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Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
And fip with Nymphs, their elemental tea.
The graver Prude finks downward to a gnome,
In fearch of mischief still on earth to roam.
The light Coquettes in fylphs aloft repair,
And sport and flutter in the fields of air.

The defcription of the* toilette, which fucceeds, is judiciously given in fuch magnificent turns, as dignify the offices performed at it. Belinda dreffing is painted in as pompous a manner, as Achilles arming. The canto ends with a circumftance, artfully contrived to keep this beautiful machinery in

Æthereofque trahens hauftus, tenuiffima turba,
Verfat ad aeftivum lucida membra jubar.
Gaudet adhuc circum molles operofa puellas
Verfari, et veneres fuppeditare novas.
Curat uti dulces commendent ofcula risus,
Purior ut fenfim prodeat ore rubor:
Ne quatiat comptos animofior aura capillos,
Nec faedet pulcras puftula faeva genas:
Neve recens maculâ violetur

purpura pallî,

Excidat aut niveo pendula gemma finu.

Corpora nympharum vacuas tenuentur in auras;
At ftudia in memori pectore prisca manent.

Carm. Quadragef. Vol. 2. Oxon. 1748. pag. 32.

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the readers eye: for after the poet has faid, that the fair heroine

Repairs her fmiles, awakens ev'ry grace,
And calls forth all the wonders of her face,

He immediately fubjoins,

The bufy fylphs furround their darling care,
These fet the head, and thofe divide the hair:
Some fold the fleeve, whilft others plait the gown,
And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own.

THE mention of the Lock †, on which the poem turns, is rightly referved to the fecond canto. The facrifice of the baron to implore fuccess to his undertaking, is another inftance of our poet's judgement, in heightening the subject. The fucceeding scene of failing upon the Thames is moft gay and riant; and impreffes the most pleafing pictures upon the imagination. Here too the machinery is again introduced with much propriety. Ariel fummons his denizens

* Cant, 1. ver. 141. † Cant. 2. ver. 21. Cant. 2. ver. 37of

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of air; who are thus painted with a rich exuberance of fancy.

Some to the fun their infect wings unfold,
Waft on the breeze, or fink in clouds of gold:
Transparent forms, too thin for mortal fight,
Their fluid bodies half diffolv'd in light.
Loofe to the wind their airy garments flew.
Thin glitt'ring textures of the filmy dew,
Dipt in the richest tincture of the skies,
Where light difports in ever-mingling dyes;
While every beam new tranfient colours flings,
Colours, that change whene'er they wave their wings.

Ariel afterwards enumerates the functions and employments of the fylphs, in the following manner: where fome are fuppofed to delight in more grofs, and others in more refined occupations.

Ye know the fpheres and various tasks, affign'd
By laws eternal to th'äerial kind.

Some in the fields of pureft æther play,
And bask and brighten in the blaze of day;
Some guide the courfe of wandring orbs on high,
Or roll the planets through the boundless sky;
Some, lefs refin'd, beneath the moon's pale light,
Pursue the ftars, that shoot across the night;

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Or fuck the mifts in groffer air below;
Or dip their pinions in the painted bow:
Or brew fierce tempefts on the wintry main,
Or o'er the glebe diftill the kindly rain. *

Those who are fond of tracing images and sentiments to their fource, may perhaps be inclined to think, that the hint of ascribing tasks and offices to fuch imaginary beings, is taken from the Fairies and the Ariel of Shakefpeare let the impartial critic determine, which has the fuperiority of fancy. The employment of Ariel in the TEMPEST, is faid to be,

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To tread the ooze

Of the falt deep;

To run upon the sharp wind of the north;
To do-business in the veins of th 'earth,

When it is bak'd with froft;

To dive into the fire; to ride

On the curl'd clouds.

And again,

In the deep nook, where once

Thou calld'ft me up at midnight, to fetch dew

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From the ftill-vext Bermoothes.

Nor must I omit that exquisite song, in which his favorite pastime is expressed.

Where the bee fucks, there fuck I,

In a cowflip's bell I lie;

There I couch when owls do cry.

On the bat's back I do fly,
After fun-fet, merrily;

Merrily, merrily, fhall I live now,

Under the bloffom that hangs on the bough.

With what wildness of imagination, but yet, with what propriety, are the amusements of the fairies pointed out, in the MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM: amufements proper for none but fairies?

'Fore the third part of a minute, hence:
Some to kill cankers in the mufk-rose buds :
Some war with rear-mice for their leathern wings,
To make my small elves coats; and fome keep back
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders
At our queint fpirits.

Shakespeare only could have thought of the following gratifications for Titania's lover; and


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