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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Tytania, Elfyron, Parthenophil, Parydel, Florimell.
    Flor. Newes; thundring newes sweete Lady: Enuy, Ambition,
    Theft sacrilegious, and base treason, lay
    Their heads and handes togither, at one pull
    2390To heaue you from your throne: that manni sh woman-Diuell,
    That lu stfull bloudie Queene of Babylon,
    Hath (as we gather ripe intelligence)
    Rigd an Armd fleete, which euen now beates the waues,
    Boa sting to make their wombes our Cities graues.
    2395 Tyta. Let it come on: our Generall leades aboue them,
    Earth-quakes may kingdomes mooue, but not remooue them.
    Fideli.
    Fid. He yonder, he that playes the fiend at sea,
    The little Captaine that's made all of fire,
    2400Sweares (Flemming-like) by twenty thousand Diuels,
    If our tongues walke thus, and our feete stand still,
    So many huge ships neere our coa sts are come,
    An Oy ster-boate of ours will scarce finde roome.
    He sweares the windes haue got the sailes with childe,
    2405With such big bellies, all the linnen's gone,
    To finde them linnen and in Babylon,
    That ther's not one ragge left,
    Tyta. Why swels this fleete?
    Fid. Thus they giue out, that you sent forth a Drake,
    2410Which from their riuers beate their water-fowle,
    Tore siluer feathers from their faire st Swannes,
    And pluckt the Halcions winges that roue at sea,
    And made their wilde-duckes vnder-water diue,
    So long, that some neuer came vp aliue.
    2415This Sea-pie Babylon, her bug-Beare calles,
    For when her ba stards cry, let the nurse cry
    But this, the Drake comes, they hu sh presently,
    For him thei'le cudgell vs: will you ha the troth?
    That scarlet-whore is thir stie and no bloud,
    2420But yours, and ours (sweete maide) can doe her good.
    Tyta. That drake shal out againe: to counsel Lords.
    Fid. Come, come, short counsell: better get long swordes.
    Flor. Good Lady dread not you, what ere befall.
    Fid. Weel'e die fir st, yours is the la st funeral: away, away, away. Exeunt.
    2425 Omn. Po sts, po sts, cal me s s engers, po sts with al speed.
    Tyta. How? feare? why should white bosomes
    Feare a Tyrants Arme?
    Tyrants may kill vs, but not doe vs harme.
    Are we your prisoners that you garde vs thus? Exeunt,
    2430Stay, And you too, we are alone: when la st Manet Paridell.
    We entertaynd your speech (as we remember)
    Close traines and dangerous you did discouer
    To fire which you were praid.
    Pari. I was. Tyta. And yeelded.
    2435Albeit it were again st our life.
    Pari. Mo st true.-----my reasons.---
    Tyta. We forget them not: at that time
    Here was but one, (true) but one counceller,
    Who stood aloofe, heard nothing; and though a bloud
    2440Of courser veines then ours, would haue beene stird
    Into a sea tempe stuous to boyle vp,
    And drowne the Pilate that dur st saile so farre,
    Yet of our princely grace (tho twas not fitte,
    Nor stood with wisdome) did we silence it.
    2445These heaped fauours, not with standing (Doctor)
    Tis in our eare: the hammers lie not still,
    But that new clubs of iron are forging now,
    To bruife our bones, and that your selfe doe knowe,
    The very Anuile where they worke.
    2450 Pari. I.
    Tyta. Heare vs, because tis thought some of those worser spirits,
    And mo st malignant that at midnight rise
    To bla st our Faiery circles by the Moone,
    Are your Familiars.
    2455 Pari: Madam. Tyta: Sir anone.
    Thee therefore I coniure (if not by faith,
    Oathed allegeance, nor thy conscience,
    Perhaps this ranckling vlcerateth them)
    Yet by thy hopes of bli s s e, tell, and tell true,
    2460Who i' st mu st let vs bloud?
    Pary. O vnhappie man;
    That thou should st breathe thus long: mirrour of women,
    I open now my bre st euen to the heart,
    My very soule pants on my lips: none, none,
    2465I know of none.
    Tyta. Well; none: rise and take heede,
    They are no common droppes when Princes bleede.
    What houre is this? does not my larum strike?
    This watch goes false.
    2470 Pari: This watch goes true.
    Tyta: All's naught.----what houre is this?
    Pari. Thy la st houre, O heauens, furder
    The worke you haue begun: where art thou heart?
    Tyta: Oh we see't: Doctor wind vp the wheele, tis downe,
    2475 Pari: Tis downe.
    Tita. How now? what strucke thee downe? thy lookes are wilde:
    Why was thine armed hand reard to his height?
    What blacke worke art thou doing?
    Pari. Of damnation vpon my selfe; Tita: How?
    2480 Pari: Your wordes haue split my heart in thowsand shiuers,
    Heere, heere that stickes which I feare will not out
    Better to die than liue suspected. Had not your bright eyes
    Turnd backe vpon me, I had long ere this
    Layen at your feete a bloudie sacrifice.
    2485 Tyta. Staind Altars please not vs: why doe st thou weepe?
    Thou mak' st my good thoughts of thee now declyne,
    Who loues not his owne bloud, will ne're spare mine,
    Why doe st thou weepe?
    Pari. When on your face I looke,
    2490Me thinkes I see those Vertues drawne aliue
    Which did in Elfilyne the seauenth suruiue,
    (Your fathers father, and your grandfather,)
    And then that you should take me for a serpent
    Gnawing the branches of that glorious tree,
    2495The griefe melts euen my soule, O pardon me.
    Tita. Contract thy spirits togither, be compos'd;
    Take a full man into thee, for beholde
    All these blacke clowdes we cleere: looke vp, tis day,
    The sunne shines on thee still: weel'e reade: away---
    2500 Pari. O machle s s e; im'e all poyson, and yet she
    Turnes all to goodnes by wise tempering me. Goes off.
    Tita. If thou prou' st copper---well; this makes vs strong
    As towers of flint. All traytors are but waues,
    That beate at rockes, their owne blowes digge their graues.
    2505 Paridell manet.
    Pari. For not dooing am I damde: how are my spirits
    Halde, tortured, and growne wilde? on leaues eternall
    Vowes haue I writ so deepe, so bound them vp,
    So texted them in characters capitall,
    2510I cannot race them but I blot my name
    Out of the booke of sence: mine oath stands filde
    On your court-roles. Then keepe it, vp to heauen
    Thy ladder's but thus hie: courage, to kill
    Ten men I should not freeze thus: yet her murder
    2515Cannot be named bloud- shed, for her Faieries
    Are all of faith, and fealty a s s oyled,
    The balme that her annoynted is wa sht off,
    Her crowne is now not hers; vpon the paine
    Of a blacke curse, no more mu st I obey her,
    2520I climbe to heauen by this, climbe then and slay her.
    Tyta. A tyrants strange, but iu st end! --- Reades.
    Ran mad for sleepe, and died Princes that plunge
    Their soules in ranke and godle s s e appetites
    Mu st seeke no re st but in the armes of Sprites.
    2525 Pa. Nothing to read? that (if my nerues should shrink
    And make mine arme reuolt) I might haue colour
    To vsurp this walke of hers: whats this? see, see
    An Angel thru sts this iron into my hand,
    My warrant signd from Babylon to kill her,
    2530Endorsed, the la st will of Paridell. ---- Reade.
    *Le concede sua Benedictione, pleuaria indulgenza,
    * The very wordes of
    Eo remi s sione disuttils peccati---tuttili peccati---
    Cardinal Como his
    All, all my sinnes are paid off, paying this,
    letter sent to Parry.
    Tis done, tis done, All you ble st powers I charme,
    2535Now, now, knit all your sinewes to this arme.
    As he offers to step to her, he staies sodainly, vpon the approch of
    Fidely, Florimel, Parthenophil, Elfiron, the Ladies,
    a Guard, and the Doctors Cozen.
    Omn. You ha proou'd your selfe a loyall gentleman.
    2540 Fid. The hand of Angels guide vs: Shees not heere,
    The Queen's kild; treason: Wenches, raise the Court.
    Omn. Walke seuerall waies fir st.
    Fid. Waies; shees murdered: treason.
    Tyt. Treason; a sword. What traytor dare? who? where?
    2545 Flo. A guard: the damned serpent, see, lurkes heere.
    Fid. Sure heeres some ne st they breed in: paw him fa st,
    This Woolfe, this Toade (marke, he swelles red with poyson,)
    This learned knaue is sworne to murder thee.
    Pari. I defie any man that speakes it.
    2550 Fid. Hah:---defie this noble, hone st gentleman,
    Defie him, he shal spit it on thy face,
    Thy beard scald Doctor.
    Pari. And doe st thou betray me? Sai st thou so?
    Cox. And will seale my speech with bloud.
    2555 Pari. My no again st his yea; My no is as good.
    Fid. Better, his yeas goe naked, and your noes
    Very well clokd: off, come, truth naked goes,
    And heres his naked truth. ---Shewes his drawn dagger.
    Tyta. Againe.
    2560 Pari. Oh me;---now nothing but your mercy me can saue.
    Tita. It mu st not: Princes that would safely liue,
    May grieue at traytors falles but not forgiue.
    Let him be sommond to the barre of shame.
    Pari. Tis welcome, a blacke life, ends in blacke fame. Exit.
    2565 Omn. Away with him.
    Parth. Now to the bu sines,
    We haue one foote.
    Fid. I, I, looke to the head.
    The hangman cures those members.
    2570 Tita. What is done?
    Flor. This (sacred Lady:) we with either hand
    Haue raisde an Armie both by sea and land.
    Your goodly ships beare the mo st royall freight,
    That the world owes (true hearts:) their wōbes are ful,
    2575Of noble spirits, each man in his face
    Shewes a Kings daunting looke, the souldiers stand
    So thickly on the decke, so brauely plum'd,
    (The Silken steamers wauing ore their heades)
    That (seeing them) you would iudge twere Penteco st,
    2580And that the iollie young sters of your townes,
    Had flockt togither in gay multitudes,
    For May-games, and for summer merriments,
    They looke so cheerely: in such little roome
    So many Faieries neuer dwelt at once,
    2585Neuer so many men were borne so soone,
    The drum that gaue the call, could not be heard
    For iu stling armours: er'e the call was done,
    It was so ringd about with groues of pikes,
    That when they brake on both sides to giue way,
    2590The beating of the drum was thunders noise,
    Whil st coates of steele cla sht so on coates of steele,
    Helmets on helmets that they strucke out fire,
    Which shewd like lightning, or those flames that flie
    From the huge Cyclops-hammer, when they sweate
    2595To forge Ioues thunder: And in such a heate
    With quicknes ru sh they armed forth, captaines swore,
    Harne s s e was sure the cloathes they daily wore.
    Men fa ster came to fight then to a fea st.
    Fid. Nay, women sued to vs they might be pre st.
    2600 Parth. Old grandams that on crutches beare vp age,
    Full nimbly buckled Armours on their sonnes,
    And when twas on, she clapt him on his backe,
    And spake thus, runne my boye, fight till th'art dead,
    Thy bloud can neuer be more brauely shed.
    2605 Tita. How are the numbers you haue leuied?
    Fid. What your sea-forces are, this briefe doth speak.
    Elf. We haue rais'd double walls to fence your land.
    The one the bodie of a standing Camp,
    Whose tents by this are pitcht in Beria,
    2610On the shores point, to barre the foe from footing.
    Tita. Ouer that Camp at Beria* we create
    *Tilbury.
    Your Florimell Lieuetenant Generall;
    Elf: The other is to guarde your royall person.
    Tita: Whose charge is yours: the sea Fideli, yours.
    2615 Elf: The standing camp of horsemen and of foore,
    These numbers fill. Launces 253. Horsemen 769.
    Footemen 22000. The mouing Army, which attends on you,
    Is thus made vp: of horsmen & of foote, Launcers 481.
    Light horse-men 1421. Footemen 34050.
    2620 Tita. We do not raise our hopes on points of speares.
    A handfull is an ho st, in a good fight,
    Lambes may beate Lions in a warre not right.
    The Generall of all armies be our leader,
    Be full of courage Lordes as ya're in yeares.
    2625For this be sure weele not out-liue our peeres.
    Fid. Weele al liue, but wil fir st haue them bi'th eares.
    Tyta. Goe on, your conduct be the prosperous hand,
    Make you the sea good, weele not loose the land.
    Your Queene will to the field, It shall be said,
    2630Once souldiers to their Captaine had a Maide. Exeunt.