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I have a daughter equals you, my Girl!
The daughter doth excel the mother, then,
WIDOW. The man with whom I matched, his worth was such, As now I scorn a Maid should be my peer! But I will scorn the man you praise so much! For Maids are matchless! and no mate can bear.
WIFE. WIDOW. MAID.
Hence is it that the Virgin never loves;
Because her like, she finds not anywhere!
Therefore the Maid hath neither Love, nor peer!
Yet many Virgins, married Wives would be!
(If so she might !) her maiden days again!
WIDOW. There never was a Wife that liked her lot!
Both this estate, and that, repentance breeds!
But she that this estate, and that, hath seen,
The melting hailstone and the solid pearl!
If I were Widow, my merry days were past!
Nay! then you first become sweet Pleasure's guest! For Maidenhead is a continual fast! WIFE. And Marriage is a continual feast!
MAID. Wedlock indeed hath oft compared been
To Public Feasts, where meet a public rout: Where they that are without, would fain go in; And they that are within, would fain go out!
Or to the jewel, which this virtue had:
That men were mad till they might it obtain; But when they had it, they were twice as mad, Till they were dispossessed of it again!
Maids cannot judge! because they cannot tell
If every Wife do live in Purgatory,
Then sure it is that Widows live in bliss;
But Maids, as yet, have not attained to this!
Not Maids! To spotless Maids this gift is given,
And what is that, but to inherit Heaven!
Even while they dwell upon the spotted Earth :
The perfectest of all created things;
The purest gold, that suffers no allay;
The sweetest flower that on th' earth's bosom springs;
The crystal glass, that will no venom hold;
Beauty's fresh rose; and Virtue's living book.
Of Love and Fortune both, the Mistress born;
She sees the World; yet her clear thought doth take
No more, sweet Maid! Our strife is at an end!
WIDOW. Then let us yield the honour, and the place; And let us both be suitors to the Maid! That, since the Goddess gives her special grace, By her clear hands the off'ring be conveyed!
Your speech, I doubt, hath some displeasure moved;
I know She hath both Wives and Widows loved;
YET OTHER TWELVE WONDERS
OF THE WORLD.
I. THE Courtier.
LONG have I lived in Court: yet learned not, all this while, To sell poor Suitors smoke! nor where I hate, to smile! Superiors to adore; Inferiors to despise!
To fly from such as fall; to follow such as rise!
To cloak a poor desire under a rich array!
Not to aspire by vice! though 'twere the quicker way.
II. THE DIVINE.
My Calling is divine; and I from GOD am sent.
III. THE SOLDIER.
My Occupation is the noble trade of Kings!
And rather love to do, than boast what I have done.
IV. THE LAWYER.
The Law my Calling is! My robe, my tongue, my pen, Wealth and Opinion gain; and make me judge of men. The known dishonest Cause, I never did defend!
Nor span out Suits in length: but wished and sought an end.
Nor counsel did bewray; nor of both parties take;
V. THE PHYSICIAN.
I study to uphold the slippery state of Man;
Who dies, when we have done the best, and all, we can! From practice, and from books, I draw my learned skill; Not from the known receipt of 'Pothecary's bill.
The earth, my faults doth hide! The World, my cures doth see! What Youth and Time effect is oft ascribed to me.
VI. THE MERCHANT
My trade doth every thing to every land supply,
Nor custom did withdraw; though I returned with loss!
VII. THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN.
Though strange outlandish spirits praise towns, and country scorn,
VIII. THE BACHELOR.
How many things, as yet, are dear alike to me!
The field! the horse! the dog! love! arms! or liberty!