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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Truth and Plaine-dealing leading souldiers with drum
    and colours, Time meeting them.
    Time: You sweate well in this harue st.
    Plai: Nay, when we come to binde vp the whore of Babilons
    2635Punckes and Pynaces in sheaues, weele sweate worse.
    Time, Haue you be stowed the other bandes? Tru: I haue.
    Time, Incorporate this to you then: tis the mandate
    Of your Liefetenant Generall. You fight
    In your great Faieries quarrell, and Truthes right,
    2640Stand therefore too't.
    Uolu: I will haue no woundes on my shoulders, I scorn to run,
    Or to cry out of warlike kybes in the heele.
    Time, Goe (thou mo st God-like maide) & buckle on
    The bre st-plates fetcht from thine owne Armoury,
    2645Let euery souldier weare one, on each leader
    Be stowe a guiding- staffe, and a strong shield
    That may as faithfull be to his good sword
    As thou art to his heart: head all the speares
    With gold of Angell-proofe. Sit like a doue
    2650Vpon the Horsmans helme, and on his face
    Fan with thy siluer winges sweete victorie,
    Goe, beate thy drum, that men may know thy march,
    Spread thine owne colours (Truth) so let them shine,
    Souldiers may sweare thei'le follow none but thine. Away.
    2655 Tru. I flie, swift as the winged winges. Exit.
    Play. To day is workiday with me for all I haue my be st clothes
    On, what doe you set me to?
    Time, Goe thou and sweepe tha' buses from the camp.
    Plai. Conscience has left no broomes big enough to doe that (cleane,
    2660 Time: Then purge the tents of all infectious aires.
    Plai. Yonder's one infection new broke out, if it be not stopt
    From running, will choake vs all.
    Time, Name it, ile mini ster the remedie.
    Plai. Time may do it, this tis: A Broker and his wife that dropt
    2665out of the Hangmans budget but la st day, are now eating into the
    Camp, and are victualers to it: their very Cannes haue hoopes of
    gold lace now, that hangd Captaines Ierkins all or'e but ye ster-
    day: 15. Liefetenants haue eaten vp their buffe Ierkins with
    cheese and mu stard: Nay this villaine of fourescore ith hundred
    2670has set vp three Armourers shops with harne s s e caps, and pewter
    coates, that are linde cleane out with Ale: the Rogue lies euery
    night vpon as many fethers which grew in souldiers hats, as will
    vndooe foure hundred Schoolema sters to hire them for their boyes
    to goe a fea sting,
    2675 Time, Breede such disorders mong st the souldiers?
    Play. They swarme like lyce: nay his wife tickels it too, for
    three Muskateeres came but to drinke Tabacco in her cabbin, and
    she fired their flaskes and tuch-boxes.
    Time, Goe ridde the Camp of these, and al like these.
    2680 Play. If any souldier swere ile ca sheere him too.
    Time, You will scarce leaue two in the Army then.
    Play. What shall I doe with those Pyoners yonder?
    Ti. You know the ground, lead them to ca st vp trenches. Away.
    Play. They are by this time leading one another, for when I
    2685left them, I left them all ca sting, ile now goe see what it comes
    to. Exit.
    Time, Ile flie hence to the fleete of Babylon,
    And from their tacklings and their maine-ma st tops.
    Time shal shoote vengeance through his bow of steele,
    2690Wedge like to split their Nauie to the keele.
    Ile cut their Princes downe as blades of gra s s e,
    As this gla s s e, so the Babilonian power,
    The higher shall runne out to fill the lower. Exit.