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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 the Husband with the Master of the Colledge.
    395 Hus. Please you draw near, sir, y'are exceeding wel-
    Ma. That's my doubt, I fear I come not to be wel-
    Hus. Yes, howsoever.
    400 Ma. 'Tis not my fashion, sir, to dwell in long cir-
    cumstance, but to be plain and effectuall; therefore to
    the purpose.
    The cause of my setting forth was pittious and lamenta-
    ble; that hopefull young Gentleman your Brother, whose
    405virtues we all love dearly, through your default and unna-
    turall negligence, lies in bond executed for your debt, a
    prisoner, all his studies amazed, his hope struck dead, and
    the pride of his youth muffled in these dark clouds of op-
    410 Hus. Hum, hum, hum.
    Mast. Oh you have kill'd the towardest hope of all
    our University, wherefore without repentance and a-
    mends, expect ponderous and sudden judgements to fall
    grievously upon you; your Brother, a man who profited
    415in his divine employments, and might have made ten
    thousand soules fit for heaven, now by your carelesse
    courses cast in prison, which you must answer for, and
    assure your spirit it will come home at length.
    Hus. Oh God, oh.
    420 Ma. Wise men think ill of you, others speak ill of you, no
    man loves you, nay, even those whom honesty condemns,
    condemns you: and take this from the virtuous affection
    I bear your Brother, never look for prosperous hour,
    good thought, quiet sleeps, contented walks, nor any
    425thing that makes man perfect, till you redeem him: what
    is your answer? how will you bestow him? upon despe-
    rate misery, or better hopes? I suffer till I hear your an-
    Hus. Sir, you have much wrought with me, I feel you
    430in my soule, you are your Arts master.
    I never had sence till now; your syllables have cleft me,
    both for your words and pains I thank you: I cannot
    but acknowledge grievous wrongs done to my Brother,
    mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty wrongs.
    435Within there.
    Enter a Servingman.
    Hus. Fill me a Bowle of Wine. Alass poor Brother,
    Bruised with an execution for my sake.
    Ma. A bruise indeed makes many a mortall sore,
    440Till the Grave cure them.
    Enter with Wine.
    Hus. Sir, I begin to you, y'ave chid your welcome.
    Ma. I could have wisht it better for your sake,
    I pledge you, sir, to the kind man in prison.
    Hus. Let it be so.
    445Now, sir, if you so please, to spend but a few minutes in
    walking about my grounds below, my man shall here
    attend you: I doubt not but by that time to be furnisht
    of a sufficient answer, and therein my Brother fully sa-
    450 Ma. Good sir, in that the Angels would be pleased,
    and the worlds murmures calm'd, and I should say, I set
    forth then upon a lucky day.
    Hus. O thou confused man, thy pleasant sins have un-
    done thee, thy damnation has begger'd thee, that heaven
    455should say we must not sin, and yet made women: gives
    our sences way to find pleasure, which being found, con-
    founds us, why should we know those things so much
    misuse us? Oh would virtue had been forbidden, we
    should then have proved all virtuous, for 'tis our blood
    460to love what we are forbidden, what man would have
    been forbidden, what man would have been fool to a
    beast, and zany to a swine, to shew tricks in the mire,
    what is there in three Dice, to make a man draw thrice
    three thousand acres into the compasse of a little round ta-
    465ble, and with the Gentlemans palsie in the hand shake
    out his posterity, thieves, or beggars; 'tis done, I have
    don't ifaith: terrible, horrible misery,----------how well
    was I left, very well, very well.
    My Lands shewed like a Full-Moon about me, but
    470now the Moon's in the last quarter, waining, waining,
    and I am mad to think that Moon was mine:
    mine and my fathers, and my fore-fathers generations,
    generations, down goes the house of us, down, down it
    sinks: Now is the name a beggar, begs in me that name
    475which hundreds of years has made this Shire famous; in
    me and my posterity runs out.
    In my seed five are made miserable besides my self,
    my Riot is now my Brothers Jaylor, my Wifes sighing,
    my three boyes penury, and mine own confusion.
    He tears his hair.
    Why sit my hairs upon my cursed head?
    Will not this poison scatter them? oh my Brother's
    In execution among devils that stretch him:
    And make him give; and I in want,
    485Not able for to live, nor to redeem him.
    Divines and dying men may talk of hell,
    But in my heart her several torments dwell,
    Slavery and misery. Who in this case
    Would not take up money upon his soul?
    490Pawn his salvation, live at interest:
    I, that did ever in abundance dwell,
    For me to want, exceeds the throws of hell.
    Enter his little son, with a Top and Scourge.
    Son. What aile you father, are you not well, I cannot
    495scourge my Top as long as you stand so: you take up all
    the room with your wide legs, puh, you cannot make me
    afraid with this, I fear no vizards, nor bugbears.
    He takes up the child by the skirts of his long coat in one
    hand, and draws his dagger with the other.
    500 Hus. Up sir, for here thou hast no inheritance left.
    Son. Oh what will you do father, I am your white
    Strikes him.
    Hus. Thou shalt be my red boy, take that.
    Son. Oh you hurt me father.
    505 Hus. My eldest beggar, thou shalt not live to ask an
    usurer bred, to cry at a great mans gate, or follow, good
    your Honour by a Coach, no, nor your brother: 'tis cha-
    rity to brain you.
    Son. How shall I learn now my head's broke?
    510 Hus. Bleed, bleed, rather then beg, beg,
    stabs him.
    Be not thy names disgrace:
    Spurn thou thy fortunes first, if they be base:
    Come view thy second Brother: Fates,
    My childrens bloud shall spin into your faces,
    515You shall see,
    How confidently we scorn beggery.
    Exit with his son.