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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    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.
    Enter his Wife brought in a Chair,
    Gent. See here she comes of her self.
    Wife. Oh my sweet husband, my deer distressed hus-
    715band, now in the hands of unrelenting laws, my greatest
    sorrow, my extreamest bleeding; now my soul bleeds.
    Hus. How now? kind to me? did not I wound
    thee, leave thee for dead?
    Wife. Tut, far greater wounds did my breast feel,
    720Unkindnesse strikes a deeper wound then steel,
    You have been still unkind to me.
    Hus. Faith, and so I think I have;
    I did my murders roughly out of hand,
    Desperate and sudden, but thou hast devis'd
    725A fine way now to kill me, thou hast given mine eyes
    Seaven wounds apiece; now glides the devil from
    Me, departs at every joint, heaves up my nails.
    Oh catch him new torments, that were nere invented:
    Bind him one thousand more you blessed Angels,
    730In that bottomlesse pit, let him not rise
    To make men act unnatural Tragedies,
    To spread into a Father, and in fury,
    Make him his childrens executioners,
    Murder his wife, his servants, and who not?
    735For that man's dark, where heaven is quite forgot.
    Wife. Oh my repentant husband.
    Hus. My dear soul, whom I too much have wrong'd
    For death I die, and for this have I long'd.
    Wife. Thou should'st not (be assured) for these faults
    740Die, if the law could forgive as soon as I.
    Children laid out.
    Hus. What sight is yonder?
    Wife. Oh our two bleeding boyes
    Laid forth upon the threshold.
    745 Hus. Here's weight enough to make a heart-string crack,
    Oh were it lawfull that your pretty souls
    Might look from heaven into your fathers eyes,
    Then should you see the penitent glasses melt,
    And both your murders shoot upon my cheeks,
    750But you are playing in the Angels laps,
    And will not look on me,
    Who void of grace, kill'd you in beggery.
    Oh that I might my wishes now attain,
    I should then wish you living were again;
    755Though I did beg with you, which thing I fear'd,
    Oh 'twas the enemy my eyes so blear'd.
    Oh would you could pray heaven me to forgive,
    That will unto my end repentant live.
    Wife. It makes me e'en forget all other sorrows,
    760And leave part with this.
    Officer. Come, will you go?
    Hus. I'le kisse the bloud I spilt, and then I'le go,
    My soul is bloudied, well may my lips be so.
    Farewell dear Wife, now thou and I must part,
    765I of thy wrongs, repent me with my heart.
    Wife. Oh stay. thou shalt not go.
    Hus. That's but in vain, you see it must be so.
    Farewell ye bloudy ashes of my boyes,
    My punishments are their eternal joyes.
    770Let every father look well into his deeds,
    And then their heirs may prosper, while mine bleeds.
    Exeunt Husband with Officers.
    Wife. More wretched am I now in this distresse.
    Then former sorrows made me.
    775 Mr. Oh kind Wife, be comforted,
    One joy is yet unmurdered,
    you have a boy at nurse, your joy's in him.
    Wife. Dearer then all is my poor husband's life:
    Heaven give my body strength, which is yet faint
    780With much expence of bloud, and I will kneel,
    Sue for his life, number up all my friends,
    To plead for pardon for my dear husbandls life.
    Mr. Was it in man to wound so kind a creature?
    I'le ever praise a woman for thy sake.
    785I must return with grief, my answer's set,
    I shall bring news weighes heavier then the debt.
    Two Brothers; the one in bond lies overthrown,
    This, on a deadlier execution.