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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, July 27, 2017

cat prudes

Yes, I'm betting this is the only time you'll ever see those words in a phrase - as found in this wacky 1809 poem below.  A monody, originally a Greek lyric sung by a single performer, has come to mean a lament for a death - possibly the mysterious Dick of the last line.


CATS who frail nymphs in gay assemblies guard,
As buckram stifl, and bearded like the pard;
Calumnious cats, who circulate faux paux,
And reputations maul with murd’rous claws.
Shrill cats, whom fierce domestic brawls delight,
Cross cats, who nothing want but teeth to bite;
Starch cats, of puritanic aspect sad,
And learned cats, who talk their husbands mad:
Confounded cats, who cough, and creek, and cry,
And maudlin cats, who drink eternally:
Prim cats, of countenance and mien precise,
Yet oft’ner hankering for men than mice.
Curst cats, whom nought has castigation checks,
Penurious cats, who buy their coals by peeks;
Fastidious cats, who pine for costly cates,
And jealous cats, who catechise their mates;
Cat prudes, who when they’re ask'd the question, squall,
And ne’er give answer categorical;
Uncleanly cats, who never pare their nails,
Cat gossips, full of Canterbury tales;
Cat grandams, vex’d with asthmas and catarrhs,
And superstitious cats, who curse their stars;
Cats, who their favours barter for a bribe,
And canting cats, the worst of all the tribe;
And faded virgin cats, and tabbies old,
Who at quadrille remorseless mouse for gold;
Cats of each class, craft, calling, and degree,
Mourn Dick’s calamitous catastrophe.

from  The Humourist's Miscellany: Containing Original and Select Articles of Poetry, on Mirth, Humour, Wit, Gaiety and Entertainment. To which is Prefixed, the Celebrated Lecture on Heads; by G. A. Stevens. London: Second Edition 1804. 95.

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