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For why such raptures, flights, and fancies,
To her who durst not read romances?
In lofty style to make replies,
Which he had taught her to despise?
But when her tutor will affect
Devotion, duty, and respect,
He fairly abdicates the throne;
The government is now her own;
He has a forfeiture incurr'd;
She vows to take him at his word,
And hopes he will not think it strange,
If both should now their stations change.
The nymph will have her turn to be
The tutor; and the pupil, he :
Though she already can discern,
Her scholar is not apt to learn;
Or wants capacity to reach
The science she designs to teach :
Wherein his genius was below
The skill of every common beau,
Who, though he cannot spell, is wise
Enough to read a lady's eyes,
And will each accidental glance
Interpret for a kind advance.
But what success Vanessa met,
Is to the world a secret yet.
Whether the nymph, to please her swain,
Talks in a high romantic strain;
Or whether he at last descends
To act with less seraphic ends;
Or, to compound the business, whether
They temper love and books together;
Must never to mankind be told,
Nor shall the conscious Muse unfold.
Meantime the mournful queen of love Led but a weary life above.
She ventures now to leave the skies,
Grown by Vanessa's conduct wise:
For, though by one perverse event
Pallas had cross'd her first intent;
Though her design was not obtain 'd,
Yet had she much experience gain'd;
And by the project vainly try'd,
Could better now the cause decide.
She gave due notice, that both parties,
Coram regina, prox' die Martis,
Should at their peril, without fail,
Come and appear, and save their bail.
All met; and, silence thrice proclaim'd,
One lawyer to each side was nam’d.
The judge discover'd in her face
Resentments for her late disgrace;
And, full of anger, shame, and grief,
Directed them to mind their brief,
Nor spend their time to show their reading;
She'd have a summary proceeding.
She gather'd under every head
The sum of what each lawyer said,
Gave her own reasons last, and then
Decreed the cause against the men.
But, in a weighty case like this,
To show she did not judge amiss,
Which evil tongues might else report,
She made a speech in open court,
Wherein she grievously complains,
"How she was cheated by the swains :
On whose petition (humbly showing,
That women were not worth the wooing,
And that, unless the sex would mend,
The race of lovers soon must end) —
She was at Lord knows what expense
To form a nymph of wit and sense,
A model for her sex design'd,
Who never could one lover find.
She saw her favour was misplac'd;
The fellows had a wretched taste;
She needs must tell them to their face,
They were a stupid, senseless race;
And, were she to begin again,
She'd study to reform the men ;
Or add some grains of folly more
To women, than they had before,
To put them on an equal foot;
And this, or nothing else would do 't.
This might their mutual fancy strike,
Since every being loves its like.
"But now, repenting what was done,
She left all business to her son;
She puts the world in his possession,
And let him use it at discretion."
The cryer was order'd to dismiss The court, so made his last O yes! The goddess would no longer wait; But, rising from her chair of state, Left all below at six and seven, Harness'd her doves, and flew to Heaven.
STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY. 1720.
ALL travellers at first incline
Where'er they see the fairest sign;
And, if they find the chambers neat,
And like the liquor and the meat,
Will call again, and recommend
The Angel-inn to every friend.
What though the painting grows decay'd,
The house will never lose its trade:
Nay, though the treacherous tapster Thomas
Hangs a new Angel two doors from us,
As fine as daubers' hands can make it,
In hopes that strangers may mistake it,
We think it both a shame and sin
To quit the true old Angel-inn.
Now this is Stella's case in fact,
An angel's face a little crack'd:
(Could poets or could painters fix
How angels look at thirty-six :)
This drew us in at first to find
In such a form an angel's mind;
And every virtue now supplies
The fainting rays of Stella's eyes.
See at her levee crowding swains,
Whom Stella freely entertains
With breeding, humour, wit, and sense;
And puts them but to small expense;
Their mind so plentifully fills,
And makes such reasonable bills,
So little gets for what she gives,
We really wonder how she lives!
And, had her stock been less, no doubt
She must have long ago run out.
Then who can think we 'll quit the place,
When Doll hangs out a newer face?
Or stop and light at Chloe's head,
With scraps and leavings to be fed?
Then, Chloe, still go on to prate
Of thirty-six and thirty-eight;
Pursue your trade of scandal-picking,
Your hints that Stella is no chicken;
Your innuendos, when you tell us,
That Stella loves to talk with fellows:
And let me warn you to believe
A truth, for which your soul should grieve;
That, should you live to see the day
When Stella's locks must all be grey,
When age must print a furrow'd trace
On every feature of her face;
Though you, and all your senseless tribe,
Could art, or time, or nature bribe,
To make you look like beauty's queen,
And hold for ever at fifteen ;
No bloom of youth can ever blind
The cracks and wrinkles of your mind:
All men of sense will pass your door,
And crowd to Stella's at fourscore.