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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Plaine dealing and Truth.
    1735 Pay. But how shall I know, thou art the right truth?
    Tru. Because I am not painted.
    Play. Nay if thou ha st no better coulour then that, ther's no
    trueth in thee, for Im'e sure your faire st wenches are free of
    the painters.
    1740 Tru. Be sides I am not gorgious in attire,
    But simple, plaine and homely; in mine eyes,
    Doues sit, not Sparrowes: on my mode st cheekes,
    No witching smiles doe dwell: vpon my tongue
    No vncha st language lies: my Skins not spotted
    1745With foule disease, as is that common harlot,
    That baseborne trueth, that liues in Babylon.
    Pla. Why? is shee spotted?
    Tru. All ouer, with sttange vglines, all ouer,
    Pla. Then she has got the pox, and lying at my ho st Gryn-
    1750 cums, since I left her company: how soeuer it be thou and I will
    liue hone st togither in one house, because my court mi stris will
    haue it so: I haue beene a Trauailer a great while, plaine dea-
    ling hath lept from country to country, till he had scarce a paire
    of soales to carrie him.
    1755 Tru. Why? in what Countries haue you beene?
    Pla. In more then I had mind to stay in; I haue beene among st
    the Turkes too, the Turkes made as much of poore plaine dea-
    ling, as those whom we call Chri stians.
    Tru. What man is that great Turke? I neuer saw him:
    1760 Par. Nor euer shalt: why the great Turke is a very little fel-
    low; I haue seene a scuruy little bad paltry Chri stian, has beene
    taken for the greate st Turke there.
    Tru. Where had you bin, when now you met with me.
    Plain. Looking vp and downe for thy selfe: and yet I lie too,
    1765now I remember, I was in the citie: our mi stre s s e would needes
    haue me goe thither, to see fa shions: I could make an excellent
    Taylor for Ladies and gentlemen, and fooles, for I haue seene
    more fa shions there, then a picture drawer makes skuruy faces,
    the fir st two yeares of his trade: its the madde st circle to coniure
    1770in, that euer raiz'd spirit.
    Truth. Tell me good kinsman, what in the citie saw you?
    Plain. What did I see? why Ile tell the cozen; I sawe no more
    conscience in mo st of your rich men, then in Tauerne faggots:
    nor no more sobernes in poore men, then in Tauerne spiggots: I
    1775 see that citizens fine wiues vndo their husbands (by their pride)
    within a yeare after they are married; and within halfe a yeare
    after they be widdowes, knights vndo them: they'le giue a 100.
    pound to be dubd ladies, and to ride in a coach, when they haue
    scarce another hundred pound left to keep the horses. But cozē
    1780 Truth, I met in one street a number of men in gowns, with papers
    in their hands, what are all those?
    Truth. Oh! they are the sonnes of Iu stice; they are those
    That beat the kingdom leuell, keep it smooth
    And without rubs: they are the poore mans captaine,
    1785The rich mans souldier, and cal'd Lawiers.
    Plain. Lawiers? doe st know any of them?
    Truth. A few.
    Plain. I wondred what they were, I asked one of them if they
    were going to foot-ball, yes said he, doe you not see those coun-
    1790trey fellowes, we are again st them; and who do you thinke shall
    winne, said I, oh said he, the gownes, the gownes. Enter Time.
    Time. Follow me Truth; Plaine dealing follow me. Exit
    Plain. He charges like a Con stable; come, wee are his watch:
    follow me? Is our Time mad?
    1795O braue mad Time. Exeunt.