Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Opinions ? they still take a wider range : 170 Find, if you can, in what you cannot change. Manners with fortunes, humors' turn with

climes, Tenets with books, and principles with times. 173

PART III. Search then the ruling passion : there, alone, The wild are constant, and the cunning known; 175 The fool consistent, and the false sincere ; Priests, princes, women, no dissemblers here. This clue once found, unravels all the rest, The prospect clears, and Wharton stands confest. Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our days ! 180 Whose ruling passion was the lust of praise ; Born with whate'er could win it from the wise, Women and fools must like him, or he dies : Though wond'ring senates hung on all he spoke, The club must hail him master of the joke. 185 Shall parts, so various, aim at nothing new? He'll shine a Tully, and a Wilmot too. Then turns repentant, and his God adores, With the same spirit that he drinks and whores; Enough if all around him but admire,

-190 And now the punk applaud, and now the friar, Thus with each gift of Nature and of Art, And wanting nothing but an honest heart;

Grown all to all, from no one vice exempt,
And most contemptible, to shun contempt ;--- 195
His passion still, to covet gen’ral praise;
His life, to forfeit it a thousand ways ;-
A constant bounty, which no friend has made ;
An angel tongue, which no man can persuade ;
A fool, with more of wit than half mankind, 200
Too rash for thought, for action too refin’d;
A tyrant to the wife his heart approves ;
A rebel to the very king he loves ;
He dies, sad outcast of each church and state,
And, harder still, flagitious, yet not great.

205 Ask you why Wharton broke through ev'ry rule ? 'Twas all for fear the knaves should call him fool.

Nature well known, no prodigies remain ; Comets are regular, and Wharton plain.

Yet, in this search, the wisest may mistake, 210 If second qualities for first they take. When Catiline by rapines swellid his store, When Cæsar made a noble dame a whore, In this the lust, in that the avarice, Were means, not ends : ambition was the vice. 215 That very Cæsar, born in Scipio's days, Had aim'd, like him, by chastity, at praise. Lucullus, when frugality could charm, Had roasted turnips in the Sabine farm. In vain th' observer eyes the builder's toil,

220 But quite mistakes the scaffold for the pile.

In this one passion man can strength enjoy, As fits give vigor, just when they destroy.

VOL. III.

B

Time, that on all things lays his lenient hand,
Yet tames not this; it sticks to our last sand. 225
Consistent in our follies and our sins,
Here honest Nature ends as she begins.

Old politicians chew on wisdom past,
And totter on in business to the last;
As weak, as earnest; and as gravely out, 230
As sober Lanes'brow dancing in the gout.

Behold a rev’rend sire, whom want of grace Has made the father of a nameless race, Shov'd froin the wall perhaps, or rudely press’d, By his own son, that passes by unbless’d: 235 Still to his wench he crawls on knocking knees, And envies ev'ry sparrow that he sees.

A salmon's belly, Helluo, was thy fate; The doctor callid, declares all help too late.

Mercy !' cries Helluo,' mercy on my soul! 240 • Is there no hope?--Alas !--then bring the jowl.'

The frugal Crone, whom praying priests attend, Still strives to save the hallow'd taper's end, Collects her breath, as ebbing life retires, For one puff more, and in that puff expires. 245

• Odious ! in woollen ! 'twould a saint provoke, (Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke)

No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace • Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face: One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead

25 • And--Betty--give this cheek a little red.:

6

6

The Courtier smooth, who forty years had shin’d An humble servant to all human-kind, Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could

stir, • If-where I'm going—- I could serve you, Sir?'

• I give and I devise' (old Euclio said, 256 And sigh’d) my lands and tenements to Ned.' “ Your money, Sir?”– My money, Sir, what

• all ? Why—if I must--(then wept) I give it Paul.' " The manor, Sir?”. The manor ! hold,' he cry'd,

260 Not that I cannot part with that'--and dy’d.

And you, brave Cobham! to the latest breath Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death ; Such in those moments as in all the past, Oh! save my country, Heav'n !' shall be your last.

265

[ocr errors]

TO A LADY.

OF THE CHARACTERS OF WOMEN.

Che Argument.
THAT the particular characters of Women are not so strongly

marked as those of inen, seldom so fixed, and still more incon-
sistent with themselves, v. 1, &c. Instances of contrarieties,
given even from such characters as are most strongly marked,
and seemingly, therefore, most consistent; as, I. In the affect
ed, v. 21, &c. II. In the soft natured, v. 29, and 37. 111. In
the cunning and artful, v.45. IV. In the whimsical, v. 53.
V. In the lewd and vicious, v. 69. vi. In the witty and res
tined, v. 87. VII. In the stupid and simple, v. 101. The
former part having shewn, that the particular characters of
Women are more varlous than those of men, it is nevertheless
observed, that the general characteristic of the sex, as to the
ruling passion, is more uniform, v. 207. This is occasioned,
partly by their nature, partly by their education, and, in some
degree, by necessity, v. 211. What are the aims, and the fate
of this sex:-). As to power, v. 219. 11. As to pleasure. v.
231. Advice for their true interest, v. 249. The picture of an

estimable Woman with the best kind of contrarieties, v. 269. NOTHING so true as what you once let fall, • Most women have no characters at all :' Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear, And best distinguish'd by black, brown, or fair.

* There is nothing in Mr. Pope's works, more highly finish. ed than this Epistle. Yet its success was in no proportion to the pains he took in composing it. Something he chanced te drop in a short advertisement prefixed to it, on its first publication, may perhaps account for the small attention given to it. He said that no one character in it was drawn from the life. The public believed him on his word, and expressed little curiosity about * satire, in which there was nothing personal

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »