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Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein

By Richard Brinsley Peake


An Apartment in the Villa at Belrive. -- In C. of F. a wide folding window opening to the Garden, closed. -- A side door, U.E. L.H. -- Another, U.E. R.H. -- A table in C. of stage, with red baize covering.

Agatha and Ninon enter, R.H.

Ninon. The most unaccountable disappearance of my dear little boy, at such a moment -- on such a day -- when we should have been so merry!

Aga. It is indeed strange and fearful; let us hope that William will soon be discovered, and brought home. (Aside.) The wild phantom that fired our cottage, surely, is not concerned.

Ninon. I can do nothing but think of William -- that is your room, ma'm -- (points, L.H. U.E.) -- you will find it well furnished -- with such sweet blue eyes -- everything is comfortable -- unhappy little boy! There's a fine grate in the room -- with two little dimples on each cheek! There's a cabinet in the corner -- curly locks! Forgive me, ma'am; I fostered the pretty child, and I cannot get him out of my head.

Aga. Pray leave me, Ninon, and give me the earliest intelligence of Mr. Frankenstein's return.

Ninon. All the festivities of the wedding-day destroyed, till the dear unlucky urchin is found. (Sobbing.) The sweet little, naughty, rosy-cheek'd rogue! how I will whip him when he comes home.

[Exit Ninon, R.H.

(During the above the Monster is seen at the window watching, and disappears.)

Aga. Frankenstein! what a singular fatality is attached to you -- with wealth and friends, doomed to be miserable! -- This mystery! -- I feel a heavy foreboding of mischance! a presentiment of evil pervades my mind. I may regret the day that I have given my affection to Frankenstein -- I may rue the hour that I left our homely hut.

[Exit Agatha into door, U.E. L.H., afterwards Enter Frankenstein, R.H., reflecting -- two pistols in his belt.)

Frank. One sudden and desolating change has taken place -- the fangs of remorse tear my bosom and will not forego their hold! -- pursue the wretch! One might as well attempt to overtake the winds, or confine a mountain torrent. My poor brother -- I -- I am thy murderer -- the author of unalterable evils. There is scope for fear, so long as anything I love remains. (Goes to door U.E. L.H.) Agatha! she reclines sleeping on yon sofa.

(The Monster during the above soliloquy reappears on the balcony of the window -- and while Frankenstein is looking in at the door, U.E. L.H., the Monster creeps in at the window, crouching beneath the table, unseen.)

Frank. Sleep on, sweet innocence! I dare not leave you; I will stay and guard your slumber, or the remorseless fiend will snatch your breath away.

(Music. -- Frankenstein takes out a pistol and primes it -- holding it in his hand.)

Frank. The wretch e'en now may be haunting the room -- let me search around.

(Music. -- Frankenstein fearfully examines each avenue, advancing on L.H., to the front, and crossing to R.H. -- The Monster, unperceived by him, follows his footsteps, making an ineffectual attempt occasionally to gain his loaded pistol. Frankenstein leads on, looking in at door, U.E. R.H., passes Behind table, when the Monster falls flat before table, still unseen by Frankenstein, who then places the loaded pistol on table, and turns to close the folding large window. While Frankenstein has his back turned, the Monster snatches up the pistol, hugs it, and escapes into door U.E. L.H. Frankenstein having closed the window comes forward.)

Frank. Oh, Agatha! would that I had banished myself for ever from my native country, and wandered a friendless outcast over the earth, rather than I had again met you -- perhaps to bring you in the grasp of my fiendish adversary -- perhaps to--

(Pistol shot heard, U.E. L.H., and a piercing shriek.)

-- My blood curdles! (Goes to door, L.H. U.E.) Ah! what do I behold? My last, last hope!

Music. -- He rushes off into door, U.E. L.H.