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How many pictures of one nymph we view, 5 All how unlike each other, all how true! Arcadia's Countess, here, in ermin'd pride, Is there Pastora, by a fountain side. Here Fannia, leering on her own good man, And there, a naked Leda with a swan.
10 Let then the fair one beautifully cry, In Magdalene's loose hair and lifted eve; Or dress'd in smiles of sweet Cecilia shine, With simp’ring angels, palms, and haips divine ; Whether the charmer sinner it, or saint it, 15 If folly grow romantic, I must paint it.
Come tben, the colors, and the ground prepare ! Dip in the rainbow, trick her off in air ; Chuse a firm cloud, before it fall, and in it
19 Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute.
Rufa, whose eye quick-glancing o'er the Pash, Attracts each gay light meteor of a spark, Agrees as ill with Rufa studying Locke, As Sappho's di'monds with her dirty smock; Or Sappho at her toilette's greasy task 25 With Sappho fragrant at an ev’ning mask: So morning insects, that in muck begun, Shine, buzz, and fly-blow in the setting sun.
How soft is Silia! fearful to offend ; The frail one's advocate, the weak one's friend : 30 To her Calista prov'd her conduct nice, And good Simplicius asks of her advice. Sudden, she storms ! she raves ! you tip the wink, But spare your censure ; Silia does not drink.
All eyes may see from what the change arose ; 35 All
eyes may see--a pimple on her nose.
Papilia, wedded to her am'rous spark, Sighs for the shades-- How charming is a park ! A park is purchas'd ; but the fair he sees All bath'd in tears' Oh, odious, odious trees !!
Ladies like variegated tulips show ; 'Tis to their changes half their charms we owe : Fine by defect, and delicately weak, Their happy spots the nice admirer take. 'Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarmid, 45 Aw'd without virtue, without beauty charm’d; Her tongue bewitch'd as oddly as her eyes, Less wit than mimic, more a wit than wise ; Strange graces still, and stranger flights, she had, Was just not ugly, and was just not mad ; 50 Yet ne'er so sure our passion to create As when she touch'd the brink of all we hate.
Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild, To make a wash, would hardly stew a child; Has ev'n been prov'd to grant a lover's pray'r, 55 And paid a tradesman once to make him stare ; Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trim, And made a widow happy, for a whim. Why then declare good-nature is her scorn, When 'tis by that alone she can be borne ? 60 Why pique all mortals, yet affect a naine, A fool to pleasure yet a slave to fame? Now deep in Taylor and the Book of Martyrs, Now drinking citron with his Grace and Chartres :
Now Conscience chills her, and now Passion burns,
75 She sins with poets through pure love of wit. What has not fir'd her bosom or her brain ? Cæsar and Tall-boy, Charles and Charlemagne. As Helluo, late dictator of the feast, The nose of haut-gout, and the tip of taste,
80 Critiqu’d your wine, and analyz'd your meat, Yet on plain pudding deign'd at home to eat : So Philomedé, lecturing all mankind On the soft passion, and the taste refin’d, Th' address, the delicacy—stoops at once,
85 And makes her hearty meal upon a dunce.
Flavia's a wit, has too much sense to pray: To toast our wants and wishes is her way ; Nor asks of God, but of her Stars, to give The mighty blessing while we live to live.' 90 Then all for death, that opiate of the soul ! Lucretia's dagger, Rosamunda’s bowl. Say, what can cause such impotence of mind ? A spark too fickle, or a spouse too kind.
Wise Wretch! with pleasures too refin'd to please ;
Turn then from wits; and look on Simo's mate ;
106 Or her, who laughs at hell, but (like her Grace) Cries, ' Ah! how charming if there's no such place!" Or who in sweet vicissitude appears Of mirth and opium, ratafie and tears,
110 The daily anodyne and nightly draught, To kill those foes to fair ones, Time and Thought. Woman and fool are too hard things to hit; For true no-meaning puzzles more than wit.
But what are these to great Atossa's mind ? 115 Scarce once herself, by turns all womankind ! Who with herself, or others, from her birth Finds all her life one warfare
upon Shines in exposing knaves and painting fools, Yet in whate'er she hates and ridicules. 120 No thought advances, but ber eddy brain Whisks it about, and down it goes again. Full sixty years the world has been her trade, The wisest fool much time has ever made.
From loveless youth to unrespected age,
125 No passions gratify'd, except her rage, So much the fury still out-ran the wit, The pleasure miss'd her, and the scandal hit. Who breaks with her, provokes revenge from hell, But he's a bolder man who dares be well. 130 Her ev'ry turn with violence pursu'd, No more a storm her hate than gratitude : To that each passion turns; or soon or late ; Love, if it makes her yield, must make her hate. Superiors ? death! and equals ? what a curse! 135 But an inferior, not dependant ? worse. Offend ber, and she knows not to forgive ; Oblige her, and she'll hate
you while you live ;
Pictures like these, dear Madam, to design,