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Alas ! I copy (or my draught would fail)
But grant, in public, men sometimes are shown,
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. 210
That Nature gives; and where the lesson taught Is but to please, can pleasure seem a fault? Experience, this; by man's oppression cursed, 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.
198 Mahomet. Servant to the late king, said to be the son of a Turkish bassa, whom he took at the siege of Buda, and constantly kept about his person.-Pope.
198 Parson Hale. The learned and philanthropic Dr. Stephen Hale.
216 But every woman is at heart a rake. Warburton, as usual, determines to defend the indefensible :-'We may observe,' is his plea, the expression simply amounts to this, that while some men take to business, some to pleasure, every woman would willingly make pleasure her business. The explanation only aggravates the offence. Pope evidently gave way to the temptation of epigram, and terseness obtained the victory over truth.
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-timed 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
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; Ashamed to own they gave delight before, Reduced 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 honor 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;
245 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 design; 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 tired the
sight, All mild ascends the moon's more sober light, Serene in virgin modesty she shines,
255 And unobserved the glaring orb declines.
O! bless'd 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; 260 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 humor most when she obeys; Lets fops or fortune fly which way they will; 265 Disdains all loss of tickets or codille ; Spleen, vapors, or small-pox, above them all; And mistress 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 favorite bless'd, Your love of pleasure, our desire of rest; Blends, in exception to all general rules, 275 Your taste of follies with our scorn of fools ; Reserve with frankness, art with truth allied, Courage with softness, modesty with pride; Fix'd principles, with fancy ever new; Shakes all together, and produces--you. 280
270 Be this a woman's fame: with this unbless'd, Toasts live a scorn, and queens may die a jest. This Phæbus promised, (I forget the year) When those blue eyes first open'd on the sphere: Ascendant Phoebus watch'd that hour with care; Averted half your parents simple prayer; 286 And gave you beauty, but denied 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 mines, 290 Kept dross for duchesses, the world shall know it; To you gave sense, good-humor, and a poet.
281 Be this a woman's fame. In conclusion,' says Warburton, boldly, the great moral from both those Epistles together, is that the two rarest things in all nature are, a disinterested man, and a reasonable woman.'