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I tore my gown, I soild my locks with dust,
face my handkerchief I spread, 311 To hide the flood of tears I did not shed. The good man's coffin to the Church was borne; Around, the neighbours, and my clerk, to mourn. But as he march’d, good Gods ! he shew'd a pair Of legs and feet, so clean, so strong, so fair! 316 Of twenty winters?
he seem'd to be ; I (to say truth) was twenty more than he ; But vig’rous still, a lively buxom dame; And had a wondrous gift to quench a flame. 320 A Conj’ror once, that deeply could divine, Assur'd me, Mars in Taurus was my sign. As the stars order'd, such my life has been : Alas, alas, that ever love was sin ! Fair Venus gave me fire, and sprightly grace, 325 And Mars assurance, and a dauntless face. By virtue of this pow'rful constellation, I follow'd always my own inclination.
But to my tale : A month scarce pass'd away, With dance and song we kept the nuptial day. 330 All I possess'd I gave to his command, My goods and chattels, money, house, and land: But oft repented, and repent it still; He prov'd a rebel to my sov’reign will : Nay once, by Heav'n, he struck me on the face; 335 Hear but the fact, and judge yourselves the case.
Stubborn as any Lioness was I ; And knew full well to raise my voice on high; As true a rambler as I was before, And would be so, in spite of all he swore. 340
He, against this right sagely would advise,
360 Solomon's Proverbs, Eloïsa's loves; And many more than sure the Church approves. More legends were then here, of wicked wives, Than good, in all the Bible and Saints-lives. Who drew the Lion vanquish’d? 'Twas a man. But could we women write as scholars can, 366 Men should stand mark'd with far more wickedness Than all the sons of Adam could redress. Love seldom haunts the breast where learning lies, And Venus sets ere Mercury can rise.
370 Those play the scholars who can't play the men, And use that weapon which they have, their pen;
When old, and past the relish of delight,
It chanc'd my husband, on a winter's night,
He had by heart the whole detail of woe Xantippe made her good man undergo ; How oft she scolded in a day, he knew, How many piss-pots on the sage she threw; 390 Who took it patiently, and wip'd his head; “ Rain follows thunder :" that was all he said.
He read, how Arius to his friend complain'd, A fatal Tree was growing in his land, On which three wives successively had twinn'd 395 A sliding noose, and waver'd in the wind.
this plant (reply'd the friend), oh where? For better fruit did never orchard bear. Give me some slip of this most blissful tree, And in my garden planted shall it be.
400 Then how two wives their lords' destruction prove, Through hatred one, and one through too much love; That for her husband mix'd a pois’nous draught, And this for lust an am'rous philter bought :
The nimble juice soon seiz'd his giddy head, 405
potion; All this he read, and read with great devotion. 410 Long time I heard, and swell’d, and blush'd, and
frown'd; But when no end of these vile tales I found, When still he read, and laugh’d, and read again, And half the night was thus consum'd in vain; Provok'd to vengeance, three large leaves I tore, And with one buffet fell’d him on the floor. 416 With that my husband in a fury rose, And down he settled me with hearty blows, I groan'd, and lay extended on my side; Oh! thou hast slain me for my wealth (I cry’d); Yet I forgive thee-take my last embrace- 421 He wept, kind soul ! and stoop'd to kiss my face; I took him such a box as turn'd him blue, Then sigh'd and cry'd, Adieu, my dear, adieu ! But after many a hearty struggle past,
425 I condescended to be pleas'd at last, Soon as he said, My mistress and my wife, Do what you list, the term of all your I took to heart the merits of the cause, And stood content to rule by wholesome laws; 430 Receiv'd the reins of absolute command, With all the government of house and land, And empire o'er his tongue, and o’er his handi
As for the volume that revil'd the dames, 434
Now Heav'n, on all my husbands
The lines of Pope, in the piece before us, are spirited and
yd. 2o8 B.G Chrysippus
and Tertullian, Ovid's Art, Solomon's Proverbs, Eloïsa's loves :
84. bebidas With many more than sure the Church approves." sig om 2160
Yclepid Valerie and Theophrast,
Ovid' is art, and bokis many a one."