Page images
PDF
EPUB

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?—'tis well, all's well.

FRANK searches first one pocket then the other, finds

the knife, and then 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 theremeanwhile 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 dar'st 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 leapt newly from their graves, To pluck me into a winding sheet!

[ocr errors]

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.

Frank. Then 'twas my fancy;
Some windmill in my brains for want of sleep.
Win. Would I might never sleep, so you could

rest!
But you 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 KATHERINE meet at the door of the room. Kath. I have run madding up and down to find

you, Being laden with the heaviest news that ever Poor daughter carried.

Car. Why? is the boy dead?

Kath. Dead, sir! Oh, father, we are cozen'd; you are told The murderer sings in prison, and he laughs here. This villain kill'd my sister; see else, see,

[Takes up his vest; and shows the knife

to her father, who secures it. A bloody knife in's pocket! Car. Bless me, patience!

[Dog paws softly at FRANK, and evit. Frank. [Seeing them.] The knife! the knife! the

knife! Kath. What knife?

Frank. To cut my chicken up, my chicken;Be you my carver, father.

Car. That I will.
Kath. How the devil steels our brows after

doing ill! Frank. My stomach and my sight are taken

from me;

All is not well within me.

Car. I believe thee, boy: I that have seen so many moons clap their horns on other men's foreheads to strike them sick; yet mine to scape, and be well! I that never cast away a fee upon urinals, but am as sound as an honest man's conscience when he's dying, I should cry out as thou dost, “ All is not well within me,” felt I but the bag of thy imposthumes. Ah poor villain! ah my wounded rascal! all my grief is, I have now small hope of thee. Frank. Do the surgeons say my wounds are

dangerous, then! Car. Yes, yes, and there's no way with thee but one.

Frank. Would he were here to open them.

Car. I'll go to fetch him; I'll make an holiday to see thee as I wish.

[Exit. Frank. A wond'rous kind old man.

Win. Your sin's the blacker, So to abuse his goodness.—[Aside to Frank.]

Master, how do you?-[Aloud.]

9 Yes, yes, and there's no way with thee but one.] A proverbial expression for an inevitable event,-death. Thus Mrs. Quickly of poor Sir John.

After I saw him fumble with the sheets, and smile

upon his finger ends, I knew there was but one way,&c.

Frank. Pretty well now, boy; I have such odd

qualms Come cross my stomach:—I'll fall to; boy, cut

me

66

[ocr errors]

Win. You have cut me, I'm sure;-a leg or

wing, sir?
Frank. No, no, no; a wing-
Would I had wings but to soar up yon tower!
But here's a clog that hinders me.

[Re-enter Carter, followed by Servants, with

the body of Susan in a coffin. What's that?

Car. That? what? oh, now I see her; 'tis a young wench, my daughter, sirrah, sick to the death; and hearing thee to be an excellent rascal for letting blood, she looks out at a casement, and cries, Help! help! stay that man! him I must have or none. Frank. For pity's sake remove her; see, she

stares With one broad open eye still in my

face! Car. Thou puttest both her's out, like a villain as thou art; yet, see! she is willing to lend thee one again, to find out the murderer, and that's thyself.

Frank. Old man, thou liest.
Car. So shalt thou—in the gaol. Run for offi-

cers.
Kath. Oh thou merciless slave!
She was (though yet above ground) in her grave
To me; but thou hast torn [her] up again

« PreviousContinue »