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Close by those meads, for ever crown’d with
flowers, Where Thames with pride surveys his rising
towers, There stands a structure of majestic frame, Which from the neighboring Hampton takes its
Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom 5
obey, Dost sometimes counsel take-and sometimes tea.
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort, To taste awhile the pleasures of a court; 10 In various talk the instructive hours they pass’d, Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last; One speaks the glory of the British queen, And one describes a charming Indian screen; A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes; 15 At every word a reputation dies. Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat, With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day, The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray; 20
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign,
Behold, four kings, in majesty revered,
The skilful nymph reviews her force with care : • Let Spades be trumps !' she said, and trumps they were.
46 Now move to war her sable Matadores, In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors. Spadillio first, unconquerable lord ! Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board :
22 And wretches hang. From Congreve.
As many more Manillio forced to yield, 51
Thus far both armies to Belinda yield; 65
The baron now his Diamonds pours apace! 75 The embroider'd King, who shows but half his
face, And his refulgent Queen, with powers com
bined, Of broken troops, an easy conquest find. Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder seen, With throngs promiscuous strew the level green.
Thus when dispersed a routed army runs,
85 In heaps on heaps; one fate o’erwhelms them
all. The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, And wins (0 shameful chance!) the Queen of
Hearts. At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forsook, A livid paleness spreads o’er all her look; 90 She sees, and trembles at the approaching ill, Just in the jaws of ruin and Codille. And now, as oft in some distemper'd state, On one nice trick depends the general fate : An Ace of Hearts steps forth: the King unseen Lurk’d in her hand, and mourn'd his captive
Queen: He springs to vengeance with an eager pace, And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace. The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky; The walls, the woods, and long canals reply. 100
O thoughtless mortals, ever blind to fate, Too soon dejected, and too soon elate !
81 Thus when dispersed. Warton observes the reference of this passage to Vida :
Non aliter campis legio, &c. 101 O thoughtless mortals, &c.
Nescia mens hominum fati sortisque futuræ;
Virg. Æn. X. 501.
Sudden these honors shall be sateh'd away,
eyes; Sent up in vapors to the baron's brain New stratagems, the radiant lock to gain. 120 Ah, cease, rash youth! desist ere 'tis too late; Fear the just gods, and think of Scylla's fate! Changed to a bird, and sent to fit in air, She dearly pays for Nisus' injured hair! But when to mischief mortals bend their
will, How soon they find fit instruments of ill ! Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace A two-edged weapon from her shining case : So ladies in romance assist their knight, Present the spear, and arm him for the fight. 130 He takes the gift with reverence, and extends The little engine on his fingers' ends;