"The Rape of the Lock"
By Alexander Pope

Creation of machine-readable version, transcription, correction, editorial commentary, and markup by Oxford Computing Services and students and staff of the University of Virginia, John O'Brien, Sara Brunstetter
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London : B. Lintott, 1714 Pope published a short, two-canto version of this poem in 1712. He then reworked and republished the poem in a five-canto version in 1714, which is the work that is most read today, and that we reproduce here. The main difference between the two is that he added what he called the "apparatus" of fairies and sylphs that surround the human actors in the poem. This text follows the first edition of the 1714 version. The digital text was originally produced by Oxford University Computing Services (13 Banbury Road, Oxford), for the Oxford Text Archive, and uploaded by Lou Burnard. Students and faculty have proofread the text and provided annotations for this Literature in Context edition. The page images and illustrations are reproduced from a copy of the first, 1714 edition, in the University of Virginia's Albert Small Special Collections Library.

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Research informing these annotations draws on publicly-accessible resources, with links provided where possible. Annotations have also included common knowledge, defined as information that can be found in multiple reliable sources. If you notice an error in these annotations, please contact lic.open.anthology@gmail.com.

Original spelling and capitalization is retained, though the long s has been silently modernized and ligatured forms are not encoded.

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Materials have been transcribed from and checked against first editions, where possible. See the Sources section.


Citation

Pope, Alexander. "The Rape of the Lock", B. Lintott, 1714 . Literature in Context: An Open Anthology. http://anthology.lib.virginia.edu/work/Pope/pope-rape-lock. Accessed: 2024-03-05T06:56:08.752Z

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[Frontispiece] Frontispiecefrontispiece frontispieceThe frontispiece was designed by Louis du Guernier (1677-1716) a well-known illustrator of the period; he also designed the images that appear before each of the five cantos. They were engraved by Claude du Bosc (1682-1745?); both men had been born in France but moved to London, probably in pursuit of the good opportunities for skilled engravers in the London book trade, and worked together on a number of projects for London patrons and booksellers in these years. Illustrations as detailed as these were very time-consuming and therefore expensive to produce, and the presence of six custom-engraved images was a sign that Pope and his publisher Bernard Lintot were trying to create a particularly impressive and beautiful object. Pope, who was a talented amateur painter in his own right, almost certainly had a role in designing the images, although we do not know exactly how he participated. The frontispiece is a composite of major events in the poem to follow. The "sylphs," spirits of vanity and erotic desire, float around Belinda, the heroine of the poem, as she puts on her makeup; they also drop playing cards, alluding to the card game in Canto III, and point to the shooting star that ascends at the end of Canto V. In the front lower right of the image, a satyr, with pointed ears and cloven hoofs, holds the kind of mask that women in the period sometimes wore in public; like many authors in the period, Pope is playing on the homophone between "satyr," the sexually-aggressive half-human, half-animals of Greek mythology, and "satire," the literary form of which "The Rape of the Lock" is an example. Behind the characters is the facade of Hampton Court Palace, the royal home down the Thames from London where much of the action of the poem takes place. Pope clearly intended the images and the poem to be read together, a feature that is not possible in most modern reproductions of the poem, which rely on the poetic text alone. - [JOB] [Title Page] The Rape of the LocktitletitlegraphicAlexander Pope’s "The Rape of the Lock" is the most famous poem written in English in the eighteenth century. Chances are, if a modern reader knows only one poem from the period, this is the one. Which is a strange thing. The poem’s subject matter is unusual, even unique: the cutting off of a lock of hair from the head of a young woman and the aftermath of that event. And the poem is written in a form, the heroic couplet, that is rarely used today. But "The Rape of the Lock" has endured because it so fully captured, while also satirizing, an image of a particular world, a world of aristocratic ease, but also great anxiety. And it is also an astonishing accomplishment simply as a poem. No poet of the eighteenth century used the heroic couplet more deftly than Alexander Pope (depicted here in a contemporary painting by Charles Jervis; National Portrait Gallery, London), and perhaps nowhere in his career did he craft couplets and the larger units he built from them—verse paragraphs, cantos, the entire poem itself—with greater verve and delicacy. The poem is based on a true story. At a party one day in 1710 or 1711, Robert Petre, a young man from an aristocratic family, crept up behind Arabella Fermor, a young woman also from a prosperous household, and cut off a lock of her hair. Petre may have thought of this as an amusing, or even a flirtatious prank, but she was angry, and the two families started snubbing and sniping at each other. Years later, Pope described what happened next: “The stealing of Miss Belle Fermor’s hair was taken too seriously, and caused an estrangement between the two families, though they had lived long in great friendship before. A common acquaintance and well-wisher to both desired me to write a poem to make a jest of it, and laugh them together again. It was in this view that I wrote my Rape of the Lock, which was well received and had its effect in the two families.” The “common acquaintance” was John Caryll, a friend of Pope’s who was also close to both the Fermor and Petre families. Like all of them, Caryll was also a Catholic who faced persecution in an era when the government of Britain continued to suspect that Catholics were potentially a subversive force whose loyalties to the Protestant monarchy could not be assured. And sometimes with reason; Caryll was a Jacobite, a supporter of the exiled Pretender, the Stuart James III, then living in exile in France. James continued to claim that he was the true king of Britain, and there were Jacobites who called for the restoration of the Stuart monarchy until the movement was finally defeated at the Battle of Culloden in Scotland in 1745. Caryll never joined in any of the conspiracies that took place in the early part of the century to restore the Stuart monarchy, but he did secretly give financial support to a Catholic church in his neighborhood, which was itself illegal. Caryll may have felt that Catholics in Britain had enough problems without feuding among themselves. Pope, who was at this point starting work on a massive translation of Homer’s poem The Iliad, seems quickly to have seen the possibility of re-imagining the incident in epic terms, creating what has been called a “mock epic” for the way in which it uses the conventions of epic poetry to describe what is by comparison a trivial event. Pope’s memory of the happy outcome of the poem was, however, a little rose colored from time. Pope wrote the first version of "The Rape of the Lock" quickly—he said it took two weeks; he may have been exaggerating—and it then circulated among the families and their friends in manuscript for a while. That version of the poem, which was much shorter than the one that has ultimately been most read, was published anonymously in 1712, and at this point things got more complicated. As more and more people read the poem now that it was in print, the double entendres and erotic implications of Pope’s work became clearer, and Arabella Fermor—who had initially agreed with letting the poem be printed—was embarrassed as friends started pointing out to her where the dirty jokes were. Sir Charles Brown, the original for the “Sir Plume” of the poem, was also angry at the way he was portrayed (as an idiot). Pope went back to work, and over the course of the next couple of years, added the elaborate “machinery” of the poem, the sylphs and fairies that hover around the action, embedding the original story in a framework of fantasy that deflects some of the agency of the central characters. (Robert Petre’s response to the publication of the first version of the poem is, by the way, unrecorded. Petre married Catherine Walsmeley in 1712, but he died only a few months later from smallpox.) Pope included a letter of dedication to Arabella Fermor that aimed to defuse some of her anger. That new edition, handsomely printed with engravings accompanying each canto, was published as a separate volume in 1714, and immediately became a best-seller, selling around 3,000 copies in four days, which even now would be an extraordinary total for any book, much less a poem in rhyming couplets. It has been admired, critiqued, and argued with ever since. - [JOB]
AN
HEROI-COMICALHeroi-Comical Heroi-ComicalPope is the inventor of this term, which first appeared here at the opening of The Rape of the Lock. He is indicating that he will emulate such epics as Homer's Iliad or Milton's Paradise Lost, but in a comic register. - [JOB]
POEM.
In Five Canto's


Written by Mr. POPE.

A tonso est hoc nomen adepta capillo.nomen nomenThe full quote, which comes from Book VIII of Ovid's Metamorphoses, should read, "Ciris et, a tonso est hoc nomen adepta capillo": "She acquired the name from the cutting of the hair." Ovid's story, first published in 8 CE, goes like this. Nisus was the King of Alcathous and he had a lock of purple hair on his crown that (somehow) guaranteed the safety of his kingdom. Scylla, his daughter, fell in love with King Minos, who was conquering the kingdom, and in order to gain his favor, Scylla cut off the lock of her father's hair. But, disgusted with her disloyalty, Minos left by ship. As Scylla swam after Minos, King Nisos, having been transformed into a sea eagle, attempted to drown her. Instead of drowning, Scylla was turned to a sea bird and called Ciris, (i.e. "cutter"), being named after the lock that she cut off. See Ovid's Metamorphoses, translated by Anthony S. Kline, http://ovid.lib.virginia.edu/trans/Metamorph8.htm - [UVAstudstaff]
OVID.


LONDON
Printed for Bernard Lintott, at the
Cross-keys in Fleetstreet. 1714.
[Epistle.1] TO
Mrs. ARABELLA FERMOUR.Arabella
ArabellaArabella Fermor (1696-1737; image credit: Victoria and Albert Museum) graphicwas from a prominent Catholic family. She came to public attention in an unwelcome way when Robert Petre, from another prominent Catholic family, surreptitiously cut off a lock of her hair at a party. He may have thought it was a good prank, but she was (justifiably) angry, and the Fermor and Petre families (who may have been in negotiations to marry the two), became estranged. John Caryll, a friend of Pope's who was also Robert Petre's guardian, asked Pope to write about the incident in such a way as to make a joke of it and smooth relations. The Rape of the Lock is Pope's effort to heal the breach. He did not, however, ask Arabella Fermor for her approval before publishing the first version of the poem in 1712, and she was initially unhappy at the poem's double-entendre and the way that it seemed to compare her situation to raped heroines of antiquity like Helen of Troy or Lucrece. This letter, published with the much-enlarged 1714 edition of the poem, can be read in part as Pope's attempt to mollify her. - [JOB]
MADAM,


It will be in vain to deny that I have some value for this piece, since I dedicatededicate dedicatePope is probably referring to the Latin epigraph that appeared with the first edition of the poem: "Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos, / Sed juvat hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis," by the Roman poet Martial, in his Epigrams xii, 84, translates as, "I was loathe, Belinda, to violate your locks, but I am pleased to have granted that much to your prayers." Pope is insinuating that Arabella Fermor asked for the poem to be written. This was not the case. it to you. Yet you may bear me witness, it was intended only to divert a few young [Epistle.2] 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 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 half my Design, for the Machinerymachinery machineryRefers to the fairy-like creatures in the poem: the sylphys, the nymphs, the gnomes, the salamanders. As he explains in the next line, they are the portrayals of what we would call in the real world, deities, angels or demons. was entirely wanting to compleat it.

The Machinery Madam, is a Term invented by the Critiks, 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 [Epistle.3] many modern Ladies; Let an Action be never so trivial in it self, they always make it appear of the utmost Importance. These Machines I determin'd to raise on a very new and odd Foundation, the RosicrucianRosicrucian RosicrucianThe Rosicrusians were an occult movement that emerged in the early seventeenth century in Europe. It was an odd combination of Christian mysticism and other kinds of esoteric teaching, such as the Kabbala, which comes out of the Jewish tradition. There were several Rosicrucian manifestos that laid out theories of mystical knowledge, and the movement had adherents and drew curious thinkers to it throughout Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Pope does not seem to have been a serious adherent, but is here using some of the supernatural apparatus associated with Rosicrucianism to frame his story. Doctrine of Spirits.

I know how disagreeable it is to make use of hard Words before a LadyLady LadyIt seems unlikely that Pope is aware how unctuous and condescending he sounds here; or perhaps he is aware and does not mind. It's hard to say with Pope.; 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 the People I must bring You acquainted with. The best Account I know of them is in the French Book call'd Le Comte de GabalisGabalis, GabalisThe Count of Gabala was written by Nicolas-Pierre-Henri of Montfaucon de Villars, a French cleric, and published in 1670. It is an odd book. In it, an anonymous narrator encounters the Comte de Gabalis, who teaches the narrator about the occult, including various beliefs associated with the Rosicrucians. The Count introduces such things as the Sylphs of the Air, the Undines of the Water, the Gnomes of the Earth and the Salamanders of Fire. It is entirely possible that de Villars is satirizing occult sciences, which had a vogue in seventeenth century Europe, as absurd or incompatible with orthodox religion. But it is hard to be sure; this may be an example of a satire that does not make its intentions clear enough. which [Epistle.4] both in its Title and Size is so like a Novel, that many of the fair Sex have read it for one by Mistake.novel novel To an English reader of 1714, the word "novel" still sounded like a French import, and it would have denoted a short, perhaps slightly scandalous, love story. The novel was not understood to be a serious genre, a form of literature. Any reading of a novel for more than entertainment is a "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 the say, any Mortals may enjoy the most intimate Fa miliarities with these gentle Spirits, upon a Condition very easie to all true Adepts, an involate 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 [Epistle.5] Hair, which I always name with Reverence.) The Human Persons are as Fictitious as the Airy ones; and the Character of Belinda, as it is now manag'd, 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 thro' 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.
[Engraving] Figure 1Figure_1Figure_1graphic 1 THE
RAPE of the LOCK.
CANTO I. 1WHAT dire Offence from am'rous Causes springs, 2What mighty Quarrels rise from Trivial Things, 3 I sing -- This Verse to C---lcaryll caryllJohn Caryll, the mutual friend of Pope and the two families involved in the dispute; he seems to have attempted to mediate between them, in part suggesting that Pope write this poem., Muse! is due; 6 This, ev'n BelindaBelinda BelindaThe heroine of the poem, inspired by Arabella Fermor. may vouchsafe to view: 7Slight is the Subject, but not so the Praise, 8If She inspire, and He approve my Lays. 2 1Say what strange Motive, Goddess! cou'd compel 2 A well-bred Lord t'assault a gentle Belle? 3Oh say what stranger Cause, yet unexplor'd, 4 Cou'd make a gentle Belle reject a Lord ? 5And dwells such Rage in softest Bosoms then? 6And lodge such daring Souls in Little Men? 7SolSol SolSol is Latin for the Sun. thro' white Curtains did his Beams display, 8 And op'd those Eyes which brighter shine than they; 9 Now ShockShock ShockBelinda's lapdog. had giv'n himself the rowzing Shake, 10 And Nymphs prepar'd their Chocolatechocolate chocolateChocolate, served in this period only as a drink, was enormously popular, especially among those who could afford it as well as the sugar to cut the bitterness. to take; 11 Thrice the wrought Slipper knock'd against the Ground,slipper slipperBelinda stomps her slippered foot on the ground to call for her maid. 12And striking Watches watches watchesStriking watches indicate the hour and quarter-hour by means of hammers hitting bells or gongs. The watch rang, announcing that it was 10 o'clock.the tenth Hour resound. 13 Belinda still her downy Pillow prest, 14 Her Guardian Sylphsylph sylphsylphs here are imagined as feminine spirits that stand guard over young women prolong'd the balmy Rest. 15'Twas he Ariel ArielAriel, Belinda's guardian Sylph, created the dream that she was having.had summon'd to her silent Bed 16The Morning Dream that hover'd o'er her Head. 17 A Youth more glitt'ring than a Birth-night Beaubeau beaua young man dressed up for the Queen's birthday, one of highlights of the social calendar in this period., 18 (That ev'n in Slumber caus'd her Cheek to glow) 3 19Seem'd to her Ear his winning Lips to lay, 20And thus in Whispers said, or seem'd to say. 21Fairest of Mortals, thou distinguish'd Care 22Of thousand bright Inhabitants of Air! 23If e'er one Vision touch'd thy infant Thought, 24Of all the Nurse and all the Priest have taught, 25Of airy Elves by Moonlight Shadows seen, 26The silver Token TokenTokenFolklore that says that fairies and elves left silver tokens in rings of dark coarse grass that were supposed to be where fairies danced. The tokens were supposedly left for humans who were favored by fairies. Pat Rogers attributes the use to Jonathan Swift's Dryades: Or, the Nymphs Prophesy, although that probably comes from ancient folklore as well. Rogers, Pat. "Faery Lore and The Rape of the Lock." Essays on Pope. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993. Print., and the circled Green, 27Or Virgins visited by Angel-Pow'rs, 28 With Golden Crowns and Wreaths of heav'nly Flowers, 29Hear and believe! thy own Importance know, 30Nor bound thy narrow Views to Things below. 31Some secret Truths from Learned Pride conceal'd, 32To Maids alone and Children are reveal'd: 33What tho' no Credit doubting Wits may give? 34The Fair and Innocent shall still believe. 35Know then, unnumbered Spirits round thee fly, 36 The light Militiamilitiamilitiafairy creatures, imagined here as soldiers of the lower Sky; 4 37These, tho' unseen, are ever on the WingwingwingThe creatures are always present (on the wing meaning in flight) in the places where London's society is found., 38 Hang o'er the BoxboxboxA ‘box’ in a theatre or opera-house. , and hover round the RingringringRing - Charles I created a circular track called the Ring in Hyde Park where members of the royal court could drive their carriages. The park was opened to the public in 1637 and it soon became a fashionable place to visit.. 39Think what an EquipageequipageequipageHere it refers to a carriage with horses and attendants, but can also just mean carriage alone. thou hast in Air, 40 And view with scorn Two Pages and a Chairchairchairtwo servants carrying a woman in a sedan chair. 41As now your own, our Beings were of old, 42And once inclos'd in Woman's beauteous MoldmoldmoldThe fairy creatures used to be beautiful women like Belinda.; 43Thence, by a soft TransitiontransitiontransitionPossibly death, or some (magical) means by which they are transformed from their human selves in to the fairy creatures., we repair 44From earthly Vehicles to those of Air. 45Think not, when Woman's transient Breath is fled, 46That all her Vanities at once are dead: 47Succeeding Vanities she still regards, 48And tho' she plays no more, o'erlooks the Cards.cards cards After the "transition" spoken of earlier, a former coquette now turned into a sylph still can see and look at the cards although she does not play..\ 49Her Joy in gilded Chariots, when alive, 50 And Love of OmbreOmbre OmbreA trick-taking card game for three people using forty cards. A game of ombre is played later on and is described in detail in Canto III. It is almost certainly no coincidence that the word ombre is archaic Spanish for "man"; Belinda is literally and figuratively playing the game of man."ombre,, after Death survive. 51For when the Fair in all their Pride expire, 52To their first Elements the Souls retire; 53The Sprights of fiery Termagants in Flamesprights sprightsDifferent kinds of women became transformed into different kinds of spirits. The fiery boisterous women became Salamanders. The mild demure women became Nymphs. The prudish women became Gnomes. The flirty girlish women became Sylphs. 54 Mount up, and take a Salamander's Name. 55Soft yielding Minds to Water glide away, 56 And sip with Nymphs, their Elemental Tea. 5 57 The graver Prude sinks downward to a Gnome , 58In search of Mischief still on Earth to roam. 59 The light Coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair, 60And sport and flutter in the Fields of Air. 61Know farther yet; Whoever fair and chaste 62 Rejects Mankind, is by some Sylph embrac'd: 63For Spirits, freed from mortal Laws, with ease 64Assume what Sexes and what Shapes they please. 65What guards the Purity of melting Maids, 66In Courtly Balls, and Midnight Masquerades, 67 Safe from the treach'rous Friend, and daring Spark, 68The Glance by Day, the Whisper in the Dark; 69When kind Occasion prompts their warm Desires, 70When Musick softens, and when Dancing fires? 71 'Tis but their Sylph, the wise Celestials know, 72 Tho' Honourhonour honourThat is, women's chastity only seems to be governed by honour; it is really the intervention of the sylphs that sustains chastity. is the Word with Men below. 73 Some Nymphs there are, too conscious of their Face, 74 For Life predestin'd to the Gnomes Embrace 6 75Who swell their Prospects and exalt their Pride, 76When Offers are disdain'd, and Love deny'd. 77Then gay Ideas crowd the vacant Brain; 78 While Peers and Dukes, and all their sweeping Train, 79And Garters, Stars, and Coronets appear, 80 And in soft Sounds, Your Grace salutes their Ear. 81'Tis these that early taint the Female Soul, 82 Instruct the Eyes of young Coquettes to roll, 83Teach Infants Cheeks a bidden Blush to know, 84 And little Hearts to flutter at a Beau. 85Oft when the World imagine Women stray, 86 The Sylphs thro' mystick Mazes guide thier Way, 87Thro' all the giddy Circle they pursue, 88And old Impertinence expel by new. 89What tender Maid but must a Victim fall 90To one Man's Treat, but for another's Ball? 91 When Florioflorio florioNot a reference to any specific men. Florio, along with Damon, were common names used in early epic poetry to refer to men in general, the way we use, Tom, Dick, and Harry, today. "The aristocratic young men of the time were, like the ladies, lacking in any serious purpose or morality. Florio and Damon are representatives of those gallants and fops who vie with one another to capture the hearts of the ladies. speaks, what Virgin could withstand, 92 If gentle Damonn051 did not squeeze her Hand? 7 93With varying Vanities, from ev'ry Part, 94They shift the moving Toyshop of their Heart; 95Where Wigs with Wigs, with Sword-knots Sword-knots strive, 96Beaus banish Beaus, and Coaches Coaches drive. 97This erring Mortals Levity may call, 98 Oh blind to Truth! the Sylphs contrive it all. 99Of these am I, who thy Protection claim, 100 A watchful Sprite, and Ariel is my Name. 101Late, as I rang'd the Crystal Wilds of Air, 102 In the clear Mirror of thy ruling Star 103I saw, alas! some dread Event impend, 104E're to the Mainmain mainthe open sea this Morning's Sun descend. 105But Heav'n reveals not what, or how, or where: 106 Warn'd by thy Sylph, oh Pious Maid beware! 107This to disclose is all thy Guardian can. 108Beware of all, but most beware of Man! 109He said; when Shock, who thought she slept too long, 110Leapt up, and wak'd his Mistress with his Tongue. 8 111'Twas then Belinda! if Report say true, 112Thy Eyes first open'd on a Billet-douxbillet-doux billet-doux a love letter; 113 Wounds, Charms, and Ardors, were no sooner read 114But all the Vision vanish'd from thy Head. 114And now, unveil'd, the Toilettoilet toileta small dressing table stands display'd, 116Each Silver Vase in mystic Order laid. 117First, rob'd in White, the Nymph intent adores 118 With Head uncover'd, the cosmetic Pow'rs. 119A heav'nly Image in the Glassglass glassmirror appears, 120To that she bends, to that her Eyes she rears; 121Th' inferior Priestess, at her Altar'saltar altarBelinda's "toilet" is likened to an "altar" at which Belinda and her maid are now left to worship the priestess, or Belinda's "heav'nly image" as mentioned two lines above this line. By this point, it has become clear that the vanity nurtured by the Gnomes has set in, leaving the mortal human beings to worship a new priestess, Belinda's reflection.side, 122Trembling, begins the sacred Rites of Pride 123Unnumber'd Treasures ope at once, and here 124The various Off'rings of the World world worldDuring the 18th century, Britain became the dominant empire among European trading empires as it became the first western nation to industrialize. During this time, merchants began trading with both North America and the West Indies, where colonies had been established. This granted Britain access to parts of the world and their amenities that had previously been unbeknownst to them. The ability to interact with far-off countries such as India and Arabia yielded new luxuries and a new understanding of the world outside of Europe. The ability for Belinda to have access to these luxuries further exemplifies her wealth. appear; 125From each she nicely culls with curious Toil, 126And decks the Goddess with the glitt'ring Spoilspoilspoil"Glitt'ring spoil" refers directly to the spoils of war, "valuables seized by violence, especially in war," most likely as a result of the colonization of these foreign lands in pursuit of broadening trade opportunities. . 127 This Casketcasket casketa. A small box or chest for jewels, letters, or other things of value, itself often of valuable material and richly ornamented. India's glowing Gemsgems gemsSince before recorded history, India has been a leading source for precious gems, producing some of the finest gemstones. unlocks, 128 And all ArabiaArabia ArabiaRefers to scented oils or perfumes from the Arabian Peninsula or the middle east. as it is now known. They came in elaborate and ornate containers and were very expensive. breaths from yonder Box. 9 129The Tortoise here and Elephant tortoise tortoiseHair combs made from tortoise shell and ivory from elephant tusks.unite, 130 Transform'd to Combs, the speckled and the white. 131Here Files of Pins extend their shining Rows, 132Puffs, Powders, Patchespatchespatches"a small disk of black silk attached to the face, especially as worn by women in the 17th and 18th centuries for adornment" (OED) This is essentially an artificial beauty mark. , Bibles, Billet-doux. 133Now awfulawful awfulBeauty puts on all its ArmsarmsarmsArms: (n.) weapons With the use of militaristic diction as seen in "puts in all its Arms", Pope has Belinda preparing for battle just as Achilles prepared for the Trojan War in Homer's Iliad.; 134The Fair each moment rises in her Charms, 135Repairs her Smiles, awakens ev'ry Grace, 136And calls forth all the Wonders of her Face; 137Sees by Degrees a purer Blush arise, 138And keener Lightnings quicken in her Eyes. 139 The busy Sylphs surround their darling Care; 140These set the Head, and those divide the Hair, 141Some fold the Sleeve, while others plait the Gown; 142 And BettyBetty Bettyher maid.'s prais'd for Labours not her own.
[Engraving] Figure 2Figure_2Figure_2graphic 10 THE RAPE of the LOCK.
CANTO II. 1NOT with more Glories, in th' Etherialetherial etherialOf or relating to heaven, God, or the gods; heavenly, celestial. Oxford English DictionaryPlain, 2The Sun first rises o'er the purpled Main, 3Than issuing forth, the Rivalrival_ rivalthat is, Belinda of his Beams 4 Lanch'd on the Bosom of the Silver Thames. 5 Fair NymphsnymphsnymphsThe other women traveling with her (here not the nymphs who are the protectors of her chastity)., and well-drest Youths around her shone, 6But ev'ry Eye was fix'd on her alone. 7 On her white Breast a sparkling Cross she wore, 8 Which Jewscross crossThe cross here is stripped of its Christian meaning; it is Belinda who people are now worshipping might kiss, and Infidels adore. 11 9Her lively Looks a sprightly Mind disclose, 10Quick as her Eyes, and as unfix'd as those: 11Favours to none, to all she Smiles extends, 12Oft she rejects, but never once offends. 13Bright as the Sun, her Eyes the Gazers strike, 14And, like the sun,they shine on all alike. 15Yet graceful Ease, and Sweetness void of Pride, 16 Might hide her Faults, if Belles had faults to hide: 17If to her share some Female Errors fall, 18Look on her Face, and you'll forget 'em all. 19This NymphnymphnymphBelinda, to the Destruction of Mankind, 20Nourish'd two Locks, which graceful hung behind 21In equal Curls, and well conspir'd to deck 22With shining Ringlets her smooth Iv'ryivory ivoryIn likening Belinda's neck to ivory, imported from Africa, the narrator again associates her beauty with the products of emergent colonialism and global commerce.Neck. 23Love in these Labyrinths his Slaves detains, 24And mighty Hearts are held in slender Chains. 25With hairy Sprindgessprindges sprindgesa snare used for bird-catching we the Birds betray, 26 Slight Lines of Hair surprize the Finny Preyfinney finneyFinny, adj., "Provided with or having fins; finned." The "Finny Prey> refers to fish, which are also caught with a hair-like line, reiterating the comparison of beauty as a deadly trap. "finny, adj.1." Oxford English Dictionary, 12 27Fair Tressestresses tresses" A plait or braid of the hair of the head, usually of a woman. A long lock of hair (esp. that of a woman), without any sense of its being plaited or braided; mostly in pl. tresses." "tress, n." Oxford English Dictionary Man's Imperial Race insnare, 28And Beauty draws us with a single Hair. 29 Th' Adventrous Baron the bright Locks admir'd, 30He saw, he wish'd, and to the Prize aspir'd: 31Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way, 32By Force to ravish, or by Fraud betray; 33For when Successsuccess successThe "Success" of a "Lover's Toil" in this era would be marriage. a Lover's Toil attends, 34Few ask, if Fraud or Force attain'd his Ends. 35 For this, e're PhaebusPhaebus PhaebusVariant spelling of Phoebus, a common name for Apollo, god of the sun. Oxford English Dictionary rose, he had implor'd 36Propitious Heav'n, and ev'ry Pow'r ador'd, 37 But chiefly Love ---to Love an Altar built, 38 Of twelve vast French Romances, neatly gilt. 39 There lay the Sword-knotsword-knot sword-knot"n. a ribbon or tassel tied to the hilt of a sword (originating from the thong or lace with which the hilt was fastened to the wrist, but later used chiefly as a mere ornament or badge)." "sword-knot, n." Oxford English Dictionary Sylvia's Hands had sown, 40 With Flavia's Buskbusk busk"A strip of wood, whalebone, steel, or other rigid material attached vertically to the front section of a corset so as to stiffen and support it." "busk, n.3." Oxford English Dictionary that oft had rapp'd his own: 41A Fan, a Garter, half a Pair of Gloves; 42And all the Trophies of his former Loves. 43 With tender Bilet-douxbilet-doux bilet-douxlove letters he lights the Pyre, 44 And breaths three am'rous Sighs to raise the Fire. 13 45Then prostrateprostrate prostrate"Of a person: lying with the face to the ground, in token of submission or humility, as in adoration, worship, or supplication; (hence more generally) lying stretched out on the ground, typically with the face downwards. Freq. in predicative or quasi-adverbial use, as in to fall prostrate, to lie prostrate, etc." Oxford English Dictionary falls, and begs with ardent Eyes 46Soon to obtain, and long possess the PrizePrize Prize"The Prize" refers to Belinda's lock of hair.: 47The Pow'rs gave EarEar Ear"Gave Ear" means that they (the ambiguous supernatural entities) listened to the Baron., and granted half his Pray'r, 48The rest, the Winds dispers'd in empty Air. 49But now secure the painted VesselVessel VesselThe "painted Vessel" refers to the boat gliding across the river Thames, carrying Belinda to Hampton Court.glides, 50The Sun-beams trembling on the floating Tydes, 51While melting Musick steals upon the Sky, 52And soften'd Sounds along the Waters die. 53Smooth flow the Waves, the Zephyrszephyrs zephyrs"The west wind, esp. as personified, or the god of the west wind." Oxford English Dictionary gently play 54 Belinda smil'd, and all the World was gay. 55 All but the Sylph ----With careful Thoughts opprest, 56Th' impending Woe sate heavy on his Breast. 57He summons strait his DenizensDenizens DenizensThat is, the other sylphs.of Air; 58The lucidlucid lucid"Bright, shining, luminous, resplendent." Oxford English DictionarySquadrons round the Sails repair: 59Soft o'er the Shrouds Aerial Whispers breath, 60 That seem'd but Zephyrs to the Train beneath. 61Some to the Sun their Insect-Wings unfold, 62 Waft on the Breeze, or sink in Clouds of Gold. 14 63Transparent Forms, too fine for mortal Sight, 64Their fluid Bodies half dissolv'd in Light. 65Loose to the Wind their airy Garments flew, 66Thin glitt'ring Textures of the filmy Dew; 67Dipt in the richest TinctureTincture Tincture"A colouring matter, dye, pigment; spec. a dye used as a cosmetic." Oxford English Dictionaryof the Skies, 68Where Light disports in ever-mingling DiesDies DiesVariant spelling of "dyes.", 69While ev'ry Beam new transient Colours flings, 70 Colours that change whene'er they wave their Wings. 71Amid the Circle, on the gilded Mast, 72 Superior by the Head, was Ariel plac'd; 73His Purple PinionsPinions Pinions"A bird's wing; esp. (chiefly poet. and rhetorical) the wing of a bird in flight. Also: the terminal segment of a bird's wing, bearing the primary flight feathers." Oxford English Dictionary.opening to the Sun, 74He rais'd his AzureAzure Azurebright blue Wand, and thus begun. 75Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your ChiefChief ChiefThat is, Arial, who goes on to give a speech to the other spirits.give Ear, 76 Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Daemons hear! 77Ye know the Spheres and various Tasks assign'd, 78By Laws Eternal, to th' Aerial Kind. 79 Some in the Fields of purest AEther play, 80 And bask and whiten in the Blaze of Day. 15 81Some guide the Course of wandring Orbsorbs orbsCelestial bodies not in a regular orbit, such as comets. on high, 82Or roll the Planets thro' the boundless Sky. 83Some less refin'd, beneath the Moon's pale Light 84Hover, and catch the shooting stars by Night; 85Or suck the Mists in grosser Air below, 86Or dip their Pinions in the painted BowBow BowRainbow, 87Or brew fierce Tempests on the wintry Main. 88Or on the Glebeglebe glebeSoil distill the kindly Rain. 89Others on Earth o'er human Race preside, 90Watch all their Ways, and all their Actions guide: 91Of these the Chief the Care of Nations own, 92 And guard with Arms Divine the British Throne. 93Our humbler Province is to tend the FairFair FairYoung women, such as Belinda, 94Not a less pleasing, tho' less glorious Care. 95To save the PowderPowder PowderFace-powder from too rude a Gale, 96Nor let th' imprison'd Essences exhale, 97To draw fresh Colours from the vernalvernal vernal"Of, pertaining or belonging to, the springtime; appropriate to the spring; spring-like: Of weather, scenery, etc." Oxford English Dictionary Flow'rs, 98 To steal from Rainbows ere they drop in Show'rs 16 99A brighter Wash; to curl their waving Hairs, 100Assist their Blushes, and inspire their Airs; 101Nay oft, in Dreams, Invention we bestow, 102 To change a FlounceFlounce Flounce"An ornamental appendage to the skirt of a lady's dress, consisting of a strip gathered and sewed on by its upper edge around the skirt, and left hanging and waving.’ Oxford English Dictionary, or add a FurbeloFurbelow FurbelowVariant spelling of "furbelow: "A piece of stuff pleated and puckered on a gown or petticoat; a flounce; the pleated border of a petticoat or gown." Oxford English Dictionary.. 103This Day, black Omens threat the brightest Fairbrightest brightestThat is, Belinda. 104That e'er deserv'd a watchful Spirit's Care; 105Some dire Disaster, or by Force, or Slight, 106But what, or where, the Fates have wraptwrapt wrapt"Concealed, covered, hidden." "wrapped, adj." Oxford English Dictionaryin Night. 107 Whether the Nymph shall break DianaDiana Diana"An ancient Roman female divinity, the moon-goddess, patroness of virginity and of hunting." Oxford English Dictionary "Diana's" law would be the law of chastity or virginity, so to break the law would be to have pre-marital sex.'s Law, 108 Or some frail China Jar receive a Flaw, 109Or stain her Honour, or her new BrocadeBrocade Brocade"A textile fabric woven with a pattern of raised figures, originally in gold or silver." Oxford English Dictionary, 110Forget her Pray'rs, or miss a Masquerade, 111Or lose her Heart, or Necklace, at a Ball; 112 Or whether Heav'n has doom'd that Shock must fall. 113Haste then ye Spirits! to your Charge repair; 114 The flutt'ring Fan be ZephyrettaZephyretta ZephyrettaThe nymphs' names are invented, each derived from a word related to the object entrusted to it. "Zephyretta," from "zypher" has care of the breeze-producing fan.'s Care; 115 The Drops to thee, BrillanteBrillante Brillante"Brillante," from 'brilliant', is entrusted with Belinda's shining earrings., we consign; 116 And MomentillaMomentilla Momentilla"Momentilla" is the nymph in charge of the pocket-watch., let the Watch be thine; 17 117 Do thou, CrispissaCrispissa Crispissa"Crispissa," from "crisp," has charge of the two precise curls of hair., tend her fav'rite Lock; 118 Ariel himself shall be the Guard of Shock. 119 To Fifty chosen Sylphs, of special Note, 120 We trust th' important Charge, the Petticoat : 121Oft have we known that sev'nfold Fence to fail; 122 Tho' stiff with Hoops, and arm'd with Ribs of WhaleRibs RibsWhalebone was used to form the ribs in women's corsets and skits.. 123Form a strong Line about the Silver Bound, 124And guard the wide Circumference around. 125Whatever spirit, careless of his Charge, 126His Post neglects, or leaves the Fair at large, 127Shall feel sharp Vengeance soon o'ertake his Sins, 128 Be stoptstopt stopt"That is, stopped or blocked. in VialsVials Vials"A vessel of a small or moderate size used for holding liquids; in later use spec., a small glass bottle" Oxford English Dictionary, or transfixt with Pins; 129 Or plung'd in Lakes of bitter Washes lie, 130 Or wedg'd whole Ages in a Bodkin'sbodkin bodkin"A needle-like instrument with a blunt knobbed point, having a large (as well as a small) eye, for drawing tape or cord through a hem, loops, etc." Oxford English Dictionary. Eye: 131 Gums and Pomatumspomatums pomatums"An ointment for the skin or hair; = pomade" "pomatum, n." Oxford English Dictionary shall his Flight restrain, 132While clog'd he beats his silken Wings in vain; 133 Or Alom- Stypticksstyptick styptickA "styptic" is a kind of medicine used to contract organic tissue (for example, to stop a cut bleeding), frequently made out of "alum," a type of mineral salt. Oxford English Dictionary with contracting Power 134 Shrink his thin Essence like a rivell'd Flower. 18 135 Or as IxionIxion Ixion"Ixion, in Greek legend, murdered his father-in-law and could find no one to purify him until Zeus did so. Ixion abused his pardon by trying to seduce Zeus’s wife, Hera. Zeus, to punish him, bound him on a fiery wheel, which rolled unceasingly through the air or, according to the more common tradition, in the underworld." "Ixion | Greek Mythology." Encyclopedia Britannica Online fix'd, the Wretch shall feel 136The giddy Motion of the whirling MillMill MillCompares being trapped in the grinder of a coffee mill to the mythological figure Ixion, who was fixed to a fire wheel spinning in the air of the underworld forever. 137Midst Fumes of burning Chocolate shall glow, 138And tremble at the SeaSea SeaThis is referring to the hot coffee in the grinder/pot.that froaths below! 139HeHe HeThat is, Arial, the leader of the spirits.spoke; the Spirits from the Sails descend; 140Some, Orb in Orb, around the NymphNymph NymphThat is, Belinda.extend, 141Some thridthrid thridThat is, the spirits "threaded" her hair.the mazy Ringlets of her Hair, 142Some hang upon the Pendants of her Ear; 143With beating Hearts the dire Event they wait, 144Anxious, and trembling for the Birth of Fate.
[Engraving] Figure 3Figure_3Figure_3graphic 19 THE RAPE of the LOCK.
CANTO III. 1 CLOSE by those Meadsmeads meadsThat is, meadows.for ever crown'd with Flow'rs, 2 Where Thames with Pride surveys his rising Tow'rs, 3There stands a Structure of Majestick Frame, 4 Which from the neighb'ring HamptonHampton HamptongraphicHampton Court Palace, a royal palace on the banks of the Thames River, about twelve miles from central London. The palace was originally built by Cardinal Wolsey starting in 1514. He gave it to Henry VIII as a way of trying to get back in Henry's good graces, but it did not work; Wolsey was executed anyway for failing to get Henry the divorce he wanted. Henry built Hampton Court into an enormous royal palace. In the late 1600s, the great architect Christopher Wren built an enormous extension for William III. They tore down part of the earlier palace and added on in what was then the modern style, creating a large Baroque palace designed to emulate the Palace of Versailles in France, at that time the grandest royal palace in Europe. In the early part of the eighteenth century, when this poem takes place, Hampton Court was the most important royal palace in England, where the monarch usually lived, and courtiers like Belinda and the Baron would have flocked there to make their presence known at court. Image: Hampton Court Palace by Andreas Tille, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons takes its Name. 5 Here Britain's Statesmen oft the Fall foredoom 6Of Foreign Tyrants, and of Nymphs at home; 7 Here Thou, great AnnaAnne AnnegraphicQueen Anne (1665-1714), the last Stuart monarch of Great Britain. She took the throne upon the death of her father, William III in 1702. She died the year that the poem was published. [Image: Queen Anne, painted by Michael Dahl, around 1705 (National Portrait Gallery)].! whom three Realms obey, 8 Dost sometimes Counsel take--and sometimes Tea. 20 9Hither the Heroes and the Nymphs resort, 10To taste awhile the Pleasures of a Court; 11In various Talk th' instructive hours they past, 12 Who gave a Ball, or paid the Visitlast: 13 One speaks the Glory of the British Queen, 14 And one describes a charming Indian Screen; 15A third interprets Motions, Looks, and Eyes; 16At ev'ry Word a Reputation dies. 17 Snuff, or the Fan, supply each Pause of Chat, 18With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that. 19Mean while declining from the Noon of Day, 20The Sun obliquely shoots his burning Ray; 21The hungry Judges soon the Sentence sign, 22And Wretches hang that Jury-men may Dine; 23 The Merchant from th' Exchange returns in Peace, 24 And the long Labours of the Toilette cease ---- 25 Belinda now, whom Thirst of Fame invites, 26 Burns to encounter two adventrous Knights, 21 27 At Ombreombre ombreOmbre was a popular three-player card game similar to the modern game of Bridge. Each game can have nine rounds (“tricks”). The most straightforward way to win is by taking five tricks (drawing the highest-ranked card in each round), after which the game ends. The game begins with an auction to decide the trump suit. The highest-bidding player is the “ombre” (from the Spanish “hombre” for "man"), and the other two play against her while trying to ensure their individual successes. The penalty enacted on each of the two non-ombres is greater if the ombre wins than if the other non-ombre wins. Similarly, the ombre will lose more if either of the two gains five tricks than if no one has won five at the end of nine rounds. The game was popular among the aristocratic class throughout Europe. The joke throughout is that Belinda is in effect playing the game of "man," both on the card table and in life. The game as it plays out over the next section of the poem is an entirely plausible game, with each move following according to the actual rules of ombre. Belinda, for example, wins the starting auction and becomes the "ombre" for duration of this game. See Alban George Henry Gibbs, The Game of Ombre. London: privately printed, 1874, 3rd edition (expanded) 1902, upon which we rely in tracing the course of the game. singly to decide their Doom; 28And swells her Breast with Conquests yet to come. 29Strait the three Bands prepare in Arms to join, 30Each Band the number of the Sacred Nine. 31Soon as she spreads her Hand, th' Aerial Guard 32Descend, and fit on each important Card, 33 First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadorematadore matadoreThe matadores (spadillio, manillio, and basto) are the three highest-ranking cards in the trump suit. The matadore would be the ace of spades; the manillio card is the lowest ranking card in the trump suit (the suit would vary from game to game, identified by the winner of the auction at the start), and the basto is the ace of clubs. Belinda controls all three., 34Then each, according to the Rank they bore; 35 For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient Race, 36Are, as when Women, wondrous fond of place. 37 Behold, four Kings in Majesty rever'd, 38With hoary Whiskers and a forky Beard; 39 And four fair Queens whose hands sustain a Flow'r, 40Th' expressive Emblem of their softer Pow'r; 41 Four Knaves in Garbs succinct, a trusty Band, 42Caps on their heads, and Halberds in their hand; 43And Particolour'd Troops, a shining Train, 44Draw forth to Combat on the Velvet PlainVelvet-Plain Velvet_PlainThat is, the cloth covering the three-sided card table on which Belinda and the two men are playing the game. The Kings, Queens, Jacks, and other cards are imagined as being arranged like soldiers on a battlefield. 22 45The skilful Nymph reviews her ForceForce ForceBelinda’s starting hand is made up of spadillio, manillio, basto: the king of spades, the king and queen of hearts, and the 5 and 4 of diamonds. The Baron begins the game with the king of clubs, the jack, 7, 5, and 3 of spades (the trump suit), the king, queen, and jack of diamonds, and the ace of hearts. Belinda and the Baron both have extremely strong hands, while the third character has no strong cards.with Care; 46 Let Spades be TrumpsTrumps TrumpsHaving won the "auction" at the start of the game by outbidding the other two players, Belinda chooses the trump suit., she said, and Trumps they were. 47 Now move to War her Sable matadores, 48 In Show like Leaders of the swarthy Moors. 49 Spadillio first, unconquerable Lord! 50Led off two captive Trumps, and swept the Board 51 As many more Manillio forc'd to yield, 52And march'd a Victor from the verdant Field. 53 Him Basto follow'd, but his Fate more hard 54 Gain'd but one Trump and one Plebeian Card. 55With his broad Sabre next, a Chief in Years, 56 The hoary Majesty of Spades appears; 57Puts forth one manly Leg, to fight reveal'd; 58The rest his many-colour'd Robe conceal'd. 59 The Rebel- Knave, that dares his Prince engage, 60Proves the just Victim of his Royal Rage. 61 Ev'n mighty Pam that Kings and Queens o'erthrow, 62 And mow'd down Armies in the Fights of Lu, 63And Chance of War! now, destitute of Aid, 64 Falls undistinguish'd by the Victor SpadeSpade SpadeBelinda quickly wins the first five rounds or "tricks" of the game by playing her cards skilfully.! 23 65 Thus far both Armies to Belinda yield; 66 Now to the BaronBaron BaronIn the following three stanzas, the Baron begins to threaten Belinda’s winning streak. He wins tricks five through eight, tying their scores. His first move is with the Queen of Spades. Fate inclines the Field. 67 His warlike Amazon her Host invades, 68 Th' Imperial Consort of the Crown of Spades. 69 The Club's black Tyrant first her Victim dy'd, 70Spite of his haughty Mien, and barb'rous Pride: 71What boots the Regal Circle on his Head, 72His Giant Limbs in State unwiedly spread? 73That long behind he trails his pompous Robe, 74And of all Monarchs only grasps the GlobeGlobe GlobeThe King of Clubs is often pictured holding an orb, or globe.? 75 The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace; 76 Th' embroider'd King who shows but half his Face, 77 And his refulgent Queen, with Pow'rs combin'd, 78Of broken Troops an easie Conquest find. 79 Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild Disorder seen, 80With Throngs promiscuous strow the level Green. 81Thus when dispers'd a routed Army runs, 82 Of Asia's Troops, and Africk's Sable Sons, 24 83With like Confusion different Nations fly, 84In various habits and of various Dye, 85The pierc'd Battalions dis-united fall, 86In Heaps on Heaps; one Fate o'erwhelms them all. 87 The Knave of Diamonds now exerts his Arts, 88 And wins (oh shameful Chance!) the Queen of Hearts. 89At this, the Blood the Virgin's Cheek forsook, 90A livid Paleness spreads o'er all her Look; 91She sees, and trembles at th' approaching Ill, 92 Just in the Jaws of Ruin, and CodilleCodille CodilleA "codille" would be a loss at the game, if the Baron were to win the final trick. Belinda must either win trick nine, or hope that the third player does, in order to avoid losing to the Baron.. 93And now, (as oft in some distemper'd State) 94 On one nice TrickTrick TrickA trick is a round. As explained above, a game consists of nine tricks; whoever takes five wins the game. At this point, with Belinda and the Baron tied with four tricks each, the game is down to the final round. depends the gen'ral Fate, 95 Lurk'd in her Hand, and mourn'd his captive QueenQueen QueenThe Baron mourns that he has already played a Queen that could win the round. He plays an Ace; Belinda counters with a King (which in ombre outranks an Ace) and wins final trick and thus the game.. 96He springs to Vengeance with an eager pace, 97 And falls like Thunder on the prostrate Ace. 98The Nymph exulting fills with Shouts the Sky, 99The Walls, the Woods, and long Canals reply. 25 100Oh thoughtless Mortals! ever blind to Fate, 101Too soon dejected, and too soon elate! 102Sudden these Honours shall be snatch'd away, 103And curs'd for ever this Victorious Day. 104For lo! the Board with Cups and Spoons is crown'd, 105The BerriesBerries BerriesCoffee beans, which are being ground in a mill to make fresh coffee. crackle, and the Mill turns round. 106 On shining Altars of JapanJapan Japan"Japan" was a style of wooden furniture, highly polished and often decorated in a vaguely Asian style; hence the name. Japan-style furtniture was expensive, and therefore fashionable among wealthy people in Europe at this time. they raise 107The silver Lamp, and fiery Spirits blaze. 108From silver Spouts the grateful Liquors glide, 109 And China's Earth receives the smoking Tyde. 110At once they gratify their Scent and Taste, 111While frequent Cups prolong the rich Repast. 112Strait hover round the Fair her Airy Band; 113Some, as she sip'd, the fuming Liquor fann'd, 114Some o'er her Lap their careful Plumes display'd, 115Trembling, and conscious of the rich Brocade. 116 Coffee, (which makes the Politician wise, 117 And see thro' all things with his half shut Eyes) 26 118 Sent up in Vapours to the Baron's Brain 119New Stratagems, the radiant Lock to gain. 120Ah cease rash Youth! desist e'er 'tis too late, 121 Fear the just Gods, and think of ScyllaScylla ScyllaNisus, king of Megara, was at war against Crete, but it was decreed by fate that his kingdom would be safe as long as a purple lock of hair remained on his head. His daughter Scylla fell in love with the king of Crete, Minos, and cut off her father's purple lock to give to him. Minos rejected the gift, and both Nisus and Scylla turned into birds.'s Fate! 122Chang'd to a Bird, and sent to flit in Air, 123 She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd Hair! 124But when to Mischief Mortals bend their Mind, 125How soon fit Instruments of Ill they find? 126 Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting Grace 127A two-edg'd Weapon from her shining Case; 128So Ladies in Romance assist their Knight, 129Present the Spear, and arm him for the Fight. 130He takes the Gift with rev'rence, and extends 131The little Engine on his Finger's Ends, 132 This just behind Belinda's Neck he spread, 133As o'er the fragrant Steams she bends her Head: 134Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprights repair, 135 A thousand Wings, by turns, blow back the Hair, 27 136And thrice they twitch'd the Diamond in her Ear, 137 Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the Foe drew near. 138 Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought 139The close Recesses of the Virgin's Thought; 140As on the NosegayNosegay NosegayA nosegay is a small flower bouquet, worn like a corsage.in her Breast reclin'd, 141He watch'd th' Ideas rising in her Mind, 142Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her Art, 143An Earthly Lover lurking at her Heart. 144Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his Pow'r expir'd, 145Resign'd to Fate, and with a Sigh retir'd. 146 The Peer now spreads the glitt'ring ForfexForfex ForfexLatin for scissors. wide, 147T'inclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide. 148Ev'n then, before the fatal Engine clos'd, 149 A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd; 150 Fate urg'd the Sheers, and cut the Sylph in twain, 151(*But Airy Substance soon unites again)Airy AiryA reference to John Milton's Paradise Lost, where Satan is injured in the war in heaven when a sword "Passed through him, but th' Ethereal substance closed/ Not long divisible." 152The meeting Points that sacred Hair dissever 153 From the fair Head, for ever and for ever! 28 154Then flash'd the living Lightnings from her Eyes, 155And Screams of Horror rend th' affrighted Skies. 156Not louder Shrieks by Dames to Heav'n are cast, 157When Husbands or when MonkeysMonkeys MonkeysIn eighteenth-century England, the wealthy kept many kinds of pets, including monkeys. The lower classes sometimes kept performing monkeys, which could earn them extra money.breath their last, 158 Or when rich China Vessels, fal'n from high, 159In glittring Dust and painted Fragments lie! 160Let Wreaths of TriumphWreaths WreathsIn ancient Greece, laurel wreaths were worn as a symbol of victory or honor.now my Temples twine, 161(The Victor cry'd) the glorious Prize is mine! 162While Fish in Streams, or Birds delight in Air, 163 Or in a Coach and Six the British Fair, 164 As long as AtalantisAtalantis AtalantisSecret Memoirs and Manners of Several Persons of Quality, of Both Sexes, from the New Atalantis, an Island in the Mediterranean, published in 1709, was a scandalous but very popular work of fiction by Delarivier Manley. With its salacious details of politicians' private lives, the story satirizes the corruption of the aristocracy. shall be read, 165Or the small Pillow grace a Lady's Bed, 166 While Visits shall be paid on solemn Days, 167When numerous Wax-lights in bright Order blaze, 168While Nymphs take Treats, or Assignations give, 169So long my Honour, Name, and Praise shall live! 170 What Time wou'd spare, from Steel receives its date, 171 And Monuments, like Men, submit to Fate! 29 172Steel did the Labour of the Gods destroy, 173 And strike to Dust th' Imperial Tow'rs of Troy; 174Steel cou'd the Works of mortal Pride confound, 175And hew Triumphal Arches to the Ground. 176 What Wonder then, fair Nymph! thy Hairs shou'd feel 177The conqu'ring Force of unresisted Steel?
[Engraving] Figure 4Figure_4Figure_4graphic 30 THE RAPE of the LOCK.
CANTO IV. 1BUT anxious Cares the pensive Nymph opprest, 2And secret Passions labour'd in her Breast. 3Not youthful Kings in Battel seiz'd alive, 4Not scornful Virgins who their Charms survive, 5Not ardent Lovers robb'd of all their Bliss, 6Not ancient Ladies when refus'd a Kiss, 7Not Tyrants fierce that unrepenting die, 8Not Cynthia when her Manteau's pinn'd awry, 31 9E'er felt such Rage, Resentment and Despair, 10As Thou, sad Virgin! for thy ravish'd Hair. 11 For, that sad moment, when the Sylphs withdrew, 12 And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew, 13 Umbriel, a dusky melancholy Spright, 14As ever fully'd the fair face of Light, 15Down to the Central Earth, his proper Scene, 16 Repairs to search the gloomy Cave of Spleenn165 n165According to the humours theory of human psychology, which held sway from the middle ages into the early modern period, a person's temperament was set by the mixture of various fluids--humours--in the body. The spleen was thought to produce yellow bile, an excess of which would lead to depression. So by analogy "the spleen" became shorthand for a state of depression, which Belinda is experiencing in the wake of the theft of her lock of hair. Umbriel's journey through the Cave of Spleen is analogous to the journeys, fraught with many perils, which Aeneas (in Vergil's Aeneid) and Odysseus (Homer's Odyssey) made to the underworld in those epics.. 17 Swift on his sooty Pinions flitts the Gnome, 18And in a Vapour reach'd the dismal DomeDome DomeThat is, a domed building.. 19No cheerful Breeze this sullen Region knows, 20 The dreaded East is all the Wind that blows. 21Here, in a Grotto, sheltred close from Air, 22And screen'd in Shades from Day's detested Glare, 23She sighs for ever on her pensive Bed, 24 Pain at her side, and Languor at her Head. 25Two Handmaids wait the Throne: Alike in Place, 26 But diff'ring far in Figure and in Face. 32 27 Here stood Ill-nature like an ancient Maid, 28 Her wrinkled Form in Black and White array'd; 29 With store of Pray'rs, for Mornings, Nights, and Noons, 30Her Hand is fill'd; her Bosom with LampoonsLampoon Lampoon"Lampooning" in seventeenth and eighteenth century England was a scathing form of satire that attacked a specific person's appearance. It originates from the French word "lampons," which means "let's drink," and Alexander Pope himself lampooned a fellow writer, Joseph Addison, in his work "An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot." The form fell into disuse soon after this time but the term "lampoon" still refers to an insult directed at a specific person or institution. Werlock, Abby H. P. The Facts on File Companion to the American Short Story. 2nd ed. New York NY: Facts On File, 2010. Print.. 31 There Affectation with a sickly Mien 32Shows in her Cheek the Roses of Eighteen, 33Practis'd to Lisp, and hang the Head aside, 34Faints into Airs, and languishes with Pride; 35On the rich Quilt sinks with becoming Woe, 36Wrapt in a Gown, for Sickness, and for Show. 37The Fair ones feel such Maladies as these, 38When each new Night-Dress gives a new Disease. 39 A constant Vapour o'er the Palace flies; 40Strange Phantoms rising as the Mists arise; 41Dreadful, as Hermit's Dreams in haunted Shades, 42Or bright as Visions of expiring Maids. 43Now glaring Fiends, and Snakes on rolling SpiresSpires Spiresspirals, 44 Pale Spectres, gaping Tombs, and Purple Fires: 33 45 Now Lakes of liquid Gold, ElysianElysian ElysianA reference to Elysium/Elysian Fields/Elysian Plain of classical mythology, where mortals favored by the gods for their rectitude were sent to dwell after they had departed from the land of the living. Elysium was originally the exclusive province of the heroes who had acquired immortality from the gods Elysian in the context of this passage means like "paradise." Scenes, 46And Crystal Domes, and Angels in Machines. 47Unnumber'd Throngs on ev'ry side are seen 48 Of Bodies chang'd to various Forms by Spleen. 49 Here living Teapots stand, one Arm held out, 50One bent; the Handle this, and that the Spout: 51 A PipkinPipkin Pipkin_According to Samuel Johnson's 1755 A pipkin is "A small earthen boiler." there like Homer's TripodTripod TripodThe automatons (or "tripods"), twenty in all, fashioned with rivets and gold wheels by the lame god Vulcan in his workshop so that they might be dispatched whenever the gods congregated at Mt. Olympus, returning to the workshop afterwards to be at the beck and call of Vulcan. From Book XVIII of Homer's Iliad. walks; 52Here sighs a Jar, and there a Goose-pyeGoose-pye Goose-pyeGooseberry pietalks; 53Men prove with Child, as pow'rful Fancy works, 54And Maids turn'd Bottels, call aloud for Corks. 55 Safe past the Gnome thro' this fantastick Band, 56 A BranchBranch BranchThe branch of spleenwort, a humble fern, is a parodic reference to the golden bough bore by Aeneas during his journey, accompanied by the Cumaean Sibyl, through the underworld. Aeneas, having been guided by a pair of doves to a place in a forest where the golden bough had been long obscured from the sight of man, had plucked the golden bough in order to obtain safe passage through the underworld. He and the Sibyl were ferried to the underworld across the Acheron River. Spleenwort got its name because it was believed to have medicinal properties, particularly in treating "spleen" or, in our terms, depression.of healing Spleenwort in his hand. 57Then thus addrest the Pow'r--Hail wayward Queen; 58Who rule the Sex to Fifty from Fifteen, 59Parent of Vapors and of Female Wit, 60 Who give th' Hysteric or Poetic Fit, 61On various Tempers act by various ways, 62 Make some take Physick, others scribble Plays; 34 63Who cause the Proud their Visits to delay, 64And send the Godly in a PettPett PettAccording to Samuel Johnson's 1755 Dictionary, "pett" is "A slight passion; a slight fit of anger.", to pray. 65A Nymph there is, that all thy Pow'r disdains, 66And thousands more in equal Mirth maintains. 67 But oh! if e'er thy Gnome could spoil a Grace, 68Or raise a Pimple on a beauteous Face, 69Like Citron-WatersCitron-Waters Citron-WatersBrandy based on citrus wine.Matron's Cheeks inflame, 70Or change Complexions at a losing Game; 71If e'er with airy HornsHorns Horns"Horns" were associated with being cuckolded.I planted Heads, 72Or rumpled Petticoats, or tumbled Beds, 73Or caus'd Suspicion when no Soul was rude, 74Or discompos'd the Head-dress of a Prude, 75Or e'er to costivecostive costiveConstipated.Lap-Dog gave Disease, 76Which not the Tears of brightest Eyes could ease: 77 Hear me, and touch Belinda with Chagrin; 78That single Act gives half the World the Spleen. 79The Goddess with a discontented Air 80 Seems to reject him, tho' she grants his Pray'r. 35 81A wondrous Bag with both her Hands she binds, 82 Like that where once UlyssesBag Bag In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus receives a bag of winds from Aeolus, the god of wind. held the Winds; 83There she collects the Force of Female Lungs, 84Sighs, Sobs, and Passions, and the War of Tongues. 85A Vial next she fills with fainting Fears, 86Soft Sorrows, melting Griefs, and flowing Tears. 87 The Gnome rejoicing bears her Gift away, 88Spreads his black Wings, and flowly mounts to Day. 89 Sunk in Thalestris'Thalestris ThalestrisThalestris was a queen of the Amazons, the mythological race of warrior women. Arms the Nymph he found, 90Her Eyes dejected and her Hair unbound. 91Full o'er their Heads the swelling Bag he rent, 92And all the FuriesFuries FuriesThree mythological goddesses of revenge.issued at the Vent. 93 Belinda burns with more than mortal IreIre IreIntense anger., 94 And fierce Thalestris fans the rising Fire. 95O wretched Maid! she spread her hands, and cry'd, 96 (While Hampton's Ecchos wretched Maid reply'd) 97Was it for this you took such constant Care 98 The Bodkin, Comb, and Essence to prepare; 36 99For this your Locks in Paper-Durancepaper paperIn this period, women used paper, often heated and shaped with lead, to curl their hair.bound, 100For this with tort'ring Irons wreath'd around? 101For this with FilletsFillets FilletsA headband, here being used to shape a hairstyle.strain'd your tender Head, 102And bravely bore the double Loads of LeadLead LeadLead was heated to curl women's hair.? 103Gods! shall the Ravisher display your Hair, 104While the FopsFops Fops"Fop" was a contemporary slang term for man overly concerned with his outer appearance to the point that it bothers other people. It originated in this context in seventeenth-century England to refer to a generally foolish, effeminate man incapable of engaging in intellectual conversation. In this line, the definition of a "fop" is exemplified by the fact that they and ladies are both jealous of Belinda's hair.envy, and the Ladies stare! 105 Honour forbid! at whose unrival'd Shrine 106Ease, Pleasure, Virtue, All, our Sex resign. 107Methinks already I your Tears survey, 108Already hear the horrid things they say, 109Already see you a degraded ToastToast ToastThe term "toast" originated as a term for a lady for whose health a group of people dedicated a drink, similar to how people propose toasts today. This lady's name was seen as adding a special flavor to the drink in question, similar in function to a spiced toast that would have been a common feature in alcoholic drinks at the time. Oxford English Dictionary., 110And all your Honour in a Whisper lost! 111How shall I, then, your helpless Fame defend? 112'Twill then be Infamy to seem your Friend! 113And shall this Prize, th' inestimable Prize, 114Expos'd thro' Crystal to the gazing Eyes, 115And heighten'd by the Diamond's circling Rays, 116On that Rapacious Hand for ever blaze? 117 Sooner shall Grass in Hide-Park CircusCircus CircusThe Ring-Road in Hyde Park, at this time a fashionable area to take a carriage on a nice day to see and be seen by those who could afford carriages. grow, 118 And Wits take Lodgings in the Sound of BowBell BellThe bells of St Mary-le-Bow, a church which was located in the Cheapside district of London. This was not a fashionable area; it was for a long time traditionally associated with working-class Cockneys from the East End. 37 119 Sooner let Earth, Air, Sea, to Chaos fall, 120Men, Monkies, Lap-dogs, Parrots, perish all! 121 She said; then raging to Sir Plume repairs, 122 And bids her Beau demand the precious Hairs: 123 (Sir Plume, of Amber Snuff-boxSnuff-box Snuff-boxHigh society gentlemen of this time generally stored their "snuff," or sniffing tobacco, in jeweled boxes made from precious materials such as porcelain, ebony, and, in this case, amber. Sir Plume is very vain about his fancy snuff-box. justly vain, 124 And the nice Conduct of a clouded CaneCane CaneA walking stick, perhaps made of glass or porcelain, and "clouded" in a decorative way. ) 125With earnest Eyes, and round unthinking Face, 126He first the Snuff-box open'd, then the Case, 127 And thus broke out--- "My Lord, why, what the Devil? 128 "Z---ds!Z---ds Z---ds"Zounds" is a euphemism for "by God's wounds," that is, the wounds that Jesus received when being nailed to the cross. That was considered blasphemous, so "zounds" became a work-around. In context, a mild expletive, like "damn."damn the Lock! 'fore Gad, you must be civil! 129"Plague on't! 'tis past a Jest---nay prithee, PoxPoxPox"Pox" refers either to small-pox or to venereal disease; here it is being used as an expletive without so specific a meaning.! 130"Give her the Hair---he spoke, and rapp'd his Box. 131It grieves me much (reply'd the Peer again) 132Who speaks so well shou'd ever speak in vain. 133But * by this LockLockLockThis passage may to a passage from Homer (Iliad, book 23) in which Achilles cuts off a lock of his own hair to mourn and commemorate the death of Patroclus. Many of his men follow suit and cut off locks of their own hair, and Achilles then cuts off another lock of his hair that he had been growing for the river Spercheus to make his trip home safer. This continues the trend throughout the poem of using military conquest language to describe the event of cutting off a lock of Belinda's hair., this sacred Lock I swear. 134 (Which never more shall join its parted Hair, 38 135Which never more its Honours shall renew, 136Clipt from the lovely Head where once it grew) 137That while my Nostrils draw the vital Air, 138This Hand, which won it, shall for ever wear. 139He spoke, and speaking in proud Triumph spread 140The long-contended Honours of her Head. 141 But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not so; 142He breaks the Vial whence the Sorrows flow. 143 Then see! the Nymph in beauteous Grief appears, 144Her Eyes half languishing, half drown'd in Tears; 145On her heav'd Bosom hung her drooping Head, 146Which, with a Sigh, she rais'd; and thus she said. 147For ever curs'd be this detested Day, 148Which snatch'd my best, my fav'rite Curl away! 149Happy! ah ten times happy, had I been, 150 If Hampton-Court these Eyes had never seen! 151Yet am not I the first mistaken Maid, 152 By Love of Courts to num'rous Ills betray'd. 39 153Oh had I rather un-admir'd remain'd 154 In some lone Isle, or distant Northern Land; 155 Where the gilt ChariotChariot ChariotMay be a reference to the chariot driven by Helios (whose identity was later subsumed into that of Apollo), the god of the sun and a Titan, in order to mark the waxing and waning of daylight. He was complemented by his sisters, Eos and Selene, who personified the Dawn and the Moon, respectively. never mark'd the way, 156 Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste BoheaBohea BoheaA black tea that originated in China's Buyi hills, for which it is named, and was of relatively low quality. (Oxford English Dictionary! 157There kept my Charms conceal'd from mortal Eye, 158Like Roses that in Desarts bloom and die. 159What mov'd my Mind with youthful Lords to rome? 160O had I stay'd, and said my Pray'rs at home! 161 'Twas this, the Morning Omens did foretel; 162 Thrice from my trembling hand the Patch-boxPatch-box Patch-boxA small and rectangular (at times oval) box with beauty patches, small pieces of class with a sticky side, which were worn by ladies of fashion during the eighteenth century for decorative purposes or to cover a blemish. A patch box was bejeweled and made of gold, and could also be painted/enameled with amorous scenes. A patch could have the appearance of a star, an animal, a insect, a figure, a crescent, or a spot. The location of a patch also contributed to its signification. "Patch Box." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. http://www.britannica.com/topic/patch-box. fell; 163 The tott'ring ChinaChina China"China" in this context refers to porcelain dishes that came via trade routes from China. These trade routes between China and England first began to flourish during the eighteenth century, and many rich English citizens were obsessed with obtaining as many exotic Chinese goods as they could to show off their wealth. Chinese porcelain was much finer and of higher quality than anything that European makers could produce for a few more decades. Chang, Elizabeth. "The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England." Eighteenth-Century Fiction 25 (2012): 248-50. University of Toronto Press. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. shook without a Wind, 164 Nay, PollPoll PollShort for "Polly," surely the name of a pet parrot owned by Belinda. sate mute, and Shock was most Unkind! 165 A Sylph too warn'd me of the Threats of Fate, 166In mystic Visions, now believ'd too late! 167See the poor Remnants of this slighted Hair! 168My hands shall rend what ev'n thy own did spare. 169This, in two sable Ringlets taught to break, 170Once gave new Beauties to the snowie Neck. 171The Sister-Lock now sits uncouth, alone, 172 And in its Fellow's Fate foresees its own; 40 173Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal Sheers demands; 174And tempts once more thy sacrilegious Hands. 175Oh hadst thou, Cruel! been content to seize 176Hairs less in sight, or any Hairs but these!
[Engraving] Figure 5Figure_5Figure_5graphic 41 THE RAPE of the LOCK.
CANTO V. 1SHE said: the pitying Audience melt in Tears, 2 But Fate and JoveJove JoveJove, also known as Jupiter, was the king of the Roman gods. He is the roman equivalent to the Greek god Zeus. had stopp'd the Baron's EarsEars EarsThat is, the reason that the Baron cannot hear Belinda's cries is because of the intervention of the gods Fate and Jove. Just as the gods intervene in the lives of heroic characters from epic, here they interfere in the lives of trivial British aristocrats.. 3 In vain Thalestris with Reproach assails, 4 For who can move when fair Belinda fails? 5 Not half to fixt the Trojan cou'd remain, 6 While Anna begg'd and DidoDido DidoIn the Aeneid by Virgil, Aeneas, the lover of Dido, queen of Carthage, is told by Zeus he must leave Italy because of fate. As a last effort Dido sends her sister Anna to persuade him to stay in Italy, but she fails. rag'd in vain. 7 To Arms, to Arms! the bold Thalestris cries, 8 And swift as Lightning to the Combate flies. 42 9All side in Parties, and begin th' Attack; 10 Fans clap, Silks russle, and tough WhalebonesWhalebones WhalebonesWhalebone was used to stiffen women's clothing, such as corsets and hoop skirts.crack; 11Heroes and Heroins Shouts confus'dly rise, 12And base, and treble Voices strike the Skies. 13No common Weapons in their Hands are found, 14Like Gods they fight, nor dread a mortal Wound. 15 * So when bold Homer makes the Gods engageGods GodsHomer makes the gods fight in his tales similar to the way Pope forces the characters in the poem to fight., 16And heav'nly Breasts with human Passions rage; 17 'Gainst PallasPallas PallasAthena, the Goddess of Wisdom,Mars,Mars MarsMars was the Roman god of war.; LatonaLatona LatonaIn Greek mythology, Latona was the mother of Apollo and Diana and the mistress of Zeus., HermesHermes HermesHermes was the messenger god of Greek mythology, known as Mercury in Roman mythology. , Arms; 18 And all Olympus rings with loud Alarms. 19 Jove's Thunder roars, Heav'n trembles all around; 20 Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing Deeps resound; 21 Earth shakes her nodding Tow'rs, the Ground gives way; 22And the pale Ghosts start at the Flash of Day! 23 Triumphant Umbriel on a Sconce'sSconce SconceA lantern with a handle and a shield, so that you could carry the light around.Height 24Clapt his glad Wings, and sate to view the Fightsate sateThat is, perched. Pope adds in a footnote: "Minerva in like manner, during the Battle of Ulysses with the Suitors in Odyss. perches on a beam of the roof to behold it.", 25Propt on their Bodkin Spears the Sprights survey 26The growing Combat, or assist the Fray. 43 27 While thro' the Press enrag'd Thalestries flies, 28And scatters Deaths around from both her Eyes, 29 A BeauBeau BeauA dandy; a many perhaps overly concerned with his appearance and WitlingWitling WitlingSomeone who aspiring to become a wit (and probably failing at it. perish'd in the Throng, 30 One dy'd in Metaphor, and one in Song. 31 O cruel Nymph! a living Death I bear, 32 Cry'd DapperwitDapperwit DapperwitA character in William Wycherley's 1671 play Love in a Wood., and sunk beside his Chair. 33 A mournful Glance Sir FoplingFopling FoplingReference to Sir Fopling Flutter, a character in George Etherege's 1677 play The Man of Mode. upwards cast, 34 * Those Eyes are made so killingCamilla_ CamillaPope later added a footnote: "The Words of a Song in the Opera of Camilla" Camilla was a popular opera, first staged in London in 1706 and frequently revived after that. Unlike many operas of the period, which were sung in Italian, this was in English, based on an Italian opera by Silvio Stampiglio. ---was his last: 35 Thus on MeanderMeander Meanderin Greek Mythology, Meander was both the name of a river god and for the river that was his home. "Meander" now is a general turn for a bend in a river, or to describe anything or anyone that takes a roundabout route to a destination. 's flow'ry Margin lies 36Th' expiring Swan, and as he sings he dies. 37 As bold Sir PlumePlume PlumeThe name gives insight to the character. A plume is an arrangement of feathers used by a bird for display or worn by a person for ornament. Plume is also used as a verb 'to plume oneself' synonymous to the action of preening at one's looks. Oxford English Dictionary had drawn Clarissa down, 38 Chloe stept in, and kill'd him with a Frown; 39She smil'd to see the doughtydoughty doughtyBrave, capable, and determined, also marked by fearless resolution. Oxford English DictionaryHero slain, 40But at her Smile, the Beau reviv'd again. 41 + Now Jovescales scalesJove, the head of the Roman system of deities, is here responsible for putting the social order back into balance, and is weighing the contending claims of the men and the women. These lines refer to a moment in Homer's Iliad where Zeus had used scales to balance the claims of Hector and Achilles and determined their fates. suspends his golden Scales in Air, 42 Weighs the Mens Wits against the Lady's Hair; 44 43The doubtful Beam long nods from side to side; 44At length the Wits mount up, the Hairs subsidesubside subsideJove weighs the battle in the men's favor, but Belinda overcomes this by tossing snuff in the Baron's face.. 45 See fierce Belinda on the Baron flies, 46With more than usual Lightning in her Eyes; 47Nor fear'd the Chief th' unequal Fight to try, 48Who sought no more than on his Foe to diedie die"to die" is a common euphemism for orgasm. It was a common poetical term in the 16th and 17th centuries. Oxford English Dictionary. 49But this bold Lord, with manly Strength indu'd, 50She with one Finger and a Thumb subdu'd, 51Just where the Breath of Life his Nostrils drew, 52 A Charge of SnuffSnuff SnuffA fine-ground tobacco, intended for consumption by being sniffed or snorted into the nose. the wily Virgin threw; 53 The Gnomes direct, to ev'ry AtomeAtom AtomPope is referring to the ancient theory that posited the "atom" as an infinitely small piece of matter that could not be further divided.just, 54The pungent Grains of titillating Dust. 55Sudden, with starting Tears each Eye o'erflows, 56And the high Dome re-ecchoes to his Nose. 57Now meet thy Fate, th' incens'd ViragoVirago ViragoA man-like, heroic woman. Oxford English Dictionarycry'd, 58 And drew a deadly Bodkin from her Side. 59(*The same, his ancient Personagen229 n229Pope adds in a footnote: "In imitation of the progress of Agamemnon's sceptre in Homer" Source: Pope, Alexander, and Adolphus William Ward. The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope. London: Macmillan, 1907. Print. to deck, 60 Her great great Grandsire wore about his Neck 45 61 In three Seal-Ringsseal-ring seal-ringa finger ring bearing a seal; signet ring. Oxford English Dictionary; which after melted down, 62 Form'd a vast Buckle for his Widow's Gown: 63 Her infant Grandame'sGrandame Grandamegrandmother Whistle next it grew, 64 The Bells she gingled, and the Whistle blew; 65 Then in a Bodkin grac'd her Mother's Hairs, 66 Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.) 67Boast not my Fall (he cry'd) insulting Foe! 68Thou by some other shalt be laid as low. 69Nor think, to die dejects my lofty Mind; 70All that I dread, is leaving you behind! 71Rather than so, ah let me still survive, 72 And burn in Cupid 's Flames,---but burn alive. 73 Restore the Lock! she cries; and all around 74 Restore the Lock! the vaulted Roofs rebound. 75 Not fierce OthelloOthello OthelloIn Shakespeare's Othello, the titular character is tricked into believing his wife Desdemona has been unfaithful by his ensign Iago. A key piece of evidence is Desdemona's handkerchief, which Iago has planted in the room of Othello's lieutenant, Cassio. in so loud a Strain 76Roar'd for the Handkerchief that caus'd his Pain. 77But see how oft Ambitious Aims are cross'd, 78 And Chiefs contend 'till all the Prize is lost! 46 79The Lock, obtain'd with Guilt, and kept with Pain, 80In ev'ry place is sought, but sought in vain: 81With such a Prize no Mortal must be blest, 82So Heav'n decrees! with Heav'n who can contest? 83Some thought it mounted to the Lunar Sphere, 84 * Since all things lost on Earth, are treasur'd there. 85There Heroe's Wits are kept in pondrous Vases, 86 And Beau's in Snuff-boxes and Tweezer-Cases. 87There broken Vows, and Death-bed AlmsAlms Almsgifts of money extended as charityare found, 88And Lovers Hearts with Ends of RibandRiband Ribanda ribbonbound; 89The Courtiers Promises, and Sick Man's Pray'rs, 90The Smiles of Harlots, and the Tears of Heirs, 91Cages for Gnats, and Chains to Yoak a Flea; 92Dry'd Butterflies, and Tomes of CasuistryCasuistry CasuistryThick books of meaningless philosophy through the use of clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions. Oxford English Dictionary. 93But trust the Muse---she saw it upward rise, 94Tho' mark'd by none but quick Poetic Eyes:PoeticPoeticThat is, Pope's eyes; he is the only person who can "see" what has happened, as the lock of hair has been transformed into a star in the sky. Buried here is the play on words: "coma," the Latin word for hair, is the root for "comet," celestial bodies that were so named because of the long hair-like trail that followed the main body. There is such a comet depicted in the upper-left hand corner of the plate that precedes this canto. 95 (So Rome's great FounderRome RomeIn popular myth and legend, Rome was founded by Romulus, who ruled for 37 years and then mysteriously disappeared, apparently taken up to the heavens in a whirlwind. Proculus, a friend of Romulus, swore that he saw Romulus ascending to heaven. 96 To Proculus alone confess'd in view.) 47 97A sudden Star, it shot thro' liquid Air, 98 And drew behind a radiant Trail of Hair. 99 Not BereniceBerenice BereniceBerenice II was the wife of Ptolemy III, the Pharoah of Egypt in the third century BCE. The legend went that Berenice offered to cut off her hair as an offering to the goddess Aphrodite if Ptolemy would return safely home from a dangerous battle. After his safe return, she placed her hair in the temple. But the next morning, the hair had vanished. The court astronomy Conon suggested that the hair had been transformed into a constellation in the night sky, a star cluster that became (and is still) known as the "Coma Berenices," Latin for "Berenice's hair." 's Locks first rose so bright, 100The Skies bespangling with dishevel'd Light. 101 The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies, 102And pleas'd pursue its Progress thro' the Skies. 103 This the Beau-mondeBeau-monde Beau-mondeHigh society. shall from the MallMall Mallgraphic A broad, tree-lined promenade in St. James's Park in London, where courtiers and other aristocrats would aim to see and be seen. [ Image: View of the Mall in Saint James, around 1710, by an unknown artist. National Gallery, Public Domain.] survey, 104And hail with Musick its propitious Ray. 105 This, the blest Lover shall for Venus take, 106 And send up Vows from RosamondaRosamonda RosamondaRosamonda's Pond was a body of water in St. James's Park in London, on the site of what is now Buckingham Palace. The pond was named for Rosamund Clifford, the semi-legendary mistress of Henry II in the twelfth century whose relationship with the king became a byword for doomed love affairs. In the eighteenth century, the Pond was apparently well known as a place for lovers to meet secretly.'s Lake. 107 This PartridgePartridge PartridgeJohn Partridge (1644-c.1714) an astrologer known for publishing almanacs with (generally incorrect) yearly predictions of deaths of notable individuals like the King of France (during a time where France and England were at war). soon shall view in cloudless Skies, 108 When next he looks thro' Galilaeo's EyesEyes Eyesi.e., the telescope, developed by Galileo Galilei; 109And hence th' Egregious Wizard shall foredoom 110 The Fate of LouisLouis LouisgraphicLouis XIV (1638-1715), the King of France. He was for a long time the most powerful and feared ruler in Europe. But the threat that Louis and France posed to their neighbors was checked by the Treaty of Utrecht, signed in 1713, and he died the year after this poem was published. His "Fate," then, was very much up in the air at the time that Pope was writing. [Image: Portrait of Louis XIV by Hyacynthe Rigaud, 1701. Wikimedia Commons, and the Fall of Rome. 111 Then cease, bright Nymph! to mourn the ravish'd Hair 112Which adds new Glory to the shining Sphere! 113Not all the Tresses that fair Head can boast 114 Shall draw such Envy as the Lock you lost. 48 115For, after all the Murders of your Eye, 116When, after Millions slain, your self shall die; 117 When those fair Suns shall sett, as sett they must, 118And all those Tresses shall be laid in Dust; 119 This Lock, the MuseMuse MuseThe Muses are the nine Greek goddesses devoted to the arts; they are often imagined as a source of inspiration for a poet.shall consecrate to Fame, 120 And mid'st the Stars inscribe Belinda's Name! 121 FINIS.

Footnotes

frontispiece_The frontispiece was designed by Louis du Guernier (1677-1716) a well-known illustrator of the period; he also designed the images that appear before each of the five cantos. They were engraved by Claude du Bosc (1682-1745?); both men had been born in France but moved to London, probably in pursuit of the good opportunities for skilled engravers in the London book trade, and worked together on a number of projects for London patrons and booksellers in these years. Illustrations as detailed as these were very time-consuming and therefore expensive to produce, and the presence of six custom-engraved images was a sign that Pope and his publisher Bernard Lintot were trying to create a particularly impressive and beautiful object. Pope, who was a talented amateur painter in his own right, almost certainly had a role in designing the images, although we do not know exactly how he participated. The frontispiece is a composite of major events in the poem to follow. The "sylphs," spirits of vanity and erotic desire, float around Belinda, the heroine of the poem, as she puts on her makeup; they also drop playing cards, alluding to the card game in Canto III, and point to the shooting star that ascends at the end of Canto V. In the front lower right of the image, a satyr, with pointed ears and cloven hoofs, holds the kind of mask that women in the period sometimes wore in public; like many authors in the period, Pope is playing on the homophone between "satyr," the sexually-aggressive half-human, half-animals of Greek mythology, and "satire," the literary form of which "The Rape of the Lock" is an example. Behind the characters is the facade of Hampton Court Palace, the royal home down the Thames from London where much of the action of the poem takes place. Pope clearly intended the images and the poem to be read together, a feature that is not possible in most modern reproductions of the poem, which rely on the poetic text alone.
title_graphicAlexander Pope’s "The Rape of the Lock" is the most famous poem written in English in the eighteenth century. Chances are, if a modern reader knows only one poem from the period, this is the one. Which is a strange thing. The poem’s subject matter is unusual, even unique: the cutting off of a lock of hair from the head of a young woman and the aftermath of that event. And the poem is written in a form, the heroic couplet, that is rarely used today. But "The Rape of the Lock" has endured because it so fully captured, while also satirizing, an image of a particular world, a world of aristocratic ease, but also great anxiety. And it is also an astonishing accomplishment simply as a poem. No poet of the eighteenth century used the heroic couplet more deftly than Alexander Pope (depicted here in a contemporary painting by Charles Jervis; National Portrait Gallery, London), and perhaps nowhere in his career did he craft couplets and the larger units he built from them—verse paragraphs, cantos, the entire poem itself—with greater verve and delicacy. The poem is based on a true story. At a party one day in 1710 or 1711, Robert Petre, a young man from an aristocratic family, crept up behind Arabella Fermor, a young woman also from a prosperous household, and cut off a lock of her hair. Petre may have thought of this as an amusing, or even a flirtatious prank, but she was angry, and the two families started snubbing and sniping at each other. Years later, Pope described what happened next: “The stealing of Miss Belle Fermor’s hair was taken too seriously, and caused an estrangement between the two families, though they had lived long in great friendship before. A common acquaintance and well-wisher to both desired me to write a poem to make a jest of it, and laugh them together again. It was in this view that I wrote my Rape of the Lock, which was well received and had its effect in the two families.” The “common acquaintance” was John Caryll, a friend of Pope’s who was also close to both the Fermor and Petre families. Like all of them, Caryll was also a Catholic who faced persecution in an era when the government of Britain continued to suspect that Catholics were potentially a subversive force whose loyalties to the Protestant monarchy could not be assured. And sometimes with reason; Caryll was a Jacobite, a supporter of the exiled Pretender, the Stuart James III, then living in exile in France. James continued to claim that he was the true king of Britain, and there were Jacobites who called for the restoration of the Stuart monarchy until the movement was finally defeated at the Battle of Culloden in Scotland in 1745. Caryll never joined in any of the conspiracies that took place in the early part of the century to restore the Stuart monarchy, but he did secretly give financial support to a Catholic church in his neighborhood, which was itself illegal. Caryll may have felt that Catholics in Britain had enough problems without feuding among themselves. Pope, who was at this point starting work on a massive translation of Homer’s poem The Iliad, seems quickly to have seen the possibility of re-imagining the incident in epic terms, creating what has been called a “mock epic” for the way in which it uses the conventions of epic poetry to describe what is by comparison a trivial event. Pope’s memory of the happy outcome of the poem was, however, a little rose colored from time. Pope wrote the first version of "The Rape of the Lock" quickly—he said it took two weeks; he may have been exaggerating—and it then circulated among the families and their friends in manuscript for a while. That version of the poem, which was much shorter than the one that has ultimately been most read, was published anonymously in 1712, and at this point things got more complicated. As more and more people read the poem now that it was in print, the double entendres and erotic implications of Pope’s work became clearer, and Arabella Fermor—who had initially agreed with letting the poem be printed—was embarrassed as friends started pointing out to her where the dirty jokes were. Sir Charles Brown, the original for the “Sir Plume” of the poem, was also angry at the way he was portrayed (as an idiot). Pope went back to work, and over the course of the next couple of years, added the elaborate “machinery” of the poem, the sylphs and fairies that hover around the action, embedding the original story in a framework of fantasy that deflects some of the agency of the central characters. (Robert Petre’s response to the publication of the first version of the poem is, by the way, unrecorded. Petre married Catherine Walsmeley in 1712, but he died only a few months later from smallpox.) Pope included a letter of dedication to Arabella Fermor that aimed to defuse some of her anger. That new edition, handsomely printed with engravings accompanying each canto, was published as a separate volume in 1714, and immediately became a best-seller, selling around 3,000 copies in four days, which even now would be an extraordinary total for any book, much less a poem in rhyming couplets. It has been admired, critiqued, and argued with ever since.
Heroi-Comical_Pope is the inventor of this term, which first appeared here at the opening of The Rape of the Lock. He is indicating that he will emulate such epics as Homer's Iliad or Milton's Paradise Lost, but in a comic register.
nomen_The full quote, which comes from Book VIII of Ovid's Metamorphoses, should read, "Ciris et, a tonso est hoc nomen adepta capillo": "She acquired the name from the cutting of the hair." Ovid's story, first published in 8 CE, goes like this. Nisus was the King of Alcathous and he had a lock of purple hair on his crown that (somehow) guaranteed the safety of his kingdom. Scylla, his daughter, fell in love with King Minos, who was conquering the kingdom, and in order to gain his favor, Scylla cut off the lock of her father's hair. But, disgusted with her disloyalty, Minos left by ship. As Scylla swam after Minos, King Nisos, having been transformed into a sea eagle, attempted to drown her. Instead of drowning, Scylla was turned to a sea bird and called Ciris, (i.e. "cutter"), being named after the lock that she cut off. See Ovid's Metamorphoses, translated by Anthony S. Kline, http://ovid.lib.virginia.edu/trans/Metamorph8.htm
Arabella_Arabella Fermor (1696-1737; image credit: Victoria and Albert Museum) graphicwas from a prominent Catholic family. She came to public attention in an unwelcome way when Robert Petre, from another prominent Catholic family, surreptitiously cut off a lock of her hair at a party. He may have thought it was a good prank, but she was (justifiably) angry, and the Fermor and Petre families (who may have been in negotiations to marry the two), became estranged. John Caryll, a friend of Pope's who was also Robert Petre's guardian, asked Pope to write about the incident in such a way as to make a joke of it and smooth relations. The Rape of the Lock is Pope's effort to heal the breach. He did not, however, ask Arabella Fermor for her approval before publishing the first version of the poem in 1712, and she was initially unhappy at the poem's double-entendre and the way that it seemed to compare her situation to raped heroines of antiquity like Helen of Troy or Lucrece. This letter, published with the much-enlarged 1714 edition of the poem, can be read in part as Pope's attempt to mollify her.
dedicatePope is probably referring to the Latin epigraph that appeared with the first edition of the poem: "Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos, / Sed juvat hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis," by the Roman poet Martial, in his Epigrams xii, 84, translates as, "I was loathe, Belinda, to violate your locks, but I am pleased to have granted that much to your prayers." Pope is insinuating that Arabella Fermor asked for the poem to be written. This was not the case.
machinery_Refers to the fairy-like creatures in the poem: the sylphys, the nymphs, the gnomes, the salamanders. As he explains in the next line, they are the portrayals of what we would call in the real world, deities, angels or demons.
Rosicrucian_The Rosicrusians were an occult movement that emerged in the early seventeenth century in Europe. It was an odd combination of Christian mysticism and other kinds of esoteric teaching, such as the Kabbala, which comes out of the Jewish tradition. There were several Rosicrucian manifestos that laid out theories of mystical knowledge, and the movement had adherents and drew curious thinkers to it throughout Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Pope does not seem to have been a serious adherent, but is here using some of the supernatural apparatus associated with Rosicrucianism to frame his story.
Lady_It seems unlikely that Pope is aware how unctuous and condescending he sounds here; or perhaps he is aware and does not mind. It's hard to say with Pope.
Gabalis_The Count of Gabala was written by Nicolas-Pierre-Henri of Montfaucon de Villars, a French cleric, and published in 1670. It is an odd book. In it, an anonymous narrator encounters the Comte de Gabalis, who teaches the narrator about the occult, including various beliefs associated with the Rosicrucians. The Count introduces such things as the Sylphs of the Air, the Undines of the Water, the Gnomes of the Earth and the Salamanders of Fire. It is entirely possible that de Villars is satirizing occult sciences, which had a vogue in seventeenth century Europe, as absurd or incompatible with orthodox religion. But it is hard to be sure; this may be an example of a satire that does not make its intentions clear enough.
novel_ To an English reader of 1714, the word "novel" still sounded like a French import, and it would have denoted a short, perhaps slightly scandalous, love story. The novel was not understood to be a serious genre, a form of literature. Any reading of a novel for more than entertainment is a "mistake."
caryll_John Caryll, the mutual friend of Pope and the two families involved in the dispute; he seems to have attempted to mediate between them, in part suggesting that Pope write this poem.
Belinda_The heroine of the poem, inspired by Arabella Fermor.
Sol_Sol is Latin for the Sun.
Shock_Belinda's lapdog.
chocolate_Chocolate, served in this period only as a drink, was enormously popular, especially among those who could afford it as well as the sugar to cut the bitterness.
slipper_Belinda stomps her slippered foot on the ground to call for her maid.
watches_Striking watches indicate the hour and quarter-hour by means of hammers hitting bells or gongs. The watch rang, announcing that it was 10 o'clock.
sylph_sylphs here are imagined as feminine spirits that stand guard over young women
Ariel_Ariel, Belinda's guardian Sylph, created the dream that she was having.
beau_a young man dressed up for the Queen's birthday, one of highlights of the social calendar in this period.
Token_Folklore that says that fairies and elves left silver tokens in rings of dark coarse grass that were supposed to be where fairies danced. The tokens were supposedly left for humans who were favored by fairies. Pat Rogers attributes the use to Jonathan Swift's Dryades: Or, the Nymphs Prophesy, although that probably comes from ancient folklore as well. Rogers, Pat. "Faery Lore and The Rape of the Lock." Essays on Pope. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993. Print.
militia_fairy creatures, imagined here as soldiers
wing_The creatures are always present (on the wing meaning in flight) in the places where London's society is found.
box_A ‘box’ in a theatre or opera-house.
ring_Ring - Charles I created a circular track called the Ring in Hyde Park where members of the royal court could drive their carriages. The park was opened to the public in 1637 and it soon became a fashionable place to visit.
equipage_Here it refers to a carriage with horses and attendants, but can also just mean carriage alone.
chair_two servants carrying a woman in a sedan chair
mold_The fairy creatures used to be beautiful women like Belinda.
transition_Possibly death, or some (magical) means by which they are transformed from their human selves in to the fairy creatures.
cards_ After the "transition" spoken of earlier, a former coquette now turned into a sylph still can see and look at the cards although she does not play.
Ombre_A trick-taking card game for three people using forty cards. A game of ombre is played later on and is described in detail in Canto III. It is almost certainly no coincidence that the word ombre is archaic Spanish for "man"; Belinda is literally and figuratively playing the game of man."ombre,
sprights_Different kinds of women became transformed into different kinds of spirits. The fiery boisterous women became Salamanders. The mild demure women became Nymphs. The prudish women became Gnomes. The flirty girlish women became Sylphs.
honour_That is, women's chastity only seems to be governed by honour; it is really the intervention of the sylphs that sustains chastity.
florio_Not a reference to any specific men. Florio, along with Damon, were common names used in early epic poetry to refer to men in general, the way we use, Tom, Dick, and Harry, today. "The aristocratic young men of the time were, like the ladies, lacking in any serious purpose or morality. Florio and Damon are representatives of those gallants and fops who vie with one another to capture the hearts of the ladies.
main_the open sea
billet-doux_ a love letter
toilet_a small dressing table
glass_mirror
altar_Belinda's "toilet" is likened to an "altar" at which Belinda and her maid are now left to worship the priestess, or Belinda's "heav'nly image" as mentioned two lines above this line. By this point, it has become clear that the vanity nurtured by the Gnomes has set in, leaving the mortal human beings to worship a new priestess, Belinda's reflection.
world_During the 18th century, Britain became the dominant empire among European trading empires as it became the first western nation to industrialize. During this time, merchants began trading with both North America and the West Indies, where colonies had been established. This granted Britain access to parts of the world and their amenities that had previously been unbeknownst to them. The ability to interact with far-off countries such as India and Arabia yielded new luxuries and a new understanding of the world outside of Europe. The ability for Belinda to have access to these luxuries further exemplifies her wealth.
spoil_"Glitt'ring spoil" refers directly to the spoils of war, "valuables seized by violence, especially in war," most likely as a result of the colonization of these foreign lands in pursuit of broadening trade opportunities.
casket_a. A small box or chest for jewels, letters, or other things of value, itself often of valuable material and richly ornamented.
gems_Since before recorded history, India has been a leading source for precious gems, producing some of the finest gemstones.
Arabia_Refers to scented oils or perfumes from the Arabian Peninsula or the middle east. as it is now known. They came in elaborate and ornate containers and were very expensive.
tortoise_Hair combs made from tortoise shell and ivory from elephant tusks.
patches_"a small disk of black silk attached to the face, especially as worn by women in the 17th and 18th centuries for adornment" (OED) This is essentially an artificial beauty mark.
awful_
arms_Arms: (n.) weapons With the use of militaristic diction as seen in "puts in all its Arms", Pope has Belinda preparing for battle just as Achilles prepared for the Trojan War in Homer's Iliad.
Betty_her maid.
etherial_Of or relating to heaven, God, or the gods; heavenly, celestial. Oxford English Dictionary
rival_that is, Belinda
nymphs_The other women traveling with her (here not the nymphs who are the protectors of her chastity).
crossThe cross here is stripped of its Christian meaning; it is Belinda who people are now worshipping
nymph_Belinda
ivory_In likening Belinda's neck to ivory, imported from Africa, the narrator again associates her beauty with the products of emergent colonialism and global commerce.
sprindges_a snare used for bird-catching
finney_Finny, adj., "Provided with or having fins; finned." The "Finny Prey> refers to fish, which are also caught with a hair-like line, reiterating the comparison of beauty as a deadly trap. "finny, adj.1." Oxford English Dictionary
tresses_" A plait or braid of the hair of the head, usually of a woman. A long lock of hair (esp. that of a woman), without any sense of its being plaited or braided; mostly in pl. tresses." "tress, n." Oxford English Dictionary
successs_The "Success" of a "Lover's Toil" in this era would be marriage.
Phaebus_Variant spelling of Phoebus, a common name for Apollo, god of the sun. Oxford English Dictionary
sword-knot_"n. a ribbon or tassel tied to the hilt of a sword (originating from the thong or lace with which the hilt was fastened to the wrist, but later used chiefly as a mere ornament or badge)." "sword-knot, n." Oxford English Dictionary
busk_"A strip of wood, whalebone, steel, or other rigid material attached vertically to the front section of a corset so as to stiffen and support it." "busk, n.3." Oxford English Dictionary
bilet_doux_love letters
prostrate_"Of a person: lying with the face to the ground, in token of submission or humility, as in adoration, worship, or supplication; (hence more generally) lying stretched out on the ground, typically with the face downwards. Freq. in predicative or quasi-adverbial use, as in to fall prostrate, to lie prostrate, etc." Oxford English Dictionary
Prize_"The Prize" refers to Belinda's lock of hair.
Ear_"Gave Ear" means that they (the ambiguous supernatural entities) listened to the Baron.
Vessel_The "painted Vessel" refers to the boat gliding across the river Thames, carrying Belinda to Hampton Court.
zephyrs_"The west wind, esp. as personified, or the god of the west wind." Oxford English Dictionary
Denizens_That is, the other sylphs.
lucid_"Bright, shining, luminous, resplendent." Oxford English Dictionary
Tincture_"A colouring matter, dye, pigment; spec. a dye used as a cosmetic." Oxford English Dictionary
Dies_Variant spelling of "dyes."
Pinions"A bird's wing; esp. (chiefly poet. and rhetorical) the wing of a bird in flight. Also: the terminal segment of a bird's wing, bearing the primary flight feathers." Oxford English Dictionary.
Azure_bright blue
Chief_That is, Arial, who goes on to give a speech to the other spirits.
orbs_Celestial bodies not in a regular orbit, such as comets.
Bow_Rainbow
glebe_Soil
Fair_Young women, such as Belinda
Posder_Face-powder
vernal_"Of, pertaining or belonging to, the springtime; appropriate to the spring; spring-like: Of weather, scenery, etc." Oxford English Dictionary
Flounce_"An ornamental appendage to the skirt of a lady's dress, consisting of a strip gathered and sewed on by its upper edge around the skirt, and left hanging and waving.’ Oxford English Dictionary
Furbelow_Variant spelling of "furbelow: "A piece of stuff pleated and puckered on a gown or petticoat; a flounce; the pleated border of a petticoat or gown." Oxford English Dictionary.
brightest_That is, Belinda.
wrapt_"Concealed, covered, hidden." "wrapped, adj." Oxford English Dictionary
Diana_"An ancient Roman female divinity, the moon-goddess, patroness of virginity and of hunting." Oxford English Dictionary "Diana's" law would be the law of chastity or virginity, so to break the law would be to have pre-marital sex.
Brocade_"A textile fabric woven with a pattern of raised figures, originally in gold or silver." Oxford English Dictionary
Zephyretta_The nymphs' names are invented, each derived from a word related to the object entrusted to it. "Zephyretta," from "zypher" has care of the breeze-producing fan.
Brillante_"Brillante," from 'brilliant', is entrusted with Belinda's shining earrings.
Momentilla"Momentilla" is the nymph in charge of the pocket-watch.
Crispissa_"Crispissa," from "crisp," has charge of the two precise curls of hair.
Ribs_Whalebone was used to form the ribs in women's corsets and skits.
stopt_"That is, stopped or blocked.
Vials_"A vessel of a small or moderate size used for holding liquids; in later use spec., a small glass bottle" Oxford English Dictionary
bodkin_"A needle-like instrument with a blunt knobbed point, having a large (as well as a small) eye, for drawing tape or cord through a hem, loops, etc." Oxford English Dictionary.
pomatums_"An ointment for the skin or hair; = pomade" "pomatum, n." Oxford English Dictionary
styptick_A "styptic" is a kind of medicine used to contract organic tissue (for example, to stop a cut bleeding), frequently made out of "alum," a type of mineral salt. Oxford English Dictionary
Ixion_"Ixion, in Greek legend, murdered his father-in-law and could find no one to purify him until Zeus did so. Ixion abused his pardon by trying to seduce Zeus’s wife, Hera. Zeus, to punish him, bound him on a fiery wheel, which rolled unceasingly through the air or, according to the more common tradition, in the underworld." "Ixion | Greek Mythology." Encyclopedia Britannica Online
Mill_Compares being trapped in the grinder of a coffee mill to the mythological figure Ixion, who was fixed to a fire wheel spinning in the air of the underworld forever.
Sea_This is referring to the hot coffee in the grinder/pot.
He_That is, Arial, the leader of the spirits.
Nymph_That is, Belinda.
thrid_That is, the spirits "threaded" her hair.
meads_That is, meadows.
Hampton_graphicHampton Court Palace, a royal palace on the banks of the Thames River, about twelve miles from central London. The palace was originally built by Cardinal Wolsey starting in 1514. He gave it to Henry VIII as a way of trying to get back in Henry's good graces, but it did not work; Wolsey was executed anyway for failing to get Henry the divorce he wanted. Henry built Hampton Court into an enormous royal palace. In the late 1600s, the great architect Christopher Wren built an enormous extension for William III. They tore down part of the earlier palace and added on in what was then the modern style, creating a large Baroque palace designed to emulate the Palace of Versailles in France, at that time the grandest royal palace in Europe. In the early part of the eighteenth century, when this poem takes place, Hampton Court was the most important royal palace in England, where the monarch usually lived, and courtiers like Belinda and the Baron would have flocked there to make their presence known at court. Image: Hampton Court Palace by Andreas Tille, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Anne_graphicQueen Anne (1665-1714), the last Stuart monarch of Great Britain. She took the throne upon the death of her father, William III in 1702. She died the year that the poem was published. [Image: Queen Anne, painted by Michael Dahl, around 1705 (National Portrait Gallery)].
ombre_Ombre was a popular three-player card game similar to the modern game of Bridge. Each game can have nine rounds (“tricks”). The most straightforward way to win is by taking five tricks (drawing the highest-ranked card in each round), after which the game ends. The game begins with an auction to decide the trump suit. The highest-bidding player is the “ombre” (from the Spanish “hombre” for "man"), and the other two play against her while trying to ensure their individual successes. The penalty enacted on each of the two non-ombres is greater if the ombre wins than if the other non-ombre wins. Similarly, the ombre will lose more if either of the two gains five tricks than if no one has won five at the end of nine rounds. The game was popular among the aristocratic class throughout Europe. The joke throughout is that Belinda is in effect playing the game of "man," both on the card table and in life. The game as it plays out over the next section of the poem is an entirely plausible game, with each move following according to the actual rules of ombre. Belinda, for example, wins the starting auction and becomes the "ombre" for duration of this game. See Alban George Henry Gibbs, The Game of Ombre. London: privately printed, 1874, 3rd edition (expanded) 1902, upon which we rely in tracing the course of the game.
matadore_The matadores (spadillio, manillio, and basto) are the three highest-ranking cards in the trump suit. The matadore would be the ace of spades; the manillio card is the lowest ranking card in the trump suit (the suit would vary from game to game, identified by the winner of the auction at the start), and the basto is the ace of clubs. Belinda controls all three.
Velvet_Plain_That is, the cloth covering the three-sided card table on which Belinda and the two men are playing the game. The Kings, Queens, Jacks, and other cards are imagined as being arranged like soldiers on a battlefield
Force_Belinda’s starting hand is made up of spadillio, manillio, basto: the king of spades, the king and queen of hearts, and the 5 and 4 of diamonds. The Baron begins the game with the king of clubs, the jack, 7, 5, and 3 of spades (the trump suit), the king, queen, and jack of diamonds, and the ace of hearts. Belinda and the Baron both have extremely strong hands, while the third character has no strong cards.
Trumps_Having won the "auction" at the start of the game by outbidding the other two players, Belinda chooses the trump suit.
Spade_Belinda quickly wins the first five rounds or "tricks" of the game by playing her cards skilfully.
Baron_In the following three stanzas, the Baron begins to threaten Belinda’s winning streak. He wins tricks five through eight, tying their scores. His first move is with the Queen of Spades.
Globe_The King of Clubs is often pictured holding an orb, or globe.
Codille_A "codille" would be a loss at the game, if the Baron were to win the final trick. Belinda must either win trick nine, or hope that the third player does, in order to avoid losing to the Baron.
Trick_A trick is a round. As explained above, a game consists of nine tricks; whoever takes five wins the game. At this point, with Belinda and the Baron tied with four tricks each, the game is down to the final round.
Queen_The Baron mourns that he has already played a Queen that could win the round. He plays an Ace; Belinda counters with a King (which in ombre outranks an Ace) and wins final trick and thus the game.
Berries_Coffee beans, which are being ground in a mill to make fresh coffee.
Japan"Japan" was a style of wooden furniture, highly polished and often decorated in a vaguely Asian style; hence the name. Japan-style furtniture was expensive, and therefore fashionable among wealthy people in Europe at this time.
Scylla_Nisus, king of Megara, was at war against Crete, but it was decreed by fate that his kingdom would be safe as long as a purple lock of hair remained on his head. His daughter Scylla fell in love with the king of Crete, Minos, and cut off her father's purple lock to give to him. Minos rejected the gift, and both Nisus and Scylla turned into birds.
Nosegay_A nosegay is a small flower bouquet, worn like a corsage.
Forfex_Latin for scissors.
Airy_A reference to John Milton's Paradise Lost, where Satan is injured in the war in heaven when a sword "Passed through him, but th' Ethereal substance closed/ Not long divisible."
Monkeys_In eighteenth-century England, the wealthy kept many kinds of pets, including monkeys. The lower classes sometimes kept performing monkeys, which could earn them extra money.
Wreaths_In ancient Greece, laurel wreaths were worn as a symbol of victory or honor.
Atalantis_Secret Memoirs and Manners of Several Persons of Quality, of Both Sexes, from the New Atalantis, an Island in the Mediterranean, published in 1709, was a scandalous but very popular work of fiction by Delarivier Manley. With its salacious details of politicians' private lives, the story satirizes the corruption of the aristocracy.
a165According to the humours theory of human psychology, which held sway from the middle ages into the early modern period, a person's temperament was set by the mixture of various fluids--humours--in the body. The spleen was thought to produce yellow bile, an excess of which would lead to depression. So by analogy "the spleen" became shorthand for a state of depression, which Belinda is experiencing in the wake of the theft of her lock of hair. Umbriel's journey through the Cave of Spleen is analogous to the journeys, fraught with many perils, which Aeneas (in Vergil's Aeneid) and Odysseus (Homer's Odyssey) made to the underworld in those epics.
Dome_That is, a domed building.
Lampoon_"Lampooning" in seventeenth and eighteenth century England was a scathing form of satire that attacked a specific person's appearance. It originates from the French word "lampons," which means "let's drink," and Alexander Pope himself lampooned a fellow writer, Joseph Addison, in his work "An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot." The form fell into disuse soon after this time but the term "lampoon" still refers to an insult directed at a specific person or institution. Werlock, Abby H. P. The Facts on File Companion to the American Short Story. 2nd ed. New York NY: Facts On File, 2010. Print.
Spires_spirals
Elysian_A reference to Elysium/Elysian Fields/Elysian Plain of classical mythology, where mortals favored by the gods for their rectitude were sent to dwell after they had departed from the land of the living. Elysium was originally the exclusive province of the heroes who had acquired immortality from the gods Elysian in the context of this passage means like "paradise."
Pipkin_According to Samuel Johnson's 1755 A pipkin is "A small earthen boiler."
Tripod_The automatons (or "tripods"), twenty in all, fashioned with rivets and gold wheels by the lame god Vulcan in his workshop so that they might be dispatched whenever the gods congregated at Mt. Olympus, returning to the workshop afterwards to be at the beck and call of Vulcan. From Book XVIII of Homer's Iliad.
Goose-pye_Gooseberry pie
Branch_The branch of spleenwort, a humble fern, is a parodic reference to the golden bough bore by Aeneas during his journey, accompanied by the Cumaean Sibyl, through the underworld. Aeneas, having been guided by a pair of doves to a place in a forest where the golden bough had been long obscured from the sight of man, had plucked the golden bough in order to obtain safe passage through the underworld. He and the Sibyl were ferried to the underworld across the Acheron River. Spleenwort got its name because it was believed to have medicinal properties, particularly in treating "spleen" or, in our terms, depression.
Pett_According to Samuel Johnson's 1755 Dictionary, "pett" is "A slight passion; a slight fit of anger."
Citron-Waters_Brandy based on citrus wine.
Horns_"Horns" were associated with being cuckolded.
costive_Constipated.
Bag_ In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus receives a bag of winds from Aeolus, the god of wind.
ThalestrisThalestris was a queen of the Amazons, the mythological race of warrior women.
Furies_Three mythological goddesses of revenge.
Ire_Intense anger.
paper_In this period, women used paper, often heated and shaped with lead, to curl their hair.
Fillets_A headband, here being used to shape a hairstyle.
Lead_Lead was heated to curl women's hair.
Fops_"Fop" was a contemporary slang term for man overly concerned with his outer appearance to the point that it bothers other people. It originated in this context in seventeenth-century England to refer to a generally foolish, effeminate man incapable of engaging in intellectual conversation. In this line, the definition of a "fop" is exemplified by the fact that they and ladies are both jealous of Belinda's hair.
Toast_The term "toast" originated as a term for a lady for whose health a group of people dedicated a drink, similar to how people propose toasts today. This lady's name was seen as adding a special flavor to the drink in question, similar in function to a spiced toast that would have been a common feature in alcoholic drinks at the time. Oxford English Dictionary.
Circus_The Ring-Road in Hyde Park, at this time a fashionable area to take a carriage on a nice day to see and be seen by those who could afford carriages.
Bell_The bells of St Mary-le-Bow, a church which was located in the Cheapside district of London. This was not a fashionable area; it was for a long time traditionally associated with working-class Cockneys from the East End.
Snuff-box_High society gentlemen of this time generally stored their "snuff," or sniffing tobacco, in jeweled boxes made from precious materials such as porcelain, ebony, and, in this case, amber. Sir Plume is very vain about his fancy snuff-box.
Cane_A walking stick, perhaps made of glass or porcelain, and "clouded" in a decorative way.
Z---ds_"Zounds" is a euphemism for "by God's wounds," that is, the wounds that Jesus received when being nailed to the cross. That was considered blasphemous, so "zounds" became a work-around. In context, a mild expletive, like "damn."
Pox_"Pox" refers either to small-pox or to venereal disease; here it is being used as an expletive without so specific a meaning.
Lock_This passage may to a passage from Homer (Iliad, book 23) in which Achilles cuts off a lock of his own hair to mourn and commemorate the death of Patroclus. Many of his men follow suit and cut off locks of their own hair, and Achilles then cuts off another lock of his hair that he had been growing for the river Spercheus to make his trip home safer. This continues the trend throughout the poem of using military conquest language to describe the event of cutting off a lock of Belinda's hair.
Chariot_May be a reference to the chariot driven by Helios (whose identity was later subsumed into that of Apollo), the god of the sun and a Titan, in order to mark the waxing and waning of daylight. He was complemented by his sisters, Eos and Selene, who personified the Dawn and the Moon, respectively.
Bohea_A black tea that originated in China's Buyi hills, for which it is named, and was of relatively low quality. (Oxford English Dictionary
Patch-box_A small and rectangular (at times oval) box with beauty patches, small pieces of class with a sticky side, which were worn by ladies of fashion during the eighteenth century for decorative purposes or to cover a blemish. A patch box was bejeweled and made of gold, and could also be painted/enameled with amorous scenes. A patch could have the appearance of a star, an animal, a insect, a figure, a crescent, or a spot. The location of a patch also contributed to its signification. "Patch Box." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. http://www.britannica.com/topic/patch-box.
China_"China" in this context refers to porcelain dishes that came via trade routes from China. These trade routes between China and England first began to flourish during the eighteenth century, and many rich English citizens were obsessed with obtaining as many exotic Chinese goods as they could to show off their wealth. Chinese porcelain was much finer and of higher quality than anything that European makers could produce for a few more decades. Chang, Elizabeth. "The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England." Eighteenth-Century Fiction 25 (2012): 248-50. University of Toronto Press. Web. 8 Dec. 2015.
Poll_Short for "Polly," surely the name of a pet parrot owned by Belinda.
Jove_Jove, also known as Jupiter, was the king of the Roman gods. He is the roman equivalent to the Greek god Zeus.
Ears_That is, the reason that the Baron cannot hear Belinda's cries is because of the intervention of the gods Fate and Jove. Just as the gods intervene in the lives of heroic characters from epic, here they interfere in the lives of trivial British aristocrats.
Dido_In the Aeneid by Virgil, Aeneas, the lover of Dido, queen of Carthage, is told by Zeus he must leave Italy because of fate. As a last effort Dido sends her sister Anna to persuade him to stay in Italy, but she fails.
Whalebones_Whalebone was used to stiffen women's clothing, such as corsets and hoop skirts.
Gods_Homer makes the gods fight in his tales similar to the way Pope forces the characters in the poem to fight.
Pallas_Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom
Mars_Mars was the Roman god of war.
Latona_In Greek mythology, Latona was the mother of Apollo and Diana and the mistress of Zeus.
Hermes_Hermes was the messenger god of Greek mythology, known as Mercury in Roman mythology.
Sconce_A lantern with a handle and a shield, so that you could carry the light around.
sate_That is, perched. Pope adds in a footnote: "Minerva in like manner, during the Battle of Ulysses with the Suitors in Odyss. perches on a beam of the roof to behold it."
Beau_A dandy; a many perhaps overly concerned with his appearance
Witling_Someone who aspiring to become a wit (and probably failing at it.
Dapperwit_A character in William Wycherley's 1671 play Love in a Wood.
Fopling_Reference to Sir Fopling Flutter, a character in George Etherege's 1677 play The Man of Mode.
Camilla_Pope later added a footnote: "The Words of a Song in the Opera of Camilla" Camilla was a popular opera, first staged in London in 1706 and frequently revived after that. Unlike many operas of the period, which were sung in Italian, this was in English, based on an Italian opera by Silvio Stampiglio.
Meander_in Greek Mythology, Meander was both the name of a river god and for the river that was his home. "Meander" now is a general turn for a bend in a river, or to describe anything or anyone that takes a roundabout route to a destination.
Plume_The name gives insight to the character. A plume is an arrangement of feathers used by a bird for display or worn by a person for ornament. Plume is also used as a verb 'to plume oneself' synonymous to the action of preening at one's looks. Oxford English Dictionary
doughty_Brave, capable, and determined, also marked by fearless resolution. Oxford English Dictionary
scales_Jove, the head of the Roman system of deities, is here responsible for putting the social order back into balance, and is weighing the contending claims of the men and the women. These lines refer to a moment in Homer's Iliad where Zeus had used scales to balance the claims of Hector and Achilles and determined their fates.
subside_Jove weighs the battle in the men's favor, but Belinda overcomes this by tossing snuff in the Baron's face.
die_"to die" is a common euphemism for orgasm. It was a common poetical term in the 16th and 17th centuries. Oxford English Dictionary
Snuff_A fine-ground tobacco, intended for consumption by being sniffed or snorted into the nose.
Atom_Pope is referring to the ancient theory that posited the "atom" as an infinitely small piece of matter that could not be further divided.
Virago_A man-like, heroic woman. Oxford English Dictionary
a229Pope adds in a footnote: "In imitation of the progress of Agamemnon's sceptre in Homer" Source: Pope, Alexander, and Adolphus William Ward. The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope. London: Macmillan, 1907. Print.
seal-ring_a finger ring bearing a seal; signet ring. Oxford English Dictionary
Grandame_grandmother
Othello_In Shakespeare's Othello, the titular character is tricked into believing his wife Desdemona has been unfaithful by his ensign Iago. A key piece of evidence is Desdemona's handkerchief, which Iago has planted in the room of Othello's lieutenant, Cassio.
Alms_gifts of money extended as charity
Riband_a ribbon
Casuistry_Thick books of meaningless philosophy through the use of clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions. Oxford English Dictionary
Poetic_That is, Pope's eyes; he is the only person who can "see" what has happened, as the lock of hair has been transformed into a star in the sky. Buried here is the play on words: "coma," the Latin word for hair, is the root for "comet," celestial bodies that were so named because of the long hair-like trail that followed the main body. There is such a comet depicted in the upper-left hand corner of the plate that precedes this canto.
Rome_In popular myth and legend, Rome was founded by Romulus, who ruled for 37 years and then mysteriously disappeared, apparently taken up to the heavens in a whirlwind. Proculus, a friend of Romulus, swore that he saw Romulus ascending to heaven.
Berenice_Berenice II was the wife of Ptolemy III, the Pharoah of Egypt in the third century BCE. The legend went that Berenice offered to cut off her hair as an offering to the goddess Aphrodite if Ptolemy would return safely home from a dangerous battle. After his safe return, she placed her hair in the temple. But the next morning, the hair had vanished. The court astronomy Conon suggested that the hair had been transformed into a constellation in the night sky, a star cluster that became (and is still) known as the "Coma Berenices," Latin for "Berenice's hair."
Beau-monde_High society.
Mall_graphic A broad, tree-lined promenade in St. James's Park in London, where courtiers and other aristocrats would aim to see and be seen. [ Image: View of the Mall in Saint James, around 1710, by an unknown artist. National Gallery, Public Domain.]
RosamondaRosamonda's Pond was a body of water in St. James's Park in London, on the site of what is now Buckingham Palace. The pond was named for Rosamund Clifford, the semi-legendary mistress of Henry II in the twelfth century whose relationship with the king became a byword for doomed love affairs. In the eighteenth century, the Pond was apparently well known as a place for lovers to meet secretly.
Partridge_John Partridge (1644-c.1714) an astrologer known for publishing almanacs with (generally incorrect) yearly predictions of deaths of notable individuals like the King of France (during a time where France and England were at war).
Eyes_i.e., the telescope, developed by Galileo Galilei
Louis_graphicLouis XIV (1638-1715), the King of France. He was for a long time the most powerful and feared ruler in Europe. But the threat that Louis and France posed to their neighbors was checked by the Treaty of Utrecht, signed in 1713, and he died the year after this poem was published. His "Fate," then, was very much up in the air at the time that Pope was writing. [Image: Portrait of Louis XIV by Hyacynthe Rigaud, 1701. Wikimedia Commons
Muse_The Muses are the nine Greek goddesses devoted to the arts; they are often imagined as a source of inspiration for a poet.