The Ladies Delight: 1732

  Transcribed from British Library. Cup700.m.87 (1732)
p.21, (art. 4)
RIDOTTO al' FRESCO, A POEM. Describing the Growth of this Tree in the Famous Spring Gardens at Vaux-Hall, under the Care of that ingenious Botanist Dr H---gg---r
  WHAT various Arts attempts the am'rous Swain,
  To force the Fair, or her Consent to gain—
  Now Balls, now Masquerades his Care employ,
  And Play and Park alternately give Joy—
  Industrious H---gg---r, whose magick Brains
  Still in their Shell the Recipe retains—
  Like some good Midwife brings the Plot to light,
  And helps the lab'ring Swain to Celia's Sight;
p.22 For this his Eunuchs in high Buskins tread —
  And chaunt harmonious Lays for this,—and Bread;
  For this the Assembly's fix'd; and the huge Dome
  Swells with the Lady's Vows, when the Stake's gone.—
  For this he forms the vicious Masquerade,
  Where Damsels may securely drive their Trade,
  For which the Salesman, Chandler, Chairman loudly pray,
  And Pickpockets too, hail the joyful Day—
  But now what Tongue can praise the mighty Worth,
  Who to Ridotto gave an English Birth;
  To him let every Templar bend the Knee,
  Receive a Ticket, and give up the Fee:
  Let Drury-Lane eternal Columns raise,
  And every wanton Wife resound his Praise:
  Let Courtiers with implicit Faith obey,
  And to their grand Procurer Homage pay.

No more shall Duchesses to Bath repair,


     Or fly to Tunbridge to procure an Heir;

  Spring-Gardens can supply their every Want,
  For here whate'er they ask the Swain will grant,
p.23 And future Lo-ds (if they'll confess the right)
  Shall owe their Being to this blessed Night;
  Hence future Wickedness shall take its Rise,
  (for Masquerades to this is paultry Vice)
  An Æra of new Crimes shall hence begin,
  And H---gg---r chief Devil be of Sin;
  No more shall Ugliness be his Disgrace,
  His Head mends all the Frailties of his Face:
  When Masques and Balls to their Conclusion drew,
  To this his last Resort the Hero flew;
  So by degrees the Errant Knights of old
  To Glory rose, and by Degrees grew bold;
  A while content the common Road they trod,
  'Till some great Art at last confest the God.
  Now Painters work, - and dine, that starv'd before,
  And Tallyman supply each needy Whore -
  Fam'd Covent-Garden droops with mournful Look,
  Nor can St. James's her great Rival brook:
  Each Duck and D---ss quacks to different Tunes,
  One claps her Wings for Love, the other swoons;
  Each Vintner storms and swears he is undone,
  Vollies of Oaths speak loud the Drawer's Moan;
p.24 Porter who us'd to search for needful Girls,
  Now sucks his Fingers, or his Apron twirls,
  Bemoans his Loss of Business, and with Sighs,
  In Box imprison'd lays the useless Dice.

     Spring-Garden now alone does all invite,

  The Cit, the Wit, the Rake, the Fool, the Knight:
  No Lady, that can pawn her Coat or Gown,
  Will rest 'till she has laid the Money down:
  Each Clerk will to the Joints his Fingers work,
  And Counsellors find out some modern Querk,
  To raise the Guinea, and to see the Grot,
  And 'mongst the Belles to flaunt it at Ridott.

     Here Seamstresses and Maids together vie,

  And the spruce 'Prentice shines in Sword and Tye:
  Bandy'd in Lace the City Dame appears,
  Her Hair genteelly frizzled round her Ears;
  Her Gown with Tyrian Dyes most richly stain'd,
  Glitt'ring with Orient Pearl from Orphans gain'd.
  My Lord, to oblige his Spouse, takes Tickets three,
  Crys, one's for you my Love, and one for me,
p.25 The third dispose as you shall best adjudge,
  Shew where you're pleas'd, and where you owe a Grudge:
  Madam elate, thinks she'll be kind to Betty,
  To hide the Slips she made with Spark i'th'City:
  But Stallion Tom, who well knew how to scold,
  And by his Mistress's Favour grown too bold,
  Swears if he has it not, he will reveal,
  And to his Master tell a dismal Tale;
  Madam, reluctant, gives him up the Paper,
  He at her Folly laughs, and cuts a Caper.

     Sylvia, a Lady, kept by twenty Beaux,

  Who never yet would brook the Marriage Noose,
  By each a Ticket offer'd, scorns 'em all,
  In hopes some Fool a last will Victim fall,
  And kindly offer Treat and Ticket too,
  Which to her Charms she thinks most justly due;
  At last a brisk young Templar full of Fire,
  Whom Writs with Money, Wine with Love inspire,
  Address'd the Dame, she yields his glowing Charms,
  And for a Ticket flies into his Arms:

     So every dapper Fop and brawny Rake

  Will Tickets to their Ladies Presents make;
p.26 To Sin, the only certain Dedication, }
  To every gentle Mistress in the Nation,
  From Suburb Whore, to ranting Dame of Fashion;
  For none's so niece as to refuse the Suit,
  But grasps the Tree tho' 'tis forbidden Fruit.

     Near where the Thames in pleasant Windings runs,

  Near where the famous Glass-house fiercely burns,
  (which to the Love of poor desponding Swains,
  An Emblem terrible, but just retains.)
  Near where fam'd Vaux was to have fled,
  With lighted Match, soon as he'd done the Deed;
  Whence some pretend to say by second Sight }
  That it foreshew'd the Fate attend this Night,
  Cause here the Fair will many Matches light.

     Spring-Gardens lie shaded with verdant Trees,

  That nod their reverend Heads at every Breeze:
  Embassadors like Turks hence send Express,
  And Ministers of State like Devils dress—
p.27 Should some wild Indian see the various Scene,
  He'd swear all Nations of the Earth do here convene,
  And take for quite reverse this medley Farce,
  Think Strumpets Saints, or catstick'd Beau a Mars.

     But now the Dancers nimble Feet go round,

  And with just Measures beat the passive Ground,
  Each one inclines to different Delights—
  Musick the Fair, Sweetmeats the Beau invite;
  The Templar wisely does his Care enroll,
  Pockets the Pheasant, and eats up the Fowl;
  Nor will return to join the giddy Rout,
  'Till he has eat and drank his Guinea out.

     Now Dancing fires the Nymph to softer Joys;


The Musick's dull, the Wine and Sweetmeat cloys;

  Strephon streight takes the Hint, withdraws a-while,
  By soft Endearments does her Grief beguile;
  Soon they return more vig'rous than before,
  Do what they will, she cannot be a Whore.
p.28 For Mahomet may dream of heavenly Stews,
  Where Virgin Rose, soon as it's lost, renews,
  And shake with every Breath of Air serene,
  As trembling for the Rapes they've daily seen;
  When if those past can shake their Height profound,
  Ridotto sure will fell 'em to the Ground;
  Here Art to Nature join'd makes it compleat,
  And Pyramids and Trees together meet;
  Statues amidst the thickest Grove arise,
  And lofty columns tow'ring to the Skies;
  Then next an Obelisk its Shade displays,
  And rustic Rockwork fills each empty Space;
  Each joins to make it noble, and excells
  Beaufets for Food, Grotto's for something else.

     But Hark! the Doors on jarring hinges turn,

  All enter in, and the blest Scene's begun;
  A thousand lights their livid Flames display,
  Pour forth their Blaze, and form a mimick Day:
  Sudden a motley Mixture fills the Place,
  And Footmen shine as lordly as his Grace;
  To see the sad Effect and Power of Change,
  Ladies turn'd Men, in Breeches freely range:
p.29 Young smooth-chin'd Beaux turn Priests and Fryars,
  And Nun's chaste Habits hide our Country 'Squires.
  Belles, Beaux, and Sharpers here together play,
  And Wives throw their Spouses Wealth away;
  And when their Cash runs low, and Fate runs cross,
  They then cornute 'em to retrieve their Loss.

     Dice and Intrigue so mutually are blended,

  That one begins as soon as t'other's ended:
  A City Heiress blooming, rich, and fair,
  Picks up the Cards and Counters with great Care;
  Against her sate a smooth young Baron,
  Wit he had none, Beauty he had his share on,
  A soft clear Skin, a dapper Neck and Waist,
  In all Things suited to the modern Taste;
  And most polite, like all our modish Brood,
  That is, a very Fool, who's very leud:
  He ogles Miss, she squints, and turns aside,
  Nor can her Mask her rising Blushes hide;
  At last (as Bargains here are quickly made)
  She yields to be Caress'd, tho' still afraid;
  She cries, a private Room's for them most fit,
  For Reputation is the Glory of a Cit:
p.30 This only is the Place, where in a Trice,
  Some Angle steals the Wounds of friendly Vice;
  The Nymph finds a Relief for all her Pains,
  And the lost Maidenhead's restor'd again.

     But who is he in Bower close confin'd,

  With a kind Fair t'unbend his troubled Mind;
  Sure by his Air, his Beauty, and his Grace,
  It Phoebus is, or some of heavenly Race.

     A petty Courtier, of small Estate and Sense,

  Stood hearkening by, and cry'd it was the P-ce.

     Your Pardon, Sir, I knew it not before,

  For my Mistake depended on his Whore,
  One had Latona, to'ther has L-r.

     Next to the Grotto let us bend our Eye,

  The Grotto Patron of Iniquity,
  Speak O ye Trees with kind refreshing Shade,
  How many Whores have at your Roots been made;
  Alas, how small the Number to what now,
  This one, this happy Night alone will shew
  So many, that each conscious Dryad flees,
  Lest she too should be ravish'd thro' the Trees.
p.31 Next rattling Dice invite th'attentive Ear,
  Lords loudly Laugh, as loud the Bullies swear:
  The Country Knight o'th'Shire sells his Estate,
  And here with Heart intrepid meets his Fate;
  So they withdrew to quench their glowing Flame,
  And to preserve the Honour of her Name;
  For oh! sad Fate as they ascend the Stairs,
  At the Room Door her good Mamma appears;
  Soon as she spies her Child with Looks demure,
  She charges her to keep her Vessel pure:
  Miss pertly answers to avoid her Doom,
  Mamma, whose Hat and Wig is in the Room?
  The good old Dame yields at the just Reproach,
  Cries - - - Well my Dear, don't take too much!

     Thus various Joys soon waste the fleeting Night,

  And Sleep and Lust the Croud to Bed invite;
  Some in their Truckle-Beds to snore all Day,
  Others in Gambols with their Wh-es to play
p.32 The Dunghill Trapes, trickt up like virtuous Trull,
  If by good Chance, she gets a Dupe or Cull;
  On Tallyman intrudes twelve Hours more,

And for a clean Shift presumes to run a Score.


     Sages may say, that Arts and Sciences fail,


And Ignorance and Folly have weigh'd down the Scale:


In England they have given new Arts a Rise,

  And what in Science wants, increase in Vice,
  And to be great as Angels when they fell,
  (If not exceed) at least they equal Hell.










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