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First Line: Can I not have a mistress of my own
Last Line: As (dearest cynthia, I have loved thee.
Subject(s): Love

CAN I not have a mistress of my own,
But that as soon as ever it is known
That she is mine, both he, and he, and he
Will court my Cynthia, and my rivals be?
The cause of this is easily understood,
It is because (my Cynthia) thou art good.
And they desire, 'cause thou art good, and woman,
To make thee better, by making thee common.
Well, I do thank them: but since thou canst be
No subject fit for this their charity,
As being too narrow and too small a bit
To feed so many mouths, know I will fit
Their palate, with a mistress, which I'll get,
The like whereof was never seen as yet.
For I for their sakes will a mistress choose,
As never had a maidenhead to lose,
Or if she had, it was so timely gone,
She never could remember she had one.
She by antiquity, and her vile face,
Of all whores else and bawds shall have the place;
One whose all parts, her nose, eyes, foot, and hand,
Shall so far out of all proportion stand,
As it by symmetry shall not be guest,
By any one, the feature of the rest.
She shall have such a face, I do intend,
As painting, nor yet carving, shall not mend:
A bare anatomiz'd unburied corse
Shall not more ghastly look, nor yet stink worse:
For at the general resurrection
She shall lay claim to hell as to her own
Inheritance and fee, for it is meant,
She comes not there by purchase, but descent:
One whose sins were they to be reckoned
By number of the hairs upon her head,
There were but two to answer for at most,
One being the sin against the Holy Ghost.
And if a physiognomer should eye,
And judge by rules of metoposcopy,
Of vices and conditions of her mind,
He, as a face hid with the small pox should find
As there one ulcer, so, but one vice there,
Spreading the whole, and that is everywhere:
Yet shall she have so many vices sow'd
In every limb, as pain shall be bestow'd,
By scholars and logicians, to invent
A larger, and a wider predicament,
To comprehend her cardinal vices all,
Which under no one notion can fall.
Her shape shall be like th'earth, so round and rude,
As the beginning of her longitude
To find, and to set down, men shall be fain
T'importune the Pope's judgement once again:
Her cheeks and buttocks shall so near agree
In shape and semblance, they shall seem to be
Twins by their likeness, nor shall it be eath
To know, which is which by their fulsome breath:
When palmisters or gypsies shall but look
Upon her palm, they'll think they have mistook,
And say they see some cripple's wither'd hand,
Or mummy, stol'n from Egypt's parched sand:
And lastly, when she dies, if some device
Make her not dirt, but dust being turn'd to lice,
Shall make graves lousy, and dead bodies, which
Lie near her, to be troubled with the itch,
Which shall exceed the lice in Egypt bred,
Which only plagu'd the living, these the dead.
She shall be rottener than last autumn's pears,
And more contagious than two plaguy years.
The College of Physicians shall not
'Gainst her infection make an antidote.
This mistress will I have, rather than one
Whom I may not enjoy myself alone:
And such a one I'll hate as faithfully,
As (dearest Cynthia, I have loved thee.

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