Arden of Faversham
Playwright Unknown

Alice is in her early 20s. She is married, but having an affair with another man, Mosby. Mosby and Alice are planning to murder her husband, Arden. At the beginning of her speech, she appears remorseful, and determined to end her affair and to be a faithful wife in the future. But when she hears Mosby's reaction, she changes her mind, and becomes determined to convince Mosby of her devotion to him by flattery and seduction.


I pray thee, Mosby, let our springtime wither;
Our harvest else will yield but loathsome weeds.
Forget, I pray thee, what hath passed betwixt us, For now I blush and tremble at the thoughts.

Ay, to my former happy life again;
From title of an odious strumpet's name
To honest Arden's wife - not Arden's honest wife.
Ha, Mosby, 'tis thou hast rifled me of that,
And made me sland'rous to all my kin.
Even in my forehead is thy name engraven,
A mean artificer, that low-born name.
I was bewitched; woe worth the hapless hour
And all the causes that enchanted me!

Ay, now I see, and too soon find it true,
Which often hath been told me by my friends,
That Mosby loves me not but for my wealth,
Which too incredulous I ne'er believed.
Nay, hear me speak, Mosby, a word or two; I'll bite my tongue if it speak bitterly.
Look on me Mosby, or I'll kill myself:
Nothing shall hide me from thy stormy look.
If thou cry war, there is no peace for me;
I will do penance for offending thee,
And burn this prayer book, where I here use
The holy word that had converted me.

See, Mosby, I will tear away the leaves,
And all the leaves, and in this golden cover
Shall thy sweet phrases and they letters dwell;
And thereupon will I chiefly meditate,
And hold no other sect but such devotion.
Wilt thou not look? Is all thy love o'erwhelmed?
Wilt thou not hear? What malice stops thine ears?
Why speaks thou not? What silence ties thy tongue?
Thou hast been sighted as the eagle is,
And heard as quickly as the fearful hare,
And spoke as smoothly as an orator,
When I have bid thee hear, or see, or speak,
And art thou sensible in none of these?
Weigh all thy good turns with this little fault,
And I deserve not Mosby's muddy looks.
A fount once trouble is not thickened still:
Be clear again, I'll ne'er more trouble thee.

Sweet Mosby is as gentle as a king,
And I too blind to judge him otherwise.
Flowers do sometimes spring in fallow lands,
Weeds in gardens, roses grow on thorns;
So whatso'er my Mosby's father was,
Himself is valued gentle by his worth.

Order Arden of Faversham from Amazon.

This monologue brought to you by The Monologue Database.