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"Of Job's great patience fince so oft you preach, "Well should you practise, who fo well can teach. ""Tis difficult to do, I muft allow,
"But I, my dearest, will inftruct you how. "Great is the bleffing of a prudent wife, 190 "Who puts a period to domestic strife. "One of us two muft rule, and one obey; "And fince in man right reason bears the sway, "Let that frail thing, weak woman, have her "way.
"The wives of all my family have rul'd 195 "Their tender husbands, and their paffions cool'd. Fye, 'tis unmanly thus to figh and groan; "What! would you have me to yourself alone? Why take me, Love! take all and ev'ry part! "Here's your Revenge! you love it at your heart. "Would I vouchfafe to fell what nature gave, 201 "You little think what custom I could have. "But fee! I'm all your own--nay hold-for "fhame!
"What means my dear---indeed---you are to "blame."
Thus with first three Lords I past my A very woman, and a very wife.
What fums from these old spouses I could raise, Procur'd young husbands in my riper days.
Tho' past my bloom, not yet decay'd was I,
Wanton and wild, and chatter'd like a pye. 210
In country dances ftill I bore the bell,
And fung as sweet as ev'ning Philomel.
To clear my quail-pipe, and refresh my foul,
Full oft I drain'd the spicy nut-brown bowl; 214
Rich luscious wines, that youthful blood improve,
And warm the fwelling veins to feats of love:
For 'tis as fure as cold ingenders hail,
A liqu'rish mouth must have a lech'rous tail;
Wine let's no lover unrewarded go,
As all true gamesters by experience know. 220
But oh, good Gods! whene'er a thought I caft
On all the joys of youth and beauty past,
To find in pleasures I have had my part,
Still warms me to the bottom of my heart. 224
This wicked world was once my dear delight;
Now all my conquefts, all my charms good night!
The flour confum'd, the best that now I can,
Is e'en to make my market of the bran.
My fourth dear spouse was not exceeding true; He kept, 'twas thought, a private miss or two: 230 But all that score I paid---as how? you'll fay, Not with my body, in a filthy way: But I fo drefs'd, and danc'd, and drank, and din'd; And view'd a friend, with eyes fo
As ftung his heart, and made his marrow fry,
With burning rage, and frantick jealousy. 236
His foul, I hope, enjoys eternal glory,
For here on earth I was his purgatory.
Oft, when his shoe the most severely wrung,
He put on careless airs, and fat and fung. 240
How fore I gall'd him, only heav'n could know,
And he that felt, and I,that caus'd the woe,
He dy'd, when last from pilgrimage I came,
With other goflips, from Jerufalem;
And now lies buried underneath a Rood,
Fair to be feen, and rear'd of honest wood.
A tomb indeed, with fewer fculptures grac'd,
Than that Maufolus' pious widow plac'd,
Or where infhrin'd the great Darius lay;
But cost on graves is merely thrown away. 250'
The pit fill'd up, with turf we cover'd o'er ;
So bless the good man's foul, I fay no more.
Now for my fifth lov'd Lord, the laft and beft;
(Kind heav'n afford him everlasting rest)
Full hearty was his love, and I can fhew
The tokens on my ribs in black and blue;
Yet, with a knack, my heart he could have won,
While yet the smart was shooting in the bone.
How quaint an appetite in women reigns! 259
Free gifts we scorn, and love what cofts us pains
Let men avoid us, and on them we leap;
A glutted market makes provision cheap.
In pure good will I took this jovial spark,
Of Oxford he, a most egregious clerk.
He boarded with a widow in the town,
A trufty goffip, one dame Alison.
Full well the fecrets of my foul she knew,
Better than e'er our parish Priest could do.
To her I told whatever could befall :
my husband piss'd against a wall, 270
Or done a thing that might have cost his life,
She---and my niece---and one more worthy wife,
Had known it all: what most he would conceal,
To these I made no fcruple to reveal.
Oft has he blush'd from ear to ear for shame, 275 That e'er he told a fecret to his dame.
It so befel, in holy time of Lent, That oft a day I to this goffip went ; (My husband, thank my stars, was out of town) From house to house we rambled up and down, 280 This clerk, myself, and my good neighbour Alfe, To fee, be seen, to tell, and gather tales. Vifits to ev'ry Church we daily paid, And march'd in ev'ry holy Masquerade, The Stations duly, and the Vigils kept; Not much we fafted, but scarce ever flept.
At Sermons too I fhone in scarlet gay,
The wafting moth ne'er spoil'd my beft array;
The cause was this, I wore it ev'ry day.
"Twas when fresh May her early bloffoms yields, This Clerk and I were walking in the fields. 291 We grew fo intimate, I can't tell how,
I pawn'd my honour, and engag'd my vow,
If e'er I laid my husband in his urn,
That he, and only he, should serve my turn. 295
We strait struck hands, the bargain was agreed;
I still have shifts against a time of need:
The mouse that always trufts to one poor hole,
Can never be a mouse of any foul.
I vow'd, I scarce could fleep fince first I knew him, 300 And durft be fworn he had bewitch'd me to him; If e'er I flept, I dream'd of him alone,
And dreams foretel, as learned men have shown:
All this I faid; but dreams, Sirs, I had none :
I follow'd but my crafty Crony's lore,
Who bid me tell this lye---and twenty more.
Thus day by day, and month by month we past; It pleas'd the Lord to take my spouse at last. I tore my gown, I foil'd my locks with duft, And beat my breasts, as wretched widows--must.