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Suppose Cadenus flourish'd then,
He must adore such godlike men.
If one short volume could comprise
All that was witty, learn'd, and wise,
How would it be esteem'd and read,
Although the writer long were dead!
If such an author were alive,
How all would for his friendship strive,
And come in crowds to see his face!..
And this she takes to be her case :
Cadenus answers every end,
The book, the author, and the friend :
The utmost her desires will reach,
Is but to learn what he can teach :
His converse is a system fit
Alone to fill up all her wit,
While every passion of her mind
In him is center'd and confin'd.
Love can with speech inspire a mute,
And taught Vanessa to dispute.
This topic, never touch'd before,
Display'd her eloquence the more :
Her knowledge, with such pains acquir'd,
By this new passion grew inspir'd,
Through this she made all objects pass,
Which gave a tincture o'er the mass ;
As rivers, though they bend and twine,
Still to the sea their course incline;
Or as philosophers, who find
Some favourite system to their mind,
In every point to make it fit,
Will force all Nature to submit.
Cadenus, who could ne'er suspect
His lessons would have such effect,
Or be so artfully applied,
Insensibly came on her side.
It was an unforeseen event;
Things took a turn he never meant.
Whoe'er excels in what we prize,
Appears a hero in our eyes.
Each girl, when pleas'd with what is taught, Will have the teacher in her thought. The nymph in sober words intreats A truce with all sublime conceits; For why such raptures, flights, and fancies, To her who durst not read romances? In lofty style to make replies, Which he had taught her to despise ? But when her tutor will affect Devotion, duty, and respect, He fairly abdicates his throne, The government is now her own : But though her arguments were strong, At least could hardly wish them wrong, Howe'er it came he could not tell, But sure she never talk'd so well. His pride began to interpose; Preferr'd before a crowd of beaus! So bright a nymph to come unsought ! Such wonder by his merit wrought! 'Tis merit must with her prevail; He never knew her judgment fail : She noted all she ever read, And had a most discerning head.
'Tis an old maxim in the schools,
That vanity's the food of fools ;
Yet now•and-then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit.
So when Cadenus could not hide,
He chose to justify his pride.
- When Miss delights in her spinnet,
A fiddler may a fortune get :
A blockhead with melodious voice
In boarding-schools can have his choice;
And oft the dancing-master's art
Climbs from the toe to touch the heart.
In learning let a nymph delight,
The pedant gets a mistress by't.
Cadenus, to his grief and shame,
Could scarce oppose Vanessa's flame,
Where hot and cold, where sharp and sweet
In all their equipages meet ;
Where pleasures mix'd with pains appear,
Sorrow with joy, and hope with fear;
Wherein his dignity and age
Forbid Cadenus to engage;
But friendship in its greatest height,
A constant, rational delight,
On virtue's basis fix'd to last,
When love's allurements long are past,
Which gently warms, but cannot burn,
He gladly offers in return :
His want of passion will redeen
With gratitude, respect, esteem;
With that devotion we bestow,
When goddesses appear below.
While thus Cadenus entertais
Vanessa in exalted strains,
Constr’ing the passion she had shown
Much to her praise, more to his own;
Nature in him had merit plac'd,
In her a most judicious taste:
Love, hitherto a transient guest,
Ne'er held possession in his breast;
So long attending at the gate,
Disdain'd to enter in so late.
Love why do we one passion call,
When 'tis a compound of them all?
He has a forfeiture incurr'd;
She vows to take him at his word,
And hopes he will not think it strange
If both should now their stations change.
The nymph will have her turn to be
The tutor, and the pupil he;
Though she already can discern,
Her scholar is not apt to learn,
Or wants capacity to reach
The science she designs to teach ;
Wherein his genius was below
The skill of every common beau,
Who, though he cannot spell, is wise
Enough to read a lady's eyes,
And will each accidental glance
Interpret for a kind advance.
But what success Vanessa met
Is to the world a secret yet:
Whether the nymph, to please her swain,
Talks in a high romantic strain,
Or whether he at last descends
To like with less seraphic ends;
Or, to compound the business, whether
They temper love and books together;
Must never to mankind be told,
Nor shall the conscious Muse unfold.
Mean-time the mournful queen of Love
· Led but a weary life above :
She ventures now to leave the skies,
Grown by Vanessa's conduct wise;
For though by one perverse event
Pallas had cross'd her first intent,
Though her design was not obtain'd,
Yet had she much experience gain’d,
And by the project vainly tried,
Could better now the cause decide.
She gave due notice that both parties,
Coram regina prox' die Martis,
Should at their peril, without fail,
Come and appear, and save their bail.
All met; and, silence thrice proclaim'd,
One lawyer to each side was nam'd.
The judge discover'd in her face
Resentments for her late disgrace,
And, full of anger, shame, and grief,
Directed them to mind their brief,
Nor spend their time to show their reading;
She'd have a summary proceeding.
She gather'd under every head
The sum of what each lawyer said,
Gave her own reasons last, and then
Decreed the cause against the Men.
But in a weighty case like this,
To show she did not judge amiss,
Which evil tongues might else report,
She made a speech in open court,
Wherein she grievously complains
• How she was cheated by the swains;'
On whose petition, (humbly showing
That women were not worth the wooing,
And that, unless the sex would mend,
The race of lovers soon must end)
• She was at lord-knows-what expense
To forin a nymph of wit and sense,
A model for her sex design'd,
Who never could one lover find.
She saw her favour was misplac'd;
The fellows had a wretched taste;
She needs must tell them to their face,
They were a senseless, stupid race;
And, were she to begin again,
She'd study to reform the Men,
Or add some grains of folly more
To Women than they had before,
To put them on an equal foot;
And this, or nothing else, would do't:
This might their mutual fancy strike,
Since every being loves its like.
* But now, repenting what was done, She left all business to her son; She puts the world in his possession, And let him use it at discretion.'
The crier was order'd to dismiss The court, so made his last Oyes.' The goddess would no longer wait, But, rising from her chair of state, Left all below at six and sev'n, Harness'd her doves, and flew to heav'a.