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This Colloquy, entitled, The uneasy Wife: Or, Uxor [Greek: Mempsigamos], treats of many Things that relate to the mutual Nourishment of conjugal Affection. Concerning the concealing a Husband's Faults; of not interrupting conjugal Benevolence; of making up Differences; of mending a Husband's Manners; of a Woman's Condescension to her Husband. What is the Beauty of a Woman; she disgraces herself, that disgraces her Husband; that the Wife ought to submit to the Husband; that the Husband ought not to be out of Humour when the Wife is; and on the Contrary; that they ought to study mutual Concord, since there is no Room for Advice; that they ought to conceal one another's Faults, and not expose one another; that it is in the Power of the Wife to mend her Husband; that she ought to carry herself engagingly, learn his Humour, what provokes him or appeases him; that all Things be in Order at Home; that he have what he likes best to eat; that if the Husband be vext, the Wife don't laugh; if he be angry, that she should speak pleasantly to him, or hold her Tongue; that what she blames him for, should be betwixt themselves; the Method of admonishing; that she ought to make her Complaint to no Body but her Husband's Parents; or to some peculiar Friends that have an Influence upon him. The Example of a prudent Man, excellently managing a young morose Wife, by making his Complaint to her Father. Another of a prudent Wife, that by her good Carriage reformed a Husband that frequented leud Company, Another of a Man that had beaten his Wife in his angry Fit; that Husbands are to be overcome, brought into Temper by Mildness, Sweetness, and Kindness; that there should be no Contention in the Chamber or in the Bed; but that Care should be taken, that nothing but Pleasantness and Engagingness be there. The Girdle of Venus is Agreeableness of Manners. Children make a mutual Amity. That a Woman separated from her Husband, is nothing: Let her always be mindful of the Respect that is due to a Husband.


EU. Most welcome Xantippe, a good Morning to you.

Xa. I wish you the same, my dear Eulalia. Methinks you look prettier than you use to do.

Eu. What, do you begin to banter me already?

Xa. No, upon my Word, for you seem so to me.

Eu. Perhaps then my new Cloaths may set me off to Advantage.

Xa. You guess right, it is one of the prettiest Suits I ever beheld in all my Life. It is English Cloth, I suppose.

Eu. It is indeed of English Wool, but it is a Venetian Dye.

Xa. It is as soft as Silk, and 'tis a charming Purple. Who gave you this fine Present?

Eu. My Husband. From whom should a virtuous Wife receive Presents but from him?

Xa. Well, you are a happy Woman, that you are, to have such a good Husband. For my Part, I wish I had been married to a Mushroom when I was married to my Nick.

Eu. Why so, pray? What! is it come to an open Rupture between you already?

Xa. There is no Possibility of agreeing with such a one as I have got. You see what a ragged Condition I am in; so he lets me go like a Dowdy! May I never stir, if I an't asham'd to go out of Doors any whither, when I see how fine other Women are, whose Husbands are nothing nigh so rich as mine is.

Eu. The Ornament of a Matron does not consist in fine Cloaths or other Deckings of the Body, as the Apostle Peter teaches, for I heard that lately in a Sermon; but in chaste and modest Behaviour, and the Ornaments of the Mind. Whores are trick'd up to take the Eyes of many but we are well enough drest, if we do but please our own Husbands.

Xa. But mean while this worthy Tool of mine, that is so sparing toward his Wife, lavishly squanders away the Portion I brought along with me, which by the Way was not a mean one.

Eu. In what?

Xa. Why, as the Maggot bites, sometimes at the Tavern, sometimes upon his Whores, sometimes a gaming.

Eu. O fie, you should never say so of your Husband.

Xa. But I'm sure 'tis too true; and then when he comes Home, after I have been waiting for him till I don't know what Time at Night, as drunk as David's Sow, he does nothing but lye snoring all Night long by my Side, and sometimes bespues the Bed too, to say nothing more.

Eu. Hold your Tongue: You disgrace yourself in disgracing your Husband.

Xa. Let me dye, if I had not rather lye with a Swine than such a Husband as I have got.

Eu. Don't you scold at him then?

Xa. Yes, indeed, I use him as he deserves. He finds I have got a Tongue in my Head.

Eu. Well, and what does he say to you again?

Xa. At first he used to hector at me lustily, thinking to fright me with his big Words.

Eu. Well, and did your Words never come to downright Blows?

Xa. Once, and but once, and then the Quarrel rose to that Height on both Sides, that we were within an Ace of going to Fisty-Cuffs.

Eu. How, Woman! say you so?

Xa. He held up his Stick at me, swearing and cursing like a Foot-Soldier, and threatening me dreadfully.

Eu. Were not you afraid then?

Xa. Nay, I snatch'd up a three legg'd Stool, and if he had but touch'd me with his Finger, he should have known he had to do with a Woman of Spirit.

Eu. Ah! my Xantippe, that was not becoming.

Xa. What becoming? If he does not use me like a Wife, I won't use him like a Husband.

Eu. But St. Paul teaches, that Wives ought to be subject to their own Husbands with all Reverence. And St. Peter proposes the Example of Sarah to us, who call'd her Husband Abraham Lord.

Xa. I have heard those Things, but the same Paul likewise teaches that Men should love their Wives as Christ lov'd his Spouse the Church. Let him remember his Duty and I'll remember mine.

Eu. But nevertheless when Things are come to that Pass that one must submit to the other, it is but reasonable that the Wife submit to her Husband.

Xa. Yes indeed, if he deserves the Name of a Husband who uses me like a Kitchen Wench.

Eu. But tell me, Xantippe, did he leave off threatening after this?

Xa. He did leave off, and it was his Wisdom so to do, or else he would have been thresh'd.

Eu. But did not you leave off Scolding at him?

Xa. No, nor never will.

Eu. But what does he do in the mean Time?

Xa. What! Why sometimes he pretends himself to be fast asleep, and sometimes does nothing in the World but laugh at me; sometimes he catches up his Fiddle that has but three Strings, scraping upon it with all his Might, and drowns the Noise of my Bawling.

Eu. And does not that vex you to the Heart?

Xa. Ay, so that it is impossible to be express'd, so that sometimes I can scarce keep my Hands off of him.

Eu. Well, my Xantippe, give me Leave to talk a little freely with you.

Xa. I do give you Leave.

Eu. Nay, you shall use the same Freedom with me. Our Intimacy, which has been in a Manner from our very Cradles, requires this.

Xa. You say true, nor was there any of my Playfellows that I more dearly lov'd than you.

Eu. Let your Husband be as bad as bad can be, think upon this, That there is no changing. Heretofore, indeed, Divorce was a Remedy for irreconcilable Disagreements, but now this is entirely taken away: He must be your Husband and you his Wife to the very last Day of Life.

Xa. The Gods did very wrong that depriv'd us of this Privilege.

Eu. Have a Care what you say. It was the Will of Christ.

Xa. I can scarce believe it.

Eu. It is as I tell you. Now you have nothing left to do but to study to suit your Tempers and Dispositions one to another, and agree together.

Xa. Do you think, I can be able to new-make him?

Eu. It does not a little depend upon the Wives, what Men Husbands shall be.

Xa. Do you and your Husband agree very well together?

Eu. All is quiet with us now.

Xa. Well then, you had some Difference at first.

Eu. Never any Thing of a Storm; but yet, as it is common with human Kind, sometimes a few small Clouds would rise, which might have produc'd a Storm, if it had not been prevented by Condescention. Every one has his Humours, and every one their Fancies, and if we would honestly speak the Truth, every one his Faults, more or less, which if in any State, certainly in Matrimony we ought to connive at, and not to hate.

Xa. You speak very right.

Eu. It frequently happens that that mutual Love that ought to be between the Husband and Wife is cooled before they come to be throughly acquainted one with another. This is the first Thing that ought to be provided against; for when a Spirit of Dissention is once sprung up, it is a difficult Matter to bring them to a Reconciliation, especially if it ever proceeded so far as to come to reproachful Reflections. Those Things that are joined together with Glue, are easily pull'd one from another if they be handled roughly as soon as done, but when once they have been fast united together, and the Glue is dry, there is nothing more firm. For this Reason, all the Care possible is to be taken that good Will between Man and Wife be cultivated and confirmed even in the Infancy of Matrimony. This is principally effected by Obsequiousness, and an Agreeableness of Tempers. For that Love that is founded only upon Beauty, is for the most part but short-liv'd.

Xa. But prithee tell me by what Arts you brought your Husband to your Humour.

Eu. I'll tell you for this End, that you may copy after me.

Xa. Well, I will, if I can.

Eu. It will be very easy to do, if you will; nor is it too late yet; for he is in the Flower of his Youth, and you are but a Girl; and as I take it, have not been married this Twelve Months yet.

Xa. You are very right.

Eu. Then I'll tell you; but upon Condition, that you'll not speak of it.

Xa. Well, I will not.

Eu. It was my first Care that I might please my Husband in every Respect, that nothing might give him Offence. I diligently observed his Inclinations and Temper, and also observed what were his easiest Moments, what Things pleas'd him, and what vex'd him, as they use to do who tame Elephants and Lions, or such Sort of Creatures, that can't be master'd by downright Strength.

Xa. And such an Animal have I at Home.

Eu. Those that go near Elephants, wear no Garment that is white; nor those who manage Bulls, red; because it is found by Experience, that these Creatures are made fierce by these Colours, just as Tygers are made so raging mad by the Sound of a Drum, that they will tear their own selves; and Jockies have particular Sounds, and Whistles, and Stroakings, and other Methods to sooth Horses that are mettlesome: How much more does it become us to use these Acts towards our Husbands, with whom, whether we will or no, we must live all our Lives at Bed and Board?

Xa. Well, go on with what you have begun.

Eu. Having found out his Humour, I accommodated myself to him, taking Care that nothing should offend him.

Xa. How could you do that?

Eu. I was very diligent in the Care of my Family, which is the peculiar Province of Women, that nothing was neglected, and that every Thing should be suitable to his Temper, altho' it were in the most minute Things.

Xa. What Things?

Eu. Suppose my Husband peculiarly fancied such a Dish of Meat, or liked it dress'd after such a Manner; or if he lik'd his Bed made after such or such a Manner.

Xa. But how could you humour one who was never at Home, or was drunk?

Eu. Have Patience, I was coming to that Point. If at any Time my Husband seem'd to be melancholy, and did not much care for talking, I did not laugh, and put on a gay Humour, as some Women are us'd to do; but I put on a grave demure Countenance, as well as he. For as a Looking-glass, if it be a true one, represents the Face of the Person that looks into it, so a Wife ought to frame herself to the Temper of her Husband, not to be chearful when he is melancholy, nor be merry when he is in a Passion. And if at any Time he was in a Passion, I either endeavoured to sooth him with fair Words, or held my Tongue till his Passion was over; and having had Time to cool, Opportunity offered, either of clearing myself, or of admonishing him. I took the same Method, if at any Time he came Home fuddled, and at such a Time never gave him any Thing but tender Language, that by kind Expressions, I might get him to go to Bed.

Xa. That is indeed a very unhappy Portion for Wives, if they must only humour their Husbands, when they are in a Passion, and doing every Thing that they have a Mind to do.

Eu. As tho' this Duty were not reciprocal, and that our Husbands are not forc'd to bear with many of our Humours: However, there is a Time, when a Wife may take the Freedom in a Matter of some Importance to advise her Husband; but as for small Faults, it is better to wink at them.

Xa. But what Time is that?

Eu. When his Mind is serene; when he's neither in a Passion, nor in the Hippo, nor in Liquor; then being in private, you may kindly advise him, but rather intreat him, that he would act more prudently in this or that Matter, relating either to his Estate, Reputation, or Health. And this very Advice is to be season'd with witty Jests and Pleasantries. Sometimes by Way of Preface, I make a Bargain with him before-Hand, that he shall not be angry with me, if being a foolish Woman, I take upon me to advise him in any Thing, that might seem to concern his Honour, Health, or Preservation. When I have said what I had a Mind to say, I break off that Discourse, and turn it into some other more entertaining Subject. For, my Xantippe, this is the Fault of us Women, that when once we have begun, we don't know when to make an End.

Xa. Why, so they say, indeed.

Eu. This chiefly I observed as a Rule, never to chide my Husband before Company, nor to carry any Complaints out of Doors. What passes between two People, is more easily made up, than when once it has taken Air. Now if any Thing of that kind shall happen, that cannot be born with, and that the Husband can't be cur'd by the Admonition of his Wife, it is more prudent for the Wife to carry her Complaints to her Husband's Parents and Kindred, than to her own; and so to soften her Complaint, that she mayn't seem to hate her Husband, but her Husband's Vices: And not to blab out all neither, that her Husband may tacitly own and love his Wife for her Civility.

Xa. A Woman must needs be a Philosopher, who can be able to do this.

Eu. By this Deportment we invite our Husbands to return the Civility.

Xa. But there are some Brutes in the World, whom you cannot amend, by the utmost good Carriage.

Eu. In Truth, I don't think it: But put the Case there are: First, consider this; a Husband must be born with, let him be as bad as he will. It is better therefore to bear with him as he is, or made a little better by our courteous Temper, than by our Outrageousness to make him grow every Day worse and worse. What if I should give Instances of Husbands, who by the like civil Treatment have altered their Spouses much for the better? How much more does it become us to use our Husbands after this Manner?

Xa. You will give an Instance then of a Man, that is as unlike my Husband, as black is from white.

Eu. I have the Honour to be acquainted with a Gentleman of a noble Family; Learned, and of singular Address and Dexterity; he married a young Lady, a Virgin of seventeen Years of Age, that had been educated all along in the Country in her Father's House, as Men of Quality love to reside in the Country, for the Sake of Hunting and Fowling: He had a Mind to have a raw unexperienc'd Maid, that he might the more easily form her Manners to his own Humour. He began to instruct her in Literature and Musick, and to use her by Degrees to repeat the Heads of Sermons, which she heard, and to accomplish her with other Things, which would afterwards be of Use to her. Now these Things being wholly new to the Girl, which had been brought up at Home, to do nothing but gossip and play, she soon grew weary of this Life, she absolutely refus'd to submit to what her Husband requir'd of her; and when her Husband press'd her about it, she would cry continually, sometimes she would throw herself flat on the Ground, and beat her Head against the Ground, as tho' she wish'd for Death. Her Husband finding there was no End of this, conceal'd his Resentment, gave his Wife an Invitation to go along with him into the Country to his Father-in-Law's House, for the Sake of a little Diversion. His Wife very readily obey'd him in this Matter. When they came there, the Husband left his Wife with her Mother and Sisters, and went a Hunting with his Father-in-Law; there having taken him aside privately, he tells his Father-in-law, that whereas he was in good Hopes to have had an agreeable Companion of his Daughter, he now had one that was always a crying, and fretting herself; nor could she be cured by any Admonitions, and intreats him to lend a helping Hand to cure his Daughter's Disorder. His Father-in-Law made him answer, that he had once put his Daughter into his Hand, and if she did not obey him, he might use his Authority, and cudgel her into a due Submission. The Son-in-Law replies, I know my own Power, but I had much rather she should be reform'd by your Art or Authority, than to come to these Extremities. The Father-in-Law promis'd him to take some Care about the Matter: So a Day or two after, he takes a proper Time and Place, when he was alone with his Daughter, and looking austerely upon her, begins in telling her how homely she was, and how disagreeable as to her Disposition, and how often he had been in Fear that he should never be able to get her a Husband: But after much Pains, says he, I found you such a one, that the best Lady of the Land would have been glad of; and yet, you not being sensible what I have done for you, nor considering that you have such a Husband, who if he were not the best natur'd Man in the World, would scarce do you the Honour to take you for one of his Maid Servants, you are disobedient to him: To make short of my Story, the Father grew so hot in his Discourse, that he seem'd to be scarce able to keep his Hands off her; for he was so wonderful cunning a Man, that he would act any Part, as well as any Comedian. The young Lady, partly for Fear, and partly convinc'd by the Truth of what was told her, fell down at her Father's Feet, beseeching him to forget past Faults, and for the Time to come, she would be mindful of her Duty. Her Father freely forgave her, and also promised, that he would be to her a very indulgent Father, provided she perform'd what she promis'd.

Xa. Well, what happened after that?

Eu. The young Lady going away, after her Fathers Discourse was ended, went directly into her Chamber, and finding her Husband alone, she fell down on her Knees, and said, Husband, till this very Moment, I neither knew you nor myself; but from this Time forward, you shall find me another Sort of Person; only, I intreat you to forget what is past. The Husband receiv'd this Speech with a Kiss, and promised to do every Thing she could desire, if she did but continue in that Resolution.

Xa. What! Did she continue in it?

Eu. Even to her dying Day; nor was any Thing so mean, but she readily and chearfully went about it, if her Husband would have it so. So great a Love grew, and was confirm'd between them. Some Years after, the young Lady would often congratulate herself, that she had happen'd to marry such a Husband, which had it not happen'd, said she, I had been the most wretched Woman alive.

Xa. Such Husbands are as scarce now a Days as white Crows.

Eu. Now if it will not be tedious to you, I'll tell you a Story, that lately happen'd in this City, of a Husband that was reclaimed by the good Management of his Wife.

Xa. I have nothing to do at present, and your Conversation is very diverting.

Eu. There is a certain Gentleman of no mean Descent; he, like the rest of his Quality, used often to go a Hunting: Being in the Country, he happen'd to see a young Damsel, the Daughter of a poor old Woman, and began to fall desperately in love with her. He was a Man pretty well in Years; and for the Sake of this young Maid, he often lay out a Nights, and his Pretence for it was Hunting. His Wife, a Woman of an admirable Temper, suspecting something more than ordinary, went in search to find out her Husband's Intrigues, and having discover'd them, by I can't tell what Method, she goes to the Country Cottage, and learnt all the Particulars where he lay, what he drank, and what Manner of Entertainment he had at Table. There was no Furniture in the House, nothing but naked Walls. The Gentlewoman goes Home, and quickly after goes back again, carrying with her a handsome Bed and Furniture, some Plate and Money, bidding them to treat him with more Respect, if at any Time he came there again. A few Days after, her Husband steals an Opportunity to go thither, and sees the Furniture increas'd, and finds his Entertainment more delicate than it us'd to be; he enquir'd from whence this unaccustomed Finery came: They said, that a certain honest Gentlewoman of his Acquaintance, brought these Things; and gave them in Charge, that he should be treated with more Respect for the future. He presently suspected that this was done by his Wife. When he came Home, he ask'd her if she had been there. She did not deny it. Then he ask'd her for what Reason she had sent thither that household Furniture? My Dear, says she, you are us'd to a handsomer Way of Living: I found that you far'd hardly there, I thought it my Duty, since you took a Fancy to the Place, that your Reception should be more agreeable.

Xa. A Wife good even to an Excess. I should sooner have sent him a Bundle of Nettles and Thorns, than furnish'd him with a fine Bed.

Eu. But hear the Conclusion of my Story; the Gentleman was so touch'd, seeing so much good Nature and Temper in his Wife, that he never after that violated her Bed, but solaced himself with her at Home. I know you know Gilbert the Dutchman.

Xa. I know him.

Eu. He, you know, in the prime of his Age, marry'd a Gentlewoman well stricken in Years, and in a declining Age.

Xa. It may be he marry'd the Portion, and not the Woman.

Eu. So it was. He having an Aversion to his Wife, was over Head and Ears in Love with a young Woman, with whom he us'd ever and anon to divert himself abroad. He very seldom either din'd or supp'd at home. What would you have done, if this had been your Case, Xantippe?

Xa. Why I would have torn his beloved Strumpet's Headcloths off, and I would have wash'd him well with a Chamber-Pot, when he was going to her, that he might have gone thus perfum'd to his Entertainment.

Eu. But how much more prudently did this Gentlewoman behave herself.
She invited his Mistress home to her House, and treated her with all the
Civility imaginable. So she kept her Husband without any magical Charms.
And if at any Time he supp'd abroad with her, she sent them thither some
Nicety or other, desiring them to be merry together.

Xa. As for me, I would sooner chuse to lose my Life than to be Bawd to my own Husband.

Eu. But in the mean Time, pray consider the Matter soberly and coolly. Was not this much better, than if she had by her ill Temper totally alienated her Husband's Affections from her, and spent her whole Life in quarrelling and brawling.

Xa. I believe, that of two Evils it was the least, but I could never have submitted to it.

Eu. I will add one more, and then I'll have done with Examples. A next Door Neighbour of ours is a very honest, good Man, but a little too subject to Passion. One Day he beat his Wife, a Woman of commendable Prudence. She immediately withdrew into a private Room, and there gave Vent to her Grief by Tears and Sighs. Soon after upon some Occasion her Husband came into the Room, and found his Wife all in Tears. What's the Matter, says he, that you're crying and sobbing like a Child? To which she prudently reply'd, Why, says she, is it not much better to lament my Misfortune here, than if I should make a Bawling in the Street, as other Women do? The Man's Mind was so overcome and mollified by this Answer, so like a Wife, that giving her his Hand, he made a solemn Promise to his Wife, he would never lay his Hand upon her after, as long as he liv'd. Nor did he ever do it.

Xa. I have obtain'd as much from my Husband, but by a different Conduct.

Eu. But in the mean Time there are perpetual Wars between you.

Xa. What then would you have me to do?

Eu. If your Husband offers you any Affront, you must take no Notice of it, but endeavour to gain his good Will by all good Offices, courteous Carriage, and Meekness of Spirit, and by these Methods, you will in Time, either wholly reclaim him, or at least you will live with him much more easy than now you do.

Xa. Ay, but he's too ill-natur'd to be wrought upon by all the kind Offices in the World.

Eu. Hold, don't say so, there is no Beast that is so savage but he may be tam'd by good Management; therefore don't despair of it as to a Man. Do but make the Experiment for a few Months, and if you do not find that this Advice has been of Benefit to you, blame me. And there are also some Faults that you must wink at; but above all Things, it is my Opinion, you ought to avoid ever to begin any Quarrel either in the Bed-Chamber, or in Bed, and to take a special Care that every Thing there be chearful and pleasant. For if that Place which is consecrated for the wiping out old Miscarriages and the cementing of Love, comes to be unhallowed by Contention and Sourness of Temper, all Remedy for the Reconcilement is taken away. For there are some Women of so morose Tempers that they will be querulous, and scold even while the Rites of Love are performing, and will by the Uneasiness of their Tempers render that Fruition itself disagreeable which is wont to discharge the Minds of Men from any Heart-burning, that they may have had; and by this Means they spoil that Cordial, by which Misunderstandings in Matrimony might be cured.

Xa. That has been often my Case.

Eu. And tho' it ought always to be the Care of a Wife, not to make her Husband uneasy in any Thing; yet that ought to be especially her Care to study, in conjugal Embraces to render herself by all ways possible, agreeable and delightful to her Husband.

Xa. To a Man, indeed! But I have to do with an untractable Beast.

Eu. Come, come, leave off Railing. For the most part Husbands are made bad, by our bad Conduct. But to return to our Argument, those that are conversant in the antient Fables of the Poets, tell you that Venus, (whom they make a Goddess, that presides over Matrimony) had a Girdle or Cestus which was made for her by Vulcan's Art, in which were interwoven all bewitching Ingredients of an amorous Medicament, and that she put this on whenever she went to bed to her Husband.

Xa. I hear a Fable.

Eu. It is true: But hear the Moral of it.

Xa. Tell it me.

Eu. That teaches that a Wife ought to use all the Care imaginable to be so engaging to her Husband in conjugal Embraces, that matrimonial Affection may be retain'd and renew'd, and if there has been any Distaste or Aversion, it may be expell'd the Mind.

Xa. But where can a Body get this Girdle?

Eu. There is no Need of Witchcrafts and Spells to procure one. There is no Enchantment so effectual as Virtue, join'd with a Sweetness of Disposition.

Xa. I can't be able to bring myself to humour such a Husband as I have got.

Eu. But this is for your Interest, that he would leave off to be such a bad Husband. If you could by Circe's Art transform your Husband into a Swine or a Bear, would you do it?

Xa. I can't tell, whether I should or no.

Eu. Which had you rather have, a Swine to your Husband, or a Man?

Xa. In Truth, I had rather have a Man.

Eu. Well, come on. What if you could by Circe's Arts make him a sober Man of a Drunkard, a frugal Man of a Spendthrift, a diligent Man of an idle Fellow, would you not do it?

Xa. To be sure, I would do it. But how shall I attain the Art?

Eu. You have the Art in yourself, if you would but make Use of it. Whether you will or no he must be your Husband, and the better Man you make him, the more you consult your own Advantage. You only keep your Eyes fix'd upon his Faults, and those aggravate your Aversion to him; and only hold him by this Handle, which is such a one that he cannot be held by; but rather take Notice of what good Qualities he has, and hold him by this Handle, which is a Handle he may be held by: Before you married him, you had Time of considering what his Defects were. A Husband is not to be chosen by the Eyes only, but by the Ears too. Now 'tis your Time to cure him, and not to find Fault with him.

Xa. What Woman ever made Choice of a Husband by her Ears?

Eu. She chuses a Husband by her Eyes, which looks at nothing else but his Person and bare Outside: She chuses him by her Ears, who carefully observes what Reputation he has in the World.

Xa. This is good Advice, but it is too late.

Eu. But it is not too late to endeavour to amend your Husband. It will contribute something to the Matter, if you could have any Children by him.

Xa. I have had one.

Eu. When?

Xa. A long Time ago.

Eu. How many Months?

Xa. Why, about Seven.

Eu. What do I hear! You put me in Mind of the Joke of the three Months Lying in.

Xa. By no Means.

Eu. It must be so, if you reckon from the Day of Marriage.

Xa. But I had some private Discourse with him before Marriage.

Eu. Are Children got by Talking?

Xa. He having by Chance got me into a Room by myself, began to play with me, tickling me about the Arm-pits and Sides, to make me laugh, and I not being able to bear being tickled any longer, threw myself flat upon the Bed, and he lying upon me, kiss'd me, and I don't know what he did to me besides; but this is certain, within a few Days after, my Belly began to swell.

Eu. Get you gone now, and slight a Husband, who if he can get Children jesting, what will he do if he sets about it in earnest?

Xa. I suspect that I am now with Child by him again.

Eu. O brave! to a good Soil, here's a good Ploughman to till it.

Xa. As to this Affair, he's better than I wish he was.

Eu. Very few Wives have this Complaint to make: But, I suppose, the Marriage Contract was made between you, before this happened.

Xa. It was made.

Eu. Then the Sin was so much the less. Is your Child a Boy?

Xa. It is.

Eu. That will reconcile you both, if you will but qualify yourself a little for it. What Sort of Character do your Husband's Companions give him? And what Company does he keep when he is abroad?

Xa. They give him the Character of an exceeding good-humour'd, courteous, generous Man, and a true Friend to his Friend.

Eu. These Things give me great Hopes, that he will become such as we would have him be.

Xa. But I am the only Person he is not so to.

Eu. Do you but be to him what I have told you, and if he does not begin to be so to you, instead of Eulalia (a good Speaker), call me Pseudolalia (a prating Liar); and besides, consider this, that he's but a young Man yet, I believe not above twenty-four Years of Age, and does not yet know what it is to be the Master of a Family. You must never think of a Divorce now.

Xa. But I have thought on it a great many Times.

Eu. But if ever that Thought comes into your Mind again, first of all consider with yourself, what an insignificant Figure a Woman makes when she is parted from her Husband. It is the greatest Glory of a Matron, to be obedient to her Husband. This Nature dictates, and it is the Will of God, that the Woman should wholly depend upon her Husband: Only think, as it really is, he is your Husband, you cannot have another. Then call to Mind that the little Boy belongs to you both. What would you do with him? Would you take him away with you? Then will you defraud your Husband of his own. Will you leave him to him? Then you will deprive yourself of that, than which nothing is more dear. Last of all, tell me, is there any Body that wishes you ill?

Xa. I have a Step-Mother, and a Mother-in-Law, as like her as may be.

Eu. And they wish you ill, do they?

Xa. They wish me in my Grave.

Eu. Then think of them likewise. What can you be able to do, that would be more grateful to them, than if they should see you divorc'd from your Husband; a Widow, nay, to live, a Widow bewitcht, worse than a Widow? For Widows may marry again.

Xa. I approve of your Advice; but can't bear the Thoughts of being always a Slave.

Eu. Recount what Pains you took before you could teach that Parrot to prattle.

Xa. A great Deal indeed.

Eu. And yet you think much to bestow a little Pains to mould your Husband, with whom you may live a pleasant Life all your Days. What a Deal of Pains do Men take to render a Horse tractable to them: And shall we think much to take a little Pains to render our Husbands more agreeable?

Xa. What must I do?

Eu. I have told you already, take Care that all Things be neat, and in Order at Home, that there be nothing discomposing, to make him go out of Doors; behave yourself easy and free to him, always remembring that Respect which is due from a Wife to a Husband. Let all Melancholy and ill-tim'd Gaiety be banished out of Doors; be not morose nor frolicksome. Let your Table be handsomely provided. You know your Husband's Palate, dress that which he likes best. Behave yourself courteously and affably to those of his Acquaintance he respects. Invite them frequently to Dinner; let all Things be pleasant and chearful at Table. Lastly, if at any Time he happens to come Home a little merry with Wine, and shall fall to playing on his Fiddle, do you sing, to him, so you will gradually inure your Husband to keep at Home, and also lessen his Expences: For he will thus reason with himself; was not I mad with a Witness, who live abroad with a nasty Harlot, to the apparent Prejudice of my Estate and Reputation, when I have at Home a Wife much more entertaining and affectionate to me, with whom I may be entertained more handsomely and more plentifully?

Xa. Do you think I shall succeed, if I try?

Eu. Look to me for that. I engage that you will: In the mean Time I'll talk to your Husband, and put him in Mind of his Duty.

Xa. I approve of your Design; but take Care that he mayn't discover any Thing of what has past between us two, for he would throw the House out of the Windows.

Eu. Don't fear, I'll order my Discourse so by Turnings and Windings, that he shall tell me himself, what Quarrels have happened between you. When I have brought this about, I'll treat him after my Way, as engagingly as can be, and I hope, shall render him to you better temper'd: I'll likewise take Occasion to tell a Lie or two in your Favour, how lovingly and respectfully you spoke of him.

Xa. Heaven prosper both our Undertakings.

Eu. It will, I doubt not, if you are not wanting to yourself.

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