Act IV - Scene xxi
Fondlewife returns with Papers.
FOND. Good lack! good lack! I profess the poor man is in great torment; he lies as flat—Dear, you should heat a trencher, or a napkin.—Where’s Deborah? Let her clap some warm thing to his stomach, or chafe it with a warm hand rather than fail. What book’s this? [Sees the book that Bellmour forgot.]
LÆT. Mr. Spintext’s prayer-book, dear. Pray Heaven it be a prayer-book. [Aside.]
FOND. Good man! I warrant he dropped it on purpose that you might take it up and read some of the pious ejaculations. [Taking up the book.] O bless me! O monstrous! A prayer-book? Ay, this is the devil’s paternoster. Hold, let me see: The Innocent Adultery.
LÆT. Misfortune! now all’s ruined again. [Aside.]
BELL. [Peeping]. Damned chance! If I had gone a-whoring with the Practice of Piety in my pocket I had never been discovered.
FOND. Adultery, and innocent! O Lord! Here’s doctrine! Ay, here’s discipline!
LÆT. Dear husband, I’m amazed. Sure it is a good book, and only tends to the speculation of sin.
FOND. Speculation! No no; something went farther than speculation when I was not to be let in.—Where is this apocryphal elder? I’ll ferret him.
LÆT. I’m so distracted, I can’t think of a lie. [Aside.]