« 上一頁繼續 »
But grant, in Public Men sometimes are shown, A Woman's seen in Private life alone : Our bolder Talents in full light display'd ; Your Virtues open faireft in the fhade. Bred to disguise, in Public 'tis you hide; There, none distinguish 'twixt your Shame or Pride, Weakness or Delicacy; all so nice,
205 That each may feem a Virtue, or a Vice.
In Men, we various Ruling Paffions find; In Women, two almoft divide the kind;
But grant, in Public, etc.] In the former Editions, between this and the foregoing lines, a want of Connexion might be perceived, occafioned by the omission of certain Examples and Illustrations to the Maxims laid down; and though some of these have since been found, viz, the Characters of Philomede, Atosa, Chloe, and some verses following, others are Atill wanting, nor can we answer that these are exactly inserted.
Ver. 207. The former part having shewn, that the particular Characters of Women are more various than those of Men, it is nevertheless observed, that the general Characteristic of the fex, as to the ruling Passion, is more uniform
May, if she love, and merit verse, have mine,
In sev'ral Men we sev'ral passions find;
Those, only fix’d, they firft or laft obey,
That, Nature gives; and where the leffon taught
Men, some to Bus'ness, fome to Pleasure take; But ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake:
216 Men, fome to Quiet, fome to public Strife; But ev'ry Lady would be Queen for life.
Yet mark the fate of a whole Sex of Queens ! Pow'r all their end, but Beauty all the means : 220 In Youth they conquer, with fo wild a rage, As leaves them scarce a fubject in their Age: For foreign glory, foreign joy, they roam; : No thought of peace or happiness at home. But Wisdom's triumph is well-tim'd Retreat, 225 As hard a science to the Fair as Great!
VER. 211. This is occafioned partly by their Nature, partly their Education, and in some degree by Necesity.
VER. 216. But ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake:] Some men (says the Poet) take to business, some to pleasure, but every woman would willingly make pleasure ber business:” which being the peculiar characteristic of a Rake, we must needs think that he includes (in his use of the word here) no more of the Rake's ill qualities than are implied in this definition, of one who makes pleasure bis business.
VER. 219. What are the Aims and the Fate of this Sex ? I. As to Power,
Beauties, like Tyrants, old and friendless grown,
Pleasures the sex, as children Birds, pursue,
See how the World its Veterans rewards! A Youth of Frolicks, 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
VER. 231.-II. As to Pleasure.
That Charm shall grow, while what fatigues the
Ring, Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing: So when the Sun's broad beam has tir'd the fight, All mild ascends the Moon's more sober light, Serene in Virgin Modesty she shines,
255 And unobserv'd the glaring Orb declines.
Oh! blest with Temper, whose unclouded ray Can make to-morrow chearful as to-day: She, who can love a Sister's charms, or hear Sighs for a Daughter with unwounded ear; 260
Ver. 253. So when the Sun's broad beam, etc.] One of the great beauties observable in the poet's management of his Similitudes, is the ceremonious preparation he makes for them, in gradually raising the imagery of the fimilitude in the lines pre.' ceding, by the use of metaphors taken from the subject of it:
while what fatigues the ring,
Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing. And the civil dismission he gives them by the continuance of the fame metaphor, in the lines following, whereby the traces of the imagery gradually decay, and give place to others, and the reader is never offended with the sudden or abrupt disappearance of it,
Oh! blest with Temper, whose unclouded ray, etc. Another instance of the same kind we have in this epistle, in the following lines,
Chuse a firm cloud before it fall, and in it
She who ne'er answers 'till a Husband cools,
And yet, believe me, good as well as ill,
270 Heav'n, when it strives to polish all it can Its last best work, but forms a softer Man ; Picks from each sex, to make the Fav'rite blest, Your love of Pleasure, our desire of Reft: Blends, in exception to all gen'ral rules, 275 Your taste of Follies, with our Scorn of Fools: Reserve with Frankness, Art with Truth ally'd, Courage with Softness, Modesty with Pride ; Fix'd Principles, with Fancy ever new; Shakes all together, and produces --You. 280 Be this a Woman's Fame: with this unbleft, Toasts live a scorn, and Queens may die a jest, This Phæbus promis'd (I forget the year) When those blue eyes first open'd on the sphere; Ascendant Phæbus watch'd that hour with care, Averted half your Parents' fimple Pray’r;
VER, 285, etc. Ascendant Phoebus watch'd that bour with Care, Averted balf your Parents' fimple Pray'r ; And gave you