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By method things are best discours'd,
Begin we then with wife the first:
A handsome, senseless, awkward fool,
Who would not yield, and could not rule:
Her actions did her charms disgrace,
And still her tongue talk'd of her face:
Count me the leaves on yonder tree,
So many diflorent wills had she,
And, like the leaves, as chance inclin'd,
Those wills were chang'd with every wind :
She courted the beau-monde to night,
L'assemblee, her supreme delight;
The next she sat immur'd, unseen,
And in full health enjoy'd the splecn;
She censur'd that, she alter'd this,
And with great care set all amiss;
She now could chide, now laugh, now cry,
Now sing, now pout, all God knows why:
Short was her reign, she cough'd, and dy'd.
Proceed we to my second bride:
Well-born she was, genteelly bred,
And buxom both at board and bed;
Glad to oblige, and pleas'd to please,
And, as Tom Southern wisely says,
“ No other fault had she in life,
But only that she was my wife'.”
O widow Turtle' every she
(So Nature's pleasure does agree)
Appears a goddess till enjoy'd ;
But birds, and men, and gods, are cloy'd.
Was Hercules one woman's man -
Or Jove for ever Ieda's swan 2
Ah! madam, cease to be mistaken,
Few marry'd fowl peck Dunmow-bacon.
Variety alone gives joy,
The sweetest meats the soonest cloy.
What Sparrow-dame, what Dove alive,
Though Venus should the chariot drive,
But would accuse the harness weight,
If always coupled to one mate;
And often wish the fetter broke *
'Tis freedom but to change the yoke.
T. Impious ! to wish to wed again,
Ere Death dissolv'd the former chain'
s: Spare your remark, and hear the rest;
She brought me sons; but (Jove be blest
She dy'd in child bed on the nest. -
“Well, rest her bones'.” quoth I, “she's gone;
But must I therefore lie alone *
What' am I to her memory ty'd?
Must I not live, because she dy'd :''
And thus I logically said,
('Tis good to have a reasoning head') .
“Is this my wife Probatur not;
For Death dissolv'd the marriage-knot:
She was, concedo, during life;
But, is a piece of coal, a wife 2''
Again; “if not a wife, d' ye see,
Why then no kin at all to me:
And he, who general tears can shed
For folks that happen to be dead,
May elem with equal justice mourn
For those who never yet were born.”
t. Those points, indeed, you quaintly prove,
Put Logic is no friend to Love.
s. My children then were just pen-feather'd;
Some little corn for them I gather'd,
* See the Wife's Excuse, a comedy.
And sent them to my spouse's mother;
So left that brood, to get another:
And, as old Harry whilom said,
Reflecting on Anne Boleyn dead,
“Cocksbones' I now again do
The jolliest bachelor i' the land.”
t. Ah me! my joys, my hopes, are fled; My first, my only love, is dead With endless grief let me bemoan Columbo's loss!—
s. – Let me go on.
As yet my fortune was but narrow,
I woo'd my cousin Philly Sparrow,
O' th' elder house of Chirping End,
From whence the younger branch descend.
Well scated in a field of pease *
She liv'd, extremely at her ease;
But, when the honey-moon was past,
The following nights were soon o'ercast;
She kept her own, could plead the law,
And quarrel for a barley-straw:
Both, you may judge, became less kind,
As more we knew each other's mind:
She soon grew sullen, I hard-hearted;
We scolded, hated, fought, and parted.
To London, blessed town' I went;
| She boarded at a farm in Kent.
A Magpye from the country fled,
And kindly told me she was dead :
I prun'd my feathers, cock'd my tail,
And set my heart again to sale. -
My fourth, a mere coquette, or such
I thought her; nor avails it much,
If true or false; our troubles spring
More from the fancy than the thing.
“ Two staring horns,” I often said,
“But ill become a Sparrow's head;"
But then, u, set that balance even,
Your cuckold Sparrow goes to Heaven.
The thing you fear, suppose it done,
If you inquire, you make it known.
Whilst at the root your horns are sore,
The more you scratch, they ache the more.
But turn the tables, and reflect,
All may not be that you suspect:
By the Mind's eye, the horns we mean
Are only in ideas seen;
'Tis from the inside of the head
Their branches shoot, their antlers spread;
Fruitful suspicions often bear 'em,
You feel them from the time you fear 'em.
“Cuckoo! Cuckoo !” that echoed word
Offends the ear of vulgar bird; But those of finer taste have found
There's nothing in't beside the sound,
Preferment always waits on horns,
And household peace the gift adorns;
This way, or that, let factions tend,
The spark is still the cuckold's friend:
This way, or that, let madam roam,
Well pleas'd and quiet she comes home.
Now weigh the pleasure with the pain,
The plus and minus, loss and gain,
And what La Fontaine laughing says,
Is serious truth, in such a case;
“Who slights the evil finds it least,
And who does nothing, does the best.”
I never strove to rule the roast,
She ne'er refus’d to pledge my toast:
Tn visits if we chanc'd to meet,
I seem'd obliging, she discreet;
We neither much caress'd nor strove,
But good dissembling pass'd for love.
t. Whate'er of light our eye may know,
'Tis only light itself can show;
Whate'er of love our heart can feel,
*Tis mutual love alone can tell.
s. My pretty, amorous, foolish bird,
A moment's patience 1 in one word,
The three kind sisters broke the chain;
She dy’d, I mourn'd, and woo'd again.
t. Let me with juster grief deplore
My dear Columbo, now no more;
Let me with constant tears bewail–
s. Your sorrow does but spoil my tale.
My fifth, she prov’d a jealous wife,
lord shield us all from such a life!
'Twas doubt, complaint, reply, chit-chat,
'Twas this, to day; to morrow, that.
Sometimes, forsooth, upon the brook
I kept a miss; an honest Rook
Told it a Snipe, who told a Steer,
Who told it those, who told it her.
One day a Linnet and a Lark
Had met me strolling in the dark ;
The next a Woodcock and an Owl,
Quick-sighted, grave, and sober fowl,
Would on their corporal oath allege,
I kiss'd a Hen behind the hedge.
Well, madam Turtle, to be brief,
(Repeating but renews our grief)
As once she watch'd me from a rail,
(Poor soul') her footing chanc'd to fail,
And down she fell, and broke her hip;
The fever came, and then the pip:
Death did the only cure apply,
She was at quiet, so was I.
T. Could Love unmov'd these changes view
His sorrows, as his joys, are true.
s. My dearest Dove, one wise man says,
Alluding to our prisent case,
“ we're here today, and gone to morrow!”
Then what avails superfluous sorrow?
Another, full as wise as he,
Adds, that “a marry'd man may see
Two happy hours;” and which are they
The first and last, perhaps you'll say:
'Tis true, when blithe she goes to bed,
And when she peaceably lies dead;
“ women 'twixt sheets are best,” 'tis said,
Be they of holland, or of lead.
Now, cur'd of Hymen's hopes and fears,
And sliding down the vale of years,
I hop'd to fix my future rest,
And took a widow to my nest.
(Ah, turtle! had she been like thee,
Sober, yet gentle; wise, yet free )
But she was peevish, noisy, bold,
A witch ingrafted on a scold.
Jove in Pandora's box confin'd
A hundred ills, to vex mankind;
To vex one bird, in her bandore
He had at least a hundred more.
And, soon as Time that veil withdrew,
The plagues o'er all the parish flew;
Her stock of borrow'd tears grew dry,
And native tempests arm'd her eve;
Black clouds around iter forehead hung,
And thunder ratuled on her tongue.
We, young or old, or Cock or Hen,
All liv'd in AEolus's den;
The nearest her, the more accurst,
Ill far'd her friends, her husband worst.
But Jove, amidst his anger, spares,
Remarks our faults, but hears our prayers.
In short, she dy’d. “Why then she's dead,”
Quoth I, “and once again I'll wed.”
Would Heaven this mourning year were past!
One may have better luck at last.
Matters at worst are sure to mend,
The Devil's wife was but a fiend.
T. Thy tale has rais'd a Turtle's spleen,
Uxorious inmate bird obscene!
Dar'st thou defile these sacred groves,
These silent seats of faithful loves 2
Begone, with flagging wings sit down
On some old pent-house near the town;
In brewers' stables peck thy grain,
Then wash it down with puddled rain;
And hearthy dirty offspring squall
From bottles on a suburb wall. -
Where thou hast been, return again,
Vile bird thou hast convers'd with men;
Notions like these from men are given,
Those vilest creatures under Heaven.
To cities and to courts repair,
Flattery and Falsehood flourish there;
There all thy wretched arts employ,
Where Riches triumph over Joy;
Where Passion does with Interest barter,
And Hym n holds by Mammon's charter;
Whe e Truth by point of Law is parry'd,
And knaves and prudes are six times marry'd,
APPLICATION, whitten LoNG After the tale.
O nearest daughter of two dearest fricnds', To thee my Muse this little tale commends. Loving and lov’d, regard thy future mate, Long love his person, though deplore his fate; Seem young when old in thy dear husband's arms, For constant virtue has immortal charms. And when I lie low sepulchred in earth, And the glad year returns thy day of birth, Vouchsafe to say, “Fre I could write or spell, The bard, who from my cradle wish'd me well, Told me I should the prating Sparrow blame, And bade me imitate the Turtle's flame.”
To Thr Tuxe or
kiss John and the abbot of cantzmaury, 1715.
I sing not old Jason, who travell'd through Greece,
To kiss the fair maids, and possess the rich fleece;
Nor sing I Fneas, who, led by his mother,
Got rid of one wife, and went far for another.
Derry down, down, hey derry down.
* Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley, daughter of Edward earl of Oxford, and afterwards dutchess of Portland.
Since Anna visited the Muses' seat
(Around her tomb let weeping angels wait!)
Hail thou, the brightest of thy sex, and best,
Most gracious neighbour", and most welcome guest.
Not Harley's self, to Can and Isis dear,
In virtues and in arts great Oxford's heir;
Not he such present honour shall receive,
As to his consort we aspire to give.
Writings of men our thoughts to day neglects,
To pay due homage to the softer sex:
Plato and Tully we forbear to read,
And their great followers whom this house has bred,
To study lessons from thy morals given,
And shining characters, impress'd by Heaven.
Science in books no longer we pursue,
Minerva’s self in Harriet's face we view;
For, when with beauty we can virtue join,
We paint the semblance of a form divine.
Their pious incense let our neighbours bring,
To the kind memory of some bounteous king;
* Edward Earl of Oxford. * The family seat was then at Wimple.
With grateful hand due altars let them raise,
To some good knight's" or holy prelate's" praise:
We tune our voices to a nobler theme,
Your eyes we bless, your praises we proclaim;
Saint John's was founded in a woman's name.
Enjoin’d by statute, to the fair we bow;
In spite of Time, we keep our ancient vow;
What Margaret Tudor was, is Harriet Harley now.
REPRESENTED BY SOME of The west MIN's TER schoLars, at hickford's DANciNg-room,
spokeN By Lord DUPLIN, who acTED corpelio THE PAGE.
What I would my humble comrades have me say,
“Gentle spectators, pray excuse the play ?”
Such work by hireling actors should be done,
Whom you may clap or hiss for half a crown.
Our generous scenes for friendship we repeat;
And, if we don't delight, at least we treat.
Ours is the damage, if we chance to blunder;
We may be ask'd, “Whose patent we act under *
How shall we gain you, ä la mode de France?
We hir'd this room; but none of us can dance.
In cutting capers we shall never please:
Our learning does not lie below our knees.
Shall we procure you symphony and sound 2
Then you must each subscribe two hundred pound.
There we should fail too, as to point of voice:
Mistake us not; we're no Italian boys,
True Britons born; from Westminster we come,
And only speak the style of ancient Pome.
We would deserve, not poorly beg, applause;
And stand or fall by Freind's and Rusby's laws.
For the distress'd, your pity we implore:
If once refus'd, we'll trouble you no more,
But leave our Orphan squalling at your door.
1Through many a blooming mead they past,
And at a brook arriv'd at last.
The purling stream, the margin green,
With flowers bedeck'd, a vernal scene,
nvited each itinerant maid -
To rest awhile beneath the shade.
Under a spreading beech they sat.
And pass'd the time with female chat;
Whilst each her character maintain’d ;
One spoke her thoughts, the other feign'd.
At length, quoth Falsehood, “Sister Truth,”
(For so she call'd her from her youth)
“What if, to shun yon sultry beam,
We bathe in this delightful stream;
The bottom smooth, the water clear,
And there's no prying shepherd near !”—
“With all my heart,” the nymph reply'd,
And threw her snowy robes aside,
Stript herself naked to the skin,
And with a spring leapt headlong in.
Falsehood more leisurely undrest,
And, laying by her taudry vest,
Trick'd herself out in Truth's array,
And cross the meadows tript away. -
From this curst hour, the fraudful dame
Of sacred Truth usurps the name,
And, with a vile, perfidious mind,
Roams far and near, to cheat mankind;
False sighs suborns, and artful tears,
And starts with vain pretended fears;
In visits still appears most wise,
And rolls at church her saint-like eyes;
Talks very much, plays idle tricks,
While rising stock’ her conscience pricks;
When being, poor thing, extremely gravell'd,
She secrets op'd, and all unravell’d.
But on she will, and secrets tell,
Of John and Joan, and Ned and Nell,
Reviling every one she knows,
As fancy leads, beneath the rose.
Her tongue so voluble and kind,
It always runs before her mind;
As times do serve, she slily pleads,
And copious tears still show her needs,
With promises as thick as weeds—
Speaks pro and con, is wondrous civil,
To day a saint, to morrow devil.
Poor Truth she stript, as has been said,
And naked left the lovely maid,
Who, scorning from her cause to wince,
Has gone stark-naked ever since;
And ever naked will appear,
Belov’d by all who Truth revere.