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Vol.I. facing p.131.
This lock the Muse shall consecrate to Famel, And midst the Stars inscribe Belinda's Name.na
Rape of the Lock.
RAPE of the LOCK.
* Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos ;
Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuifse tuis,
* 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 in a view of putting an end, by this piece of ridicule, to a quarrel that was risen between two noble Families, those of Lord Petre and of Mrs. Fermor, on the trifling occasion of his having cut off a lack 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 of his Letters) was written in less than a fortnight, in 1711. in two Canto's only, and it was so printed; first, in a Miscellany of Bern. Líntot's, without the name of the Author. But it was received fo well that he made it more considerable. the next year by the
Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, 5
Say what strange motive, Goddess! could compel
Sol thro' white curtains shot a tim'rous ray,
addition of the machinery of the Sylphs, and extended it to five Canto's. We shall give the reader the pleasure of seeing in what manner these additions were inserted, so as to feem not to be added, but to grow out of the Pcem. See Notes, Cant. I. v. 19, etc.
P. This insertion he always esteemed, and juftly; the greatest effort of his skill and art as a Poet.
And dwells such rage in softest bofoms then,
And lodge such daring Souls in little Men?' P.
Sol thro' white curtains did his beams display,
Belinda still her downy pillow preft,
Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care
31 The silver token, and the circled
green, Or virgins visited by Angel-pow’rs, With golden crowns and wreaths of heav'nly flow'rs; Hear and believe! thy own importance know, 35 Nor bound thy narrow views to things below. Some secret truths, from learned pride conceal'd, To Maids alone and Children are reveald: What tho' no credit doubting Wits may give ? The Fair and Innocent shall still believe.
40 Know then, unnumber'd Spirits round thee fly, The light Militia of the lower sky: These, tho' unseen, are ever on the wing, Hang o'er the Box, and hover round the Ring. Think what an equipage thou hast in Air, 45 And view with scorn two Pages and a Chair. As now your own, our beings were of old, And once inclos'd in Woman's beauteous mould;
Thence Ver. 19. Belinda still, etc.] All the verses from hence to the end of this Canto, were added afterwards.
Thence, by a soft transition, we repair
65 And sport and Autter in the fields of Air.
Know farther yet; whoever fair and chaste Rejects mankind, is by some Sylph embrac’d: For Spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease Allume what sexes and what shapes they please. What guards the purity of melting Maids, In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades, Safe from the treach'rous friend, the daring spark, The glance by day, the whisper in the dark, When kind occasion prompts their warm desires, When music foftens, and when dancing fires ? 76
Quæ gratia currúm
Virg. Æn. vi. P.
VER. 54, 55.