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But she, your fex's mirour, free from pride, 'Tis better, sure, when blind, deceiv'd to be,
Then be deluded wben a man can see !
Was over-watch'd, for all bi hupiired 6.5: 505
Whio, wisely, tever thin's the case his own.
The dame at lait, by diligence and carc,
Procur'd the key her Knight was w" t to bear;
She took the wards in wax before the Gre, 510
And gave th' impre!Ton in the truthy Squire.
appear, His fpacious garden, made t7 yield to none,
Which, in due place and reason, you may hear. Was coinpaf;'d round with walls of folid itone ;
Well sung sweet Ovid, in the days of yore, Priapus could not half defcribe the grace 450 (Though God of gardens) of this charming place: What fright is that, which love will :not explore ? A place to tire the rambling wits of France
And Pyramus and Thibe plainly show
The feats true lovers, when they liit, can do : In long descriptions, and exceed Romance ;
Though watch'd and captive, yet in spite of all, Enough to frame the gentle!t bard that angs Oi puated meadows, and of purling springs. 455 They found the art of kissing through a wall. Full in the centre of the Howery ground,
But now no looger from our tale to trav;
It happ'd, that once upon a summer's day, A cryital fountain spread its streams around.
Our reverend Knight was urg'd to amorous The fruitfulbaoks with verdant laurels crown'd;
And thus his morning cauticle he lung.
Awake, my love, disclose thy radia vt cyes; While tuneful fprites a merry concert made,
Arise, my wife, my beauteous lady, rife! 526
Hear now the doves with penfiye not complai.., And airy music warbled through the shade.
And in fott murmus tell the trees their pain : Hither th: noble knight would oft repair, 465 The winter's patt; the clouds and tenpets t!r; (His scene of pleasure, and peculiar care) The sun adorns the fields, and brightens all the For this he hell it dear, and always borre
sky. The filver key tuant lock'd the garden-door. Fair without spot, whose every : a mini rart To this sweet p!ace, in summer's fultry heat. My bosom wounds, ad captivates my heart; He used from nnife and business to retreat; 470 Come, and in mutual pleasures let's engage, And here in di'lia co find the live-long day, Joy of my life, and comfort of
my age, " Solus cum icla," with his foricily May : This heard, to Damian Itraight a figa lhe mad, For what='er work was undircurg'd 2-hed, To late before ; the gentle Squire obey'd : 536 The duteous knight in this fair garden speu. Secret, and undefcry'i, he took his way, But, ah! what mortal lives of bliss recure?
And ambuli'd close behind an arbour lay. How short a space our worldly joys eodore! 476
It was not long ere january came, Fortune, fair, like all thy treacherous kind,
And hand in hand with him his lovely dime; 540 But faithless still, and wavering as the wind!
Blind as he was, not doubting all was fure, painted mnaiter, form'd mankind to cheat
He turn'd the key, and made the gate fecure. With pleafug poison, and with soft deceit! 430
Here let us walk, he said, observ'd by none, This rich, this amorous venerable knight,
Conscious of pleatures to the world unkon: Amida his cal-, his folace and delight,
So may my soul have joy, as thou, my wife, 545 Struck blind by thre, religns his days to grief,
Art far the dearest folace of my life; Aud calls death, the wretch's last relief.
Ad rather would I chyse, by Heaven above,
To die this inftant, than to lose thy love.
When unendow'd I took thee for my own, 550 His wife, no* fuffer'd iron his fide to ffray,
And fought no treasure but thy heart alone. Was captiv: kep; he watch'd hernight and day,
Old as I am, and now depriv'd of fight, Abridged her pleasures, and contin't her fway. Whilst thou art faithful to thy own true Knight, Full oft in tears did haples: May complain, 490 Nor age nor blind.vess rob ine oi delight. And gd fuil ot; but figlid and wept ia vaia: Each other lois with patience ! can bear, Ahelook'd on Da nian with a lover's eye;
The loss of thee is what I only fear, for, oh, "was fix'l, the nut po te'a or die! Coni'der then, my la:ls, and ry wie, Nor less iinpatience vex'd heranernus 3.7ire, The folid comforts of a virtuous liia, Wild with delay, and burning with clefire. 495 di, firit, the love of Christ himself you gain; Watch'd as the wis, yet could he rot re:rain By recret writing to di. close his pain :
Next, your own honour undetild maintain; 5.0
and laitly, that which sure your mind must The dame by ga revalid her hiaci intent,
move, Till both were conscious what each other meant.
My whole etate Thall gratify your love : Ah, gente Knight, what couli t'y eyes avail, Make your own term, and ere to-narrow's 12 Thougi th y coulú ice as far as fripsan sail? Displays his light, by Heaven, it hall, be done.
I seal the contract with a holy kiss,
565, While, on a bank reclin'd of rising green, 623 And will perform, by this my dear, and this Th s, with a rown, the kirg bespric his Queen. Have comfort, spouse, nor think thy Lord un 'Tis too apparent, argue w bat you can, biid;
The treachery you women use to man: 'Tis love, not jealousy, that fres my mind. A thoutand authors have this truth made out, For when thy charms my sober thoughts engage, And fad experience leaves no room for doubt.053 And joined to them my own unequal age, 570 Heaven ret thy spirit, relle ruon, From thy dear fde I have no power to part,
A wiser monarch never saw the . Such secret transports warm my melting heart. All wealth, all honours, the str. e degree For who, that once poffese'd those heavenly Cf earthly bliss, was well befi w'd on thee! charms,
For fagcly halt thru faid : Of all mankind, 635 Could live one momert absent from thy arms? Cre ouly juft and righteous hope to fod:
He ceas'd and May with modeft grace reply'd But 4 ouldit thou searchthe spacious world around, (Weak was her voice, as while the spoke the Yet one good woman is not to be found. cry'd):
Thus lays the King, who knew your wickedHeaven knows (with that a tender figh the drew) ness : I have a soul to save as well as you ;
The son of Sirach teftifies po less. And, what no less you to my charge commend, So may some wildfre on your bodies fall, My deareft bonour, will to death defend. 580 Or some devouring plague consume you all. To you in holy Church I gave my hand,
As well you vi w the leacher in the tree, And join'd my heart in wedlock': facred band : And well this honourable Knight you see : Yet, after this, if you distrul my care,
But fince he's blind and old (a helpless cale), Then hear, my Lord, and witness what I swear. His Squire 1 all cuckold bim before your face,
First may the yawning earth her bofom rend, Now, by my own dr ad majesty I swear, And let me hence to bell alive descend; 586 | And by this awful sceptre which I hear, Or die the death I dread no less than hell, No impious wretch Mall Picare unpurith'd lops, Sew'd in a sac", and plung'd in to a well; That in my presence offers such i wrong. Ere I my fame by one lewd act di grace,
I will this inftant undeceive the Knight, Or once renounce the honour of niy race : 590 And in the very al rettore his sght; For know, Sir Knight, of gentle blood I came; And set the strumpet here in oper view, I loath a whore, and fartle at the name.
A warning to these Ladies, a; d to you, But jealous men on their own crimes reflect, Aid all the faithless fex, for ever to be true, And learn from hence their ladies to suspect : And will you sn, reply'd the Queen, indeed? Elfe why the fe needless cautions, Sir, to me? 595 Now, by my mother's soul it is decreed, These doubt; and fears of female constancy! She fall rot want an answer at her reed. This chime ftill ring in every lady's ear,
For her, and for her daughters, I'll engage, The only it rain a wire must hope to hear. Ard all the fex in each fücceeding age ! 669
Thus while se spole, a ! delong glace the caft, Art it all be theirs, to varnish an oiler ce, Where Damian, kneeliig, worl ipp'd as the past. And fortify their crime with confdence. She saw him watch the motions of her eye, 601 Nay, were they talep in a strici embrace, And f:ngled out a pear-tree pla ted nigh: Seen with both eyes, and pivion'd on the place ; 'Twas charg'd with fruit that made a goodly now, All they fall need is to proteft and swear, 05 And hung with dargling pear; was every bough, Breathe a fost figh, and drop a tender tear; Thither th' obsequious Squire address’d his pace, Till their wi'c huftands, guld by arts lile thefe, And, climbing, in the furnit ton': his place; Grow gentle, tracłable, ard tame as ceele. The Knight and Lady walk'd bencath in view, What though this fanderous jew, this Solomor, Where let us leave them, and our tale pursue. Call'd won en tools, and krew full many, a one ; 'Twas now the season wh.n the glorious fun The wiser wits of later tinies declare,
61 His heavenly progress through the l'wins had run; How.conftant, chaste, and virtuous, women are: And ove, exalted, his mild in duence yields, Witress the martyrs, who re! go'd their breath, To glad the glebt, and paint the towery fields. Serene in tormenti, unconceru'd in death; (lear was the day, and Ph.zbus, rising bright, And witn fs next what Roman authors tell, 675 Had strea 'd the azure frmament with light; How Arria, Portia, and Lucretia feli. He pierc'd the glittering clouds with golden But, fnce the facred leaves to all are free, streams,
And men interpret texts, why dould not we? And warm’d the womb of earth with genialbcams. By this no more was meart, than to have showr, It so belel, in that fair morning-tide,
That sovereign goodness dwells in him alone The Fairies sported on the garde. -"d",
Who only in, and is but only Oue. And in the midst their Monarch and his bride. But grant the worft; mall, women then bu So featly trip;y'd the light-fcot ladies round, 6207 weigh'd The knights so nimbly o’er the greensword By every word that Solomon has said? bound,
What though this King (as anciert ftory boasts) That scarce they bent the flowers, or touch'd Buil a fair Temple to the Lord of Hofts; 685 the ground.
He ceas'd at last his Mater to adore, The dances ended, all the fairy train
And did as much for Idc) gods, or more For pinks and daisies search'd the lowery plain ;
Beware what lavish praises you confer
In that nice moment, lo! the wondering On a raak l'acher a'id idolater;
knight Whose reig i, indulgent God, says holy writ, Lonk'd out, and stond restord to sudden [ght. D.d but for David's righteous sake permit; Straight on the tree his cager eyes he bent, 750 David, the march atter Heaven's own mind, As one whose thoughts were on his fpoufe intent; Who lov'd our sex, ad mojour'd all our kind. But when he saw his bosom-wise so dress'd,
Well, I'm a Wona., and as such mutt speak; His-rage was such as cannot be express'd: Silence would swell me, and my heart would Not irautic mothers when their infants die, break,
With louder cla nours rend the vaulted sky: 755 Know then, I scorn your dull authorities, He cry'd, he roar'd, he storm'd, he tore his hair ; Your idile wits, and all their learned lics.
Death! hell! and furies! what doft thou do By Heaven, thöfe autors are our sex'i foes,
there? Whom, in our rigat, I mult a'd will oppose. What ail; my Lord ? the trembling dame reNay (quoth the King) d.ar Madam, be not ply'd ; wroth:
I thought your patience had been better try'd: 1 yield it up; but since I gave my oath, 700 Is this your love, ungrateful and unkind, 760 T'hat this much-insurlu kight again Nould see, This my reward for having cur'd the blind? It must be done-laa King, Tail he,
Why was I taught to ma'e my husband see, And one, whose faith in ever sacred been. By Itruggl ng with a Man upon a Tree? And to has mine (sne aid)-I am a Qreen:
Did I for this the power of magic prove? Her answer the thall hav?, I undertake; 706 Unhappy wite, whose criine was too inuch love! Al thug an end of all di pute I make.
If this be itruggling, by this holy light, 766 Try wi-n you list; and you shall ind, my Lord, 'Tis struggling with a vengeance (quoth the It is not in our sex to break our word.
Kigat): We leave them here in this h-roic ítrain, 710 So Heaven preserve the fight it has restor'd, A d to the Knight our story turns again; As with these eyes I plainly saw thee whor'd; Who in the garden, with his lovely May, Whord by my flave---perfidious wretch! may Sung merrier than the Cuckow or the Jay :
770 This was his song; ~ Oh kind and constant he, As surely seize thee, as I faw too well! * Conftant and kind I'll ever prove to thee.” Guard me, good Angels! cry'd the gentle Thus faging as he went, at lait he drew 716
May, By easy ftepi, to where the Pear-tree grew :,
Pray Heaven, this magic work the proper way! The longing dame look'il up, and spy'd her Love Alai, my love! 'tis certain, could you see, Full fairly perch'd among the boughs above. You ne'er had us'd these killing words to me: She stopp'i, and fighing: Oh good Gods! the So help me, Fates, as 'tis no perfet fight, cry'd,
But fome faint glimmering of a doubtful light. What
pangs, what sudden shoots, distend my What I have laid (quoth he) I must maintain, fide!
For by th' immortal powers it seem'd too plain O for that tempting fruit, so fresh, so green ;
By all those power3, fome frenzy seiz'd your Help, for the love of Heaven's immortal Queen!
mind Help, deurent Lord, and save at once the lite (Reply'd the dame): are there the thanks I find? Of thy poor infaat, and thy longing wife ! 725
Wretch that I am, that e'er I was so kind! Sore figh'd the Knight to hear his Lady's cry,
She said; a rising gh expresi'd her woe, But could not climb, and had no servant nigh:
The ready tears apace began to tlow, Old as he was, and void of eye-light too,
And, as they fell, the wip'd iron either eye 785 What could, alas! a helpless husband do?
The drops (for wome, when they litt, can cry). And must I langui n then, the faid, and die, 730
The Knight was couch'd, and in his looks apYet view the lovely fruit before my eye?
pear'd At lea't, kind Sir, for charity's sweet sake,
Signs of remorse, while thus his spouse he Vouchlafe the trunk between your arins to take ;
chwar'd: Then from your back I might aseerd the tree;
Madam, 'tis past, and my mort anger o’er; Do you but stoop, and leave the rest to me.
Come down, and vex your tender heart no more ; 735
Excuse me, dear, ir aught amiss was said, With all my soul, he thy reply'd again, For, on my foul, amerds shall foon be inacle: I'd spend my deareft bloou to ease thy pain. With that, his back againft the trunk he bent,
Let my repentance your forgiveness draw,
By Heaven), I swore but what I rhought I saw. She seiz'l a twig, and up the tree the went. Ah, my lov'd lord! 'twas much unkind (she
Now prove your patience, gentle ladies all ! Nor let on me your heavy anger fall;
On bare fufpicion tlus to treat your bride. Tis truth I tell, though not ia phrase refind;
But, till your 'ght's ettablith'l, for a while, Though bluot my tale, yet hone't is my mind.'
Imperfect objects may your sense beg a'z. What teats the Lidy in the Tree might do,
Thus when from fleep we first our eyes dirI pass, as gamboló never known to you ; 745
ply, But fure it was a merrier ft, the swore,
The balls are wounded with th: piercing ray, Thap in ber life ine ever felt before.
Aad dulky vapours riie, and intercept the day.
So, juft rceovering from the shades of night, Paul, knowing one could never ferit our turk Your twiinmisg eyes are drunk with sudden Declar' i 'twas better far to wed than burn. light,
There's danger iu assembling fre and tow; 30 Strange phantoms dance around, and kim be i grant them that, and what it means you know. fore your ght:
The fame apo:tle too has elsewhere own'd, Then, Sir, be cautious, nor too rahly deem; No precept :or Virginity he found : Heavea kriows how seldom things are what they 'Tis but a cougfelad we women ftill feem!
800 Take which we like, the counsel, or our will. 31 Consult your retou, and you soon Mall End I envy uct their bliss, if he crite 'Twas you wire jalous, not your wise unkind : Think fit to live in perfect chat its; Jovo ne'r 1 oke oracle more true than this, Pure let them be, and free from tuint of vice; Nore judge so wrong as thole who think amiss. 1, for a few light spots, am noi io nict.
With that the leap'd into her Lord's embrace, Heaven calls us difierent ways, on these bestors With well-wisembl,d virtue in her face.
One proper gilt, another grants to those : He hurg'd her close, adli d her o’cr aod o'er, Not every man's obliged to sell his store, Disturbid with doubts and jealout es no more : And give up all his fubitance to the poor; Both, plea:'d and bleisid, re.cw'd their mutual Such as are perfect may, I can't deny ; 815 But, by your leaves, Divines, so am not 1.
25 A fruit vie, and a believing spouse.
Full inany a Saint, fince first the world begart
For me, I'll keep the por algo'u by heaven, 50
His proper body is not his, but mine?
Know then, of those five huslards I have had HER PROLOGUE,
Three were just tolerable, two were bad.
The three were old, but rich and fond befde, FROM
Aud toil'd most piteously to please their bride :
But ince their wealth (the best they had) was CHAUCER.
The rest, without much loss, I could refiga, DEHOLD the woes of matrimonial life, Sure to be lov’d, ! took no pairs to please,
Presents How'd in apace: with ftowers of gold, To dear-bouglat wisdom give the credit due, They made their court, like Jupiter of old.
65 And think, for once, a woman tells you true. If I but smild a sudden youth they found, Iu all these trials I have bor. c a part,
5 And a new pally leiz'd then when I frown'd. I was myseli the scourge that caus'd the smart; Ye sovereign wives ! give eat and understand, lor, since fifteen ili triumph have I led
Thus it all ye speak, and exercile command, Five captive Hurta:ids from the Church to bed. For never was it given to inortal man, 70
Christ tow a wedding once, the Scripture says, To lie so boldly as we woinen cap : And !abut one, 'tis thought, in all his days; Forsw'ear the fact, though seen with both his Whence fome ijfer, whose conscience is too nice, eyes, No pious Chri fian ought to marry twice.
And call your maids to witness how he lies, But let them real, and folve me, if they can, Hark, old Sir Paul, ('twas thus I us'd to say) The words addrer'd to the Samaritan :
Whence is our neighbour's wite fo rich and gar? Five times in lawful wedlock she was join'd; 15 Treated, caress’d, where'er she's pleas'd to roamAnd iure the certain ftiat was ne'er defin'l. I fit in tatters, and immur'd at bone. “ Encr. ase and multiply," was Heaven's com. Why to her house dolotbou so oft repair? mand,
Art thou so amorous ? and is the fo lair? And that's a text I clearly understand,
If I but see a couho or a friend,
80 This tro, « Let men their fires and mothers Lord! bow you swell, and rage
But you reel bome, a drunken beastly beat, Hi and to their dearer wives for ever cleave.” 23 Then preach till midnight in your easy
chair; piore vires than one by Solomon were try'd, Cry, wives are false, and every woman evil, Or else the wiseft of mankind's hely'd..
And give up all that's female to the devil.
35 I've had myieli full many a merry fit ;
If poor (you fay) the craius her husband's purse ; and trust in heaven, I may have many yet, If rich, she keeps her priest, or fomething worse; For when my tranhtory spouse unkind, 25) If highly born, intolerably vain, Shall die, a:d leave his woeful wife behind, Vapours and pride by turas poniéfs her brain, 1 il talc the next good Chriftiau I can find,
Row gasly mad, now fourly fplenetic; 9oI told them, thus you say, and thus you do, 150
mnine. Or elie her wit some fool-gallant procures, 95 I tax'd them oft with wenching and amours, Or ele the dances with becoming grace,
When their weak legs scarce dragg'd them out of Or shape excuses the defects of face.
155 There swims no goose so grey, but, foon or late, And swore the rambles that I took by night, She finds some hone it gander for her mate. Were all to spy what damsels they bedigbt. Hories (thou fay'tt) aud alles men may try, 100
That colour brought me many hours of mirth; dzu ring lulpected veflels ere they buy :
For all this wit is given us from our birth.
160 But wives, a random choice, urtry'd they take ;
Heaven gave to women the peculiar grace,
To spin, to weep, and cully human race. They dreaın in courtship, but in wedlock wake : l'hen, ner till then, the veil's remov'd away,
By this nice conduct, and this prudent course, And all the woman glares in open day. 105
By murmuring, wheedling, stratagem, and force,
Titill prevail'd, and would be in the right, You tell me, to preserve your wiie's good grace, Or curtain-leciures made a refle 6 night. Your cyes must always languish on my face,
If once my hustand's arm was o'er my fide, Your toogue with conttast Hatteries feed my ear, What! fo familiar with your spouse? I cry'd : And tag cash sentence with, My life! my dear!
I levied firit a tax upon his need :
Theo let him--was a nicety indeed!
170 My garments always must be new and gay, Marry who will, our fex is to be sold, And fcasts itill kept upon my wedding-day. With empty hands no tassels you can lure, Then mut my nurle be pleas', and lavourite But fullome love for gain we can endure; maid;
For gold we love the impotent and old, und endless treats, and endless vists paid,
115 And heave, and pant, and kiss, and cling, for To a long train of kindred, friendi, allies.
175 Ail this thou say'ít, and all thou fay'it are lies. Yet with embraces, curses oft I mix'd,
On Jenkin too you caft a squinting eye : Then kisa'd again, and chid, and rail'd betwixt.
“ Billy, my dear, how theepithly you look!
“ Approach, my spouse, and let me kiss thy Why are thy chests all lock'd ? on what defign?
“ cheek; are not thy worldly goods and treasure mine?
“ Thou shouldd be always thus, resign'd and Sir, l'in Do fool; nor shall you, by St. John,
“ meek! have goods and body to yourself alone. Inc shall quit, in spite of both your eyes
“ Of Job's great patience fince so oft you preach, you I becd noi, I, the bolts, and Incks, and fpies.
“ Well mould you practise, who so well cia
“ teach. li you had wit, you 'd say, “Go where you will,
or 'Tis dificult to do, I must allow, " Dear spouse, I credit not the tales they tell :
“ Butl, my dearest, will inttruct you how, " Take all the freedoms of a inarried life;
« Great is the blefling of a prudent wife, "I know thee for a virtuous, faithful wife."
“ Who puts a period to domestic strife. Lord! when you have enough, what need you “ One of us two must rule, and one obey i
“ And ince in man right reason bears the fway, How merrily foever others fare?
135“ Let that frail thing, weak woman, have her Though all the day I give and take delight. Doubt not, fufficient will be left at nigbt.
“ The wives of all my family have rul'd 195 'Tis but a just and rational defre,
“ Their tender husbands, and their pasions To light a tape: at a neighbour's fire.
« cool'd. There 's danger too, you think, in rich array,
“ Fy, 'tis unmanly thus to high and groan ; And none can long be nove it that are gay. 141
is What! would you have me to yourself alone ? The Cat, if you but finge her tabby skin,
“ Why take me, Love! take all and every part ! The chimmey keeps, and Gts content within ; “ Here's your revenge ! you love it at your But once grown neek, will from her corner run,
“ heart, Sport with her tail, and wanton in the sun ; 145
« Would I vouchsafe to sell what nature gave, She licks her fair round face, and frisks abroad,
“ You little think what cufiom I could have. To few ler fur, and to be catterwaw'd. “ But see! I'm all your own-nay holch for
" thame ; Lo thus, my friends, I wrought to my desires
" What means my dear-indeed
you are ta These three right ancient vencrable fires,