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However, I was resolved to bring the discourse slily about : “Mrs. Dukes,” said I, “here's an ugly accident has happen'd
out : 'Tis not that I value the money three skips of a mouse; But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the house. 'Tis true, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence, makes a
great hole in my wages : Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in these ages. Now, Mrs. Dukes, you know, and everybody understands, That tho' 'tis hard to judge, yet money can't go without
hands." “ The devil take me,” said she (blessing herself), “if ever I
saw't!” So she roar'd like a Bedlam, as tho' I had called her all to
nought. So you know, what could I say to her any more ? I e'en left her, and came away as wise as I was before. Well; but then they would have had me gone to the cunning
“No,” said I, “'tis the same thing, the chaplain will be here So the chaplain came in. Now the servants say he is my
sweetheart, Because he's always in my chamber, and I always take his
part. So, as the devil would have it, before I was aware, out I
blunder'd, Parson,” said I, can you cast a nativity when a body's
plunder'd ?” (Now you must know, he hates to be called parson, like the
devil.) “Truly,” says he, “Mrs. Nab, it might become you to be
more civil; If your money be gone, as a learned divine says, d'ye see: You are no text for my handling; so take that from me : I was never taken for a conjuror before, I'd have you to
know." “ Law !” said I, “ don't be angry, I am sure I never thought
you so; You know Í honour the cloth; I design to be a parson's wife, I never took one in your coat for a conjuror in all my life.” With that, he twisted his girdle at me like a rope, as who “Now you may go hang yourself for me !" and so went away.
Well: I thought I should have swoon'd, “Law !” said I,
“what shall I do? I have lost my money, and shall lose my true love too !” Then my Lord called me: Harry,” said my Lord, “ don't
cry, I'll give you something towards your loss ;” and, says my Lady,
so will I. “O, but,” said I, “what if, after all, the chaplain won't
come to ?” For that, he said, (an't please your Excellencies,) I must petiThe premises tenderly consider'd, I desire your Excellencies'
protection, And that I may have a share in next Sunday's collection; And, over and above, that I may have your Excellencies'
letter, With an order for the chaplain aforesaid, or, instead of him,
a better: And then your poor petitioner both night and day, Or the chaplain (for 'tis his trade), as in duty bound, shall ever pray.
WHEN thy beauty appears
In its graces and airs,
All bright as an angel new dropt from the sky;
At distance I gaze, and am awed by my fears,
So strangely you dazzle my eye!
But when, without art,
Your kind thought you impart,
When your love runs in blushes through every vein, When it darts from your eyes, when it pants in your heart,
Then I know you're a woman again.
There's a passion and pride
In our sex, she replied,
And this, might I gratify both, I would do :
Still an angel appear to each lover beside,
But still be a woman to you.
STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY, 1718.
STELLA this day is thirty-four,
(We shan't dispute a year or more :)
However, Stella, be not troubled;
Altho' thy size and years are doubled
Since first I saw thee at sixteen,
The brightest virgin on the green;
So little is thy form declined;
Made up so largely in thy mind.
O, would it please the gods to split
Thy beauty, size, and years, and wit!
No age could furnish out a pair
Of nymphs so graceful, wise, and fair;
With half the lustre of your eyes,
With half your wit, your years, and size.
And then, before it grew too late,
How should I beg of gentle fate
(That either nymph might have her swain)
To split my worship too in twain.
STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY, 1720.
ALL travellers at first incline
Where'er they see the fairest sign;
And, if they find the chamber 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, tho' the treacherous tapster, Thomas,
Hangs a new angel two doors from us,
As fine as dauber's 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, humour, 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, 110 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;
That 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 mina;
All men of sense will pass your door,
And crowd to Stella's at four score.
STELLA'S BIRTHDAY, 1724
As, when a beauteous nymph decays,
We say, she's past her dancing days;
So poets lose their feet by time,
And can no longer dance in rhyme.
Your annual bard had rather chose
To celebrate your birth in prose:
Yet merry folks, who want by chance
A pair to make a country dance,
Call the old housekeeper, and get her
To fill a place, for want of better :
While Sheridan is off the hooks,
And friend Delany at his books,
That Stella may avoid disgrace,
Once more the Dean supplies their place
Beauty and wit, too sad a truth!
Have always been confined to youth;
The god of wit, and beauty's queen,
He twenty-one, and she fifteen.
No poet ever sweetly sung,
Unless he were, like Phoebus, young;
Nor ever nymph inspired to rhyme,
Unless, like Venus, in her prime.
At fifty-six, if this be true,
Am I a poet fit for you?
Or, at the age of forty-three,
Are you a subject fit for me?
Adieu ! bright wit, and radiant eyes,
You must be grave, and I be wise.
Our fate in vain we would oppose:
But I'll be still your friend in prose;
Esteem and friendship to express,
Will not require poetic dress;
And, if the Muse deny her aid
To have them sung, they may be said.
But, Stella, say, what evil tongue
Reports you are no longer young;
That Time sits, with his scythe to mow
Where erst sat Cupid with his bow;
That half your locks are turn'd to grey?
I'll ne'er believe a word they say.