SIR GODFREY. Sister, be of good cheer, we are all mortal our selves. I come upon you freshly. I near speak without comfort, hear me what I shall say:--my brother ha's left you wealthy, y'are rich.


SIR GODFREY. I say y'are rich: you are also fair.


SIR GODFREY. Go to, y'are fair, you cannot smother it; beauty will come to light; nor are your years so far enter'd with you, but that you will be sought after, and may very well answer another husband; the world is full of fine Gallants, choice enow, Sister,--for what should we do with all our Knights, I pray, but to marry rich widows, wealthy Citizens' widows, lusty fair-browed Ladies? go to, be of good comfort, I say: leave snobbing and weeping--Yet my Brother was a kind hearted man--I would not have the Elf see me now!--Come, pluck up a woman's heart--here stands your Daughters, who be well estated, and at maturity will also be enquir'd after with good husbands, so all these tears shall be soon dried up and a better world than ever--What, Woman? you must not weep still; he's dead, he's buried--yet I cannot choose but weep for him!

WIDOW. Marry again! no! let me be buried quick then! And that same part of Quire whereon I tread To such intent, O may it be my grave; And that the priest may turn his wedding prayers, E'en with a breath, to funeral dust and ashes! Oh, out of a million of millions, I should ne'er find such a husband; he was unmatchable,--unmatchable! nothing was too hot, nor too dear for me, I could not speak of that one thing, that I had not: beside I had keys of all, kept all, receiv'd all, had money in my purse, spent what I would, came home when I would, and did all what I would. Oh, my sweet husband! I shall never have the like.

SIR GODFREY. Sister, ne'er say so; he was an honest brother of mine, and so, and you may light upon one as honest again, or one as honest again may light upon you: that's the properer phrase, indeed.

WIDOW. Never! Oh, if you love me, urge it not.


Oh may I be the by-word of the world, The common talk at Table in the mouth Of every Groom and Waiter, if e'er more I entertain the carnal suite of Man!

MOLL. I must kneel down for fashion too.

FRANCES. And I, whom never man as yet hath scald, E'ev in this depth of general sorrow, vow Never to marry, to sustain such loss As a dear husband seems to be, once dead.

MOLL. I lov'd my father well, too; but to say, Nay, vow, I would not marry for his death-- Sure, I should speak false Latin, should I not? I'd as soon vow never to come in Bed. Tut! Women must live by th' quick, and not by th' dead.

WIDOW. Dar Copy of my husband, oh let me kiss thee. How like is this Model! This brief Picture

[Drawing out her husband's Picture.]

Quickens my tears: my sorrows are renew'd At this fresh sight.


WIDOW. Away, All honesty with him is turn'd to clay. Oh my sweet husband, oh--

FRANCES. My dear father!

[Exeunt mother and Frances.]

MOLL. Here's a pulling, indeed! I think my Mother weeps for all the women that ever buried husbands; for if from time to time all the Widowers' tears in England had been bottled up, I do not think all would have filled a three-half-penny Bottle. Alas, a small matter bucks a hand-kercher,--and sometimes the spittle stands to nie Saint Thomas a Watrings. Well, I can mourn in good sober sort as well as another; but where I spend one tear for a dead Father, I could give twenty kisses for a quick husband.

[Exit Moll.]

SIR GODFREY. Well, go thy ways, old Sir Godfrey, and thou mayest be proud on't, thou hast a kind loving sister-in-law; how constant! how passionate! how full of April the poor soul's eyes are! Well, I would my Brother knew on't, he would then know what a kind wife he had left behind him: truth, and twere not for shame that the Neighbours at th' next garden should hear me, between joy and grief I should e'en cry out-right!

[Exit Sir Godfrey.]

EDMOND. So, a fair riddance! My father's laid in dust; his Coffin and he is like a whole-meat-pye, and the worms will cut him up shortly.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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Measvre, For Measure