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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Dumb shew. A caue suddenly breakes open, and out of it comes Fal shood,
    (attir'd as Truth is) her face spotted, shee stickes vp her banner on the top
    of the Caue; then with her foot in seuerall places strikes the earth, and vp
    riseth Campeius; a Frier with a boxe: a gentleman with a drawn sword,
    1800 another with rich gloues in a boxe, another with a bridle, Time, Truth
    with her banner, and Plain-dealing enter & stand aloofe beholding all.
    Time. See there's the Caue, where that Hyena lurkes,
    That counterfets thy voyce, and calles forth men
    To their de struction.
    1805 Plain. How full of the small poxe shee is, what ayles shee to
    stamp thus? is the whore mad? how now? Yea do you rise before
    Doomes day; father Time, what conduit-pipes are these, that
    breake out of the earth thus?
    Time. The conduit-heads of treason, which conuey
    1810Conspiracies, scandals, & ciuill discord,
    Ma s s acres, poysonings, wrackes of faith and fealtie
    Through Fairies hearts, to turne them into elues:
    See Truth, see sonne, the snake slips off his skinne,
    A scholler makes a ruffian.
    1815 Plain. Now mu st that ruffian cuffe the scholler, if I were as he.
    Time. And see, that snape which ear st shew'd reuerend,
    And wore, the outward badge of sanctitie,
    Is cloath'd in garments of hypocri sie.
    Plaine. See, see, father, he ha's a iacke in a boxe: whats that?
    1820 Time. A wild bea st, a mad bull, a bull that roares,
    To fright allegiance from true subiects bosoms;
    That Bull mu st bellow, at the Flamins gate:
    His gate, that tends the flockes of all those sheep,
    That graze in the fat st pa sture of the land,
    1825Beeing all inclos'd: that bull will on his backe
    Beare all.
    Plain. Whither? whither?
    Time. To hell: tis said to heauen
    That will but sit him, till with hoofe or horne,
    1830He goare the annointed Fairie.
    Plain. Such Bulls haue I seene sent out of Babylon, to runne at
    people: I should once haue rid vpon one of thē, but he that beg'd
    my office, broke his necke by the bargaine, and sau'd me a la-
    bour: whats he with the sword, a ma ster of the noble Science?
    1835 Truth. A noble villaine: see, he pulls down heauen
    With imprecations, if that blade he sheath not,
    In our sweet mi stre s s e brea st.
    Plain. O rogue! what good cloathes hee weares, and yet is a (villaine?
    Time. I, doe: clap hands vpon't, that poysoned gloue,
    1840Shall strike thee dead to death, with the strong sent
    Of thy discouered treason.
    Plain. Whats that horse-courser with the bridle?
    Time. A slaue, that since he dares not touch her head,
    Would worke vpon her hand:--- laugh and conspire;
    1845The higher villaines climbe, they fall the higher.
    Plain. Stay father, now the Armie comes forward: shee takes
    downe the flagge, belike their play is done; what will shee beare
    the collours? thou ha st collour enough in thy face already, thou
    need st no more: did ye euer see a more low sie band? there's but
    1850two rapiers in the whole regiment: now they mu ster, now they
    double their files: marke how their hands juggle, and lay about;
    this is the maine battell: O well flori sht Ancient! the day is
    their's; see, now they soūd retrait: whither march they now? Exeūt
    Tim. To death; their falles, thus Time and Truth proclaime,
    1855They shall like leaues drop from the Tree of shame.
    Lets follow them.
    Plain. To the gallowes? not I; what doe we know, but this
    freckled face queane, may be a witch.
    Time. Shee is so; shee's that damned sorcere s s e,
    1860That keepes the inchanted towers of Babylon.
    This is the Truth, that did bewitch thee once.
    Plain. Is this speckled toade shee? Shee was then in mine eye,
    The goodlie st woman that euer wore fore part of Sattin:
    To see what these female creatures are, when they deale with 2.
    1865or 3. Nations; how quickly they were carbuneles & rich stones?
    now shee is more vgly then a bawd.
    Yruth. Shee look'd so then; fairenes it selfe doth cloth her
    In mens eyes, till they see me, and then they loath her.
    Time. Loose no more minutes, come, lets follow them.
    1870 Plain. With hue and crie, now I know her: this villanous drab is
    bawd, now I remember, to the Whore of Babylon; and weele ne-
    uer leaue her, till shee be carted: her face is full of those red pim-
    ples with drinking Aquauite, the common drinke of all bawdes:
    come. Exeunt.