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THE

TEA-T A BL E.

A TOWN ECLOGUE.

DORIS and MEL ANTHE.

SAIN
AINT James's noon-day bell for prayers had

toll'd,
And coaches to the Patron's Levée rollid,
When Doris rose. And now through all the room
From flow'ry Tea exhales a fragrant fume.
Cup after cup they fipt, and talk'd by fits,
For Doris here, and there Melanthe fits.
Doris was young, a laughter-loving dame,
Nice of her own alike and others fame;
Melanthe's tongue could well a tale advance,
And sooner

gave than sunk a circumstance: Lock'd in her mem'ry secrets never dy'd ; Doris begun, Melanthe thus reply'd.

DORIS.
Sylvia the vain fantastic fop admires,
The Rake's loose gallantry her bofom fires;

Sylvia

Sylvia like that is vain, like this she roves,
In liking them fhe but herself approves.

MELANTHE.
Laura rails on at men, the sex reviles,
Their vice condemns, or at their folly smiles.
Why should her tongue in just resentment fail,
Since men at her with equal freedom rail ?

DORIS.
Last Masquerade was Sylvia nymphlike seen,
Her hand a crook sustain'd, her dress was green ;
An am'rous shepherd led her through the croud,
The nymph was innocent, the shepherd vow'd;
But nymphs their innocence with shepherds trust;
So both withdrew, as nymph and shepherd must.

MEL ANTHE.
Name but the license of the modern stage,
Laura takes fire, and kindles into rage ;
The whining Tragic love she fcarce can bear,
But nauseous Comedy ne'er shock'd her ear;
Yet in the gall’ry mobb’d, she fits fecure,
And laughs at jests that turn the Box demure.

DORIS.
Truft not, ye Ladies, to your beauty's pow'r,
For beauty withers like a shrivell’d flow'r;
Yet those fair flow’rs that Sylvia's temples bind,
Fade not with sudden blights or winter's wind;
Like those her face defies the rolling years,
For art her roses and her charms repairs.

MELANTHE.
Laura despises ev'ry outward grace,
The wanton sparkling eye, the blooming face ;
The beauties of the foul are all her pride,
For other beauties Nature has deny'd ;

If

If affectation show a beauteous mind,
Lives there a man to Laura's merits blind?

DORIS.
Sylvia be sure defies the town's reproach,
Whose Deshabille is foild in hackney coach;
What though the falh was clos’d, muft we conclude,
That she was yielding, when her fop was rude ?

MELANTHE.
Laura learnt caution at too dear a cost.
What Fair could e'er retrieve her honour lost?
Secret she loves; and who the nymph can blame,
Who durft not own a footman's vulgar Alame ?

DORIS,
Though Laura's homely tafte descends fo low;
Her footman well may vie with Sylvia's beau.

MELANTHE.
Yet why should Laura think it a disgrace,
When proud Miranda's groom wears Flanders lace ?

DORIS.
What, though for musick Cynthio boasts an ear?
Robin perhaps can hum an Opera air,
Cynthio can bow, takes fnuff, and dances well,
Robin talks common fense, can write and spell :
Sylvia's vain fancy drefs and show admires,
But 'tis the man alone whom Laura fires.

MEL ANTHE.
Plato's wise morals Laura's foul improve :
And this no doubt muft be Platonic love!
Her soul to gen'rous acts was still inclin'd;
What shows more virtue than an humble mind?

DORIS.
What, though young Sylvia loves the Park's cool shade,
And wanders in the dusk the secret glade?

Masqu’d

1

E S.
Masqu’d and alone (by chance) she met her Spark,
That innocence is weak which shuns the dark.

MELANTHE.
But Laure for her flame has no pretence;
Her footman is a footman too in sense.
All Prudes I hate, and those are rightly curst

1. With scandal's double load, who censure firft.

DORIS.
And what if Cynthio Sylvia's garter ty’d!
Who such a foot and such a leg would hide ;
When crook-knee'd Phillis can expose to view
Her gold-clock'd stocking, and her tawdry shoe?

MEL ANTHE.
If pure Devotion center in the face,
If cens'ring others thew, intrinfick grace,
If guilt to publick freedoms be confin'd,
Prudes (all must own) are of the holy kind !

DORIS.
Sylvia disdains reserve, and Aies constraint:
She neither is, nor would be thought a Saint.

MELANTHE.
Love is a trivial paffion, Laura cries,
May I be bleft with friendship's stricter ties;
To such a breast all secrets we commend ;
Sure the whole Drawing-room is Laura's friend.

DORIS.
At marriage Sylvia rails; who men would trutt :!,
Yet husbands' jealousies are sometimes juft.
Her favours Sylvia shares among mankind,
Such gen'rous love should never be confin’d.

As thus alternate chat employ'd their tongue, With thund'ring raps the brazen knocker rung.

Laura

Laura and Sylvia came; the nymphs arise :

This unexpected visit, Doris cries,
• Is doubly kind! Melantbe Laura led,

Since I was last fo bleft, my dear, she said,
Sure 'ris an age! they sate ; the hour was set ;
And all again that night at Ombre met.

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