"No Man Worth Having Is True To His Wife"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Like so many plays of the period 1660-1700, this one is a comedy about people who find love, and like it, outside of marriage. In this play we find Loveless, a handsome young man of no fortune, who has been reclaimed for respectability by his marriage to a wealthy, beautiful young woman named Amanda. Though he believes he loves his wife, and certainly recognizes the debt he owes her for giving him wealth, he finds himself actively pursuing Berinthia, Amanda's cousin and a widow who enjoys men. Worthy, a gentleman of the town and former lover of Berinthia, wants to make Amanda his prize in love, and he gently blackmails his former mistress into helping him seduce her cousin. Berinthia, at the first opportunity, speaks to Amanda, who is jealous of her husband, whom she has seen ogling other women. Amanda says not loving Loveless would not help her problem, to which she receives this reply:

No, nor nothing else, when the wind's in the warm corner. Look you, Amanda, you may build castles in the air, and fume, and fret, and grow thin and lean and pale and ugly, if you please. But I tell you, no man worth having is true to his wife, or can be true to his wife, or ever was, or ever will be so.