Abbildungen der Seite

Experience, this; by Man's oppreffion curst,
They seek the fecond not to lose the first.

Men, fome to Bus'nefs, fome to Pleasure take; But ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake: 216 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: 220 In Youth they conquer, with fo 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 repofe, and dread to be alone,


tinued: That the Second is, as it were, forced upon them by the tyranny and oppreffion of man, in order to fecure the fift

VER. 216. But ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake:] "Some "men (fays the Poet) take to "bufinefs, fome to pleasure, "but every woman would willingly make pleasure her bu

"finefs:" which being the peculiar characteristic of a Rake, we muft needs think that he includes (in his use of the word here) to more of the Rake's ill qualities than are implied in this definition, of one who makes pleasure his business.

VER. 2.19. What are the Aims and the Fate of this Sex? -I. As to Power. P.


Worn out in public, weary ev'ry eye,

Nor leave one figh behind them when they die. 230

Pleasures the fex, as children Birds, purfue,


Still out of reach, yet never out of view
Sure, if they catch, to spoil the Toy at most,
To covet flying, and regret when loft:


At last, to follies Youth could scarce defend, 235
It grows
their Age's prudence to pretend;
Afham'd to own they gave delight before,
Reduc'd to feign it, when they give no more:
As Hags hold Sabbaths, lefs for joy than spight,
So these their merry, miferable Night;
Still round and round the Ghofts of Beauty glide,
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 Paffion, but their Prize a Sot,
Alive, ridiculous, and dead, forgot!

Ah! Friend! to dazzle let the Vain defign; To raife the Thought, and touch the Heart be thine! 250

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


VER. 249. Advice for their true Intereft. P.

That Charm shall grow, while what fatigues the Ring,


Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing:
So when the Sun's broad beam has tir'd the fight,
All mild afcends the Moon's more fober light,
Serene in Virgin Modesty fhe fhines,
And unobserv'd the glaring Orb declines.
Oh! bleft with Temper, whofe unclouded ray
Can make to-morrow chearful as to-day;
She, who can love a Sifter's charms, or hear
Sighs for a Daughter with unwounded ear ; 260


VER. 253. So when the Sun's broad beam &c.] One of the great beauties obfervable in the poet's management of his Similitudes, is the ceremonious preparation he makes for

them, in gradually raifing the imagery of the fimilitude in the lines preceding, by the use of metaphors taken from the fubject of it :

while what fatigues the ring, Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing.

And the civil difmiffion he gives them by the continuance of the fame 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 fudden or abrupt difappearence of it,

Oh! bleft with Temper, whose unclouded ray &c.

Another inftance of the fame kind we have in this epiftle, in the following lines,

Chufe a firm cloud before it fall, and in it

Catch, e'er fhe change, the Cynthia of this minute.
Rufa, whofe eye quick-glancing o'er the Park,
Attracts each light gay Meteor of a Spark, &c.

She, who ne'er answers till a Husband cools,
Or, if the rules him, never fhows the rules;
Charms by accepting, by fubmitting sways,
Yet has her humour moft, when the obeys;
Let Fops or Fortune fly which way they will; 265
Difdains all lofs of Tickets, or Codille;

Spleen, Vapours, or Small-pox, above them all,
And Miftrefs of herself, tho' China fall.

And yet, believe me, good as well as ill, Woman's at beft a Contradiction ftill.

Heav'n, when it ftrives to polish all it can
Its laft beft work, but forms a fofter Man;
Picks from each fex, to make the Fav'rite bleft,
Your love of Pleafure, our defire of Reft:
Blends, in exception to all gen'ral rules, 275
Your Taste of Follies, with our Scorn of Fools:
Referve with Franknefs, Art with Truth ally'd,
Courage with Softnefs, Modesty with Pride;



VER. 269. The Picture of an eftimable Woman, with the best kind of contrarieties, created out of the poet's imagination; who therefore feigned thofe circumftances of a Hufband, a Daughter, and love for a Sifter, to prevent

her being mistaken for any of his
acquamtance. And having thus
made his Woman, he did, as the
ancient poets were wont, when
they had made their Muse, in-
voke, and addrefs his poem
to, her.


Fix'd Principles, with Fancy ever new ;
Shakes all together, and produces-You.

Be this a Woman's Fame: with this unbleft,
Toafts live a fcorn, and Queens may die a jeft.
This Phoebus promis'd (I forget the year)
When those blue eyes firft open'd on the fphere;
Afcendant Phoebus watch'd that hour with care,
Averted half your Parents' fimple Pray'r; 286
And gave you Beauty, but deny'd the Pelf
That buys your fex a Tyrant o'er itself.
The gen'rous God, who Wit and Gold refines,
And ripens Spirits as he ripens Mines,
Kept Drofs for Ducheffes, the world fhall know it,
To you gave Senfe, Good-humour, and a Poet.




VER. 285. &c. Afcendant Phoebus watch'd that hour with care, Averted half your Parents' fimple Pray'r; And gave you Beauty, but deny'd the Pelf] The poet concludes his Epiftle with a fine Moral, that deferves the serious attention of the public: It is this, that all the extravagances of thefe vicious Characters here defcribed, are much inflamed by a wrong Education, hinted at in y 203; and that even the best are rather fecured by a good natural than by the prudence and providence of parents; which ob

[ocr errors]


fervation is conveyed under the fublime claffical machinery of Phoebus in the afcendant, watching the natal hour of his favourite, and averting the ill effects of her parents mistaken fondnefs: For Phoebus, as the god of Wit, confers Genius; and, as one of the aftronomical influences, defeats the adventitious byas of education.

In conclufion, the great Moral from both thefe Epiftles together is, that the two rarest things in all Nature are a DISINTERESTED MAN, and a REASONABLE WOMAN.

« ZurückWeiter »