Every Man in His Humour


Ben Jonson

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Every Man in His Humour: Act 3, Scene 3 Summary & Analysis

At his warehouse, Kitely frets over an impending business transaction that seems less than above board. His suspicion of his wife, Dame Kitely, has gotten worse. He tells Cash that he will sacrifice the business transaction in order to keep tabs on his wife. Cash reminds him that Kitely needs to go to meet his “scrivener,” who has his “bonds.”  
Kitely’s jealousy continues to increase, affecting his ability to conduct his business.
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Kitely is of two minds about whether to leave or stay, comparing his brain to an “hour-glass.” He wonders if he can trust Cash to look after his home while he’s gone—or, more accurately, to look after Dame Kitely and prevent Wellbred or any of his associates from coming by.
Kitely’s metaphor suggests that time is imperative—that is, he feels he needs to act quick to either prevent his cuckolding or catch his wife in the act.
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Kitely asks Cash to promise to keep a secret, though wonders paranoidly if Cash is deliberately avoiding swearing on his honor. He orders Cash to bring him word immediately if Wellbred shows up at the house, explaining that he (Kitely) will most likely be at Justice Clement’s. Kitely then insists that he had no secret and was just checking that Cash is trustworthy.
Kitely never really reveals this “secret,” but it’s probably his fear of being cuckolded. Cash is set up as a kind of guard. This contributes to the sense that all is not as it seems. 
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