William Whitehead, “A Second Epilogue. Spoken by Mrs. Pritchard”

WILLIAM WHITEHEAD

 “A SECOND EPILOGUE. Spoken by Mrs. PRITCHARD”

 Stay, Ladies– Tho’ I’am almost tir’d to Death
With this long Part– and am so out of Breath-
Yet such a lucky Thought kind Heaven has sent,
That if I die for’t, I must give it Vent.
The Men you know are gone. And now, suppose,                                      5
Before our Lords and Masters are rechose,
We take th’ Advantage of an empty Town,
And chuse a House of Commons of our own.
What think ye, cannot we make Laws?– and then,
Cannot we too unmake them, like the Men?                                                   10
O place us once in good St. Stephen’s Pews,
We’ll shew them Women have their public Use.
Imprimis, they shall marry; not a Man
Past twenty-five, but what shall wear the Chain
Next, we’ll in earnest set about Reclaiming,                                                    15
For, by my Life and Soul, we’ll put down Gaming.
We’ll spoil their deep destructive Midnight Play;
The Laws we make, we’ll force them to obey;
Unless we let them, when their Spirits flag,
Piddle with us, ye know, at Quinze and Brag.                                                20
“I hope, my Dearest” says some well-bred Spouse,
“When such a Bill shall come before your House,
“That you’ll consider Men are Men- at least
“That you’ll not Speak, my Dear”– Not speak?– The Beast!
What, would you wound my Honour?– Wrongs like these-                           25
For this, Sir, I shall bring you on your Knees.
–Or, if we’re quite good-natur’d, tell the Man
We’ll do him all the Service that we can.
Then for ourselves, what Projects, what Designs?
We’ll tax, and double tax their nasty Wines;                                                   30
But Duty-free import our Blonds and Laces,
French Hoops, French Silks, French Cambricks, and- French Faces.
In short, my Scheme is not compleated quite,
But I may tell ye more another Night.
So come again, come all, and let us raise                                                       35
Such glorious Trophies to our Country’s Praise,
That all true Britons shall with one Consent,
Cry out, “Long live the Female Parliament!”
                                                THE END.

NOTES:

Title Mrs. Pritchard The actress Hannah Pritchard (1711-1768), who played the lead role in Creusa.

11  St. Stephen’s Pews The House of Commons sat in the pews of the royal Chapel of St. Stephen’s until 1834, when it was destroyed by fire.

12  Imprimis  First; “in the first place” (OED).

17  Midnight Play  Gambling.

20 Piddle “Depreciative. To work or act in an ineffectual or wasteful way; to mess about or around” (OED).

20  Quinze “A card game resembling pontoon” (OED).

20 Brag “A game at cards, essentially identical with the modern game of ‘poker'” (OED).

31 Blonds and Laces “A silk lace of two threads, twisted and formed in hexagonal meshes; orig. of the colour of raw silk, but now white or black. Now usually written blonde, as always in French” (OED).

32 French Hoops Hoop skirts, a rigid undergarment worn by women to hold their skirts or gowns in a fashionable shape away from the body.

32  French Silks  At this time, France produced some of the finest dress silks in Europe.

32  French Cambricks  “A kind of fine white linen” (OED); by the 1750s, the importation of French cambric cloth had become something of a political issue because of high tariffs.

32 French Faces Garment trimmings; with the available double entendre of French men.

 

Source: CREUSA, Queen of ATHENS. A TRAGEDY. As it is Acted at the Theatre Royal in Drury-lane By His MAJESTY’s Servants. Written By Mr. William Whitehead. (London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley in Pall-mall; And Sold by M. Cooper in Pater-noster-Row. 1754). [Google Books]

 Edited by Casey Ticsay


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