« EelmineJätka »
Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots swordknots strive,
Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive.
I saw, alas! some dread event impend,
Ere to the main this morning sun descend,
But heav'n reveals not what, or how, or where:
Warn'd by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware!
This to disclose is all thy guardian can:
He said; when Shock, who thought she slept
Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue;
Ver. 108. In the clear mirror] The language of the Platonists, the writers of the intelligible world of Spirits, &c.
Ver. 113. This to disclose, &c.] There is much pleasantry in the conduct of this scene. The Rosicrucian Doctrine was delivered only to Adepts, with the utmost caution, and under the most solemn injunctions of secrecy. It is here communicated to a Woman, and in that way of conveyance, which a Woman most delights to make the subject of her conversation; that is to say, her Dreams. Warburton.
"Jam clypeus clypeis, umbone repellitur umbo,
Ense minax ensis, pede pes, et cuspide cuspis," &c. Stat.
"Twas then, Belinda, if report say true, Thy eyes first open'd on a Billet-doux;
Wounds, Charms, and Ardours, were no sooner read, But all the Vision vanish'd from thy head. 120
And now, unveil'd, the Toilet stands display'd, Each silver Vase in mystic order laid.
Ver. 121. And now, unveil'd, &c.] The translation of these verses, containing the description of the toilet, by our Author's friend, Dr. Parnell, deserve, for their humour, to be here inserted.
"Et nunc dilectum speculum, pro more retectum,
Testudo hic flectit dum se mea Lesbia pectit ;
First, rob'd in white, the Nymph intent adores,
And all Arabia breathes from yonder box:
Et tibi vel Betty tibi vel nitidissima Letty!
Gloria factorum temere conceditur horum."
Warton observes, that "some of these Latin lines are not classical;" perhaps this was intended, as being more like the Monkish. The accents of "Sine, Arăbia," &c. are wrong. Bowles.
Ver. 122. Each silver Vase] Parnell accidentally hearing Pope repeat this description of the Toilette, privately turned them into these Monkish Latin verses, and Pope, to whom he immediately communicated them, was astonished at the resemblance, till Parnell undeceived him. Mr. Harte told me, that Dryden had been imposed on by a similar little stratagem. One of his friends translated into Latin verse, printed, and pasted on the bottom of an old hat-box, a translation of that celebrated passage,
"To die is landing on some silent shore," &c. and that Dryden, on opening the box, was alarmed and amazed. Warton.
Ver. 131. From each she] Evidently from Addison's Spectator, No. 69; "The single dress of a woman of quality is often the product of an hundred climates. The muff and the fan come together from the different ends of the earth. The scarf is sent from the Torrid Zone, and the tippet from beneath the Pole. The brocade petticoat arises out of the mines of Peru, and the diamond necklace out of the bowels of Indostan." Warton.
The tortoise here and elephant unite,
Transform'd to combs, the speckled, and the white.
And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes.
Ver. 145. The busy Sylphs, &c.] Ancient Traditions of the Rabbis relate, that several of the fallen Angels became amorous of women, and particularise some; among the rest Asael, who lay with Naamah, the wife of Noah, or of Ham; and who continuing impenitent, still presides over the women's toilets. Bereshi Rabbi, in Genes. vi. 2.
THE RAPE OF THE LOCK.
NoT with more glories, in th' ethereal plain,
Fair Nymphs, and well-drest Youths around her
But ev'ry eye was fix'd on her alone.
On her white breast a sparkling Cross she wore,
Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride, 15 Might hide her faults, if Belles had faults to hide; If to her share some female errors fall,
Look on her face, and you'll forget them all.
This Nymph, to the destruction of mankind, Nourish'd two Locks, which graceful hung behind
Ver. 4. Launch'd on the bosom, &c.] From hence the poem continues, in the first Edition, to ver. 46.
"The rest the winds dispers'd in empty air;" all after, to the end of this Canto, being additional.