WRITTEN BY D. G.,1 ESQ.
SPOKEN BY MRS. ABINGTON2
N.B. The lines in italics are to be spoken in a catechise3 tone.
Confess, good folks, has not Miss Rusport shown,
Strange whims for SEVENTEEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-ONE?
What, pawn her jewels! -- there's a precious plan!
To extricate from want a brave old man;
A girl of fortune, fashion! -- Fie upon her. But do not think we females of the stage,
And fall in love with poverty and honor; 5
So dead to the refinements of the age,
That we agree with our old-fashioned poet:
And that my tongue may more politely run, Make me a lady -- Lady Blabington.
I am point-blank against him, and I'll show it: 10
Now, with a rank and title to be free,
I'll make a catechism -- and you shall see,
What is the veritable Baume de Vie:4
As I change place, I stand for that, or this,
My Lady questions first -- then answers Miss.
(She speaks as my Lady.)
'Come, tell me, child, what were our modes and dress,
In those strange times of that old fright Queen Bess?' --
And now for Miss --
(She changes place, and speaks for Miss.)
Ladies were dismal beings, seldom seen;
When Bess was England's queen, 20
They rose betimes, and breakfasted as soon
On beef and beer, then studied Greek till noon;
Unpainted cheeks with blush of health did glow,
Beruffed and fardingaled from top to toe,
Nor necks, nor ankles would they ever show.
Learnt Greek! -- (Laughs.) -- Our outside head takes half a day;
Have we much time to dress the inside, pray?
No heads dressed à la Grecque; the ancients quote,
There may be learning in a papillote:5 30
Cards are our classics; and I, Lady B.,
In learning will not yield to any she,
Of the late founded female university.
But now for Lady Blab --
(Speaks as my Lady.)
'Tell me, Miss Nancy,
What sports and what employments did they fancy?' 35
(Speaks as Miss.)
The vulgar creatures seldom left their houses,
But taught their children, worked, and loved their spouses;
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan. Contributors: George Henry Nettleton - Editor, Arthur Eillicot Case - Editor. Publisher: Boston ; Houghton Mifflin company,.. Place of publication: Boston; New York. Publication year: 1939. Page number: 756.
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