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Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue
could stir, “ If---where I'm going--- I could serveyou, Sir?”
“ I give and I devise” (old Euclio said, 256 And figh’d) “ my lands and tenements to Ned.” Your money, Sir ? "
My money, Sir, what all ? Why,---if I must--(then wept) I give it Paul.” The Manor, Sir ?---" The Manor ! hold,” he
cry'd, « Not that -- I cannot part with that”--and dy'd.
And you! brave COBHAM, to the latest breath, Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death : Such in those moments as in all the past ! « Oh, save my Country, Heav'n!” shall be your
NO TE S.
author had the goodness not to mention the names. Several attribute this in particular to a very celebrated Actress, who, in detestation of the thought of being buried in woollen, gave these her last orders with ber dying breath. P.
VER. 255.) A Pawnbroker of Paris, in his last agonies, observing that the Priest, as usual, presented a little Silver Crucifix before his eyes, mistook it for a pawn; and had just strength enough left to say, Alas! I can afford but a small matter upon that.
E P I S T L E II.
A LA DY.
Of the Characters of Women. OTHING fo true as what you once let fall,
Most Women have no Characters at all." Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear, And best distinguish'd by black, brown, or fair.
NOT E S. Of the Characters of Women.] There is nothing in Mr. Pope's works more highly finished, or written with greater spirit, than this Epistle: Yet its success was in no proportion to the pains he took in composing it, or the effort of genius displayed in adorning it. Something he chanced to drop in a short advertisement prefixed to it, on its first publication, may perhaps account for the small attention the Public gave to it. He said, that no one Character in it was drawn from the Life. They believed him on his word; and expressed little curiosity about a fatire in which there was nothing personal.
VER. I. Nothing so true, &c.] The reader, perhaps, may be disappointed to find that this epifle, which proposes the
How many pictures of one Nymph we view, 5
" In Men, we various ruling Paffions find';
“ The love of Pleafure, and the love of Sway."
Arcadia's Countess, here, in ermin'd pride,
NOTES. reader examine all the characters here drawn, and try whether, with this key, he cannot discover that all their contradictions arise from a desire to hide the ruling Paffion.
But this is not the worst. The Poet afterwards (from Ver. 218 to 249.) takes notice of another mischief arising from this Decessity of hiding their ruling Passions; which is, that generally the end of each is defeated, even there where they are most violently pursued : For the necessity of hiding them inducing an habitual dissipation of mind, Reason, whose office it is to regulate the ruling Passion, loses all its force and direction; and these unhappy victims to their principles, though with their attention fill fixed upon them, are ever prosecuting the means destructive of their end ; and thus become ridiculous in youth, and miserable in old age.
Let me not omit to observe the great beauty of the conclusion: It is an encomium on an imaginary Lady, to whom the epistle is addressed; and artfully turns upon the fact which makes the subject of the epistle, the contradiction of a Woman's character; in which contradiction, he shews, all the lustre even of the best character confifts :
“ And yet, believe me, good as well as ill, 6 Woman's at best a contradiction still,” &c.
VER. 5. How many pictures] The Poet's purpose here is to shew, that the characters of Women are generally inconsistent with themselves : and this he illustrates by so happy a similitude, that we see the folly, described in it, arises from that very principle which gives birth to this inconsistency of cha. racter.
Ver. 7, 8, 10, &c. Arcadia's Countess,-Pastora by a foun. tain,--Leda with a fwan,--Magdalen, --Cecilia.-) Attitudes in which several ladies affected to be drawn, and sometimes one lady in them all.—The Poet's politeness and complai, fance to the sex is observable in this instance, amongst others, that, whereas in the Characters of Men, he has sometimes made use of real names, in the Characters of Women always Setitious. P,