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Gave hints of who and who's together;
With silent scorn Vanessa sat,
A party next of glittering dames, From round the purlieus of St. James, Came early, out of pure good-will, To see the girl in dishabille. Their clamor, 'lighting from their chairs, Grew louder all the way up stairs; At entrance loudest, where they found The room with volumes litter'd round. Vanessa held Montaigne, and read, Whilst Mrs. Susan comb'd her head. They call'd for tea and chocolate, And fell into their usual chat, Discoursing, with important face, On ribbons, fans, and gloves, and lace; Show'd patterns just from India brought, And gravely ask'd her what she thought, Whether the red or green were best, And what they cost ? Vanessa guess'd, As came into her fancy first; Nam'd half the rates, and lik'd the worst. To scandal next—“What awkward thing Was that last Sunday in the ring ? I'm sorry Mopsa breaks so fast: I said, her face would never last. Corinna, with that youthful air, Is thirty, and a bit to spare: Her fondness for a certain earl Began when I was but a girl! Phyllis, who but a month ago Was married to the Tunbridge-beau,
I saw coquetting tother night
They rallied next Vanessa's dress :
Thus, to the world's perpetual shame, The queen of beauty lost her aim; Too late with grief she understood, Pallas had done more harm than good; For great examples are but vain, Where ignorance begets disdain. Both sexes, arm’d with guilt and spite, Against Vanessa's power unite : To copy her few nymphs aspir’d; Her virtues fewer swains admir'd. So stars beyond a certain height Give mortals neither heat nor light.
Yet some of either sex, endow'd With gifts superior to the crowd, With virtue, knowledge, taste, and wit, She condescended to admit: With pleasing arts she could reduce Men's talents to their proper use : And with address each genius held To that wherein it most excellid; Thus making others' wisdom known, Could please them, and improve her our A modest youth said something new She plac'd it in the strongest view. All humble worth she strove to raise; Would not be prais'd, yet lov'd to praise The learned met with free approach, Although they came not in a coach : Some clergy too she would allow, Nor quarrell'd at their awkward bow; But this was for Cadenus' sake, A gownman of a different make;
2 I 2
Whom Pallas, once Vanessa's tutor,
But Cupid, full of mischief, longs
The queen of wisdom could foresee,
Cupid, though all his darts were lost,
Vanessa, not in years a score,
What planter will attempt to yoke
Cadenus, common forms apart,
Vanessa, filld with just disdain,
Had he employd his time so long
She well remembered, 'to her cost,
But, not to dwell on things minute, That all his lessons were not lost.
Vanessa finish'd the dispute, Two maxims she could still produce,
Brought weighty arguments to prove And sad experience taught their use ;
That reason was her guide in love. That virtue, pleas'd by being shown,
She thought he had himself describ'd Knows nothing which it dares not own;
His doctrines when she first imbib'd : Can make us without fear disclose
What he had planted now was grown; Our inmost secrets to our foes :
His virtues she might call her own; That common forms were not design'd
As he approves, as he dislikes, Directors to a noble mind.
Love or contempt her fancy strikes. “Now," said the nymph, “to let you see
Self-love, in nature rooted fast, My actions with your rules agree;
Attends us first, and leaves us last : That I can vulgar forms despise,
Why she likes him, admire not at her; And have no secrets to disguise:
She loves herself, and that's the matter I knew, by what you said and writ,
How was her tutor wont to praise How dangerous things were men of wit ;
The geniuses of ancient days! You caution'd me against their charms,
(Those authors he so oft had nam'd, But never gave me equal arms;
For learning, wit, and wisdom fam'd,) Your lessons found the weakest part,
Was struck with love, esteem, and awe, Aim'd at the head, but reach'd the heart." For persons whom he never saw. Cadenus felt within him rise
Suppose Cadenus flourish'd then, Shame, disappointment, guilt, surprise.
He must adore such godlike men. He knew not how to reconcile
If one short volume could comprise Such language with her usual style :
All that was witty, learn'd, and wise, And yet her words were so express’d,
How would it be esteem'd and read, He could not hope she spoke in jest,
Although the writer long were dead! His thoughts had wholly been confin'd
If such an author were alive, To form and cultivate her mind.
How all would for his friendship strive, He hardly knew, till he was told,
And come in crowds to see his face ! Whether the nymph were young or old ;
And this she takes to be her case. Had met her in a public place,
Cadenus answers every end, Without distinguishing her face :
The book, the author, and the friend ; Much less could his declining age
The utmost her desires will reach, Vanessa's earliest thoughts engage;
Is but to learn what he can teach: And, if her youth indifference met,
His converse is a system fit His person must contempt beget:
Alone to fill up all her wit; Or, grant her passion be sincere,
While every passion of her mind How shall his innocence be clear?
In him is center'd and confin'd. Appearances were all so strong,
Love can with speech inspire a mute, The world must think him in the wrong; And taught Vanessa to dispute. Would say, he made a treacherous use
This topic, never touch'd before, Of wit, to flatter and seduce :
Display'd her eloquence the more : The town would swear, he had betray'd
Her knowledge, with such pains acquir'd, By magic spells the harmless maid :
By this new passion grew inspir'd; And, every beau would have his jokes,
Through this she made all objects pass, That scholars were like other folks ;
Which gave a tincture o'er the mass ; And when Platonic flights were over,
As rivers, though they bend and twine, The tutor turn'd a mortal lover!
Still to the sea their course incline; So tender of the young and fair!
Or, as philosophers, who find It show'd a true paternal care
Some favorite system to their mind, Five thousand guineas in her purse!
In every point to make it fit, The doctor might have fancied worse.
Will force all nature to submit. Hardly at length he silence broke,
Cadenus, who could ne'er suspect And falter'd every word he spoke;
His lessons would have such effect, Interpreting her complaisance,
Or be so artfully applied, Just as a man sans conséquence.
Insensibly came on her side. She rallied well, he always knew :
It was an unforeseen event; Her manner now was something new;
Things took a turn he never meant. And what she spoke was in an air
Whoe'er excels in what we prize, As serious as a tragic player.
Appears a hero in our eyes : But those who aim at ridicule
Each girl, when pleas'd with what is taught, Should fix upon some certain rule,
Will have the teacher in her thought. Which fairly hints they are in jest,
When Miss delights in her spinnet, Else he must enter his protest :
A fiddler may a fortune get; For, let a man be ne'er so wise,
A blockhead, with melodious voice, He may be caught with sober lies;
In boarding-schools may have his choice; A science which he never taught,
And oft the dancing-master's art And, to be free, was dearly bought;
Climbs from the toe to touch the heart. For, take it in its proper light,
In learning let a nymph delight, "Tis just what coxcorbs call a bite.
The pedant gets a mistress by 't.
Cadenus, to his grief and shame,
'Tis an old maxim in the schools,
So, when Cadenus could not hide,
While thus Cadenus entertains Vanessa in exalted strains, The nymph in sober words entreats A truce with all sublime conceits : For why such raptures, flights, and fancies, To her who durst not read romances ? In lofty style to make replies, Which he had taught her to despise ? But when her tutor will affect Devotion, duty, and respect, He fairly abdicates the throne ; The government is now her own; He has a forfeiture incurr’d; She vows to take him at his word, And hopes he will not think it strange, If both should now their stations change. The nymph will have her turn to be The tutor; and the pupil, he : Though she already can discern Her scholar is not apt to learn; Or wants capacity to reach The science she designs to teach : Wherein his genius was below The skill of every common beau,
Who, though he cannot spell, is wise
But what success Vanessa met,
Meantime the mournful queen of love Led but a weary life above. She ventures now to leave the skies, Grown by Vanessa's conduct wise : For, though by one perverse event Pallas had cross'd her first intent; Though her design was not obtain'd, Yet had she much experience gain'd; And by the project vainly tried, Could better now the cause decide. She gave due notice, that both parties, Coram regina, prox' die Martis, Should at their peril, without fail, Come and appear, and save their bail. All met; and, silence thrice proclaim'd One lawyer to each side was nam'd. The judge discover'd in her face Resentments for her late disgrace; And, full of anger, shame, and grief, Directed them to mind their brief, Nor spend their time to show their reading She'd have a summary proceeding. She gather'd under every head The sum of what each lawyer said, Gave her own reasons last, and then Decreed the cause against the men.
But, in a weighty case like this,
“But now, repenting what was done
The crier was order'd to dismiss The court, so made his last yes!
THE JOURNAL OF A MODERN LADY. The goddess would no longer wait; But, rising from her chair of state,
IN A LETTER PO A PERSON OF QUALITY.—1728
How could it come into your mind
To pitch on me, of all mankind,
Against the sex to write a satire, All travellers at first incline
And brand me for a woman-hater ? Where'er they see the fairest sign;
On me, who think them all so fair, And, if they find the chambers neat,
They rival Venus to a hair; And like the liquor and the meat,
Their virtues never ceas'd to sing, Will call again and recommend
Since first I learn'd to tune a string?
Methinks I hear the ladies cry, ,
Must never our misfortunes end?
Ah, lovely nymphs, remove your fear As fine as daubers' hands can make it,
No more let fall those precious tears,
Sooner shall, &c.
[Here are several verses omitted.] Now this is Stella's case in fact,
The hound be hunted by the hare, An angel's face a little crack’d:
Than I turn rebel to the fair. (Could poets or could painters fix
'Twas you engag'd me first to write. How angels look at thirty-six :)
Then gave the subject out of spite : This drew us in at first to find
The journal of a modern dame In such a form an angel's mind;
Is by my promise what you claim. And every virtue now supplies
My word is past, I must submit; The fainting rays of Stella's eyes.
And yet, perhaps, you may be bit. See at her levee crowding swains,
I but transcribe ; for not a line Whom Stella freely entertains
Of all the satire shall be mine. With breeding, humor, wit, and sense ;
Compellid by you to tag in rhymes And puts them but to small expense ;
The common slanders of the times, Their mind so plentifully fills,
Of modern times, the guilt is yours, And makes such reasonable bills,
And me my innocence secures. So little gets for what she gives,
Unwilling Muse, begin thy lay, We really wonder how she lives!
The annals of a female day. And, had her stock been less, no doubt
By nature turn'd to play the rake well, She must have long ago run out.
(As we shall show you in the sequel,) Then who can think we'll quit the place, The modern dame is wak'd by noon, When Doll hangs out a newer face?
(Some authors say, not quite so soon,) Or stop and light at Chloe's head,
Because, though sore against her will, With scraps and leavings to be fed ? :
She sate all night up al quadrille. Then, Chloe, still go on to prate
She stretches, gapes, unglues her eyes, Of thirty-six and thirty-eight;
And asks, if it be time to rise : Pursue your trade of scandal-picking,
Of head-ache and the spleen complains ; Your hints that Stella is no chicken;
And then, to cool her heated brains, Your innuendoes, when you tell us,
Her night-gown and her slippers brought her That Stella loves to talk with fellows :
Takes a large dram of citron-water.
Then to her glass; and, “ Betty, pray
But was it not confounded hard ?
Well, if I ever touch a card! When age must print a furrow'd trace
Four mattadores, and lose codille! On every feature of her face ;
Depend upon't, I never will. Though you, and all your senseless tribe,
But run to Tom, and bid him fix Could art, or time, or nature bribe,
The ladies here to-night by six.' To make you look like beauty's queen,
“ Madam, the goldsmith waits below; And hold for ever at fifteen;
He says, His business is to know No bloom of youth can ever blind
If you 'll redeem the silver cup The cracks and wrinkles of your mind :
He keeps in pawn?"_" First, show him up All men of sense will pass your door,
“Your dressing-plate he'll be content And crowd to Stella's at fourscore.
To take, for interest cent. per cent.