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If not from virtue, from its gravest ways
The soul with pleasing avocation strays:
But beauty gone, 'tis easier to be wise;
As harpers better by the loss of eyes.
Henceforth retire, reduce your roving airs,
Haunt less the plays, and more the public prayers,
Reject the Mechliņ head and gold brocade,
Go pray, in sober Norwich crape array'd.
Thy pendent diamonds let thy Fanny take
(Their trembling lustre shows how much you
shake), Or bid her wear thy necklace, row'd with pearl, You'll find your Fanny an obedient girl. So for the rest, with less incumbrance hung, You walk through life, unmingled with the young; And view the shade and substance as you pass, With joint endeavour trilling at the glass; Or Folly dress'd, and rambling all her days, To meet her counterpart, and grow by praise : Yet still sedate yourself, and gravely plain, You neither fret nor envy at the vain.
"Twas thus, if man with woman we compare, The wise Athenian cross'd a glittering fair; Unmoved by tongues and sights, he walk'd the place,
[lace; Through tape, toys, tinsel, gimp, perfume, and Then bends from Mars's hill his awful eyes, And' What a world I never want!' he cries; But cries unheard : for folly will be free, So parts the buzzing gaudy crowd and he: As careless he for them, as they for him; He wrapp'd in wisdom, and they whirl'd by whim.
WHO DESIRED THE AUTHOR TO WRITE SOME VERSES
UPON HER, IN THE HEROIC STYLE,
WRITTEN AT LONDON, 1726.
AFTER venting all my spite,
Tell me what I have to write ?
Every error I could find
Through the mazes of your mind,
Have my busy Muse employ'd,
Till the company was cloy'd.
Are you positive and fretful,
Heedless, ignorant, forgetful ?
These, and twenty follies more,
I have often told before.'
Hearken what my lady says;
* Have I nothing then to praise ?
Ill it fits you to be witty,
Where a fault should move your pity.
If you think me too conceited,
Or to passion quickly heated;
If my wandering head be less
Set on reading than on dress;
If I always seem so dull t’ye,
I can solve the difficulty.
• You would teach me to be wise,
Truth and honour how to prize;
How to shine in conversation,
And with credit fill my station;
How to relish notions high ;
How to live, and how to die.
' But it was decreed by Fate,
Mr. Dean, you come too late;
Well I know you can discern
I am now too old to learn ;
Follies, from my youth instill’d,
Have my soul entirely fillid;
In my head and heart they centre,
Nor will let your lessons enter.
• Bred a fondling and an heiress,
Dress'd like any lady-mayoress;
Cocker'd by the servants round,
Was too good to touch the ground!
Thought the life of every lady
Should be one continued playday,
Balls, and masquerades, and shows,
Visits, plays, and powder'd beaux.
• Thus you have my case at large,
And may now perform your charge.
Those materials I have furnish'd,
When by you refined and burnish’d,
Must, that all the world may know 'em,
Be reduced into a poem.
But, I beg, suspend awhile
That same paltry burlesque style;
Drop for once your constant rule,
Turning all to ridicule;
Teaching others how to ape ye,
Court nor Parliament can scape ye;
Treat the public and your friends
Both alike, while neither mends.
Sing my praise in strains sublime;
Treat not me with doggrel rhyme.
'Tis but just you should produce,
With each fault, each fault's excuse;
Not to publish every trifle,
And my few perfections stifle.
With some gifts at least endow me,
Which my very foes allow me.
Am I spiteful, proud, unjust ?
Did I ever break my trust?
Which of all your modern dames
Censures less, or less defames?
In good manners am I faulty ?
Can you call me rude or haughty ?
Did I e'er my mite withhold
From the impotent and old ?
When did ever I omit
Due regard for men of wit?
When have I esteem express'd
For a coxcomb gaily dress'd ?
Do I, like the female tribe,
Think it wit to fleer and gibe?
Who, with less designing ends,
Kindlier entertains their friends;
With good words and countenance sprightly
Strive to treat them all politely?
• Think not cards my chief diversion;
'Tis a wrong unjust aspersion:
Never knew I any good in 'em,
But to doze my head like laudanum.
We by play, as men by drinking,
Pass our nights to drive out thinking.
From my ailments give me leisure,
I shall read and think with pleasure;
Conversation learn to relish,
And with books my mind embellish.
Now, methinks, I hear you cry,
Mr. Dean, you must reply.'
Madam, I allow 'tis true;
All these praises are your due.
You, like some acute philosopher,
Every fault have drawn a gloss over,
Placing in the strongest light
All your virtues to my sight.
Though you lead a blameless life,
Live an humble, prudent wife;
Answer all domestic ends,
What is this to us, your friends?
Though your children by a nod
Stand in awe without the rod;
Though, by your obliging sway,
Servants love you, and obey;
Though you treat us with a smile,
Clear your looks, and smooth your style,
Load our plates from exery dish,
This is not the thing we wish:
Colonel may be your debtor;
We expect employment better.
You must learn, if you would gain us,
With good sense to entertain us.
Scholars, when good sense describing, Call it tasting and imbibing; Metaphoric meat and drink Is to understand and think: We inay carve for others thus, And let others, carve for us : To discourse, and to attend, Is to help yourself and friend. Conversation is but carving; Carve for all, yourself is starving: Give no more to every guest Than he's able to digest;