Thesnares were spread, each stratagem was laid;
And every thing arranged to furnish aid,
When our gay spark determined to invest
Old Nicia with the cuckold’s branching crest.
The plan no doubt was well conceived and bold;
The lady to her friends appeared not cold;
Within her husband’s house she seemed polite;
But ne’er familiarly was seen invite,
No further could a lover dare proceed;
Not one had hope the belle his flame would heed.
Ouryouth, Calimachus, no sooner came,
But he howe’er appeared to please the dame;
His camp he pitched and entered on the siege
Of fair Lucretia, faithful to her liege,
Who presently the haughty tigress played,
And sent him, like the rest, away dismayed.
scarcely knew what saint he could invoke;
When Nicia’s folly served him for a cloak;
However strange, no stratagem nor snare,
But what the fool would willingly prepare
With all his heart, and nothing fancy wrong;
That might to others possibly belong.
The lover and himself, as learned men,
Had conversations ev’ry now and then;
For Nicia was a doctor in the law:
Degree, to him, not worth a single straw;
Far better had he common prudence traced;
And not his confidence so badly placed.
Oneday he to Calimachus complained,
Of want of heirs, and wished they could be gained:
Where lay the fault? He was a gay gallant;
Lucretia young with features to enchant.
When I at Paris was, replied our wight,
There passed a clever man, a curious sight,
His company with anxious care I sought,
And was at length a hundred secrets taught;
’Mong others how, at will, to get an heir:—
A certain thing, he often would declare;
The great Mogul had tried it on his queen,
just two years since, the heir might then be seen;
And many other princesses of fame,
Had added by it to their husband’s name.
’Twas very true; I’ve seen it fully proved:
The remedy all obstacles removed;
’Tis from the root of certain tree expressed;
A juice most potent ev’ry where confessed,
And Mandrake called, which taken by a wife;
More pow’r evinces o’er organick life,
Than from conventual grace was e’er derived,
Though in the cloister youthful friars hived.