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your forenoon in tittle-tattles? away; it's well, i faith. Will you go in, gentlemen ?

Thor. We'll follow presently; my son and I Have a few words of business. Car. At your pleasure.

[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 clue 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; and yet, For ought I know, live in as poor distress, , Or worse, than now I do; you hear the sum: I told you thus before; have you consider'd on't?

Frank. I have, sir; and however I could wish To enjoy the benefit of single freedom, For that I find no disposition in me To undergo the burden of that care That marriage brings with it; yet to secure

And settle the continuance of your credit;
I humbly yield to be directed by you
In all commands.

Thor. You have already used
Such thriving protestations to the maid,
That she is wholly your's; and—-

-speak, the truth,You love her, do


not? Frank. 'Twere pity, sir, I should deceive her.

Thor. Better you had been unborn.
But is your love so steady that you mean,
Nay more, desire, to make her your wife?

Frank. Else, sir,
It were a wrong not to be righted.

Thor. True,
It were: and


Frank. Heaven prosper it,
I do intend it.

Thor. Oh, thou art a villain !
A devil like a man! Wherein have I
Offended all the powers so much, to be
Father to such a graceless, godless son?

Frank. To me, sir, this ! oh, my cleft heart!

Thor. To thee, Son of my curse. Speak truth and blush, thou

monster! Hast thou not married Winnifrede, a maid Was fellow-servant with thee?

Frank. Some swift spirit

marry her?

Has blown this news abroad; I must outface it.

[Aside. Thor. Do you study for excuse? why all the

country Is full on't.

Frank. With your license, 'tis not charitable, I'm sure it is not fatherly, so much To be o'ersway'd with credulous conceit Of mere impossibilities; but fathers Are privileged to think and talk at pleasure. Thor. Why, canst thou yet deny thou hast no

Frank. What do you take me for? an atheist?
One that nor hopes the blessedness of life
Hereafter, neither fears the vengeance due
To such as make the marriage-bed an inn,
Which *

travellers, day and night,
After a toilsome lodging, leave at pleasure ?
Am I become so insensible of losing
The glory of creation's work, my soul ?
Oh, I have lived too long !

Thor. Thou hast, dissembler.
Dar'st thou perséver yet, and pull down wrath
As hot as flames of hell, to strike thee quick
Into the grave of horror? I believe thee not;
Get from my sight!

Frank. Sir, though mine innocence Needs not a stronger witness than the clearness Of an unperish'd conscience; yet for that I was inform’d, how mainly you had been



Possess'd of this untruth,- to quit all scruple
Please you peruse this letter; 'tis to you.

Thor. From whom?
Frank. Sir Arthur Clarington, my master.
Thor. Well, sir.

Frank. On every side I am distracted;
Am waded deeper into mischief
Than virtue can avoid ; but on I must:
Fate leads me; I will follow.8—(Aside.) There

you read

What may

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Thor. Yes, and wonder at it.
Forgive me, Frank; credulity abus'd me.
My tears express my joy; and I am sorry
I injured innocence.

Frank. Alas! I knew
Your rage and grief proceeded from your

love To me; so I conceiv'd it.


-on I must : Fate leads me; I will follow.] Ford has furnished Frank with the same apology which he had previously put in the mouth of Giovanni. See vol. i., p. 140. Nothing need be added to what is said on that passage, to which the reader will have the goodness to turn. Giovanni, indeed, is a villain of a gigantic stamp, but he has an accomplice in his crime, and is at once seducing and seduced; whereas, the person before us is a cold, calculating wretch, an agent of evil, upon principle; for (to say nothing of his fearful perjuries in the first scene) he must have planned the seduction of Winnifrede, with the full knowledge of bis engagement to marry Susan. With the usual inconsistency of those who seek to smother their conscience by plunging deeper into guilt, he observes, just below, that the fate which here "leads him on," pursues

' him! VOL. II.


Thor. My good son,
I'll bear with many faults in thee hereafter;
Bear thou with mine.

Frank. The peace is soon concluded.

Re-enter Old CARTER and SUSAN. Car. Why, master Thorney, do you mean to talk out your dinner? the company attends your coming. Whạt must it be, master Frank ? or son Frank? I am plain Dunstable.?

Thor. Son, brother, if your daughter like to have

it so.

Frank. I dare be confident, she is not alter'd From what I left her at our parting last:Are you, fair maid?

Sus. You took too sure possession Of an engaged heart.

Frank. Which now I challenge.

Car. Marry, and much good may it do thee, son. Take her to thee; get me a brace of boys at a burthen, Frank; the nursing shall not stand thee in a pennyworth of milk; reach her home and spare not: 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.

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.

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