Who, with herself, or others, from her birth
Finds all her life one warfare upon earth :
Shines, in exposing Knaves, and painting Fools.
Yet is, whate'er she hates and ridicules. 120
No Thought advances, but her Eddy Brain
Whisks it about, and down it goes again.
Full fixty years the World has been her Trade,
The wisest Fool much Time has ever made.
From loveless youth to unrespected age, 125
No Paffion gratify'd except her Rage.
So much the Fury still out-ran the Wit,
The Pleasure miss'd her, and the Scandal hit.
Who breaks with her,provokes Revenge from Hell,
But he's a bolder man who dares be well. 130
Her ev'ry turn with Violence pursu’d,
Nor more a storm her Hate than gratitude :
To that each Passion turns, or soon or late ;
Love, if it makes her yield, must make her hate :
Superiors ? death! and Equals ? what a curse; 134
But an Inferior not dependant? worse.


After x 122. in the MS.

Oppress'd with wealth and wit, abundance fad!
One makes her poor, the other makes her mad.

Offend her, and she knows not to forgive ;
Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live:
But die, and she'll adore you---Then the Bust
And Temple rise---then fall again to dust. 140
Last night, her Lord was all that's good and great;
A Knave this morning, and his Will a Cheat.
Strange! by the Means defeated of the Ends,
By Spirit robb’d of Pow'r, by Warmth of Friends,
By Wealth of Follow'rs! without one distress 145
Sick of herself thro' very selfishness!
Atoffa, curs’d with ev'ry granted pray’r,
Childless with all her Children, wants an Heir.
To Heirs unknown descends th’unguarded store,
Or wanders, Heav'n-directed, to the Poor. 150

Pictures like these, dear Madam, to design, Asks no firm hand, and no unerring line;

After x 148. in the MS.

This Death decides, nor lets the blesling fall
On any one the hates, but on them all.
Curs’d chance! this only could afflict her more,
If any part should wander to the poor.

Notes. Ver. 150. Or wanders, Heav'n-directed, &c.] Alluding and referring to the great principle of his Philosophy, which he never lofes fight of, and which teaches, that Providence is incessantly turning the evils arising from the follies and vices of men to general good.

Some wand'ring touches, some reflected light,
Some flying stroke alone can hit 'em right:
For how should equal Colours do the knack ? 155
Chameleons who can paint in white and black ?
: “ Yet Cloe sure was form’d without a spot”---
Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot.

Notes. · VER. 156. Chameleons who can paint in white and black? 1 There 'is one thing that does a very distinguished honour to the accuracy of oầr poet's judgment, of which, in the course of these observations, I have given many instances, and shall here explain in what it consists; it is this, that the Similitudes in his didactic poems, of which he is not sparing, and which are all highly poetical, are always chosen with such exquisite discernment of Nature, as not only to illustrate the particular point he is upon, but to establish the general principles he would inforce; so, in the instance before us, he compares the inconstancy and contradiction in the Characters of Women, to the change of colours in the Chameleon; yet 'tis nevertheless the great principle of this poem to shew that the general Characteristic of the Sex, as to the Ruling Passions, which they all have, is more uniform than that in Man: Now for this purpose, all Nature could not have supplied such another illustration as this of the Chameleon ; for tho' it instantaneously affumes much of the colour of every fubject on which it chances to be placed, yet, as the most accurate Virtuosi have observed, it has two native colours of its own, which (like the two ruling passions in the Sex) amidst all these changes are never totally discharged, but, tho' often discoloured by the neighbourhood of adventitious ones, ftill make the foundation, and give a tincture to all those which, from thence, it occasionally alsumes.

Ver, 157. “ Yet Cloe fure &c.] The purpofe of the poet in this Character is important : It is to shew that the politic or prudent government of the passions is not enough to make a Character amiable, nor even to secure it from being ridiculous, if the end of that government be not pursued, which is the

“ With ev'ry pleasing, ev'ry prudent part,

Say, what can Cloe want?”.--She wants a Heart. She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought; 161 But never, never, reach'd one gen'rous Thought, Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour, Content to dwell in Decencies for ever. So very reasonable, so unmov'd,

165 As never yet to love, or to be lov'd. She, while her Lover pants upon her breast, Can mark the figures on an Indian chest; And when she sees her Friend in deep despair, Observes how much a Chintz exceeds Mohair. 170 Forbid it Heav'n, a Favour or a Debt She e'er should cancel---but she may forget, Safe is


Secret still in Cloe's ear; But none of Cloe's shall Of all her Dears she never flander'd one, 175 But cares not if a thousand are undone. Would Cloe know if you're alive or dead? She bids her Footman put it in her head,

you ever hear.

Notes. free exercise of the social appetites after the selfish ones have been fubdued; for that if, tho' reason govern, the heart be never consulted, we interest ourselves as little in the fortune of such a Character, as in any of the foregoing, which passions or caprice drive up and down at random.

Cloe is prudent---Would you too be wise?
Then never break your heart when Cloe dies. 180

One certain Portrait may (I grant) be seen,
Which Heav'n has varnish'd out, and made a Queen :
THE SAME FOR EVER! and describ’d by all
With Truth and Goodness, as with Crown and Ball.
Poets heap Virtues, Painters Gems at will, 185
And show their zeal, and hide their want of skill.
'Tis well--- but, Artists; who can paint or write,
To draw the Naked is your true delight.
That Robe of Quality so struts and swells,
None see what Parts of Nature it conceals: 190
Th'exactest traits of Body or of Mind,
We owe to models of an humble kind.
If QUEENSBERRY to strip there's no compelling,
'Tis from a Handmaid we must take a Helen.
From Peer or Bishop 'tis no easy thing 195
To draw the man who loves his God, or King :
Alas ! I copy, (or my draught would fail)
From honest Mah’met, or plain Parson Hale.

NOTES. Ver. 181. One certain Portrait--the same for ever!-) This is intirely ironical, and conveys under it this general moral truth, that there is, in life, no such thing as a perfect Character ; so that the fatire falls not on any particular Character, or Station, but on the Character-maker only. See Note on s 78. i Dialogue 1738.

VER. 198. Mab'met, servant to the late King, faid to be

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