The Whore of Babylon – Act Four, Scene one

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Dumb Show.  A cave suddenly breaks open, and out of it comes FALSEHOOD, attired as TRUTH is, her face spotted; she sticks up her banner on the top of the cave, then with her foot in several places, strikes the earth, and up riseth CAMPEIUS, a Friar with a box; a gentleman with a drawn sword, another with rich gloves in a box; another with a bridle.  TIME, TRUTH with her banner, and PLAIN DEALING enter and stand aloof beholding all.

TIME
See there’s the cave where that hyena lurks
That counterfeits thy voice and calls forth men
To their destruction.

PLAIN DEALING
How full of the smallpox she is!  What ails she to stamp thus?  Is the whore mad?  How now?  Yea, do you rise before doomsday!  Father Time, what conduit-pipes are these, that breat out of the earth thus?

TIME
The conduit-heads of treason, which convey
Conspiracies, scandals, and civil discord,
Massacres, poisonings, wracks of faith and fealty
Through Fairies’ hearts to turn them into elves.
See, Truth, see son, the snake slips off his skin,
A scholar makes a ruffian.

PLAIN DEALING
Now must that ruffian cuff the scholar, if I were as he.

TIME
And see, that shape which erst show’d reverend,
And wore the outward badge of sanctity,
Is cloth’d in garments of hypocricy.

PLAIN DEALING
See, see, father, he has a jack-in-a-box.  What’s that?

TIME
A wild beast, a mad bull, a bull that roars
To fright allegiance from true subjects’ bosoms.
That bull must bellow at the Flamen’s gate.
His gate that tends the flocks of all those sheep
That graze in the fatt’st pasture of the land
Being all enclos’d; that bull will on his back
Bear all.

PLAIN DEALING
Whither?  Whither?

TIME
To hell.  ‘Tis said to heaven
That will but sit him will with hoof or horn
He gore the anointed Fairy.

PLAIN DEALING
Such bulls have I seen sent out of Babylon to run at people.  I should once have rid upon one of them, but he that begg’d my office broke his neck by the bargain and sav’d me a labour.  What’s he with the sword?  A master of the noble science?

TIME
A noble villain.  See, he pulls down heaven
With imprecations.  If that blade he sheath not
In our sweet mistress’ breast.

PLAIN DEALING
O rogue!  What good clothes he wears and yet is a villain!

TIME
Ay, do, clap hand upon’t.  That poisoned glove
Shall strike thee dead to death with the strong scent
Of thy discovered treason.

PLAIN DEALING
What’s that horse courser with the bridle?

TIME
A slave, that since he dares not touch her head,
Would work upon her hand.  Laugh and conspire;
The higher villains climb, they fall the higher.

PLAIN DEALING
Stay, father.  Now the army comes forward, she takes down the flag; belike their play is done.  What wills he bear the colours?  Thou hast colour enough in thy face already, thou needst no more.  Did ye ever see a more lousy band?  There’s but two rapiers in the whole regiment.  Now they muster, now they double their files.  Mark how their hands juggle and lay about.  This is the main battle.  O, well floursh’d ancient!  The day is theirs.  See, now  they sound retreat.  Whither march they now?                                                                                      [Exeunt Dumb Show.

TIME
To death; their falls.  Thus Time and Truth proclaim:
They shall like leaves drop from the tree of shame.
Let’s follow them.

PLAIN DEALING
To the gallows?  Not I.  What do we know, but this freckled face quean may be a witch?

TIME
She is so.  She’s that damned sorceress
That keeps the enchanted towers of Babylon.
This is the Truth that did bewitch thee once.

PLAIN DEALING
Is this speckled toad she?  She was then, in mine eye, the goodliest woman that ever wore fore part of satin.  To see what these female creatures are when they deal with two or three nations!  How quickly they wear carbuncles and rich stones!  Now she is more ugly than a bawd.

TRUTH
She look’d so then.  Fairness itself doth clothe her
In men’s eyes, till they see me, and then they loath her.

TIME
Lose no more minutes.  Come, let’s follow them.

PLAIN DEALING
With hue and cry, now I know her.  This villainous drab is bawd, now I remember, to the Whore of Babylon, and will never leave her till she be carted.  Her face is full of those red pimples with drinking aquavite, the common drink of all bawds.  Come.                                                                                                              [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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