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"Tis but their Sylph, the wife Celestials know, Tho' Honour is the word with Men below,
Some nymphs there are, too confcious of their
For life predeftin'd to the Gnomes embrace.
These swell their prospects and exalt their pride,
When offers are difdain'd, and love deny'd :
Then gay Ideas croud the vacant brain,
While Peers, and Dukes, and all their sweeping train,
And Garters, Stars, and Coronets appear,
And in foft founds, Your Grace falutes their ear.
'Tis these that early taint the female foul,
Inftruct the eyes of young Coquettes to roll,
Teach Infant-cheeks a bidden blush to know,
And little hearts to flutter at a Beau:
Oft, when the World imagine women stray,
The Sylphs thro' myftic mazes guide their way,
Thro' all the giddy circle they pursue,
And old impertinence expel by new.
What tender maid but muft a victim fall
To one man's treat, but for another's ball?
When Florio speaks what virgin could withstand,
If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand?
With varying vanities, from ev'ry part,
They shift the moving Toyfhop of their heart;
VER. 78. Tho' Honour is the word with Men below.] Parody of Homer.
VER. 79. too conscious of their face,] i. e. too fenfible of their beauty.
Where wigs with wigs, with fword-knots fwordknots strive,
Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive.
This erring mortals Levity may call,
Oh blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all.
Of these am I, who thy protection claim,
A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name.
Late, as I rang'd the cryftal wilds of air,
In the clear Mirror of thy ruling Star
I faw, alas! fome dread event impend,
Ere to the main this morning fun descend,
But heav'n reveals not what, or how, or where :
Warn'd by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware!
This to disclose is all thy guardian can :
Beware of all, but moft beware of Man!
He faid; when Shock, who thought she slept too long, Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue. 'Twas then Belinda, if report fay true,
Thy eyes firft open'd on a Billet-doux ;
Wounds, Charms, and Ardors, were no fooner read, But all the Vision vanish'd from thy head.
VER: 108. In the clear Mirror] The Language of the Platonifts, the writers of the intelligible world of Spirits, etc. P.
Jam clypeus clypeis, umbone repellitur umbo,
Enfe minax enfis, pede pes et cufpide cufpis, etc. Stat.
And now, unveil'd, the Toilet ftands difplay'd, Each filver Vafe in mystic order laid.
First, rob'd in white, the Nymph intent adores,
With head uncover'd, the Cosmetic pow'rs.
A heav'nly Image in the glass appears,
To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears;
VER. 121. And now, unveil'd, etc.] The tranflation of thefe verses, containing the defcription of the toilette, by our Author's friend Dr. Parnelle, deferve for their hu mour, to be here inferted.
Et nunc dilectum fpeculum, pro more retectum,
Emicat in menfa, quæ fplendet pyxide denfa :
Tum primum lympha, fe purgat candida Nympha,
Jamque fine menda, cœleftis imago videnda,
Nuda caput, bellos retinet, regit, implet ocellos.
Hæc ftupet explorans, ceu cultûs numen adorans.
Inferior claram Pythoniffa apparet ad aram,
Fertque tibi caute, dicatque Superbia! laute,
Dona venufta; oris, quæ cunctis, plena laboris,
Excerpta explorat, dominamque deamque decorat.
Pyxide devota, fe pandit hic India tota,
Et tota ex ifta tranfpirat Arabia cista;
Teftudo hic flectit, dum fe mea Lesbia pectit;
Atque elephas lente, te pectit Lesbia dente;
Hunc maculis noris, nivei jacet ille coloris.
Hic jacet et munde, mundus muliebris abunde ;
Spinula refplendens æris longo ordine pendens,
Pulvis fuavis odore, et epiftola fuavis amore.
Induit arma ergo Veneris pulcherrima virgo;
Pulchrior in præfens tempus de tempore crefcens ;
Jam reparat rifus, jam furgit gratia vifus,
Jam promit cultu, mirac'la latentia vultu ;
Pigmina jam mifcet, quo plus fua Purpura glifcet,
Et geminans bellis fplendet mage fulgor ocellis.
Stant Lemures muti, Nymphæ intentique faluti,
Hic figit Zonam, capiti locat ille Coronam,
Hæc manicis formam, plicis dat et altera normam;
Et tibi vel Betty, tibi vel nitidiffima Letty!
Gloria factorum temere conceditur horum.
Th' inferior Prieftefs, at her altar's fide,
Trembling, begins the facred rites of Pride.
Unnumber'd treasures ope at once, and here
The various off'rings of the world appear;
From each fhe nicely culls with curious toil,
And decks the Goddess with the glitt'ring spoil.
This cafket India's glowing gems unlocks,
And all Arabia breathes from yonder box.
The Tortoife here and Elephant unite,
Transform'd to combs, the fpeckled, and the white.
Here files of pins extend their fhining rows,
Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux.
Now awful Beauty puts on all its arms;
The fair each moment rises in her charms,
Repairs her smiles, awakens ev'ry grace,
And calls forth all the wonders of her face,
Sees by degrees a purer blush arife,
And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes.
The bufy Sylphs furround their darling care,
These set the head, and those divide the hair,
Some fold the fleeve, whilft others plait the gown;
And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own.
VER. 145. The bufy Sylphs, etc.] Antient Traditions of the Rabbi's relate, that feveral of the fallen Angels became amorous of Women, and particularly fome; among the reft Afael, who lay with Naamah, the wife of Noah, or of Ham; and who continuing impenitent, ftill prefides over the Women's Toilets. Berefhi Rabbi in Genef. vi. 2.
TOT with more glories, in th' etherial plain,
The Sun first rises o'er the purpled main,
Than, iffuing forth, the rival of his beams
Launch'd on the bofom of the filver Thames.
Fair Nymphs, and well-drest Youths around her
But ev'ry eye was fix'd on her alone.
On her white breast a sparkling Cross she wore,
Which Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore.
Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose,
Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as thofe :
Favours to none, to all fhe fmiles extends
Oft the rejects, but never once offends.
Bright as the fun, her eyes the gazers strike,
And, like the fun, they shine on all alike.
Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride 15
Might hide her faults, if Belles had faults to hide :
If to her share some female errors fall,
Look on her face, and you'll forget 'em all.
VER. 4. Launch'd on the bofom] From hence the continues, in the firft Edition, to v. 46.
The reft the winds difpers'd in empty air,
all after, to the end of this Canto, being additional. P.