"Love And Murder Will Out"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Brisk, a pert coxcomb, enters onto the scene and sends Sir Paul Plyant, his daughter Cynthia, and Lady Plyant out of the room to have an opportunity to make advances to Lady Froth, whom he intends to seduce. He soliloquizes upon how engaging she would be if she were not so fond of her stupid husband. He has just begun to practice his speech to her when she enters. Pretending not to see her, he cries out her name several times. She thereupon asks what is wrong with him. Upon his saying that he had merely been in agreeable contemplation, she asks him why he called out her name so loudly. He says that he had not been aware of doing so, but the reason must be that murder and love will out. He thus modifies a quotation from Chaucer's Prioress's Tale (line 567): "Mordre wol out, certeyn it wol not faille." In Chaucer's quotation the reference is to a genuine murder.


LADY FROTH
Bless me! why did you call out upon me so loud?
BRISK
O Lord, I, madam? I beseech your ladyship–when?
LADY FROTH
Just now as I came in: bless me! why, don't you know it?
BRISK
Not I, let me perish! But did I? Strange! I confess your ladyship was in my thoughts; and I was in a sort of dream that did in a manner present a very pleasing object to my imagination, but–but did I indeed?–To see how love and murder will out! But did I really name my Lady Froth?
LADY FROTH
Three times aloud, as I love letters! . . .