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You tell me, to preserve your wife's good grace, Your eyes must always languish on my face, Your tongue with constant flatteries feed my


And tag each sentence with My life! my dear!
If by strange chance a modest blush be rais'd,
Be sure my fine complexion must be prais'd.
My garments always must be new and gay,
And feasts still kept upon my wedding day.
Then must my nurse be pleas'd, and favourite

And endless treats and endless visits paid
To a long train of kindred, friends, allies:
All this thou say'st, and all thou say'st are lies.
On Jenkin, too, you cast a squinting 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 sorrow,
I'd scorn your 'prentice should you die to-morrow.

Why are thy chests all lock'd? on what design? Are not thy worldly goods and treasure mine? Sir, I'm no fool; nor shall 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 spies. If you had wit, you'd say, 'Go where you will, 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 you How merrily soever others fare? Though all the day I give and take delight, Doubt not sufficient will be left at night. 'Tis but a just and rational desire To light a taper at a neighbour's fire.) There's danger too, you think, in rich array, And none can long be modest that are gay. The cat, if you but singe her tabby skin, The chimney keeps, and sits content within : But once grown sleek, will from her corner run, Sport with her tail, and wanton in the sun : She licks her fair round face, and frisks abroad To show her fur, and to be catterwaw❜d.

Lo thus, my friends, I wrought to my desires These three right ancient venerable sires. I told them, Thus you say, and thus you do; And told them false, but Jenkin swore '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 scarce dragg'd them out of doors;

And swore the rambles that I took by night
Were all to spy what damsels they bedight:
That colour brought me many hours of mirth;
For all this wit is given us from our birth.
Heaven gave to woman the peculiar grace
To spin, to weep, and cully human race.

By this nice conduct and this prudent course,
By murmuring, wheedling, stratagem, and force,
I still prevail'd, and would be in the right;
Or curtain lectures made a restless night.
If once my husband's arm was o'er my side,


What! so familiar with your spouse?' I cried: I levied first a tax upon his need; Then let him-'twas a nicety indeed!

Let all mankind this certain maxim hold;
Marry who will, our sex is to be sold.
With empty hands no tassels you can lure,
But fulsome love for gain we can endure;
For gold we love the impotent and old,
And heave, and pant, and kiss, and cling, for

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Yet with embraces curses oft I mix'd,
Then kiss'd again, and chid, and rail'd betwixt.
Well, I may make my will in peace, and die,
For not one word in man's arrears am I.
To drop a dear dispute I was unable,
E'en though the Pope himself had sat at table;
But when my point was gain'd, then thus I spoke:

Billy, my dear, how sheepishly you look!
Approach, my spouse, and let me kiss thy cheek;
Thou shouldst be always thus resign'd and meek
Of Job's great patience since so oft you preach,
Well should you practise who so well can teach.
'Tis difficult to do, I must allow,
But I, my dearest! will instruct

you how.

Great is the blessing of a prudent wife,
Who puts a period to domestic strife.
One of us two must rule, and one obey;
And since in man right reason bears the sway,
Let that frail thing, weak woman, have her way.
The wives of all my family have rul'd

Their tender husbands, and their passions cool'd.
Fye! 'tis unmanly thus to sigh and groan :
What! would you have me to yourself alone?
Why, take me, love! take all and every part!
Here's your revenge! you love it at your heart.
Would I vouchsafe to sell what nature gave,
You little think what custom I could have.
But see! I'm all your own-nay hold-for shame!
What means my dear?-indeed—you are to

Thus with my first three lords I pass'd my life, A very woman and a very wife.

What sums from these old spouses I could raise
Procur'd young husbands in my riper days.
Though past my bloom, not yet decay'd was I,
Wanton and wild, and chatter'd like a pie.
In country dances still I bore the bell,
sung as sweet as evening Philomel.
To clear my quail pipe, and refresh my soul,
Full oft I drain'd the spicy nut-brown bowl;
Rich luscious wines, that youthful blood improve,
And warm the swelling veins to feats of love :
For 'tis as sure as cold engenders hail,
A liquorish mouth must have a lecherous tail:

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Wine lets no lover unrewarded go,

As all true gamesters by experience know. But oh, good gods! whene'er a thought I cast = On all the joys of youth and beauty past, To find in pleasures I have had my part, Still warms me to the bottom of my heart. This wicked world was once my dear delight; Now all my conquests, all my charms, good night! The flour consum'd, the best that now I can Is e'en to make my market of the bran.

My fourth dear spouse was not exceeding true; He kept, 'twas thought, a private miss or two: But all that score I paid-As how? you'll say, Not with my body, in a filthy way;

But I so dress'd, and danc'd, and drank, and din'd, And view'd a friend with eyes so very kind, As stung his heart, and made his marrow fry, With burning rage and frantic jealousy. P His soul, I hope, enjoys eternal glory, For here on earth I was his purgatory. Oft, when his shoe the most severely wrung, He put on careless airs, and sat and sung. How sore I gall'd him only heaven could know, And he that felt, and I that caus'd the woe: He died when last from pilgrimage I came, With other gossips, from Jerusalem ; And now lies buried underneath a rood, Fair to be seen, and rear'd of honest wood: A tomb, indeed, with fewer sculptures grac'd Than that Mausolus' pious widow plac'd,



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