The Whore of Babylon – Act Two, Scene two

Return to previous scene

Enter the THIRD KING to his Man.

 THIRD KING
Stands my beard right?  The gown.  I must have grave;
White hairs like silver clouds a privilege have;
Not to be search’d or be suspected fowl.
Make away those two turncoats.  Suit me next
Like to a satin devil, bravely.  Fly
Your sailor’s shape.  Be here immediately.                         [Exit Man.
So, excellent.  A subtle masque.  All’s fit.
This very cap makes my head swell with wit.
Mongst soldiers I have play’d the soldier,
Been mutinous, rail’d at the state, curs’d peace.
They walk with cross-arms, gaping for a day,
Have undershored their eyelids, like trap-windows,
To keep them open, and with yawning ears
Lie listening on flock bolsters, till rebellion
Beat up her drum.  This lards me fat with laughter;
Their swords are drawn halfway, and all those doors,
Where civil massacres, murders, dy’d in grain,
Spoil, riflings, and sweet ravishments shall enter,
Have tokens stamp’d on them, to  make ‘em known,
More dreadful than the bills that preach the plague.
From them, with oil’d hams, lapp’d in servile blue,
I stole, and fill’d out wine of Babylon,
To live things, made of clods, poor country sots,
And drunk they are.  Whole shires with it do reel.
Poisons run smooth, because men sweetness feel.
Now to my schoolmen.  Learning’s fort is strong,
But poorly mann’d, and cannot hold out long
When golden bullets batter.  Yonder’s one.

Enter CAMPEIUS.

Y’are a poor scholar?

CAMPEIUS
Yes.

THIRD KING
What read you?

CAMPEIUS
A book.

THIRD KING
So learned, yet so young?

CAMPEIUS
Ye may see, sir.

THIRD KING
You feed some discontent?

CAMPEIUS
Perhaps I ha’ cause.

THIRD KING
What troubles you?

CAMPEIUS
You trouble me.  Pray, leave me.

THIRD KING
Put yourself and your grief into my hands.

CAMPEIUS
Are you a doctor?  Your hands, sir, pray why?

THIRD KING
You know me not.

CAMPEIUS
Do you know yourself?  Your business?
Are you a scholar?

THIRD KING
Judge of that by these.

CAMPEIUS
Oh, sir, I have seen many heads under such wool
That scarce had brains to line it.  If y’are a scholar,
Methinks you should know manners. By your leave, sir.

THIRD KING
Pray, leave your name behind you.

CAMPEIUS
Name, Campeius.

THIRD KING
[Aside.] Campeius, umh!  Capeius?  A lucky planet
Strikes out this hour.  Capeius!  Babylon
His name hath in her tables.  On his forehead
Our queen hath set her mark.  It is a mold
Fit to cast mischief in.  None sooner rent
A church in two than scholars discontent.
I must not lose this martin’s nest.  [Aloud.] Once more,
Y’are happily met.

CAMPEIUS
[Aside.] This burr still hangs on me!
[Aloud.] And you, sir.

THIRD KING
Tell me, pray,
Did you never taste—I’m bold—did you ne’er taste
Those clear and redolent fountains that do nourish
In vive and fresh humidity those plants
That grow on t’other side, our opposites,
Those that to us here are th’antipodes,
Clean against us in grounds—you feel me—say
Ne’er drunk you of that nectar?

CAMPEIUS
Never.

THIRD KING
Never!
I wish you had.  I gather from your eyes,
What your disease is.  I ha’ been yourself;
This was Campeius once, though not so learn’d,
For I was bred, as you, in Fairy Land.
A country!  Well, but ‘tis our country, and so
Good to breed beggars.  She starves arts, fats fools,
She sets up drinking rooms, and pulls down schools.

CAMPEIUS
So, sir.

THIRD KING
No more but so, sir?  This discourse
Palates you not.

CAMPEIUS
Yes.

THIRD KING
Nothing hath passed me
I hope, against my country, or the state,
That any can take hold of.

CAMPEIUS
If they could,
‘Tis but mine aye, to your no.

THIRD KING
Y’are too sour,
Unmellowed.  You stand here in the shade
Out of the warmth of those blest ripening beams.
Go to.  I grieve that such a blossom—

CAMPEIUS
Sir, I know you not.  This thing which you have raz’d
Affrights me; scholars of weak temper need
To fear, as they on sunbanks lie to read,
Adders i’th’highest grass.  These leaves but turn’d
Like willow sticks hard rubb’d may kindle fire,
Cities with sparks as small have oft been burn’d.

THIRD KING
Do you take me for a hangman?

CAMPEIUS
I would be loath,
For any harsh tune that my tongue may warble,
To have the instrument unstrung.

THIRD KING
You shall not.
Welfare unto you.

CAMPEIUS
And to you.  A word, sir.
Bred in this country?

THIRD KING
Yes.

CAMPEIUS
I am no bird
To break mine own nest down.  What flight soever
Your words make through this air, though it be troubled,
Mine ear, sir, is no reaching fowling piece,
What passes through it, kills.  You may proceed.
Perhaps you would wound that.  I wish should bleed.
You have th’advantage now.
I put the longest weapon into your hands.

THIRD KING
It shall guard you.
You draw me by this line; let’s private walk.

CAMPEIUS
This path’s unbruis’d.  Go on, sir.

THIRD KING
Sir, I love you.
The dragons that keep learning’s golden tree,
As you now have, I fought with, conquered them,
Got to the highest bough, eat of the fruit,
And gathered of the seven-fold leaves of art,
What I desir’d; and yet for all the moons
That I have seen wax old and pine for anger,
I had outwatched them; and for all the candles
I wasted out on long and frozen nights,
To thaw them into day, I fill’d my head
With books, but scarce could fill my mouth with bread.
I had the Muses’ smile, but moneys frown,
And never could get out of such a gown.

CAMPEIUS
How did you change your star?

THIRD KING
By changing air.
The god of waves wash’d of my poverty,
I sought out a new sun beyond the seas
Whose beams begat me gold.

CAMPEIUS
O me!  Dull ass!
I am nail’d down by willful beggary,
Yet feel not where it enters.  Like a horse
My hoofs are par’d to’th’quick, even till they bleed,
To make me run from hence.  Yet this tortoise shell,
My country, lies so heavy on my back,
Pressing my worth down, that I slowly creep
Through base and slimy ways.

THIRD KING
Country!

CAMPEIUS
She hangs
Her own brats at her back, to teach them beg,
And in her lap sits strangers.

THIRD KING
Yet your country.

CAMPEIUS
I was not born to this, not school’d to this.
My parents spent not wealth on me to this.
I will not stay here long.

THIRD KING
Do not.

CAMPEIUS
Being hence,
I’ll write in gall and poison gainst my nurse,
This Fairy Land, for not rewarding merit.
If ever I come back I’l lbe a calthrop
To prick my country’s feet that tread on me.

THIRD KING
O, she’s unkind!  Hard-hearted!

CAMPEIUS
In disputation
I dare for Latin, Hebrew and the Greek,
Challenge an university.  Yes, O evil hap!
Three learned languages cannot set a nap
Upon this threadbare gown.  How is art curs’d?
She ha’s the sweetest limbs, and goes the worst,
Like common fiddlers, drawing down others’ meat
With lickerish tunes, whilst they on scraps do eat.

THIRD KING
Shake then these servile fetters off.

CAMPEIUS
But how?

THIRD KING
Play the mule’s part now thou hast suck’d a dam,
Dry and unwholesome; kick her sides.

CAMPEIUS
Her heart, her very heart,
Would it were dried to dust, to strew upon
Th’invenomed paper upon which I’ll write.

THIRD KING
Know you the court of Babylon?

CAMPEIUS
I have read
How great it is, how glorious, and would venture
A soul to get but thither.

THIRD KING
Get then thither.
You venture none, but save a soul going thither.
The Queen of Babylon rides on a beast
That carries up seven heads.

CAMPEIUS
Rare!

THIRD KING
Each head crown’d.

Enter his Man like a sailor with rich attires under his arm.

CAMPEIUS
O admirable!

THIRD KING
She, with her own hand
Will fill thee wine out of a golden bowl.
There’s angels to conduct thee.  Get to sea,
Steal o’er, behold.  Here’s one to waft thee hence.
Take leave of none, tell none; th’art made.  Farewell.

CAMPEIUS
This to meet heaven, who would not wade through hell?

[Exeunt CAMPEIUS and Sailor.  Manent THIRD KING.

Enter Sailor presently.

 THIRD KING
To flee off this hypocrisy, ‘tis time,
Lest worn too long, the foxes skin be known.
In out dissembling now we must be brave,
Make me a courtier, come.  Asses I see
In nothing but in trappings, different be
From footcloth nags, on which gay fellows ride,
Save that such gallants gallop in more pride.
Away.  Stow under hatches that light stuff.
‘Tis to be worn in Babylon.                                       [Exit Sailor.
At this grove,
And much about this hour, a slave well moulded
In profound learned villainy, gave oath
To meet me.

Enter Conjurer.

Art thou come?  Can thy black art
This wonder bring to pass?

CONJURER
See, it is done.

THIRD KING
Titania’s picture right!

CONJURER
This virgin wax
Bury I will in slimy putrid ground
Where it may piecemeal rot.  As this consumes,
So shall she pine, and, after languor, die.
These pins shall stick like daggers to her heart,
And eating through her breast, turn there to gripings,
Cramp-like convulsions, shrinking up her nerves
As into this they eat.

THIRD KING
Thou art famed for ever.
If these thy holy labours well succeed,
Statues of molten brass shall rear thy name;
The Babylonian Empress shall thee honour.
And, for this, each day shalt thou go in chains.
Where wilt thou bury it?

CONJURER
Upon this dunghill.

THIRD KING
Good.
And bind it down with most effectual charms,
That whosoever with unhallowed hands,
Shall dare to take it hence, may rave and die.

CONJURER
Leave me.

THIRD KING
Farewell, and prosper.  Be blind, you skies.
You look on things unlawful with sore ears.                 [Exit.

Dumb show.  The hautboys sound, and whilst he is burying the picture, TRUTH and TIME enter, FIDELI, PARTHENOPHIL, ELFIRON, and a Guard following aloof.  They discover the fellow; he is taken; the picture found; he kneels for mercy, but they, making sounds of refusal, he snatcheth at some weapon to kill himself, is prevented, and led away.

 

Proceed to the next scene

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: