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Where divers authors (whom the dev'l confound
For all their lies) were in one volume bound,
Valerius, whole; and of St. Jerome, part;
Chryfippus and Tertullian, Ovid's art, 360
Solomon's proverbs, Eloisa's loves;
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 vanquuh'd ? 'Twas a man, 365
But could we women write as scholars can,
Men should fand mark'd with far more wickedness,
Than all the fons of Adam could redress.
Love seldom haunts the breast where learning lies,
And Venus fets ere Mercury can rise. 370
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 Scriptures show) Brought her own spouse and all his race to woe. How Sanfon fell; and he whom Dejanire 381 Wrapp'd in th’ invenom'd shirt, and set on fire. How curs'd Eryphile her lord betray'd, And the dire ambush Clytæmnestra laid. 384 But what most pleas'd him was the Cretan Dame, And husband-bull----oh, monstrous! fie for shame!

He had by heart the whole detail of woe Xantippe made her good man undergo; How oft she scolded in a day, he knew, How many piss-pots on the fage fhe threw; 390

Who

Who took it patiently, and wip'd his head ;
“ Rain follows thunder,” that was all he said.

He read, how Arius to his friend complain’d,
A fatal tree was growing in his land,
On which three wives succeslively had twin'd 395
A sliding noofe, and waver'd in the wind.
Where grows this plant, (reply'd the friend,) oh
For better fruit did never orchard bear. [where?
Give me some slip of this most blissful tree,
And in my garden planted shall it be.

400 Then how two wives their lord's destruction

prove, Thro' hatred one, and one through 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 seiz'd his giddy head, 405 Frantic at night, and in the morning dead. How some with swords their sleeping lords have

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

frown'd: But when no end of these vile tales I found; When fill he read, and laugh'd, and read again, And half the night was thus consum'd in vain; Provok'd to vengeance, three large leaves I tóre, And with one buffet felld him on the floor. 416 With that my husband in a fury rose, And down he settled me with hearty blows. I groan'd, and lay, extended on my fide; Oh! thou hast llain me for my wealth, (I cry'd),

Yet

Yet I forgive thee----take my last embrace----
He wept, kind foul! and stoop'd to kiss my face;
I took him such a box as turn'd him blue,
Then figh’d, and cry'd, Adieu, my dear, adieu!

But after many a hearty struggle past, 425
I condescended to be pleas'd at last.
Soon as he said, My mistress and my wife,
Do what thou lift, the term of all your life :
I took to heart the merits of the cause,
And stood content to rule by wholesome laws; 430
Receiy'd the reins of absolute command,
With all the government of house and land,
And empire o'er his tongue, and o’er his hand.
As for the volume that revil'd the dames, 434
'Twas torn to fragments, and condemn’d to flames.
Now Heav'n on all my

husbands

gone,

bestow
Pleasures above, for tortures felt below:
That reft they wilh'd for, grant them in the grave,
And bless those fouls my conduct help'd to save!

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THE

FIRST BOOK

OF

STATIUS HIS THEBAIS.

Translated in the Year MDCCIII.

ARGUMENT. O

EDIPUS King of Thebes having by mistake

Alain his father Laius, and' married his mother Jocasta, put out his own eyes, and resigned the realm to his fons, Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the fury Tisiphone, to sow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at laft to reign singly, each a year by turns; and the first lot is obtained by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a council of the gods, declares his resolution of punishing the Thebans, and Argives also, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adraltus King of Argos. Juno opposes, but to no effect ; and Mercury is fent on a message to the shades, to the ghost of Laius, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement. Polynices in the mean time departs from Thebes by niglit, is overtaken by a storm, and arrives at Argos; where he meets with Týdeus, who had fied from Calydon, having killed his brother. A

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drastus entertains them, häving received an oracic from Apollo, that his daughters fhould be married to a boar and á lion, which he understands to be meant of these strangers by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, and who arrived at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that god. The rise of this folemnity he relates to his guests, the loves of Phæbus and Plamathe, and the story of Chorcebus. He inquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quality : The facrifice is renewed, and the book concludes with a hymn to Apollo.

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The transiator hopes he needs not apologize for bis choice of this piece, which was made almosi in his childhood. But finding the verhon better than be expected, be gave it fome correction a few years afterwards.

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