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Campion: It is Shrove Tuesday, and all have been shriven in readiness for Ash Wednesday tomorrow and the beginning of Lent, the time of our fast. Be mindful of this poor priest who can't shrive himself of his own sins! Of all the homes of Lancashire, and Yorkshire, and the Midlands, which I visit, this house provides the most lovely welcome and the greatest time of peace. It is the kindness and spirit of Mrs Clitherow that I find here, and this kindness is known throughout this City. I have heard people of all kinds - even heretics - speak of her: how they love to claim her as their friend, as I do, a pearl to them and a light, and the irrepressible guest of their banquets.

Margaret: Get away!

Campion: Even the beggars vie as to which she loves best! I know there is no better counsel given in the whole of York than that given by her.

Campion sits. John Clitherow stands.

John: I've drunk a little too much cider - so Maggie tells me. But one thing I wish to say with my heart: when I married Margaret Middleton, I married the Pearl of York.

John Bretton stands.

Bretton: Here's to the health of the Pearl of York!

All stand, except for Margaret.

All: The Pearl of York!

They sit. Margaret stands.

Margaret: Thank you, but I'm not used to making speeches.

They laugh.

Margaret: Especially with Father Campion here, and him having made a speech to the Queen herself when he was a student at Oxford. But it's the children's bed time, and since tomorrow is the start of Lent we have prepared our own mystery play to start the season.

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