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Why then declare good-nature is her scorn,
See sin in state, majestically drunk;
Flavia 's a wit; has too much sense to pray : To toast our wants and wishes, is her way;
83 So Philomedé. Probably meant for Henrietta, daughter of the celebrated duchess of Marlborough.
Nor asks of God, but of her stars, to give
106 Or her, who laughs at hell, but, like her grace, Cries, “Ah! how charming if there 's no such
place! Or who in sweet vicissitude appears, Of mirth and opium, ratafia and tears, 110 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 Atossa's mind ? 115 Scarce once herself, by turns all womankind !
108 Cries, ' Ah, how charming. The duchess of Montague.
115 Great Atossa. Atossa was the daughter of Cyrus, sister of Cambyses, and wife of Cyrus. Whether it were for those high relationships, or her violence of temper, that Pope chose
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 : 120 No thought advances, but her eddy brain Whisks it about, and down it goes again. Full sixty years the world has been her trade; The wisest fool much time has ever made. From loveless youth to unrespected age, 125 No passion gratified except her rage. So much the fury still outran 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. 130 Her every turn with violence pursued, No 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! 135 But an inferior not dependent? worse. Offend her, and she knows not to forgive; Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live: the Persian princess as the representative of the most celebrated woman of his day, the wife of the great duke of Marlborough, must now be left to conjecture. Walpole, in his pleasantry, remarks of her Memoirs, that, though they are rather the annals of a wardrobe than of a reign, they retain those sallies of wit which fourscore years of arrogance could not fail to produce in so fantastic an understanding : one sees exactly how Europe and the back-stairs took their places in her imagination. The revolution left no impression on her mind, but of queen Mary turning up bed-clothes ; and the protestant hero, but of a selfish glutton, who devoured a dish of peas from his sister-in-law! The queen gave her a picture in enamel set with diamonds: the duchess took off the diamonds, and gave the picture to a Mrs. Higgins to be sold.'
But die, and she 'll adore you: then the bust
Pictures like these, dear madam, to design,
Yet Chloe sure was form’d without a spot.'— Nature in her then err’d not, but forgot. • With every pleasing, every prudent part, 159 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 endeavor, Content to dwell in decencies for ever, So very reasonable, so unmoved,
165 As never yet to love or to be loved. 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. 170
Forbid it, Heaven, a favor or a debt
One certain portrait may, I grant, be seen, 181 Which Heaven has varnish'd out, and made a
queen: The same for ever! and described by all With truth and goodness, as with crown and
ball. Poets heap virtues, painters gems at will; 185 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 : 190 The exactest traits of body or of mind We owe to models of a humble kind. If Queensbury 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 :
179 Chloe is prudent. Lady Suffolk. Pope dining at her table beard her tell one of the footmen to remind ber, to send to know how Mrs. Blount, who was ill, had passed the night.