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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 17/On Mrs. Tofts

SO bright is thy beauty, so charming thy song,
As had drawn both the beasts and their Orpheus along:
But such is thy av'rice, and such is thy pride.
That the beasts must have starv'd, and the poet have died.


  1. Mrs. Tofts was the daughter of a person in the family of Dr. Burnet, bishop of Salisbury. She lived at the introduction of the opera into this kingdom, and sung in company with Nicolini; but, being ignorant of Italian, chanted her recitative in English, in answer to his Italian: but the charms of their voices overcame this absurdity. Her character may be collected from the above epigram. She retired from England, and died at Venice about the year 1760.