Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > British
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. VI–IX: British
 
The Literary Lady
By Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816)
 
WHAT motley cares Corilla’s mind perplex,
Whom maids and metaphors conspire to vex!
In studious dishabille behold her sit,
A lettered gossip and a household wit;
At once invoking, though for different views,        5
Her gods, her cook, her milliner, and muse.
Round her strewed room a frippery chaos lies,
A checkered wreck of notable and wise;
Bills, books, caps, couplets, combs, a varied mass,
Oppress the toilet and obscure the glass;        10
Unfinished, here an epigram is laid,
And there, a mantua-maker’s bill unpaid;
There, new-born plays foretaste the town’s applause,
There, dormant patterns pine for future gauze.
A moral essay now is all her care,        15
A satire next, and then a bill of fare.
A scene she now projects, and now a dish;
Here Act the First, and here, Remove with Fish.
Now, while this eye in a fine frenzy rolls,
That soberly casts up a bill for coals;        20
Black pins and daggers in one leaf she sticks,
And tears, and threads, and bowls, and thimbles mix.
 
 
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