SPOKEN BY MRS. CLIVE.1
Ladies! I've had a squabble with the poet
About his characters -- and you shall know it.
'Young man,' said I, 'restrain your saucy satire!
My part's ridiculous -- false -- out of nature.
Why, sir! -- My part is scandalum magnatum.'2
Fine draughts indeed of ladies! sure you hate 'em! 5
'Lord, ma'am,' said he, 'to copy life my trade is,
And poets ever have made free with ladies!
One Simon -- the deuce take such names as these! --
He showed -- our freaks, this whim and that desire,
A hard Greek name -- O -- ay -- Simonides3 -- 10
Rose first from earth, sea, air, nay, some from fire;
Or that we owe our persons, minds, and features
To birds, forsooth, and filthy four-legg'd creatures.
Now all for pleasure, now the conventicle! Who prays, then raves, now calm, now all commotion,
'The dame, of manners various, temper fickle, 15
Rises, another Venus, from the ocean.
'Constant at every sale, the curious fair,
Who dotes on pagods,4 and gives up vile man
Who longs for Dresden, and old China ware; 20
For niddle-noddle figures from Japan;
Critic in jars and josses,5 shows her birth
Drawn, like the brittle ware itself, from earth.
Who gains her conquests by her length of train; While all her vanity is under sail,
'The flaunting she, so stately, rich and vain, 25
Sweeps, a proud peacock, with a gaudy tail.
' Husband and wife, with sweets! and dears! and loves!
But seized with spleen, fits, humors, and all that, Your dove and turtle turn to dog and cat.
What are they, but a pair of cooing doves? 30
'The gossip, prude, old maid, coquette, and trapes,6
Are parrots, foxes, magpies, wasps, and apes:
Oh! she's -- sweet soul -- the phoenix of her kind. ((The phoenix of her kind! upon my word,
But she, with ev'ry charm of form and mind, 35
He's a sly wretch -- pray -- is there such a bird?'))
This his apology! -- 'Tis rank abuse --
His own sex rather such description suits: Why don't he draw their characters -- the brutes!
A fresh affront, instead of an excuse! 40
Ay, let him paint those ugly monsters, men!
Meantime -- mend we our lives -- he'll mend his pen.