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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."
More wives than one by Solomon were try`d,
Or elfe the wifeft of mankind's bely'd.
I've had myself full many a merry fit;
And truft in heav'n I may have many yet.
For when my tranfitory spouse, unkind,
Shall die, and leave his woeful wife behind,
I'll take the next good Chriftian I can find.

Paul, knowing one could never serve our turn,
Declar'd 'twas better far to wed than burn.
There's danger in affembling fire and tow;

I grant 'em that, and what it means you know.
The fame Apostle too has elsewhere own'd,
No precept for Virginity he found:





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Take which we like, the counfel, or our will.


I envy not their blifs, 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 flight fpots, am not so nice.

Heav'n calls us diff'rent ways, on these bestows


One proper gift, another grants to those:

Not ev'ry man's oblig'd to fell his ftore,
And give up all his fubftance to the poor;
Such as are perfect, may, I can't deny ;
But, by your leave, Divines, fo am not I.


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 use 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 fo faid Paul, and Paul's a found divine.

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 moft piteously to please their bride :
But fince their wealth (the best they had) was mine,
The reft, without much lofs, I could refign,
Sure to be lov'd, I took no pains to please,
Yet had more Pleasure far than they had Eafe.
Presents flow'd in apace: with show'rs of gold,
They made their court, like Jupiter of old.
If I but fmil'd, a fudden youth they found,
And a new palfy feiz'd them when I frown'd.

Ye fov'reign wives! give ear, and understand,

Thus fhall 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) Whence is our neighbour's wife fo rich and gay? 75 Treated, carefs'd, where'er she's pleas'd to roam

I fit in tatters, and immur'd at home.
Why to her house doft thou so oft repair?

Art thou fo am'rous? and is fhe fo fair?

If I but see a coufin or a friend,

any fiend?

Lord! how fwell,
and rage like
But you reel home, a drunken beaftly bear,

Then preach till midnight in your easy chair
Cry, wives are false, and ev'ry 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 fomething worse; If highly born, intolerably vain,

Vapours and pride by turns poffefs her brain,

Now gayly mad, now fourly splenetic,

Freakish when well, and fretful when she's fick.
If fair, then chafte fhe cannot long abide,
By preffing youth attack'd on ev'ry fide:
If foul, her wealth the lufty lover lures,
Or elfe her wit fome fool-gallant procures,
Or elfe she dances with becoming grace,
Or fhape excuses the defects of face.
There fwims no goofe fo grey, but, foon or late,
She finds fome honeft gander for her mate.
Horfes (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.




You tell me, to preserve your wife's good grace, Your eyes must always languish on my face, Your tongue with conftant flatt'ries feed my ear, And tag each sentence with, My life! my dear! If by ftrange chance, a modeft blush be rais'd, Befure my fine complexion must be prais'd. My garments always must be new and gay, And feafts ftill kept upon my wedding-day, Then muft my nurfe be pleas'd, and fav'rite maid; And endless treats, and endless vifits paid, To a long train of kindred, friends, allies; All this thou fay'ft, and all thou fay'ft are lyes. On Jenkin too you caft a fquinting eye: What! can your 'prentice raise your jealousy ? Fresh are his ruddy cheeks, his forehead fair, 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 defign? Are not thy worldly goods and treasure mine? Sir, I'm no fool: nor fhall you, by St. John, Have goods and body to yourself alone. One you shall quit, in spite of both your eyes I heed not, I, the bolts, the locks, the fpies.



you care

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 married life; "I know thee for a virtuous, faithful wife." Lord! when you have enough, what need How merrily foever others fare? Tho' all the day I give and take delight, Doubt not, fufficient will be left at night. 'Tis but a juft and rational defire, To light a taper at a neighbour's fire.


There's danger too, you think, in rich array, 140 And none can long be modest that are gay. The Cat, if you but finge her tabby skin, The chimney keeps, and fit content within; But once grown fleek, will from her corner run, Sport with her tail, and wanton in the fun; She licks her fair round face, and frisks abroad, To fhew her furr, and to be catterwaw'd.

Lo thus, my friends, I wrought to my defires These three right ancient venerable fires.

I told 'em, Thus you fay, and thus you


I 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; And swore the rambles that I took by night,

Were all to fpy what damfels they bedight.


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