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-On Mrs. Biddy Floyd

OR, THE RECEIPT TO FORM A BEAUTY

1707


When Cupid did his grandsire Jove entreat
To form some Beauty by a new receipt, Jove sent, and found, far in a
country scene,
Truth, innocence, good nature, look serene:
From which ingredients first the dext'rous boy
Pick'd the demure, the awkward, and the coy.
The Graces from the court did next provide
Breeding, and wit, and air, and decent pride:
These Venus cleans'd from ev'ry spurious grain
Of nice coquet, affected, pert, and vain.
Jove mix'd up all, and the best clay employ'd;
Then call'd the happy composition Floyd.



The Reverse

(TO SWIFT'S VERSES ON BIDDY FLOYD); OR,

MRS. CLUDD


Venus one day, as story goes, But for what reason no man knows, In sullen mood and grave deport, Trudged it away to Jove's high court; And there his Godship did entreat To look out for his best receipt:

And make a monster strange and odd, Abhorr'd by man and every god. Jove, ever kind to all the fair, Nor e'er refused a lady's prayer, Straight oped 'scrutoire, and forth he took A neatly bound and well-gilt book; Sure sign that nothing enter'd there, But what was very choice and rare. Scarce had he turn'd a page or two,--

It might be more, for aught I knew; But, be the matter more or less, 'Mong friends 'twill break no squares, I guess. Then, smiling, to the dame quoth he, Here's one will fit you to a T. But, as the writing doth prescribe, 'Tis fit the ingredients we provide.

Away he went, and search'd the stews, And every street about the Mews; Diseases, impudence, and lies, Are found and brought him in a trice. From Hackney then he did provide, A clumsy air and awkward pride; From lady's toilet next he brought Noise, scandal, and malicious thought.

These Jove put in an old close-stool, And with them mix'd the vain, the fool. But now came on his greatest care, Of what he should his paste prepare; For common clay or finer mould Was much too good, such stuff to hold. At last he wisely thought on mud; So raised it up, and call'd it--Cludd. With this, the lady well content, Low curtsey'd, and away she went.


Jonathan Swift

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