Page images

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;

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

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:

S 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



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?


thank you for that :] i.c. 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


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

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

Sus. Why then I thank you more;
You have done lovingly, leaving yourself,

would thus bestow me on another. Thou art my husband, Death, and I embrace

thee With all the love I have. Forget the stain

? 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 prompt him. 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

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.

To bind myself to this tree. Now's the storm, Which, if blown o'er, many fair days may follow,

[Binds himself to a tree; the Dog ties him

behind, and exit. So, so! I'm fast; I did not think I could Have done so well behind me.

How prosperous and Effectual mischief sometimes is !--[Aloud.]--Help!

help! Murder, murder, murder!

Enter CARTER and Old THORNEY..

Car. Ha! whom tolls the bell for?
Frank. Oh, oh!

Thor. Ah me!
The cause appears too soon ; my child, my son.
Car. Susan, girl, child! not speak to thy

father? ha! Frank. Oh lend me some assistance to o'ertake This hapless woman.

Thor. Let 's o'ertake the murderers. Speak whilst thou canst, anon may be too late; I fear thou hast death's mark upon thee too. Frank. I know them both; yet such an oath is

passid, As pulls damnation up if it be broke; I dare not name 'em : think what forced men do. Thor. Keep oath with murderers! that were a

conscience To hold the devil in.

« PreviousContinue »