young mistress knew so much : she'd run upon the left hand of her wit, and ne'er be her own woman again.

Sam. And I think she was blest in her cradle that he never came in her bed. Why, he has consumed all, pawn’d his lands, and made his University brother stand in wax for him : there's a fine phrase for a scrivener ! Puh! he owes more than his skin is worth.

Oliv. Is 't possible?

Sam. Nay, I'll tell you, moreover, he calls his wife whore, as familiarly as one would call Moll and Doll; and his children bastards, as naturally as can be. But what have we here? [Feeling behind.] I thought 'twas something pulled down my breeches : I quite forgot my two poking-sticks. These came from London : now, anything is good here that comes from London.

Oliv. Aye, far fetch'd you know, Sam. But speak in your conscience i' faith : have we not as good poking-sticks i' the country as need to be put in the fire ?

Sam. The mind of a thing is all: the mind of a thing is all ; and as thou said'st even now, far fetch'd are best things for ladies.

Oliv. Aye, and for waiting-gentlewomen too.

Sam. But Ralph, what is our beer sour thro' this thunder?

Ralph. No, no ; it holds countenance yet.

Sam. Why then, follow me. I'll teach you the finest humour to be drunk in : I learn'd it at London last week.

Both. 'Faith, let's hear it, let's hear it.

Sam. The bravest humour ! 'twould do a man good to be drunk in it: they call it knighting in London, when they drink upon their knces. Both. 'Faith, that's excellent.



Sam. Come, follow me: I'll give you all the degrees of it in order.



Another Apartment in the same.

Enter WIFE 2
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 beggary.
Are these the virtues that his youth did promise ?
Dice and voluptuous meetings, midnight revels,
Taking his bed with surfeits, ill-beseeming
The ancient honours 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 vex'd his money cannot make them last;

· Enter WIFE.] The author seems purposely to have omitted all names ; but they were perhaps well known from a prose tract and a ballad on the event, both of which had been published before this drama was acted.

A fearful, melancholy, ungodly sorrow.-
O! 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.


Hus. Pox o' the last throw! It made five hundred angels

[Not seeing his WIFE. Vanish from my sight. I'm damn'd! I'm damn'd! The angels have forsook me.

Nay, it is
Certainly true; for he that has no coin
Is damned in this world : he is gone, he is gone.

Wife. Dear husband !
Hus. O! most punishment of all; I have a wife.

Wife. I do entreat you, as you love your soul,
Tell me the cause of this


discontent. Hus. A vengeance strip thee naked ! thou art the cause, Effect, quality, property : thou, thou, thou ! [Exit.

Wife. Bad turn’d to worse : both beggary of the soul, And of the body ; and, so much unlike Himself at first; as if some vexed spirit Had got his form upon him.—He comes again.

Re-enter HUSBAND.


says I am the cause : I never yet Spoke less than words of duty and of love.

Hus. 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 but upon the fool, for he will have no land to maintain him. That mortgage sits like a snaffle upon my inheritance, and


makes me chew upon iron. My second son must be a promoter, and my third a thief, or an under-putter, a slave pandar. O! beggary, beggary! 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 of his 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. Hus. Money, money, money; and thou must supply me.

Wife. Alas, I am the least cause of your discontent; Yet what is mine, either in rings or jewels, Use to your own desire ; but I beseech you, As you are a gentleman by many bloods, Though I myself be out of your respect, Think on the state of the three lovely boys You have been father to.

Hus. 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. O! call to mind your lands already mortgaged, Yourself wound into debts ; your hopeful brother At the University in bonds for you, Like to be seiz'd upon, and

Hus. Have done, thou harlot, [Throwing her off. Whom though for fashion-sake I married, I never could abide. Think'st thou thy words Shall kill my pleasures ? Fall off to thy friends : Thou and thy bastards beg ; I will not bate A whit in humour. Midnight! still I love you, And revel in your company. Curb'd in ?

Shall it be said in all societies
That I broke custom ? that I flagg'd in money ?-
No, those thy jewels I will play as freely
As when my state was fullest.

Wife. Be it so.

Hus. Nay, I protest (and take that for an earnest) I will for ever hold thee in contempt, [Spurning her. And never touch the sheets that cover thee, But be divorc'd in bed, till thou consent Thy dowry shall be sold, to give new life Unto those pleasures which I most affect.

Wife. Sir, do but turn a gentle eye on me, And what the law shall give me leave to do You shall command.

Hus. Look it be done.-Shall I want dust, And like a slave wear nothing in my pockets

[Putting his hands into them. But my bare hands, to fill them up with nails ? O, much against my blood !-Let it be done : I was never made to be a looker on, A bawd to dice: I 'll shake the drabs myself, And make them yield.— I say, let it be done. Wife. I take my leave : it shall.

[Exit. Hus. Speedily, speedily.-I hate the very hour I chose a wife, A trouble, trouble. Three children, like three evils, Hang on me.-Fie, fie, fie! strumpet and bastards !

Enter three Gentlemen.

Strumpet and bastards!
First Gent. Still do these lothsome thoughts jar on your

tongue ?

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