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TO LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU.
N beauty, or wit,
No mortal as yet
To queftion your empire has dar'd;
Have thought that in learning,
To yield to a Lady was hard.
Have reading to females deny'd:
So papists refuse
The Bible to use,
Left flocks fhou'd be wife as their guide.
'Twas a woman at first,
(Indeed fhe was curst)
In knowledge that tafted delight,
And fages agree
The laws fhou'd decree
To the first poffeffor the right.
Then bravely, fair dame,
Which to your whole fex does belong;
From a fecond bright Eve,
The knowledge of right and of wrong.
But if the first Eve
Hard doom did receive,
When only one apple had she,
What a punishment new
Shall be found out for you,
Who tafting, have robb'd the whole tree?
VER. 30. Who tasting, have robb'd the whole tree ?] This extraordinary Lady, the object of Pope's attachment in his early years, and of his most virulent invective afterwards, was indeed a Lady of sense, spirit, and talents, as well as of great beauty. Her letters, in unaffected language, good sense, and natural humour, are as much fuperior to Pope's, as his verfes are fuperior to her's. Her maiden name was Mary Pierrepoint; fhe was the daughter of Evelyn, Duke of Kingston, and Lady Mary Fielding, daughter of William Earl of Denbigh. She was born at Thoresby, in Nottinghamshire, about the year 1695.
"The first dawn of her genius opened fo aufpiciously, that her Father refolved to cultivate the advantages of Nature by a fedulous attention to her early education. Under the fame preceptors as her brother, Viscount Newark, fhe acquired the elements of the Greek, Latin, and French languages with the greatest success.
Her ftudies were afterwards fuperintended by Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury, and her tranflation of Epictetus received his emendation."
Dallaway's Memoirs of Lady
Her husband was an intimate friend of Addison and of Steel. She went with him on his embassy to Conftantinople, and, after his recall, lived at Twickenham. Pope's admiration ended in difguft and averfion. Her latter years were paffed in Italy, and her letters from thence are very interefting, though there is no fatisfactory account given why fic was feparated from her country fo many years.
On the Picture of Lady MARY W. MONTAGU by KNELLER.
[From Dallaway's Life of Lady Mary.]
THE playful fmiles around the dimpled mouth,
So would I draw (but oh! 'tis vain to try,
VER. 1. The playful fmiles, c ] Her face and appearance were fo altered by age, that she says for many years she never looked in a glass. She received her travelling countrymen, who paid their refpects to her in Italy, veiled, or in a mask.
She lived to fee the Nobleman who married her daughter, highest in the confidence of his prefent Majefty; and whatever might have been her faults, her tender and affectionate correspondence with her daughter, no one can read without a tear of respect and sympathy.
ON MRS. PULTENEY.
VER. 6. But charming G - y's loft, &c] Anna Maria Gumley, daughter of John Gumley of Ifleworth, was married to Pulteney, who received with her a very large fortune.
VER. 9. O could the fire, renown'd in glafs,] Her father gained his fortune from a glass manufactory; upon which circumstance, though hitherto unexplained, the force and elegance of this fevere but pleafing compofition turns.
Thefe lines were fuppreffed, as Pope afterwards received great civilities from Pulteney.