The Way of the World HTML version
LADY WISHFORT and FOIBLE.
LADY. Out of my house, out of my house, thou viper, thou serpent that I have fostered,
thou bosom traitress that I raised from nothing! Begone, begone, begone, go, go; that I
took from washing of old gauze and weaving of dead hair, with a bleak blue nose, over a
chafing-dish of starved embers, and dining behind a traver's rag, in a shop no bigger than
a bird-cage. Go, go, starve again, do, do!
FOIB. Dear madam, I'll beg pardon on my knees.
LADY. Away, out, out, go set up for yourself again, do; drive a trade, do, with your
threepennyworth of small ware, flaunting upon a packthread, under a brandy-seller's
bulk, or against a dead wall by a balladmonger. Go, hang out an old frisoneer-gorget,
with a yard of yellow colberteen again, do; an old gnawed mask, two rows of pins, and a
child's fiddle; a glass necklace with the beads broken, and a quilted night-cap with one
ear. Go, go, drive a trade. These were your commodities, you treacherous trull; this was
the merchandise you dealt in, when I took you into my house, placed you next myself,
and made you governant of my whole family. You have forgot this, have you, now you
have feathered your nest?
FOIB. No, no, dear madam. Do but hear me, have but a moment's patience--I'll confess
all. Mr. Mirabell seduced me; I am not the first that he has wheedled with his dissembling
tongue. Your ladyship's own wisdom has been deluded by him; then how should I, a poor
ignorant, defend myself? O madam, if you knew but what he promised me, and how he
assured me your ladyship should come to no damage, or else the wealth of the Indies
should not have bribed me to conspire against so good, so sweet, so kind a lady as you
have been to me.
LADY. No damage? What, to betray me, to marry me to a cast serving-man; to make me
a receptacle, an hospital for a decayed pimp? No damage? O thou frontless impudence,
more than a big- bellied actress!
FOIB. Pray do but hear me, madam; he could not marry your ladyship, madam. No
indeed, his marriage was to have been void in law; for he was married to me first, to
secure your ladyship. He could not have bedded your ladyship, for if he had