A Sketch of the Times, 1780

. . .

Sporus is richer still, who leads the Van
Of Vice, by Turns a Woman and a Man;
This Hour a Jove, the next a Ganymede;
Abhorring Females – for, "the Creters breed:"
Now tastes an Agent's, now a Pathic's Joys:
Virgins are safe; he'll ravish none but Boys.
His odious Trade a sallow Languor speaks,
Till the Rose blooms upon his painted Cheeks.
With pencill'd Eye-Brows, and vermilion'd Lips,
On the light Toe along the Mall he trips
In search of some engaging, new Amour,
And shudders if he meets a Sister-Whore.
Nymphs of King's-Place* have little now to do;
Drybutter's** Sodom rivals Hayes's Stew.

* In Pall-Mall.
** An infamous, notorious Rascal, well known in Westminster-Hall, Hickes's-Hall, and to all the Magistrates in London. This execrable Wretch has been dragged, at times, through most of the Kennels and Horse-Ponds in the Metropolis. [p.19]

To Vice that shocks our late Refinements tend,
And Turpitude begins where Lust shou'd end.


You dream of Crimes that never can exist,
Then rail against 'em to inflame your List.


Indeed! – by one Crime more hear all surpast!
Murder, tyrannic Murder! holds a FAST;
Saul's Conscience a Court-Sermon quite relieves,
And Heav'n's appeas'd by Priestcraft in Lawn-Sleeves.
What, if I tell you Justice now is sold,
And had been bought – but W-d--r--n's not bold?


Have Mercy still! have Mercy on the Age!
Give Chastisement full Scope, but never rage.
Venality with Walpole ever reign'd,
And in N[or]th's Time Gold must not be disdain'd.
Hypocrisy's the Fashion of the Times;
And as for Catamites, o'erlook their Crimes: [p.20]
If these indulgent Brutes shou'd lose their Lives,
How many in high Rank must seek for Wives?
In former Reigns Court-Favour went so far:
James* had, at once, his Villiers and his Carr.
But Folly flys with Wings uinclipp'd, while you
On Culprits sit as Judge and Jury too.

* That Miracle of Piety and Virtue, K. Jammy the First, who used to kiss and slabber these two Favourites. The latter was a Scot.] [p.21]

SOURCE: A Sketch of the Times. A Satire, London: Printed for J. Bew, 1780, pp. 19-21.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "A Sketch of the Times," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. 19 April 2010 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1780sket.htm>.

Return to Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England