[Page 84]


The Scold and the Parrot.

1 The husband thus reprov'd his wife.
2 Who deals in slander, lives in strife.
3 Art thou the herald of disgrace,
4 Denouncing war to all thy race?
5 Can nothing quell thy thunder's rage,
6 Which spares nor friend, nor sex, nor age?
[Page 85]
7 That vixen tongue of yours, my dear,
8 Alarms our neighbours far and near;
9 Good Gods! 'tis like a rolling river,
10 That murm'ring flows, and flows for ever!
11 Ne'er tir'd, perpetual discord sowing!
12 Like fame, it gathers strength by going.
13 Heighday! the flippant tongue replys,
14 How solemn is the fool! how wise!
15 Is nature's choicest gift debarr'd?
16 Nay, frown not; for I will be heard.
17 Women of late are finely ridden,
18 A parrot's privilege forbidden!
19 You praise his talk, his squawling song;
20 But wives are always in the wrong.
21 Now reputations flew in pieces
22 Of mothers, daughters, aunts and neices,
23 She ran the parrot's language o'er;
24 Bawd, hussy, drunkard, slattern, whore,
25 On all the sex she vents her fury,
26 Trys and condemns without a jury.
[Page 86]
27 At once the torrent of her words
28 Alarm'd cat, monkey, dogs and birds;
29 All join their forces to confound her,
30 Puss spits, the monkey chatters round her,
31 The yelping cur her heels assaults,
32 The magpye blabs out all her faults;
33 Poll, in the uproar, from his cage,
34 With this rebuke out-scream'd her rage.
35 A parrot is for talking priz'd,
36 But prattling women are despis'd;
37 She, who attacks another's honour,
38 Draws ev'ry living thing upon her.
39 Think, madam, when you stretch your lungs,
40 That all your neighbours too have tongues;
41 One slander must ten thousand get,
42 The world with interest pays the debt.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): FABLE [25] XXV. The Scold and the Parrot.
Author: John Gay
Themes: animals
Genres: fable

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Source edition

Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 84-86. [14],173,[1]p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)

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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.

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