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As now your own, our beings were of old, And once enclosed in woman's beauteous
mould; Thence, by a soft transition, we repair From earthly vehicles to these of air.
50 Think not, when woman's transient breath is
fled, That all her vanities at once are dead; Succeeding vanities she still regards, And though she plays no more, o'erlooks the
cards. Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
55 And love of ombre,' after death survive. For when the fair in all their pride expire, To their first elements their souls retire: The sprites of fiery termagants in Name Mount up, and take a salamander's name. 60 Soft yielding minds to water glide away, And sip, with nymphs, their elemental tea. The graver prude sinks downward to a gnome, In search of mischief still on earth to roam. The light coquettes in sylphs aloft repair, 65 And sport and flutter in the fields of air.
“Know further yet : whoever fair and chaste Rejects mankind, is by some sylph embraced; For spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease Assume what sexes and what shapes they please.
70 What guards the purity of melting maids, In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades, Safe from the treacherous friend, the daring
spark, The glance by day, the whisper in the dark, When kind occasion prompts their warm desires,
75 When music softens, and when dancing fires ? 'Tis but their sylph, the wise celestials know, Though honour is the word with men below. Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their
face, 3 For life predestined to the gnomes' embrace. These swell their prospects and exalt their pride,
81 When ofiers are disdained, and love denied : Then gay ideas crowd the vacant brain, While peers, and dukes, and all their sweeping
train, And garters, stars, and coronets 4 appear, 85 And in soft sounds Your Grace' salutes their
Teach infant cheeks a bidden blush to know, And little hearts to flutter at a beau.
90 “Oft when the world imagine women stray, The sylphs through mystic mazes guide their
way, Through all the giddy circle they pursue, And old impertinence expel by new. What tender maid but must a victim fall 95 To one man's treat, but for another's ball? When Florio speaks, what virgin could with
stand, If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand? With varying vanities, from every part, They shift the moving toyshop of their heart ; Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots
sword-knots strive, Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive. This erring mortals levity may call; Oh, blind to truth ! the sylphs contrive it all.
“Of these am I, who thy protection claim, A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name. 106 Late, as I ranged the crystal wilds of air,
! In the clear mirror of thy ruling star I saw,.alas ! some dread event impend, Ere to the main this morning sun descend, But Heaven reveals not what, or how, or
where. Warned by the sylph, O pious maid, beware! This to disclose is all thy guardian can: Beware of all, but most beware of man !" He said; when Shock, who thought she slept too long,
IIS Leaped up, and waked his mistress with his
tongue. 'Twas then, Belinda, if report say true, Thy eyes first opened on a billet-doux; Wounds, charms, and ardours were no sooner
read, But all the vision vanished from thy head. And now, unveiled, the toilet stands dis
played, Each silver vase in mystic order laid. First, robed in white, the nymph intent adores, With head uncovered, the cosmetic powers. A heavenly imare in the glass appears, 125 To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears; Th’inferior priestess, at her altar's side, Trembling begins the sacred rites of pride. Unnumbered treasures ope at once, and here The various offerings of the world appear; From each she nicely culls with curious toil, And decks the goddess with the glittering spoil.
1 the ocean
2 her maid
'This casket India's glowing gems unlocks,
147 And Betty's praised for labours not her own.
Not with more glories, in th' ethereal plain, The sun first rises o'er the purpled main,) 2 Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams Launched on the bosom of the silver Thames. Fair nymphs, and well-dressed youths around her shone,
5 But every eye was fixed on her alone. On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore. Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose, Quick as her eyes, and as unfixed as those ;10 Favours to none, to all she smiles extends; Oft she rejects, but never once offends. Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike, And, like the sun, they shine on all alike. 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 'em all.
This nymph, to the destruction of man
Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare,
For this, ere Phæbus rose, he had implored Propitious Heaven, and every power adored, But chiefly Love; to Love an altar built, Of twelve vast French romances, neatly gilt. There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves, And all the trophies of his former loves; 40 With tender billets-doux he lights the pyre, And breathes three amorous sighs to raise the
fire. Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent
eyes Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize. The powers gave ear, and granted half his prayer;
45 The rest the winds dispersed in empty air.
2[But now secure the painted vessel glides, The sunbeams trembling on the floating
tides; While melting music steals upon the sky, And softened sounds along the waters die; 50 Smooth flow the waves, the zephyrs gently
play, Belinda smiled, and all the world was gay. All but the sylph -- with careful thoughts
oppressed, Th’impending woe sat heavy on his breast. He summons straight his denizens of air; 55 The lucid squadrons round the sails repair ; Soft o'er the shrouds aërial whispers breathe, That seemed but zephyrs to the train beneath. Some to the sun their insect wings unfold, Waft on the breeze, or sink in clouds of gold; Transparent forms, too fine for mortal sight, Their fluid bodies half dissolved in light. Loose to the wind their airy garments flew, Thin glittering textures of the filmy dew, Dipt in the richest tincture of the skies, Where light disports in ever-mingling dyes, While every beam new transient colours
flings, Colours that change whene'er they wave their
wings. Amid the circle, on the gilded mast,
Nourished two locks, which graceful hung be
hind In equal curls, and well conspired to deck With shining ringlets the smooth ivory neck. Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains, And mighty hearts are held in slender chains. With hairy springes we the birds betray, 25 Slight lines of hair surprise the finny prey,
head-dress 2 Here ends the first addition to the original version.
1 Lord Petre ? Here begins the second addition to the original version.'
The drops 1 to thee, Brillante, we consign;
fail, Though stiff with hoops, and armed with ribs
of whale; Form a strong line about the silver bound, And guard the wide circumference around.
"Whatever spirit, careless of his charge, His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins,
125 Be stopped in vials, or transfixed with pins ; Or plunged in lakes of bitter washes lie, Or wedged whole ages in a bodkin's eye; Gums and pomatums shall his flight restrain, While clogged he beats his silken wings in
vain; Or alum styptics with contracting power Shrink his thin essence like a rivelled a flower; Or, as Ixion fixed, the wretch shall feel The giddy motion of the whirling mill, In fumes of burning chocolate shall glow, 135 And tremble at the sea that froths below!”. He spoke; the spirits from the sails de
scend; Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend; Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair ; Some hang upon the pendants of her ear ; 140 With beating hearts the dire event they wait, Anxious, and trembling for the birth of fate.“
Superior by the head, was Ariel placed; 70
ear! Fays, fairies, genii, elves, and demons, hear ! Ye know the spheres, and various tasks assigned
75 By laws eternal to th' aërial kind. Some in the fields of purest æther play, And bask and whiten in the blaze of day. Some guide the course of wandering orbs on
high, Or roll the planets through the boundless
sky. Some less refined, beneath the moon's pale light
81 Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the
night, Or suck the mists in grosser air below, Or dip their pinions in the painted bow, Or brew fierce tempests on the wintry main, Or o'er the glebe distil the kindly rain; 86 Others on earth o'er human race preside, Watch all their ways, and all their actions
guide: Of these the chief the care of nations own, And guard with arms divine the British
throne. “Our humbler province is to tend the fair, Not a less pleasing, though less glorious care; To save the powder from too rude a gale, Nor let th' imprisoned essences exhale; To draw fresh colours from the vernal flowers; To steal from rainbows, ere they drop in showers,
96 A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs, Assist their blushes, and inspire their airs ; Nay, oft in dreams, invention we bestow, To change a flounce, or add a furbelow. “This day, black omers threat the brightest
fair That e'er deserved a watchful spirit's care; Some dire disaster, or by force, or sleight; But what, or where, the fates have wrapped in
night. Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law, Or some frail china jar receive a flaw; 106 Or stain her honour, or her new brocade; Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade; Or lose her heart, or necklace, at a ball; Or whether Heaven has doomed that Shock
must fall. Haste, then, ye spirits ! to your charge repair; The fluttering fan be Zephyretta's care;
ear-rings ? withered 3 chocolate mill. Here ends the second addition to the original version.
As many more Manillio 1 forced to yield
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort, To taste awhile the pleasures of a court; In various talk th' instructive hours they
passed, Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last; One speaks the glory of the British Queen, And one describes a charming Indian screen; A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes; At every word a reputation dies.
16 Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat, With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day, The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray; 20 The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang that jurymen may dine; The merchant from th’ Exchange returns in
peace, And the long labours of the toilet cease. 2 [Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites, 25 Burns to encounter two adventurous knights, At ombre singly to decide their doom; And swells her breast with conquests yet to
Straight the three bands prepare in arms to
join, Each band the number of the sacred nine.: 30 Soon as she spreads her hand, th' aërial guard Descend, and sit on each important card: First, Ariel perched upon a Matadore, Then each, according to the rank they bore; For sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race, Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.
Behold, four kings in majesty revered, With hoary whiskers and a forky beard; And four fair queens whose hands sustain a
flower, The expressive emblem of their softer power; Four knaves in garbs succinct, a trusiy band, Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand;
42 And parti-coloured troops, a shining train, Draw forth to combat on the velvet plain. The skilful nymph reviews her force with
45 Let spades be trumps ! she said, and trumps
they were. Now moved to war her sable Matadores, In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors. Spadillio 4 first, unconquerable lord ! Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board.
And mowed down armies in the fights of Loo, Sad chance of war ! now destitute of aid, Falls undistinguished by the victor spade!
Thus far both armies to Belinda yield; 65 Now to the baron fate inclines the field. His warlike Amazon her host invades, The imperial consort of the crown of spades; The club's black tyrant first her victim died, Spite of his haughty mien, and barbarous pride.
70 What boots the regal circle on his head, His giant limbs, in state unwieldy spread; That long behind he trails his pompous robe, And, of all monarchs, only grasps the globe?
The baron now his diamonds pours apace; Th' embroidered king who shows but half his face,
76 And his refulgent queen, with powers com
bined, Of broken troops an easy conquest find. Clubs, diamonds, hearts, in wild disorder seen, With throngs promiscuous strew the level green.
80 Thus when dispersed a routed army runs, Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons, With like confusion different nations fly, Of various habit, and of various dve, The pierced battalions disunited fall,
85 In heaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them
all. The knave of diamonds tries his wily arts, And wins (oh shameful chance !) the queen of
hearts. At this the blood the virgin's cheek forsook, A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look; 90 She sees, and trembles at th' approaching ill, Just in the jaws of ruin, and codille.
Snuff was then fashionable. ? Here begins the third addition. 3 the Muses ace of spades, the highest trump
1 deuce of spades, the next highest 2 ace of clubs, third trump. These three are called "matadores." 3 knave of clubs 4 another game, in which Pam is the highest card 5 the card table 6 a term signifying the defeat of the single player
And now (as oft in some distempered state) On one nice trick depends the general fate. An ace of hearts steps forth; the king unseen Lurked in her hand, and mourned his captive queen :
96 He springs to vengeance with an eager pace, And falls like thunder on the prostrate ace. The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky; The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.
Oh thoughtless mortals ! ever blind to fate, Too soon dejected, and too soon elate. Sudden, these honours shall be snatched away, And cursed forever this victorious day.) 1 For lo ! the board with cups and spoons is crowned,
105 The berries 2 crackle, and the mill turns round; On shining altars of Japan 3 they raise The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze: From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide, While China's earth * receives the smoking tide: At once they gratify their scent and taste, u And frequent cups prolong the rich repast. Straight hover round the fair her airy band; Some, as she sipped, the fuming liquor fanned, Some o'er her lap their careful plumes displayed,
115 Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade. Coffee (which makes the politician wise, And see through all things with his half-shut
eyes) Sent up in vapours to the baron's brain New stratagems the radiant lock to gain. 120 Ah, cease, rash youth ! desist ere 'tis too late, Fear the just gods, and think of Scylla's fate! Changed to a bird, and sent to flit in air, Sie dearly pays for Nisus' injured hair ! 5 But when to mischief mortals bend their
125 How soon they find fit instruments of ill! Just then Clarissa drew with tempting grace A twn-edged weapon from her shining case: So ladies in romance assist their knight, 129 Present the spear, and arm him for the fight. He takes the gift with reverence, and extends The little engine on his fingers' ends; This just behind Belinda's neck he spread, As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her
head. 6 [Swift to the lock a thousand sprites repair, A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair;
And thrice they twitched the diamond in her
car; Thrice she looked back, and thrice the foe
drew near. Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought The close recesses of the virgin's thought ; 140 As on the nosegay in her breast reclined, He watched th' ideas rising in her mind, Sudden he viewed, in spite of all her art, An earthly lover lurking at her heart. Amazed, confused, he found his power expired,
145 Resigned to fate, and with a sigh retired.]" The peer now spreads the glittering forfex?
wide, T'inclose the lock; now joins it, to divide. 3 [E'en then, before the fatal engine closed, A wretched sylph too fondly interposed; 150 Fate urged the shears, and cut the sylph in
twain, (But airy substance soon unites again).]" The meeting points the sacred hair dissever From the fair head, forever, and forever ! Then flashed the living lightning from her eyes,
155 And screams of horror rend th' affrighted
skies. Not louder shricks to pitying Heaven are cast, When husbands, or when lap-dogs breathe
their last; Or when rich China vessels, fallen from high, In glittering dust and painted fragments lie ! "Let wreaths of triumph now my temples
twine,” The victor cried; "the glorious prize is mine! While fish in streams, or birds delight in air, Or in a coach and six the British fair, As long as Atalantis 5 shall be read, 165 Or the small pillow grace a lady's bed, While visits shall be paid on solemn days, When numerous wax-lights in bright order
blaze, While nymphs take treats, or assignations
give, So long my honour, name, and praise shall live!
170 What Time would spare, from steel receives its
date, And monuments, like men, submit to fate! Steel could the labour of the gods destroy, And strike to dust th' imperial towers of Troy;
1 Here ends the third addition. 2 coffee-berries * japanned tables porcelain 5 Cf. Gayley, p. 219. 6 Here begins the fourth addition.
1 Here ends the fourth addition. 2 scissors 8 Here begins the fifth addition. 4 Here ends the fifth addition. 5a scandalous book of the time