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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/615

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THE BLUES:[1]

A LITERARY ECLOGUE.





ECLOGUE THE FIRST.

London.—Before the Door of a Lecture Room.

Enter Tracy, meeting Inkel.

Ink. You're too late.
Tra.Is it over?

Ink.Nor will be this hour.
But the benches are crammed, like a garden in flower.
With the pride of our belles, who have made it the fashion;
So, instead of "beaux arts," we may say "la belle passion"
For learning, which lately has taken the lead in
The world, and set all the fine gentlemen reading.
Tra. I know it too well, and have worn out my patience

With studying to study your new publications.
  1. Benjamin Stillingfleet is said to have attended evening parties at Mrs. Montague's in grey or blue worsted stockings, in lieu of full dress. The ladies who excused and tolerated this defiance of the conventions were nicknamed "blues," or "blue-stockings." Hannah More describes such a club or coterie in her Bas Bleu, which was circulated in MS. in 1784 (Boswell's Life of Johnson, 1848, p. 689). A farce by Moore, entitled The M.P., or The Blue-Stocking, was played for the first time at the Lyceum, September 30, 1811. The heroine, "Lady Bab Blue, is a pretender to poetry, chemistry, etc."—Genest's Hist. of the Stage, 1832, viii. 270.]