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By this nice conduct, and this prudent course,
By murm'ring, wheedling, ftratagem, and force,
I still prevail'd, and would be in the right,
Or curtain-lectures made a restless night. 165
If once my husband's arm was o'er my fide,
What! fo familiar with your spouse? I cry'd:
I levied first a tax upon his need;

Then let him---'twas a nicety indeed!
Let all mankind this certain maxim hold, 170
Marry who will, our fex is to be fold.

With empty hands no taffels you can lure,
But fulfome love for gain we can endure ;*
For gold we love the impotent and old, 174
And heave, and pant, and kifs, and cling, for gold.
Yet with embraces, curfes oft I mixt,

Then kiss'd again, and chid and rail'd betwixt.
Well, I may make my will in peace, and die,
For not one word in man's arrears am I.
To drop a dear dispute I was unable,
Ev'n tho' the Pope himself had fat at table.
But when my point was gain'd, then thus I spoke,
"Billy, my dear, how sheepishly you look?
"Approach, myspouse, and let me kiss thy cheek;
"Thou should'st be always thus, refign'd and
" meek!


"Of Job's great patience since so oft you preach, "Well fhould you practise, who so well can teach. ""Tis difficult to do, I muft allow,


"But I, my dearest, will instruct you "Great is the bleffing of a prudent wife, 190 "Who puts a period to domestic strife. "One of us two must rule, and one obey; "And fince in man right reason bears the sway, “Let that frail thing, weak woman, have her 66 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!


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"What means my dear---indeed---you are to "blame."

Thus with my first three Lords I past my life 1 A very woman, and a very wife. 206 What fums from these old fpoufes 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 lufcious wines, that youthful blood improve,
And warm the swelling 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 beft 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 mifs or two: 230 But all that score I paid---as how? you'll fày, 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 very kind,

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 fhoe the most feverely 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 goffips, from Jerufalem ;
And now lies buried underneath a Rood, 245
Fair to be feen, and rear'd of honeft 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 coft 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 last and best ; (Kind heav'n afford him everlasting reft) 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 fcorn, and love what costs us pains:

Let men avoid us, and on them we leap;
A glutted market makes provifion cheap.

In pure good will I took this jovial spark,
Of Oxford he, a moft egregious clerk.
He boarded with a widow in the town,
A trufty goffip, one dame Alison.
Full well the secrets of my foul she knew,
Better than e'er our parish Priest could do.
To her I told whatever could befall :


Had but my husband piss'd against a wall, 270
Or done a thing that might have coft 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 fo 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 Alse,
To fee, be feen, 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 sept.


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