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Pictures, like these, dear madam, to design,
Asks no firm hand, and no unerring line;
Some wandering touches, some reflected light,
Some Aying stroke alone can hit them right:
For how should equal colours do the knack ?
Chameleons who can paint in white and black ?
Yet Chloe sure was form'd without a spot:'.
Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot.
• With every pleasing, every prudent part,
Say, what can Chloe want?'...She wants a heart.
She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought;
But never, never reach'd one generous thought.
Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour,
Content to dwell in decencies for ever.
So very reasonable, so unmovid,
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.
Forbid it Heaven, a favour or a debt
She e'er should cancel--but she may forget.
Safe is your secret still in Chloe's ear;
But none of Chloe's shall you ever hear.
Of all her dears she never slander'd one,
But cares not if a thousand are undone.
Would Chloe know if you're alive or dead?
She bids her footman put it in her head.
Chloe is prudent-Would you too be wise?
Then never break your heart when Chloe dies.
One certain portrait may (I grant) be seen,
Which Heaven 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,
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 :
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
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.
But grant, in public men sometimes are shown,
A woman's seen in private life alone :
Our bolder talents in full 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 so nice,
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.
That, nature gives; and where the lesson taught
Is but to please, can pleasure seem a fault?
Experience this; by man's oppression curst,
They seek the second not to lose the first.
Men, some to business, some to pleasure take;
But every women 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 :
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,
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.
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,
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;
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;
Fair to no purpose, artful to no end,
Young without lovers, old without a friend :
A fop their passion, but their prize a sot;
Alive ridiculous, and dead forgot!
Ah, friend! to dazzle let the vain desigu;
To raise the thought, and touch the heart, be thine!
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 sight.
All mild ascends the moon's more sober light,
Serene in virgin modesty she shines,
And unobserv'd the glaring orb declines.
O! blest with temper, whose unclouded ray
Can make to morrow cheerful as to day;
She who can love a sister's charms, or hear
Sighs for a daughter with unwounded ear;
She who ne'er answers till a husband cools,
Or, if she rules him, never shows she rules;
Charms by accepting, by submitting sways,
Yet has her humour most when she obeys;
Let fops or fortune fly which way they will,
Disdains all loss of tickets or codille;
Spleen, vapours, or small-pox, above them all,
And inistress of herself though china fall,
. And yet, believe me, good as well as ill,
Woman's at best a contradiction still.
Heaven, when it strives to polish all it can
Its last best work, but forms a softer man;
Picks from each sex, to make the favourite blest,
Your love of pleasure, our desire of rest;
Blends, in exception to all general rules,
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.
Be this a woman's fame; with this unblest,
Toasts live a scorn, and queens may die a jest.
This Phæbus promis'd (I forget the year)
When those blue eyes first open'd on the sphere;
Ascendant Phobus watch'd that hour with care,
Averted half your parents' simple prayer;
Aud gave you beauty, but deny'd the pelf
That buys your sex a tyrant o'er itself.
The generous god, who wit and gold refines,
And ripens spirits as he ripens mine,
Kept dross for duchesses, the world shall know it,
To you gave sense, good-humour, and a poet.
EPISTLE III. TO ALLEN, LORD BATHURST.
That it is known to few, most falling into one of the
extremes, avarice or profusion, ver. 10, &c. The point discussed, whether the invention of money has been more commodious or pernicious to mankind, ver. 21 to 77. That riches, either to the avaricious or the prodigal, cannot afford happiness, scarcely necessaries, ver. 89 to 160. That avarice is an absolute frenzy, without an end or purpose, ver. 113, &c. 152. Conjectures about the motives of avaricious men, ver. 121 to 153.. That the conduct of men with respect to riches, can only be accounted for by the order of Providence, which works the general good out of extremes, and brings all to its great end by perpetual revolutions, ver. 161 to 178. How a miser acts upon principles which appear to him reasonable, ver. 179. How a prodigal does the same, ver. 199. The true medium, and true use of riches, ver. 219. The man of Ross, ver. 250. The fate of the profuse and the covetous, in two examples; both miserable in life and in death, ver. 300, &c. The story of Sir Balaam, ver. 339 to the end.