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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 shew 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 a 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.


It does not appear that Pope intended in this passage to convey any such insipid meaning. His object is to shew, that we must not attempt to judge of characters when surrounded by adventitious circumstances, nor take our ideas of women from queens

and duchesses, who are always objects of flattery; when, in truth,

A woman's seen in private life alone,”



After Ver. 198. in the MS.

Fain I'd in Fulvia spy the tender wife;
I cannot prove it on her, for

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 she love and merit verse, have mine. Warburton. VOL. V.


But grant, in publie, men sometimes are shown, A woman's seen in private life alone : 200 Our bolder talents in full light display'd; Your virtues open fairest in the shade.

NOTES. Ver. 198. Mak’met,] Servant to the late King, said to be the son of a Turkish Bassa, whom he took at the siege of Buda, and eonstantly kept about his person.

Pope. Ver. 198. plain Parson Hale.] Dr. Stephen Hale; not more estimable for his useful discoveries as a natural Philosopher, than for his exemplary life and pastoral charity as a parish priest.

Warburton. Ver. 202. Your virtues open] To balance the many severe things our author has said of Women in this Epistle, I cannot forbear adding a passage from a writer, who has been usually thought by no means a friend to the fair sex. And it may occasion surprise to find such a passage from Dean Swift. “The degeneracy of conversation, with the pernicious consequences thereof upon our humours and dispositions, hath been owing, among other causes, to the custom arisen, for some time past, of excluding women from any share in our society, further than in parties at play, or dancing, or in the pursuit of an amour. I take the highest period of politeness in England (and it is of the same date in France) to have been the peaceable part of King Charles the First's reign; and from what we read of those times, as well as from the accounts I have formerly met with from some who lived in that court, the methods then used for raising and cultivating conversation were altogether different from ours. Several ladies, whom we find celebrated by the poets of that age, had assemblies at their houses, where persons of the best understanding, and of both sexes, met to pass the evenings in discoursing upon whatever agreeable subjects were occasionally started ; and although we are apt to ridicule the sublime platonic notions they had, or personated, in love and friendship, I conceive their refinements were grounded upon reason, and that a little grain of the romance is no ill ingredient to preserve and exalt the dignity of human nature, without which it is apt to degenerate into every thing that hide ;

Bred to disguise, in public ’tis you
There, none distinguish'twixt your shame or pride,
Weakness or delicacy; all so nice,

205 That each may seem a virtue, or a vice.

In men, we various Ruling 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.



is sordid, vicious, and low. If there were no other use in the conversation of ladies, it is sufficient that it would lay a restraint upon those odious topics of immodesty and indecencies into which the rudeness of our northern genius is so apt to fall.” Wurton.

Ver. 203. Bred to disguise, in public 'tis you hide;] There is something apparently exceptionable in the turn of this assertion, which makes their disguising in public the natural effect of their being bred to disguise : but if we consider that female education is the art of teaching, not to be, but to appear, we shall have no reason to find fault with the exactness of the expression. Warburton.

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 characteristic of the sex, as to the ruling Passion, is more uniform.

Pope. Ver. 208. In women, two] I cannot think our author would suffer by a minute comparison of this Epistle with the most shining and applauded morsels of the tenth satire of Boileau, which undoubtedly are his portraits of the affected female Pedant, ver. 439. The Gamester, ver. 215. His Jealous Lady, ver. 378. The Haughty Lady of Family, ver. 470. And above all, what Boileau himself valued most, the Devout Lady and her Director, ver. 558. Boileau was severely attacked for this Epistle by Perrault; but was powerfully defended by the great Arnauld, a rigid moralist, and also by La Bruyère.

Ver. 207.] In the first edition :

In several men, we several Passions find;
In women, two almost divide the kind. Warburton.

That, Nature gives; and where the lesson taught Is but to please, can pleasure seem a fault ? Experience, this; by Man's oppression curs’d, They seek the second not to lose the first. Men, some to business, some to pleasure take; 215 But every woman is at heart a rake; Men, some to quiet, some to public strife; But every lady would be queen for life.

Yet mark the fate of a whole sex of queens ! Power all their end, but beauty all the means: 220 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 every eye, Nor leave one sigh behind them when they die. 230


Ver. 211.] This is occasioned partly by their Nature, partly by their Education, and in some degree by Necessity. Pope.

Ver. 216. But every woman is at heart a rake:] This line has given offence : but in behalf of the Poet we may observe, that what he says amounts only to this : Some men take to business, some to pleasure; but every woman would willingly make pleasure her business; which being the proper periphrasis of a rake, he uses that word, but of course includes in it no more of the rake's ill qualities than is implied in this definition, of one who makes pleasure his business.

Warburton. Ver. 219.] What are the Aims and the Fate of this sex.-I. As to Power.


Pleasures the sex, as children birds, pursue, 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 lost : At last, to follies youth could scarce defend, 235 It grows their age's prudence to pretend; Asham'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 spite, So these their merry, miserable night : 240 Still round and round the ghosts of beauty glide, And haunt the places where their honour died.

See how the world its veterans rewards! A youth of frolics, an old age of cards;


Ver. 229. Worn out in public,] Copied from Young, Satire 5. written eight years before this Epistle appeared :

“ Worn in the public eye, give cheap delight

To throngs, and tarnish to the sated sight.” Warton. Ver. 231.]—II. As to Pleasure.

Pope. Ver. 234. To covet flying,] It is impossible not to recollect the witty simile of Young, Sat. 5.

“ Pleasures are few, and fewer we enjoy ;

Pleasure, like quicksilver, is bright and coy ;
We strive to grasp it with our utmost skill,
Still it eludes us, and it glitters still;
If seiz'd at last, compute your mighty gains,
What is it, but rank poison in your veins ?”

Warton. Ver. 244. A youth of frolics,] The antithesis, so remarkably strong in these lines, was a very favourite figure with our Poet. He has indeed used it but in too many parts of his works; nay, even in his translation of the Iliad, where it ought not to have been admitted, and which Dryden has but rarely used in his Virgil. Our author seldom writes many words together without an antithesis. It must be allowed sometimes, to add strength to


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