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  • Title: The Honest Whore, Part 2 (Quarto 1, 1630)
  • 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.
    Author: Thomas Dekker
    Editor: Joost Daalder
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Honest Whore, Part 2 (Quarto 1, 1630)

    Enter Matheo (braue) and Bellafront.
    Mat. How am I suited, Front? am I not gallant, ha?
    1615Bel. Yes, sir, you are suited well.
    Mat. Exceeding passing well, and to the time.
    Bel. The Taylor has plaid his part with you.
    Mat. And I haue plaid a Gentlemans part with my Tay-
    lor, for I owe him for the making of it.
    1620Bel. And why did you so, sir?
    Mat. To keepe the fashion; It's your onely fashion now
    of your best ranke of Gallants, to make their Taylors waite
    The Honest Whore.
    for their money, neither were it wisedome indeed to pay
    them vpon the first edition of a new suite: for commonly
    1625the suite is owing for, when the lynings are worne out, and
    there's no reason then, that the Taylor should be paid be-
    fore the Mercer.
    Bel. Is this the suite the Knight bestowed vpon you?
    Mat. This is the suite, and I need not shame to weare it,
    1630for better men then I would be glad to haue suites bestow-
    ed on them. It's a generous fellow,--but--pox on him--we
    whose Pericranions are the very Limbecks and Stillitories
    of good wit, and flie hie, must driue liquor out of stale ga-
    ping Oysters. Shallow Knight, poore Squire Tinacheo: Ile
    1635make a wild Cataine of forty such: hang him, he's an Asse,
    he's alwaies sober.
    Bel. This is your fault to wound your friends still.
    Mat. No faith, Front, Lodouico is a noble Slauonian: it's
    more rare to see him in a womans company, then for a Spa-
    1640niard to goe into England, and to challenge the English Fen-
    cers there.--One knockes,-- See-- La, fa, sol, la, fa, la,
    rustle in Silkes and Satins: there's musique in this, and a
    Taffety Petticoate, it make both flie hie,-- Catzo.
    Enter Bellafront, after her Orlando like himselfe, with
    1645foure men after him.
    Bel. Matheo? 'tis my Father.
    Mat. Ha, Father? It's no matter, hee findes no tatterd
    Prodigals here.
    Orl. Is not the doore good enough to hold your blue
    1650Coates? away, Knaues. Weare not your cloathes thred-bare
    at knees for me; beg Heauens blessing, (not mine.) Oh cry
    your Worship mercy, sir, was somewhat bold to talke to
    this Gentlewoman, your wife here.
    Mat. A poore Gentlewoman, sir.
    1655Orl. Stand not, sir, bare to me; I ha read oft
    That Serpents who creepe low, belch ranker poison
    That winged Dragons doe, that flie aloft.
    Mat. If it offend you, sir? 'tis for my pleasure.
    The Honest Whore.
    Orl. Your pleasure be't, sir; vmh, is this your Palace?
    1660Bel. Yes, and our Kingdome, for 'tis our content.
    Orl. It's a very poore Kingdome then; what, are all your
    Subiects gone a Sheepe-shearing? not a Maid? not a Man?
    not so much as a Cat? you keepe a good house belike, iust
    like one of your profession, euery roome with bare walls,
    1665and a halfe-headed bed to vault vpon (as all your bawdy-
    houses are.) Pray who are your Vpholsters? Oh, the Spiders.
    I see, they bestow hangings vpon you.
    Mat. Bawdy-house? Zounds sir----
    Bel. Oh sweet Matheo, peace. Vpon my knees
    1670I doe beseech you, sir, not to arraigne me
    For sinnes, which heauen, I hope, long since hath pardoned.
    Those flames (like lightning flashes) are so spent,
    The heate no more remaines, then where ships went,
    Or where birds cut the aire, the print remaines.
    1675Mat. Pox on him, kneele to a Dog?
    Bel. She that's a Whore,
    Liues gallant, fares well, is not (like me) poore,
    I ha now as small acquaintance with that sinne,
    As if I had neuer knowne it; that, neuer bin.
    1680Orl. No acquaintance with it? what maintaines thee
    then? how doest liue then? has thy husband any Lands? any
    Rents comming in, any Stocke going, any Ploughs iogging,
    any Ships sailing? hast thou any Wares to turne, so much
    as to get a single penny by? yes, thou hast Ware to sell,
    1685Knaues are thy Chapmen, and thy Shop is Hell.
    Mat. Doe you heare, sir?
    Orl. So sir, I do heare, sir, more of you then you dreame I do.
    Mat. You flie a little too hie, sir.
    Orl. Why, sir, too hie?
    1690Mat. I ha suffred your tongue, like a bard Cater tra, to
    runne all this while, and ha not stopt it.
    Orl. Well, sir, you talke like a Gamester.
    Mat. If you come to bark at her, because shee's a poore
    rogue; look you, here's a fine path, sir, and there, there the
    G Bel.
    The Honest Whore.
    Bel. Matheo?
    Mat. Your blue Coates stay for you, sir.
    I loue a good honest roaring Boy, and so----
    Orl. That's the Deuill.
    1700Mat. Sir, sir, Ile ha no Ioues in my house to thunder A-
    uaunt: she shall liue and be maintained, when you, like a
    keg of musty Sturgeon, shall stinke. Where? in your Coffin.
    How? be a musty fellow, and lowsie.
    Orl. I know she shall be maintained, but how? she like a
    1705Queane, thou like a Knaue; she like a Whore, thou like a
    Mat. Theife? Zounds Thiefe?
    Bel. Good dearest Mat.----Father.
    Mat. Pox on you both, Ile not be braued: New Sattin
    1710scornes to be put downe with bare bawdy Veluet. Thiefe?
    Orl. I Thiefe, th'art a Murtherer, a Cheater, a Whore-
    monger, a Pot-hunter, a Borrower, a Begger----
    Bel. Deare Father.
    Mat. An old Asse, a Dog, a Churle, a Chuffe, an Vsurer, a
    1715Villaine, a Moth, a mangy Mule, with an old veluet foot-
    cloth on his backe, sir.
    Bel. Oh me!
    Orl. Varlet, for this Ile hang thee.
    Mat. Ha, ha, alas.
    1720Orl. Thou keepest a man of mine here, vnder my nose.
    Mat. Vnder thy beard.
    Orl. As arrant a smell-smocke, for an old Mutton-munger,
    as thy selfe.
    Mat. No, as your selfe.
    1725Orl. As arrant a purse-take. as euer cride, Stand, yet a
    good fellow, I confesse, and valiant, but he'll bring thee to'th Gallowes; you both haue robd of late two poore Country
    Mat. How's this? how's this? doest thou flie hie? rob
    1730Pedlers? beare witnes Front, rob Pedlers? my man and I a
    Bel. Oh, sir, no more.
    The Honest Whore.
    Orl. I Knaue, two Pedlers, hue and cry is vp, Warrants
    are out, and I shall see thee climbe a Ladder.
    1735Mat And come downe againe as well as a Bricklayer, or
    a Tyler. How the vengeance knowes he this? If I be han-
    ged, Ile tell the people I married old Friscabaldoes Daughter,
    Ile frisco you, and your old carkas.
    Orl. Tell what thou canst; if I stay here longer, I shall bee
    1740hang'd too, for being in thy company; therefore, as I found
    you, I leaue you.
    Mat. Kneele, and get money of him.
    Orl. A Knaue and a Queane, a Thiefe and a Strumpet, a
    couple of Beggers, a brace of Baggages.
    1745Mat. Hang vpon him. I, I, sir, fare you well; we are so:
    follow close--we are Beggers--in Sattin--to him.
    Bel. Is this your comfort, when so many yeeres
    You ha left me frozen to death?
    Orl. Freeze still, starue still.
    1750Bel. Yes, so I shall: I must: I must and will.
    If as you say I'm poore, relieue me then,
    Let me not sell my body to base men.
    You call me Strumpet, Heauen knowes I am none:
    Your cruelty may driue me to be one:
    1755Let not that sinne be yours, let not the shame
    Of common Whore liue longer then my name.
    That cunning Bawd (Necessity) night and day
    Plots to vndoe me; driue that Hag away,
    Lest being at lowest ebbe, as now I am,
    1760I sinke for euer.
    Orl. Lowest ebbe, what ebbe?
    Bel. So poore, that (tho to tell it be my shame)
    I am not worth a dish to hold my meate;
    I am yet poorer, I want bread to eate.
    1765Orl. It's not seene by your cheekes.
    Mat. I thinke she has read an Homely to tickle to the old
    Orl. Want bread? there's Sattin: bake that.
    Mat. S'blood, make Pasties of my cloathes?
    G 2 Orl.
    The Honest Whore.
    1770Orl. A faire new Cloake, stew that; an excellent gilt Ra-
    Mat. Will you eat that, sir?
    Orl. I could feast ten good fellowes with those Hangers.
    Mat. The pox you shall.
    1775Orl. I shall not (till thou beggest,) thinke thou art poore;
    And when thou beggest, Ile feed thee at my doore,
    As I feed Dogs, (with bones) till then beg,
    Borrow, pawne, steale, and hang, turne Bawde.
    When th'art no Whore, my heart-strings sure
    1780Would crack, were they strained more. Exit.
    Mat. This is your Father, your damn'd -- confusion
    light vpon all the generation of you; he can come bragging
    hither with foure white Herrings (at's taile) in blue
    Coates without roes in their bellies, but I may starue ere he
    1785giue me so much as a cob.
    Bel. What tell you me of this? alas.
    Mat. Goe trot after your Dad, doe you capitulate, Ile
    pawne not for you, Ile not steale to be hanged for such an
    hypocriticall close common Harlot: away, you Dog----
    1790Braue yfaith! Vds foot, Giue me some meate.
    Bel. Yes, Sir. Exit.
    Mat. Goodman slaue, my man too, is gallop'd to the De-
    uill athe t'other side: Pacheco, Ile checo you. Is this your
    Dads day? England (they say) is the onely hell for Horses, and
    1795onely Paradise for Women: pray get you to that Paradise,
    because y'are called an Honest Whore; there they liue none
    but honest whores with a pox: Mary here in our Citty, all
    our sex are but foot-cloth Nags: the Master no sooner lights,
    but the man leapes into the saddle.
    1800Enter Bellafront.
    Bel. Will you sit downe I pray, sir?
    Mat. I could teare (by'th Lord) his flesh, and eate his
    midriffe in salt, as I eate this: --- must I choake --- my
    Father Friscabaldo, I shall make a pittifull Hog-louse of you
    1805Orlando, if you fall once into my fingers --- Here's the sauo-
    The Honest Whore.
    rest meat: I ha got a stomacke with chasing. What Rogue
    should tell him of those two Pedlers? A plague choake him,
    and gnaw him to the bare bones: come fill.
    Bel. Thou sweatest with very anger, good sweet, vex not,
    1810'las, 'tis no fault of mine.
    Mat. Where didst buy this Mutton? I neuer felt better
    Bel. A neighbour sent it me.
    Enter Orlando.
    1815Mat. Hah, neighbour? foh, my mouth stinkes, you whore,
    doe you beg victuals for me? Is this Sattin doublet to bee
    bumbasted with broken meat? Takes vp the stoole.
    Orl. What will you doe, sir?
    Mat. Beat out the braines of a beggerly-- Exit Beliafront.
    1820Orl. Beat out an Asses head of your owne; away, Mistris.
    Zownds, doe but touch one haire of her, and Ile so quilt
    your cap with old Iron, that your coxcombe shall ake the
    worse these seuen yeeres for't: Does she looke like a roasted
    Rabbet, that you must haue the head for the braines?
    1825Mat. Ha, ha: Goe out of my doores, you Rogue, away,
    foure markes trudge.
    Orl. Foure markes? no, sir, my twenty pound that you ha
    made flie hie, and I am gone.
    Mat. Must I be fed with chippings? y'are best get a clap-
    1830dish, and say y'are Proctor to some Spittle-house. Where
    hast thou beene, Pacheco? come hither my little Turky-
    Orl. I cannot abide, sir, to see a woman wrong'd, not I.
    Mat. Sirra, here was my Father-in-law to day.
    1835Orl. Pish, then y'are full of Crownes.
    Mat. Hang him, he would ha thrust crownes vpon me, to
    haue falne in againe, but I scorne cast-cloathes, or any mans
    Orl. But mine: how did he brooke that (sir?)
    1840Mat. Oh: swore like a dozen of drunken Tinkers; at last
    growing foule in words, he and foure of his men drew vp-
    on me, sir.
    G 3 Orl.
    The Honest Whore.
    Orl. In your house? wud I had bin by.
    Mat. I made no more adoe, but fell to my old locke, and
    1845so thrashed my blue Coates, and old crabtree-face my fa-
    ther-in-law, and then walkt like a Lion in my grate.
    Orl. Oh Noble Master!
    Mat. Sirra, he could tell me of the robbing the two
    Pedlers, and that warrants are out for vs both.
    1850Orl. Good, sir, I like not those crackers.
    Mat. Crack halter, wut set thy foot to mine?
    Orl. How, sir? at drinking.
    Mat. We'll pull that old Crow my Father: rob thy Ma-
    ster. I know the house, thou the seruants: the purchase is
    1855rich, the plot to get it easie, the Dog will not part from a
    Orl. Pluck't out of his throat then: Ile snarle for one, if
    this can bite.
    Mat. Say no more, say no more, old cole, meet me anon at
    1860the signe of the Shipwracke.
    Orl. Yes, sir.
    Mat. And dost heare, man?-- the Shipwracke. Exit.
    Orl. Th'art at the Shipwracke now, and like a swimmer
    Bold (but vnexpert) with those waues doest play,
    1865Whose dalliance (whorelike) is to cast thee away.
    Enter Hipollito and Bellafront.
    Orl. And here's another Vessell, (better fraught,
    But as ill man'd) her sinking will be wraught,
    If rescue come not: like a Man of warre
    1870Ile therefore brauely out: somewhat Ile doe,
    And either saue them both, or perish too. Exit.
    Hip. It is my fate to be bewitched by those eyes.
    Bel. Fate? your folly.
    Why should my face thus mad you? 'las, those colours
    1875Are wound vp long agoe, which beauty spred,
    The flowres that once grew here, are withered.
    You turn'd my blacke soule white, made it looke new,
    And should I sinne, it ne'r should be with you.
    The Honest Whore.
    Hip. Your hand, Ile offer you faire play: When first
    1880We met i'th Lists together, you remember
    You were a common Rebell; with one parlee
    I won you to come in.
    Bel. You did.
    Hip. Ile try
    1885If now I can beate downe this Chastity
    With the same Ordnance; will you yeeld this Fort,
    If with the power of Argument now (as then)
    I get of you the conquest: as before
    I turnd you honest, now to turne you whore,
    1890By force of strong perswasion?
    Bell. If you can,
    I yeeld.
    Hip. The allarm's strucke vp: I'm your man.
    Bel. A woman giues defiance.
    1895Hip. Sit.
    Bel. Beginne:
    'Tis a braue battaile to encounter sinne.
    Hip. You men that are to fight in the same warre,
    To which I'm prest, and pleade at the same barre,
    1900To winne a woman, if you wud haue me speed,
    Send all your wishes.
    Bel. No doubt y'are heard, proceede.
    Hip. To be a Harlot, that you stand vpon,
    The very name's a charme to make you one.
    1905Harlot was a Dame of so diuine
    And rauishing touch, that she was Concubine
    To an English King: her sweet bewitching eye
    Did the Kings heart-strings in such loue-knots tye,
    That euen the coyest was proud when she could heare
    1910Men say, Behold; another Harlot there;
    And after her all women that were faire
    Were Harlots call'd, as to this day some are:
    Besides her dalliance, she so well does mix,
    That she's in Latine call'd the Meretrix.
    1915Thus for the name; for the profession, this,
    The Honest Whore.
    Who liues in bondage, liues lac'd, the chiefe blisse
    This world below can yeeld, is liberty:
    And who (than whores) with looser wings dare flie?
    As Iunoes proud bird spreads the fairest taile,
    1920So does a Strumpet hoist the loftiest saile.
    She's no mans slaue; (men are her slaues) her eye
    Moues not on wheeles screwd vp with Iealowsie.
    She (Horst, or Coacht) does merry iourneys make,
    Free as the Sunne in his gilt Zodiake:
    1925As brauely does she shine, as fast she's driuen,
    But staies not long in any house of Heauen:
    But shifts from Signe, to Signe, her amorous prizes
    More rich being when she's downe, then when she rizes.
    In briefe, Gentlemen haunt them, Soldiers fight for them,
    1930Few men but know them, few or none abhorre them:
    Thus (for sport sake) speake I, as to a woman,
    Whom (as the worst ground) I would turne to common:
    But you I would enclose for mine owne bed.
    Bel. So should a husband be dishonoured.
    1935Hip. Dishonoured? not a whit: to fall to one
    (Besides your husband) is to fall to none,
    For one no number is.
    Bel. Faith, should you take
    One in your bed, would you that reckoning make?
    1940'Tis time you sound retreate.
    Hip. Say, haue I wonne,
    Is the day ours?
    Bel. The battaile's but halfe done,
    None but your selfe haue yet sounded alarmes,
    1945Let vs strike too, else you dishonour armes.
    Hip. If you can win the day,
    The glorie's yours.
    Bel. To proue a woman should not be a whore,
    When she was made, she had one man, and no more,
    1950Yet she was tied to lawes then, for (ouen than)
    'Tis said, she was not made for men, but man.
    Anon, t'increase earths brood, the law was varied,
    The Honest Whore.
    Men should take many wiues: and tho they married
    According to that Act, yet 'tis not knowne,
    1955But that those wiues were onely tied to one.
    New Parliaments were since: for now one woman
    Is shared betweene three hundred, nay she's common;
    Common? as spotted Leopards, whom for sport
    Men hunt, to get the flesh, but care not for't.
    1960So spread they Nets of gold, and tune their Calls,
    To inchaunt silly women to take falls:
    Swearing they are Angels, (which that they may win)
    They'll hire the Deuill to come with false Dice in.
    Oh Sirens suttle tunes! your selues you flatter,
    1965And our weake sex betray, so men loue water;
    It serues to wash their hands, but (being once foule)
    The water downe is powred, cast out of doores,
    And euen of such base vse doe men make whores.
    A Harlot (like a Hen) more sweetnes reapes,
    1970To picke men one by one vp, then in heapes:
    Yet all feeds but confounding. Say you should taste me,
    I serue but for the time, and when the day
    Of warre is done, am casheerd out of pay:
    If like lame Soldiers I could beg, that's all,
    1975And there's lusts Rendez-vous, an Hospitall.
    Who then would be a mans slaue, a mans woman?
    She's halfe starn'd the first day that feeds in Common.
    Hip. You should not feed so, but with me alone.
    Bel. If I drinke poison by stealth, is't not all one?
    1980Is't not ranke poison still? with you alone!
    Nay say you spide a Curtezan, whose soft side
    To touch, you'd sell your birth-right for one kisse,
    Be rack'd, she's won, y'are sated: what followes this?
    Oh, then you curse that Bawd that toald you in,
    1985(The Night) you curse your lust, you loath the sin,
    You loath her very sight, and ere the day
    Arise, you rise glad when y'are stolne away.
    Euen then when you are drunke with all her sweets,
    There's no true pleasure in a Strumpets sheetes.
    H Women,
    The Honest Whore.
    1990Women, whom Lust so prostitutes to sale,
    Like Dancers vpon ropes; once seene, are stale.
    Hip. If all the threds of Harlots lyues are span,
    So coorse as you would make them, tell me why
    You so long loued the trade?
    1995Bel. If all the threds
    Of Harlots lyues be fine as you would make them,
    Why doe not you perswade your wife turne whore,
    And all Dames else to fall [illeg.] befere that sin?
    Like an ill husband (tho I knew the same,
    2000To be my vndoing) followed I that game.
    Oh when the worke of Lust had earn'd my bread,
    To taste it, how I trembled, lest each bit,
    Ere it went downe, should choake me (chewing it?)
    My bed seem'd like a Cabin hung in Hell,
    2005The Bawde Hells Porter, and the lickorish wine
    The Pander fetch'd, was like an easie Fine,
    For which, me thought I leas'd away my soule,
    And oftentimes (euen in my quaffing bowle)
    Thus said I to my selfe, I am a whore,
    2010And haue drunke downe thus much confusion more.
    Hip. It is a common rule, and 'tis most true,
    Two of one trade neuer loue; no more doe you.
    Why are you sharpe 'gainst that you once profest?
    Bel. Why doate you on that, which you did once detest?
    2015I cannot (seeing she's wouen of such bad stuffe)
    Set colours on a Harlot base enough.
    Nothing did make me, when I loued them best,
    To loath them more then this: when in the street
    A faire yong modest Damsell I did meet,
    2020She seem'd to all a Doue (when I pass'd by)
    And I (to all) a Rauen: euery eye
    That followed her, wont with a bash full glance
    At me, each bold and ieering countenance
    Darted forth scorne: to her (as if she had bin
    2025Some Tower vnvanquished) would they vaile,
    'Gainst me swolne Rumor hoisted euery saile.
    The Honest Whore.
    She (crown'd with reuerend praises) passed by them,
    I (tho with face maskt) could not scape the hem,
    For (as if Heauen had set strange markes on Whores,
    2030Because they should be pointing stocks to man)
    Drest vp in ciuilest shape a Curtizan.
    Let her walke Saint-like, notelesse, and vnknowne,
    Yet she's betraid by some tricke of her owne.
    Were Harlots therefore wise, they'd be sold deare:
    2035For men account them good but for one yeere:
    And then like Almanackes (whose dates are gone)
    They are throwne by, and no more lookt vpon.
    Who'le therefore backward fall, who will lanch forth
    In Seas so foule, for ventures no more worth?
    2040Lusts voiage hath (if not this course) this crosse,
    Buy ne'r so cheape, your Ware comes home with losse.
    What, shall I sound retreat? the battaile's done:
    Let the world iudge which of vs two haue won.
    Hip. I!
    2045Bel. You? nay then as cowards doe in fight,
    What by blowes cannot, shall be saued by flight. Exit.
    Hip. Flie to earths fixed Center: to the Caues
    Of euerlasting horror, Ile pursue thee,
    (Tho loaden with sinnes) euen to Hells brazen doores.
    2050Thus wisest men turne fooles, doting on whores. Exit.