Графични страници
PDF файл
[blocks in formation]

He recommends the Rules and Inftructions to the FAIR SEX, in the Conduct of their Amours: After having already compofed Two Books for the Ufe of MEN upon the fame Subject.

HE men are arm'd, and for the fight prepare ;


And now we must instruct and arm the fair.
Both fexes, well appointed, take the field,

And mighty Love determine which shall yield.
Man were ignoble, when thus arm'd, to fhow
Unequal force against a naked foe:

No glory from fuch conqueft can be gain'd,
And odds are always by the brave difdain'd.

But fome exclaim, "What frenzy rules your mind? "Would you increase the craft of woman-kind! "Teach them new wiles and arts! As well you may "Inftruct a fnake to bite, or wolf to prey." But, fure, too hard a cenfure they purfue, Who charge on all the failings of a few.


Examine firft impartially each fair,
Then, as the merits, or condemn, or spare.
If Menelaus, and the king of men,
With justice of their fifter-wives complain;
If falfe Eriphyle forfook her faith,

And for reward procur'd her husband's death;
Penelope was loyal still, and chaste,

Though twenty years her lord in absence pass'd.
Reflect how Laodama's truth was try’d,

Who, though in bloom of youth, and beauty's pride,
To fhare her husband's fate, untimely dy'd.
Think how Alcefte's piety was prov'd,
Who loft her life to fave the man fhe lov'd.
Receive me, Capaneus, Avadne cry'd ;
Nor Death itself our nuptials fhall divide:
To join thy afhes, pleas'd I fhall expire;
She faid, and leap'd amid the funeral fire.
Virtue herself a goddess we confess,
Both female in her name and in her drefs

No wonder then, if to her fex inclin'd,
She cultivates with care a female mind.
But thefe exalted fouls exceed the reach
Of that soft art which I pretend to teach.
My tender bark requires a gentle gale,
A little wind will fill a little fail.

Of fportive Loves I fing, and fhew what ways
The willing nymph must use her blifs to raise,
And how to captivate the man fhe'd please.
Woman is foft, and of a tender heart,
Apt to receive, and to retain, love's dart:




Man has a breaft robuft, and more fecure,

It wounds him not fo deep, nor hits fo fure.

Men oft are falfe; and, if you fearch with care,
You'll find lefs fraud imputed to the fair.

The faithlefs Jafon from Medea fled,

And made Creufa partner of his bed.
Bright Ariadne, on an unknown shore,
Thy abfence, perjur'd Thefeus, did deplore.
If then, the wild inhabitants of air
Forbore her tender lovely limbs to tear,
It was not owing, Thefeus, to thy care.
Enquire the caufe, and let Demophoon tell,
Why Phyllis by a fate untimely fell.

Nine times, in vain, upon the promis'd day,

She fought th' appointed fhore, and view'd the fea.
Her fall the fading trees confent to mourn,
And fhed their leaves round her lamented urn,
The prince fo far for piety renown'd,

To thee, Eliza, was unfaithful found;
To thee forlorn and languishing with grief,
His fword alone he left, thy laft relief.
Ye ruin'd nymphs, fhall I the cause impart
Of all your woes? 'Twas want of needful art,
Love of itfelf, too quickly will expire;
But powerful Art perpetuates defire.
Women had yet their ignorance bewail'd,
Had not this art by Venus been reveal’d.

Before my fight the Cyprian goddefs fhone,

And thus fhe faid; "What have poor women done?




Why is that weak, defencelef's fex expos'd, "On every fide, by men well arm'd, inclos'd? "Twice are the men instructed by the Muse "Nor muft fhe now to teach the fex refuse. "The Bard, who injur'd Helen in his song, "Recanted after, and redrefs'd the wrong. "And you, if on my favour you depend, "The caufe of women, while you live, defend.” This faid, a myrtle fprig, which berries bore She gave me (for a myrtle wreath she wore). The gift receiv'd, my fenfe enlighten'd grew, And from her presence inspiration drew. Attend, ye nymphs, by wedlock unconfin'd, And hear my precepts, while she prompts my Ev'n now, in bloom of youth, and beauty's prime, Beware of coming age, nor waste your time : Now, while you may, and ripening years invite, Enjoy the feasonable, fweet delight:




For rolling years, like ftealing waters, glide;
Nor hope to stop their ever-ebbing tide :
Think, nor hereafter will the loss repay;
For every morrow will the taste decay,
And leave lefs relish than the former day.
I've feen the time, when, on that wither'd thorn,
The blooming rofe vy'd with the blushing morn.
With fragrant wreaths I thence have deck'd my head,
And fee how leaflefs now, and how decay'd!
And you, who now the love-fick youth reject,

Will prove, in age, what pains attend neglect.


None, then, will prefs upon your midnight hours,
Nor wake, to ftrew your street with morning flowers.
Then nightly knockings at your door will cease,
Whofe noiseless hammer, then, may ruft in peace.
Alas, how soon a clear complexion fades !
How foon a wrinkled fkin plump flesh invades ;
And what avails it, though the fair-one swears
She from her infancy had fome grey hairs?

She grows all hoary in a few more years,
And then the venerable truth appears.

The fnake his fkin, the deer his horns may caft,
And both renew their youth and vigours past :
But no receipt can human-kind relieve,
Doom'd to decrepit age without reprieve.
Then crop the flower which yet invites your eye,
And which, ungather'd, on its ftalk must die.
Befides, the tender fex is form'd to bear,
And frequent births too foon will youth impair :
Continual harvest wears the fruitful field,

And earth itself decays too often till'd.

Thou didst not, Cynthia, scorn the Latmian fwaing
Nor thou, Aurora, Cephalus difdain;
The Paphian queen, who, for Adonis' fate

So deeply mourn'd, and who laments him yet,
Has not been found inexorable fince;
Witness Harmonia, and the Dardan prince.
Then take example, mortals, from above,
And like immortals live, and like them love.
Refufe not thofe delights, which men require,
Nor let your lovers languifh with defire.

[blocks in formation]
« ПредишнаНапред »