Page images
PDF
EPUB

Obey me now; `tis happily his last
Service to me.
My power is e'en a-going out of sight.

Frank. Why would you delay ?
We have no other business now but to part.
Sus. And will not that, sweet-heart, ask a long

time?
Methinks it is the hardest piece of work
That e'er I took in hand.

Frank. Fie, fie! why look,
I'll make it plain and easy to you-farewell!

[Kisses her.
Sus. Ah, 'las! I am not half perfect in it yet ;
I must have it read o'er an hundred times:
Pray you take some pains, I confess

my

dulness. Frank. What a thorn this rose grows on! Part

ing were sweet; But what a trouble 'twill be to obtain it!—[Aside. Come, again and again, farewell !—[Kisses her.]

Yet wilt return ? All questions of my journey, my stay, employment, And revisitation, fully I have answered all; There's nothing now behind but-nothing. Sus. And that nothing is more hard than any

thing,
Than all the every things. This request-

Frank. What is't?
Sus. That I may bring you through one pasture

more

Up to yon knot of trees; amongst those shadows I'll vanish from you, they shall teach me how.

Frank. Why 'tis granted; come, walk then.

Sus. Nay, not too fast; They say, slow things have best perfection; The gentle shower wets to fertility, The churlish storm may mischief with his bounty. The baser beasts take strength even from the

womb;

But the lord lion's whelp is feeble long. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.-A Field, with a clump of Trees.

Enter Dog.

Dog. Now for an early mischief and a sudden! The mind's about it now; one touch from me Soon sets the body forward.

Enter FRANK and Susan.

Frank. Your request
Is out; yet will you leave me?

Sus. What? so churlishly?
You'll make me stay for ever,
Rather than part, with such a sound from you.

Frank. Why, you almost anger me.—'Pray you

be gone.

You have no company, and 'tis very early;
Some hurt may betide you homewards.

Jus. Tush! I fear none :
To leave you is the greatest hurt I can suffer:
Besides, I expect your father and mine own,
To meet me back, or overtake me with you;

They began to stir when I came after you:
I know they'll not be long.
Frank. So! I shall have more trouble,-

[The Dog rubs against him.
thank

you

for that : Then, I'll ease all at once. (Aside.) 'Tis done now; What I ne'er thought on.--You shall not go back. Sus. Why, shall I go along with thee? sweet

music! Frank. No, to a better place.

Sus. Any place I ; I'm there at home, where thou pleasest to have me. Frank. At home? I'll leave you in your last

lodging; I must kill you.

Sus. Oh fine! you'd fright me from you.
Frank. You see I had no purpose; I'm un-

arm'd : 'Tis this minute's decree, and it must be; Look, this will serve your turn. [Draws a knife.

Sus. I'll not turn from it,
If you be earnest, sir; yet you may tell me,
Wherefore you'll kill me.

Frank. Because you are a whore.
Sus. There's one deep wound already; a

whore !
'Twas ever farther from me than the thought
Of this black hour; a whore?

6

thank you for that :] i.e. for the incidental mention of their parents being stirring; and thus showing him, that he has no time to lose in the execution of his murderous purpose.

Frank. Yes, I will prove it, And you shall confess it. You are my whore, No wife of mine; the word admits no second. I was before wedded to another; have her still. I do not lay the sin unto your charge, 'Tis all mine own: your marriage was my

theft ; For I espoused your dowry, and I have it: I did not purpose to have added murder. The devil did not prompt me: till this minute, You might have safe return'd; now you cannot. You have dogg'd your own death.

[Stabs her. Sus. And I deserve it; I'm glad my fate was so intelligent : 'Twas some good spirit's motion. Die ? oh, 'twas

time ! How many years might I have slept in sin, [The] sin of my most hatred, too, adultery! Frank. Nay sure 'twas likely that the most was

past; For I meant never to return to you After this parting.

Sus. Why then. I thank you more; You have done lovingly, leaving yourself, That you would thus bestow me on another. Thou art my husband, Death, and I embrace

thee With all the love I have. Forget the stain

prompt him.

? The Devil did not prompt me.] This is the pointing of the old copy; but it can scarcely be correct ; for, in fact, the Devil did

We might read :
The Devil did not prompt me till this minute :
You might, &c.

Of my unwitting sin; and then I come
A crystal virgin to thee : my soul's purity
Shall, with bold wings, ascend the doors of

Mercy;
For innocence is ever her companion.
Frank. Not yet mortal? I would not linger

you, Or leave you a tongue to blab.' [Stabs her again. Sus. Now heaven reward you ne'er the worse

for me! I did not think that death had been so sweet, Nor I so apt to love him. I could ne'er die

better, Had I stay'd forty years for preparation; For I'm in charity with all the world. Let me for once be thine example, heaven; Do to this man, as I him free forgive, And may he better die, and better live! [Dies. Frank. 'Tis done; and I am in! once past our

height, We scorn the deep'st abyss. This follows now, To heal her wounds by dressing of the weapon. Arms, thighs, hands, any place; we must not fail

[Wounds himself Light scratches, giving such deep ones: the best

I can

This follows now,

To heal her wounds by dressing of the weapon.] The allusion to this silly superstition is vilely out of place, and shows Frank to be (what indeed the whole of his previous conduct confirms) a brutal, unfeeling villain.

« PreviousContinue »