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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    This Captaines life away, might bring this good,
    Of two sides to make one, and saue much bloud:
    Would not you doe it.
    Alba. Vmh: ya're ful of Ambage:
    1690I answere as my spirits leade me, thus,
    I would not doe it. Pary. Why Sir.
    Alba. Because I hold, Quod non omninò Licet.
    Par. Come, Come, I know (without al commenting)
    This text you vnder stand: wey the vtilitie,
    1695That goes with it: the health it giues to thousands;
    The sap it spreads through brāches which now wither:
    The re stauration---
    Alba. Sir I see to'th bottome,
    Of this deepe well you diue in: I doe arme you,
    1700In this strong fight, iu st with the selfe same weapons
    Which I would weare to guard mee, and those are
    My readings and beliefe setled by reading,
    And this I find. Quod non sunt faciẽda mala, vt veniant bona:
    For good; (how great so euer) mu st be don,
    1705no ill how small soeuer.
    Pary. Tis no euill.
    To barre out so great ill, with so great good.
    Alba. All good mu st not be done, but onely that- Quod ben è &
    legitimè fieri pote st: For Sir I know, that Deus magis amat aduerbia
    1710 quam nomina. Quia in actionibus magis et Placent Benè & legitimè quàm
    bonum. Ita vt nullum bonum Liceat facere, ni si bene & legitime fieri pote st.
    Quod in hoc Casu fieri non pote st.
    Pary. Yet (with your fauour) seuerall learned men,
    Are cleane from your opinion, and doe hold, Quòd licet.
    1715 Alba. Those learned men perhaps may hold it fit,
    That to saue many, they to one mans danger,
    (Referring all to the depth inscrutable)
    May allow of a particular; on no warrant
    That they can shew me written, but being stird,
    1720With a humaine compa s sion to mens liues:
    And le s s e you reuelation haue diuine,
    That bids you do, doe not; Thus you haue mine.
    Omn. What so hard at it.
    Pary. We haue done: the time,