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Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy

Of powder'd coxcombs at her levee;

The squire and captain took their stations,

And twenty other near relations.
Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke

A sigh in suffocating smoke;


While all their hours were pass'd between
Insulting repartee or spleen.
Thus, as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown:
He fancies every vice she shows,
Or thins her lip or points her nose;
Whenever rage or envy rise,
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes!
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz—
And, though her fops are wondrous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.
Now, to perplex the ravel'd noose,
As each a different way pursues —
While sullen or loquacious strife
Promis'd to hold them on for life —
That dire disease, whose ruthless power
Withers the beauty's transient flower,
Lo! the small-pox — whose horrid glare
Level’d its terrors at the fair;
And, rifling every youthful grace,

Left but the remnant of a face.

The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
Reflected now a-perfect fright.
Each former art she vainly tries
To bring back luster to her eyes;
In vain she tries her paste and creams
To smooth her skin, or hide its seams:
Her country beaux and city cousins,
Lovers no more, flew off by dozens;
The squire himself was seen to yield—
And even the captain quit the field.

Poor madam, now condemn'd to hack
The rest of life with anxious Jack,
Perceiving others fairly flown,
Attempted pleasing him alone.
Jack soon was dazzled to behold
Her present face surpass the old.
With modesty her cheeks are dy'd;
Humility displaces pride;
For tawdry finery is seen
A person ever neatly clean;
No more presuming on her sway,

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Serenely gay, and strict in duty,
Jack finds his wife a—perfect beauty.




LoNG had I sought in vain to find A likeness for the scribbling kind— The modern scribbling kind, who write In wit, and sense, and nature's spite — Till reading, I forget what day on, A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,

1 Printed in the Essays, 1765. I have adopted the improved text which appears in the second edition of the Essays, 1766. The verses, in both editions, have the mysterious signature "J. B.-Line 6. Tooke =The Rev. Andrew Tooke, F.R.S. and master of Charter-house school. His Pantheon, a revised translation from the Latin of Father Pomey, became the favorite synopsis of mythology. He died in 1731.

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