"Everyone As They Like, As The Good Woman Said When She Kissed Her Cow"

Context: Under the title A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation according to the Most Polite Mode and Method, and with the author's name given as Simon Wagstaff, Esq., Swift published three dialogues in 1738 from both London and Dublin. The first is in the form of a play with eight characters. Two of them meet in the Mall, from where they go to dine with Lady Smart. Later they have tea and play quadrille (a game for four players and forty cards) until 3 A.M. The expression here quoted is, of course, nonsense. It is sometimes expressed, "There is no accounting for tastes, as the old lady said, . . ." It is merely part of the humor of Dean Swift. At the beginning of the dialogue, Lord Sparkish meets Colonel Atwit in St. James's Park. Mr. Neverout joins them. His protest is humorously taken as a challenge to a duel.


COLONEL
Tom, you must go with me to Lady Smart's for breakfast.
NEVEROUT
Must? Why, Colonel, must's for the King. [The Colonel offers in jest to draw his sword.]
COLONEL
Have you spoken with all your friends?
NEVEROUT
Colonel, as you're stout, be merciful.
SPARKISH
Come, agree, agree; the law's costly. [Colonel taking his hand from the hilt.]
COLONEL
Well, Tom, you are never the worse man to be afraid of me. Come along.
NEVEROUT
What, do you think I was born in a wood, to be afraid of an owl? I'll wait on you. I hope Miss Notable will be there; 'egad, she's very handsome, and has a wit at will.
COLONEL
Why, every one as they like; as the good woman said, when she kissed her cow.