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The crier was order'd to dismiss The court, so made his last O yes! The goddess would no longer wait; But, rising from her chair of state, Left all below at six and seven, Harness'd her doves, and flew to Heaven.
ALL travellers at first incline
Where'er they see the fairest sign;
And, if they find the chambers neat,
And like the liquor and the meat,
Will call again and recommend
The Angel-inn to every friend.
What though the painting grows decay'd,
The house will never lose its trade:
Nay, though the treacherous tapster Thomas
Hangs a new Angel two doors from us,
As fine as daubers' hands can make it,
In hopes that strangers may mistake it,
We think it both a shame and sin
To quit the true old Angel-inn.
Now this is Stella's case in fact,
An angel's face a little crack'd:
(Could poets or could painters fix
How angels look at thirty-six :)
This drew us in at first to find
In such a form an angel's mind;
And every virtue now supplies
The fainting rays of Stella's eyes.
See at her levee crowding swains,
Whom Stella freely entertains
With breeding, humor, wit, and sense;
And puts them but to small expense;
Their mind so plentifully fills,
And makes such reasonable bills,
So little gets for what she gives,
We really wonder how she lives!
And, had her stock been less, no doubt
She must have long ago run out.
Then who can think we'll quit the place,
When Doll hangs out a newer face?
Or stop and light at Chloe's head,
With scraps and leavings to be fed ?
Then, Chloe, still go on to prate Of thirty-six and thirty-eight; Pursue your trade of scandal-picking, Your hints that Stella is no chicken; Your innuendoes, when you tell us, That Stella loves to talk with fellows: And let me warn you to believe A truth, for which your soul should grieve; That, should you live to see the day When Stella's locks must all be grey, When age must print a furrow'd trace On every feature of her face; Though you, and all your senseless tribe, Could art, or time, or nature bribe, To make you look like beauty's queen, And hold for ever at fifteen; No bloom of youth can ever blind The cracks and wrinkles of your mind: All men of sense will pass your door, And crowd to Stella's at fourscore.
THE JOURNAL OF A MODERN LADY.
IN A LETTER TO A PERSON OF QUALITY.-1728
IT was a most unfriendly part
In you, who ought to know my heart,
Are well acquainted with my zeal
For all the female commonweal-
How could it come into your mind
To pitch on me, of all mankind,
Against the sex to write a satire,
And brand me for a woman-hater?
On me, who think them all so fair,
They rival Venus to a hair;
Their virtues never ceas'd to sing,
Since first I learn'd to tune a string?
Methinks I hear the ladies cry,
Will he his character belie?
Must never our misfortunes end?
And have we lost our only friend?
Ah, lovely nymphs, remove your fears,
No more let fall those precious tears,
Sooner shall, &c.
[Here are several verses omitted.] The hound be hunted by the hare, Than I turn rebel to the fair.
"Twas you engag'd me first to write, Then gave the subject out of spite: The journal of a modern dame Is by my promise what you claim. My word is past, I must submit; And yet, perhaps, you may be bit. I but transcribe; for not a line Of all the satire shall be mine. Compell'd by you to tag in rhymes The common slanders of the times, Of modern times, the guilt is yours, And me my innocence secures. Unwilling Muse, begin thy lay, The annals of a female day.
By nature turn'd to play the rake well, (As we shall show you in the sequel,) The modern dame is wak'd by noon, (Some authors say, not quite so soon,) Because, though sore against her will, She sate all night up at quadrille. She stretches, gapes, unglues her eyes, And asks, if it be time to rise:
Of head-ache and the spleen complains;
And then, to cool her heated brains,
Her night-gown and her slippers brought her
Takes a large dram of citron-water.
Then to her glass; and, "Betty, pray
Don't I look frightfully to-day?
But was it not confounded hard?
Well, if I ever touch a card!
Four mattadores, and lose codille!
Depend upon't, I never will.
But run to Tom, and bid him fix
The ladies here to-night by six."
"Madam, the goldsmith waits below;
He says, His business is to know
If you'll redeem the silver cup
He keeps in pawn?"-"First, show him up.
"Your dressing-plate he'll be content
To take, for interest cent. per cent.
And, madam, there's my lady Spade,
Hath sent this letter by her maid."
"Well, I remember what she won;
And hath she sent so soon to dun?
Here, carry down those ten pistoles
My husband left to pay for coals:
I thank my stars, they all are light;
And I may have revenge to-night."
Now, loitering o'er her tea and cream,
She enters on her usual theme;
Her last night's ill success repeats,
Calls lady Spade a hundred cheats:
"She slipt spadillo in her breast,
Then thought to turn it to a jest:
There's Mrs. Cut and she combine,
And to each other give the sign."
Through every game pursues her tale,
Like hunters o'er their evening ale.
Now to another scene give place :
Enter the folks with silks and lace:
Fresh matter for a world of chat,
Right Indian this, right Mechlin that:
"Observe this pattern; there's a stuff';
I can have customers enough.
Dear madam, you are grown so hard-
This lace is worth twelve pounds a yard:
Madam, if there be truth in man,
I never sold so cheap a fan."
This business of importance o'er,
And madam almost dress'd by four;
The footman, in his usual phrase,
Comes up with, "Madam, dinner stays."
She answers in her usual style,
"The cook must keep it back awhile:
I never can have time to dress;
(No woman breathing takes up less ;)
I'm hurried so it makes me sick;
I wish the dinner at Old Nick."
At table now she acts her part,
Has all the dinner-cant by heart:
"I thought we were to dine alone,
My dear; for sure, if I had known
This company would come to-day-
But really 'tis my spouse's way!
He's so unkind, he never sends
To tell when he invites his friends:
I wish ye may but have enough!"
And while with all this paltry stuff
She sits tormenting every guest,
Nor gives her tongue one moment's rest,
In phrases batter'd, stale, and trite,
Which modern ladies call polite;
You see the booby husband sit
In admiration at her wit.
But let me now awhile survey
Our madam o'er her evening-tea;
Surrounded with her noisy clans
Of prudes, coquettes, and harridans;
When, frighted at the clamorous crew,
Away the god of Silence flew,
And fair Discretion left the place,
And Modesty with blushing face:
Now enters overweening Pride,
And Scandal ever gaping wide;
Hypocrisy with frown severe,
Scurrility with gibing air;
Rude Laughter seeming like to burst,
And Malice always judging worst;
And Vanity with pocket-glass,
And Impudence with front of brass;
And studied Affectation came,
Each limb and feature out of frame;
While Ignorance, with brain of lead,
Flew hovering o'er each female head.
Why should I ask of thee, my Muse,
An hundred tongues, as poets use,
When, to give every dame her due,
An hundred thousand were too few?
Or how shall I, alas! relate
The sum of all their senseless prate,
Their innuendoes, hints, and slanders,
Their meanings lewd, and double entendres ?
Now comes the general scandal-charge;
What some invent, the rest enlarge;
And, "Madam, if it be a lie,
You have the tale as cheap as I:
I must conceal my author's name ;
But now 'tis known to common fame."
Say, foolish females, bold and blind, Say, by what fatal turn of mind, Are you on vices most severe, Wherein yourselves have greatest share? Thus every fool herself deludes; The prudes condemn the absent prudes: Mopsa, who stinks her spouse to death, Accuses Chloe's tainted breath; Hircina, rank with sweat, presumes To censure Phyllis for perfumes; While crooked Cynthia, sneering, says That Florimel wears iron stays: Chloe, of every coxcomb jealous, Admires how girls can talk with fellows; And, full of indignation, frets,
That women should be such coquettes: Iris, for scandal most notorious,
Cries, "Lord, the world is so censorious!"
And Rufa, with her combs of lead,
Whispers that Sappho's hair is red:
Aura, whose tongue you hear a mile hence,
Talks half a day in praise of silence;
And Sylvia, full of inward guilt,
Calls Amoret an arrant jilt.
Now voices over voices rise, While each to be the loudest vies: They contradict, affirm, dispute, No single tongue one moment mute; All mad to speak, and none to hearken, They set the very lap-dog barking; Their chattering makes a louder din Than fish-wives o'er a cup of gin: Not school-boys at a barring-out Rais'd ever such incessant rout; The jumbling particles of matter In chaos made not such a clatter; Far less the rabble roar and rail, When drunk with sour election ale.
Nor do they trust their tongues alone, But speak a language of their own; Can read a nod, a shrug, a look, Far better than a printed book; Convey a libel in a frown, And wink a reputation down; Or, by the tossing of the fan, Describe the lady and the man.
But see, the female club disbands, Each twenty visits on her hands. Now all alone poor madam sits In vapors and hysteric fits: "And was not Tom this morning sent? I'd lay my life he never went:
Past six, and not a living soul!
I might by this have won a vole."
A dreadful interval of spleen!
How shall we pass the time between?
"Here, Betty, let me take my drops;
And feel my pulse, I know it stops:
This head of mine, Lord, how it swims!
And such a pain in all my limbs!"
"Dear madam, try to take a nap.”—
But now they hear a footman's rap:
"Go, run, and light the ladies up:
It must be one before we sup."
The table, cards, and counters, set,
And all the gamester-ladies met,
Her spleen and fits recover'd quite,
Our madam can sit up all night:
"Whoever comes, I'm not within."-
Quadrille's the word, and so begin.
How can the Muse her aid impart,
Unskill'd in all the terms of art?
Or in harmonious numbers put
The deal, the shuffle, and the cut?
The superstitious whims relate,
That fill a female gamester's pate?
What agony of soul she feels
To see a knave's inverted heels!
She draws up card by card, to find
Good-fortune peeping from behind;
With panting heart, and earnest eyes,
In hope to see spadillo rise:
In vain, alas! her hope is fed;
She draws an ace, and sees it red;
In ready counters never pays,
But pawns her snuff-box, rings, and keys:
Ever with some new fancy struck,
Tries twenty charms to mend her luck.
"This morning, when the parson came,
I said I should not win a game.
This odious chair, how came I stuck in't?
I think I never had good luck in't.
I'm so uneasy in my stays;
Your fan a moment, if you please.
Stand further, girl, or get you gone;
I always lose when you look on."
"Lord! madam, you have lost codille!
I never saw you play so ill."
Nay, madam, give me leave to say,
"Twas you that threw the game away :
When lady Tricksey play'd a four,
You took it with a mattadore;
I saw you touch your wedding-ring
Before my lady call'd a king;
You spoke a word began with H,
And I know whom you meant to teach,
Because you held the king of hearts;
Fie, madam, leave these little arts."
"That's not so bad as one that rubs
Her chair, to call the king of clubs;
And makes her partner understand
A mattadore is in her hand."
Madam, you have no cause to flounce,
I swear I saw you thrice renounce.'
"And truly, madam, I know when,
Instead of five, you scor'd me ten.
Spadillo here has got a mark;
A child may know it in the dark:
I guess'd the hand: it seldom fails:
I wish some folks would pare their nails."
While thus they rail, and scold, and storm, It passes but for common form :
But, conscious that they all speak true,
And give each other but their due,
It never interrupts the game,
Or makes them sensible of shame.
The time too precious now to waste,
The supper gobbled up in haste;
Again afresh to cards they run,
As if they had but just begun.
But I shall not again repeat,
How oft they squabble, snarl, and cheat.
At last they hear the watchman knock.
"A frosty morn-past four o'clock."
The chairmen are not to be found,
"Come, let us play the other round."
Now all in haste they huddle on
Their hoods, their cloaks, and get them gone,
But, first, the winner must invite
The company to-morrow night.
Unlucky madam, left in tears, (Who now again quadrille forswears,) With empty purse, and aching head, Steals to her sleeping spouse to bed.
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT.* OCCASIONED BY READING THE FOLLOWING MAXIM IN ROCHEFOUCAULT: Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons toujours quelque chose qui ne nous déplaît pas.
"In the adversity of our best friends, we always find something that doth not displease us."
As Rochefoucault his maxims drew
From nature, I believe them true:
They argue no corrupted mind
In him the fault is in mankind.
This maxim more than all the rest
Is thought too base for human breast:
"In all distresses of our friends,
We first consult our private ends;
While nature, kindly bent to ease us,
Points out some circumstance to please us."
If this perhaps your patience move,
Let reason and experience prove.
We all behold with envious eyes
Our equals rais'd above our size.
Who would not at a crowded show
Stand high himself, keep others low?
I love my friend as well as you :
But why should he obstruct my view?
Then let me have the higher post;
Suppose it but an inch at most.
If in a battle you should find
One, whom you love of all mankind,
Had some heroic action done,
A champion kill'd, or trophy won;
Rather than thus be over-topt,
Would you not wish his laurels cropt?
Dear honest Ned is in the gout,
Lies rack'd with pain, and you without :
*Written in November, 1731.-There are two distinct poems on this subject, one of them containing many spu rious lines. In what is here printed, the genuine parts of both are preserved. N.
How patiently you hear him groan!
How glad the case is not your own!
What poet would not grieve to see
His brother write as well as he?
But, rather than they should excel,
Would wish his rivals all in hell?
Her end when emulation misses,
She turns to envy, stings, and hisses:
The strongest friendship yields to pride,
Unless the odds be on our side.
Vain human-kind! fantastic race!
Thy various follies who can trace?
Self-love, ambition, envy, pride,
Their empire in our heart divide.
Give others riches, power, and station,
"Tis all to me an usurpation.
I have no title to aspire;
Yet, when you sink, I seem the higher.
In Pope I cannot read a line,
But with a sigh I wish it mine:
When he can in one couplet fix
More sense than I can do in six;
It gives me such a jealous fit,
I cry, "Pox take him and his wit!"
I grieve to be outdone by Gay
In my own humorous biting way.
Arbuthnot is no more my friend,
Who dares to irony pretend,
Which I was born to introduce,
Refin'd at first, and show'd its use.
St. John, as well as Pulteney, knows
That I had some repute for prose;
And, till they drove me out of date,
Could maul a minister of state.
If they have mortified my pride,
And made me throw my pen aside;
If with such talents Heaven hath bless'd 'em,
Have I not reason to detest 'em?
To all my foes, dear Fortune, send
Thy gifts; but never to my friend :
I tamely can endure the first;
But this with envy makes me burst.
Thus much may serve by way of proem; Proceed we therefore to our poem.
The time is not remote when I Must by the course of nature die; When, I foresee, my special friends Will try to find their private ends: And, though 'tis hardly understood Which way my death can do them good, Yet thus, methinks, I hear them speak:
See how the Dean begins to break! Poor gentleman, he droops apace! You plainly find it in his face. That old vertigo in his head Will never leave him till he's dead. Besides, his memory decays: He recollects not what he says; He cannot call his friends to mind; Forgets the place where last he din'd; Plies you with stories o'er and o'er; He told them fifty times before. How does he fancy we can sit To hear his out-of-fashion wit? But he takes up with younger folks, Who for his wine will bear his jokes. Faith! he must make his stories shorter, Or change his comrades once a quarter; In half the time he talks them round, There must another set be found.
For poetry, he's past his prime;
He takes an hour to find a rhyme :
His fire is out, his wit decay'd,
His fancy sunk, his Muse a jade.
I'd have him throw away his pen;
But there's no talking to some men!"
And then their tenderness appears
By adding largely to my years:
"He's older than he would be reckon'd,
And well remembers Charles the Second.
He hardly drinks a pint of wine;
And that, I doubt, is no good sign.
His stomach too begins to fail;
Last year we thought him strong and hale;
But now he's quite another thing:
I wish he may hold out till spring!"
They hug themselves, and reason thus:
"It is not yet so bad with us!"
In such a case they talk in tropes,
And by their fear express their hopes.
Some great misfortune to portend,
No enemy can match a friend.
With all the kindness they profess,
The merit of a lucky guess
(When daily how-d'ye 's come of course,
And servants answer, "Worse and worse!")
Would please them better, than to tell,
That, "God be prais'd, the Dean is well."
Then he who prophesied the best,
Approves his foresight to the rest :
"You know I always fear'd the worst,
And often told you so at first."
He'd rather choose that I should die,
Than his predictions prove a lie.
Not one foretells I shall recover;
But, all agree to give me over.
Yet should some neighbor feel a pain
Just in the parts where I complain;
How many a message would he send!
What hearty prayers that I should mend!
Inquire what regimen I kept?
What gave me ease, and how I slept ?
And more lament, when I was dead,
Than all the snivellers round my bed.
My good companions, never fear;
For, though you may mistake a year,
Though your prognostics run too fast,
They must be verified at last.
Behold the fatal day arrive! "How is the Dean ?"-"He's just alive." Now the departing prayer is read; He hardly breathes-the Dean is dead. Before the passing-bell begun, The news through half the town is run. "Oh! may we all for death prepare! What has he left? and who's his heir ?" "I know no more than what the news is ; 'Tis all bequeath'd to public uses." "To public uses! there's a whim! What had the public done for him? Mere envy, avarice, and pride: He gave it all-but first he died. And had the Dean, in all the nation, No worthy friend, no poor relation? So ready to do strangers good, Forgetting his own flesh and blood!"
Now Grub-street wits are all employ'd; With elegies the town is cloy'd: Some paragraph in every paper, To curse the Dean, or bless the Drapier.
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT.
Mrs. Howard, at one time a favorite with the Dean. N Which the Dean in vain expected, in return for a small present he had sent to the princess. N.
Madam, your husband will attend
The funeral of so good a friend?
No, madam, 'tis a shocking sight;
And he's engag'd to-morrow night:
My lady Club will take it ill,
If he should fail her at quadrille.
He lov'd the Dean-(I lead a heart :)
But dearest friends, they say, must part.
His time was come; he ran his race;
We hope he's in a better place."
Why do we grieve that friends should die?
No loss more easy to supply.
One year is past; a different scene!
No farther mention of the Dean,
Who now, alas! no more is miss'd,
Than if he never did exist.
Where's now the favorite of Apollo?
Departed:-and his works must follow;
Must undergo the common fate;
His kind of wit is out of date.
*Wolston is here confounded with Woolaston. N.