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The knight and squire resolve at once,
The one the other to renounce;
They both approach the lady's bower,
The squire t’ inform, the knight to woo her.
She treats them with a masquerade,
By Furies and Hobgoblins made ;
From which the squire conveys the knight,
And steais him from himself by night.

Tis true, no lover has that power
T enforce a desperate amour,
As he that has two strings t' his bow,
And burns for love and money too;
For then he's brave and resolute,
Disdains to render in his suit;
Has all his flames and raptures double,
And hangs, or drowns, with half the trouble;
While those, who sillily pursue
The simple downright way, and true,
Make as unlucky applications,
And steer against the stream their passions.
Some forge their mistresses of stars,
And, when the ladies prove averse,
And more untoward to be won
Than by Caligula the Moon,
Cry out apon the stars for doing
Ill offices, to cross their wooing,
When only by themselves they 're hindered,
For trusting those they made her kindred,
And still, the harsher and hide-bounder
The damsels prove, become the fonder ;
For what mad lover ever dy'd
To gain a soft and gentle bride?
Or for a lady tender-hearted,
In purling streams or hemp departed ?
Leap'd headlong int' Elysium,
Through th' windows of a dazzling room?
But for some cross ill-natur'd dame,
The amorous fly burnt in his flame.
This to the knight could be no news,
With all mankind so much in use,
Who therefore took the wiser course,
To make the most of his amours,
Resolv'd to try all sorts of ways,
As follows in due time and place.

No sooner was the bloody fight
Between the wizard and the knight,

With all th' appurtenances, over, But he relaps'd again t' a lover, As he was always wont to do, When he 'ad discomfited a foe, And us'd the only antique philters Deriv'd from old heroic tilters. But now, triumphant and victorious, He held th' achievement was too glorious For such a conqueror, to meddle With petty constable or beadle, Or fly for refuge to the hostess Of th’inns of court and chancery, Justice; Who might, perhaps, reduce his cause To th' ordeal trial of the laws, Where none escape, but such as, branded With red-hot irons, have past bare-handed; And if they cannot read one verse l'th' Psalms, must sing it, and that's worse. He, therefore, judging it below him To tempt a shame the Devil might owe him, Resolv'd to leave the squire for bail And mainprize for him to the gaol, To answer, with his vessel, all That might disastrously befall, And thought it now the fittest juncture To give the lady a rencounter, T'acquaint her with his expedition, And conquest o'er the fierce magician; Describe the manner of the fray, And show the spoils he brought away; His bloody scourging aggravate, The number of the blows, and weight; All which might probably succeed, And gain belief he 'ad done the deed : Which he resolv'd to enforce, and spare No pawning of his soul to swear; But, rather than produce his back, To set his conscience on the rack: And, in pursuance of his urging Of articles perform'd, and scourging, And all things else, upon his part, Demand delivery of her heart, Her goods and chattles, and good graces, And person, up to his embraces. Thought he, “ The ancient errant knights Won all their ladies' hearts in fights, And cut whole giants into fritters, To put them into amorous twitters; Whose stubborn bowels scorn'd to yield, Until their gallants were half kill'd; But when their bones were drubb'd so sore, They durst not woo one combat more, The ladies' hearts began to melt, Subdued by blows their lovers felt.

So Spanish heroes, with their lances,

“ Madam, I do, as is my duty, At once wound bulls, and ladies' fancies;

Honour the shadow of your shoe-tie; And he acquires the noblest spouse

And now am come to bring your ear That widows greatest herus of cows;

A present, you 'll be glad to hear; Then what may I expect to do,

At least I hope so: the thing 's done, Who ’ve quell’d so vast a buffalo ?”

Or may I never see the Sun; Meanwhile the squire was on his way,

For which I humbly now demand The knight's late orders to obey;

Performance at your gentle hand; Who sent him for a strong detachment

And that you 'd please to do your part, Of beadles, constables, and watchmen,

As I have done mine, to my smart.” T' attack the cunning-man, for plunder

With that he shrugg'd his sturdy back; Committed falsely on his lumber;

As if he felt his shoulders ache: When he, who had so lately sack'd

But she, who well enough knew what The enemy, had done the fact,

(Before he spoke) he would be at, Had rifled all his pokes and fobs

Pretended not to apprehend Of gimcracks, whims, and jiggumbobs,

The mystery of what he mean'd; Which he by hook or crook had gatherd,

And therefore wish'd him to expound And for his own inventions father'd;

His dark expressions less profound. And when they should, at gaol-delivery,

“ Madam,” quoth he, “ I come to prove Unriddle one another's thievery,

How much I've suffer'd for your love, Both might have evidence enough

Which (like your votary) to win, To render neither halter-proof:

I have not spar'd my tatter'd skin; He thought it desperate to tarry,

And, for those meritorious lashes, And venture to be accessary;

To claim your favour and good graces.” But rather wisely slip his fetters,

Quoth she, “ I do remember once And leave them for the knight, his betters. I freed you from th'enchanted sconce, He call’d to mind th' unjust foul play

And that you promis'd, for that favour, He would have offer'd him that day,

To bind your back to th' good behaviour, To make him curry his own hide,

And for my sake and service vow'd, Which no beast ever did beside,

To lay upon 't a heavy load. Without all possible evasion,

And what 'twould bear t' a scruple prove, But of the riding dispensation :

As other knights do oft make love; And therefore, much about the hour

Which whether you have done or no The knight (for reasons told before)

Concerns yourself, not me, to know; Resolv'd to leave him to the fury

But if you have, I shall confess Of Justice and an unpack'd jury,

Y are honester than I could guess." The squire concurr'd t'abandon him,

Quoth he, “ If you suspect my troth, And serve him in the self-same trim;

I cannot prove it but by oath; T'acquaint the lady what he 'ad done,

And if you make a question on 't, And what he meant to carry on;

I'll pawn my soul that I have done 't, What project 'twas he went about,

And he that makes his soul his surety, When Sidrophel and he fell out;

I think, does give the best security.His firm and stedfast resolution,

Quoth she, “ Some say the soul 's secure To swear her to an execntion;

Against distress and forfeiture; To pawn his inward ears to marry her,

Is free from action, and exempt And bribe the Devil himself to carry her;

From execution and contempt; In which both dealt, as if they meant

And to be summon'd to appear Their party-saints to represent,

In th' other world 's illegal here; Who never fail'd, upon their sharing

And therefore few make any account In any prosperous arms-bearing,

Int' what encumbrances they run 't: To lay themselves out to supplant

For most men carry things so even, Fach other cousin-german saint.

Between this world, and Hell, and Heaven, But ere the knight could do his part,

Without the least offence to either, The squire had got so much the start,

They freely deal in all together, He 'ad to the lady done his errand,

And equally abhor to quit And told her all his tricks aforehand.

This world for both, or both for it; Just as he finish'd bis report,

And when they pawn and damn their souls, l'he knight alighted in the court,

They are but prisoners on paroles.” And, having ty'd his beast t'a pale,

“ For that,” quoth he, “ tis rational And taking time for both to stale,

They may be accountable in all : He put his band and beard in order,

For when there is that intercourse The sprucer to accost and board her:

Between divine and human powers, And now began t approach the door,

That all that we determine here When she, wh' had spy'd him out before,

Commands obedience every where; Convey'd th' informer out of sight,

When penalties may be commuted Ind went to entertain the knight;

For fines, or ears, and executed; Vith whom encountering, after longees

It follows, nothing binds so fast Of humble and submissive congees,

As souls in pawn and mortgage past: und all due ceremonies paid,

For oaths are th' only tests and seals le stroak'd his beard, and thus be said:

5. Of right and wrong, and true and false;

And there 's no other way to try

I judg'd it better from a quickThe doubts of Law and Justice by.”

Set hedge to cut a knotted stick, Quoth she, “ What is it you would swear? With which I furiously laid on, There's no believing till I hear:

Till in a harsh and doleful tone For, till they 're understood, all tales

It roar'd, 'O hold, for pity, sir; (Likè nonsense) are not true nor false."

I am too great a sufferer, Quoth be, “ When I resolv'd t obey

Abus'd, as you have been, b' a witch, What you commanded th' other day,

But conjur'd int' a worse caprich, And to perform my exercise,

Who sends me out on many a jaunt, (As schools are wont) for your fair eyes,

Old houses in the night to haunt, T'avoid all scruples in the case,

For opportunities t'improve I went to do 't upon the place;

Designs of thievery or love; But as the castle is enchanted

With drugs convey'd in drink or meat, By Sidrophel the witch, and haunted

All feats of witches counterfeit, With evil spirits, as you know,

Kill pigs and geese with powder'd glass, Who took my squire and me for two, I

And make it for enchantment pass ; Before I 'ad hardly time to lay

With cow-itch meazle like a leper, My weapons by, and disarray,

And choke with fumes of Guiney pepper; I heard a formidable noise,

Make lechers, and their punks, with dewtry, Loud as the Stentrophonic voice,

Commit fantastical advowtry; That roar'd far off, - Dispatch, and strip,

Bewitch Hermetic-men to run I'm ready with th' infernal whip,

Stark staring mad with manicon; That shall divest thy ribs of skin,

Believe mechanic virtuosi To expiate thy lingering sin;

Can raise them mountains in Potosi ; Thou 'ast broke perfidiously thy oath,

And, sillier than the antic fools, And not perform'd thy plighted troth,

Take treasure for a heap of coals; But spar'd thy renegado back,

Seek out for plants with signatures, Where thou 'adst so great a prize at stake; To quack off universal cures ; Which now the Fates have order'd me,

With figures, ground on panes of glass, For penance and revenge, to flea,

Make people on their heads to pass; Unless thou presently make haste;

And mighty heaps of coin increase, Time is, time was :' and there it ceast.

Reflected from a single piece; With which, though startled, I confess,

To draw in fools, whose natural itches Yet th’ horrour of the thing was less

Incline perpetually to witches, Than th’ other dismal apprehension

And keep me in continual fears, Of interruption or prevention ;

And danger of my neck and ears; And therefore, snatching up the rod,

When less delinquents have been scourg'd, I laid upon my back a load,

And hemp on wooden anvils forg'd, Resolv'd to spare no flesh and blood,

Which others for cravats have wom To make my word and honour good;

About their necks, and took a tum.' Till tir'd, and taking truce at length,

“ I pity'd the sad punishment For new recruits of breath and strength,

The wretched caitiff underwent, I felt the blows still ply'd as fast,

And held my drubbing of his bones As if they 'ad been by lovers plac'd,

Too great an honour for poltrones; In raptures of Platonic lashing,

For knights are bound to feel no blows And chaste contemplative bardashing ;

From paltry and unequal foes, When, facing hastily about,

Who, when they slash, and cut to pieces, To stand upon my guard and scout,

Do all with civilest addresses: I found th’ infernal cunning-man,

Their horses never give a blow, And th' under-witch, his Caliban,

But when they make a leg and bow. With scourges (like the Furies) arm'd,

I therefore spar'd his flesh, and prest him That on my outward quarters storm'd.

About the witch with many a question. In haste I snatch'd my weapon up,

“ Quoth he, For many years he drove And gave their hellish rage a stop;

A kind of broking trade in love, Call'd thrice upon your name, and fell

Employ'd in all th' intrigues and trust Courageously on Sidrophel,

Of feeble speculative Lust; Who now, transform'd himself ťa bear,

Procurer to th' extravagancy Began to roar aloud and tear;

And crazy ribaldry of Fancy, When I as furiously press'd on,

By those the Devil had forsook, My weapon down his throat to run,

As things below him, to provoke; Laid hold on him, but he broke loose,

But being a virtuoso, able And turn d himself into a goose,

To smatter, quack, and cant, and dabble, Div'd under water in a pond,

He held his talent most adroit, To hide himself from being found.

For any mystical exploit, In vain I sought him ; but as soon

As others of his tribe had done, As I perceiv'd him fled and gone,

And rais'd their prices three to one; Prepar'd, with equal haste and rage,

For one predicting pimp has th' odds His under-sorcerer to engage;

Of chaldrons of plain downright bawds. But, bravely scorning to defile

But, as an elf (the Devil's valet) My sword with feeble blood, and vile,

Is not so slight a thing to get;

For those that do his business best,

And altogether might amount In Hell are us'd the ruggedest;

To many hundreds on account ; Before so meriting a person

For which he 'ad got sufficient warrant Could get a grant, but in reversion,

To seize the malefactors errant, He served two 'prenticeships, and longer,

Without capacity of bail, I'th' mystery of a lady-monger:

But of a cart's or horse's tail; For (as some write) a witch's ghost,

And did not doubt to bring the wretches As soon as from the body loost,

To serve for pendulums to watches, Becomes a puiney imp itself,

Which, modern virtuosi say, And is another witch's elf:

Incline to hanging every way. He, after searching far and near,

Beside, he swore, and swore 'twas true, At length found one in Lancashire,

That, ere he went in quest of you, With whom he bargain'd before hand,

He set a figure to discover And, after banging, entertain'd:

If you were fled to Rye or Dover, Since which he 'as play'd a thousand feats,

And found it clear, that, to betray And practis'd all mechanic cheats;

Yourselves and me, you fled this way, 'Transform'd himself to th' ugly shapes

And that he was upon pursuit, Of wolves, and bears, baboons, and apes,

To take you somewbere hereabout.
Which he has vary'd more than witches,

He vow'd he had intelligence
Or Pharaoh's wizards, could their switches; Of all that pass'd before and since,
And all with whom he 'as had to do,

And found, that, ere you came to him,
Turn'd to as monstrous figures too:

Y had been engaging life and limb Witness myself, whom he 'as abus'd,

About a case of tender conscience, And to this beastly shape reduc'd,

Where both abounded in your own sense, By feeding me on beans and pease

Till Ralpho, by his light and grace, He crams in nasty crevices,

Had clear'd all scruples in the case, And turns to comfits by his arts,

And prov'd, that you might swear and own To make me relish for deserts,

Whatever 's by the wicked done; And one by one, with shame and fear,

For which, most basely to requite Lick up the candy'd provender.

The service of his gifts and light, Beside' _" But as h' was running on,

You strove t'oblige him, by main force, To tell what other feats he 'ad done,

To scourge his ribs instead of your's, The lady stopt his full career,

But that he stood upon his guard, And told him now 'twas time to hear.

And all your vapouring outdar'd; " If half those things,” said she, be true”

For which, between you both, the feat' “They 're all," quoth he, “ I swear by you." Has never been perforin'd as yet.” Why then," said she, “ that Sidrophel

While thus the lady talk'd, the knight Has damn'd himself to th' pit of Hell;

Turn'd th' outside of his eyes to white; Who, mounted on a broom, the nag

(As men of inward light are wont And hackney of a Lapland hag,

To turn their optics in upon 't) In quest of you came hither post,

He wonder'd how she came to know Within an hour (I'm sure) at most,

What he had done, and meant to do; Who told me all you swear and say,

Held up his affidavit-hand, Quite contrary another way;

As if he 'ad been to be arraign'd; Vow'd that you came to him, to know

Cast towards the door a ghastly look, If you should carry me or no,

In dread of Sidrophel, and spoke : And would have hir'd him and his imps

“ Madam, if but one word be true To be your match-makers and pimps,

Of all the wizard has told you, T'engage the Devil on your side,

Or but one single circumstance And steal (like Proserpine) your bride;

In all th' apocryphal romance, But he disdaining to embrace

May dreadful earthquakes swallow down So filthy a design and base,

This vessel, that is all your own! You fell to vapouring and huffing,

Or may the Heavens fall, and cover And drew upon bim like a ruffian;

These relics of your constant lover!Surpris'd him meanly, unprepar'd,

" You have provided well,” quoth she, Before he 'ad time to mount his guard,

“ (I thank you) for yourself and me, And left him dead upon the ground,

And shown your presbyterian wits With many a bruise and desperate wound; Jump punctual with the Jesuits; Swore you had broke and robb'd his house, A most compendious way, and civil, And stole his talismanique louse,

At once to cheat the world, the Devil, And all his new-found old inventions,

And Heaven and Hell, yourselves, and those With flat felonious intentions,

On whom you rainly think t' impose.” Which he could bring out where he had,

“ Why then," quoth he,“ may Hell surprise". And what he bought them for, and paid :

“ That trick," said she, “will not pass twice: His flea, his morpion, and punese,

I 've learn'd how far I 'm to believe He 'ad gotten for his proper ease,

Your pinning oaths upon your sleeve; And all in perfect minutes made,

But there 's a better way of clearing By th' ablest artist of the trade,

What you would prove, than downright swearing; Which (he could prove it) since he lost,

For, if you have perform'd the feat, He has been eaten up almost;

The blows are visible as yet,

Enough to serve for satisfaction

And all the rest of better or worse, Of nicest scruples in the action;

Both are but losers out of purse: And if you can produce those knobs,

For when upon their ungot beirs Although they 're but the witch's drubs,

Th' entail themselves, and all that 's theirs, I'll pass them all upon account,

What blinder bargain e'er was driven, As if your natural self had don't;

Or wager laid at six and seven? Provided that they pass th' opinion

To pass themselves away, and turn Of able juries of old women,

Their children's tenants ere they 're born? Who, us'd to judge all matter of facts

Beg one another idiot For bellies, may do so for backs."

To guardians, ere they are begot; “ Madam," quoth he,“ your love 's a million, Or ever shall, perhaps, by th' one To do is less than to be willing,

Who's bound to vouch them for his own, As I am, were it in my power,

Though got b’ implicit generation, Tobey what you command, and more;

And general club of all the nation; But for performing what you bid,

For which she 's fortify'd no less I thank you as much as if I did.

Than all the island, with four seas; You know I ought to have a care,

Exacts the tribute of her dower, To keep my wounds from taking air;

In ready irsolence and power, For wounds in those that are all heart,

And makes him pass away, to have Are dangerous in any part."

And hold, to her, himself, her slave, “ I find,” quoth she, “ my goods and chattles More wretched than an ancient villain, Are like to prove but mere drawn battles ;

Condemn'd to dradgery and tilling; For still the longer we contend,

While all he does upon the by, We are but further off the end ;

She is not bound to justify, But granting now we should agree,

Nor at her proper cost and charge What is it you expect from me?"

Maintain the feats he does at large. “ Your plighted faith," quoth he, “and word Such hideous sots were those obedient You past in Heaven on record,

Old vassals to their ladies regent, Where all contracts, to have and t'hold,

To give the cheats the eldest hand Are everlastingly enrollid;

In foul play by the laws o'th' land; And if 'tis counted treason here

For which so many a legal cuckold
To raze records, 'tis much more there."

Has been run down in courts, and truckled :
Quoth she, “ There are no bargains driven, A law that most unjustly yokes
Nor marriages clapp'd up, in Heaven,

All Johns of Stiles to Joans of Noakes,
And that 's the reason, as some guess,

Without distinction of degree, There is no heaven in marriages;

Condition, age, or quality; Two things that naturally press

Adinits no power of revocation, Too narrowly, to be at ease;

Nor valuable consideration, Their business there is only love,

Nor writ of errour, nor reverse Which marriage is not like t'improve;

Of judgment past, for better or worse; Love, that's too generous t'abide

Will not allow the privileges To be against its nature ty'd ;

That beggars challenge under hedges, For, where 'tis of itself inclin'd,

Who, when they 're griev'd, can make dead hor te It breaks loose when it is confin'd,

Their spiritual judges of divorces, And like the soul, its harbourer,

While nothing else but rem in re Debarr'd the freedom of the air,

Can set the proudest wretches free; Disdains against its will to stay,

A slavery beyond enduring, But struggles out, and files away:

But that 'tis of their own procuring. And therefore never can comply

As spiders never seek the fly, Tendure the matrimonial tie,

But leave him, of himself, t’ apply; That binds the female and the male,

So men are by themselves employd, Where th’ one is but the other's bail;

To quit the freedom they enjoyd, Like Roman gaolers, when they slept,

And run their necks into a noose, Chain'd to the prisoners they kept,

They'd break them after to break loose. Of which the true and faithfullest lover

As some, whom Death would not depart, Gives best security to suffer.

Have done the feat themselves by art, Marriage is but a beast, some say,

Like Indian widows, gone to bed, That carries double in fonl way,

In flaming curtains, to the dead; And therefore 'tis not to b’admir'd

And men as often dangled for 't, It should so suddenly be tir'd;

And yet will.never leave the sport. A bargain, at a venture niade,

Nor do the ladies want excuse Between two partners in a trade,

For all the stratagems they use, (For what 's inferr'd by t' have and t'hold, To gain th' advantage of the set, But something past away, and sold ?)

And lurch the amorous rook and cheat. That, as it makes but one of two,

For, as the Pythagorean soul Reduces all things else as low,

Runs through all beasts, and fish, and fowl, And at the best is but a mart

And has a smack of every one, Between the one and th' other part,

So love does, and has ever done; That on the marriage-day is paid,

And therefore, though 'tis ne'er so fond, Or hour of death, the bet is laid;

Takes strangely to the vagabond.

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