AMBO. Faith, that's excellent. Come, follow me: I'll give you all the degrees ont in order.


SCENE II. Another apartment in the same.

WIFE. What will become of us? all will away. My husband never ceases in expense, Both to consume his credit and his house; And tis set down by heaven's just decree, That Riot's child must needs be beggery. Are these the vertues that his you did promise? Dice, and voluptuous meetings, midnight Revels, Taking his bed with surfetts: Ill beseeming The ancient honor of his house and name! And this not all: but that which kills me most, When he recounts his Losses and false fortunes, The weakness of his state so much dejected, Not as a man repentant, but half mad, His fortunes cannot answer his expense: He sits and sullenly locks up his Arms, Forgetting heaven looks downward, which makes him Appear so dreadful that he frights my heart, Walks heavily, as if his soul were earth: Not penitent for those his sins are past, But vext his money cannot make them last:-- A fearful melancholy, ungodly sorrow. Oh yonder he comes, now in despite of ills I'll speak to him, and I will hear him speak, And do my best to drive it from his heart.

[Enter Husband.]

HUSBAND. Pox oth Last throw! it made Five hundred Angels vanish from my sight. I'm damnd, I'm damnd: the Angels have forsook me. Nay, tis certainly true: for he that has No coin is damnd in this world: he's gone, he's gone.

WIFE. Dear husband.

HUSBAND. Oh! most punishment of all, I have a wife.

WIFE. I do intreat you as you love your soul, Tell me the cause of this your discontent.

HUSBAND. A vengeance strip thee naked! thou art cause, Effect, quality, property, thou, thou, thou!


WIFE. Bad, turnd to worse! both beggery of the soul, As of the body. And so much unlike Him self at first, as if some vexed spirit Had got his form upon him.--

[Enter Husband again.]

He comes again. He says I am the cause; I never yet Spoke less then words of duty, and of love.

HUSBAND. If marriage be honourable, then Cuckolds are honourable, for they cannot be made without marriage. Fool! what meant I to marry to get beggars? now must my eldest son be a knave or nothing; he cannot live uppot'h fool, for he will have no land to maintain him: that mortgage sits like a snaffle upon mine inheritance, and makes me chaw upon Iron. My second son must be a promoter, and my third a thief, or an underputter, a slave pander. Oh beggery, beggery, to what base uses dost thou put a man! I think the Devil scorns to be a bawd. He bears himself more proudly, has more care on's credit. Base, slavish, abject, filthy poverty!

WIFE. Good sir, by all our vows I do beseech you, Show me the true cause of your discontent.

HUSBAND. Money, money, money, and thou must supply me.

WIFE. Alas, I am the lest cause of your discontent, Yet what is mine, either in rings or Jewels, Use to your own desire, but I beseech you, As y'are a gentleman by many bloods, Though I my self be out of your respect, Think on the state of these three lovely boys You have been father to.

HUSBAND. Puh! Bastards, bastards, bastards; begot in tricks, begot in tricks.

WIFE. Heaven knows how those words wrong me, but I may Endure these griefs among a thousand more. Oh, call to mind your lands already mortgage, Your self wound with debts, your hopeful brother At the university in bonds for you, Like to be ceasd upon; And--

HUSBAND. Ha done, thou harlot, Whom, though for fashion sake I married, I never could abide; thinkst thou thy words Shall kill my pleasures? Fall off to thy friends, Thou and thy bastards beg: I will not bate A whit in humor! midnight, still I love you, And revel in your Company. Curbd in, Shall it be said in all societies, That I broke custom, that I flagd in money? No, those thy jewels I will play as freely As when my state was fullest.

WIFE. Be it so.

HUSBAND. Nay I protest, and take that for an earnest,

[spurns her]

I will for ever hold thee in contempt, And never touch the sheets that cover thee, But be divorst in bed till thou consent, Thy dowry shall be sold to give new life Unto those pleasures which I most affect.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
A Yorkshire Tragedy
The Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet
The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine
The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra
The Tragedie of Coriolanus
The Tragedie of Cymbeline
The Tragedie of Hamlet
The Tragedie of Julius Caesar
The Tragedie of King Lear
The Tragedie of Macbeth
The Tragedie of Othello
The Tragedie of Richard the Third
The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus
The Tragedie of Hamlet