BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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I'd imagine you there to be drinking the waters, Knew I not that you come not for such little matters, But to see the fine ladies in their dishabille, Which dress is sometimes the most studied to kill.
The ladies you see; they are ladies as fair, As charming and bright as are seen anywhere : You eye and examine the beautiful throng, As o'er the clean walks they pass lovely along; Should any one look a little demurer, You fancy, like ev'ry young fop, you could cure her; Till from some pretty nymph a deep wound you receive, And yourself want the cure which you thought you could give.
Not so wounded howe'er as to make you forget That your honour this morn has not breakfasted yet; So to Morley's you go, look about and sit down ; Then comes the young lass for your honour's half-crown; She brings out the book, you look wisely upon her, "What's the meaning of this?" "To subscribe please your
honour;" So you write as your betters have all done before ye, 'Tis a custom, and here is an end of the story.
And now all this while, it is forty to one But some friend or other you've stumbled upon ; You all go to church upon hearing the bell, Whether out of devotion yourselves best can tell: From thence to the tavern, to toast pretty Nancy, Th' aforesaid bright nymph that had smitten your fancy, Where wine and good victuals attend your commands, And wheatears, far better than French ortolans.*
* And, amongst the rest, that delicious bird, the wheat-ear, is brought in great plenty from the South-Downs. This little bird, commonly called the " English Ortolan," is not bigger than a lark, but is infinitely preferable in the fatness and delicacy of its flesh. The manner of catching them is something
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