The Ten Pleasures of Marriage and The Confession of the New-married Couple (1682)
by A. Marsh
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Printed in Great Britain

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The Restoration brought back to England something more than a king and the theatre. It renewed in English life the robust vitality of humour which had been repressed under the Commonwealth—though, in spite of repression, there were, even among the Puritan divines, men like the author of Joanereidos, whose self-expression ran the whole gamut from freedom to licentiousness.

It is a curious thing, that fundamental English humour. It can be vividly concentrated into a single word, as when, for instance, the chronicler of The Ten Pleasures of Marriage revives the opprobrious term for a tailor—"pricklouse": the whole history of the English woollen industry and of the stuffy Tudor and Stuart domestic architecture is in the nickname. Or a single phrase can light up an idea, as when, a few days before marriage, "the Bridegroom is running up and down like a dog." But, on the other hand, the spirit manifests itself sometimes in exuberance, as when Urquhart and Motteux metagrobolized Rabelais into something almost more tumescent and overwhelming than the original. In that vein of humour the present work frequently runs. The author is as ready to pile up his epithets as Urquhart himself. Let the Nurse go, he says, "for then you'll have an Eater, a Stroy-good, a Stufgut, a Spoil-all, and Prittle-pratler, less than you had before."

It is, in fact, as an example of English humour—exaggerated, no doubt, by the reaction from Puritanism—that The Ten Pleasures of Marriage should be viewed, in the main. It is true, however, that it is of uncertain parentage and must own to foreign kin. A well-known but (by a strange coincidence) almost equally rare book is Antoine de la Salle's Quinze Joies de Mariage. It seems possible that this was translated into English. At any rate, in the year in which The Ten Pleasures was published—1682-1683—the following work was registered at Stationers' Hall: The Woman's Advocate, or fifteen real comforts of matrimony, being in requital of the late fifteen sham comforts. Moreover, The Ten Pleasures was in all probability printed abroad—Hazlitt thinks at The Hague or Amsterdam. The very first page in the original edition contains one of several hints of Batavian production—"younger" is printed "jounger." The curious allusion to the great French poet, Clement Marot, may also suggest a temporary foreign sojourn for the author for though Marot was doubtless known to English readers in the seventeenth century, the exact reference of the allusion is not at all obvious. It very possibly reflects on the fact that in 1526 the Sorbonne condemned both Marot and his poem Colloque de l'abbe et de la femme scavante; and Marot certainly wrote about women and marriage. He is not, however, a "stock" figure in English literary allusion, either learned or popular, and the fact suggests at least familiarity with the literature of other countries.

But there can be no doubt of the English character of the text both in general and in detail. It is redolent of English middle-class life as it was in the days before our grandfathers decided that the human body was an obscene thing and its functions deplorable. It has the middle-class love of good food—Colchester oysters (famous then as now), asparagus, peaches, apricots, candied ginger, China oranges, comfits, pancakes—enough to make the mouth water. It has the solid English furniture, with all its ritual of solemnity; "vallians" (valences), "daslles" (tassels), big bedsteads, Chiny-ware, plush chairs, linen cupboards. It has all the fuss of preparation for childbirth—the accumulations of wrappings, the obstetric furniture, the nods and winks of the midwife and the gossips, authentic ancestors of Mrs Sarah Gamp and Mrs Elizabeth Prig—why, the haste to fetch the midwife at the crisis might almost be the foundation upon which Dickens built the visit of Seth Pecksniff, Esq., to Kingsgate Street, High Holborn.

It has likewise many touches which show knowledge of the average fairly prosperous English life—the merchant's, the shopkeeper's, the sea-captain's. The author clearly knew the routine of trade. He knew that at New Year's Day the "day-book" had to be fully written up for scrutiny and stock-taking and sending out of accounts. (But the pleasures or torments of love are such that "the squire is so full of business that he can't spare half-an-hour to write it out." The brief description of his feelings which follows, conventional, perhaps, to some extent, has a certain life in it, as if the writer, embittered, was recalling his own youthful experience.) He knew, too, what to-day we only know in the mass through the newspapers, that a merchant's business depends not only upon watching the markets, but upon the actual supply of material—"what commodities are arrived or expected," and whether tea is up 1/2d. or tin 3/4d. down, or if hogs closed firm. The commercial world changes only its methods of communication and expression.

The first chapter, indeed, is of genuine historical and literary interest. From the literary point of view, it is a near descendant—collateral, if not direct, and anyhow based on the same English empirical humour of life—of Thomas Overbury's A Wife (1614—only one unique copy of this is known to exist), John Earle's Microcosmographie (1628), in prose, and Thomas Bastard's Chrestoleros* (1598), in verse. It is an early instance of the stringing together, in a connected narrative, of the material previously used only in short sketches or "characters"; and so it is directly in the succession which in the end produced what is perhaps the most enduring and individual phenomenon in our literature—the English novel.

* A copy of the very rare first edition fetched L155 at the Britwell sale in February 1922.

Of course the book says things we do not say now openly—though the traditional corpus scriptorum nondum scriptorum which almost all men and even some women know is handed on, a rather noisome torch, from generation to generation, solely by word of mouth, and flickers now and again in The Ten Pleasures. But they were said openly then, and by great writers. There is nothing here so nauseatingly indecent as the viler poems of the Rev. Robert Herrick and the Very Rev. the Dean of Dublin, Jonathan Swift, D.D. There are salacious hints, there are bawdy words, but no more than Falstaff or the wife of Bath or the Summoner or Tom Jones might have used—less, on the whole. There is no need, to borrow a phrase from the book's sequel, to "make use of the gesture of casting up the whites of the eyes." "True-hearted souls will solace their spirits with a little laughter, and never busy their brains with the subversion of Church and State government."

Certainly the writer favoured the jovial life. Food and wine flow in his pages like milk and honey in Canaan. There is no room in his house for the Puritans, not even, apparently, in the bringing up of his child. "Those that frequent Mr Baxter's Puritanical Holding-forth" must be merry when they come to his feast. He will have no Catechizing of Families—a discourse published by Richard Baxter in this very year 1683; and the only Compassionate Counsel—a Baxter pamphlet of 1681—he is likely to offer to young men is to take life lightly, as his hero does, and above all, not to marry.

For that is the true point of this lively piece of irony (the irony is less well sustained in the sequel, The Confession of the New Married Couple, and dropped altogether in the bitter Letter at the end of The Ten Pleasures). It is a savage attack upon women—upon (to quote a Rabelaisian sentence) "the quarrelsome, crabbed, lavish, proud, opinionated, domineering and unbridled nature of the female sex." Women, he says, "are in effect of less value than old Iron, Boots and Shoes, etc., for we find both Merchants and money ready always to buy those commodities." The analogy is an unfortunate one, for one of his implications is that women can easily be bought. But he—if it is a "he"—is in deadly earnest. Love, marriage, he asks scornfully—what are they? A romance, are they? The true happiness of life? Very well: here are the pleasures of them. You will be in love and make a match—and look at all the worry of the settlement, in which, by the way, you may often be defrauded. You will get married—a fine ceremony, with a fine feast; and all the nasty old women of the neighbourhood will come and tell bawdy stories to enliven the occasion. You get married, and thereafter you are at the mercy of your wife, who will indulge your wishes or not as suits her mood. Your house will be all awry if she has but a slight headache. When the baby comes, the place will be filled with old women and baby-linen and medical apparatus, and you will have all the anxieties of a father added to the discomforts of a neglected husband. For the rest, your wife will know how "to cuckold, jilt, and sham" as well as any gay lady of Covent Garden. And so on.

Much of the satire is acute and well-turned, often novel in expression if not in thought. But it is, as has been suggested, in the picture of English middle-class life under James II. that the importance of the book lies. Here is the domestic side of what the great diarists and the great poets hint at, and the excess of which municipal records, those treasuries of private appearances in public, chronicle with the severity of judgment. You have the young couple going (alas that the river for this purpose has, so to speak, been moved farther up its own course!) for a row on the Thames, with Lambeth, Bankside and Southwark echoing to their laughter. They might visit the New Spring Gardens at Vauxhall; but they would probably avoid the old (second) Globe Theatre on Bankside, for it was a meeting-house at which the formidable Baxter preached. Or they might go into Kent and pick fruit, even as "beanfeasters" do to this day; or to Hereford for its cider and perry, the drinking of which is a custom not yet extinct. Or maybe only for an outing to the pleasant village of Hackney. They would see the streets gay with signs which (outside Lombard Street) few houses but taverns wear to-day—the sign of the Silkworm or the Sheep, or that fantastic schoolmaster's emblem, the Troubled Pate with a crown upon it. And when they stopped for rest at the sign of a bush upon a pole, how they would fall to upon the Martinmas beef, the neats-tongues, the cheesecakes! It is true they might find prices high and crops poor; but such things must be.... "This is the use, custom, and fruits of war. If the impositions and taxes run high, the country farmer can't help that; you know that the war costs money, and it must be given, or else we should lose all." Had they learnt that as long ago as 1682?

As a genre work the book is not unique; rather is it typical. The gradual social settlement after the Civil War, destined to develop into stagnation under the first Georges, caused didactic works, guides to manners, housewifery and sport, society handbooks, to proliferate. The Ten Pleasures mentions some standard works, which every good housewife would probably possess—Nicholas Culpepper's medical handbooks, for instance, and The Complete Cook, which indeed, as part of The Queen's Closet Opened, had reappeared in its natal year 1682-1683. The same year saw the birth of such works as The Complete Courtier, The Complete Compting House, The Gentleman Jockey, The Accomplished Ladies' Delight. Life was being scheduled, tabulated, in readiness for the complacent century about to open. It was also being explored, not only in such works as The Ten Pleasures and The Woman's Advocate, but in others (entered as published, but in many cases not known to be now extant) like The Wonders of the Female World, The Swaggering Damsel, or Several New Curtain Lectures, and Venus in ye smoake, or, the nunn in her smock, in curious dialogues addressed to the lady abbesse of love's parradice—all produced in that same annus mirabilis of outspoken domesticity.

The Ten Pleasures, apart from its intrinsic interest, is exceptionally important from a book-collector's point of view. It is of the utmost rarity. There is no copy in the British Museum and none in the Cambridge University Library. In fact, there are only two copies known of the whole work—one in the Bodleian (wanting one plate), and that from which the present text is taken. The Huth Collection had a copy of the first part only. Both the fuller copies contain the second part—The Confession—and evidently the two parts, though they have separate title pages, and were published at different times, were intended to form a complete work.

Who wrote the book? "A. Marsh, Typogr. [apher]," says the title page. A. Marsh cannot be traced, nor is the work included in the Stationers' Registers for the period. It may be that Marsh thought it too licentious for registration (an improbable supposition), and so, as Hazlitt suggests, printed it abroad.

But the initials A.B. at the end of the Letter in the first part may be a clue, though a perplexing one. It is a plausible guess that they are those of Aphra or Aphara Behn, the dramatist and poet, the first woman to earn her living by her pen. It is true that she was, so to speak, a feminist: the preface and epilogue to her Sir Patient Fancy speak bitterly of those who would not go to her plays because they were by a woman. On the other hand, she had a free pen, to say the least of it, and often a witty one. And she had Dutch associations. Her husband was a Dutch merchant living in London. She had herself been on secret service in the Netherlands. She translated a Dutch book on oracles. If the book was printed in Holland, she of all people could get the work done. And she knew the city of London intimately.

There are, too, some odd details in her plays, especially in Sir Patient Fancy, which recall touches in The Ten Pleasures. She introduces a Padua doctor on the stage. She shows, in several of her plays, a curious interest in medicine, especially quack medicine. Sir Patient, a hypochondriac, thinks he is swelling up like the "pipsy" husband. Isabella, in the same play, says "keeping begins to be as ridiculous as matrimony.... The insolence and expense of their mistresses has almost tired out all but the old and doting part of mankind." It is not inconceivable that in a freakish or embittered moment this singular woman threw herself with malicious joy into an attack on her own sex.

"Love in fantastic triumph sat...." Aphra Behn's great lyric deservedly lives. If she wrote The Ten Pleasures, the sort of love she describes in it still lives, but hardly in fantastic triumph. Yet if we want to know our fellow-men, we must know something of it. Apart from the curious interest of its rarity, The Ten Pleasures is a sturdy piece of human nature.


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"Of the making of many books there is no end," nor is there an end to the Romance of books, as the little volume here, privately reprinted by the Navarre Society, is surely proof most positive. The original is a small thick volume; it bears the imprint "London, Printed in the year 1683," and but one perfect copy is known; that copy lay unappreciated in the heart of London in an antiquarian bookseller's shop.

Fortunately, however, for our literature and for students of the manners of the commonality of the period it was seen by a colleague, who wondered why he did not know it. After purchasing it he found the reason why—the Bodleian Library alone possessed a copy of the work (imperfect); later a copy of the first part (only) appeared in the last portion of the sale of the great Huth Collection. The present text is taken from the perfect copy mentioned above.

The curious title rather damns the literary interest of the book, which presents pictures of the cit and his wife at work and play which Fielding, had he lived in the seventeenth century, might have written. It is thought that the book was printed in Holland, and if so, it may well be that the ship carrying the printed sheets to England foundered in the North Sea, or was sunk by enemy craft. There can be no doubt that such a work would not have escaped the wits of the time; if it had survived for ordinary circulation, mention would have been made of it, however small an edition had been sold. No other so likely reason for its extreme rarity presents itself.

It is reprinted, as faithfully as the altered manners of our time permit, with a Preface by John Harvey, who attributes the work to the industrious and sometimes brilliant Mrs Aphra Behn, a discovery which the Navarre Society believe to be well grounded. They hope that the issue of the book to their subscribers may help to confirm or refute that lady's responsibility for so graceless an attack upon her sex. Whether she did or did not write it, the fact remains that a work so vividly representative of Restoration life and literature is rescued from the obscurity to which its scarceness has hitherto condemned it and worthily preserved for scholars and amateurs of the future.

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All the delights and contentments that are mask'd under the bands of Matrimony.

Written by A. MARSH, Typogr.


Printed in the Year, 1682.

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Courteous Reader,

This small Treatise which I here present unto thee is the fruit of some spare hours, that my cogitations, after they had been for a small time, between whiles, hovering to and fro in the Air, came fluttring down again, still pitching upon the subject of the Ten Pleasures of Marriage, in each of which I hope thou wilt find somthing worthy of thy acceptance, because I am sure 'tis matter of such nature as hath never before been extant, and especially in such a method; neither canst thou well expect it to be drest up in any thing of nice and neat words, as other subjects may be, but only to be clad in plain habit most fit for the humour of the Fancy. If I perceive that it please thee, and is not roughly or unkindly dealt withall; nor brain'd in the Nativity, to spoil its generation of a further product, it will incourage me to proceed upon a second part, some say of the same Tune, but I mean to the same Purpose, and apparelled very near the same dress: In the mean time, with hopes that thou wilt be kind to this, and give it a gentle reception, from him who is thine. Farewell.

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The Nuptial estate trailing along with it so many cares, troubles & calamities, it is one of the greatest admirations, that people should be so earnest and desirous to enter themselves into it. In the younger sort who by their sulphurous instinct, are subject to the tickling desires of nature, and look upon that thing called Love through a multiplying glass, it is somewhat pardonable: But that those who are once come to the years of knowledge and true understanding should be drawn into it, methinks is most vilely foolish, and morrice fooles caps were much fitter for them, then wreaths of Lawrel. Yet stranger it is, that those who have been for the first time in that horrible estate, do, by a decease, cast themselves in again to a second and third time. Truly, if for once any one be through contrary imaginations misled, he may expect some hopes of compassion, and alledge some reasons to excuse himself: but what comfort, or compassion can they look for, that have thrown themselves in a second and third time? they were happy, if they could keep their lips from speaking, and ty their tongues from complaining, that their miseries might not be more and more burdened with scoffings which they truly merit.

And tho not only the real truth of this, but ten times more, is as well known to every one, as the Sun shine at noon day; nevertheless we see them run into it with such an earnestness, that they are not to be counselled, or kept back from it, with the strength of Hercules; despising their golden liberty, for chains of horrid slavery.

But we see the bravest sparks, in the very blossoming of their youth, how they decay? First, Gentleman-like, they take pleasure in all manner of noble exercises, as in keeping time all dancing, singing of musick, playing upon instruments, speaking of several languages, studying at the best Universities, and conversing with the learnedst Doctors, &c. or else we see them, before they are half perfect in any exercise, like carl-cats in March run mewing and yawling at the doors of young Gentlewomen; and if any of those have but a small matter of more then ordinary beauty, (which perhaps is gotten by the help of a damn'd bewitched pot of paint) she is immediately ador'd like a Saint upon an Altar: And in an instant there is as much beauty and perfection to be seen in her, as ever Juno, Venus and Pallas possessed all together.

And herewith those Gentile Pleasures, that have cost their Parents so much money, and them so much labour and time are kickt away, and totally abandoned that they may keep company with a painted Jezebel. They are then hardly arrived at this intitled happiness, but they must begin to chaw upon the bitter shell of that nut, the kernel whereof, without sighing, they cannot tast; having no sooner obtained access to the Lady, but are as suddenly possest with thousands of thoughts what they shall do to please the Sweet object. Being therewith so tosticated, that all their other business is dispersed, and totally laid aside. This is observable not only in youth of the first degree, but also in persons that have received promotion.

For if he be a Theologue, his books drop out of his hands, and ly stragling about his study, even as his sences do, one among another. And if you hear him preach, his whole Sermon is nothing but of Love, which he then turns & winds to Divinity as far as possible it can be fitted.

If it be a Doctor of Physick, oh! he has so much work with his own sicknes, that he absolutely forgets all his Patients, though some of them were lying at deaths dore; and lets the Chyrurgian, whom he had appointed certainly to meet there, tarry to no purpose, taking no more notice of his Patients misery, and the peril of his wounds, then if it did not concern him. But if at last he doth come, it is when the wound's festered, the Ague in the blood, or that the body is incurable. So far was he concern'd in looking after that Love-apple, or Night-shadow, for the cure of his own burning distemper.

If he be a Counsellor, his whole brain is so much puzzel'd how to begin and pursue the Process for the obtaining his Mistress in Marriage; that all other suits tho they be to the great detriment of poor Widows and Orphans are laid aside, and wholly rejected. Then being desired by his Clients to meet them at anyplace, and to give his advice concerning the cause, he hath had such earnest business with his Mistress, that he comes an hour or two later then was appointed. But coming at last, one half of the time that can be spent, is little enough to make Mr. Counsellor understand in what state the cause stood at the last meeting. And then having heard what the Plaintif and Defendant do say, he only tells them, I must have clearer evidences, the accounts better adjusted, and your demand in writing, before I can make any decision of this cause to both your satisfactions.

There they stand then, and look one upon another, not daring to say otherwise, but 'tis very well Sir, we will make them all ready against the next meeting; and are, with grief at heart, forced to see as much and sometimes more expences made at the meeting, as the whole concern of their debate amounted to. Then it is, come let's now discourse of matters of state, and drink a glass about to the health of the King & the prosperity of our Country and all the inhabitants; which is done only to the purpose, that coming to his Mistress, he may boastingly say, my dear, just now at a meeting we remembered you in a glass, & I'l swear the least drop of it was so delicious to me, as ever Nectar and Ambrose could be, that the Poets so highly commend.

If Counsellors, and other learned men, that are in love, do thus; what can the unlearned Notary's do less? Even nothing else, but when they are writing, scribble up a multiplicity of several words, unnecessary clauses, and make long periods; not so much as touching or mentioning the principal business; and if he does, writes it clear contrary to the intent of the party concern'd: By that means making both Wills and other Deeds in such a manner, that the end agrees not with the beginning, nor the middle with either. Which occasions between friends, near relations, and neighbors, great differences, and an implacable hatred; forcing thereby the monies of innocent and self-necessitated people, into the Pockets of Counsellors and Attorneys.

And alas the diligent Merchant, when he has gotten the least smatch of this frensie, his head runs so much upon wheels, that he daily neglects his Change-time; forgets his Bils of exchange; and is alwaies a Post or two behind hand with his Letters: So that he knows not what Merchandises rise or fall, or what commodities are arrived or expected. And by this means buies in Wares, at such rates, that in few daies he loses 20, yea sometimes 30 per cent. by them. Nay, this distemper is so hot in his head, that thereby he Ships his goods in a Vessel, where the Master and his Mate are for the most part drunk, and who hardly thrice in ten times make a good voyage.

And who knows not how miserable that City and Country is, when a military person happens to ly sick in this Hospital. If he be in Garison, he doth nothing but trick up himself, walk along the streets, flatter his Mistress, and vaunt of his knowledge and Warlike deeds; though he scarce understands the exercising of his Arms, I will not mention encamping in a Field, Fortification, the forming of Batalions, and a great deal more that belongs to him.

And coming into Campagne; alas this wicked Love-ague continues with him; and runs so through his blood, that both the open air, and wide fields are too narrow for him. Yea and tho he formerly had (especially by his Mistris) the name of behaving himself like a second Mars; yet now he'l play the sick-hearted, (I dare not say the faint-hearted) to the end he may, having put on his fine knotted Scarf, and powdered Periwig, only go to shew himself to that adorable Babe, his Lady Venus, Leaving oftentimes a desperate siege, and important State affairs, to accompany a lame, squint-ey'd, and crook-back'd Jeronimo.

And if, by favour or recommandation, he happen to be intrusted with any strong City or Fort that is besieged, he's presently in fear of his own Bom, and practises all sorts of waies and means how he shall best make a capitulation, that so leaving the place, he may go again to his fair one.

And alas, what doth not the Master of a Ship, and his Mate hazard, when they are sick of this malady? What terrible colds, and roaring seas doth he not undergo, through an intemperate desire that he hath to be with his nittebritch'd Peggy? How often doth he hazard his Owners Ship, the Merchants Goods, and his own life, for an inconstant draggle-tail; that perhaps before he has been three daies at Sea, hath drawn her affection from him, and given promise to another? Yet nevertheless, tho the raging Waves run upon the Ship, and fly over his head, he withstands it all. Nor is the main Ocean, or blustering Boreas, powerfull enough, to cool his raging fire, and drive those damps out of his brain. The tempestuousness of the weather, having driven him far out of his course; his only wishes and prayer is, oh, that he might be so happy, but for a moment to see his Beacon, those twinkling eys of his dearly beloved Margery Mussel! Then all things would be well enough! Tho he and all that are with him, were immediately Shipwrackt, and made a prey for the Fishes. And if, unexpectedly, fortune so favour him, that he happens to see the Coast, oh, he cannot tarry for the Pilot! but tho it be misty weather, and he hoodwink'd by Venus, still he sails forward, running all in danger, that before was so far preserved.

And if the Shop-keeper once sets foot into this destructive Wilderness, he doth nothing less then look to his shop, and wait upon his Customers. Spending most part of his time in finical dressing himself, to accompany his Mistriss, and with a Coach or Pair of Oars to do her all manner of caresses. Then his whole discourse is, with what good custom he is blest above others; but seldom saies, that with waiting upon his Lady, and by indeavouring to please her above all things, how miserably he neglects it, by which means, shop's not only found without a Master, but the servants without government. And at New-year, the day-book is not written fair over; and if any body desires their reckoning, the squire is so full of business, that he can't spare half an hour to write it out: For where he goes, where he stands, what he thinks, what he does, all his cogitations are imploi'd to think how delicious it is to press those soft lips of his beloved, and then out of an unfeigned heart to be lov'd again, sometimes receiving a kiss. Thus he idles away all his time, and all his business with his sences runs a wool-gathering.

To be short, let it be what sort of person it will, they no sooner touch the shell of this Marriage-nut, but before they can come to tast the kernel they look for; they feel nothing else then thorns and briars of sorrow and misery. If there be any one that thinks he is gotten a footstep further then another, in the favour of his Mistriss, and that in time he questions not th' obtaining his desired happiness; immediately, that imagined joy, is crush'd with an insuing despair; being presently molested with a fear, that Father, Mother, Uncle, or Tutor will not like his person, or that he has not means enough; or else either they, or the Gentlewoman, will make choice of another in his place. Or, if he sees another have access to the Lady as well as himself, at the same moment he's possessed with jealousie, and falls a pondering how he shall make this Rival odious in the eys of her. And if the other get any advantage of him; then he challenges him to fight; hazarding in that manner his precious life, for the getting of her, who when he had her, would perhaps, occasion him a thousand torments of death and misery. Pray observe what pleasures this introduction imparts unto us; alas, what may we then expect from the marriage it self?

Really, those that will take this into due consideration, who would not but curse the Gentlewoman that draws him into such a raging madness? yet Lovers go forward, and please your selves with this imagined happiness; but know, that if according to your hope, you obtain her for a Bride, that at the least you must expect a sence and feeling of the Ten insuing Pleasures.

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The Consent is given, the Match concluded, and the Wedding kept.

Now, O Lover, till this time you have been indeavouring, slaving, turmoiling, sighing, groaning, hoping and begging to get from those slow and tardy lips, that long-wish'd for word of Consent; you have also sent many messengers to your Mistriss, to her Parents and Tutors, who were as able to express themselves as the best Orators, but could obtain nothing; yet at last that long desired Word, is once descended by the Draw-bridge of her lips, like a rich cordial upon your languishing heart. You have vanquish'd all your Rivals. Oh who can imagine your joy! What you think, or what you do, still your thoughts glance upon your happiness! your Mistriss now will be willing; denials are laid aside: only ther's a little shame and fear, which canot of a sudden be so totally forgotten, because the marriage is not yet concluded. Well, O Lover, who could desire a greater happiness then you now possess! For what you will, she will also: and what she desires, is all your pleasure. You may now tumble in a bed of Lillies and Roses; for all sour looks, are turn'd to sweet smiles, and she that used to thrust you from her, pulls you now every foot to her. Yea, those snow-white breasts, which before you durst scarce touch with your little finger; you may now, without asking leave, grasp by whole handfuls. Certainly, they that at full view, consider all this rightly; who can doubt but that you are the happiest man in the World? O unspeakable pleasure!

But, O triumphant Lover, let not however your joyfull mind run too much upon these glistering things: be a little moderate in your desired pleasures, if it might happen that there come some cross-grain'd obstructions; for I have oftentimes seen, that all those suspected roses, come forth with many pricking thorns; insomuch that the mouth which at first was saluted with so many thousand kisses, and appear'd as if it had been cover'd with the dew of heaven; was compared to be the jaws of Cerberus. And those breasts, which before were the curded Nacter-hills, and called the Banket of the Gods, I have seen despised to be like stinking Cows-Udders, I, and call'd worse names to boot. Be therefore, (I say) somewhat moderate and prudent, for fear it might happen that the prices of this market might fall very suddenly, though perhaps not so horribly.

Nevertheless you have great reason to be merry, for this week, 'tis hop'd there'l be a meeting to close up the match; and it is requisite, that you should go unto all the friends, that must be present at the meeting, to hear when their occasions will permit them, and what day and hour they will appoint to set upon the business, herewith you have work to traverse the City, and who knows whether you'l find half of them at home. And then those that you do find, one is ready to day, another to morrow, a third next day, or in the next week. So that by this first Pleasure, you have also a little feeling of the first trouble. Which, if you rightly consider, is to your advantage, because you may the better use your self to the following. And of how greater State and Quality the person is whom you have chosen, so accordingly this trouble generally happens to be more.

But the mirth increases abundantly; when, after your indeavours, troubles and turmoils, you finally see all the friends met together, and you doubt not but the match will be closed and agreed upon. But be here also a little moderate in your mirth, because oftentimes the friends handle this matter like a bargaining; and will lay the mony bags of each side in a balance, as you may see by the Plate.

In the mean while you may be kissing and slabbering of your Mistris in the next room; or contriving what's to be done about the marriage, and keeping of the Wedding; but perhaps, through the discord of the friends, it will not be long before you are disturb'd; the differences oft rising so high, that the sound thereof, clatters through the Walls, into the ears of the Lovers. For many times the Portion of one is too great, and what's given with the other is too little; or that the Parents of the Bridegroom, promise too little with their Son; and the Brides Parents will give too little with their Daughter. Or else that by some subtle Contract of Matrimony, they indeavour to make the goods of each side disinheritable, &c. So that it appears among the friends, as if there could be nothing don in the matter.

And in plain truth, the Parents and friends, who know very well that it is not all hony in the married estate; see oftentimes that it were better for these two to remain unmarried, then to bring each other into misery; and can find no grounds or reasons, but rather to disswade then perswade the young folks to a marriage.

But tho, on each side, they use never such powerfull arguments, to the young people, 'tis to no purpose; for there's fire in the flax, and go how it will, it must be quencht. For the maid thinks, if this match should be broke, who knows but that all the freedom that we have had with one another, might come to be spread abroad, and then I am ruined for ever. And the young man, seeing that his Mistris is so constant to him, not hearkning to the advice of her friends, is so struck to the heart with such fiery flames of love, that he's resolved never to leave her, tho he might feed upon bread and water, or go a begging with her: So, that he saies, Bargain by the Contract of Matrimony for what you will, nay tho you would write Hell and Damnation, I am contented, and resolve to sign it: but thinking by himself, with a Will all this may be broken, and new made again: hardly beleeving, that this fair weather, should be darkned with black clouds; or that this splendent Serenissimo, would be obstructed by Eclipses.

But finally, there comes an appearance of the desired pleasure; for the knot is tied, and the Publick Notary doth at large and very circumstantially write the Contract of Matrimony, which is signed by both parties. Oh Heavens! this is a burthen from my heart, and a Milstone removed out of the way. Here's now right matter for more then ordinary mirth; all the friends wish the young couple much joy; about goes a health, the good success of the marriage, and every one wishing them tubs full of blessings, and houses full of prosperity,

If ev'ry one that wish, did half but give, How richly this young couple, then might live.

Yet it e'en helps as much as it will; if they get nothing, they lose nothing by it. And thinking by themselves, you'l in time see what it produces. Then if there be but one among them who is talkative, and that by drinking merrily the good success of the approaching marriage, his tongue begins to run; he relates what hapned to him at the closing of his marriage, keeping of his wedding, and in his married estate; and commonly the conclusion of his discourse is, that he thought at first he had the World at will; but then there came this, and then that, and a thousand other vexatious things, which continually, or for the most part of the time with great grief and trouble had kept him so much backward, that it was long before he could get forward in the World.

Well, M^{r}. Bridegroom, you may freely tickle your fancy to the top, and rejoice superabundantly, that the Match is concluded; & you have now gotten your legs into the stocks, and your arms into such desired for Fetters, that nothing but death it self can unloosen them.

And you, M^{rs}. Bride, who look so prettily, with such a smirking countenance; be you merry, you are the Bride; yea the Bride that occasions all this tripping and dansing; now you shall have a husband too, a Protector, who will hug and imbrace you, and somtimes tumble and rumble you, and oftimes approach to you with a morning salutation, that will comfort the very cockles of your heart. He will (if all falls out well) be your comforter, your company-keeper, your care-taker, your Gentleman-Usher; nay all what your heart wish for, or the Heavens grant unto you. He'l be your Doctor to cure your palefac'dness, your pains in the reins of your back, and at your heart, and all other distempers whatsoever. He will also wipe of all your tears with kisses; and you shall not dream of that thing in the night, but he'l let it be made for you by day. And may not then your Bride-maids ask, why should not you be merry?

But alas you harmless Dove, that think you are going into Paradice; pray tell me, when you were going to sign the Contract of marriage, what was the reason that you alter'd so mightily, & that your hand shook so? Verily, though I am no Astronomer, or caster of Figures; yet nevertheless me-thought it was none of the best signs; and that one might already begin to make a strange Prognostication from it; the events whereof would be more certain then any thing that Lilly or any other Almanack maker ever writ. But we'l let that alone, for in a short time it will discover it self.

Therefore, Mistress Bride, make you merry, and since you have gotten your desire to be the Bride before any of your Bridemaids; it would be unreasonable that you should be troubled now with any other business. And indeed here's work enough for the ordering of things that you must trouble your head with; for the Brides Apparel must be made, and the Stufs, laces, lining, cuffs, and many other things are yet to be bought. Well, who can see an end of all your business! There's one piece of stuf is too light, and another too dark; the third looks dull and hath no gloss. And see here's three or four daies gon, and little or nothing bought yet.

And the worst of all is, that whil'st you are thus busie in contriving, ordering and looking upon things, you are every moment hindered, & taken off from it, with a continual knocking at the dore to sollicite one to deliver all sorts of Comfits, another to deliver the ornaments for the Brides Garland, Flowers, &c, a third to be Cook, & Pastryman, & so many more, which come one after another thundering so at the door, that it is one bodies work to let them in, and carry their message to the Bride.

Oh, call the Bride, time will deceive us! The Semstress, Gorget-maker, and Starcher, must be sent for, and the linnen must be bought & ordered for the Bridegrooms shirts, the Brides smocks, Cuffs, Bands; and handkerchifs; & do but see, the day is at an end again: my brains are almost addle, and nothing goes forward: For M^{rs}. Smug said she would bring linnen, and M^{rs}. Smooth laces, but neither of them both are yet come. Run now men and maids as if the Devil were in you; and comfort your selves, that the Bride will reward you liberally for your pains.

Well, M^{rs}. Bride, how's your head so out of order! might not you now do (as once a Schoolmaster did) hang out the sign of a troubled pate with a Crown upon it? How glad you'l be when this confusion is once over? could you ever have thought that there was so much work to be found in it? But comfort your self therewith, that for these few troublesom daies, you'l have many pleasant nights. And it is not your case alone, to be in all this trouble, for the Bridegroom is running up and down like a dog, in taking care that the Banns of Matrimony may be proclaim'd. And now he's a running to and again through the City, to see if he can get Bridemen to his mind, that are capacitated to entertain the Bridemaids and Gentlewomen with pretty discourses, waiting upon them, & to make mirth & pleasure for them and the rest of the Company. Besides that he's taking care for the getting of some good Canary, Rhenish & French Wines, that those friends which come to wish the Bride and Bridegroom much joy, may be presented with a delicate glass of Wine. And principally, that those who are busie about the Brides adornments, may tast the Brides tears.

But really friends, if you come to tast the Brides tears now, 'tis a great while too soon: But if you'l have of the right and unfeigned ones, you must come some months hence.

O Bridegroom, who can but pitty you, that you must thus toil, moil, and run up and down, and the Jeweller and you have just now mist one another; he is doubtless chatting with the Bride, and shewing of her some costly Jewels, which perhaps dislike her ne'r a whit the worse; and what she has then a mind to, you'l find work enough to disswade her from, let them cost what they will; for she'l let you take care for that. And it is time enough to be considered on, when the weddings over. For now you have as much work as you can turn your self to, in getting all your things in a readiness from the Tailor, Semstress, and Haberdasher. And herewith, alas, you'l find that oftentimes two or three weeks are consumed in this sort of business, with the greatest slavery imaginable.

Yet, M^{r}. Bridegroom, for all these troubles, you may expect this reward, to have the pleasure of the best place in the Chancel, with a golden Tapistry laid before you, and for your honour the Organs playing. The going with a Coach to marry at a Country Town, has not half so much grace, and will not at all please the Bride: it is therefore requisite to consult with the friends on both sides, who shall be invited to the wedding, and who not. For it seldom happens, but there is one broil or another about it; and that's no sooner don, but there arises a new quarrel, to consider, how richly or frugally the Guests shall be treated; for they would come off with credit and little charge. To this is required the advice of a steward, because it is their daily work. And he for favour of the Cook, Pasterer, and Poulterer (reaping oftentimes his own benefit by it) orders all things so liberally as he can make the people beleeve that is requisite. And the Bride thinks, the nobler it is, the better I like it, for I am but once the Bride. But this matter being dispatcht, there's another consideration to be taken in hand, to know how the Bride & Bridegrooms friends shall be plac'd at the Table, the ordering whereof, many times causes such great disputes, that if they had known it before, they would rather have kept no Wedding. In somuch that the Bridegroom and the Bride, with sighing, say to one another, alas, what a thick shell this marriage nut hath, before one can come to the kernel of it. But Bridegroom to drive these damps out of your brain, there's no better remedy then to go along with your Bridemen to tast the Wedding wine; for there must be sure care taken that it may be of a delicate tast and relish; Because that which was laid in before, was not so delicious as is required for such a noble Wedding, where there will be so many curious tasters. Ha! riva! Look to't Bride and Bridemaids, you may now expect a jolly Bridegroom and Bridemen, for the Wine-Merchant is such a noble blade, that none of them all shall escape him, before they have drunk as many Glasses, as there are hoops upon the Wine-cask that they tasted of.

Adieu all care! the Wedding is at hand, who thinks now of any thing but superfluity of mirth? Away with all these whining, pining Carpers, who are constantly talking & prating that the married estate brings nothing but care and sorrow with it; here, to the contrary, they may see how all minds & intentions are knit together, to consume and pass away these daies with the most superabounding pleasures. Away with sorrow. 'Tis not invited to be among the Wedding guests. Noct there is nothing else to be thought on, but to help these Lovers that they may enjoy the kernel of the first pleasure of their marriage.

But really, there's poor Mally the maid, is almost dead with longing, and thinks her very heart in pieces, scarcely knowing when the first Wedding-night will be ended, that she might carry up some water to the young couple, and have a feeling of those liberal gifts that she shall receive from the Bridegroom and the Bride, for all her attendance, running and turmoiling. And her thoughts are, that no body has deserved it better, for by night and by day she waited upon them, and was very diligent and faithfull in conveyance of their Love-Letters; but all upon fair promises, having carried her self in the time of their wooing almost like a Bawd to the Bride; for which she never had in all the time but three gratuities from the Bridegroom,

And now the Bride is in the bed, The former promises are dead.

Make your self merry amongst the rest of the Wedding guests, so far as is becoming you: who knows, but that some brave Gentlemans man, Coachman, or neighbors servant, may fall in love with you; for many times out of one Wedding comes another, and then you might come to be a woman of good fashion. Udsbud Mally! then you would know, as well as your Mistress, what delights are to be had in the first Wedding night. Then you would also know how to discourse of the first Pleasure of marriage, and with the Bride expect the second.

* * * * *


The Woman goes to buy houshold-stuf. The unthankfulness of some of the Wedding-guests, and thankfulness of others.<

Well, young married people, how glad you must needs be, now the Wedding's over, and all that noise is at an end? You may now ly and sleep till the day be far spent! And not only rest your selves quietly; but, to your desires, in the Art of Love, shew one another the exercise and handling of Venus Weapons.

Now you may practise an hundred delicious things to please your appetites, & do as many Hocus Pocus tricks more. Now you may outdo Aretin, and all her light Companions, in all their several postures. Now you may rejoice in the sweet remembrance, how sumptuous that you were, in Apparel, meat and drink, and all other ornaments that my Lady Bride, and Madam Spend-all, first invented and brought in practice. Now you may tickle your fancies with the pleasures that were used there, by dansing, maskerading, Fire-works, playing upon Instruments, singing, leaping, and all other sort of gambals, that youth being back'd with Bacchus strength uses either for mirth or wantonness.

O how merry they were all of 'em! And how deliciously were all the dishes dress'd and garnisht! What a credit this will be for the Cook and Steward! Indeed there was nothing upon the Table but it was Noble, and the Wine was commended by every one. They have all eaten gallantly, & drunk deliciously. Well, this is now a pleasant remembrance.

And you, O young Woman, you are now both Wife and Mistris your self; you are now wrested out of the command of your grinning and snarling narrow-soul'd Tutors (those hellish Curmugions) now you may freely, without controul, do all what you have a mind to; and receive therewith the friendly imbracings, and kind salutes of your best beloved. Verily this must needs be a surpassing mirth.

And you, O new made husband, how tumble you now in wantonness! how willingly doth liberal Venus her self, open her fairest Orchard for you! Oh you have a pleasure, that those which never tried, can in the least comprehend.

Well, make good use of your time, and take the full scope of your desires, in the pleasant clasping and caressing of those tender limbs; for after some few daies, it may be hungry care will come and open the Curtains of your bed; and at a distance shew you what reckonings you are to expect from the Jeweller, Gold-smith, Silk-man, Linnen-Draper, Vinter, Cook and others.

But on the t'other side again, you shall have the pleasure to hear your young Wife every moment sweetly discoursing that she must go with her Sister and her Aunt to buy houshold-stuf, Down-beds, dainty Plush and quilted Coverlets, with costly Hangings must be bought: And then she will read to you, her new made Husband, such a stately Register, that both your joy of heart, and jingling purse shall have a fellouw-feeling of it.

For your Sweetest speaks of large Venetian Looking-glasses, Chiny-ware, Plush Chairs, Turkish Tapistry, Golden Leather, rich Pictures, a Service of Plate, a Sakerdan Press, an Ebbony Tabel, a curious Cabinet and child-bed Linnen cupboard, several Webs for Napkins and Tabel-cloaths, fine and course linnen, Flanders laces, and a thousand other things must be bought, too long to be here related: For other things also that concern the furnishing of the house, they increase every day fresh in the brains of these loving and prudent Wives.

And when the Wife walks out, she must either have the Maid, or at least the Semstress, along with her; then neighbour John, that good carefull labourer, must follow them softly with his wheel-barrow, that the things, which are bought, may be carefully and immediately brought home.

And at all this, good Man, you must make no wry faces, but be pleasant and merry; for they are needfull in house-keeping, you cannot be without them; and that mony must alwaies be certainly ready, get it where you will. Then, saies the Wife, all this, at least, there must needs be, if we will have any people of fashion come into our house.

You know your Beloved hath also some Egs to fry, and did bring you a good Portion, though it consist in immovable Goods, as in Houses, Orchards, and Lands that be oftentimes in another Shire. Thither you may go then, with your Hony, twice a year, for the refreshing of your spirits, and taking your pleasure to receive the House-rents, fruits of the Orchards, and revenues of the Lands. Here every one salutes you with the name of Landlord; and, according to their Country fashion, indeavour to receive you with all civilities and kind entertainment. If, with their Hay-cart, you have a mind to go and look upon the Land, and to be a participator of those sort of pleasures; or to eat some new Curds, Cream, Gammon of Bacon, and ripe Fruits, all these things; in place of mony, shall be willingly and neatly disht up to you.

For here you'l meet with complaints, that by the War the Houses are burnt, the Orchards destroied, and the growth of the Fields spoiled! therefore it is not fit that you should trouble the poor people, but think, this is the use, custom, and fruits of War. If the Impositions and Taxes run high, the Country Farmer can't help that; you know that the War costs mony, and it must be given, or else we should lose all.

At such a time as this, your only mirth must be; that, through this gallant marriage, you are now Lord of so many acres of Land, so many Orchards, and of so many dainty Houses and Land. If your mony bags don't much increase by it at present, but rather lessen, that most no waies cloud your mirth. Would you trouble your self at such trivial things, you'd have work enough daily. We cannot have all things so to our minds in this World. For if you had your Wives Portion down in ready mony, you'd have been at a stand again, where, without danger, you should have put it out at interest; fearing that they might play Bankrupt with it. Houses and Lands are alwaies fast, and they will pay well, when the War is done.

Therefore you must drive these vapors out of your head, and make your self merry, with the hearing that your friends commend the entertainment they have had to the highest; and that two or three daies hence; the merry Bridemen and Bridemaids, with some of the nearest acquaintance, will come a la grandissimo to give you thanks for all the respect & civilities that you have so liberally bestowed upon them; which will be done then with such a friendly and affectionate heart, that it will be impossible for you, but you must invite them again to come and sup with you in the evening, and so make an addition to the former Pleasure; by which means pleasantness, mirth, and friendship, is planted and advanced among all the friends and acquaintance.

'Tis true, you'l be sure to hear that there were some at the Wedding who were displeased, for not being entertained according to their expectations; and because their Uncle, a new married Niece, and some other friends were not seated in their right places; that M^{rs}. Leonora had a jole-pate to wait upon her; and M^{r}. Philip an old Beldam; M^{r}. Timothy was forced to wait upon a young snotty-nose; and that Squire Neefer could not sit easily, and M^{rs}. Betty's Gorget was rumbled; and that Mal, and Peg Stones, and Dol Dirty-buttocks, were almost throng'd in pieces; and could hardly get any of the Sweetmeats; but you must not at all be troubled with this, for 'tis a hard matter to please every body. 'Tis enough that you have been at such a vast charge, and presented them with your Feast.

Truly, they ought to have been contented & thankfull to the highest degree; and what they are unsatisfied with needed not to have cost you so much mony; for if you had left them all at home, you could have had no worse reward, but a great deal less charge. Comfort your self with this, that when it happens again, you will not buy ingratitude at so high a rate. 'Tis much better to invite them at two or three several times before hand, and entertain them with a merry glass of Wine, up and away; and then invite a small company which are better to govern and satisfied.

'Tis a great deal more pleasure for you, to see your Wives friends animate one another, to come, a fortnight after the Wedding, and surprize you; with shewing their thankfulness and satisfaction for the respect they have received from you; and that they are alwaies desirous to cultivate the friendship, by now and then coming to give you a visit.

This is here again a new joy! and as long as you keep open Table and Cellar for them, that reception will keep all discontent from growing among them. Yes, and it will please your Wife too, extraordinary well.

And by thus doing, you will not be subject to (as many other men are) your Wives maundring that you entertained her friends so hungrily and unhandsomly; but, for this, you shall be both by her, and her friends, beloved and commended in the highest degree: Yea it will be an incouragement that they in the same manner, will entertain your friends like an Angel, and be alwaies seeking to keep a fair correspondence among them. So that in the Summer time, for an afternoons collation you'l see a Fruit-dish of Grapes, Nuts, and Peaches prepared for you; which cold Fruits must then be warm'd with a good glass of Wine. And in the Winter, to please your appetite, a dish of Pancakes, Fritters, or a barrel of Oisters; but none of these neither will be agreeable without a delicate glass of Wine. Oh quintessence of all mirth! Who could not but wish to get such Aunts, such Cousins, & such Bridemen and Bridemaids in their marriage?

Therefore, if you meet with one or t'other of your Cousins, press him to go home with you, to refresh himself with a glass of Wine; O it will be extreamly pleasing to your Wife, and a double respect paid to him; because you bring him to a collation among other Cousins, and pretty Gentlewomen, where the knot of friendship and familiarity is renewed and faster twisted. And who knows, if you bring in a Batchelor, but there may perhaps arise a new marriage, which would be extraordinarily pleasing to your Wife; for there is nothing more agreeable to the female sex, then that they may be instrumental in helping their Bridemaids to husbands. And thus you will see a double increase of your Minions, and your Wife get more friends to accompany her, and drive fancies out of her head.

If your Wife should fail in her choice of houshold-stuff, and other sort of those appurtenances; doubt not but these will be prudent School-Mistresses for her, if she be unexperienc'd, to counsel and advise her to buy of the richest and newest mode, and what will be neatest, and where to be bought. Oh these are so skilfull in the art of ordring things, that you need not dispute with your Wife about the hanging of a Picture above the Chimney-mantel! for they'l presently say, there's nothing better in that place then large China dishes; and that Bed-stead must be taken down, and another set up in the place with curious Curtains and Vallians, and Daslles: And thus, they will deliver themselves, like a Court full of wise Counsellors, for the pleasure and instruction of your Beloved. Well, what could you wish for more? D'ye talk of mony? Pish, that's stamp'd with hammers: give it liberally; the good Woman knows how and where to lay it out. If there be but little mony by the hand; be silent of that, it might happen to disturb your Dear, and who knows wherein it may do her harm. It is not the fashion that Women, especially young married ones, should take care for that. 'Tis care enough for her, if she contrive and consider what must be bought, and what things will be most suitable together. For this care is so great, that she never wakens in the night, but she thinks on't; yea it costs her many an hours rest; therefore ought not to be so lightly esteemed.

And now, O young husband, since you are come to the first step of the School to exercise your patience; it is not fit that you should already begin to grumble and talk how needfull it is to be sparing and thrifty; that Merchandising and trading is mighty dead; that monies is not to be got in; and that here and there reckonings and bills must be paid: O no! you must be silent, tho you should burst with discontent. For herewith, perhaps, the whole house would be out of order; and you might get for an answer, How! have I married then a pittifull poor Bridegroom? This would be sad to hear.

Go therefore to School by Pythagoras to learn silence; and to look upon all things in the beginning with patience; to let your Wife do her own pleasure; and to mix hony with your words. Then you shall possess the quintessence of this Pleasure fully, and with joyfull steps enter upon the folowing.

* * * * *


The young couple walk daily abroad, being entertained and treated by all their friends and acquaintance; and then travell into the Country for their pleasure.

If it be true that there is a Mountain of Mirth and pleasure for young married people to ascend unto, these are certainly the finest and smoothest conductors to it; that, because it was impossible to invite every one to the Wedding, this sweet Venus must be led abroad, and shewed to all her husbands friends & acquaintance: yea, all the World must see what a pretty couple they are, and how handsomly they agree together. To which end they trick and prick themselves daily up in their best apparel; garnishing both the whole city and streets with tatling and pratling; & staring into the houses of all their acquaintance to see whether they are looked at.

Do but see what a mighty and surpassing mirth! for they hardly can go ten or twelve furlongs but they constantly meet and are saluted by some of their acquaintance, wishing them all health, happiness and prosperity; or by others invited to come in, and are treated according as occasion presents, wishing them also much joy in their married estate; Yea the great Bowl is rins'd, and about goes a brimmer to the good prosperity of the young couple. Well, thinks the young woman, what a vast difference there is between being a married woman & a maid! How every one receives & treats you! What respect and honour every one shews you! How you go daily in all your gallantry taking pleasure! And how every where you are fawn'd upon, imbrac'd and kist, receiving all manner of friendship! It is no wonder that all womankind are so desirous of marriage, and no sooner lose their first husbands, but they think immediately how to get a second? Oh, saith she, what a fulness of joy there is in the married estate, by Virginity! I resolve therefore to think also upon my Bridemaids, and to recommend them where ever there is occasion.

And this is the least yet, do but see! what for greater pleasure! for every foot you are invited out here & there to a new treat, that is oft-times as noble and as gallant as the Wedding was, and are plac'd alwaies at the upper end of the Table. If next day you be but a little drousie, or that the head akes; the husband knows a present remedy to settle the brain; and the first thing he saith, is, Come lets go to see Master or Mistriss such a one, and walk out of Town to refresh our selves, or else go and take the air upon the Thames with a Pair of Oars. Here is such a fresh mirth again that all Lambeth, the Bankside, and Southwark shakes with it. Oh that Apollo would but drive his horses slowly, that the day might be three hours longer; for it is too soon to depart, and that for fear of a pocky setting of the Watch. So that its every day Fair-time. Well, who is so blind that he cannot see the abundant pleasures of marriage?

To this again, no sooner has the young couple been some few daies at rest, and begin to see that the invitements decline; but the young woman talks of going out of Town together, and to take their pleasures in other Towns and Cities, first in the next adjacent places, and then to others that ly remoter; for, because she never was there, and having heard them commended to be such curious and neat places, she hath a great mind to see Oxford and Cambridge.

Yea, and then she saith, my dear, we must go also to see York, Glocester and Bristol, and take our pleasures those waies; for I have heard my Fathers Book keeper often say, that it is very pleasant travelling thither, and all things very cheap. And when he began to relate any thing of Kent, and its multiplicity of fruit, my very heart leapt up for joy; thinking to my self, as soon as I am married, I will immediately be pressing my husband that we may go thither; because it seem'd to me almost incredible. And then again he would sometimes relate of Herefordshire what delicious Syder and Perry is made there, which I am a great lover of; truly Hony, we must needs go that way once, that I may say I have satiated my self with it, at the Fountain-head. Ah, my dearest, let us go thither next week.

It is most certain that the Good-man hath no mind at all to be thus much longer out of his house, & from his vocation; by reason he is already so much behind hand with his loss of time in Wooing, Wedding, Feasting and taking pleasure; but alas, let him say what he will, he cannot disswade her from it.

You may as soon retort the wind, As make a woman change her mind.

In the night she dreams on't, and by day she talks on't, and alwaies concludes this to be her certain rule. "The first year won't come again. If we don't take some pleasure now, when shall we do it! Oh, my Dear, a year hence we may have a child, then its impossible for me to go any where, but I shall be tied like a Dog to a chain: And truly, why should not we do it as well as they & they did; for they were out a month or two, and took their pleasures to the purpose? my Mother, or my Cousin will look to our house; come let us go also out of Town! For the first year will not come again."

Well, what shall the good man do? if he will have quietness with his wife, he must let her have her will, or else she will be daily tormenting of him. And to give her harsh language, he can't do that, for he loves her too well. His father also taught him this saying, for a marriage lesson, Have a care of making the first difference. If he speak unkindly to her, his Love might be angry, and then that would occasion the first difference, which he by no means willingly would be guilty of; for then these Pleasures would not have their full swing.

Well, away they go now out of Town: But, uds lid, what a weighty trunk they send the Porter with to the Carriers! For they take all their best apparel with them, that their friends in the Country, may see all their bravery. And besides all this, there must be a riding Gown, and some other new accoutrements made for the journy, or else it would have no grace.

Now then, away they go, every one wishing them all health and prosperity upon their journy, & so do I.

But see! they are hardly ridden ten mile out of Town, before the young woman begins to be so ill with the horses jolting, that she thinks the World turns topsie-turvy with her. Oh she's so ill, that she fears she shall vomit her very heart up. Then down lights her husband, to take her off, and hold her head, and is in such a peck of troubles, that he knows not which way to turn or wind himself. Wishing that he might give all that he's worth in the World to be at a good Inn. And she poor creature falling into a swoon, makes him look as if he had bepist himself, & though he sighs and laments excessively she hears him not; which occasions him such an extremity of grief that he's ready to tear the hair off of his head. But the quamishness of her stomack beginning to decline, she recovers; and rising, they walk for a little space softly forwards; the good man thinking with himself how he shall do to get his dearly beloved to an Inn, that she may there rest her distempered body. And then getting her up again, they ride very softly forwards, to get to the end of their journy.

Truly, I must confess, that amongst the rest of the Pleasures of marriage, this is but a very sorry one. But stay a little, yonder me thinks I see the Steeple, we shall be there presently; the little trouble and grief you have had, will make the salutations you receive, and the scituation of the place seem so much the pleasanter. And these dainty green Meadows will be a delicate refreshment. You'l find your stomack not only sharpned, but also curiously cleansed of all sorts of filthy and slimy humours. And you light not sooner from your horse then your appetite is ready to entertain what ever comes before you: The good Man in the mean while is contriving at whose house he shall first whet his knife, and where he thinks his poor wearied wife will receive the best entertainment and caresses, to drive out of her imaginations the troubles and wearisomness of her journy; which will the easier be dispensed with, when she walks out to see the rarities of the place, and to visit your Cousins and relations. And so much the more, because every one will be wishing the new married couple much joy, receiving them kindly, and doing them all manner of pleasures and civilities: which I assure you is no small matter of mirth.

But every thing must have an end. It is therefore now very meet to speak of removing to some other City. But let the husband say what he will of travelling by horseback, she is struck on that ear with an incurable deafness.

They must have a Coach to themselves, and the great Trunk must go along with them, or else the whole journy would have no grace. Neither would it be respect enough for them in the presence of so many good friends and acquaintance, unless the Coach come to take them up at the dore. And it must be done to. Here now one is returning thanks for th'entertainment, and the other for their kind visit, and withall wish the young couple that all content, pleasure, and delight may further attend them upon their journy, &c. Then it is Drive on Coachman, and away fly the poor jades through the streets, striking fire out of the liveless stones, as if Pluto just at the same time were upon the flight with his Proserpina through the City.

But, O new married couple, what price do you little think this mirth will stand you at? What man is there in the World, that hath ever an eye in his head, but must needs see, that if he tarry out long, this must be the ready way to Brokers-Hall. Yet nevertheless I confess you must do it, if you intend to have any peace or quietness with your new wife.

These are the first fruits and pleasures of marriage, therefore you must not so much as consider, nay hardly think, of being so long from home, though in the mean while all things there is going also the ready way to destruction; for it is the fashion, at such times, that maid, man, and all that are in your service, to act their own parts; and so merry they are that they possess their own freedom, and keep open Table, that the whole neighbourhood hears their laughter. Ask the neighbours when you come home, and you will quickly hear, that by them was no thought of care or sorrow; but that they have plaied, ranted and domineer'd so that the whole neighbourhood rung with it; and how they have played their parts either with some dried Baker, pricklouse Tailor, or smoaky Smith, they themselves know best.

Down goes the spit to the fire; the pudding pan prepared; and if there be either Wine, Beer or any thing else wanting; though the Cellar be lockt; yet, by one means or another, they find out such pretty devices to juggle the Wine out of the Cask, nay and Sugar to boot too; that their inventions surpass all the stratagems that are quoted by the Author of the English Rogue; of which I could insert a vast number, but fear that it would occasion an ill example to the unlearned in that study. Howsoever they that have kept house long, and had both men & maid-servants, have undoubtedly found both the truth and experience hereof sufficiently. And how many maids, in this manner, have been eased of that heavy burthen of their maidenheads, is well known to the whole World.

These are also some of the first fruits and delights of marriage; but if they were of the greatest sort, they might be esteemed and approved of to be curable, or a remedy found for prevention. Yet let them be of what state and condition they will, every one feels the damage and inconvenience thereof, ten times more then it is outwardly visible unto him, or can comprehend. For if you saw it you would by one or other means shun or prevent it. But now, let it be who it will, whether Counsellor, Doctor, Merchant, or Shopkeeper; the one neglects his Clients Suit, the other his Patients, the third his Negotiation & Trade, and the fourth his Customers; none of them all oft-times knowing from whence it arises that their first years gain is so inconsiderable. For above the continual running on of house-rent, the neglect and unnecessary expensive charge of servants; you consume your self also much mony in travelling and pleasure; besides the peril and uneasiness that you suffer to please and complaite your new married Mistris. O miserable pleasure!

But you will be sure to find the greatest calamity of this delight, as soon as you return home again; if you only observe the motions of your wife, for whose pleasure and felicity you have been so long from home. Alas she is so wearied and tired with tumbling and travelling up & down, that she complains as if her back were broke, and it is impossible for her to rise before it is about dinner time; nay and then neither hardly unless she hear that there is something prepared suitable to her appetite. If any thing either at noon or night is to be prepared and made ready, the husband must take care and give order for the doing of it; the good woman being yet so weary, that she cannot settle her self to it; yea it is too much for her to walk about her chamber, her very joints being as it were dislocated with the troublesomness of the journy.

In the mean while the servants they ly simpring, giggling, and laughing at one another, doing just what they list, and wishing that their Mistris might be alwaies in that temper, then they were sure to have the more freedom to themselves: the which, though done by stealth, they make as bad as may be: and yet hardly any man, tho he had the eyes of Argolus can attrap them; for if by chance you should perceive any thing, they will find one excuse or another to delude you, and look as demure as a dog in a halter, whereby the good man is easily pacified and satisfied for that time.

And these things are more predominant, when there is a cunning slut of a Maid, that knows but how to serve and flatter her Mistris well, getting her by that means upon her side: in such cases you'l generally see two maids where one might serve, or else a Chair-woman; the one to do all the course work, the other to run of errands and lend a helping hand (if she hath a mind to it) that all things may the sooner be set in order; & she then with her Mistris may go a gadding.

And because Peggy & her Mistris, do in this manner, as it were, like a Jack in a box, jump into each others humour, the good woman may take her rest the better; for she hath caretakers enough about the house. And if the husband, coming from the Change or other important affair, seems to be any waies discontented, that all things lies stragling about the house, & are not set in order, presently crafty Peggy finds a fit expedient for it with complaining that her Mistris hath had such an insufferable pain in her head and in her belly, that it was beyond imagination; & also she could get no ease for her, unless she had prepared her some butter'd Ale, and a little mul'd Sack; and this is the reason why all things were not so ready as they ought to have been.

Herewith the good mans mouth is stopt. If he begins afterwards to speak with his wife concerning th'unnecessary Chair-women; his answer is, prithee Sweetheart, don't you trouble your self with those things, leave that to me, I'l manage that to the best advantage; men have no understanding about house-keeping; & it is most proper for a woman to have the governance of her Maids. And also Sweetheart, if there be now and then occasion for a semstress or a Chair-woman, they are things of so small importance, that they are not worth the speaking of.

Now, if he will have peace and quietness at home, this reply must give him full satisfaction; and tho he be never so patient, viewing all things at a distance; yet the maids behind his back, that their Mistris may more then overhear it, dare call him, a Tom Peep in the pot, or Goodman busiebody. And before dinner is fully done, he must hear Peg asking her Mistris; Mistris, wont you please forsooth, to go by and by and give Mistris Moody a visit, or discourse a little with Madam Elenor? As long as you have nothing to do, what need you ty your self to any thing? Pray tell her that story that the North Country Gentleman related, which you laught at yesterday so heartily. Madam Elenor will admire at it. And I'm sure she hath something that she will relate unto you. Herewith the good Mistris begins to get a drift, and away she goes with Peg out of dores. Let it go then as it will with the house keeping.

This is also no small pleasure, when the Mistris and the Maid alwaies agree so lovingly together! then the husband need not go any more out of Town to please his wives fancy; for she can now find pleasure enough by her old acquaintance sweet Mistris Moody, and courteous Madam Elenor.

Do but see now, O Lovers, what multiplicity of roses, and thistles there are in the very Porch of the Wilderness of Marriage; you may think then what the middle and end must be.

* * * * *


The Wife goes a pratling by her Neighbours; complaining of her barrenness, and takes Physick for it.

Verily it is a great pleasure for the new married couple, that they have been up and down taking their pleasure, and have been feasted by all their acquaintance.

Now they have travelled from place to place, and taken a full view of what friends and relations each other hath; and seen also the great difference there is in the ornaments, neatness, manners and deportments of each place, and also how pleasant the Hills, Dales and Meadows lie, with their silver streaming Brooks; but most particularly, how neatly and compleatly one may, for their mony, be treated. Yet come finally to a consideration within themselves of the weakness and vanity of this pleasure; perceiving that all those who possess it, at last conclude it burthensom, and have a longing desire to be at home again in a frugal management of house-keeping at their own Tables.

Verily, this is that happy hour of pleasure that the new married man hath been long seeking for; to the end he might once be freed from all such idle expences, and be again carefully looking after his affairs and vocation. Now he begins to hope that all things will come into a handsom posture; also not doubting, but that his wife will, having had her full swing and hearts content of treats and all other sorts of pleasures, begin like a House-Wife, to order her self to take some care for the concerns of the Family, which indeed oft-times falls out so, to the great joy, profit, and tranquility of the good man.

But can it be possible that this sweet pleasure should be so disht up, without some bitter sauce of discontent? O kind Husband, if you will beleeve that, then you may well think the whole state and term of your marriage to be a Paradice upon earth; and that you have already got footing in the high-way to all fullness of pleasures and contentments: Yet tarry a few daies, and then experience will give you a better understanding of further pleasures.

For the new Wife is no sooner come to be at quiet; but she begins to complain, that she can hardly addict her self to this new way of life; that it appears very strange and odly to her to converse with a new Maid, by reason she must be telling her this thing, and commanding her the t'other; and have a regard of all what she does, which are things that she before never used to trouble her self with; and that it is such a trouble to her to be out of her Parents house, in a strange dwelling place: Nay, this oft-times surges so high, that the good man hath his hands full of work to comfort her, and to talk these foolish fancies out of her noddle; and verily, unless he can bridle her frivolous humour with some pleasant discourses, and dry up her tears with no small number of kisses; oh then he'l be sadly put to't. And if this all falls out well, before six weeks are at an end, there'l appear another dark cloud again, to eclipse this splendant Sunshine.

For behold, within a very small time the good woman begins to scrape acquaintance, and get some familiarity with her neighbours, which increaseth from day to day more and more; nay oftentimes it comes to that height, she's better to be found among her neighbours, then at home in her own family. Here she sees Mistris Wanton playing with her child that is a very pretty Babe. There she sees Mistres Breedwell making ready her Child-bed linnens and getting of her Clouts together. Yonder Mistris Maudlen complains that she doth not prove with child; & then Mistres Young-at-it brags how nearly she could reckon from the very bed-side. Oh then she thinks I have been married this three months, and know nothing at all of these things; it is with me still as if I were yet a maid: What certainly should be the reason thereof?

This is the first occasion that begets a great disturbance in the brain-pan and imagination; and wo be to the good man, if he doth not understand his Py-work well! Then to the end she may hear the better how things goes; she inquires very earnestly amongst her acquaintance what caresses they receive from their husbands; and most shamlesly relates what hath passed between her and her husband, twixt the curtains, or under the Rose; which she doth to that purpose, that she may hear whether her husband understands his work well, and whether he doth it well, and oft enough; and also whether he be fully fit for the employ, &c. for the verification whereof the Councel of women bring so many compleat relations, that it is a shame to think, much more to speak of them.

Whosoever she speaks with every one pities her, and gives her their advice: And the best sort will at the least say to her, I would oftentimes treat my husband with such sort of spices as were good for my self, viz. Oisters, Egs, Cox-combs, sweet breads, Lam-stones, Caveer, &c. and counsell him every morning to go to the Coffe-house and drink some Chocolate; & above all things advise him to desist from Tabacco and drying things, or any other things that are too cooling for the kidneys. And then I would many times my self by dallying with him, and some other pretty Wanton postures, try to provoke him to it; whereby he should surely know that it was neither your coolness, nor want of desire that might be blamed in it; but rather alwaies confess, that you had sufficiently done your indeavour.

Who will doubt but that she puts this advice, in operation? O happy man, who art now every foot treated with some new sorts of kickshaws at your Table; and have free leave to frequent the Coffy-house, which other women grumble and mumble at. And besides all this, you find that your dearest embraceth you as if you were an Angel, and shews you a thousand other friendly entertainments that are beyond imagination to express: it is alwaies in the evening, my Dear come to bed: and in the morning, pray Love ly a little longer. These are most certainly very great pleasures.

But if the Woman marks that this helps not, and that all things remain in the old posture, then she begins to mump and maunder at her husband; vaunting much of her own fitness, and not a little suspecting her husbands; oftentimes calling him a Fumbler, a dry-boots, and a good man Do-little, &c.

This makes him look as if he had beshit him self. And though he never so much indeavours to vindicate himself; and also to perswade her from the reasons and examples given by several learned Doctors; Culpepper; the Queens Midwife; and some others of his friends and acquaintance that he demonstrates unto her; it is all but wind. She still complains, I must have a Child, or else I shall run distracted.

And this manner of frantickness hath so vehemently struck into her brains, that the very house seems to burn over her head: Insomuch that she's no sooner risen from her bed or from the Table, but immediately she goeth a gadding amongst the neighbours; and takes other peoples children in her arms, kissing and slabbring of them so unmeasurably, as if she would almost devour them with love; nay she useth more simple and childish actions with them, then ever own mothers have done. By which means the children have many times as great an affection for their neighbour, as they have for their own Father and Mother.

This gadding out of dores doth undoubtedly a little trouble her husband: But when he begins to consider, that his wife by this means knows how to handle, and make much of children; and then again, that she thus beforehand learns it for nothing; it must of necessity be no less then a great pleasure for him. And so much the more, whilest she is pratling with her neighbour, and playing with her child; he is freed from the curse of hearing her sighs and complaints to have a child. For she's no sooner within the dores, but she talks of her neighbours child, and wishes with the loss of all that shes worth in the World that she had such a one too; which continues alwaies so long, that finally she bursts out into the like former frenzy against her husband: see there I must have a child also, or else I shall run distracted.

But what remedy? which way he turns or winds himself, he finds no means or way how to pacifie his wife. And therefore thinks it best himself to take th'advice of Doctor, and most especially with that French Doctor, who is so renowned for his skill of making many men and women that before were barren and unfruitfull to conceive children: Insomuch that they do now every year precisely bear a young son, or a daughter, yea somtimes two at a time. It is thereby also very necessary that the good woman her self consult with some experienced Midwives, and old Doctresses; to the end, that those distempers which are the occasion of barrenness, might be the better removed and taken away.

To this end there are almost as many Boxes and Gally-pots brought together, as would near upon furnish an Apothecaries shop: Then to work they go with smearing, anointing, chafing, infusing, wherewith (as they term it) the good woman is to be made fresh and fit; but they make the bed and whole house so full of stink and vapours, that it may be said they rather stop the good and wholesom pores and other parts of the body; then to open those that were stopt and caused Distempers.

But in the conclusion we find it to be both fruitless and miserable, where the good woman goes to seek it by th'Apothecary; even as her husband doth out of the Oister and Eg-shels.

And if this will not do now; where shall the poor man hide his head next? What shall he do more to please and pacifie her? He thinks upon all the ways and means possible to entertain her to content. If she will have costly things, he will buy them for her; and dissimulately saith that all what she practiseth for her content, is his only pleasure and delight: yea, although her pride and ambition many times in several things flies too high, and oft-times also doth not happen to be very suitable with the constitution of the cash; he dares in no wise contradict her, for he fears that she will presently be at variance with him again: And thinks in the interim, whilest her mind hangs upon these things, she forgets her maunding and mumbling for a child. Still hoping that there will come one happy night, that may crown his earnest desires with fructivity; this it is that makes him that he dares not anger her or give her a sour countenance; fearing that if she might have conceived, that would be the means of turning the tide.

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