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Ah! Friend! to dazzle let the Vain design; To raise the Thought, and touch the Heart, be thine!
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 tir'd the sight, All mild ascends the Moon's more sober light, Serene in Virgin Modesty she shines, 255 And unobserv'd the glaring Orb declines.
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VER. 253. So when the Sun's broad beam, &c.] One of the great beauties observable in the Poet's management of his
fimilitudes, is the ceremonious preparation he makes for them, in gradually raising the imagery of them in the lines preceding, by the use of terms taken from the subject of them :
-“ while what fatigues the Ring,
“ So when the Sun,” &c. And the civil dismission he gives them by the continuance of the same terms, as in the following lines,
“Oh! blest with temper, whose unclouded ray,” &c. Whereby the colouring of the imagery gradually dawns, to make way for the lustre of its introduction, and as gradually decays, to give place to other figures; and the reader is never offended with the sudden production, or abrupt disappearance of them. Another instance of the same kind we have in the beginning of this epistle:
“ Chuse a firm cloud before it fall, and in it
Oh! blest with Temper, whose unclouded ray Can make to-morrow chearful 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 the rules; Charms by accepting, by submitting sways, Yet has her humour most, when she obeys; Let Fops or Fortune fly which way they will; 265 Disdains all loss of Tickets, or Codille ; Spleen, Vapours, or Small-pox, above them all, And Mistress of herself, tho' China fall.
And yet, believe me, good as well as ill, Woman's at best a Contradiction still.
270 Heav'n, when it strives to polish all it can Its last best work, but forms a softer Man; Picks from each sex, to make the Fav'rite blest, Your love of Pleasure, our desire of Rest :
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VER. 269. The picture of an estimable woman, with the best kind of contrarieties, created out of the Poet's imagination: who therefore feigned those circumstances of a hufband, a daughter, and love for a sister, to prevent her being mistaken for any of his acquaintance. And having thus made his Woman, he did, as the antient Poets were wont, when they had made their Muse, invoke, and address his poem
Blends, in exception to all general rules, 275
Be this a Woman's Fame: with this unblest,
gave you Beauty, but deny'd the Pelf That buys your Sex a Tyrant o'er itself.
NOTES. VER. 285, &c. Afcendant Phoebus watch'd that hour with care,
Averted half your Parents' simple Pray'r;
And gave you Beauty, but deny'd the Pelf] The Poet concludes his epistle with a fine Moral, which deferves the serious attention of the public: It is this, that all the extravagancies of these vicious characters here described, are much inflamed by a wrong education, hinted at in Ver. 203; and that even the best are rather secur'd by a good natural, than by the prudence and providence of parents : Which observation is conveyed under the sublime classical machinery of Phoebus in the ascendant, watching the natal hour of his fav’rite, and averting the ill effects of her parents mistaken fondness : For Phoebus, as the God of Wit, con
The gen'rous God, who Wit and Gold refines, And ripens Spirits as he ripens Mines, 290 Kept Dross for Duchesses, the world shall
know it, To you gave Sense, Good-humour, and a Poet.
NOT E s. fers genius ; and, as one of the astronomical influences, de. feats the adventitious bias of education.
In conclusion, the great Moral from both these epistles together is, that the two rarest things in all nature are a DISINTERESTED MAN, and a REASONABLE WOMAN.
THAT it is known to few, most falling into one of the
extremes, Avarice or Profusion, Ver. 1, &c. The Point discussed, whether the invention of Money has been more commodious, or pernicious to Mankind, Ver. 21 to 77. That Riches either to the Avaricious or the Prodigal, cannot afford Happiness, scarcely Necesaries, Ver. 89 to 160. That Avarice is an absolute Frenzy, without an End or Purpose, Ver. 113, &c. 152. Conje&tures about the Motives of Avaricious Men, Ver. 121 to 153. That the conduet of Men, with respeet to Riches, can only be accounted for by the ORDER OF PROVIDENCE, which works the general Good out of Extrêmes, and brings all to its great End