nine capacity for backbiting and scandal. Listen to Swift describe a lady enjoying her evening cups of tea:
"Surrounded with the noisy clans Of prudes, coquettes and harridans. Now voices over voices rise, While each to be the loudest vies; They contradict, affirm, dispute, No single tongue one moment mute; All mad to speak, and none to hearken, They set the very lapdog barking; Their chattering makes a louder din Than fish-wives o'er a cup of gin; Far less the rabble roar and rail When drunk with sour election ale."
Even gentle Gay associated soft tea with the temper of women when he pictures Doris and Melanthe abusing all their bosom friends, while--
"Through all the room From flowery tea exhales a fragrant fume."
But not all the women were tea-drinkers in those days. There was Madam Drake, the proprietress of one of the three private carriages Manchester could boast. Few men were as courageous as she in declaring against the tea-table when they were but invited guests. Madam Dra
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