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The Ten Pleasures of Marriage and the Second Part, The Confession of the New Married Couple   By:

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[Illustration: THE TEN PLEASURES OF MARRIAGE Printed at London 1682 Published by the Navarre Society London]

THE TEN PLEASURES OF MARRIAGE

AND THE SECOND PART

THE CONFESSION OF THE NEW MARRIED COUPLE

ATTRIBUTED TO

APHRA BEHN

REPRINTED WITH AN INTRODUCTION

BY

JOHN HARVEY

AND THE ORIGINAL TWENTY PLATES

AND TWO ENGRAVED TITLES

RE ENGRAVED

LONDON: MCMXXII

PRIVATELY PRINTED FOR THE NAVARRE SOCIETY LIMITED

Printed in Great Britain

INTRODUCTION

The Restoration brought back to England something more than a king and the theatre. It renewed in English life the robust vitality of humour which had been repressed under the Commonwealth though, in spite of repression, there were, even among the Puritan divines, men like the author of Joanereidos , whose self expression ran the whole gamut from freedom to licentiousness.

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. Or a single phrase can light up an idea, as when, a few days before marriage, "the Bridegroom is running up and down like a dog." But, on the other hand, the spirit manifests itself sometimes in exuberance, as when Urquhart and Motteux metagrobolized Rabelais into something almost more tumescent and overwhelming than the original. In that vein of humour the present work frequently runs. The author is as ready to pile up his epithets as Urquhart himself. Let the Nurse go, he says, "for then you'll have an Eater, a Stroy good, a Stufgut, a Spoil all, and Prittle pratler, less than you had before."

It is, in fact, as an example of English humour exaggerated, no doubt, by the reaction from Puritanism that The Ten Pleasures of Marriage should be viewed, in the main. It is true, however, that it is of uncertain parentage and must own to foreign kin. A well known but (by a strange coincidence) almost equally rare book is Antoine de la Salle's Quinze Joies de Mariage . It seems possible that this was translated into English. At any rate, in the year in which The Ten Pleasures was published 1682 1683 the following work was registered at Stationers' Hall: The Woman's Advocate, or fifteen real comforts of matrimony, being in requital of the late fifteen sham comforts . Moreover, The Ten Pleasures was in all probability printed abroad Hazlitt thinks at The Hague or Amsterdam. The very first page in the original edition contains one of several hints of Batavian production "younger" is printed "jounger." The curious allusion to the great French poet, Clément Marot, may also suggest a temporary foreign sojourn for the author for though Marot was doubtless known to English readers in the seventeenth century, the exact reference of the allusion is not at all obvious. It very possibly reflects on the fact that in 1526 the Sorbonne condemned both Marot and his poem Colloque de l'abbé et de la femme sçavante ; and Marot certainly wrote about women and marriage. He is not, however, a "stock" figure in English literary allusion, either learned or popular, and the fact suggests at least familiarity with the literature of other countries... Continue reading book >>




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