What vexes me most is, that my female friends, who could bear me very well a dozen years ago, have now forsaken me, although I am not so old in proportion to them as I formerly was: which I can prove by arithmetic, for then I was double their age, which now I am not. Letter to Alexander Pope. 7 Feb. 1736.
Brutes find out where their talents lie; A bear will not attempt to fly, A foundered horse will oft debate Before he tries a five barred gate. A dog by instinct turns aside Who sees the ditch too deep and wide, But man we find the only creature Who, led by folly, combats nature; Who, when she loudly cries-Forbear! With obstinacy fixes there; And where the genius least inclines, Absurdly bends his whole designs.