[Page 105]


1 Hans Carvel, Impotent and Old,
2 Married a Lass of London Mould:
3 Handsome? enough; extreamly Gay:
4 Lov'd Musick, Company, and Play:
5 High Flights She had, and Wit at Will:
6 And so her Tongue lay seldom still:
7 For in all Visits who but She,
8 To Argue, or to Repartée?
9 She made it plain, that Human Passion
10 Was order'd by Predestination;
11 That, if weak Women went astray,
12 Their Stars were more in Fault than They:
13 Whole Tragedies She had by Heart;
14 Enter'd into Roxana's Part:
15 To Triumph in her Rival's Blood,
16 The Action certainly was good.
17 How like a Vine young Ammon curl'd!
18 Oh that dear Conqu'ror of the World!
19 She pity'd Betterton in Age,
20 That ridicul'd the God-like Rage.
21 She, first of all the Town, was told,
22 Where newest India Things were sold:
23 So in a Morning, without Bodice,
24 Slipt sometimes out to Mrs. Thody's;
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25 To cheapen Tea, to buy a Screen:
26 What else cou'd so much Virtue mean?
27 For to prevent the least Reproach,
28 Betty went with Her in the Coach.
29 But when no very great Affair
30 Excited her peculiar Care;
31 She without fail was wak'd at Ten;
32 Drank Chocolate, then slept again:
33 At Twelve She rose: with much ado
34 Her Cloaths were huddl'd on by Two:
35 Then; Does my Lady Dine at home?
36 Yes sure; but is the Colonel come?
37 Next, how to spend the Afternoon,
38 And not come Home again too soon;
39 The Change, the City, or the Play,
40 As each was proper for the Day;
41 A Turn in Summer to Hyde-Park,
42 When it grew tolerably Dark.
43 Wife's Pleasure causes Husband's Pain:
44 Strange Fancies come in Hans's Brain:
45 He thought of what He did not name;
46 And wou'd reform; but durst not blame.
47 At first He therefore Preach'd his Wife
48 The Comforts of a Pious Life:
49 Told Her, how Transient Beauty was;
50 That All must die, and Flesh was Grass:
51 He bought Her Sermons, Psalms, and Graces;
52 And doubled down the useful Places.
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53 But still the Weight of worldly Care
54 Allow'd Her little time for Pray'r:
55 And Cleopatra was read o'er,
56 While Scot, and Wake, and Twenty more,
57 That teach one to deny one's self,
58 Stood unmolested on the Shelf.
59 An untouch'd Bible grac'd her Toilet:
60 No fear that Thumb of Her's should spoil it.
61 In short, the Trade was still the same:
62 The Dame went out: the Colonel came.
63 What's to be done? poor Carvel cry'd:
64 Another Batt'ry must be try'd:
65 What if to Spells I had Recourse?
66 'Tis but to hinder something Worse.
67 The End must justifie the Means:
68 He only Sins who Ill intends:
69 Since therefore 'tis to Combat Evil;
70 'Tis lawful to employ the Devil.
71 Forthwith the Devil did appear
72 (For name Him and He's always near)
73 Not in the Shape in which He plies
74 At Miss's Elbow when She lies;
75 Or stands before the Nurs'ry Doors,
76 To take the naughty Boy that roars:
77 But without Sawcer Eye or Claw,
78 Like a grave Barrister at Law.
79 Hans Carvel, lay aside your Grief,
80 The Devil says: I bring Relief.
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81 Relief, says Hans: pray let me crave
82 Your Name, Sir. Satan. Sir, your Slave:
83 I did not look upon your Feet:
84 You'll pardon Me: Ay, now I see't:
85 And pray, Sir, when came You from Hell?
86 Our Friends there, did You leave Them well?
87 All well: but pr'ythee, honest Hans,
88 (Says Satan) leave your Complaisance:
89 The Truth is this: I cannot stay
90 Flaring in Sun-shine all the Day:
91 For, entre Nous, We Hellish Sprites,
92 Love more the Fresco of the Nights;
93 And oft'ner our Receipts convey
94 In Dreams, than any other Way.
95 I tell You therefore as a Friend,
96 E'er Morning dawns, your Fears shall end:
97 Go then this Ev'ning, Master Carvel,
98 Lay down your Fowls, and broach your Barrel;
99 Let Friends and Wine dissolve your Care;
100 Whilst I the great Receipt prepare:
101 To Night I'll bring it, by my Faith;
102 Believe for once what Satan saith.
103 Away went Hans: glad? not a little;
104 Obey'd the Devil to a Tittle;
105 Invited Friends some half a Dozen,
106 The Colonel, and my Lady's Cousin.
107 The Meat was serv'd; the Bowls were crown'd;
108 Catches were sung; and Healths went round:
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109 Barbadoes Waters for the Close;
110 'Till Hans had fairly got his Dose:
111 The Colonel toasted to the best:
112 The Dame mov'd off, to be undrest:
113 The Chimes went Twelve: the Guests withdrew:
114 But when, or how, Hans hardly knew.
115 Some Modern Anecdotes aver,
116 He nodded in his Elbow Chair;
117 From thence was carry'd off to Bed:
118 John held his Heels, and Nan his head.
119 My Lady was disturb'd: new Sorrow!
120 Which Hans must answer for to Morrow.
121 In Bed then view this happy Pair;
122 And think how Hymen Triumph'd there.
123 Hans, fast asleep, as soon as laid;
124 The Duty of the Night unpaid:
125 The waking Dame, with Thoughts opprest,
126 That made Her Hate both Him and Rest:
127 By such a Husband, such a Wife!
128 'Twas Acme's and Septimius' Life.
129 The Lady sigh'd: the Lover snor'd:
130 The punctual Devil kept his Word:
131 Appear'd to honest Hans again;
132 But not at all by Madam seen:
133 And giving Him a Magick Ring,
134 Fit for the Finger of a King;
135 Dear Hans, said He, this Jewel take,
136 And wear it long for Satan's Sake:
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137 'Twill do your Business to a Hair:
138 For long as You this Ring shall wear,
139 As sure as I look over Lincoln,
140 That ne'er shall happen which You think on.
141 Hans took the Ring with Joy extream;
142 (All this was only in a Dream)
143 And thrusting it beyond his Joint,
144 'Tis done, He cry'd: I've gain'd my Point.
145 What Point, said She, You ugly Beast?
146 You neither give Me Joy nor Rest:
147 'Tis done. What's done, You drunken Bear?
148 You've thrust your Finger G—d knows where.


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Title (in Source Edition): HANS CARVEL.
Author: Matthew Prior
Genres: narrative verse

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Source edition

Prior, Matthew, 1664-1721. Poems on Several Occasions [English poems only]. London: Printed for JACOB TONSON at Shakespear's-Head over against Katharine-Street in the Strand, and JOHN BARBER upon Lambeth-Hill. MDCCXVIII., 1718, pp. 105-110. [42],506,[6]p.: ill.; 2°. (ESTC T075639) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [H 6.8 Art.].)

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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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