What vain, unnecessary things are men!
How well we do without 'em! Tell me, then,
Whence come that mean submissiveness we find
This ill-bred age has wrought on womankind?
Fall’n from the rights their sex and beauties gave
To make men wish, despair, and humbly crave,
Now ‘twill suffice if they vouchsafe to have.
T’ th’ Pall Mall, playhouse, and the drawing room,
Their women-fairs, these women-coursers come
To cahffer, choose, and ride their bargains home.
At the appearance of an unknown face,
Up steps the arrogant, pretending ass,
Pulling by th’ elbow his companion Huff,
Cries, ‘Look! de God, that wench is well enough:
Fair and well-shaped, good lips and teeth, ‘twill do;
She shall be tawdry for a month or two
At my expense, be rude and take upon her,
Show her contempt of quality and honor,
And, with the general fate of errant woman,
Be very proud awhile, then very common’.
Ere bear this scorn, I’d be shut up at home,
Content with humoring myself alone;
Force back the humble love of former days
In pensive madrigals and ends of plays,
When, if my lady frowned, th’ unhappy knight
Was fain to fast and lie alone that night.
But whilst th’ insulting wife the breeches wore,
The husband took her clothes to g[i]ve his ----,
Who now maintains it with a gentler art:
Thus tyrannies to commonwealth convert.
Then, after all, you find, whate’er we say,
Things must go on in their lewd natural way.
Besides, the beastly men, we daily see,
Can please themselves alone as well as we.
Therefore, kind ladies of the town, to you
For our stol’n ravished men we hereb[y] sue.
By this time you have found out, we suppos[e],
That they’re as arrant tinsel as their cloth[es]:
Poor broken properties, that cannot serve
To treat such persons so as they deserv[e].
Mistake us not, we do not here pretend
That, like the young sparks, you can condescend
To love a beastly playhouse creature. Foh!
We dare not think so meanly of you. No,
‘Tis not the player pleases, but the part:
She may like Rollo who despises Hart.
To theaters, as temples, you are brought,
Where Love is worshipped, and his precepts taught.
You must go home and practice, for ‘tis here
Just as in other preaching places, where
Great eloquence is shown ‘gainst sin a[n]d papists
By men who live idolaters and atheist[s].
These two were dainty trades indeed, could each
Live up to half the miracles they teach;
Both are a…