FABLE  XXIII.
The Old Woman and her Cats.
1 Who friendship with a knave hath made
2 Is judg'd a partner in the trade.
3 The matron, who conducts abroad
4 A willing nymph, is thought a bawd;
5 And if a modest girl is seen
6 With one who cures a lover's spleen,[Page 79]
7 We guess her, not extreamly nice,
8 And only wish to know her price.
9 'Tis thus, that on the choice of friends
10 Our good or evil name depends.
11 A wrinkled hag, of wicked fame,
12 Beside a little smoaky flame
13 Sate hov'ring, pinch'd with age and frost;
14 Her shrivell'd hands, with veins embost,
15 Upon her knees her weight sustains,
16 While palsie shook her crazy brains;
17 She mumbles forth her backward prayers,
18 An untam'd scold of fourscore years.
19 About her swarm'd a num'rous brood
20 Of Cats, who lank with hunger mew'd.
21 Teaz'd with their crys her choler grew,
22 And thus she sputter'd. Hence, ye crew.
23 Fool that I was, to entertain
24 Such imps, such fiends, a hellish train![Page 80]
25 Had ye been never hous'd and nurst,
26 I, for a witch, had ne'er been curst.
27 To you I owe, that crouds of boys
28 Worry me with eternal noise;
29 Straws laid across my pace retard,
30 The horse-shoe's nail'd (each threshold's guard)
31 The stunted broom the wenches hide,
32 For fear that I should up and ride;
33 They stick with pins my bleeding seat,
34 And bid me show my secret teat.
35 To hear you prate would vex a saint,
36 Who hath most reason of complaint?
37 Replys a Cat. Let's come to proof.
38 Had we ne'er starv'd beneath your roof,
39 We had, like others of our race,
40 In credit liv'd, as beasts of chace.
41 'Tis infamy to serve a hag;
42 Cats are thought imps, her broom a nag;
43 And boys against our lives combine,
44 Because, 'tis said, your cats have nine.
About this text
Author: John Gay
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Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 78-80. ,173,p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)
Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.
Other works by John Gay
- [FABLE ] INTRODUCTION TO THE FABLES. The Shepherd and the Philosopher. ()
- FABLE  I. The Lyon, the Tyger, and the Traveller. ()
- FABLE  II. The Spaniel and the Cameleon. ()
- FABLE  III. The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy. ()
- FABLE  IV. The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals. ()
- FABLE  V. The Wild Boar and the Ram. ()
- FABLE  VI. The Miser and Plutus. ()
- FABLE  VII. The Lyon, the Fox, and the Geese. ()
- FABLE  VIII. The Lady and the Wasp. ()
- FABLE  IX. The Bull and the Mastiff. ()
- FABLE  X. The Elephant and the Bookseller. ()
- FABLE  XI. The Peacock, the Turkey, and Goose. ()
- FABLE  XII. Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus. ()
- FABLE  XIII. The tame Stag. ()
- FABLE  XIV. The Monkey who had seen the World. ()
- FABLE  XV. The Philosopher and the Pheasants. ()
- FABLE  XVI. The Pin and the Needle. ()
- FABLE  XVII. The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf. ()
- FABLE  XVIII. The Painter who pleased No body and Every body. ()
- FABLE  XIX. The Lyon and the Cub. ()
- FABLE  XX. The Old Hen and the Cock. ()
- FABLE  XXI. The Rat-catcher and Cats. ()
- FABLE  XXII. The Goat without a beard. ()
- FABLE  XXIV. The Butterfly and the Snail. ()
- FABLE  XXV. The Scold and the Parrot. ()
- FABLE  XXVI. The Cur and the Mastiff. ()
- FABLE  XXVII. The Sick Man and the Angel. ()
- FABLE  XXVIII. The Persian, the Sun and the Cloud. ()
- FABLE  XXIX. The Fox at the point of death. ()
- FABLE  XXX. The Setting-dog and the Partridge. ()
- FABLE  XXXI. The Universal Apparition. ()
- FABLE  XXXII. The two Owls and the Sparrow. ()
- FABLE  XXXIII. The Courtier and Proteus. ()
- FABLE  XXXIV. The Mastiffs. ()
- FABLE  XXXV. The Barley-mow and the Dung-hill. ()
- FABLE  XXXVI. Pythagoras and the Countryman. ()
- FABLE  XXXVII. The Farmer's Wife and the Raven. ()
- FABLE  XXXVIII. The Turkey and the Ant. ()
- FABLE  XXXIX. The Father and Jupiter. ()
- FABLE  XL. The two Monkeys. ()
- FABLE  XLI. The Owl and the Farmer. ()
- FABLE  XLII. The Jugglers. ()
- FABLE  XLIII. The Council of Horses. ()
- FABLE  XLIV. The Hound and the Huntsman. ()
- FABLE  XLV. The Poet and the Rose. ()
- FABLE  XLVI. The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog. ()
- FABLE  XLVII. The Court of Death. ()
- FABLE  XLVIII. The Gardener and the Hog. ()
- FABLE  XLIX. The Man and the Flea. ()
- FABLE  L. The Hare and many Friends. ()