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the most energetic brevity, as well as of expanding tion of a Catholic friend, with the ceremonies of them into passages distinguished by every poetic that religion, he quietly expired on May 30th, 1744,
The origin of this essay is, however, at the age of fifty-six. He was interred at Twickengenerally ascribed to Lord Bolingbroke, who was ham, where a monument was erected to his memory adopted by the author as his “guide, philosopher, by the commentator and legatee of his writings, and friend ;" and there is little doubt that, with re- bishop Warburton. spect to mankind in general, Pope adopted, without Regarded as a poet, while it is allowed that Pope always fully understanding, the system of Boling. was deficient in invention, his other qualificationis broke.
will scarcely be disputed; and it will generally be On his works in prose, among which a collection admitted that no English writer has carried to a of letters appears conspicuous, it is unnecessary here greater degree correctness of versification, strength to remark. His life was not prolonged to the period and splendor of diction, and the truly poetical of old age: an oppressive asthma indicated an early power of vivifying and adorning every subject that decline, and accumulated infirmities incapacitated he touched. The popularity of his productions has him from pursuing the plan he had formed for new been proved by their constituting a school of English works. After having complied, through the instiga- poetry, which in part continues to the present ime.
Or virgins visited by angel-powers,
Hear, and believe! thy own importance know,
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some secret truths, from learned pride conceal'd, Written in the Year 1712.
To maids alone and children are reveald;
What, though no credit doubting wits may give,
The fair and innocent shall still believe.
Know then, unnumber'd spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky:
These, though unseen, are ever on the wing,
Hang o'er the box, and hover round the ring. What dire offence from amorous causes springs, Think what an equipage thou hast in air, What mighty contests rise from trivial things, And view with scorn two pages and a chair. I sing—this verse to Caryl, Muse! is due : As now your own, our beings were of old, This e'en Belinda may vouchsafe to view : And once inclos'd in woman's beauteous mould; Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, Thence, by a soft transition, we repair If she inspire, and he approve my lays.
From earthly vehicles to these of air. Say what strange motive, goddess! could compel Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled, A well-bred lord t'assault a gentle belle ? That all her vanities at once are dead : O say what stranger cause, yet unexplor'd, Succeeding vanities she still regards, Could make a gentle belle reject a lord ?
And though she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards In tasks so bold, can little men engage?
Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive, And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage ?
And love of ombre, after death survive. Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray, For when the fair in all their pride expire, And ope'd those eyes that must eclipse the day: To their first elements their souls retire: Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake, The sprites of fiery termagants in flame And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake: Mount up, and take a Salamander's name. Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground, Soft yielding minds to water glide away, And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound. And sip, with nymphs, their elemental tea. Belinda still her downy pillow prest,
The graver prude sinks downward to a Gnome, Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the balmy rest : In search of mischief still on Earth to roam. 'Twas he had summond to her silent bed
The light coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair, The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head. And sport and flutter in the fields of air. A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau “Know farther yet; whoever fair and chaste (That ev'n in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow) Rejects mankind, is by some Sylph embrac'd : Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay, For, spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease And thus in whispers said, or seem'd to say: Assume what sexes and what shapes they please.
“ Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care What guards the purity of melting maids, Of thousand bright inhabitants of air!
In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades, If e'er one vision touch thy infant thought, Safe from the treacherous friend, the daring spark, Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught; The glance by day, the whisper in the dark, Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen,
When kind occasion prompts their warm desires, The silver token, and the circled green,
When music sostens, and when dancing fires !
'Tis but their Sylph, the wise celestials know, | The busy Sylphs surround their darling care : Though honor is the word with men below. These set the head, and those divide the hair; Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their Some fold the sleeve, whilst others plait the gown; face,
And Betty's prais'd for labors not her own.
Not with more glories in th' ethereal plain,
The Sun first rises o'er the purpled main, "Tis these that early taint the female soul, Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams Instruct the eyes of young coquettes to roll,
Launch'd on the bosom of the silver'd Thames. Teach infant cheeks a bidden blush to know, Fair nymphs and well-dress'd youths around her And little hearts to flutter at a beau.
shone, “Oft, when the world imagine women stray,
But every eye was fix'd on her alone. The Sylphs through mystic mazes guide their way, On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Through all the giddy circle they pursue,
Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore. And old impertinence expel by new.
Hler lively looks a sprightly mind disclose,
Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those :
And, like the Sun, they shine on all alike.
If to her share some female errors fall, Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive. Look on her face, and you 'll forget them all. This erring mortals levity may call;
This nymph, to the destruction of mankind, Oh, blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all.
Nourish'd two locks, which graceful hung behind, “Of these am I, who thy protection elaim, In equal curls, and well conspir'd to deck A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name.
With shining ringlets the smooth ivory neck. Late, as I rang'd the crystal wilds of air,
Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains, In the clear mirror of thy ruling star
And mighty hearts are held in slender chairs. I saw, alas ! some dread event impend,
With hairy springes we the birds betray; Ere to the main this morning sun descend ;
Slight lines of hair surprise the finny prey ; But Heaven reveals not what, or how, or where. Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare, Warn'd by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware! And Beauty draws us with a single hair. This to disclose is all thy guardian can:
Th'adventurous baron the bright locks admir'd; Beware of all, but most beware of man!" [long, He saw, he wish’d, and to the prize aspir'd.
He said ; when Shock, who thought she slept too Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way, Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue. By force to ravish, or by fraud betray ; 'Twas then, Belinda, if report say true,
For when success a lover's toil attends, Thy eyes first opend on a billet-doux;
Few ask if fraud or force attain'd his ends. Wounds, charms, and ardors were no sooner read, For this, ere Phæbus rose, he had implor'd But all the vision vanish'd from thy head. Propitious Heaven, and every power ador'd;
And now, unveil'd, the toilet stands display'd, But chiefly Love to Love an altar built, Each silver vase in mystic order laid.
Of twelve vast French romances, neatly gilt. First, rob'd in white, the nymph intent adores, There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves, With head uncover'd, the cosmetic powers. And all the trophies of his former loves. A heavenly image in the glass appears,
With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre, To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears; And breathes three amorous sighs to raise the fire. Th' inferior priestess, at her altar's side,
Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes Trembling, begins the sacred rites of Pride. Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize : L'onumber'd treasures ope at once, and here The powers gave ear, and granted half his prayer; The various offerings of the world appear; The rest, the winds dispers’d in empty air. From each she nicely culls with curious toil, But now secure the painted vessel glides, And decks the goddess with the glittering spoil. The sunbeams trembling on the floating tides : This casket India's glowing gems unlocks, While melting music steals upon the sky, And all Arabia breathes from yonder box.
And soften'd sounds along the waters die; The tortoise here and elephant unite,
Smooth flow the waves, the zephyrs gentle play, Transformd to combs, the speckled and the white. Belinda smil'd, and all the world was gay, Here files of pins extend their shining rows, All but the Sylph-with careful thoughts opprest, Puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-doux. Th’impending woe sat heavy on his breast. Now awful Beauty puts on all its arms;
He summons straight his denizens of air; The fair each moment rises in her charms,
The lucid squadrons round the sails repair : Repairs her smiles, awakens every grace,
Soft o'er the shrouds aëreal whispers breathe, And calls forth all the wonders of her face: That seem'd but zephyrs to the train beneath. Sees by degrees a purer blush arise,
Some to the Sun their insect wings unfold, And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes.
Waft on the breeze, or sink in clouds of gold;
Transparent forms, 100 fine for mortal sight, Gums and pomatums shall his flight restrain,
He spoke; the spirits from the sails descend : Superior by the head, was Ariel plac'd;
Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend ; llis purple pinions opening to the Sun,
Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair;
“ Ye Sylphis and Sylphids, to your chief give ear; With beating hearts the dire event they wait,
Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom Or brew fierce tempests on the wintery main, Of foreign tyrants, and of nymphs at home; Or o'er the glebe distil the kindly rain,
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey, Others on earth o'er human race preside,
Dost sometimes counsel take-and sometimes lea Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide: Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort, Of these the chief the care of nations own, To taste awhile the pleasures of a court; And guard with arms divine the British throne. In various talk th' instructive hours they past,
“Our humbler province is to tend the fair, Who gave the ball, or paid the visit lasi; Not a less pleasing, though less glorious care; One speaks the glory of the British queen, To save the powder from too rude a gale,
And one describes a charming Indian screen ;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, This day, black omens threat the brightest fair And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine ; That e'er deserv'd a watchful spirit's care : The merchant from th’ Exchange returns in peace, Soine dire disaster, or by force, or sleight; And the long labors of the toilet cease. But what, or where, the Fates have wrapp'd in night. Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites, Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law, Burns to encounter two adventurous knights, Or some frail china-jar receive a Naw;
At ombre singly to decide their doom ; Or stain her honor, or her new brocade;
And swells her breast with conquests yet to come Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade ; Straight the three bands prepare in arms to join, Or lose her heart, or necklace at a ball;
Each band the number of the sacred nine. Or whether Heaven has doom'd that Shock must Soon as she spreads her hand, th' aëreal guard fall.
Descend, and sit on each important card :
Then each according to the rank they bore;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race, And, Momenuilla, let the watch be thine ;
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place. Do thou, Crispissa, tend her favorite lock;
Behold, four kings in majesty rever'd, Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock. With hoary whiskers and a forky beard ;
“To fifty chosen Sylphs, of special note, And four fair queens, whose hands sustain a flower, We trust the important charge, the petticoat: Th'expressive emblem of their softer power; Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail, Four knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band ; Though stiff with hoops, and arm'd with ribs of Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand; whale.
And party-colored troops, a shining train, Form a strong line about the silver bound, Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain. And guard the wide circumference around.
The skilful nymph reviews her force with care: “Whatever spirit, careless of his charge, Let spades be trumps! she said, and trumps they His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins, Now move to war her sable Matadores, Be stopp'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins; In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors. Or plunged in Jakes of bitter washes lie,
Spadillio first, unconquerable lord ! Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye:
Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board.
As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,
Ah cease, rash youth ; desist ere 'tis too late, And march'd a victor from the verdant field. Fear the just Gods, and think of Scylla's fate! Him Basto follow'd, but his fate more hard Chang'd to a bird, and sent to flit in air, Gain'd but one trump, and one plebeian card. She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair! With his broad sabre next, a chief in years,
But when to mischief mortals bend their will, The hoary Majesty of Spades appears,
How soon they find fit instruments of ill! Puts forth one manly leg, to sight reveald, Just then, Clarissa drew, with tempting grace, The rest, his many-color'd robe conceal'd. A two-edg'd weapon from her shining case : The rebel knave, who dares his prince engage, So ladies, in Romance, assist their knight, Proves the just victim of his royal rage.
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight. Ev'n mighty Pam, that kings and queens o'erthrew, He takes the gift with reverence, and extends And mow'd down armies in the fights of Lu, The little engine on his fingers' ends; Sad chance of war! now destitute of aid, This just behind Belinda's neck he spread, Falls undistinguish'd by the viclor Spade! As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head. Thus far both armies to Belinda yield;
Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprites repair, Now to the baron Fate inclines the field.
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair; His warlike Amazon her host invades,
And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear; Th'imperial consort of the crown of Spades. Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near. The Club's black tyrant first her victim died, Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought Spite of his haughty mien, and barbarous pride : The close recesses of the virgin's thought; What boots the regal circle on his head,
As on the nosegay in her breast reclin'd, Ilis giant limbs in state unwieldy spread; He watch'd th' ideas rising in her mind, That long behind he trails his pompous robe, Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her art, And, of all monarchs, only grasps the globe? An earthly lover lurking at her heart. The baron now his Diamonds pours apace;
Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his power expird, Th' embroider'd king who shows but half his face, Resign'd to fate, and with a sigh retird. And his refulgent queen, with powers combin'd, The peer now spreads the glittering forfex wide, Of broken troops an easy conquest find.
T inclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide. Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder seen, Ev’n then, before the fatal engine clos'd, With throngs promiscuous strow the level green. A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd ; Thus when dispers d a routed army runs, Fate urg'd the shears, and cut the Sylph in twain, Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons,
(But airy substance soon unites again,) With like confusion different nations fly,
The meeting points the sacred hair dissever Of various habit, and of various dye,
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever! The pierc'd battalions disunited fall,
Then flash'd the living lightning froin her eyes, In heaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them all. And screams of horror rend th' atlrighted skies.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, Not louder shrieks to pitying leaven are cast,
(The victor cried,) the glorious prize is mine!
While visits shall be paid on solemn days,
O thoughtless mortals ! ever blind to fate, What time would spare, from siecl receives its date, Too soon dejected, and too soon elate.
And monuments, like men, submit to Fale. Sudden, these honors shall be snatch'd away,
Steel could the labor of the gods destroy, And curs'd for ever this victorious day.
And strike to dust ih'imperial powers of Troy ; For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd, Steel could the works of mortal pride confound, The berries crackle, and the mill turns round: And hew triumphal arches to the ground. On shining Altars of Japan they raise
What wonder then, fair nymph! thy hairs should feel The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze :
The conquering force of unresisted steel?
Not ardent lovers robb'd of all their bliss, And see through all things with his half-shut eyes) Not ancient ladies when refus'd a kiss, Sent up in vapors to the baron's brain
Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die, New stratagems, the radiant lock to gain.
Not Cynthia when her manteau 's pinn'd awry,
E'er felt such rage, resentment, and despair, Hear me, and touch Belinda with chagrin :
For, that sad moment, when the Sylphs withdrew, The goddess with a discontented air
Seems to reject him, though she grants his prayer. Umbriel, a dusky, melancholy sprite,
A wondrous bag with both her hands she binds, As ever sullied the fair face of light,
Like that where once Ulysses held the winds; Down to the central earth, his proper scene, There she collects the force of female lungs, Repair'd to search the gloomy cave of Spleen. Sighs, sobs, and passions, and the war of tongues.
Swift on his sooty pinions flits the Gnome, A vial next she fills with fainting fears, And in a vapor reach'd the dismal dome. Soft sorrows, melting griefs, and flowing tears. No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows, The Gnome rejoicing bears her gifts away, The dreaded east is all the wind that blows. Spreads his black wings, and slowly mounts today. Here in a grotto, shelter'd close from air,
Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he found, And screen'd in shades from day's detested glare, Her eyes dejected, and her hair unbound. She sighs for ever on her pensive bed,
Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he rent, Pain at her side, and Megrim at her head. And all the Furies issued at the vent.
Two handmaids wait the throne : alike in place, Belinda burns with more than mortal ire, But differing far in figure and in face,
And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire. Here stood Ill-nature like an ancient maid, “O wretched maid !" she spread her hands, and cried, Her wrinkled form in black and white array'd ; (While Hampton's echoes, wretched maid! replied) With store of prayers, for mornings, nights, and “Was it for this you took such constant care noons,
The bodkin, comb, and essence, to prepare ? Her hand is fill’d; her bosom with lampoons. For this your locks in paper durance bound, There Affectation, with a sickly mien,
For this with torturing irons wreath'd around?
Already hear the horrid things they say,
How shall I, then, your helpless fame defend !
Unnumber'd throngs on every side are seen, On that rapacious hand for ever blaze! Of bodies chang’d to various forms by Spleen. Sooner shall grass in Hyde-Park Circus grow, Here living tea-pots stand, one arm held out, And wits take lodgings in the sound of Bow! One bent; the handle this, and that the spout: Sooner let earth, air, sea, to chaos fall, A pipkin there, like Homer's tripod, walks ; Men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, perish all !" Here sighs a jar, and there a goose-pie talks ; She said ; then raging to Sir Plume repairs, Men prove with child, as powerful fancy works, And bids her beau demand the precious hairs: And maids, turn'd bottles, call aloud for corks. (Sir Plume of amber snuff-box justly vain,
Safe past the Gnome through this fantastic band, And the nice conduct of a clouded cane.) A branch of healing spleen-wort in his hand, With earnest eyes, and round unthinking face, Then thus address'd the power .—“Hail, wayward He first the snuff-box open'd, then the case, queen!
And thus broke out :-"My Lord, why, what the Who rule the sex to fifty from fifteen :
devil ? Parent of vapors, and of female wit,
z—ds! damn the Lock! 'fore Gad, you must be Who give th' hysteric, or poetic fit,
civil ! On various tempers act by various ways, Plague on't! 'tis past a jest-nay pr’ythee, por! Make some take physic, others scribble plays ; Give her the hair"-he spoke, and rappd his bor. Who cause the proud their visits to delay,
“It grieves me much (replied the peer again), And send the godly in a pet to pray.
Who speaks so well should ever speak in vain; A nymph there is, that all thy power disdains, But by this Lock, this sacred Lock, I swear, And thousands more in equal mirth maintains. (Which never more shall join its parted hair; But, oh! if e'er thy Gnome could spoil a grace, Which never more its honors shall renew, Or raise a pimple on a beauteous face,
Clipp'd from the lovely head where late it grew.) Like citron-waters, matrons' cheeks inflame, That while my nostrils draw the vital air, Or change complexions at a losing game; This hand, which won it, shall for ever wear." If e'er with airy horns I planted heads,
He spoke, and, speaking, in proud triumph spread Or rumpled petticoats, or tumbled beds,
The long-contended honors of her head. Or caus'd suspicion where no soul was rude, But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not so; Or discompos'd the head-dress of a prude, He breaks the vial whence the sorrows flow. Or e'er to costive lap-dog gave disease,
Then see! the nymph in beanteous grief appears, Which not the tears of brightest eyes could ease : Her eyes half-languishing, half-drown'd in tears;