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CANTO III.

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

name:

Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom 5
Of foreign tyrants, and of nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms

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,
And wretches hang that jurymen may dine;
The merchant from the Exchange returns in peace,
And the long labors of the toilet cease.
Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites, 25
Burns to encounter two adventurous knights,
At ombre singly to decide their doom;
And swells her breast with conquests yet to come.
Straight the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the sacred Nine. 30
Soon as she spreads her hand, the aërial guard
Descend, and sit 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, 35
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.

Behold, four kings, in majesty revered,
With hoary whiskers and a forky beard;
And four fair queens, whose hands sustain a flower,
The expressive emblem of their softer power; 40
Four knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band,
Caps on their heads, and halberds in their hand;
And party-color'd troops, a shining train,
Draw forth to combat on the velvet plain.

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
And march'd a victor from the verdant field:
Him Basto follow'd; but his fate, more hard,
Gain'd but one trump and one plebeian card.
With his broad sabre next, a chief in years, 56
The hoary majesty of Spades appears ;
Puts forth one manly leg, to sight reveal'd;
The rest, his many-color'd robe conceald.
The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the just victim of his royal rage. 60
Ev’n mighty Pam, that Kings and Queens o'er-

threw,
And mow'd down armies in the fights of Ln;
Sad chance of war! now destitute of aid,
Falls undistinguish'd by the victor Spade!

Thus far both armies to Belinda yield; 65
Now to the baron fate inclines the field.
His warlike Amazon her host invades,
The imperial consort of the crown of Spades.
The Clubs' black tyrant first her victim died,
Spite of his haughty mien and barbarous pride:
What boots the regal circle on his head,
His giant limbs, in state unwieldy spread;
That long behind he trails his pompous robe,
And, of all monarchs, only grasps the globe?

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.

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Thus when dispersed a routed army runs,
Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons,
With like confusion different nations fly,
Of various habit, and of various die;
The pierced battalions disunited fall,

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 !

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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;
Et servare modum, rebus sublata secundis !
Turno tempus erit, magno cum optaverit emtum
Intactum Pallanta ; et cum spolia ista diemque
Oderit.

Virg. Æn. X. 501.

105

Sudden these honors shall be sateh'd away,
And cursed for ever this victorious day.
For, lo! the board with cups and spoons is

crown'd,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round;
On shining altars of Japan they raise
The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze;
From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoking tide:
At once they gratify their seent and taste, 111
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Straight hover round the fair her airy band;
Some, as she sipp'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 wise,
And see through all things with his half-shut

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;

125

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