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)

    Gasparo the Duke, Doctor Benedict, two seruants.
    Duke Give charge that none do enter, locke the doores;
    310And fellowes, what your eies and eares receave,
    Vpon your lives trust not the gadding aire:
    To carrie the least part of it, the glasse, the houre-glasse,
    Doctor Heere my Lord.
    Duke. Ah, tis meere spent.
    315But Doctor Benedick, does your Art speake truth?
    Art sure the soporiferous streame will ebbe,
    And leave the Christall banks of her white body
    (Pure as they were at first,) iust at the houre?
    Doctor Iust at the houre my Lord.
    320Duke Vncurtaine her.
    Softly, see Doctor what a coldish heate
    Spreads over all her bodie.
    Doctor Now it workes:
    The vitall spirits that by a sleepie charme
    325Were bound vp fast and threw an icie rust
    On her exterior parts, now gin to breake:
    Trouble her not my Lord.
    Duke Some stooles, you calld
    For musicke, did you not? Oh ho, it speakes,
    330It speakes, watch sirs her waking, note those sands,
    Doctor sit downe: A Dukedome that should wey
    Mine owne downe twice, being put into one scale,
    And that fond desperate boy Hipolito,
    Making the weight vp, should not (at my hands)
    335Buy her i'th tother, were her state more light
    Than hers, who makes a dowrie vp with almes.
    B 2 Doctor
    The converted Curtezan.
    Doctor Ile starve her on the Appenine
    Ere he shall marry her: I must confesse,
    Hipolito is nobly borne, a man;
    340Did not mine enemies blood boile in his veines,
    Whom I would court to be my sonne in law?
    But Princes whose high spleenes for empery swell,
    Are not with easie Arte made paralell.
    2 Ser. She wakes my Lord. Duke Looke Doctor Benedict.
    345I charge you on your lives maintaine for truth,
    What ere the Doctor or my selfe averre,
    For you shall beare her hence to Bergamo
    Inf: Oh God, what fearefull dreames?
    Doctor Lady. Inf. Ha.
    350Duke Girle.
    Why Infaelica, how ist now, ha, speake?
    Inf. I'me well, what makes this Doctor heere? I'me well.
    Duke Thou wert not so even now, sicknes pale hand
    Laid hold on thee even in the midst} of feasting;
    355And when a cup crownde with thy lovers health
    Had toucht thy lips, a sencible cold dew
    Stood on thy cheekes, as if that death had wept
    To see such beautie alter.
    Inf. I remember
    360I sate at banquet, but felt no such change.
    Duke Thou hast forgot then how a messenger
    Came wildely in with this vnsavorie newes,
    That he was dead.
    Inf. What messenger? whoes dead?
    365Duke Hipolito, alacke, wring not thy hands.
    Inf. I saw no messenger, heard no such newes.
    Doctor Trust me you did sweete Lady.
    Duke La you now. 2 Servants Yes indeede Madam.
    Duke La you now, tis well good knaves.
    370Inf. You ha slaine him, and now you'le murder me.
    Duke Good Infelica vexe not thus thy selfe,
    Of this the bad report before did strike
    So coldly to thy heart, that the swift currents
    Of life were all frozen vp.
    The converted Curtezan.
    375Inf. It is vntrue,
    Tis most vntrue, O most vnnaturall father!
    Duke And we had much to do by Arts best cunning,
    To fetch life backe againe.
    Doctor Most certaine Lady.
    380Duke Why la you now, you'le not beleeve mee, friends,
    Sweate we not all? had we not much to do?
    2 Ser. Yes indeede my Lord, much.
    Duke Death drew such fearefull pictures in thy face,
    That were Hipolito alive agen,
    385I'de kneele and woo the noble gentleman
    To be thy husband: now I fore repent
    My sharpenes to him, and his family;
    Nay, do not weepe for him, we all must die:
    Doctor, this place where she so oft hath seene
    390His lively presence, hurts her, does it not?
    Doctor Doubtlesse my Lord it does.
    Duke It does, it does:
    Therefore sweete girle thou shalt to Bergamo.
    Inf. Even where you will, in any place theres woe.
    395Duke A Coach is ready, Bergamo doth stand
    In a most wholesome aire, sweete walkes, theres diere,
    I, thou shalt hunt and send vs venison,
    Which like some goddesse in the Ciprian groves,
    Thine owne faire hand shall strike; sirs, you shall teach her
    400To stand, and how to shoote, I, she shall hunt:
    Cast off this sorrow. In girle, and prepare
    This night to ride away to Bergamo.
    Inf. O most vnhappie maid. Exit.
    Duke Follow her close.
    405No words that she was buried on your lives,
    Or that her ghost walkes now after shees dead;
    Ile hang you if you name a funerall.
    1 Ser. Ile speake Greeke my Lord, ere I speake that dead-
    ly word.
    4102 Ser. And Ile speake Welch, which is harder then Greek. ( Exeunt.
    Duke Away, looke to her; Doctor Benedict,
    Did you observe how her complexion altered
    B 3 Vpon
    The converted Curtezan.
    Vpon his name and death, O would t'were true.
    Doctor It may my Lord.
    415Duke May? how? I wish his death.
    Doctor And you may have your wish; say but the word,
    And tis a strong Spell to rip vp his grave:
    I have good knowledge with Hipolito;
    He calls me friend, ile creepe into his bosome,
    420And sting him there to death; poison can doo't.
    Duke Performe it; ile create thee halfe mine heire.
    Doctor It shall be done, although the fact be fowle.
    Duke Greatnes hides sin, the guilt vpon my soule. Exeunt