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Behold her now an ogling vain Coquette, Catching male gudgeons in her silver net. All things revers'd—the neck cropt close and bare, Scarce feels the incumbrance of a single hair; Whilst the thick forehead tresses, frizzled full, Rival the tufted locks that grace the bull.
Then comes that sober character-a Wife,
At last the Dowager, in ancient flounces, With snuff and spectacles, this age denounces. And thus she moralizes :
(speaks like an old woman.) “ How bold and forward each young flirt appears ; Courtship in my time lasted seven long years ; Now seven little months suffice of course, For courting, marrying, scolding, and divorce. What with their truss'd-up shapes and pantaloons, Dress occupies the whole of honey-moons. They say we have no souls—but what more odd is, Nor men, nor women, now have any bodies. When I was young, my heart was always tender, And would to ev'ry spouse I had surrender; Their wishes to refuse I never durst, And my fourth died as happy as my first."
Truth to such splenetic and rash designs, And let us mingle candour with our lines. In all the stages of domestic life, As child, as sister, parent, friend, and wife; Woman, the source of every fond employ, Softens affliction, and enlivens joy. What is your boast, male rulers of the land ? How cold and cheerless all you can command ; Vain your ambition-vain your wealth and power, Unless kind woman share your raptur'd hour; Unless, 'midst all the glare of pageant art, She adds her smile, and triumphs in your heart.
THE SPEECH OF NICHOLAUS, The old Syracusan, against putting the Athenian Generals
to Death. You here behold an unfortunate father, who has felt more than any other Syracusan the fatal effects of this war, by the death of the two sons, who formed all his consolation, and were the only support of his old age. I cannot, indeed, forbear admiring their courage and felicity, in sacrificing to their country's welfare a life of which they would one day have been deprived by the common course of nature ; but then I cannot but be strongly affected with the cruel wound which their death has made in my heart, nor forbear hating and detesting the Athenians, the authors of this unhappy war, as murderers of my children. I cannot, however, conceal one circumstance, which is, that I am less sensible of my private affliction than of the honour of my country; and I see it exposed to eternal infamy by the barbarous advice which is now given you. The Athenians, indeed, merit the worst treatment, and every kind of punishment that can be inflicted on them, for so unjustly declaring war against us ; but have not the gods, the just avengers of crimes, punished them, and avenged us sufficiently?. When their generals laid down their arms and surrendered, did they not do this in hopes of having their lives spared? And if we put them to death, will it be possible for us to avoid the just reproach of our having violated the laws of nations, and dishonoured our victory by an unheard-of cruelty ? How! will you suffer your glory to be thus sullied in the face of the whole world, and have it said, that a nation, who first dedicated a temple in their city to Clemency, had not found any in yours ? Surely victories and triumphs do not give immortal glory to a city ; but the exercising of mercy towards a vanquished enemy, the using of moderation in the greatest prosperity, and fearing to offend the gods by a haughty and insolent pride. You doubtless have not forgot that this Nicias, whose fate you are going to pronounce, was the very man who pleaded your cause in the assembly of the Athenians, and employed all his credit, and the whole power of his eloquence, to dissuade his country from embarking in this war ; should you therefore pronounce sentence of death on this worthy general, would it be a just reward for the zeal he showed for your interest ? With regard to myself, death would be less grievous to me than the sight of so horrid an injustice committed by my countrymen and fellow citizens.
THE BACHELOR'S REASONS FOR TAKING A WIFE.
GRAVE authors say, and witty poets sing,
All other goods by Fortune's hand are given-
Our grandsire Adam, e'er of Eve possess'd,
A wife! ah, gentle deities, can he
DIALOGUE FROM "THE RIVALS."
[Enter Captain Absolute.] Capt. 'Tis just as Fag told me, indeed.—Whimsical enough, 'faith! My father wants to force me to marry the very girl I am plotting to run away with! He must not know of my connexion with her yet awhile. He has too summary a method of proceeding in these matters ; however I'll read my recantation instantly. My conversion is something sudden, indeed ; but I can assure him it is very sincere- So, so, here he comes-he looks plaguy gruff.
[Steps aside. [Enter Sir Anthony Absolute.] Sir A. No, I'll die sooner than forgive him. Die, did I say? I'll live these fifty years to plague him. At our last meeting, his impudence had almost put me out of temper. An obstinate, passionate, self-willed boy! Who can he take after? This is my return for getting him before all his brothers and sisters! for putting him, at twelve years old, into a marching regiment, and allowing him fifty pounds a year, besides his pay, ever since. But I have done with him-he's any body's son for me-I never will see him more—never, never, never, never.
Capt. Now for a penitential face.
Capt. A sincere penitent. I am come, sir, to acknowledge my error, and to submit entirely to your will.
Sir A. What's that ?
Capt.- I have been revolving, and reflecting, and considering on your past goodness, and kindness, and condescension to me.
Sir A. Well, sir ?
Capt. I have been likewise weighing, and balancing, what you were pleased to mention, concerning duty, and obedience, and authority. Sir X. Well, puppy?
Capt. Why then, sir, the result of my reflections is, a resolution to sacrifice every inclination of my own to your satisfaction.
Sir A. Why, now you talk sense, absolute sense ; I never heard any thing more sensible in my life. Confound you, you shall be Jack again.
Capt. I am happy in the appellation.
Sir A. Why then Jack, my dear Jack, I will now inform you who the lady really is. Nothing but your passion and violence, you silly fellow, prevented me telling you at first. Prepare, Jack, for wonder and rapture-prepare. What think you of Miss Lydia Languish?
Capt. Languish! What, the Languishes of Worcestershire ?
Sir 4. Worcestershire, no. Did you never meet Mrs. Malaprop, and her niece, Miss Languish, who came into our country just before you were last ordered to your regiment.
Capt. Malaprop, ! Languish ! I don't remember ever to have heard of the names before. Yet, stay, I think I do rocollect something, Languish-Languish-She squints, dont she ?–a little red haired girl.
Sir A. Squints !-A red-haired girl. Zounds, no !
Sir A. Jack, Jack, what think you of blooming love-breathing seventeen ?
Capt. As to that, sir, I am quite indifferent ; if I can please you in the matter, 'tis all I desire.
Sir A. Nay, but Jack, such eyes, such eyes, so innocently wild ! so bashfully irresolute! Not a glance but speaks and kindles some thoughts of love! Then, Jack, her cheeks, her cheeks, Jack ; so deeply-blushing at the insinuations of her tell-tale eyes. Then Jack, her lips, 0, Jack, lips, smiling at their own discretion; and, if not smiling, more sweetly pouting, more lovely in sullenness! Then, Jack, her neck. 0, Jack, Jack.
Capt. And which is to be mine, sir, the niece, or the aunt ? Sir A. Why, you unfeeling, insensible puppy, I despise you. When I was of your age, such a description would have made me fly like a rocket. The aunt, indeed ; Odds life, when I ran