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But all that score I paid -- as how? you'll say,
245 Fair to be seen, and rear'd of honest wood. A tomb indeed, with fewer sculptures grac'd, Than that Maufolus' pious widow plac'd, Or where infhrin'd the great Darius lay ; But coft on graves is merely thrown away.
250 The pit filld up, with turf we cover'd o'er; So bless the good inan's soul, I say no more. Now for
fifth lov'd Lord, the last and best ; (Kind heav'n afford him everlasting rest) Full hearty was his love, and I can shew
255 The tokens on my ribs in black and blue; Yet, with a knack, my heart he could have won, While
yet the smart was shooting in the bone. How quaint an appetite in women reigns ! Free gifts we scorn, and love what costs us pains : 260 Let men avoid us, and on them we leap ; A glutted market makes provision cheap.
In pure good-will I took this jovial spark, Of Oxford he, a most egregious clerk.
He boarded with a widow in the town,
my niece-and one more worthy wife,
It so befel, in holy time of Lent, That oft a day I to this goslip went; (My husband, thank my stars, was out of town) From house to house we rambled up and down, 280 This clerk, myself, and my good neighbour Alse, To see, be seen, to tell, and gather tales. Visits to ev'ry Church we daily paid, And march'd in ev'ry holy Masquerade, The Stations duly, and the Vigils kept ; 285 Not much we fafted, but scarce ever slept. At Sermons too I saone in scarlet gay ; The wafting moth ne'er spoil'd my best array ; The cause was this, I wore it ev'ry day.
'Twas when fresh May her early blossom yields, 29
I vow'd, I scarce could sleep since first I knew him,
30 Who bid me tell this lie and twenty more.
Thus day by day, and month by month we paft ;
he seem'd to be ;
But to my tale : A month scarce pass’d away,
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
voice on high; As true a rambler as I was before, And would be so, in spite of all he swore,
34® He, against this right fagely would advise, And old examples set before my eyes, Tell how the Roman matrons led their life, Of Gracchus' mother, and Duilius' wife; And close the fermon, as beseem'd his wit, 345 With some grave sentence out of Holy Writ. Oft would he say, who builds his house on sands, Pricks his blind horse across the fallow lands, Or lets his wife abroad with pilgrims roam, Deserves a fool's-cap and long ears at home. , 350 All this avail'd not ; for whoe'er he be That tells my faults, I hate him mortally : And so do numbers more, I'll boldly fay, Men, women, clergy, regular, and lay.
My spouse (who was, you know, to learning bred) A certain Treatise oft at ev'ning read,
356 Where divers Authors (whom the devil confound For all their lies) were in one volume bound. Valerius, whole ; and of St. Jerome, part; Chryfippus and Tertullian, Ovid's Art, Solomon's Proverbs, Eloïsa's Loves; And many more than sure the Church approves. More legends were there here of wicked wives, Than good, in all the Bible and Saints lives. Who drew the Lion vanquish'd ? 'Twas a Man. 365 But could we women write as scholars can, 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,
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 relih of delight, Then down they fit, and in their dotage write, That not one woman keeps her marriage vow. 375 (This by the way, but to my purpose now.)
It chanc'd my husband, on a winter's night, Read in this book, aloud, with strange delight, How the first female (as the Scriptures show) Brought her own spouse and all his race to woe.
380 How Sanson fell; and he whom Dejanire Wrap'd in th’envenom'd shirt, and set on fire. How curs'a Eryphile her lord betray'd, And the dire ambush Clytemnestra laid. But what most pleas'd him was the Cretan Dame, 385 And Husband-bull oh monstrous, fie for shame!
He had by heart the whole detail of woe
Ile read, how Arius to his friend complain’d,
400 Then how two wives their lords' destruction prove, Thro' hatred one, and one thro'ioo much love ;