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Cremona now shall ever boast thy name,
As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!

But soon by impious arms from Latium chased,
Their ancient bounds the banish'd Muses pass'd.
Thence arts o'er all the northern world advance,
But critic-learning flourish'd most in France ;
The rules a nation, born to serve, obeys;
And Boileau still in right of Horace sways.
But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despised,
And kept unconquer'd, and uncivilised;
Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold,
We still defied the Romans, as of old.
Yet some there were, among the sounder few
Of those who less presumed and better knew,
Who durst assert the juster ancient cause,
And here restored wit's fundamental laws.
Such was the Muses, whose rules and practice tell,
“Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well.”
Such was Roscommon , not more learn'd than good,
With manners generous as his noble blood;
To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And every author's merit, but his own.

s Essay on Poetry by John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham. Our poet is not the only one of his time who complimented this Essay, and its noble author. Mr. Dryden had done it very largely, in the dedication to his translation of the Æneid; and Dr. Garth in the first edition of his Dispensary says,

“The Tyber now no courtly Gallus sees,

But smiling Thames enjoys his Normanbys ;" though afterwards omitted, when parties were carried so high in the reign of Queen Anne, as to allow no commendation to an opposite in politics. The duke was all his life a steady adherent to the Church of England party, yet an enemy to the extravagant measures of the court in the reign of Charles II. On which account, after having strongly patronised Mr. Dryden, a coolness succeeded between them on that poet's absolute attachment to the court, which carried him some length beyond what the duke could approve of. This nobleman's true character had been very well marked by Mr. Dryden before :

"The Muse's friend,
Himself a muse. In Sanadrin's debate
True to his prince, but not a slave of state.”.

Abs. and Achit. Our author was more happy; he was honoured very young with his friendship, and it continued til his death in all the circumstances of a familiar esteem.

t Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, nephew of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, born in Ireland 1633, devoted the later years of his life to literature, and concerted with Dryden plans to fix and refine the English language. He died 1684, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Such late was Walsh–the Muse's judge and friend,
Who justly knew to blame or to commend ;
To failings mild, but zealous for desert;
The clearest head, and the sincerest heart.
This humble praise, lamented shade, receive !
This praise at least a grateful Muse may give :
The Muse, whose early voice you taught to sing,
Prescribed her heights, and pruned her tender wing,
(Her guide now lost) no more attempts to rise,
But in low numbers short excursions tries :
Content, if hence the unlearn’d their wants may view,
The learn’d reflect on what before they knew :
Careless of censure, nor too fond of fame;
Still pleased to praise, yet not afraid to blame ;
Averse alike to flatter, or offend;
Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend.


An Werot-Comical Poem,




It will be in vain to deny that I have some regard for this piece, since I dedicate it to you. Yet you may bear me witness, it was intended only to divert a few young ladies, who have good sense and good humour enough to laugh not only at their sex's little unguarded follies, but at their own. But as it was communicated with the air of a secret, it soon found its way into the world. An imperfect copy having been offered to a bookseller, you had the good-nature for my sake to consent to the publication of one more correct: this I was forced to, before I had executed half my design, for the machinery was entirely wanting to complete it.

The machinery. Madam. is a term invented by the critics, to signify that part which the deities, angels or demons, are made to act in a poem : for the ancient poets are in one respect like many modern ladies ; let an action be never so trivial in itself, they always make it appear of the utmost importance. These machines I determined to raise on a very new and odd foundation, the Rosicrucian ductrine of spirits.

I know how disagreeable it is to make use of hard words before a lady: but 'tis so much the concern of a poet to have his works understood, and particularly by your sex, that you must give me leave to explain two or three difficult terms.

The Rosicrucians are a people I must bring you acquainted with. The best account I know of them is in a French book called Le Comte de Gabalis, which both in its title and size is so like a novel, that many of the fair sex have read it for one by mistake. According to these gentlemen,

ir elements are inhabited by spirits, which they call sylphs, gnomes, nymphs, and salamanders. The gnomes, or demons of earth, delight in mischief; but the sylphs, whose habitation is in the air, are the bestconditioned creatures imaginable. For they say, any mortals may enjoy the most intimate familiarities with these gentle spirits, upon a condition very easy to all true adepts, an inviolate preservation of chastity.

As to the following cantos, all the passages of them are as fabulous as the vision at the beginning, or the transformation at the end (except the loss of your hair, which I always mention with reverence). The human persons are as fictitious as the airy ones; and the character of Belinda, as it is now managed, resembles you in nothing but in beauty,

If this poem had as many graces as there are in your person, or in your mind, yet I could never hope it should pass through the world half so uncensured as you have done. But let its fortune be what it will, mine is happy enough, to have given me this occasion of assuring you that I am, with the truest esteem, Madam,

Your most obedient, humble servant, A. POPE.

Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;

Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis.u-MART.

What dire offence from amorous causes springs,
What mighty contests rise from trivial things,
I sing—This verse to Caryl, Muse! is due :
This, even Belinda may vouchsafe to view :
Slight is the subject, but not so the praise,
If she inspire, and he approve my lays.

Say what strange motive, goddess ! could compel
A well-bred lord to assault a gentle belle'?
O say what stranger cause, yet unexplored,
Could make a gentle belle reject a lord ?
In tasks so bold can little men engage ,
And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage ?

Sol through white curtains shot a timorous rays,

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 the subject to him, with a view of putting an end, by this piece of ridicule, to a quarrel that had 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 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. Lintot's, without the name of the author. But it was received so weil, 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, cant. i. ver. 19, &c.

The characters introduced in this poem were Mr. Caryl, just before mentioned ; Mrs. Arabella Fermor, under the name of Belinda; the Baron was Lord Petre, of small stature, who soon after married a great heiress, Mrs. Warmsley, and died leaving a posthumous son ; Thalestris was Mrs. Morly: Sir Plume was her brother, Sir George Brown of Berkshire. w It was in the first editions,

And dwells such rage in softest bosoms then,

And lodge such daring souls in little men ? * Ver. 13, &c., stood thus in the first edition,

Sol through white curtains did his beams display,
And oped those eyes which brighter shone than they :

And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day :
Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake,
And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake :
Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground,
And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound.
Belinda » still her downy pillow prest,
Her guardian syLPH prolonged the balmy rest :
'Twas he had summond to her silent bed
The morning-dream that hover'd o'er her head,
A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau
(That e'en in slumber caused her cheek to glow)
Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
And thus in whispers said, or seem’d to say:

Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care
Of thousand bright inhabitants of air !
If e'er one vision touch'd thy infant thought,
Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught ;
Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen,
The silver token, and the circled green,
Or virgins visited by angel-powers
With golden crowns and wreaths of heavenly flowers ;
Hear and believe ! thy own importance know,
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some secret truths, from learned pride conceald,
To maids alone and children are reveal'd :
What though no credit doubting wits may give ?
The fair and innocent shall still believe.
Know then, unnumber'd spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky:
These, though unseen, are ever on the wing,
Hang o'er the box, and hover round the ring.
Think what an equipage thou hast in air,
And view with scorn two pages and a chair.
As now your own, our beings were of old,
And once enclosed in woman's beauteous mould ;
Thence, by a soft transition, we repair
From earthly vehicles to these of air.
Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled,
That all her vanities at once are dead;

Shock just had given himself the rousing shake,
And nymphs prepared their chocolate to take;
Thrice the wrought slipper knock'd against the ground,

And striking watches the tenth hour resound. y All the verses from hence to the end of this canto were added afterwards.

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