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But grant, in Public Men sometimes are shown, 'A Woman's seen in Private life alone: 200 Our bolder Talents in full light display'd ; Your Virtues open fairest in the shade. Bred to disguise, in Public 'tis you hide ; There, none distinguish'twixt your
Shame or Pride,
Fain I'd in Fulvia spy the tender Wife;
NOTES. the son of a Turkish Bassa, whom he took at the Siege of Buda, and constantly kept about his person. P.
Ibid. Dr. Stephen Hale, not more estimable for his useful discoveries as a natural Philosopher, than for his exemplary Life and Pattoral Charity as a Parish Priest.
Ver. 199. But grant, in Public, &c.] In the former Editicns, between this and the foregoing lines, a want of Connexion might be perceived, occasioned by the emission of certain Examples and Illustrations to the Maxims laid down; and tho' some of these have since been found, viz. the Characters of Philomedé, Atofa, Cloe, and some verses following, others are still wanting, nor can we answer that these are exactly inserted. P.
VER. 203. Bred to disguise, in Public ’tis you hide ;] There is something particular in the turn of this affertion, as making their disguising in public the necessary effect of their being bred to disguise; but if we consider that female Education is an art
Weakness or. Delicacy; all so nice,
205 That each may seem a Virtue, or a Vice.
In Men, we various Ruling Passions find;
That, Nature gives; and where the lesson taught
In fev'ral Men we sev'ral paffrons find;
NOTES. of teaching not to be, but to appear, we shall have no reafon to find fault with the exactness of the expreflion.
Ver. 206. That each may seem a Virtue or a Vice.] For Women are taught Virtue lo artificially, and Vice so naturally, that, in the nice exercise of them, they may be easily mistaken for one another. SCRIBL.
Ver. 207. The former part having shewn, that the particular Characters of Women are more various than those of Men, it is nevertheless observed, that the general Characteristic of the sex, as to the ruling Passion, is more uniform. P..
Ver.211. This is occafioned partly by their Nature, partly their Education, and in some degree by Necessity. P.
Ver. 211, 212.--and where the lessin taught-- Is but to please, can, &c.] The delicacy of the poet's address is here observable, in his manner of informing us what this pleasure is, which makes one of the two objeéts of Woman's ruling Paffion. He does it in an ironical apology for it, arising from its being a Pleasure of the beneficent and communicative kind, and not merely selfish, like those which the other sex generally pursues.
Experience, this; by Man's oppression curft,
Men, fome to Bus'ness, fome to Pleasure take;
Yet mark the fate of a whole Sex of Queens ! Pow'r all their end, but Beauty all the means: 220 In Youth they conquer, with so wild a rage, As leaves them scarce a subject in their Age: For foreign glory, foreign joy, they roam; No thought of peace or happiness at home. But Wisdom's triumph is well-tim'd Retreat, 225 As hard a science to the Fair as Great! Beauties, like Tyrants, old and friendless grown, Yet hate repose, and dread to be alone,
NOTES. VER. 213. Experience this, &c.] The ironical apology continued : That the Second is, as it were, forced upon them by the tyranny and oppression of man, in order to secure the first.
VER. 216. But ev'ry Woman is at heart a Rake:) “ Some men (says the Poet) take to business, fome to pleasure, but
every woman would willingly make pleasure her business :" which being the peculiar characteristic of a Rake, we must needs think that he includes (in his use of the word here) no more of the Rake's ill qualities than are implied in this definia tion, of one who makes pleasure his business.
Ver. 219. What are che Aims and the Fate of this Sex? -I. As to Power. P.
She who ne'er answers till a Husband cools,
And yet, believe me, good as well as ill,
279 Heav’n, when it strives to polish all it can Its last best work, but forms a softer Man; Picks from each sex, to make the Fav'rite bleft, Your love of Pleasure, our desire of Rest; Blends, in exception to all gen’ral rules, 275 Your taste of Follies, with our Scorn of Fools: Reserve with Frankness, Art with Truth ally'd, Courage with Softness, Modesty with Pride;
NOTES. VER. 269. The picture of an estimable Woman, with the best kind of contrarieties, created out of the poet's imagination; who therefore feigned those circumstances of a Husband, a Daughter, and love for a Sifter, to prevent her being mistaken for any of his acquaintance. And having thus made his Woman, he did, as the ancient poets were wont, when they had made their 11uje, invoke, and address his poem to, her,
Fix'd Principles, with Fancy ever new;
first open'd on the sphere ; Ascendant Phæbus watch'd that hour with care, Averted half
your Parents' simple Pray'r; 286 And gave you Beauty, but deny'd the Pelf That buys your sex a Tyrant o'er itself. The gen'rous God, who Wit and Gold refines, And ripens Spirits as he ripens Mines, 290 Kept Dross for Duchesses, the world shall know it, To you gave Sense, Good-humour, and a Poet.
NOTES. VER. 285. &c. Afcendant Phæbus watch'd that hour with care, Averted half your Parents' fimple Pray'r; And gave you Beauty, but deny'd the Pelf ] The poet concludes his Epistle with a fine Moral, that deserves the serious attention of the public: It is this, that all the extravagances of these vicious Characters here described, are much inflamed by a wrong Education, hinted at in $ 203; and that even the best are rather secured by a good natural than by the prudence and providence of parents ; which observation is conveyed under the sublime classical machinery of Phæbus in the ascendant, watching the natal hour of his favourite, and averting the ill effects of her parents mistaken fondness : For Phæbus, as the god of Wit, confers Genius; and, as one of the astronomical influences, defeats the adventitious byas of education.
In conclusion, the great Moral from both these Epistles together is, that the two rarest things in all Nature are a DISINTERESTED MAN, and a REASONABLE WOMAN.