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-Away; 'tis impious satire says,
That woman's good, and woman's praise,
Consist in chastity alone.
Can one short hour of native joy
Nature's inherent good destroy ?
And pluck all feeling from within ?
Shall shame ne'er strike the base deceiver,
But follow still the poor believer,
And make all confidence a sin ?
Did gentle Pity never move
The heart once led astray by Love?
Was Poverty ne'er made its care ?
Did Gratitude ne'er warm the breast
Where guilty joy was held a guest ?
Was Charity ne'er harbour'd there?
Does coy Sincerity disclaim
The neighb'rhood of a lawless flame?
Does Truth with fame and fortune fall
Does every tim'rous virtue fly
With that cold thing, call'd Chastity ?
- And has my Pythias lost them all ?
No! no !-In thee, my life, my soul,
I swear I can comprise the whole
Of all that's good as well as fair : And though thou'st lost what fools call fame, Though branded with a harlot's name,
To me thou shalt be double dear.
Then whence these fetters for desire ?
Who made these laws for Cupid's fire ?
Why is their rigour so uncommon?
Why is this honour-giving plan
So much extollid by tyrant man,
Yet binding only to poor woman?
Search not in Nature for the cause ;
Nature disclaims such partial laws;
'Tis all a creature of th' imagination : By frozen prudes invented first, Or hags with ugliness accurst
A phantom of our own creation ! Two classes thus, my Pythias, show Their insolence to scoff at you : First, they who've passions given by Nature,
But as the task of fame is hard,
They've blest Deformity to guard
Grim virtue in each rugged feature.
And second, they who neither know
What passion means, nor love can do:
Yet still for abstinence they preach;
Whilst Envy, rankling in the breast,
Inflames them, seeing others blest,
To curse the joys they cannot reach.
Not but there are—though but a few !
With charms, with love-and virtue too:
But malice never comes from them!
With charity they judge of all,
They weep to see a woman fall,
And pity where they most condemn.
If, Pythias, then, thou'st done amiss,
This is thy crime, and only this:
That Nature gave thee charms to move
Gave thee a heart to joy inclined,
Gave thee a sympathetic mind,
And gave a soul attuned to love.
When Malice scoffs, then, Pythias, why
Glistens abash'd thy tearful eye ?
Why glows thy cheek that should be gay?
For though from shame say sorrows gush,
Though conscious guilt imprints the blush,
By heavens, thou’rt modester than they.
But let them scoff, and let them sneer
I heed them not, my love, I swear :
Nor shall they triumph in thy fall.
I'll kiss away each tear of woe,
Hid by my breast thy cheek shall glow,
And Love shall make amends for all.
EPISTLE XIII.* THE SAGACIOUS DOCTOR.
EUTYCHOBULUS TO ACESTODORUS.
FORTUNE, my friend, I've often thought,
Is weak, if Art assist her not: * Epistle X111.] This is the story of Antiochus and Seleucus; but related in Aristænetus under different names. Seleucus was one of Alexe ander's successors in Asia, having Syria for his kingdom : he married Stratonice, daughter to Demetrius, having had, by a former marriage, a son named Antiochus. Stratonice was the most beautiful and accomplished
So equally all Arts are vain,
If Fortune help them not again :
They've little lustre of their own,
If separate, and view'd alone;
But when together they unite,
They lend each other mutual light.-
But since all symphony seems long
To those impatient for the song,
And lest my apophthegms should fail,
I'll haste to enter on my tale.
Once on a time, (for time has been,
When men thought neither shame nor sin,
To keep, beside their lawful spouses,
A buxom filly in their houses,)
Once on a time then, as I said,
A hopeful youth, well-born, well-bred,
Seized by a flame he could not hinder,
Was scorch'd and roasted to a cinder.
For why the cause of all his pain
Was that he fear'd all hope was vain :
- In short, the youth must needs adore
The nymph his father loved before.
" His father's mistress ?”—even so,
And sure 'twas cause enough for woe.
In mere despair he kept his bed,
But feign'd some illness in its stead.
His father, grieved at his condition,
Sends post for an expert physician.
The doctor comes-consults his pulse-
No feverish quickness-no convulse;
Observes his looks, his skin, his eye-
No symptoms there of malady ;
-At least of none within the knowledge
Of all the pharmaceutic college.
Long did our Galen wond'ring stand,
Reflecting on the case in hand. -
Thus as he paused, came by the fair,
The cause of all his patient's care.-
princess of her time; and unhappily inspired her son-in-law with the most ardent_passion. He fell sick, and Seleucus was in the greatest despair, when Erasistratus, one of his physicians, discovered the cause of the prince's malady, and, by his address, prevailed on the king to save his son's life, by resigning to him his wife, though he passionately loved her.
Then his pulse beat quick and high ;
Glow'd his cheek, and rolld his eye.
Alike his face and arm confest
The conflict lab'ring in his breast.
Thus chance reveal'd the hidden smart,
That baffled all the search of art.
Still paused the doctor to proclaim
The luckily-discover'd flame:
But made a second inquisition,
To satisfy his new suspicion.
From all the chambers, every woman,
Wives, maids, and widows, did he summon ;
And one by one he had them led
In order by the patient's bed.
He the meanwhile stood watchful nigh,
And felt his pulse, and mark'd his eye ;
(For by the pulse physicians find
The hidden motions of the mind ;)
While other girls walk'd by attractive,
The lover's art'ry lay inactive;
But when his charmer pass'd along,
His pulse beat doubly quick and strong.
Now all the malady appear'd ;
Now all the doctor's doubts were cleard ;
Who feign'd occasion to depart,
To mix his drugs, consult his art :
He bid the father hope the best,
The lover set his heart at rest,
Then took his fee and went away,
But promised to return next day.
Day came—the family environ
With anxious eagerness our Chiron.
But he repulsed them rough, and cried,
“Ne'er can my remedy be tried.”
The father humbly question'd, why
They might not use the remedy?
Th' enraged physican nought would say,
But earnest seem'd to haste away.
Th' afflicted sire more humble yet is,
Doubles his offers, prayers, entreaties-
While he, as if at last compellid
To speak what better were withheld,
In anger cried, “ Your son must perish
My wife alone his life can cherish-
On her th' adult'rer dotes-and I My rival's hated sight would fly.” The sire was now alike distrest, To save his boy, or hurt his guest : Long struggled he 'twixt love and shame; At last parental love o'ercame. And now he begs without remorse His friend to grant this last resource; Entreats him o'er and o'er t apply This hard, but only remedy. “What, prostitute my wife !” exclaims The doctor, “pimp for lawless flames ?"Yet still the father teased and prest; “Oh grant a doting sire's request ! The necessary cure permit, And make my happiness complete.” Thus did the doctor's art and care The anxious parent's heart prepare : And found him trying long and often The term adultery to soften. -He own'd, “that custom, sure enough, Had made it sound a little rough : “But then," said he, we ought to trace The source and causes of the case. All prejudice let's lay aside, And taking Nature for our guide, We'll try with candour to examine On what pretence this fashion came in." Then much he talk'd of man's first state, (A copious subject for debate !) Of choice and instinct then disputes, With inany parallels to brutes ; All tending notably to prove That instinct was the law of Love ;In short, that Nature gave us woman, Like earth and air, to hold in commoil. Then learned authors would he quote, Philosophers of special note, Who only thought their dames worth leeding, As long as they held out for breeding, And when employ'd in studious courses, Would let them out, as we do horses. Last follow'd a facetious query, To rank the sex naturæ feræ.