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Men prove with child, as pow'rful fancy works,
Safe past the Gnome through this fantastic band,
Ver. 53. Men prove with child,] Van Swieten, in his Commentaries on Boerhaave, relates, that he knew a man who had studied till he fancied his legs to be of glass; his maid bringing wood to his fire, threw it carelessly down; our sage was angry, and terrified for his legs of glass; the girl, out of patience with his megrims, gave him a blow with a log on the parts affected; he instantly started up in a rage, and from that moment recovered the use of his glass legs!
Or e'er to costive lap-dog gave disease,
75 Which not the tears of brightest eyes could ease : Hear me, and touch Belinda with chagrin, That single act gives half the world the spleen.
The Goddess with a discontented air Seems to reject him, tho' she grants his pray'r. 80 A wondrous Bag with both her hands she binds, Like that where once Ulysses held the winds; There she collects the force of female lungs, Sighs, sobs, and passions, and the war of tongues. A Vial next she fills with fainting fears, 85 Soft sorrows, melting griefs, and flowing tears. The Gnome rejoicing bears her gifts away, Spreads his black wings, and slowly mounts to day.
Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he found, Her eyes dejected, and her hair unbound. 90 Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he rent, And all the Furies issu'd at the vent. Belinda burns with more than mortal ire, And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire. O wretched maid ! she spread her hands, and cry'd, (While Hampton's echoes, Wretched maid! re
ply'd) Was it for this you took such constant care The bodkin, comb, and essence to prepare ? For this your Locks in paper durance bound ? For this with tort'ring irons wreath'd around ? 100 For this with fillets strain'd your tender head ? And bravely bore the double loads of lead ? Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair, While the Fops envy, and the Ladies stare !
Honour forbid! at whose unrivall'd shrine 105
She said ; then raging to Sir Plume repairs,
Ver. 121. Sir Plume repairs,] Sir George Brown. He was the only one of the Party who took the thing seriously. He was angry that the Poet should make him talk nothing but nonsense : and in truth one could not well blame him.
Warburton. An engraving of Sir Plume, with seven other figures, by Hogarth, was executed on the lid of a gold snuff-box, and presented to one of the parties concerned; the original impression of a print of it was sold, at Mr. Gulston's sale, for thirty-three pounds.
And thus broke out—"My Lord, why, what the
devil! “ Z-ds ! damn the Lock! 'fore Gad, you must be
It grieves me much (reply'd the Peer again)
But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not so;
Ver. 141. But Umbriel, hateful Gnome ! forbears not so ;
He breaks the Vial whence the sorrows flow.] These two lines are additional ; and assign the cause of the different operation on the Passions of the two Ladies. The poem went on before without that distinction, as without any Machinery, to the end of the Canto.
Ver. 133. But by this Lock,] In allusion to Achilles's oath in Homer, Il. i.
For ever curs'd be this detested day, Which snatch'd my best, my fav'rite curl away! Happy! ah ten times happy had I been, If Hampton-Court these eyes had never seen! 150 Yet am not I the first mistaken maid, By love of Courts to num'rous ills betray'd. Oh had I rather un-admir'd, remain'd In some lone Isle, or distant Northern land; Where the gilt Chariot never marks the way, 155 Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste Bohea ! There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye, Like roses, that in desarts bloom and die. What mov'd my mind with youthful Lords to
roam ? O had I stay'd, and said my pray’rs at home! 160 'Twas this the morning omens seem'd to tell, Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell; The tottring China shook without a wind, Nay Poll sat mute, and Shock was most unkind! A Sylph too warn’d me of the threats of fate, 165 In mystic visions, now believ'd too late! See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs ! My hands shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares: These in two sable ringlets taught to break, Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck; 170
Ver. 163. The tolt'ring China] The fatal prognostics that preceded the death of Cæsar, in the first Georgic of Virgil, are not imagined with more propriety, or could be more alarming.