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Retain all sorts of witnesses,

The one for great and weighty cause, That ply i' th' Temples, under trees,

To salve, in honour, ugly tlaws; Or walk the round, with knights o'th' posts, For none are like to do it sooner, About the crossd-legg'd knights, their hosts; Than those who 're nicest of their honour: Or wait for customers between

The other, for base gain and pay, The pillar-rows in Lincoln's-inn;

Forswear and perjure by the day, Where vouches, forgers, common-bail,

And make th' exposing and retailing And aitidavit-inen, ne'er fail

Their souls and consciences a calling. T expuse to sale all sorts of oaths,

It is no scandal nor aspersion, According to their ears and clothes,

l'pon a great and noble person, Their only necessary tools,

To say he naturally abhorr’d Besides the gospel, and their souls ;

Th' old-fashion d trick to keep his word, And, when ve ’re furnish'd with all purveys, Thongh tis perfidiousness and shame, I shall be ready at your service.”

In meaner men, to do the same: “ I would not give," quoth Hudibras,

For to be able to forget, “ A straw to understand a case,

Is found more useful to the great, Without the admirable skill

Than gout, or deafness, or bad eyes, To wind and manage it at will;

To make them pass for wondrous wise. To veer, and tack, and steer a cause,

But though the law, on perjurers, Against the weather-gage of laws,

Inflicts the forfeiture of ears, And ring the changes upon cases,

It is not just, that does exempt As plain as noses upon faces,

The guilty, and punish th' inuocent; As you have well instructed me,

To make the ears repair the wrong For which you 've earn'd (here 'tis) your fee. Committed by th' ungovernd tongue; I long to practise your advice,

And, when one member is forsworn, And try the subtle artifice;

Another to be cropt or torn. To bait a letter, as yqu bid.”

And if you should, as you design, As, not long after, thus he did;

By course of law, recover mine, For, having pump'd up all his wit,

You 're like, if you consider right,
And hum'd upon it, thus he writ.

To gain but little honour by 't.

that for his lady's sake
Lays down his life, or limbs, at stake,
Does not so much deserve her favour,

As he that pawns his soul to have her.

This ye 've acknowledg'd I have done,
Although you now disdain to own;
But sentence what you rather ought

Testeem good service than a fault.

Besides, oaths are not bound to bear

That literal sense the words infer; 1, wuo was once as great as Cæsar,

But, by the practice of the age, Am now reduc'd to Nebuchadnezzar;

Are to be judg'd how far they engage; And, froin as fam'd a conqueror

And, where the sense by custom 's checkt, As ever took degree in war,

Are found void and of none effect; Or did his exercise in battle,

For no man takes or keeps a vow, By you turu'd out to grass with cattle:

But just as he sees others do; For, since I am denyd access

Nor are they oblig'd to be so brittle, To all my earthly happiness,

As not to yield and bow a little : Am fallen from the paradise

For as best-temper'd blades are found, Of your good graces, and fair eyes;

Before they break, to bend quite round; Lost to the world and you, I'm sent

So truest oaths are still most tough, To everlasting banishment,

And, though they bow, are breaking proof. Where all the hopes I had to 're won

Then wherefore should they not b' allow'd Your heart, being dash’d, will break my own. In love a greater latitude? Yet, if you were not so severe

For, as the law of arms approves To pass your doom before you hear,

All ways to conquest, so should love's ; You'd find, upon my just defence,

And not be ty'd to true or false, How much you ’ve wrong'd my innocence.

But make that justest that prevails : That once I made a vow to you,

For how can that which is above Which yet is unperform’d, 'tis true;

All empire, high and mighty Love, But not because it is unpaid,

Submit its great prerogative Tis violated, though delay'd :

To any other power alive? Or, if it were, it is no fault,

Shall Love, that to no crown gives place, So heinous as you 'd have it thought ;

Become the subject of a case? To undergo the loss of ears,

The fundamental law of Nature Like vulgar hackney perjurers :

Be over-ruld by those made after? For there 's a difference in the case,

Commit the censure of its cause Between the noble and the base;

To any but its own great laws ? Who always are observd to 've done 't

Love, that's the world's preservative, Upon as different an account;

That keeps all souls of things alive;


Controuls the mighty power of Pate,

Or oaths more feeble than your own, And gives mankind a longer date;

By which we are no less put down? The life of Nature, that restores

You wound, like Parthians, while you fly, As fast as Time and Death devours;

And kill with a retreating eye; To whose free-gift the world does owe

Retire the more, the more we press, Not only Earth, but Heaven too:

To draw us into ambushes : For love's the only trade that 's driven,

As pirates all false colours wear, The interest of state in Heaven,

T' intrap th' unwary mariner; Which nothing but the soul of man

So women, to surprise us, spread Is capable to entertain,

The borrow'd flags of white and red; For what can Earth produce, but love,

Display them thicker on their cheeks, To represent the joys above

Than their old grandmothers, the Picts; Or who, but lovers, can converse,

And raise more devils with their looks, Like angels, by the eye-discourse?

Than conjurers' less subtle books: Address and compliment by vision,

Lay trains of amorous intrigues, Make love and court by intuition ?

In towers, and curls, and periwigs, And burn in amorous flames as fierce

With greater art and cunning rear'd, As those celestial ministers?

Than Philip Nye's thanksgiving beard ; Then bow can any thing offend,

Prepost'rously t'entice and gain In order to so great an end ?

Those to adore them they disdain; Or Heaven itself a sin resent,

And only draw them in to clog, That for its own supply was meant ?

With idle names, a catalogue. That inerits, in a kind mistake,

A lover is, the more he's brave, A pardon for th' offence's sake?

This mistress but the more a slave, Or if it did not, but the cause

And whatsoever she commands, Were left to th' injury of laws,

Becomes a favour from her hands, What tyranny can disapprove

Which he 's oblig'd t' obey, and must, There should be equity in love?

Whether it be unjust or just. For laws, that are inanimate,

Then, when he is compellid by her And feel no sense of love or bate,

T adventures he would else forbear, That have no passion of their own,

Who, with his honour, can withstand, Nor pity to be wrought upon,

Since force is greater than command ? Are only proper to inflict

And when necessity 's obey'd, Revenge, on criminals, as strict :

Nothing can be unjust or bad: But to have power to forgive,

And therefore when the mighty powers Is empire and prerogative;

Of Love, our great ally, and your's, And 'tis in crowns a nobler gem

Join'd forces, not to be withstood To grant a pardon than condemn.

By frail enamour'd flesh and blood, Then, since so few do what they ought,

All I have done, unjust or ill, Tis great t’indulge a well-meant fault;

Was in obedience to your will; For why should he who made address

And all the blame, that can be due, All humble ways, without success,

Falls to your cruelty and you. And met with nothing in retum

Nor are those scandals I confest, But insolence, affronts, and scorn,

Against my will and interest, Not strive by wit to countermine,

More than is daily done, of course, And bravely carry his design?

By all men, when they 're under force : He who was us'd so unlike a soldier,

Whence some, upon the rack, confess Blown up with philtres of love-powder ;

What th' hangman and their prompters please; And, after letting blood, and purging,

But are no sooner out of pain, Condemn'd to voluntary scourging;

Than they deny it all again. Alarm'd with many a horrid fight,

But when the Devil turns confessor, And claw'd by goblins in the night;

Truth is a crime he takes no pleasure Insulted on, revil'd, and jeerd,

To hear or pardon, like the founder With rude invasion of his beard ;

Of liars, whom they all claim under: And, when your sex was foully scandal'd,

And therefore, when I told him none, As foully by the rabble handled;

I think it was the wiser done. Attack'd by despicable foes,

Nor am I without precedent, And drubb'd with mean and vulgar blows;

The first that on th' adventure went; And, after all, to be debarr'd

All mankind ever did of course, So much as standing on bis guard ;

And daily does, the same, or worse. When horses, being spurr'd and prickd,

For what roman can show a lover, Have leave to kick for being kick'd?

That had a lady to recover, Or why should you, whose mother-wits

And did not steer a nearer course, Are furnish'd with all perquisites,

To fall aboard in his amours? That with your breeding teeth begin,

And what at first was held a crime, And nursing babies that lie in,

Has turn'd to honourable in time. B' allow'd to put all tricks upon

To what a height did infant Rome, Our cully sex, and we use none?

By ravishing of women, come? We, who have nothing but frail vows

When men upon their sponses seiz'd, Against your stratagems t'oppose,

And freely marry'd where they pleas'd; VOL. VIII.


They ne'er forswore themselves, nor lyd,

But I forget myself, and rove Nor, in the mind they were in, dy'd;

Beyond th' instructions of my love. Nor took the pains t' address and sue,

Forgive me, fair, and only blame Nor play'd the masquerade, to woo :

Th’ extravagancy of my flame, Disdain’d to stay for friends' consents,

Since 'tis too much at once to show Nor juggled about settlements;

Excess of love and temper too; Did need no licence, nor no priest,

All I have said that's bad and true, Nor friends, nor kindred, to assist,

Was never meant to aim at you, Nor lawyers, to join land and money

Who have so sovereign a controul In th' holy state of matrimony,

O'er that poor slave of your's, my soul, Before they settled hands and hearts,

That, rather than to forfeit you, Till alimony or death departs;

Has ventured loss of Heaven too; Nor would endure to stay until

Both with an equal power possest, They 'ad got the very bride's good will,

To render all that serve you blest; But took a wise and shorter course

But none like him, who 's destin'd either To win the ladies, downright force;

To have or lose you both together; And justly made them prisoners then,

And, if you 'll but this fault release, As they have, often since, us men,

(For so it must be, since you please) With acting plays, and dancing jigs,

I'll pay down all that vow, and more,
The luckiest of all Love's intrigues;

Which you commanded, and I swore,
And, when they had them at their pleasure, And expiate, upou my skin,
They talk'd of love and flames at leisure;

Th' arrears in full of all my sin :
For, after matrimony 's over,

For 'tis but just that I should pay He that holds out but half a lover,

Th' accruing penance for delay; Deserves, for every minute, more

Which shall be done, until it move Than half a year of love before ;

Your equal pity and your love.For which the dames, in contemplation

The knight, perusing this epistle, Of that best way of application,

Believ'd he 'ad brought her to his whistle, Prov'd nobler wives than e'er were known

And read it, like a jocund lover, By suit or treaty to be won ;

With great applause, t' himself, twice over; And such as all posterity

Subscrib'd his name, but at a fit Could never equal, nor come nigh.

And humble distance, to his wit, For women first were made for men,

And dated it with wondrous art, Not men for them.-It follows, then,

“Giv'n from the bottom of his heart;" That men have right to every one,

Then seal'd it with his coat of love, And they no freedom of their own;

A smoking faggot--and above, And therefore men have power to choose,

Upon a scroll-—“I burn and weep," But they no charter to refuse.

And near it—"For her Ladyship, Hence 'tis apparent that, what course

Of all her sex most excellent, Soe'er we take to your amours,

These to her gentle hands present ;" Though by the indirectest way,

Then gave it to his faithful squire, 'Tis no injustice nor foul play;

With lessons how to observe and eye her. And that you ought to take that course, As we take you, for better or worse,

She first consider'd which was better, And gratefully submit to those

To send it back, or burn the letter: Who you, before another, chose.

But, guessing that it might import, For why should every savage beast

Though nothing else, at least her sport, Exceed his great lord's interest?

She open'd it, and read it out, Have freer power than he, in Grace

With many a smile and leering flout; And Nature, o'er the creature has ?

Resolv'd to answer it in kind,
Because the laws he since has made

And thus perform'd what she design'd.
Have cut off all the power he had;
Retrench'd the absolute dominion
That Nature gave him over women;
When all his power will not extend
One law of Nature to suspend;

And but to offer to repeal
The smallest clause, is to repel.
This, if men rightly understood

Their privilege, they would make good,
And not, like sots, permit their wives

That you 're a beast, and turn'd to grass, T'encroach on their prerogatives;

Is no strange news, nor ever was, For which sin they deserve to be

At least to me, who once, you know, Kept, as they are, in slavery :

Did from the pound replevin you, And this some precious gifted teachers,

When both your sword and spurs were won Unreverently reputed leachers,

In combat by an Amazon ; And disobey'd in making love,

That sword, that did, like Fate, determine Have vow'd to all the world to prove,

Th’inevitable death of vermin, And make ye suffer, as you ought,

And never dealt its furious blows, For that uncharitable fault:

But cut the throats of pigs and cows,


By Tralla was, in single fight,

What ecstasy and scorching flame Disarm'd and wrested from its knight;

Burns for my money in my name; Your heels degraded of your spurs,

What, from th' unnatural desire And in the stocks close prisoners,

To beasts and cattle, takes its fire; Where still they 'ad lain, in base restraint, What tender sigh and trickling tear If I, in pity of your complaint,

Longs for a thousand pounds a year; Had not, on honourable conditions,

And languishing transports are fond Releas'd them from the worst of prisons ;

Of statute, mortgage, bill, and bond. And what return that favour met

These are th' attracts which most men fall You cannot (though you would) forget;

Enamour'd, at first sight, withal; When, being free, you strove t evade

To these th' address with serenades, The oaths you had in prison made;

And court with balls and masquerades; Forswore yourself, and first deny'd it,

And yet, for all the yearning pain But after own'd, and justify'd it;

Ye 'ave suffer'd for their loves in vain, And, when ye 'ad falsely broke one vow,

I fear they 'll prove so nice and coy, Absolv'd yourself by breaking two:

To have, and thold, and to enjoy, For, while you sneakingly submit,

That, all your oaths and labour lost, And beg for pardon at our feet,

They 'll ne'er turn Ladies of the Post. Discourag'd by your guilty fears,

This is not meant to disapprove To hope for quarter for your ears,

Your judgment, in your choice of love, And doubting 'twas in vain to sue,

Which is so wise, the greatest part You claim us boldly as your due;

Of mankind study 't as an art; Declare, that treachery and force,

For love should, like a deodand, To deal with us, is th' only course;

Still fall to th' owner of the land; We have no title nor pretence

And, where there 's substance for its ground, To body, soul, or conscience,

Cannot but be more firm and sound, But ought to fall to that man's share,

Than that which has the slighter basis That claims us for his proper ware:

Of airy virtue, wit, and graces; These are the motives which, tinduce,

Which is of such thin subtlety, Or fright us into love, you use;

It steals and creeps in at the eye, A pretty new way of gallanting,

And, as it can't endure to stay, Between soliciting and ranting!

Steals out agaiu as nice a way. Like sturdy beggars, that entreat

But love, that its extraction owns For charity at once, and threat.

From solid gold and precious stones, But, since you undertake to prove

Must, like its shining parents, prove Your own propriety in love,

As solid, and as glorious love. As if we were but lawful prize

Hence 'tis you have no way t express In war between two enemies,

Our charms and graces but by these; Or forfeitures, which every lover,

For what are lips, and eyes, and teeth, That would but sue for, might recover ;

Which beauty invades and conquers with, It is not hard to understand

But rubies, pearls, and diamonds, The mystery of this bold demand,

With which a philtre love commands? That cannot at our persons aim,

This is the way all parents prove But something capable of claim.

In managing their children's love, 'Tis not those paltry counterfeit

That force them t'intermarry and wed, French stones, which in our eyes you set,

As if th' were burying of the dead; But our right diamonds, that inspire

Cast earth to earth, as in the grave, And set your amorous hearts on fire:

To join in wedlock all they bave, Nor can those false St. Martin's beads,

And, when the settlement 's in force, Which on our lips you lay for reds,

Take all the rest for better or worse; And make us wear like Indian dames,

For money has a power above Add fuel to your scorching flames;

The stars, and Fate, to manage Love, But those two rubies of the rock,

Whose arrows, learned poets hold, Which in our cabinets we lock.

That never miss, are tipp'd with gold. Tis not those orient pearls, our teeth,

And, though some say the parents claims That you are so transported with;

To make love in their children's names ; But those we wear about our necks,

Who, many times, at once provide Produce those amorous effects.

The nurse, the husband, and the bride, Nor is 't those threads of gold, our hair,

Feel darts, and charms, attracts, and flames, l'he periwigs you make us wear;

And woo and contract in their names, But those bright guineas in our chests,

And, as they christen, use to marry them, Chat light the wildfire in your breasts.

And, like their gossips, answer for them; These love-tricks I 've been vers'd in so,

Is not to give in matrimony, That all their sly intrigues I know,

But sell and prostitute for money ; And can unriddle, by their tones,

"Tis better than their own betrothing, Their mystic cabals, and jargones;

Who often do 't for worse than nothing; Can tell what passions, by their sounds,

And, when they 're at their own dispose, Pine for the beauties of my grounds;

With greater disadvantage choose. What raptures fond and amorous

All this is right; but, for the course 'th' charms and graces of my house;

You take to do 't, by fraud or force,

'Tis so ridiculous, as soon

Nor are those master-strokes o. beauty As told, 'tis never to be done,

To be perform'd without hard duty, No more than setters can betray,

Which, when they 're nobly done, and well, That tell what tricks they are to play.

The simple natural excel. Marriage, at best, is but a vow,

How fair and sweet the planted rose Which all men either break or bow:

Beyond the wild in hedges grows! Then what will those forbear to do,

For, without art, the noblest seeds Who perjure when they do but woo?

Of flowers degenerate into weeds : Such as beforehand swear and lie,

How dull and rugged, ere 'tis ground For earnest to their treachery,

And polish'd, looks a diamond ? And, rather than a crime confess,

Though Paradise were e'er so fair, With greater strive to make it less ?

It was not kept so without care. Like thieves, who, after sentence past,

The whole world, without art and dress, Maintain their innocence to the last;

Would be but one great wilderness ;
And, when their crimes were made appear, And mankind but a savage herd,
As plain as witnesses can swear,

For all that Nature has conferr'd:
Yet, when the wretches come to die,

This does but rough-hew and design, Will take upon their death a lie.

Leaves Art to polish and refine. Nor are the virtues you confess'd

Though women first were made for men, T' your ghostly father, as you guess'd,

Yet men were made for them again: So slight as to be justify'd,

For when (ovt-witted by his wife) By being as shamefully denyd;

Man first turn'd tenant but for life, As if you thought your word would pass,

If women had not interven'd, Point-blank, on both sides of a case;

How soon had mankind bad an end ! Or credit were not to be lost

And that it is in being yet, B' a brave knight-errant of the Post,

To us alone you are in debt.
That eats perfidiously his word,

And where 's your liberty of choice,
And spears his ears through a two-inch board; And our unnatural no-voice?
Can own the same thing, and disown,

Since all the privilege you boast,
And perjure booty, pru and con;

And falsely usurp'd, or vainiy lost, Can make the gospel serve his turn,

Is now our right, to whose creation And help him out, to be forsworn;

You owe your happy restoration. When 'tis laid hands upon, and kist,

And if we had not weighty cause To be betray'd and sold, like Christ.

To not appear, in making laws, These are the virtues in whose name

We could, in spite of all your tricks, A right to all the world you claim,

And shallow formal politics, And boldly challenge a dominion,

Force you our managements t'obey, In Grace and Nature, o'er all women;

As we to yours (in show) give way. Of whom no less will satisfy,

Hence 'tis that, while you vainly strive Than all the sex, your tyranny:

T advance your bigh prerogative, Although you 'll find it a hard province,

You basely, after all your braves, With all your crafty frauds and covins,

Submit, and own yourselves our slaves; To govern such a numerous crew,

And, 'cause we do not make it known, Who, one by one, now govern you ;

Nor publicly our interests own, Por, if you all were Solomons,

Like sots, suppose we have no shares And wise and great as he was once,

In ordering you and your affairs, You 'll find they 're able to subdue

When all your empire and command (As they did him) and baftle you.

You have from us, at second-hand; And if you are impos'd upon,

As if a pilot, that appears 'Tis by your own temptation done,

To sit still only, while he steers, That with your ignorance invite,

And does not make a noise and stir, And teach us how to use the sleight;

Like every common mariner, For, when we find ye 're still more taken

Knew nothing of the card, nor star, With false attracts of our own making,

And did not guide the man of war: Swear that 's a rose, and that 's a stone,

because we don't appear Like sots, to us that laid it on,

In councils, do not govern there; And, what we did but slightly prime,

While, like the mighty Prester John, Most ignorantly daub in rhyme,

Whose person none dares look upon, You force us, in our own defences,

But is preserv'd in close disguise, To copy beams and influences;

From being, made cheap to vulgar eyes, To lay perfections on the graces,

W' enjoy as large a power unseen, And draw attracts upon our faces,

To govern him, as he does men; And, in compliance to your wit,

And, in the right of our pope Joan, Your own false jewels counterfeit:

Make emperors at our feet fall down; For by the practice of those arts

Or Joan de Pucelle's braver name, We gain a greater share of hearts;

Our right to arms and conduct claim; And those deserve in reason most,

Who, though a spinster, yet was able That greatest pains and study cost :

To serve France for a grand constable. For great perfections are, like Heaven,

We make and execute all laws, | Too rich a present to be given.

Can judge the judges, and the cause;

Nor we,

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