Thirteenth wedding anniversary

  • Posted on: 14 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

Hester Lynch Thrale by M. Bovi after P. Violet c.1800

Give me to bless Domestick Life
With sweet Repose secure from Strife;
(Cries every Pedant in a College)
A Wife not over-stockt with Knowlege;
This—every Fool who loves to quote
What Parrot-like he learn’d by rote;
And every Coxcomb whose Pretence
To Wisdom marks his want of Sense,
And all good Huswives skill’d in Darning
Who rail with much Contempt at Larning:

And all who place their Sovreign Good in
The Composition of a Pudding
Repeat with such Triumphant Air
Such deep Sagacity—you’d swear
That Knowledge among Woman kind
Was deadliest Poyson to the Mind;
A Crime—which venial if conceal’d
Like Theft at Sparta,—if reveal’d,
The Guilty stamps with such disgrace,
No Culprit dares to Show her Face.

But tell me You, who dar’d despise
These vulgar Maxims—who from Eyes
Which well might grace the loveliest Fair,
Turn’d not because bright Sense beam’d there;
But—vent’rous Deed!—in Marriage sought
A Mind with Stores of Knowledge fraught;
Tell me through all these thirteen Years,
Through varying Scenes of hopes and Fears;
Could Ignorance more faithful prove?
Could Folly’s Self more warmly love?
Then long may this Auspicious Morn
At each still happier Year’s Return
Tell—what thy Sweet Experience shews,
That Head and Heart are friend—not Foes.

Written by Mr Pepys in December 1762. Thraliana entry dated June 1777.

Hester Thrale's spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalisation, some of which may not conform to today's standards, are reproduced faithfully throughout. More writings by Hester Thrale