[a]1r [a]1v [a]2r

An Original

Four Epistles.

Written By
A Lady.

Printed by A. Bridgman, at No. 3. in Playhouse-Yard, Blackfryars;
And sold by John Swan, opposite Norfolk Street, in the Strand.

[a]2v [b]1r (v)

The Author’s Preface

The Author, fired with an honest Indignation at those, whose chief Amusement is to inveigh against her Sex: And to sound general Aspersions, upon the Misconduct of an Individual, even tho’ it may evidently appear to be accidental, or involuntary, boldly stands forth the Champion of the Fair.

This Rancour, too common among Men, hath various Causes. In some it is meerly a Malignity of Disposition, [b] [b]1v vi and Propensity to calumniate: In others it is the Effect of Disappointment; for, as a Consciousness of Unworthiness would in Man appear miraculous; so Resentment for a Repulse is natural. Self-sufficiency has infected this Species of Men with Ill-nature; and the old satyrical Codes are daily enlarged and improved, so that a Desire to depreciate the fair Part of the Creation, seems to have become epidemical.

The following Pages are designed to exose the Falsehood, and controvert the erroneous Proceedings of those who possess the Talent of extracting Blemishes from Beauties, and constitutional Imbecilities into Crimes; by drawing Pourtraits from the Scale of Truth, and shewing each Sex in its proper Light; and, I hope, the Contrast will evidently evince, that Beings of less Frailties than Man should pretend to censure female Foibles.

An Attempt of this Nature, calculated to discourage the malignant Satisfaction which the Enemies of the Fair [b]2r vii Sex take in ransacking ancient and modern Satyrists, to glean Materials for such unnatural Abuse, the Candid will allow ought to meet Encouragement; for if it does not entirely answer the End proposed, it may stimulate some abler Champion to enter the Field with more Effect.

In an Age like this, when female Education is so extremely confined, and fashionable Trifles, and Time-killing Amusements, are the only Objects of Study; some may imagine, that the Sex, in many Particulars, are too culpable to admit of a Vindication—but I hope the Perusal of the following Lines will refute such Opinion— But even if this Thought was admitted as Fact, which is not the Case, Impartiality should be observed, and a Contrast made, that the most should not blame the least guilty; and the Faultless alone should throw the first Stone.

Are Men less guilty, or pursue they more important Objects than what Custom has imposed for the Study of Females? Some Ladies will game; but how superior is [b]2v viii the Number of Gamesters among Men! Ladies must lose in the Course of Gaming: But since their Losses seldom effect any Thing but their Pin-Money, and often produce a Reformation—the Practice of Gaming, at all Times hurtful, is less pernicious among Ladies than Gentlemen, who frequently game away princely Fortunes, and reduce their Families to the most imminent Distress.

Ladies, I have endeavoured to do my Subject proper Honor; but if my Endeavours fall short of your Expectations, rather impute any Deficiencies to a Want of Abilities, than a Remissness in Inclination to serve You.

I remain, Ladies, Your most devoted humble Servant,

Mary Seymour Montague


The Editor’s Advertisement

To the Gentlemen of Great-Britain.


It must certainly give a sensible Pleasure to every Admirer of the Fair Sex, to find there is a female Pen hardly enough to vindicate the Honor of herself, and her lovely Compeers, and sufficiently agreeable to render the Refutation of every unjust Male Sarcasm or Imputation pleasing, even to the Men.

Too long hath our Sex lashed the Pride of Creation with every Reproach which Passion could invent, or Prejudice dictate; when, alas! it has too frequently happened, that the Malice of Men was the meer Effect of their own Vices, or Imprudence. The bad Husband calls the Wife bad, if she resents the too just Cause given by him for Resentment: Nay, he even goes so far as to charge her tenderest Advice, as the irritating Cause of his Delinquency. The Libertine thinks all Women lascivious, because he has reduced one or two to Prostitution—But are these proper Judges of the Sex? the one claims a Prerogative to aggrieve, but fluently arraigns when vexed by the Effects of such Aggravation. The other, armed with Deceit, [c] [c]1v (x) ranges to destroy Simplicity and Innocence; and, when he has ensnared one, impeaches the whole Sex.

The happy Husband and respectful Lover, are not esteemed proper Judges; because the first is biassed by a Blessing denied to many, and the latter has seen his Mistress but at a Distance: but are they not as proper Judges as the other?—Let those only imitate these in their Conduct and Principles; and, like these, they will thank Heaven for the inestimable Donation of Woman, to bless the Days of Man.

Let Husbands supply the Ideas of the Author in those Particulars, which she may not have fully handled; or where she may unknowingly have been remiss—and do Justice to their Wives.

Let Lovers add Force to our Arguments, by cherishing and making known such Virtues in the fair Sex, which may have escaped the Penetration of the Author.

Let every worthy Son use his Endeavours to do Honor to the Virtue of his Mother, and extend the Knowledge of such Excellencies as may have been unobserved, because not general: for, certainly, if peculiar Follies or Frailties, Constitution only in a Few, have been sought for with Avidity, and made known to the World; peculiar Excellencies and Virtues, not to be always met with, should be equally made public; for Good-nature deserves as conspicuous a Place as Malice.

I am, Gentlemen, Your most Obedient, Humble Servant,

Fra. Bacon Lee.


An Address To The Ladies of the Coterie.


To you I dedicate my Lays,

Whose Virtues dazzle, and whose Beauties blaze;

Whose decent Carriage gives sublime Delight,

And awes the Passions which your Charms excite.

From your united Aid I shelter seek,

The stronger Females should assist the Weak:

If you bestow your Sanction on my Muse,

The rougher Sex will blush their Strength to use.

For sure such Charms, and Wit that Charms refines,

Which brightly in your gay Assembly shines,

Must by Stupidity itself be felt,

And the most callous into Justice melt.

Freely beneath your Patronage I’ll rove,

And win each Male to Truth and purest Love.

[c]2v (xii)

Ye Fair, who meet each other to improve,

And vulgar Codes of Prejudice remove;

Regard not when the silly Coxcomb sparrs,

Smile at Fools Bolts, or Critics massy Barrs;

They urge your Secrets, Malice needs must own,

Are surely bad because to them unknown;

So by these Elves Free Masons are decry’d,

Because to them their Secrets are deny’d:

Ev’n when they love, the fair Sex they decry,

And think it Taste to give their Soul the Lye;

Mechanically dwell on fancy’d Faults,

While female Charms engage their busy Thoughts.

Down Satire, down, repent upon thy Knees,

Retract thy Malice to procure thine Ease;

Teach thy hard Heart soft Sentiments to feel,

And at the Shrine of fair Minerva kneel.

If she forgives not when you suppliant sue,

Perpetual Pain will be your Crime be due.

But if, to gain Remission, you succeed,

The Fair will smile, and you’ll be blest indeed.

I am,

Ladies, &c.
B1r (1)

An Original Essay On Woman.

Epistle I.

No longer, Charlotte, at thy Toilet sit,

But Charms exterior for the mental quit;

Detach thy Thoughts from Dress for some small Time,

With me to taste of Pleasures more sublime:

Let us survey together Womankind,

And trace the Beauties of the Female Mind;

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Explain why Men against our Sex declaim,

Deny the Truth, and meanly filch our Fame:

Explore the Thoughts, the selfish Views expose

Of such who glory to be deem’d our Foes:

Unveil Deceit, shoot Malice as it flies,

Correct Defamers, and explode their Lies:

Evince to Man that our imputed Pride

Is prudent Care to Decency ally’d:

Elucidate whatever may perplex,

But vindicate the Honour of the Sex.

Concerning Woman, Women reason best,

By Man, Opinion is in Malice drest;

Their Prejudices make our Faults appear

Of larger Magnitude than what they are;

While with precautious Rancour they deny

The Charms apparent to Good-nature’s Eye:

For some Examples of bad Women known,

Must all the Sex endure the Stigmas thrown?

Say, must each spotless Maid, devoid of Blame,

Adopt the guilty Individual’s Shame?

Will sprinkling me compose a Sister’s Dust?

Must I be polish’d for my Neighbour’s Rust?

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Lords of Creation, take a Woman’s Word,

All Gen’ral Censures are of Course absurd;

In Search of Faults Ill-nature prowls about,

The wise and good seek only Beauties out,

Which found, give greater Pleasure to their Mind,

Than to the waspish all the Faults they find.

Ye Fair, perhaps ye would the Reason trace,

Why ye must bend to Man’s imperial Race!

Why Lordly Males are authoriz’d to rule,

And Female Wit sometimes obeys a Fool.

No serious Answer such a Question needs,

Tis built on Error, and the Truth exceeds:

Man begg’d the Question, Woman gave Assent,

And Man sat down with fancy’d Pow’r content;

But the most stubborn of these Monarchs prove

The most submissive when they fall in Love:

Peculiar Charms some Heroes Hearts obtain,

And some through Whim enlist in Cupid’s Train;

Some fall the Victims of a Female Wit,

To Beauty all implicitly submit;

For when on Man the Rays of Beauty shine,

That Moment Male Prerogatives decline.

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’Tis laughable these Lordlings to explore,

As meanly whining as they bragg’d before.

What Subterfuge can from Derision save

The fancied Monarch, but the real Slave!

In most Male Systems Women are bely’d,

Blam’d undeserving, and condemn’d untry’d;

It then remains for us to plead our Cause,

And crave a Verdict under Reason’s Laws.

Respecting Woman, what may Wrong appear,

Examin’d rightly, may from Blame be clear;

Some seeming Follies brought to Reason’s Test,

Are real Virtues in the Female Breast;

Essential Virtues in each Sex the same,

Point out the Paths that lead to moral Fame;

But Virtues of the secondary Kind,

Are not the same in Male as Female Mind;

For what in Woman Delicacy seems,

In Man the World Effeminacy deems;

To judge of Truth in each contested Act,

First know the Person, then survey the Fact,

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The All-supreme, in fair Creation’s Plan,

In forming Woman made a softer Man;

More delicate in Body and in Mind,

More tender, sentimental, and refin’d:

While ev’ry Virtue dwells within her Breast,

She shines a Woman, and as such is blest;

But when she spurns at Decency’s Controul,

She changes Sex, and is a Man in Soul.

Heav’n from our Sex conceals the Book of Fate,

Or few wou’d venture on the Marriage State:

If we but knew that it was pre-ordain’d,

Those should turn Tyrants who Submission feign’d,

What Woman foolishly wou’d wish to prove

An Age of Sorrows for a Day of Love?

Wou’d a fair mortal Daughter of the Skies,

Ten thousand Glories beaming in her Eyes,

Admit her kneeling Lover’s artful Suit,

Cou’d she divine he’d sink into a Brute?

Oh! Blindness to the future kindly giv’n,

That Man in us might gain an earthly Heav’n;

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And sometimes, for Examples to us all,

Bring Prudes to Sin, and work a Coquet’s Fall;

A single Woman into Ruin hurl’d,

May warn a thousand in the female World.

Hope humble then, with cautious Prudence wed,

And join in nuptial Bands with pious Dread;

Perhaps an Act of Merit you’ll perform,

Reclaim a Fudler, or a Rake reform;

But if your Spouse incorrigible seems,

You’ll prove your Patience if you shun Extremes.

Lo! the poor Milk-maid whose unpolish’d Mind,

In Sylvan Scenes sublimest Joys can find;

Whose Station ne’er permitted her to stray,

To where Cornelly’s changes Night to Day;

More solid Pleasures to her Grasp are giv’n

A softer Rapture and serener Heav’n:

Some safer Extacy and Ease embrac’d;

Some smooth Enjoyment undebauch’d by Taste;

Where artful Man cannot the Soul entrance

By melting Music, or the mystic Dance;

But harmless Strains, and awkward Motions shew

Their dull Amusement is not Virtue’s Foe;

C2r 7

Nor need the Female fear a mental Storm,

Where the Incentive scarce has Pow’r to warm:

Let the more elegant attempt to find

In gilded Scenes such golden Peace of Mind;

Thoughtless to Man’s persidious Snares they run,

Believe gay Villains—trust—and are undone.

Some who pretend to be immensely wise,

Say, In Ambition our chief Error lies:

The Milkmaid pants to be the Farmer’s Bride,

The Farmer’s Daughter in a Coach wou’d ride;

A Coach and two her Portion soon appears,

Then for a Coach and fix she falls in Tears.

This sighs to call a Coronet her own,

And that aspires to glitter on a Throne:

But what great Harm can such Ambition cause?

It acts no Murders, it o’erturns no Laws.

While by Ambition in the manly Breast,

The rich are plunder’d, and the poor oppress’d:

View grisly Death o’er Fields of Carnage stride!

Hear groaning Victims to imperial Pride!

The bubbling Current streams with human Gore,

The sedgy Bank is verdant now no more;

C2v 8

Behold the mangled Limb bespatter’d down,

The burning Village and the batter’d Town!

All sink alike, the fearful and the brave;

One common Ditch receives them as a Grave:

These are the Glories of the lordly Males,

This the Ambition which in Man prevails

Infected from the Peasant to the King,

In Cruelty they take a boundless Swing;

Kill with Impunity, devoid of Shame,

And fancy Murder is the Road to Fame;

But in a Wish to shine, which none offends,

With us the Punishment the Crime attends;

For when our Pride cannot its End obtain,

’Tis sure a Punishment to wish in vain.

Besides, in Female Hearts the Thirst of Dress

Assists the needy, and relieves Distress.

While the gay Ornament is Beauty’s Toil,

The ample Payment makes the Artist smile:

By female Dress how many poor are fed!

In Luxury what Numbers find their Bread!

Then sure Ambition in the Female Mind,

Was not a Folly, but a Charm design’d;

D1r 9

Throughout the Sex the Passion we descry

Gleam in the low, and glitter in the high;

In variegated top-knots here display’d,

And there refulgent in the Gems Parade.

Ask, For whose Use the golden Tissues shine?

For whom the Pencil works the grand Design?

For whom Brocades are deck’d with lively Flow’rs?

With Truth and Reason we reply, For ours.

For us the Weaver bids the Shuttle fly,

Varies the Tints, and forms a silken Sky:

For us the Artist bids the Di’mond blaze,

And dazzle with Variety of Rays:

For us the Merchant tempts the raging Main,

To decorate us for his private Gain.

Though foppish Males, who yet our Sex despise,

With us dispute each manufactur’d Prize;

With awkward Delicacy imitate,

And copy those whom they affect to hate;

Contempt alone such dressy Fribbles suits,

For Fops are more despiseable than Brutes.

D D1v 10

It had been better, say our lordly Elves,

If we were more consistent with ourselves:

Form’d with less Whims, and less Desire to change,

Less prone through Regions of Conceits to range.

We answer those, who in this Manner speak,

Mistaken Notions will mislead the weak;

For Pope himself, our great satyric Foe,

Says, To our Changes half our Charms we owe:

It wou’d be found that one eternal Spring

Wou’d satiate through the Sameness of the Thing:

Besides, our haughty Monitors we see,

Fond of Variety as well as we.

They therefore may the Crime of Falsehood shun,

By having full Variety in one.

Nor let them blame us if we vary Charms,

To please and keep them constant to our Arms.

Grieve not, ye Fair, to want the Strength of Man;

You’re more secure on Delicacy’s Plan:

For when the Brute prevails, and makes him storm,

Then sweetly smile him to a placid Form;

D2r 11

Recal his Reason, damp the raging Fire,

And let your Voice be great Timotheus’ Lyre.

Male Storms subside before a female Sigh,

And Anger lessens on a soft Reply:

Let Man, through Dangers, Provinces subdue,

He conquers others to submit to you:

Before the Shaft of Love Ambition flies,

And glittering Swords give Way to sparkling Eyes.

The real Happiness of Womankind

Depends upon the Culture of the Mind:

Improper Education will destroy

What else wou’d delegate sublimest Joy:

Then let no Wish in female Minds prevail,

To learn those Things which only fit the Male;

For she denies her Sex who idly prates

Of hunting Matches, and of leaping Gates;

Who hails the Huntsman, or the Beagles chears,

And in the Habit of a Man appears:

Such manly Females, Delicacy shuns,

And from such Amazon-Virago’s runs,

D2v 12

The tender simp’ring Male, and blust’ring Fair,

From either Sex the same Derision share.

Far as Creation’s ample Bounds appear,

Each Female’s fitted to her proper Sphere.

The Country Damsel for the Farmer’s Wife;

The courtly Dame to shine in higher Life;

The City Virgin for Life’s busy Scenes,

And blooming Maids, to bless Mankind, as Queens.

But if they wish in other Orbs to move

Than what kind Nature’s fair Intents approve;

Then let them blame, if Exigencies vex,

Their own Misconduct, not arraign the Sex.

For, when the sylvan Nymph at Court would shine,

She grows affected, aiming to refine:

No less the courtly Belle, who rusticates,

Retains her Manners, though she changes States;

And flighty Innocence appears a Vice,

To those whom Want of Converse renders nice.

Then let each Maid steer round her proper Coast,

She’ll rise a courtly, or a village Toast.

E1r 13

’Tis laudable in Parts that fit us well

To burn with Emulation to excel:

But when we aim at what we cannot be,

At what suits not our Talents or Degree;

’Tis then alone our Pride produces Pain,

’Tis then alone Ambition is a Stain.

Oh! may once more the happy Age be seen,

When Maids contented fill their destin’d Scene;

When no Ambition in the female Breast,

Pants and deprives a Beauty of her Rest;

But mildly joyful, and serenely calm,

On Life Contentment pours a pleasing Balm.

What if the Farmer’s Wife, to shew her Taste,

Should all her Time with prating Parrots waste;

Neglect her Poultry, and her Dairy’s Care,

To hear the feather’d Mimicks sing and swear;

Or shou’d her Joys upon a Monkey fix,

Admire his Grin, and doat upon his Tricks;

Would not such Fooleries as much surprize,

As if you saw a Duchess making Pies;

E E1v 14

Or some fine Countess in the Laundry’s Floods,

Involv’d in Steam, and splatter’d o’er with Suds?

Sooner shall Conquerors their Fame forego,

Or trembling Cowards bravely strike a Blow;

Sooner the Sons of Neptune grow polite,

Or Lawyers truly swear that white is white;

Sooner a whining Lover be sincere,

Than Woman shine in an improper Sphere.

Nature bestows on all, in each Degree,

The very Station where they ought to be.

How foolish they, who at their Fate repine,

And wish to pass Discretion’s bounded Line;

Pant to expatiate in a World unknown,

And quit the temp’rate for the torrid Zone;

The homely Field of certain Bliss refuse,

And, for a Shadow, solid Pleasure lose!

One Wish obtain’d, another Joy appears,

To raise new Wishes, and excite our Tears.

This conquer’d, palls upon the sickly Taste,

Then to another for Relief we haste;

E2r 15

From Bliss to Bliss by boundless Wishes tost,

Till all our Peace is in our Folly lost.

Learn then to be content, nor wish to range,

And not your State, but Mode of thinking change.

And easy, ductile, unambitious Mind,

Is every Blessing, in yourself confin’d.

Thus when our Foes enumerate our Faults,

Arraign our Actions, and condemn our Thoughts;

Founding their Reasons not on Truth, but Spite,

Prove themselves wrong,—and Women in the right.

End of the First Epistle.

AN E2v [16]

An Original Essay On Woman.

Epistle II.

AString of Faults, according to our Plan,

Must next appear, as blazon’d out by Man:

Man, who invents when only Virtue shines,

And often Virtue into Vice refines,

Imputes to us, to blast unsully’d Fame,

Errors peculiar to his own dear Frame:

F1r 17

Or unexisting Caprices provides,

Sooner than quit the Theme, when Malice guides.

Detraction, still with Man a fav’rite Theme,

Gives Accusation a delicious Dream:

Thus their Opinion lordly Males declare,

And thus indict the inoffensive Fair;

Ladies, stand forth—to your Indictment plead,

Nor by Detraction, longer Envy feed;

What Friend is safe from your malicious Sneers?

Witness your Feuds, your Jealousies, and Tears.

Can ye see Virtues greater than your own,

And not attempt those Virtues to dethrone?

Can ye behold a Friend, without a Frown

To fortune rise, nor aim to pull her down?

Can ye view Beauties, which superior blaze,

Nor wish the Pow’r to blast them while ye gaze?

If some have Merits, manifestly seen,

It racks your Soul, and gives your Breast the Spleen:

Then for some Fault ye diligently seek,

To kill the Merit or to make it weak.

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Hold, wond’rous Sage, nor more thy Wit display,

Nor in Assertions throw thy Time away:

Let the vain Efforts of thy Malice cool,

Nor take Exceptions for a general Rule.

Indeed, an Individual may be found,

Whose Candour is in ranc’rous Malice drown’d,

Who, dark herself in universal Night,

Wou’d fain involve her Neighbour’s radiant Light.

Such shunn’d by all, a meer Example seems

To caution Beauty from detractive Themes.

But with good Humour’s Eye the Sex survey,

You’ll find that Candour bears the greatest Sway.

While Man to Malice gives unbounded swing,

Belies each Neighbour, or decries his King.

Nay, sometimes by a stronger Phrenzy driv’n,

Tho’ impotent, assails the Heights of Heav’n.

Concerning Scandal what a Rout they make,

We scandalize for Scandalizing’ Sake:

Propose no End, yet labour to undo,

And make each Fallacy appear as true.

F2r 19

With Volubility a Sister blame;

Slow to applaud, but fluent to defame:

Immers’d in Self-sufficiency, believe

Ourselves the fairest Progeny of Eve:

Possest of greater Merit than the rest,

Immensely charming, and profusely blest;

Then kindly give the countrary Extremes

To those, who dare shine forth with rival Beams:

And, fir’d by scandal-raising Steams, bestow

Names on all Faults, and Faults on all we know.

This is a Picture of our Passion’s Strife,

Which Man pretends, is drawn from real Life:

Here Scandal, born of Envy, is pourtray’d,

In Feature strong, as if by Man display’d.

But should we find malignant Humours guide

Those wilful pencils, which are dipp’d in Pride;

What Piece can we expect they should produce,

But such as to malicious Ends conduce!

Truth would be banish’d, or distorted shown,

Exaggeration make the Piece its own;

F2v 20

While not a single Tint would strike the Eye

To give a Sanction to the bulky Lie.

Those who frequent (we challenge to declare)

The social Circles of the friendly Fair;

If on such Faults with Truth they can enlarge,

Or find sufficient to support the Charge;

Alas! the Picture is by Fancy wrought,

And all the Canvas fill’d by partial Thought;

Adorn’d by Malice, shaded o’er with Lies,

Deck’d in Deceits, and finish’d in Disguise.

But, see fair Truth impartial Tints bestows,

And radiant Candour on the Canvas glows:

Soft ey’d Humanity appears in Sight,

With Emanations of ethereal Light.

With Tenderness behold soft Bosoms heave,

Sigh at each Woe, and pant but to relieve:

See mortal Miseries the Tear supply,

And humid Virtues fills the sparkling Eye;

While in the Cheeks the trembling Roses play,

Intensely glow or let the Lily sway,

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Like Sunbeams through a clear, transparent Screen

The lovely Soul is through the Body seen;

Each noble Sentiment distinctly speaks,

Wets the bright Eye, or crimsons o’er the Cheeks:

While Man, with callous Heart and vacant Eye,

Beholds Distress without a single Sigh;

Thinks Want of Feeling is a manly Sign,

And Souls inflexible appear divine;

Indeed sometimes a Feeling he’ll confess,

Pretend it great, and wail o’er each Distress;

While his unheaving Breast, and tearless Eye,

But prove, his Nature gives his Words the Lie:

His fruitless Labour, to compel a Tear,

Makes his mock Tenderness a Farce appear.

Coquetry next, with Fickleness they join,

And rack their Brains, some Invectives to coin,

With, Prone to Change, and Fleeting as the Air,

They stigmatize all Classes of the Fair;

Ring all the hackney’d Changes on the Moon,

And witty Chimes to Weathercocks attune;

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Ransack old Times for ev’ry Dart of Spleen,

And ev’ry modern Witticism glean:

But let us try the Cause in open Day,

And give, impartially, each Party Play.

You first attack a simple Virgin’s Heart,

Whine out soft Lies, and seek her weakest Part;

With disengenous Fallacies assail,

And hope to find, or hope to make her frail.

At first afraid, she dreads your gloting Eyes,

Like forky Lightnings flashing through the Skies;

Dreads all your Sighs, and your most placid Forms,

Like foaming Billows, or like furious Storms.

You persevere—She thinks it real Pain,

And pities, while you artfully complain.

You gain her Faith—and teach her Tears to flow,

Then stab her Heart, and sink her into Woe.

She sees your Vileness, and her helpless Fate,

And mourns her Want of Caution, when too late.

Time heals the Anguish, and allays the Smart,

And though an hopeless, leaves a vacant Heart.

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The vacant Heart which hath been taught to burn,

Wishes to feel soft Sentiments return.

Another Lover comes—the Maid believes,

And like the former this with Wiles deceives.

Thus taught by Artifice, she artful grows,

And warn’d by Want of Caution, Caution shows.

Then blame us not for Arts yourselves have taught,

Our Battles are beneath your Banners fought.

You use your Skill, in order to destroy;

And we our Skill, but in Defence, employ.

You term us the most fickle Things on Earth;

But your Demerits give our Changes Birth.

You show good Morals, Constancy, and Parts,

And we’ll take Care to show unchanging Hearts;

But if on serious Trial we should find

A winning Form, contain a Villain’s Mind;

Can any blame us, if we Ruin shun,

And timely wise, from sure Destruction run?

Oh! wou’d each simple Maid Instruction take,

Nor try to slumber, when she’s wide awake!

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Your universal Character she knows,

Then why on one her Confidence repose!

Before the strictest Scrutiny hath taught,

That he’s unlike his wily Sex in Thought.

Men prone to Villainy, so well succeed,

That one just Man’s a Miracle indeed.

Then carefully, ye Fair, the Ruin shun,

Suspecting All, to be deceiv’d by None.

As round the Circle of our Faults you beat,

You strongly charge us with refin’d Deceit;

Thrust to the utmost Depth the rankling Spear,

And make it constitutional appear.

That Nature, with the Promptness to offend,

Gave us the Art our Follies to defend;

Sophistic Eloquence, and wily Tears,

To dupe the Reason of the Man who hears.

Vain Falsehood all—by Truth with Ease remov’d,

And by Experience ev’ry Day disprov’d.

For think, weak Reas’ner, when our Hearts first beat,

If Mother Nature fill’d them with Deceit:

H1r 25

We, sure, to use it should most fiercely press,

When Blood was warmest, and our Terrors less:

But search Society, all Classes scan,

Then say, what Virgin e’er seduced a Man:

Or say, if Codes of Art she e’er receiv’d,

Till vilely once, or more than once, deceiv’d.

Conscience informs you it is strictly true,

We ne’er are artful till first taught by you:

The Contrast fee—the hopeful Youth behold,

Who scarcely hath his sixteen Summers told;

Already finds his growing Conscience fear’d,

And swears a Falsehood e’er he has a Beard.

The easy Maid in his first Essay’s bit,

He tells his Comrades—they applaud his Wit.

His next Intrigue a Villainy appears,

His Crime increases swiftly with his Years;

Upon a beauteous Wife he makes Attack,

But steady Virtue keeps the Spoiler back:

Force stands his Friend whene’er Intreaties fail,

He turns out Brute in order to prevail.

The injur’d Husband with Resentment glows,

Our Blood adds Crime to Crime, and onward goes.

H H1v 26

Steel now decides what Justice ought to weigh,

And wisest Laws depend upon a Fray.

False, fatal Honor! what do you bestow?

Pow’r to the injur’d, to encrease his Woe;

And, to the Villain, give a fatal Chance,

To win more Crimes, and greater Guilt enhance:

The Guiltless falls—the Guilty takes his Way,

Again the cruel Tragedy to play.

He’s term’d a Villain by each virtuous Voice;

Had ever Man such Reason to rejoice;

The Husband slain, the Wife in deep Despair,

Had ever Man so little Cause to care?

Of Obstinacy some our Sex arraign,

And say our Pleasure is to give them Pain.

Causeless offended—without Reason pleas’d,

Infallibly perverse whene’er diseased;

For such have a Disorder in their Mind;

Whom Trifles discompose, or render kind.

This Accusation, like each other Case,

Is a weak Building on a sandy Base:

H2r 27

For Women’s Souls too flexible are made

Of stubborn Qualities to make Parade:

While Matters (among Men) of smallest Weight,

Will often cause a national Debate:

Then what in us is Obstinacy deem’d,

With them, as Resolution is esteem’d;

For erringly, if Man at first should go,

Through Resolution he continues so:

In vain Conviction glitters in his Sight,

He shuts his Eyes against the radiant Light.

Revenge is oft’ an Accusation made

Against the injur’d Wife, and slighted Maid;

As if our Injuries we could not feel,

Or Nature should her gen’ral Laws repeal:

’Tis true, that when an Injury is giv’n,

The Punishment is only due to Heav’n;

But who, when Rage excites, or passions rise,

Can at all Times remain serenely wise,

Still the swol’n Breast, and curb the head-strong Will,

Or bind the Hands, whene’er the Heart thinks ill?

H2v 28

But ev’n in this, proud Man with all his Wit

Must to our greater Tenderness submit:

For when Revenge his callous Heart incite;

In crimson Streams, and Carnage, he delights.

Ten thousand Bodies breathless on a Plain,

Invite to wish ten thousand more were slain.

Another added Heap no Pity draws,

He still pursues the desolating Cause.

For Trifles, Rage his lordly Heart beslaves,

A living Stream the purpled Pasture laves.

Frequent Examples through all Ages strike,

And prove the Sex are really all alike.

While our soft Sex but few Examples own,

To make such dread Effects of Passion known:

Or known by Chance, while keen Resentment burns,

And the fair Fury at Compassion spurns:

She gratifies her Rage—Resentment flies,

And new-born Pity dims her lovely Eyes;

She mourns her fatal Haste—repents her Rage,

And to recal the past, would give an Age;

While Man is proud of having been so mad,

And thinks it glory to be greatly bad.

I1r 29

Our Contradiction does their Anger move;

We only contradict them to improve;

Deny’d the Aid of Knowledge from the Schools,

Our social Questions are preceptive Rules;

But Passion swels them, if by Chance they find

A Female with a philosophic Mind.

The Name of Contradiction they inflict

On those fair Arguments which should convict;

Then which must contradictory appear,

Who give the Reason, or the Reason fear?

Man, in Creation’s Scheme, to show his Art,

Gives grossest Passions to the purest Part;

Asserts when Love has touch’d a female Breast,

’Tis stronger far than when it kills his Rest:

That to Enjoyment they more fiercely move,

And more intensely feel the Heat of Love.

The Diff’rence, Men too easily mistake,

Which the sublime, and sensual Passions make;

His Love is founded on the grossest Fires,

And gratify’d as quick as Thought expires.

I I1v 30

Ours is ethereal, and like Lightning moves,

Yet grows with Motion, and with time improves;

Refines each Day, sublimes with rolling Years,

Till like a Seraph’s Passion it appears,

Free’d from all Dross, without the least Alloy,

Clear as the Light, and pure as Angel’s Joy.

Say Man’s Assertions were from Falsehood free,

The Argument wou’d in our Favour be:

For if than his, our Inclinations seem

To have more Light, and give a stronger Beam;

If we the bursting Rays with Virtue shrowd,

And hide behind a self-denying Cloud:

Above proud Man’s our Virtue must aspire,

Who acts more Crimes, thou urg’d by less Desre,

Who with half-animated Passions roves,

And if he loves not, yet pretends he loves.

Many poor Maids have felt a Life of Cares,

To Ruin drawn by Man’s persidious Snares;

But shew me one, who when no Snare was laid,

Through Inclination Decency betray’d:

I2r 31

Such like a blazing Star must needs appear,

Seduc’d, to warn or teach some Custom Fear:

But among Males, the blazing Star would be

A Modest Man, whom none could think to see.

To be Jocose, our very Tongues displease,

Where Elegance appears enthron’d on Ease;

Form’d with soft Accents Reason to enforce,

And mollify the Passions in their Course:

But not the least Advantage to bestow

On our imperial, vain-conceited Foe:

Lest he shou’d think me talkative and rude,

I’ll try to please him once; and here conclude.

End of the Second Epistle.

AN I2v (32)

An Original Essay On Woman.

Epistle III.

To court Minerva to the longing Arms,

Extend the Thought, and spread the mental Charms;

To lure fair Truth, in radiant Garb array’d,

And win Simplicity, that rural Maid;

To bid Sensation take the social Part,

Refine Benevolence, and purge the Heart;

K1r 33

Expand each Foliage of the searching Mind,

Which free by Birth, dull Custom has confin’d.

To chace fair Science in the Fields of Light,

And win from Prejudice each stolen right:

Such Arts as these shou’d female Breasts inflame,

These, my fair Sisters, are the Paths to Fame.

When female Souls, embellish’d by each Art,

Like polish’d Gems, their brilliant Thoughts impart:

Then lordly Man amaz’d! begins to find,

We were for Something more than Slaves design’d;

Glotes at the charming Speaker with Surprize,

And thinks his Ears are tutor’d by his Eyes;

Till strong Conviction, in a Blaze of Wit,

Compels him, lov’d Prerogative to quit.

He mourns, while with Reluctance brought to own,

That Learning’s Beam shine not on him alone:

His sordid Soul no gen’rous Thought employs;

He envies us our cultivated Joys.

But, why shou’d Man behold with scornful Eyes,

Talents, which oft above his own, can rise:

K K1v 34

The Sky of Genius let each Sex explore,

Then judge who can the most sublimely soar.

Did Heav’n, thus partially, our Search restrain,

Or Nature bid such Arrogation reign?

Had Heaven concurr’d—wou’d it Success have giv’n

To such as rose by Wisdom nearest Heav’n?

View great Eliza, Britain’s Pride and Boast,

Vers’d in each Art—her very Name an Host:

Dreadful as roaring Tempests to her Foes;

But mild to Friends, as when kind Zephyr blows.

Heav’n view’d the firm Contexture of her Heart,

And try’d her Virtue in each peccant Part:

Tho’ unexpected, ev’ry Trial came,

Her Virtue triumph’d, and secur’d her Fame.

France still allows the Terrors of her Reign,

And still she triumphs o’er the Heart of Spain;

And while she sits with endless Glory crown’d,

On Earth she shines for Arts and Arms renown’d.

Read Catharina’s Name in Fame’s fair Page,

Sun of the North—and Glory of the Age;

K2r 35

As much belov’d where’er we Russians trace,

As great Eliza by our Albion Race.

Congenial Souls! urg’d by an equal Flame,

And born alike to never-dying Fame.

While other Potentates for Trifles storm,

She fights to bless, and conquers to reform.

An awful Form! yet Love-inspiring Mien,

A steady Soul—intrepid—yet serene.

No Gust of Passion veers her settled Mind,

Untouch’d by Chance, to Providence resign’d.

Like Pallas, she with martial Ardor burns;

Yet draws the Sword that at Injustice spurns:

But, like Minerva, yields to Wisdom’s Laws,

Reflects on Truth, to vindicate her Cause.

Her Courage to her People seems divine,

They catch her Flame, and then as Heroes shine.

While others her Sagacity admire,

And by Pursuit to Wisdom’s Heights aspire.

The frosty Ignorance of Custom’s Laws,

Her puissant animating Genius thaws.

For public Good, she quits her private Ease;

Sees whom she can—refining whom she sees.

K2v 36

’Tis plain that Heav’n, impartial to each Sex,

Wou’d not, confining one to Arts, perplex:

Then say, if Nature such Restriction gave,

To Ignorance, to render Woman Slave!

Nature hath all the Faculties bestow’d,

Which aid proud Man to carry Learning’s Load:

If justly weigh’d, our Judgment will be found

As clear, as strong, as able and profound.

Full long as theirs our Mem’ries will retain.

Our Penetration is as quick again.

For Man himself allows, with all his Pride,

Our ready Wit in Exigencies try’d.

For Elocution we’re by Nature made,

Form’d to excite Attention—and persuade.

Conceited Man! pedantically vain!

Learn’d but to tire, and studious but to Pain:

Deeply laborious, only to perplex,

With all the bungling Wisdom of thy Sex.

Say, can thy long Harangues precisely spun,

Which not on Passions, but on Periods run.

L1r 37

Be ever so emphatically hung,

As Nature’s Pleadings on a female Tongue.

Man’s technic Terms may make each Blockhead stare;

But the best Orators are sure the Fair.

Woman, proscrib’d by Usurpation’s Rules,

Deny’d the Benefit of public Schools:

By Custom led through Dissipation’s Way,

To trifling Studies, or unmeaning Play:

From soaring Sciences unkindly stay’d,

And disallow’d each systematic Aid:

Beneath such glaring Disadvantage finds,

The Road to Learning, and her Soul unbinds.

See France beneath her salique Law display,

A Daciere’s Glory in the Blaze of Day.

No salique Law the free-born Mind controuls

Which mounts the Æther, or pervades the Poles;

It only can proscribe the Modes of Pow’r,

But gives a greater in the very Hour.

To Thee, lov’d Daciere, ev’ry Muse bow’d down,

Apollo wonder’d, and bestow’d his Crown.

L L1v 38

Thou took’st thy Way on Pegasean Wings,

To sip the sweetest Heliconian Springs.

Urania gave to thy exploring Eye

Her deepest Cave, where choicest Treasures lie,

The inexhaustless Philosophic Store,

The Shades of Pindus, and the Classic Lore;

Nor do the Muses dwell in France alone,

An equal Share of female Fame we own;

For sure the copious Goods they can bestow,

They amply gave to Montague and Rowe.

In Montague, with Knowledge most profound,

Keen Wit shines forth and Fancy’s Beams abound.

All may, from her spontaneous-flow; receive

What scanty Males cannot with Study give:

Praise would be due to such persuading Sense,

Tho’ unimbellish’d by such Eloquence.

Fame might to such sweet Eloquence accrue.

If Sense profound it’s stronger Force withdrew.

Of all his Rivals she alone could cope

With our arch Enemies, satyric Pope.

L2r 39

Pope, who with dang’rous Harmony conveys

The sharpest Malice in the sweetest Lays.

When Dissolution’s dread Approach appears,

And all within is Anarchy and Fears;

The sympathetic Rowe, with softest Breath,

Serenely charms us to the Shades of Death;

Lulls ev’ry Doubt, expels desponding Dread;

Blunts the fell Dart, and smooths the sickly Bed:

So gently sweet the Terror-stilling Lay,

We think an Angel hands us on the Way.

Lenox with bright Imagination glows,

And feeling Sentiment exalts her Prose:

Description’s Field! for moral Use design’d,

Diverts at once, and edifies the Mind.

But how, Macauley! shall I speak thy Praise,

The Theme to equal, how exalt my Lays!

What Diction can thy just Applause convey!

Thy Merit, what energetic Thought display!

Language and Thought like thine alone must show

The countless Thanks we to thy Talents owe:

L2v 40

Sublime Ideas in a beauteous Dress,

Which Angels might conceive, and Saints express.

Majestic Pomp in ev’ry Line appears,

Expressive Softness ev’ry Scruple clears:

Magnificence enchanting Plainness joins,

Loads not, but gilds; expels not, but refines.

Prose rich as Poetry, the Bosom warms,

Reason convinces, and Description charms.

Summons your male Historians, lordly Man,

Then search the Group, and match her if you can.

The Search were vain, her Equal is not known,

And future Writers shall the Pattern own.

In the delightful Carter we explore

A British Daciere, vers’d in Classic Lore.

Not like proud Man, who, of his Learning vain,

Reads but to steal, and doubts but to explain;

Purloins a Thought to fill a paltry Rhyme;

Admires—and robs the Ancient all the Time:

While she in reading ev’ry Doubt removes;

And when she deigns to imitate, improves.

With all the Majesty of ancient Times,

She tunes her Couplets, and exalts her Rhymes:

M1r 41

But never basely robs another’s Store,

To make her own, by pilfer’d Riches, more.

Replete with Genius, can she have a Cause

To feel the Lash of plagiary Laws?

But if sometimes by Lassitude beguil’d,

She, for her own, adopts another’s Child;

She so respectfully her Prize conveys,

And in a far superior Dress displays,

The Parent of his Offspring, thus bereft,

Would smile, and thank her for the lucky Theft:

As great as his confess her After-Fame,

And own the Plaudits of an equal Claim.

Attend soft Whately’s sympathetic Flow,

The tender Plainings of melodious Woe:

The mournful Cadence, the harmonious Tear,

The heart-felt Lines that render Reading dear.

When now the Gleams of Joy break through the Gloom,

Exalt the Soul, and ev’ry Thought illume.

The tender Spirit, seeking quick Relief,

Rejects its Bane, and tramples o’er its Grief;

M M1v 42

But soon, alas! resumes the plaintive Strain,

And falls to wonted Tenderness again.

The Burst of Joy but momentary seems,

Like quick-fled Lightnings, or like sick Mens Dreams.

The tender Reader tastes each melting Part,

And feels a Sentence as he feels a Dart;

Pleas’d of his Woes to find so just a Tale,

But griev’d to think he has such Woes to wail:

While the Unfeeling, from such Griefs exempt,

Sinks into Sympathy, and Self-Contempt:

Wishes for soft Sensations, tender Cares,

And gains his Wish the Moment he despairs.

Whately, of Praise thy Genius claims a Part,

But ev’ry Plaudit must await thy Heart.

Leapor’s ingenious Lays the Bosom warm,

Steal on the Soul, and all the Senses charm:

While Sentiments ingeniously combine,

And through Self-Love bid fairest Candour shine.

We in Centlivre’s sprightly Efforts trace

An easy Elegance replete with Grace;

M2r 43

Simplicity appears, ennobling Art,

While Art to Nature does her Aid impart.

Life’s unaffected Landscape strikes our Eyes,

Not by false Taste refin’d into Disguise.

To Sheridan, the tender Passions owe,

The pleasing Thrillings of enchanting Woe.

Sorrows that sooth, and to calm Joys invite,

Sighs that enrapture, Tears that give Delight.

The soft Sensations through the Bosom glide,

Ambition still, and blunt the String of Pride.

Griffiths hath found the Secret to unite

The Soft, the Learn’d, the Sprightly, and Polite.

Equal, like Addison’s, the Periods run;

Nor rais’d by Bombast, nor depress’d by Pun.

Correct like Pope, each easy Sentence flows,

Like Dryden’s varied, and as smooth as Rowe’s.

Then show me, Man, among your Sons of Pride,

One who, like us, of lib’ral Aids deny’d,

M2v 44

Can mount the Æther, tread the Fields of Light,

And bid Instruction mingle with Delight.

Explore past Time, the Lore of Sages read,

With Classic Oil, the Lamp of Knowledge feed;

Display the various Characters of Life,

And paint the Passions in their mingled Strife.

Nor, where the Genius, to assist her, draws

The kind Alliance of mechanic Laws;

Must Woman to her lordly Rival yield,

But claims due Honour in the manual Field.

Behold, in varied Forms, and varied Dyes,

The fair Creation of the Fair arise:

What treads the velvet Plain, or leaps the Mound,

Or in prone Posture curls along the Ground;

What mounts the Air, or skims the liquid Flood,

Stirs the soft Mould, or prowls the lonely Wood,

Appear depicted in the Forms of Life,

And to the Judgment give a pleasing Strife.

Behold the craggy Rock, the shelly Strand;

The moss-grown cave, and Grotto wildly plann’d;

N1r 45

Where Art romantic borrows Nature’s Dress,

And dreary Scenes upon the Fancy press.

Behold the blooming Beauties of the Spring;

The Mountains smile, the festive Vallies sing:

The waving Corn to Zephyr seems to yield,

And fix’d Amazement views a moving Field.

The lowing Cattle deck another Ground,

And Fancy echoes to the distant Sound;

The budding Roses seemingly excell

Art’s Emulation, and invite to smell;

And luscious Fruits, that tempting Ripeness waste,

Delude Beholders to a fancy’d Taste:

Then yield, proud Man; to Truth and Justice yield,

And quit with Candour the contested Field.

Think not to govern is alone your due;

For we can govern full as well as you.

Think not to Conquest you alone have Claim;

In that our Sex will sure eclipse your Fame.

If you to Arts and Sciences pretend,

Instructed equally, the Palm contend.

N N1v 46

For Elocution, and for Ready Wit,

You’ll surely not in Competition sit.

In each fine Art our Sex will bear the Sway;

Then let your Reason teach you to obey.

End of the Third Epistle.

N2r (47)

An Original Essay Essay On Woman.

Epistle IV.

O Nuptial Bliss! our Being’s End and Aim,

Congenial Rapture in a lambent Flame:

That Something, which still prompts the Virgin’s Sigh,

Heaves the soft Breast, or dims the brilliant Eye:

Which seems replete with never-dying Joys,

But known disgusts us, and when tasted cloys:

N2v 48

O mystic Rite, of Origin divine!

Without Alloy, where dost thou deign to shine?

With courtly Dames, who glare in Birth-day Pride,

Strive to outvie or swim down Fashion’s Tide:

Or fix with City Belles, thy wish’d Abode,

Who labour under India’s brightest Load:

Or dost thou dwell within the humble Cot,

Where, in hard Labor, Pride is scarce forgot?

In no one Place thou can’st be always seen,

Yet wish to gild the universal Scene:

To any Habitation well inclin’d,

And dreading only Discontent of Mind:

Unbought thou always shun’st the sordid Crew,

And pay the Mild a Visit as their Due.

To calm the Passions in the Nuptial Strife,

And smooth the Journey thro’ a Married Life,

Shall be my Theme—But hold—A female Voice

Requests Directions for a prudent Choice.

Fram’d for the Marriage State, ye Maids attend,

And answer wisely your great Master’s End.

O1r 49

Let not a Person render Prudence vain;

For fairest Bodies foulest Mind contain.

But if a worthy Man, with Beauty blest,

Gains the Recesses of your tender Breast;

Curb ev’ry Thought that springs from youthful Blood,

And think it but an accidental Good:

Yet let no Reason win you to comply

To wed a Man, where Form disgusts your Eye,

With such, Gold cannot give you solid Joy,

’Tis hard such Prepossession to destroy.

Let neither Pride nor Avarice then move

To wed the Man your Soul cannot approve:

In either Case, beneath the bridal Mien,

A vain or venal Prostitute is seen.

Then if a pleasing Form and virtuous Mind

Do not exist, or not for you to find;

Chuse one, and to your calmest Judgment trust,

Who, tho’ he charms not, gives you no Disgust:

For where no Reason for Disgust is found;

Good Sense in Time may bid your Love abound:

O O1v 50

If you with Love a Competency find,

Let not luxurious Thoughts distract your Mind.

Many by useless Pomp have been betray’d,

And lost the Substance to embrace a Shade.

Let him have Wit, but not in harsh Replies;

Yet Wit that charms, and brightens up the Eyes:

Wit that for ever with good Humour joins,

And current Pleasure for the Hearer coins.

Let him be learn’d—but let him be polite;

And with Amusement learned Codes unite.

But for the Ass, pedantically vain,

Who carries Loads of Lumber in his Brain,

And with his Thoughts, misplac’d, confus’d, and crude,

Is vainly boorish, or perversely rude:

Shun him, Oh shun him, as Beast of Prey,

Who with hard Words wou’d worry Peace away.

Let him be wise, but only mildly wise;

Not fond to lecture and to dogmatize:

O2r 51

Or let him in a soft familiar Way

His useful Lessons pleasingly convey.

A double Profit from Instruction flows,

When closely clad in Entertainment’s Cloaths.

Let your firm Choice have an experienc’d Mind;

But not Experience of a vicious Kind:

And, above all, be sure his Morals scan;

For Morals only can adorn the Man.

,Tis those alone that can his Actions guide

From Lust, Dissensions, Avarice, and Pride.

Pride he indeed must have, that Pride alone

Which bids him glory Meanness to disown.

Shun the Time-server, and the servile Slave,

The noisy Hector, and the heartless Brave;

The simp’ring Fribble, and the tripping Beau,

The senseless Blood with many Wounds to shew,

The Libertine, so witty and genteel,

Who has not Time his Raptures to reveal.

Indeed some hope a Libertine’s Reform:

As Mariners escape a dreadful Storm.

O2v 52

’Tis equal Hazard—try which e’er you please,

To tame the Rake, or quell the raging Seas.

Indeed Old Age sometimes performs a Cure;

Try then if Patience can so long endure.

But, above all, avoid the callous Fool,

Who fain wou’d rule, but knows not how to rule;

Who, like a Brute, to Instinct gives the Rein;

Thence flows his Pleasure, thence proceeds his Pain.

Now the fond Fit comes on without a Cause;

Now without Reason it again withdraws:

And, as bright Reason reigns not in his Mind,

The softest Words cannot his Actions bind.

In vain you urge him to a worthy Act;

Instinct must prompt him e’er he likes the Fact:

In vain entreat him when to Mischief prone,

He follows Will, and thinks his Will his own;

Though by brute Inclinations only led,

Yet dread the Rage which comes not from the Head.

When wed remember, and preserve with Care,

These Maxims, always useful to the Fair;

P1r 53

That Beauty with Facility may gain;

But Prudence only can the Prize retain:

For slipp’ry Hearts, without exceeding Care,

Elude the Fetters of the fairest Fair.

Beauty soon grows familiar to the Eye,

And then its Charms upon the Fancy die;

As quick as Lightning Execution gives,

And full as short its speedy Flashes lives.

Then, if you’d give your Bliss a lasting Date,

Excuse slight Faults, and ne’er upbraid for great:

Regard Good Humour as your Golden Rule,

Which ne’er permits the human Heart to cool.

Upbraiding renders those fine Features hard,

Which quickly melt before a just Regard.

Find Husbands wrong, and prove it e’er so plain,

To prove their Pow’r, they’ll soon be wrong again.

But wink at Wrongs, and seem to think them right;

In what you seem to think, they’ll soon delight.

You win a Vassall with a radiant Eye;

His Chains you rivet with a soft Reply:

P P1v 54

And when judiciously you Smiles employ,

He thinks his Bondage his supremest Joy;

Adores your Eyes, that sent the poignant Dart,

But more your Temper, which allay’d the Smart.

But if your Frowns prevail when he complains,

Your Frowns relieve him, and unbind his Chains:

But harsh Replies, his Vassalage expires,

And Freedom boasts her renovated Fires.

If in one Folly you by Chance delight,

He fancies two are his undoubted Right:

His Pow’rs as far again as yours extend,

And his refin’d Ambition has no End.

Then if you think your Follies are but few,

To be just twice as silly, is his due.

So, if you’d claim a Seat on Wisdom’s Throne,

To curb his Follies, first reform your own.

No Counsel give, as if you Counsel meant,

A mere Opinion may your Pride content:

Then humbly to his better Sense submit;

Men hate an Equal, or in Pow’r or Wit.

P2r 55

But all good Rules which Wisdom can devise,

Or which Experience from her Hoard supplies,

In One Example are conspicuous seen;

That Great Example is our Gracious Queen.

Imputed Errors I have disapprov’d;

Clear’d up some Doubts, and some Mistakes remov’d;

And hope each lordly Male will now confess

The Satire juster, as the Malice less.

Farewell, my Charlotte; read what’s freely penn’d;

And let each Critic frown, if You commend.