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Then, if you love your wife, or rather dote on her, sir, oh, how she’ll torture you and take pleasure i’ your torments! You shall lie with her but when she lists; she will not hurt
her beauty, her complexion; or it must be for that jewel or that pearl when she does; every half hour’s pleasure must be bought anew, and with the same pain and charge you
wooed her at first. Then you must keep what servants she please, what company she will; that friend must not visit you without her license; and him she loves most she will
seem to hate eagerliest, to decline your jealousy; or feign to be jealous of you first, and for that cause go live with her she-friend or cousin at the college, that can instruct her in
all the mysteries of writing letters, corrupting servants, taming spies; where she must have that rich gown for such a great day, a new one for the next, a richer for the third; be served in silver; have the chamber filled with a succession of grooms, footmen, ushers, and other messengers, besides embroiderers, jewellers, tire-women, sempsters, feathermen, perfumers; while she feels not how the land drops away, nor the acres melt, nor foresees the change when the mercer has your woods for her velvets; never weighs what her pride costs, sir, so she may kiss a page or a smooth chin that has the despair of a beard; be a states
woman, know all the news; what was done at Salisbury, what at the Bath, what at court, what in progress; or so she may censure poets and authors and styles, and compare
’em, Daniel with Spenser, Jonson with the tother youth, and so forth; or be thought cunning in controversies or the very knots of divinity, and have often in her mouth the state of the question, and then skip to the mathematics and demonstration, and answer in religion to one, in state to another, in bawdry to a third.
All this is very true, sir. And then her going in disguise to that conjuror and this cunning woman, where the first question is, how soon you shall die? next, if her present servant love her? next that, if she shall have a new servant? and how many? which of her family would make the best bawd, male or female? what precedence she shall have by her next match? And sets down the answers, and believes ‘em above the scriptures. Nay, perhaps she’ll study the art.
Gentle sir, ha’ you done? Ha’ you had your pleasure o’ me?
I’ll think of these things.
yes, sir; and then comes reeking home of vapour and sweat with going afoot, and lies in a month of a new face, all oil and birdlime, and rises in asses’ milk, and is cleansed with a new fucus. God b’ w’ you, sir. One thing more, which I had almost forgot. This too, with whom you are to marry may have made a conveyance of her virginity aforehand, as
your wise widows do of their states, before they marry, in trust to some friend, sir. Who can tell? Or if she have not done it yet, she may do, upon the wedding day, or the night
before, and antedate you cuckold. The like has been heard of in nature. ‘Tis no devised, impossible thing, sir. God b’ w’ you. I’ll be bold to leave this rope with you, sir, for a