What various transformations we remark,
From east Whitechapel to the west Hyde Park!
Men, women, children, houses, signs, and fashions,
State, stage, trade, taste, the humours and the passions;
The Exchange, ’Change Alley, wheresoe’er you’re ranging,
Court, city, country, all are changed or changing:
The streets, some time ago, were paved with stones,
Which, aided by a hackney- coach, half broke your bones.
The purest lovers then indulged in bliss;
They run great hazard if they stole a kiss.
One chaste salute!—the damsel cried—Oh, fie!
As they approach’d—slap went the coach awry—
Poor Sylvia got a bump, and Damon a black eye.
    But now weak nerves in hackney-coaches roam,
And the cramm’d glutton snores, unjolted, home;
Of former times, that polish’d thing a beau,
Is metamorphosed now from top to toe;
Then the full flaxen wig, spread o’er the shoulders,
Conceal’d the shallow head from the beholders.
But now the whole’s reversed—each fop appears,
Cropp’d and trimm’d up, exposing head and ears:
The buckle then its modest limits knew,
Now, like the ocean, dreadful to the view,
Hath broke its bounds, and swallowed up the shoe:
The wearer’s foot, like his once fine estate,
Is almost lost, the encumbrance is so great.
Ladies may smile—are they not in the plot?
The bounds of nature have not they forgot?
Were they design’d to be, when put together,
Made up, like shuttlecocks, of cork and feather?
Their pale-faced grandmammas appeared with grace
When dawning blushes rose upon the face;
No blushes now their once-loved station seek;
The foe is in possession of the cheek!
No heads of old, too high in feather’d state,
Hinder’d the fair to pass the lowest gate;
A church to enter now, they must be bent,
If ever they should try the experiment.
    As change thus circulates throughout the nation,
Some plays may justly call for alteration;
At least to draw some slender covering o’er,
That graceless wit1 which was too bare before:
Those writers well and wisely use their pens,
Who turn our wantons into Magdalens;
And howsoever wicked wits revile ’em,
We hope to find in you their stage asylum.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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