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A monologue from the play by Joseph Addison
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Drummer; or, The Haunted House. Joseph Addison. London: M. Dodsley, 1765.
Pray my dear, let me ask you a question; dost not thou think that Sir George is as dead at present, to all intents and purposes, as he will be a twelve month hence?
Or dost thou think thou’lt be more a widow than thou art now? Think! Why the world would think thee the mirror of widowhood — That a woman should live fourteen whole months after the decease of her spouse, without having engaged herself.
Why, about town, we know many a woman of quality’s second husband several years before the death of the first. I’ll tell thee a story, widow; I know a certain Lady, who,
considering the craziness of her husband, had, in case of mortality, engaged herself to two young fellows of my acquaintance. They grew such desperate rivals for her while her husband was alive, that one of them pink’d the other in a duel.
But the good Lady was no sooner a widow, but what did my dowager do? Why faith, being a woman of honor, she married a third, to whom, it seems, she had given her first promise!
Ah, my dear, the world would not say you never loved your first husband — they would say you loved your second; and they would own I deserved it, for I shall love thee most inordinately.