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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Where beggers once take almes, they looke for't euer.
    Tita. You ha beene sworne our seruant long.
    Pary. Tenne yeares.
    915 Tita. And we should wrong you; since you take vs gi(uing
    To let you goe with life, that should want liuing,
    What is it we can grant you.
    Pary. I ha beene by two great Fayries in your land,
    (Oppre st I dare not say) but so beaten downe,
    920And suncke so low now with my la st disgrace,
    That all my happy thoughts lie in the du st,
    A sham'd to looke vp yet: mo st humbly therefore
    Begge I your gratious leaue that I may vary,
    This natiue Aire for Forren.
    925 Tita. Oh you would trauell,
    You may, you haue our leaue: Challenge our hand.
    Pary. Stormes are at Sea, when it is calme at land. Exit.
    Fideli Florimell.
    Fidel. The Sea-God hath vpon your maiden shoares,
    930(On Dolphins backes that pittie men di stre st)
    In safetie sett a people that implores,
    The Soueraigne mercie flowing from your bre st.
    Tita. What people are they?
    Fidel. Neighbours: tis the nation, The Netherlanders.
    935With whome our Faries enterchange commerce,
    And by negotiation growne so like vs,
    That halfe of them are Fayries: th'other halfe
    Are hurtfull Spirits, that with sulphurous breath
    Bla st their corne feilds, deface their temples, cloth
    940their townes in mourning, poyson hallowed founts,
    And make their goodlie st Citties stand (like tombes)
    Full of dead bodies, or (like pallaces,
    From whence the Lords are gone) all desolate.
    They haue but 17. danghters young and faire,
    945Vowd to liue ve stalls, and to know the touch
    Of any forced or vnreuerend hand.
    Yet Lu st and Auarice (to get their dowers)
    Lay barbarous seidge again st their cha stitie,
    Threaten to raui sh them, to make their bodies
    950The temples of polution, or their bedds,