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calf were to be molten and set up to be idolized." The Parisian fishwomen, milliners, courtisans, &c. at the commencement of the French Revolution, flocked in crowds to the bar of the National Convention with their trinkets and ornaments by way of voluntary contribution. V.7878. Their husbands robb'd, and made hard shifts
T'administer unto their gifts.] These holy sisters are thus described by Cowley in his Puritan and Papist : “She that can sit three sermons in a day, And of those three scarce bear three words away; She that can rob her husband to repair A budget priest that noses a long prayer; She that with lamp-black purifies her shoes, And with half eyes and bible softly goes; She that her pocket with lay-gospel stuffs, And edifies her looks with little ruffs; She that loves sermons as she does the rest, Still standing stiff, that longest are the best; She that will lie, yet swears she hates a liar, Except it be the man that will lie by her; She that at Christmas thirsteth for more sack, And draws the broadest handkerchief for cake: She that sings psalms devoutly next the street, And beats her maid i'th' kitchen, where none see't; She that will sit in shop for five hours space, And register the sins of all that pass; Damn at first sight, and proudly dare to say, That none can possibly be sav'd but they ; That hangs religion on a naked ear, And judge men's hearts according to their hair"; That can afford to doubt who writes best sense, Moses or Dodd, on the Commandments; She that can sigh, and cry Queen Elizabeth, Rail at the pope, and scratch out sudden death; And for all this can give no reason why: This is a holy sister verily.” V. 791-2. Rubb'd down the teachers, tir'd and spent,
With holding forth for parliament.) Dr. Echard confirms this, Observations upon the Answer to the Enquiry, &c. p. 112. “I know,” (says he) “that the small inconsiderable triflers, the coiners of new phrases, and drawers of long godly words, the thick pourers out of texts of Scripture, the mimical squeakers and bellowers, and the vain-glorious admirers only of themselvcs, and of those of their own fashioned face and gesture; I know that such as these shall with all possible zeal be followed and worshipped, shall have their bushel of China oranges, shall be solaced with all manner of cordial essences and elixirs, and shall be rubbed down with holland of ten shillings an ell: whereas others of that party, much more sober and judicious, that can speak sense and understand the Scripture, but lest confident, and less censorious, shall scarce be invited to the fire-side, or be presented with a couple of pippins, or a glass of small beer, with brown
V. 797-3. And cramm'd'em, till their guts did ake,
With cawdle, custard, and plumb cake.] In a satire against Hypocrates are the following lines : “ But now aloft the preacher 'gan to thunder, When the poor women they sat trembling under; And if he name Gehenah, or the Dragon, Their faith, alas! was little then to brag on; Or if he did relate what little wit The foolish virgins had when do they sit Weeping with wat'ry eyes, and making vows, One to have preachers always in their house, To dine with them, and breakfast them with jellies, And cawdle hot, tu warm their wambling bellies; And if the cash, where she could not unlock it, Were close secur'd, to pick her husband's pocket: Another, something a more thrilty sinner, T'invite the parson twice a week to dinner: The other vows a purple pulpit cloth, With an embroider'd cushion, being loth When the fierce priest his doctrine hard unbuckles,
in the passion he should hurt his knuckles."
V.801-4. March'd rank and file with drum and ensign,
T'entrench the city for defence in;
To put the enemy to stands.] Wbitelock, · in his Memorials, says, that “when the city, upon a
false alarm, being ordered to be fortified, and the trainbands ordered out, it was wonderful to see how the women, children, and vast numbers of people, would come to work about digging, and carrying of earth to make the new fortifications: that the city good wifes, and others, mindful of their husbands and friends, sent many cart-loads of provisions and wines and good things to Turnham Green, with which the soldiers were refreshed ancı made merry; and the more when they understood that the King and bis army were retreated.” This account is confirmed by May in his History of the Parliament. “It was the custom” (says he) “ every day to go out by thousands to dig; all professions, trades, and occapations, taking their turns; and not only inferior tradesmen, but ladies and gentlemen themselves, for the encouragement of others, carrying spades, mattocks, and other instruments of digging; so that it became a pleasant sight in London to see them go out in such an order and number, with drums beating before them.” V. 809-10. Have not the handmaids of the city
Chose of their members a committee.] The women of London might be reckoned among some of the most active partisans of those times. They were at least equal to the men in fanaticism, and perhaps they were superior to them in zeal. V. 813-4. And do they not as triers sit,
To judge what officers are fit.] In a humourous tract, entitled the Parliament of Ladies, or divers remarkable Passages of Ladies in Spring-garden in Parliament assembled, there is the following passage: “The House considered in the next place, that divers weak persons bave crept into places beyond their abilities; and, to the end, that men of greater parts may be put into their rooms, they appointed the Lady Middlesex, Mrs. Dunch, the Lady Foster, and the Lady Ann Waller, by reason of their great experience in the soldiery of the kingdom, to be a committee of triers for the business.” V. 8156. At that an egg let fly,
Hit him directly o'er the eye.) “This (says a former commentator) is as merry an adventure as that of the bear-baiting. Our heroes are sooner assaulted than they expected, even before the Knight had ended his eloquent speech. It was a great affront and breach of good manners in the rabble to use so worthy a personage in this manner: they had no Talgol to make a reply, but showed their contempt of authority by immediately falling into action with its representative. He indeed had little reason to look for better usage than he met with the day before on a like occasion; but he was of too obstinate a temper to learn any thing from experience: this makes his case different from all other unfortunate heroes; for, instead of pitying, we laugh at him."
V.818. With orange-tawney slime his beard.) Bottom, the weaver, in the Midsummer Night's Dream, asks in what beard he shall play the part of Pyramus, whether in a perfect yellow beard, or an orange-tawney beard, or a purple in grain beard? V. 843-4. And, till all four were out of wind.
And danger too, ne'er look'd behind.] This was probably designed as a sneer upon the Earl of Argyle, who more than once fied from Montrose, and never looked behind him till he was quite out of dan. ger; as at Inverary, 1614, where he fled, (says Guthrie,) and never looked over his shoulder, until, after riding twenty miles, he reached the South Queen's Ferry, where he possessed himself again of his boat. Toin Coryat seems to have acted in a like manner on a similar occasion, as we may gather from Strangeway's Panegyric Verses prefixed to his Crudities. “But thon that time, like many an errant knight,
Didst save thyself by virtue of thy flight;
Whence now in great request this adage stands,
Of some that had a stinking breath.] It is probable that Oldham had these lines in view when he wrote his Character of an Ugly Parson, “who by his scent might be winded by a good nose at twelve
I durst have ventured (says he) at first being in company, to have affirmed that he dicted on asafædita." V. 877-8. And as such homely treats, they say,
Portend good fortune .] Warbur-
But Alderman Atkins made it a jest,
V. 879. Vespasian being daub'd with dirt.] An allu.
Swear I've perform'd what she enjoin'd.] The Knight resolves to wash his face, and dirty his conscience. This is perfectly agreeable to his politics, in which hypocrisy seems to be the predominant principle. He is no longer for reducing Ralpho to a whipping, but for deceiving the widow by forswearing himself; and by the sequel we find that he is as good as his word.