Excerpt from The Dramatic Works of John Webster, Vol. 4 of 4
This play, although not printed till 1661, when, as narrated in the General Introduction to these volumes, Mr. Kirkman published it, must have been acted many years before that time, and before 1649. The story, as summarized by Mr. Genest, runs thus: - "Lessingham is in love with Clare; she sends him a letter, in which she says,
'Prove all thy friends, find out the best and nearest,
Kill for my sake that friend that loves thee dearest.'
Lessingham debates the matter in a soliloquy; he tells four of his friends that he has a duel on his hands, and that he wants a second, who is himself to fight: they decline his proposal, under various pretences. Bonvile agrees to accompany him to the appointed place, notwithstanding that it is his wedding-day. When they arrive at Calais Sands, Lessingham tells Bonvile that he is come thither on purpose to kill him. Bonvile refuses to fight him, and adds, that he may boast to Clare that he has killed his friend, as all friendship between them is dead.
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