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  • Title: The Tragedy of Locrine (Third Folio, 1664)

  • Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Anonymous, William Shakespeare
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    The Tragedy of Locrine (Third Folio, 1664)

    The Tragedy of Locrine.
    Unto the flowing currents silver streams,
    Which, in memorial of our victory,
    Shall be agnominated by our name,
    1060And talked of by our posterity:
    For sure I hope before the golden Sun
    Posteth his horses to fair Thetis plains,
    To see the waters turned into bloud,
    And change his blewish hue to ruefull red,
    1065By reason of the fatal massacre,
    Which shall be made upon the virent plains.

    Enter the Ghost of Albanact.

    See how the Traitor doth presage his harm,
    See how he glories at his own decay,
    1070See how he triumphs at his proper loss.
    O fortune vild, unstable, fickle, frail!
    Hum. Me thinks I see both armies in the field,
    The broken lances climb the crystal skies,
    Some headless lie, some breathless on the ground,
    1075And every place is strew'd with carcasses,
    Behold the grass hath lost his pleasant green,
    The sweetest sight that ever might be seen.
    Ghost. I, traiterous Humber, thou shalt find it so,
    Yea to thy cost thou shalt the same behold,
    1080With anguish, sorrow, and with sad laments;
    The grassie plains, that now do please thine eyes,
    Shall e're the night be coloured all with bloud;
    The shadie groves that now inclose thy camp,
    And yield sweet savour to thy damned corps,
    1085Shall ere the night be figured all with bloud;
    The profound stream that passeth by thy tents,
    And with his moisture serveth all thy camp,
    Shall ere the night converted be to bloud,
    Yea with the bloud of those thy stragling boyes:
    1090For now revenge shall ease my lingring grief,
    And now revenge shall glut my longing soul.
    Hub. Let come what will, I mean to bear it out,
    And either live with glorious victorie,
    Or die with fame renown'd for chivalrie:
    1095He is not worthy of the honey-comb,
    That shuns the hives because the bees have stings;
    That likes me best that is not got with ease,
    Which thousand dangers do accompany;
    For nothing can dismay our Regal mind;
    1100Which aims at nothing but a golden Crown,
    The only upshot of mine enterprises.
    Were they inchanted in grim Pluto's Court,
    And kept for treasure 'mongst his hellish crew,
    I would either quell the triple Cerberus
    1105And all the armie of his hatefull hags,
    Or roll the stone with wretched Sysiphus.
    Hum. Right martial be thy thoughts, my noble son,
    And all thy words savour of Chivalrie,
    But, warlike Segar, what strange accidents
    1110Makes you to leave the warding of the Camp?
    Segar. To armes, my Lord, to honourable armes;
    Take helm and targe in hand, the Britains come
    With greater multitude then erst the Greeks
    Brought to the ports of Phrygian Tenedos.
    1115Hum. But what saith Segar to these accidents?
    What counsel gives he in extremities?
    Seg. Why this, my Lord, experience teacheth us,
    That Resolution is a sole help at need.
    And this, my Lord, our honour teacheth us,
    1120That we be bold in every enterprise;
    Then since there is no way but fight or die,
    Be resolute, my Lord, for victory.
    Hum. And resolute, Segar, I mean to be,
    Perhaps some blisfull star will favour us,
    1125And comfort bring to our perplexed state:
    Come let us in and fortifie our camp,
    So to withstand their strong invasion.

    Scena Quarta.

    Enter Strumbo, Trumpart, Oliver, and his son Wil-
    1130liam following them

    Strum. Nay neighbour Oliver, if you be so whot,
    come prepare your self, you shall find two as stout fellows
    of us, as any in all the North.
    Oliv. No by my dorth neighbour Strumbo, Ich zee
    1135dat you are a man of small zideration, dat will zeek to
    injure your old vreends, one of your vamiliar guests, and
    derefore zeeing your pinion is to deal withouten reazon,
    Ich and my zonne William will take dat course, dat shall
    be fardest vrom reason; how zay you, will you have my
    1140Daughter or no?
    Strum. A very hard question neighbour, but I will
    solve it as I may: what reason have you to demand it
    of me?
    Will. Marry sir, what reason had you when my sister
    1145was in the barn to tumble her upon the hay, and to fish
    her Belly.
    Strum. Mass thou say'st true; well, but would you
    have me marry her therefore? No, I scorn her, and you,
    and you. I, I scorn you all.
    1150Oliv. You will not have her then?
    Strum. No, as I am a true Gentleman.
    Will. Then will we school you, ere you and we part
    Enter Margerie, and snatch the staff out of her bro-
    1155thers hand as he is fighting
    Strum. I, you come in pudding time, or else I had
    drest them.
    Mar. You master sawce-box, lobcock, cocks-comb,
    you slopsawce, lickfingers, will you not hear?
    1160Strum. Who speak you to, me?
    Mar. I sir, to you, John lackhonestie, littlewit, is it
    you that will have none of me?
    Strum. No by my troth, mistress nicebice, how fine
    you can nick-name me; I think you were brought up in
    1165the University of Bridewell, you have your Rhetorick so
    ready at your tongues end, as if you were never well
    warned when you were young.
    Mar. Why then goodman cods-head, if you will have
    none of me, farewell.
    1170Strum. If you be so plain, mistress driggle-d
    fare you well.
    Mar. Nay, master Strumbo, ere you go from hence we
    must have more words, you will have none of me?
    They both fight.
    1175Strum. Oh my head, my head, leave, leave, leave,
    I will, I will, I will.
    Mar. Upon that condition I let thee alone.
    Oliv. How now master Strumbo, hath my daughter
    taught you a new lesson?
    Strum. I,