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Her presence banish'd all his peace.
Need we expose to vulgar sight
The honeymoon like lightning flew,
b Our alter'd parson now began
To be a perfect ladies' man;
But still the worst remain'd behind,
face had robb'd her mind.
Skill'd in no other arts was she, But dressing, patching, repartee; And, just as humour rose or fell, By turns a slattern or a belle. 'Tis true she dress'd with modern grace, Half-naked at a ball or race; But when at home, at board or bed, Five greasy nightcaps wrapp'd her head. Could so much beauty condescend To be a dull, domestic friend? Could any curtain-lectures bring To decency so fine a thing? In short, by night 'twas fits or fretting; By day 'twas gadding or coquetting. Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy a Of powder'd coxcombs at her levee; The 'squire and captain took their stations, And twenty other near relations; Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke A sigh in suffocating smoke; While all their hours were pass'd' between Insulting repartee or spleen.
d Now tawdry madam kept a bevy.
And found substantial bliss in vexing.
Thus as her faults each day were known, He thinks her features coarser grown; He fancies every vice she shows Or thins her lip, or points her nose Whenever rage or envy se, How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes ! He knows not how, but so it is, Her face is grown a knowing phiz ; And, though her fops are wondrous civil, He thinks her ugly as the devil.
Now, to perplex the ravell'd noose,
The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
8 Each day the more her faults were knowne
In vain she tries her paste' and creams, To smooth her skin, or hide its seams; Her country beaux and city cousins, Lovers no more, flew off by dozens ; The 'squire himself was seen to yield, And e'en the captain quit the field.
Poor madam now condemn'd to hack The rest of life with anxious Jack, Perceiving others fairly flown, Attempted pleasing him alone. Jack soon was dazzled to behold Her present face surpass the old: With modesty her cheeks are dyed, Humility displaces pride; For tawdry finery is seen A person ever neatly clean; No more presuming on her sway, She learns good-nature every day; Serenely gay, and strict in duty, Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.
A NEW SIMILE.1
IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT.
* LONG had I sought in vain to find
Imprimis, pray observe his hat, Wings upon either side, — mark that. Well! what is it from thence we gather? Why, these denote a brain of feather.
1 Printed among the Essays (the xxvii.)
a I long had rack'd my brains to find.