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Since if I found no pleasure in my spouse, IIS
As flesh is frail, and who (God help me) knows?
Then should I live in lewd adultery,
And sink downright to Satan when I die:
Or were I curs'd with an unfruitful bed,
The righteous end were lost for which I wed; Im
To raise up seed to bless the Pow'rs above,
And not for pleasure only, or for love.
Think not I dote; 'tis time to take a wife,
When vig'rous blood forbids a chaster life:
Those that are blest with store of grace divine, 125
May live like saints by Heav'n's consent and mine."
"And since I speak of wedlock, let me say,
Think not my virtue lost, though Time has shed
Like winter greens, that flourish all the year.
He said; the rest in dirf'rent parts divide;
Marriage, the theme on which they all declaim'd, Some prais'd with wit, and some with reason blam'd. Till, what with proofs, objections, and replies, Each wondrous positive, and wondrous «ise,
There fell between his brothers a debate, I4S
Placebo this was call'd, and Justin that.
First to the Knight Placebo thus begun, (Mild were his looks,- and pleasing was his tone) '' Such prudence, Sir, in all your words appears, As plainly proves experience dwells with years I 15* Yet you pursue sage Solomon's advice, To work by counsel when affairs are nice; But, with the Wise Man's leave, I must protest, So may my soul arrive at ease and rest, As still I hold your own advice the'beit." 155
"Sir, I have liv'd a courtier all my days,
This, Sir, affects not you, whose ev'ry word
Who, past all pleasure, damn the joys of sense
Justin, who silent sat, and heard the man,
"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 gen'rous principles and just.
Whether she's chaste or rampant, proud or civil,
In all the world, much less in womankind;
All he can find is bondage, cost, and care.
And swear no mortal's happier in a wife;
But, by th' immortal Pow'rs, I feel the pain;
And he that smarts has reason to complain. 205
Do what yon list for me; you must be sage,
And cautious sure: for wisdom is in age.
But at these yean to venture on the fair!
By him who made the ocean, earth and air,
To please a wife, when her occasions call, zip
Would busy the most vig'rous of us all. .
And trust me, Sir, the chastest you can choose
Will ask observance, and exact her dues.
If what i speak my noble Lord offend, 214
My tedious sermon here is at an end." [plies)
"'Tis well, 'tis wond'rous well, (the knight re* Most worthy kinsman, faith you're mighty wisel We, Sirs, are fools; and must resign the cause To Heath'nish authors, proverbs, and old saws." He spoke with scom, and turn'd another way:— 220 '' What does my friend, my dear Placebo, say i" ;.
"I say, (quoth he) by Heav'n the man's to blame, To slander wives, and wedlock's holy name."
At this the council rose, without delay;
With full consent, that, all disputes appeas'd,
Who now but January exults with joy? [pleas'd.
Thus, in some public forum fix'd on high,
A mirror shows the figures moving by; 233
Still one by one, in swift succession, pass
The gliding shadows o'er the polish'd glass.
This lady's charms the nicest could not blame,
But vile suspicions had aspers'd her fame;
That was with sense, but not wiih virtue blest; 240
And one had grace, that wanted all the rest.
Thus doubting long what nymph he should cbey,
He fix'd at last upon the youthful May.
Her faults he knew not, love is always blind,
But ev'ry 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 softness, and majestic grace.
Much in his prudence did our Knight rejoice, 250
Let none oppose th' election, since on this
"A dame there is, the darling of my eyes,
He> will I wed, if gracious Heav'n so please,