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Ser. May it please you, Sir, my lord is newly lighted from his coach.
Sir Oliv. Is my lord come already? His honour's early.
SCENE IV-A Street; a Church appearing.
Enter IDLE, PYEBOARD, SIR GODFREY and EDMOND; the WIDOW in a bridal dress; SIR JOHN PENNYDUB, MARY and FRANCES; NICHOLAS, FRAILTY, and other Attendants. To them a NOBLEMAN, SIR OLIVER MUCKHILL, and SIR ANDREW TIPSTAFF.
Nob. By your leave, lady.
Wid. My lord, your honour is most chastely welcome.
Nob. Madam, though I came now from court, I come not to flatter you. Upon whom can I justly cast this blot, but upon your own forehead, that know not ink from milk? such is the blind besotting in the state of an unheaded woman that's a widow. For it is the property of all you that are widows (a handful excepted) to hate those that honestly and carefully love you, to the maintenance of credit, state, and posterity; and strongly to dote on those that only love you to undo you. Who regard you least, are best regarded; who hate you most are best beloved. And if there be but one man amongst ten thousand millions of men, that is accursed, disastrous, and evilly planeted; whom Fortune beats most, whom God hates most, and all societies esteem least, that man is sure to be a husband. Such is the peevish moon that rules your bloods. An impudent fellow best wooes you, a flattering lip best wins you; or in a mirth, who talks roughliest, is most sweetest: nor can you distinguish truth from forgeries, mists from simplicity; witness those two deceitful monsters, that you have entertained for bridegrooms.
Pye. All will out.
Idle. 'Sfoot, who has blabb'd, George? that foolish Nicholas. Nob. For what they have besotted your easy blood withal, were nought but forgeries: the fortune-telling for husbands, the conjuring for the chain Sir Godfrey heard the falsehood of, all, nothing but mere knavery, deceit, and cozenage.
Wid. O wonderful! indeed I wonder'd that my husband, with all his craft, could not keep himself out of purgatory.
Sir God. And I more wonder'd, that my chain should be gone, and my tailor had none of it.
Mary. And I wonder'd most of all, that I should be tied from marriage, having such a mind to it. Come, Sir John Pennydub, fair weather on our side: The moon has changed since yesternight.
Pye. The sting of every evil is within me.
Nob. And that you may perceive I feign not with you, behold
their fellow-actor in those forgeries; who full of spleen and envy at their so sudden advancements, revealed all their plot in anger. Pye. Base soldier, to reveal us!
Wid. Is't possible we should be blinded so, and our eyes open? Nob. Widow, will you now believe that false which too soon you believed true?
Wid. O, to my shame, I do.
Sir God. But under favour, my lord, my chain was truly lost, and strangely found again.
Nob. Resolve him of that, soldier.
Skir. In few words, knight, then thou wert the arch-gull of all. Sir. God. How, Sir?
Skir. Nay I'll prove it: for the chain was but hid in the rosemary-bank all this while; and thou got'st him out of prison to conjure for it, who did it admirably, fustianly; for indeed what needed any other, when he knew where it was ?
Sir God. O villany of villanies! But how came my chain
Skir. Where's Truly la, Indeed la, he that will not swear, but lie; he that will not steal, but rob; pure Nicholas Saint-Antlings?
Sir God. O villain, one of our society, Deem'd always holy, pure, religious,
A puritan a thief! When was't ever heard?
Sooner we'll kill a man, than steal, thou know'st.
Nich. Dear master! C
Nob. Nay, knight, dwell in patience. And now, widow, being so near the church, 'twere great pity, nay uncharity, to send you home again without a husband. Draw nearer, you of true worship, state, and credit; that should not stand so far off from a widow, and suffer forged shapes to come between you. Not that in these I blemish the true title of a captain, or blot the fair margent of a scholar; for I honour worthy and deserving parts in the one, and cherish fruitful virtues in the other. Come lady, and you, virgin, bestow your eyes and your purest affections upon men of estimation both in court and city, that have long wooed you, and both with their hearts and wealth sincerely love you.
Sir God. Good sister, do. Sweet little Franke, these are men of reputation: you shall be welcome at court; a great credit for a citizen.-Sweet sister.
Nob. Come, her silence does consent to't.
Wid. I know not with what face
Nob. Poh, poh, with your own face; they desire no other. Wid. Pardon me, worthy Sirs, I and my daughter have wrong'd your loves.
Sir Oliv. 'Tis easily pardon'd, lady, if you vouchsafe it now. Wid. With all my soul.
*I. e. his crest, which was wrought in the back of his servant's livery
Fran. And I with all my heart.
Mary. And I, Sir John, with soul, heart, lights, and all.
What honest spirit, but will applaud your choice,
* I. e. those of the favouring audience.
A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY.
A BOOKE called A Yorkshire Tragedy" was entered by Thomas Pavier at Stationers' Hall, May 2, 1608, and the play, or rather interlude, was printed by him in the same year, under the title of "A Yorkshire Tragedy, not so new as lamentable and true." The murder on which this short drama is founded was committed in 1604, and a ballad was made upon it in the following year, of which probably this tragedy is only an enlargementThe fact is thus related in "Stowe's Chronicle," anno 1601: "Walter Calverly of Calverly in Yorkshire Esquier, murdred 2 of his young children, stabbed his wife into the bodie with full purpose to have murdred her, and instantly went from his house to have slaine his youngest child at nurse, but was prevented. For which fact at his triall in Yorke hee stood mute, and was judged to be prest to death, according to which judgment he was executed at the castell of Yorke the 5th of August."
The piece before us was acted at the Globe, together with three other short dramas that were represented on the same day under the name of "All's One," as appears from one of the titles of the quarto, 1608, which runs thus: "All's One, or one of the foure plaies in one, called a Yorkshire Tragedy; as it was plaid by the king's majestie's plaiers." Shakspeare's name is affixed to this piece.
Malone could form no decided opinion about this play.
The Yorkshire Tragedy," says Dr. Farmer, "has been frequently called Shakspeare's earliest attempt in the drama; but most certainly it was not written by our poet at all." Hazlitt ascribes it rather to Heywood.