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I vow'd, I scarce could fleep fince first I knew him, And durft be fworn he had bewitch'd me to him; If e'er I flept, I dream'd of him alone,

And dreams foretell, as learned men have shown:
All this I faid; but dream, firs, I had none :
I follow'd but my crafty Crony's lore, 305
Who bid me tell this lye---and twenty more.

Before my

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 dust,
And beat
my breasts, as wretched widows---must.
face my handkerchief I spread, 311
To hide the flood of tears I did---not fhed.
The good man's coffin to the Church was born;
Around, the neighbours, and my clerk too mourn.
But as he march'd, good Gods! he show'd a pair
Of legs and feet, fo clean, fo ftrong, so fair! 316
Of twenty winters age he seem'd to be;

I (to fay truth) was twenty more than he;
But vig'rous still, a lively buxom dame ;
And had a wond'rous gift to quench a flame. 329
A Conj'rer once, that deeply could divine,
Affur'd me, Mars in Taurus was my fign,

As the ftars order'd, fuch my life has been:

Alas, alas, that ever love was fin!

Fair Venus gave me fire, and sprightly grace, 325
And Mars affurance, and a dauntless face.
By virtue of this pow'rful conftellation,

I follow'd always my own inclination.

But to my tale: A month scarce pass'd away, With dance and fong we kept the nuptial day. 330 All I poffefs'd I gave to his command,

My goods and chattels, money, house, and land: But oft repented, and repent it still;

He prov'd a rebel to my fov'reign will:

Nay once by heav'n he ftruck me on the face; 335
Hear but the fact, and judge yourselves the cafe.
Stubborn as any Lionefs was I;

And knew full well to raise my voice on high;
As true a rambler as I was before,

And would be fo, in spite of all he swore. 340
He, against this right fagely would advise,
And old examples fet before my eyes,

Tell how the Roman matrons led their life,
Of Gracchus' mother, and Duilius' wife;
And chose the fermon, as befeem'd his wit, 345
With fome grave sentence out of holy writ

Oft would he fay, who builds his houfe on fands,
Pricks his blind horse across the fallow lands,
Or lets his wife abroad with pilgrims roam,
Deferves a fool's-cap and long ears at home. 350
All this avail'd not; for whoe'er he be
That tells my faults, I hate him mortally:
And so do numbers more, I'll boldly fay,
Men, women, clergy, regular, and lay.

My spouse (who was, you know, to learning bred) A certain treatise oft at ev'ning read, 356 Where divers Authors (whom the dev'l confound For all their lyes) were in one volume bound. Valerius, whole: and of St. Jerome part;

Chryfippus and Tertullian, Ovid's Art,

Solomon's proverbs, Eloïfa's loyes;

369

And many more than fure the Church approves,
More legends were there here, of wicked wives,
Than good, in all the Bible and Saints-lives.
Who drew the Lion vanquish'd? 'Twas a Man.
But could we women write as scholars can, 366
Men should stand mark'd with far more wickedness,
Than all the fons of Adam could redress.
Love feldom haunts the breaft where learning lies,
And Venus fets ere Mercury can rise.

270

Those play the scholars who can't play the men,
And use that weapon which they have, their pen
When old, and past the relish of delight,
Then down they fit, and in their dotage write,
That not one woman keeps her marriage vow. 375
(This by the way, but to my purpose now.)

It chanc'd my husband, on a winter's night, Read in this book, aloud, with strange delight, How the first female (as the fcriptures fhow) Brought her own spouse and all his race to woe. How Samfon fell; and he whom Dejanire 381 Wrap'd in th' envemon'd shirt, and set on fire. How curs'd Eryphile her lord betray'd,

And the dire ambust Clytemnestra laid.

But what most pleas'd him was the Cretan dame,
And husband-bull---oh monftrous, fie for fhame!
He had by heart, the whole detail of woe
Xantippe made her good man undergo;
How oft fhe fcolded in a day, he knew,
How many pifs-pots on the fage fhe threw; 390
Who took it patiently, and wip'd his head;
Rain follows thunder, that was all he faid.
He read, how Arius to his friend complain'd,

A fatal Tree was growing in his land,

On which three wives fucceffively had twin'd 395 A fliding noose, and waver'd in the wind.

Where grows this plant (reply'd the friend) oh

where?

For better fruit did never orchard bear.

Give me fome flip of this moft blissful tree,
And in my garden planted fhall it be.

400

Then how two wives their lord's deftruction prove Thro' hatred one, and one thro' too much love; That for her husband mix'd a pois'nous draught, And this for luft an am'rous philtre bought : The nimble juice foon feiz'd his giddy head, 405 Frantic at night, and in the morning dead.

How some with swords their fleeping lords have flain,

And fome have hammer'd nails into their brain, And fome have drench'd them with a deadly potion; All this he read, and read with great devotion. 410 Long time I heard, and fwell'd, and blush'd, and frown'd;

But when no end of thefe vile tales I found, When still he read, and laugh'd, and read again, And half the night was thus confum'd in vain; Provok'd to vengeance,three large leaves I tore, 415 And with one buffet fell'd him on the floor.

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