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Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein

By Richard Brinsley Peake


Evening. -- Interior of the cottage of De Lacey. -- The thatched roof in sight. On R.H. U.E. a wood fire. -- Through an open rustic porch, C., are visible a rivulet, and small wooden bridge -- a wooden couch on L.H. -- Music. -- De Lacey discovered seated thereon, with Agatha next him in attendance. The Monster appears through the portico, C., watching them, and regards Agatha with rapture. -- Agatha kisses her father's hand, crosses to R.H., takes a small pail or hand bucket, and trips through the portico on to the bridge to procure water. The Monster having retreated on Agatha's approach, pursues her on the bridge. Agatha, turning suddenly, perceives the Monster, screams loudly, and swoons, falling into the rivulet. The Monster leaps from the bridge, and rescues her.

De L. (Speaks during the melo music.) Gracious Heaven! (Starting forward from the couch.) That cry of horror! Agatha! -- Despair! -- My sweet child where art thou? Agatha! Agatha!

(The Monster appears at the portico entrance, with Agatha insensible in his arms. -- The Monster comes forward to L.H., gently places Agatha in her fathers arms, tenderly guiding the hand of old De Lacey to support his daughter. -- Agatha recovers, and perceiving the Monster, with a shriek, again faints -- the Monster hovering over them with fondness. -- Felix, with his gun (loaded), suddenly enters through the open portico from U.E. L.H., and speaks whilst entering -- walks on to R.H.)

Felix. Agatha! Victor Frankenstein is here! What horrid monster is this! Agatha! -- my father in danger!

(Music. -- The Monster retreats from L.H., and walks round to R.H., Felix following him -- discharges his gun -- wounds the Monster in the shoulder -- who writhes under the agony of the wound from which the blood flows -- would rush on Felix, who keeps the gun presented -- he is deterred by fear of a repetition of the wound. Felix remaining on the defensive. Safie, alarmed at the firing of the gun by Felix, rushes on to Agatha and De Lacey. -- Enter Frankenstein through the portico, from L.H. U.E. The Monster rushes up to Frankenstein, and casts himself at his feet, imploring protection.)

Frank. Misery! the Fiend! (Crosses to R.H.) Hence, avoid me! do not approach me -- thy horrid contact would spread a pestilence throughout my veins! -- hence -- no, no! You shall not quit this spot -- but thus -- thus I destroy the wretch I have created!

(Music. -- Frankenstein endeavours to stab him with his dagger, which the Monster strikes from his hand -- and expresses that his kindly feeling towards the human race, have been met by abhorrence and violence; that they are all now converted into hate and vengeance. -- In desperation, the Monster pulls a flaming brand from the fire, R.H. U.E., and in agony of feeling, dashes through the portico, setting fire to the whole of the portico, and the entire back of the cottage -- the thatched roof and rafters.)

Felix. Ha! Frankenstein! 'tis no time to parley -- the cottage is on fire! that fierce gigantic figure of terrific aspect waves aloft his torch, as if in triumph of the deed.

(The large doors in the centre are suddenly closed from without, as if to prevent escape. A coarse yelling laugh is heard.)

Frank. Ha! 'tis that hideous voice! Quick, quick, let us fly! his hellish malice pursues me, and but with his death or with mine, will this persecution cease. Could I but place you beyond his power.

(Felix and Frankenstein (as soon as the Monster disappears, having climbed outside of the portico) force open the doors, when flaming faggots are thrown down at the portico entrance, and falling trees on fire block up the entrance. Felix and Frankenstein place the couch longways over the fallen trees, and fiery pile of faggots at the portico entrance, and Felix forces his way through the flames with old De Lacey, and then Safie -- and, lastly, Frankenstein rushes out, bearing Agatha in his arms over the couch, in the midst of which parts of the building fall. The Monster brandishing the burning brand on the bridge, laughs exultingly, on which the drop falls. -- Continue the "Presto music" until