Advice  to  the  Ladies  of

L O N D O N , In the Choice of Their Husbands.

To an Excellent new Court Tune.       This may be Printed, R. P.
Adies of London, both Wealthy and Fair,
    Whom every Town Fop is purブing,
Still of your Purテs and Perバns take care,
    the greate・ deceit lies in Wooing :
From the fir・ Rank of the bonny bーiヌ パarks,
    their Vices I here will diツover,
Down to the baテ・ mechanick Degree,
    that バ you may chooテ out your Lover.

Fir・ foー the Courtier look to his E・ate,
    befoーe he too far be pーoceeding ;
He of Court Favours and Places will pーate,
    and テttlements make of his Bーeeding :
Noー wear the Yoak with dull Country Clown,
    although they are fat in their Purテs ;
Bーuド you with Bーi・les, and roping full Fowls,
    make Love to their Dogs, and their Hoーテs.

But above all the rank Citizens hate,
    the Court, oー the Country chuテ rather,
Would you have a Blockhead that gets an E・ate
    by the Sins of the Cuckold his Father ?
The ハeaking Clown intriguing does mar,
    the Pーentices huffing and ranting ;
Cit. puts on his Swoーd, when without Temple-Bar,
    and goes to Whitehall a Gallanting.

Woodcut of Lady

Let no パーuce Officer keep you in awe,
    the Swoーd is a thing Tranナtoーy ;
Noー be blown up by the Lungs of the Law,
    a Woーld have been cheated befoーe you :
Soon you will find your Captain grow bold,
    and then 'twill be hard to o'rcome him,
And if the Lawyer touch your Copy-hold,
    the Devil can ne'r bーing you from him.

Fly like the Plague from the huffing bーave Boys,
    that Court you with many Bーavadoes,
Tyr'ing your Sences with Bomba・ and Noiテ,
    and Stoーies bーought from the Barbadoes.
And beナdes, ever the Doctoー, that fool,
    who テeking to mend your Condition,
Tickles your Pulテ, and peeps in your Cloテ-フool,
    then テts up a famous Phyナcian.

Chuテ not a spark that has known the Town,
    who makes it his Pーactice to Bully,
You'd better take up with a Country Clown
    he'l make an officious Cully ;
You with a woーd may his Passion appeaテ
    and make him a Cuckold at leaブre ;
Give him but money to live at his eaテ,
    you may follow Intregues at your Pleaブre.

Neither admire much a Man that is wi[テ,]
    if e're you intend to deceive him,
He cunning Plots and Intreagues will [surmiテ]
    and trap you, e're you ドall perceive h[im.]
Therefoーe beware that he never diツloテ
    your Tricks, if he do's he will slight [you ;]
He'll keep a gay Miフriピ under your noテ
    if it be but on purpoテ to パight you.

But if you'd thーive, and grow wealthy a[nd wiテ,]
    then marry a doting old Sinner ;
What if you view there Old Time in h[is eyes,]
    you will by that bargain be winner ;
You may have lusty Gallants good stoーe,
    if you can pーoduce but th' Guinea,
And those young Coxcombs your Face w[ill adoーe,]
    if this don't please, Old Nick is in y[ou.]

L O N D O N:

Printed for J. Back, at the Black Boy,
Draw-Bridge on London-Bridge.


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A Note on the Text

The ballad "Advice to the Ladies" was printed in London between 1686 and 1688, during R[ichard] P[ohock]'s term as Surveyor of the Press (1685-88). The broadside is by Thomas d'Urfey, but was published anonymously. For a response in the same vein, see the companion piece "Advice to Young Gentlemen." A second response is found in "As I was Rambling near Temple-Bar." For subsequent versions, see ESTC T68171 / N16946 / N13406 / N7150 (possibly by Defoe) and the response ESTC N25328;  cf. also ESTC N65806 (attributed to Swift).

The original broadside is at the British Library; a reproduction is available on microfilm in Early English Books, 1641-1700, Tract supplement A5: 2. The last two verses have truncated lines - my additions (in square brackets) are pure guesswork - and the fourth woodcut (not included) is cropped; see facsimile. Indexed as Wing D2697A and ESTC R227904.

The ballad was reprinted in Thomas D'Urfey's A Compleat Collection of Mr. D'Urfey's Songs and Odes, published in London in 1687 by Joseph Hindmarsh. The edition is slightly different from the broadside and lacks the last three verses. It is now found at the Trinity College Library, Dublin; a reproduction is available on microfilm in Early English Books, 1641-1700, 1382: 8. Indexed by Wing D2716 and ESTC R28248. 

Textual Notes

"the basest mechanick Degree": small tradesmen and craftsmen were called mechanics. back

Close-Stool: a stool holding a chamber pot. back


1999 Francis Steen, Department of English, University of California at Santa Barbara
CogWeb Citation and Copyright Information. Revised 17 April 2000.



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