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Forgetting house and husband, left behind
Ev'n children too; she sails before the wind;
False to 'em all, but constant to her kind.
But, ftranger yet, and harder to conceive,
She could the play-house and the players leave.
Born of rich parentage, and nicely bred,
She lodg’d on down, and in a damak bed ;
Yet daring now the dangers of the deep,
On a hard mattress is content to sleep.
Ere this, 'tis true, she did her fame expose :
But that, great ladies with great ease can lose.
The tender nymph could the rade ocean bear :
So much her lust was stronger than her fear.
But had some honeft cause her passage preft,
The smallest hardship had disturbid her breaft:
Each inconvenience makes their virtue cold;
But womankind, in ills, is ever bold.
Were she to follow her own lord to fea,
What doubts or scruples would she raife to stay?
Her stomach fick, and her head giddy grows ;
The car and pitch are nauseous to her nose.
But in love's voyage nothing can offend ;
Women are never sea-sick with a friend.
Amidst the crew, the walks upon the board ;
She eats, the drinks, she handles
But 'ewas his fencing did her fancy move :
'Tis arms and blood and cruelty they love.
But should he quit his trade; and theath his sword,
Her lover would begin to be her lord,
This was a private crime; but you shall hear
What fruits the sacred bows of monarchs bear:
The 8 good old fluggard but began to snore,
When from his fide up rose th’ imperial whore:
She who preferr'd the pleasures of the night
To pomps, that are but impotent delight:
Strode from the palace, with an eager pace,
with a more masculine embrace:
Muffled the march'd, luke Juno in a cloud,
Of all her train but one poor wench allow'd,
One whom in secret service she could trust;
The rival and companion of her luft.
'To the known brothel-house he takes her way ;
And for a nafty room gives double pay;
That room in which the rankest harlot lay.
Prepar'd for fight, expectingly she lies,
With heaving breasts and with defiring eyes.
Still as one drops, another takes his place,
And baffled ftill succeeds to like disgrace.
At length when friendly darkness is expir'd,
And ev'ry strumpet from her cell retird,
She lags behind, and ling'ring at the gate,
With a repining sigh submits to fate :
All filth without, and all a fire within,
Tir'd with the toil, unsated with the fin.
Old Cæsar's bed the modeft matron seeks ;
The fteam of lamps still hanging on her cheeks,
În ropy smut: thus foul, and thus bedight,
She brings him back the product of the night.
Now should I fing what poisons they provide ;
With all their trumpery of charms beside ;
8.He tells the famous fory of Meffalina, wife to the emperor Claudius. VOL. IV.
And all their arts of death : it would be known
Luft is the smallest fin the sex can own.
Cesennia ftill, they say, is guiltless found
Of ev'ry vice, by her own lord renown'd:
And well the may, the brought ten thousand pound.
She brought him wherewithal to be call'd chafte;
His tongue is ty'd in golden fetters faft:
He fighs, adores, and courts her ev'ry hour;
Who would not do as much for such a dower ?
She writes love-letters to the youth in grace ;
Nay, tips the wink before the cuckold's face;
And might do more; her portion makes it good;
Wealth 9 has the privilege of widowhood.
These truths with his example you disprove,
Who with his wife is monftrously in love:
But know him better; for I heard him swear,
'Tis not that she's his wife, but that she's fair,
Let her but have three wrinkles in her face,
Let her eyes lefen, and her kin unbrace,
Soon you will hear the faucy fteward say,
with all your trinkets, and away ; You grow offensive both at bed and board : Your betters must be had to pleafe my lord.
Mean time fhe's absolute upon the throne :
And knowing time is precious, lofes none :
She must have flocks of theep, with wool more ine
Than filk and vineyards of the nobleft wine :
Whole droves of pages
for her train the craves :
And sweeps the prisons for attending favęs.
In short, whatever in her eyes can come,
Or others have abroad, she wants at home.
When winter shuts the feas, and fleecy snowa
Make houses white, the to the merchant goes ;
Rich crystals of the rock she takes up there,
Huge agat vases, and old China ware:
Then : Berenice's ring her finger proves,
More precious made by her incestuous laves :
And infamously dear: a brother's bribe,
Ev'n God's anointed, and of Juda's tribe:
Where barefoot they approach the sacred shrine,
And think it only fin to feed on swine.
But is none worthy to be made a wife
In all this town? Suppofé her free from strife,
Rich, fair, and fruitful, of unblemish'd life;
Chafte as the Sabines, whofe prevailing charms
Dismiss'd their husbands, and their brothers arms:
Grant her, besides of noble blood, that ran
In ancient veins ere heraldry began :
Suppose all these, and take a poet's word,
A black swan is not half fo rare a bird.
A wife, so hung with virtues, fuch a freight,
What mortal fhoulders could fupport the weight!
Some country-girl, scarce to a curt'sey bred,
Would I much rather than 2 Cornelia wed:
If supercilious, haughty, proud, and vain,
She brought her father's triumphs in her train.
Away with all your Carthaginian state,
Let vanquish'd Hannibal without-doors wait,
Too burly and too big to pass my narrow gate.
O 3 Pæan, cries Amphion, bend thy bow Against my wife, and let
children But fullen Pæan shoots at sons and mothers too.
His Niobe and all his boys he loft ;
Ev'n her, who did her num'rous offspring boaft,
As fair and fruitful as the low that carry'd
The 4 thirty pigs at one large litter farrow'd.
What beauty or what chastity can bear
So great a price, if stately and severe
She still insults, and you must still adore ;
Grant that the honey's much, the gall is more.
Upbraided with the virtues she displays,
Seven hours in twelve, you loath the wife you praise:
Some faults, tho’ small, intolerable grow;
For what so nauseous and affected too,
As those that think they due perfection want,
Who have not learnt to lisp the 5 Grecian cant?
In Greece, their whole accomplishments they seek:
Their fashion, breeding, language, must be Greek:
But raw, in all that does to Rome belong,
They scorn to cultivate their mother-tongue.
In Greek they Aatter, all their fears they speak,
Tell all their secrets ; nay, they scold in Greek :
Ev'n in the feat of love, they use that tongue.
Such affectations may become the young;
But thou, old hag, of threescore years and three,
Is hewing of thy parts in Greek for thee?
Zwi xai fux! All those tender words
The momentary trembling bliss affords,
The kind soft murmurs of the private sheets
Are bawdy, while thou speak’t in public streets.
Those words have fingers ; and their force is such,
They raise the dead, and mount him with a touch.
But all provocatives from thee are vain :
No blandishment the flacken'd nerve can strain.
If then thy lawful spouse thou canst not love, What reason should thy mind to marriage move ? 4 He alludes to the white sow in Virgil, who
farrow'd thirty pigs. Ś Women then learnt Greek, as ours speak French.