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What mariner is not afraid
To venture in a ship decay'd ?
What planter will attempt to yoke
A sapling with a falling oak?
years increase, the brighter shines :
Cadenus with each day declines :
And he must fall a prey to time,
While the continues in her prime.
Cadenus, common forms apart,
every scene had kept his heart;
H-d sighd and languish'd, vow'd and writ,
For pastime, or to thew his wit.
But books, and time, and state affairs,
Had spoil'd his fashionable airs :
He now could praise, esteem, approve,
But understood not what was love.
His conduct might have made him styld
A father, and the nymph his child.
That innocent delight he took
550 To see the virgin mind her book, Was but the master's secret joy In school to hear the finest boy. Her knowledge with her fancy grew ; She hourly press’d for something new; 555 Ideas came into her mind So fast, his leffons lagg'd behind; She reason'd, without plodding long, Nor ever gave her judgement wrong. But now a sudden change was wrougat: She minds no longer what he taught.
Cadenus was amaz’d, to find
Such marks of a distračted mind :
For, though she seem'd to listen more
To all he spoke, than e'er before,
He found her thoughts would absent range,
Yet guess’d not whence could spring the change.
And first he modestly conjectures
His pupil might be tir'd with lectures;
Which help'd to mortify his pride,
570 Yet gave
him not the heart to chide: But, in a mild dejected strain, At last he ventur’d to complain ; Said, she should be no longer teas’d, Might have her freedom when the pleas’d; 575 Was now convinc'd, he acted wrong To hide her from the world so long, And in dull studies to engage One of her tender fex and age; That every nymph with envy own’d,
580 How she might thine in the grande monde ; And every shepherd was undone To fee her cloister'd like a nun. This was a visionary scheme : He wak’d, and found it but a dicam;
563 A project far above his skill; For nature must be nature fill. If he were bolder than became A scholar to a courtly dame, She might excuse a man of letters ;
And, since his talk offensive grew,
He came to take his last adieu.
Vanessa, fill'd with just disdain,
Would still her dignity maintain,
Instructed from her early years
To fcorn the art of female tears.
Had he employ'd his time so long
To teach her what was right and wrong;
Yet could such notions entertain
That all his lectures were in vain ?
She own'd the wandering of her thoughts ;
But he must answer for her faults.
She well remember'd, to her cost,
That all his lessons were not loft.
Two maxims she could still produce,
And sad experience taught their use ;
That virtue, pleas’d by being shown,
Knows nothing which it dares not own ;
Can make us without fear disclose
Our inmost secrets to our foes :
That common forms were not design'd
Directors to a noble mind.
Now, said the nymph, to let you
see My actions with your
That I can vulgar forms defpise,
And have no secrets to disguise :
I knew, by what you said and writ,
How dangerous things were men of wit ;
You caution’d me against their charms,
But never gave me equal arms ;
Your lessons found the weakest part,
Aim'd at the head, but reach'd the heart.
Cadenus felt within him rise
Shame, disappointment, guilt, surprize.
He knew not how to reconcile
Such language with her usual style :
And yet her words were so expreft,
He could not hope she spoke in jest.
His thoughts had wholly been confin'd
To form and cultivate her mind.
He hardly knew, till he was told,
Whether the nymph were young or old ;
Had met her in a public place,
Without distinguishing her face :
Much less could his declining age
Vanessa's earliest thoughts engage;
And, if her youth indifference met,
His person must contempt beget :
Or, grant her passion be sincere,
How shall his innocence be clear ?
Appearances were all so strong,
The world must think hiin in the wrong:
Would say, he made a treacherous use
Of wit, to flatter and seduce :
The town would swear, he had betray'd
By magic spells the harmless maid :
And every beau would have his jokes,
That scholars were like other folks ;
And, when Platonic flights were over,
The tutor turn'd a mortal lover!
So tender of the young and fair !
It shew'd a true paternal care
Five thousand guineas in her purse !
The Doctor might have fancy'd worse.
Hardly at length he filence broke,
And faulter'd every word he spoke ;
Interpreting her complaisance,
Just as a man sans consequence,
She raillied well, he always knew :
Her manner now was fomething new ;
And what she spoke was in an air
As serious as a tragic player.
But those who aim at ridicule
upon some certain rule,
Which fairly hints they are in jest,
Else he must enter his protest :
For, let a man be ne'er so wise,
may be caught with sober lies;
A science which he never taught,
And, to be free, was dearly bought ;
For, take it in its proper light,
'Tis just what coxcombs call a bite.
But, not to dwell on things minute,
Vanessa finish'd the dispute,
Brought weighty arguments to prove
That reason was her guide in love.
She thought he had himself describid,
His doctrines when the first imbib'd:.
What he had planted, now was grown;,
His virtues dhe might call her own ;