YOU manage this Husband of yours very dextrously.
While you live observe this; that the only way to rule a conceited Fool, is to seem to be rul'd by him.
I am convinc'd, but still admire by what strange Art you keep him at this distance, for I have hear'd that your Old Men, like those that have stinking Breaths, will always be drawing closer than other Folks!
Why, by a pretended distast of all Men, I have secur'd my self a∣gainst one that I hate in earnest, so that now —
He avoids you to gain your Esteem!
And 'tis his only way to gain it, for trust me Clarinda, there is no∣thing so distastful as a Husband's fondness, and you had better be hated of the Man you Love, than Lov'd of the Man you hate.
Then we must hate if we Marry!
You'll find it difficult to Love, for Marriage sets the Object too near us, and Love is a fine Flower, that loses its Scent if we keep it always at our Nose.
Where is the fault then?
Perhaps 'tis in our selves—our Pleasures languish when they become familiar to us, and 'tis in Love as in Ambition, our thirst is still for some∣thing that we have not.
I fansie the Dominion they pretend over us, may be one reason, and methinks the slavery's misplac'd, for the Government of Love shou'd be in the Women; They always make the Lover happy in his Chains; but—
Husbands, alas! Are like other Tyrants, the greatest good we ex∣pect from 'em, is to do no harm.
You indeed have reason to think so, for to a Woman of any Spleen, Sir Soloman must needs be of a very unlucky temper, and seems to have some∣thing peculiar in him to Create aversion, for he is always talking, and al∣ways giving his impertinent Advice.
And you can't oblige him more than to ask it.
He has all the ridiculous extremes of the Gay and the Grave, but I like nothing in him so much as his pretending to understand the World—he is so wise an Owl!
Nay since he has been, as he calls it, of the party, he has taken new Airs upon him; all my Family, forsooth, are order'd by rules of State, and he is grown so important to himself, that he's affraid the Cook or the Butler should Poyson him—but here he comes.
No, no, no, Friend, I understand the World, I understand the World—.
What's the matter? Sir Solomon.
Nothing Cousin, nothing, only this Fellow (suborn'd as I guess by the Ministry) had a mind to corrupt my Judgment, with an Argument for a standing Army.
Sir Solomon, if you don't like that, I have Books of the other Party.
Hast thou so Friend let's see 'em—
A Proposal to take the Lace off the Soldiers Cloaths, and put it on our Wives Petty-Coats—Hah! hah! This is a foolish Project for they'll give it 'em again.
There may be some danger Sir Solomon.
No, No — I don't like that, any thing belonging to Soldiers shou'd come so near 'em—what's this
I have been perswading her, ever since you went, but she is so unwil∣ling! — pray, Madam, gratify Sir Solomon, and go to the Play.
Ay do, My Dear, gratify me as my Cousin says, and go to the Play, you must not deny your self all the Pleasures of the World, for your Love of me, come it will divert you.
Divert me! Is it possible, Sir Solomon, you shou'd have so little Re∣ligion, as to fancy the Entertainment of that place cou'd give a Civil Wo∣man any Pleasure? Not that I think, all are otherwise that go there, but the dishonest Liberties of the Stage are such, that we seldom hear any thing, that diverts without something that offends.
Poor Fool! But 'tis a wicked place!
But the Moral, Madam, often leaves us a quite different impression.
Nay there you are lost Clarinda, for tell me a Play in which there is not for a Moral, if you Marry you're a Cuckold, and Woman's Virtue is a Chimara.
Well I am certainly the only Husband in this Town, that is not one—How happy am I in a Wife—
The Licence is indeed too great, yet the fault is equal in the Town, and the Poet who only shows us the World a little too near, for, turn but your Eyes off the Stage, and you shall see that your agreeable Woman is a Coquet, and your agreeable Man an Athiest, and the first step to be very witty, is (it seems) to be very wicked.
Bless us all! But the World Cousin is very bad, very bad
I don't understand those things, but am sorry you Converse with such People, for the next Scandal to the being a Poet, is to keep 'em Com∣pany.
Alas, My Dear, you don't take it—we that wou'd understand the World; must make it our business to read Men — I mingle with such People indeed, and can hear 'em Crack a jest or so, and now and then put in a joke my self, but Sir Solomon Empty, is not to be fathom'd by ev'ry Bo∣dy, I defy 'em to get any thing out of me!
I'll Answer for it.
I did not apprehend it, but the World, that seldom makes a true Judgment, content themselves with the appearances of things, and your Cha∣racter is drawn from the Airs that you make in make in Publick.
Looky' Wife, I wou'd be mistaken in some things, a good States Man, like a good Wrestler, conceals his strength for an opportunity, and my Capacity is a Secret—but you are Women and don't understand things.
Sir, The Coach is at the Door.
Very well—I don't like that Fellow's Face, he looks as if he was a Spy upon my Actions—so now you are kind!
I shall always prefer Obedience to inclination.
I'll lead you to your Coach.
Why won't you go with us?
No, no, my dear, they stay for me at the Fountain, and I wou'd not miss a Night to be made a Privy-Councellor.
You always find reasons to leave me.
Well thou art a Machiavil, Astrea, I am astonish'd, she longs to go, and by a Counterfeit unwillingness makes him against his own inclination press her to go, and how happy he thinks himself in having perswaded her to do what he wou'd not have her do.
There is no blessing like a Virtuous Wife! No Comfort beyond it! To see her fears and her Caution, to tell me I should please her more if I wou'd lead her to the Church—Poor fool! She thinks of nothing but me and her Prayer-Book, then she is so tender of her Fame, that she is never guilty of an indecency so great as to Kiss me in Company; and this Conduct has pre∣vailed with her so much, that she has a sort of unwillingness, and fear to do it, even when we are alone, and so Chast!—Well I am the happiest Man! Ha! who have we here my Noble Captain.
Sir Solomon Empty!
Welcome from Flanders Tom, welcome from Flanders—What ne'er a Wooden Leg yet! Why thou art the unluckiest Fellow in the World! Not an Ear, or an Eye, or a peice of thy Nose off, but return'st to thy Friends like an ordinary Man!
Come don't be Melancholly but tell us, what weeping Orphans, and smiling Widows thou hast made, what Towns demolish'd this Cam∣pain!
Faith, Sir Solomon, I have demolish'd nothing but my Commission, and made no Orphans but my self, I am broke that's all.
Ay, and enough too—but how so Tom! Do you know—
Prithee lay this aside, all I know is, that I am come from starving, in a Crowd to starve in a Corner.
Starve! A young Fellow, and talk of starving!
I know thou understand'st Men, make me a little acquainted with my self, and tell me what I am fit for—I have been thinking a great while, and can find no Virtue to lay to my charge.
O! You are modest Tom, you are modest—but let me see—fit for! Thou hast a good Voice, I have heard, upon a Muster, and wert of the Temple before the War—what dost thou think of the Law.
Very well, but I know nothing of it, but what I have got from be∣ing Arrested.
Enough, enough Tom, I knew several Eminent Pleaders that got Estates with as little—'tis but talking on and loud.
But we Soldiers, Sir Solomon, are so us'd to dispatch a business at a blow, that I should starve before I cou'd arrive at their secret of perplexing a matter, and spining out a cause, beside, I want all the requisites, the double Dealing, the Impudence! The Lungs! The Conscience!—
Conscience! Nay, Tom, if thou hast that in thy Head!—thou wert born to be a Beggar—but is there no way—hark ye, Tom, thou art a very Clean Shap'd-Fellow, what if you went into the Playhouse, and turn'd Actor! Ha! ha! I thought I shou'd make thy Fortune at last! Why thou may'st come to be a King in time, and keep Company with Princes! I'll warrant, they shall make thee an Alderman the first dash.
I'd rather be his Horse.
They'll try your Talent, Tom, not but thou may'st get as much honour from acting a Cobler, as acting a Lord, as an old Moralist said of the World, and I had rather see a Scaramouch than an Emperor! for there's that Dog! that sly Rogue, that arch Son of a Whore, that Pinkethman, there's always more in that Fellows Face than his words, and to see that Rascal Act does me more good than railing against the Court party—well, Tom, how do ye like a Player.
As ill as I do a Lawyer, and I am quite as unfit for it, I cou'd no more listen to the dull Chat of every Fop behind the Scenes, than I cou'd bear his slinking Breath—then I shou'd scarce be imploy'd enough to live by it, for I cou'd not act in a dull Play, because I hate to speak any Bodies non∣sence Page 5 but my own, and to be Hist off the Stage, or punish'd for an others Crime—
Is the Devil—but that would never happen, if these silly Fel∣lows, the Poets, would be rul'd; they are still aiming at Wit—If I was to write a Play—
You wou'd not split upon that Rock.
No, no, Tom, I'd have something to divert every Body. I'd have your Atheism to please the Wits—some affectation to entertain the Beaux, a Rape or two to engage the Ladies; and I'd bring in the Bears, before every Act, to secure an interest in the Upper Gallery.
You have forgot one Range, what wou'd you do for the Cits in the Middle?
Why I'd raise 'em a Ghost to tell their Children of when they come home — but now you speak of Cits, Tom, I have an imployment that will fit thee. The Ladies, Tom, the Ladies, there's the Treasure at last—
Ay, such a Treasure as I shall spend my own before I shall find.
Why what charges can there be when you Factor for your self?
O the greater—He that won't imploy a Procuress out of good Hus∣bandry, is like him that shoots his Wild-fowl to save money, when he reckons the Powder, the Shot, and other Expences; he'll find that he might a had 'em cheaper of a Poulterer.
I see, Tom, thou run'st into the common error of ingenious Men, who think the World is govern'd by reason—you may perhaps come to live happy in it with your reason; but the way to be a great Man, is to be enterprizing.
Indeed I am apt to think he'll never do Miracles that does nothing but what he should do.
In that thought I leave you,
If I was sure of meeting any of thy Relations there, it might tempt me to go—Now this old Rascal thinks a Soldier fit for any thing that's mean, and values himself upon his Riches that we have secur'd to him with our Blood—What Gallant Spirit would move a Finger for such Slaves!—To bear all hardships, and stand intrepid midst a thousand horrours, where Glory pushes us beyond our selves to be despised when we return, and among the very People he has sav'd, with all his wounds, the tatter'd Hero starves—but Ingratitude's a humane Virtue, no Beast ever pretended to it, and it is so perfectly in our Nature, that we may observe no People hate so heartily as those that have been highly obliged — as for us, it seems there is no Rogue like a Soldier; we are a sort of Vagabonds, that are fit indeed, upon occasion, to stand between sober folks and danger, and are us'd just like a Militia Officer's Sword, when training day's over 'tis thrown aside—O such Worthies!
Ha, ha, ha, Woe be to some poor Dog of a Husband — who knows now whose fate may depend upon this advice of mine—some Lord or Alderman, Page 6 or perhaps some industrious Merchant, that may be sweating at the Indies, while his Wife—ha, ha, ha,—well, I am a mischievous Dog, but let 'em take what follows.
[Ha, my Friend Cleremont, the Spirit of Mirth and Wickedness!
Drink and drive care away.
Now this Fellow's Merry will I sift him—'twas Machiavil's way
Ah don't speak of her, Sir Solomon, don't Name her, 'tis touching upon ones madness in an interval of Sence, and enough to make me rave in Flames, and darts and Charms, and so forth—I have been drinking all day to forget her, and now you must lay her in my way.
And is this all the use you make of a Lady, that lies in your way? If I was in thy place!
Ay, thou wou'd'st lay about thee— Thou art a Dangerous Fellow—I find I must take care when I am Married.
O I never wrong my Friend, never wrong my Friend!
'Tis good to be sure, Sir Solomon, I'll take her out of thy Neighbour∣hood—such a vigorous Rogue! Why they say, thou art worse than St. George's Dragon, a Virgin a day won't satisfy thee, besides Wives and Traders.
Ha! Ha! People will say any thing — though faith one can do nothing in this Town, but its presently Whisper'd about.
here's a Rogue! I find to be unable's ashame at 60.
But these things must not be talk'd of, Love and Cheating shou'd be always private—But prethee tell me something of thy Courtship, does thy Sickly Lady listen to thee yet?
No, nor ever will, without I cou'd appear to her in the shape of a Consumption, or Appoplexy — she's in Love with nothing but Ghosts—Flesh and Blood are not gentile enough for her.
You wou'd never be advised—you shou'd Court her, in her own way, when she is Grip'd, you shou'd have the Chollick, when she begins to faint, you shou'd fall in a Swoon—Cough, Sigh and Complain, just as you see her, what doest ever think to gain a Woman by opposing her?
Ay, ay, the best way to gain her at her own Weapon, Contra∣diction.
Look ye Friend, be rul'd by me—(there is a Policy in Life, and ev'ry Man is a State to himself) now wou'd I have you be acquainted with her Doctor—Fee him as often as she does.
I'd as soon take Physick of him as often as she does, why he's with her Morning, Noon and Night, and has more Guinea's in a Day than Meals—No, no, Sir Solomon, I have taken a Cheaper way, a Poets sooner Fee'd than a Physician, I'll besiege her so with Songs and Sonnets, that she shall surren∣der for her own quiet.
And have you lay'd in a Magazin of these Stores?
I am providing my self with a Song to day, I sent my Man at Noon to hire a Poet, and he stay's as long as if he had imploy'd the City Laureat—but see the Rascal's come—well what heavy Rhymer did you meet with that Page 7 kept you thus long?
Sir, 'twas a long time before I cou'd find one.
A long time! Why you might a beat all the Garrets, from Will's Coffee-House to Aldgate in half the time.
Then I was with Three, Sir, before I met One—that wou'd be at leisure.
What were they doing Ned?
One, Sir Solomon, was writing a Lampoon for a Lady of Quality, in which he was to commend her and abuse all her Aquaintance.
Nay, she ought to be prais'd if she pay'd for it, 'but what were the rest upon?
One, Sir, was writing a Poem upon the Tyger that was baited, in which he pretends to prove, that he was of the Court-Party.
Ha!—that's some Cabal Poet, that's let into the secret of the Government.
The last, Sir Solomon, was making a Prayer for a Religious old Gen∣tlewoman, but that business not being in much hast, I prevail'd with him to do mine.
I can hardly read this Fellows hand—
Very pretty, Faith—When she's Sick we die.
'Tis very little for the Money!
For five Shillings more, Sir, he wou'd a put in the Similitude of a Bee, that kills while he's a dying.
Pox take him, and his Bee—an unreasonable Son of a Whore, a Crown for a Bee! 'sbud I can buy a Hive for half the Money—this is some saucy Rogue that eat's every Day—well now, Sir Solomon, against these Arms what Woman can defend her self?
They are unaccountable Creatures indeed, and very likely may be sooner Fidled than reason'd out of their favours.
There is no best way to get a Woman. Some whine, some dance, some dress, and some prate; but wiser Women, at last, considers a Man's Make rather than his words or actions; nay, or his Face.
'Tis your interest they shou'd.
Looky', Sir Solomon, the Woman that falls in Love with a Man for his Face, may find her self as much disappointed as the Man that believes a Woman for her Tears—they are false Signs.
But they are persuading ones.
Pshaw! Pshaw! they move only Children: but come along, and see your mistake.
I vow my heart's at my mouth!
There, let me seize my own.
You are sure he did not see us?
Certain of it.
Then I am happy. 'Twere very unlucky to be surpriz'd the first time we meet.
Fortune, Madam, has a greater care of Lovers.
Now pray let me know how to call you; for in a little time we must begin to lay aside the Titles of Sir and Madam.
And substitute those of my Dear and my Life!—
Ay! ay! for our Seasons of Love, but what if we should forget our selves, and fall to the dull indifference of Man and Wife?
Why then I must be call'd Freeman, and you—
I must not tell him right — Caelia.
I fansie you'r a Coward, my Dear! I observe the first thing you pro∣vide for is a retreat.
I'm afraid, my Hero! you'll have the first occasion to use it.
I don't know what a long War may produce, but—
Have a care Servant, don't soil your Merit with handling it—I dare not stay now, but to Morrow
At Six —
I'll meet you in the Field.
Nay, your Honour's at stake, and if you disappoint—
I can't spare a Glove, but be that my security—
Ha!—but—remember the Hour.
And you the occasion. Adieu, Servant.
I came! I saw! I conquer'd! Gold bright as her self! This is the luckyest adventure! Others Solicite, Bribe, Rise early, haunt Courts and great Men's Levees, and follow Fortune in the servile Crowd, but I meet the Goddess less ingag'd, and court her in her lovelyest shape, a Woman; a Woman too that has more Wit and Beauty, than Riches ever gave, or Poverty took away — but what now can this Woman be! She has too much Wit to come from the City, and too much Money to come from the Court —but to Morrow must unriddle all — I feel my Soul rise with my Pocket —
'Tis the properest time to fall into one.
Then you begin to have nothing in your head now, but 〈…〉 Children, and the Main Chance.
Nothing less, but instead of that, I have Pills, Elixers, Bolus's, Pti∣zans, and Gallipots.
Why, is the Lady you court an Apothecaries Widow?
No, but she is an Apothecaries Shop, she holds all his Drugs, she has her Physick for every hour of the Day and Night — her Bed is lin'd with Poppies, the black Boys at the Feet, that the vulgar imploy to bear Flowers in their Arms, she loads with Diascordium, and other sleepy Potions, that the little Devils seem to nod o'er their Charge — her sweet Bags are not perfum'd with such common stuff, and offensive to the Brain, as Musk and Amber; but they breath the Delightful and Salubrious Scents of Hartshorn, Rue, and Assefetida.
Why, she's fit to be the Consort of Hippocrates! but what other Charms has this extraordinary Lady?
She has one, Tom, that a Man may relish without being so deep a Physician.
Why 2000l. a Year.
No vulgar Beauty indeed! but canst thou for any consideration join thy self to this Hospital, this Box of Physick, and be forc'd to lye all Night like Leaf-gold upon a Pill?
Alas, Tom, this is not half the Evil, her humour is as strange as her Dyet — all about her must have fine Airs, and if she cou'd, her Posti∣lion shou'd be a Gentleman — she setled a Pension upon one of her Foot∣men for losing a Foretooth, and said he was maim'd in her service.
I'm afraid you'll come to your Pension too for a more consi∣derable maim — but what can you do with her, and her Physick; in a little time she'll grow like an Antimonial Cup, and a kiss will be able to work with you!
The best way to avoid that danger, wou'd be to marry her; for most Wives may be Antimonial Cups long enough, without being found out of their Husbands; but to prevent that, Tom, I design to break all the Glasses, and kick the Doctor down Stairs, on the Wedding day; and so I have told her.
That's very familiar; are you so near Man and Wife?
O! nearer, we begin to hate one another already.
I find then you'd Cure her of her Physick by a Counter-Poyson—but prithee Cleremont let me prevail with you to leave this humour of abusing Marriage; 'tis a mean Entertainment, and there's not a Porter in Town but can be too witty for you in it.
You see then I am o' th' right side, for their sence can't rise above speaking Truth.
Then to scorn Marriage while you desire it, is to treat your Mistress Page 10 like a common Dame that will be kickt into humour; and you'll be thought to know no other way that only strive to huff her to it.
Perhaps it might be the best.