The runaway, a comedy: as it is acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane.
Cowley, Mrs. (Hannah), 1743-1809.
Spoken by MISS YOUNGE.
POST haste from Italy arrives my Lover!
Shall I to you, good Friends, my fears discover?
Should Foreign modes his Virtues mar, and mangle,
And Caro Sposo prove—Sir Dingle Dangle;
No sooner join'd than separate we go,
Abroad—we never shall each other know,
At home—I mope above—he'll pick his teeth below.
In sweet domestic chat we ne'er shall mingle,
And, wedded tho' I am, shall still live single.
However modish, I detest this plan:
For me, no maukish creature, weak, and wan;
He must be English, and an English—Man.
To Nature, and his Country, false and blind,
Shou'd Belville dare to twist his form and mind,
I will discard him—and to Britain true,
A Briton chuse—and, may be, one of you!
Nay, don't be frighten'd—I am but in jest;
Free Men in Love, or War, should ne'er be press'd.
If you wou'd know my utmost expectation,
'Tis one unspoil'd by travell'd Education;
With knowledge, taste, much kindness, and some whim,
Good sense to govern me—and let me govern him:
Great love of me, must keep his heart from roving;
Then I'll forgive him, if he proves too loving:
If in these times, I shou'd be bless'd by Fate
With such a Phoenix, such a matchless Mate,
I will by kindness, and some small discerning,
Take care that Hymen's torch continues burning:
At weddings, now-a-days, the torch thrown down,
Just makes a smoke, then stinks throughout the town!
No married Puritan—I'll follow pleasure,
And ev'n the Fashion—but in mod'rate measure;
Page [unnumbered] I will of Op'ra extasies partake,
Tho' I take snuff to keep myself awake;
No rampant Plumes shall o'er my temples play,
Foretelling that my brains will fly away;
Nor from my head shall strange vagaries spring,
To shew the soil can teem with ev'ry thing!
No fruits, roots, greens, shall fill the ample space,
A kitchen-garden, to adorn my face!
No Rocks shall there be seen, no Windmill, Fountain,
Nor curls like Guns set round, to guard the Mountain!
O learn, ye Fair, if this same madness spreads,
Not to hold up, but to keep down your heads:
Be not misled by strange fantastic art,
But in your dress let Nature take some part;
Her skill alone a lasting pow'r insures,
And best can ornament such charms as yours.