Sidor som bilder


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,
There was that thing call'd chastity on earth;
When in a parrow cave, their common shade,
The sheep, the fhepherds, and their gods were

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,
(Affected nymphs with new-affected names :)
The Cynthia's and the Lefbia's of our years, 10
Who for a fparrow's death diffolve in tears.

Ver. 1. In Saturn's reign,] In the Golden Age.

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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,
Or ftruggling from the teeming oaks to birth,
Or from what other atoms they begun,
No fires they had, or, if a fire, the fun.
Some thin remains of chastity appear'd,
Ev'n under Jove, but Jove without a beard;
Before the fervile Greeks had learnt to fwear
By heads of kings; while yet the bounteous

Her common fruits in open plains expos'd,
Ere thieves were fear'd, or gardens were in-

At length uneafy Juftice upwards flew,
And both the fifters to the ftars withdrew;

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,
So venerably ancient is the fin.
Adult'rers next invade the nuptial state,
And marriage-beds creak'd with a foreign

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?
They fay thy hair the curling art is taught,
The wedding-ring perhaps already bought:
A fober man like thee to change his life!
What fury would poffefs thee with a wife?
Art thou of every other death bereft,
No knife, no ratsbane, no kind halter left?
(For every noofe compar'd to her's is cheap)
Is there no city-bridge from whence to leap? 45
Would't thou become her drudge, who doft

A better fort of bedfellow, thy boy?

He keeps thee not awake with nightly brawls,
Nor with a begg'd reward thy pleasure palls;
Nor with infatiate heavings calls for more,
When all thy spirits were drain'd out before.
But ftill Urfidius courts the marriage-bait,
Longs for a fon to fettle his eftate,
And takes no gifts, though every gaping heir
Would gladly grease the rich old batchelor. 55



What revolution can appear fo ftrange,
As fuch a leacher, fuch a life to change?
A rank, notorious whoremafter, to choose
To thruft his neck into the marriage-noofe !
He who so often in a dreadful fright
Had in a coffer 'fcap'd the jealous cuckold's



That he, to wedlock dotingly betray'd,
Should hope in this lewd town to find a maid!
The man's grown mad: to ease his frantic pain,
Run for the furgeon; breathe the middle vein:
But let a heifer with gilt horns be led
To Juno, regent of the marriage-bed,
And let him every deity adore,


If his new bride prove not an errant whore
In head and tail, and every other pore. 70
On Ceres' feast, restrain'd from their delight,
Few matrons, there, but curfe the tedious night:
Few whom their fathers dare falute, fuch luft
Their kiffes have, and come with such a guft.
With ivy now adorn thy doors, and wed ;
Such is thy bride, and fuch thy genial bed.
Think'ft thou one man is for one woman meant?
She, fooner, with one eye would be content.

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.

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