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Indulge the vigour of your mounting blood,
And let grey fools be indolently good,
Wlio, past all pleasure, damn the joys of fense,
With reverend dulness, and grave impotence. 175

Justin, who silent fat, and heard the man,
Thus, with a philofophic frown, began.

A heathen author of the first degree, (Who, though not Faith, had Sense as well as we) Bids us be certain our concerns to trust

180 To those of generous principles, and just. The venture 's greater, I'll presume to say, To give your person, than your goods away : And therefore, Sir, as you regard your rest, First learn your lady's qualities at least

185 Whether she's chaste or rampant, proud or civil, Meek as a saint, or haughty as the devil ; Whether an easy, fond, familiar fool, Or such a wit as no man e'er can rule: 'Tis true, perfection none must hope to find 190 In all this world, much less in womankind; But, if her virtues prove the larger share, Bless the kind fates, and think


fortune rare. Ah, gentle Sir, take warning of a friend, Who knows too well the state you thus commend; 195 And; spite of all his praises, must declare, All he can find is bondage, cost, and care. Heaven knows, I shed full many a private tear, And sigh in filence, lest the world should hear ! While all my friends applaud my blissful life, And swear no mortal's happier in a wife;




Demure and chaste as any vestal Nun,
The meekeft creature that beholds the fun!
But, by th' immortal powers, I feel the pain,
And he that smarts has reason to complain.

Do what you lift, for me; you must be sage,
And cautious sure ; for wisdom is in age :
But at these years, to venture on the fair ;
By him who made the ocean, earth, and air,
To please a wife, when her occasions call,
Would busy the most vigorous of us all.
And trust me, Sir, the chastest you can chuse
Will ask observance, and exact her dues.
If what I speak my noble Lord offend,
My tedious sermon here is at an end.

'Tis well, 'tis wondrous well, the Knight replies, Most worthy kinsman, faith you're mighty wise! We, Sirs, are fools; and must resign the cause To heathenish authors, proverbs, and old faws. He spoke with fcorn, and turn d another way : What does my friend, my dear Placebo, fay?

I say, quoth he, by heaven the man 's to blame, To flander wives, and wedlock's holy name.

At this the council rose, without delay;
Each, in his own opinion, went his way; 225
With full confent, that, all disputes appeas'd,
The knight should marry, when and where he pleas'd.

Who now but January exults with joy?
The charms of wedlock all his soul endploy ;
Each nymph by turns his wavering mind poffeft,
And reign'd the short-liv'd tyrant of his breast;




While fancy pictur'd every lively part,
And each bright image wander'd o'er his heart.
Thus, in some public Forum fix'd on high,
A Mirrour shows the figures moving by ;

Still one by one, in swift succession, pass
The gliding shadows o'er the polith'd glass.
This Lady's charms the nicest could not blame,
But vile suspicions had aspers’d her fame ;
That was with senfe, but not with virtue, bleft;
And one had grace, that wanted all the rest.
Thus doubting long what nymph he should obey,
He fixt at last upon the youthful May.
Her faults he knew not, Love is always blind,
But every charm revolv'd within his mind: 245
Her tender age, her form divinely fair,
Her easy motion, her attractive air,
Her sweet behaviour, her enchanting face,
Her moving foftness, and majestic grace.

Much in his prudence did our knight rejoice, And thought no mortal could dispute his choice: Once more in haste he fummon'd every friend, And told them all, their pains were at an end. Heaven, that (faid he) inspir’d me first to wed, Provides a consort worthy of my bed :

255 Let none oppose th' election, since on this Depends my quiet, and my future bliss.

A dame there is, the darling of my eyes, Young, beauteous, artless, innocent, and wife; Chafte, though not rich; and, though not nobly born, Of honest parents, and may serve my turn.



Her will I wed, if gracious Heaven so please ;
To pass my age in sanctity and ease :
And thank the powers, I may possess alone
The lovely prize, and share my bliss with none !

265 If you, my friends, this virgin can procure, My joys are full, my happiness is sure.

One only doubt remains : Full oft I've heard, By casuists grave, and deep divines averr’d; That 'tis too much for human race to know 270 The bliss of heaven above, and earth below. Now should the nuptial pleasures prove so great, To match the blessings of the future state, Those endless joys were ill-exchang'd for these ; Then clear this doubt, and set my mind at ease.

This Justin heard, nor could his spleen control,
Touch'd to the quick, and tickled at the soul.
Sir Knight, he cry'd, if this be all you dread,
Heaven put it past your doubt, whene'er you wed;
And to my

so far consent,

280 “That, ere the rites are o'er, you may repent ! Good Heaven, no doubt, the nuptial state approves, Since it chastises still what best it loves. Then be not, Sir, abandon'd to despair; Seek, and perhaps you'll find among the fair, One that



business to a hair ; Not ev’n in with, your happiness delay, But

prove the scourge to lash you on your way: Then to the skies your mounting soul shall go, Swift as an arrow foaring from the bow!

290 Provided


Provided still, you moderate your joy,
Nor in your pleasures all your might employ,
Let reason's rule your strong desires abate,
Nor please too lavishly your gentle mate.
Old wives there are, of judgment most acute, 295
Who solve these questions beyond all dispute;
Consult with those, and be of better chear;
Marry, do penance, and dismiss your fear.

So said, they rose, nor more the work delay'd;
The match was offer'd, the proposals made.

300 The parents, you may think, would soon comply; The Old have interest ever in their eye. Nor was it hard to move the Lady's mind; When fortune favours, still the Fair are kind. I pass each previous settlement and deed,

305 Too long for me to write, or you to read ; Nor will with quaint impertinence display The pomp, the pageantry, the proud array. The time approach'd, to Church the parties went, At once with carnal and devout intent :

310 Forth came the Priest, and bade th' obedient wife Like Sarah or Rebeccah lead her life: Then pray'd the powers the fruitful bed to bless, And made all fure enough with holiness.

And now the palace-gates are open'd wide, 315 The guests appear in order, side by side, And plac'd in state the bridegroom and the bride. The breathing flute's soft notes are heard around, And the thrill trumpets mix their silver found;


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