« FöregåendeFortsätt »
to the argument of a fatire, which is no way relating to them; and firft obferve, that my author makes their luft the most heroic of their vices: the reft are in a manner but digreffion. He kims them over; but he dwells on this: when he feems to have taken his laft leave of it, on the fudden he returns to it: 'tis one branch of it in Hippia, ano ther in Meffalina, but luft is the main body of the He begins with this text in the first line, and takes it up with intermiffions to the end of the chapter. Every vice is a loader, but that's a ten. The fillers, or intermediate parts, are their revenge; their contrivances of fecret crimes; their arts to hide them; their wit to excufe them; and their impudence to own them, when they can no longer be kept fecret. Then the perfons to whom they are most addicted, and on whom they com monly beftow the last favours: as ftage-players, fidlers, finging-boys, and fencers. Those who pass for chafte amongst them, are not really fo; but only for their vaft dowries, are rather fuffered, than loved by their own hufbands. That they are imperious, domineering, fcolding wives; fet up for learning and criticism in poetry, but are false judges. Love to speak Greek, (which was then the fashionable tongue, as French is now with us.) That they plead caufes at the bar, and play prizes at the bear-garden. That they are gofhips and news-mongers: wrangle with their neighbours abroad, and beat their fervants at home. That they lie-in for new faces once a month; are fluttish with their husbands in private; and paint and dress
in public for their lovers. That they deal with Jews, diviners, and fortune-tellers: learn the arts of mifcarrying, and barrenness. Buy children, and produce them for their own. Murder their husband's fons, if they stand in their way to his eftate, and make their adulterers his heirs. From hence the poet proceeds to fhew the occafions of all thefe vices, their original, and how they were introduced in Rome, by peace, wealth, and luxury. In conclufion, if we will take the word of our malicious author, bad women are the general standing rule; and the good, but fome few exceptions to it.
IN Saturn's reign, at Nature's early birth,
When reeds and leaves, and hides of beaftswere spread
By mountain housewives for their homely bed,
And moffy pillows rais'd, for the rude hufband's head.
Unlike the nicenefs of our modern dames,
Ver. 1. In Saturn's reign,] In the Golden Age.
Thofe first unpolifh'd matrons, big and bold, Gave fuck to infants of gigantic mold;
Rough as their favage lords who rang'd the wood,
And fat with acorns belch'd their windy food. 15 For when the world was buxom, fresh and
Her fons were undebauch'd, and therefore ftrong :
And whether born in kindly beds of earth,
Her common fruits in open plains expos'd,
At length uneafy Juftice upwards flew,
Ver. 28. uneafy Justice &c.] and Chastity fifters, and fays that they and left earth for ever.
Ver. 15. And fat with acorns] Acorns were the bread of mankind, before corn was found.
Ver. 23. Ev'n under Jove,] When Jove had driven his father into banishment, the Silver Age began, according to the poets.
The poet makes Justice fled to heaven together,
From that old æra whoring did begin,
All other ills did iron times adorn;
But whores and filver in one age were born. 35 Yet thou, they say, for marriage doft provide:
Is this an age to buckle with a bride?
A better fort of bedfellow, thy boy?
He keeps thee not awake with nightly brawls,
What revolution can appear fo ftrange,
That he, to wedlock dotingly betray'd,
If his new bride prove not an errant whore
And yet, 'tis nois'd, a maid did once appear In fome small village, though fame says not where:
Ver. 71. On Ceres' feaft,] When the Roman women were forbidden to bed with their husbands.