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Than on the sun's clear brow: what would'st thou speak ?
Mrs. Fra. I would I had no tongue, no ears, no eyes, No apprehension, no capacity. When do you spurn me like a dog? when tread me Under feet? when drag me by the hair? Tho' I deserve a thousand thousand fold More than you can inflict: yet, once my husband, For womanhood, to which I am a shame, Though once an ornament; even for his sake That hath redeem'd our souls, mark not my face, Nor hack me with
sword: but let me go Perfect and undeformed to
Fran. My God, with patience arm me! rise, nay rise,
Mrs. Fra. I was.
Fran. Did not I lodge thee in my bosom? Wear thee in
heart? Mrs. Fra. You did.
Fran. I did, indeed; witness my tears, I did.
Mrs. Fra. in this one life I die ten thousand deaths.
I will retire a while into my study,
[exit. He returns with Cranwel, his friend. She falls on her knees.
Fran. My words are register'd in heaven already.
Cran. Mr. Frankford !
Fran. Good Mr. Cranwel.—Woman, hear thy judgment;
remember such a woman was.
carry all thy stuff within two hours;
Mrs. Fra. A mild sentence.
Fran. But as thou hop'st for heaven, as thou believ'st
Mrs. Fra. How full my heart is, in mine eyes appears ;
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.
Cranwel, Frankford, and Nicholas, a Servant. Cran. Why do you search each room about your house, , Now that you have despatch'd your wife away?
Fran. O sir, to see that nothing may be left
Nic. Here's her lute flung in a corner.
Of her and her's I am at once bereft.
Nic. My master commends him unto ye;
Mrs. Fra. I thank him, he is kind, and ever was.
myself dead. Nay you may say too (for my vow is past) Last night you saw me eat and drink
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,
farewell To all earth's joy; and so your master tell. Nic. I'll do
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.
Mountford, Mr. Malby, and other of her husband's friends.
Mrs. Fra. Sick, sick, O sick: give me some air. I pray
Mal. Yes, Mrs. Frankford: divers gentlemen
weak estate :
to us his faith to follow us ; And sure he will be here immediately.
Mrs. Fra. You have half reviy'd me with the pleasing news:
Char. Alas! good mistress, sickness hath not left you
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
Mr. Frankford enters.
Mrs. Fran. And is he come? methinks that voice I know.
Mrs. Fran. Well, Mr. Frankford, well; but shall be better, I hope within this hour. Will
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
Mrs. Fra. Amen, Amen.
Fran. As freely from the low depth of my soul
All. So we do all.
Frun. Even as I hope for pardon at that day, When the great judge of heaven in scarlet sits,