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Oh lasting as those colours may they shine,
Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line,
New graces yearly like thy works display,
Soft without weakness, without glaring gay;
Led by some rule that guides, but not constrains;
And finished more through happiness than pains.
The kindred Arts shall in their praise conspire,
One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre.
Yet should the Graces all thy figures place,
And breathe an air divine on every face;
Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll
Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul ;
With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie,
And these be sung till Granville's Myra die :
Alas ! how little from the grave we claim,
Thou but preserv'st a Face, and I a Name.

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1

the poet.

was

printed with Fresnoy's Art of Painting, myself, is a greater compliment than published in 1716, “Wortley” stood you are aware of. I wish you may for “Worsley." Lady M. W. Montagu have grace to find it." was doubtless meant, but her name George Granville, afterwards was removed after her quarrel with Lord Lansdowne (1665–1735). Myra

Lady Worsley's eyes must was the Countess of Newburgh of have been deserving of the praise whom Granville enamoured. which Pope gives them. Swift says

Johnson says :

“His verses to Mira, to her in a letter dated 19 April, which are most frequently mentioned, 1730: “How is our old friend have little in them of either art or Mrs. Barton ? (I forget her new nature, of the sentiments of a lover, name). I saw her three years ago or the language of a poet; there may at Court almost dwindled to an be found now and then a happier echo, and hardly knew her; while effort ; but they are commonly feeble your eyes dazzled me as much as when and unaffecting, or forced and extraI first met them, which, considering vagant."

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In these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces shine,
And all the writer lives in ev'ry line;
His easy Art may happy Nature seem,
Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,
Who without flattery pleased the fair and great ;
Still with esteem no less conversed than read;
With wit well-natured, and with books well-bred :
His heart, his mistress and his friend did share !
His time, the Muse, the witty, and the fair.

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1 In the octavo edition of 1735, after the inscription, the following words are added, “Written at 17 years old.”

The lines were first published in Lintot's Miscellany for 1712, and entitled “To a Young Lady, with the works of Voiture.”

It is very certain that, if the lines were really written, as Pope says in the edition referred to, when he was only seventeen, they could not have been addressed in the first instance to Martha Blount, who would have been a mere child. But the probability is that" here, as elsewhere, Pope fixed on a date for the

composition which would illustrate the precocity of his genius. See Introductory Remarks to the following Epistle.

:: Vincent Voiture, son of a winemerchant, born at Amiens, 1598, died in 1648. He is now chiefly remembered for his letters. ** Voiture,” says Voltaire, “gave some idea of the superficial graces of that epistolary style, which is by no means the best, because it aims at nothing higher than pleasantry and amusement. His two volumes of letters are the mere pastime of a wanton imagination, in which we meet not with one that is instinctive, not one

true

not

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Thus wisely careless, innocently gay,
Cheerful he played the trifle, Life, away;'
Till Fate scarce felt his gentle breath supprest,
As smiling infants sport themselves to rest.'
Ev’n rival wits did Voiture's death deplore,
And the gay mourned who never mourned before.'
The truest hearts for Voiture heaved with sighs,
Voiture was wept by all the brightest eyes;
The Smiles and Loves had died in Voiture's death,
But that for ever in his lines they breathe.

Let the strict life of graver mortals be
A long, exact, and serious Comedy;
In

every scene some moral let it teach,
And, if it can, at once both please and preach.
Let mine an innocent gay farce appear,
And more diverting still than regular,
Have humour, wit, a native ease and grace,
Though not too strictly bound to time and place :
Critics in wit, or life, are hard to please,
Few write to those, and none can live to these.

Too much your sex is by their forms confined,
Severe to all, but most to womankind;
Custom, grown blind with age, must be your guide;
Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride;

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Wakefield says this is imitated from Dryden, in All for Love. As harmless infants moan themselves asleep. 3 Imitated from Shakespeare :

that flows from the heart, that paints
the manners of the times, or the
characters of men : they are rather an
abuse than an exercise of wit.”

So Dryden, Don Sebastian :
To make the trifle, Death, a thing of

moment.-WAKEFIELD.

And how she prayed that never prayed before. Taming of the Shrew.-WAKEFIELD.

2 In the edition of 1717, “death " stood in the place of " fate.” In the Miscellanies the lines stand :

Till death, scarce felt, did o'er his pleasure

creep, As smiling infants sport themselves to

sloep.

4 Etruscæ Veneres, Camenæ liberæ,

Hermes Gallicus, et Latina Siren,
Risus Deliæ et dicacitates,
Lusus, Ingenium, Joci, Lepores :
Et quid quid unquam fuit elegantiarum.

Quo Vecturius hoc jacent sepulchro.
Epitaph on Voiture. - WARTON.

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