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Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine : Touch'd by thy hand again Rome's glories shine ; Her gods and godlike heroes rise to view And all her faded garlands bloom anew. Nor blush these studies thy regard engage ; These pleas'd the fathers' of poetic rage ; The verse and sculpture bore an equal part, And att reflected images to art.

Oh! when shall Britain, conscious of her claim, Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame? In living Medals see her wars enroll'd, And vanquish'd realms supply recording gold; Here, rising bold, the patriot's honest face, There warriors frowning in historic brass ; Then future ages with delight shall see How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree; Or in fair series laurell'd bards be shown, A Virgil there, and here an Addison : Then shall my Craggs (and let me call him mine) On the cast ote another Pollio shine ;

aspect open shall erect his head And round the orb in lasting notes be read, • Statesman, yet friend to truth!' of soul sincere,

In action faithful, and in honor clear; Who Broke no promise, serv’d no private end, Who gaind rio title, and who lost no friend ; • Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd, * And prais'd'uneřivy'd by the Muse he lov’d.'

With

HER PROLOGUE.

FROM CHAUCER.

Behold the woes of matrimonial life,
And hear with rev’rence an experienc'd Wife ;
To dear-bought Wisdom give the credit due,
And think for once a woman tells you true.
In all these trials I have borne a part;
I was myself the scourge that caus'd the smart;
For since fifteen in triumph have I led
Five captive husbands from the church to bed.

Christ saw a wedding once, the Scripture says, And saw but one, 'tis thought, in all his days; 10 Whence some infer, whose conscience is too nice, No pious Christian ought to marry

twice. But let them read, and solve me if they can, The words address'd to the Samaritan : Five times in lawful wedlock she was join'd, 15 And sure the certain stint was ne'er defin'd.

• Increase and multiply' was Heav'n's command, And that's a text I clearly understand. This too • Let men their sires and mothers leave, · And to their dearer wives for ever cleave.' 20 More wives than one by Solomon were try'd, Or else the wisest of mankind's bely'd. I've had myself full many a merry fit, And trust in Heav'n I may have many yet ;

For when my transitory spouse unkind, 25
Shall die and leave his woeful wife behind,
I'll take the next good Christian I can find.

Paul, knowing one could never serve our turn,
Declar'd 'twas better far to wed than burn.
There's danger in assembling fire and tow; 30
1

grant them that ; and what it means you know. The same apostle, too, has elsewhere own'd No precept for virginity he found : 'Tis but a counsel--and we women still Take which we like, the counsel or our will. 35

I envy not their bliss if he or she Think fit to live in perfect chastity : Pure let them be, and free from taint of vice; I for a few slight spots am not too nice. Heav'n calls us diff'rent ways, on these bestows 40 One proper gift, another grants to those ; Not ev'ry man's oblig'd to sell his store, And give up all his substance to the poor : Such as are perfect may, I can't deny ; But by your leaves, Divines ! so am not I.

Full many a saint, since first the world began, Liv'd an unspotted maid in spite of man: Let such (a God's name) with fine wheat be fed, And let us honest wives eat barley bread. For me, I'll keep the post assign'd by Heav'n, 59 And use the copious talent it has giv'n: Let

my good spouse pay tribute, do me right, And keep an equal reck’ning ev'ry night:

His proper body is not his but mine ;
For so said Paul, and Paul's a sound divine. 55

Know then, of those five husbands I have had,
Threc were just tolerable, two were bad.
The three were old, but rich, and fond beside,
And toild most piteously to please their bride ;
But since their wealth (the best they had) was mine,
The rest without much loss I could resign : 61
Sure to be lov'd I took no pains to please,
Yet had more pleasure far than they had ease.

Presents flow'd in apace: with show'rs of gold They made their court, like Jupiter of old : 65 If I but smil'd a sudden youth they found, And a new palsy seiz'd them when I frown'd.

Ye sov’reign Wives! give ear, and understand, Thus shall ye speak, and exercise command ; For never was it giv'n to mortal man To lie so boldly, as we women can : Forswear the fact, though seen with both his eyes, And call your maids to witness how he lies.

Hark, old Sir Paul! ('twas thus I us’d to say) Whence is our neighbor's wife so rich and gay? Treated, caress'd where'er she's pleas'd to roam to I sit in tatters, and immur'd at home. Why to her house dost thou so oft repair ? Art thou so am'rous ? and is she so fair? If I but see a cousin or a friend,

80 Lord ! how you swell and rage like any fiend ! But you reel home, a drunken beastly bear, Then preach till midnight in your easy chair

Cry Wives are false, and ev'ry woman evil,
And give up all that's female to the devil. 85

If poor (you say) she drains her husband's purse ;
If rich, she keeps her priest, or something worse ;
If highly born intolerably vain,
Vapors and pride by turns possess her brain ;
Now gaily mad, now sourly splenetic,

90 Freakish when well, and fretful when she's sick : If fair, then chaste she cannot long abide, By pressing youth attack'd on ev'ry side ; If foul, her wealth the lusty lover lures, Or else her wit some fool-gallant procures ;

95 Or else she dances with becoming grace, Or shape excuses the defects of face. There swims no goose so grey but soon or late She finds some honest gander for her mate.

Horses (thou say’st) and asses men may try, 100 And ring suspected vessels ere they buy ; But wives, a random choice, untry'd they take, They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake; Then, nor till then, the veil's remov'd away, And all the woman glares in open day. 105

You tell me to preserve your wife's good grace, Your eyes must always languish on my face, Your tongue with constant flatt'ries feed my ear, And tag each sentence with, my life!

dear! If by strange chance a modest blush be rais'd, 119 Be sure my fine complexion must be prais’d. My garments always must be new and gay, And feasts still kept upon my wedding-day.

my

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