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CANTO V.

She said: the pitying audience melt in tears,
But fate and Jove had stopp'd the baron's ears.
In vain Thalestris with reproach assails;
For who can move when fair Belinda fails?
Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain, 5
While Anna begg'd and Dido raged in vain.
Then grave Clarissa graceful waved her fan;
Silence ensued, and thus the nymph began :-
“Say, why are beauties praised and honor'd

most,
The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast ?
Why deck'd with all that land and sea afford ? 11
Why angels calld, and angel-like adored ?
Why round our coaches crowd the white-gloved ·

beaux ? Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows ? How vain are all these glories, all our pains, 15 Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains : That men may say, when we the front-box grace, Behold the first in virtue as in face ! 0! if to dance all night, and dress all day, 19 Charm'd the small-pox, or chased old-age away; Who would not scorn what housewife's cares pro

duce, Or who would learn one earthly thing of use?

To patch, nay, ogle, might become a saint,
Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.
But since, alas ! frail beauty must decay; 25
Curld or uncurld, since locks will turn to gray ;
Since painted or not painted, all shall fade;
And she who scorns a man, must die a maid ;
What then remains, but well our power to use,
And keep good-humor still, whate'er we lose ? 30
And trust me, dear! good-humor can prevail,
When airs, and fights, and screams, and scolding

fail. Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.'

So spoke the dame, but no applause ensued; 35 Belinda frown'd, Thalestris call'd her prude. • To arms, to arms ! the fierce virago cries, And swift as lightning to the combat flies. All side in parties, and begin the attack; Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones crack;

40 Heroes' and heroines’ shouts confusedly rise, And bass and treble voices strike the skies. No common weapons in their hands are found ; Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound. So when bold Homer makes the gods engage,

45 And heavenly breasts with human passions rage; 'Gainst Pallas, Mars ; Latona, Hermes arms; And all Olympus rings with loud alarms:

35 So spoke the dame. A verse frequently repeated in Homer after a speech :

So spoke-, and all the heroes applauded. 45 So when bold Homer. Il. xx.-P.

Jove's thunder roars, heaven trembles all around, Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound :

50 Earth shakes her nodding towers, the ground

gives way, And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day!

Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height Clapp'd his glad wings, and sat to view the

fight: Propp'd on their bodkin spears, the sprites survey The growing combat, or assist the fray. While through the press enraged Thalestris

flies, And scatters death around from both her eyes, A beau and witling perish'd in the throng; One died in metaphor, and one in song. 60 • O cruel nymph! a living death I bear,' Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair. A mournful glance sir Fopling upwards cast : · Those eyes are made so killing !'-was his last. Thus on Mæander's flowery margin lies 65 The expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.

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53 Triumphant Umbrie!. Minerva, in like manner, during the battle of Ulysses with the suitors in the Odyssey, perches on a beam of the roof to behold it.-P.

64 Those eyes are made so killing! The absurd words of a song in the opera of Camilla.' The tide of fashion ran in favor of the Italian opera; the tide of wit, satire, and national feeling against it : fashion triumphed; and the opera, as unnatural as ever, still holds up its head, in despite of perpetual bankruptcy, and in defiance of all the caprices of noble patronage. 65 Thus on Mæander's flowery margin lies.

Sic ubi fata vocant, udis abjectus in herbis,
Ad vada Mæandri concinit albus olor.

Ovid. Ep. vii. 1.

When bold sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down, Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown: She smiled to see the doughty hero slain, But, at her smile, the beau revived again. 70

Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air, Weighs the men's wits against the lady's hair : The doubtful beam long nods from side to side; At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside.

See fierce Belinda on the baron flies, 75 With more than usual lightning in her eyes: Nor fear'd, the chief the unequal fight to try, Who sought no more than on his foe to die. But this bold lord, with manly strength endued, 79 She with one finger and a thumb subdued : Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew, A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw: The gnomes direct, to every atom just, The pungent grains of titillating dust. Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows, 85 And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.

• Now meet thy fate,' incensed Belinda cried, And drew a deadly bodkin from her side. The same, his ancient personage to deck, Her great great-grandsire wore about his neck, 90 In three seal-rings ; which after, melted down, Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown:

71 Now Jove, 8c. Homer, II. vii. and Virg. Æn. xii.

75 See fierce Belinda. Mock fights have been favorite trials of poetry, since the · Battle of the Frogs and Mice :' thus Boileau has his skirmish in the bookseller's shop ; Swift, his · Battle of the Books ;' Garth, his massacre of the physicians, in the ' Dispensary.'

89 The same, his ancient personage to deck. In imitation of the progress of Agamemnon's sceptre in Homer, Il. ii.

Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew;
The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew;
Then in a bodkin graced her mother's hairs, 95
Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.

Boast not my fall,' he cried, insulting foe!
Thou by some other shalt be laid as low :
Nor think, to die dejects my lofty mind;
All that I dread is leaving you behind ! 100
Rather than so, ah, let me still survive,
And burn in Cupid's flames—but burn alive.'

• Restore the lock !' she cries; and all around • Restore the lock !' the vaulted roofs rebound. Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain

105 Roard for the handkerchief that caused his

pain. But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd, And chiefs contend till all the prize is lost! The lock, obtain'd with guilt, and kept with

pain, In every place is sought, but sought in vain : 110 With such a prize no mortal must be bless'd; So Heaven decrees! with Heaven who can con

test?

106 Roar'd for the handkerchief. Pope here seems to ridicule the fine incident of Desdemona's handkerchief; but Shakspeare had not yet attained the veneration which has since immortalised his name: the taste of the higher ranks was infected with the stiff frivolities of the French stage : Shakspeare was fashionably pronounced a clever barbarian; and the man must have been a daring defier of high-born opinion, who asserted his simple, true, and infinite superiority over all the strainings of French magniloquence. The incident belongs to the Italian novel; but the agonising power with which it is wrought, to the great poet alone.

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