« AnteriorContinuar »
Thither the obsequious 'squire address'd his pace,
It so befel, in that fair morning-tide,
• 'Tis too apparent, argue what you can,
• Heav'n rest thy spirit, noble Solomon,
Thus says the king, who knew your wickedness; The son of Sirach testifies no less. So may some wildfire on your bodies fall, Or some devouring plagne consume you all ; As well you view the lecher in the tree, And well this honourable knight you see: But since he's blind and old (a helpless case) His 'squire shall cuckold him before your face.
Now by my own dread majesty I swear, And by this awful sceptre which I bear, No impious wretch shall 'scape unpunish'd long, . That in my presence offers such a wrong. I will this instant undeceive the knight, And in the very act restore his sight: And set the strumpet here in open view, A warning to these ladies, and to yon, And all the faithless sex, for ever to be true.'
And will you so,' replied the queen, indeed?) Now, by my mother's soul, it is decreed, She shall not want an answer at her need. For her and for her daughters, I'll engage, And all the sex in each succeeding age; Art shall be theirs to varnish an offence, And fortify their crimes with confidence. Nay,.were they taken in a strict embrace, Seen with both eyes, and pinion'd on the place; All they shall need is to protest and swear, Breathe a soft sigh, and drop a tender tear; Till their wise husbands, guli'd by arts like these, Grow gentle, tractable, and tame as geese.
• What though this slanderous Jew, this Solomon, Call'd women fools, and knew full many a one; The wiser wits of later times declare How constant, chaste, and virtuous, women are :