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Thus when dispers'd a routed army runs,

81 Of Asia's troops, and Afric's fable fons, With like confusion different nations fly, Of various habit, and of various die; The pierc'd 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;

go She sees, and trembles at th’approaching ill, Just in the jaws of ruin, and Codille. And now (as oft in some distemper'd State) On one nice Trick depends the gen’ral fate: An Ace of Hearts steps forth: The King unseen 95 Lurk’d in her hand, and mourn’d his captive Queen: 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.




VER. 95. An Ace of Hearts steps forth:] Nothing can exceed Pope's powers of description, as displayed in this game of Cards. His mock-heroic paintings of the Kings, their enfigns, and characters, are inimitable. Warton in his Efray, speaking of Windsor Foreft, says, descriptive Poetry was by no means the shining talent of Pope. Of rural objects Pope was not an able describer, as he could not be an accurate observer ; but in description of scenes taken from artificial Life, his powers are very manifest. This distinction should be always attended to, in estimating Pope's poctical character.

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Oh thoughtless mortals ! ever blind to fate,
Too soon dejected, and too soon elate.
Sudden these honours shall be fnatch'd away,
And curs'd for ever this victorious day.

For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round; 106
On shining altars of Japan they raise
The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze :
From filver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoaking tide :
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Straight hover round the Fair her airy band;
Some, as she fipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd,
Some o'er her lap their.careful plumes display'd,
Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade. 116
Coffee (which makes the politician wise,
And see through all things with his half-fhut eyes)
Sent up in vapours to the Baron's brain
New Stratagems, the radiant Lock to gain.





Ver. 105. Sudden the board, &c.] From hence, the first Edition continues to ver. 134.


- Ver. 101.]
“ Nescia mens hominum fati fortisque futuræ ;

Et fervare modum, rebus sublata fecundis !
Turno tempus erit magno cum optaverit emptum
Intactum Pallanta ; et cum spolia ifta diemque


Ah cease, rash youth! desist ere ʼtis too late,
Fear the just Gods, and think of Scylla's Fate!
Chang'd to a bird, and sent to flit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair!

But when to Mischief mortals bend their will,
How soon they find fit Instruments of ill ? 126
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace
A two-edg'd weapon from her shining case:
So Ladies in Romance assist their Knight,
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight. 130
He takes the gift with rev'rence, 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.
Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprites repair, 135
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair;
And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear;
Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel fought
The clofe recesses of the Virgin's thought : 140
As on the nosegay in her breast reclin'd,
He watch'd th' ideas rising in her mind,
Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her art,
An earthly Lover lurking at her heart.



Ver. 134.] In the first Edition it was thus,

As o’er the fragrant stream she bends her head.



VER. 122. and think of Scylla's Fate !] Vide Ovid's Me


tam. viii.

Amaz’d, confus’d, he found his pow'r expir'd, 145 Resign'd to fate, and with a sigh retir'd.

The Peer now spreads the glitt'ring Forfex wide, T'inclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide. Ev’n then, before the fatal engine clos'a, A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos’d; 150 Fate urg'd the sheers, and cut the Sylph in twain, (But airy substance foon unites again,)


Ver. 147.]

First he expands the glitt'ring Forfex wide
T'inclose the Luck; then joins it to divide:
The meeting points the sacred hair dislever,

From the fair head, for ever, and for ever.
All that is between was added afterwards.

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VER. 152. But airy substance] See Milton, lib. vi. of Satan cut asunder by the Angel Michael.

Pope. This line is an admirable parody on that passage of Milton, which, perhaps oddly enough, describes Satan wounded :

“ The griding sword, with discontinuous wound,

Pafs'd thro' him ; but th' etherial substance clos’d,

Not long divisible.” The parodies are some of the most exquisite parts of this poem. That which follows from the “ Dum juga montis aper,” of Virgil, contains some of the most artful strokes of satire, and the moit poignant ridicule imaginable.

The introduction of frequent parodies on serious and folemn palsages of Homer and Virgil, gives much life and spirit to heroicomic poetry.

“ Tu dors, Prelat? tu dors?" in Boileau, is the “ Evdeus Ale: vie” of Homer, and is full of humour. The wife of the barber talks in the language of Dido in her expoftulations to her Æneas, at the beginning of the second Canto of the Lutrin. Pope's parodies of Sarpedon in Homer, and of the


The meeting points the sacred hair diffever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever! 154

Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th’ affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying heav'n are cast,
When husbands, or when lap-dogs breathe their last;
Or when rich China vessels fall’n from high,
In glitt'ring dust, and painted fragments lie! 160

Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine,
(The Victor cry'd,) the glorious prize is mine!
While fish in streams, or birds delight in air,
Or in a coach and fix the British Fair,
As long as Atalantis shall be read,

165 Or the small pillow grace a Lady's bed,


NOTES. description of Achilles's sceptre, together with the scales of Jupiter, from Homer, Virgil, and Milton, are judiciously introduced in their several places; are perhaps superior to those Boileau or Garth have used, and are worked up with peculiar pleafantry. The mind of the reader is engaged by novelty, when it so unexpectedly finds a thought or object it had been accustomed to survey in another form, suddenly arrayed in a ridiculous garb. A mixture also of comic and ridiculous images, with such as are serious and important, adds no small beauty to this species of poetry, when real and imaginary diftreffes are coupled together.

«Not youthful kings, in battle seiz'd alive,

Not scornful virgins who their charms survive," &c. Which is much superior to a similar passage in the Dispensary, Canto v.

WARTON. VER. 165. Atalantis] A famous book written about that time by a woman: full of Court and Party scandal; and in a loose effeminacy of style and sentiment, which well-suited the debauched taste of the better vulgar.



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