Imágenes de páginas

And, full of indignation, frets,
That women should be such coquets :
Iris, for scandal 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 silence:
And Sylvia, full of inward guilt,
Calls Amoret an arrant jilt.

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 lapdog barking;
Their chattering makes a louder din
T'han fishwives o'er a cup of gin:
Not schoolboys at a barring out
Rais d ever such incessant rout:
The jumbling particles of matter
In chaos made not such a clatter ;
Far less the rabble roar and rail,
When drunk with sour election ale.

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

But see, the female club disbands,
Each twenty visits on her hands.
Now all alone poor madam sits
In vapours and hysterick fits:
“ And was not Tom this morning sent?
I'd lay my life he never went:

Past six, and not a living soul!
I might by this have won a vole.”
A dreadful interval of spleen!
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!
And such a pain in all my

“ Dear madam, try to take a nap"-
But now they hear a footinan's rap:
“ Go, run, and light the ladies up :
It must be one before we sup."

The table, cards, and counters, sety
And all the gamester ladies met,
Her spleen and fits recover'd quite,
Our madam çan sit-up all night;
“ Whoever comes, I'm not within."
Quadrille's the word, and so begin.

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 superstitious whims relate,
That fill a female gamester's pate?
What agony of soul 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 see spadillo rise;
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 struck,
Tries twenty charms to mend her luck.
“ This morning, when the parson came,
I said I should not win a game,

This odious chair, how came I stuck 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 farther, girl, or get you gone;
I always lose when you look on.”
“ Lord ! madam, you have lost codille:
I never saw you play so ill."

Nay, madam, give me leave to say, 'Twas


that threw the game away:
When lady Tricksey play'd a four,
You took it with a matadore;
I saw you touch your wedding ring
Before my lady call'd a king;
You spoke a word began with H,
And I know whom you mean 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 matadore 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'd the hand; it seldom fails :
I wish some folks would pair their nails.”

While thus they rail, and scold, and storm,
It passes but for common form:
But, conscious that they all speak true,
And give each other but their due,
It never interrupts the game,
Or makes them sensible of shame.

The time too precious now to waste, The supper gobbled up in haste;

Again afresh to cards they run,
As if they had but just begun.
But I shall pot again repeat,
How oft they squabble, snarl, and cheat.
At last they hear the watchman knock,
“ A frosty morn-past four o'clock.”
The chairmen are not to be found,
Come, let us play the other round.”

Now all in haste they huddle on
Their hoods, their cloaks, and get them gone;
But, first, the winner must invite
The company to-morrow night.

Unlucky madam, left in tears,
(Who now again quadrille forswears)
With empty purse, and aching head,
Steals to her sleeping spouse to bed.



M. I

own, 'tis not my bread and butter;
But prithee, Tim, why all this clutter?
Why ever in these raging fits,
Damning to Hell the jacobites ?
When, if you search the kingdom round,
There's hardly twenty to be found;
No, not among the priests and friars--

T. 'Twixt you and me, G-d dấn the liars!

M. The tories are gone every man over
To our illustrious house of Hanover;
From all their conduct this is plain;
And then
T. Gd-n the liars again!

Did not an earl but lately vote,
To bring in (I could cut his throat)
Our whole accounts of publick debts ?

M. Lord! how this frothy coxcomb frets! (aside,

T. Did not an able statesman bishop
This dangerous horrid motion dish up
As popish craft? did he not rail on't?
Show fire and faggot in the tail on't?
Proving the earl a grand offender,
And in a plot for the pretender ;
Whose fleet, 'tis all our friends opinion,
Was then embarking at Avignon?

M. These wrangling jars of whig and tory,
Are stale and worn as Troy-town story:
The wrong, 'tis certain, you were both in,
And now you find you fought for nothing.
Your faction, when their game was new,
Might want such noisy fools as you;
But you, when all the show is past,
Resolve to stand it out the last;
Like Martin Marrall *, gaping on,
Not minding when the song is done.
When all the bees are gone to settle,
You clatter still your brazen kettle.
The leaders whom you listed under,
Have dropt their arms, and seiz'd the plunder ;
And when the war is past, you come
To rattle in their ears your drum:
And as that hateful hideous Grecian
Thersites (he was your relation)
Was more abhorr'd and scorn'd by those
With whom he serv’d, than by his foes;
So thou art grown the detestation
Of all thy party through the nation:
Thy peevish and perpetual teasing
With plots, and jacobites, and treason,

A character in one of Dryden's comedies. H.

« AnteriorContinuar »