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A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY.
• A YORKSHIRE Tragedie. Not so new, as lamentable and true. Written by W. Shakespeare.' This was the title of the original edition of the play printed in 1608. Upon a subsequent title we have · All 's One, or, One of the four Plaies in one, called a Yorkshire Tragedy.' We may receive · All 's One' as the general title of four short plays represented in the same day and standing in the place of a regular tragedy or comedy. Of the four plays thus presented it is remarkable that The Yorkshire Tragedy' is the only one which appears to have been published; that was entered, on the 2nd of May, 1608, on the Stationers' registers as A booke The Yorkshire Tragedy, written by Wylliam Shakespere.' The publisher of the play, Thomas Pavyer, in 1605 entered “A ballad of lamentable Murther done in Yorkshire, by a Gent. upon two of his owne Children, sore wounding his Wyfe and Nurse.' The fact upon which the ballad and the tragedy are founded is thus related in Stow's Chronicle,' under the year 1604:4" Walter Calverly, of Calverly, in Yorkshire, Esquire, murdered two of his young children, stabbed his wife into the body with full purpose to have murdered her, and instantly went from his house to have slain his youngest child at nurse, but was prevented. For which fact at his trial in York he stood mute, and was judged to be pressed to death, according to which judgment he was executed at the castle of York the 5th of August.”
A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY.
SCENE I.-A Room in Calverly Hall.
Enter OLIVER and RALPH. Oliv. Sirrah Ralph, my young mistress is in such a pitiful passionate humour for the long absence of her love
Ralph. Why, can you blame her? Why, apples hanging longer on the tree than when they are ripe, makes so many fallings; viz. mad wenches, because they are not gathered in time, are fain to drop of themselves, and then 't is common, you know, for every man to take
Oliv. Mass, thou say'st true, 't is 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. 'Slid, I hear Sam. Sam’s come; here he is; tarry ;-come i' faith : now my nose itches for news.
Oliv. And so does mine elbow.
Sam. [within.] Where are you, there? 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 he should catch cold and get the cough of the lungs, I were well served, were I not ?
Enter SAM. What, Ralph and Oliver !
Both. Honest fellow Sam, welcome i' faith. What tricks hast thou brought from London ?
Sam. You see I am hanged after the truest fashion; three hats, and two glasses bobbing upon them; two rebato wires upon my breast, a cap-case by my side, a brush at my back, an almanac in my pocket, and three ballads in my codpiece. Nay, I am the true picture of a common servingman.
Oliv. I 'll swear thou art; thou mayst 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. Ay, 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; ay, the more ninnyhammer she.
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. Ay, that's true, for she bears the blows.
Oliv. 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 blessed in her cradle, that he never came in her bed. Why, he has consumed all, pawned his lands, and made his university brother stand in wax for him: there is a fine phrase for a scrivener. Puh! he owes more than his skin is worth.
Oliv. Is 't possible?
Sam. Nay, I'll tell you moreover, he calls his wife whore, as familiarly as one would call Moll and Doll; and his children bastards, as naturally as can be. — But what have we here? I thought ’t was something pull'd down my breeches; I quite forgot my two poking-sticks : these came from London. Now anything is good here that comes from London.
Oliv. Ay, far fetched, you know, Sam,-But speak in your conscience i' faith ; have not we as good poking-sticks i' the country as need to be put in the fire ?
Sam. The mind of a thing is all; the mind of a thing is all; and as thou said'st even now,
far-fetched are the best things for ladies.
Sam. Why, then follow me; I'll teach you the finest humour to be drunk in: I learned it at London last week.
Both. I' faith? Let's hear it, let's hear it.
Sam. The bravest humour! 't would do a man good to be drunk in it: they call it knighting in London, when they drink upon their knees.
Both. 'Faith, that's excellent.
SCENE II.-Another Apartment in the same.
All will away :
And this not all, but that which kills me most,
Wife. Dear husband.
Wife. I do entreat you, as you love your soul,
discontent. Hus. A vengeance strip thee naked ! thou art cause, Effect, quality, property; thou, thou, thou !
Hus. 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 n thing; he cannot live upon the fool, for he will have no land to maintain him. That mortgage sits like a snaffle upon mine inheritance, and makes me chew upon iron. My second son must be a promoter, and my third a thief, or an under putter; a slave pander. Oh beggary, beggary, 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 of his credit.Base, slavish, abject, filthy poverty !
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