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Alas ! I copy (or my draught would fail)
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 shame 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.
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; 215 But every woman is at heart a rake; Men, some to quiet, some to public strife; But every lady would be queen for life.
198 Mahomet. Servant to the late king, said to be the son of a Turkish bassa, whom he took at the siege of Buda, and constantly kept about his person.-Pope.
198 Parson Hale. The learned and philanthropic Dr. Stephen Hale.
216 But every woman is at heart a rake. Warburton, as usual, determines to defend the indefensible :- We may observe,' is his plea, the expression simply amounts to this; that while some men take to business, some to pleasure, every woman would willingly make pleasure her business. The explanation only aggravates the offence. Pope evidently gave way to the temptation of epigram, and terseness obtained the victory over truth.
Yet mark the fate of a whole sex of queens !
Pleasures the sex, as children birds, pursue,
240 Still round and round the ghosts of beauty glide, And haunt the places where their honor died.
See how the world its veterans rewards !
Ah, friend! to dazzle let the vain design;
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
O! bless'd with temper, whose unclouded ray
And yet, believe me, good as well as ill, Woman's at best a contradiction still. 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 favorite bless'd, Your love of pleasure, our desire of rest; Blends, in exception to all general rules, 275 Your taste of follies with our scorn of fools ; Reserve with frankness, art with truth allied, Courage 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; 286 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,
290 Kept dross for duchesses, the world shall know it; To you gave sense, good-humor, and a poet.
281 Be this a woman's fame. “In conclusion,' says Warburton, boldly, 'the great moral from both those Epistles together, is that the two rarest things in all nature are, a disinterested man, and a reasonable woman.'