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Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;
Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis. Mart.
It appears by this motto that the following poem was written or published at the lady's request. But there are some further circumstances not unworthy relating. Mr. Caryl (a gentleman who was secretary to Queen Mary, wife of James II. whose fortunes he followed into France, author of the comedy of Sir Solomon Single, and of several translations in Dryden's Miscellanies) originally proposed 7
the subject to him, in a view of putting an end, by this piece of ridicule, to a quarrel that was risen between two noble families, those of Lord Petre and of Mrs. Fermor, on the trifling occasion of his having cut off a lock of her hair. The author sent it to the lady, with whom he was acquainted; and she took it so well as to give about copies of it. That first sketch (we learn from one of his letters) was written in less than a fortnight, in 1711, in two Cantos only, and it was so printed; first, in a miscellany of Bern. Lantot's, without the name of the author. But it was received so well, that he made it more considerable the next year by the addition of the machinery of the Sylphs, and extended it to five Cantos. We shall give the reader the pleasure of seeing in what manner these additions were inserted, so as to seem not to be added, but to grow out of the poem. See notes, Canto I. ver. 19, &c.
Ver. 11, 12. It was in the first editions,
And dwells such rage in softest bosoms then,
Ver. 13, &c. stood thus in the first edition,
Sol through white curtains did his beams display,
Ver. ip. 'Belinda still,' &c.] All the verses from hence to the end of this Canto were added afterwards.
Armorumque fuit vivis, quae cura nitentes
Ver. JOS. 'In the clear mirror.'] The Ian