VII. No longer then
perplex thy Breast,
When Thoughts torment, the first are best;
’Tis mad to go, ’tis Death to stay,
Away to Orra, haste away.
April the 10th.
I am one of those despicable Creatures called a Chamber-Maid, and have lived with a Mistress for some time, whom I love as my Life, which has made my Duty and Pleasure inseparable. My greatest Delight has been in being imploy’d about her Person; and indeed she is very seldom out of Humour for a Woman of her Quality: But here lies my Complaint, Sir; To bear with me is all the Encouragement she is pleased to bestow upon me; for she gives her cast-off Cloaths from me to others: some she is pleased to bestow in the House to those that neither wants nor wears them, and some to Hangers-on, that frequents the House daily, who comes dressed out in them. This, Sir, is a very mortifying Sight to me, who am a little necessitous for Cloaths, and loves to appear what I am, and causes an Uneasiness, so that I can’t serve with that Chearfulness as formerly; which my Mistress takes notice of, and calls Envy and Ill-Temper at seeing others preferred before me. My Mistress has a younger Sister lives in the House with her, that is some Thousands below her in Estate, who is continually heaping her Favours on her Maid; so that she can appear every Sunday, for the first Quarter, in a fresh Suit of Cloaths of her Mistress’s giving, with all other things suitable: All this I see without envying, but not without wishing my Mistress would a little consider what a Discouragement it is to me to have my Perquisites divided between Fawners and Jobbers, which others enjoy intire to themselves. I have spoke to my Mistress, but to little Purpose; I have desired to be discharged (for indeed I fret my self to nothing) but that she answers with Silence. I beg, Sir, your Direction what to do, for I am fully resolved to follow your Counsel; who am Your Admirer and humble Servant, Constantia Comb-brush.
I beg that you would put it in a better
Dress, and let it come abroad;
that my Mistress, who is an Admirer of your Speculations, may see it.
[Footnote 1: John Scheffer, born in 1621, at Strasburg, was at the age of 27 so well-known for his learning, that he was invited to Sweden, where he received a liberal pension from Queen Christina as her librarian, and was also a Professor of Law and Rhetoric in the University of Upsala. He died in 1679. He was the author of 27 works, among which is his Lapponia, a Latin description of Lapland, published in 1673, of which an English version appeared at Oxford in folio, in 1674. The song is there given in the original Lapp, and in a rendering of Scheffers Latin less conventionally polished than that published by the Spectator, which is Ambrose Philipss translation of a translation. In the Oxford translation there were six stanzas of this kind: