Digital Renaissance Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Quarto 2, 1604)
  • Editor: Joost Daalder
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-490-5

    Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton
    Editor: Joost Daalder
    Peer Reviewed

    The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Quarto 2, 1604)

    Enter at one doore a Funerall, a Coronet lying on the Hearse, Scut-
    chins and Garlands hanging on the sides, attended by Gasparo
    Trebatzi, Duke of Millan, Castruchio, Sinezi. Pioratto
    5 Fluello, and others at an other doore. Enter Hipolito in discon-
    tented apparance: Matheo a Gentleman his friend, labouring
    to hold him backe.
    BEhold, yon Commet shewes his head againe;
    10Twice hath he thus at crosse-turnes throwne on vs
    Prodigious lookes: Twice hath he troubled
    The waters of our eyes. See, hee's turnde wilde;
    Go on in Gods name.
    All On afore there ho.
    15Duke Kinsmen and friends, take from your manly sides
    Your weapons to keepe backe the desprate boy
    From doing violence to the innocent dead.
    Hipolito I pry thee deere Matheo.
    Matheo Come, y'are mad.
    20Hip: I do arest thee murderer: set downe.
    Villaines set downe that sorrow, tis all mine.
    Duke I do beseech you all, for my bloods sake
    Send hence your milder spirits, and let wrath
    Ioine in confederacie with your weapons points;
    25If he proceede to vexe vs, let your swordes
    Seeke out his bowells: funerall griefe loathes words.
    All Set on.
    Hip. Set downe the body.
    Mat: O my Lord?
    30Y'are wrong: i'th open streete? you see shees dead.
    Hip: I know shee is not dead.
    Duke Franticke yong man,
    Wilt thou beleeve these gentlemen? pray speake:
    A 2
    The converted Curtezan.
    Thou doost abuse my childe, and mockst the teares
    35That heere are shed for her: If to behold
    Those roses withered, that set out her cheekes:
    That paire of starres that gave her body light,
    Darkned and dim for ever: All those rivers
    That fed her veines with warme and crimson streames,
    40Frozen and dried vp: If these be signes of death,
    Then is she dead. Thou vnreligious youth,
    Art not ashamde to emptie all these eyes
    Of funerall teares, (a debt due to the dead,)
    As mirth is to the living: Sham'st thou not
    45To have them stare on thee? harke, thou art curst
    Even to thy face, by those that scarce can speake.
    Hip. My Lord.
    Duke What wouldst thou have? is she not dead?
    Hip. Oh, you ha killd her by your crueltie.
    50Duke Admit I had, thou killst her now againe;
    And art more savage then a barbarous Moore.
    Hip. Let me but kisse her pale and bloodlesse lip.
    Duke O fie, fie, fie.
    Hip. Or if not touch her, let me looke on her.
    55Math. As you regard your honour.
    Hip. Honour! smoake.
    Math. Or if you lov'de hir living, spare her now.
    Duke I, well done sir, you play the gentleman:
    Steale hence: tis nobly done: away: Ile ioyne
    60My force to yours, to stop this violent torment:
    Passe on. Exeunt with funerall.
    Hip. Matheo, thou doost wound me more.
    Math. I give you phisicke noble friend, not wounds,
    Duke Oh well said, well done, a true gentleman:
    65Alacke, I know the sea of lovers rage
    Comes rushing with so strong a tide: it beates
    And beares downe all respects of life, of honour,
    Of friends, of foes, forget her gallant youth.
    Hip. Forget her?
    70Duke Na, na, be but patient:
    For why deaths hand hath sued a strict divorse
    The converted Curtezan.
    Twixt her and thee: whats beautie but a coarse?
    What but faire sand-dust are earths purest formes:
    Queenes bodies are but trunckes to put in wormes.
    75Matheo Speake no more sentences, my good lord, but slip
    hence; you see they are but fits, ile rule him I warrant ye. I, so,
    treade gingerly, your Grace is heere somewhat too long alrea-
    dy. Sbloud the jeast were now, if having tane some knockes
    o'th pate already, he should get loose againe, and like a madde
    80Oxe, tosse my new blacke cloakes into the kennell. I must hu-
    mour his lordship: my lord Hipolito, is it in your stomacke to
    goe to dinner?
    Hipolito Where is the body?
    Matheo The body, as the Duke spake very wisely, is gone
    85to be wormd.
    Hipolito I cannot rest, ile meete it at next turne,
    Ile see how my love lookes, Mathaeo holds him ins armes
    Mathaeo How your love lookes? worse than a scarre-crowe,
    wrastle not with me: the great felow gives the fall for a duckat.
    90Hipolito I shall forget my selfe.
    Mathaeo Pray do so, leave your selfe behinde your selfe, and
    go whither you will. Sfoote, doe you long to have base roags
    that maintaine a saint Anthonies fire in their noses (by nothing
    but two peny Ale) make ballads of you? if the Duke had but so
    95much mettle in him, as is in a coblers awle, he would ha beene a
    vext thing: he and his traine had blowne you vp, but that their
    powlder haz taken the wet of cowards: youle bleed three pot-
    tles of Aligant, by this light, if you follow em, and then wee
    shall have a hole made in a wrong place, to have Surgeons roll
    100thee vp like a babie in swadling clowts.
    Hipolito What day is to day, Mathaeo?
    Mathaeo Yea mary, this is an easie question: why to day is,
    let me see, thurseday. Hipolito Oh, thurseday.
    Mathaeo Heeres a coile for a dead commoditie, sfoote wo-
    105men when they are alive are but dead commodities, for you
    shall have one woman lie vpon many mens hands.
    Hipolito Shee died on monday then.
    Mathaeo And thats the most villainous day of all the weeke
    to die in: and she was wel, and eate a messe of water-grewel on
    A 3 monday
    The converted Curtezan.
    110monday morning.
    Hipolito I, it cannot be,
    Such a bright taper should burne out so soone.
    Mathaeo O yes my Lord, so soone: why I ha knowne them,
    that at dinner have bin aswell, and had so much health, that they
    115were glad to pledge it, yet before three a clocke have bin found
    dead drunke.
    Hipolito On thurseday buried! and on monday died,
    Quicke haste birlady: sure her winding sheete
    Was laide out fore her bodie, and the wormes
    120That now must feast with her, were even bespoke,
    And solemnely invited like strange guests.
    Mathaeo Strange feeders they are indeede my lord, and like
    your jeaster or yong Courtier, will enter vpon any mans tren-
    cher without bidding.
    125Hipolito Curst be that day for ever that robd her
    Of breath, and me of blisse, hencefoorth let it stand
    Within the Wizardes booke (the kalendar)
    Markt with a marginall finger, to be chosen
    By theeves, by villaines, and blacke murderers,
    130As the best day for them to labour in.
    If hencefoorth this adulterous bawdy world
    Be got with childe with treason, sacrilege,
    Atheisme, rapes, treacherous friendship, periurie,
    Slaunder, (the beggars sinne) lies, (sinne of fooles)
    135Or anie other damnd impieties,
    On Monday let em be delivered:
    I sweare to thee Mathaeo, by my soule.
    Heereafter weekely on that day ile glew
    Mine eie-lids downe, because they shall not gaze
    140On any female cheeke. And being lockt vp
    In my close chamber, there ile meditate
    On nothing but my Infaelices end,
    Or on a dead mans scull drawe out mine owne.
    Mathaeo Youle doe all these good workes now every mon-
    145day, because it is so bad: but I hope vppon tuesday morning I
    shall take you with a wench.
    Hipolito If ever whilst fraile bloud through my veins runne,
    The converted Curtezan.
    On womans beames I throw affection,
    Save her thats dead: or that I loosely flie
    150To'th shoare of any other wafting eie,
    Let me not prosper heaven. I will be true,
    Even to her dust and ashes: could her tombe
    Stand whilst I livde, so long that it might rot,
    That should fall downe, but she be ne're forgot.
    155Mathaeo If you have this strange monster, Honestie, in
    your belly, why so Iig-makers and chroniclers shall picke som-
    thing out of you: but and I smell not you and a bawdy house
    out within these tenne daies, let my nose be as bigge as an En-
    glish bag-pudding: Ile followe your lordship, though it be to
    160the place aforenamed. Exeunt.