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Then all for death, that opiate of the soul !
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 !
VER. 107. Or her, who laughs at bell,] The person Pope in. tended to ridicule was the Duchess of Montague.
Who, with herself, or others, from her birth
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.
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!
Offend her, and she knows not to forgive ;
Pictures like these, dear Madam, to design,
“ 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
She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought
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
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.
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.
Poets heap virtues, painters gems at will,
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
Bred After Ver. 198. in the MS.
Fain I'd in Fulvia spy the tender wife ;
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.