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Till at the last their latest groan
Proclaims their idleness is done.
Good sense, like fruits, is rais'd by toil;
But follies sprout in ev'ry soil,
Nor culture, pains, nor planting need,
As moss and mushrooms have no seed.

Thus HARRIET, rising on the stage,
Learns all the arts, that please the age,
And studies well, as fits her station,
The trade and politics of fashion :
A judge of modes in silks and satins,
From tassels down to clogs and pattens;
A genius, that can calculate
When modes of dress are out of date, 220
Cast the nativity with ease
Of gowns, and sacks and negligees,
And tell, exact to half a minute,
What's out of fashion and what's in it;
And scanning all with curious eye,
Minutest faults in dresses spy;
(So in nice points of sight, a flea
Sees atoms better far than we;)
A patriot too, she greatly labours,
To spread her arts among her neigh-

Holds correspondences to learn
What facts the female world concern,
To gain authentic state-reports
Of varied modes in distant courts,
The present state and swift decays
Of tuckers, handkerchiefs and stays,
The colour'd silk that beauty wraps,
And all the rise and fall of caps.
Then shines, a pattern to the fair,
Of mien, address and modish air,
Of every new, affected grace,
That plays the eye, or decks the face
The artful smile, that beauty warms,
And all th' hypocrisy of charms.

On sunday, see the haughty maid
In all the glare of dress array'd,
Deck'd in her most fantastic gown,
Because a stranger's come to town.
Heedless at church she spends the day,
For homelier folks may serve to pray, 250
And for devotion those may go,
Who can have nothing else to do.
Beauties at church must spend their care

in Far other work, than pious hearing; They've beaux to conquer, bells to rival; To make them serious were uncivil. For, like the preacher, they each Sunday Must do their whole week's work in one

day. As though they meant to take by blows Th' opposing galleries of beaux. 1

1 Young people of different sexes used then to sit in the opposite galleries.

To church the female squadron move,
All arm'd with weapons used in love.
Like colour'd ensigns gay and fair,
High caps rise floating in the air ;
Bright silk its varied radiance flings,
And streamers wave in kissing-strings;
Each bears th' artill’ry of her charms,
Like training bands at viewing arms.

So once, in fear of Indian beating, Our grandsires bore their guns to meet

ing, Each man equipp'd on Sunday morn, With psalm-book, shot and powder-horn; And look'd in form, as all must grant, Like th' ancient, true church militant; Or fierce, like modern deep divines, Who fight with quills, like porcupines.

Or let us turn the style and see Our belles assembled o'er their tea; Where folly sweetens ev'ry theme, And scandal serves for sugar'd cream. 280

“And did you hear the news? (they cry)
The court wear caps full three feet high,
Built gay with wire, and at the end on't,
Red tassels streaming like a pendant.
Well sure, it must be vastly pretty ;
'Tis all the fashion in the city.
And were you at the ball last night?
Well, Chloe look'd like any fright;
Her day is over for a toast;
She'd now do best to act a ghost.
You saw our Fanny; envy must own
She figures, since she came from Boston.
Good company improves one's air-
I think the troops were station'd there.
Poor Cælia ventured to the place;
The small-pox quite has spoil'd her face,
A sad affair, we all confest:
But providence knows what is best.
Poor Dolly too, that writ the letter
Of love to Dick; but Dick knew better ; 300
A secret that; you'll not disclose it;
There's not a person living knows it.
Sylvia shone out, no peacock finer;
I wonder what the fops see in her.
Perhaps 'tis true what Harry maintains,
She mends on intimate acquaintance."

Hail British lands! to whom belongs
Unbounded privilege of tongues,
Blest gift of freedom, prized as rare
By all, but dearest to the fair;
From grandmother of loud renown,
Thro’ long succession handed down,
Thence with affection kind and hearty,
Bequeath'd unlessen'd to poster'ty!
And all ye powers of slander, hail,
Who teach to censure and to rail!
By you, kind aids to prying eyes,
Minutest faults the fair one spies,









And specks in rival toasts can mind,
Which no one else could ever find;
By shrewdest hints and doubtful guesses,
Tears reputations all in pieces;
Points out what smiles to sin advance,
Finds assignations in a glance;
And shews how rival toasts (you'll think)
Break all commandments with a wink.

So priests1 drive poets to the lurch
By fulminations of the church,
Mark in our title-page our crimes,
Find heresies in double rhymes,
Charge tropes with damnable opinion,
And prove a metaphor, Arminian,
Peep for our doctrines, as at windows,
And pick out creeds of inuendoes.

And now the conversation sporting From scandal turns to trying fortune. Their future luck the fair foresee In dreams, in cards, but most in tea. Each finds of love some future trophy In settlings left of tea, or coffee; 340 There fate displays its book, she believes, And lovers swim in form of tea-leaves; Where oblong stalks she takes for beaux, And squares of leaves for billet-doux; Gay balls in parboil'd fragments rise, And specks for kisses greet her eyes.

So Roman augurs wont to pry In victim's hearts for prophecy, Sought from the future world advices, By lights and lungs of sacrifices, 350 And read with eyes more sharp than wiz

ards' The book of fate in pigeon's gizzards; Could tell what chief would be survivor, From aspects of an ox's liver, And cast what luck would fall in fights, By trine and quartile of its lights.

Yet that we fairly may proceed, We own that ladies sometimes read, And grieve, that reading is confin'd To books that poison all the mind; 360 Novels and plays, (where shines display'd A world that nature never made.) Which swell their hopes with airy fancies, And amorous follies of romances; Inspire with dreams the witless maiden On flowery vales and fields Arcadian, And constant hearts no chance can sever, And mortal loves, that last for ever. For while she reads romance, the fair

one 1 On the appearance of the first part of this poem, some of the clergy, who supposed themselves the objects of the satire, raised a clamor against the author, as the calumniator of the sacred order, and undertook, from certain pas. sages in it, to prove that he was an infidel, or what they viewed as equally heretical, an Ar. minian. (Author's note, 1820 Edition.)

Fails not to think herself the heroine; 370
For every glance, or smile, or grace,
She finds resemblance in her face,
Expects the world to fall before her,
And every fop she meets adore her.
Thus Harriet reads, and reading really
Believes herself a young Pamela,
The high-wrought whim, the tender strain
Elate her mind and turn her brain:
Before her glass, with smiling grace,
She views the wonders of her face;
There stands in admiration moveless,
And hopes a Grandison, or Lovelace.2
Then shines she forth, and round her

The powder'd swarm of bowing lovers;
By flames of love attracted thither,
Fops, scholars, dunces, cits, together.
No lamp exposed in nightly skies,
E'er gather'd such a swarm of flies;
Or flame in tube electric draws
Such thronging multitudes of straws.
(For I shall still take similes
From fire electric when I please.3)

With vast confusion swells the sound, When all the coxcombs flutter round. What undulation wide of bows! What gentle oaths and am'rous vows ! What double entendres all so smart! What sighs hot-piping from the heart! What jealous leers! what angry brawls To gain the lady's hand at balls! What billet-doux, brimful of flame! Acrostics lined with HARRIET's name! What compliments, o'er-strain'd with tell

ing Sad lies of Venus and of Helen! What wits half-crack'd with common

places On angels, goddesses and graces! On fires of love what witty puns! What similes of stars and suns! What cringing, dancing, ogling, sighing, What languishing for love, and dying ! 410

For lovers of all things that breathe Are most exposed to sudden death, And many a swain much famed in rhymes Hath died some hundred thousand times : Yet though love oft their breath may

stifle, 'Tis sung it hurts them but a trifle; The swain revives by equal wonder, As snakes will join when cut asunder,

2 Richardson's novels were then in high request. Young misses were enraptured with the love-scenes, and beaux admired the character of Lovelace.

3 Certain small critics had triumphed on discovering that the writer had several times drawn his similes from the phænomena of electricity, (Author's notes, 1820 Edition.)





And often murder'd still survives;
No cat hath half so many lives.
While round the fair, the coxcombs

With oaths, cards, billet-doux, and song,
She spread her charms and wish'd to gain
The heart of every simple swain;
To all with gay, alluring air,
She hid in smiles the fatal snare,
For sure that snare must fatal prove,
Where falsehood wears the form of love;
Full oft with pleasing transport hung,
On accents of each flattering tongue, 430
And found a pleasure most sincere
From each erect, attentive ear;
For pride was her's, that oft with ease
Despised the man she wish'd to please.
She loved the chace, but scorn'd the prey,
And fish'd for hearts to throw away;
Joy'd at the tale of piercing darts,
And tort'ring flames and pining hearts,
And pleased perused the billet-doux,
That said, “I die for love of you ;"
Found conquest in each gallant's sighs
And blest the murders of her eyes.

So doctors live but by the dead, And pray for plagues, as daily bread; Thank providence for colds and fevers, And hold consumptions special favors; And think diseases kindly made, As blest materials of their trade.

'Twould weary all the pow'rs of verse Their amorous speeches to rehearse, Their compliments, whose vain parade Turns Venus to a kitchen-maid; With high pretence of love and honor, They vent their folly all upon her, (Ev'n as the scripture precept saith, More shall be given to him that hath ;) Tell her how wond'rous fair they deem

her, How handsome all the world esteem her; And while they flatter and adore, She contradicts to call for more. 460

“And did they say I was so handsome? My looks—I'm sure no one can fancy 'em. 'Tis true we're all as we were framed, And none have right to be ashamed; But as for beauty-all can tell I never fancied I look'd well; I were a fright, had I a grain less You're only joking, Mr. Brainless."

Yet beauty still maintain'd her sway, And bade the proudest hearts obey; Ev'n sense her glances could beguile, And vanquish'd wisdom with a smile; While merit bow'd and found no arms, To oppose the conquests of her charms, Caught all those bashful fears, that place

The mask of folly on the face,
That awe, that robs our airs of ease,
And blunders, when it hopes to please;
For men of sense will always prove
The most forlorn of fools in love. 480
The fair esteem'd, admired, 'tis true,
And praised—'tis all coquettes can do.
And when deserving lovers came,
Believed her smiles and own'd their flame,
Her bosom thrill'd, with joy affected
T' increase the list, she had rejected;
While pleased to see her arts prevail,
To each she told the self-same tale.
She wish'd in truth they ne'er had seen her,
And feign'd what grief it oft had giv'n

her, And sad, of tender-hearted make, Grieved they were ruined for her sake. 'Twas true, she own'd on recollection, She'd shown them proofs of kind affec

tion: But they mistook her whole intent, For friendship was the thing she meant. She wonder'd how their hearts could

move 'em So strangely as to think she'd love 'em; She thought her purity above The low and sensual flames of love; 500 And yet they made such sad ado, She wish'd she could have loved them too. She pitied them, and as a friend She prized them more than all mankind, And begg'd them not their hearts to vex, Or hang themselves, or break their necks, Told them 'twould make her life uneasy, If they should run forlorn, or crazy; Objects of love she could not deem 'em; But did most marv’lously esteem 'em. 510

For 'tis esteem, coquettes dispense Tow'rd learning, genius, worth and sense, Sincere affection, truth refined, And all the merit of the mind.

But love's the passion they experience For gold, and dress, and gay appearance.

For ah! what magic charms and graces Are found in golden suits of laces ! What going forth of hearts and souls Tow'rd glare of gilded button-holes! 520 What lady's heart can stand its ground 'Gainst hats with glittering edging bound? While vests and shoes and hose conspire, And gloves and ruffles fan the fire, And broadcloths, cut by tailor's arts, Spread fatal nets for female hearts.

And oh, what charms more potent shine, Drawn from the dark Peruvian mine! What spells and talismans of Venus Are found in dollars, crowns and

guineas !


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In purse of gold, a single stiver
Beats all the darts in Cupid's quiver,
What heart so constant, but must veer,
When drawn by thousand pounds a year!
How many fair ones ev'ry day
To houses fine have fall'n a prey,
Been forced on stores of goods to fix,
Or carried off in coach and six!
For Cælia, merit found no dart;
Five thousand sterling broke her heart, 540
So witches, hunters say, confound 'em,
For silver bullets only wound 'em.

But now the time was come, our fair
Should all the plagues of passion share,
And after ev'ry heart she'd won,
By sad disaster lose her own.
So true the ancient proverb sayeth,
‘Edge-tools are dang'rous things to play

with;' The fisher, ev'ry gudgeon hooking, May chance himself to catch a ducking; The child that plays with fire, in pain Will burn its fingers now and then; And from the dutchess to the laundress, Coquettes are seldom salamanders.

For lo! Dick Hairbrain heaves in sight, From foreign climes returning bright; He danced, he sung to admiration, He swore to gen'ral acceptation, In airs and dress so great his merit, He shone-no lady's eyes could bear it. 560 Poor Harriet saw; her heart was stouter; She gather'd all her smiles about her; Hoped by her eyes to gain the laurels, And charm him down, as snakes do squir

rels. So prized his love and wish'd to win it, That all her hopes were center'd in it; And took such pains his heart to move, Herself fell desp'rately in love; Though great her skill in am'rous tricks, She could not hope to equal Dick's; Her fate she ventured on his trial, And lost her birthright of denial.

And here her brightest hopes miscarry;
For Dick was too gallant to marry.
He own'd she'd charms for those who

need 'em,
But he, be sure, was all for freedom;
So, left in hopeless flames to burn,
Gay Dick esteem'd her in her turn.
In love, a lady once given over
Is never fated to recover,

Doom'd to indulge her troubled fancies,
And feed her passion by romances;
And always amorous, always changing,
From coxcomb still to coxcomb ranging,
Finds in her heart a void, which still
Succeeding beaux can never fill:

As shadows vary o'er a glass,
Each holds in turn the vacant place;
She doats upon her earliest pain,
And following thousands loves in vain. 590

Poor Harriet now hath had her day;
No more the beaux confess her sway;
New beauties push her from the stage;
She trembles at th' approach of age,
And starts to view the alter'd face,
That wrinkles at her in her glass :
So Satan, in the monk's tradition,
Fear'd, when he met his apparition.
At length her name each coxcomb can-

cels From standing lists of toasts and angels; And slighted where she shone before, A grace and goddess now no more, Despised by all, and doom'd to meet Her lovers at her rival's feet, She flies assemblies, shuns the ball, And cries out, vanity, on all; Affects to scorn the tinsel-shows Of glittering belles and gaudy beaux ; Nor longer hopes to hide by dress The tracks of age upon her face.

610 Now careless grown of airs polite, Her noonday nightcap meets the sight; Her hair uncomb'd collects together, With ornaments of many a feather; Her stays for easiness thrown by, Her rumpled handkerchief awry, A careless figure half undress'd, (The reader's wits may guess the rest;) All points of dress and neatness carried, As though she'd been a twelvemonth

married; She spends her breath, as years prevail, At this sad wicked world to rail, To slander all her sex impromptu, And wonder what the times will come to. Tom Brainless, at the close o.

last year, Had been six years a rev'rend Pastor, And now resolved, to smooth his life, To seek the blessing of a wife. His brethren saw his amorous temper, And recommended fair Miss Simper, 630 Who fond, they heard, of sacred truth, Had left her levities of youth, Grown fit for ministerial union, And grave, as Christian's wife in Bun

yan. On this he rigg'd him in his best, And got his old grey wig new dress'd, Fix'd on his suit of sable stuffs, And brush'd the powder from the cuffs, With black silk stockings, yet in being, The same he took his first degree in; 640 Procured a horse of breed from Europe, And learn'd to mount him by the stirrup,




And set forth fierce to court the maid;
His white-hair'd Deacon went for aid;
And on the right, in solemn mode,
The Reverend Mr. Brainless rode.
Thus grave, the courtly pair advance,
Like knight and squire in famed romance.
The priest then bow'd in sober gesture,
And all in scripture terms address'd her ;
He'd found, for reasons amply known, 651
It was not good to be alone,
And thought his duty led to trying
The great command of multiplying;
So with submission, by her leave,
He'd come to look him out an Eve,
And hoped, in pilgrimage of life,
To find an helpmate in a wife,
I wife discreet and fair withal,
To make amends for Adam's fall.

660 In short, the bargain finish'd soon, A reverend Doctor made them one.

And now the joyful people rouze all To celebrate their priest's espousal; And first, by kind agreement set, In case their priest a wife could get, The parish vote him five pounds clear, T' increase his salary every year. Then swift the tag-rag gentry come To welcome Madam Brainless home; 670 Wish their good Parson joy; with pride In order round salute the bride; At home, at visits and at meetings, To Madam all allow precedence; Greet her at church with rey'rence due, And next the pulpit fix her pew.

July, 1773. LINES


And opening prospects charm the wan

d'ring eyes, While the gay dawn, propitious on your

way, Crimsons the east and lights the orient

day. Yet vain the hope, that waits the prom

ised bays, Though conscious merit claim the debt of

praise; Still sneering Folly wars with every art, Still ambush'd Envy aims the secret dart, Through hosts of foes the course of

glory lies, Toil wins the field and hazard gains the

prize. For dangers wait, and fears of un

known name, The long, the dreary pilgrimage of fame; Each bard invades, each judging dunce

reviews, And every critic wars with every Muse. As horror gloom'd along the dark’ning

path, When famed Ulysses2 trod the vales of

death; Terrific voices rose, and all around Dire forms sprang flaming from the rock

ing ground; Fierce Cerberus lour'd, and yawning o'er Hell flash'd the terrors of infernal day; The scornful fiends'opposed his bold

career, And sung in shrieks the prelude of his

fear. Thus at each trembling step, the Poet

hears Dread groans and hisses murmur in his

ears; In every breeze a shaft malignant flies, Cerberean forms in every rival rise; 30 There yawning wide before his path ex

tends Th' infernal gulph, where Critics are the

fiends; From gloomy Styx pale conflagrations

gleam, And dread oblivion rolls in Lethe's

And see, where yon proud Isle 3 her

shores extends
2 Homer's Odyssey, Book II.

3 Great Britain.-See the British Reviewers, for the fulfilment of this prediction.

The English scribblers began their abuse, by asserting that all the Americans were cowards. Subsequent events have taught them a reverent silence on that topic. They now labour, with equal wit and eloquence, to prove our univer.

his way,


MESSRS. DWIGHT AND BARLOW On the projected publication of their

Poems in London 1

December, 1775 Pleased with the vision of a deathless

name, You seek perhaps a flowery road to fame; Where distant far from ocean's stormy

roar, Wind the pure vales and smiles the tran

quil shore, Where hills sublime in vernal sweetness

rise, 1 Dwight's Conquest of Canaan, and Barlow's Vision of Columbus, afterwards enlarged and entitled, The Columbiad. This designed publication was prevented by the Revolutionary war. (This and the other notes to the poem supplied by the author in the edition of 1820.)


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