**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


No. 366 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

Oh! I cou’d ride the Clouds and Skies,
Or on the Raven’s Pinions rise:
Ye Storks, ye Swans, a moment stay,
And waft a Lover on his Way.

My Bliss too long my Bride denies,
Apace the wasting Summer flies:
Nor yet the wintry Blasts I fear,
Not Storms or Night shall keep me here.

What may for Strength with Steel compare?
Oh! Love has Fetters stronger far:
By Bolts of Steel are Limbs confin’d,
But cruel Love enchains the Mind.

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:

With brightest beams let the Sun shine
On Orra Moor.
Could I be sure
That from the top o’ th’ lofty Pine
I Orra Moor might see,
I to his highest Bough would climb,
And with industrious Labour try
Thence to descry
My Mistress if that there she be.
Could I but know amidst what Flowers
Or in what Shade she stays,
The gaudy Bowers,
With all their verdant Pride,
Their Blossoms and their Sprays,
Which make my Mistress disappear;
And her in envious Darkness hide,
I from the Roots and Beds of Earth would tear.

In the same chapter another song is given of which there is a version in No. 406 of the Spectator.]