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  • Title: A Yorkshire Tragedy (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: Thomas Middleton, William Shakespeare
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    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