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Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height Clapp'd his glad wings, and sate to view the fight: Propp'don their bodkin spears, the Sprites survey 55 The growing combat, or assist the fray.

While through the press enrag’d Thalestris flies, And scatters death around from both her eyes, A Beau and Witling perish'd in the throng, One dy'd in metaphor, and one in song.

60 “O cruel Nymph! a living death I bear, Cry'd Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair. A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast, “ Those eyes are made so killing”—was his last. Thus on Mæander's flowry margin lies

65 Th' expiring Swan, and as he sings he dies.

NOTES.

Ver. 55. Proppd on their] Like the heroes in Homer, when they are spectators of a combat.

Warton. Ver. 64. Those eyes] It was the common cant of all the wits and poets of this time to depreciate and laugh at Italian operas. See what Addison has said of them, Spectator 18. They would have been of a different opinion, if they could have read what Dr. Burney has said on this subject in his History of Music. Wurton.

VARIATIONS.

Ver. 53. Triumphant Umbriel] These four lines added, for the reason before mentioned.

P. Added with great dexterity, beauty, and propriety! Warton.

IMITATIONS. Ver. 53. Triumphant Umbriel] Minerva in like manner, during the battle of Ulysses with the Suitors in the Odyss. perches on a beam of the roof to behold it.

P. Ver. 64. " Those eyes are made so killing”] The words of a song in the Opera of Camilla.

P. Ver. 65. Thus on Mæander's flow'ry margin lies)

“ Sic ubi fata vocant, udis abjectus in herbis,

Ad vada Mæandri concinit albus olor.” Ov. Ep. P.

When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down,
Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown;
She smil'd to see the doughty hero slain,
But, at her smile, the Beau reviv'd again. 70

Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air,
Weighs the Men's wits against the Lady's hair ;
The doubtful beam long nods from side to side;
At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside.
See fierce Belinda on the Baron flies,

75
With more than usual lightning in her eyes :
Nor fear'd the Chief th' unequal fight to try,
Who sought no more than on his foe to die.
But this bold Lord with manly strength endu’d,
She with one finger and a thumb subdu'd ; 80
Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew,
A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw,
The Gnomes direct, to ev'ry atom just,
The pungent grains of titillating dust.

NOTES.

Ver. 71. Now Jove, &c.] Vid. Homer, Il. viii. and Virg. Æn. xii.

P. Ver. 74. At length the wits] This parody from Homer and Virgil is admirable. Milton improved on this fine fiction in Paradise Lost, Book iv. v. 997, by saying, that when “the Almighty weighed Satan in such scales, the mounting of his scales denoted ill success;" and also by alluding artfully to the sign of Libra in the heavens.

Warton. Ver. 84. titillating dust.] Boileau and Garth have also each of them enlivened their pieces with a mock-fight. But Boileau has laid the scene of his action in a neighbouring bookseller's shop; where the combatants encounter each other by chance. This con

duct VARIATIONS. Ver. 83. The Gnomes direct] These two lines added, for the above reason.

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Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows, 85 And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.

Now meet thy fate, incens'd Belinda cry'd, And drew a deadly bodkin from her side. (The same, his ancient personage to deck, Her great great grandsire wore about his neck, 90 In three seal-rings; which after, melted down, Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown: Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew, The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew; Then in a bodkin grac'd her mother's hairs, 95 Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.)

Boast not my fall (he cry’d) insulting foe! Thou by some other shalt be laid as low, Nor think, to die dejects my lofty mind; All that I dread is leaving you behind ! 100 Rather than so, ah let me still survive, And burn in Cupid's flames—but burn alive.

NOTES.

duct is a little inartificial; but has given the satirist an opportunity of indulging his ruling passion, the exposing bad poets, with which France, at that time, abounded. Swift's Battle of the Books, at the end of the Tale of a Tub, is evidently taken from this battle. of Boileau (Cant. v.) which is excellent in its kind. The fight of the Physicians in the Dispensary, is one of its most shining parts. There is a vast deal of propriety in the weapons Garth has given to his warriors. They are armed, much in character, with caustics, emetics, and cathartics ; with buckthorn, and steel-pills; with syringes, bed-pans, and urinals. The execution is exactly proportioned to the deadliness of such irresistible weapons; and the wounds inflicted, are suitable to the nature of each different instrument said to inflict them.

Warton.

IMITATIONS.

Ver. 89. (The same, his ancient personage to deck,] In imitation of the progress of Agamemnon's sceptre in Homer, II. ii. P.

Restore the Lock! she cries; and all around Restore the Lock! the vaulted roofs rebound. Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain

105 Roard for the handkerchief that caus’d his pain. But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd, And chiefs contend till all the prize is lost ! The Lock, obtain'd with guilt, and kept with pain, In ev'ry place is sought, but sought in vain : 110

NOTES. Ver. 105. fierce Othello. Rhymer, with a tasteless insensibility, laughed at the incident of losing the handkerchief, as triling. Neither he, nor the Spectator, seem to have known, that this incident, so beautifully natural, is in the Italian novel, which Shakespeare copied

Warton. Ver. 109. obtain'd with guilt.] We are now arrived at the grand catastrophe of the poem; the invaluable Lock which is so eagerly sought, is irrecoverably lost! And here our Poet has made a judicious use of that celebrated fiction of Ariosto; that all things lost on earth, are treasured in the moon. How such a fiction can properly have place in an epic poem, it becomes the defenders of this agreeably extravagant writer to justify; but in a comic poem, it appears with grace and consistency. The whole passage in Ariosto is full of wit and satire ; for wit and satire were, perhaps, among the chief and characteristical excellencies of this incomparable Italian.

In this repository in the lunar sphere, says the sprightly Italian, were to be found,

“ Cio che in somma quà giù perdesti mai,

Là su saltendo ritrovar potrai.” It is very remarkable, that the Poet had the boldness to place among these imaginary treasures, the famous deed of Constantine to Pope Silvester, “ if (says he) I may be allowed to say this,"

“ Questo era il dono (se pero dir lece)

Che Constantino al buon Silvestro fece." It may be observed in general, to the honour of the poets, both ancient and modern, that they have ever 'been some of the first, who have detected and opposed the false claims and mischievous usurpations of superstition and slavery. Nor can this be won

dered

be

With such a prize no mortal must be blest,
So heav'n decrees! with heav'n who can contest?

Some thought it mounted to the Lunar sphere,
Since all things lost on earth are treasur’d there.
There Heroes' wits are kept in pond'rous vases, 115
And Beaux in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases.
There broken vows, and death-bed alms are found,
And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound,
The courtier's promises, and sick men's pray’rs,
The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs, 120
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea,
Dry'd butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.

But trust the Muse—she saw it upward rise, Tho' mark’d by none but quick, poetic eyes: (So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew, To Proculus alone confess'd in view) A sudden Star, it shot through liquid air, And drew behind a radiant trail of hair. Not Berenice's Locks first rose so bright, The heav'ns bespangling with dishevell’d light. 130 The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies, And pleas'd pursue its progress through the skies.

NOTES.

dered at, since these two are the greatest enemies, not only to all true happiness, but to all true genius.

Warton. Ver. 114. Since all things lost] Vide Ariosto, Canto xxxiv. P. Ver. 132. through the skies.] One cannot sufficiently applaud

the VARIATIONS. Ver. 131. The Sylphs behold] These two lines added, for the same reason, to keep in view the Machinery of the Poem.

IMITATIONS. Ver. 128. “ Flammiferumque trahens spatioso limite crinem Stella micat.” Ovid.

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P.

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