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HERE liv'd in Lombardy, as Authors write,

In days of old, a wise and worthy knight;
Of gentle' manners, as of gen'rous race,
Bleft with much fenfe, more riches, and fome gráce.
Yet, led aftray by Venus' foft delights,

5
He scarce could rule some idle appetites :
For long ago, let Priests say what they cou'd,
Weak sinful laymen were but flesh and blood.

But in due time, when fixty years were o'er, He vow'd to lead this vitious life no more ;

10 Whether pure holiness inspir'd his mind, Or dotage turn'd his brain, is hard to find; But his high courage prick'd him forth to wed, And try the pleasures of a lawful bed. This was his nightly dream, his daily care, 15 And to the heav'nly pow'rs his constant pray'r,

NOTI'S. JANUARY AND MAY.] This Translation was done at fixteen or seventeen years of Age, P.

20

Once ere he dy'd, to taste the blissful life.
Of a kind husband and a loving wife.

These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons ftill,
(For none want reasons to confirm their will.)
Grave authors say, and witty poets fing,
That honest wedlock is a glorious thing :
But depth of judgment most in him appears,
Who wisely weds in his maturer years.
Then let him chuse a damsel young

and fair, 25
To bless his age, and bring a worthy heir;
To footh his cares, and free from noise and strife,
Conduct him gently to the verge of life.
Let finful batchelors their woes deplore,
Full well they merit all they feel, and more : 30
Unaw'd by precepts human or divine,
Like birds and beasts promiscuously they join :
Nor know to make the present blessing last,
To hope the future, or esteem the past :
But vainly boast the joys they never try'd, 35
And find divulg'd the secrets they would hide.
The marry'd man may bear his yoke with ease,
Secure at once himself and heav'n to please ;
And pass his inoffensive hours away,
In bliss all night, and innocence all day : 40
Tho' fortune change, his constant spouse remains,
Augments his joys, or mitigates his pains.

But what so pure, which envious tongues will spare ?
Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair.

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With matchless impudence they style a wife 45 The dear-bought curse, and lawful plague of life; A bosom-serpent, a domestic evil, A night-invasion, and a mid-day devil. Let not the wise these fand'rous words regard, But curfe the bones of ev'ry lying bard. 50 All other goods by fortune's hand are giv'n, A wife is the peculiar gift of heav'n. Vain fortune's favours, never at a stay, Like empty shadows, pass, and glide way; One solid comfort, our eternal wife,

55 Abundantly supplies us all our life : This blefing lafts (if those who try say true) As long as heart can wish — and longer too.

Our grandfire Adam, ere of Eve possess’d, Alone, and ev'n in Paradise unbless'd,

60 With mournful looks the blissful scenes survey'd, And wander'd in the folitary shade: The Maker faw, took pity, and bestow'd Woman, the last, the best reservåd of God.

A Wife! ah gentle deities, can he That has a wife, e'er feel adversity? Vould men but follow what the sex advise, All things would prosper, all the world grow wise. Twas by Rebecca's aid that Jacob won His father's blessing from an elder fon : 70 busive Nabal ow'd his forfeit life to the wise conduct of a prudent wife: Vol. II.

F

65

Would try

Heroic Judith, as old Hebrews show,
Preserv'd the Jews, and flew th’Assyrian foe :
At Hefter's fuit, the persecuting fword

75 Was sheath'd, and Israel liv'd to bless the Lord.

These weighty motives, January the fage
Maturely ponder'd in his riper age;
And charm'd with virtuous joys, and sober life,
that christian comfort, call’d a wife.

So
His friends were summond on a point so nice,
To pass their judgment and to give advice;
But fix'd before, and well resolv'd was he;
(As men that ask advice are wont to be.)

My friends, he cry'd (and caft a mournful look 8; Around the room, and figh'd before he spoke:) Beneath the weight of threescore years I bend, And worn with cares, am haft’ning to my end; How I have liv’d, alas! you know too well, In worldly follies, which I blush to tell ;

90 But gracious heav'n has ope'd my eyes at last, With due regret I view my vices paft, And, as the precept of the Church decrees, Will take a wife, and live in holy ease. But since by counsel all things should be done, 93 And many

heads are wiser still than one; Chuse

you
for
me,

who best shall be content When my desire's approv'd by your consent.

One caution yet is needful to be told, To guide your choice; this wife must not be old:100

There goes a saying, and 'twas shrewdly said,
Old fish at table, but young fesh in bed.
My soul abhors the tasteless, dry embrace
Of a stale virgin with a winter face:
In that cold season Love but treats his guest 105
With bean-ftraw, and tough forage at the best.
No crafty widows shall approach my bed;
Those are too wise for batchelors to wed;
As subtle clerks by many schools are made,
Twice-marry'd dames are mistresses o'th'trade : 110
But young and tender virgins, rul'd with ease,
We form like wax, and mold them as we please.
Conceive me, Sirs, nor take my

sense amiss ;
'Tis what concerns my soul's eternal bliss ;
Since if I found no pleasure in my spouse, 115
As flesh is frail, and who (God help me) knows?
Then should I live in leud adultery,
And sink downright to Satan when I die.
Or were I curs d with an unfruitful bed,
The righteous end were loft, for which I wed;
To raise up seed to bless the pow'rs above,
And not for pleasure only, or for love.
Think not I doat; 'tis time to take a wife,
When vig'rous blood forbids a chafter life :
Those that are bleft 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, (As, thank my stars, in modest truth I may)

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