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Thy name's recorded in the book of life,
I charge thee never after this sad day
To see me or to meet me; or to send
By word, or writing, gift, or otherwise,
To move me, by thyself, or by thy friends;
Nor challenge any part in my two children.
So farewell, Nan; for we will henceforth be
As we had never seen, ne'er more shall see.

Mrs. Fra. How full my heart is, in mine eyes appears; What wants in words, I will supply in tears.

Fran. Come, take your coach, your stuff; all must along: Servants and all make ready, all be gone.

It was thy hand cut two hearts out of one.


Cran. Why do you search each room about your house, Now that you have dispatch'd your wife away? be left That ever was my wife's; I lov'd her dearly, And when I do but think of her unkindness,

Fran. O sir, to see that nothing may

My thoughts are all in hell; to avoid which torment,

I would not have a bodkin nor a cuff,

A bracelet, necklace, or rebato wire,
Nor anything that ever was call'd her's,
Left me, by which I might remember her.
Seek round about.

Nic. Here's her lute flung in a corner.

Fran. Her lute? Oh God! upon this instrument

Her fingers have ran quick division,

Swifter than that which now divides our hearts.

These frets have made me pleasant, that have now
Frets of my heart-strings made. O master Cranwell,
Oft hath she made this melancholy wood

(Now mute and dumb for her disastrous chance)
Speak sweetly many a note, sound many a strain
To her own ravishing voice, which being well strung,
What pleasant strange airs have they jointly rung!

Post with it after her; now nothing's left;
Of her and her's I am at once bereft.

NICHOLAS Overtakes MRS. FRANKFORD on her journey, and delivers

the lute.

Mrs. Fra. I know the lute; oft have I sung to thee: We both are out of tune, both out of time.

Nic. My master commends him unto ye;
There's all he can find that was ever yours.
He prays you to forget him, and so he bids you farewell.
Mrs. Fra. I thank him, he is kind, and ever was.
All you that have true feeling of my grief,
That know my loss, and have relenting hearts,
Gird me about; and help me with your tears
To wash my spotted sins: my lute shall groan;
It cannot weep, but shall lament my moan.

If you return unto your master, say
(Tho' not from me, for I am unworthy
To blast his name so with a strumpet's tongue)
That you have seen me weep, wish myself dead.
Nay you may say too (for my vow is past)
Last night you saw me eat and drink my last.
This to your master you may say and swear:
For it is writ in heaven, and decreed here.
Go break this lute on my coach's wheel,
As the last music that I e'er shall make;
Not as my husband's gift, but my farewell
To all earth's joy; and so your master tell.
Nic. I'll do your commendations.
Mrs. Fra. O no:

I dare not so presume; nor to my children:

I am disclaim'd in both, alas, I am.

O never teach them, when they come to speak,

To name the name of mother; chide their tongue

If they by chance light on that hated word;

Tell them 'tis naught, for when that word they name
(Poor pretty souls) they harp on their own shame.
So, now unto my coach, then to my home,

So to my death-bed; for from this sad hour,
I never will nor eat, nor drink, nor taste
Of any cates that may preserve my life:

I never will nor smile, nor sleep, nor rest.

But when my tears have wash'd my black soul white,
Sweet Saviour to thy hands I yield my sprite.

Mrs. FRANKFORD (dying). Sir FRANCIS ACTON (her brother). Sir CHARLES MOUNTFORD. Mr. MALBY, and other of her husband's friends.

Mal. How fare you, Mrs. Frankford?

Mrs. Fra. Sick, sick, O sick: give me some air. I pray
Tell me, oh tell me, where is Mr. Frankford.
Will he not deign to see me ere I die?

Mal. Yes, Mrs. Frankford: divers gentlemen,
Your loving neighbors, with that just request
Have mov'd and told him of your weak estate:
Who, tho' with much ado to get belief,
Examining of the general circumstance,
Seeing your sorrow and your penitence,
And hearing therewithal the great desire
You have to see him ere you left the world,

He gave to us his faith to follow us;

And sure he will be here immediately.

Mrs. Fra. You have half reviv'd me with the pleasing news:

Raise me a little higher in my bed.

Blush I not, brother Acton? blush I not, sir Charles?

Can you not read my fault writ in my cheek?

Is not my crime there? tell me, gentlemen.

Char. Alas! good mistress, sickness hath not left you

Blood in your face enough to make you blush.

Mrs. Fra. Then sickness like a friend my fault would hide.

Is my husband come? my soul but tarries

His arrival, then I am fit for heaven.

Acton. I came to chide you, but my words of hate

Are turn'd to pity and compassionate grief.

I came to rate you, but my brawls, you see,

Melt into tears, and I must weep by thee.
Here's Mr. Frankford now.


Fran. Good-morrow, brother; morrow, gentlemen :
God, that hath laid this cross upon our heads,
Might (had he pleas'd) have made our cause of meeting
On a more fair and more contented ground:

But he that made us, made us to his wo.

Mrs. Fra. And is he come? methinks that voice I know.
Fran. How do you, woman ?

Mrs. Fra. Well, Mr. Frankford, well; but shall be better I hope within this hour. Will you vouchsafe (Out of your grace, and your humanity)

To take a spotted strumpet by the hand?

Fran. This hand once held my heart in faster bonds Than now 'tis grip'd by me. God pardon them

That made us first break hold.

Mrs. Fra. Amen, amen.

Out of my zeal to heaven, whither I'm now bound,
I was so impudent to wish you here;

And once more beg your pardon. O! good man,
And father to my children, pardon me.

Pardon, O pardon me my fault so heinous is,
That if you in this world forgive it not,
Heaven will not clear it in the world to come.
Faintness hath so usurp'd upon my knees
That kneel I cannot but on my heart's knees
My prostrate soul lies thrown down at your feet
To beg your gracious pardon. Pardon, O pardon me!
Fran. As freely from the low depth of my soul
As my Redeemer hath for us given his death,
I pardon thee; I will shed tears for thee;
Pray with thee:

And, in mere pity of thy weak estate,

I'll wish to die with thee.

All. So do we all.

Fran. Even as I hope for pardon at that day,

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When the great judge of heaven in scarlet sits,
So be thou pardon'd. Tho' thy rash offence
Divorc'd our bodies, thy repentant tears
Unite our souls.

Char. Then comfort, mistress Frankford; You see your husband hath forgiven your fall;

Then rouse your spirits, and cheer your fainting soul.

Susan. How is it with you?
Acton. How d'ye feel yourself?
Mrs. Fra. Not of this world.

Fran. I see you are not, and I weep to see it.
My wife, the mother to my pretty babes;
Both those lost names I do restore thee back,
And with this kiss I wed thee once again :
Tho' thou art wounded in thy honor'd name,
And with that grief upon thy death-bed liest ;
Honest in heart, upon my soul, thou diest.

Mrs. Fra. Pardon'd on earth, soul, thou in heaven art free
Once more.
Thy wife dies thus embracing thee.

[Heywood is a sort of prose Shakspeare. His scenes are to the full as natural and affecting. But we miss the Poet, that which in Shakspeare always appears out and above the surface of the nature. Heywood's characters, his Country Gentlemen, &c., are exactly what we see (but of the best kind of what we see) in life. Shakspeare makes us believe, while we are among his lovely creations, that they are nothing but what we are familiar with, as in dreams new things seem old: but we awake, and sigh for the difference.]


Young Geraldine comes home from his Travels, and finds his Playfellow, that should have been his Wife, married to old Wincott. The old Gentleman receives him hospitably, as a Friend of his Father's: takes delight to hear him tell of his Travels, and treats him in all respects like a second Father; his house being always open to him. Young Geraldine and the Wife agree not to wrong the old Gentleman.



Ger. We now are left alone.

Wife. Why, say we be; who should be jealous of us?

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