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Woman he callda pretty thing,'--
But never could abide a ring !”
Good Mr. Pringle !—you must sce Your arguments are light with me; They buzz like feeble flies around me, But leave me firm, as first they found me. Silence your logic! burn your pen! The Poet says “we all are men;" And all “ condemn'd alike to groan !" You with a wife, and I with none. Well !—yours may be a happier lot, But it is one I envy not; And you'll allow me, Sir, to pray, That, at some near-approaching day, You may not have to wince and whine, And find some cause to envy mine!
What, what is Marriage ? Harris, Priscian,
Assist me with a definition.-
“Oh!” cries a charming silly fool,
Emerging from her boarding-school-
“Marriage is—love without disguises,
It is a-something that arises
From raptures and from stolen glances,
To be the end of all romances;
I mustn't have you see me blush.”
“Pshaw!" says a modern modish wife,
“Marriage is splendor, fashion, life;
A house in town, and villa shady,
Balls, diamond bracelets, and “my lady;'
Then for finale, angry words,
“Some people's'obstinate's— absurd ! 's
And peevish hearts, and silly heads,
And oaths, and bête's and separate beds !"
An aged bachelor, whose life
Has just been sweetened with a wife,
Tells out the latent grievance thus :
“Marriage is-odd! for one of us
'Tis worse a mile than rope or tree,
Hemlock, or sword, or slavery;
An end at once to all our ways,
Dismission to the one-horse chaise;
Adieu to Sunday can, and pig,
Adieu to wine, and whist, and wig;
Our friends turn out,--our wife's are clapped in;
'Tis “exit Crony,'—enter Captain.'
Then hurry in a thousand thorns,-
Quarrels, and compliments,--and horns.
This is the yoke, and I must wear it;
Marriage is—hell, or something near it !"
“ Why, marriage,” says an exquisite,
Sick from the supper of last night,
“Marriage is—after one by me!
I promised Tom to ride at three.-
Marriage is—’gad! I'm rather late;
La Fleur !—my stays! and chocolate !-
Marriage is really, though, 'twas hard
To lose a thousand on a card;
Sink the old Duchess !--three revokes !
'Gad! I must fell the Abbey oaks :
Mary has lost a thousand more!
Marriage is—’gad ! a cursed bore !”
Hymen, who hears the blockheads groan,
Rises indignant from his throne,
And mocks their self-reviling tears,
And whispers thus in Folly's ears :
"O frivolous of heart and head!
If strifes infest your nuptial bed,
Not Hymen's hand, but guilt and sin,
Fashion and folly, force them in;
If on your couch is seated Care,
I did not bring the scoffer there ;
If Hymen's torch is feebler grown,
The hand that quenched it was your own;
And what I am, unthinking elves,
Ye all have made me for yourselves !”
At the last hour of Fannia's rout, When Dukes walked in, and lamps went out, Fair Chloe sat: a sighing crowd Of high adorers round her bowed, And ever Flattery's incense rose To lull the Idol to repose. Sudden some Gnome, that stood unseen, Or lurked disguised in mortal mien, Whispered in Beauty's trembling ear The word of bondage and of fear,— “Marriage:"/her lips their silence broke, And smiled on Vapid as they spoke“I hate a drunkard, or a lout, I hate the sullens and the gout ; If e'er I wed—let danglers know it,I wed with no one—but a poet.”
And who but feels a Poet's fire When Chloe's smiles, as now, inspire ? Who can the bidden verse refuse When Chloe is his theme and Muse ?