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Oliver Goldsmith

(10 November 1730 – 4 April 1774 / County Longford / Ireland)

Epilogue To 'She Stoops To Conquer'


WELL, having stoop'd to conquer with success,
And gain'd a husband without aid from dress,
Still, as a Bar-maid, I could wish it too,
As I have conquer'd him, to conquer you:
And let me say, for all your resolution,
That pretty Bar-maids have done execution.
Our life is all a play, compos'd to please,
'We have our exits and our entrances.'
The First Act shows the simple country maid,
Harmless and young, of ev'ry thing afraid;
Blushes when hir'd, and, with unmeaning action,
'I hopes as how to give you satisfaction.'
Her Second Act displays a livelier scene --
Th' unblushing Bar-maid of a country inn,
Who whisks about the house, at market caters,
Talks loud, coquets the guests, and scolds the waiters.
Next the scene shifts to town, and there she soars,
The chop-house toast of ogling connoisseurs.
On 'Squires and Cits she there displays her arts,
And on the gridiron broils her lovers' hearts:
And as she smiles, her triumphs to complete,
Even Common-Councilmen forget to eat.
The Fourth Act shows her wedded to the 'Squire,
And Madam now begins to hold it higher;
Pretends to taste, at Operas cries 'caro',
And quits her 'Nancy Dawson', for 'Che faro',
Doats upon dancing, and in all her pride,
Swims round the room, the Heinel of Cheapside;
Ogles and leers with artificial skill,
'Till having lost in age the power to kill,
She sits all night at cards, and ogles at spadille.
Such, through our lives, the eventful history --
The Fifth and Last Act still remains for me.
The Bar-maid now for your protection prays.
Turns Female Barrister, and pleads for Bayes.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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