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I'll undertake, my little Nancy
In Flounces hath a better Fancy.
With all her Wit, I would not ask
Her Judgment, how to buy a Malk;
We begg'd her but to patch her Face,
She never hit one proper Place ;
Which ev'ry Girl at five Years old
Can do, as soon as she is told.
I own, that out-of-fashion Stuff
Becomes the Creature well enough
The Girl might pass, if we could get her
To know the World a little better.
(To know the World: A modern Phrase
For Visits, Ombre, Balls, and Plays.)
Thus, to the World's perpetual Shame,
The Queen of Beauty lost her Aim.
Too late with Grief she understood,
Pallas had done more Harm than Good :
For great Examples are but vain,
Where Ignorance begets Disdain.
Both Sexes arm'd with Guilt and Spite,
Against Vanella's Pow'r unite ;
To copy her, few Nymphs aspir'd;
Her Virtues fewer Swains admird:
So, Stars beyond a certain Height
Give Mortals neither Heat nor Light.
Yer fome of either Sex, endow'd,
With Gifts superior to the Crowd,
With Virtue, Knowledge, Taste, and Wit,
She condescended to admit;
With pleasing Arts she could reduce
Mens Talents to their proper Use;
And with Address each Genius held
To that wherein it moft excell'd;
Thus making others Wisdom known,
Could please them, and improve her own,
A modest Youth said something new :
She plac'd it in the strongest View.
All humble Worth she strove to raise ;
Would not be prais’d, yet lov!d to praise,
The Learned met with free Approach,
Altho' they came not in a Coach.
Some Clergy too she would allow,
Nor quarrell?d at their aukward Bow :
But this was for Cadenus' Sake;
A Gownman of a diffrent Make;
Whom Pallas, once Vanesa's Tutor,
Had fix'd on for her Coadjutor.
But Cupid, full of Mischief, longs
To vindicate his Mother's Wrongs.
On Pallas all Attempts are vain ;
One Way he knows to give her Pain;
Vows, on Vanessa's Heart to take
Due Vengeance for her Patron's Sake.
Those early Seeds by Venus fown,
In Spight of Pallas now were grown;
And Cupid hop'd they would improve
By Time, and ripen into Love.
The Boy made use of all his Craft,
In vain discharging many a Shaft,
Pointed at Col'nels, Lords, and Beaux :
Cadenus warded off the Blows;
For placing still fome Book betwixt,
The Darts were in the Cover fixt;
Or often blunted and recoil'd,
On Plutarcb's Morals ftruck, were spoil d.
The Queen of Wisdom could foresee,
But not prevent the Fates Decree:
And human Caution tries in vain
To break that Adamantine-Chain.
Vanessa, tho' by Pallas taught,
By Love invulnerable thought,
Searching in Books for Wisdom's Aid,
Was, in the very Search, betray'd.
CUPID, tho' all his Darts were lost,
Yet still resolv’d to spare no Cost;
He could not answer to his Fame
The Triumphs of that stubborn Dame;
A Nymph so hard to be subdu'd,
Who neither was Coquet nor Prude.
I find, said he, she wants a Doctor,
Both to adore her, and instruct her ;
I'll give her what she most admires;
Among those venerable Sires.
Cadenus is a Subject fit,
Grown old in Polieicks and Wit;
Caress'd by Ministers of State,
Of half Mankind the Dread and Hate,
Whate'er Vexations Love attend :
She needs no Rivals apprehend :
Her Sex, with univerfal Voice,
Must laugh at her capricious Choice:
CADENUS many things had writ;
Vanessa much esteem'd his Wit,
And callid for his Poetick Works ;
Mean time the Boy in secret lurks,
And, while the Book was in her Hand,
The Urchin from his private Stand
Took Aim, and shot with all his Strength
A Dart of such prodigious Length;
It pierc'd the feeble Volume thro',
And deep transfix'd her Bosom too.
Some Lines more imoving than the rest,
Stuck to the Point that pierc!d her Breast;
And born directly to her Heart,
With Pains unknown increas'd the Smart.
VANESSA, not in Years a Score,
Dreams of a Gown of Forty-four;
Imaginary Charms can find,
In Eyes with Reading almost blind :
Cadenus now no more appears
Declin'd in Health, advanc'd in Years :
She fancies Musick in his Tongue,
Nor further looks, but thinks him young.
What Mariner is not afraid
To venture in a Ship decay'd ?
What Planter will attempt to yoke
A Sapling with a falling Oak?
As Years increase, the brighter shines,
Cadenus with each Day declines,
And he must fall a Prey to Time,
While she continues in her Prime.
CADENUS, common Forms apart,
In every Scene had kept his Heart;
Had sigh'd and languifh'd, vow'd and writ,
For Pastime, or to shew his Wit:
But Books, and Time, and State Affairs,
Had spoil'd his fashionable Airs;
He now cou'd praise, esteem, approve,
But understood not what was Love:
His Conduct might have made him stylu
A Father, and the Nymph his Child.
That innocent Delight he took
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 prefs'd for something new :
Ideas came into her Mind
So fast, his Lessons lagg'd behind :