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Heav'n calls us diff'rent ways, on these bestows
Full many a Saint, fince firft the world began, Liv'd an unfpotted maid, in fpite of man: Let fuch (a God's name) with fine wheat be fed, And let us honeft wives eat barley bread. For me, I'll keep the poft affign'd by heav'n, And ufe the copious talent it has giv’n : Let my good spouse pay tribute, do me right, And keep an equal reck'ning ev'ry night: His proper body is not his, but mine; For so faid Paul, and Paul's a found divine. 55 Know then, of those five husbands I have had, Three were just tolerable, two were bad. The three were old, but rich and fond befide, And toil❜d most piteously to please their bride : But fince their wealth (the best they had) was 60
The reft, without much lofs, I could refign.
Presents flow'd in apace: with show'rs of gold, They made their court, like Jupiter of old. 65 If I but smil'd, a fudden youth they found, And a new palfy seiz'd them when I frown'd. Ye fov'reign wives! give ear, and understand, Thus shall ye speak, and exercise command. For never was it giv'n to mortal man, To lye fo boldly as we women can: Forfwear the fact, tho' feen with both his eyes, And call your maids to witness how he lies.
Hark, old Sir Paul! ('twas thus I us'd to fay) 74 Whence is our neighbour's wife fo rich and gay Treated, carefs'd, where'er fhe's pleas'd to roam-I fit in tatters, and immur'd at home.
Why to her house doft thou so oft repair?
Lord! how you fwell, and rage like any fiend! But you reel home, a drunken beastly bear, Then preach till midnight in your easy chair Cry, Wives are falfe, and every woman evil, And give up all that's female to the devil.
If poor (you fay) fhe drains her husband's purse; If rich, fhe keeps her prieft, or something worse; If highly born, intolerably vain, Vapours and pride by turns poffefs her brain,
Now gayly mad, now fourly fplenetic,
If foul, her wealth the lufty lover lures,
Horses (thou fay'ft) and affes men may try, And ring fufpected veffels ere they buy: But wives, a random choice, untry'd they take, They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake; Then, nor till then, the veil's remov'd away, And all the woman glares in open day.
105 You tell me, to preferve your wife's good grace, Your eyes must always languish on my face, Your tongue with constant flatt'ries feed my ear, And tag each sentence with, My life! my dear! If by strange chance, a modest blush be rais'd, Be fure my fine complexion must be prais'd. III My garments always must be new and gay, And feasts still kept upon my wedding-day. VOL. II. K
Then must my nurse be pleas'd, and favʼrite maid;
On Jenkin too you caft a fquinting eye: What! can your 'prentice raise your jealousy? Fresh are his ruddy cheeks, his forehead fair, 120 And like the burnish'd gold his curling hair. But clear thy wrinkled brow, and quit thy forrow, I'd fcorn your'prentice, should you die to-morrow.
Why are thy chefts all lock'd? on what design? Are not thy worldly goods and treafure mine? 125 Sir, I'm no fool: nor fhall you, by St. John, Have goods and body to yourself alone. One you fhall quit, in fpite of both your eyes-I heed not, I, the bolts, the locks, the spies. If you had wit, you'd fay, "Go where you will,130 "Dear spouse, I credit not the tales they tell : "Take all the freedoms of a marry'd life; "I know thee for a virtuous, faithful wife." you have enough, what need you
How merrily foever others fare?
'Tis but a just and rational defire,
Lo thus, my friends, I wrought to my defires. These three right ancient venerable fires. I told 'em, Thus you fay, and thus you do, 150 And told 'em falfe, but Jenkin fwore 'twas true. I, like a dog, could bite as well as whine, And first complain'd, whene'er the guilt was mine. I tax'd them oft with wenching and amours, When their weak legs fcarce dragg'd 'em out of doors; 155
And fwore the rambles that I took by night, Were all to spy what damfels they bedight. That colour brought me many hours of mirth; For all this wit is giv'n us from our birth. Heav'n gave to woman the peculiar grace 160 To fpin, to weep, and cully human race.