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No wonder then that Yerinoloff, or Momonoff,
Or on, might dread her Majesty had not room
enough I shall not be particular in stating
Within her bosom (which was not too turgh) His journey, we've so many tours of late:
For a new flame; a thought to cast of gloom Suppose him then at Petersburg: suppose
enough That pleasant capital of painted snows:
Along the aspect, whether smooth or rough,
Of him who, in the language of his staiion,
Then held that 'high official situation.'
O gentle ladies! should you seek to know
The import of this diplomatic phrase,
His parts of speech; and, in the strange displays
Which none divine, and every one obeys,
Perhaps you may pick out some queer 10 XLIV.
Of that weak wordy harvest the sole gleaning.
That sad inexplicable beast of prey-
That Sphinx, whose words would ever be a doubt, (When she don't pin men's limbs in like a
Did not his deeds unriddle them each dayjailor)
That monstrous hieroglyphic--that long spout
Of blood and water, leaden Castlereagh!
And here I must an anecdote relate,
But luckily of no great length or weight.
What were the actual and official duties
Which hovers oft about some married beauties,
Called 'Cavalier servente?' a Pygmalion Than some wives (who make blunders no less Whose statues warm (I fear, alas, too true 'tis) stupid),
Beneath his art. The dame, press'd to disclose If she had not mistaken him for Cupid.
Said, · Lady, I beseech you to suppose them,
And mildest, matron-like interpretation
Of the imperial favourite's condition.
In fact, if not in rank; and the suspicion
Of any one's attaining to his station,
If rather broad, make stocks rise, and their holders.
And had retain'd his boyish look beyond
With beards, and whiskers, and the like, the fond That though he look'd like one of the seraphim, Parisian aspect, which upset old Troy,
There lurk'd a man beneath the spirit's dress. And founded Doctors' Commons. I have conn'd Besides, the Empress sometimes liked a boy, The history of divorces, which, though chequer'd, And had just buried the fair-faced Lanskoi.
Calls Ilion's the first damages on record.
# He was the grande passion of the grande Ca. tharine. See her Life, under the head of Lanskoi."
*This was written long before the suicide of that person.
Our veins, when things call'd sovereigns think it And Catharine, who loved all things (save her best lord,
To kill, and generals turn it into jest. Who was gone to his place), and pass'd for much,
LXI. Admiring those (by dainty dames abhorr'd)
The two first feelings ran their course complete, Gigantic gentlemen, yet had a touch
And lighted first her eye, and then her inouth: Of sentiment; and he she most adored
The whole court look'd immediately most sweet, Was the lamented Lanskoi, who was such
Like flowers well water'd after a long drought. A lover as had cost her many a tear,
But when on the lieutenant at her feet
Her Majesty, who liked to gaze on youth
Almost as much as on a new despatch,
Glanced mildly, all the world was on the watch. Thou gate of life and death-thou nondescript,
Though somewhat large, exuberant, and truculent, In thy perennial sountain : how man fell, I
When wroth; while pleased, she was as fine a Know not, since knowledge saw her branches
As those who like things rosy, ripe, and succulent, Of her first fruit; but how he falls and rises
Would wish to look on while they are in vigour. Since, thou hast settled beyond all surmises.
She could repay each amatory look you lent
With interest, and in turn was wont with rigour LVI.
To exact of Cupid's bills the full amount
At sight, nor would permit you to discount.
With her the latter, though at times convenient, Or waste a world, since no one can deny
Was not so necessary; for they tell Thou dost replenish worlds both great and small ? That she was handsome, and, though fierce, look'd With or without thee, all things at a stand
lenient, Are, or would be, thou sea of life's dry land!
And always used her favourites too well.
If once beyond her boudoir's precincts in ye went, LVII.
Your 'fortune' was in a fair way 'to swell Catharine, who was the grand epitome
A man' (as Giles says*); for, though she would Of that great cause of war, or peace, or what
widow all You please (it causes all the things which be,
Nations, she liked man as an individual.
Is woman! What a whirlwind is her head! With his despatch, forgot to break the seal. And what a whirlpool, full of depth and danger, LVIII.
Is all the rest about her! Whether wed Then, recollecting the whole empress, nor
Or widow, maid or mother, she can change her
Mind like the wind : whatever she has said Forgetting quite the woman (which composed At least three parts of this great whole), she tore
Or done, is light to what she'll say or doThe letter open with an air which posed
The oldest thing on record, and yet new! The court that watch'd each look ner visage wore,
LXV. Until a royal smile at length disclosed
Oh Catharine (for of all interjections, Fair weather for the day. Though rather spacious, To thee both oh! and ah! belong of right, Her face was noble, her eyes fine, mouth gracious.
In love and war), how odd are the connections LIX.
Of human thoughts, which jostle in their flight ! Great joy was hers, or rather joys: the first
Just now yours were cut out in different sections: Was a ta'en city, thirty thousand slain.
First, Ismail's capture caught your fancy quite; Glory and triumph o'er her aspect burst,
Next, of new knights, the fresh and glorious batch; As an East Indian sunrise on the main.
And, thirdly, he who brought you the despatch! These quench'd a moment her ambition's thirst
Shakspeare talks of the herald Mercury
New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill ;
And some such visions cross d her Majesty
While her young herald knelt before her still. She siniled at mad Suwarrow's rhymes, who threw
'Tis very true the hill seem'd rather high Into a Russian couplet, rather dull,
For a lieutenant to climb up, but skill
• His fortune swells him, it is rank, he's married.' The shudder which runs naturally througlı
-Sir Giles Overreach, in Massinger's New Way to
Smooth'd even the Simplon's steep, and by God's Except where 'tis a mere insanity, blessing,
[kissing.' A maddening spirit which would strive to blend With youth and health, all kisses are 'heaven- Itself with beauty's frail inanity,
On which the passion's self seems to depend; LXVII. Her Majesty look'd down, the youth look'd up
And hence some heathenish philosophers
Make love the main-spring of the universe.
Besides Platonic love, besides the love A quintessential laudanum, or black drop,
Of God, the love of sentiment, the loving Which makes one drunk at once, without the base Of faithful pairs (I needs must rhyme with dove, Expedient of full bumpers; for the eye,
That good old steamboat which keeps verses In love, drinks all life's fountains (save tears) dry.
'Gainst reason-reason ne'er was hand-and-glove He, on the other hand, if not in love,
With rhyme, but always leant les to improving Fell into that no less imperious passion,
The sound than sense); besides all these pretences Self-love, which, when some sort of thing above
To love, there are those things which words name Ourselves, a singer, dancer, much in fashion,
senses Or duchess, princess, empress, 'deigns to prove
LXXV. ('Tis Pope's phrase) a great longing, though a
Those movements, those improvements in our rash one,
bodies, For one especial person out of many,
Which make all bodies anxious to get out Makes us believe ourselves as good as any.
Of their own sand-pits, to mix with a goddess,
For such all women are at first, no loubt.
How beautiful that moment ! and how odd is Besides, he was of that delighted age
That fever which precedes the languid rout Which makes all female ages equal --when
Of our sensations! What a curious way We don't much care with whom we may engage,
The whole thing is, of clothing souls in clay! As bold as Daniel in the lions' den, So that we can our native sun assuage
1.XXVI. In the next ocean, which may flow just then,
The noblest kind of love is love Platonical, To make a twilight in, just as Sol's heat is
To end or to begin with; the next grand Quench'd in the lap of the salt sea, or Thetis. Is that which may be christen'd love canonical
Because the clergy take the thing in hand; L.XX.
The third sort, to be noted in our chronicle, And Catharine (we must say thus much for
As flourishing in every Christian land, Catharine),
Is, when chaste matrons to their other ties Though bold and bloody, was the kind of thing
Add what may be call'd marriage in disguise, Whose temporary passion was quite flattering, Because each lover look'd a sort of king,
LXXVII. Made up upon an amatory pattern
Well, we won't analyze; our story must A royal husband in all save the ring,
Tell for itself: the sovereign was smitten, Which, being the damn'dest part of matrimony, Juan much flatter'd by her love, or lustSeen'd taking out the sting to leave the honey. I cannot stop to alter words once written; LXXI.
And the two are so mix'd with human dust, And when you add to this her womanhood
That he who names one, both perchance may
hit on: In its meridian, her blue eyes grey
But in such matters Russia's mighty Empress (The last, if they have soul, are quite as good, Or better, as the best examples say:
Behaved no better than a comnion sempstress. Napoleon's, Mary's (Queen of Scotland), should
LXXVIII. Lend to that colour a transcendent ray;
The whole court melted into one wide whisper And Pallas also sanctions the same hue,
And all lips were applied unto all ears! Too wise to look through optics black or blue) The elder ladies' wrinkles curled much crisper, LXXII.
As they beheld; the younger cast some leers Her sweet smile, and her then majestic figure,
On one another, and each lovely lisper Her plumpness, her imperial condescension,
Smiled as she talk'd the matter o'er; but tears Her preference of a boy to men much bigger
of rivalship rose in each clouded eye (Fellows whom Messalina's self would pension),
Of all the standing army that stood by.
Inquired who was this very new young man, Enough to make a stripling very vain.
Who promised to be great in some few hours: LXXIII.
Which is full soon (though life is but a span). And that's enough, for love is vanity,
Already they beheld the silver showers Selfish in its beginning as its end,
Of roubles rain, as fast as specie can.
Upon his cabinet, besides the presents
It is to speculate on handsome faces,
Love, that great opener of the heart, and all A general object of attention, made
As if born for the ministerial trade.
Nature had written 'gentleinan.' He said Such Clytemnestra, though perhaps 'tis better Little, but to the purpose ; and his manner That one should die, than two drag on the fetter)- Flung hovering graces o'er him like a banner, LXXXI.
Unlike our own half-chaste Elizabeth, (tune, Our young lieutenant to the genial care
(As it will look sometimes with the first stare, The truth; and though grief her old age might Which youth would not act ill to keep in mind), shorten,
As also did Miss Protosoff then there, Because she put a favourite to death,
Named, from her mystic office, l'Eprouveuse,' Her vile, ambiguous method of flirtation,
A terin inexplicable to the Muse.
With her then, as in humble duty bound,
Juan retired-and so will I, until In the dissolving circle, all the nations
My Pegasus shall tire of touching ground. Ambassadors began as 'twere to hustle
We have just lit on a 'heaven-kissing hill,' Round the young man with their congratula- So lofty that I feel my brain turn round. tions.
And all my fancies whirling like a inill; Also the softer silks were heard to rustle
Which is a signal to my nerves and brain, Of gentle dames, among whose recreations To take a quiet ride in some green lane.
CANTO THE TENTH.
In that slight startle from his contemplation'Tis said (for I'll not answer above ground
For any sage's creed or calculation)-
In a most natural whirl, call'd 'gravitation ;'
If this be true; for we must deem the mode
For, ever since, immortal man hath glow'd
In taking up this paltry sheet of paper,
And my internal spirit cut a caper ;
To those who, by the dint of glass and yapour,
The stars, I own my telescope is dim;
And, leaving land far out of sight, would skiin
Of breakers has not daunted my slight trim,
Of favouritism, but not yet in the blush ;
(For I have more than one Muse, at a push) To follow him beyond the drawing-room;
It is enough that Fortune found him flush
Oh !' saith the Psalmist, that I had a dove's
And who that recollects young years and loves Though hoary now, and with a withering breast,
And palsied fancy, which no longer roves Beyond its dimm'd eye's sphere—but would much
rather Sigh like a son, than cough like his grandfather?
And honest men, from Iceland to Barbadoes,
Should not veer round with every breath, nor seize
To pain, the moment when you cease to please.
The lawyer and the critic but behold
The baser sides of literature and life,
And nought remains unseen, but much untold,
By those who scour those double vales of strife.
While coinmon men grow ignorantly old,
The lawyer's brief is like the surgeon's knife,
Dissecting the whole inside of a question,
A legal broom's a moral chimney-sweeper,
And that's the reason he himself's so dirty :
The endless soot* bestows a tint far deeper
Than can be hid by altering his shirt: he
Retains the sable stains of the dark creeper
At least soine twenty-nine do out of thirty,
In all their habits; not so you, I own :
As Cæsar wore his robe, you wear your gown.
And all our little feuds, at least all mine,
Because December, with his breath so hoary, (As far as rhyme and criticism combine Must come ? Much rather should he court the ray, To make such puppets of us things below), To hoard up warmth against a wintry day.
Are over. Here's a health to 'Auld Lang Syne I'
I do not know you, and may never know
Your face--but you have acted, on the whole, * Middle-aged ladies even more than young : Most nobly; and I own it from my soul. The former know what's what; while new-fledged
And when I use the phrase of Auld Lang Syne,' In rhymes, or dreamt (for fancy will play tricks)
'Tis not address'd to you-the more's the pity In visions of those skies from whence love sprung
For me, for I would rather take my wine (city. Some reckon women by their suns or years:
With you, than aught (save Scott) in your proud I rather think the moon should date the dears,
But somehow-it may seem a schoolboy's whine, XI.
And yet I seek not to be grand or witty
But I am half a Scot by birth, and bred
A whole one, and my heart flies to my head Suspicious people, who find fault in haste,
As.Auld Lang Syne' brings Scotland, one and all,
Scotch plaids, Scotch snoods, the blue hills, and As my friend Jeffrey writes with such an air :
clear streams, However, I forgive him, and I trust He will forgive hinself;-if not, I must.
The Dee, the Don, Balgounie's brig's black wall,t
All my boy-feelings, all my gentler dreams
Of what I then dreamt, clothed in their own pall, Old enemies who have become new friends,
Like Banquo's offspring ; floating past me seems Should so continue--'tis a point of honour:
My childhood in this childishness of mine : And I know nothing which could make amends
I care not-'tis a glimpse of 'Auld Lang Syne.' For a return to hatred : I would shun her Like garlic, howsoever she extends
Her hundred arms and legs, and fain outrun her. Query: suit?--Printer's Devil. Old Names, new wives, become our bitterest foes- + The Brig of Don, near the Auld Toun' of Aber. Converted foes should scorn to join with those.
deen, with its one arch and its black deep salmon
stream below, is in my memory as yesterday. I still XIII.
remember, though perhaps I may misquote, the awful This were the worst desertion : renegadoes, proverb which made me pause to cross it, and yet
lean over it with a childish delight, being an only Even shuffling Southey, that incarnate lie,
son, at least by the mother's side. The saying, as Would scarcely join again the reformadoes," recollected by me, was this, but I have never heard Whom he forsook to fill the laureate's sty;
or seen it since I was nine years of age :
Brig of Balgounie, black's your wa', Reformers,' or rather Reformed.' The Baron Wi'a wife's ae son, and a mear's are foal, Pradwardine in Waverley is authority for the word.
Doun ye shall fa'l'