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Gave hints of who and who's together;
I saw coquetting t'other night Then fell a talking of the weather ;
In public with that odious knight! Last night was so extremely fine,
They rallied next Vanessa's dress : The ladies walk'd till after nine ;
“That gown was made for old queen Bess. Then, in soft voice and speech absurd,
Dear madam, let me see your head : With nonsense every second word,
Don't you intend to put on red ? With fustian from exploded plays,
A petticoat without a hoop! They celebrate her beauty's praise :
Sure, you are not asham'd to stoop! Run o'er their cant of stupid lies,
With handsome garters at your knees, And tell the murders of her eyes.
No matter what a fellow sees." With silent scorn Vanessa sat,
Filld with disdain, with rage inflam'd, Scarce listening to their idle chat;
Both of herself and sex asham'd, Further than sometimes by a frown,
The nymph stood silent out of spite, When they grew pert, to pull them down. Nor would vouchsafe to set them right. At last she spitefully was bent
Away the fair detractors went, To try their wisdom's full extent;
And gave by turns their censures vent. And said she valued nothing less
She's not so handsome in my eyes: Than titles, figure, shape, and dress;
For wit, I wonder, where it lies ! That merit should be chiefly plac'd
“She's fair and clean, and that's the most In judgment, knowledge, wit, and taste;
But why proclaim her for a toast ? And these, she offer'd to dispute,
A baby face: no life, no airs, Alone distinguish'd man from brute ;
But what she learn'd at country-fairs : That present times have no pretence
Scarce knows what difference is between To virtue, in the noble sense
Rich Flanders lace and colberteen. By Greeks and Romans understood,
I'll undertake, my little Nancy To perish for our country's good.
In flounces hath a better fancy! She nam'd the ancient heroes round,
With all her wit, I would not ask Explain'd for what they were renown'd;
Her judgment, how to buy a mask. Then spoke with censure or applause
We begg'd her but to patch her face, Of foreign customs, rites, and laws;
She never hit one proper place ; Through nature and through art she rang’d, Which every girl at five years old And gracefully her subject chang'd;
Can do as soon as she is told. In vain! her hearers had no share
I own, that out-of-fashion stuff In all she spoke, except to stare.
Becomes the creature well enough. Their judgment was, upon the whole,
The girl might pass, if we could get her -"That lady is the dullest soul!-"
To know the world a little better." Then tipt their forehead in a jeer,
(To know the world! a modern phrase, As who should say—“She wants it here! For visits, ombre, balls, and plays.) She may be handsome, young, and rich,
Thus, to the world's perpetual shame, But none will burn her for a witch!"
The queen of beauty lost her aim ; A party next of glittering dames,
Too late with grief she understood, From round the purlieus of St. James,
Pallas had done more harm than good; Came early, out of pure good-will,
For great examples are but vain, To see the girl in dishabille.
Where ignorance begets disdain. Their clamor, 'lighting from their chairs,
Both sexes, arm'd with guilt and spite, Grew louder all the way up stairs;
Against Vanessa's power unite : At entrance loudest, where they found
To copy her few nymphs aspir'd; The room with volumes litter'd round.
Her virtues fewer swains admir'd. Vanessa held Montaigne, and read,
So stars beyond a certain height Whilst Mrs. Susan comb'd her head.
Give mortals neither heat nor light. They callid for tea and chocolate,
Yet some of either sex, endow'd And fell into their usual chat,
With gifts superior to the crowd, Discoursing, with important face,
With virtue, knowledge, taste, and wit, On ribbons, fans, and gloves, and lace;
She condescended to admit: Show'd patterns just from India brought,
With pleasing arts she could reduce And gravely ask'd her what she thought,
Men's talents to their proper use : Whether the red or green were best,
And with address each genius held And what they cost ? Vanessa guess'd,
To that wherein it most excell'd; As came into her fancy first;
Thus making others' wisdom known, Nam'd half the rates, and lik'd the worst. Could please them, and improve her own To scandal next-—* What awkward thing
A modest youth said something new; Was that last Sunday in the ring?
She plac'd it in the strongest view. I'm sorry Mopsa breaks so fast:
All humble worth she strove to raise ; I said, her face would never last.
Would not be prais'd, yet lov’d to praise. Corinna, with that youthful air,
The learned met with free approach, Is thirty, and a bit to spare:
Although they came not in a coach: Her fondness for a certain earl
Some clergy too she would allow, Began when I was but a girl!
Nor quarrell'd at their awkward bow; Phyllis, who but a month ago
But this was for Cadenus' sake, Was married to the Tunbridge-beau,
A gownman of a different make; 51
2 1 2
Whorn Pallas, once Vanessa's tutor,
Had fix'd on for her coadjutor.
But Cupid, full of mischief, longs
To vindicate his mother's wrongs.
On Pallas all attempts are vain :
One way he knows to give her pain;
Vows on Vanessa's heart to take
Due vengeance, for her patron's sake.
Those early seeds by Venus sown,
In spite of Pallas, now were grown;
And Cupid hop'd they would improve
By time, and ripen into love.
The boy made use of all his craft,
In vain discharging many a shaft,
Pointed at colonels, lords, and beaux :
Cadenus warded off the blows;
For, placing still some book betwixt,
The darts were in the cover fix'd,
Or, often blunted and recoil'd,
On Plutarch's Morals struck, were spoil d.
The queen of wisdom could foresee,
But not prevent, the Fates' decree:
And human caution tries in vain
To break that adamantine chain.
Vanessa, though by Pallas taught,
By Love invulnerable thought,
Searching in books for wisdom's aid,
Was, in the very search, betray'd.
Cupid, though all his darts were lost,
Yet still resolv'd to spare no cost:
He could not answer to his fame
The triumphs of that stubborn dame,
A nymph so hard to be subdued,
Who neither was coquette nor prude.
“I find,” said he, “she wants a doctor
Both to adore her, and instruct her:
I'll give her what she most admires,
Among those venerable sires,
Cadenus is a subject fit,
Grown old in politics and wit,
Caress'd by ministers of state,
or half mankind the dread and hate.
Whate'er vexations love attend,
She need no rivals apprehend.
Her sex, with universal voice,
Must laugh at her capricious choice."
Cadenus many things had writ:
Vanessa much esteem'd his wit,
And callid for his poetic works :
Meantime the boy in secret lurks ;
And, while the book was in her hand,
The urchin from his private stand
Took aim, and shot with all his strength
A dart of such prodigious length,
It pierc'd the feeble volume through,
And deep transfix'd her bosom too.
Some lines, more moving than the rest,
Stuck to the point that pierc'd her breast,
And, borne directly to the heart,
With pains unknown, increas'd her smart.
Vanessa, not in years a score,
Dreams of a gown of forty-four;
Imaginary charms can find
In eyes with reading almost blind :
Cadenus now no more appears
Declin'd in health, advanced in years.
She fancies music in his tongue ;
No farther looks, but thinks him young.
What mariner is not afraid
To venture in a ship decay'd ?
What planter will attempt to yoke
A sapling with a falling oak ?
As years increase, she brighter shines
Cadenus with each day declines :
And he must fall a prey to time,
While she continues in her prime.
Cadenus, common forms apart,
In every scene had kept his heart;
Had sigh'd and languish’d, vow'd and writ
For pastime, or to show his wit.
But books, and time, and state affairs,
Had spoil'd his fashionable airs :
He now could praise, esteem, approve,
But understood not what was love.
His conduct might have made him styld
A father, and the nymph his child.
That innocent delight he took
To see the virgin mind her book,
Was but the master's secret joy
In school to hear the finest boy.
Her knowledge with her fancy grew;
She hourly press'd for something new;
Ideas came into her mind
So fast, his lessons lagg'd behind ;
She reason'd, without plodding long,
Nor ever gave her judgment wrong.
But now a sudden change was wrought:
She minds no longer what he taught.
Cadenus was amaz'd to find
Such marks of a distracted mind:
For, though she seem'd to listen more
To all he spoke, than e'er before,
He found her thoughts would absent range,
Yet guess'd not whence could spring the chango
And first he modestly conjectures
His pupil might be tir'd with lectures ;
Which help'd to mortify his pride,
Yet gave him not the heart to chide :
But, in a mild dejected strain,
At last he ventur’d to complain;
Said, she should be no longer teas'd,
Might have her freedom when she pleas'd ;
Was now convinc'd he acted wrong,
To hide her from the world so long,
And in dull studies to engage
One of her tender sex and age;
That every nymph with envy own'd,
How she might sline in the grand monde :
And every shepherd was undone
To see her cloister'd like a nun.
This was a visionary scheme:
He wak’d, and found it but a dream
A project for above his skill;
For nature must be nature still
If he were bolder than became
A scholar to a courily dame.
She might excuse a man of letters
Thus tutors often treat their betters.
And, since his talk offensive grew,
He came to take his last adieu.
Vanessa, filld with just disdain,
Would still her dignity maintain,
Instructed from her early years
To scorn the art of female tears.
Had he employ'd his time so long
To teach her what was right and wrong.
Yet could such notions entertain
That all his lectures were in vain?
She own'd the wandering of her thoughts :
But he must answer for her faults.
She well remembered, to her cost,
That all his lessons were not lost.
Two maxims she could still produce,
And sad experience taught their use ;
That virtue, pleas'd by being shown,
Knows nothing which it dares not own;
Can make us without fear disclose
Our inmost secrets to our foes :
That common forms were not design'd
Directors to a noble mind.
“Now," said the nymph, “to let you see
My actions with your rules agree;
That I can vulgar forms despise,
And have no secrets to disguise:
I knew, by what you said and writ,
How dangerous things were men of wit ;
You caution'd me against their charms,
But never gave me equal arms;
Your lessons found the weakest part,
Aim'd at the head, but reach'd the heart."
Cadenus felt within him rise
Shame, disappointment, guilt, surprise.
He knew not how to reconcile
Such language with her usual style:
And yet her words were so express'd,
He could not hope she spoke in jest,
His thoughts had wholly been confin'd
To form and cultivate her mind.
He hardly knew, till he was told,
Whether the nymph were young or old ;
Had met her in a public place,
Without distinguishing her face :
Much less could his declining age
Vanessa's earliest thoughts engage;
And, if her youth indifference met,
His person must contempt beget:
Or, grant her passion be sincere,
How shall bis innocence be clear?
Appearances were all so strong,
The world must think him in the wrong;
Would say, he made a treacherous use
Of wit, to flatter and seduce :
The town would swear, he had betray'd
By magic spells the harmless maid:
And, every beau would have his jokes,
That scholars were like other folks ;
And when Platonic flights were over,
The tutor turn'd a mortal lover!
So tender of the young and fair!
It show'd a true paternal care
Five thousand guineas in her purse!
The doctor might have fancied worse.
Hardly at length he silence broke,
And falter'd every word he spoke ;
Interpreting her complaisance,
Just as a man sans conséquence.
She rallied well, he always knew :
Her manner now was something new;
And what she spoke was in an air
As serious as a tragic player.
But those who aim at ridicule
Should fix upon some certain rule,
Which fairly hints they are in jest,
Else he must enter his protest :
For, let a man be ne'er so wise,
He may be caught with sober lies;
A science which he never taught,
And, to be free, was dearly bought ;
For, take it in its proper light,
"Tis just what coxcombs call a bite.
But, not to dwell on things minute,
Vanessa finish'd the dispute,
Brought weighty arguments to prove
That reason was her guide in love.
She thought he had himself describ'd
His doctrines when she first imbib'd:
What he had planted now was grown ;
His virtues she might call her own;
As he approves, as he dislikes,
Love or contempt her fancy strikes.
Self-love, in nature rooted fast,
Attends us first, and leaves us last :
Why she likes him, admire not at her;
She loves herself, and that's the matter.
How was her tutor wont to praise
The geniuses of ancient days!
(Those authors he so oft bad nam'd,
For learning, wit, and wisdom fam'd,)
Was struck with love, esteem, and awe,
For persons whom he never saw.
Suppose Cadenus flourish'd then,
He must adore such godlike men.
If one short volume could comprise
All that was witty, learn'd, and wise,
How would it be esteem'd and read,
Although the writer long were dead!
If such an author were alive,
How all would for his friendship strive,
And come in crowds to see his face!
And this she takes to be her case.
Cadenus answers every end,
The book, the author, and the friend;
The utmost her desires will reach,
Is but learn what he can teach :
His converse is a system fit
Alone to fill up all her wit;
While every passion of her mind
In him is center'd and confin'd.
Love can with speech inspire a mute,
And taught Vanessa to dispute.
This topic, never touch'd before,
Display'd her eloquence the more :
Her knowledge, with such pains acquir'd,
By this new passion grew inspir'd ;
Through this she made all objects pass,
Which gave a tincture o'er the mass ;
As rivers, though they bend and twine,
Still to the sea their course incline;'
Or, as philosophers, who find
Some favorite system to their mind,
In every point to make it fit,
Will force all nature to submit.
Cadenus, who could ne'er suspect
His lessons would have such effect,
Or be so artfully applied,
Insensibly came on her side.
It was an unforeseen event;
Things took a turn he never meant.
Whoe'er excels in what we prize,
Appears a hero in our eyes :
Each girl, when pleas'd with what is taught,
Will have the teacher in her thought.
When Miss delights in her spinnet,
A fiddler may a fortune get;
A blockhead, with melodious voice,
In boarding-schools may have his choice ;
And oft the dancing-master's art
Climbs from the toe to touch the heart.
In learning let a nymph delight,
The pedant gets a mistress by 't.
Cadenus, to his grief and shame,
Who, though he cannot spell, is wise Could scarce oppose Vanessa's flame :
Enough to read a lady's eyes, And, though her arguments were strong,
And will each accidental glance At least could hardly wish them wrong.
Interpret for a kind advance. Howe'er it came, he could not tell,
But what success Vanessa met, But sure she never talk'd so well.
Is to the world a secret yet. His pride began to interpose ;
Whether the nymph, to please her swain, Preferr'd before a crowd of beaux!
Talks in a high romantic strain ; So bright a nymph to come unsought!
Or whether he at last descends Such wonder by his merit wrought!
To act with less seraphic ends ; "Tis merit must with her prevail !
Or, to compound the business, whether He never knew her judgment fail!
They temper love and books together; She noted all she ever read !
Must never to mankind be told, And had a most discerning head!
Nor shall the conscious Muse unfold. 'Tis an old maxim in the schools,
Meantime the mournful queen of love That flattery's the food of fools,
Led but a weary life above. Yet now and then your men of wit
She ventures now to leave the skies, Will condescend to take a bit.
Grown by Vanessa's conduct wise : So, when Cadenus could not hide,
For, though by one perverse event He chose to justify, his pride ;
Pallas bad cross'd her first intent ; Construing the passion she had shown,
Though her design was not obtain'd, Much to her praise, more to his own,
Yet had she much experience gain'd; Nature in him had merit plac'd,
And by the project vainly tried, In her a most judicious taste,
Could better now the cause decide. Love, hitherto a transient guest,
She gave due notice, that both parties, Ne'er held possession of his breast ;
Coram regina, prox' die Martis, So long attending at the gate,
Should at their peril, without fail, Disdain'd to enter in so late.
Come and appear, and save their bail. Love why do we one passion call,
All met; and, silence thrice proclaim'd When 'tis a compound of them all ?
One lawyer to each side was nam'd.
Where hot and cold, where sharp and sweet, The judge discover'd in her face
In all their equipages meet;
Resentments for her late disgrace ;
Where pleasures mix'd with pains appear, And, full of anger, shame, and grief,
Sorrow with joy, and hope with fear;
Directed them to mind their brief, Wherein his dignity and age
Nor spend their time to show their reading Forbid Cadenus to engage.
She'd have a summary proceeding. But friendship, in its greatest height,
She gather'd under every head A constant, rational delight,
The sum of what each lawyer said, On virtue's basis fix'd to last,
Gave her own reasons last, and then When love allurements long are past,
Decreed the cause against the men. Which gently warms, but cannot burn,
But, in a weighty case like this, He gladly offers in return;
To show she did not judge amiss, His want of passion will redeem
Which evil tongues might else report, With gratitude, respect, esteem;
She made a speech in open court, With that devotion we bestow,
Wherein she grievously complains, When goddesses appear below.
“How she was cheated by the swains : While thus Cadenus entertains
On whose petition (humbly showing, Vanessa in exalted strains,
That women were not worth the wooing, The nymph in sober words entreats
And that, unless the sex would mend, A truce with all sublime conceits :
The race of lovers soon must end)— For why such raptures, flights, and fancies, She was at Lord knows what expense To her who durst not read romances ?
To form a nymph of wit and sense, In lofty style to make replies,
A model for her sex design'd, Which he had taught her to despise ?
Who never could one lover find. But when her tutor will affect
She saw her favor was misplac'd ; Devotion, duty, and respect,
The fellows had a wretched taste ; He fairly abdicates the throne ;
She needs must tell them to their face, The government is now her own;
They were a stupid, senseless race; He has a forfeiture incurrid;
And, were she to begin again, She vows to take him at his word,
She'd study to reform the men ; And hopes he will not think it strange,
Or add some grains of folly more If both should now their stations change.
To women, than they had before, The nymph will have her turn to be
To put them on an equal foot ; The tutor; and the pupil, he:
And this, or nothing else, would do't. Though she already can discern
This might their mutual fancy strike, Her scholar is not apt to leprn;
Since every being loves its like. Or wants capacity to reach
“But now, repenting what was done The science she designs to teach :
She left all business to her son ; Wherein his genius was below
She puts the world in his possession, The skill of every common beau,
And lets him use it at discretion."
THE JOURNAL OF A MODERN LADY.
The crier was order'd to dismiss The court, so made his last () yes ! The goddess would no longer wait; But, rising from her chair of state, Left all below at six and seven, Harness'd her doves, and flew to Heaven.
IN A LETTER TO A PERSON OF QUALITY.-1728
All travellers at first incline
Where'er they see the fairest sign;
And, if they find the chambers neat,
And like the liquor and the meat,
Will call again and recommend
The Angel-inn to every friend.
What though the painting grows decay'd,
The house will never lose its trade :
Nay, though the treacherous tapster Thomas
Hangs a new Angel two doors from us,
As fine as daubers' hands can make it,
In hopes that strangers may mistake it,
We think it both a shame and sin
To quit the true old Angel-inn.
Now this is Stella's case in fact,
An angel's face a little crack'd :
(Could poets or could painters fix
How angels look at thirty-six :)
This drew us in at first to find
In such a form an angel's mind ;
And every virtue now supplies
The fainting rays of Stella's eyes.
See at her levee crowding swains,
Whom Stella freely entertains
With breeding, humor, wit, and sense ;
And puts them but to small expense ;
Their mind so plentifully fills,
And makes such reasonable bills,
So little gets for what she gives,
We really wonder how she lives !
And, had her stock been less, no doubt
She must have long ago run out.
Then who can think we'll quit the place,
When Doll hangs out a newer face?
Or stop and light at Chloe's head,
With scraps and leavings to be fed ?
Then, Chloe, still go on to prate Of thirty-six and thirty-eight; Pursue your trade of scandal-picking, Your hints that Stella is no chicken; Your innuendoes, when you tell us, That Stella loves to talk with fellows : And let me warn you to believe A truth, for which your soul should grieve; That, should you live to see the day When Stella's locks must all be grey, When age must print a furrow'd trace On every feature of her face ; Though you, and all your senseless tribe, Could art, or time, or nature bribe, To make you look like beauty's queen, And hold for ever at fifteen ; No bloom of youth can ever blind The cracks and wrinkles of your mind : All men of sense will pass your door, And crowd to Stella's at fourscore.
It was a most unfriendly part
In you, who ought to know my heart,
Are well acquainted with my zeal
For all the female commonweal-
How could it come into your mind
To pitch on me, of all mankind,
Against the sex to write a satire,
And brand me for a woman-hater ?
On me, who think them all so fair,
They rival Venus to a hair;
Their virtues never ceas'd to sing,
Since first I learn'd to tune a string ?
Methinks I hear the ladies cry,
Will he his character belie?
Must never our misfortunes end ?
And have we lost our only friend ?
Ah, lovely nymphs, remove your fear
No more let fall those precious tears,
Sooner shall, &c.
[Here are several verses omitted.] The hound be hunted by the hare, Than I turn rebel to the fair.
'Twas you engag'd me first to write.
Then gave the subject out of spite :
The journal of a modern dame
Is by my promise what you claim.
My word is past, I must submit;
And yet, perhaps, you may be bit.
I but transcribe ; for not a line
Of all the satire shall be mine.
Compellid by you to tag in rhymes
The common slanders of the times,
Of modern times, the guilt is yours,
And me my innocence secures.
Unwilling Muse, begin thy lay,
The annals of a female day.
By nature turn'd to play the rake well,
(As we shall show you in the sequel,)
The modern dame is wak’d by noon,
(Some authors say, not quite so soon,)
Because, though sore against her will,
She sate all night up al quadrille.
She stretches, gapes, unglues her eyes,
And asks, if it be time to rise :
Of head-ache and the spleen complains;
And then, to cool her heated brains,
Her night-gown and her slippers brought her
Takes a large dram of citron-water.
Then to her glass ; and, “ Betty, pray
Don't I look frightfully to-day ?
But was it not confounded hard?
Well, if I ever touch a card !
Four mattadores, and lose codille !
Depend upon't, I never will.
But run to Tom, and bid him fix
The ladies here to-night by six.”
“Madam, the goldsmith waits below;
He says, His business is to know
If you'll redeem the silver cup
He keeps in pawn?'”—“First, show him up
“Your dressing plate he'll be content
To take, for interest centper cent.