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THE JOURNAL OF A MODERN LADY.
The crier was order'd to dismiss The court, so made his last O yes! The goddess would no longer wait; But, rising from her chair of state, Left all below at six and seven, Hamess'd her doves, and flew to Heaven.
IN A LETTER TO A PERSON OF QUALITY.—1728
ALL travellers at first incline
Where'er they see the fairest sign;
And, if they find the chambers 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, though the treacherous tapster Thomas
Hangs a new Angel two doors from us,
As fine as daubers' 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 letee crowding swains,
Whom Stella freely entertains
With breeding, humor, 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, no 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 ; Though 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 mind : All men of sense will pass your door, And crowd to Stella's at fourscore.
It was a most unfriendly part
In you, who ought to know my heart,
Are well acquainted with my zeal
For all the female commonweal-
How could it come into your mind
To pitch on me, of all mankind,
Against the sex to write a satire,
And brand me for a woman-hater ?
On me, who think them all so fair,
They rival Venus to a hair;
Their virtues never ceas'd to sing,
Since first I learn'd to tune a string?
Methinks I bear the ladies cry,
Will he his character belie?
Must never our misfortunes end ?
And have we lost our only friend ?
Ah, lovely nymphs, remove your fears,
No more let fall those precious tears,
Sooner shall, &c.
[Here are several verses omitted.] The hound be hunted by the hare, Than I turn rebel to the fair.
'Twas you engag'd me first to write,
Then gave the subject out of spite :
The journal of a modern dame
Is by my promise what you claim.
My word is past, I must submit;
And yet, perhaps, you may be bit.
I but transcribe ; for not a line
Of all the satire shall be mine.
Compellid by you to tag in rhymes
The common slanders of the times,
Of modern times, the guilt is yours,
And me my innocence secures.
Unwilling Muse, begin thy lay,
The annals of a female day.
By nature turn’d to play the rake well,
(As we shall show you in the sequel,)
The modern dame is wak'd by noon,
(Some authors say, not quite so soori,)
Because, though sore against her will,
She sate all night up at quadrille.
She stretches, gapes, unglues her eyes,
And asks, if it be time to rise :
Of head-ache and the spleen complains;
And then, to cool her heated brains,
Her night-gown and her slippers brought her
Takes a large dram of citron-water.
Then to her glass; and, “ Betty, pray
Don't I look frightfully to-day?
But was it not confounded hard ?
Well, if I ever touch a card!
Four mattadores, and lose codille !
Depend upon't, I never will.
But run to Tom, and bid him fix
The ladies here to-night by six."
“Madam, the goldsmith waits below;
He says, His business is to know
If you 'll redeem the silver cup
He keeps in pawn?'”—“First, show him up.
“ Your dressing-plate he'll be content
To take, for interest cent. per cent.
And, madam, there's my lady Spade,
Hath sent this letter by her maid."
“ Well, I remember what she won;
And hath she sent so soon to dun ?
Here, carry down those ten pistoles
My husband left to pay for coals:
I thank my stars, they all are light;
And I may have revenge to-night."
Now, loitering o'er her tea and cream,
She enters on her usual theme;
Her last night's ill success repeats,
Calls lady Spade a hundred cheats:
“She slipt spadillo in her breast,
Then thought to turn it to a jest:
There's Mrs. Cut and she combine,
And to each other give the sign.”
Through every game pursues her tale,
Like hunters o'er their evening ale.
Now to another scene give place :
Enter the folks with silks and lace :
Fresh matter for a world of chat,
Right Indian this, right Mechlin that:
“Observe this pattern; there's a stuff;
I can have customers enough.
Dear madam, you are grown so hard-
This lace is worth twelve pounds a yard :
Madam, if there be truth in man,
I never sold so cheap a fan."
This business of importance o'er,
And madam almost dress'd by four;
The footman, in his usual phrase,
Comes up with, “ Madam, dinner stays."
She answers in her usual style,
“ The cook must keep it back awhile :
I never can have time to dress ;
(No woman breathing takes up less ;)
I'm hurried so it makes me sick;
I wish the dinner at Old Nick."
At table now she acts her part,
Has all the dinner-cant by heart:
“I thought we were to dine alone,
My dear; for sure, if I had known
This company would come to-day-
But really 'tis my spouse's way!
He's so unkind, he never sends
To tell when he invites his friends :
I wish ye may but have enough!"
And while with all this paltry stuff
She sits tormenting every guest,
Nor gives her tongue one moment's rest,
In phrases batter’d, stale, and trite,
Which modern ladies call polite ;
You see the booby husband sit
In admiration at her wit.
But let me now awhile survey
Our madam o'er her evening-tea;
Surrounded with her noisy clans
of prudes, coquettes, and harridans ;
When, frighted at the clamorous crew,
Away the god of Silence flew,
And fair Discretion left the place,
And Modesty with blushing face:
Now enters overweening Pride,
And Scandal ever gaping wide;
Hypocrisy with frown severe,
Scurrility with gibing air;
Rude Laughter seeming like to burst,
And Malice always judging worst;
And Vanity with pocket-glass.
And Impudence with front of brass ;
And studied Affectation came,
Each limb and feature out of frame;
While Ignorance, with brain of lead,
Flew hovering o'er each fernale lead.
Why should I ask of thee, my Muse,
An hundred tongues, as poets use,
When, to give every dame her due,
An hundred thousand were too few?
Or how shall I, alas! relate
The sum of all their senseless prate,
Their innuendoes, hints, and slanders,
Their meanings lewd, and double entendres
Now comes the general scandal-charge;
What some invent, the rest enlarge;
And, “Madam, if it be a lie,
You have the tale as cheap as I :
I must conceal my author's name;
But now 'tis known to common fame."
Say, foolish females, bold and blind,
Say, by what fatal turn of mind,
Are you on vices most severe,
Wherein yourselves have greatest share!
Thus every fool herself deludes;
The prudes condemn the absent prudes:
Mopsa, who stinks her spouse to death,
Accuses Chloe's tainted breath;
Hircina, rank with sweat, presumes
To censure Phyllis for perfumes ;
While crooked Cynthia, sneering, says
That Florimel wears iron stays :
Chloe, of every coxcomb jealous,
Admires how girls can talk with fellows;
And, full of indignation, frets,
That women should be such coquettes :
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 lap-dog barking;
Their chattering makes a louder din
Than fish-wives o'er a cup of gin:
Not school-boys 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.
see, the female club disbands,
Each twenty visits on her hands.
Now all alone poor madam sits
In vapors and hysteric fits:
And was not Tom this morning sent!
I'd lay my life he never went:
Past six, and not a living soul!
But, conscious that they all speak true, I might by this have won a vole.”
And give each other but their due, A dreadful interval of spleen!
It never interrupts the game, How shall we pass the time between?
Or makes them sensible of shame. “Here, Betty, let me take my drops;
The time too precious now to waste, And feel my pulse, I know it stops :
The supper gobbled up in haste; This head of mine, Lord, how it swims!
Again afresh to cards they run, And such a pain in all my limbs!"
As if they had but just begun. “Dear madam, try to take a nap."
But I shall not again repeat, But now they hear a footman's rap:
How oft they squabble, snarl, and cheat. “Go, run, and light the ladies up:
At last they hear the watchman knock. It must be one before we sup."
“A frosty morn-past four o'clock.” The table, cards, and counters, set,
The chairmen are not to be found, And all the gamester-ladies met,
“Come, let us play the other round.” Her spleen and fits recover'd quite,
Now all in haste they huddle on Our madam can sit up all night:
Their hoods, their cloaks, and get them gone, “Whoever comes, I'm not within."
But, first, the winner must invite Quadrille's the word, and so begin.
The company to-morrow night. How can the Muse her aid impart,
Unlucky madam, left in tears, Unskill'd in all the terms of art?
(Who now again quadrille forswears,) Or in harmonious numbers put
With empty purse, and aching head,
The deal, the shuffle, and the cut?
Steals to her sleeping spouse to bed.
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;
ON THE DEATH OF DR. SWIFT.*
With panting heart, and earnest eyes,
In hope to see spadillo rise:
OCCASIONED BY READING THE FOLLOWING In vain, alas! her hope is fed ;
MAXIM IN ROCHEFOUCAULT: She draws an ace, and sees it red;
Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons In ready counters never pays,
toujours quelque chose qui ne nous déplait pas. But pawns her snuff-box, rings, and keys : Ever with some new fancy struck,
* In the adversity of our best friends, we always find someTries twenty charms to mend her luck.
thing that doth not displease us." “ This morning, when the parson came, I said I should not win a game.
As Rochefoucault his maxims drew This odious chair, how came I stuck in't?
From nature, I believe them true : I think I never had good luck in't.
They argue no corrupted mind I'm so uneasy in my stays;
In him : the fault is in mankind. Your fan a moment, if you please.
This maxim more than all the rest Stand further, girl, or get you gone;
Is thought too base for human breast : I always lose when you look on."
"In all distresses of our friends, “Lord! madam, you have lost codille !
We first consult our private ends; I never saw you play so ill."
While nature, kindly bent to ease us, “Nay, madam, give me leave to say,
Points out some circumstance to please us." "Twas you that threw the game away :
If this perhaps your patience move, When lady Tricksey play'd a four,
Let reason and experience prove. You took it with a mattadore;
We all behold with envious eyes I saw you touch your wedding-ring
Our equals rais'd above our size. Before my lady call'd a king;
Who would not at a crowded show You spoke a word began with H,
Stand high himself, keep others low? And I know whom you meant to teach,
I love my friend as well as you : Because you held the king of hearts ;
But why should he obstruct my view ? Fie, madam, leave these little arts.”
Then let me have the higher post; “ That's not so bad as one that rubs
Suppose it but an inch at most. Her chair, to call the king of clubs;
If in a battle you should find And makes her partner understand
One, whom you love of all mankind, A malladore is in her hand.”
Had some heroic action done, “ Madam, you have no cause to flounce,
A champion kill'd, or trophy won; I swear I saw you thrice renounce."
Rather than thus be over-topt, " And truly, madam. I know when.
Would you not wish his laurels cropt? Instead of five, you scor'd me ten.
Dear honest Ned is in the gout, Spadillo here has got a mark;
Lies rack'd with pain, and you without : A child may know it in the dark: I guess'd the hand : it seldom fails :
* Written in November, 1731.--There are two distinc: I wish some folks would pare their nails."
poems on this subject, one of them containing many spuWhile thus they rail, and scold, and storm, rious lines. In what is here printed, the genuine parts It passes but for common form :
of both are preserved. N.
How patiently you hear him groan!
How glad the case is not your own!
What poel would not grieve to see
His brother write as well as he ?
But, rather than they should excel,
Would wish his rivals all in hell?
Her end when emulation misses,
She turns to envy, stings, and hisses :
The strongest friendship yields to pride,
Unless the odds be on our side.
Vain human-kind! fantastic race!
Thy various follies who can trace ?
Self-love, ambition, envy, pride,
Their empire in our heart divide.
Give others riches, power, and station,
"Tis all to me an usurpation.
I have no title to aspire ;
Yet, when you sink, I seem the higher.
In Pope I cannot read a line,
But with a sigh I wish it mine :
When he can in one couplet fix
More sense than I can do in six;
It gives me such a jealous fit,
I cry, “ Pox take him and his wit !"
I grieve to be outdone by Gay
In my own humorous biting way.
Arbuthnot is no more my friend,
Who dares to irony pretend,
Which I was born to introduce,
Refin'd at first, and show'd its use.
St. John, as well as Pulteney, knows
That I had some repute for prose;
And, till they drove me out of date,
Could maul a minister of state.
If they have mortified my pride,
And made me throw my pen aside;
If with such talents Heaven hath bless'd 'em,
Have I not reason to detest 'em ?
To all my foes, dear Fortune, send
Thy gifts; but never to my friend :
I tamely can endure the first;
But this with envy makes me burst.
Thus much may serve by way of proem; Proceed we therefore to our poem.
The time is not remote when I
Must by the course of nature die ;
When, I foresee, my special friends
Will try to find their privato ends :
And, though 'tis hardly understood
Which way my death can do them good,
Yet thus, methinks, I hear them speak:
“ See how the Dean begins to break !
Poor gentleman, he droops apace!
You plainly find it in his face.
That old vertigo in his head
Will never leave him till he's dead.
Besides, his memory decays :
He recollects not what he says;
He cannot call his friends to mind;
Forgets the place where last he din'd;
Plies you with stories o'er and o'er ;
He told them fifty times before.
How does he fancy we can sit,
To hear his out-of-fashion wit?
But he takes up with younger folks,
Who for his wine will bear his jokes.
Faith! he must make his stories shorter,
Or change his comrades once a quarter;
In half the time he talks them round,
There must another set be found.
“ For poetry, he's past his prime;
He takes an hour to find a rhyme :
His fire is out, his wit decay'd,
His fancy sunk, his Muse a jade.
I'd have him throw away his pen;
But there's no talking to some men !"
And then their tenderness appears
By adding largely to my years :
“He's older than he would be reckon d,
And well remembers Charles the Second.
He hardly drinks a pint of wine;
And that, I doubt, is no good sign.
His stomach 100 begins to fail ;
Last year we thought him strong and hale ;
But now he's quite another thing:
I wish he may hold out till spring !"
They hug themselves, and reason thus :
“ It is not yet so bad with us!"
In such a case they talk in tropes,
And by their fear express their hopes.
Some great misfortune to portend,
No enemy can match a friend.
With all the kindness they profess,
The merit of a lucky guess
(When daily how-d'ye's come of course,
And servants answer, “Worse and worse !)
Would please them better, ihan to tell,
That, “ God be prais'd, the Dean is well."
Then he who prophesied the best,
Approves his foresight to the rest :
“You know I always fear'd the worst,
And often told you so at first."
He'd rather choose that I should die,
Than his predictions prove a lie.
Not one foretells I shall recover;
But, all agree to give me over.
Yet should some neighbor feel a pain
Just in the parts where I complain;
How many a message would he send !
What hearty prayers that I should mend!
Inquire what regimen I kept ?
What gave me ease, and how I slept?
And more lament, when I was dead,
Than all the snivellers round my bed.
My good companions, never fear;
For, though you may mistake a year,
Though your prognostics run too fast,
They must be verified at last.
Behold the fatal day arrive!
“How is the Dean ?"—“He's just alive."
Now the departing prayer is read ;
He hardly breathes—the Dean is dead.
Before the passing-bell begun,
The news through half the town is run.
“Oh! may we all for death prepare !
What has he left ? and who's his heir ?**
" I know no more than what the news is ;
"Tis all bequeath'd to public uses."
“ To public uses! there's a whim!
What had the public done for him ?
Mere envy, avarice, and pride :
He gave it all-but first he died.
And had the Dean, in all the nation,
No worthy friend, no poor relation ?
So ready to do strangers good,
Forgetting his own flesh and blood ""
Now Grub-street wits are all employd ; With elegies the town is cloy'd : Some paragraph in every paper, To curse the Dean, or bless the Drapier.
The doctors, tender of their fame,
Wisely on me lay all the blame.
“We must confess, his case was nice;
But he would never take advice.
Had he been rul'd, for aught appears,
He might have liv'd these twenty years:
For, when we open'd him, we found
That all his vital parts were sound."
From Dublin soon to London spread,
"Tis told at court, " the Dean is dead."
And lady Suffolk,* in the spleen,
Runs laughing up to tell the queen.
The queen, so gracious, mild, and good,
Cries, “ Is he gone! 'tis time he should.
He's dead, you say; then let him rot:
I'm glad the medalst were forgot.
I promis'd him, I own; but when ?
I only was the princess then:
But now, as consort of the king,
You know, 'tis quite another thing."
Now Chartres, at Sir Robert's levee,
Tells with a sneer the tidings heavy:
“ Why, if he died without his shoes,"
Cries Bob, “I'm sorry for the news :
Oh, were the wretch but living still,
And in his place my good friend Will!
Or had a mitre on his head,
Provided Bolingbroke were dead!"
Now Curll his shop from rubbish drains :
Three genuine tomes of Swift's remains !
And then, to make them pass the glibber,
Revis'd by Tibbalds, Moore, and Cibber.
He'll treat me as he does my betters,
Publish my will, my life, my letters;
Revive the libels born to die :
Which Pope must bear as well as I.
Here shift the scene, to represent
How those I love my death lament.
Poor Pope will grieve a month, and Gay
A week, and Arbuthnot a day.
St. John himself will scarce forbear
so bite his pen, and drop a tear.
The rest will give a shrug, and cry,
“I'm sorry—but we all must die!"
Indifference, clad in wisdom's guise,
All fortitude of mind supplies:
For how can stony bowels melt
In those who never pity felt!
When we are lash'd, they kiss the rod,
Resigning to the will of God.
The fools, my juniors by a year,
Are tortur'd with suspense and fear;
Who wisely thought my age a screen,
When death approach'd, to stand between:
The screen remov'd, their hearts are trembling;
They mourn for me without dissembling.
My female friends, whose tender hearts
Have better learn'd to act their parts,
Receive the news in doleful dumps :
The Dean is dead : (Pray what is trumps ?)
Then, Lord have mercy on his soul!
(Ladies, I'll venture for the vole.)
Six deans, they say, must bear the pall :
(I wish I knew what king to call.)
Madam, your husband will attend
The funeral of so good a friend ?
No, madam, 'tis a shocking sight;
And he's engag'd to-morrow night :
My lady Club will take it ill,
If he should fail her at quadrille.
He lov'd the Dean (I lead a heart :)
But dearest friends, they say, must part.
His time was come; he ran his race;
We hope he's in a better place."
Why do we grieve that friends should die ?
No loss more easy to supply.
One year is past; a different scene !
No farther mention of the Dean,
Who now, alas! no more is miss'd,
Than if he never did exist.
Where's now the favorite of Apollo ?
Departed :-and his works must follow ;
Must undergo the cornmon fate;
His kind of wit is out of date.
Some country squire to Lintot goes,
Inquires for Swift in verse and prose.
Says Lintot, I have heard the name ;
He died a year ago."_“The same."
He searches all the shop in vain.
“Sir, you may find them in Duck-lane :
I sent them, with a load of books,
Last Monday, to the pastry-cook's.
To fancy they could live a year!
I find you 're but a stranger here.
The Dean was famous in his time,
And had a kind of knack at rhyme.
His way of writing now is past :
The town has got a better taste.
I keep no antiquated stuff;
But spick and span I have enough.
Pray, do but give me leave to show 'en :
Here's Colley Cibber's birth-day poem.
This ode you never yet have seen,
By Stephen Duck, upon the queen.
Then here's a letter finely penn'd
Against the Craftsman and his friend :
It clearly shows that all reflection
On ministers is disaffection.
Next, here's Sir Robert's vindication,
And Mr. Henley's last oration.
The hawkers have not got them yet:
Your honor, please to buy a set ?
"Here's Wolston's tracts, the twelfth edition ;
'Tis read by every politician:
The country-members, when in town,
To all their boroughs send them down;
You never met a thing so sma
The courtiers have them all by heart:
Those maids of honor who can read,
Are taught to use them for their creed.
The reverend author's good intention
Hath been rewarded with a pension :*
He doth an honor to his gown,
By bravely running priestcraft down :
He shows, as sure as God's in Gloucester,
That Moses was a grand impostor ;
That all his miracles were cheats,
Perform'd as jugglers do their feats :
The church had never such a writer;
A shame he hath not got a mitre !"
* Mrs. Howard, at one time a favorite with the Dean. N.
7 Which the Dean in vain expected, in return for a small present he had sent to the princess. N.
* Wolston is here confounded with Woolaston. N.