« AnteriorContinuar »
A cure for grief- for what can ever rankle land ignara loquor;' these are Vuga, 'quarum Before a petticoat and peeping ankle ? Pars parva fuii' but still art and part.
With a sirocco, for example, blowing,
And sulkily the river's ripple's flowing, • Verabo Cereris sacrum qui vulgarit-
And the sky shows that very ancient grey, Which means that vulgar people must not share it. The sober, sad antithesis to glowing, XXII.
'Tis pleasant, if then anything is pleasant, And therefore what I throw off is ideal
To catch a glimpse even of a pretty peasant. Lower'd, leaveu d, like a history of freemasons;
We left our heroes and our heroines [mate,
Though certainly more difficult to rhyme at,
Mountains, and all we can be most sublime at,
Are there oft dull and dreary as a din
Whether a sky's or tradesinan's is all one. The world (as, since that history, less polite
XXX. Than true, hath been a creed so strictly held),
An in-door life is less poetical;
(sleet, Has not yet given up the practice quite.
And out-of-door hath showers, and mists, and Poor thing of usages i coerced, compellid,
With which I could not brew a pastoral : Victim when wrong, and martyr oft when right, But, be it as it may, a bard must meet Condemnd to child-bed, as men, for their sins,
All difficulties, whether great or small, Have shaving too entailed upon their chins,
To spoil his undertaking or complete ;
And work away, like spirit upon matter,
Embarrass'd somewhat both with fire and water.
Juan—in this respect at least like saints-
Was all things unto people of all sorts, Man's very sympathy with their estate
And lived contentedly, without complaints, Has much of selfishness and more suspicion.
In camps, in ships, cottages, or courts; Their love, their virtue, beauty, education,
Born with that happy soul which seldom faints,
He likewise could be most things to all women,
Without the coxcombry of certain she men.
A fox-hunt to a foreigner is strange :
'Tis also subject to the double danger The gilding wears so soon from off her fetter,
Of tumbling first, and having, in exchange, That-but ask any woman if she'd choose
Some pleasant jesting at the awkward stranger. (Take her at thirty, that is) to have been
But Juan had been early taught to range Female or male, a school-boy or a queen.
The wilds, as doth an Arab turn'd avenger;
So that his horse, or charger, hunter, hack,
Knew that he had a rider on his back. • Petticoat influence' is a great reproach,
XXXIII. Which even those who obey would fain be
And now in this new field, with some applause, thought
He clear'd hedge, ditch, and double post, and To fly from, as from hungry pikes a roach;
rail, But since beneath it, upon earth, we're brought,
And never craned, and made but few faux pas,
And only fretted when the scent 'gan fail,
* Craning. To crane'is, or was, an expression
used to denote a gentleman stretching out his neck XXVII.
over a hedge to look before he leaped,-a patise in
his.vaulting ambition' which in the field doth oca. Much I respect, and much I have adored
sion some delay and execration in those who may be In my young days, that chaste and goodly veil, immediately behind the equestrian sceptic. Sir, if Which holds a treasure like a miser's hoard,
you don't choose to take the lead, let me,' was a And more attracts by all it doth conceal
phrase which generally sent the aspirant on again; A golden scabbard on a Damasque sword,
and to good purpose for though the horse and
rider' might fall, they made a gap, through which, A loving letter with a mystic seal,
and over him and his steed, the field Inight Follow
He broke, 'tis truc, some statutes of the laws
XL. Of hunting—for the sagest youth is frail:
Or like flying Hour betore Aurora, Rode o'er the hounds, it may be, now and then,
In Guido's famous fresco, which alone And once o'er several country gentlemen,
Is worth a tour to Rome, although no more a'
Remnant were there of the old world's sole XXXIV.
throne. But, on the whole, to general admiration
The tout ensemble of his movements wore a He acquitted both himself and horse: the
Grace of the soft ideal seldom shown, squires
And ne'er to be described : for, to the dolour Marvell'd at merit of another nation ;
Of bards and prosers, words are void of colour. The boors cried, Dang it, who'd have thought
No marvel then he was a favourite :
A full-grown Cupid, very much admired:
A little spoilt, but by no means so quite ; And rated him almost a whipper-in.
At least he kept his vanity retired.
Such was his tact, he could alike delight
The chaste, and those who're not so much in. Such were his trophies—not of spear and shield,
spired: But leaps, and bursts, and sometimes foxes' The Duchess of Fitz-Fulke, who loved tracasserie, brushes;
Began to treat him with some small agacerie. Yet I must own-although in this I yield
XLII. To patriot sympathy a Briton's blushes
She was a fine and somewhat full-blown blonde, He thought at heart, like courtly Chesterfield,
Desirable, distinguish'd, celebrated Who, after a long chase o'er hills, dales, bushes,
For several winters in the grand, grande monde, And what not, though he rode beyond all price,
I'd rather not say what might be related Ask'd, next day, 'if men ever hunted twice,'
Of her exploits, for this were ticklish ground; XXXVI.
Besides, there might be falsehood in what's He also had a quality uncommon
stated : To early risers after a long chase,
Her late performance had been a dead set Who wake in winter ere the cock can summon
At Lord Augustus Fitz-Plantagenet. December's drowsy day to his dull race
XLIII. A quality agreeable to woman,
This noble personage began to look When her soft, liquid words run on apace,
A little black upon this new flirtation : Who likes a listener, whether saint or sinner- But such small licences must lovers brook, He did not fall asleep just after dinner,
Mere freedoms of the female corporation.
Woe to the man who ventures a rebuke!
"Twill but precipitate a situation
Extremely disagreeable, but common
To calculators, when they count on woman.
The circle smiled, then whisper'd, and then sneerd; And smiling but in secret-cunning rogue !
The misses bridled, and the matrons frown'd: He ne'er presumed to make an error clearer :
Some hoped things might not turn out as they In short, there never was a better hearer,
Some would not deem such women could be found; XXXVIII.
Some ne'er believed one-half of what they heard; And then he danced-all foreigners excel
Some look'd perplex'd, and others look'd proThe serious Angles in the eloquence
found; of pantomime-he danced, I say, right well,
And several pitied, with sincere regret,
Poor Lord Augustus Fitz-Plantagenet.
But what is odd, none ever named the Duke, Of his drill'd nymphs, but like a gentleman.
Who, one might think, was something in the
True, he was absent, and, 'twas rumour'd, took Chaste were his steps, each kept within due bound But small concern about the when, or where, And elegance was sprinkled o'er his figure:
Or what his consort did : if he could brook Like swift Camilla, hé scarce skimın'd the ground, Her gaieties, none had a right to stare.
And rather held in than put forth his vigour, Theirs was that best of unions, past all doubt, And then he had an ear for music's sound,
Which never meets, and therefore can't fall out. Which might defy a crotchet critic's rigour:
XLVI. Such classic pas-sans flaws- set off our hero, But-oh that I should ever pen so sad a line He glanced like a personified Bulero:
Fired with an abstract love of virtue, she,
My Dian of the Ephesiani, Lady Adeline,
His inexperience moved her gentle ruth,
These forty days' advantage of her years-
And liers were those which can face calculation,
Boldly referring to the list of peers,
And noble births, nor dread the enumerationThere's nought in this bad world like sympathy:
Gave her a right to have inaternal fears 'Tis so becoming to the soul and face;
For a young gentleman's fit education ; Sets to soft music the harmonious sigh,
Though she was far from that leap-year, whose And robes sweet friendship in a Brussels lace.
leap Without a friend, what were humanity,
In female dates, strikes Time a!l of a heap
This may be fix'd at somewhere before thirty
Say seven-and-twenty, for I never knew
The strictest in chronology and virtue
Advance beyond, while they could pass for new. Especially when we are ill at ease:
Oh Time! why dost not pause? Thy scythe, so They are but bad pilots when the weather's rough;
dirty Doctors less famous for their cures than fees.
With rust, should surely cease to hack and hew. Let no man grumble when his friends fall off,
Reset it: shave more smoothly, also slower,
If but to keep thy credit as a inower.
But Adeline was far from that ripe age,
Whose ripeness is but bitter at the best.
'Twas rather her experience made her sage;
For she had seen the world, and stood its test, care not
As I have said in-1 forget what page: I would not be a tortoise in his screen
My Muse despises reference, as you've guess'd Of stubborn shell, which waves and weather
By this time ;-but strike six from seven-andwear not,
twenty. 'Tis better, on the whole, to have felt and seen That which humanity may bear, or bear not:
And you will find her sum of years in plenty. 'Twill teach discernment to the sensitive,
LY. And not to pour their ocean in a sicve.
At sixteen she came out, presented, vaunted;
She put all coronets into commotion :
Al seventeen, too, the world was still enchanted
With the new Venus of their brilliant ocean: Sadder than owl-songs or the midnight blast, Is that portentous phrase, 'I told you so,'
At eighteen, though below her feet still panted
A hecatomb of suitors with devotion, Utter'd by friends, those prophets of the past,
She had consented to create again
That Adam, callid 'the happiest of men.
Since then she had sparkled through three glow.
ing winters, LI.
Admired, adored; but also so correct. The Lady Adeline's serene severity
That she had puzzled all the acutest hinters, Was not confined to feeling for her friend,
Without the apparel of being circumspect. Whose fame she rather doubted with posterity, Unless her habits should begin to mend;
They could not even glean the slightest splinters
From off the marble, which had no defect. But Juan also shared in her austerity,
She had also sratch'd a moment, since her mar. But inix'd with pity, pure as e'er was pennd:
riage, * In Swift's or Horace Walpole's letters, I think it
To bear a son and heir—and one uniscarriage. is mentioned that somebody, regretting the loss of a
LVII. friend, was answered by an universal Pylades: When I lose one. I go to the St. James's Coffeehouse, and Fondly the wheeling fire-flies flew around her, take another.'
Those little glitterers of the London night: I recollect having heard an anecdote of the same kind. Sir W. D. was a great gamester. Coming in
But none of these possess'd a sting to wound her one day to the club of which he was a member, he She was a pitch beyond a coxcomb's flight. was observed to melancholy. What is the Perhaps she wish'd an aspirant profounder; matter, Sir William ? cried Hare, of facetious memory. . . Ah,' replied Sir W., I have just lost poor
But whatsoe'er she wish'l, she acted right : Lady D.' Lost! What al-Quince or Hasard !
And whether coldness, pride, or virtue, dignify was the consolatory rejoinder of the querist.
A woman, so she's good, what does it signify ?
No wonder then a purer soul should dread I hate a motive, like a lingering bottle,
This sort of chaste liaison for a friend : Which with the landlord inakes too long a stand, It were much better to be wed or dead, Leaving all claretless the unmoisten'd throttle,
Than wear a heart a woman loves to rend. Especially with politics on hand:
'Tis best to pause, and think, ere you rush on, I hate it, as I hate a drove of cattle,
If that a bonne fortune be really bonne.
And first, in the o'erflowing of her heart, A laureate's ode, or servile peer's 'content.'
Which really knew, or thought it knew, no guile, LIX.
She call'd her husband now and then apart, 'Tis sad to hack into the roots of things,
And bade him counsel Juan. With a smile,
To wean Don Juan from the siren's wile;
And answer'd, like a statesman or a prophet, To trace all actions to their secret springs,
In such guise that she could make nothing of it. Would make indeed some melancho y mirth;
LXVI. But this is not at present my concern,
Firstly, he said, 'he never interfered
In anybody's business but the king's.'
Next, that'he never judged from what appear'd, With the kind view of saving an eclat,
Without strong reason, of those sort of things;' Both to the Duchess and diplomatist,
Thirdly, that`Juan had more brain than beard, The Lady Adeline, as soon 's she saw
And was not to be held in leading strings;' That Juan was unlikely to resist
And fourthly, what need hardly be said twice, (For foreigners don't know that a faux pas
'That good but rarely came from good advice.' In England ranks quite on a different list
Of the last axiom, he advised his spouse
To leave the parties to themselves, forsoothThe Lady Adeline resolved to take
At least as far as bienseance allows; Such measures as she thought might best impede That time would temper Juan's faults of youth ; The further progress of this sad mistake.
That young men rarely made monastic vows; She thought with some simplicity indeed;
That opposition only more attachesBut innocence is bold even at the stake,
But here a messenger brought in despatches; And simple in the world, and doth not need,
LXVIII. Nor use, those palisades by dames erected,
And being of the council called 'the Privy,'
Lord Henry walk'd into his cabinet,
To furnish matter for some future Livy,
To tell how he reduced the nation's debt; His Grace was an enduring married man,
And if their full contents I do not give ye,
It is because I do not know them yet ;
But I shall add them in a brief appendix,
To come between mine epic and its index. The magic of her Grace's talisman,
LXIX. And next a quarrel (as he seem'd to fret)
But ere he went, he added a slight hint,
Another gentle coinmonplace or two,
Such as are coin'd in conversation's mint,
And pass, for want of better, though not new; And somewhat méchante in her amorous sphere;
Then broke his packet to see what was in't,
And, having casually glanced it through,
Retired; and, as he went out, calmly kiss'd her, That like to make a quarrel, when they can't
Less like a young wife than an aged sister. Find one, each day of the delightful year;
LXX. Bewitching, torturing, as they freeze or glow, He was a cold, good, honourable man, And what is worst of all-won't let you go:
Proud of his birth, and proud of everything: 1.XIV.
A goodly spirit for a state divan, The sort of thing to turn a young man's head,
A figure fit to walk before a king: Or make a Werter of him in the end.
Tall, stately, formid to lead the courtly van
On birthdays, glorious, with a star and string; . The famous Chancellor Oxenstiern said to nis son,
The very model of a chamberlainon the latter expressing his surprise upon the great And such I mean to make him, when I reign. effects arising from petty causes in the presumed
LXXI. inystery of politics : You see by this, my son, with how little wisdom the kingdoms of the world are
But there was something wanting on the whole
I don't know what, and therefore cannot tell
Which pretty women-the sweet souls !-call soul. The earliest knowledge from the tree so knowing, Certes it was not body: he was well
As far as I know, that the church receives : Proportion'd, as a poplar or a poie,
And since that time it need not cost much showing A handsome man, that human miracle ;
That many of the ills o'er which inan grieves, And in each circumstance of love or war,
And still more women, spring from not employing Had still preserved his perpendicular.
Some hours to make the remnant worth enjoying. LXXII.
LXXIX, Still there was something wanting, as I've said
And hence high life is oft a dreary void, That undefinable. Je ne sçais quoi;'
A rack of pleasures, where we must invent Which, for what I know, inay of yore have led
A something wherewithal to be annoy'd. To Homer's Iliad, since it drew to Troy
Bards may sing what they please about Content: The Greek Eve, Helen, from the Spartan's bed ;
Contented, when translated, means but cloy'd; Though, on the whole, no doubt, the Dardan boy
And hence arise the woes of sentiment, Was much inferior to King Menelaus :
Blue-devils, and blue-stockings, and romances, But thus it is some women will betray us.
Reduced to practice, and perform'd like dances. LXXIII. There is an awkward thing which much perplexes,
LXXX Unless like wise Tiresias we had proyed,
I do declare, tipon an affidavit, By turns, the difference of the several sexes:
Romances I ne'er read like those I've seen;
Nor, if unto the world I ever gave it,
Would some believe that such a tale had been The sentimental boasts to be unmoved;
But such intent I never had, nor have it ; But both together form a kind of Centaur,
Some truths are better kept behind a screen, Upon whose back 'tis better not to venture,
Especially when they would look like lies :
I therefore deal in generalities,
Because he niopeth idly in his shell, There lies the rub-and this they are but weak in.
And heaves a lonely subterraqueous sigh,
They run before the wind through high seas break- And a propos of monks, their piety
With sloth hath found it difficult to dwell; 'Tis odd, or odds, it may turn out a rock. (shock, Those vegetables of the Catholic creed LXXV.
Are apt exceedingly to run to seed.
Whose merit none enough can sing or say, And beg his British godship's humble pardon, Thou hast struck one immense Colossus down, If, in my extremity of rhyme's distress,
Thou moral Washington of Africa ! I touch a single leaf where he is warden ;-- But there's another little thing, I own, But though the flower is different, with the French Which you should perpetrate some summer's day, Or Swiss Rousseau, cry 'Voilà la Pervenche l' And set the other half of earth to rights; LXXVI.
You have freed the blacks-now pray shut up the Eureka! I have found it! What I mean
Shut up the bald-coot bully Alexander;
Ship off the Holy Three to Senegal; Hard labour's an indifferent go-between;
Teach thein that sauce for goose is saucc for Your men of business are not apt to express
gander,' Much passion, since the merchant-ship the Argo
And ask them how they like to be in thrall. Convey'd Medea as her supercago,
Shut up each high heroic salamander,
Who eats fire gratis (since the pay's but small); LXXVII.
Shut up-no, not the King, but the Pavilion, 'Beatus ille procul I' from ' negotiis.'
Or else 'twill cost us all another million.
Shut up the world at large; let Bedlam out; Though even that were sometimes too ferocious, And you will be perhaps surprised to find Unless good company be kept too long
All things pursue exactly the same route,
Were there a jot of sense among mankind;
Like Archimedes, I leave earth as 'twas.