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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Paridell and his kinsman.
    2285 Pari: What if I shewe you a foundation,
    Firme as earthes fixed Center? a strong warrant,
    To strike the head off, an Iniunction
    That bids me doo't: A dispensation
    For what I doe: A pardon sign'd, that giues
    2290Indulgence plenarie, and full remi s sion
    (For any criminall breach of the highe st Law)
    After 'tis done: nay more, a voice as cleere
    As that of Angels, which proclaimes the act,
    Good, honourable, meritorious,
    2295Lawfull, and pyous, what if I shew you this?
    Cox: Come, come, you cannot, then let riotous heires
    beg pattents to kill fathers: graunt but this
    Murder may be a faire Monopoly,
    And Princes stab'd by Acts of parliament:
    2300Who i' st dare that thing meritorious call,
    Which feindes themselues count diabolicall?
    Pari: Your coldnes makes me wonder: why should you
    ronne vp to'th necke, from drowning to saue her,
    That treades vpon your head; your throat, to sincke you?
    2305 Coz: Say you should wound me; should I (in reuenge)
    Murder my selfe? for what can be the close
    But death, di shonour; yea, damnation
    To an act so base, nay so impo s sible.
    Pari: Impo s sible; the parting of the ayre,
    2310Is not more easy: looke vpon the Court,
    Through narrowe sights, and shees the faire st marke,
    And soone st hit of any: like the Turke
    Shee walkes not with a Ianisarie--Guard,
    Nor (as the Ru s siā with fowle-big-boand slaues,
    2315Strutting on each side with the slicing Axe,
    Like to a payre of hangmen: no, alas:
    Her Courts of Guard are Ladies, & (sometimes)
    Shee's in the garden with as small a trayne,
    As is the Sun in heauen: and our Acce s s e,
    2320May then as easy be as that of Clyents,
    To Lawyers out of terme--time.
    Coz: Grant all this:
    Nay, say the blow were giuen: how would you scape?
    Pari: Oh, Sir by water.--- Coz: I but.---
    2325 Pari: Nay, good cozen.----
    Crz: You leape as short at safety, as at starre:s
    By water: why the gates will all be lockt,
    Wayters you mu st haue none.
    Pari: Heare me. Coz: Heare me,
    2330You mu st not haue a man, and if you kill
    With powder, ayre betrayes you.
    Pari: Powder! no Sir, my dagge shall be my dagger:
    Good sweete Cozen marke but how smooth
    My pathes are: looke you Sir,
    2335 Cox: I haue thought vpon a course.
    Pari: Nay, nay, heare mine,
    You are my marke, suppose you are my marke,
    My leuell is thus lowe, but er'e I rise,
    My hand's got vp thus hie: the deere, being strucke,
    2340The heard that stand about so frighted are,
    I shall haue leaue to scape, as does a pirate,
    Who hauing made a shot through one more strong,
    All in that ship runne to make good the breach,
    Whil st th'other sailes away. How like you this?
    2345 Cox: As I like paper harne s s e.
    Pari: Ha, well, pawse then:
    This bow shall stand vnbent, and not an arrow
    Be shot at her vntill we take our ayme
    In S. Iagoes parke; a rare, rare Altar!
    2350The fitt' st to sacrifize her bloud vpon:
    It shall be there: in S. Iagoes parke:
    Ha coz! it shall be there: in the meane time,
    We may keepe followers (nine or ten a peece)
    Without suspition: numbers may worke wonders;
    2355The storme being sudden too: for were the guard
    A hundred strong about her, looke you sir,
    All of vs well appoynted---Case of dags
    To each man, see you? you shoote there, we heere,
    Vnle s s e some spirits put the bullets by,
    2360Ther's no escape for her: say the dags faile,
    Then to our swordes.--Come, ther's no mettle in you.
    Cox: No mettle in me? would your warres were hone ste
    I quickly would finde Armour: what's the goade
    So sharpe, that makes you wildely thus to runne
    2365Vpon your certaine ruine?
    Pari: Goad? sharp ponyards,
    Why should I spare her bloud?
    Coz: She gaue you yours.
    Pari: To ha tan'e it had bin tyrany, her owne lips
    2370Confe st I strucke her lawes not hard: I ha spent
    My youth, and meanes in seruing her: what reape I?
    Wounds (discoutents) what giues she me? good words
    (Sweet meates that rotte the eater:) why, la st day
    I did but begge of her the mai ster ship
    2375Of Santa Cataryna, twas denied me.
    Coz: She keepes you to a better.
    Pari: I tu sh, thats not all:
    My bonds are yonder seald; And she mu st fall.
    Coz: Well coz, ile hence.
    2380 Pari: When shall I see you? Coz: Hah.
    Soone: very soone: sooner than you expect,
    Let me but breath, and what I meane to doe,
    I shall resolue you.
    Pari: Fare you well,
    2385 Coz. Adue. ———— Exit.