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Whom Pallas, once Vanessa's tutor,
What planter will attempt to yoke Had fix'd on for her coadjutor.
A sapling with a falling oak? But Cupid, full of mischief, longs
As years increase, she brighter shines : To vindicate his mother's wrongs.
Cadenus with each day declines : On Pallas all attempts are vain :
And he must fall a prey to time, One way he knows to give her pain ;
While she continues in her prime. Vows on Vanessa's heart to take
Cadenus, common forms apart, Due vengeance, for her patron's sake.
In every scene had kept his heart; Those early seeds by Venus sown,
Had sigh’d and languish’d, vow'd and writ, In spite of Pallas, now were grown;
For pastime, or to show his wit. And Cupid hop'd they would improve
But books, and time, and state affairs, By time, and ripen into love.
Had spoil'd his fashionable airs : The boy made use of all his craft,
He now could praise, esteem, approve, In vain discharging many a shaft,
But understood not what was love. Pointed at colonels, lords, and beaux :
His conduct might have made him styl'd Cadenus warded off the blows;
A father, and the nymph his child. For, placing still some book betwixt,
That innocent delight he took The darts were in the cover fix'd,
To see the virgin mind her book, Or, often blunted and recoil'd,
Was but the master's secret joy On Plutarch's Morals struck, were spoil'd.
In school to hear the finest boy. The queen of wisdom could foresee,
Her knowledge with her fancy grew; But not prevent the Fates' decree :
She hourly press'd for something new; And human caution tries in vain
Ideas came into her mind To break that adamantine chain.
So fast, his lessons lagg'd behind; Vanessa, though by Pallas taught,
She reason'd, without plodding long, By Love invulnerable thought,
Nor ever gave her judgment wrong. Searching in books for wisdom's aid
But now a sudden change was wrought : Was, in the very search, betray'd.
She minds no longer what he taught. Cupid, though all his darts were lost,
Cadenus was amaz'd to find Yet still resolv'd to spare no cost :
Such marks of a distracted mind : He could not answer to his fame
For, though she seem'd to listen more The triumphs of that stubborn dame,
To all he spoke, than e'er before, A nymph so hard to be subdued,
He found her thoughts would absent range, Who neither was coquette nor prude.
Yet guess'd not whence could spring the change “ I find,” said he, "she wants a doctor
And first he modestly conjectures Both to adore her, and instruct her:
His pupil might be tir'd with lectures; I'll give her what she most admires,
Which help'd to mortify his pride, Among those venerable sires,
Yet gave him not the heart to chide : Cadenus is a subject fit,
But, in a mild dejected strain, Grown old in politics and wit,
At last he ventur'd to complain ; Caress'd by ministers of state,
Said, she should be no longer teas’d, Of half mankind the dread and hate.
Might have her freedom when she pleas'd; Whate'er vexations love attend,
Was now convinc'd he acted wrong, She need no rivals apprehend.
To hide her from the world so long, Her sex, with universal voice,
And in dull studies to engage Must laugh at her capricious choice."
One of her tender sex and age; Cadenus many things had writ:
That every nymph with envy own'd, Vanessa much esteem'd his wit,
How she might shine in the grand monde; And callid for his poetic works :
And every shepherd was undone Meantime the boy in secret lurks ;
To see her cloister'd like a nun. And, while the book was in her hand,
This was a visionary scheme : The urchin from his private stand
He wak’d, and found it but a dream; Took aim, and shot with all his strength
A project far above his skill; A dart of such prodigious length,
For nature must be nature still. It piere'd the feeble volume through,
If he were bolder than became And deep transfix'd her bosom too.
A scholar to a courtly dame, Some lines, more moving than the rest,
She might excuse a man of letters; Stuck to the point that pierc'd her breast,
Thus tutors often treat their betters: And, borne directly to the heart
And, since his talk offensive grew, With pains unknown, increas'd her smart.
He came to take his last adieu. Vanessa, not in years a score,
Vanessa, fill'd with just disdain, Dreams of a gown of forty-four;
Would still her dignity maintain, Imaginary charms can find
Instructed from her early years In eyes with reading almost blind :
To scorn the art of female tears. Cadenus now no more appears
Had he employ'd his time so long Declin'd in health, advanc'd in years,
To teach her what was right and wrong: She fancies music in his tongue ;
Yet could such not ions entertain No farther looks, but thinks him young.
That all his lectures were in vain ? What mariner is not afraid
She own'd the windering of her thoughts: To venture in a ship decay'd ?
But he must ans wer for her faults
She well remembered, to her cost,
But, not to dwell on things minute, That all his lessons were not lost.
Vanessa finish'd the dispute, Two maxims she could still produce,
Brought weighty arguments to prove And sad experience taught their use;
That reason was her guide in love. That virtue, pleas'd by being shown,
She thought he had himself describ'd Knows nothing which it dares not own;
His doctrines when she first imbib'd: Can make us without fear disclose
What he had planted now was grown; Our inmost secrets to our foes :
His virtues she might call her own; That common forms were not design'd
As he approves, as he dislikes, Directors to a noble mind.
Love or contempt her fancy strikes, “ Now," said the nymph, “ to let you see
Self-love, in nature rooted fast, My actions with your rules agree;
Attends us first, and leaves us last : That I can vulgar forms despise,
Why she likes him, admire not at her ; And have no secrets to disguise :
She loves herself, and that 's the matter. I knew, by what you said and writ,
How was her tutor wont to praise How dangerous things were men of wit;
The geniuses of ancient days! You caution'd me against their charms,
(Those authors he so oft had nam'd, But never gave me equal arms;
For learning, wit, and wisdom fam'd,) Your lessons found the weakest part,
Was struck with love, esteem, and awe, Aim'd at the head, but reach'd the heart."
For persons whom he never saw. Cadenus felt within him rise
Suppose Cadenus flourish'd then, Shame, disappointment, guilt, surprise.
He must adore such godlike men. He knew not how to reconcile
If one short volume could comprise Such language with her usual style:
All that was witty, learn'd, and wise, And yet her words were so express'd,
How would it be esteem'd and read, He could not hope she spoke in jest,
Although the writer long were dead ! His thoughts had wholly been confin'd
If such an author were alive, To form and cultivate her mind.
How all would for his friendship strive, He hardly knew, till he was told,
And come in crowds to see his face ! Whether the nymph were young or old ;
And this she takes to be her case. Had met her in a public place,
Cadenus answers every end, Without distinguishing her face :
The book, the author, and the friend; Much less could his declining age
The utmost her desires will reach, Vanessa's earliest thoughts engage;
Is but to learn what he can teach : And, if her youth indifference met,
His converse is a system fit His person must contempt beget:
Alone to fill up all her wit; Or, grant her passion be sincere,
While every passion of her mind How shall his innocence be clear?
In him is center'd and confin'd. Appearances were all so strong,
Love can with speech inspire a mute, The world must think him in the wrong;
And taught Vanessa to dispute. Would say, he made a treacherous use
This topic, never touch'd before, Of wit, to flatter and seduce :
Display'd her eloquence the more: The town would swear, he had betray'd
Her knowledge, with such pains acquir'd, By magic spells the harmless maid :
By this new passion grew inspir’d; And every beau would have his jokes,
Through this she made all objects pass, That scholars were like other folks ;
Which gave a tincture o'er the mass; And, when Platonic flights were over,
As rivers, though they bend and twine, The tutor turn'd a mortal lover!
Still to the sea their course incline; So tender of the young and fair !
Or, as philosophers, who find It show'd a true paternal care —
Some favourite system to their mind, Five thousand guineas in her purse !
In every point to make it fit, The doctor might have fancied worse. —
Will force all nature to submit. Hardly at length he silence broke,
Cadenus, who could ne'er suspect And faulter'd every word he spoke;
His lessons would have such effect, Interpreting her complaisance,
Or be so artfully apply'd, Just as a man sans conséquence.
Insensibly came on her side. She rallied well, he always knew :
It was an unforeseen event; Her manner now was something new ;
Things took a turn he never meant And what she spoke was in an air
Whoe'er excels in what we prize, As serious as a tragic player.
Appears a hero in our eyes : But those who aim at ridicule
Each girl, when pleas'd with what is taught, Should fix upon some certain rule,
Will have the teacher in her thought. Which fairly hints they are in jest,
When Miss delights in her spinnet, Else he must enter his protest :
A fiddler may a fortune get; For, let a man be ne'er so wise,
A blockhead, with melodious voice, He may be caught with sober lies;
In boarding-schools may have his choice; A science which he never taught,
And oft' the dancing-master's art And, to be free, was dearly bought ;
Climbs from the toe to touch the heart. For, take it in its proper light,
In learning let a nymph delight, 'Tis just what coxcombs call a bile.
The pedant gets a mistress by 't.
Cadenus, to his grief and shame,
Who, though he cannot spell, is wise Could scarce oppose Vanessa's flame;
Enough to read a lady's eyes, And, though her arguments were strong,
And will each accidental glance At least could hardly wish them wrong.
Interpret for a kind advance. Howe'er it came, he could not tell,
But what success Vanessa met, But sure she never talk'd so well.
Is to the world a secret yet. His pride began to interpose;
Whether the nymph, to please her swain, Preferr'd before a crowd of beaux !
Talks in a high romantic strain; So bright a nymph to come unsought!
Or whether he at last descends Such wonder by his merit wrought!
To act with less seraphic ends; 'Tis merit must with her prevail !
Or, to compound the business, whether He never knew her judgment fail !
They temper love and books together; She noted all she ever read!
Must never to mankind be told, And had a most discerning head!
Nor shall the conscious Muse unfold. 'Tis an old maxim in the schools,
Meantime the mournful queen of love That flattery 's the food of fools,
Led but a weary life above. Yet now and then your men of wit
She ventures now to leave the skies, Will condescend to take a bit.
Grown by Vanessa's conduct wise: So, when Cadenus could not hide,
For, though by one perverse event He chose to justify, his pride ;
Pallas had cross'd her first intent; Construing the passion she had shown,
Though her design was not obtain'd, Much to her praise, more to his own.
Yet had she much experience gain'd; Nature in him had merit plac'd,
And by the project vainly try'd, In her a most judicious taste.
Could better now the cause decide. Love, hitherto a transient guest,
She gave due notice, that both parties, Ne'er held possession of his breast;
Coram regina, pror' die Martis, So long attending at the gate,
Should at their peril, without fail, Disdain'd to enter in so late.
Come and appear, and save their bail. Love why do we one passion call,
All met ; and, silence thrice proclaim'd, When 'tis a compound of them all?
One lawyer to each side was nam'd.
Resentments for her late disgrace ;
And, full of anger, shame, and grief, Sorrow with joy, and hope with fear ;
Directed them to mind their brief, Wherein his dignity and age
Nor spend their time to show their reading; Forbid Cadenus to engage.
She'd have a summary proceeding. But friendship, in its greatest height,
She gather'd under every head A constant, rational delight,
The sum of what each lawyer said, On virtue's basis fix'd to last,
Gave her own reasons last, and then When love allurements long are past,
Decreed the cause against the men. Which gently warms, but cannot burn,
But, in a weighty case like this, He gladly offers in return;
To show she did not judge amiss, His want of passion will redeem
Which evil tongues might else report, With gratitude, respect, esteem;
She made a speech in open court, With that devotion we bestow,
Wherein she grievously complains. When goddesses appear below.
“ How she was cheated by the swains : While thus Cadenus entertains
On whose petition (humbly showing, Vanessa in exalted strains,
That women were not worth the wooing, The nymph in sober words entreats
And that, unless the sex would mend, A truce with all sublime conceits :
The race of lovers soon must end) For why such raptures, flights, and fancies, She was at Lord knows what expense To her who durst not read romances ?
To form a nymph of wit and sense, In lofty style to make replies,
A model for her sex design'd, Which he had taught her to despise ?
Who never could one lover find. But when her tutor will affect
She saw her favour was misplac'd ; Devotion, duty, and respect,
The fellows had a wretched taste; He fairly abdicates the throne ;
She needs must tell them to their face, The government is now her own;
They were a stupid, senseless race; He has a forfeiture incurr'd;
And, were she to begin again, She vows to take him at his word,
She 'd study to reform the men ; And hopes he will not think it strange,
Or add some grains of folly more If both should now their stations change.
To women, than they had before, The nymph will have her turn to be
To put them on an equal foot; The tutor ; and the pupil, he :
And this, or nothing else would do 't Though she already can discern
This might their mutual fancy strike, Her scholar is not apt to learn ;
Since every being loves its like. Or wants capacity to reach
“ But now, repenting what was done, The science she designs to teach :
She left all business to ber son ; Wherein his genius was below
She puts the world in his possession, The skill of every common beau,
And the him use it at discretion.'
The cryer was order'd to dismiss The court, so made his last ( yes! The goddess would no longer wait;
THE JOURNAL OF A MODERN LADY. But, rising from her chair of state, Left all below at six and seven, Harness'd her doves, and flew to Heaven.
IN A LETTER TO A PERSON OF QUALITY. 1728.
STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY. 1720.
All travellers at first incline
The house will never lose its trade :
Now this is Stella's case in fact,
Then who can think we'll quit the place,
Then, Chloe, still go on to prate Of thirty-six and thirty-eight; Pursue your trade of soandal-picking, Your hints that Stella is no chicken; Your inuendos, when you tell us, That Stella loves to talk with fellows : And let me warn you to believe A truth, for which your soul should grieve; That, should you live to see the day When Stella's locks must all be grey, When age must print a furrow'd trace On every feature of her face; Though you, and all your senseless tribe, Could art, or time, or nature bribe, To make you look like beauty's queen, And hold for ever at fifteen ; No bloom of youth can ever blind The cracks and wrinkles of your mind : All men of sense will pass your door, And crowd to Stella's at fourscore.
It was a most unfriendly part
[Here are several verses omitted. 7 The hound be hunted by the hare, Than I turn rebel to the fair.
'Twas you engag'd me first to write,
By nature turn'd to play the rake well,
And, madam, there's my lady Spade,
And study'd Affectation came, Hath sent this letter by her maid."
Each limb and feature out of frame; 6 Well, I remember what she won ;
While Ignorance, with brain of lead, And hath she sent so soon to dun ?
Flew hovering o'er each female head. Here, carry down those ten pistoles
Why should I ask of thee, my Muse, My husband left to pay for coals :
An hundred tongues, as poets use, I thank my stars, they all are light;
When, to give every dame her due, And I may have revenge to-night.'
An hundred thousand were too few ? Now, loitering o'er her tea and cream,
Or how shall I, alas ! relate She enters on her usual theme ;
The sum of all their senseless prate, Her last night's ill success repeats,
Their innuendos, hints, and slanders, Calls lady Spade a hundred cheats:
Their meanings lewd, and double entendres? “ She slipt spadillo in her breast,
Now comes the general scandal-charge ; Then thought to turn it to a jest :
What some invent, the rest enlarge; There 's Mrs. Cut and she combine,
And, “ Madam, if it be a lie, And to each other give the sign.”
You have the tale as cheap as I: Through every game pursues ber tale,
I must conceal my author's name ; Like hunters o'er their evening ale.
But now 'tis known to common fame." Now to another scene give place :
Say, foolish females, bold and blind, Enter the folks with silks and lace:
Say, by what fatal turn of mind, Fresh matter for a world of chat,
Are you on vices most severe, Right Indian this, right Mechlin that:
Wherein yourselves have greatest share? “ Observe this pattern; there 's a stuff";
Thus every fool herself deludes; I can have customers enough.
The prudes condemn the absent prudes: Dear madam, you are grown so hard
Mopsa, who stinks her spouse to death, This lace is worth twelve pounds a yard :
Accuses Chloe's tainted breath; Madam, if there be truth in man,
Hircina, rank with sweat, presumes I never sold so cheap a fan."
To censure Phyllis for perfumes; This business of importance o'er,
While crooked Cynthia, sneering, says And madam almost dress'd by four;
That Florimel wears iron stays : The footman, in his usual phrase,
Chloe, of every coxcomb jealous, Comes up with, “ Madam, dinner stays."
Admires how girls can talk with fellows; She answers in her usual style,
And, full of indignation, frets, “ The cook must keep it back awhile :
That women should be such coquettes : I never can have time to dress;
Iris, for scandal most notorious, (No woman breathing takes up less ;)
Cries, “ Lord, the world is so censorious!" I'm hurried so it makes me sick ;
And Rufa, with her combs of lead, I wish the dinner at Old Nick."
Whispers that Sappho's hair is red: At table now she acts her part,
Aura, whose tongue you hear a mile hence, Has all the dinner-cant by heart :
Talks half a day in praise of silence : “ I thought we were to dine alone,
And Sylvia, full of inward guilt, My dear; for sure, if I had known
Calls Amoret an arrant jilt. This company would come to-day
Now voices over voices rise, But really 'tis my spouse's way!
While each to be the loudest vies: He's so unkind, he never sends
They contradict, affirm, dispute, To tell when he invites his friends :
No single tongue one moment mute; I wish ye may but have enough !"
All mad to speak, and none to hearken, And while with all this paltry stuff
They set the very lap-dog barking; She sits tormenting every guest,
Their chattering makes a louder din Nor gives her tongue one moment's rest,
Than fish-wives o'er a cup of gin : In phrases batter'd, stale, and trite,
Not school-boys at a barring-out Which modern ladies call polite;
Rais'd ever such incessant rout; You see the booby husband sit
The jumbling particles of matter In admiration at her wit.
In chaos made not such a clatter ; But let me now awhile survey
Far less the rabble roar and rail, Our madam o'er her evening-tea;
When drunk with sour election ale. Surrounded with her noisy clans
Nor do they trust their tongues alone, Of prudes, coquettes, and harridans ;
But speak a language of their own; When, frighted at the clamorous crew,
Can read a nod, a shrug, a look, Away the god of Silence flew,
Far better than a printed book ; And fair Discretion left the place,
Convey a libel in a frown, And Modesty with blushing face :
And wink a reputation down; Now enters overweening Pride,
Or, by the tossing of the fan, And Scandal ever gaping wide;
Describe the lady and the man. Hypocrisy with frown severe,
But see, the female club disbands, Scurrility with gibing air ;
Each twenty visits on her hands. Rude Laughter seeming like to burst,
Now all alone poor madam sits And Malice always judging worst ;
In vapours and hysteric fits : And Vanity with pocket-glass,
“ And was not Tom this morning sent? And Impudence with front of brass ;
I'd lay my life he never went: