Wendoll: A Woman Killed With Kindness – Monologue (Wendoll)

A monologue from the play by Thomas Heywood


Pursued with horror of a guilty soul,
And with the sharp scourge of repentance lashed,
I fly from mine own shadow. O my stars!
What have my parents in their lives deserved,
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 murthering him for his relieving me,
It strikes a terror like a lightning’s flash,
To scorch my blood up. Thus I, like the owl,
Ashamed 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. [Sees Anne.] O my sad fate!
Here, and so far from home, and thus attended!
O God! I have divorced the truest turtles
That ever lived together, and, being divided,
In several places make their several moan;
She in the field 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;
So she from these rude carters tears extracts,
Making their flinty hearts with grief to rise,
And draw down rivers from their rocky eyes.

Read the play here

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