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Frankenstein; or, The Man and the Monster

Henry Milner

Act II, Scene IV


-- A tremendous range of craggy precipices, near the summit of Mount Etna. On the R. a conspicuous pillar of rock stands on a lofty elevation -- the only approach to the stage is from the depths below.
The MONSTER, with gigantic strides, ascends from below with EMMELINE and the CHILD -- she is overcome with fatigue and terror and unable to speak -- the MONSTER gains the elevation, and with a cord that is round his waist, binds EMMELINE to the pillar of rock -- he returns to the CHILD -- EMMELINE sinks on her knees in supplication -- FRANKENSTEIN with great difficulty ascends from below -- he perceives his CHILD in the MONSTER's power -- he is about to rush on him; the MONSTER defies him, and FRANKENSTEIN, recollecting his former defeats, abandons his threatening gestures and assumes one of entreaty.


Demon of cruelty, art thou still insatiate with the blood of innocence? how many victims does it require to content thy rage? I do implore thee; I, thy creator, who gave thee life, who endued thee with that matchless strength I cannot hope to master, I, on my knees, entreat thee but to spare that innocent. If fury and the thirst of blood be in thy hellish nature, on me, on me glut thy fell appetite, but oh, if in thy human frame there dwells one spark of human sympathy or feeling, spare, spare that unoffending child!

(The MONSTER points to his wound, expresses that he would willingly have served FRANKENSTEIN and befriended him, but that all his overtures were repelled with scorn and abhorrence -- then, with malignant exultation seizes on the CHILD, and whirls it aloft, as if about to dash it down the rock -- EMMELINE screams, FRANKENSTEIN, with a cry of horror, covers his eyes -- at this moment a thought occurs to EMMELINE, she pulls from under her dress a small flageolet, and begins to play an air, its effect on the MONSTER is instantaneous -- he is at once astonished and delighted, he places the CHILD on the ground, his feelings become more powerfully affected by the music, and his attention absorbed by it -- the CHILD escapes to its father -- EMMELINE continues to play, FRANKENSTEIN intently to watch its effect on the MONSTER. {23} As the air proceeds his feelings become more powerfully excited, he is moved to tears; afterwards, on the music assuming a lively character, he is worked up to a paroxysm of delight, and on its again becoming mournful, is quite subdued, till he lays down exhausted at the foot of the rock to which EMMELINE is attached. -- STRUTT now ascends with RITZBERG, and a number of PEASANTS variously armed, and furnished with strong cords.)


There he is! that's him! that's my gentleman! and luckily for us, he seems in a bit a of snooze -- now's our time or never. On him, my lads, and bind him fast, and then we shall be all right. (with RITZBERG and others, he immediately falls on the MONSTER, and they bind him stoutly with cords -- FRANKENSTEIN has meantime released EMMELINE -- the MONSTER makes prodigious exertions of strength to burst his bonds, but he is overpowered by the number of his adversaries.) Away, away, sir, and place the lady and child in safety. I'll take care, and accommodate this gentleman with snug quarters.


Faithful creature! Eternal Providence, receive my thanks; and if it be thy pleasure to inflict on me an added punishment, oh! on this guilty head alone direct thy wrath; spare those who are most dear to me, those whose innocence may challenge thy compassion! (with EMMELINE and the CHILD he commences the descent, and disappears.)


Now I think the best thing we can do is to fasten my gentleman to this pinnacle of rock; the cool air of this exalted region may give him an appetite; but he will stand very little chance of getting it gratified, unless the lava should flow from the volcano, and that may be a kind of cordial for him. (they are binding him to the rock, R., the MONSTER making a furious resistance, in the course of which he hurls one of the PEASANTS to the depths below) That's right, make a tight job of it, whilst you are about it; for if he once gets loose, he'll play the devil with you all; he'd crack you like so many walnuts. There, I think he'll do now; there's not much fear of his troubling us again for one while. If he gets away from here, and finds his way down to terra firma again, I'll give him leave to drink hob-and-nob with me, in the cup I have filled to celebrate his overthrow. (they descend the precipice leaving the MONSTER attached to the pinnacle of rock -- when they are gone, he redoubles his efforts to escape from his bonds, and at length succeeds -- he surveys the chasm, and is afraid to venture down it -- he firmly attaches to the pinnacle one end {24} of the cord by which he was bound -- and by means of this lowers himself down the chasm.)