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  • 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)

    SCENA 9.
    Enter Bellafronte with a Lute, pen, inke and paper
    being placde before her.
    THe Courtiers flattring Iewels,
    (Temptations onely fewels)
    The Lawyers ill-got monyes,
    That sucke vp poore Bees Honyes:
    1575 The Citizens sonne's ryot,
    The gallant costly dyet:
    Silks and Veluets, Pearles and Ambers,
    Shall not draw me to their Chambers. Shee writes.
    Silks and Veluets, &c.
    1580Oh, tis in vayne to write: it will not please,
    Inke on this paper would ha but presented
    The foule blacke spots that sticke vpon my soule,
    And rather make me lothsomer, then wrought
    My loues impression in Hipolitoes thought.
    1585No, I must turne the chaste leaues of my brest,
    And pick out some sweet meanes to breed my rest.
    Hipolito, beleeue me I will be
    As true vnto thy heart, as thy heart to thee,
    The conuerted Courtizan.
    And hate all men, their gifts and company.
    1590Enter Matheo, Castruchio, Fluello, and Pioratto.
    Mat. You, goody Punck, subandi Cockatrice, O yare a
    sweet whore of your promise, are you not think you? how
    wel you came to supper to vs last night: mew, a whore &
    breake her word! nay you may blush, & hold downe your
    1595head at it wel ynough: Sfoot, aske these gallants if we staid
    not till we were as hungry as Seriants.
    Flu. I, and their Yeoman too.
    Cast. Nay fayth Acquaintance, let me tell you, you forgat
    your selfe too much: we had excellēt cheere, rare vintage,
    1600and were drunke after supper.
    Pior. And when wee were in our Woodcocks (sweete
    Rogue) a brace of Gulles, dwelling here in the City, came
    in & payd all the shot. Mat. Pox on her, let her alone.
    Bel. O, I pray doe, if you be Gentlemen:
    1605I pray depart the house; beshrew the dore
    For being so easily entreated: fayth,
    I lent but little eare vnto your talke,
    My mind was busied otherwise in troth,
    And so your words did vnregarded passe:
    1610Let this suffice, I am not as I was.
    Flu. I am not what I was! no Ile be sworne thou art not:
    for thou wert honest at fiue, & now th'art a Puncke at fif-
    teene: thou wert yesterday a simple whore, and now thart
    a cunning Conny catching Baggage to day.
    1615Bel. Ile say Ime worse, I pray forsake me then,
    I doe desire you leaue me, Gentlemen,
    And leaue your selues: O be not what you are,
    (Spendthrifts of soule and body)
    Let me perswade you to forsake all Harlots,
    1620Worse then the deadliest poisons, they are worse:
    For o're their soules hangs an eternall curse,
    In being slaue to slaues, their labours perish,
    Th'are seldome blest with fruit; for e're it blossom,
    Many a worme confounds it.
    1625They haue no issue but foule vgly ones,
    That run along with them, e'ene to their graues:
    For stead of children, they breed ranke diseases,
    F 3 And
    The conuerted Courtizan.
    And all, you Gallants, can bestow on them,
    Is that French Infant, which n'ere acts but speaks:
    1630What shallow sonne & heire then, foolish gallāt,
    Would waste all his inheritance, to purchase
    A filthy loathd disease? and pawne his body
    To a dry euill: that vsurie's worst of all,
    When th'interest will eate out the principall.
    1635Mat. Sfoot, she guls em the best: this is alwaies
    her fashion, when she would be rid of any com-
    pany that she cares not for, to inioy mine alone.
    Flu. Whats here? instructions, Admonitions, and Caue-
    ats? come out, you scabberd of vengeance.
    1640Mat. Fluello, spurne your hounds when they fyste, you
    shall not spurne my Punk, I can tell you my bloud is vext.
    Flu. Pox a your bloud: make it a quarrell.
    Mat. Y'are a Slaue, will that serue turne?
    Omn. Sbloud, hold, hold.
    1645Cast. Matheo, Fluello, for shame put vp.
    Mat. Spurne my sweet Varlet!
    Bel. O how many thus
    Mou'd with a little folly, haue let out
    Their soules in Brothell houses, fell downe and dyed
    1650Iust at their Harlots foot, as 'twere in pride.
    Flu. Matheo, we shall meet.
    Mat. I, I, any where, sauing at Church: pray take heed
    we meet not there.
    Flu. Adue, Damnation.
    1655Cast. Cockatrice, farewell.
    Pi. There's more deceit in women, then in hel. Exeunt.
    Mat. Ha, ha, thou doest gull em so rarely, so naturally: if
    I did not think thou hadst bin in earnest: thou art a sweet
    Rogue for't ifayth.
    1660Bel. Why are not you gone to, Signior Matheo?
    I pray depart my house: you may beleeue me,
    In troth I haue no part of Harlot in me.
    Mat. How's this?
    Bel. Indeed I loue you not: but hate you worse
    1665Then any man, because you were the first
    The conuerted Courtizan.
    Gaue money for my soule; you brake the Ice,
    Which after turnd a puddle: I was led
    By your temptation to be miserable:
    I pray seeke out some other that will fall,
    1670Or rather (I pray) seeke out none at all.
    Mat. Ist possible, to be impossible, an honest whore! I
    haue heard many honest wenches turne Strumpets with
    a wet finger; but for a Harlot to turne honest, is one of Her-
    cules labours: It was more easie for him in one night to
    1675make fifty queanes, then to make one of them honest a-
    gen in fifty yeeres: come, I hope thou doost but iest.
    Bel. Tis time to leaue off iesting, I had almost
    Iested away Saluation: I shall loue you,
    If you will soone forsake me.
    1680Mat. God buy thee.
    Bel. Oh, tempt no more womē: shun their weighty curse,
    Women (at best) are bad, make them not worse,
    You gladly seeke our sexes ouerthrow:
    But not to rayse our states for all your wrongs.
    1685Will you vouchsafe me but due recompence,
    To marry with me?
    Mat. How, marry with a Punck, a Cockatrice, a Har-
    lot? mary foh, Ile be burnt thorow the nose first.
    Bel. Why la? these are your othes you loue to vndo vs,
    1690To put heauen from vs, whilst our best houres waste:
    You loue to make vs lewd, but neuer chaste.
    Mat. Ile heare no more of this: this ground vpon,
    Th'art damn'd for altring thy Religion. Exit.
    Bel. Thy lust and sin speake so much: go thou my ruine,
    1695The first fall my soule tooke; by my example
    I hope few maydens now will put their heads
    Vnder mens girdels: who least trusts, is most wise:
    Mens othes do cast a mist before our eyes.
    My best of wit be ready: now I goe,
    1700By some deuice to greet Hipolito.
    F 4 SCENA
    The conuerted Courtizan.