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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Earl of Rochester

Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland, by Henri Gascard, c1670.

S O N G.

Quoth the Duchess of Cleveland to counselor Knight,1
"I'd fain have a prick, knew I how to come by 't.
I desire you'll be secret and give your advice:
Though cunt be not coy, reputation is nice."

"To some cellar in Sodom Your Grace must retire 2
Where porters with black-pots sit round a coal-fire;
There open your case, and Your Grace cannot fail
Of a dozen of pricks for a dozen of ale."

"Is't so?" quoth the Duchess. "Aye, by God!" quoth the whore.
"Then give me the key that unlocks the back door,
For I'd rather be fucked by porters and car-men 3
Than thus be abused by Churchill and Jermyn." 4

1. Duchess of Cleveland, Barbara Palmer, formerly Countess of Castlemaine.
One of the most important mistresses of Charles II in the decade after the Restoration,
she had several other lovers; Knight, Mary Knight, singer and minor mistress of Charles II.
2. Sodom, in reference to a disreputable district of London.
3. car-men, drivers of horse-drawn carts.
4. Churchill and Jermyn, John Churchill, who later became the Duke of Marlborough;
Henry Jermyn, Master of the Horse to the Duke of York. On July 30, 1667, Pepys goes
into some detail on the King quarrelling with her on Jermyn's account.[Link].

Rudrum, Alan, et al., eds. The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth Century Verse & Prose.
Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2000. 1155.


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Restoration & 18th-century:

Samuel Butler
John Dryden
Samuel Pepys
John Bunyan
Aphra Behn
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea
Mary Astell
William Congreve
Matthew Prior
Daniel Defoe
John Gay
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Jonathan Swift
Joseph Addison
Sir Richard Steele
James Thomson
Alexander Pope
Dr. Samuel Johnson
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William Collins
Christopher Smart
Oliver Goldsmith
George Crabbe
William Cowper
James Boswell
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