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On their lovers the kindest of looks did bestow,
Ben Jonson's BARTHOLOMEW FAIR, 1614, where Night. ingale, a ballad-singer, sings a very long song to this cune, which is there called Pagginton's Pound, and is said so be a country-dance. In that ballad each stanza consists of eleven lines, and ends with this couplet, by the first words of which the tune was also frequently described : “ Youth, youth, thou had'st better been starv'd by thy
nurse, “ Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse." But who Mr. Packington was, or where his pound was situated, our musical antiquaries have not informed us. Perhaps he was a gallant of those days, whose name was attached to a country-dance, in which each couple successively was, encircled by the other dancers, and thus placed in a kind of pound.
Among other old popular airs, this was adopted by Gay in his Beggar's OPERA, where it is introduced in the third act, sc. ii.
“ Thus gamesters united in friendship are found,” &c.
' According to Shippen's sarcastick representation, (Faction DISPLAYED, 400, 1704,) Bishop Burnet's voice was uncommonly loud :
“ Full of such stuff, he would have giv'n it vent, “ But that black Ario's fierceness did prevent : “ A Scotch, seditious, unbelieving priest, “The brawny chaplain of the Calves-head Feast ; “ Who first his patron, then his prince betray'd, " And does the church he's sworn to guard, invade.. “ Warm with rebellious rage, he thus began : “ To talk of calling life again, is vain.
To the Princess? he went,
With pious intent,
“ Peace to the GLORIOUS dead! We justly mourn " His ashes :-ever sacred be his urn! “ But here, my lords, we are together met, “ To vow to Anna's sceptre endless hate. “ For since my hope of Winton is expired, “ With just revenge and indignation fired, “ I'll write, and talk, and preach her title down; 1 “ My thund'ring voice shall shake her in the throne; } “ Do you the sword, and I'll engage the gown.” J
* The Princess Anne, who in 1683 had been married to George, Prince of Denmark. Queen Mary being at this time dead, the Princess of Denmark was now the first lady in the English Court.
3 Not long before this ballad was written, a Society of Gentlemen had been instituted, who were distinguished by the title of the Knights of the Toast, from their drinking ladies' healths, in regular succession, after dinner ; which custom was then a novelty, as was the term toast. No dictionary before the Revolution, that I have seen, acknowledges the word, thus applied. According to Addison, however, it was familiar in this sense at an earlier period, and “ had its rise from an accident in the town of Bath, in the time of Charles the Second.”
" It happened, (says he) that on' a publick day, a cele. brated beauty of those times was in the Cross Bath ; and one of the crowd of her admirers took a glass of the water in which the fair one stood, and drank her health to the company. There was in the place a gay fellow,
2. Your Highness observes, how I labour and sweat, Their affections to raise, and new flames to beget;
half fuddled; who offered to jump in, and swore, though he liked not the liquor, he would have the toast. He was opposed in his resolution; yet this whim gave foun. dation to the present honour, which is done to the lady we meniion in our liquors, who has ever since been called a Toast.”—TATLER, No. 24, June 4, 1709. In the 129th number of the same periodical paper, Pasquin, in a letter from Rome, desires an explanation of this strange term, and requests to know, whether the ladies so called are Nuns, or Lay-sisters.
Colonel Heveningham, who will be mentioned again bereafter, not long before this ballad appeared, had written a lampoon against the Knights of the Toast, to which a reply may be found in the STATE POEMs, vol. ii. p, 256, beginning with these lines :
“ O Harry, can’st thou find no subject fit,
“ No order but the Toast, to ridicule,” &c. This Society appears to have given rise soon afterwards to the Kit-Kat Club, (see vol. i. part i. p. 525;) and the beauties whom that Club celebrated by verses written on their drinking glasses, were all called Ladies of the Toast. See " A Decree for conducting the treaty between Dr. Swift and Mrs. Anne Long :- And whereas the said Mrs. Long, humbly acknowledging and allowing the right of the said Doctor, doth yet insist upon certain privileges and exceptions, as a Lady of the Toast,” &c. Nichols's Suppl. to Swift's Works, ni. 96.
The first lady who was thus distinguished, appears to have been Lord Lansdowne's Mira, Mrs. Frances Brudenell, the youngest daughter of Francis, Lord Brudenell,
VOL. I. PART II.
And sure when I preach, all the world will agree,
But now I can't find
One beauty so kind,
who died in the life-time of his father, Robert, the second Earl of Cardigan. Hence, on one of the toasting-glasses of the Kit-Kat Club, the following verses were inscribed in 1703, probably by Granville :
“ Imperial Juno gave her matchless grace,
“ Brudenell precedes, the glory of the Toast.” So also in The CELEBRATED BEAUTIES, a poem, written about the year 1704:
" What mighty glories shall this fair adorn, “ Allied to Mira, and of Richmond born! “ Mira so bright to kindle Granville's fire, “ How did she shine, that could such warmth inspire ! “ Richmond so great, to give that title fame,
“ And more than equal her, from whomour toasting came." The lady here celebtated was Lady Louisa Lenox, (then about ten years old,) daughter of Charles Lenox, Duke of Richmond, by Anne Brudenell, Mira's eldest sister.
Frances Brudenell, the original Lady of the Toast, was first married to Charles Livinston, Earl of Newburgh in Scotland; and secondly, to Richard Lord Bellew, an Irish Peer. She lived, I believe, to near the end of the reign of George the Second. In 1727, Dr. King of Oxford, who had some dispute with her concerning property in Ireland, wrote a bitter satirical poem, entitled The Toast, of which this lady is the heroine. It was first printed in Dublin; and was inserted, with many additions, in the unpublished collection of Dr. King's works, printed in 4to. at Oxford, in 1736.
Nay, I scarce have a sight of any one face,
In one of Settle's pieces, purchased some time ago, Mr. Bindley found a loose sheet containing a manuscript poem written by him, addressed “ to the most renowned the President, probably either Lord Dorset or Mr. Mon. tague,] and the rest of the Knights of the most noble Order of the Toast ;' in which the poet endeavours to propitiate the person to whom these verses served as a begging Petition, by asserting the dignity and antiquity of this illustrious Society. They appear to have been written in 1699. . “ Why should the noble Windsor garters boast
“ Their fame, above the Knighthood of the Toast? “ Is 't on their first original they build ? “ Their high-priz'd knighthood these to you must yield, “A lady dropp'd a garter at a ball; “ A toy for their foundation ;-was that all ? “ Suppose the nymph that lost it was divine; “ The garter's but a relique from the shrine :
“ The Toast includes the deity ;-not one star, ." But the whole constellation of the Fair.”
The custom of drinking ladies' healths, in regular succes. sion, at this time being novel, was considered as a kind of foppery; and hence we often find “ toasting beaus," introduced in the poems of that period.
4 Diana, the daughter of George Kirke, Esq. and second wife of Aubery de Vere, the twentieth Earl of Oxford; to whom she was married about the year 1674. See p. 11, n.9.
s Honora, first married to Thomas, Lord Cromwell in England, and Earl of Ardglass in Ireland; and at this time the wife of Francis Cuffe, Esq. She was a daughter of Dr. Michael Boyle, Archbishop of Armagh, and Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1665 to 1685.