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And close the sermon, as beseem'd his wit,
ness, Than all the sons of Adam could redress. Love seldom haunts the breast where learning lies, And Venus sets ere Mercury can rise. 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, Then down they sit, and in their dotage write, That not one woman keeps her marriage vow. (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. How Samson fell; and he whom Dejanire Wrapp'd in the envenom'd shirt, and set on fire.
How curs'd Eryphile her lord betray'd,
He had by heart the whole detail of woe
He read, how Arius to his friend complain'd,
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.' Then how two wives their lord's destruction
prove, Through hatred one, and one through too much
love; That for her husband mix'd a poisonous draught, And this for lust an amorous philtre bought: The nimble juice soon seiz'd his giddy head, Frantic at night, and in the morning dead. How some with swords their sleeping lords have
slain, And some have hammer'd nails into their brain, And some have drench'd them with a deadly
potion; All this he read, and read with great devotion. 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 feli'd him on the floor.
But after many a hearty struggle past,
Now Heaven on all my husbands gone bestow Pleasures above for tortures felt below: That rest they wish'd for, grant them in the grave, And bless those souls my conduct help'd to save !
THE FIRST BOOK OF
STATIUS HIS THEBAIS.
Translated in the Year 1703.
dipus king of Thebes, having by mistake slain his father Laïus, and married his mother Jocasta, put out his own eyes, and resigned the realm to his sons, Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the fury Tisi. phone, to sow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at last to reign singly, each a year by turns, and the first lot is obtained by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a council of the gods, declares his resolution of punishing the Thebans, and Argives also, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adrastus, king of Argos. Juno opposes, but to no effect; and Mercury is sent on a message to the Shades, to the ghost of Laïus, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement. Polynices in the mean time de. parts from Thebes by night, is overtaken by a storm, and arrives at Argos; where he meets with Tydeus, who had fled froin Calydon, having killed his brother. Adrastus entertains them, having received an oracle from Apollo, that his daughter should be married to a boar and a lion, which he understands to be meant of these strang. ers, by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, and who arrived at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that god. The rise of this solemnity he relates to his guests, the loves of Phæbus and Psamathe, and the story of Chorce. bus. He inquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quality. The sacrifice is repewed, and the book concludes with a hymn to
Apollo. The translator lopeshe needs not apologise for his
choice of this piece, which was made almost in his childhood; but, finding the version better than he expected, he gave it some correction a few years afterwards.
STATIUS HIS THEBAIS.
FRATERNAL rage, the guilty Thebes alarms,