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96

Then all for death, that opiate of the soul !
Lucretia's dagger, Rosamonda'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 ;
With too much spirit to be e'er at ease :
With too much quickness ever to be taught ;
With too much thinking to have common thought :
You purchase pain with all that joy can give,
And die of nothing but a rage to live.

100
Turn then from wits, and look on Simo's mate,
No ass so meek, no ass so obstinate.
Or her, that owns her faults, but never mends,
Because she's honest, and the best of friends.
Or her, whose life the church and scandal share,
For ever in a passion, or a pray'r.

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, The daily anodine, and nightly draught, To kill those foes to fair-ones, time and thought. Woman and fool are two 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

IIO

VER. 107. Or her, who laughs at bell,] The person Pope in. tended to ridicule was the Duchess of Montague.

125

Who, with herself, or others, from her birth
Finds all her life one warfare upon earth:
Shines in exposing knaves, and painting fools,
Yet is, whate'er she hates and ridicules.

120
Nr thought advances, but her 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,
No passion 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 ! But an inferior not dependant? worse.

Offend

135

Ver. 115. great Atossa's mind?] Atossa is a name mentioned in Herodotus, and said to be a follower of Sappho. She was daughter of Cyrus and sister of Cambyses, and married Darius. She is also named in the Persæ of Æschylus. She is said to be the first that wrote epistles. The name is here applied to the famous Duchess of Marlborough, whom Swift had also severely satirized in the Examiner. After Ver. 122. in the MS.

Oppress'd with wealth and wit, abundance sad!
One makes her poor, the other makes her mad.

Offend her, and she knows not to forgive ;
Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live :
But die, and she'll adore you- Then the bust
And temple rise — then fall again to dust. 140
Last night, her lord was all that's good and great ;
A knave this morning, and his will a cheat.
Strange! by the means defeated of the ends,
By spirit robb'd of pow'r, by warmth of friends,
By wealth of follow'rs! without one distress 145
Sick of herself through very selfishness!
Atossa, curs'd with ev'ry granted pray'r,
Childless with all her children, wants an heir.
To heirs unknown, descends th' unguarded store,
Or wanders, heav'n-directed, to the poor. 150

Pictures like these, dear Madam, to design,
Asks no firm hand, and no unerring line ;
Some wand'ring touches, some reflected light,
Some flying stroke alone can hit 'em right :
For how could equal colours do the knack ? 155
Cameleons who can paint in white and black ?

“ Yet Cloe sure was form’d without a spot.”. Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot. “ With ev'ry pleasing, ev'ry prudent part, 159 6 Say, what ean Cloe want ?” - She wants a heart.'

She After Ver. 148 in the MS.

This death decides, nor lets the blessing fall
On any one she hates, but on them all.
Curs'd chance! this only could afflict her more,
If any part sljould wander to the poor.

She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought

;
But never, never, reach'd one gen'rous thought.
Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour,
Content to dwell in decencies for ever.
So very reasonable, so unmov'd,

165
As never yet to love, or to be lov'd.
She, while her lover pants upon her breast,
Can mark the figures on an Indian chest :
And when she sees her friend in deep despair,
Observes how much a chintz exceeds mohair.

170 Forbid it, Heav'n, a favour or a debt She e'er should cancel !-- but she may forget. Safe is your secret still in Cloe's ear; But none of Cloe's shall you ever hear. Of all her dears she slander'd

one,

175 But cares not if a thousand are undone. Would Cloe know if you're alive or dead? She bids her footman put it in her head. Cloe is prudent - Would you too be wise ? Then never break your heart when Cloe dies. 180

One certain portrait may (I grant) be seen, Which Heav'n has varnish'd out, and made a Queen : THE SAME FOR EVER! and describ'd by all With truth and goodness, as with crown and ball.

Poets

never

Ver. 180. when Cloe dies.] This highly-finished portrait was intended for Lady Suffolk, with whom, at the time he wrote it, he lived in a state of intimacy.

185

Poets heap virtues, painters gems at will,
And shew their zeal, and hide their want of skill.
'Tis well - but, artists ! who can paint or write,
To draw the naked is your true delight.
That robe of quality so struts and swells,
None see what parts of nature it conceals : 190
Th' exactest traits of body or of mind,
We owe to models of an humble kind.
If QUEENSBERRY to strip there's no compelling,
"Tis from a handmaid we must take a Helen.
From peer or bishop 'tis no easy thing

195
To draw the man who loves his God, or King :
Alas! I copy (or my draught would fail)
From honest Mah’met, or plain Parson Hale.

But grant, in public, men sometimes are shown, A woman's seen in private life alone :

200 Our bolder talents in full light display'd ; Your virtues

open
fairest in the shade.

Bred After Ver. 198. in the MS.

Fain I'd in Fulvia spy the tender wife ;
I cannot prove it on her, for my life :
And, for a noble pride, I blush no less,
Instead of Berenice to think on Bess.
Thus while immortal Cibber only sings
(As * and H**y preach) for Queens and Kings,
The nymph, that ne'er read Milton's mighty line,

May, if she love, and merit verse, have mine. Ver. 198. Mah’met, servant to the late King, said to be the son of a Turkish Bassa, whom he took at the siege of Buda, and constantly kept about his person.

Ver. 198. plain Parson Hale.] Dr. Stephen Hale; not more estimable for his useful discoveries as a natural philosopher, thạn for his exemplary life and pastoral charity as a parish priest.

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