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to the argument of a satire, which is no way relating to them; and first observe, that my author makes their luft the most heroic of their vices : the rest are in a manner but digremon. He skims them over ; but he dwells on this: when he seems to have taken his last leave of it, on the sudden he returns to it: 'tis one branch of it in Hippia, ano ther in Messalina, but lust is the main body of the tree. He begins with this text in the first line, and takes it up with intermissions 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 secret crimes ; their arts to hide them; their wit to excuse them; and their impudence to own them, when they cun no longer be kept secret. Then the persons to whom they are most addicted, and on whom they com monly bestow the last favours: as stage-players, fidlers, singing-boys, and fencers. Those who pass for chaste amongst them, are not really so; but only for their vast dowries, are rather suffered, than loved by their own husbands. That they are imperious, domineering, scolding wives ; set 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 causes at the bar, and play prizes at the bear-garden. That they are gops and news-mongers : wrangle with their neighbours abroad, and beat their servants at home. That they lie-in for new faces once a month ; are sluttish 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 miscarrying, and barrenness. Buy children, and produce them for their own. Murder their husband's fons, if they stand in their way to 'his estate, and make their adulterers his heirs. From hence the poet proceeds to Mew the occasions of all these vices, their original, and how they were introduced in Rome, by peace, wealth, and luxury. In conclusion, if we will take the word of our malicious author, bad women are the general standing rule ; and the good, but some few erceptions to it.
In Saturn's reign, at Nature's early birth, There was that thing callid chastity on earth ; When in a parrow cave, their common shade, The sheep, the shepherds, and their gods were
laid: When reeds and leaves, and hides of beafts
were spread By mountain housewives for their homely
bed, And mofly pillows rais'd, for the rude huf
band's head. Unlike the niceness of our modern dames, (Affected nymphs with new-affected names :) The Cynthia's and the Lesbia's of our years, 10 Who for a sparrow's death diffolve in tears.
Ver. 1. In Saturn's reign,] In the Golden Age.
Those firit unpolislı'd matrons, big and bold,
And fat with acorns belch'd their windy food. 15 For when the world was buxom, fresh and
young, Her fons were undebauch'd, and therefore
strong : And whether born in kindly beds of earth, Or struggling from the teeming oaks to birth, Or from what other atoms they begun, No sires they had, or, if a fire, the sun. Some thin remains of chastity appear’d, Ev’n under Jove, but Jove without a beard ; Before the servile Greeks had learnt to swear By heads of kings; while yet the bounteous
year Her common fruits in open plains expos’d, Ere thieves were fear’d, or gardens were in
clos'd. At length uneasy Justice upwards flew, And both the fifters to the stars withdrew;
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.
Ver. 28. - uneasy Justice &c.] The poet makes Justice and Chastity filters, and says that they fled to heaven together, and left earth for ever.
From that old æra whoring did begin,
vide: Is this an age to buckle with a bride ? They say 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 pofless thee with a wife? Art thou of every other death bereft, No knife, no ratsbane, no kind halter left? (For every noose compar'd to her's is cheap) Is there no city-bridge from whence to leap? 45 Would'st thou become her drudge, who dost
enjoy 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 insatiate heavings calls for more, When all thy fpirits were drain’d out before. But still Ursidius courts the marriage-bait, Longs for a son to settle his estate, And takes no gifts, though every gaping heir Would gladly grease the rich old batchelor. 55
What revolution can appear so strange,
pore. 70 On Ceres' feast, restrain'd from their delight, Few matrons, there, but curse the tedious night: Few whom their fathers dare falute, such lust Their kiffes have, and come with such a guft. With ivy now adorn thy doors, and wed; 75 Such is thy bride, and such thy genial bed. Think'st thou one man is for one woman meant? She, sooner, with one eye would be content.
And yet, 'tis nois’d, a maid did once appear In some small village, though fame says not
Ver. 71. On Ceres' feast,] When the Roman women were forbidden to bed with their hulbands.