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March oe'r the ruin'd plain with motion slow,
WRITTEN IN A LADY'S IVORY TABLE
Scrawld o'er with trifles thus, and quite
- Trú tel deth; There, in her own, “For an el breth :"
" Here, “Lovely nymph, pronounce my doom !" There, “A safe way to use perfume:" Here, a page fill'd with billet doux ; On t'other side, “Laid out for shoes”. “ Madam I die without your grace"“ Item, for half a yard of lace.” Who that had wit would place it here, For every peeping fop to jeer? To think that your brains' issue is
it may be justly said,
MRS. FRANCES HARRIS'S PETITION. 1700. To their excellencies the Lords Justices of Ire
The humble petition of Frances Harris,
Lady Betty's † chamber, because I was cold; And I had in a purse seven pounds, four shillings,
and six-pence, besides farthings, in money
and gold; So because I had been buying things for my lady
last night, I was resolved to tell my money, to see if it was
‘right. Now, you must know, because my trunk has a
7 very bad lock, Therefore all the money I have, which, God
knows, is a very small stock, I keep in my pocket, tied about my middle, next
So when I went to put up my purse, as God would
have it, my smock was unripp'd, And instead of putting it into my pocket, down it
slipp'd; Then the bell rung, and I went down to put my
lady to bed ; And, God knows, I thought' my money was as
maidenhead. So, when I came up again, I found my pocket
feel very light; But when I search'd, and miss'd my purse, Lord !
I thought I should have sunk outright. * The earls of Berkely and of Galway. H. † Lady Betty Berkely, afterwards Germain. H.
safe as my
“ Lord ! madam,” says Mary, “how d’ye do?"
“ Indeed,” says I, “never worse : But pray, Mary, can you tell what I have done
with my purse?" “ Lord help me!” says Mary, “I never stirrid
out of this place !” Nay,” said I, “I had it in lady Betty's cham
ber, that's a plain case. So Mary got me to bed, and cover'd me up warm: However, she stole away my garters, that I might
do myself no harm. So I tumbled and toss'd all night, as you may very
well think, But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a
wink. So I was a dream’d, methought, that we went and
search'd the folks round, And in a corner of Mrs. Dukes's* box, tied in a
rag, the money was found. So next morning we told Whittlet, and he fell a
my dame Wadgarfcame; and she, you know,
is thick of hearing. “ Dame," said I, as loud as I could bawl, “do you
” know what a loss I have had?” “ Nay,” said she, “my lord Colway's © folks are
all very sad : For
my lord Dromedary||comes a Tuesday without fail.”
* Wife to one of the footmen. H. + Earl of Berkeley's valet. H.
The old deaf housekeeper. H. Galway. H.
|| The Earl of Drogheda, who with the primate was to succeed the two earls. H, VOL. XVI.
“ Pugh!” said I, “but that's not the business
" that I ail.” Says Cary,* says he, “I have been a servant this
five and twenty years, come spring, And in all the places I liv’d I never heard of such
a thing.” " Yes,” says the steward, † " I remember when I
I was at my lady Shrewsbury's, Such a thing as this happen'd, just about the time
of gooseberries." So I went to the party suspected, and I found her
full of grief: (Now, you must know, of all things in the world,
I hate a thief:) However, I was resolv'd to bring the discourse
slily about : “ Mrs. Dukes,” said I, “here's an ugly accident
has happen'd out : 'Tis not that I value the money three skips of a
louse; But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the
house. 'Tistrue, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence,
makes a great hole in my wages : Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in
Now, Mrs. Dukes, you know, and every body un
derstands, That though 'tis hard to judge, yet money can't
go without hands.”
* Clerk of the kitchen. H. † Ferris; of whom, see Journal to Stella, Dec. 21, 1710. N. A usual saying of hers. H.