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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Parydell and Palmio.
    Pal. You ariue on a ble st shore. The freight you bring
    Is good: it will be bought vp of vs all
    1520With our deere blouds: be con stant, doe not warpe
    In this your zeale to Babilon.
    Paryd. Graue Palmio,
    To you I haue vnladen euen my soule,
    The wings frō home that brought me had sick feathers,
    1525Some you haue puld off: my owne countrey gra s s e
    Was to my feet sharpe needels ( stucke vpright)
    I tread on downe-beds now.
    Pal. But are your countreymen
    (I meane those that in thought with vs fea st richly)
    1530Fed with the course bread of affliction still?
    Paryd. Still father Palmio still, and to relieue them
    I dare doe what I told you.
    Pal. Noble valour!
    Pary. So that I might but read on yonder scrolls,
    1535A warrant writ vnder the seale of Heauen,
    To ju stifie the Act.
    Palm. You haue my hand,
    And shall haue more. Y'are reconcil'de (Sonne?)
    Pary. Yes.
    1540 Pal. Who did confe s s e you?
    Pary. Father Anniball.
    Pal. But did the Nuntio Campeggio
    Present your letters, and your vowed seruice
    At Babylon.
    1545 Pary. He did: I sued out warrant
    For pa s s age safely thither: aud from graue Como
    (One of the capitall Columnes of the state)
    This I receiued.
    Palm. He sends you here good welcome:
    1550'Tis strong; why went you not?
    Pary. I like it not:
    There wants a conuoy of some better words,
    Which hourely I expect: vpon a Sea
    So dangerous, so full of rockes, so narrow,
    1555(Albeit the venture holy and of honour)
    I would not gladly sayle, without direction
    Of noble Pilots, home I would not come
    Basely, but like a glorious voyager.
    Enter Ragazzoni.
    1560 Palm. Yea, you do well; the Nuntio Raggazoni!
    Not know him?
    Pary. Certes no.
    Palm. Come, you shall meete:
    Mon signor, here's a Gentleman de sires
    1565To haue your armes about him.---
    Rag. Willingly.
    Palm. He vndertakes an action full of merit,
    Sans promise or reward, to cure all those
    Through Fairie land, that are diseas'd within,
    1570And he will doo't, by letting one veine bloud.
    Ragaz. Shootes he at highe st?
    Palm. Yes.
    Rag. Draw home, and giue
    Your arrowes compa s s e, that vntill they fall
    1575Full on the head, none see them: you do well:
    My hands are yours: good speede.---
    Exit Ragazoni.
    Campeggio.
    Pal. Campeggio?
    1580Now shall you heare some newes.
    Camp. I doe a s s ure you,
    The Mi stris of vs all, hath on this paper
    Breath'd you a ble s sing: your deuotion
    Is recommended highly, and to nouri sh
    1585The flames new kindled in you, here's more fewell,
    Pary. Licence to go and come, in verbo imperatricis per omnes Iuris-
    dictiones Babilonicas absque impedimento.
    Good: would it had come sooner.
    Camp. Why?
    1590 Palm. 'Tis generall,
    Exceeding absolute and peremptorie.
    Pary. It giues me my ful saile: but by deepe vows,
    I am to trauell lower, yet if season
    Beat me not backe, I will to Babylon,
    1595What rubs soe're I meete in letters still,
    Ile ki s s e her sacred hand.
    Camp. You change not byas.
    Pary. Oh good sir, yonder is the goale I run for!
    Raggazoni at one dore, a Gentleman at another.
    1600 Rag. Lend me your speeches both.
    Pal. Yonder comes one of your owne countrey.
    Pary. Oh I know him Sir.
    Pal. Walk in this colledge cla s s e but som few minutes,
    Ile send or bring to you a Gentleman,
    1605Next neighbour to your countrey: an Albanois-----
    The man I told you of. Exeunt.
    Pary. Thankes Sir.
    Gent. Met happily, I look'd for you.
    Pary. Deere countryman the parly we late held
    1610About the land that bred vs, as how order
    Was rob'd of ceremonie (the rich robe of order)
    How Truth was freckled, spotted, nay made leaprous:
    How Iu stice----
    Gent. Come, no more.
    1615 Pary. Euen now (as then)
    You ward blowes off from her, that at all weapons
    Strikes at your head: but I repent we drew not
    That dialogue out to length, it was so sweet.
    Gent. At houres more opportune we shal: but country- (man
    1620I heard of late the mu sicke of my soule,
    And you the in strument are made that sounds it:
    Tis giuen me, that your selfe hath seal'd to heauen
    A bond of your deuotion, to goe forth
    As champion of vs all, in that good quarrell,
    1625That hath co st many liues.
    Pary. What need we vse
    Circumgyrations, and such wheelings? Sir,
    Beleeue it, to recouer our sicke Nurse
    Ide kill the noble st fo ster-child she keepes.
    1630 Gent. I know what bird you meane, & whō you hate,
    But let him stand to fall: no Sir, the Deere
    Which we all hope you'le strike, is euen the pride
    And glory of the Forre st: So, or not?
    Pary. My vowes are flowne vp, and it mu st be done,
    1635So this may be but settled.
    Gent. Do you stagger?
    Pary. All winds are not yet layd.
    Gent. Haue you looked out
    For skilfull coa sters, that know all the sounds,
    1640The flats, and quicke sands, and can safely land you
    Out of all touch of danger?
    Pary. I haue met many,
    And like a consort they hold seuerall tunes----
    Gent. But make they mu sicke?
    1645 Pary. Faith a little jarring:
    Sometimes a string or so: yet reuerend Palmio,
    And Anniball a Codreto keepe the streame
    In which I swim: the Nuntio Ragazzoni
    Plies me with wholesome phi sicke; so the Nuntio,
    1650My honored Friend Campeggio makes it cleere,
    That it is lawfull.
    Gent. Where at stick you then?
    Pary. At a small rocke, (a dispensation.)
    Raggazzoni, Palmio, Campeggio, & the Albonoys.
    1655 Gent. You cannot want for hands to helpe you for- (ward:
    In such a noble worke your friends are neere;
    Deere Countriman, my sword, my state, and honor,
    Are for your vse, goe on; and let no heate
    thaw your strong resolution, I shall see you,
    1660Before you take to Sea.
    Pary. You shall.
    Gen. My dewtie.
    Pai. This is the worthy Gentleman, to whome
    I wi sh your loue endeer'de: we haue some conference.
    1665 Pary. Borne Sir in Fairy Land?
    Alba. No marry Sir-An Albanois,
    Pary. Then for proximitie
    Of Countries, let vs enterchange acquaintance,
    I wi sh'd for your embracements, for your name
    1670Is crown'd with titles of integritie,
    Iudgement and Learning: let me vpon their Bases
    Erect a piller, by which Babylon,
    And all we may be strengthned.
    Alba. I pray be apert and plaine.
    1675 Pary. Then thus Sir; by the way of Argument
    I would a que stion put, to ta st your censure,
    Because I doe not soundly reli sh it.
    Alba. Propone it Sir, Ile solue it as I can.
    Pary. Suppose that in the field there were an Army,
    1680Commixt of halfe your kinsfolke, friends, and louers,
    The other halfe sworne foes, (all countrimen;)
    And that the leader of them were your father,
    And that this leading father were so partiall,
    That to preserue that halfe which loues you not,
    1685Ye would loose that which loues you: & that to take
    This Captaines life away, might bring this good,
    Of two sides to make one, and saue much bloud:
    Would not you doe it.
    Alba. Vmh: ya're ful of Ambage:
    1690I answere as my spirits leade me, thus,
    I would not doe it. Pary. Why Sir.
    Alba. Because I hold, Quod non omninò Licet.
    Par. Come, Come, I know (without al commenting)
    This text you vnder stand: wey the vtilitie,
    1695That goes with it: the health it giues to thousands;
    The sap it spreads through brāches which now wither:
    The re stauration---
    Alba. Sir I see to'th bottome,
    Of this deepe well you diue in: I doe arme you,
    1700In this strong fight, iu st with the selfe same weapons
    Which I would weare to guard mee, and those are
    My readings and beliefe setled by reading,
    And this I find. Quod non sunt faciẽda mala, vt veniant bona:
    For good; (how great so euer) mu st be don,
    1705no ill how small soeuer.
    Pary. Tis no euill.
    To barre out so great ill, with so great good.
    Alba. All good mu st not be done, but onely that- Quod ben è &
    legitimè fieri pote st: For Sir I know, that Deus magis amat aduerbia
    1710 quam nomina. Quia in actionibus magis et Placent Benè & legitimè quàm
    bonum. Ita vt nullum bonum Liceat facere, ni si bene & legitime fieri pote st.
    Quod in hoc Casu fieri non pote st.
    Pary. Yet (with your fauour) seuerall learned men,
    Are cleane from your opinion, and doe hold, Quòd licet.
    1715 Alba. Those learned men perhaps may hold it fit,
    That to saue many, they to one mans danger,
    (Referring all to the depth inscrutable)
    May allow of a particular; on no warrant
    That they can shew me written, but being stird,
    1720With a humaine compa s sion to mens liues:
    And le s s e you reuelation haue diuine,
    That bids you do, doe not; Thus you haue mine.
    Omn. What so hard at it.
    Pary. We haue done: the time,
    1725Doe's pull me from your sweet societie,
    Pal. You will to Babylon.
    Pary. I cannot tell;
    Whether I doe or no, you shall haue notice,
    How this great worke goes forward; strengthen mee,
    1730With all your comforts, and commend my seruice
    To the mo st glorious throne: if I get or'e,
    There lands blacke vengeance on the Fairy shore.
    Omn. If prayers can doe it shall. Exeunt.