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LOSE by thofe meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,
Where Thames with pride furveys his rifing tow'rs, There ftands a ftructure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its
Here Britain's statesmen 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 refort,
To taste awhile the pleafures of a Court;
In various talk th' instructive hours they past,
Who gave the ball, or paid the vifit laft;
One speaks the glory of the British Queen,
And one defcribes a charming Indian fcreen ;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
At ev'ry word a reputation dies.
VER. 1. Clofe by thofe meads,] The firft Edition continues from this line to v. 24. of this Canto. VER. 11, 12. Originally in the first Edition, In various talk the chearful hours they past, Of, who was bit, or who capotted last. L
Snuff, or the fan, fupply each pause of chat,
With finging, laughing, ogling, and all that.
Mean while, declining from the noon of day,
The fun obliquely shoots his burning ray ;
The hungry Judges foon the sentence fign,
And wretches hang that jury-men may dine;
The merchant from th' Exchange returns in peace,
And the long labours of the Toilet cease.
Belinda now, whom thirft of fame invites,
Burns to encounter two advent'rous 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 she spreads her hand, th' aërial guard
Defcend, and fit on each important card :
First 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 whifkers and a forky beard;
And four fair Queens whofe hands sustain a flow'r,
Th' expreffive emblem of their fofter pow'r;
Four Knaves in garbs fuccinct, a trusty band,
Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand;
And particolour'd troops, a fhining train,
Draw forth to combat on the velvet plain.
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 v. 105. which connected thus,
Sudden the board with cups and spoons is crown'd. P.
The fkilful Nymph reviews her force with care: Let Spades be trumps! she said, and trumps they
Now move to war her fable Matadores,
In fhow like leaders of the swarthy 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 Majefty 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 just 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 undistinguish'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 firft her victim dy'd,
Spite of his haughty mien, and barb'rous pride:
VER. 47. Now move to war, etc.] The whole idea of this defcription of a game at Ombre, is taken from Vida's defcription of a game at Chefs, in his poem intit. Scacchia Ludus.
What boots the regal circle on his head,
His giant limbs, in ftate unwieldy spread;
That long behind he trails his pompous robe,
And, of all monarchs, only grafps the globe?
The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace;
Th' embroider'd King who fhows but half his face,
And his refulgent Queen, with pow'rs combin'd
Of broken troops an easy conqueft find.
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild diforder feen,
With throngs promifcuous ftrow the level green.
Thus when difpers'd a routed army runs,
Of Afia's troops, and Afric's fable fons,
With like confufion different nations fly,
Of various habit, and of various dye,
The pierc'd battalions dif-united fall,
In heaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them all.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts,
And wins (oh fhameful chance!) the Queen of
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.
And now, (as oft in fome diftemper'd State)
On one nice Trick depends the genʼral fate.
An Ace of Hearts fteps forth: The King unseen
Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn'd his captive Queen:
He fprings to vengeance with an eager pace,
And falls like thunder on the proftrate Ace.
The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky;
The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.
O thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate,
Too foon dejected, and too foon elate.
Sudden, these honours fhall be fratch'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 fhining Altars of Japan they raise
The filver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze:
From filver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the fmoaking tide :
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repafte.
Strait hover round the Fair her airy band;
Some, as the 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 wife,
And fee thro' all things with his half-fhut eyes)
Sent up in vapours to the Baron's brain
New ftratagems, the radiant Lock to gain.
Ah cease, rafh youth! defist ere 'tis too late,
Fear the juft Gods, and think of Scylla's Fate!
VER. 122. and think of Scylla's Fate !] Vide OvidMetam. viii.
VER. 105. Sudden the board, etc.] From hence, the firft Edition continues to v. 134.
Nefcia mens hominum fati fortifque futuræ,
Et fervare modum, rebus fublata fecundis !
Turno tempus erit, magno cum optaverit emptum
Intactum Pallanta; et cum fpolia ifta diemque