« ПредишнаНапред »
That every rich and lordly swain
With pride would drag about her chain ;
That scholars would forsake their books,
To study bright Vanessa's looks;
As the advanc'd, that womankind
Would by her model form their mind,
And all their conduct would be try'd
By her, as an unerring guide ;
Offending daughters oft would hear
240 Vanessa's praise rung in their ear : Miss Betty, when she does a fault, Lets fall her knife, or spills the salt, Will thus be by her mother chid, “ 'Tis what Vanessa never did !”
245 Thus by the nymphs and swains ador'd, My power shall be again stor’d, And happy lovers bless my reignSo Venus hop'd, but hop'd in vain. For when in time the Martial Maid
250 Found out the trick that Venus play'd, She shakes her helm, she knits her brows, And, fir'd with indignation, vows, To-morrow, ere the setting fun, She'd all undo that she had done.
255 But in the poets we may find A wholesome law, time out of mind, Had been confirm’d by Fate's decree, That gods, of whatsoe'er degree, Resume not what themselves have given, 260 Or any brother-god in heaven;
'Which keeps the peace among the gods,
Or they must always be at odds :
And Pallas, if the broke the laws,
Must yield her foe the stronger cause ;
A shame to one so much ador'd
For wisdom at Jove's council-board.
Besides, the fear'd the Queen of Love
Would meet with better friends above.
And though she must with grief reflect,
To see a mortal virgin deck'd
To female breasts, except her owni
Yer she would act as best became
A goddess of unspotted fame.
She knew, by augury divine,
Venus would fail in her design:
She study'd well the point, and found
Her foe's conclusions were not found,
From premisies erroneous brought,
And therefore the deduction 's nought,
And must have contrary effe&ts,
To what her treacherous foe expects.
In proper season Pallas meets
The Queen of Love, whom thus she greets
(For gods, we are by Homer told,
Can in celestial language scold):
Perfidious goddess I but in vain
You form'd this project in your brain;
A project for thy talents fit,
With much deceit and little wit.
Thou hast, as thou shalt quickly fee,
Deceiv'd thyself, instead of me:
For how can heavenly wisdom prove
An instrument to earthly love?
Know'st thou not yet, that men commence
Thy votaries, for want of sense?
Nor shall Vanessa be the theme
To manage thy abortive scheme :
She 'll prove the greatest of thy foes ;
300 And yet
I scorn to interpose,
But, using neither skill nor force,
Leave all things to their natural course.
The goddess thus pronounc'd her doom :
When lo! Vanessa in her bloom
305 Advanc'd, like Atalanta's star, But rarely seen, and seen from far : In a new world with caution stept, Watch'd all the company she kept, Well kņowing, from the books the read, What dangerous paths young virgins tread: Would feldom at the Park appear, Nor saw the play-house twice a year ; Yet, not incurious, was inclin'd To know the converse of mankind.
315 First issued from perfumers' shops, A croud of fashionable fops :: They ask'd her, how she lik’d the play; Then told the tattle of the day; A duel fought last night at two,
3-20 About a lady-you know who ;
Mention’d a new Italian, come
Either from Muscovy or Rome ;
Gave hints of who and who's together;
Then fell to talking of the weather ;
Last night was so extremely fine,
The ladies walk'd till after nine;
Then, in soft voice and speech absurd,
With nonsense every second word,
With fustian from exploded plays,
They celebrate her beauty’s praise;
Run o'er their cant of nupid lies,
And tell the murders of her eyes.
With filent scorn Vanessa sat,
Scarce listening to their idle chat;
Further than sometimes by a frown,
When they grew pert, to pull them down.
At last fhe spitefully was bent
To try their wisdom's full extent;
And said, the valued nothing less
Than titles, figure, shape, and dress;
That merit should be chiefly plac’d
In judgement, knowledge, wit, and taste;
And these, the offer'd to dispute,
Alone distinguish'd man from brute :
That present times have no pretence
To virtue, in the noble sense
By Greeks and Romans understood,
To perish for our country's good.
She nam’d the ancient heroes round,
Explain'd for what they were renown'd;
Then spoke with censure or applaufe
Of foreign customs, rites, and laws;
Through nature and through art she rang’d,
And gracefully her subject chang'd;
In vain ! her hearers had no share
In all she spoke, except to stare.
Their judgement was, upon the whole,
—That lady is the dullest soul!-
Then tipt their forehead in a jeer,
As who should say~She wants it here !
She may be handsome, young, and rich,
But none will burn her for a witch!
A party next of glittering dames,
From round the purlicus of St. James,
Came early, out of pure good-will,
To see the girl in difhabille.
'Their clamour, '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, fars, and gloves, and lace ;
Shew'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,