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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Titania in the Camp.
    Tita. We neuer held a royal Court till now:
    2725(Warriours) would it not seeme mo st glorious,
    To haue Emba s s adors to greete vs thus?
    Our chaire of state, a drum: for sumptuous robes
    Ruffling about vs, heads cas'd vp in globes.
    Of bright reflecting steele: for reuellers
    2730(Treading soft measures) marching souldiers.
    Tru st me, I like the martiall life so well,
    I could change Courts to campes, in fieldes to dwell.
    Tis a braue life: Me thinkes it be st becomes
    A Prince to march thus, betweene guns and drums.
    2735My fellow souldiers I dare sweare youl'e fight,
    To the la st man, your Captaine being in sight. They shoote.
    Uolu: To the la st lea st mans little finger. A peale goes off.
    Fid. What flames through all your bloud your breath inspires.
    Tita: For that we come not: no bre st heere wants fires.
    2740Twas kindled in their cradles, strength, courage, zeale,
    Meete in each bosome like a three-fold floue,
    We come with yours to venture our owne bloud.
    For you and we are fellowes; thus appeares it,
    The souldier keeps the crowne on, the prince weares it.
    2745Of all men you we hold the mo st mo st deere,
    But for a souldier I had not beene heere.
    Fid. Doe not their gunnes offend you?
    Tita: How? we are tried,
    whim'e bome a souldier by the fathers side.
    2750The Cannon (thunders Zany) playes to vs,
    Soft mu sikes tunes, and more mellodious:
    And me more rarely like, because all these,
    That now can speake the language of sterne warre,
    Could not speake swords, or guns, nay scarce could go,
    2755Nay were not borne, but like to new sowne graine
    Lay hid i'th mold, when we went to be crown'd,
    Tho now th'are tall corne fields, couering the ground.
    Plaine Dealing.
    Plai. Roome, roome, newes, newes, the younge st newes that
    2760euer was brought forth amon st men at Armes: a woman (sweete
    mi stris) is brought to bed of a man childe it'h Camp: a boy that
    lookes as if he would shoote off already: the bed they haue swad-
    led him in, is the peece of an old torne Ancient: his blankets are
    two souldiers Mandilions: his cradle is the hollow backe-peece of
    2765a ru stie Armour: his head lies in a Murren thats quilted to keepe
    him warme, the fir st thing that euer he laid hold on, was a trun-
    cheon, on which a Captaine leand to looke vpon him, hee'le bee a
    warriour I warrant. A Can of beere is set to his mouth already,
    yet I doubt hee'le prooue but a victualer to the Camp: A notable
    2770fat double-chind bulchin.
    Tyta: A child borne in our Camp! goe giue him fame,
    Let him be Beria cald, by the Campes name.
    Plai. Thats his name then: Beria, in steede of a Midwife, a Cap-
    taine shall beare him to the Fount, and if there be any women to
    2775followe it, they shal either traile pikes, or shoote in Caliners; who
    would sweate thus to get go s sips for another mans child? but fa-
    thers themselues are guld so sometimes, farewel mi stris. Exit.
    Time, Florimell, Captaines, Souldiers.
    Tita: With roses vs you crowne, your selfe with palme,
    2780 Flor: Had we al woundes, your words are soueraigne balme.
    Tyta: Are those clowds sper st that stroue to dimme our light?
    Flor. And driuen into the gloomie caues of night.
    Tyta: Our handes be heau'd vp for it.
    Time, Therers good cause,
    2785We'are bown'd to doe so by the higher lawes.
    Those roaring Whales came with deuouring wombes
    To swallow vp your kingdomes: fooli sh heires;
    When halfe of them scarce knew where it did stand,
    Vnder what Zenith, did they share your land.
    2790At dice they plaid for Faieries; at each ca st
    A Knight at lea st was lo st : what doe you set?
    This Knight cries one (and names him) no, a Lord
    Or none, tis done, he throwes and sweepes the bord,
    His hatte is fall of Lords vp to the brimme,
    2795The sea threw next at all, won all and him,
    Would you these Game sters see now?
    Fid. See now? where?
    Thei'le scarce see vs, the la st sight co st so deere,
    Ti. Bid you me do it, tis done, Time takes such pride,
    2800To waite on you, heele lackie by your side.
    Those daies of their Arriuall, battaile, flight,
    And ignominious shipwrackes (like lo st Arrowes)
    Are out of reach: of them the world receaues
    But what Times booke shewes turning back the leaues,
    2805But if you'le see this Concubine of Kinges,
    In her maie sticke madnes with her sonnes,
    That houre is now but numbring out in sand,
    These minutes are not yet run through Times hand.
    For you and for your Faieries sweete delight
    2810Time shall doe this,
    Tyta: Twill be a glorious sight.
    Time, Vnseene you shall both see and heare these wonders.
    On the greene Mount of Trueth: let the Armie moue,
    And meete you in the vale of Oberon,
    2815Your captiues are sent thither: quicke as thought
    You shall flie hence vpon my actiue winges,
    Time at one in stant sees all Courts of Kings. Exeunt.
    Time descending: Enter the Empre s s e, three Kings,
    and foure Cardinals.
    2820 Emp. Hence: sting me not: y'are Scorpions to my bre st,
    Diseases to my bloud: he dies that speakes.
    3. King. Y'are madde.
    Ambo. Y'are madde.
    4. Card. ô falles not heauen!
    2825 Emp. Be silent:
    Be damned for your speech: as y'are for Act,
    You are all blacke and close conspirators
    In our disgrace.
    3. King. You lie:
    2830 4. Card: O horrible!
    3. King. You Raue yet know not why,
    Emp. Thou sai st all's lo st.
    3. King: Drownd, burnt, split vpon rockes, ca st ouer bord,
    Throates cut by Kernes, whose haires like else-lockes hang,
    2835 2. King. One of those shamrock-eaters at one break fa st,
    Slit fourescore wezand-pipes of ours,
    1. King. Of yours:
    Oquendo burnt, Piementelli Slaine,
    Pedro de Valdes tane,
    2840 1. Card. Could dwarfes beate Gyants?
    3. King. In one day fell 500. Galleous 15.
    Drownd at the same time; or which was worser taken,
    The same day made 1000. prisoners.
    Yet not a cherry stone of theirs was sunke.
    2845Not a man slaine nor tane, not drowed. Emp. O damnd!
    3. King. Two with two spit-frog Rapiers tooke a Galleon.
    Com. O pittie her. 3. K. Let her ta ste al. Emp. Fall thunder,
    And wedge me into earth, stiffe as I am
    So I may be but deafe, turne me into
    2850A speckled Adder: O you Mountaines fall,
    And couer me, that of me, memory
    May neuer more be found. 4. Card: O holy mother!
    Emp. Earth, Ile sucke all thy venome to my bre st,
    It cannot hurt me so as doe my sonnes,
    2855My disobedient, desperate, dampned sonnes,
    My beauy curse shall strike you. Com. Oh kneele downe!
    Kneele downe and begge a pardon, lea st her curse.---
    1. King. I thats the blocke, wee mu st kneele, or doe worse.
    Com. Lift vp your sacred head: your children come,
    2860Vpon their knees to take a mothers doome.
    Emp. O Syrian Panthers! you spend breath mo st sweete,
    But you are spotted or'e, from head to feete,
    This neck ile yoke,---this throate a staires ile make,
    By which ile climbe---like stubble thou shalt burne,
    2865In my hot vengeance. 2. King. Vengeance I defie.
    I shall fall from thee, since thou mak st my bre st
    Thy scorne, true Kings such besenes will dete st.
    Electors will I call, and they shall make thee,
    But seruant of mine Empires they shall thru st
    2870A ring into thy no strils.
    Emp. Come let me ki s s e thy cheeke: I did but ie st,
    Tyta. Marke: those that mo st adore her, mo st are slau'd,
    She neuer does grow base, but when shees brau'd:
    3. King. You seeme still angry. Emp. No, yes: leade the way,
    2875Neuer was day to me thus Tragicall,
    Great Babylon thus lowe did neuer fall.
    Tita. Thankes Time for this; lanch forth to Oberons vayle
    We are neere shore: your hands to strike our saile.