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ROXANA, OR THE DRAWING ROOM,

AN ECLOGUE.1

Roxana from the court returning late,
Sigh'd her soft sorrow at St. James's gate:
Such heavy thoughts lay brooding in her breast;
Not her own chairmen with more weight opprest:
They curse the cruel weight they're doom'd to bear;
She in more gentle sounds express'd her care.

Was it for this, that I these roses wear?
For this, new-set the jewels for my

hair? Ah Princess ! with what zeal have I pursu'd ? Almost forgot the duty of a prude. This king I never could attend too soon ; I miss'd my prayers, to get me dress’d by noon. For thee, ah! what for thee did I resign? My passions, pleasures, all that e'er was mine : I've sacrific'd both modesty and ease; Left operas, and went to filthy plays : Double entendres shock'd

my

tender ear; Yet even this, for thee, I choose to bear :

guineas ; till Southerne, then a young man, having applied to him for one, Dryden refused to furnish it under six guineas. Southerne was the first dramatist who had the benefit of a third night.

· This and the following piece are two of six Town Eclogues: the four others were written by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Probably the two here given were also from her pen, and only corrected by Pope.

In glowing youth, when nature bids be gay,
And every joy of life before me lay;
By honour prompted, and by pride restrain'd,
The pleasures of the young my soul disdain'd:
Sermons I sought, and with a mien severe
Censur'd my neighbours, and said daily prayer.
Alas, how chang'd! with this same sermon-mien,
The filthy What-d'ye-call-it?—I have seen.
Ah, royal Princess ! for whose sake I lost
The reputation, which so dear had cost ;
I, who avoided every public place,
When bloom and beauty bid me show my face,
Now near thee, constant, I each night abide,
With never-failing duty by my side;
Myself and daughters standing in a row,
To all the foreigners a goodly show.
Oft had your drawing-room been sadly thin,
And merchants' wives close by your side had been,
Had I not amply fill’d the empty place,
And sav'd your Highness from the dire disgrace:
Yet Cockatilla's artifice prevails,
When all my duty and my

merit fails :
That Cockatilla, whose deluding airs
Corrupts our virgins, and our youth insnares ;
So sunk her character, and lost her fame,
Scarce visited, before your Highness came;
Yet for the bedchamber 'tis she

you

choose, Whilst zeal, and fame, and virtue you refuse. Ah, worthy choice; not one of all your train

A comedy by Gay.

Which censures blast not, or dishonours stain.
I know the court, with all its treacherous wiles,
The false caresses, and undoing smiles.
Ah Princess ! learn'd in all the courtly arts,
To cheat our hopes, and yet to gain our hearts.

THE BASSET TABLE,

AN ECLOGUE.

CARDELIA, SMILINDA, LOVET. CARD. The Basset table spread, the tallier come, Why stays Smilinda in the dressing-room? Rise, pensive nymph! the tallier waits for you.

SMIL. Ah, madam! since my Sharper is untrue, I joyless make my once ador'd Alpeu. I saw him stand behind Ombrelia's chair, And whisper with that soft deluding air, [fair. And those feign'd sighs which cheat the listening

CARD. Is this the cause of your romantic strains? A mightier grief my heavy heart sustains : As you by love, so I by fortune crost; One, one bad deal, three septlevas have lost!

Smil. Is that the grief which you compare with With ease the smiles of fortune I resign: (mine? Would all my gold in one bad deal were gone, Were lovely Sharper mine, and mine alone.

CARD. A lover lost is but a common care, And prudent nymphs against that change prepare:

The knave of clubs thrice lost; oh! who could guess
This fatal stroke, this unforeseen distress ?

Smil. See Betty Lovet! very d-propos,
She all the cares of love and play does know:
Dear Betty shall th' important point decide;
Betty! who oft the pain of each has tried;
Impartial, she shall say who suffers most,
By cards’ ill usage, or by lovers lost.

Lov. Tell, tell your griefs, attentive will I stay, Though time is precious, and I want some tea. CARD. Behold this equipage, by Mathers

wrought, With fifty guineas (a great pen'worth) bought. See on the toothpick Mars and Cupid strive, And both the struggling figures seem alive. Upon the bottom shines the queen's bright face ; A myrtle foliage round the thimble case. Jove, Jove himself does on the scissors shine : The metal and the workmanship divine. SMIL. This snuff box-once the pledge of

Sharper's love, When rival beauties for the present strove; At Corticelli's he the raffle won; Then first his passion was in public shown : Hazardia blush'd, and turn'd her head aside, A rival's envy (all in vain) to hide. This snuffbox-on the hinge see brilliants shine; This snuff box will I stake, the prize is mine.

CARD. Alas! far lesser losses than I bear Have made a soldier sigh, a lover swear.

And oh! what makes the disappointment hard,
'Twas my own lord that drew the fatal card.
In complaisance I took the queen he gave,
Though my own secret wish was for the knave:
The knave won sonica, which I had chose,
And the next pull my septleva I lose.
Smil. But ah! what aggravates the killing

smart,
The cruel thought that stabs me to the heart;
This curs'd Ombrelia, this undoing fair,
By whose vile arts this heavy grief I bear;
She, at whose name I shed these spiteful tears,
She owes to me the very charms she wears.
An awkward thing when first she came to town,
Her shape unfashion'd, and her face unknown:
She was my friend; I taught her first to spread
Upon her sallow cheeks enlivening red ;
I introduc'd her to the park and plays,
And by my interest Cozens made her stays.
Ungrateful wretch! with mimic airs grown pert,
She dares to steal my favourite lover's heart.

CARD. Wretch that I was, how often have I swore, When Winnall tallied, I would punt no more ! I know the bite, yet to my ruin run, And see the folly which I cannot shun. Smil. How many maids have Sharper's vows

deceiv'd ? How many curs’d the moment they believ'd ? Yet his known falsehoods could no warning prove Ah! what is warning to a maid in love?

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