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the city. Sue knows the rascal to a hair's-breadth, and will fit him accordingly.
Thor. What is the other gentleman ?
Car. One Somerton; the honester man of the two, by five pound in every stone-weight. A civil fellow; he has a fine convenient estate of land in Westham, by Essex: master Ranges, that dwells by Enfield, sent him hither. He likes Kate well; I may tell you, I think she likes him as well: if they agree, I'll not hinder the match for my part. But that Warbeck is such another-I use him kindly for master Somerton's sake; for he came hither first as a companion of his: honest men, master Thorney, may fall into knaves' company now and then.
War. Three hundred a-year jointure, Sue.
Sus. Where lies it!
Sus. Not a whit, sir.
War. Do you scorn me, mistress Susan ?
Enter FRANK. Car. Master Francis Thorney, you are welcome indeed; your father expected your coming. How does the right worshipful knight, Sir Arthur Clarington, your master? Frank. In health this morning. Sir, my duty.
[.Aside. Sus. You must excuse me.
Frank. Virtuous mistress Susan. Kind mistress Katherine.—[Kisses them.Gentle.
men, to both Good time o' th' day.
Will you go
Som. The like to you.
War. 'Tis he: A word, friend.-[Aside to Som.]On my life, this is
the man Stands fair in crossing Susan's love to me. Som. I think no less; be wise and take no notice
Som. Prithee, friend, no more.
Car. Gentlemen all, there's within a slight dinner ready, if you please to taste of it. Master Thorney, master Francis, master Somerton !-Why, girls! what, huswives! will you spend all your forenoon in tittle-tattles ? away ; it's well, i'faith. in, gentlemen ?
Thor. We'll follow presently; my son and I
(Exeunt all but THORNEY and FRANK. Thor. I think you guess the reason, Frank, for
which I sent for you.
Frank. Yes, sir.
Thor. I need not tell you With what a labyrinth of dangers daily The best part of my whole estate's encumber'd; Nor have I any clew to wind it out, But what occasion proffers me; wherein, If you should falter, I shall have the shame, And you the loss. On these two points rely Our happiness or ruin. If you marry With wealthy Carter's daughter, there's a portion Will free my land; all which I will instate, Upon the marriage, to you: otherwise I must be of necessity enforced To make a present sale of all; For aught I know, live in as poor distress,
Or worse, than now I do; you hear the sum :
Thor. You have already used
Frank. ’T were pity, sir,
Thor. Better you had been unborn.
Frank. Else, sir,
Frank. Heaven prosper it,
Thor. Oh, thou art a villain!
Frank. To me, sir, this! Oh, my cleft heart!
Thor. To thee, Son of my curse. Speak truth, and blush, thou
Frank. Some swift spirit
(Aside. Thor. Do you study for excuse ? why all the
country is full on't.
Frank. With your license, 't is not charitable,
Thor. Thou hast, dissembler.
Frank. Sir, though mine innocence
Thor. From whom?
read What may confirm you.
on I must : Fate leads me; I will follow.) With the usual inconsistency of
Thor. Yes, and wonder at it.
Frank. Alas! I knew
Thor. My good son,
Re-enter Old CARTER and Susan. Car. Why, master Thorney, do you mean to talk out your dinner ? the company attends your coming. What must it be, master Frank, or son Frank? I am plain Dunstable.'
Thor. Son. brother, if your daughter like to have
Frank. I dare be confident, she is not alter'd
Sus. You took too sure possession
Frank. Which now I challenge.
Car. Marry, and much good may it do thee, son. Take her to thee: and when's the day?
Thor. To-morrow, if you please. To use ceremony Of charge and custom were to little purpose; Their loves are married fast enough already.
those who seek to smother their conscience by plunging deeper into guilt, Frank observes, just below, that the fate which here “leads him on," pursues him!-Gifford.
i I am plain Dunstable,] i. e. blunt and honest. The proverb is of very ancient date, and is not even yet quite worn out; only, as Sir Hugh says, the phrase is a little variations : for, with the usual propensity of our countrymen to assist the memory by alliteration, a man like Carter is now downright Dunstable.-GIFFORD. “As plain as Dunstable road” occurs among the Proverbs of Bedfordshire, given by Fuller in his Worthies; and hence, no doubt, the application of the phrase to plain and honest people.