Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Anonymous
Not Peer Reviewed

A Yorkshire Tragedy (Third Folio, 1664)

A York="Shire" Tragedy.
But let her look that the thing be done she wots of,
Or hell will stand more pleasant then her house at home.
Exit Servant.

Enter a Gentleman.
Gent. Well or ill met, I care not.
Hus. No nor I.
Gent. I am come with confidence to chide you.
Hus. Who me? chide me? do't finely then, let it not
225move me, for if thou chid'st me angry, I shall strike.
Gent. Strike thine own follies, for it is they
Deserve to be well beaten; we are now in private,
There's none but thou and I, thou art fond and peevish,
An unclean Rioter, thy lands and credit
230Lie now both sick of a consumption,
I am sorry for thee; that man spends with shame,
That with his riches doth consume his name,
And such art thou.
Hus. Peace.
235 Gent. No, thou shalt hear me further.
Thy fathers and fore-fathers worthy honours,
Which were our Countrey monuments, our grace,
Follies in thee begin now to deface.
The spring time of thy youth did fairly promise
240Such a most fruitfull summer to thy friends,
It scarce can enter into mens beliefs,
Such dearth should hang on thee, we that see it,
Are sorry to believe it: in thy change,
This voice into all places will be hurld:
245Thou and the Devil has deceiv'd the world.
Hus. I'le not endure thee.
Gent. But of all the worst,
Thy virtuous wife, right honourably allied,
Thou hast proclaim'd a strumpet.
250 Hus. Nay then I know thee,
Thou art lier Champion thou, her private friend,
The party you wot on.
Gent. Oh ignoble thought,
I am past my patient bloud, shall I stand idle
255And see my reputation toucht to death?
Hus. This has gal'd you, has it?
Gent. No monster, I prove
My thoughts did onely tend to virtuous love.
Hus. Love of her virtues? there it goes.
260 Gent. Base spirit, to lay thy hate upon
The fruitfull honour of thine own bed.
They fight, and the Husband is hurt.
Hus. Oh.
Gent. Wilt thou yield it yet?
265 Hus. Sir, sir, I have not done with you.
I hope, nor ne're shall do.
Fight agen.
Hus. Have you got tricks? are you in cunning with me?
Gent. No, plain and right.
He needs no cunning that for truth doth fight.
Husband falls down.
Hus. Hard fortune, am I level'd with the ground?
Gent. Now, sir, you lie at mercy.
Hus. I, you slave.
Gent. Alas, that hate should bring us to our grave,
275You see, my Sword's not thirsty for your life,
I am sorrier for your wound, then your self;
Y'are of a virtuous house, shew virtuous deeds,
'Tis not your honour, 'tis your folly bleeds:
Much good has been expected in your life,
280Cancel not all mens hopes, you have a Wife,
Kind and obedient: heap not wrongfull shame
On her and your posterity: let only sin be sore,
And by this fall, rise never to fall more.
And so I leave you.
285 Hus. Has the dog left me then,
After his tooth hath left me? Oh, my heart
Would fain leap after him, revenge I say,
I'me mad to be reveng'd, my strumpet Wife,
It is thy quarrel that rips thus my flesh,
290And makes my breast spit bloud, but thou shalt bleed:
Vanquisht? got down? unable e'en to speak?
Surely 'tis want of money makes men weak,
I, 'twas that ore-threw me, I'de nere been down else.

Enter Wife in a riding-sute, with a Serving-man.

295 Ser. Faith Mistress, if it may not be presumption
In me to tell you so, for his excuse
You had small reason, knowing his abuse.
Wife. I grant I had, but alas,
Why should our faults at home be spread abroad?
300'Tis grief enough within doors; at first sight
Mine Uncle could run o're his prodigal life
As perfectly, as if his serious eye
Had numbred all his follies:
Knew of his morgag'd lands, his friends in bonds,
305Himself withered with debt; and in that minute
Had I added his usage and unkindness,
'Twould have confounded every thought of good:
Where now, fathering his riots on his youth,
Which time and tame experience will shake off,
310Guessing his kindness to me (as I smooth'd him
With all the skill I had) though his deserts
Are in form uglier then an unshapt Bear.
He's ready to prefer him to some Office
And place at Court: a good and sure releif
315To all his stooping fortunes, 'twill be a means, I hope,
To make new league between us, and redeem
His virtues with his lands.
Ser. I should think so: Mistress, if he should not now
be kind to you, and love you, and cherish you up, I should
320think the Devil himself kept open house in him.
Wife. I doubt not but he will now, prythee leave me,
I think I hear him coming.
Serv. I am gone.
Wife. By this good means I shall preserve my lands,
325And free my husband out of Usurers hands:
Now there is no need of sale, my Uncle's kind,
I hope, if ought, this will content his mind.
Here comes my husband.
Enter Husband.
Hus. Now, are you come? where's the money? let's
330see the money, is the rubbish sold? those wiseakers your
Lands, why then, the money, where is it? poure it
down, down with it, down with it; I say pour't on the
groound, let's see it, let's see it.
Wife. Good sir, keep but in patience, and I hope
335My words shall like you well, I bring you better
Comfort then the sale of my Dowry.
Hus. Ha, what's that?
Wife. Pray do not fright me, sir, but vouchsafe me hear-
ing. My Uncle, glad of your kindness to me and mild use-
340age (for so I made it to him) hath in pitty of your decli-
ning fortunes, provided a place for you at Court, of worth
and credit; which so much overjoyed me----
Hus. Out on thee, filth, over and over-joyed,
When I'me in torment.
spurns her.
345Thou politick whore, subtiller then nine Devils, was