British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview
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Since fate has robbed me of the hapless youth
For whom my heart had hoarded up its truth,
By all the laws of love and honor, now
I'm free again to choose -- and one of you.

But soft -- with caution first I'll round me peep; 5
Maids, in my case, should look before they leap.

Here's choice enough, of various sorts and hue,
The cit, the wit, the rake cocked up in cue,2
The fair, spruce mercer, and the tawny Jew.
Suppose I search the sober gallery -- no,
There's none but prentices -- and cuckolds all a-row;
And these, I doubt, are those that make 'em so.

(Pointing to the boxes.)

'Tis very well, enjoy the jest! But you,
Fine, powdered sparks -- nay, I'm told 'tis true --
Your happy spouses -- can make cuckolds too.

'Twixt you and them, the diff'rence this perhaps:
The cit's ashamed whene'er his duck he traps;
But you, when madam's tripping, let her fall,
Cock up your hats, and take no shame at all.

What if some favored poet I could meet, 20
Whose love would lay his laurels at my feet? No; painted passion real love abhors:3 His flame would prove the suit of creditors.4

Not to detain you, then, with longer pause,
In short, my heart to this conclusion draws:
I yield it to the hand that's loudest in applause.
HEADING] O1 om. Poet Laureat.
1] O1 (some copies) hopeless.
24] D6O7 Not to.
In the part of Maria.
With his hair spruced up in a queue.
'Love' is the subject of this clause.
Would prove to be no more disinterested than the pleas of creditors.


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British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan
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