« EelmineJätka »
The sex we honor, though their faults we
Nay, thank their faults for such a fruitful theme:
A theme, fair ---! doubly kind to me,
Since satirizing those is praising thee;
Who wouldst not bear, too modestly refin'd,
A panegyric of a grosser kind.
Britannia's daughters, much more fair than nice,
Too fond of admiration, lose their price;
Worn in the public eye, give cheap delight
To throngs, and tarnish to the sated sight:
As unreserv'd, and beauteous, as the Sun,
Through every sign of vanity they run;
Assemblies, parks, coarse feasts in city-halls;
Lectures, and trials, plays, committees, balls,
Wells, bedlams, executions, Smithfield scenes,
And fortune-tellers, caves, and lions' dens,
Taverns, exchanges, bridewells, drawing-rooms,
Instalments, pillories, coronations, tombs,
Tumblers, and funerals, puppet-shows, reviews,
Sales, races, rabbits, (and, still stranger!) pews.
Clarinda's bosom burns, but burns for Fame;
And love lies vanquish'd in a nobler flame;
Warm gleams of hope she, now, dispenses; then,
Like April suns, dives into clouds again:
With all her lustre, now, her lover warms;
Then, out of ostentation, hides her charms;
"Tis, next, her pleasure sweetly to complain,
And to be taken with a sudden pain;
Then, she starts up, all ecstasy and bliss,
And is, sweet soul! just as sincere in this:
O how she rolls her charming eyes in spite!
And looks delightfully with all her might!
But, like our heroes, much more brave than wise,
She conquers for the triumph, not the prize.
Zara resembles Etna crown'd with snows;
Without she freezes, and within she glows:
Twice ere the Sun descends, with zeal inspir'd,
From the vain converse of the world retir'd,
She reads the psalms and chapters for the day,
In-Cleopatra, or the last new play.
Thus gloomy Zara, with a solemn grace,
Deceives mankind, and hides behind her face.
Nor far beneath her in renown, is she,
Who through good-breeding is ill company;
Whose manners will not let her larum cease,
Who thinks you are unhappy, when at peace;
To find you news, who racks her subtle head,
And vows" that her great-grandfather is dead."
A dearth of words a woman need not fear;
But 'tis a task indeed to learn-to hear:
In that the skill of conversation lies;
That shows, or makes, you both polite and wise.
Xantippe cries, "Let nymphs who nought can
Can vent her thunders, and her lightnings play,
O'er cooling gruel, and composing tea:
Nor rests by night, but, more sincere than nice,
She shakes the curtains with her kind advice:
Doubly, like echo, sound is her delight,
And the last word is her eternal right.
Be lost in silence, and resign the day;
And let the guilty wife her guilt confess,
By tame behavior, and a soft address!"
Through virtue, she refuses to comply
With all the dictates of humanity;
Through wisdom, she refuses to submit
To wisdom's rules, and raves to prove her wit;
Then, her unblemish'd honor to maintain,
Rejects her husband's kindness with disdain:
But if, by chance, an ill-adapted word
Props from the lip of her unwary lord,
Her darling china, in a whirlwind sent,
Just intimates the lady's discontent.
Wine may indeed excite the meekest dame;
Bu keen Xantippe, scorning borrow'd flame,
Is 't not enough plagues, wars, and famines, rise
To lash our crimes, but must our wives be wise?
Famine, plague, war, and an unnumber'd throng Of guilt-avenging ills, to man belong:
What black, what ceaseless cares besiege our state!
What strokes we feel from fancy, and from fate!
If fate forbears us, fancy strikes the blow;
We make misfortune; suicides in woe.
Superfluous aid! unnecessary skill!
Is Nature backward to torment, or kill?
How oft the noon, how oft the midnight, bell,
(That iron tongue of Death!) with solemn knell,
On Folly's errands as we vainly roam,
Knocks at our hearts, and finds our thoughts from home
Men drop so fast, ere life's mid-stage we tread,
Few know so many friends, alive, as dead.
Yet, as immortal, in our up-hill chase
We press coy Fortune with unslacken'd pace;
Our ardent labors for the toys we seek,
Join night to day, and Sunday to the week:
Our very joys are anxious, and expire
Between satiety and fierce desire.
Now what reward for all this grief and toil?
But one, a female friend's endearing smile;
A tender smile, our sorrows' only balm,
And, in life's tempest, the sad sailor's calm.
How have I seen a gentle nymph draw nigh,
Peace in her air, persuasion in her eye;
Victorious tenderness! it all o'ercame,
Husbands look'd mild, and savages grew tame.
The sylvan race our active nymphs pursue;
Man is not all the game they have in view:
In woods and fields their glory they complete;
There Master Betty leaps a five-barr'd gate;
While fair Miss Charles to toilets is confin'd,
Nor rashly tempts the barbarous sun and wind.
Some nymphs affect a more heroic breed,
And volt from hunters to the managed steed;
Command his prancings with a martial air,
And Fobert has the forming of the fair.
More than one steed must Delia's empire feel,
Who sits triumphant o'er the flying wheel;
And as she guides it through th' admiring throng,
With what an air she smacks the silken thong!
Graceful as John, she moderates the reins,
And whistles sweet her diuretic strains:
Sesostris-like, such charioteers as these
May drive six harness'd monarchs, if they please :
They drive, row, run, with love of glory smit,
Leap, swim, shoot flying, and pronounce on wit.
O'er the belles-lettres lovely Daphne reigns;
Again the god Apollo wears her chains :
With legs toss'd high, on her sophee she sits,
Vouchsafing audience to contending wits:
Of each performance she's the final test;
One act read o'er, she prophesies the rest;
And then, pronouncing with decisive air,
Fully convinces all the town-she's fair.
Had lovely Daphne Hecatessa's face,
How would her elegance of taste decrease!
Some ladies' judgment in their features lies,
And all their genius sparkles from their eyes.
"But hold," she cries, "lampooner! have a care; Must I want common sense, because I'm fair?”
You, in the morning, a fair nymph invite ;
To keep her word, a brown one comes at night:
Next day she shines in glossy black; and then
Revolves into her native red again :
O no: see Stella; her eyes shine as bright,
As if her tongue was never in the right;
And yet what real learning, judgment, fire!
She seems inspir'd, and can herself inspire:
How then (if malice rul'd not all the fair)
Could Daphne publish, and could she forbear?
We grant that beauty is no bar to sense,
Nor is't a sanction for impertinence.
Like a dove's neck, she shifts her transient charms
And is her own dear rival in your arms.
But one admirer has the painted lass;
Nor finds that one, but in her looking-glass :
Yet Laura's beautiful to such excess,
That all her art scarce makes her please us less.
To deck the female cheek, HE only knows,
Who paints less fair the lily and the rose.
Sempronia lik'd her man; and well she might;
The youth, in person and in parts, was bright;
Possess'd of every virtue, grace, and art,
That claims just empire o'er the female heart:
He met her passion, all her sighs return'd,
And, in full rage of youthful ardor, burn'd:
Large his possessions, and beyond her own;
Their bliss the theme and envy of the town:
The day was fix'd, when, with one acre more,
In stepp'd deform'd, debauch'd, diseas'd, threescore.
The fatal sequel I, through shame, forbear;
Of pride and avarice who can cure the fair?
How gay they smile! Such blessings Nature pours,
O'erstock'd mankind enjoy but half her stores:
In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
Man's rich with little, were his judgment true;
Nature is frugal, and her wants are few;
Those few wants answer'd, bring sincere delights;
But fools create themselves new appetites:
Fancy and pride seek things at vast expense,
Which relish not to reason, nor to sense.
When surfeit, or unthankfulness, destroys,
In nature's narrow sphere, our solid joys,
In fancy's airy land of noise and show,
Where nought but dreams, no real pleasures grow;
Like cats in air-pumps, to subsist we strive
On joys too thin to keep the soul alive.
Lemira's sick; make haste; the doctor call:
He comes; but where 's his patient? At the ball.
The doctor stares; her woman curt'sies low,
And cries, "My lady, sir, is always so:
Diversions put her maladies to flight;
True, she can't stand, but she can dance all night:
I've known my lady (for she loves a tune)
For fevers take an opera in June:
She rears her flowers, and spreads her velvet green;
Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.
Is Nature then a niggard of her bliss?
Repine we guiltless in a world like this?
But our lewd tastes her lawful charms refuse,
And painted art's deprav'd allurements choose.
Such Fulvia's passion for the town; fresh air
(An odd effect!) gives vapors to the fair;
Green fields, and shady groves, and crystal springs,
And larks, and nightingales, are odious things;
But smoke, and dust, and noise, and crowds delight ̧
And to be press'd to death, transports her quite :
Where silver rivulets play through flowery meads,
And woodbines give their sweets, and limes theit
Black kennels' absent odors she regrets,
And stops her nose at beds of violets.
Is stormy life preferr'd to the serene?
Or is the public to the private scene?
Retir'd, we tread a smooth and open way:
Through briers and brambles in the world we stray
Stiff opposition, and perplex'd debate,
And thorny care, and rank and stinging hate,
Which choke our passage, our career control,
O sacred solitude! divine retreat!
And, though perhaps you'll think the practice bold, And wound the firmest temper of our soul.
A midnight park is sovereign for a cold;
With colics, breakfasts of green fruit agree;
With indigestions, supper just at three."
A strange alternative, replies Sir Hans,
Must women have a doctor, or a dance?
Though sick to death, road they safely roam,
But droop and die, in perfect health, at home :
For want-but not of health, are ladies ill;
And tickets cure beyond the doctor's bill.
Alas, my heart! how languishingly fair
Yon lady lolls! With what a tender air!
Pale as a young dramatic author, when,
O'er darling lines, fell Cibber waves his pen.
Is her lord angry, or has Veny* chid?
Dead is her father, or the mask forbid ?
"Late sitting-up has turn'd her roses white."
Why went she not to bed? "Because 'twas night."
Did she then dance or play? Nor this, nor that."
Well, night soon steals away in pleasing chat.
“No, all alone, her prayers she rather chose,
Than be that wretch to sleep till morning rose."
Then lady Cynthia, mistress of the shade,
Goes, with the fashionable owls, to bed:
This her pride covets, this her health denies;
Her soul is silly, but her body's wise.
Others, with curious arts, dim charms revive,
And triumph in the bloom of fifty-five.
Choice of the prudent! envy of the great!
By thy pure stream, or in thy waving shade,
We court fair Wisdom, that celestial maid:
The genuine offspring of her lov'd embrace
(Strangers on Earth!) are innocence and peace:
There, from the ways of men laid safe ashore,
We smile to hear the distant tempest roar ;
There, bless'd with health, with business unperplex'd,
This life we relish, and insure the next;
There too the Muses sport; these numbers free,
Pierian Eastbury! I owe to thee.
There sport the Muses; but not there alone:
Their sacred force Amelia feels in town.
Nought but a genius can a genius fit;
A wit herself, Amelia weds a wit:
Both wits! though miracles are said to cease,
Three days, three wondrous days! they liv'd in
With the fourth sun a warm dispute arose,
On Durfey's poesy, and Bunyan's prose :
The learned war both wage with equal force,
And the fifth morn concluded the divorce.
Phoebe, though she possesses nothing less,
Is proud of being rich in happiness;
Laboriously pursues delusive toys,
Content with pains, since they're reputed joys.
With what well-acted transport will she say,
"Well, sure we were so happy yesterday!
And then that charming party for to-morrow!"
Though, well she knows, 'twill languish into sorrow:
But she dares never boast the present hour;
So gross that cheat, it is beyond her power:
For such is or our weakness, or our curse,
Or rather such our crime, which still is worse,
The present moment, like a wife, we shun,
And ne'er enjoy, because it is our own.
Pleasures are few, and fewer we enjoy ;
Pleasure, like quicksilver, is bright, and coy;
We strive to grasp it with our utmost skill,
Still it eludes us, and it glitters still :
If seiz'd at last, compute your mighty gains;
What is it, but rank poison in your veins?
As Flavia in her glass an angel spies,
Pride whispers in her ear pernicious lies;
Tells her, while she surveys a face so fine,
There's no satiety of charms divine:
Hence, if her lover yawns, all chang'd appears
Her temper, and she melts (sweet soul!) in tears:
She, fond and young, last week, her wish enjoy'd,
In soft amusement all the night employ'd;
The morning came, when Strephon, waking, found
(Surprising sight!) his bride in sorrow drown'd.
"What miracle," says Strephon, "makes thee
But oh! the nymph that mounts above the skies,
And, gratis, clears religious mysteries,
Resolv'd the church's welfare to insure,
And make her family a sinecure:
The theme divine at cards she'll not forget,
But takes in texts of Scripture at piquet;
In those licentious meetings acts the prude,
And thanks her Maker that her cards are good.
What angels would those be, who thus excel
In theologics, could they sew as well!
Yet why should not the fair her text pursue?
Can she more decently the doctor woo?
Ah, barbarous man," she cries, "how could you- "Tis hard, too, she who makes no use but chat sleep?"
Of her religion, should be barr'd in that.
Isaac, a brother of the canting strain,
Men love a mistress as they love a feast;
How grateful one to touch, and one to taste!
Yet sure there is a certain time of day,
We wish our mistress, and our meat, away:
But soon the sated appetites return,
Again our stomachs crave, our bosoms burn:
Eternal love let man, then, never swear;
Let women never triumph, nor despair;
When he has knock'd at his own skull in vain,
To beauteous Marcia often will repair
With a dark text, to light it at the fair.
O how his pious soul exults to find
Such love for holy men in woman-kind!
Charm'd with her learning, with what rapture he
Hangs on her bloom, like an industrious bee;
Nor praise, nor blame, too much, the warm, or chill; Hums round about her, and with all his power
Hunger and love are foreign to the will.
There is indeed a passion more refin'd,
Extracts sweet wisdom from so fair a flower!
The young and gay declining, Appia flies
By nature more an eagle than a dove,
She impiously prefers the world to love.
For those few nymphs whose charms are of the mind: At nobler game, the mighty and the wise:
But not of that unfashionable set
Is Phyllis; Phyllis and her Damon met.
Eternal love exactly hits her taste;
Phyllis demands eternal love at least.
Embracing Phyllis with soft-smiling eyes,
Eternal love I vow, the swain replies:
But say, my all, my mistress, and my friend!
What day next week, th' eternity shall end?
Can wealth give happiness? look round and see
What gay distress! what splendid misery!
Whatever fortune slavishly can pour,
The mind annihilates, and calls for more.
Wealth is a cheat; believe not what it
Like any lord, it promises-and pays.
How will the miser startle, to be told
Of such a wonder, as insolvent gold!
What Nature wants has an intrinsic weight;
All more is but the fashion of the plate,
Which, for one moment, charms the fickle view;
It charms us now; anon we cast anew;
To some fresh birth of fancy more inclin'd:
Then wed not acres, but a noble mind.
Some nymphs prefer astronomy to love;
Elope from mortal man, and range above.
The fair philosopher to Rowley flies,
Where, in a box, the whole creation lies:
She sees the planets in their turns advance,
And scorns, Poitier, thy sublunary dance :
Of Desaguliers she bespeaks fresh air;
And Whiston has engagements with the fair.
What vain experiments Sophronia tries!
"Tis not in air-pumps the gay colonel dies.
But though to-day this rage of science reigns,
(O fickle sex!) soon end her learned pains.
Lo! Pug from Jupiter her heart has got,
Turns out the stars, and Newton is a sot.
turn; she never took the height
Of Saturn, yet is ever in the right.
She strikes each point with native force of mind,
While puzzled Learning blunders far behind.
Graceful to sight, and elegant to thought,
The great are vanquish'd, and the wise are taught.
Her breeding finish'd, and her temper sweet,
When serious, easy; and when gay, discreet;
Mistaken lovers, who make worth their care,
And think accomplishments will win the fair;
The fair, 'tis true, by genius should be won,
As flowers unfold their beauties to the Sun;
And yet in female scales a fop outweighs,
And wit must wear the willow and the bays.
Nought shines so bright in vain Liberia's eye
As riot, impudence, and perfidy;
The youth of fire, that has drunk deep, and play'd
And kill'd his man, and triumph'd o'er his maid;
For him, as yet unhang'd, she spreads her charms
Snatches the dear destroyer to her arms;
And amply gives (though treated long amiss)
The man of merit his revenge in this.
If you resent, and wish a woman ill,
But turn her o'er one moment to her will.
The languid lady next appears in state,
Who was not born to carry her own weight;
She rolls, reels, staggers, till some foreign aid
To her own stature lifts the feeble maid.
Then, if ordain'd to so severe a doom,
She, by just stages, journeys round the room:
But, knowing her own weakness, she despairs
To scale the Alps-that is, ascend the stairs.
My fan! let others say, who laugh at toil;
Fan! hood! glove! scarf! is her laconic style;
And that is spoke with such a dying fall,
That Betty rather sees than hears the call:
The motion of her lips, and meaning eye,
Piece out th' idea her faint words deny.
O listen with attention most profound!
Her voice is but the shadow of a sound.
And help! oh help! her spirits are so dead,
One hand scarce lifts the other to her head.
If, there, a stubborn pin it triumphs o'er,
She pants! she sinks away! and is no more.
Let the robust and the gigantic carve,
Life is not worth so much, she'd rather starve:
But chew she must herself; ah cruel fate!
That Rosalinda can't by proxy eat.
An antidote in female caprice lies
(Kind Heaven!) against the poison of their eyes.
Thalestris triumphs in a manly mien;
Loud is her accent, and her phrase obscene.
In fair and open dealing where's the shame ?
What Nature dares to give, she dares to name.
This honest fellow is sincere and plain,
And justly gives the jealous husband pain.
(Vain is the task to petticoats assign'd,
If wanton language shows a naked mind.)
And, now and then, to grace her eloquence,
An oath supplies the vacancies of sense.
Hark! the shrill notes transpierce the yielding air,
And teach the neighboring Echoes how to swear.
By Jove, is faint, and for the simple swain;
She, on the Christian system, is profane.
But though the volley rattles in your ear,
Believe her dress, she's not a grenadier.
If thunder's awful, how much more our dread,
When Jove deputes a lady in his stead!
A lady? pardon my mistaken pen,
A shameless woman is the worst of men.
Leads on your train, and sparkles at your head,
What seems most hard, is, not to be well-bred
Her bright example with success pursue,
And all, but adoration, is your due.
Few to good-breeding make a just pretence; Good-breeding is the blossom of good-sense; The last result of an accomplish'd mind, With outward grace, the body's virtue, join'd. A violated decency now reigns; And nymphs for failings take peculiar pains. With Chinese painters modern toasts agree, The point they aim at is deformity: They throw their persons with a hoyden air Across the room, and toss into the chair. So far their commerce with mankind is gone, They, for our manners, have exchang'd their own. The modest look, the castigated grace, The gentle movement, and slow-measur'd pace, For which her lovers died, her parents paid, Are indecorums with the modern maid. Stiff forms are bad; but let no worse intrude, Nor conquer art and nature, to be rude. Modern good-breeding carry to its height, And Lady D's self will be polite.
Ye rising fair! ye bloom of Britain's isle! When high-born Anna, with a soften'd smile,
"But adoration! give me something more,"
Cries Lycé, on the borders of threescore:
Nought treads so silent as the foot of Time;
Hence we mistake our autumn for our prime ;
'Tis greatly wise to before we're told,
The melancholy news, that we grow old.
Autumnal Lycé carries in her face
Memento mori to each public place.
O how your beating breast a mistress warms,
Who looks through spectacles to see your charms!
While rival undertakers hover round,
And with his spade the sexton marks the ground. Intent not on her own, but others' doom,
She plans new conquests, and defrauds the tomb.
In vain the cock has summon' sprites away,
She walks at noon, and blasts the bloom of day.
Gay rainbow silks her mellow charms infold,
And nought of Lycé but herself is old.
Her grizzled locks assume a smirking grace,
And art has levell'd her deep-furrow'd face.
Her strange demand no mortal can approve,
We'll ask her blessing, but can't ask her love.
She grants, indeed, a lady may decline
(All ladies but herself) at ninety-nine.
O how unlike her was the sacred age
Of prudent Portia! Her grey hairs engage,
Whose thoughts are suited to her life's decline;
Virtue's the paint that can with wrinkles shine;
That, and that only, can old age sustain ;
Which yet all wish, nor know they wish for pain
Not numerous are our joys, when life is new;
And yearly some are falling of the few;
But when we conquer life's meridian stage,
And downward tend into the vale of age,
They drop apace; by nature some decay,
And some the blasts of fortune sweep away;
Till, naked quite of happiness, aloud
We call for death, and shelter in a shroud.
Where's Portia now?-But Portia left behind
Two lovely copies of her form and mind.
What heart untouch'd their early grief can view,
Like blushing rose-buds dipp'd in morning dew?
Who into shelter takes their tender bloom,
And forms their minds to flee from ills to come?
The mind, when turn'd adrift, no rules to guide,
Drives at the mercy of the wind and tide;
Fancy and passion toss it to and fro;
Awhile torment, and then quite sink in woe.
Ye beauteous orphans, since in silent dust
Your best example lies, my precepts trust.
Life swarms with ills; the boldest are afraid :
Where then is safety for a tender maid?
Unfit for conflict, round beset with woes,
And man, whom least she fears, her worst of foes.
When kind, most cruel; when oblig'd the most,
The least obliging; and by favors lost.
Cruel by nature, they for kindness hate;
And scorn you for those ills themselves create.
If on your fame our sex a blot has thrown,
"Twill ever stick, through malice of your own.
Most hard! in pleasing your chief glory lies;
And yet from pleasing your chief dangers rise:
Then please the best; and know, for men of sense,
Your strongest charms are native innocence.
Arts on the mind, like paint upon the face,
Fright him, that's worth your love, from your embrace
In simple manners all the secret lies;
Be kind and virtuous, you'll be blest and wise.
Vain show and noise intoxicate the brain,
Begin with giddiness, and end in pain.
Affect not empty fame, and idle praise,
Which, all those wretches I describe, betrays.
Your sex's glory 'tis, to shine unknown ;
Of all applause, be fondest of your own.
Beware the fever of the mind! that thirst
With which the age is eminently curst:
To drink of pleasure, but inflames desire;
And abstinence alone can quench the fire;
Take pain from life, and terror from the tomb;
Give peace in hand; and promise bliss to come.
INSCRIBED TO THE RIGHT HON. THE LADY
Interdum tamen et tollit comœdia vocem.-Hor.
I SOUGHT a patroness, but sought in vain.
Apollo whisper'd in my ear-“ Germain.”—
I know her not." Your reason's somewhat odd;
Who knows his patron, now?" replied the god.
Men write, to me, and to the world, unknown;
Then steal great names, to shield them from the
There is no woman, where there's no reserve ;
And 'tis on plenty your poor lovers starve.
But with a modern fair, meridian merit
Is a fierce thing, they call a nymph of spirit.
Mark well the rollings of her flaming eye;
And tread on tiptoe, if you dare draw nigh.
“Or if you take a lion by the beard,*
Or dare defy the fell Hyrcanian pard,
Or arm'd rhinoceros, or rough Russian bear,"
First make your will, and then converse with her.
This lady glories in profuse expense;
And thinks distraction is magnificence.
To beggar her gallant is some delight;
To be more fatal still, is exquisite;
Had ever nymph such reason to be glad?
In duel fell two lovers; one run mad;
Her foes their honest execrations pour;
Her lovers only should detest her more.
Flavia is constant to her old gallant,
And generously supports him in his want
But marriage is a fetter, is a snare,
A hell, no lady so polite can bear.
She's faithful, she's observant, and with pains
Her angel-brood of bastards she maintains.
Nor least advantage has the fair to plead,
But that of guilt above the marriage-bed.
Amasia hates a prude, and scorns restraint;
Whate'er she is, she'll not appear a saint:
Her soul superior flies formality;
her conduct is so free,
Some might suspect the nymph not over-good.—
Nor would they be mistaken, if they should.
Unmarried Abra puts on formal airs;
Her cushion's threadbare with her constant prayers
Her only grief is, that she cannot be
At once engag'd in prayer and charity.
And this, to do her justice, must be said,
"Who would not think that Abra was a maid ?"
Some ladies are too beauteous to be wed;
For where's the man that's worthy of their bed?
If no disease reduce her pride before,
Lavinia will be ravish'd at threescore.
Then she submits to venture in the dark;
And nothing now is wanting-but her spark.
Detected worth, like beauty disarray'd,
To covert flies, of praise itself afraid;
Should she refuse to patronize your lays,
In vengeance write a volume in her praise.
Nor think it hard so great a length to run;
When such the theme, 'twill easily be done."
Ye fair! to draw your excellence at length,
Exceeds the narrow bounds of human strength;
You, here, in miniature your picture see;
Nor hope from Zinck more justice than from me.
My portraits grace your mind, as his your side;
His portraits will inflame, mine quench, your pride:
He's dear, you frugal; choose my cheaper lay;
And be your reformation all my pay.
Lucia thinks happiness consists in state;
She weds an idiot, but she eats in plate.
The goods of fortune, which her soul possess,
Are but the ground of unmade happiness;
The rude material: wisdom add to this,
Wisdom, the sole artificer of bliss;
She from herself, if so compell'd by need,
Of thin content can draw the subtle thread;
But (no detraction to her sacred skill)
If she can work in gold, 'tis better still.
Lavinia is polite, but not profane ;
To church as constant as to Drury-lane.
She decently, in form, pays Heaven its due;
And makes a civil visit to her pew.
Her lifted fan, to give a solemn air,
Conceals her face, which passes for a prayer :
Curt'sies to curt'sies, then, with grace, succeed;
Not one the fair omits, but at the Creed.
Or, if she joins the service, 'tis to speak;
If Tullia had been blest with haif her sense,
Through dreadful silence the pent heart might break: None could too much admire her excellence :
Untaught to bear it, women talk away
But since she can make error shine so bright,
To God himself, and fondly think they pray.
She thinks it vulgar to defend the right.
But sweet their accent, and their air refin'd;
With understanding she is quite o'errun;
For they're before their Maker--and mankind : And by too great accomplishments undone :
When ladies once are proud of praying well, With skill she vibrates her eternal tongue,
Satan himself will toll the parish-bell.
For ever most divinely in the wrong.
Acquainted with the world, and quite well-bred,
Drusa receives her visitants in bed;
But, chaste as ice, this Vesta, to defy
The very blackest tongue of calumny,
When from the sheets her lovely form she lifts,
She begs you just would turn you, while she shifts.
Naked in nothing should a woman be;
But veil her very wit with modesty:
Let men discover, let not her display,
But yield her charms of mind with sweet delay
For pleasure form'd, perversely some believe,
To make themselves important, men must grieve.
Those charms are greatest which decline the sight,
That makes the banquet poignant and polite.