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CHAU CE R. BEHOL
EHOLD the woes of matrimonial life,
And hear with rey'rence an experienc'd wife! To dear-bought wisdom give the credit due, And think, for once, a woman tells In all these trials I have borne a part,
5 I was myself the scourge that caus’d the smart; For, since fifteen, in triumph have I led Five captive husbands from the church to bed.
Christ saw a wedding once, the Scripture says, And faw but one, 'tis thought, in all his days; IO Whence some infer, whose conscience is too nice, No pious Christian ought to marry twice.
But let them read, and solve me, if they can, The words address'd to the Samaritan : Five times in lawful wedlock she was join'd; 15 And sure the certain stint was ne'er defin'd,
Encrease and multiply, was heav'n's command, And that's a text I clearly understand. 'This too, “Let men their fires and mothers leave,
And to their dearer wives for ever cleave.
Paul, knowing one could never serve our turn, Declar'd 'twas better far to wed than burn. There's danger in assembling fire and tow; 30 I grant 'em that, and what it
know. The fame Apostle too has elsewhere own'd, No precept for Virginity he found: 'Tis but a counsel -- and we women still Take which we like, the counsel, or our will.
35 I envy not their bliss, if he or she Think fit to live in perfect chastity ; Pure let them be, and free from taint of vice; I, for a few slight spots, am not so nice. Heav'n calls us diff'rent ways, on these bestows 40 One proper gift, another grants to those: Not ev'ry man's oblig'd to fell his store, And give up all his substance to the poor ;
Such as are perfect, may, I can't deny;
Full many a Saint, fince first the world began,
my good spouse pay tribute, do me right,
Presents fow'd in apace : with show'rs of gold,
Ye sov’reign wives ! give ear, and understand,
Forswear the fact, tho' seen with both his eyes,
Hark, old Sir Paul ! ('twas thus I us’d to fay)
80 Lord ! how you swell, and rage like any fiend ! But you reel home, a drunken beastly bear, Then preach till midnight in your eafy chair ; Cry, wives are false, and ev'ry woman evil, And give up all that's female to the devil. If
poor (you say) The drains her husband's purse; If rich, she keeps her prieft, or something worse; If highly born, intolerably vain, Vapours and pride by turns poffefs her brain, Now gayly mad, now sourly splenetic, Freakish when well, and fretful when she's fick, If fair, then chaste the cannot long abide, By presfing youth attack'd on ev'ry fide: If foul, her wealth the lusty lover lures, Or else her wit some fool-gallant procures, 95 Or else she dances with becoming grace, Or shape excuses the defects of face, There swims no goose so grey, but soon or late, She finds some honest gander for her mate.
Horses (thou say'ft) and affes, men may try,
"You tell me, to preserve your wife's good grace,
On Jenkin too you cast a squinting eye:
Why are thy chests all lock'd? on what design?