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And 'twas observ'd, there were but few
Of either sex among the crew,
Whom the or her affeffors knew.
The goddess foon began to fee,
Things were not ripe for a decree ;
And said, the must consult her books,
The lovers' Fletas, Bractons, Cokes.
First to a dapper clerk The beckon'd
To turn to Ovid, book the second ;
She then referr'd them to a place
In Virgil (vide Dido's case):
As for Tibullus's reports,
They never pass'd for law in courts :
For Cowley's briefs, and pleas of Waller,
Still their authority was smaller.
There was on both fides much to say:
She'd hear the cause another day ;
And so she did, and then a third ;
She heard it there she kept her word:
But with rejoinders and replies,
Long bills, and answers ftuff'd with lies,
Demur, imparlance, and esloign,
The parties ne'er could issue join :
For fixteen years the cause was spun,
And then stood where it first begun.
Now, gentle Clio, fing or say,
What Venus meant by this delay.
The goddess, much perplex'd in mind
To see her empire thus declin'd, .
When first this grand debate arose,
Above her wisdom to compose,
Conceiv'd a project in her head
To work her ends ; which, if it sped,
Would fhew the merits of the cause
Far better than consulting laws.
In a glad hour Lucina's aid
Produc'd on earth a wondrous maid,
On whom the of love was bent
To try a new experiment.
She threw her law-books on the shelf,
140 And thus debated with herself..
Since men alledge, they ne'er can find
Thore beauties in a female mind,
Which raise a flame that will endure
For ever uncorrupt
If 'tis with reason they complain,
This instant shall restore my reign.
I'll search where ev'ry virtue dwells,
From courts inclusive down to cells ;
What preachers talk, or fages write:
These I will gather and unite,
And represent them to mankind
Collected in that infant's mind.
This faid, she plucks in heav'n's high bow'rs
A-fprig of amarant bine flow'rs,
In nectar thrice infuses bays,
Three times refin'd in Titan's rays;
Then calls the graces to her aid,
And sprinkles thrice the new-born maid : :
from whence the tender skin affümes
A sweetness above all perfumes :
From whence a cleanliness remains,
Incapable of outward stains :
From whence that decency of mind,
Sò lovely in the female kind;
165 . Where not one careless thought intrudes, Lefs modest than the speech of prudes; Where never blush' was calld in aid, That spurious virtue in a maid, A virtue but at second-hand
170 They blush, because they understand.
Tue graces- next would act their part,
And shew'd but little of their art ;
Their work was half already done,
The child with native beauty shone;
The outward form no help requir'd:
Each breathing on her thrice, inspir'd
That gentle, soft, engaging air,
Which in old times adorn'd the fair:
And said, “ Vanessa be the name
By which thou shalt be known to fame ;
* Vanesa, by the gods inroll's :
“ Her name on earth shall not be told.”
But still the work was not complete ;
When Venus thought on a deceit,
Drawn by her doves, away she flies,
And finds out Pallas in the skies :
Dear Pallas, I have been this morn
To see a lovely infant born;
A boy in yonder isle below,
So like my own without his bow,
By beauty could your heart be won,
You'd swear it is Apollo's son:
But it shall ne'er be said, a child
So hopeful has by me been spoil'd;
I have enough besides to spare,
And give him wholly to your care.
Wisdom's above suspecting wiles:
The queen of learning gravely smiles,
Down from Olympus comes with joy,
Mistakes Vanessa for a boy ;
Then fows within her tender mind
Seeds long unknown to womankind ;
For manly bofoms chiefly fit,
The feeds of knowledge, judgment, wit.
Her soul was suddenly endu'd
With justice, truth, and fortitude;
With honour, which no breath can stain,
Which malice must attack in vain ;
heart and bounteous hand.
210 But Pallas here was at a stand
She knew in our degen'rate days
Bare virtue could not live on praise ;-
That meat must be with money bought:
She therefore, upon second thought,
Infus’d, yet as it were by stealth,
Some small regard for state and wealth ;
Of which, as he grew up, there faid
A tincture in the prudent maid:
She manag'd her estate with care,
Yet lik'd three footmen to her chair.
But, left he should neglect his studies
Like a young heir, the thrifty goddess
(For fear young mafter should be spoil'd)
Would use him like a younger
And, after long computing, found
'Twould come to just five thousand pound.
The queen of love was pleas'd, and proud,
To fee Vanessa thus endow'd:
She doubted not but such a dame
Thro’ev'ry breast would dart a flame;
That ev'ry rich and lordly fwain
With pride would drag about her chain;
That scholars would forfake their books
To study bright Vaneffa's looks ;
As she advanc'd, that womankind
Would by her model form their mind,
And all their conduct would be try'd
By her, as an unerring guide;
Offending daughters oft would hear
Vanessa's praise rung in their ear :
Miss Betty, when she does a fault,
Lets fall her knife, or spills the falt,
Will thus be by her mother chid,
“ 'Tis what Vanessa never did.”
Thus by the nymphs and fwains ador'd,
My pow'r shall be again restor'd,
And happy lovers bless my reign-
So Venus hop'd, but hop'd in vain.
For when in time the martial maid
Found out the trick that Venus play'd, '
She shakes her helm, the knits her brows,
And fir'd with indignation vows,
To-morrow, ere the setting fun,
She'd all undo that she had done.
But in the poets we may find,
A wholesome law, time out of mind,
Had been confirm’d by fate's decree,
That gods, of whatsoe’er degree,
Resume not what themselves have giv'n,
Or any brother-god in heav'n;
Which keeps the peace among the gods,
Or they must always be at odds :
And Pallas, if she broke the laws,
Muft yield her foe the stronger cause ;
A shame to one so much ador'd
For wisdom at Jove's council-board.
Besides, the fear'd the
Would meet with better friends above.
And tho' she must with grief reflect,
To see a mortal virgin deck'd
graces hitherto unknown
To female breasts, except her own;
Yet she would act as beft became
A goddess of unspotted fame.
She knew, by augury divine,
Venus would fail in her design :
She study'd well the point, and found
Her foe's conclusions were not found,