« AnteriorContinuar »
How would Melania be surpris'd to hear
She 's quite deform’d! And yet the case is clear ;
What 's female beauty, but an air divine,
Through which the mind's all-gentle graces shine ?
They, like the Sun, irradiate all between;
The body charms because the soul is seen.
Hence, men are often captives of a face,
They know not why, of no peculiar grace :
Some forms, though bright, no mortal man can bear,
Some, none resist, though not exceeding fair.
Aspasia 's highly born, and nicely bred,
Of taste refin'd, in life and manners read;
Yet reaps no fruit from her superior sense,
But to be teas'd by her own excellence.
“ Folks are so awkward! Things so unpolite !"
She 's elegantly pain'd from morn till night.
Her delicacy 's shock'd where'er she goes;
Each creature's imperfections are her woes,
Heaven by its favour has the fair distrest,
And pour'd such blessings — that she can't be blest.
Ah! why so vain, though blooming in thy spring ? Thou shining, frail, ador’d, and wretched thing ! Old-age will come; disease may come before ; Fifteen is full as mortal as threescore. Thy fortune, and thy charms, may soon decay : But grant these fugitives prolong their stay, Their basis totters, their foundation shakes; Life, that supports them, in a moment breaks; Then wrought into the soul let virtues shine ; The ground eternal, as the work divine.
Julia 's a manager; she 's born for rule; And knows her wiser husband is a fool ;
Assemblies holds, and spins the subtle thread
That guides the lover to his fair-one's bed :
For difficult amours can smooth the way,
And tender letters dictate, or convey.
But, if depriv'd of such important cares,
Her wisdom condescends to less affairs.
For her own breakfast she 'll project a scheme,
Nor take her tea without a stratagem ;
Presides o'er trifles with a serious face ;
Important, by the virtue of grimace.
Ladies supreme among amusements reign ;
By nature born to soothe, and entertain.
Their prudence in a share of folly lies :
Why will they be so weak, as to be wise ?
Syrena is for ever in extremes,
And with a vengeance she commends, or blames,
Conscious of her discernment, which is good,
She strains too much to make it understood.
Her judgment just, her sentence is too strong ;
Because she 's right, she 's ever in the wrong.
Brunetta 's wise in actions, great, and rare :
But scorns on trifles to bestow her care.
Thus every hour Brunetta is to blame,
Because th' occasion is beneath her aim.
Think nought a trifle, though it small appear ;
Small sands the mountain, moments make the year,
And trifes life. Your care to trifles give,
you may die, before you truly live.
Go breakfast with Alicia, there you 'll see,
Simplex munditüs, to the last degree :
Unlac'd her stays, her night-gown is untied,
And what she has of head-dress, is aside,
She draws her words, and waddles in her pace;
Unwash'd her hands, and much besnuff'd her face.
A nail uncut, and head uncomb’d, she loves ;
And would draw on jack-boots, as soon as gloves.
Gloves by queen Bess's maidens might be mist;
Her blessed eyes ne'er saw a female fist.
Lovers, beware! to wound how can she fail
With scarlet finger, and long jetty nail ?
For Harvey, the first wit she cannot be,
Nor, cruel Richmond, the first toast, for thee.
Since full each other station of renown,
Who would not be the greatest trapes in town?
Women were made to give our eyes delight;
A female sloven is an odious sight.
Fair Isabella is so fond of fame,
That her dear self is her eternal theme;
Through hopes of contradiction, oft she 'll say,
“ Methinks I look so wretchedly to-day!"
When most the world applauds you, most beware ;
'T is often less a blessing than a snare.
Distrust mankind; with your own heart confer;
And dread even there to find a flatterer.
The breath of others raises our renown;
Our own as surely blows the pageant down.
Take up no more than you by worth can claim,
Lest soon you prove a bankrupt in your fame.
But own I must, in this perverted age,
Who most deserve, can't always most engage.
So far is worth from making glory sure,
It often hinders what it should procure.
(wise ? Whom praise we most? The virtuous, brave, and No; wretches, whom, in secret, we despise.
And who so blind, as not to see the cause ?
No rivals rais'd by such discreet applause;
And yet, of credit it lays in a store,
By which our spleen may wound true worth the more.
Ladies there are who think one crime is all :
Can women, then, no way but backward fall ?
So sweet is that one crime they don't pursue,
To pay its loss, they think all others few.
Who hold that crime so dear, must never claim
Of injur'd modesty the sacred name.
But Clio thus : “ What! railing without end? Mean task! how much more generous to com
mend!” Yes, to commend as you are wont to do, My kind instructor, and example too. “ Daphnis,” says Clio,“ has a charming eye : What pity 't is her shoulder is awry ! Aspasia's shape indeed But then her airThe man has parts who finds destruction there. Almeria's wit has something that 's divine ; And wit 's enough how few in all things shine ! Selina serves her friends, relieves the poor Who was it said Selina 's near threescore ? At Lucia's match I from my soul rejoice; The world congratulates so wise a choice; His lordship's rent-roll is exceeding greatBut mortgages will sap the best estate. In Shirley's form might cherubims appear; But then — she has a freckle on her ear.' Without a but, Hortensia she commends, The first of women, and the best of friends; Owns her in person, wit, fame, virtue bright;, But how comes this to passi - She died last night.
Thus nymphs commend, who yet at satire rail :
Indeed that 's needless, if such praise prevail.
And whence such praise ? Our virulence is thrown
On others' fame, through fondness for our own.
Of rank and riches proud, Cleora frowns ;
For are not coronets a-kin to crowns ?
Her greedy eye, and her sublime address,
The height of avarice and pride confess.
You seek perfections worthy of her rank ;
Go, seek for her perfections at the Bank.
By wealth unquench'd, by reason uncontrollid,
For ever burns her sacred thirst of gold.
As fond of five-pence, as the veriest cit ;
And quite as much detested as a wit.
Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine ?
Can we dig peace, or wisdom, from the mine?
Wisdom to gold prefer; for 't is much less
To make our fortune, than our happiness.
That happiness which great ones often see,
With rage and wonder, in a low degree;
Themselves unblest. The poor are only poor !
But what are they who droop amid their store !
Nothing is meaner than a wretch of state ;
The happy only are the truly great.
Peasants enjoy like appetites with kings;
And those best satisfied with cheapest things.
Could both our Indies buy but one new sense,
Our envy would be due to large expense.
Since not, those pomps which to the great belong,
Are but poor arts to mark them from the throng.
See how they beg an alms of flattery!
They languish ! oh support them with a lie !