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If Queensberry to strip there's no compelling,
But grant, in public men sometimes are shown, A woman's seen in private life alone :
200 Our bolder talents in full light display'd, Your virtues open fairest in the shade. Bred to disguise, in public 'tis you hide; There, none distinguish 'twixt your shade or pride, Weakness or delicacy; all so nice, That each may seem a virtue or a vice.
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; But every woman is at heart a rake: Men, some to quiet, some to public strife, But every lady would be queen for life.
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. 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 pursuo,
240 Still round and round the ghosts of beauty glide, And haunt the places where their honour died.
Sce how the world its veterans rewards!
Ah, friend! to dazzle let the vain design:
250 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, And unobserved the glaring orb declines.
0! 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 humour most when she obeys; Let fops or fortune fly which way they will, Risdains all loss of tickets or codille;
Spleen, vapours, or small-pox, above them all,
And yet, believe me, good as well as ill,
270 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 favourite blcss'd, Your love of pleasure, our desire of rest; Blends in exception to all general rules, Your taste of follies, with our scorn of fools ; Reserve with frankness, art with truth allied,
ourage with softness, modesty with pride; Fix'd principles with fancy ever new; Shakes all together, and produces --you.
280 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 Phæbus watch'd that hour with care, Averted half your parents' simple prayer; 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,
29C Kept dross for duchesses, the world shall know it, To you gave sense, good-humour, and a poet.
TO ALLEN, LORD BATHURST.
Of the Use of Riches. That it is known to few, most falling into one of the
cxtremcs, avarice or profusion, ver. 1, &c. The point discussed, whether the invention of money has been more cominodious or pernicious to mankind, ver. 21 to 77. That riches, either to the avaricious or the pro. digal, cannot afford happiness, scarcely necessaries ver. 89 to 100. That avarice is an absolute frenzy without an end or purpose, ver. 113, &c. 152. Conjectures about the motives of avaricious men, ver. 121 tc 153. That the conduct of men with respect to riches, can only be accounted for by the order of Providence, which works the general good out of extremes, and brings all to its great end by perpetual revolutions, ver. 161 to 178. How a miser acts upon principles which appear to him reasonable, ver. 179. How a prodigal does the same, ver. 199. The true medium, and irue use of riches, ver. 219, The man of Ross, ver. 250. The fate of the profuse and the covetous, in two examples; both miserable in life and in death, ver. 300 &c. The story of Sir Balaam, ver. 339 to the end.
This epistle was written after a very violent outcry against our author, on a supposition that he had ridi. culed a worthy nobleman, merely for his wrong taste. He justified himself upon that article in a letter to the Earl of Burlington; at the end of which are these words : I have learnt that there are some who would rather be wicked than ridiculous: and therefore it may be safer to attack vices than follies. I will therefore leave my betters in the quiet possession of their idols, their groves, and their high-places, and change my subject from their pride to their meanness, from their vanities to their miseries; and as the only cer tain way to avoid misconstructions, to lessen offence, and not to multiply ill-natured applications, I may probably in my next make use of real names instead of fictitious oues.'
P. Who shall decide when doctors disagree, And soundest casuists doubt, like you and me? You hold the word, from Jove to Momus given, That man was made the standing jest of Heaven: And gold but sent to keep the fools in play, For some to heap, and some to throw away
But I, who think more highly of our kind, (And, surely, Heaven and I are of a mind,) Opine, that nature, as in duty bound, Deep hid the shining mischief under ground 10 But when, by man's audacious labour won, Flamed forth this rival to its sire the sun, Then careful Heaven supplied two sorts of men, To squander these, and those to hide again.
Like doctors thus, when much dispute has pass'd, We find our tenets just the same at last : Both fairly owning riches, in effect, No grace of Heaven, or token of the elect: Given to the fool, the mad, the vain, the evil, To Ward, to Waters, Chartres, and the devil. 20
B. What nature wants, commodious gold bestows: Tis thus we eat the bread another sows.
P. But how unequal it bestows, observe;
B. Trade it may help, society extend :
P. But bribes a senate, and the land 's betray'd.
Old Cato is as great a rogue as you.'