Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

120

But let me now a while survey
Our Madam o'er her ev’ning-tea;
Surrounded with her noify clans
Of prudes, coquets, and harridans;
When, frighted at the clam'rous crew,
Away the god of Silence flew,
And fair Discretion left the place,
And Modify with blushing face :
Now enters overweening Pride,
And Scandal ever gaping wide ;
Hypocrily with frown fevere,
Scurrility with gibing air ;
Rude Laughter seeming like to burst,
And Malice always judging worlt;
And Vanity with pocket-glass,
And Impudence with front of brass ;
And study'd Affe&tation came,
Each limb and feature out of frame ;
While Ignorance, with brain of lead,
Flew hov'ring o'er each female head.

125

130

135

Or,

140

Why should I ask of thee, my muse,
An hundred tongues, as poets use,
When, to give ev'ry dame her due,
An hundred thousand were too few?

how should I, alas, relate
The sum of all their fenfeless prate,
Their innuendos, hints, and Nanders,
Their meanings lewd, and double entendres
Now comes the gen rat 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."

145

150

155

ibo

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 ev'ry fool herself delades ;
The prudes condemn the absent prudes :
Mopsa, who stinks her spouse to death,
Accuses Chloe's tainted breath;
Hircina, rank with sweet, prefumes
To censure Phillis for perfumes ;
While crooked Cynthia (neering says,
That Florimel wears iron itays :
Chloe, of ev'ry coxcomb jealous,
Admires how girls can talk with fellows,
And, full of indignation, frets,
That women should be such coquets :
Iris, for fcandal 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 filence:
And Sylvia, full of inward guilt,
Calls Amoret an arraht jilt.

163

170

175

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 chatt'ring makes a louder din
Than fifhwives o'er a cup of gin:
Not schoolboys at a barring-out
Rais'd ever such incessant rout :
VOL. VI,

R

180

The jumbling particles of matter
In chaos made not such a clatter ;
Far less the rabble roar and rail,
When drunk with four election-ale.

185

190

Nor do they trust their tongue alone,
But speak a language of their own ;
Can read a nod, a fhrug, a look,
Far better than a printed book ;
Convey a libel in a frown,
And wink a reputation down :
Or, by the toffing of the fan,
Describe the lady and the man.

195

200

But see, the female club disbands, Each twenty visits on her hands. Now all alone poor Madam fits In vapours and hysteric fits : “ And was not Tom this morning fent? " I'd lay my life he never went : • Past fix, and not a living foul !

I might by this have won a vole." A dreadful interval of (pleen! 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! á. And such a pain in all my

limbs !" Dear Madam, try to take a napBut now they hear a footman's rap: “ Go run, and light the ladies

up: “ It must be one before we sup.”

205

210

The table, cards, and counters set,
And all the gamefter ladies met,
Her spleen and fits recover'd quite,
Our Madam can fit up all night;

215

« Whoever comes, I'm not within.”. Quadrille's the word, and so begin.

220

225

230

235

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 fuperftitious whims relate,
That fill a female gamefter's pate?
What

agony of foul 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 fee Spadillo rije:
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 ftruck,
Tries twenty charms to mend her luck.
" This morning, when the parfon came,
" I said I should not win a game.
“ This odious chair, how.came I ftuck 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 loft Codill :
I never saw you play fo ill.
Nay, Madam, give me leave to say.

that threw the game away; “When Lady Tricksey play'd a four, “ You took it with a mactadore ;.

240

245

“ 'Twas you

250

255

I saw you touch your wedding ring
“ Before my Lady cali'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 the hand ; it seldom fails :
I with some folks would pare their nails.

260

265

276

While thus they rail, and fcold, and form,
It pal.es bo: for common form;
And confious that they all speak true,
And give each other but their due,
It never interrupts the game,
Or makes them sensible of shame.

275

280

The time too precious now to waste,
And supper gobbled up in hafte,
Again afreíh to cards they run,
As if they had but just begun.
Yet shall I not again repeat,
How oft they squabble, snarl, and cheat.
Al last they hear the watchman knock,
Afrofly morn-----past four o'clock.
The chairmen are not to be found,
" Come, let us play the other round."

285

« PreviousContinue »