The Puritaine Widdow


William Shakespeare

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The Puritaine Widdow Page 01


In the Play Intitled
The Puritan Widow.

The Scene London.

Lady Plus, a Citizens Widow.
Moll, her two Daughters.
Sir Godfrey, Brother-in-Law to the Widow Plus.
Master Edmond, Son to the Widow Plus.
George Pye-boord, a Scholar and a Citizen.
Peter Skirmish, an old Soldier.
Captain Idle, a Highway-man.
Corporal Oath, a vain-glorious Fellow.
Nichols St. Antlings,
Simon St. Mary Overies,
Frailty, Serving-men to the Lady Plus.
Sir Oliver Muck-hill, a Suitor to the Lady Plus.
Sir John Penny-Dub, a Suitor to Moll.
Sir Andrew Tipstaff, a Suitor to Frances.
The Sheriff of London.
Ravenshaw, Two of the Sheriffs Sergeants.
Dogson, a Yeoman.
A Noble-man.
A Gentleman Citizen.


Scene I. A Garden behind the widow's house.

[Enter the Lady Widdow-Plus, her two daughters Frank and Moll, her husband's Brother an old Knight Sir Godfrey, with her Son and heir Master Edmond, all in mourning apparel, Edmond in a Cyrpess Hat. The Widdow wringing her hands, and bursting out Into passion, as newly come from the Burial of her husband.

WIDOW. Oh, that ever I was borne, that ever I was borne!

SIR GODFREY. Nay, good Sister, dear sister, sweet sister, be of good comfort; show your self a woman, now or never.

WIDOW. Oh, I have lost the dearest man, I have buried the sweetest husband that ever lay by woman.

SIR GODFREY. Nay, give him his due, he was indeed an honest, virtuous, Discreet, wise man,--he was my Brother, as right as right.

WIDOW. O, I shall never forget him, never forget him; he was a man so well given to a woman--oh!

SIR GODFREY. Nay, but, kind Sister, I could weep as much as any woman, but, alas, our tears cannot call him again: me thinks you are well read, Sister, and know that death is as common as Homo, a common name to all men:--a man shall be taken when he's making water.--Nay, did not the learned Parson, Master Pigman, tell us e'en now, that all Flesh is frail, we are borne to die, Man ha's but a time: with such like deep and profound persuasions, as he is a rare fellow, you know, and an excellent Reader: and for example, (as there are examples aboundance,) did not Sir Humfrey Bubble die tother day? There's a lusty Widdow; why, she cried not above half an hour--for shame, for shame! Then followed him old Master Fulsome, the Usurer: there's a wise Widdow; why, she cried ne'er a whit at all.

WIDOW. O, rank not me with those wicked women: I had a husband Out-shined 'em all.

SIR GODFREY. Aye, that he did, yfaith: he out-shined 'em all.

WIDOW. Doost thou stand there and see us all weep, and not once shed a tear for thy father's death? oh, thou ungratious son and heir, thou!

EDMOND. Troth, Mother, I should not weep, I'm sure; I am past a child, I hope, to make all my old School fellows laugh at me; I should be mocked, so I should. Pray, let one of my Sisters weep for me. I'll laugh as much for her another time.

WIDOW. Oh, thou past-Grace, thou! out of my sight, thou graceless imp, thou grievest me more than the death of thy Father! oh, thou stubborn only son! hadst thou such an honest man to thy Father--that would deceive all the world to get riches for thee--and canst thou not afford a little salt water? he that so wisely did quite over-throw the right heir of those lands, which now you respect not: up every morning betwixt four and five; so duly at Westminster Hall every Term-Time, with all his Cards and writings, for thee, thou wicked Absolon-- oh, dear husband!

EDMOND. Weep, quotha? I protest I am glad he's Churched; for now he's gone, I shall spend in quiet.

FRANCES. Dear mother, pray cease; half your Tears suffice. Tis time for you to take truce with your eyes; Let me weep now.

WIDOW. Oh, such a dear knight! such a sweet husband have I lost, have I lost!--If Blessed be the coarse the rain rains upon, he had it pouring down.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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