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The sex we honor, though their faults we Can vent her thunders, and her lightnings play, blame ;
O'er cooling gruel, and composing tea : Nay, thank their faults for such a fruitful theme : Nor rests by night, but, more sincere than nice, A theme, fair ---! doubly kind to ine,
She shakes the curtains with her kind advice :
Doubly, like echo, sound is her delight,
Is't not enough plagues, wars, and famines, rise Britannia's daughters, much more fair than nice. To lash our crimes, but must our wives be wise ? Too fond of admiration, lose their price;
Famine, plague, war, and an unnumber'd throng Worn in the public eye, give cheap delight Of guilt-avenging ills, to man belong : To throngs, and tarnish to the sated sight:
What black, what ceaseless cares besiege our state! As unreserv'd, and beauteous, as the Sun,
What strokes we feel from fancy, and from fate ! Through every sign of vanity they run;
If fate forbears us, fancy strikes the blow;
How oft the noon, how oft the midnight, bell, Taverns, exchanges, bridewells, drawing-rooms, (That iron tongue of Death!) with solemn knell, Instalments, pillories, coronations, tombs,
On Folly's errands as we vainly roam, Tumblers, and funerals, puppet-shows, reviews, Knocks atour hearts, and finds our thoughts from home Sales, races, rabbits, (and, still stranger!) pews. Men drop so fast, ere life's mid-stage we tread,
Clarinda's bosom burns, but burns for Fame; Few know so many friends, alive, as dead. And love lies vanquish'd in a nobler flame;
Yet, as immortal, in our up-hill chase
Our ardent labors for the toys we seek,
Now what reward for all this grief and toil ?
But one, a female friend's endearing smile ;
How have I seen a gentle nymph draw nigh,
Zara resembles Ætna crown'd with snows; Husbands look'd mild, and savages grew tame. Without she freezes, and within she glows :
The sylvan race our active nymphs pursue ; Twice ere the Sun descends, with zeal inspir’d, Man is not all the game they have in view: From the vain converse of the world retir'd, In woods and fields their glory they complete ; She reads the psalms and chaplers for the day, There Master Betty leaps a five-barr'd gate; In-Cleopatra, or the last new play.
While fair Miss Charles to toilets is contin'd, Thus gloomy Zara, with a solemn grace,
Nor rashly tempts the barbarous sun and wind. Deceives mankind, and hides behind her face. Some nymphs affect a more heroic breed, Nor far beneath her in renown, is she,
And volt from hunters to the managed steed; Who through good-breeding is ill company ; Command his prancings with a martial air, Whose manners will not let her larum cease, And Fobert has the forming of the fair. Who thinks you are unhappy, when at peace ; More than one steed must Delia's empire feel, To find you news, who racks her subtle head, Who sits triumphant o'er the flying wheel ; And vows/" that her great-grandfather is dead." And as she guides it through th' admiring throng.
A dearth of words a woman need not fear; With what an air she smacks the silken thong! But 'tis a task indeed to learn-lo hear :
Graceful as John, she moderates the reins, In that the skill of conversation lies;
And whistles sweet her diuretic strains : That shows, or makes, you both polite and wise. Sesostris-like, such charioteers as these Xantippe cries, Let nymphs who nought can May drive six harness'd monarchs, if they please : say
They drive, row, run, with love of glory smit, Be lost in silence, and resign the day;
Leap, swim, shoot flying, and pronounce on wit. And let the guilty wise her guilt confess,
O'er the belles-lettres lovely Daphne reigns ; By tame behavior, and a soft address !"
Again the god A pollo wears her chains : Through virtue, she refuses to comply
With legs toss'd high, on her sophee she sits, With all the dictates of humanity;
Vouchsafing audience to contending wits : Through wisdom, she refuses to submit
of each performance she's the final test; To wisdom's rules, and raves to prove her wit ; One act read o'er, she prophesies the rest; Then, her unblemish'd honor to maintain,
And then, pronouncing with decisive air, Rejects her husband's kindness with disdain: Fully convinces all the town-she's fair. But if, by chance, an ill-adapted word
Had lovely Daphne Hecatessa's face, Props from the lip of her unwary lord,
How would her elegance of taste decrease! Her darling china, in a whirlwind sent,
Some ladies' judgment in their features lies, Just intimates the lady's discontent.
And all their genius sparkles from their eyes. Wine may indeed excite the meekest dame; But hold," she cries, " lampooner! have a care ; Bw keen Xantippe, scorning borrow'd flame, Must I want common sense, because I'm fair ?"
O no: see Stella ; her eyes shine as bright, You, in the morning, a fair nymph invite ;
To keep her word, a brown one comes at night:
Like a dove's neck, she shifts her transient charms Could Daphne publish, and could she forbear? And is her own dear rival in your arms. We grant that beauty is no bar to sense,
But one admirer has the painted lass; Nor is't a sanction for impertinence.
Nor finds that one, but in her looking-glass : Sempronia lik’d her man; and well she might; Yet Laura's beautiful to such excess, The youth, in person and in parts, was bright; That all her art scarce makes her please us less. Possess'd of every virtue, grace, and art,
To deck the female cheek, HE only knows, That claims just empire o'er the female heart: Who paints less fair the lily and the rose. Ho met her passion, all her sighs return'd,
How gay they smile! Such blessings Nature pours, And, in full rage of youthful ardor, burn'd : O'erstock'd mankind enjoy but half her stores : Large his possessions, and beyond her own; In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen, Their bliss the theme and envy of the town: She rears her flowers, and spreads her velvet green; The day was fix'd, when, with one acre more, Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace, In stepp'd deformd, debauch’d, diseas'd, threescore. And waste their music on the savage race. The fatal sequel I, through shame, forbear; Is Nature then a niggard of her bliss ? Of pride and avarice who can cure the fair? Repine we guiltless in a world like this?
Man's rich with little, were his judgment true ; But our lewd tastes her lawful charms refuse, Nature is frugal, and her wants are few;
And painted art's deprav'd allurements choose. Those few wants answer'd, bring sincere delights; Such Fulvia's passion for the town; fresh air But fools create themselves new appetites : (An odd effect !) gives vapors to the fair; Fancy and pride seek things at vast expense, Green fields, and shady groves, and crystal springs, Which relish not 10 reason, nor to sense.
And larks, and nightingales, are odious things; When surfeit, or unthankfulness, destroys, But smoke, and dust, and noise, and crowds delight In nature's narrow sphere, our solid joys,
And to be press'd to death, transports her quite : In fancy's airy land of noise and show,
Where silver rivulets play through flowery meads. Where nought but dreams, no real pleasures grow; And woodbines give their sweets, and limes their Like cats in air-pumps, to subsist we strive
shades, On joys too thin to keep the soul alive.
Black kennels' absent odors she regrets, Lemira's sick; make haste; the doctor call : And stops her nose at beds of violets. He comes; but where's his patient? At the ball. Is stormy life preferr'd to the serene? The doctor stares; her woman curt’sies low, Or is the public to the private scene ? And cries, “ My lady, sir, is always so:
Retir'd, we tread a smooth and open way: Diversions put her maladies to flight;
Through briers and brambles in the world we stray True, she can't stand, but she can dance all night: Stiff opposition, and perpler'd debate, I've known my lady (for she loves a tune)
And thorny care, and rank and stinging hate, For fevers take an opera in June :
Which choke our passage, our career control,
O sacred solitude ! divine retreat!
By thy pure stream, or in thy waving shade,
We court fair Wisdom, that celestial maid : Must women hrve a doctor, or a dance ?
The genuine offspring of her lov'd embrace Though sick to death, abroad they safely roam, (Strangers on Earth!) are innocence and peace : But droop and die, in perfect health, at home : There, from the ways of men laid safe ashore, For wantbut not of health, are ladies ill;
We smile to hear the distant tempest roar; And tickets cure beyond the doctor's bill.
There, bless'd with health, with business unperpler'd, Alas, my heart! how languishingly fair
This life we relish, and insure the next; Yon lady lolls! With what a tender air!
There too the Muses sport; these numbers free, Pale as a young dramatic author, when,
Pierian Eastbury! I owe to thee. O'er darling lines, fell Cibber waves his pen.
There sport the Muses ; but not there alone : Is her lord angry, or has Veny* chid ?
'Their sacred force Amelia feels in town. Dead is her father, or the mask forbid ?
Nought but a genius can a genius fit; “ Late sitting-up has turn'd her roses white." A wit herself, Amelia weds a wit : Why went she not to bed? “Because 'twas night." Both wits! though miracles are said to cease, Did she then dance or play? Nor this, nor that." Three days, three wondrous days! they liv'd in Well, night soon steals away in pleasing chat.
peace; “No, all alone, her prayers she rather chose, With the fourth sun a warm dispute arose, Than be that wretch to sleep till morning rose." On Durfey's poesy, and Bunyan's prose : Then lady Cynthia, mistress of the shade, The learned war both wage with equal force, Goes, with the fashionable owls, to bed :
And the fifth morn concluded the divorce. This her pride covets, this her health denies ;
Phæbe, though she possesses nothing less, Her soul is silly, but her body's wise.
Is proud of being rich in happiness ; Others, with curious arts, dim charms revive, Laboriously pursues delusive toys, And triumph in the bloom of fifty-five.
Content with pains, since they're reputed joys.
With what well-acted transport will she say, * Lap.dog.
“ Well, sure we were so happy yesterday!
And then that charming party for to-morrow !" In glittering scenes, o'er her own heart, severe ;
Yet, not superior to her sex's cares,
In these great points she leads the commonweal;
Assumes her nod, to close the grand debate. If seiz'd at last, compute your mighty gains ; When such her mind, why will the fair express What is it, but rank poison in your veins ? Their emulation only in their dress ? As Flavia in her glass an angel spies,
But oh! the nymph that mounts above the skies, Pride whispers in her ear pernicious lies ;
And, gratis, clears religious mysteries, Tells her, while she surveys a face so fine, Resolv'd the church's welfare to insure, There's no satiety of charms divine:
And make her family a sinecure : Hence, if her lover yawns, all chang'd appears The theme divine at cards she'll not forget, Her temper, and she melts (sweet soul!) in tears : But takes in texts of Scripture at piquet ; She, fond and young, last week, her wish enjoy'd, In those licentious meetings acts the prude, In soft amusement all the night employd ; And thanks her Maker that her cards are good. The morning came, when Strephon, waking, found What angels would those be, who thus excel (Surprising sight!) his bride in sorrow drown d. In theologics, could they sew as well! “What miracle," says Strephon, "makes thee Yet why should not the fair her text pursue ?
Can she more decently the doctor woo? Ab, 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. Men love a mistress as they love a feast ;
Isaac, a brother of the canting strain, How grateful one to touch, and one to taste ! When he has knock'd at his own skull in vain, Yet sure there is a certain time of day,
To beauteous Marcia often will repair
O how his pious soul exults to find
Charm'd with her learning, with what rapture he Let women never triumph, nor despair;
Hangs on her bloom, like an industrious bee ; Nor praise, nor blame, 100 much, the warm, or chill ; Hums round about her, and with all his power Hunger and love are foreign to the will.
Extracts sweet wisdom from so fair a flower! There is indeed a passion more refin'd,
The young and gay declining. Appia flies For those few nymphs whose charms are of the mind: At nobler game, the mighty and the wise : But not of that unfashionable set
By nature more an eagle than a dove, Is Phyllis ; Phyllis and her Damon met.
She impiously prefers the world to love. Eternal love exactly hits her taste ;
Can wealth give happiness ? look round and see Phyllis demands eternal love at least.
What gay distress! what splendid misery! Embracing Phyllis with soft-smiling eyes,
Whatever fortune slavishly can pour, Eternal love I vow, the swain replies :
The mind annihilates, and calls for more. But say, my all, my mistress, and my friend ! Wealth is a cheat; believe not what it
says: What day next week, th' eternity shall end ? Like any lord, it promises—and pays. Some nymphs prefer astronomy to love ;
How will the miser startle, to be told Elope from mortal man, and range above.
of such a wonder, as insolvent gold ! The fair philosopher to Rowley flies,
What Nature wants has an intrinsic weight; Where, in a bor, the whole creation lies :
All more is but the fashion of the plate, She sees the planets in their turns advance, Which, for one moment, charms the fickle view; And scorns, Poitier, thy sublunary dance :
It charms us now ; anon we cast anew; Of Desaguliers she bespeaks fresh air;
To some fresh birth of fancy more inclin’d: . And Whiston has engagements with the fair. Then wed not acres, but a noble mind. What vain experiments Sophronia tries !
Mistaken lovers, who make worth their care, "Tis not in air-pumps the gay colonel dies.
And think accomplishments will win the fair; But though to-day this rage of science reigns, The fair, 'tis true, by genius should be won, (O fickle sex !) soon end her learned pains. As flowers unfold their beauties to the Sun; Lo! Pug from Jupiter her heart has got,
And yet in female scales a fop outweighs, Turns out the stars, and Newton is a sot.
And wit must wear the willow and the bays. To turn; she never took the height Nought shines so bright in vain Liberia's eye of Saturn, yet is ever in the right.
As riot, impudence, and persidy; She strikes each point with native force of mind, The youth of fire, that has drunk deep, and play'd While puzzled Learning blunders far behind. And kill'd his man, and triumph'd o'er his maid ; Graceful to sight, and elegant to thought,
For him, as yet unhang'd, she spreads her charms The great are ranquish'd, and the wise are taught. Snatches the dear destroyer to her arms; Her breeding finish'd, and her temper sweet, And amply gives (though treated long amiss) When serious, easy; and when gay, discreet; The man of merit his revenge in this.
If you resent, and wish a woman ill,
Leads on your train, and sparkles at your head, But turn her o'er one moment to her will.
What seems most hard, is, not to be well-bred The languid lady next appears in siale, Her bright example with success pursue, Who was not born to carry her own weight; And all, but adoration, is your due. She rolls, reels, staggers, till some foreign aid
“But adoration ! give me something more," To her own stature lisis the feeble maid.
Cries Lycé, on the borders of threescore : Then, if ordain'd to so severe a doom,
Nought treads so silent as the foot of Time; She, by just stages, journeys round the room : Hence we mistake our autumn for our prime; But, knowing her own weakness, she despairs "Tis greatly wise to know, before we're told, To scale the Alps—that is, ascend the stairs. The melancholy news, that we grow old. My fan! let others say, who laugh at toil;
Autumnal Lycé carries in her face Fan! hoou! glove! scarf! is her laconic style ; Memento mori to each public place. And that is spoke with such a dying fall,
O how your beating breast a mistress warms, That Betty rather sees than hears the call : Who looks through spectacles to see your charms ! The motion of her lips, and meaning eye,
While rival undertakers hover round, Piece oul th' idea her faint words deny.
And with his spade the sexton marks the ground. O listen with attention most profound !
Intent not on her own, but others' doom, Her voice is but the shadow of a sound.
She plans new conquests, and defrauds the tomb. And help! oh help! her spirits are so dead, In vain the cock has summond sprites away, One hand scarce lifts the other to her head. She walks at noon, and blasts the bloom of day. If, there, a stubborn pin it triumphs o'er,
Gay rainbow silks her mellow charms infold, She pants! she sinks away! and is no more. And nought of Lycé but herself is old. Let the robust and the gigantic carve,
Her grizzled locks assume a smirking grace, Life is not worth so much, she'd rather starve: And art has levell’d her deep-furrow'd sace. But chew she must herself; ah cruel fate! Her strange demand no mortal can approve, That Rosalinda can't by proxy eat.
We'll ask her blessing, but can't ask her love. An antidote in female caprice lies
She grants, indeed, a lady may decline (Kind Heaven!) against the poison of their eyes.
(All ladies but herself) at ninety-nine. Thalestris triumphs in a manly mien;
O how unlike her was the sacred age Loud is her accent, and her phrase obscene. Of prudent Portia! Her grey hains engage, In fair and open dealing where's the shame? Whose thoughts are suited to her life's decline; What Nature dares to give, she dares to name. Virtue's the paint that can with wrinkles shine ; This honest fellow is sincere and plain,
That, and that only, can old age sustain ; And justly gives the jealous husband pain. Which yet all wish, nor know they wish for pain (Vain is the task to petticoats assign'd,
Not numerous are our joys, when life is new;
And downward tend into the vale of age,
We call for death, and shelter in a shroud.
Where's Portia now ?—But Portia left behind Believe her dress, she's not a grenadier.
Two lovely copies of her form and mind. If thunder's awful, how much more our dread, What heart untouch'd their early grief can view, When Jove deputes a lady in his stead!
Like blushing rose-buds dipp'd in morning dew? A lady? pardon my mistaken pen,
Who into shelter takes their tender bloom, A shameless woman is the worst of men.
And forms their minds to flee from ills to come ? Few to good-breeding make a just pretence ;
The mind, when turn'd adrift, no rules to guide,
Fancy and passion toss it to and fro;
Ye beauteous orphans, since in silent dust And nymphs for failings take peculiar pains. Your best example lies, my precepts trust. With Chinese painters modern toasts agree, Life swarms with ills; the boldest are afraid : The point they aim at is deformity :
Where then is safety for a tender maid ? They throw their persons with a hoyden air Unfit for conflict, round beset with woes, Across the room, and toss into the chair.
And man, whom least she fears, her worst of foes. So far their commerce with mankind is gone, When kind, most cruel; when oblig'd the most, They, for our manners, have exchang'd iheir own. The least obliging; and by favors lost. The modest look, the castigated grace,
Cruel by nature, they for kindness hate ; The gentle movement, and slow-measur'd pace, And scorn you for those ills themselves create. For which her lovers died, her parents paid, If on your fame our sex a blot has thrown, Are indecorums with the modern maid.
"Twill ever stick, through malice of your own. Stiff forms are bad; but let no worse intrude, Most hard ! in pleasing your chief glory lies; Nor conquer art and nature, to be rude.
And yet from pleasing your chief dangers rise : Modern good-breeding carry to its height, Then please the best; and know, for men of sense, And Lady D 's self will be polite.
Your strongest charms are native innocence. Ye rising fair! ye bloom of Britain's isle ! Arts on the mind, like paint upon the face, When high-born Anna, with a softend smile, Fright him, that's worth your love, from your embrace
In simple manners all the secret lies;
There is no woman, where there's no reserve ; Be kind and virtuous, you'll be blest and wise. And 'tis on plenty your poor lovers slarve. Vain show and noise intoxicate the brain,
But with a modern fair, meridian merit Begin with giddiness, and end in pain.
Is a fierce thing, they call a nymph of spiri. Affect not empty fame, and idle praise,
Mark well the rollings of her flaming eye; Which, all those wretches I describe, betrays. And tread on tiptoe, if you dare draw nigh. Your sex's glory ’tis, to shine unknown ;
" Or if you take a lion by the beard, * Of all applause, be fondest of your own.
Or dare defy the fell Hyrcanian pard, Beware the fever of the mind! that thirst
Or arm'd rhinoceros, or rough Russian bear," With which the age is eminently curst:
First make your will, and then converse with her. To drink of pleasure, but inflames desire ; This lady glories in profuse expense; And abstinence alone can quench the fire;
And thinks distraction is magnificence.
Had ever nymph such reason to be glad ?
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 inarriage is a setter, is a snare,
A hell, no lady so polite can bear.
She's faithful, she's observant, and with pains Interdum tamen et tollit comedia vocem.-Hor.
Her angel-brood of bastards she maintains.
Nor least advantage has the fair to plead, I sought a patroness, but sought in vain.
But that of guill above the marriage-bed. A pollo whisperd in my ear" Germain.”—
Amasia hates a prude, and scoms restraint ; I kūow her not.-" Your reason's somewhat odd ; Whate'er she is, she'll not appear a saint: Who knows his patron, now !" replied the god. Her soul superior flies formality;
Men write, to me, and to the world, unknown; So gay her air, her conduct is so free,
Nor would they be mistaken, if they should.
Unmarried Abra puts on formal airs ; To covert flies, of praise itself afraid ;
Her cushion's thread bare with her constant prayers Should she refuse to patronize your lays,
Her only grief is, that she cannot be In vengeance write a volume in her praise. At once engog'd in prayer and charity. Nor think it hard so great a length to run;
And this, to do her justice, must be said, When such the theme, 'twill easily be done." • Who would not think that Abra was a maid ?"
Ye fair! to draw your excellence at length, Some ladies are 100 beauteous to be wed; Exceeds the narrow bounds of human strength; For where's the man that's worthy of their bed i You, here, in miniature your picture see ;
If no disease reduce her pride before, Nor hope from Zinck more justice than from me. Lavinia will be ravish'd at threescore. My portraits grace your mind, as his your side ; Then she submits to venture in the dark ; His portraits will inflame, mine quench, your pride: And nothing now is wanting—but her spark. He's dear, you frugal ; choose my cheaper lay ; Lucia thinks happiness consists in state ; And be your reformation all my pay.
She weds an idiot, but she ears in plale. Lavinia is polite, but not profane ;
The goods of fortune, which her soul possess, To church as constant as to Drury-lane.
Are but the ground of unmade happiness ; She decently, in form, pays Heaven its due ; The rude material : wisdom add to this, And makes a civil visit to her pew.
Wisdom, the sole artificer of bliss ;
She from herself, if so compellid by need,
If she can work in gold, 'lis better still.
If Tullia had been blest with half 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 sweel their accent, and their air refind ; 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, Naked in nothing should a woman be; Drusa receives her visitants in bed ;
But veil her very wil with modesty : But, chaste as ice, this Vesta, to defy
Let men discover, let not her display, The very blackest tongue of calumny,
But yield her charms of mind with sweet delay When from the sheets her lovely form she lifts, For pleasure formid, perversely some believe, She begs you just would turn you, wbile she shifts. To make themselves important, men must grieve.
Those charms are greatest which decline the sight, That makes the banquet poignant and polite.