A Patch-Work Screen for the Ladies, by Jane Barker

A Patch-Work SCREEN FOR THE LADIES. LEAF III.

The History of Lysander.

There was a certain Widow-Gentlewoman, who had but one only Son, who should have been the Staff of her Age. This Son she had educated to the Law, and placed him in handsome Chambers in the Temple. But the young Gentleman, instead of studying the Laws of his Country, practis'd the Mode of the Times, and kept the Wife of an unhappy Citizen, made so partly by her Vanity and Coquettry, 'till he was forced to seek his Fortune in the Plantations, whilst she found hers in the wicked Embraces of this young Gentleman; who hired a very handsome House for her, furnished it genteely, and when he pleas'd, there pass'd his Time, making her his Study, Practice and Diversion. In this guilty Correspondence, they had Children; in particular one, who grew a great Girl, and was put to a Boarding-School, amongst young Gentlewomen of Vertuous Descent.

Now this kind of Life was very grievous to his good Mother, and as it caus'd her to shed many Tears, so it obliged her, from Time to Time, to use many Reprehensions suitable to her maternal Affection; sometimes sharp, sometimes soft, sometimes persuasive, sometimes menacing: But all in vain; for he still went on in the same Road, supporting this Adultress in all her Extravagancies, humouring her in all her Whimsies and Caprices, 'till the Diminution of his Circumstance, began to call on him for a Retrenchment of his Expences. His Lands were mortgaged, his Houses decay'd, his Debts increased, his Credit diminished, Duns attack'd him in every Quarter, Writs and Bayliffs follow'd him, Vexations of all Sorts met and overtook him: Nevertheless, her Riot, Vanity, and chargeable Diversions must not be abated; so great an Ascendant she had got over him, that (according to the Proverb) He scarce durst say his Soul was his own.

One time, being under an Arrest for some Debt contracted by means of her Extravagancy; he sent to her to come and lay down the Money, which he knew she could do with Ease, she having Cash by her, or at least he knew she could raise it speedily, out of those rich Presents he had made her from Time to Time; but she boggled, and made many frivolous Excuses, which would not hold Water: At last she plainly refused, unless he would grant her a Judgment of all that he had, Real and Personal, Body and Goods, alledging (no doubt) That it was the safest Way to secure to himself a Livelihood, and balk his Creditors. He depending on the Belief of her Affection, and the manifold Obligations she lay under, comply'd with this Proposal, thinking it a proper Blind or Sham, to secure himself, and defraud others.

This being done, the gay Serpent began to shew her Sting, and treated him with less Respect and Complaisance. Those Caresses and Endearments, which hitherto had shone in her Looks and Actions, began to be overcast with cold Clouds and a careless Behaviour; and, by Degrees, to a disdainful Neglect; scarce containing herself sometimes within the Bounds of common Civility. This Treatment awaken'd him out of his Lethargick Slumber, opened his Eyes, and made him see all at once the many false Steps he had taken in his Life's Travels: In particular, The Griefs he had given his Mother; the Disgrace to his Education and Profession; and, in short, the total Ruin of his Family, which was like to be extinct in him; and himself become a miserable Dependant on the Charity of an insolent Strumpet. Alas! what Charity, what Kindness can be expected from such a Creature? For when a Man's Fortune fails, that he can no longer bribe her Pride or Luxury, there is no more Kindness to be hop'd for, than a poor Client, when Fees fail, can hope from an avaritious Lawyer. And now he begins to consider how he shall repair or stave off his utter Ruin; which he concluded was no way to be done, but by closing with his dear Mother's Advice, in betaking himself to some vertuous Woman in Marriage. Being thus resolved, he took the first Opportunity to communicate his Thoughts to his Mother, making a Merit of this Necessity, by a pretended Obedience to her often-repeated Counsel; assuring her, that he would submit his Inclinations to her wise Election.

The good Gentlewoman was transported at this hopeful Change in her Son, and casting about in her Thoughts, at last pitch'd upon this your Servant Galesia; a Person not worthy such Esteem, only favour'd by the Opinion she had of my Vertue and Innocence. When she propos'd it to her Son, he seem'd as much pleas'd with his Mother's Choice, as she was at his seeming Reformation; and ingaged her to agree upon a Day to come along with her to make me a Visit.

The Day appointed, he dined with his Mother, in order to wait on her to our Lodging in the Afternoon: But e'er they had well din'd, a Messenger came to him from a Tavern over-the-way, bringing word, that there were Gentlemen had Business of Consequence, and desired to speak with him: Which Gentlemen were only this Adultress, who having got Intelligence of this design'd Visit, came to disappoint it with her alluring Cajoleries; making him send Word to his Mother, that he would wait on her another Day; pretending, that the Gentlemens Business ingag'd his Attendance at that Time. Behold in this Transaction what Power these Creatures have over Men! Notwithstanding those Reasons he had to abhor and detest this his false Dalilah, was he again deluded by her; so that one may truly say with the wise Man, Whosoever is fetter'd by a lewd Woman, is led like a Beast to the Slaughter, never to return.

Thus Things pass'd quietly for a while: At last he found an Opportunity to come along with his Mother to make me a Visit or two; of which by the Treachery of his Man, and her Vigilance, she (I mean the Harlot) got Notice, and quarrell'd with him about it very sharply, and then again wheedled, courted and caress'd him, and sometimes with Smiles, sometimes with Tears, besought his Constancy, sometimes with Fits, and melancholy Vapours, ingag'd his Pity: Then again, with opprobrious and violent Words reproach'd his Falshood, reviling him for all his broken Vows; alledging, That her Ruine, Life and Health would all lie at his Door; That for his sake she had cast herself out of the Protection of her Friends, and forfeited their Favour and Kindness: That for his sake she had disgrac'd herself in the Face of the World, offended God, and greatly wrong'd her Husband; in all which, she had affronted Heaven and Earth, and flown in the Face of her Family, abus'd her Birth and vertuous Education, and wasted her Youth in the Embraces of a perjur'd Wretch, who now abandon'd her to Grief, Shame and Poverty; with many such grating Reflections, and violent Speeches, wherewith from time to time she persecuted him. Which sometimes he endeavoured to moderate by Arguments, sometimes alledging Religion, sometimes Reason, sometimes Necessity, and the Impossibility of doing otherwise: Now cajoling her with the Pretence of Sorrow and Regret, and buoying her up with Hopes that he found himself not able to leave her; and then again plunging her into Despair, by alledging his Duty to his Mother, and the Anxiety of a tormented Conscience. Thus they argued this Way and that, from side to side, like a Ship that goes to fetch a Wind, which never sails directly to the Point.

At last the Gentleman resolv'd to be thoroughly plain with her, and accordingly told her, without any Varnish of Words or Shadow of Disguise, that he was fully resolv'd to marry; but that he would not abandon her to Misery or Distress; but would settle such a Pension on her, as might support her in a decent, honest Way of Living; and that he would likewise take Care to provide for her Daughter, in giving her such a Portion as might marry her to some honest Tradesman in a good Station of Life; and with this he charged her to be content, without meddling with him in his married State, but live retir'd, vertuously and modestly, and it should be the better for her and her Daughter.

The Creature being thus provoked, fell into violent Words and Actions; told him, That he shew'd his Falshood and Baseness too late, he having put his Person and Fortune out of his own Power, and into hers; wherefore she would take care of herself, by securing both to her own Advantage. Being thus stung to the Quick, he left her House in great Vexation of Spirit: And in the midst of his Fury, went forthwith and shot himself.

This was the fatal End which his Lewdness and Folly brought upon him! This was the Conclusion of his guilty Embraces! Thus a filthy Strumpet shewed herself in her Colours! And thus was he bullied out of his Estate, Life, and Honour; his Life lost, his Debts unpaid, his Estate devour'd by a lewd Harlot! A very fatal Warning to all unwary Gentlemen.

I suppose, Madam, you cannot imagine, that his Death affected me much as a Lover, there being but little of that in the Story; but one must have been without Humanity, to be unconcern'd at such an Accident, and not have borne some part in his Mother's Affliction; especially since the good Gentlewoman had pitch'd upon me amongst all her Acquaintance, for so near an Alliance. I could not omit reflecting on Job and Tobit, as if the Almighty had permitted some Satan, or Asmodas to persecute me in the Persons of all that pretended to love or like me. Which way soever it was, I endeavour'd to be resign'd; this being the Duty of a Christian in all Conditions. However, it contributed to make me the more despise the World, with all its gaudy Trappings: or, perhaps, with the Fox, thought the Grapes sowre, because I could not reach them. The Truth is, I had found so many Disappointments, that I began to be displeas'd at my-self, for hoping or expecting any thing that tended to Happiness: I thought with Mrs. Phillips,

If with some Pleasure we our Griefs betray,

It costs us dearer than we can repay:

For Time or Fortune, all Things so devours,

   Our Hopes are cross'd,

   Or else the Object lost,

   E'er we can call it ours.

Which indeed was always so with me, not only in this, but in all other Enterprizes and Transactions of Life: I could hope nothing, propose nothing, but I was cross'd or disappointed therein, e'er I could arrive at Accomplishment. Therefore, Madam, you need not think it strange that I began to believe Providence had ordain'd for me a Single Life. Began, did I say? No, rather continued in that Sentiment ever since the Disappointment of Bosvil. And I think here are a few Lines something tending to that Subject:

A Virgin Life.

Since, O good Heavens! you have bestow'd on me

So great a Kindness for Virginity,

Suffer me not to fall into the Powers

Of Man's almost Omnipotent Amours.

But let me in this happy State remain,

And in chaste Verse my chaster Thoughts explain;

Fearless of Twenty-five, and all its Rage,

When Time with Beauty lasting Wars ingage.

When once that Clock has struck, all Hearts retire,

Like Elves from Day-break, or like Beasts from Fire,

'Tis Beauty's Passing-Bell; no more are slain;

But dying Lovers all revive again.

Then every Day some new Contempt we find,

As if the Scorn and Lumber of Mankind.

These frightful Prospects, oft our Sex betray;

Which to avoid, some fling themselves away;

Like harmless Kids, who when pursu'd by Men,

For Safety, run into a Lyon's Den.

Ah! happy State! how strange it is to see,

What mad Conceptions some have had of Thee!

As if thy Being was all Wretchedness,

Or foul Deformity, in vilest Dress:

Whereas thy Beauty's pure Celestial,

Thy Thoughts Divine, thy Words Angelical:

And such ought all thy Votaries to be,

Or else they're so but for Necessity.

A Virgin bears the Impress of all Good,

Under that Name, all Vertue's understood.

So equal all her Looks, her Mien, her Dress,

That nought but Modesty is in Excess;

The Business of her Life to this extends,

To serve her God, her Neighbour and her Friends.

Indeed, said the Lady, the Transactions of thy Life hitherto seem a perfect Chain of Disappointments. However, the Almighty has been gracious in giving thee a Mind submissive and resign'd; for which thou art bound to glorify his Goodness, and hope for more prosperous Days for the Time to come. As they were about to proceed in their Discourse, and look for more Patches to carry on their Work, the Lady's Butler came from his Master, saying, He was about to make a Bowl of Punch, and sent to the Stranger-Gentlewoman for her Receipt, which she was talking of the Night before; which Galesia readily rehears'd:

The CZAR's Receipt to make PUNCH.

Take Three Bottles from Spain, and one from France,
Two from the Rhine, and one from Nance:
No Water at all, but a little from Roses;
A red-nos'd Sea-Captain, to mingle the Doses;
Limons, Nutmeg, and Sugar, with a Toast to float on it;
And a Knot of good Fellows, that will not shrink from it.

With these Instructions, the Butler made his Exit, making a low Bow according to the old Fashion.

The Butler being gone, the Lady desired Galesia to return to her Discourse: To which she readily accorded, saying, After this unexpected Accident of the said unhappy Gentleman, my Mother began to think that Heaven had design'd me for a Single Life, and was a little more reconcil'd to my studious Way; saying, with the Proverb, It is in vain to strive against the Stream; or oppose Providence. Sometimes she regretted that ever she had promoted, or consented to that Proposal, the Business having prov'd so fatal both to the Gentleman and his good Mother, whose Griefs, said she, methinks I feel; which Reflection would sometimes draw Tears from her Eyes. And one Day, my Compassion uniting with hers, caus'd me to take out my Handkerchief, and with it fell the following Verses.

The Necessity of Fate.

I.

In vain, in vain it is, I find,

   To strive against our Fate;

   We may as well command the Wind,

The Sea's rude Waves, to gentle Manners bind,

Or to Eternity prescribe a Date;

As frustrate ought that Fortune has design'd:

For when we think we're Politicians grown,

   And live by Methods of our own,

   We then obsequiously obey

Fate's Dictates, and a blindfold Homage pay.

II.

Were it not so, I surely could not be

Still Slave to Rhime, and lazy Poetry:

   I, who so oft have strove

   My Freedom to regain;

And sometimes too, for my Assistance took

   Obedience, and sometimes a Book;

   Company, and sometimes Love:

   All which, still proves in vain;

For I can only shake, but not cast off my Chain.

III.

All this, my Fate, all this thou didst foreshow,

   Ev'n when I was a Child,

   When in my Picture's Hand,

   My Mother did command,

There should be drawn a Lawrel Bough.

Lo! then my Muse sat by, and smil'd,

To hear how some the Sentence did oppose,

   Saying an Apple, Bird, or Rose,

Were Objects which did more befit

My childish Years, and no less childish Wit.

IV.

For then my Muse well knew, that constant Fate

   Her Promise would compleat:

   For Fate at my Initiation

   Into the Muses Congregation,

As my Responsor promis'd then for me,

   I should forsake those Three,

Soaring Honours, vain Persuits of Pleasure,

   And vainer Fruits of worldly Treasure,

All for the Muses melancholy Tree,

E'er I knew ought of its great Mystery.

Since, O my Fate! thou needs wilt have it so,

Let thy kind Hand exalt it to my Brow.

To which my Mother reply'd, I think, Fate would be more kind to set a Basket, or a Milk-pail, on thy Head; thereby to suppress those foolish Vapours that thus intoxicate thy Brain: But if there be a fatal Necessity that it must be so, e'en go on, and make thyself easy with thy fantastick Companions the Muses: I remember, continued she, I have been told, that one of the ancient Poets says:

Thrust Nature off, with Fork, by Force,

She'll still return to her old Course:

And so I find it in the whole Course of thy Life. And, as thou sayest in this Poem, thou hast tryed divers means to chase away this unlucky Genius that attends thee; and, I am sensible, out of a true design'd Obedience to me: But since it will not do, I shall no more oppose thy Fancy, but comply and indulge so innocent a Diversion. As I was about to return her my Thanks, a Gentleman that had married our Kinswoman, came in.

As Galesia was about to proceed, the Lady rang for a Servant; and bad him go to her House-keeper, and tell her to get a Dish of the Welsh Flummery ready, which Galesia had taught her last Night, and set it in an Arbour; and when 'tis cool, said she, to call us. And now, continued the Lady, give me the Receipt, for it shall make a Patch in the Screen, as well as does that of the Punch. To which Galesia readily agreed.

The Receipt for Welsh Flummery, Made at the Castle of Montgomery.

Take Jelly of Harts-horn, with Eggs clarify'd,

Three good Pints at least; of Cream, one beside.

Fine Sugar and Limons, as much as is fit

To suit with your Palate, that you may like it.

Three Ounces of Almonds, with Orange Flow'r-Water,

Well beaten: Then mix 'em all up in a Platter

Of China or Silver; for that makes no matter.

The Lady was pleas'd with the Receipt, and bad Galesia return to her Story, of the Gentleman that had married her Kinswoman.

The Unaccountable Wife.

This Gentleman, said Galesia, had married a young Gentlewoman of Distinction, against the Consent of her Friends; which she accomplish'd by the Help of her Mother's Maid-Servant. To say the Truth, though her Birth was very considerable, yet her Person was not at all agreeable; and her Fortune but indifferent: her Parents, I suppose, thinking, that more than just enough to support her, would but betray her to an unhappy Marriage. In short, married she was to the foresaid young Man, whose Person was truly handsome; and with Part of her Fortune he plac'd himself in the Army, bestow'd another Part in furnishing her a House, and so liv'd very decently; and notwithstanding her indifferent Person, he had Children by her, though they did not live long. Thus they made a pretty handsome Shift in the World, 'till a vile Wretch, her Servant, overturn'd all; as follows. This Servant, whether she was a Creature of her Master's before she came to her Mistress, is not known; but she became very fruitful, and had every Year a Child; pretending that she was privately married to an Apprentice. Whether the Wife knew the whole of the Matter, or was impos'd upon, is uncertain; but which way soever it was, she was extremely kind to this Woman, to a Degree unheard of; became a perfect Slave to her, and, as if she was the Servant, instead of the Mistress, did all the Household-Work, made the Bed, clean'd the House, wash'd the Dishes; nay, farther than so, got up in the Morning, scour'd the Irons, made the Fire, &c. leaving this vile Strumpet in Bed with her Husband; for they lay all Three together every Night. All this her Friends knew, or at least suspected; but thought it Complaisance, not Choice in her; and that she consider'd her own Imperfections, and Deformity; and therefore, was willing to take no Notice of her Husband's Fancy in the Embraces of this Woman her Servant. But the Sequel opens quite another Scene: And now I come to that Part of the Story, where he came to my Mother. His Business was, to desire her to come to his Wife, and endeavour to persuade her to part with this Woman; For, said he, she has already Three Children living, and God knows how many more she may have: Which indeed, Madam, said he, is a Charge my little Substance is not able to sustain; and I have been using all Endeavours to persuade my Wife to part with her, but cannot prevail: Wherefore I beg you, as a Friend, Relation, and her Senior in Years, to come, and lay before her the Reasonableness of what I desire, and the Ridiculousness of her proceeding. Good Heaven! said my Mother, can you think thus to bore my Nose with a Cushion? Can you imagine me so stupid, as to believe your Wife can persist in such a Contradiction of Nature? It is impossible a Wife should oppose her Husband's Desire in parting with such a Woman. Madam, reply'd he, I beg you once more to be so good as to come to my Wife, and then condemn me if I have advanc'd a Falshood. Well, reply'd my Mother, I will come; though I doubt not but upon due Inspection, the whole, will prove a Farce compos'd amongst you, in which your Wife is to act her Part just as you between you think fit to teach her; which she, out of Fear, or some other Delusion, is to perform. But he averr'd again and again, that, without Fraud or Trick, the Thing was as he said. In short, my Mother went; and there she found the Servant sitting in a handsome Velvet Chair, dress'd up in very good lac'd Linnen, having clean Gloves on her Hands, and the Wife washing the Dishes. This Sight put my Mother into such a violent Passion, that she had much ado to refrain from laying Hands on her. However, she most vehemently chid the Mistress; telling her, That she offended God, disgrac'd her Family, scandaliz'd her Neighbours, and was a Shame to Woman-kind. All which she return'd with virulent Words; amongst other Things, she stood Buff in Favour of that Woman; saying, That she had been not only a faithful Servant, but the best of Friends, and those that desir'd to remove such a Friend from her, deserved not the Name of Friends, neither did she desire they should come into her House: All which she utter'd with such an Air of Vehemency, that there was no Room left to doubt of the Sincerity of her Words; but that all proceeded from an Interiour thoroughly degenerated. All which my Mother related to me with great Amazement: But withal, told me, that she would have me go to her on the Morrow; and with calm and friendly Words, endeavour to persuade her to Reason; for, said she, I was in a Passion at the disagreeable View; but you, who have naturally more Patience than my-self, pray put on the best Resolutions you can to keep your Temper, whatsoever Provocations shall occur. Thus instructed, thus resolved, I went next Day, hoping that a Night's Repose would calm the Storm my Mother's Anger might have rais'd. But when I came, I found it all the same: Though I took her apart, and with the utmost Mildness, persuaded her, and us'd the best Reasons I could think on to inforce those Persuasions, yet all was in vain; and she said, We all join'd with her Husband to make her miserable, by removing from her, the only Friend she had in the World; and passionately swore by Him that made her, that if we combin'd to send the Woman away, she would go with her. I would try that, reply'd I, were I in your Husband's Place: At which her Passion redoubled; and she, with violent Oaths, repeated her Resolution; desiring, that her Friends would meddle with their own Business, and let her alone, to remain in Quiet in her House, and not come to give her Disturbance. After these uncouth Compliments, I left her, carrying with me the greatest Amazement possible. After this, the Husband came to us, and ask'd, If we did not find true what he had told us? Indeed, replied I, true, and doubly true; such a Truth as I believe never was in the World before, nor never will be again. In this Case, said he, What would you counsel me to do? Truly, said my Mother, it is hard to advise; for to let the Woman live there still, is not proper; nor can your Circumstances undergo the Charge: And if your Wife should do as she says, and go with her; I should in some Degree be accessary to the parting Man and Wife. I would venture, said I, for when it comes to the Push, I warrant her she will not go. Hereupon the Man said he would try; and accordingly, hired a Place in a Waggon to carry the Creature into her own Country; hoping, as I suppose, that his Wife would have rested herself contented with him, when the Woman had been gone; but instead thereof, she acted as she said, and went along with her.

This Transaction was so extraordinary, that every-body was amazed at it; and when they had been gone some time, there arose a Murmuring, amongst Friends, Neighbours and Acquaintance, as if he had made his Wife away; and when he told them the Manner of her Departure, they would not believe him, the thing in itself being so incredible.

But we will leave him to make his Party good, as well as he can, amidst the Censure of his Neighbours, the Threats of her Friends, and the Ridicule of his Acquaintance; and follow the Travellers, into the Country whither they were gone.

They arrived safe at the Woman's Father's, where they found as kind a Reception as a poor Cottage could afford; and a very poor one it was, there being no Light but what came in at the Door, no Food but from the Hands of Charity, nor Fewel but what they pilfer'd from their Neighbours Hedges.

Now what this unaccountable Creature thought of this kind of Being, is unknown, or what Measures she and her Companion thought to take, or what Schemes they form'd to themselves, is not conceivable: But whatever they were, the discreet Neighbourhood put a Period to their Projects; for they got a Warrant to have them before a Justice, in order to prevent a Parish Charge; there being two Children there already, which they had sent some time before; and now two helpless Women being come, they knew not where the Charge might light, and therefore proceeded as aforesaid. It happen'd as the Constable was conducting them to the Justice, with a Mob at their Heels, that they pass'd by the House of a Lady of Quality, who looking out of her Window, saw in the midst of this Throng, this unfortunate Wife, whom she immediately knew to be the Daughter of her Friend; knew to be the Child of an honourable Family. It is impossible to describe what Amazement seiz'd her: She call'd out to the Constable and other Neighbours there, bidding them bring that Gentlewoman to her, which they immediately did. This good Lady, out of Respect to her old Friends, a worthy Family, bid them discharge her, telling them, That her-self would be bound that she should be no Parish Charge; so took her into her House, treated her kindly, and offer'd her all she could do on such an Occasion: For all which she return'd the Lady but cold Thanks, and begg'd her Ladyship's Assistance to convey her to London along with the other Woman, who, she said, was the truest Friend in the World. The Lady knowing nothing of her Story, with much Goodness provided for her Departure, together with her Companion. In this manner, loaden with Disgrace, they came back to London, to her Husband, from whom, no doubt, she found Reproaches suitable to her Folly.

Long it was not, e'er Death made a true and substantial Separation, by carrying the Husband into the other World. Now was the Time to make manifest, whether Promises, Flatteries or Threatnings had made her act the foresaid Scene: But it appear'd all voluntary; for when he was dead, her Friends and Relations invited and persuaded her to leave that Creature and her Children, and come to live with them, suitable to her Birth and Education. But all in vain; she absolutely adher'd to this Woman and her Children, to the last Degree of Folly; insomuch, that being reduc'd to Poverty, she begg'd in the Streets to support them. At last, some Friend of her Family told the Queen of the distressed way she was in; and in some Degree, how it came to pass, that neither her dead Husband nor her Relations might be blameable. The Queen, with much Goodness, told her Friend, That if she would leave that Woman, and go live with some Relation, she would take Care she should not want; and withal sent her Five Guineas, as an Earnest of a Monthly Pension; but notwithstanding, this infatuated Creature refus'd the Queen's Favour, rather than part with this Family: And so, for their Support, begg'd in the Streets, the Remainder of her Days.

Sure, said the Lady, This poor Creature was under some Spell or Inchantment, or she could never have persisted, in so strange a manner, to oppose her Husband, and all her nearest Friends, and even her Sovereign. As they were descanting on this Subject, a Servant came and told them, that all was ready in the Arbour; and that the Gentlemen having finish'd their Bowl of Punch, were attending their coming, to share with them in a Dish of Tea, and Welsh Flummery.

Accordingly, the Ladies went thither, where they were saluted with a most pleasant Consort of chirping Musicians, whose wild Notes, in different Strains, set forth the Glory of their great Creator, exciting the whole Company to certain Acts of Joy and Thanksgiving: Amongst which Quire, none seem'd so harmonious as the soft Strains of the delightful Philomel, whose various Notes ingag'd every one's Attention; insomuch that the Lady call'd to her Page, to sing that old Song, the Words of which held due Measure with the Tunes and different Changes of the Nightingale.

The SONG.

   It was on a Day,

   When the Nymphs had leave to play,

   As I walk'd unseen,

   In a Meadow green,

I heard a Maid in an angry Spleen,

   Complaining to her Swain,

   To leave his toiling Vein,

And come and sport with her upon the Plain.

   But the silly Clown

   Lay delving of the Ground,

   Regardless of her Moan,

      When she cry'd,

Come away, bonny Boy, come away.

"I cannot come, I will not come;

"I cannot leave my Work undone."

And that was all, this silly Clown could say.

II.

   Thus vexed in her Mind,

   To see him so unkind,

   To Venus she went,

   In a Discontent,

To get her Boy, with his Bow ready bent,

   To take a nimble Dart,

   And to strike him to the Heart,

For disobeying her Commandement.

   Cupid then

   Gave the Boy such a Bang,

   As made him to gang

   With the bonny Lass along.

      When she cry'd,

Come away, bonny Boy; come hither.

   "I come, I come, I come."

And so they gang'd along together.

The Company were all pleas'd with the Lad's Performance, in which he imitated the Nightingale to Admiration. Thus they diverted themselves, 'till Chariots came to carry them out to take the Evening Air.

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31