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Hard is the fortune that your sex attends; Women, like princes, find few real friends: All who approach them their own ends pursue : Lovers and ministers are seldom true. Hence oft from Reason heedless Beauty strays, And the most trusted guide the most betrays: Hence, by fond dreams of fancy'd pow'r amus’d, When most you tyrannize you're most abus'd. What is your sex's earliest, latest
care, Your heart's supreme ambition? To be fair: For this the toilet ev'ry thought employs, Hence all the toils of dress, and all the joys: For this, hands, lips, and eyes are put to school, And each instructive feature has its rule: And yet how few have learnt, when this is giv'n, Not to disgrace the partial boon of heav'n! How few, with all their pride of form, can move! How few are lovely, that were made for love! Do you, my fair, endeavour to possess An elegance of mind as well as dress; Be that your ornament, and know to please By graceful Nature's unaffected ease.
Nor make to dang'rous wit a vain pretence, But wisely rest content with modest sense; For wit, like wine, intoxicates the brain, Too strong for feeble women to sustain; Of those who claim it, more than half have none, And half of those who have it, are undone.
Be still superior to your sex’s arts, Nor think dishonesty a proof of parts; For
you the plainést is the wisest rule, A cunning woman is a knavish fool.
Be good yourself, nor think another's shame Can raise your merit, or adorn your fame. Prudes rail at whores, as statesmen in disgrace At ministers, because they wish their place. · Virtue is amiable, mild, serene, Without all beauty, and all peace within : The honour of a prude is rage and storm, 'Tis ugliness in its most frightful form: Fiercely it stands defying gods and meri, As fiery monsters guard a giant's den.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great: A woman's noblest station is retreat; Her fairest virtues fly from public sight, Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light.
To rougher man Ambition's task resign: 'Tis ours in senates or in courts to shine, To labour for a sunk corrupted state, Or dare the rage of Envy, and be great. One only care your gentle breast should move, Th’important business of your life is love: To this great point direct your constant aim, This makes your happiness, and this your fame.
Be never cool reserve with passion join'd; With caution chuse; but then be fondly kind.
The selfish heart, that but by halves is giv'n,
Contemn the little pride of giving pain,
But lest harsh Care the lover's peace destroy,
And that fond love, which should afford relief,
Yet may you rather feel that virtuous pain,
E'en in the happiest choice, where fav’ring Heaven
E'en o'er your cold and ever sacred urn,
'Tis thus, Belinda, I your charms improve,
A FAIRY TAL E.
BY DR. PARNELL.
In Britain's isle and Arthur's days,
Liv'd Edwin of the Green:
Though badly shap'd he been.