Page images
PDF
EPUB

your bow-ings. I was glad to put them off with one of my dog-tricks, on a sudden; I am bewitched, little cost-me-naught, to love thee,-out on’t,--that morris makes me spit in thy mouth.- I dare not stay; farewell, ningle; farewell witch! (Exit.

Dog. Bow, wow, wow, wow.

Saw. Mind him not, he's not worth thy worrying; Run at a fairer game; that foul-mouth'd knight, Scurvy Sir Arthur, fly at him, my Tommy, And pluck out 's throat. Dog. No, there's a dog already biting,-his con

science. Saw. That's a sure bloodhound. Come let's home

and play ; Our black work ended, we'll make holyday.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

A Bedroom in CARTER's House.-FRANK in a slumber.

Enter KATHERINE. Kath. Brother, brother! so sound asleep? that's

well. Frank. [Waking.] No, not I, sister; he that's

wounded here,
As I am (all my other hurts are bitings
Of a poor flea), but he that here once bleeds,
Is maim'd incurably.

Kath. My good sweet brother (For now my sister must grow up in you), Though her loss strikes you through, and that I

feel The blow as deep, I pray thee be not cruel To kill me too, by seeing you cast away In your own helpless sorrow. Good love, sit up; And if you can give physic to yourself, I shall be well.

Frank. I'll do my best.

Kath. I thank you:
What do you look about for?

Frank. Nothing, nothing;
But I was thinking, sister-

Kath. Dear heart, what?
Frank. Who but a fool would thus be bound to a

bed,
Having this room to walk in?

Kath. Why do you talk so ? . Would you were fast asleep.

Frank. No, no; I am not idle.' But here's my meaning; being robb'd as I am, Why should my soul, which married was to hers, Live in divorce, and not fly after her ? Why-should not I walk hand in hand with Death , To find my love out?

Kath. That were well, indeed, Your time being come ; when Death is sent to call

you, No doubt you shall meet her.

Frank. Why should not I
Go without calling ?

Kath. Yes, brother, so you might;
Were there no place to go to when you 're gone
But only this.

Frank. "Troth, sister, thou say'st true;
For when a man has been a hundred years
Hard travelling o'er the tottering bridge of age,
He's not the thousandth part upon his way:
All life is but a wandering to find home;
When we are gone, we 're there. Happy were man,
Could here his voyage end; he should not then
Answer, how well or ill he steer'd his soul,
By heaven's or by hell's compass; how he put in
(Losing bless'd goodness' shore) at such a sin;
Nor how life's dear provision he has spent,

I No, no, I am not idle,) i. e. wandering. He judges from Katherine's speech that she suspects him, as indeed she does, of being light-headed. -GIFFOR)).

Nor how far he in's navigation went
Beyond commission: this were a fine reign,
To do ill, and not hear of it again;
Yet then were man more wretched than a beast;
For, sister, our dead pay is sure the best.
Kath. 'Tis so, the best or worst; and I wish

Heaven
To pay (and so I know it will) that traitor,
That devil Somerton (who stood in mine eye
Once as an angel) home to his deservings:
What villain but himself, once loving me,
With Warbeck's soul would pawn his own to hell,
To be revenged on my poor sister!

Frank. Slaves ! A pair of merciless slaves ! speak no more of

them. Kath. I think this talking hurts you.

Frank. Does me no good, I'm sure; I pay for 't everywhere.

Kath. I have done then. Eat if you cannot sleep; you have these two days Not tasted any food :-Jane, is it ready?

Frank. What's ready? what's ready? Kath. I have made ready a roasted chicken for you;

[Enter Maid with the chicken. Sweet, wilt thou eat?

Frank. A pretty stomach on a sudden, yes.There's one i' the house can play upon a lute; Good girl, let's hear him too.

Kath. You shall, dear brother, [Exit Maid. Would I were a musician, you should hear How I would feast your ear!-(Lute plays within.

stay, mend your pillow, And raise you higher.

Frank. I am up too high, Am I not, sister, now ?

Kath. No, no; 't is well. Fall to, fall to.-A knife! here's ne'er a knife. Brother, I'll look out yours. [Takes up his vest.

[ocr errors]

Enter Dog, shrugging as it were for joy, and dances.

Frank. Sister, O sister,
I'm ill upon a sudden, and can eat nothing.

Kath. În very deed you shall; the want of food Makes you so faint. Ha—[Sees the bloody knife.]

here's none in your pocket; I will go fetch a knife.

[Exit hastily. Frank. Will you ?—'t is well, all's well. FRANK searches first one pocket then the other, finds the

knife, and there lies down.--The spirit of SUSAN comes to the bed's side: he starts at it, and then turns to the other side, but the spirit is there-meanwhile enter WINNIFREDE as a Page, and stands sorrowfully at the foot of the bed.-Frank, terrified, sits up, and the spirit vanishes. Frank. What art thou? Win. A lost creature.

Frank. So am I too.-Win?
Ah, my she-page!

Win. For your sake I put on
A shape that's false ; yet do I wear a heart
True to you as your own.

Frank. 'Would mine and thine
Were fellows in one house !--kneel by me here.
On this side now! how durst thou come to mock me
On both sides of my bed ?

Win. When?

Frank. But just now:
Outface me, stare upon me with strange postures;
Turn my soul wild by a face in which were drawn
A thousand ghosts leap'd newly from their graves
To pluck me into a winding-sheet!

Win. Believe it,
I came no nearer to you than yon place,
At your bed's feet; and of the house had leave,
Calling myself your horse-boy, in to come
And visit my sick master.

But you

Frank. Then 't was my fancy; Some windmill in my brains for want of sleep. Win. Would I might never sleep, so you could

rest!

have pluck'd a thunder on your head, Whose noise cannot cease suddenly; why should

you Dance at the wedding of a second wife, When scarce the music which you heard at mine Had ta'en a farewell of you? O, this was ill! And they who thus can give both hands away, In th' end shall want their best limbs.

Frank. Winnifrede,The chamber door 's fast?

Win. Yes.

Frank. Sit thee then down; And when thou'st heard me speak, melt into tears: Yet I, to save those eyes of thine from weeping, Being to write a story of us two, Instead of ink, dipp'd my sad pen in blood. When of thee I took leave, I went abroad Only for pillage, as a freebooter, What gold soe'er I got, to make it thine. To please a father, I have Heaven displeased, Striving to cast two wedding-rings in one, Through my bad workmanship I now have none; I have lost her and thee.

Win. I know she's dead; But you have me still.

Frank. Nay, her this hand Murdered ; and so I lose thee too.

Win. Oh me!

Frank. Be quiet; for thou art my evidence, Jury, and judge: sit quiet, and I'll tell all. While they are conversing in a low tone, Old CARTER

and ŘATHERINE meet at the door of the room. Kath. I have run madding up and down to find

you,

« PreviousContinue »