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Or stain her honour, or her new brocade;
Or whether Heav'n has doom'd that Shock must fall.
Ver. 112. Zephyretta] The names of his Sylphs are happily chosen. Castelvetro mentions an odd circumstance, that the names which Boiardo gave to his heroes in his Orlando Inamorato, were only the names of some of the principal tenants and peasants on his estate of Scandiano. Warton.
Ver. 118. the Petticoat :] It is impossible here not to recollect that matchless piece of raillery and exquisite humour, of Addison, in the 127th Spectator, on this important part of female dress.
Ver. 119.-clypei dominus septemplicis Ajax.—OVID.
Ver. 121. about the silver bound,] In allusion to the shield of Achilles :
"Thus the broad shield complete the Artist crown'd,
In living silver seem'd the waves to roll,
And beat the Buckler's verge, and bound the whole.”
Whatever spirit, careless of his charge,
His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins, Be stopp'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins;
Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie,
Or wedg'd, whole ages, in a bodkin's eye:
He spoke; the spirits from the sails descend;
Ver. 125. Shall feel sharp Vengeance] Our Poet still rises in the delicacy of his satire, where he employs, with the utmost judgment and elegance, all the implements and furniture of the toilet, as instruments of punishment to those spirits, who shall be careless of their charge; of punishment, such as Sylphs alone could undergo.
If Virgil has merited such perpetual commendation for exalting his bees by the majesty and magnificence of his diction, does not Pope deserve equal praises, for the pomp and lustre of his language on so trivial a subject. Warton.
THE RAPE OF THE LOCK.
CLOSE by those meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,
Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs,
Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom 5
Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat,
Ver. 1. Close by those meads,] The first edition continues from this line to ver. 24 of this Canto.
Ver. 11, 12. Originally in the first edition,
In various talk the chearful hours they past,
Of, who was bit, or who capotted last,
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day, The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray; The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang that jury-men may dine; The merchant from th' Exchange returns in peace, And the long labours of the Toilet cease. Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites, Burns to encounter two advent'rous Knights, At Ombre singly to decide their doom;
And swells her breast with conquests yet to come.
Ver. 22. And wretches hang] From Congreve. Warton.
Ver. 24. And the long labours of the Toilet cease.] All that follows of the game at Ombre, was added since the first edition, till ver. 105, which connected thus,
Sudden the board with cups and spoons is crown'd.
And party-colour'd troops, a shining train,
The skilful Nymph reviews her force with care: Let Spades be trumps! she said, and trumps they
Now move to war her sable Matadores,
Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board.
The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,
Ev'n mighty Pam, that Kings and Queens o'er
And mow'd down armies in the fights of Lu,
Ver. 53. Him Basto follow'd,] The magnificent and majestic style in which this game of cards is described, artfully and finely heightens the ridicule. Warton.
Ver. 65. Belinda yield;] It is finely contrived that she should be victorious; as it occasions a change of fortune in the dreadful loss