PEace good Impertinence, I tell thee no Woman of Quality is, or should be in perfect health; hah! hah!— Tom.
Go to my Lady Formals, ask how she rested, and tell her the vio∣lence of my cold is abated—
To be always in health is as insipid as to be always in humour; one is the effect of too little Breeding, as the other of too little Wit, and sit only for the Clumsy State of a Citizen — I am ready to faint under the very Idea of such a vulgar Life. Hah! hah! hah!—Will.
Run to my Lady Lovevisit, and tell her Ladyship, that I am so imbarrast with the Spleen this Morning, I can't tell whether I shall be able to stir abroad; and know how she rested after the fatiegue of yesterday—hah! hah! hah! hah!
These Ladies make themselves Sick, to make themselves business, and are well or ill, only in Ceremony to each other.
What doest mutter?
The new Foot-Man is not return'd.
'Tis indeed a strange Lump, I wonder the good, Lady Prayseall, shou'd recommend him to me, he is not fit to carry a Disease to any Body; I sent him t'other Day with the Chollick to some Ladies, and he put it into his own Language it seems, and call'd it the Belly-Ach! I was under the greatest Confusion! for the same Afternoon, two or three of 'em, in the Pub∣lick China-House, Saluted me upon it,—I was forc'd to explain the Booby's meaning, else I had suffered the imputation of so vulgar a Disease! Hah! hah! hah!
I wish your Ladyship had not Occasion to send any: for my part—
Thy part! Why thou wer't made, I think of the Masculine kind—'tis betraying our Sex, not to be Sickly and Tender! Whence came it, think'st thou, that we first were serv'd and attended, by Men of our own Rank, but that it was the good breeding of our Mothers to be Feeble.
I finding my Mother was a Clown.
Observe but the Families I visit, they have all something deriv'd to 'em, from the Elegant, Nice State of Sickness, you may see even in the Males, a Genteel, as it were stagger or twine of their Bodies—As they were not yet confirm'd enough, for the Rough, Laborious Exercise of Walking; a Saunter in their Motion, that is, so like Quality! And their Voice, is so soft and low, you'd think they were asleep, that are so very Delicate.
Methinks, Madam, it wou'd be better if the Men were not altoge∣ther so tender.
Indeed, I have sometimes wish'd that they were not, but, it is to distinguish 'em from the gross Education of the Commons, and it is fit, since they differ so much by Nature, in their Spirit and their Form; Nay, most of their very Diseases, are not Prophaned by the Crowd, the Apoplexy and Gout, are peculiar to the Nobility, and I cou'd wish that Colds also were only ours, for there is something in 'em, so genteel and becoming! — Hah! hah! hah!
That I hope I shall never be fit for 'em—Your Ladyship forgot the Spleen.
O my Dear Spleen, I grudge even some of us; that ingenious Disease visits only the most Delicate.
I knew a Tradesman's Wife, that was mightily troubled with it.
A Tradesman's Wife! Ha! ha! Nay, those little Creatures, like the Monkey among Beasts, do follow us in ev'ry thing—They Dress! They Game! They have their Cold-Tea! Give Airs! Intriegue! And go as far as simple Nature can. Hah! hah! Never think it Cloe, a Meer Com∣moner cou'd not be so honoured, as a Lyon they say will Fawn upon nothing but a King; so this Elegant distemper submits its self to none, but the well descended—I profess—I Feel it, while I commend it—
Will your Ladyship take some Steel drops, or some Bolus! or E∣lectuary! or—
This Wench will kill me with Questions, hah! hah! bring any of 'em.
These healthy Sluts are too Boisterous for the Tender Frame of a Well-Bred Woman—I am resolv'd if there be a decay'd Person of Quality to be got in Town, I'll have her—ever since this Noisy Creature has been in my House, it has been taken for an Inn—Well the Commons of England are the strangest Creatures! Hah! hah!
Madam, the Doctor, the Apothecary, the Exchange-Woman, and the Cunning-Man; that your Ladyship calls, Stro-strologer are below.
Bid 'em come up, they may divert my Spleen, better than the Me∣dicine—Hah! hah! Well, the regularity of Life is certainly the happiest thing that belongs to it.
I am glad you 're come Doctor, for to live without you, is Sailing without a Compass; Mrs Pert, let me see how you have ordered those Ruffles.
Madam, your Ladyship, I am sure will be in Love with 'em, I have made 'em to the Newest Fashion; some French Ladies were at my Shop Yesterday, and I cut 'em exactly with theirs.
How did your Ladyship rest?
Never worse Dr. but I know the reason, it was my Visiting-Night, and my Old Lady Linger stay'd after all were gone, and unmercifully kept me up, at least half an hour beyond my time.
'Twas unsufferable, Madam, but I'll order something to compose your Ladyship, and repair that misfortune.
I like the Air of this Ruffle mightily — The French are certainly the most agreeable People upon Earth — Do they wear 'em so low?
Exactly, an' please your Ladyship—the Bottom of the Lace must agree with the Tip of your Ladyship's little Finger — To wear it higher, wou'd show too much of your Ladyship's Arm.
Which I wou'd not do by any means—it looks like a Washerwoman, to bare above the Ring—Dr. I long to enter on my New course of Phy∣sick, but Pray let me have nothing in it, that may any way interrupt the or∣der of my Visits, for I wou'd not purchase health so dear, as with the loss of one Days agreements.
I shall be careful.
Mrs. Pert—Be sure you get me the Lace, for I'll wear none but what is Prohibited.
I'll search all the Merchants Pockets, as diligently as their Wives do, but I'll have it for your Ladyship.
Mr. Rubarb, I must Quarrel with you—you don't enough disguise the Medicin's you send me — I can tast they are Physick—in a little time, you'll bring me to take plain Jalap? hah! hah!
To alter it more, might offend the Operation.
I don't care what is offended, so my tast is not.
Hark y' Mr. Rubarb, withdraw the Medicine
And is it possible, Sir, that the Stars shou'd have such Power over us, methinks they live at too great a distance.
All things here are rul'd by unseen ways, and what Physicians vainly ascribe to Drugs, is done by the Stars.
Well this is a divine Art, but, Sir, have the Stars any respect for a Face, or a Complexion?
Oh! Madam! More immediately as lying nearest their Orbs.
Well certainly this is the genteelest way of Curing that ever was invented, and seems design'd for the ease for the Nobility—To take our Medicines at the Mouth, is indeed so like a Horse! Hah! hah!
I have drain'd the Catalogue of Diseases already, and can't think what to put in her Head.
Nay, Sir, if we don't look about us, sh'll grow well upon our Hands.
Never fear that.
So! here's the Levee! Doctor and Apothecary in close Consultation! They are worse than a Jury upon Life and Death — But yonders my En∣gine at Work; the Stargazer has got her by the Ear — I must retreat and give him the sign.
Ha!—'Tis a good Voice.
(Between the Stanza's) I foresee that some rude influence will sud∣dainly assault you—I can't tell in what manner, but the same thing will prove afterwards very happy to you.
Ay, Sir: How true you speak!
You see, Madam, what pains I take to contrive your diversion.
You take a very Preposterous way.
I can't tell how I succeed, but I am sure I endeavour right, for I study every Morning new impertinence, to entertain you.
You need not study for it, Nature, Sir, will never fail you.
But if she shou'd one day, the misfortune may be irreparable! You might forget to faint to be Shagreen, to have the Spleen, and all those agreeable things that distinguish a Woman of Quality.
I am perfectly confounded! Certainly there are some People too impudent for our resentment, but I shall leave him.
All this shan't make me out of Love with my Virtue—Impudence, was ever a successful Quality, and 'twou'd be very unlucky, if I shou'd be the first that did not thrive by it.
I find then, you are a true Politician, Astrea, and by an extraordinary Conduct have secur'd your self against the Curiosity of the World, the inso∣lence of Servants, and what methinks a Woman most shou'd fear, the Ma∣lice of revolting Favourites.
That indeed is the most certain danger, for its grown the manner of the Fashionable Men, to recommend themselves to new Mistresses, by a Sacrifice of the Old, and make other surrender with the Barbarities they use to the Conquer'd.
Well! That one Rock now wou'd keep me from venturing to Sea.
You will not be without dangers ashore, for there are some disa∣greeable Puppies, that report a Woman ill because she wou'd not be so, but the real happy, like the real rich, seldom make a noise of it.
At this rate, the only way to preserve our Virtue, is to give it up like throwing away our Money, for fear we shou'd be rob'd of it — I find in a Poor Woman's Affairs, the Publick are very humorous, if she ventures she's lost, if she don't she is not safe, well I'm very honest yet, and—
This is not generous, Clarinda—You see the Confidences I make you—Tell me, was you never in Love?
I don't know what Love is, but I like a Fellow mightily, that I saw at the Play last night.
Ha! What sort of Man?
Nay, I can't tell, but he chas'd you, for as soon as you went, I miss'd him.
'Tis too sure—His Heart fail'd him if he did, for he never came up with me—But where did he sit?
Just before our Box, in Red.
'Tis he, what must I do!
You are Alarm'd!
No, I am thinking if I know him.
He seem'd to be an agreeable idle Fellow, and his Conversation I o∣verheard, was full of unusual Generosity.
I have it, it may help my own design — What wou'd you give to see him?
Why, is it in your Power?
Very much—But come into my Room, and there — I'll contrive your happiness —
Ha, ha, ha, to reach Peru in an hour, my happy Mariner!
My North Star!
Did not I tell you, Tom, I understood the World— Ha, ha, ha, but thou think'st she's a Wife?
Ay, and so Charming, that each Dart she shoots is big with double Death, and Kills at once with Love and Jealousy—She's a Blessing too great for any one Mortal.
Ha, ha, that's pretty plain, Tom.
A pretty Blush still rises in her Cheeks, her looks are Modest, and her Speech is Comely, a touch of her wou'd move you more than all the soft imbraces Venus us'd to warm the God of War!
You make my Blood boil with the Description, and throw me ten Years back to Youth—but how did'st attack her, I warrant she was mighty careful of her Honour?
No, she had too much Sence, for in these matters, those extraordi∣nary Fears •look more like a Gilt than Piety, and there's none so free of their Honour, as those that are very tender of it.
Nay, I am apt to think, that the Women that talk of their Ho∣nour, like the Men that talk of their Courage, are the People that least value it—But prethee, Tom, how was it then.
Why, I fix'd my self near the Box.
Where I met an honest Fellow of our Regiment.
I observ'd she listen'd to our talk, and form'd my discourse accord∣ingly.
She took occasion to go out before the Play was done.
Ha! you Rogue!
And sent a Chair-man to me.
Hark 'ye, Tom, did not I tell you I understand the World —
You did, Sir Solomon.
You'll be rul'd by me another time?
Looky, Tom, I am acquainted with these things, and if I please, cou'd tell you those that have been kept by Countesses — but let that pass— I always lov'd intrieguing — now what wou'd I give to know who the poor Dearee at home is. Ha! ha! ha! did she tell you that?
No, but I shall know all to day.
I wou'd fain find him out to share with you the pleasure of laugh∣ing at him; ha! ha! who can it be, perhaps some Old—
Miser— that wou'd keep his Wife as he does his Money, as much from other Peoples use as his own.
But you ask his Pardon there — I told you how 'twould be! Now, Tom, don't you, like some Generals, half flush'd with Victory, loose the Day by being too sure of it: There is Conduct to be used in Love as well as War, and you should pursue as well as Conquer— It was Pompey's Character, to be able to get a Battle, but not to keep it; but be you a Caesar in Love, and trust not your Enemy out of your sight; the next thing you do, is to get acquainted with her Husband.
That's the Old way; but methinks it is drawing the Danger too near his Eyes.
Ay, so near, that he'll near be able to see it.
Yet it is better done by a Friend— for first, if I keep him Com∣pany abroad, I but make Opportunities that I can't use.
Then you should drink him down at home.
And so while I am qualifying him for a Cuckold, put it out of my Power to make him one.
Talk what you will, Tom, ones bosom Friend is the properest Person to make one a Cuckold: then I'd fain have you acquainted with him, if it be only to see if there is any truth in that Old saying, that they are al∣ways fond — My dear Rogue! of them that make 'em—He'll have an ex∣tream Affection for thee.
I suppose, according to the degree of mine, for his Wife; for Na∣ture, is very grateful, before it is corrupted with Knowledge.
Ha! ha! Well, certainly the Life of a Cuckold is a very happy one, as long as he does not know it— for all that do him the favour, are still ready to wait on him, and to humour him; and he, without knowing why, is mightily in love with them— Well, Tom, you do nothing with∣out you bring this about— besides, I wou'd not be so unfashionably wicked, as not to make a Friend where I made a Cuckold.
Sir, Sir Captain.
Ha, my Voluntier.
Careless here, why thou art as generous as his Dog, and follow'st him in all Fortunes—But one wou'd a thought, tho' he was broke, you might a' been a Cadee, and rose in a standing Regiment.
What now there's a Peace, Sir Solomom?
Ay, ay, a common thing, but I see you have business — your Servant.
Sir Solomon, I Kiss your hands—What's the matter?
Don't stay a Minute, Sir; your Fortunes made.
Prithee, unriddle first.
Nay, you'll slip the Opportunity.
No matter, I'll hear it.
Why then, Sir, I have been Walking in the Mall— (as I usually do, till Dinner time is over) where I over-hear'd a Young Lady commend you at an unreasonable—
Extraordinary rate I mean, Captain, I took her at first to be one of those Military Ladies, that us'd to fight their way through Gowns and Pet∣ticoats, under your Commission; but meeting your Friend, Capt. Blunt, he told me 'twas a Lady of 500 l. a Year.
500 l. a Year, Come! Come lets go—
Nay, won't you hear it?
S'death, you unseasonable Dog, come along.
Puh! go fetch the Book, then good Cousin!
Love, what a strange betwitching ill art thou! That those who feel thy Torments, wish no cure—I am Sick, and all I Hear, or See, or Dream of, is my Soldier—Yet I'm to be near him soon—But if I am, he perhaps mayn't Love, or at least mayn't know that I do—Or while in tedious Civil∣lities, he Racks my heart—it will be Death to me—Happy ignorant Man! Have you found it?
Prithee Sing it, while we walk, for 'tis the only Song I can listen to.
Here, they went this way.
Hold, we'll wait for 'em in this Double—500 l. a Year you say.
Ay, besides a great deal of ready Money.
I did not see her Face, but 'tis the Tallest? Pray don't let me fail in Love with the wrong▪ Woman.
Never apprehend it — A Man of your Necessities, methinks might know a Fortune by instinct—But hark ye, the Maid I hope is to be my Prize!
No, no, Sir, I won't have my Family Corrupted.
Nay, Sir, I have kept a Plaguy Long-Lent, and it won't be much in danger yet a while.
Well, Iack, I have a Carnival for thee in my Pocket, and if I succeed in this Adventure, you shall never know another Lent.
That indeed is Musick, and I'm recover'd with the Sound—'Zbud! We won't value the Fortune with that about us—But here they come.
Ha! I have seen that Face.
Here again! Well if he has but Courage to advance, I have at pre∣sent so little Hypocrisie about me, I shou'd surrender upon any Terms—Ha! he comes, my Resolution totters, and I find the Woman return upon me very Powerfully—I'm affraid I shall deny him.
If I were sure the other was not a Servant! I cou'd like him mightily—
Madam, in these Familiar Walks, this Liberty's so common, that had I no business—
You have taken away the Life of an Innocent Gentleman, who can find no quiet in his Grave, but sends me, Madam, who am all that can ap∣pear of him, his restless Ghost!—
A Ghost! Ha! ha! ha! Pray how long have you been dead?
Ever since last Night at the Play—I did but see you, and was lost.
Ah, Poor Man! Ghost I mean, but I am idle.
Nay, there you over did it, die in earnest—What part did you Act?
A Lovers, Madam.
No wonder you're a weary of your Coffin — But I warrant you wou'd make me some discovery—Well, where is your hidden Treasure?
Madam, you must follow me to find it—
O! No I dare not trust my self with a Ghost.
Nay, Madam, tho' the Captain is, as a Man may say, a Ghost; yet your Humble Servant, I assure you is Flesh and Blood, and the Worms have not had a Meal of me yet.
I am sorry for it.
And cou'd you be so Barbarous to wish, This Face▪ This Shape! These Limbs! To be thrown under ground.
Ay! For they're fit for nothing above—
Well, that I mayn't be troubled more with People of the other World—Say, I wish'd to lay you, what shou'd I do?
Oh! Madam, you do it while you wish it, behold the Magick force of one kind Word, I'm all restor'd! The Life you give runs thrilling to my Heart, and I'm no more a shade.
What have I done! Nay, be a Ghost again or we part.
Ah! Madam, don't repent your Bounty, that from a shadow rais'd a glowing Lover—
You're affraid I warrant to be talkt of, for Loving at first sight—Come it will be but a Nine-days Wonder—I shall see—
All Puppies do in that time.
I find we shall have rare witty Children!
'Twill Cross the Proverb else, if you are the Father.
'Tis likely to be a Match by her Natural aversion to me—Look ye, Madam, you may disguise your Inclinations if you please; indeed, if you had fallen in Love with an Aesop, or a Creon, you might have had scruples to own it, But—
Well, certainly thou art the vilest Ragamuffin, that ever trotted af∣ter a Soldier; Thou not only wearest thy Masters old Clothes, but the worst of Scraps; his ends of Sentences, and cast wit too.
And thou art certainly the most ignorant, Abigal, that ever snear'd behind a Lady, parts and Learning are lost upon thee, and thou understand'st nothing but a Bribe.
I see then I'm in no danger of being talk'd to in my own Language.
I find we may as soon meet an Ugly Woman without Affecta∣tion, as a Pretty one without Cruelty, let some Passion prevail, be Merciful and hate me.
Nay, I'll rather glory in my indifference, and as a farther Proof of it, I walk here every Evening, and you shall see that you are not considera∣ble enough to make me forbear one Day. Adieu!
May you be as Happy as you are Cruel!—
Or as she is Kind.
What's the matter.
All the matter is, that no Woman will be pleas'd with plain dealing, you have got a Mistress by being a Ghost, and I have lost one, by being Flesh and Blood, well, I see he that wou'd get a Woman must—