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Mrs. Arabella Fermor.
T will be in vain to deny I that I have some Value 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 un
guarded 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 offer'd to a Bookseller, You had the Good-Nature for my Sake to consent to the Publication of one more correct: This I was forc'd to before I had executed hälf
had executed half my Defign, for the Machinery was entirely wanting to compleat it.
The Machinery, Madam, is a Term invented by the Criticks, to signify that Part which the Deities, Angels, or Dæmons, are made to act in a Poem: For the ancient Poets are in one respect like many modern Ladies; Let an Adion be never so trival in it self, they always make it appear of the ut
most Importance. These Machines I determin’d to raise on a very new and odd Foundation; the Rosicrucian Do erine of Spirits
I know how difágreeable it is to make use of hard Words before a Las dy; but 'tis so much the Concern of à Poet to have his Works understood; and particularly by Your Sex, that You must give me leave to explaint two or three difficult Terms.
The Rosicrucians are a People I mult bring You acquainted with. The best Account I know of them is in a French Book, call'd 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, the four Elements are inhabited by Spirits, which they call Sylphs, Gnomes, Nymphs, and Salamanders. The Gnomes,, or Dæmons of Earth, delight in Mischief; but the Sylphs, whose Habitation is Air, are the best condition’d Creatures imaginable. For they fay, 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 Canto's 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 name with Reverence) the Human Persons are as Fictitious as the