« PreviousContinue »
Win. And that will be as difficult
To be preserv'd, when he shall understand
How you are married, as it will be now,
Should you confess it to him.
Frank. Fathers are
Won by degrees, not bluntly, as our masters
Or wrong'd friends are; and besides I 'll use
Such dutiful and ready means, that ere
He can have notice of what 's past, th' inheritance
To which I am born heir shall be assured ;
That done, why let him know it: if he like it not,
Yet he shall have no power in him left
To cross the thriving of it.
Win. You, who had
The conquest of my maiden-love, may easily
Conquer the fears of my distrust. And whither
Must I be hurried ?
Frank. Prithee, do not use
A word so much unsuitable to the constant
Affections of thy husband: thou shalt live
Near Waltham-Abbey, with thy uncle Selman;
I have acquainted him with all at large :
He'll use thee kindly; thou shalt want no plea-
sures, Nor any other fit supplies whatever Thou canst in heart desire.
Win. All these are nothing Without your company;
Frank. Which thou shalt have Once every month at least.
Win. Once every month! Is this to have a husband?
Frank. Perhaps oftener;
That's as occasion serves.
Win. Ay, ay; in case
No other beauty tempt your eye, whom you
Like better, I may chance to be remember'd,
And see you now and then. Faith! I did hope
You'd not have used me so : 't is but my fortune.
And yet, if not for my sake, have some pity
Upon the child I go with; that's your own:
And 'less you'll be a cruel-hearted father,
You cannot but remember that.
Heaven knows, how-
Frank. To quit which fear at once,
As by the ceremony late perform’d,
I plighted thee a faith, as free from challenge
As any double thought; once more, in hearing
Of Heaven and thee, I vow that never henceforth
Disgrace, reproof, lawless affections, threats,
Or what can be suggested 'gainst our marriage,
Shall cause me falsify that bridal oath
That binds me thine. And, Winnifrede, whenever
The wanton heats of youth, by subtle baits
Of beauty, or what woman's art can practise,
Draw me from only loving thee, let Heaven
Inflict upon my life some fearful ruin!
I hope thou dost believe me.
Win. Swear no more ;
I am confirm'd, and will resolve to do
What you think most behooveful for us.
Frank. Thus then;
Make thyself ready ; at the farthest house
Upon the green, without the town, your uncle
Expects you. For a little time, farewell!
We shall meet again as soon as thou canst possibly?
Frank. We shall. One kiss-away! [Exit Win.
Enter Sir ARTHUR CLARINGTON. Sir Ar. Frank Thorney! Frank. Here, sir. Sir Ar. Alone ? then must I tell thee in plain
terms, Thou hast wrong'd thy master's house basely and
lewdly. Frank. Your house, sir ? Sir Ar. Yes, sir. All the country whispers
How shamefully thou hast undone a maid,
Approv'd for modest life, for civil carriage,
Till thy prevailing perjuries enticed her
To forfeit shame. Will you be honest yet,
Make her amends, and marry her?
Frank. So, sir,
I might bring both myself and her to beggary;
And that would be a shame worse than the other.
Sir Ar. You should have thought on this before,
Your reason would have oversway'd the passion
Of your unruly lust. But that you may
Be left without excuse, to salve the infamy
Of my disgraced house, and 'cause you are
A gentleman, and both of you my servants,
I'll make the maid a portion.
Frank. So you promised me
Before, in case I married her. I know
Sir Arthur Clarington deserves the credit
Report hath lent him; and presume you are
A debtor to your promise : but upon
What certainty shall I resolve ? "Excuse me,
For being somewhat rude.
Sir Ar. It is but reason.
Well, Frank, what think'st thou of two hundred
And a continual friend ?
Frank. Though my poor fortunes
Might happily prefer me to a choice
Of a far greater portion; yet to right
A wronged maid, and to preserve your favour,
I am content to accept your proffer.
Sir Ar. Art thou ?
Frank. Sir, we shall every day have need to em-
The use of what you please to give.
Sir Ar. Thou shalt have it.
Frank. Then I claim
Your promise.-We are man and wife,
Sir Ar. Already ?
Frank. And more than so, sir, I have promis'd her Free entertainment in her uncle's house Near Waltham-Abbey, where she may securely Sojourn, till time and
endeavours work My father's love and liking.
Sir Ar. Honest Frank !
Frank. I hope, sir, you will think I cannot keep
Without a daily charge.
Sir Ar. As for the money, 'T is all thine own; and though I cannot make thee A present payment, yet thou shalt be sure I will not fail thee.
Frank. But our occasions
Sir Ar. Nay, nay, Talk not of your occasions; trust my bounty, It shall not sleep.-Hast married her i' faith, Frank? 'Tis well, 't is passing well;—then, Winnifrede, Once more thou art an honest woman. Frank, Thou hast a jewel, love her; she 'll deserve it. And when to Waltham ?
Frank. She is making ready:
Her uncle stays for her.
Sir Ar. Most provident speed.
Frank, I will be thy friend, and such a friend !-
Thou wilt bring her thither?
Frank. Sir, I cannot; newly
My father sent me word I should come to him.
Sir Ar. Marry, and do; I know thou hast a wit To handle him.
Frank. I have a suit to you.
Sir Ar. What is it?
Any thing, Frank ; command it.
Frank. That you 'll please
By letters to assure my father that
I am not married.
Sir Ar. How ?
Frank. Some one or other
Hath certainly inform’d him, that I purposed
To marry Winnifrede; on which he threaten'd
To disinherit me :-to prevent it,
Lowly I crave your letters, which he seeing
Will credit; and I hope, ere I return,
On such conditions as I 'll frame, his lands
Shall be assured.
Sir Ar. But what is there to quit
My knowledge of the marriage ?
Frank. Why you were not
A witness to it.
Sir Ar. I conceive; and then-
His land confirm'd, thou wilt acquaint him tho-
With all that's past.
Frank. I mean no less.
Sir Ar. Provided
I never was made privy to't.
Frank. Alas, sir,
Am I a talker ?
Sir Ar. Draw thyself the letter,
I'll put my hand to't. I commend thy policy,
Thou 'rt witty, witty, Frank; nay, nay, 't is fit:
Frank. I shall write effectually.
[Exit. Sir Ar. Go thy way, cuckoo !-have I caught the
young man ?
One trouble then is freed. He that will feast
At other's cost, must be a bold-faced guest.
Enter WINNIFREDE in a riding-suit.
Win, I have heard the news, all now is safe ;
The worst is past; thy lip, wench !--[Kisses her. I
Farewell, for fashion's sake; but I will visit thee
Suddenly, girl. This was cleanly carried;
Ha! was’t not, Win? But come, wench, tell me, when
Wilt thou appoint a meeting?
Win. What to do?