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CHARLES COTTON.

THE JOYS OF MARRIAGE.

How uneasy is his life Who is troubled with a wife! Be she ne'er so fair or comely, Be she ne'er so foul or homely, Be she ne'er so young and toward, Be she ne'er so old and froward, Be she kind with arms enfolding, Be she cross and always scolding, Be she blithe or melancholy, Have she wit or have she folly, Be she wary, be she squand'ring, Be she staid, or be she wand'ring, Be she constant, be she fickle, Be she fire, or be she ickle, Be she pious or ungodly, Be she chaste or what sounds oddly : Lastly, be she good or evil, Be she saint, or be she devil; Yet uneasy is his life, Who is marry'd to a wife.

If fair, she's subject to temptation, If foul, herself's solicitation, VOL. V.

T

If young and sweet, she is too tender,
If old and cross, no man can mend her,
If too too kind, she's over clinging,
If a true scold, she's ever ringing,
If blithe, find fiddles, or y undo her,
If sad, then call a casuist to her,
If a wit, she'll still be jeering,
If a fool, she's ever feering,
If too wary, then she'll shrew thee,
If too lavish, she'll undo thee,
If staid, she'll mope a year together,
If gadding, then to London with her,
If true, she'll think you don't deserve her,
If false, a thousand will not serve her,
If she be of th' reformation,
Thy house will be a convocation,
If a libertine, then watch it,
At the window thou mayst catch it:
So uneasy is his life
Who is marry'd to a wife.

These are all extremes, I know,
But all womankind is so,
And the golden mien to none
Of that cloven race is known;
Or to one if known it be,
Yet that one's unknown to me.
Some Ulyssean traveller
May perhaps have gone so far,
As t have found (in spite of Nature)
Such an admirable creature.
If a voyager there be
Has made that discovery,
He the fam'd Odcombian gravels,
And may rest to write his travels.

But, alas ! there's no such woman,
The calamity is common,
The first rib did bring in ruin,
And the rest have since been doing,
Some by one way, some another,
Woman still is mischief's mother,
And yet cannot man forbear,
Though it cost him ne'er so dear.

Yet with me 'tis out of season
To complain thus without reason,
Since the best and sweetest fair
Is allotted to my share:
But, alas ! I love her so
That my love creates my woe;
For if she be out of humour,
Straight displeas'd I do presume her,
And would give the world to know
What it is offends her so:
Or if she be discontented,
Lord, how am I then tormented!
And am ready to persuade her
That I have unhappy made her:
But if sick, I then am dying,
Meat and Med'cine both defying:
So uneasy is bis life,
Who is marry'd to a wife.

Why then all the great pains taking ? Why the sighing? why the waking? Why the riding? why the running? Why the artifice and cunning? Why the whining? why the crying? Why pretending to be dying? Why all this clutter to get wives, To make us weary of our lives?

A VOYAGE TO IRELAND IN BURLESQUE.

The lives of frail men are compar'd by the sages,
Or unto short journies, or pilgrimages,
As men to their inns do come sooner or later,
That is, to their ends; (to be plain in my matter ;)
From whence, when one dead is, it currently fol.

lows,
He has run his race, though his goal be the gallows;
And this ’tis, I fancy, sets folks so a madding,
And makes men and women so eager of gadding ;
Truth is, in my youth I was one of those people
Would have gone a great way to have seen an high

steeple, And though I was bred ’mongst the wonders o'th'

Peak, Would have thrown away money, and ventur'd my

neck To have seen a great hill, a rock, or a cave, And thought there was nothing so pleasant and

brave; But at forty years old you may (if you please) Think me wiser than run such errands as these; Or, had the same humour still ran in my toes, A voyage to Ireland I ne'er should have chose : But to tell you the truth on't, indeed it was neither Improvement nor pleasure for which I went thither ; I know then you'll presently ask me, for what? Why, faith, it was that makes the old woman trot; And therefore I think I'm not much to be blam'd If I went to the place whereof Nick was asham’d.

Oh Coriate! thou traveller fam'd as Ulysses, In such a stupendious labour as this is,

my

Come lend me the aids of thy hands and thy feet,
Though the first be pedantic, the other not sweet,
Yet both are so restless in peregrination,
They'll help both my journey, and eke relation.

'Twas now the most beautiful time of the year, The days were now long, and the sky was now

clear, And May, that fair lady of splendid renown, Had dress'd herself fine, in her flowr'd tabby gown, When about some two hours and an half after noon, When it grew something late, though I thought it

too soon,

With a pitiful voice, and a most heavy heart,
I tun'd up my pipes to sing, loth to depart,
The ditty concluded, I call'd for my horse,
And with a good pack did the jument endorse,
Till he groan'd and he f—d under the burthen,
For sorrow had made me a cumbersome lurden:
And now farewel Dove, where I've caught such

brave dishes
Of over-grown, golden, and silver-scald fishes;
Thy trout and thy grailing may now feed securely,
I've left none behind me can take 'em so surely ;
Feed on then, and breed on, until the next year,
But if I return I expect my arrear.

By pacing and trotting, betimes in the even, E'er the Sun had forsaken one half of the Heaven, We all at fair Congerton took up our inn, Where the sign of a king kept a king and his queen: But who do you think came to welcome me there? No worse a man, marry, than good master mayor, With his staff of command, yet the man was not

lame, But he needed it more when he went, than he came ;

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