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A LETTER to CORINNA from a CAPTAIN in Country Quarters.

1 MY earliest flame, to whom I owe
2 All that a captain needs to know;
3 Dress, and quadrille, and air, and chat,
4 Lewd songs, loud laughter, and all that;
5 Arts that have widows oft subdued,
6 And never fail'd to win a prude;
7 Think, charmer, how I live forlorn
8 At quarters, from Corinna torn.
9 Nor more distress the cornet feels
10 From gruel, and Ward's popish pills.
11 What shall I do now you're away,
12 To kill that only foe, the day?
13 The landed 'squire, and dull freeholder,
14 Are sure no comrades for a soldier;
15 To drink with parsons all day long,
16 Misaubin tells me wou'd be wrong:
17 Sober advice, and Curl's Dutch whore
18 I've read, 'till I can read no more.
19 At noon I rise, and strait alarm
20 A sempstress' shop, or country farm;
21 Repuls'd, my next pursuit is a'ter
22 The parson's wife, or landlord's daughter:
23 At market oft for game I search,
24 Oft at assemblies, oft at church,
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25 And plight my faith and gold to-boot;
26 Yet demme if a soul will do't
27 In short our credit's sunk so low,
28 Since troops were kept o'foot for shew,
29 She that for soldiers once run mad,
30 Is turn'd republican, egad!
31 And when I boast my feats, the shrew
32 Asks who was slain the last review.
33 Know then, that I and captain Trueman
34 Resolve to keep a miss in common:
35 Not her, among the batter'd lasses,
36 Such as our friend Toupét caresses,
37 But her, a nymph of polish'd sense,
38 Which pedants call impertinence:
39 Train'd up to laugh, and drink, and swear,
40 And railly with the prettiest air
41 Amidst our frolicks and carouses
42 How shall we pity wretched spouses!
43 But where can this dear soul be found,
44 In garret high, or under ground?
45 If so divine a fair there be,
46 Charming Corinna, thou art she.
47 But oh! what motives can persuade
48 Belles, to prefer a rural shade,
49 In this gay month, when pleasures bloom,
50 The park, the play the drawing room
51 Lo! birthnights upon birthnights tread,
52 Term is begun, the lawyer fee'd;
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53 My friend the merchant, let me tell ye,
54 Calls in his way to Farinelli;
55 Add that my sattin gown and watch
56 Some unfledg'd booby 'squire may catch,
57 Who, charm'd with his delicious quarry,
58 May first debauch me, and then marry;
59 Never was season more befitting
60 Since conv—ns last were sitting.
61 And shall I leave dear Charing-cross,
62 And let two boys my charms ingross?
63 Leave play-house, temple, and the rummer?
64 A country friend might serve in summer!
65 The town's your choice yet, charming fair,
66 Observe what ills attend you there.
67 Captains, that once admir'd your beauty,
68 Are kept by quality on duty;
69 Cits, for attoning alms disburse
70 A tester templars, something worse:
71 My lord may take you to his bed,
72 But then he sends you back unpaid;
73 And all you gain from generous cully,
74 Must go to keep some Irish bully.
75 Pinchbeck demands the tweezer case,
76 And Monmouth-street the gown and stays;
77 More mischiefs yet come crowding on,
78 Bridewell, West Indies and Sir John
79 Then oh! to lewdness bid adieu,
80 And chastly live, confin'd to two.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): A LETTER to CORINNA from a CAPTAIN in Country Quarters.
    Themes: entertainments; pastimes; women; female character
    Genres: epistle
    References: DMI 27719

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. V. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 210-212. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.