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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

.

210

Than filk, and vineyards of the nobleft wine:
Whole droves of pages for her train fhe craves:
And fweeps the prifons for attending flaves. 220
In fhort, whatever in her eyes can come,
Or others have abroad, the wants at home.
When winter fhuts the feas, and fleecy fnows
Make houfes white, fhe to the merchant goes;
Rich crystals of the rock she takes up there, 225
Huge agat vafes, and old China ware:
Then Berenice's ring her finger proves,
More precious made by her incestuous loves:

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.

VOL. IV.

Z

And infamously dear: a brother's bribe,
Ev'n God's anointed, and of Judah's tribe: 230
Where barefoot they approach the facred
fhrine,

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'

arms:

Grant her, befides, of noble blood, that ran
In ancient veins ere heraldry began:

Suppofe all these, and take a poet's word, 240
A black fwan is not half fo rare a bird.
A wife, fo hung with virtues, fuch a freight,
What mortal fhoulders could support the
weight!

Some country-girl, fcarce to a curt'fey bred,>
Would I much rather than Cornelia wed: 245
If fupercilious, 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.

Ver. 245.

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,
As fair and fruitful as the fow that carry'd 256
The thirty pigs at one large litter farrow'd.
What beauty or what chastity can bear
So great a price? if ftately and fevere

She still infults, and you must still adore; 260
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 :

265

Some faults, though fmall, intolerable grow;
For what fo naufeous and affected too,
As thofe that think they due perfection want,
Who have not learnt to lifp the Grecian cant?
In Greece, their whole accomplishments they
feek:

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 fcorn to cultivate their mother tongue.
In Greek they flatter, all their fears they speak,
Tell all their fecrets; nay, they scold in Greek:
Ev'n in the feat of love, they use that tongue.
Such affectations may become the young; 275
But thou, old hag, of threefcore years and three,
Is fhewing of thy parts in Greek for thee?
Ζωὴ καὶ ψυχὴ! All thofe tender words
The momentary trembling blifs affords,
The kind foft murmurs of the private sheets, 280
Are bawdy, while thou fpeak'ft in public streets.
Those words have fingers; and their force is
fuch,

They raise the dead, and mount him with a touch.

284

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?
Why all the charges of the nuptial feast,
Wine and deferts, and fweet-meats to digeft?
Th' endowing gold that buys the dear delight,
Giv'n for their firft and only happy night? 291
If thou art thus uxoriously inclin'd,
To bear thy bondage with a willing mind,
Prepare thy neck, and put it in the yoke :
But for no mercy from thy woman look.

295

For though, perhaps, she loves with equal fires, To abfolute dominion she aspires;

Joys in the spoils, and triumphs o'er thy purfe;
The better husband makes the wife the worse.
Nothing is thine to give, or fell, or buy, 300
All offices of ancient friendship die;
Nor haft thou leave to make a legacy.
By thy imperious wife thou art bereft
A privilege, to pimps and panders left;
Thy teftament's her will; where the prefers
Her ruffians, drudges, and adulterers,
Adopting all thy rivals for thy heirs.

306

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,

310

The judge can ne'er too long deliberate.
Call'st thou that flave a man? the wife replies:
Prov'd, or unprov'd, the crime, the villain dies.
I have the fovereign pow'r to fave or kill;
And give no other reason but my will.

315

Ibid.

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

band.

Ver. 312. Call'st thou that fave a man?] The wife again.

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