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Drawn by Rich Wostull, 2.4.

Engrired by Louis Scavonet


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Thither the obsequious 'squire address'd his pace,
And, climbing, in the summit took his place ;
The knight and lady walk'd beneath in view,
Where let us leave them, and our tale pursue.
'Twas now the season when the glorious sun
His heavenly progress through the Twins had run;
And Jove, exalted, his mild influence yields,
To glad the glebe, and paint the flowery fields :
Clear was the day, and Phæbus, rising bright,
Had streak’d the azure firmament with light;
He pierc'd the glittering clouds with golden streams,
And warm’d the womb of earth with genial beams,

It so befel, in that fair morning-tide,
The fairies sported on the garden-side,
And in the midst their monarch and bis bride. S
So featly trip'd the light-foot ladies round,
The knights so vimbly o'er the greensward bound,
That scarce they bent the towers, or touch'd the

The dances ended, all the fairy train
For pinks and daisies search'd the flowery plain;
While on a bank reelin'd of rising green,
Thus, with a frown, the king bespoke his queen.

• 'Tis too apparent, argue what you can,
The treachery you women use to man :
A thousand authors have this truth made out,
And sad experience leaves no room for doubt.

• Heav'n rest thy spirit, noble Solomon,
A wiser monarch never saw the sun :
All wealth, all honours, the supreme degree
Of earthly bliss, was well bestow'd on thee!
For sagely hast thou said, of all mankind,
One only just and rightevus hope to find :
But shouldst thou search the spacious world around,
Yet one good woman is not be found.

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 :

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