Mary Barber

(1690-1757 / England)

A Letter Written For My Daughter To A Lady, Who Had Presented Her With A Cap.


Your late kind Gift let me restore;
For I must never wear it more.
My Mother cries, ``What's here to do?
``A Crimson Velvet Cap for you!
``If to these Heights so soon you climb,
``You'll wear a Coachman's Cap in time:
``Perhaps on Palfry pace along,
``With ruffled Shirt, and Tete--Moutton;
``Banish the Woman from your Face,
``And let the Rake supply the Place;
``Delighted see the People stare,
``And ask each other what you are?

If she goes on to this dull Tune,
Poor I must be a Quaker soon.
She'll scarcely let me wear a Knot;
But keeps me like a Hottentot;
Says, Dressing plain, at small Expence,
Shews better Taste, and better Sense.
I'd take her Judgment, I confess,
Sooner in any Thing, than Dress;
A Science, which she little knows,
Who only huddles on her Cloaths.

This Day, to please my Brother Con.
She let me put your Present on;
And when she saw me very glad,
Cry'd out, She looks like one that's mad!
``Know, Girl, (says she) that Affectation
``Suits only those in higher Station;
``Who plead Prescription for their Rule,
``Whene'er they please to play the Fool:
``But that it best becomes us Cits,
``To dress like People in their Wits.''

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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