Sir Thomas More

by

William Shakespeare

Free Public Domain Books from the
Classic Literature Library

Sir Thomas More Page 01

SIR THOMAS MORE

An anonymous play of the sixteen century ascribed in part to William Shakespeare. First printed in 1844 and here re-edited from the Harleian MS. 7368 in the British Museum.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

Earl of SHREWSBURY.
Earl of SURREY.
Sir THOMAS PALMER.
Sir ROGER CHOMLEY.
Sir THOMAS MORE.
Lord Mayor.
Aldermen.
SURESBY, a Justice.
Other Justices.
Sheriffs.
Recorder.
Sergeant at Arms.
Clerk of the Council.
ERASMUS.
Bishop of Rochester.
ROPER, son-in-law to MORE.
JOHN LINCOLN, a broker.
GEORGE BETTS.
His brother (the 'Clown').
WILLIAMSON, a carpenter.
SHERWIN, a goldsmith.
FRANCIS DE BARDE, Lombard.
CAVELER, Lombard.
LIFTER, a cut-purse.
SMART, plaintiff against him.
HARRY, ROBIN, KIT, and others, Prentices.
MORRIS.
FAULKNER, his servant.
Players.
GOUGH.
CATESBY.
RANDALL.
Butler.
Brewer.
Porter.
Horsekeeper.
CROFTS.
DOWNES.
Lieutenant of the Tower.
Warders of the Tower.
Gentleman Porter of the Tower.
Hangman.

Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Messengers, Guard, Attendants.

Lady MORE.
Lady Mayoress.
Mistress ROPER, daughter to MORE.
Another daughter to MORE.
DOLL, wife to WILLIAMSON.
A Poor Woman.
Ladies.

ACT I.

SCENE I. London. A Street.

[Enter, at one end, John Lincoln, with the two Bettses together; at the other end, enters Francis de Barde and Doll a lusty woman, he haling her by the arm.]

DOLL. Whether wilt thou hale me?

BARDE. Whether I please; thou art my prize, and I plead purchase of thee.

DOLL. Purchase of me! away, ye rascal! I am an honest plain carpenters wife, and though I have no beauty to like a husband, yet whatsoever is mine scorns to stoop to a stranger: hand off, then, when I bid thee!

BARDE. Go with me quietly, or I'll compel thee.

DOLL. Compel me, ye dog's face! thou thinkst thou hast the goldsmith's wife in hand, whom thou enticedst from her husband with all his plate, and when thou turndst her home to him again, madst him, like an ass, pay for his wife's board.

BARDE. So will I make thy husband too, if please me.

[Enter Caveler with a pair of doves; Williamson the carpenter, and Sherwin following him.]

DOLL. Here he comes himself; tell him so, if thou darst.

CAVELER. Follow me no further; I say thou shalt not have them.

WILLIAMSON. I bought them in Cheapside, and paid my money for them.

SHERWIN. He did, sir, indeed; and you offer him wrong, both to take them from him, and not restore him his money neither.

CAVELER. If he paid for them, let it suffice that I possess them: beefs and brews may serve such hinds; are pigeons meat for a coarse carpenter?

LINCOLN. It is hard when Englishmen's patience must be thus jetted on by strangers, and they not dare to revenge their own wrongs.

GEORGE. Lincoln, let's beat them down, and bear no more of these abuses.

LINCOLN. We may not, Betts: be patient, and hear more.

DOLL. How now, husband! what, one stranger take they food from thee, and another thy wife! by our Lady, flesh and blood, I think, can hardly brook that.

LINCOLN. Will this gear never be otherwise? must these wrongs be thus endured?

GEORGE. Let us step in, and help to revenge their injury.

BARDE. What art thou that talkest of revenge? my lord ambassador shall once more make your Major have a check, if he punish thee for this saucy presumption.

WILLIAMSON. Indeed, my lord Mayor, on the ambassador's complaint, sent me to Newgate one day, because (against my will) I took the wall of a stranger: you may do any thing; the goldsmith's wife and mine now must be at your commandment.

GEORGE. The more patient fools are ye both, to suffer it.

BARDE. Suffer it! mend it thou or he, if ye can or dare. I tell thee, fellows, and she were the Mayor of London's wife, had I her once in my possession, I would keep her in spite of him that durst say nay.

Please Support the Classic Literature Library

Buy William Shakespeare Books from Amazon.com

Sir Thomas More Page 02

William Shakespeare

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
A Romantic Sail on the Sir Francis Drake
Insurance Jokes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir James Barrie
The Life of Sir John Oldcastle