Thewife just then, it seems, no servant kept;
More wine to get, she to the cellar stept.
But dreading ghosts, she Simonetta prayed;
To light her down, she was so much afraid.
Thepainter was alone with Alice left,
A country belle, of beauty not bereft:
Slight, nicely made, with rather pretty face,
She thought herself possessed of ev’ry grace,
And, in a country town, she well might get
The appellation of a gay coquette.
Thewily spark, perceiving no one near;
Soon ran from compliment to sweet and dear;
Her lips assailed;—the tucker drew aside,
And stole a kiss that hurt her husband’s pride,
Who all beheld; but spouses, that are sage,
No trifles heed, nor peccadillos page;
Though, doubtless, when such meetings are possessed,
The simple kiss gives room to dread the rest;
For when the devil whispers in the ear
Of one that sleeps, he wakes at once to fear.
The husband, howsoe’er, at length perceived Still more concessions, which his bosom grieved; While on the neck a hand appeared to please, The other wandered equally at ease; Be not offended, love! was often said; To frantick rage the sight her sposo led, Who, beating in his hat, was on the move To sally forth, his wrath to let them prove, To thrash his wife, and force her spark to feel his nervous arm could quickly make him reel.
Benot so silly, whispered t’other Wight;
To stir up noise could ne’er be reckoned right;
Be quiet now: consider where we are;
Keep close, or else you’ll all our pleasures mar;
Remember, written ’tis, By others do
The same as you would like they should by you;
’Tis proper in this place we should remain
Till all is hushed in sleep: then freedom gain;
That’s my opinion how we ought to act
Are you not half a cuckold now, in fact?
Fair Alice has consented:-that’s enough;
The rest is mere compliance, nonsense, stuff!
Thehusband seemed the reasons to approve;
Some slight attempts the lady made to move;
No time for more. What then? you ask:—Why, then—
The lady put her cap to rights agen;
No mark appeared suspicion to awake,
Except her cheek a scarlet hue might take.
Mere trifle that; from talking it might spring;
And other causes, doubtless, we could bring.
Oneof the belles, howe’er, who went for wine,
Smiled, on returning, at the blushing sign:
The painter’s wife; but soon they filled each glass,
And briskly round the bottle seemed to pass;
They drank the host, the hostess, and the fair,
Who, ’mong the three, should first her wishes share.