Now that the nuptial ceremonies are over, and that the priestess of Ceres has joined you both together in the bands of matrimony according to the custom of the country, I thought a short discourse of this nature might not be either unacceptable or unseasonable, but rather serve as a kind epithalamium to congratulate your happy conjunction; more especially, since there can be nothing more useful in conjugal society than the observance of wise and wholesome precepts, suitable to the harmony of matrimonial converse. For among the variety of musical moods and measures there is one which is called Hippothoros, a sort of composition to the flute and hautboy, made use of to encourage and provoke stallions to cover mares. But philosophy being furnished with many noble and profitable discourses, there is not any one subject that deserves a more serious study than that of wedlock, whereby they who are engaged in a long community of bed and board are more steadfastly united in affection, and made more pliable one to another in humor and condition. To this purpose, having reduced under several short heads and similes some certain instructions and admonitions which you, as tutored up in philosophy, have frequently already heard, I send you the collection as a present, beseeching the Muses so with their presence to assist the Goddess Venus, that the harmony of your mutual society and complacency in domestic diligences may [p. 487] outcry the melodious concords of lute or harp, while you live united together by reason and philosophy. Therefore it was that the ancients placed the statue of Venus by that of Mercury, to signify that the pleasures of matrimony chiefly consist in the sweetness of conversation. They also set the Graces and Suadela, the Goddess of Eloquence, together, to show that the married couple were to act only by persuasion, and not to use the violences of wrangling and contention.

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