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Have humour, wit, a native ease and grace,
Though not too strictly bound to time and place :
Critics in wit, or life, are hard to please,
Few write to those, and none can live to these.

Too much your sex is by their forms confined,
Severe to all, but most to womankind;
Custom, grown blind with age, must be your guide ;
Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride;
By nature yielding, stubborn but for fame ;
Made slaves by honour, and made fools by shame.
Marriage may all those petty tyrants chase,
But sets up one, a greater in their place :
Well might you wish for change by those accursed,
But the last tyrant ever proves the worst.
Still in constraint your suff'ring sex remains,
Or bound in formal or in real chains :
Whole years neglected, for some months adored,
The fawning servant turns a haughty lord.
Ah quit not the free innocence of life,
For the dull glory of a virtuous wife;
Nor let false shows nor empty titles please :
Aim not at joy, but rest content with ease.

The gods, to curse Pamela with her prayers,
Gave the gilt coach and dappled Flanders mares,
The shining robes, rich jewels, beds of state,
And, to complete her bliss, a fool. for mate.
She glares in balls, front boxes, and the Ring,
A vain, unquiet, glittring, wretched thing!
Pride, pomp, and state but reach her outward part ;
She sighs, and is no duchess at her heart.

But, Madam, if the Fates withstand, and you
Are destined Hymen's willing victim too ;
Trust not too much your now resistless charms,
Those, age or sickness soon or late disarms :
Good humour only teaches charms to last,
Still makes new conquests, and maintains the past;
Love, raised on beauty, will like that decay,
Our hearts may bear its slender chain a day;
As flowery bands in wantonness are worn,
A morning's pleasure, and at evening torn;
This binds in ties more easy, yet more strong,
The willing heart, and only holds it long.






Thus Voiture's early care 4 still shone the same,
And Monthausier was only changed in name;
By this, ev'n now they live, ev'n now they charm,
Their wit still sparkling, and their flames still warm.

Now crown'd with myrtle, on th’ Elysian coast,
Amid those lovers, joys his gentle ghost :
Pleased, while with smiles his happy lines you view,
And finds fairer Rambouillet in you.
The brightest eyes in France inspired his Muse;
The brightest eyes of Britain now peruse ;
And dead, as living, 'tis our author's pride
Still to charm those who charm the world beside.




4 Mademoiselle Paulet.





AS S some fond virgin, whom her mother's care

Drags from the town to wholesome country air,
Just when she learns to roll a melting eye,
And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh;
From the dear man unwilling she must sever,
Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever :
Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew,?
Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew;
Not that their pleasures caused her discontent,
She sigh'd not that they stay'd, but that she went.

She went to plain-work, and to purling brooks,
Old-fashion'd halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks :
She went from opera, park, assembly, play,
To morning walks, and prayers three hours a-day;
To part her time 'twixt reading and bohea,
To muse, and spill her solitary tea,
Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon,
Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon;
Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire,
Hum half a tune, tell stories to the squire ;
Up to her godly garret after seven,
There starve and pray, for that's the way to heaven.



Some 'squire, perhaps, you take delight to rack ; Whose game is whisk, whose treat a toast in sack ;

1 Of King George the First, 1715. [So in all the editions, but the poet was careless as to dates. The coronation of George I. took place on the 20th October, 1714.] 2 [In the original,

“Thus from the world the fair Teresa flew." Pope suppressed the name after he had transferred his attentions from Teresa to her sister Martha. Both ladies died unmarried, Teresa aged seventy-one, and Martha seventy-three. See Life of Pope in this edition.]




Who visits with a gun, presents you birds,
Then gives a smacking buss, and cries,-No words!
Or with his hound comes hallooing from the stable,
Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table ;
Whose laughs are hearty, though his jests are coarse,
And loves you best of all things—but his horse.

In some fair ev'ning, on your elbow laid,
You dream of triumphs in the rural shade;
In pensive thought recall the fancied scene,
See coronations rise on ev'ry green ;
Before you pass th’ imaginary sights
Of lords, and earls, and dukes, and garter'd knights,
While the spread fan o'ershades your closing eyes ;
Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies.
Thus vanish sceptres, coronets, and balls,
And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls !

So when your slave, at some dear idle time,
(Not plagued with head-aches, or the want of rhyme,)
Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew,
And while he seems to study, thinks of you ;
Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes,
Or sees the blush of soft Parthenia rise,3
Gay pats my shoulder, and you vanish quite,
Streets, chairs, and coxcombs rush upon my sight;
Vex'd to be still in town, I knit my brow,
Look sour, and hum a tune as you may now.




3 [In the original it is “the blush of Parthenissa,” which was the fanciful designation of Martha Blount in the correspondence of the sisters with James - Moore.]


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H be thou blest with all that Heaven can send,

Long health, long youth, long pleasure, and a friend : Not with those toys the female world admire, Riches that vex, and vanities that tire. With added years, if life bring nothing new,

5 But like a sieve let every blessing through, Some joy still lost, as each vain year runs o'er, And all we gain, some sad reflection more; Is that a birthday ? 'tis alas ! too clear, 'Tis but the funeral of the former year.


Let joy or ease, let affluence or content, And the gay conscience of a life well spent, Calm ev'ry thought, inspirit ev'ry grace, Glow in thy heart and smile upon thy face. Let day improve on day, and year on year,

15 Without a pain, a trouble, or a fear;

1 [Originally thus in the manuscript,

“And oh since death must that fair frame destroy,
Die, by some sudden ecstasy of joy;
In some soft dream may thy mild soul remove,

And be thy latest gasp a sigh of love.” Martha Blount was the lady addressed. The original copy of the verses is preserved at Maple-Durham, addresed to Martha, and entitled, “Written June 15, on your Birth-day, 1723.” In a letter written in 1724, on the anniversary of Miss Blount's birth-day, Pope says, Were I to tell you what I wish for you in particular, it would be only to repeat in prose what I told you last year in rhyme, so sincere is my poetry. I can only add, that as I then wished you a friend, I now wish that friend were Mrs. Howard.” This shows the poet's high opinion of Chloe's prudence, though she had no heart. (See Moral Essays, Epistle ii.) The tone of morality in society was then low, else Pope would not have recommended as a suitable friend for a young lady a person occupying such a position in the royal household as that filled by Mrs. Howard, and separated from her husband.]

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