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And fortify their crimes with confidence.
Nay, were they taken in a strict embrace,
Seen with both eyes, and pinion'd on the place,
All they shall need, is to protest and swear,
Breathe a soft sigh, and drop a tender tear,
Till their wise husbands, gulld by arts like these,
Grow gentle, tractable, and tame as geese.

What tho' this fland'rous Jew, this Solo

Calld women fools, and knew full many a one,
The wifer wits of later times declare,
How constant, chaste, and virtuous women are;
Witness the martyrs, who refign'd their breath,
Serene in torments, unconcern'd in death;
And witness next what Roman authors tell,
How Arria, Porcia, and Lucretia, fell.

But since the sacred leaves to all are free,
And men interpret texts, why should not we?
By this no more was meant than to have shown,
That sov'reign goodness dwells in him alone
Who only Is, and is but only One.
But grant the worst; shall women then be

By ev'ry word that Solomon hath faid?
What tho' this king (as ancient story boasts)
Built a fair temple to the Lord of Hosts,
He ceas'd at last his Maker to adore,
And did as much for idol gods, or more,
Beware what lavish praises you confer
On a rank leacher and idolater,
Whose reign indulgent God, says holy writ,
Did but for David's righteous sake permit;
David! the monarch after Heav'n's own mind,
Who lov'd our sex, and honour'd all our kind.

Well, I'm a woman, and as such must speak; Silence would swell me, and my heart would




Know then, I scorn your dull authorities,
Your idle wits, and all their learned lies.
By Heav'n, these authors are our fex's foes,
Whom in our right I must and will oppose.“

„Nay,“ quoth the King, „ dear Madam, be

not wroth;
I yield it up; but since I gave my oath
That this much-injur'd knight again should see,
It must be done

I am a King,“ said he
And one whose faith has ever sacred been.“

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„And so has mine," she said I am a

Her answer she shall have, I undertake;
And thus an end of all dispute I make.
Try when you lift, and you shall find, my Lord,
It is not in our sex to break our word.“

We leave them here in this heroic strain,
And to the Knight our story turns again,
Who in the garden, with his lovely May,
Sung merrier than the cuckoo or the jay.
This was his long: „Oh! kind and constant be,
Constant and kind I'll ever prove to thee.“

Thus singing as he went, at last he drew,
By easy steps, to where the pear-tree grew:
The longing dame look'd up, and spy'd her love
Full fairly perch'd among the boughs above.
She stopp'd, and fighing, „Oh! good Gods!" she

What pangs, what sudden Thoots distend my

O for that tempting fruit,, so fresh, so green;
Help, for the love of Heav'n's immortal Queen!
Help, dearest Lord! and save at once the life
Of thy poor infant and thy longing wite!“

Sore figh’d the Knight to hear his lady's cry, But could not climb, and had no servant nigh:


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Old as he was, and void of eyesight too,
What could, alas! a helpless husband do?

And must I languish then," she said, and die,
Yet view the lovely fruit before my eye?
At least, kind Sir, for Charity's sweet sake,
Vouchsafe the trunk betwe your arms to take;
Then from your back I might ascend the tree;
Do you but stoop, and leave the rest to me.“

With all my soul," he thus reply'd again,
„I'd spend my dearest blood to ease your pain.“
With that his back against the trunk he bent,
She seiz'd a twig, and up the tree 1 he went.

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Now prove your patience, gentle ladies all!
Nor let on me your heavy anger fall:
'Tis truth I tell, tho' not in phrase refin'd;
Tho' blunt my tale, yet honeft is my mind.
What feats the lady in the tree might do,
I pafs, as gambols never known to you;
But sure, it was a merrier fit, she swore,
Than in her life she ever felt before,

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In that nice moment, lo! the wond'ring

Look'd out, and stood restor'd to sudden fight.
Straight on the tree his eager eyes he bent,
As one whose thoughts were on his spouse intent:
But when he saw his bosom-wife so dress’d,
His rage was such as cannot be express'd;
Not frantic mothers when their infants die
With louder clamours rend the vaulted sky:
He cry'd, he roar’d, he storm’d, he tore his hair;
Death! Hell! and Furies! what dost thou do the-

What ails my Lord ? " the trembling dame re-

I thought your patience had been better try'd:
Is this your love, ungrateful and unkind,

reward for having cur’d the blind?
Why was I taught to make my husband see,

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This my



By struggling with a man upon a tree?
Did I for this the pow'r of magic prove:
Unhappy wife, whose crime was too much love!

,, If this be struggling, by this holy light! 'Tis struggling with a vengeance,

quoth the

„So heav'n preserve the fight it has restor’d,
As with these eyes I plainly saw thee whor'd;
Whor'd by my flave perfidious wretch! may

As surely seize thee, as I saw too well.“

Guard me, good Angels!“ cry'd the gentle

„Pray Heav'n this magic work the proper way.
Alas, my love! 'tis certain, could you fee,
You ne'er had ul'd these killing words to me:
So help me, Fates! as 'tis no perfect sight.
But some faint glimm’ring of a doubtful light.

What I have faid, “ quoth he, „I must maintain,
For, by th’immortal Pow'rs, it seem'd too plain.“-

„By all those Pow'rs, some frenzy seiz'd your

Reply'd the dame; „ are these the thanks I find,
Wretch that I am, that e'er I was so kind!“
She said; a rising sigh exprefs'd her woe,
The ready tears apace began to flow,
And as they fell, she wip'd from either eye
The drops, (for women when they list can cry.)

The Knight was touch'd; and in his looks ap

pear'd Signs of remorse, while thus his spouse he

cheer'd: „Madam, 'tis past, and my short anger o'er! Come down, and vex your tender heart no more :

Dear! if aught amiss was said,

Excuse me,



For, on my soul, amends shall soon be made;
Let my repentance your forgiveness draw;
By Heav'n I swore but what I thought I saw.“

„Ah! my lov'd Lord, 'twas much unkind,“

she cry'd,
,, On bare suspicion thus to treat your bride.
But till your sight's establish'd, for a while
Imperfect objects may your sense beguile.
Thus when from sleep we first our eyes display,
The balls are wounded with the piercing ray,
And dusky vapours rise, and intercept the day.
So, just recov'ring from the shades of night,
Your swimming eyes are drunk with sudden

Strange phantoms dance around, and skim before

your fight. Then, Sir, be cautious, nor too rafhly deem; Heav'n knows, how seldom things are what they

feem! Consult your reason, and

you soon shall find 'Twas you were jealous, not your wife unkind, Jove ne'er spoke oracle more true than this, None judge so wrong as thole who think amiss.“

With that the leap'd into her lord's em.

With well dissembled virtue in her face:
He hugg'd her close, and kiss'd her o'er and o’er,
Disturb’d with doubts and jealousies no more:
Both pleas'd and bless'd renew'd their mutual vows;
A fruitful wife, and a believing spoule.

Thus ends our Tale, whose moral next to ma

Let all wise husbands hence example take,
And pray, to crown the pleasure of their lives,
To be so well deluded by their wives.


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