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Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,

To change a Flounce, or add a Furbelow.

This day, black Omens threat the brightest Fair That e'er deferv'd a watchful spirit's care;

Some dire difafter, or by force, or flight;

But what, or where, the fates have wrap'd in night.
Whether the nymph fhall break Diana's law,
Or fome frail China-jar receive a flaw:
Or ftain her honour, or her new brocade;
Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade;
Or lofe her heart, or necklace at a ball;



Or whether Heaven has doom'd that Shock must fall,
Hafte then, ye fpirits! to your charge repair:
The fluttering fan be Zephyretta's care;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign;
And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
Do thou, Crifpiffa, tend her favorite Lock;
Ariel himself fhall be the guard of Shock,


To fifty chofen Sylphs, of special note, We trust th' important charge, the Petticoat: Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail, Though ftiff with hoops, and arm'd with ribs of whale; Form a ftrong line about the filver bound, And guard the wide circumference around, Whatever fpirit, careless of his charge, His poft neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance foon o'ertake his fins, Be ftop'd in viols, or transfix'd with pins;


Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie,

Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye;


Gums and Pomatums shall his flight restrain,
While clog'd he beats his filken wings in vain;
Or Alum ftyptics with contracting power
Shrink his thin effence like a fhrivel'd flower:
Or, as Ixion fix'd, the wretch shall feel
The giddy motion of the whirling Mill,
In fumes of burning Chocolate fhall glow,
And tremble at the fea that froths below!

He spoke; the spirits from the fails descend;
Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend;
Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair:
Some hang upon the pendants of her ear;
With beating hearts the dire event they wait,
Anxious, and trembling for the birth of Fate.




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LOSE by those meads, for ever crown'd with flowers, Where Thames with pride furveys his rifing towers, There stands a structure of majestic frame,

Which from the neighboring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's ftatesmen oft the fall foredoom

Of foreign Tyrants, and of Nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Doft fometimes counsel take-and fometimes tea.
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,
To taste a while the pleasures of a Court;




Ver. 1. Close by those meads,] The first edition con

tinues from this line to ver. 24. of this Canto.

In various talk th' inftructive hours they past,
Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last;
One speaks the glory of the British Queen,
And one defcribes a charming Indian fcreen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
At every word a reputation dies.

Snuff, or the fan, fupply each pause of chat,
With finging, laughing, ogling, and all that.
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,
The fun obliquely fhoots his burning ray;
The hungry Judges foon the fentence fign,
And wretches hang that Jurymen may dine;
The merchant from th' Exchange returns in peace,
And the long labours of the toilet ceafe.
Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites,
Burns to encounter two adventurous Knights,
At Ombre fingly to decide their doom;
And fwells her breaft with conquefts yet to come.
Strait the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the facred nine.
Soon as the fpreads her hand, th' aërial guard
Defcend, and fit on each important card :

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Ver. 11, 12. Originally in the first edition,

In various talk the chearful hours they paft,
Of, who was bit, or who capotted last.

Ver. 24. And the long labours of the toilet ceafe.] All that follows of the game at Ombre, was added fince the first edition, till ver. 105. which connected thus: Sudden the board with cups and poons is crown'd.

Firft Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore,

Then each according to the rank they bore;

For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race,
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.
Behold, four Kings in majesty rever'd,
With hoary whiskers and a forky beard;

And four fair Queens, whofe hands sustain a flower,
Th' expreffive emblem of their fofter power;
Four Knaves in garbs fuccinct, a trusty band;
Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand;
And party-colour'd troops, a fhining train,
Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain.

The skilful Nymph reviews her force with care:




Let Spades be trumps! she said, and trumps they were. Now move to war her fable Matadores,

In fhow like leaders of the fwarthy Moors.

Spadillio firft, unconquerable Lord!

Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board.


As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,

And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Bafto follow'd, but his fate more hard
Gain'd but one trump, and one Plebeian card.
With his broad fabre next, a chief in years,
The hoary Majesty of Spades appears,
Puts forth one manly leg, to fight reveal'd,
The reft, his many-colour'd robe conceal'd.


The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,

Proves the juft victim of his royal rage.


Ev'n mighty Pam, that Kings and Queens o'erthrew,

And mow'd down armies in the fights of Lu,


Sad chance of war! now deftitute of aid,
Falls undiftinguish'd by the victor Spade!

Thus far both armies to Belinda yield;
Now to the Baron fate inclines the field.
His warlike Amazon her host invades,
Th' imperial confort of the crown of Spades.
The Club's black tyrant first her victim dy'd,
Spite of his haughty mien, and barbarous pride:
What boots the regal circle on his head,
His giant limbs in ftate unwieldy spread;
That long behind he trails his pompous robę,
And, of all monarchs, only grafps the globe?
The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace;
Th' embroider'd King who fhews but half his face,
And his refulgent Queen, with powers combin'd,
Of broken troops an easy conqueft find.
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder feen,
With throngs promifcuous ftrow the level green.
Thus when difpers'd a routed army runs,
Of Afia's troops, and Afric's sable fons,
With like confufion different nations fly,
Of various habit, and of various dye,
The pierc'd battalions difunited fall,






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 forfook,
A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look;
She fees, and trembles at th' approaching ill,
Juft in the jaws of ruin, and Codille,



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