In science and art, I'll be cursed if I know10
Myself from my wife; for although we are two,
Yet she somehow contrives that all things shall be done
In a style which proclaims us eternally one.
But the thing of all things which distresses me more
Than the bills of the week (though they trouble me sore)
Is the numerous, humorous, backbiting crew
Of scribblers, wits, lecturers, white, black, and blue,
Who are brought to my house as an inn, to my cost—
For the bill here, it seems, is defrayed by the host—
No pleasure! no leisure! no thought for my pains,20
But to hear a vile jargon which addles my brains;
A smatter and chatter, gleaned out of reviews,
By the rag, tag, and bobtail, of those they call "Blues;"
A rabble who know not —— But soft, here they come!
Would to God I were deaf! as I'm not, I'll be dumb.
Enter Lady Bluebottle, Miss Lilac, Lady Bluemount, Mr. Botherby,
Inkel, Tracy, Miss Mazarine, and others, with Scamp the Lecturer,
Lady Blueb. Ah! Sir Richard, good morning: I've brought you some friends.
Sir Rich. (bows, and afterwards aside). If friends, they're the first.
Lady Blueb.But the luncheon attends.
I pray ye be seated, "sans cérémonie."
Mr. Scamp, you're fatigued; take your chair there, next me.
[They all sit.
Sir Rich. (aside). If he does, his fatigue is to come.
Lady Blueb.Mr. Tracy—
Lady Bluemount—Miss Lilac—be pleased, pray, to place ye;31
And you, Mr. Botherby—
Both.Oh, my dear Lady, I obey.
Lady Blueb. Mr. Inkel, I ought to upbraid ye: