Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A gentleman to his Mistress, resenting her Fondness of a Monkey and Indifference to himself


I must be under the less regret, for the contempt with which you receive my addresses, when your favour is wholly engrossed by so wretched a rival: For ought a rational man to wonder he is received with neglect and slight by a lady who can be taken up with a chattering monkey? Do not you remember what happened when I visited your house upon a certain unfortunate occasion, and you greeted me with that monkey on your shoulders? How Mr. Pug had the audacity to snatch off my wig (that is, my hat), scratch my face, and to slobber upon my hair, this is all beyond me. But harshest mortification was suffered by my sense of pride when your mother burst forth into a volley of laughs upon seeing me thus discomposed and ruffled.

I would ask you then, By what extraordinary endowment this happy monkey creature has found means to engross your favour? Condescend to view us in the same light: What valuable qualifications is Mr. Pug endowed with, which I am destitute of? Is it a recommendation in him that he wears no breeches? For my part, I will most willingly surrender mine at your feet. Is it a censure of me and of my personal conduct, that I occasionally forget to lower the toilet seat, or that I smother with ketchup everything I eat?

Place us together before you: View our faces, our airs, our shapes, and our language. If he be handsomer than I, which, on a strict scrutiny, I hope will not be allowed him neither, pray try our wits: However acute he may be, I can assure you I reckon myself no fool; for if I was, I should less resent the preference you give against me. I am thoroughly convinced that I can out-perform him in any contest, even those involving behaviors associated more with monkey nature than human nature.

I pray you end this despicable monkey business, as it is called by the people. Turn him loose to me, I will fight him, if that be necessary to obtain your favour; or do anything in the world to show you how much I am, and shall ever be, if you’ll permit it,
Your very humble Admirer.

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