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How fhall I, then, your helpless fame defend?.
'Twill then be infamy to seem your friend!
And shall this prize, th' inestimable prize,
Expos'd thro' cryftal to the gazing eyes,
And heighten'd by the diamond's circling rays, 115
On that rapacious hand for ever blaze!
Sooner fhall glass in Hyde-park Circus grow,
And wits take lodgings in the found of Bow?
Sooner let earth, air, sea, to Chaos fall,
Men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, perish all!
She faid; then raging to Sir Plume repairs, And bids her Beau demand the precious hairs: (Sir Plume of amber fnuff-box justly vain, And the nice conduct of a clouded cane) With earnest eyes, and round unthinking face, He first the fnuff box open'd, then the cafe, And thus broke out- My Lord, why, what the "devil? "Z-ds! damn the Lock! 'fore Gad, you must be "civil!
"Plague on't! 'tis past a jeft-nay prithee, pox! "Give her the hair"-he spoke, and rapp'd his box. It grieves me much (reply'd the Peer again) Who fpeaks fo well should ever speak in vain, But by this Lock, this facred Lock I swear, (Which never more shall join its parted hair; Which never more its honours fhall renew, Clipp'd from the lovely head where late it grew) That while noftrils draw the vital air, This hand, which won it, fhall for ever wear.
VER. 133. But by this Lock,] In allufion to Achilles's oath in Homer, 11. i.
He fpoke, and fpeaking, in proud triumph fpread
The long contended honours of her head.
But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not fo;
He breaks the Vial whence the forrows flow.
Then fee! the Nymph in beauteous grief appears,
Her eyes half-languishing, half-drown'd in tears;
On her heav'd bofom hung her drooping head,
Which, with a figh, the rais'd; and thus fhe faid:
For ever curs'd be this detefted day,
Which fnatch'd my beft, my fav'rite curl away!
Happy! ah ten times happy had I been,
If Hampton-Court these eyes had never seen!
Yet am not I the firft mistaken maid
By love of courts to num'rous ills betray'd.
Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd
In fome lone isle, or distant northern land;
Where the gilt Chariot never marks the way,
Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste Bohea!
There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye,
Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.
What mov'd my mind with youthful Lords to roam ?
O had I stay'd, and faid my pray'rs at home!
'Twas this, the morning omens seem'd to tell,
Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell;
The tott'ring China fhook without a wind,
Nay Poll fat mute, and Shock was most unkind!
A Sylph too warn'd me of the threats of Fate,
In myftic vifions, now believ'd too late!
See the poor remnants of these flighted hairs!
My hands fhall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares :
VER. 141, 142. But Umbriel, bateful Gnome! forbears not so; He breaks the Vial whence the forrows flow.] Thefe two lines are additional; and affign the cause of the different operation on the Paffions of the two Ladies. The poem went on before without that diftinction, as without any machinery, to the end of the Canto.
Thefe in two fable ringlets taught to break,
Once gave new beauties to the fnowy neck;
The fifter-lock now fits uncouth, alone,
And in its fellow's fate forefees its own;
Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal fheers demands,
And tempts, once more, thy facrilegious hands.
Oh hadst thou, cruel! been content to feize
Hairs lefs in fight, or any hairs but these!
HE faid: the pitying audience melt in tears; stopp'd the Baron's ears.
In vain Thaleftris with reproach affails,
For who can move when fair Belinda fails?
Not half fo fix'd the Trojan could remain,
While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain.
Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan;
Silence enfu'd, and thus the Nymph began.
Say, why are Beauties prais'd and honour'd most,
The wife man's paffion, and the vain man's toast ? 10
Why deck'd with all that land and fea afford,
Why Angels call'd and Angel-like ador❜d ?
Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd Beaux,
Why bows the fide-box from its inmost rows?
How vain are all thefe glories, all our pains,
Unless good fense preserve what beauty gains:
That men may say, when we the front-box grace,
Behold the first in virtue as in face!
Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day,
Charm'd the small-pox, or chas'd old age away;
Who would not fcorn what housewife's cares produce,
Or who would learn one earthly thing of use?
VER. 7. Then grave Clarissa, etc.] A new Character introduced in the fubfequent editions, to open more clearly the MORAL of the Poem, in a Parody of the speech of Sarpedon to Glaucus in Homer.
To patch, nay ogle, might become a Saint,
Nor could it fure be such a fin to paint.
But fince, alas! frail beauty muft decay,
Curl'd or uncurl'd, fince Locks will turn to grey;
Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade,
And the who fcorns a man, must die a maid;
What then remains, but well our pow'r to use,
And keep good-humour ftill whate'er we lofe?
And trust me, Dear! good humour can prevail,
When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding fail.
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms strike the fight, but merit wins the foul.
So fpoke the Dame, but no applause enfu'd;
Belinda frown'd, Thaleftris call'd her Prude.
To arms, to arms! the fierce Virago cries,
And swift as lightning to the combat flies.
All fide in parties, and begin th' attack;
Fans clap, filks ruftle, and tough whalebones crack;
Heroes and Heroines fhouts confus'dly rife,
And bafs and treble voices ftrike the skies.
No common weapon in their hands are found,
Like Gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound.
So when bold Homer makes the Gods engage, 45
And heav'nly breasts with human paffions rage;
'Gainft Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms;
And all Olympus rings with loud alarms;
VER. 45. So when bold Homer] Homer, Il. xx.
VER. 35. So fpoke the Dame,] It is a verse frequently repeated im Homer after any speech;
So spoke and all the Heroes applauded.
VER. 37. To arms, to arms!] From hence the first edition goes on to the Conclufion, except a very few fhort infertions added, to keep the Machinery in view to the end of the poem,