Jamaica viewed with all the ports, harbours, and their several soundings, towns, and settlements thereunto belonging together, with the nature of it's climate, fruitfulnesse of the soile, and its suitableness to English complexions. With several other collateral observations and reflexions upon the island.
Hickeringill, Edmund, 1631-1708.
Page  67

Reflex. IV.

4. THat Souldiers wives are more properly seated in their hus∣band's Kitchin, then his Tent. General Vennable's Lady being not unjustly bla∣med, both for his sluggish and listlesse Proceedings, as also, for his unlicens'd and immature Return, further'd, if not procur'd by her too opportune Inculcations. A Dalliance of so sad a consequence to the English Nation, that zeal to my native Countrey whets my passions to so Satyrical an edge, that I can scarce forbear, here to lash out, against her whole Sex, did not the Virtues of some others interceed. However I must have a touch at the Martyred State, that warrants such unseasonable Companions for the Warres; wisely prevented by the Turks in their Eunuch-Generals.

The best on't is I am not awedPage  68(thanks to my fates) with the dread∣full Catechisme of a Curtain Lecture.

I cannot think on wretched Cleopa∣tra,
But she doth move my spleen, and Bilis atra:
Who caus'd silly Mark Anthony to smart;
Losing his head, when he gave her his heart.
He first embrac'd the Serpent in his arm,
But she, long after; both, with equal harm.
How call you those who fool'd old Solomon;
And shameless put the Royal Breeches on?
What can secure us from the Petti∣coat?
When wit, nor Samson's strength can save the throat?
If Pins and Laces Emperours enthral,
Wonder not at a puny General.
Page  69
But if you must wed; see some charm you get,
Inclose i'th' wedding-Ring an Amu∣let:
Nothing can be too safe; we thunder fear,
A toy to th' Curtain-whisper in the car.
Thus Socrates curst Zeno, (when in strife,
Vying for curses, wish'd, he had a Wife.
Thus the grave Judge in rigour did decree,
To him that had two Wives, He should have three.
(As the Monck shriv'd the Drunkard) for his pain,
Ordaining that he should be drunk a∣gain.)
If Expiations merit, none's more meet.
Then to do Penance in the Nuptial sheet:
For sure they need not Purgatory fear
Page  70
Hereafter, that (poor souls) endure it here.
There's no such joy in this betwin'd State then,
If any, th' women get it, not the men.
Though I must say, those pretty sweet∣meats please
Sometime; But to cloy'd stomachs a Disease.
Such is the Nuptial Surfeit, a mere Glut,
Like loathed Baggage to the nause∣ous Gut.
Enough is better then a feast, each one,
After a fast does fall the keener on;
But to lie wallowing in Cates, though rare,
Fie on't, what is it but a hoggish fare?
If then at best no better Chear you meet,
How doth he fare that's lodg'd i' th' loathed Sheet?
If the most stately Prisons cannot please,
Page  71
VVhat shall we find i' th' Jakes and Little-ease?
Is there no Paradise in Cherry-cheek,
What a plague is that then, that's as green as Leek?
If that your pretty Maids be things, but filly,
(Compar'd by ancient Bards, to Rose and Lilly)
Then sure, that look must needs be out of date,
Bedaub'd (like ulcers) with Precipi∣tate.
If Females, at the best, but pester men,
He's Match'd, that hath a Leagure-Lady then.
But I'le forbid no Banes; nor rouse the Nest
Of little angry Wasps: I'me but in jest;
Though, whil'st some read these lines, their Wives in view,
They'le whisper to themselves, and say, they're true.
Page  72
For by your leave, with Venus though you're match't,
There is no doubt but you are Coney∣catch't.

But such poor men, as this General Vennables, (that are thus o're-mated) works my pity rather then scorn, mo∣ving my bowels more then my spleen; for though the Kingdome was the loser, he is none of the gainers, and the thraldome of his sheets out-vies the Halter; furnishing us with this con∣clusion, That he's unfit to be Pater Patriae that is not Domt Dominus; nor to head an Army, that must kneel at his own Fire side; nor to ride Ad∣miral of a Fleet, that cannot carry the Flag at home, but is forced to lowre his Top sail, to a Petty coat. In defi∣ance whereof, I have here, with their own worded weapon, taken up the Gantlet, to my no little hazard of a scolding: though if they knew the respect and honour I have for the wor∣thy Page  73thy Ladies; (as those that knows me, know I am no woman hater,) nor in this relation any thing of kin to the Noble Blake, the nicest coynes would easily vouchsafe me an Act of Grace. All my quarrell with their Sex consi∣sting only in the defence of those poor men that stand in need of Abasuerus his Decree.