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aims and the fate of the sex, both as to power and pleasure ? ver. 219, 231, &c. Advice for their true interest, 249 The picture of an esteemable woman, made up of the best kind of contrarieties, v. 269. &c.
NOTHING so true as what you once let fall,
" Most Women have no Characters at all.”
Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
And best distinguish'd by black, brown, or fair.
How many pictures of one Nymph we view,
All how unlike each other, all how true !
Arcadia's Countess, here, in ermin'à pride,
Is there, Pastora by a fountain side.
Here Fannia, leering on her own good man,
And there, a naked Leda with a Swan.
Let then the fair one beautifully cry,
In Magdalene's loose hair and lifted eye,
Or drest in smiles of sweet Cecilia shine,
With simp’ring Angels, Palms, and Harps divine ;
Whether the Charmer finner it, or faint it,
If Folly grow romantic, I must paint it.
Come then, the colours and the ground prepare !
Dip in the Rainbow, trick her off in Air;
Chuse a firm cloud, before it fall, and in it
Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute.
Rufa, whose eye quick-glancing o'er the Park,
Attracts each light gay meteor of a Spark,
Agrees as ill with Rufa studying Locke,
As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock;
Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task,
With Sappho fragrant'at an evening Malk;
So morning infects that in muck begun,
Shine, buzz, and fly-blow in the setting-fun.
How soft is Silia! fearful to offend;
The frail one's advocate, the weak one's friend.
To her, Calista prov'd her conduct nice;
And good Simplicius alks of her advice.
Sudden, she storms ! The raves! You tip the wink,
But spare your censure ; Silia does not drink.
All eyes may see from what the change arose,
All eyes may fee—a Pimple on her nose.
Papillia, wedded to her am'rous spark,
Sighs for the shades -" How charming is a Park !"
A park is purchas’d, but the fair he sees
All bath'd in tears- “ Oh odious, odious Trees !"
Ladies, like variegated tulips, sow;
'Tis to their changes half their charms we owe;
Fine by defect, and delicately weak,
Their happy spots the nice admirer take.
'Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarm’d,
Aw'd without Virtue, without Beauty charm’d;
Her Tongue bewitch'd as oddly as her Eyes,
Less Wit than Mimic, more a Wit than wise;
Strange graces still, and stranger fights she had,
Was just not ugly, and was just not mad;
Yet ne'er so sure our passion to create,
As when the touch'd the brink of all we hate.
Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild,
To make a wash, would hardly stew a child;
Has even been prov'd to grant a lover's prayer,
And paid a tradesman once to make him stare;
Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trim,
And made a widow happy, for a whim.
Why then declare Good nature is her scorn,
When 'tis by that alone she can be born?
Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name?
A fool to Pleasure, yet a slave to Fame:
Now deep in Taylor and the Book of Martyrs,
Now drinking Citron with his Grace and Chartres :
Now conscience chills her, and now Passion burns;
And Atheism and Religion take their turns ;
A very Heathen in the carnal part,
Yet still a sad, good Christian at her heart.
See Sin in state, majestically drunk;
Proud as a peeress, prouder as a punk;
Chaite to her husband, frank to all beside,
A teeming mistress, but a barren Bride.
What then? let Blood and body bear the fault,
Her head's untouch'd, that noble seat of thought :
Such this day's doctrine-in another fit
She sins with Poets thro' pure love of Wit.
What has not fir'd her bosom, or her brain ?
Caesar and Tall-boy, Charles and Charlema’ne.
As Helluo, late Dictator of the Feast,
The Nose of Haut-gout, and the the Tip of Taste,
Critiqu’d your wine, and analyz'd your meat,
Yet on plain pudding deign’d at home to eat ;
So Philomedé lecturing all mankind
On the soft passion, and the Taste refin'd,
Th’ Address, the Delicacy stoops at once,
And makes her hearty meal upon a dunce.
Flavia's a Wit, has too much sense to pray;
To toast our wants and wishes, is her way;
Nor asks of God, but of her Stars, to give"
The mighty blessing, “ while we live, to live.”
Then all for death, that Opiate of the foul!
Lucretia's dagger, Rosamonda's bowi,
Say, what can cause fuch impotence of mind ?
A spark too fickle, or a spouse too kind.
Wise wretch! with pleasure too refin'd to please;
With too much fpirit to be e'er at ease;
With too much Quickness ever to be taught;
With too much thinking to have common Thought:
You purchase pain with all that joy can give,
And die of nothing but a rage to live.
Turn then from wits; and look to Símo's Mate, No ass fo meek, no ass so obstinate. Or her, that owns her faults, but never mends, Becaufe iht's honest, and the best of Friends : Or her, whole life the Church and Scandal share, For ever in a Passion, or a Prayer : Or her who laughs at hell, but (like her Grace) Cries, “Ah! how charming, if there's no such place!" Or who in sweet viciffitude appears Of mirth and Opium, Ratafia and Tears, The daily Anodyne, and nightly Draught, To kill those foes to Fair ones, Time and Thought. Woman and Fool are two hard things to hit; For true No-meaning puzzles more than Wit.
But what are these to great Atosa's mind ? Scarce once herself, by turns all Womankind ! 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. No thought advances, but her eddy Brain Whisks it about, and down it goes again. Full sixty years the World bas been her Trade, The wiseft fool much time has ever made. From loveless youth to unrespected age, No Passion 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. Here every 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 ! But an Inferior not dependant? worse. Offend her, and she knows not to forgive; Oblige her, and she'll hate you while
you But die, and she'll adore you--Then the Bust And Temple rise---then fall again to dust. 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 Power, by Warmth of Friends,