This may be by Anne Finch; it is inconceivable that a ten year old child could have written it. It comes from MS Harleian 7316, p54r -55r: the first of the two poems only the second of which is known as it was printed by Norman Ault in A Treasury of Unfamiliar Lyrics, 1938, p 299, as Ombre and bassett laid aside" (see below for text), from MS Lansdowne, p. 852, with the attribution to Anne Finch. This is the fifth in a series of 14 poems, 6 of which are known to be by Anne, 1 of which is to her. For full listing of series, see 'To Coleshill Seat of Noble Pen'.

See also Annotated Chronology No. 266 (1720). The poem may have been attributed to Miss Verney as a joke or compliment which it was hoped would deter anyone from finding out who wrote the poem; the only place Finch's name appears in the whole of this MS is in the title of the poem by Catherine Fleming to Anne Finch thanking her for the paraphrase on Ecclesiastes. It is interesting to remember that there is a play by Jane Austen which was similarly attributed to a young female child.

A Ballad [upon the South Sea affair] "by Miss Verney just turn'd of 10 Years old" pp 54r - 55r

The South Sea affair is what I now Sing
Where every Director's as great as a King
Tho our Gracious Liege is head of the thing
which nobody can deny &c

From our good Friends at Paris the Hint we first took
And many Rich Gudgeons have Swallow'd the Hook
But were terribly baulked at the Opening of Book
which nobody can deny &c

The Female Stock jobbers to Change Ally run
From Six in the Morning till set of the Sun,
Without staying for prayers or their Patches put on
Which nobody can deny &c

Blew and Green Garters together do strive
Which shall the most by Stockjobbing thrive
Like so many Bees about one Bee hive
Which nobody can deny &c

St James's which us'd to be the'Place of Resort
Had then but the Air of a Desolate Court
The Lords loving gain much better than Sport
Which nobody can deny &c

The playhouse & Operas can't have their Share
Of Companys for the Exchange Bull and Bear
Employs Young and Old the Rich and the Fair
Which nobody can deny &c

The Coblers the Taylers and Barbers agree
To meet alltogether in Exchange Alley
Not doubting of Titles cou'd they give a good fee
Which nobody can deny &c

There's a Bubble set up of Copper & Brass
Of which at the Head was his Highness late was
But some have no need on't they have so much on their face
Which nobody can deny &c

The new African Trade was said would Surmount
All other Bubbles then lately found out And the Duke gave Subscriptions to those past his Account
Which nobody can deny &c

York Buildings of Late was thought best of 'em all
Tho now it has had a most terrible fall
And Rams is Supported but by a new Call
Which nobody can deny &c

Welch Lead for their Governour Duke of Richmond has
Who Bully'd the Ministry to their own face
And plainly told 'em what they all was
Which nobody can deny &c

Lord Onslow's Insurance most fairly goes on
It being defended by so Bright a Man
And they talk of another for Young Cunningham
Which nobody can deny &c

I hope this new Ballad will give no offence
I've Injur'd none's Honour nor lessen'd their Pence
Nor affronted the Beaux, or the great men of Sence
Which nobody can deny &c

The second of the pair; in MS Harleian 7316, p 70r. See Annotatated Chronology No. 267, untitled stanzas: "Ombre and Basset laid aside"

1

Ombre and Basset laid aside
New Games employ the Fair,
And Brokers all those hours divide
Which Lovers used to Share.

2

The Court the Park the foreign Song,
And Harlequins Grimace
Forlorn amidst the Citty throng
Behold each blooming face.

3

With Jews and Gentiles undismay'd,
Young tender Virgins mix,
Of Whiskers nor of Beards affraid,
Nor all their Cousening tricks.

4

Bright Jewels polished once to deck
The fair ones rising Breast
Or sparkle round her Ivory Neck
Lie pawn'd in Iron Chest.

5

The Guiane passions of the mind*
How Avarice controuls,
Even Love does now no longer find
A Place in female Souls.

*Reads in Harleian MS 7316, "Guiane." This was "corrected" by Ault from Lansdowne text to read "gayer." But the 1724 Hive text has the word as "genuine." It has been suggested to me by Dwight Douglas Codr that "'guiane' is a possible neologism, signifying the adjectival form of 'guinea' (which does not have an proper or attested adjectival form according to the OED) which as a currency had been relatively recently admitted into circulation (1663). Moreover, the spelling variants for 'guinea' and its forms were quite vast and irregular. 'Guiane passions' would thus be passions for currency or money, certainly thematically to the point of the poem even if accepting it as an interpretation creates a redundancy (obviously 'Avarice' and 'guiane passions' would be much the same)."


Page Last Updated: 8 January 2003.