Every Man in His Humour

by

Ben Jonson

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Cob is a working-class waterbearer—a man who delivers water from house to house. Captain Bobadil beats him for complaining about his tobacco smoke, causing Cob to seek a warrant for Bobadil’s arrest. Clement, a fan of tobacco, refuses and nearly sends Cob himself to jail. At one stage, Cob suspects his wife, Tib, of cuckolding him and acting as a bawd; for this, he beats her. In the end, though, they resolve their differences.

Cob Quotes in Every Man in His Humour

The Every Man in His Humour quotes below are all either spoken by Cob or refer to Cob. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Every Man in His Humour published in 2009.
Act 1, Scene 4 Quotes

He useth every day to a merchant's house (where I serve water), one master Kitely's, i’ the Old Jewry; and here's the jest, he is in love with my master's sister, Mrs. Bridget, and calls her mistress; and there he will sit you a whole afternoon sometimes, reading o’ these same abominable, vile (a pox on 'em, I cannot abide them), rascally verses, poyetry, poyetry, and speaking of interludes; 'twill make a man burst to hear him. And the wenches, they do so jeer, and tee-hee at him.

Related Characters: Cob (speaker), Master Matthew, Mistress Bridget, Tib
Related Symbols: Poetry
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 4 Quotes

COB: Humour! Mack, I think it be so indeed; what is that humour? some rare thing, I warrant.

CASH: Marry I'll tell thee, Cob: it is a gentlemanlike monster, bred in the special gallantry of our time, by affectation; and fed by folly.

Related Characters: Cash (speaker), Cob (speaker)
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 6 Quotes

Bane to my fortunes! what meant I to marry?
I, that before was ranked in such content,
My mind at rest too, in so soft a peace,
Being free master of mine own free thoughts,
And now become a slave? What? never sigh;
Be of good cheer, man; for thou art a cuckold:
'Tis done, 'tis done! Nay, when such flowing-store,
Plenty itself, falls into my wife's lap,
The cornucopiae will be mine, I know. But, Cob,
What entertainment had they? I am sure
My sister and my wife would bid them welcome! Ha?

Related Characters: Kitely (speaker), Dame Kitely, Mistress Bridget, Cob
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 5 Quotes

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Good complement! It will be their bridal night too. They are married anew. Come, I conjure the rest, to put off all discontent. You, master Downright, your anger; you, master Knowell, your cares; Master Kitely and his wife, their jealousy.

[…]

'Tis well, 'tis well! This night we'll dedicate to friendship, love, and laughter. Master bridegroom, take your bride and lead; everyone, a fellow. Here is my mistress, Brainworm! To whom all my addresses of courtship shall have their reference. Whose adventures, this day, when our grandchildren shall hear to be made a fable, I doubt not, but it shall find both spectators, and applause.

Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
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Cob Character Timeline in Every Man in His Humour

The timeline below shows where the character Cob appears in Every Man in His Humour. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 4
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Matthew, the town “gull,” arrives at the house of Cob the water-bearer, wondering if the latter man knows the whereabouts of Captain Bobadil. They banter... (full context)
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Cob explains that Bobadil is asleep on a bench inside his house; Matthew goes in to... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 5
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Matthew finds Captain Bobadil, a braggart soldier, inside Cob’s house. They talk about the drunken night before, and Bobadil asks Matthew—even though he insists... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
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Cob comes by, delivering water. Kitely laments the fact that he ever let Wellbred into his... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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As Kitely departs, Cob comes by. He is ranting to himself about “fasting days.” Cash asks him what has... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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...men’s arrival, informs them that Kitely has gone to Justice Clement. Cash frantically calls for Cob. (full context)
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...takes out some “Trinidado” tobacco, praising it gushingly as the most “divine” tobacco he knows. Cob arrives and complains about the “roguish tobacco,” which he says is “good for nothing but... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
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Cob arrives at Justice Clement’s house and tells him of Wellbred’s arrival there with his entourage.... (full context)
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Kitely frantically asks Cob which of the gang kissed his wife first. Cob insists that he didn’t see any... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 7
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...assistant, Roger Formal, whether Kitely has gone. He wonders what made him leave so abruptly. Cob approaches Justice Clement to ask for an arrest warrant for Bobadil. (full context)
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Justice Clement laughs at Bobadil’s reason for attacking Cob—the insult over tobacco—and instead orders Formal to send Cob to jail. Old Knowell, also present,... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
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Now at Cob’s house, Cob confronts his wife, Tib, thinking she has cuckolded him. Cob confusedly accuses Tib... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
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...during his run-in with Edward and the others, he gleaned that they are heading to Cob’s house—where Edward has his eye on “brave citizens’ wives.” Knowell instructs Brainworm to stay with... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 8
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...to speak with him as soon as possible. Kitely goes to look for Cash and Cob, whom he wants to act as “sentinels” while he goes to Justice Clement’s. (full context)
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...any interactions they might try to have with Dame Kitely. He leaves again, looking for Cob. (full context)
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Dame Kitely wonders why Kitely is looking for Cob so eagerly. Wellbred mischievously implies that Kitely is interested in Cob’s wife, Tib, whom he... (full context)
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...called for him as Brainworm said. Bridget tells him that Dame Kitely has gone to Cob’s house with Cash; Kitely heads there in a fit of jealousy. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 10
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Old Knowell arrives at Cob’s house. He asks Tib who is within the house; not knowing who he is, she... (full context)
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Cob enters, shocked to hear Kitely’s claims that Old Knowell has cuckolded him (Kitely) within Cob’s... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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Justice Clement, Knowell, Kitely, Dame Kitely, Cash, Tib, and Cob assemble at Justice Clement’s house. Clement is trying to get to the bottom of the... (full context)
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...both to realize that each of them was convinced to search for the other at Cob’s house by Wellbred. He points out that it has all been a “mere trick.” (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
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Clement then entreats Cob and Tib to be “reconciled”; they make their peace. Clement tells the rest to rid... (full context)