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Who, with herself, or others, from her birth Finds all her life one warfare upon earth : Shines in exposing knaves, and painting fools; Yet is whate'er she hates and ridicules : 120 No thought advances, but her eddy brain Whisks it about, and down it goes again. Full sixty years the world has been her trade; The wisest fool much time has ever made. From loveless youth to unrespected age, No passion gratified except her rage. So much the fury still outran the wit, The pleasure miss'd her, and the scandal hit. Who breaks with her provokes revenge from hell, But he's a bolder man who dares be well. 130 Her every turn with violence pursued, No more a storm her hate than gratitude: To that each passion turns, or soon or late; Love, if it makes her yield, must make her hate : Superiors ? death! and equals ? what a curse! 135 But an inferior not dependent? worse. Offend her, and she knows not to forgive ; Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live: the Persian princess as the representative of the most celebrated woman of his day, the wife of the great duke of Marlborough, must now be left to conjecture. Walpole, in his pleasantry, remarks of her Memoirs, that, though they are rather the annals of a wardrobe than of a reign, they retain those sallies of wit which fourscore years of arrogance could not fail to produce in so fantastic an understanding : one sees exactly how Europe and the back-stairs took their places in her imagination. The revolution left no impression on her mind, but of queen Mary turning up bed-clothes; and the protestant hero, but of a selfish glutton, who devoured a dish of peas from his sister-in-law! The queen gave her a picture in enamel set with diamonds: the duchess took off the diamonds, and gave the picture to a Mrs. Higgins to be sold.'
But die, and she'll adore you: then the bust
Pictures like these, dear madam, to design,
Yet Chloe sure was form’d without a spot.'Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot. • With every pleasing, every prudent part, 159 Say, what can Chloe want ?-She wants a heart. She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought; But never, never, reach'd one generous thought : Virtue she finds too painful an endeavor, Content to dwell in decencies for ever. So very reasonable, so unmoved, As never yet to love or to be loved. She, while her lover pants upon her breast, Can mark the figures on an Indian chest; And when she sees her friend in deep despair, Observes how much a chintz exceeds mohair. 170
Forbid it, Heaven, a favor or a debt
One certain portrait may, I grant, be seen, 181 Which Heaven has varnish'd out, and made a
queen: The same for ever! and described by all With truth and goodness, as with crown and
ball. Poets heap virtues, painters gems at will; 185 And show their zeal, and hide their want of
skill. 'Tis well :. but, artists ! who can paint or write, To draw the naked is your true delight. That robe of quality so struts and swells, None see what parts of nature it conceals : 190 The exactest traits of body or of mind We owe to models of a humble kind. If Queensbury to strip there's no compelling, 'Tis from a handmaid we must take a Helen. From peer or bishop 'tis no easy thing 195 To draw the man who loves his God or king :
179 Chloe is prudent. Lady Suffolk. Pope dining at her table heard her tell one of the footmen to remind her, to send to know how Mrs. Blount, who was ill, had passed the night.
Alas! I copy (or my draught would fail)
But grant, in public, men sometimes are shown,
205 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. 210
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.
199 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 ! Power all their end, but beauty all the means : 220 In youth they conquer with so wild a rage, As leaves them scarce a subject in their age: For foreign glory, foreign joy, they roam; No thought of peace or happiness at home. But wisdom's triumph is well-timed retreat, 225 As hard a science to the fair as great! Beauties, like tyrants, old and friendless grown, Yet hate repose, and dread to be alone; Worn out in public, weary every eye; Nor leave one sigh behind them when they die. 230
Pleasures the sex, as children birds, pursue, Still out of reach, yet never out of view; Sure, if they catch, to spoil the toy at most; To covet flying, and regret when lost: At last, to follies youth could scarce defend, 235 It grows their age's prudence to pretend; Ashamed to own they gave delight before, Reduced to feign it when they give no more: As hags hold sabbaths less for joy than spite, So these their merry, miserable night: 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! A youth of frolics, an old age of cards; Fair to no purpose, artful to no end; · 245 Young without lovers, old without a friend; A fop their passion, but their prize a sot; Alive, ridiculous; and dead, forgot!
Ah, friend ! to dazzle let the vain design; To raise the thought, and touch the heart, be thine!