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Shoved from the wall perhaps, or rudely press'd
A salmon's belly, Helluo, was thy fate;
'Mercy!' cries Helluo, 'mercy on my soul! Is there no hope?-Alas!--then bring the jowl.' The frugal crone, whom praying priests attend, Still strives to save the hallow'd taper's end, Collects her breath, as ebbing life retires, For one puff more, and in that puff expires. 'Odious! in woollen ! 'twould a saint provoke,' Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke; 'No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face; One would not, sure, be frightful when one's deadAnd-Betty-give this cheek a little red.' 251
The courtier smooth, who forty years had shined An humble servant to all human kind,
Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could stir,
'If-where I'm going-I could serve you, sir!'
'I give and I devise,' old Euclio said,
And sigh'd, my lands and tenements to Ned.' 'Your money, sir?'-' My money, sir, what all? Why, if I must'-then wept, 'I give it Paul.' 'The manor, sir ?'-' The manor ! hold,' he cried, 260 'Not that, I cannot part with that,'-and died.
And you! brave Cobham, to the latest breath, Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death: Such in these moments as in all the past,
Oh, save my country, Heaven!' shall be your last
TO A LADY.
Of the Characters of Women.
That the particular characters of women are not so strongly marked as those of men, seldom so fixed, and still more inconsistent with themselves, ver. 1, &c. Instances of contrarieties given, even from such characters as are more strongly marked, and seemingly, therefore, most consistent: as, 1. In the affected.-2. In the soft natured.— 3. In the cunning and artful.-4. In the whimsical.-5. In the lewd and vicious.-6. In the witty and refined.-7. In the stupid and simple, ver. 21 to 207. The former part having shown that the particular characters of women are more various than those of men, it is nevertheless observed that the general characteristic of the sex, as to the ruling passion, is more uniform, ver. 207. This is occasioned partly by their nature, partly by their educa. tion, and in some degree by necessity, ver. 211. What are the aims and the fate of this sex:-1. As to power.-2. As to pleasure, ver. 219. Advice for their true interest.— The picture of an estimable woman, with the best kind of contrarieties, ver. 249 to the end.
There is nothing in Mr. Pope's works more highly finished than this epistle: yet its success was in no proportion to the pains he took in composing it. Something he chanced to drop in a short advertisement prefixed to it on its first publication, may, perhaps account for the small attention given to it. He said that no one character in it was drawn from the life. The public believed him on his word, and expressed little curiosity about a satire, in which there was nothing personal.
NOTHING SO true as what you once let fall, Most women have no characters at all.'
Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
In Magdalen's loose hair, and lifted eye;
With simpering angels, palms, and harps divine;
If folly grow romantic, I must paint it.
Come then the colours and the ground prepare! Dip in the rainbow, trick her off in air;
Choose a firm cloud, before it fail, and in it
Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute. 20
The frail-one's advocate, the weak-one's friend, 30
Sudden, she storms! she raves! You tip the wink,
All eyes may see from what the change arose,
All eyes may see-a pimple on her nose.
Papilia, wedded to her amorous spark,
Sighs for the shades-'How charming is a park!' A park is purchased, but the fair he sees
All bathed in tears-'Oh odious, odious trees !'
Ladies, like variegated tulips, show,
Tis to their changes half their charms they owe
Their happy spots the nice admirer take.
To make a wash would hardly stew a child;
heathen in the carnal part,
Such this day's doctrine-in another fit
As Helluo, late dictator of the feast,
Flavia's a wit, has too much sense to pray;
Wise wretch! with pleasure too refin'd to please;
With too much quickness ever to be taught;
With too much thinking to have common thought:
You purchase pain with all that joy can give,
Turn then from wits, and look on Simo's mate;
No ass so meek, no ass so obstinate:
Or her that owns her faults but never mends,
Or her who laughs at hell, but (like her grace)
Of mirth and opium, ratafie and tears,
To kill those foes to fair ones, time and thought.