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This Colloquy presents you with a very chaste Wooing, mingling many philosophical Notions with pleasant Jokes. Of not being hasty in marrying; of chusing, not only for the Sake of the outward Person, but the inward Endowments of the Mind; of the Firmness of Wedlock; of not contracting Matrimony without the Consent of Parents; of living chastly in Matrimony; of bringing up Children piously; that the Soul is not where it animates, but where it loves. The Description of a deformed Man. That Wedlock is to be preferr'd before a single Life, and is not, as it is vulgarly called, a Halter. That we must not consult our Affections so much as Reason.


PA. Good Morrow, Madam, cruel, hard Heart, inflexible.

Ma. Good Morrow to you too, Mr. Pamphilus, as often, and as much, and by what Names you please: But you seem to have forgotten my Name, 'tis Mary.

Pa. It should rather have been Martia.

Ma. Why so, pray, what is Mars to me?

Pa. Because just as Mars makes a Sport of killing Men, so do you; saving that you do it the more cruelly of the two, because you kill one that loves you.

Ma. Say you so! pray where's the great Slaughter of Men that I have made? Where's the Blood of the Slain?

Pa. You may see one dead Corpse before your Face, if you look upon me.

Ma. What strange Story is this? Does a dead Man talk and walk? I wish I may never meet with more frightful Ghosts than you are.

Pa. Ay, indeed, you make a Jest of it; but for all that, you kill poor me, and more cruelly too, than if you stuck a Dagger in my Breast. For now I, poor Wretch as I am, die a lingering Death.

Ma. Prithee tell me, how many Women with Child have miscarried at the Sight of thee?

Pa. My Paleness shews I have no more Blood in my Body than a Ghost.

Ma. Indeed you are as pale as a Violet; You are as pale as a ripe Cherry, or purple Grape.

Pa. You coquet it with my Misery.

Ma. If you can't believe me, look in the Glass.

Pa. I would never desire a better Glass, nor do I believe there is a better in the World than I am a looking in already.

Ma. What Looking-Glass do you mean?

Pa. Your Eyes.

Ma. You Banterer! that's like you. But how do you prove yourself to be dead? Do dead Folks eat?

Pa. Yes, they do; but Things that have no Relish, as I do.

Ma. What do they feed upon?

Pa. Mallows, Leeks, and Lupines.

Ma. But you feed upon Capons and Partridges.

Pa. If I do, I relish them no more than Beets without Pepper or Vinegar.

Ma. Poor Creature! but yet you're in pretty good Case, for all that. And do dead Folks talk too?

Pa. Just as I do, with a weak Voice.

Ma. But when I heard you rallying your Rival a little While ago, your Voice was not very low then. But, prithee, do Ghosts walk, wear Cloaths, and sleep?

Pa. Yes, and enjoy one another too, after their Manner.

Ma. Thou art a merry Fellow.

Pa. But what will you say, if I prove it by undeniable Arguments, that I am dead, and that you have kill'd me too.

Ma. God forbid, Pamphilus; but let's hear your Arguments, however.

Pa. In the first Place, I think you will grant me this, that Death is only a Separation of Soul and Body.

Ma. I grant it.

Pa. But you must grant it so as not to eat your Words.

Ma. No, I will not.

Pa. You will not deny, I suppose, that the Person that takes away another's Life, is a Murtherer.

Ma. I grant that too.

Pa. I suppose you will grant that which has been allow'd by the greatest Men of many Ages, that the Soul of a Man is not really where it animates, but where it loves.

Ma. Make that a little plainer, I can't well understand it then.

Pa. You might as well bid me make an Adamant sensible of it.

Ma. I am a Maid, not a Stone.

Pa. Tis true, but harder than an Adamant Stone.

Ma. Go on with your Inferences.

Pa. Those that are in a Trance, do neither hear, nor see, nor smell, nor feel, if you kill them outright.

Ma. Indeed I have heard so.

Pa. What do you think is the Reason?

Ma. Do you, Philosopher, tell that.

Pa. Because their Mind is in Heaven, where it enjoys what it dearly loves; and therefore is absent from the Body.

Ma. Well, what then?

Pa. What then, hard-hearted Creature? Then it follows, that I am dead, and you have killed me.

Ma. Where is your Soul then?

Pa. Where it loves.

Ma. Who took this Soul of yours away? What do you Sigh for? Tell me freely: There's no Hurt in it.

Pa. A cruel Maid, that I could not be angry with if she kill'd me outright.

Ma. You're very good-humour'd; but why don't you take her Soul from her too, and pay her in her own Coin, according to the old Proverb.

Pa. I should be the happiest Man in the World, if I could make that Exchange, that her Heart would pass as wholly into my Breast, as mine has into hers.

Ma. But may I play the Sophister with you now?

Pa. The Sophistress.

Ma. Can one and the same Body be both alive and dead?

Pa. Not at the same Time.

Ma. Is the Body dead, when the Soul is out of it?

Pa. Yes.

Ma. Nor does it animate it, but when it is in it?

Pa. No, it does not.

Ma. How comes it to pass then, that when it is there where it loves, it yet animates the Body it is gone out of? And if it animates when it loves any where, how is that called a dead Body which it animates?

Pa. Indeed, you argue very cunningly, but you shan't catch me there. That Soul, which after some Sort governs the Body of the Lover, is but improperly call'd a Soul, when it is but some small Remains of the Soul; just as the Smell of a Rose remains in the Hand, when the Rose is gone.

Ma. I see it is a hard Matter to catch a Fox in a Trap. But answer me this Question, does not the Person that kills, act?

Pa. Yes.

Ma. And does not he suffer who is kill'd?

Pa. Yes.

Ma. And how comes it about then, that when he that loves, acts, and she that is lov'd, suffers, she that is lov'd should be said to kill, when he that loves, rather kills himself?

Pa. Nay, on the Contrary, 'tis he that loves that suffers, and she is lov'd, that acts.

Ma. You will never prove that by all your Grammar.

Pa. Well, I'll prove it by Logic then.

Ma. But do so much as answer me this one Question, do you love voluntarily, or against your Will?

Pa. Voluntarily.

Ma. Then since a Person is at Liberty, whether he will love or no; he that does love, is guilty of Felo de se, and accuses a Maid wrongfully.

Pa. A Maid does not kill in being lov'd, but in not loving again. He is guilty of killing, that can save and don't save.

Ma. What if a young Man should fall into an unlawful Love, as suppose with another Man's Wife, or a Vestal Virgin? Must she love him again, to save the Lover?

Pa. But the young Man, meaning myself, loves one whom he ought to love, and by Right and good Reason, and yet am murthered. If Murther be a light Matter, I could indict you for Witchcraft too.

Ma. God forbid, do you make a Circe of me?

Pa. You are more barbarous than Circe herself, I had rather be a Hog or a Bear, than as I now am, half dead.

Ma. By what Sort of Enchantments do I kill Men?

Pa. By the Witchcraft of your Eyes.

Ma. Would you have me take my noxious Eyes off of you then.

Pa. No, by no Means, rather look more upon me.

Ma. If my Eyes are so infectious, how comes it about they don't throw others I look upon into a Consumption too? I therefore rather believe the Infection is in your own Eyes than mine.

Pa. Is it not enough for you to kill poor Pamphilus, but you must insult him too.

Ma. O pretty dead Creature! but when must I come to your Funeral?

Pa. Sooner than you think for, if you don't relieve me.

Ma. Can I perform such a wonderful Cure?

Pa. You can raise a dead Man to Life again with the greatest Ease imaginable.

Ma. Ay, if I had the Grand-Elixir.

Pa. You have no Need of any Medicine, do but love me again. And what's easier than that? Nay, what's more just? You can no other Way in the World get clear of the Crime of Murther.

Ma. In what Court must I be try'd? In the Court of Chancery?

Pa. No, in the Court of Venus.

Ma. They say, she is a very merciful Goddess.

Pa. Nay, the most severe in the World.

Ma. Has she any Thunderbolts?

Pa. No.

Ma. Has she got a Trident?

Pa. No.

Ma. Has she got a Spear?

Pa. No; but she is the Goddess of the Sea.

Ma. But I don't go to Sea.

Pa. But she has a Son.

Ma. Youth is not very formidable.

Pa. But he is very revengeful and resolute.

Ma. What will he do to me?

Pa. What will he do? That which I can't wish to be done to one I wish so well to. God forbid I should.

Ma. Tell me what it is, for I an't afraid to hear it.

Pa. Well, I'll tell you then; if you slight me that love you, and am no Way unworthy of your Love; I shall be much mistaken if he don't by his Mother's Order shoot you with a venomous Dart, and make you fall deeply in Love with some sorry Fellow or other, that would not love you again.

Ma. That's a most horrid Punishment indeed. I had rather die a thousand Deaths than to be so bitterly in Love with an ugly Man, and one that won't love me neither.

Pa. But we had a notable Example of this not long since upon a certain Maid.

Ma. Where did she live?

Pa. At Orleans.

Ma. How many Years ago was it?

Pa. How many Years! not ten Months.

Ma. What was her Name? What do you stick at?

Pa. Nothing at all. I know her as well as I know you.

Ma. Why don't you tell me her Name then?

Pa. Because I am afraid it is ominous. I wish she had been of some other Name. She was your own Namesake.

Ma. Who was her Father?

Pa. Her Father is alive at this Time, and is a topping Lawyer, and a rich Man.

Ma. Tell me his Name.

Pa. Mauritius.

Ma. His Sirname.

Pa. Aglaius.

Ma. Is her Mother alive?

Pa. No, she died lately.

Ma. What did she die of, say you?

Pa. Why of Grief, and it had like to have cost her Father his Life too, for all he was a Man of a strong Constitution.

Ma. Mayn't a Body know her Mother's Name.

Pa. Yes, Sophrona, every Body knows her Name. What do you mean by that Question? Do you think I invent a Lye?

Ma. Why should I think so of you? Our Sex is most to be suspected for that. But tell me what became of the Maid?

Pa. The Maid, as I told you before, came of very honest Parents, had a good Fortune, was very handsome, and in few Words, was a Match for a Prince; a certain Gentleman of an equal Fortune courted her.

Ma. What was his Name?

Pa. Ah me, I can't bear the Thoughts of it, his Name was Pamphilus as well as mine. He try'd all the Ways in the World to gain her good Will; but she slighted all his Offers. The young Man pines away with Grief. Presently after she fell deep in Love with one more like an Ape than a Man.

Ma. How!

Pa. Ay, so wretchedly in Love, that 'tis impossible to relate it.

Ma. Such a pretty Maid to fall in Love with such an ugly Fellow?

Pa. Ay, with a long-visag'd, scald-headed, bald-pated, hollow-ey'd, snub-nos'd, wide-mouth'd, rotton-tooth'd, stuttering, scabby-bearded, hump-back'd, gor-belly'd, bandy-legg'd Fellow.

Ma. You tell me of a mere Thersites.

Pa. Nay, they said he had but one Ear, neither.

Ma. It may be he had lost the other in the War.

Pa. No, he lost it in Peace.

Ma. Who dar'd to cut it off?

Pa. Jack Ketch.

Ma. It may be his Riches made Amends.

Pa. Over Head and Ears in Debt. And with this Husband this charming Girl now spends her Days, and is now and then drubb'd into the Bargain.

Ma. That is a miserable Story indeed.

Pa. But it is a true one. It is a just Retaliation upon her, for slighting the young Gentleman.

Ma. I should rather chuse to be thunder-struck than ty'd to endure such a Husband.

Pa. Then don't provoke Justice, but love him that loves you.

Ma. Well, if that will do, I do love you again.

Pa. Ay, But I would have that Love constant as mine own. I court a Wife, not a Mistress.

Ma. I suppose so, but yet we ought to be very deliberate in that which being once done, can never be undone again.

Pa. I have been deliberating too long already.

Ma. Love is none of the best Advisers; see that he han't impos'd upon you, for they say he is blind.

Pa. But that Love has Eyes in his Head, that proceeds from Judgment; you don't appear so amiable, only because I love you, but you are really so, and therefore I love you.

Ma. But perhaps you don't know me thoroughly. When once a Shoe is on, then you'll know where it pinches.

Pa. I'll venture it, but I gather from many Conjectures, that it will be happy for me.

Ma. What, are you an Augur then?

Pa. Yes, I am.

Ma. Pray by what Auguries do you prognosticate all this? What, hath the Night Owl appear'd luckily?

Pa. She flies for Fools.

Ma. Did you see a pair of Pigeons on your right Hand?

Pa. Nothing of all this. But have for some Years been satisfy'd of the Honesty of your Father and Mother; and in the first Place, that's no bad Sign. Nor am I ignorant how modestly and religiously you have been brought up by them, and it is a greater Advantage to be honestly educated, than honourably born. And then there's another good Circumstance besides, that as my Parents are none of the worst, so yours and mine have been very intimate for many Years, and you and I have known one another from our very Childhood, as they use to say; and besides all this, our Humours agree very well together. Our Age, Fortunes, Quality, and Parentage are pretty equal. And last of all, that which is the chief Thing in Friendship, your Temper seems to agree very well with mine. There are some Things that may be very good in themselves that may not agree with others. How acceptable my Temper may be to yours, I don't know. These are the Auguries, my Dear, that make me prognosticate that a Marriage between you and me would be happy, lasting, comfortable and pleasant, unless you shall prevent it by a Denial.

Ma. What would you have me say?

Pa. I will sing I am thine first, and you shall sing I am thine after me.

Ma. That indeed is but a short Song, but it has a long Chorus.

Pa. What signifies it how long it is, so it be a merry one.

Ma. I have that Respect for you, I would not have you do what you should repent of when done.

Pa. Leave off teasing me.

Ma. Perhaps I shall not appear so amiable in your Eye, when Age or Sickness have spoil'd my Beauty.

Pa. No more, my Dear, shall I myself be always so young and lusty. I don't only look at that blooming, lovely Body of yours, but it is your Guest within it I am most in Love with.

Ma. What Guest do you mean?

Pa. This Soul of yours, whose Beauty will grow as Years increase.

Ma. In Truth you have a very penetrating Sight, if you can see that through so many Coverings.

Pa. It is with the Eyes of my Mind that I see your Mind, and then besides we shall be ever and anon renewing our Age by our Children.

Ma. But then I shall lose my Maidenhead.

Pa. Right enough; but prithee tell me, if you had a fine Orchard, would you rather chuse never to have nothing but Blossoms on the Trees; or would you rather, that the Blossoms should fall off, and see the Boughs laden with ripe Apples?

Ma. Oh, how cunningly you can argue!

Pa. Answer me but this one Question, which is the finest Sight, a Vine lying along upon the Ground and rotting, or twining round a Stake or an Elm-Tree, loaden with ripe Grapes of a curious purple Colour?

Ma. And pray do you answer me this Question; which is the most pleasant Sight, a Rose fresh and fair upon the Tree, or one gathered and withering in the Hand?

Pa. I look upon that the happier Rose that dies in a Man's Hand; there delighting the Sight and Smell, than that which withers away upon the Bush, for it would die there, if it were let alone. As that Wine has the most Honour done it; that is drank before it grows dead: Though this is to be said, that the Flower of a Maid does not presently fade, as soon as she is married: Nay, I have seen a great many, that before Marriage look'd pale and languid, and just as if they were dropping into the Ground: but having been in the Embraces of a Husband, they have brightened up, just as if they just then began to bloom.

Ma. But for all that, a Maidenhead is accounted a fine Thing.

Pa. A young Virgin is indeed a pretty Thing: But what's more monstrous than an old Maid? If your Mother had not shed that Blossom, we should never have had this fine Flower, yourself. And if we don't make a barren Match, as I hope we shan't, there will be never a Maid the less for us.

Ma. But they say Chastity is very well pleasing to God.

Pa. And for that Reason I would marry a chaste Maid, that I may live chastly with her. The Union of Minds will be more than that of Bodies. We'll get Subjects for the King, and Servants for Christ, and where will the Unchastity of this Matrimony be? And who can tell but we may live together like Joseph and Mary? And in the mean Time, we'll learn to be Virgins, we don't arrive at Perfection all at once.

Ma. What do you talk of? Is Virginity to be violated, that it may be learned?

Pa. Why not? As by little and little drinking Wine sparingly, we learn to be abstemious. Which do you think is the most temperate Person, he that is sitting at a Table full of Delicacies, and abstains from them, or he who is out of the Reach of those Things that incite Intemperance?

Ma. I think he is the most temperate Person, that the greatest Plenty can't debauch.

Pa. Which is the most laudable for Chastity, he that castrates himself, or he that having his Members entire, forbears Venery?

Ma. The latter, in my Opinion: I should call the former a Madman.

Pa. Don't they in a Manner castrate themselves, that abjure Matrimony?

Ma. I think they do.

Pa. Then it is no Virtue to forbear Coition.

Ma. Is it not?

Pa. I prove it thus; if it were of itself a Virtue not to copulate, it were a Sin to do it: so that it follows of Consequence, it is a Fault not to copulate, and a Virtue to do it.

Ma. When does this Case happen?

Pa. As often as the Husband requires his due of his Wife; especially if he would embrace her for the Sake of Procreation.

Ma. But if it be out of Wantonness? Is it not lawful to deny him?

Pa. He may be admonish'd or dissuaded by soft Language to forbear; but if he insists upon it, he ought not to be refus'd. But I hear very few Husbands complain of their Wives upon this Account.

Ma. But Liberty is a very sweet Thing.

Pa. Virginity is rather a greater Burthen. I will be your King, and you shall be my Queen, and we'll govern the Family according to our Pleasure: And do you think that a Bondage?

Ma. Marriage is called a Halter.

Pa. They deserve a Halter that call it so. Pray tell me, is not your Soul and Body bound together?

Ma. Yes, I think they are.

Pa. Just like a Bird in a Cage; and yet, ask it if it would be freed from it, I believe it will say, no: And what's the Reason of that? Because it is bound by its own Consent.

Ma. But we have neither of us got much of Portion.

Pa. We are the safer for that, you shall add to it at Home by good Housewifery, and that is not without good Reason said to be a great Revenue, and I'll increase it abroad by my Industry.

Ma. But Children bring a great many Cares along with them.

Pa. Have done with Scruples.

Ma. Would you have me marry a dead Man?

Pa. No, but I shall come to Life again then.

Ma. Well, you have removed my Objection. My Pamphilus, farewell.

Pa. Do you take Care of that.

Ma. I wish you a good Night. Why do you sigh?

Pa. A good Night, say you, I wish you would give me what you wish me.

Ma. Soft and fair, you are a little too hasty.

Pa. Must I not carry nothing of you along with me?

Ma. This sweet Ball; it will cheer your Heart.

Pa. But give me a Kiss too.

Ma. No, I have a Mind to keep my Maidenhead for you entire and untouch'd.

Pa. Will a Kiss take any Thing from your Virginity?

Ma. Will you give me leave to kiss other Folks?

Pa. No, by no Means, I'd have my Kisses kept for myself.

Ma. Well, I'll keep 'em for you: But there is another Reason why I dare not give you a Kiss, as Things are at present.

Pa. What is that?

Ma. You say your Soul is gone out of your Body into mine, so that there is but very little left. I am afraid that in Kissing, the little that is left in you, should jump out of you into me, and so you should be quite dead. Shake Hands as a Pledge of my Love, and so farewell. Do you see that you manage the Matter vigorously, and I'll pray to God in the mean Time, that whatsoever be done, may be for both our good.

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