The White Devil



I shall be plainer with you, and paint out
Your follies in more natural red and white
Than that upon your cheek.
I must spare you till proof cry whore to that;
Observe this creature here my honoured lords,
A woman of a most prodigious spirit
In her effected.
Oh, your trade instructs your language!
You see my lords what goodly fruit she seems,
Yet like those apples travellers report
To grow where Sodom and Gomorrah stood:
I will but touch her and you straight shall see
She*ll fall to soot and ashes.
I am resolved.
Were there a second paradise to loose
This devil would betray it.
Who knows not how, when several night by night
Her gates were choked with coaches and her rooms
Outbraved the stars with several kind of lights,
When she did counterfeit a prince*s court
In music, banquets and most riotous surfeits,
This whore, forsooth, was holy?
Shall I expound whore to you? Sure I shall;
I*ll give their perfect character. They are first
Sweetmeats which rot the eater: in man*s nostril
Poisoned perfumes. They are coz*ning alchemy,
Shipwrecks in calmest weather! What are whores?
Cold Russian winters, that appear so barren
As if that nature had forgot the spring.
They are the true material fire of hell,
Worse than those tributes i*th*Low Countries paid,
Exactions upon meat, drink, garments, sleep;
Ay even on man*s perdition, his sin.
They are those brittle evidences of law
Which forfeit all a wretched man*s estate
For leaving out one syllable. What are whores?
They are those flattering bells have all one tune,
At weddings, and at funerals: your rich whores
Are only treasuries by extortion filled,
And emptied by curs*d riot. They are worse,
Worse than dead bodies, which are begged at gallows
And wrought upon by surgeons, to teach man
Wherein he is imperfect. What*s a whore?
She*s like the guilty counterfeited coin
Which whosoe*er first stamps it brings in trouble
All that receive it.
You, gentlewoman, Take from all beasts, and from all minerals
Their deadly poison.
I*ll find in thee a pothecary*s shop
To sample them all.
You know what whore is; next the devil, Adult*ry,
Enters the devil, Murder.
And look upon this creature was his wife.
She comes not like a widow: she comes armed
With scorn and impudence. Is this a mourning habit?
See my lords,
She scandals our proceedings.
Nay hear me,
For you Vittoria, your public fault,
Joined to th*condition of the present time,
Takes from you all the fruits of noble pity.
Such a corrupted trial have you made
Both of your life and beauty, and been styled
No less in ominous fate than blazing stars
To princes; here*s your sentence: you are confined
Unto a house of convertites– a house of penitent whores.
Take her hence

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