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A Letter to CORINNA from a CAPTAIN
in Country Quarters.
Y earliest flame, to whom I owe
MY.carließ Aame, to whom I owe
All that a captain needs to know;
Dress, and quadrille, and air, and chat,
Lewd Songs, loud laughter, and all tħať ;
Arts that have widows oft fubdued,
And never fail'd to win a prude;
Think, charmer, how I live forlorn!
At quarters, from Corinna torn.
Nor more diftress the cornet feels
From gruel, and Ward's popish pills.
What shall I do now you're away,
To kill that only foe, the day?
The landed 'squire, and dull freeholder,
Are sure no comrades for å foldier';.
To drink with parsons all day long,
Misaubin tells me wou'd be wrong:
Sober advice, and Curl's Dutch whore
I've read, 'till I can read no more.
At noon I rise, and strait alarm
A sempîtress' shop, or country farm;
Repuls'd, my next pursuit is à'ter
The parson's wife, or landlord's daughter :
At market oft for
I search, Oft at assemblies, oft at church, 3
And plight my faith and gold to-boot 3
Yet demme if a foul will do't
In short our credit's funk fo low,
Since troops were kept o'foot for shew,
She that for foldiers once run mad,
Is turn'd republican, egad !
And when I boast my feats, the shrew
Aks who was slain the last review.
Know then, that I and captain Trueman
Resolve to keep a miss-in common:
Not her, among the batter'd lafles,
Such as our friend Toupét caresses,
But her, a nymph of polith'd sense,
Which pedants call impertinence :
Train’d up to laugh, and drink, and swear,
And railly with the prettiest air ----
Amidst our frolicks and caroufes
How shall we pity wretched fpoufes !
But where can this dear foul be found,
In garret high, or under ground ?
If so divine a fair there be,
Charming Corinna, thou art fhe.
But oh! what motives can perfuade
Belles, to prefer a rural fhade,
In this gay month, when pleafures bloom,
The park, the play--the drawing room-
Lo ! birthnights upon birthnights tread,
Term is begun, the lawyer fee'd;
My friend the merchant, let me tell ye, '!
Calls in his way to Farinelli;
Some unfledg'd booby 'squire may catch,
Who, charm'd with his delicious.quarry,
May first debauch me, and then marry;
Never was feafon more befitting
-ns last were fitting.
And shall I leave dear Charing-cross,
And let two boys my charms ingross?
Leave play-house, temple, and the rummer?
A country friend might serve in funmer!
The town's your choice-yet, charming fair,
Observe what ills attend you there.
Captains, that once admir'd your beauty,
Are kept by quality on duty;
Cits, for attoning alms disburse
A tefter-templars, something worse :
My lord may take you to his bed,
But then he sends
back unpaid ;
And all you gain from generous cully,
Must go to keep some Irish bully.
Pinchbeck demands the tweezer case,
And Monmouth-street the gown and stays ;)
More mischiefs yet come crowding on,
Bridewell, West Indies--and Sir John-
Then oh! to lewdness bid adieu,
And chastly live, confin'd to two.
[PF Virtue prompt thy willing mind
To actions gen'rous, good and kind ;
Fortune beyond thy hopes shall bless
Thy toils, and crown them with success:
But he whose hounties only rise
From prospects of a future prize,
With sorrow shall compute his gains,
And reap repentance for his pains.
Precepts are often found to fail,
So take instruction from
In ancient days there liv'd a priest,
Inshrin'd within whose pious breast
Fair Virtue shone; his open look
Gave fanction to each word he spoke,
Fix'd to no home, in mean array,
From place to place he took his way,
Instructing as he went along,
And dealing blessings to the throng.
The truth he labour'd to express,
In language plain as was his dress ;
Yet ail with secret rapture hung
On every accent of his tongue ;
A filent eloquence there ran
Through all the actions of the man;
They mark'd his soul's unblemish'd frame,
and his life the same.
It chanc'd, as musing once he stray'd,
Around him night's descending shade
Unheeded stole; through paths unknown
With darkling steps he wander'd on,
And with’d to shroud his weary head
Beneath some hospitable fhed.
When through the gloom a sudden ray
Sprung forth, and shot across the way.
Led by the light, a cott he found :
A pious dame the manfion own'd,
Whofe open heart, tho’ small her store,
Ne'er turn’d the stranger from her door,
Think at the sight of such a guest,
What transport rofe within her breast :
With joy the friendly board the spread,
And plac'd him in her warmeft bed.
Deep sunk in sleep the trav'ler lay,
Tir'd with the labours of the day.
'Tis best, as ablest critics deem,
To suit your language to your theme;
Obsequious to their rules, the Muse
In humbler ftrain her tale pursues.
The matron, while her thankful guest
Had shar'd with her the slender feast,