Historical Reprints History Ten Pleasures of Marriage

Ten Pleasures of Marriage

Ten Pleasures of Marriage
Catalog # SKU1335
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name A. Marsh


The Ten Pleasures of Marriage
By A. Marsh

The Confession of the
New Married Couple

By Aphra Behn

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. -- A Romantic look at marriage from 1682.


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, Mr. 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, Mrs. 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?

260+ pages - 8 x 5 inches SoftCover


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