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It would be an exploit to brag on,
But now, since I have gone so far on,
"a carps we met with for our pains; Of sparrows tame, and nuts innumerable To choke the girls, and to consume a rabble? *"you, who are a scholar, know How transient all things are below, How prone to change is human life Last might arriv'd Clem and his wife— This grand event hath broke our measures ; Their reign began with cruel seizures: The Dean must with his quilt supply The bed in which those tyrants lie: Nim lost his wig-block, Dan his jordan (My lady says she can't afford one): George is half-scard out of his wits, For Clem gets all the dainty bits. *esorth expect a different survey, *house will soon turn topsy-turvy:
ey talk of further alterations,
hich causes many speculations.
MARY THE COOK-MAID'S LETTER TO DR. SHERIDAN. 1723.
Well, if ever I saw such another man since my mother bound my head You a gentleman marry come up! I wonder where you were bred. I'm sure such words do not become a man of your cloth ; I would not give such language to a dog, faith and troth. Yes, you call'd my master a knave: fie, Mr. Sheridan 'tis a shame For a parson, who should know better things, to come out with such a name. Knave in your teeth, Mr. Sheridans 'tis both a shame and a sin ; And the Dean, my master, is an honester man than you and all your kin: He has more goodness in his little finger, than you have in your whole body : My master is a parsonable man, and not a spindleshank'd hoddy-doddy. And now, whereby I find you would fain make an excuse, [goose; Because my master one day, in anger, call'd you Which, and I am sure I have been his servant four years since October, And he never called me worse than sweet-heart drunk or sober: Not that I know his reverence was ever concern’d to my knowledge, Though you and your come-rogues keep him out so late in your college. You say you will eat grass on his grave: a christian eat grass! Whereby you now confess yourself to be a goose or an ass : But that's as much as to say, that my master should die before ye; Well, well, that 's as God pleases; and I don't believe that's a true story: And so say I told you so, and you may go tell my master; what care l And I don't care who knows it; 'tis all one to Mary. Every body knows that I love to tell truth and shame the devil; I am but a poor servant; but I think gentlefolks should be civil. Besides, you found fault with our victuals one day that you was here: I remember it was on a Tuesday of all days in the year. And Saunders the man says you are always jesting and mocking: Mary, said he, (one day as I was mending my master's stocking) My master is so fond of that minister that keeps the school— I thought my master a wise man, but that man makes him a fool. Saunders, said I, I would rather than a quart of ale He would come into our kitchen, and I would pin a dish-clout to his tail. And now I must go, and get Saunders to direct this letter; For I write but a sad scrawl; but my sister Marget, she writes better. Well, but I must run and make the bed, before my master comes from prayers; And see now, it strikes ten, and I hear him coming up stairs; Whereof I could say more to your verses, if I could write written hand : And so I remain, in a civil way, your servant to
THE FURNITURE OF A WOMAN'S MIND. 1727.
A set of phrases learnt by rote; A passion for a scarlet coat; When at a play, to laugh, or cry, Yet cannot tell the reason why; Never to hold her tongue a minute, While all she prates has nothing in it; Whole hours can with a coxcomb sit, And take his nonsense all for wit: Her learning mounts to read a song, But half the words pronouncing wrong; Hath every repartee in store She spoke ten thousand times before; Can ready compliments supply On all occasions, cut and dry; Such hatred to a parson's gown, The sight would put her in a swoon; For conversation well endued, She calls it witty to be rude; And, placing raillery in railing, Will tell aloud your greatest failing; Nor make a scruple to expose Your bandy leg, or crooked nose; Can at her morning tea run o'er The scandal of the day before; Improving hourly in her skill To cheat and wrangle at quadrille. In choosing lace, a critic nice, Knows to a groat the lowest price; Can in her female clubs dispute, What linen best the silk will suit; What colours each complexion match, And where with art to place a patch. If chance a mouse creeps in her sight, Can finely counterfeit a fright; So sweetly screams, if it comes near her, She ravishes all hearts to hear her. Can dextrously her husband teaze, By taking fits whene'er she please ; By frequent practice learns the trick At proper seasons to be sick ; Thinks nothing gives one airs so pretty, At once creating love and pity. * Molly happens to be careless
And but neglects to warm her hair lace,
ON CUTTING DOWN THE OLD THORN AT MARKET-HILL.
At Market-hill, as well appears,
There stood for many hundred years
Hither came every village maid,
And here, beneath the spreading shade,
Sir Archibald, that valorous knight, The lord of all the fruitful plain,
Would come and listen with delight; For he was fond of rural strain.
(Sir Archibald, whose favourite name
By Scottish bards of highest fame,
But time with iron teeth, I ween,
No fruit or blossom to be seen,
This aged, sickly, sapless thorn,
Behold the cruel Dean in scorn
Dame Nature, when she saw the blow,
And mother Tellus trembled so,
The sylvan powers, with fear perplex'd, In prudence and compassion, sent
(For none could tell whose turn was next) Sad omens of the dire event.
The magpie, lighting on the stock, Stood chattering with incessant din;
And with her beak gave many a knock, To rouse and warn the nymph within.
The owl foresaw, in pensive mood,
And fled in haste, with all her brood,
Last trolled forth the gentle swine,
And dismally was heard to whine,
The nymph who dwells in every tree, (If all be true that poets chant)
Condemn’d by fate's supreme decree, Must die with her expiring plant.
Thus, when the gentle Spina found The thorn committed to her care
Receiv'd its last and deadly wound, She fled, and vanish'd into air.
But from the root a dismal groan
And, in a shrill revengeful tone,
“Thou chief contriver of my fall, Relentless Dean, to mischief born ;
My kindred oft thine hide shall gall, Thy gown and cassock oft be torn.
“And thy confederate dame, who brags
Shall rend her petticoats to rags,
“Nor thou, Lord Arthur, shalt escape;
Against that assassin in crape;
“Nor, when I felt the dreadful blow,
Since you could see me treated so
“May that fell Dean, by whose command
Not leave a thistle on thy land;
“Pigs and fanatics, cows, and teagues, Through all thy empire I foresee,
To tear thy hedges, join in leagues, Sworn to revenge my thorn and me.
“And now, thou wretch ordain’d by fate,
With hatchet blunter than thy pate,
“When thou, suspended high in air,
(For thou shalt steal thy landlord's mare),
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT.
Occasioned by reading the following MAxim in Rochefou-
U u s
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 it 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-sashion 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 l’” 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 fears 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 prophesy'd 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 neighbour 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 verify'd 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 2" “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 dy’d. 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. The doctors, tender of their fame, Wisely on me lay all the blame. “We must confess, his case was nice; But he would never take advice. Had he been rul’d, for aught appears, He might have liv'd these twenty years:
For, when we open'd him, we found
My Lady Club will take it ill,