Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #10

ADRIANA
To none of these, except it be the last;
Namely, some love that drew him oft from home.
ABBESS
You should for that have reprehended him.
ADRIANA
Why, so I did.
ABBESS
Ay, but not rough enough.
ADRIANA
As roughly as my modesty would let me.
ABBESS
Haply in private.
ADRIANA
And in assemblies too.
ABBESS
Ay, but not enough.
ADRIANA
It was the copy of our conference.
In bed, he slept not for my urging it;
At board, he fed not for my urging it;
Alone, it was the subject of my theme;
In company, I often glanced it;
Still did I tell him it was vile and bad.
ABBESS
And thereof came it that the man was mad.
The venom clamours of a jealous woman
Poisons more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.
It seems his sleeps were hind'red by thy railing,
And thereof comes it that his head is light.
Thou say'st his meat was sauc'd with thy upbraidings:
Unquiet meals make ill digestions;
Thereof the raging fire of fever bred;
And what's a fever but a fit of madness?
Thou say'st his sports were hind'red by thy brawls.
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue
But moody and dull melancholy,
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair,
And at her heels a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperatures and foes to life?
In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest,
To be disturb'd would mad or man or beast.
The consequence is, then, thy jealous fits
Hath scar'd thy husband from the use of wits. (5.1.55)

This is very tricky business on the Abbess’s part. She lures Adriana into incriminating herself as a shrew, and then insists shrewish women get what they deserve. Like Luciana, the Abbess values a man’s comfort over a woman’s suspicions. Also, there’s no talk of the pact between husband and wife; just the glib notion that men are men, and should be left alone by women to do as they please.

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top