HotFreeBooks.com
A Yorkshire Tragedy
by William Shakespeare [Apocrypha]
Home - Random Browse

Shakespeare, William. A Yorkshire Tragedy. Not So New as Lamentable and True. In C.F. Tucker Brooke, ed., The Shakespeare Apocrypha (Oxford, 1918).



ALL'S ONE, OR, ONE OF THE FOUR PLAYS IN ONE, CALLED A YORK-SHIRE TRAGEDY AS IT WAS PLAYED BY THE KING'S MAJESTY'S PLAYERS.



Dramatis Personae.

Husband. Master of a College. Knight, a Justice of Peace. Oliver, Ralph, Samuel, serving-men. Other Servants, and Officers. Wife. Maid-servant. A little Boy.



SCENE I. A room in Calverly Hall.

[Enter Oliver and Ralph, two servingmen.]

OLIVER. Sirrah Ralph, my young Mistress is in such a pitiful passionate humor for the long absence of her love—

RALPH. Why, can you blame her? why, apples hanging longer on the tree then when they are ripe makes so many fallings; viz., Mad wenches, because they are not gathered in time, are fain to drop of them selves, and then tis Common you know for every man to take em up.

OLIVER. Mass, thou sayest true, Tis common indeed: but, sirrah, is neither our young master returned, nor our fellow Sam come from London?

RALPH. Neither of either, as the Puritan bawd says. Slidd, I hear Sam: Sam's come, her's! Tarry! come, yfaith, now my nose itches for news.

OLIVER. And so does mine elbow.

[Sam calls within. Where are you there?]

SAM. Boy, look you walk my horse with discretion; I have rid him simply. I warrant his skin sticks to his back with very heat: if a should catch cold and get the Cough of the Lungs I were well served, were I not?

[Enter Sam. Furnisht with things from London.]

What, Ralph and Oliver.

AMBO. Honest fellow Sam, welcome, yfaith! what tricks hast thou brought from London?

SAM. You see I am hangd after the truest fashion: three hats, and two glasses, bobbing upon em, two rebato wires upon my breast, a capcase by my side, a brush at my back, an Almanack in my pocket, and three ballats in my Codpiece: nay, I am the true picture of a Common servingman.

OLIVER. I'll swear thou art. Thou mayest set up when thou wilt. There's many a one begins with less, I can tell thee, that proves a rich man ere he dies. But what's the news from London, Sam?

RALPH. Aye, that's well said; what's the news from London, Sirrah? My young mistress keeps such a puling for her love.

SAM. Why, the more fool she; aye, the more ninny hammer she.

OLIVER. Why, Sam, why?

SAM. Why, he's married to another Long ago.

AMBO. Yfaith, ye jest.

SAM. Why, did you not know that till now? why, he's married, beats his wife, and has two or three children by her: for you must note that any woman bears the more when she is beaten.

RALPH. Aye, that's true, for she bears the blows.

OLIVER. Sirrah Sam, I would not for two years wages, my young mistress knew so much; she'd run upon the left hand of her wit, and ne'er be her own woman again.

SAM. And I think she was blest in her Cradle, that he never came in her bed; why, he has consumed all, pawnd his lands, and made his university brother stand in wax for him—There's a fine phrase for a scrivener! puh, he owes more then his skin's worth.

OLIVER. Is't possible?

SAM. Nay, I'll tell you moreover, he calls his wife whore as familiarly as one would call Mal and Dol, and his children bastards as naturally as can be.—But what have we here? I thought twas somewhat puld down my breeches: I quite forgot my two potingsticks. These came from London; now any thing is good here that comes from London.

OLIVER. Aye, far fetcht you know.

SAM. But speak in your conscience, yfaith, have not we as good Potingsticks ith Country as need to be put ith fire. The mind of a thing's all, and as thou saidst e'en now, far fetcht is the best things for Ladies.

OLIVER. Aye, and for waiting gentle women too.

SAM. But, Ralph, what, is our beer sower this thunder?

OLIVER. No, no, it holds countenance yet.

SAM. Why, then, follow me; I'll teach you the finest humor to be drunk in't; they call it knighting in London, when they drink upon their knees.

AMBO. Faith, that's excellent. Come, follow me: I'll give you all the degrees ont in order.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE II. Another apartment in the same.

WIFE. What will become of us? all will away. My husband never ceases in expense, Both to consume his credit and his house; And tis set down by heaven's just decree, That Riot's child must needs be beggery. Are these the vertues that his you did promise? Dice, and voluptuous meetings, midnight Revels, Taking his bed with surfetts: Ill beseeming The ancient honor of his house and name! And this not all: but that which kills me most, When he recounts his Losses and false fortunes, The weakness of his state so much dejected, Not as a man repentant, but half mad, His fortunes cannot answer his expense: He sits and sullenly locks up his Arms, Forgetting heaven looks downward, which makes him Appear so dreadful that he frights my heart, Walks heavily, as if his soul were earth: Not penitent for those his sins are past, But vext his money cannot make them last:— A fearful melancholy, ungodly sorrow. Oh yonder he comes, now in despite of ills I'll speak to him, and I will hear him speak, And do my best to drive it from his heart.

[Enter Husband.]

HUSBAND. Pox oth Last throw! it made Five hundred Angels vanish from my sight. I'm damnd, I'm damnd: the Angels have forsook me. Nay, tis certainly true: for he that has No coin is damnd in this world: he's gone, he's gone.

WIFE. Dear husband.

HUSBAND. Oh! most punishment of all, I have a wife.

WIFE. I do intreat you as you love your soul, Tell me the cause of this your discontent.

HUSBAND. A vengeance strip thee naked! thou art cause, Effect, quality, property, thou, thou, thou!

[Exit.]

WIFE. Bad, turnd to worse! both beggery of the soul, As of the body. And so much unlike Him self at first, as if some vexed spirit Had got his form upon him.—

[Enter Husband again.]

He comes again. He says I am the cause; I never yet Spoke less then words of duty, and of love.

HUSBAND. If marriage be honourable, then Cuckolds are honourable, for they cannot be made without marriage. Fool! what meant I to marry to get beggars? now must my eldest son be a knave or nothing; he cannot live uppot'h fool, for he will have no land to maintain him: that mortgage sits like a snaffle upon mine inheritance, and makes me chaw upon Iron. My second son must be a promoter, and my third a thief, or an underputter, a slave pander. Oh beggery, beggery, to what base uses dost thou put a man! I think the Devil scorns to be a bawd. He bears himself more proudly, has more care on's credit. Base, slavish, abject, filthy poverty!

WIFE. Good sir, by all our vows I do beseech you, Show me the true cause of your discontent.

HUSBAND. Money, money, money, and thou must supply me.

WIFE. Alas, I am the lest cause of your discontent, Yet what is mine, either in rings or Jewels, Use to your own desire, but I beseech you, As y'are a gentleman by many bloods, Though I my self be out of your respect, Think on the state of these three lovely boys You have been father to.

HUSBAND. Puh! Bastards, bastards, bastards; begot in tricks, begot in tricks.

WIFE. Heaven knows how those words wrong me, but I may Endure these griefs among a thousand more. Oh, call to mind your lands already mortgage, Your self wound with debts, your hopeful brother At the university in bonds for you, Like to be ceasd upon; And—

HUSBAND. Ha done, thou harlot, Whom, though for fashion sake I married, I never could abide; thinkst thou thy words Shall kill my pleasures? Fall off to thy friends, Thou and thy bastards beg: I will not bate A whit in humor! midnight, still I love you, And revel in your Company. Curbd in, Shall it be said in all societies, That I broke custom, that I flagd in money? No, those thy jewels I will play as freely As when my state was fullest.

WIFE. Be it so.

HUSBAND. Nay I protest, and take that for an earnest,

[spurns her]

I will for ever hold thee in contempt, And never touch the sheets that cover thee, But be divorst in bed till thou consent, Thy dowry shall be sold to give new life Unto those pleasures which I most affect.

WIFE. Sir, do but turn a gentle eye on me, And what the law shall give me leave to do You shall command.

HUSBAND. Look it be done: shall I want dust and like a slave Wear nothing in my pockets but my hands To fill them up with nails?

[holding his hands in his pockets]

Oh much against my blood! Let it be done. I was never made to be a looker on, A bawd to dice; I'll shake the drabs my self And made em yield. I say, look it be done.

WIFE. I take my leave: it shall.

[Exit.]

HUSBAND. Speedily, speedily. I hate the very hour I chose a wife: a trouble, trouble! three children like three evils hang upon me. Fie, fie, fie, strumpet and bastards, strumpet and bastards!

[Enter three Gentlemen hearing him.]

1 GENTLEMAN. Still do those loathsome thoughts Jar on your tongue? Your self to stain the honour of your wife, Nobly descended! Those whom men call mad Endanger others; but he's more than mad That wounds himself, whose own words do proclaim Scandals unjust, to soil his better name: It is not fit; I pray, forsake it.

2 GENTLEMAN. Good sir, let modesty reprove you.

3 GENTLEMAN. Let honest kindness sway so much with you.

HUSBAND. God den, I thank you, sir, how do you? adieu! I'm glad to see you. Farewell Instructions, Admonitions.

[Exeunt Gentlemen.]

[Enter a servant.]

HUSBAND. How now, sirra; what would you?

SERVANT. Only to certify you, sir, that my mistress was met by the way, by them who were sent for her up to London by her honorable uncle, your worships late guardian.

HUSBAND. So, sir, then she is gone and so may you be: 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.]

GENTLEMAN. Well or ill met, I care not.

HUSBAND. No, nor I.

GENTLEMAN. I am come with confidence to chide you.

HUSBAND. Who? me? Chide me? Doo't finely then: let it not move me, For if thou chidst me angry, I shall strike.

GENTLEMAN. 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'rt fond and peevish, An unclean rioter: thy lands and Credit Lie now both sick of a consumption. I am sorry for thee: that man spends with shame That with his riches does consume his name: And such thou art.

HUSBAND. Peace.

GENTLEMAN. No, thou shalt hear me further: Thy fathers and forefathers worthy honors, Which were our country monuments, our grace, Follies in thee begin now to deface. The spring time of thy youth did fairly promise Such a most fruitful 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: Thou and the devil has deceived the world.

HUSBAND. I'll not indure thee.

GENTLEMAN. But of all the worst: Thy vertuous wife, right honourably allied, Thou hast proclaimed a strumpet.

HUSBAND. Nay, the, I know thee. Thou art her champion, thou, her private friend, The party you wot on.

GENTLEMAN. Oh ignoble thought. I am past my patient blood: shall I stand idle And see my reputation toucht to death?

HUSBAND. Ta's galde you, this, has it?

GENTLEMAN. No, monster, I will prove My thoughts did only tend to vertuous love.

HUSBAND. Love of her vertues? there it goes.

GENTLEMEN. Base spirit, To lay thy hate upon the fruitful Honor Of thine own bed.

[They fight and the Husband's hurt.]

HUSBAND. Oh!

GENTLEMAN. Woult thou yield it yet?

HUSBAND. Sir, Sir, I have not done with you.

GENTLEMAN. I hope nor nere shall do.

[Fight again.]

HUSBAND. Have you got tricks? are you in cunning with me?

GENTLEMAN. No, plain and right. He needs no cunning that for truth doth fight.

[Husband falls down.]

HUSBAND. Hard fortune, am I leveld with the ground?

GENTLEMAN. Now, sir, you lie at mercy.

HUSBAND. Aye, you slave.

GENTLEMAN. Alas, that hate should bring us to our grave. You see my sword's not thirsty for your life, I am sorrier for your wound then your self. Y'are of a vertuous house, show vertuous deeds; Tis not your honour, tis your folly bleeds; Much good has been expected in your life, Cancel not all men's hopes: you have a wife Kind and obedient: heap not wrongful shame On her and your posterity, nor blame Your overthrow; let only sin be sore, And by this fall, rise never to fall more. And so I leave you.

[Exit.]

HUSBAND Has the dog left me, then, After his tooth hath left me? oh, my heart Would fain leap after him. Revenge, I say, I'm mad to be reveng'd. My strumpet wife, It is thy quarrel that rips thus my flesh, And makes my breast spit blood, but thou shalt bleed. Vanquisht? got down? unable e'en to speak? Surely tis want of money makes men weak. Aye, twas that orethrew me; I'd nere been down else.

[Exit.]

SCENE III. The same.

[Enter wife in a riding suit with a servingman.]

SERVINGMAN. Faith, mistress, If it might 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? Tis grief enough within doors. At first sight Mine Uncle could run o'er his prodigal life As perfectly, as if his serious eye Had numbered all his follies: Knew of his mortgaged lands, his friends in bonds, Himself withered with debts: 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, Guessing his kindness to me (as I smoothd him With all the skill I had) though his deserts Are in form uglier then an unshaped Bear, He's ready to prefer him to some office And place at Court, A good and sure relief To all his stooping fortunes: twill be a means, I hope To make new league between us, and redeem His vertues with his lands.

SERVINGMAN. I should think so, mistress. If he should not now be kind to you and love you, and cherish you up, I should think the devil himself kept open house in him.

WIFE. I doubt not but he will now: prethe, leave me; I think I hear him coming.

SERVINGMAN. I am gone.

[Exit.]

WIFE. By this good means I shall preserve my lands, And 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.]

HUSBAND. Now, are you come? where's the money? let's see the money. Is the rubbish sold, those wiseakers your lands? why, when? the money! where ist? powr't down, down with it, down with it: I say powr't oth ground! lets see't, lets see't.

WIFE. Good sir, keep but in patience and I hope My words shall like you well: I bring you better Comfort then the sale of my Dowrie.

HUSBAND. Ha, whats that?

WIFE. Pray, do not fright me, sir, but vouchsafe me hearing: my Uncle, glad of your kindness to me and mild usage—for so I made it to him—has in pity of your declining fortunes, provided a place for you at Court of worth and credit, which so much overjoyed me—

HUSBAND. Out on thee, filth! over and over-joyed, [spurns her] when I'm in torments? Thou pollitick whore, subtiller then nine Devils, was this thy journey to Nuncke, to set down the history of me, of my state and fortunes? Shall I that Dedicated my self to pleasure, be now confind in service to crouch and stand like an old man ith hams, my hat off? I that never could abide to uncover my head ith Church? base slut! this fruit bears thy complaints.

WIFE. Oh, heaven knows That my complaints were praises, and best words Of you and your estate: only my friends Knew of our mortgaged Lands, and were possest Of every accident before I came. If thou suspect it but a plot in me To keep my dowrie, or for mine own good Or my poor childrens: (though it suits a mother To show a natural care in their reliefs) Yet I'll forget my self to calm your blood: Consume it, as your pleasure counsels you, And all I wish e'en Clemency affords: Give me but comely looks and modest words.

HUSBAND. Money, hore, money, or I'll—

[Draws his dagger.]

[Enters a servant very hastily.]

What the devil? how now? thy hasty news?

[To his man.]

SERVINGMAN. May it please you, sir—

[Servant in a fear.]

HUSBAND. What? May I not look upon my dagger? Speak villain, or I will execute the point on thee: quick, short.

SERVINGMAN. Why, sir, a gentleman from the University stays below to speak with you.

HUSBAND. From the University? so! University— That long word runs through me.

[Exit.]

WIFE. Was ever wife so wretchedly beset?

[Wife alone.]

Had not this news stept in between, the point Had offered violence unto my breast. That which some women call great misery Would show but little here: would scarce be seen Amongst my miseries. I may Compare For wretched fortunes with all wives that are. Nothing will please him, until all be nothing. He calls it slavery to be preferd, A place of credit a base servitude. What shall become of me, and my poor children, Two here, and one at nurse, my pretty beggers? I see how ruin with a palsy hand Begins to shake the auncient seat to dust: The heavy weight of sorrow draws my lids Over my dankish eyes: I can scarce see: Thus grief will last; it wakes and sleeps with me.

[Exit.]

SCENE IV. Another apartment in the same.

[Enter the Husband with the master of the College.]

HUSBAND. Please you draw near, sir, y'are exceeding welcome.

MASTER. Thats my doubt; I fear, I come not to be welcome.

HUSBAND. Yes, howsoever.

MASTER. Tis not my fashion, Sir, to dwell in long circumstance, but to be plain, and effectual; therefore, to the purpose. The cause of my setting forth was piteous and lamentable: that hopeful young gentleman, your brother, whose vertues we all love dearly, through your default and unnatural 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 oppression.

HUSBAND. Hum, um, um.

MASTER. Oh, you have kild the towardest hope of all our university: Wherefore, without repentance and ameds, expect pondrous and sudden Judgements to fall grievously upon you. Your brother, a man who profited in his divine Imployments, might have made ten thousand souls fit for heaven, now by your careless courses cast in prison, which you must answer for, and assure your spirit it will come home at length.

HUSBAND. Oh god! oh!

MASTER. Wise men think ill of you, others speak ill of you, no man loves you, nay, even those whom honesty condemns, condemn you: and take this from the vertuous affection I bear your brother; never look for prosperous hour, good thought, quiet sleeps, contented walks, nor any thing that makes man perfect til you redeem him. What is your answer? how will you bestow him? upon desperate misery, or better hopes? I suffer, till I have your answer.

HUSBAND. Sir, you have much wrought with me. I feel you in my soul, you are your arts master. I never had sense til 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 wrongs.—Within there!

[Enter a servingman.]

HUSBAND. Sir, Fill me a bowl of wine. Alas, poor brother, Brus'd with an execution for my sake.

[Exit servant for wine.]

MASTER. A bruse indeed makes many a moral sore Till the grave cure em.

[Enter with wine.]

HUSBAND. Sir, I begin to you, y'ave chide your welcome.

MASTER. I could have wisht it better for your sake. I pledge you, sir, to the kind man in prison.

HUSBAND. Let it be so. Now, Sir, if you so please.

[Drink both.]

To spend but a few minutes in a walk About my grounds below, my man here shall Attend you. I doubt not but by that time to be furnisht Of a sufficient answer, and therein My brother fully satisfied.

MASTER. Good sir, in that the Angells would be pleased, And the worlds murmurs calmd, and I should say I set forth then upon a lucky day.

[Exit.]

HUSBAND. Oh thou confused man! thy pleasant sins have undone thee, thy damnation has beggerd thee! That heaven should say we must not sin, and yet made women! gives our senses way to find pleasure, which being found confounds us. Why should we know those things so much misuse us?—oh, would vertue had been forbidden! we should then have proved all vertuous, for tis our blood to love that were forbidden. Had not drunkenness been forbidden, what man would have been fool to a beast, and Zany to a swine, to show tricks in the mire? what is there in three dice to make a man draw thrice three thousand acres into the compass of a round little table, and with the gentlemans palsy in the hand shake out his posterity thieves or beggars? Tis done! I ha dont, yfaith: terrible, horrible misery.— How well was I left! very well, very well. My Lands shewed like a full moon about me, but now the moon's ith last quarter, waning, waning: And I am mad to think that moon was mine; Mine and my fathers, and my forefathers—generations, generations: down goes the house of us, down, down it sinks. Now is the name a beggar, begs in me! that name, which hundreds of years has made this shiere famous, in me, and my posterity, runs out. In my seed five are made miserable besides my self: my riot is now my brothers jailer, my wives sighing, my three boys penury, and mine own confusion.

[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, Not 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, Pawn 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 a scourge.]

SON. What, ail you father? are you not well? I cannot scourge my top as long as you stand so: you take up all the room with your wide legs. Puh, you cannot make me afeard with this; I fear no vizards, nor bugbears.

[Husband takes up the child by the skirts of his long coat in one hand and draws his dagger with th' other.]

HUSBAND. Up, sir, for here thou hast no inheritance left.

SON. Oh, what will you do, father? I am your white boy.

HUSBAND. Thou shalt be my red boy: take that.

[Strikes him.]

SON. Oh, you hurt me, father.

HUSBAND. My eldest beggar! thou shalt not live to ask an usurer bread, to cry at a great mans gate, or follow, good your honour, by a Couch; no, nor your brother; tis charity to brain you.

SON. How shall I learn now my heads broke?

HUSBAND. Bleed, bleed rather than 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 blood Shall spin into your faces, you shall see How Confidently we scorn beggery!

[Exit with his Son.]

SCENE V. A bed-room in the same.

[Enter a maid with a child in her arms, the mother by her a step.]

MAID. Sleep, sweet babe; sorrow makes thy mother sleep: It bodes small good when heaviness falls so deep. Hush, pretty boy, thy hopes might have been better. Tis lost at Dice what ancient honour won: Hard when the father plays away the son! No thing but misery serves in this house. Ruin and desolation, oh!

[Enter husband with the boy bleeding.]

HUSBAND. Whore, give me that boy.

[Strives with her for the child.]

MAID. Oh help, help! out alas, murder, murder!

HUSBAND. Are you gossiping, prating, sturdy queane? I'll break your clamor with your neck: down stairs! Tumble, tumble, headlong!

[Throws her down.]

So! The surest way to charm a womans tongue Is break her neck: a politician did it.

SON. Mother, mother; I am kild, mother.

WIFE WAKES. Ha, whose that cried? oh me, my children! Both, both, both; bloody, bloody.

[Catches up the youngest.]

HUSBAND. Strumpet, let go the boy, let go the beggar.

WIFE. Oh my sweet husband!

HUSBAND. Filth, harlot.

WIFE. Oh what will you do, dear husband?

HUSBAND. Give me the bastard.

WIFE. Your own sweet boy!

HUSBAND. There are too many beggars.

WIFE. Good my husband—

HUSBAND. Doest thou prevent me still?

WIFE. Oh god!

HUSBAND. Have at his heart!

[Stabs at the child in her arms.]

WIFE. Oh my dear boy!

[Gets it from her.]

HUSBAND. Brat, thou shalt not live to shame thy house!

WIFE. Oh heaven!

[She's hurt and sinks down.]

HUSBAND. And perish! now begone: There's whores enow, and want would make thee one.

[Enter a lusty servant.]

SERVANT. Oh Sir, what deeds are these?

HUSBAND. Base slave, my vassail: Comst thou between my fury to question me?

SERVANT. Were you the Devil, I would hold you, sir.

HUSBAND. Hold me? presumption! I'll undo thee for't.

SERVANT. Sblood, you have undone us all, sir.

HUSBAND. Tug at thy master!

SERVANT. Tug at a Monster.

HUSBAND. Have I no power? shall my slave fetter me?

SERVANT. Nay, then, the Devil wrestles, I am thrown.

HUSBAND. Oh, villain, now I'll tug thee,

[Overthrows him]

now I'll tear thee; Set quick spurs to my vassail, bruize him, trample him. So! I think thou wilt not follow me in haste. My horse stands ready saddled. Away, away; Now to my brat at nurse, my suckling begger. Fates, I'll not leave you one to trample on.

SCENE VI. Court before the house.

[The Master meets him.]

MASTER. How ist with you, sir? me thinks you look Of a distracted colour.

HUSBAND. Who? I, sir? tis but your fancy. Please you walk in, Sir, and I'll soon resolve you: I want one small part to make up the sum, And then my brother shall rest satisfied.

MASTER. I shall be glad to see it: sir, I'll attend you.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE VII. The same as Scene V.

SERVANT. Oh I am scarce able to heave up my self: Ha's so bruizd me with his devilish weight, And torn my flesh with his blood-hasty spur, A man before of easy constitution Till now hell's power supplied, to his soul's wrong. Oh, how damnation can make weak men strong.

[Enter Master, and two servants.]

SERVANT. Oh, the most piteous deed, sir, since you came.

MASTER. A deadly greeting! has he somde up these To satisfy his brother? here's an other: And by the bleeding infants, the dead mother.

WIFE. Oh, oh.

MASTER. Surgeons, Surgeons! she recovers life. One of his men all faint and bloodied.

1 SERVANT. Follow, our murderous master has took horse To kill his child at nurse: oh, follow quickly.

MASTER. I am the readiest, it shall be my charge To raise the town upon him.

[Exit Master and servants.]

1 SERVANT. Good sir, do follow him.

WIFE. Oh my children.

1 SERVANT. How is it with my most afflicted Mistress?

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 executioner! what, art thou Mangled too?

1 SERVANT. I, thinking to prevent what his quick mischiefs Had so soon acted, came and rusht upon him. We struggled, but a fouler strength then his O'er threw me with his arms; then did me bruize me And rent my flesh, and robd me of my hair, Like a man mad in execution; Made me unfit to rise and follow him.

WIFE. What is it has beguild him of all grace And stole away humanity from his breast? To slay his children, purpose to kill his wife, And spoil his servants.

[Enter two guards.]

AMBO. Sir, please you leave this most accursed place, A surgeon waits within.

WIFE. Willing to leave it! Tis guilty of sweet blood, innocent blood: Murder has took this chamaber with full hands, And will ne'er out as long as the house stands.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE VIII. A high road.

[Enter Husband as being thrown off his horse, And falls.]

HUSBAND. Oh stumbling Jade, the spavin overtake thee, The fifty disease stop thee! Oh, I am sorely bruisde; plague founder thee: Thou runst at ease and pleasure. Hart of chance! To Throw me now within a flight oth Town, In such plain even ground, sfoot, a man May dice up on't, and throw away the Meadows. Filthy beast.

CRY WITHIN. Follow, follow, follow.

HUSBAND. Ha! I hear sounds of men, like hew and cry: Up, up, and struggle to thy horse, make on; Dispatch that little begger and all's done.

KNIGHT. Here, this way, this way!

HUSBAND. At my back? Oh, What fate have I? my limbs deny me go, My will is bated: beggery claims a part. Oh, could I here reach to the infants heart.

[Enter Master of the College, 3. Gentlemen, and others with Holberds.]

[Find him.]

ALL. Here, here: yonder, yonder.

MASTER. Unnatural, flinty, more than barbarous: The Scythians or the 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?

HUSBAND. Why, he can have no more on's then our skins, And some of em want but fleaing.

1 GENTLEMAN. Great sins have made him imprudent.

MASTER. H'as shed so much blood that he cannot blush.

2 GENTLEMAN. Away with him, bear him a long to the Justices; A gentleman of worship dwells at hand; There shall his deeds be blazed.

HUSBAND. Why, all the better. My glory tis to have my action known: I grieve for nothing, but I mist of one.

MASTER. There's little of a father in that grief: Bear him away.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE IX. A room in the house of a Magistrate.

[Enter a knight with two or three Gentlemen.]

KNIGHT. Endangered so his wife? murdered his children?

1 GENTLEMAN. So the Cry comes.

Knight. I am sorry I ere knew him, That ever he took life and natural being From such an honoured stock, and faira descent; Til this black minute without stain or blemish.

1 GENTLEMAN. Here come the men.

[Enter the master of the college and the rest, with the prisoner.]

KNIGHT. The serpent of his house! I'm sorry For this time that I am in place of justice.

MASTER. Please you, Sir.

KNIGHT. Do not repeat it twice I know too much, Would it had ne'er been thought on: Sir, I bleed for you.

1 GENTLEMAN. Your fathers sorrows are alive in me: What made you shew such monstrous cruelty?

HUSBAND. In a word, Sir, I have consumd all, played away long acre, and I thought it the charitablest deed I could do to cussen beggery and knock my house oth head.

KNIGHT. Oh, in a cooler blood you will repent it.

HUSBAND. I repent now, that ones left unkild, My brat at nurse. Oh, I would full fain have weand him.

KNIGHT. Well, I do not think but in to morrows judgement, The terror 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 played more unnaturally.

HUSBAND. Thank you, Sir.

KNIGHT. Go, lead him to the Jail: Where justice claims all, there must pity fail.

HUSBAND. Come, come, away with me.

[Exit prisoner.]

MASTER. Sir, you deserve the worship of your 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 predecessors honord name! That man is nearest shame that is past shame.

[Exit.]

SCENE X. Before Calverly Hall.

[Enter Husband with the officers, The Master and gentlemen, as going by his house.]

HUSBAND. I am right against my house, seat of my Ancestors: I hear my wife's alive; but much endangered. Let me intreat to speak with her, before the prison gripe me.

[Enter his wife, brought in a chair.]

GENTLEMAN. See here she comes of her self.

WIFE. Oh my sweet Husband, my dear distressed husband, Now in the hands of unrelenting laws! My greatest sorrow, my extremest bleeding, Now my soul bleeds.

HUSBAND. How now? kind to me? did I not wound thee, left thee for dead?

WIFE. Tut, far greater wounds did my breast feel: Unkindness strikes a deeper wound than steel; You have been still unkind to me.

HUSBAND. Faith, and so I think I have: I did my murthers roughly, out of hand, Desperate and sudden, but thou hast deviz'd A fine way now to kill me, thou hast given mine eyes Seven wounds a piece; now glides the devil from me, Departs at every joint, heaves up my nails. Oh catch him new torments, that were near invented, Bind him one thousand more, you blessed Angels, In that pit bottomless; let him not rise To make men act unnatural tragedies, To spread into a father, and in fury, Makes him his childrens executioners: Murder his wife, his servants, and who not? For that man's dark, where heaven is quite forgot.

WIFE. Oh my repentant husband.

HUSBAND. My dear soul, whom I too much have wrongd, For death I die, and for this have I longd.

WIFE. Thou sholdst not (be assurde) for these faults die, I ft he law could forgive as soon as I.

HUSBAND. What sight is yonder?

[Children laid out.]

WIFE. Oh, our two bleeding boys Laid forth upon the thresholds.

HUSBAND. Here's weight enough to make a heart-string crack. Oh, were it lawful that your pretty souls Might look from heaven into your fathers eyes, Then should you see the penitent glasses melt, And both your murthers shoot upon my cheeks; But you are playing in the Angels laps, And will not look on me, Who void of grace, kild you in beggery. Oh that I might my wishes now attain, I should then wish you living were again, Though I did beg with you, which thing I feard: Oh, twas the enemy my eyes so bleard. 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 And live apart with this.

OFFICER. Come will you go?

HUSBAND. I'll kiss the blood I spilt and then I go: My soul is bloodied, well may my lips be so. Farewell, dear wife, now thou and I must part, I of thy wrongs repent me with my heart.

WIFE. Oh stay, thou shalt not go.

HUSBAND. That's but in vain, you see it must be so. Farewell, ye bloody ashes of my boys! My punishments are their eternal joys. Let every father look into my deeds, And then their heirs may prosper, while mine bleeds.

WIFE. More wretched am I now in this distress,

[Exeunt Husband with holberds.]

Then former sorrows made me.

MASTER. 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 husbands life: Heaven give my body strength, which yet is faint With much expence of blood, and I will kneel, Sue for his life, number up all my friends, To plead for pardon for my dear husbands life.

MASTER. Was it in man to wound so kind a creature? I'll ever praise a woman for thy sake. I must return with grief; my answer's set: I shall bring news ways heavier then the debt.— Two brothers: one in bond lies overthrown, This on a deadlier execution.

FINIS.

Home - Random Browse