The Adulteress (excerpts)

How better were the Matrons of QUEEN BESS,
Who suited all their manners to their dress; [p. 1]
Who breakfasted on beef, and drank stout ale,
Rough as their Lords, as honest and as hale!
Our Sons had then red cheeks and sturdy back,
Not melted by Cornelys' and Almack's:
Earth never then had known a Coxcomb race;
Then Macaronies were not Man's disgrace;
The Sun did never condescend to smile
On tiny things like J----y and C--l-le;
Earth's common fruits in Markets were expos'd,
Unknown forestalling, Commons uninclos'd:
But when ELIZA to the Stars withdrew,
Geniuis and Chastity attended too.
      With JAMES and CHARLES rank Lechery came in,
And Virtue then gave place at Couret to Sin:
New modes of Lust e'en CHARLES himself devis'd,
And ROCHESTER both nurs'd them, and chastis'd:
Then did the Court chaste Marriage-rites profane,
And purer Virtue breath'd in Drury-lane. [p. 2]

. . .

      Women and Men, in these unnat'ral Times,
Are guilty equal of unnat'ral crimes:
Woman with Woman act the Many Part,
And kiss and press each other to the heart. [p. 25]
Unnat'ral Crimes like these my Satire vex;
I know a thousand Tommies 'mongst the Sex:
And if they don't relinquish such a Crime,
I'll give their Names to be the scoff of Time.
      But here, Sweet Girls, my indignation fires,
When Man with Man into the shade retires;
And when that Justice damns them and their crimes,
The noble Monsters of these monstrous Times
Repair to Majesty, and piteous plead
A Wretch's cause – whom Virtue deem'd to bleed.
Can beauteous VIRTUE shew her heav'nly face?
When Jones is pardon'd – ***'s held in Place!
Hear me, sweet sheeny Virtue – hear my pray'r,
Make Love and Modesty thy constant care!
Diana, cull a wreath of Roses fair,
And place the posy in the Poet's hair:
I feel throughout this meretricious strain,
A hallow'd Virtue trill from vein to vein.
When Fashion suffers Turpitudes to grow,
Honour and Truth both cordially allow,
That even Bawdy is a Virtue now. [p.26] [end of poem]

SOURCE: Anonymous, The Adulteress, London: Printed for S. Bladon, in Paternoster Row, 1773 (excerpts).

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (ed.), "The Macaroni Club: The Adulteress, 1773", Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 11 June 2005 <>.

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