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I've had myself full many a merry fit; And truft in Heav'n I may have many yet. For when my tranfitory fpoufe, unkind, Shall die, and leave his woeful wife behind, I'll take the next good Christian I can find. 21 Paul, knowing one could never ferve 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 apoftle 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 blifs, if he or she Think fit to live in perfect chastity; Pure let them be, and free from taint or vice; I, for a few flight fpots, 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 fubftance to the poor; Such as are perfect, may, I can't deny; But, by your leaves, divines, fo am not I.
Full many a faint, 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, 50 And ufe 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 most piteously to please their bride :. But fince their wealth (the best they had) was mine, The reft, without much lofs, I could refign. 61 Sure to be lov'd, I took no pains to please, Yet had more pleasure far than they had ease. Prefents flow'd in a-pace: with fhow'rs of gold They made their court, like Jupiter of old, 65 If I but fmil'd, a fudden youth they found, And a new palfey feiz'd them when I frown'd.
Ye fov'reign wives! give ear, and understand, Thus fhall ye fpeak, and exercise command. For never was it giv'n to mortal man, To lie fo boldly as we women can: Forfwear the fact, though 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 so rich and gay ? Treated, carefs'd, where'er fhe'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 so am'rous? and is the so fair? If I but fee a coufin or a friend, Lord! how you fwell, and rage like any fiend! But you reel home, a drunken beaftly bear, Then preach till midnight in your eafy chair; Cry, wives are falfe, and ev'ry woman evil, And give up all that's female to the devil,
If poor, (you fay,) fhe drains her husband's purfe; If rich, the keeps her prieft, or fomething worfe; If highly born, intolerably vain, Vapours and pride by turns poffefs her brain,
Now gaily mad, now fourly fplenetic,
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, 126 Have goods and body to yourfelf alone. One you fhall quit, in fpite of both your eyes---I heed not, I, the bolts, the locks, the fpies. If you had wit, you'd fay, "Go where you will, "Dear spouse, I credit not the tales they tell: "Take all the freedoms of a marry'd life; "I know thee for a virtuous, faithful wife." Lord! when you have enough, what need you
How merrily foever others fare?
There's danger too, you think, in rich array,
Lo thus, my friends, I wrought to my defires These three right ancient venerable fires. I told 'em, Thus you fay, and thus you do, 150 And told 'em falfe, but Jenkin fwore 'twas true. I, like a deg, could bite as well as whine, And first complain'd, whene'er the guilt was mine. I tax'd the m oft with wenching and amours, When their weak legs fcarce dragg'd 'em out of
And swore, the rambles that I took by night,
Approach, my spouse, and let me kiss thy cheek; "Thou shouldft be always thus, refign'd and meek! "Of Job's great patience fince fo oft you preach, "Well fhould you practise, who fo well can teach. " "Tis difficult to do, I must allow, "But I, my dearest, will instruct you. how.