Digital Renaissance Editions

About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    The Whore of Babylon.
    835the mo st in soule deiected; the mo st base,
    And mo st vnseruiceable weede, vnles
    You by your heauenly Influence change his vileues
    Into a vertuall habit fit for vse.
    Tita. Oh: we remember it; you are condemnd?
    840 Elf. To Death.
    Pari. Deseruedly.
    Tita. You had your hand
    Not coulored with his bloud.
    Elf. No deere st Lady
    845Vpon my vowed Loyalty.
    Pari. The law, hath fa stned on me only for attempt,
    It was no actuall nor commenced violence
    That brought death with it, but intent of ill.
    Tita. We would not saue them, that delight to kill,
    850For so we wound our selues: bloud wrongly spilt
    Who pardons, hath a share in halfe the guilt.
    You strooke, our lawes not hard, yet what the edge
    Of Iu stice could take from you, mercy giues you
    (Your life.) Yo haue it signed, rize.
    855 Pari. May yon Clouds
    Mu ster themselues in Armies, to confound
    Him that shall wi sh you dead, hurt, or vncrownd.
    Pathenophill with Campeius.
    Par. To run in debt thus basely for a life,
    860To spend which, had beene glory! O mo st vile!
    The good I reape from this superfluous grace,
    Is but to make my selfe like Cae sars horse,
    To kneele whil st he gets vp: my backe mu st beare
    Till the chine crack, yet still a seruile feare
    865Mu st lay more loades on me, and pre s s e me downe.
    When Princes giue life, they so bind men to 'em,
    That tru sting them with too much, they vndo 'em.
    Who then but I, from steps so low would rise?
    Great fortunes (eanrd thus) are great Slaueries:
    870Snatcht from the common hangmans hands for this?
    To haue my mind feele torture! now I see,
    When good dayes come, (the Gods so seldome giue them,)
    That tho we haue them, yet we scarce beleeue them.