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Thefe truths with his example you difprove, Who with his wife is monftrously in love: 206 But know him better; for I heard him fwear, "Tis not that she's his wife, but that he's fair. Let her but have three wrinkles in her face, Let her eyes leffen, and her skin unbrace, Soon you will hear the faucy steward fay, Pack up with all your trinkets, and away; You grow offenfive both at bed and board: Your betters must be had to please my lord.
Mean time she's abfolute upon the throne: And, knowing time is precious, lofes none: 216 She muft have flocks of fheep, with wool more fine
Than filk, and vineyards of the nobleft wine:
a wife who brings a large dowry may do what the pleafes, and has all the privileges of a widow.
Ver. 227. Berenice's ring] A ring of great price, which Herod Agrippa gave to his fifter Berenice. He was king of the Jews, but tributary to the Romans.
And infamously dear: a brother's bribe,
And think it only fin to feed on swine.
But is none worthy to be made a wife In all this town? Suppose her free from strife, Rich, fair, and fruitful, of unblemish'd life; 235 Chafte as the Sabines, whofe prevailing charms Difmifs'd their husbands', and their brothers'
Grant her, befides, of noble blood, that ran
Suppofe all these, and take a poet's word, 240
Some country-girl, fcarce to a curt'fey bred,>
Cornelia] Mother to the Gracchi, of the family of the Cornelii; from whence Scipio the African was defcended, who triumphed over Hannibal.
O Pæan, cries Amphion, bend thy bow 251 Against my wife, and let my children go :
But fullen Pæan fhoots at fons and mothers too.
His Niobe and all his boys he lost ;
Ev'n her who did her num'rous offspring boaft,
She still infults, and you must still adore; 260
Some faults, though fmall, intolerable grow;
Their fashion, breeding, language, must be Greek;
Ver. 251. O Paan, &c.] He alludes to the known fable of Niobe in Ovid. Amphion was her husband: Pæan is Apollo, who with his arrows killed her children, because the boasted that the was more fruitful than Latona, Apollo's mother.
Ver, 257. The thirty pigs &c.] He alludes to the white fow in Virgil, who farrowed thirty pigs.
Ver. 267. — the Grecian cant ?] Women then learnt Greek, as ours fpeak French.
But raw, in all that does to Rome belong, 270
They raise the dead, and mount him with a touch.
But all provocatives from thee are vain :
For though, perhaps, she loves with equal fires, To abfolute dominion she aspires;
Joys in the spoils, and triumphs o'er thy purfe;
Go drag that flave to death: Your reafon, why Should the poor innocent be doom'd to die? What proofs? For, when man's life is in debate,
The judge can ne'er too long deliberate.
Ver. 303. All the Romans, even the most inferior, and most infamous fort of them, had the power of making wills.
Ver. 308. Go drag that fave &c.] Thefe are the words of the wife.
Your reason, why &c.] The anfwer of the huf
Ver. 312. Call'st thou that fave a man?] The wife again.