is preuen-
    ted, and led away.