Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Our bolder Talents in fall light display'd ;
Your Virtues open fairest in the shade.
Bred to disguise, in Public 'tis you hide ;
There, none distinguish ’twixt your Shame or Pride,
Weakness, or Delicacy; all fo nice,

205 That each

may

feem a Virtue, or a Vice.
In Men we various Ruiing Passions find ;
In Women, two almost divide the kind;
Those, only fix'd, they first or last obey,
The Love of Pleasure, and the Love of sway.

That, Nature gives; and where the leffon taught Is but to please, can Pleasure seem a fault ?

21

lowing, others are still wanting, nor can we answer that these are exactly inserted.

VER, 207. The former part having shewn, that the particular Characters of Women are more various than those of Men, it is nevertheless observed, that the general Character. i ftic of the sex, as to the ruling Pafion, is more uniform.

VER. 211. This is occafioned partly by their Nature, partly their Education, and in some degree by Neceflity.

VARIATIONS.

And, for a noble pride, I blush no less,
Instead of Berenice to think on Bess.
Thus while immortal Cibber only sings
(As * and H**y preach) for queens and kings,
The Nymph that ne'er read Milton's mighty line,

May, if he love, and merit verse, have mine,
VER. 207. In the first Edition,

In sev'ral Men we fev'ral pafsions find ;
In Women, two almost divide the Kindo

220

Experience, this ; by Man's oppression curit,
They seek the second not to lose the first.

Men some to Bus’ness, fome to Pleasure take; 215
But ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake:
Men, fome to Quiet, fome to public Strife ;
But ev'ry Lady would be Queen for Life.

Yet mark the fate of a whole Sex of Queens ! Pow'r all their end, but Beauty all the means : In Youth they conquer with so wild a rage, As leaves them scarce a subject in their Age: For foreign glory, foreign joy, they roam; No thought of peace or happiness at home. But Wisdom's triumph is well-tim'd Retreat, 225 As hard a science to the Fair as Great! Beauties, like Tyrants, old and friendless grown, Yet hate repose, and dread to be alone, Worn out in public, weary ev'ry eye, Nor leave one figh behind them when they die. 230

· Pleasures the sex, as children Birds, pursue, Still out of reach, yet never out of view;

VER. 216. But ev'ry Woman is at beart a Rake: ] “ Some « men (says the poet) take to business, some to pleasure, “ but every woman would willingly make pleafure ber bufi.ness :” which being the peculiar characteristic of a Rake, we must needs think that he includes (in his use of the word here) no more of the Rake's ill qualities than are implied in this definition, of one who makes pleasure his bfiness.

Ver. 219. What are the Aims and the Fate of this Sex ? - 1. As to Power.

II, As to Pleafure.

VER. 231.

235

Sure, if they catch, to spoil the Toy at most,
To covet Aying, and regret when loit :
At last, to follies Youth could scarce defend,
It grows their Age's prudence to pretend ;
Alham'd to own they gave delight before,
Reduc'd to feign it, when they give no more :
As Hags hold Sabbaths, less for joy than 1pight,
So these their merry, miserable Night; 2-19
Still round and round the Ghosts of Beauty glice,
And haunt the places where their honour dy d.

See how the World its Veterans rewards !
A Youth of Frolicks, an old Age of Cards ;
Fair to no purpose, artful to no end,
Young without Lovers, old without a Friend ;
A Fop their Pation, but their Prize a Sot,
Alive, ridiculous, and dead, forgot!

Ah! Friend! to dazzle let the Vain design ;
To raise the thought, and touch the Heart be thine !
That Charm thail grow, while what fatigues the Ring,
Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing :
So when the Sun's broad beain has tir'd the right,
All mild ascends the Moon's more sober light,

245

VER. 249. Advice for their true Interest.

VER. 253. So ruken the i un's broad beam, etc.] One of the great beauties observable in the poet's management of his Similitudes, is the ceremonious preparation he makes for them, in gradually raising the imagery of the fimilitude in the lines preceding, by the use of metaphors taken froin the subject of it:

while what farigues the ring, Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded 'hing,

255

Serene in Virgin Modesty the thines,
And unobserv'd the glaring orb declines.

Ok! bleft with Temper, whose unclouded ray
Can make to-morrow chcarful as to-day :
She, who can love a Sister's charms, or hear
Sighs for a Daughter with unwounded ear; 260
She who'ne'er answers 'till a Husband cools,
Or, if she'rules' him, never shews' she rules;
Charms by accepting, by tubmitting sways,
Yet his heř humour most, when she obeys ;
Let Fops of Fortune fly which way they will; 265
Dillains all loss of Tickets or Codille ;
Spleen, Vapo-irs, or Small-pox, above them all,
Aud Mift eis of herself, tho' China fall.

And yet, believe me, good as well as ill, Wo nan's at best' a Contradiction ftill.

270

And the civil dismission he gives them by the continuance of the same metaphor, in the lines following, whereby the traces of the imagery gradually decay, and give place to others, and the reader is never offended with the sudden or abrupt disappearance of it,

Oh! bleft with Temper, whose unclouded ray, etc. Another instance of the same kind we have in this epifle, in the following lines,

Chöre a firm cioud before it fall, and in it
Catch, ere me change, the Cyntbia of this minute."
Rufa, whose eye quick-glancing o'er the Park,
Attracts each light gay Meteor of a Spark, etc,

[ocr errors]

Heav'n, when it strives to polish all it can
Its last best work, but forms a softer Man ;
Picks from each sex, to make the Fav'rite blest,
Your love of Pleasure, our desire of Reft :
Blends, in exception to all gen’ral rules,

275
Your taste of Follies, with our Scorn of Fools :
Reserve with Frankness, Art with Truth ally'd,
Courage with Softness, Modesty with Pride ;
Fix'd Principles, with Fancy ever new ;
Shakes all together, and produces - You. 280
Be this a Woman's Fame : with this unblert,
Toasts live a scorn, and Queen's may die a jeft.
This Phæbus promis'd (I forget the year)
When those blue eyes first open’d on the sphere;
Afcendant Phebus watch'd that hour with care, 285
Averted half

your

Parents' fimple Pray'r ;

Ver. 285, etc. Afcendant Ploebus watch'd that bour with care, Averted balf your Parents' fimple Pray'r ; And gave you Beauty, but deny'd i be Pelf ] The poet concludes his Epiftle with a fine Moral, that deserves the serious attention of the public ; It is this, that all the extravagances of these vicious Characters here described, are much inflamed by a wrong Education, hinted at in ver. 203 ; and that even the best are rather secured by a good natural than by the prudence and providence of parents; which observation is conveyed un. der the sublime classical machinery of Phoebus in the ascen. cant, watching the natal hour of his favourite, and averting the ill effects of her parents mistaken fondness : For Phebus, as the god of Wit, confers Genius; and, as one of the astronomical influences, defeats the adventitious byas of education.

In conclusion, the great Moral from both these Epifles

« VorigeDoorgaan »