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Something at least in justice should be said; 21
But this Hippolitus so fills one's head—
Well! Phaedra lived as chastely as she could!
For she was father Jove's own flesh and blood.
Her awkward love indeed was oddly fated;
She and her Poly were too near related;
And yet that scruple had been laid aside,
If honest Theseus had but fairly died.
But when he came, what needed he to know,
But that all matters stood in statu quo? 30
There was no harm, you see, or grant there were,
She might want conduct, but he wanted care.
"Twas in a husband little less than rude,
Upon his wife's retirement to intrude;
He should have sent a night or two before,
That he would come exact at such an hour;
Then he had turned all tragedy to jest;
Found everything contribute to his rest;
The picquet-friend dismissed, the coast all clear,
And spouse alone impatient for her dear. 40
But if these gay reflections come too late,
To keep the guilty Phaedra from her fate;
If your more serious judgment must condemn
The dire effects of her unhappy flame;
Yet, ye chaste matrons, and ye tender fair,
Let love and innocence engage your care;
My spotless flames to your protection take;
And spare poor Phaedra for Ismena's sake.





The female author who recites to-day,
Trusts to her sex the merit of her play.
Like father Bayes securely she sits down:
Pit, box, and gallery, 'gad! is all our own.
In ancient Greece, she says, when Sappho writ,
By their applause the critics showed their wit;
They tuned their voices to her lyric string,
Though they could all do something more than sing.
But one exception to this fact we find;
That booby Phaon only was unkind;
An ill-bred boat-man, rough as waves and wind.
From Sappho down through all succeeding ages,
And now on French, or on Italian stages,
Rough satires, sly remarks, ill-natured speeches,
Are always aimed at poets that wear breeches.
Armed with Longinus, or with Rapin, no man
Drew a sharp pen upon a naked woman.
The blustering bully, in our neighbouring streets,
Scorns to attack the female that he meets;
Fearless the petticoat contemns his frowns,
The hoop secures whatever it surrounds.
The many-coloured gentry there above,
By turns are ruled by tumult, and by love;
And while their sweet-hearts their attention fix,
Suspend the din of their damned clattering sticks.
Now, Sirs-
To you our author makes her soft request,
Who speak the kindest, and who write the best,
Your sympathetic hearts she hopes to move,



From tender friendship, and endearing love.
If Petrarch's Muse did Laura's wit rehearse;
And Cowley flattered dear Orinda’s verse;
She hopes from you—Pox take her hopes and fears:
I plead her sex's claim, what matters hers?
By our full power of beauty we think fit
To damn the salique law imposed on wit:
We'll try the empire you so long have boasted;
And if we are not praised, we'll not be toasted.
Approve what one of us presents to-night,
Or every mortal woman here shall write;
Rural, pathetic, narrative, sublime,
We'll write to you, and make you write in rhyme; ;
Female remarks shall take


all Your time, poor souls! we'll take your very money; Female third days shall come so quick upon ye. As long as we have eyes, or hands, or breath, We'll look, or write, or talk you all to death. Unless you yield for better and for worse; Then the she-pegasus shall gain the course; And the gray mare will prove the better horse.


your time.





1 Who has e'er been at Paris must needs know the

Greve, The fatal retreat of th' unfortunate brave; Where honour and justice most oddly contribute, To ease heroes' pains by a halter and gibbet;

Derry down, down, hey derry down.

2 There death breaks the shackles which force had

put on; And the hangman completes what the judge but

begun; There the squire of the pad, and the knight of the

post, Find their pains no more balked, and their hopes no more crossed.

Derry down, etc.

3 Great claims are there made, and great secrets are

known; And the king, and the law, and the thief has his own; But my hearers cry out; What a deuce dost thou ail? Cut off thy reflections, and give us thy tale.

Derry down, etc.

4 'Twas there then, in civil respect to harsh laws,

And for want of false witness, to back a bad cause, A Norman, though late, was obliged to appear; And who to assist, but a grave Cordelier?

Derry down, etc.

5 The squire, whose good grace was to open


scene, Seemed not in great haste, that the show should begin; Now fitted the halter, now traversed the cart; And often took leave; but was loth to depart.

Derry down, etc. 6 What frightens you thus, my good son, says the

priest; You murdered, are sorry, and have been confessed. O father! my sorrow will scarce save my bacon; For 'twas not that I murdered, but that I was taken.

Derry down, etc.

7 Pugh! pr’ythee ne'er trouble thy head with such

fancies: Rely on the aid


shall have from Saint Francis; If the money you promised be brought to the chest, You have only to die; let the church do the rest.

Derry down, etc. 8 And what will folks say, if they see you afraid;

It reflects upon me, as I knew not my trade:
Courage, friend; to-day is your period of sorrow;
And things will go better, believe me, to-morrow.

Derry down, etc. 9 To-morrow? our hero replied in a fright: He that's hanged before noon, ought to think of to

night: Tell your beads, quoth the priest, and be fairly

trussed up,

For you surely to-night shall in paradise sup.

Derry down, etc. 10 Alas! quoth the squire, howe'er sumptuous the treat,

Parbleu, I shall have little stomach to eat;
I should therefore esteem it great favour and grace,

be so kind, as to go in my place.

Derry down, etc. 11 That I would, quoth the father, and thank you to

But our actions, you know, with our duty must suit.
The feast, I proposed to you, I cannot taste;
For this night, by our order, is marked for a fast.

Derry down, etc. 12 Then turning about to the hangman, he said;

Dispatch me, I pr’ythee, this troublesome blade:

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