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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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    A Yorkshire Tragedy (Third Folio, 1664)

    To satisfie his brother? here's another,
    And by the bleeding infants, the dead mother.
    Wife. Oh, oh.
    595 Ma. Surgeons, Surgeons, she recovers life,
    One of his men all faint and bloudied.
    1. Ser. Follow, our murderous Master has took
    Horse to kill his child at nurse, oh follow quickly.
    Ma. I am the readiest, it shall be my charge
    600To raise the Town upon him.
    Exit Master and Servants.
    1. Ser. Good sir follow him.
    Wife. Oh my children.
    1. Ser. How is it my most afflicted Mistress?
    605 Wife. Why do I now recover? why half live?
    To see my children bleed before mine eyes,
    A sight, able to kill a Mothers breast without an Execu-
    tioner; what, art thou mangled too?
    1. Ser. I thinking to prevent what his quick mischiefs
    610had so soon acted, came and rusht upon him,
    We strugled, but a fouler strength then his
    Ore-threw me with his armes, then he did bruise me,
    And rent my flesh, and rob'd me of my hair,
    Like a man mad in execution,
    615Made me unfit to rise and follow him.
    Wife. What is it hath beguil'd him of all grace?
    And stole away humanity from his breast,
    To slay his children, purposed to kill his wife,
    And spoil his servants.

    620Enter two Servants.

    Both. Please you leave this accursed place,
    A Surgeon waits within.
    Wife. Willing to leave it;
    'Tis guilty of sweet bloud, innocent bloud,
    625Murder hath took this chamber with full hands,
    And will not out as long as the house stands.Exeunt.

    Enter Husband, as being thrown off his
    horse, and falls.

    Hus. Oh stumbling Jade, the spavin overtake thee,
    630The fifty diseases stop thee:
    Oh, I am sorely bruis'd, plague founder thee,
    Thou run'st at ease and pleasure, heart of chance,
    To throw me now, within a flight o'th'Town,
    In such plain even ground,
    635Sfoot, a man may dice upon it, and throw away the
    Meadows, ah filthy beast.
    Cry within. Follow, follow, follow.
    Hus. Ha? I hear sounds of men, like hue and cry;
    Up, up, and struggle to my horse, make on,
    640Dispatch that little Beggar, and all's done.
    Cry within. Here, this way, this way.
    Hus. At my back? oh,
    What fate have I, my limbs deny me to go,
    My will is bated, Beggery claims a part,
    645Oh I could here reach to the infants heart.

    Enter Master of the Colledge, three Gentlemen, and
    others with Halberds.

    All. Here, here, yonder, yonder.
    Ma. Unnatural, flinty, more then barbarous,
    650The Scythians in their marble-hearted fates,
    Could not have acted more remorseless deeds
    In their relentless natures, then these of thine:
    Was this the answer I long waited on,
    The satisfaction for thy prisoned brother?
    655 Hus. He can have no more of us, then our skins,
    And some of them want but fleaing.
    1. Gent. Great sinnes have made him impudent.
    Ma. Has shed so much bloud, that he cannot blush.
    2. Gent. Away with him, bear him to the Justices,
    660A Gentleman of worship dwells at hand,
    There shall his deeds be blazed.
    Hus. Why all the better,
    My glory 'tis to have my action known,
    I grieve for nothing, but I mist of one.
    665 Ma. There's little of a father in that grief:
    Bear him away.Exeunt.

    Enter a Knight, with two or three Gentlemen.

    Knight. Endangered so his Wife, murdered his
    670 1. Gent. So the cry goes.
    Knight.I am sorry I e're knew him.
    That ever he took life and natural being
    From such an honoured stock, and fair descent,
    Till this black minute without stain or blemish.
    675 1. Gent. Here come the men.

    Enter the Master of the Colledge, and the rest
    with the Prisoner.

    Knight. The Serpent of his house: I'me sorry for this
    time, that I am in place of justice.
    680 Ma. Please you, sir.
    Knight. Do not repeat it twice, I know too much,
    Would it had nere been thought on.
    Sir, I bleed for you.
    1. Gent. Your father's sorrows are alive in me:
    685What made you shew such monstrous cruelty?
    Hus. In a word, sir,
    I have consum'd all, plaid away long acre,
    And I thought it the charitablest deed I could do,
    To cozen Beggery, and knock my house o'th'head.
    690 Kni. I do not think, but in to morrow's judgement,
    The terrour will sit closer to your soul,
    When the dread thought of Death remembers you;
    To further which, take this sad voice from me,
    Never was act plaid more unnaturally.
    695 Hus. I thank you, Sir.
    Knight. Go lead him to the Jayle.
    Where justice claims all, there must pitty fail.
    Hus. Come, come, away with me.
    Exit Prisoner.
    700 Ma. Sir, you deserve the worship of you place,
    Would all did so, in you the Law is grace.
    Knight.It is my wish it should be so;
    Ruinous man, the desolation of his house,
    The blot upon his predecessor's honour'd name:
    705That man is nearest shame, that is past shame.Exit.

    Enter Husband with the Officers, the Master and Gen-
    tlemen, as going by his house.

    Hus. I am right against my house, seat of my Ance-
    stors: I hear my Wife's alive, but much endangered;
    710let me intreat to speak with her before the prison
    gripe me.