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Wen. Pursu'd with horror of a guilty soul, And with the sharp scourge of repentance lash'd,

I fly from mine own shadow. O my stars!
What have my parents in their lives deserv'd, a
That you should lay this penance on their son?
When I but think of Master Frankford's love,
And lay it to my treason, or compare
My murdering him for his relieving me,
It strikes a terror like a lightning's flash,
To scorch my blood up. Thus I, like the owl, 45
Asham'd of day, live in these shadowy woods,
Afraid of every leaf or murmuring blast,
Yet longing to receive some perfect knowledge
How he hath dealt with her. [Seeing MISTRESS

FRANKFORD.] O my sad fate!

Here, and so far from home, and thus attended!
Oh, God! I have divorc'd the truest turtles 51
That ever liv'd together, and, being divided,
In several places make their several moan;
She in the fields laments, and he at home;
So poets write that Orpheus made the trees
And stones to dance to his melodious harp,
Meaning the rustic and the barbarous hinds,
That had no understanding part in them:

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So she from these rude carters tears extracts, Making their flinty hearts with grief to rise, 60 And draw down rivers from their rocky eyes. Mrs. F. [to NICHOLAS.] If you return unto my master, say

Though not from me, for I am all unworthy

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Wen. [Aside.] I'll speak to her, and comfort her in grief.

100

Oh, but her wound cannot be cur'd with words! No matter, though; I'll do my best good will To work a cure on her whom I did kill.

Mrs. F. So, now unto my coach, then to my home,

So to my death-bed; for from this sad hour, 105
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,

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Exeunt all except WENDOLL and JENKIN]; the Carters whistling. Jen. What, my young master, that fled in his shirt! How come you by your clothes again? You have made our house in a sweet pickle, ha' ye not, think you? What, shall I serve you still, or cleave to the old house?

120

Wen. Hence, slave! Away, with thy unseason'd mirth!

Unless thou canst shed tears, and sigh, and howl,

Curse thy sad fortunes, and exclaim on fate,
Thou art not for my turn.

Jen. Marry, an you will not, another will; farewell, and be hang'd! Would you had [126 never come to have kept this coil 2 within our doors! We shall ha' you run away like a sprite again. [Exit.]

Wen. She's gone to death; I live to want and woe,

Her life, her sins, and all upon my head.
And I must now go wander, like a Cain,
In foreign countries and remoted climes,
Where the report of my ingratitude
Cannot be heard. I'll over first to France,
And so to Germany and Italy;

130

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Where, when I have recovered, and by travel Gotten those perfect tongues, and that these

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Enter SIR FRANCIS ACTON, SIR CHARLES MOUNTFORD, CRANWELL, [MALBY, and SUSAN.

Sir F. Brother, and now my wife, I think these troubles,

Fall on my head by justice of the heavens, For being so strict to you in your extremities;

But we are now aton'd. I would my sister Could with like happiness o'ercome her griefs As we have ours.

Susan. You tell us, Master Cranwell, wondrons things

Tonching the patience of that gentleman, With what strange virtue he demeans his grief.

1 Enchanted, seduced.

2 Made this trouble.

3 Acquired these languages perfectly.

4 Before the Manor House.

5 Conducts.

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Sir F. My brother Frankford show'd too mild a spirit

In the revenge of such a loathed crime.
Less than he did, no man of spirit could do.
I am so far from blaming his revenge,
That I commend it. Had it been my case,
Their souls at once had from their breasts been
freed;

Death to such deeds of shame is the due meed.
Enter JENKIN and CICELY.

Jen. Oh, my mistress, mistress! my poor mistress!

Cicely. Alas! that ever I was born; what [= shall I do for my poor mistress?

Sir C. Why, what of her?

Jea. Oh, Lord, sir! she no sooner heard that her brother and her friends had come to see how she did, but she, for very shame of her » guilty conscience, fell into such a swoon, thất we had much ado to get life in her.

Susan. Alas, that she should bear so hard a fate!

Pity it is repentance comes too late.

Sir F. Is she so weak in body?

Jen. Oh, sir! I can assure you there's no hope of life in her; for she will take no sust'nance: she hath plainly starv'd herself, and row she's as lean as a lath. She ever looks for the good hour. Many gentlemen and gentlewomen of the [« country are come to comfort her.

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[DRAMATIS PERSONAE

WILLIAM HAMMERTON.

GEORGE GREENGOOSE.
Host.

Tapster.

Barber.

Three Men, supposed captives.

Sergeant.

Soldiers and Attendants.

LUCE, Daughter of Venturewell.

MISTRESS MERRYTHOUGHT.

POMPIONA, Daughter of the King of Moldavia.
Woman, supposed a captive.

London and the neighbouring Country, excepting Act IV, Scene II, where it is in Mol

GENTLEMEN;

davia.]

TO THE READERS OF THIS COMEDY 2

The world is so nice & in these our times, that for apparel there is no fashion; for music (which is a rare art, though now slighted) no instrument; for diet, none but the French kickshaws that are delicate; and for plays, no invention but that which now runneth an invective way, touching some particular persons, or else it is contemned before it is thoroughly understood. This is all that I have to say: that the author had no intent to wrong any one in this comedy; but, as a merry passage, here and there interlaced it with delight, which he hopes will please all, and be hurtful

to none.

PROLOGUE 4

you

WHERE the bee can suck no honey, she leaves her sting behind; and where the bear cannot find origanum 5 to heal his grief, he blasteth all other leaves with his breath. We fear it is like to fare so with us; that, seeing you cannot draw from our labours sweet content, you leave behind a sour mislike, and with open reproach blame our good meaning, because you cannot reap the wonted mirth. Our intent was at this time to move inward delight, not outward lightness; and [s to breed (if it might be) soft smiling, not loud laughing; knowing it, to the wise, to be a great pleasure to hear counsel mixed with wit, as to the foolish, to have sport mingled with rudeness. They were banished the theatre of Athens, and from Rome hissed, that brought parasites on the stage with apish actions, or fools with uncivil habits, or courtesans with immodest words. We have endeavoured to be as far from unseemly speeches, to make your ears glow, as we hope you [10 will be free from unkind reports, or mistaking the authors' intention, (who never aimed at any one particular in this play,) to make our cheeks blush. And thus I leave it, and thee to thine own censure, to like or dislike. - VALE.

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1 The Q spellings Rafe and Raph indicate the pronunciation.

1 From the Second Edition, 1635.

3 Fastidious.

7 Q authors.

Idem. "This Prologue is almost an exact Transcript of 'The Prologue at the Black fryers' prefixed to Lyly's Sapho and Phaon." (Murch.)

Marjoram.

6 Disapproval.

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