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- A Yorkshire Tragedy - 1/7 -

Shakespeare, William. A Yorkshire Tragedy. Not So New as Lamentable and True. In C.F. Tucker Brooke, ed., The Shakespeare Apocrypha (Oxford, 1918).


Dramatis Personae.

Husband. Master of a College. Knight, a Justice of Peace. Oliver, Ralph, Samuel, serving-men. Other Servants, and Officers. Wife. Maid-servant. A little Boy.

SCENE I. A room in Calverly Hall.

[Enter Oliver and Ralph, two servingmen.]

OLIVER. Sirrah Ralph, my young Mistress is in such a pitiful passionate humor for the long absence of her love--

RALPH. Why, can you blame her? why, apples hanging longer on the tree then when they are ripe makes so many fallings; viz., Mad wenches, because they are not gathered in time, are fain to drop of them selves, and then tis Common you know for every man to take em up.

OLIVER. Mass, thou sayest true, Tis common indeed: but, sirrah, is neither our young master returned, nor our fellow Sam come from London?

RALPH. Neither of either, as the Puritan bawd says. Slidd, I hear Sam: Sam's come, her's! Tarry! come, yfaith, now my nose itches for news.

OLIVER. And so does mine elbow.

[Sam calls within. Where are you there?]

SAM. Boy, look you walk my horse with discretion; I have rid him simply. I warrant his skin sticks to his back with very heat: if a should catch cold and get the Cough of the Lungs I were well served, were I not?

[Enter Sam. Furnisht with things from London.]

What, Ralph and Oliver.

AMBO. Honest fellow Sam, welcome, yfaith! what tricks hast thou brought from London?

SAM. You see I am hangd after the truest fashion: three hats, and two glasses, bobbing upon em, two rebato wires upon my breast, a capcase by my side, a brush at my back, an Almanack in my pocket, and three ballats in my Codpiece: nay, I am the true picture of a Common servingman.

OLIVER. I'll swear thou art. Thou mayest set up when thou wilt. There's many a one begins with less, I can tell thee, that proves a rich man ere he dies. But what's the news from London, Sam?

RALPH. Aye, that's well said; what's the news from London, Sirrah? My young mistress keeps such a puling for her love.

SAM. Why, the more fool she; aye, the more ninny hammer she.

OLIVER. Why, Sam, why?

SAM. Why, he's married to another Long ago.

AMBO. Yfaith, ye jest.

SAM. Why, did you not know that till now? why, he's married, beats his wife, and has two or three children by her: for you must note that any woman bears the more when she is beaten.

RALPH. Aye, that's true, for she bears the blows.

OLIVER. Sirrah Sam, I would not for two years wages, my young mistress knew so much; she'd run upon the left hand of her wit, and ne'er be her own woman again.

SAM. And I think she was blest in her Cradle, that he never came in her bed; why, he has consumed all, pawnd his lands, and made his university brother stand in wax for him--There's a fine phrase for a scrivener! puh, he owes more then his skin's worth.

OLIVER. Is't possible?

SAM. Nay, I'll tell you moreover, he calls his wife whore as familiarly as one would call Mal and Dol, and his children bastards as naturally as can be.--But what have we here? I thought twas somewhat puld down my breeches: I quite forgot my two potingsticks. These came from London; now any thing is good here that comes from London.

OLIVER. Aye, far fetcht you know.

SAM. But speak in your conscience, yfaith, have not we as good Potingsticks ith Country as need to be put ith fire. The mind of a thing's all, and as thou saidst e'en now, far fetcht is the best things for Ladies.

OLIVER. Aye, and for waiting gentle women too.

SAM. But, Ralph, what, is our beer sower this thunder?

OLIVER. No, no, it holds countenance yet.

SAM. Why, then, follow me; I'll teach you the finest humor to be drunk in't; they call it knighting in London, when they drink upon their knees.

AMBO. Faith, that's excellent. Come, follow me: I'll give you all the degrees ont in order.


SCENE II. Another apartment in the same.

WIFE. What will become of us? all will away. My husband never ceases in expense, Both to consume his credit and his house; And tis set down by heaven's just decree, That Riot's child must needs be beggery. Are these the vertues that his you did promise? Dice, and voluptuous meetings, midnight Revels, Taking his bed with surfetts: Ill beseeming The ancient honor of his house and name! And this not all: but that which kills me most, When he recounts his Losses and false fortunes, The weakness of his state so much dejected, Not as a man repentant, but half mad, His fortunes cannot answer his expense: He sits and sullenly locks up his Arms, Forgetting heaven looks downward, which makes him Appear so dreadful that he frights my heart, Walks heavily, as if his soul were earth: Not penitent for those his sins are past, But vext his money cannot make them last:-- A fearful melancholy, ungodly sorrow. Oh yonder he comes, now in despite of ills I'll speak to him, and I will hear him speak, And do my best to drive it from his heart.

[Enter Husband.]

HUSBAND. Pox oth Last throw! it made Five hundred Angels vanish from my sight. I'm damnd, I'm damnd: the Angels have forsook me. Nay, tis certainly true: for he that has No coin is damnd in this world: he's gone, he's gone.

A Yorkshire Tragedy - 1/7

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