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-A Conference




My pretty dear Cuz, tho' I've roved the town o'er,
To dispatch in an hour some visits a score;
Though, since first on the wheels, I've been every day
At the 'Change, at a raffling, at church, or a play;
And the fops of the town are pleased with the notion
Of calling your slave the perpetual motion;--
Though oft at your door I have whined [out] my love
As my Knight does grin his at your Lady above;
Yet, ne'er before this, though I used all my care,
I e'er was so happy to meet my dear Chair;
And since we're so near, like birds of a feather,
Let's e'en, as they say, set our horses together.


By your awkward address, you're that thing which should carry,
With one footman behind, our lover Sir Harry.
By your language, I judge, you think me a wench;
He that makes love to me, must make it in French.
Thou that's drawn by two beasts, and carry'st a brute,
Canst thou vainly e'er hope, I'll answer thy suit?
Though sometimes you pretend to appear with your six,
No regard to their colour, their sexes you mix:
Then on the grand-paw you'd look very great,
With your new-fashion'd glasses, and nasty old seat.
Thus a beau I have seen strut with a cock'd hat,
And newly rigg'd out, with a dirty cravat.
You may think that you make a figure most shining,
But it's plain that you have an old cloak for a lining.
Are those double-gilt nails? Where's the lustre of Kerry,
To set off the Knight, and to finish the Jerry?
If you hope I'll be kind, you must tell me what's due
In George's-lane for you, ere I'll buckle to.


Why, how now, Doll Diamond, you're very alert;
Is it your French breeding has made you so pert?
Because I was civil, here's a stir with a pox:
Who is it that values your ---- or your fox?
Sure 'tis to her honour, he ever should bed
His bloody red hand to her bloody red head.
You're proud of your gilding; but I tell you each nail
Is only just tinged with a rub at her tail;
And although it may pass for gold on a ninny,
Sure we know a Bath shilling soon from a guinea.
Nay, her foretop's a cheat; each morn she does black it,
Yet, ere it be night, it's the same with her placket.
I'll ne'er be run down any more with your cant;
Your velvet was wore before in a mant,
On the back of her mother; but now 'tis much duller,--
The fire she carries hath changed its colour.
Those creatures that draw me you never would mind,
If you'd but look on your own Pharaoh's lean kine;
They're taken for spectres, they're so meagre and spare,
Drawn damnably low by your sorrel mare.
We know how your lady was on you befriended;
You're not to be paid for 'till the lawsuit is ended:
But her bond it is good, he need not to doubt;
She is two or three years above being out.
Could my Knight be advised, he should ne'er spend his vigour
On one he can't hope of e'er making bigger.

[Footnote 1: Mrs. Dorothy Stopford, afterwards Countess of Meath, of whom Swift says, in his Journal
to Stella, Feb. 23, 1711-12, "Countess Doll of Meath is such an owl, that, wherever I visit, people
are asking me, whether I know such an Irish lady, and her figure and her foppery." See, post,
the Poem entitled, "Dicky and Dolly." --W. E. B.]

Jonathan Swift

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