Narcissa’s nature, tolerably mild,
To make a wash, would hardly stew a child;
Has ev’n been prov’d to grant a lover’s pray’r,
And paid a tradesman once to make him stare,
Gave alms at Easter, in a Christian trim,
And made a widow happy, for a whim.
Why then declare good nature is her scorn,
When ’tis by that alone she can be borne?
Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name?
A fool to pleasure, yet a slave to fame:
Now deep in Taylor and the Book of Martyrs
Now drinking citron with his Grace and Chartres.
Now conscience chills her, and now passion burns;
And atheism and religion take their turns;
A very heathen in the carnal part,
Yet still a sad, good Christian at her heart.
from: To a Lady on the Characters of Women by Alexander Pope