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Witness the martyrs, who resign'd their breath, .
• But since the sacred leaves to all are free,
Well, I'm a womart, and as such must speak; Silence would swell me, and my heart would break. Know then, I scorn your dull anthorities, Your idle wits, and all their learned lies : By beav'n, those authors are our sex's foes, Whom, in our right, I must and will oppose.' .Nay, (quoth the king) dear madam, be not
wroth: I yield it op; but since I gave my oath, That this much-injor'd knight again should see, It must be done-I am a king,' said be, *And one wlose faith bas ever sacred been~'.
* And so has mine (she said)—I am a queen :
Her answer she shall have, I undertake;
We leave them here in this heroic strain, .
Thus singing as he went, at last he drew By easy steps to where the pear-tree grew : The longing dame look'd up, and spied her love Full fairly perch'd among the boughs above. She stop'd, and sighing, ' O good gods !" she cried, • What pangs, what sudden shoots distend my side? O for that tempting fruit, so fresh, so green; Help, for the love of heav'n's immortal queen! Help, dearest lord, and save at once the life Of thy poor infant, and thy longing wife!'
Sore sigh'd the knight to hear his lady's cry, But could not climb, and had no servant nigh: Old as he was, and void of eye-sight too, What could, alas! a helpless husband do? • And must I languisha then (she said) and die, Yet view the lovely fruit before my eye? At least, kind sir, for charity's sweet sake, Vouchafe the trunk between your arms to take ; Then from your back I might ascend the tree; Do you but stoop, and leave the rest to me.'
"With all my soul,' he thus replied again, • I'd spend my dearest blood to ease thy pain.' With that his back against the trunk he bent: . She seiz'd a twis, and up the tree she went..
Now prove your patience, gentle ladies all!
Though blunt niy tale, yet honest is my mipd.
In that pice moment, lo! the wondering knight
"What ails my lord? the trembling dame replied, • I thought your patience had been better tried : Is this your love, ungrateful and unkipd, This my reward for having cur'd the blind? Why was I taught to make my husband see, . By struggling with a man upon a tree? Did I for this the power of magic prove? Uabappy wife, whose crime was too much love !
If this be struggling, by this holy light, 'Tis struggling with a vengeance (quoth the knight ;) So heav'n preserve the sight it has restor'd, As with these eyes I plainly saw thee whor'd; Whor'd by my slave -perfidious wretch I may hell As-sarely seize thee, as I saw too well.
Guard me, good angels! (cried the gentle May) « Pray heav'n this magic work the proper way!
Alas, my love! 'tis certain, conld you see,
• What I have said (quoth he) I must maintain, For by the’ immortal pow'rs it seem'd too plain* By all those pow'rs, some frenzy seiz'd your
mind; (Replied the dame) are these the thaoks I find? Wretch that I am, that e'er I was so kind! She said; a rising sigh express'd her woe, The ready tears apace began to flow, And as they fell she wip'd from either eye The drops, (for women, when they list, can cry.)?
The knight was touch'd; and in his tooks appear'd
Then, sir, be cautious, nor too rashly deem;
seem! Consult your reason, and you soon shall tind 'Twas you were jealous, not your wife unkind : Jove ne'er spoke oracle more true than this, None judge so wrong as those who think amiss.'
With that she leap'd into her lord's embrace, With well-dissembled vịrtņe in her face. He hugg'd her close, and kiss'd her o'er and o'er, Disturb'd with doubts and jealousies no more: Both, pleas'd and bless’d, renew'd their mutual
vows : A fryitful wife, and a believing sponse.
Thus ends our tale, whose moral next to make : Let all wise husbands hence example take; . And pray, to crown the pleasure of their lives, To be so well deluded by their wives.