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550

And if 'tis counted treason here
To raze records, 'tis much more there.

Quoth she, there are no bargains driv’n, 545
Nor marriages clapp'd up in heav'n;
And that's the reason, as some guess,
There is no heav’n in marriages ;
Two things that naturally press
Too narrowly, to be at ease:
Their bus’ness there is only love,
Which marriage is not like t'improve;
Love, that 's too generous t' abide
To be against its nature tyd;
For where 'tis of itself inclin’d,
It breaks loose when it is confin'd,
And like the soul, its harbourer,
Debarr’d the freedom of the air,
Disdains against its will to stay,
But struggles out, and flies away;

555

560

And therefore never can comply,
T'endure the matrimonial tie,
That binds the female and the male,
Where th’ one is but the other's bail ;
Like Roman gaolers, when they slept, 565
Chain'd to the prisoners they kept :
Of which the true and faithfull'ît lover
Gives best security to suffer.
Marriage is but a beast, some fay,
That carries double in foul way,

570
And therefore 'tis not to be admir’d,
It should so suddenly be tir'd ;
A bargain, at a venture made,
Between two partners in a trade ;
For what's inferr’d by t' have and t hold, 575
But something past away and fold?
That, as it makes but one of two,
Reduces all things else as low;

580

And at the best is but a mart
Between the one and th' other part,
That on the marriage day is paid,
Or hour of death, the bet is laid ;
And all the rest of better or worse,
Both are but losers out of purse:
For when upon their ungot heirs

585
Th' entail themselves and all that's theirs,
What blinder bargain ere was driven,
Or wager laid at fix and seven?
To pass themselves away, and turn
Their children's tenants ere they're born?

590 Beg one another idiot To guardians, ere they are begot ; Or ever shall, perhaps, by th’one Who's bound to vouch them for his own, Tho' got b’implicit generation,

595 And general club of all the nation;

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605

For which she's fortify'd no less
Than all the island with four seas;
Exacts the tribute of her dower,
In ready infolence and power, ,
And makes him pass away, to have
And hold to her, himself, her slave,
More wretched than an ancient villain,
Condemn’d to drudgery and tilling ;
While all he does upon the by,
She is not bound to justify,
Nor at her proper cost and charge
Maintain the feats he does at large.
Such hideous sots were those obedient
Old vassals to their ladies regent,

610
To give the cheats the eldest hand
In foul play, by the laws o'th' land,
For which so many a legal cuckold
Has been run down in courts, and truckld:

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615

620

;

A law that most unjustly yokes
All Johns of Stiles to Joans of Nokes,
Without distinction of degree,
Condition, age, or quality ;
Admits no pow'r of revocation,
Nor valuable consideration,
Nor writ of error, nor reverse
Of judgment past, for better or worse ;
Will not allow the privileges
That beggars challenge under hedges,
Who, when they'regriev’d, can make dead horses
Their spiritual judges of divorces ;
While nothing elfe but rem in re,
Can set the proudest wretches free;
A slavery beyond enduring,
But that 'tis of their own procuring. 630
As spiders never seek the fly,
But leave him, of himself, t'apply;

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