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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    1875 Titania, Elfiron, Florimel, a gentleman standing aloofe,
    and Ropus.
    Titan. What comes this paper for? Fid. Your hand.
    Titan. The cause?
    Fidel. The Moone that from your beames did borrow light,
    1880Hath from her siluer bow shot pitchy clowds
    T'ecclipse your brightnes: heauen tooke your part,
    And her surpriz'd; A jurie of bright starres,
    Haue her vnworthy found to shine agen:
    Your Fairies therefore on their knees intreat,
    1885Shee may be puld out from the firmament,
    Where shee was plac'd to glitter.
    Titan. Mu st we then,
    Strike those whom we haue lou'd? albeit the children,
    Whom we haue nouri sht at our princely brea st,
    1890Set daggers to it, we could be content
    To chide, not beat them, (might we vse our will,)
    Our hand was made to saue, but not to kill.
    Flor. You mu st not (cause hee's noble) spare his blood.
    Titan. We should not, for hee's noble that is good.
    1895 Fid. The fall of one, like multitudes on yee,
    Makes all the re st, (of footing) be more nyce:
    But if by ventring on that gla s sie floore
    Too farre, he sinks, and yet rise with no more harme,
    Ten thousand to like danger it doth arme:
    1900All mercy in a Prince, makes vile the state,
    All ju stice makes euen cowards desperate.
    Titan. In neither of these seas, spread we our sayles,
    But are the impartiall beame between both scales;
    Yet if we needs mu st bow, we would incline
    1905To that where mercy lies, that scale's diuine:
    But so to saue were our owne brea st to wound,
    Nay (which is more) our peoples: for their good,
    We mu st the Surgeon play, and let out blood.
    Euery Peeres birth stickes a new starre in heauen,
    1910But falling by Luciferan insolence,
    With him a Con stellation drops from thence.
    Giue me his Axe --- how soon the blow is giuen? writes
    Witne s s e: so little we in blood delight,
    That doing this worke, we wi sh we could not write.
    1915Let's walke my Lords. Florimel? Flor. Madame. Titan. Stay:
    Not one arm'd man among st vs? you might now
    Be all old-beaten souldiers: truth I thanke ye;
    If I were now a jewel worth the stealing,
    Two theeues might bind you all. Omn. With much adoe.
    1920 Tita. I marry I commend yon gentleman.
    Pray Sir come neere, looke you hee's well prouided
    For all rough wethers: Sir, you way be proud,
    That you can giue armes better than these Lords,
    I thanke you yet, that if a storme should fall,
    1925We could make you our shelter. A good sword?
    This would goe through stich; had I heart to kill
    I'de wi sh no better weapon; but our dayes
    Of quarreling are pa st; shall we put vp Sir,
    We ha put vp wrongs ere now, but this is right,
    1930Nay we are not falling yet,
    Flor. It did vs good
    To see how your Maie stick presence dawnted
    The silly gentleman.
    Tita. The sillie gentleman!
    1935 Fid. He knew not how to stand, nor what to speak,
    Tita. The silly gentleman? know you him Lords?
    Where is hee?
    Flor. Gotten hence poore wretch with shame.
    Tita. That wretch hath sworne to kill me with that (sword,
    1940 Omn. How?
    Fid. The traytor.
    Flor. Locke the Court gates.
    Omn. Guard her person. Exeunt omnes.
    Tita. You guard it well. Alacke! when louers wooe,
    1945An extreame ioy and feare, them so apall,
    That ouer much loue, shewes no loue at all.
    Zeale sometimes ouer-does her part- It's right--
    When the frais done, Cowards crie whers the Flight. Pentioners.
    Florimell
    1950 Flor. The wolfes in his own snare: O damned slaue!
    I had like to ha made his heart my ponyards graue.
    How got you to this knowledge?--- ble s s ed heauen!
    Tita. It came vnto me strangely: from a window,
    Mine eyes tooke marke of him; that he would shoot
    1955Twa's told me, and I tried if he dur st doo't.
    Is Ropus here, our Doctor?
    Rop. Gratious Lady.
    [Tyta:] You haue a lucky hand since you were ours,
    It quickens our ta st well; fill vs of that
    1960You la st did mini ster: a draught, no more,
    And giue it fire, euen Doctor how thou wilt.
    Rop: I made a new extraction, you shall neuer
    Relli sh the like.
    Tyta: Why, shall that be my la st?
    1965 Ro: Oh my deere Mi stres! Exit Ropus. Enter Parthe- (nophill.
    Tyta. Go, go, I dare sware thou lou' st my very heart.
    Parth: This scaly Serpent
    Is throwne (as he deserues) vpon the Sword
    Of Iu stice; and to make these tydings twinnes,
    1970I bring this happy newes, Campeius,
    (A Snake that in my bosome once I warm'd:)
    The man for whome---.
    Tyta: Oh, wee remember him.
    Parth: This Owle, that did not loue your sacred light,
    1975Stole or'e the Seas by darknes, and was held
    In Babilon a bird of noble flight:
    They tourn'd him to a Go shawke, fether'd him
    Arm'd him with tallents, & then gaue him bels,
    And hither charg'd him fly, he did: and soar'd
    1980O're all your goodlye st woods, and thicke st groues,
    Inticing birdes that had the skill in song,
    To learne har sh notes: and those that fail'd in voice,
    He taught to pecke the tender blo s s omes off,
    To spoyle the leauy trees, and with sharpe bils
    1985To mangle all the Golden eares of corne.
    But now hee's tan'e.
    Tyta: Good sheapheards ought not care,
    How many foxes fall into the Snare. Enter Elfyron.
    Elf: Your ciuill Doctor, Doctor Paridell
    1990Ca sts Anchor on your shores againe, being freighted
    With a good venture, which he saies, your selfe
    Mu st onely haue the sight of. Exit.
    Tyta: Bring him hither:
    Lord Florimell, pray call Fideli to vs.
    1995 Florimell, Fideli, Ropus.
    Tyta: Sure 'tis too hot. Fid: Oh roague!
    Tyta: Set it to coole.
    Fid: Hell and damnation, Diuels,
    Flor: What's that?
    2000 Fid: The damned' st treason! Dog: you whorsen dog;
    O ble s s ed mayd: let not the toad come neere her:
    What's this? If't be his brewing, touch it not---
    For 'tis a drench to kill the stronge st Deuill,
    That's Druncke all day with brim stone: come sucke, Weezell,
    2005Sucke your owne teat, you--- pray;
    Thou art preseru'd.
    Tyta: From what? From whome?
    Fid: Looke to that Gli ster-pipe:
    One crowne doe's serue thy tourne, but heere's a theefe,
    2010That mu st haue 50000. crownes to steale
    Thy life: Here 'tis in blacke and white--thy life,
    Sirra thou Vrinall, Tynoco, Gama,
    Andrada, and Ibarra, names of Diuels,
    Or names to fetch vp Diuels: thou knowe st these Scar-crowes.
    2015 Rop: Oh mee! O mercy, mercy! I confe s s e.
    Fid: Well sayd, thou shalt be hang'd then.
    Tyta: Haue we for this Shee reades the letter,
    Heap'd fauours on thee.
    Fid: Heape halters on him: call the Guard: out polecat: Enter Gard.
    2020He smels, thy conscience stincks Doctor goe purge
    Thy soule, for 'tis diseas'd. Away with Ropus.
    Omu. Away with him: foh.
    Rop: Here my tale but out.
    Fid: Ther's too muchout already.
    2025 Fid: On me accursed! and mo st miserable. Exit with Guard.
    Tyta: Goodnes of vertue! is my bloud so sweet,
    That they would pay so deere for't Fid: To sucke Lambes,
    What would not Wolues doe, he that this paper writte,
    Had neuer meaning we should finger it.
    2030 Tyta: Our a mercy makes them cruell, hunt out these Leopards:
    Their own spots will betray them: they build caues
    Euen in our parkes: to them, him; and the re st,
    Let death be sent, but sent in such a shape,
    As may not be too frightfull. Alacke! what glorie
    2035Is it to buffet wretches bound in giues?
    The debt is derely paid that's payd with liues
    Oh! leaue vs all.
    Enter Elfiron and Paridell.
    Fid: More Doctors! if this doe
    2040As well as tother, be st to hang him too. Exeunt
    Tytania, Paridell.
    Tyta: Florimell! Stay,
    But giue vs liberty.
    Pari: This is the ble s s ed day for which (through want
    2045Of those bright rayes that sparkle from your eyes)
    My frozen soule hath langui sh'd Godde s s e compleate,
    If you, a wretch so meane, will bid to speake,
    I shall vnclaspe a booke whose very fir st line,
    (Being not well pointed) is my doome to death:
    2050But if your sacred iudgement (on the Margine,)
    Controwle all wre sting comments, All your subiects
    Will fold me in their bosomes. Tyta: Giue your minde.
    Par: A Pilgrim haue I been on forren shores,
    (Your gracious hand allow'd it) in my wandring,
    2055With Mon sters I encountred of straunge shape,
    Some that suckt poyson vp, and spet it foorth,
    Vpon your land: some, that shot forked stinges,
    At your mo st God-like person: all were Gyants,
    Fighting again st the heauen of your ble st raigne:
    2060With these (oh pardon me!) with these I held
    A polliticke league, the lines of all their treasons,
    (Drawne from one damned circle) met in mee,
    My heart became the Center, and the point
    Was this-----I dare not tell it.
    2065 Tyta: Speake? Peri: To kill you.
    Tyta: How dur st you (being our subiect) wade so far?
    Par: Your eare of mercy. I became a spunge
    To drincke vp all their mischiefe, and lay drown'd
    In their infected waters, (with much loathing,)
    2070Onely that I before you might wring out
    This their corruption, and my selfe make cleere.
    And now (immortall maid) i'me not vnlike
    A casket wherein papers stuft with danger,
    Haue close beene lockt, but those tane out, the che st
    2075Serues to good vse, so may my loyall bre st:
    For from their flintie hearts what sparkes I got,
    Were but to fire themselues.
    Tyta. I praise your plotte,
    You make vs now your debter, but a day
    2080Will come, when we shal pay. My Lord, we want your Arme.
    Pary. Vmh! I feare----
    Tyta: Doctor, weele haue (Sir) other Dialogues. Exeunt.
    Pary. O shallow foole, thou ha st thy selfe vndone,
    Shees hardned and thou melted at one sunne. Exit.