AN EPISTOLARY ANSWER To an Exciseman, Who doubted her being the Author of the Washerwoman's Labour.

1 Good Sir, by our English Laws
2 The Accused party may
3 Have leave to plead, themselves to clear,
4 But you condemn Straightway.
5 Unseen, unheard, the Sentence past,
6 For you are sure, I hear,
7 No Woman ever made those lines
8 That in my Name appear.
9 But I'm much more sure that you
10 For once mistaken are;
11 You are not infallible, nor fit
12 To fill the Papal Chair.
[Page 31]
13 For there is none on Earth below,
14 Nor yet above the Sky,
15 Can truly say, they made that Book,
16 But poor, despised I.
17 And whether you believe or not
18 The thing is certain true;
19 That Washerwoman made those lines
20 That now are Sent to you.
21 Tho' my Extraction was so low,
22 And I to labour bred;
23 Yet Stories of the Pagan Gods
24 I oft have seen, and read.
25 And were you now In Petersfield
26 Or I in Gloucestershire;
27 What you have Judg'd impossible,
28 I wou'd plainly make appear.
29 But why shou'd you our Sex condemn,
30 And Women all despise
31 We never with you interfere,
32 Nor trouble the Excise,
33 I wonder much, indeed to find
34 That such your Notions are
[Page 32]
35 For most of you are wont to be
36 Admirers of the Fair.
37 But Since that we such Ideots are,
38 I hope, you do refrain
39 Our Company, for fear you Shou'd
40 Your Reputation Stain.
41 Tho' if we Education had
42 Which Justly is our due,
43 I doubt not, many of our Sex
44 Might fairly vie with you.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): AN EPISTOLARY ANSWER To an Exciseman, Who doubted her being the Author of the Washerwoman's Labour.
Author: Mary Collier
Genres: epistle

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Source edition

Collier, Mary, c.1690-c.1762. Poems, on Several Occasions, by Mary Collier, Author of the Washerwoman's Labour, with some remarks on Her Life. Winchester: Printed by Mary Ayres; for the Author. MDCCLXII., 1762, pp. []-32. 68p. (ESTC T125590)

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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.