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LXXXV.

XCII. Our gentle Adeline had one defect

She was, or thought she was, his friend--and this Her heart was vacant, though a splendid mansion, Without the farce of friendship, or romance Her conduct had been perfectly correct,

Of Platonism which leads so oft amiss As she had seen nought claiming its expansion. Ladies who ve studied friendship but in France A wavering spirit may be easier wreck'd,

Or Germany, where people purely kiss. Because 'tis frailer, doubtless, than a staunch one: To thus much Adeline would not advance; But when the latter works its own undoing,

But of such friendship as man's may to man bc, Its inner crash is like an earthquake's ruin.

She was as capable as woman can be.
LXXXVI.

XCIII.
She loved her lord, or thought so; but that love No doubt the secret influence of the sex
Cost her an effort, which is a sad toil,

Will there, as also in the ties of blood,
The stone of Sisyphus, if once we move

An innocent predominance annex, Our feelings 'gainst the nature of the soil.

And tune the concord to a finer inood. She had nothing to complain of, or reprove, If free from passion, which all friendship checks, No bickerings, no connubial turinoil :

And your true feelings fully understood, Their union was a model to behold,

No friend like to a woman earth discovers, Serene and noble-conjugal, but cold.

So that you have not been, nor will be, lovers. LXXXVII.

XCIV. There was no great disparity of years,

Love bears within its breast the very germ Though much in temper; but they never clash'd : of change; and how should this be otherwise They moved like stars united in their spheres, That violent things more quickly find a term,

Or like the Rhone by Leman's waters wash'd, Is shown through nature's whole analogies; Where mingled, and yet separate, appears

And how should the most fierce of all be firm? The river from the lake all bluely dash'd

Would you have endless lightning in the skies? Through the serene and placid glassy deep,

Methinks Love's very title says enough: Which fain would lull its river-child to sleep.

How should the tender passion e'er be tough? LXXXVIII.

XCV. Now, when she once had ta'en an interest

Alas! by all experience, seldom yet In anything, however she might flatter

(I merely quote what I have heard from many) Herself that her intentions were the best,

Had lovers not some reason to regret Intense intentions are a dangerous matter :

The passion which made Solomon a zany. Impressions were much stronger than she guessd, I've also seen some wives (not to forget

And gather'd as they ran, like growing water, The marriage state, the best or worst of any) Upon her mind; the more so, as her breast

Who were the very paragons of wives,
Was not at first too readily impress'd.

Yet made the misery of at least two lives.
LXXXIX.

XCVI.
But when it was, she had that lurking demon I've also seen some female friends ('tis odd,
Of double nature, and thus doubly namec-

But true-as, if expedient, I could prove) Firmness yclept in heroes, kings, and seamen, That faithful were through thick and thin, abroad,

That is, when they succeed; but greatly blamed, At home, far more than ever yet was love-
As obstinacy, both in men and women,

Who did not quit me when Oppression trod Whene'er their triumplı pales, or star is tamed: Upon me; whom no scandal could remove; And 'twill perplex the casuist in morality,

Who fought, and fight, in absence, too, my battles, To fix the due bounds of this dangerous quality. Despite the snake Society's loud rattles. XC.

XCVII. Had Buonaparte won at Waterloo,

Whether Don Juan and chaste Adeline It had been firinness; now 'tis pertinacity:

Grew friends in this or any other sense, Must the event decide between the two?

Will be discuss'd hereafter, I opine : I leave it to your people of sagacity

At present I am glad of a pretence To draw the line between the false and true,

To leave them hovering, as the effect is fine, If such can e'er be drawn by man's capacity : And keeps the atrocious reader in suspense ; My business is with Lady Adeline,

The surest way for ladies and for books,
Who in her way, too, was a heroine.

To bait their tender, or their tenter, hooks.
XCI.

XCVIII.
She knew not her own heart: then how should I? Whether they rode, or walk'd, or studied Spanish,
I think not she was then in love with Juan :

To read Don Quixote in the original, so, she would have had the strength to fly

A pleasure before which all others vanish, The wild sensation, unto her a new one.

Whether their talk was of the kind called ' small,' She merely felt a common sympathy

Or serious, are the topics I must banish (I will not say it was a false or true one)

To the next canto; where perhaps I shall In him, because she thought he was in danger Say something to the purpose, and display Her husband's friend, her own, young, and a stranger. Considerable talent in my way.

XCIX. .

CI Above all, I beg all men to forbear

'Tis strange, but true: for truth is always strange; Anticipating aught about the matter.

Stranger than fiction: if it could be told, They'll only make mistakes about the fair,

How much would novels gain by the exchange! And Juan too, especially the latter.

How differently the world would inen behold ! And I shall take a much more serious air

How oft would vice and virtue places change! Than I have yet done in this epic satire.

The new world would be nothing to the old, It is not clear that Adeline and Juan

If some Columbus of the moral seas
Will fall; but if they do, 't will be their ruin.

Would show mankind their souls' antipodes.
C.

CII.
But great things spring from little : would you think What antres vast and deserts idle' then
That, in our youth, as dangerous a passion

Would be discover'd in the human soul ! As e'er brought man and woman to the brink What icebergs in the hearts of mighty men, of ruin, rose from such a slight occasion,

With self-love in the centre as their pole ! As few would ever dream could forin the link

What Anthropophagi are nine of ten of such a sentimental situation ?

Of those who hold the kingdoms in control! You'll never guess, I'll bet you millions, milliards : Were things but only call'd by their riglit name, It all sprung from a harmless game at billiards. Caesar himself would be ashamed of fame.

CANTO THE FIFTEENTH.

1824

A pretty name as one would wish to read,

Must perch harmonious on my tuneful quill.
There's music in the sighing of a reed ;

There's music in the gushing of a rill;
There's music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.

1. AH!-What should follow slips from my reflection :

Whatever follows ne'ertheless may be As à propos of hope or retrospection,

As though the lurking thought had follow'd free. All present life is but an interjection,

An ‘Oh!' or 'Ah!' of joy or inisery,
Or a Ha! ha!' or Bah!-a yawn, or 'Pooh!
of which perhaps the latter is most true.

II.
But more or less, the whole's a syncopé

Or a singultus-emblems of emotion,
That grand antithesis to great ennui,

Wherewith we break our bubbles on the ocean, That watery outline of eternity,

Or miniature, at least, as is my notion,
Which ministers unto the soul's delight,
In seeing matters which are out of sight.

III.
But all are better than the sigh supprest,

Corroding in the cavern of the heart,
Making the countenance a inask of rest

And turning human nature to an art.
Few men dare show their thoughts of worst or best :

Dissimulation always sets apart
A corner for herself; and therefore fiction
Is that which passes with least contradiction.

IV.
Ah! who can tell? Or rather who can not

Remember, without telling, passion's errors?
The drainer of oblivion, even the sot,

Hath got blue devils for his morning mirrors: What though on Lethe's stream he seem to float,

He cannot sink his tremors or his terrors:
The ruby glass that shakes within his hand.
Leaves a sad sediment of Time's worst sand.

V.
And as for love-Oh love !We will proceed.

The Lady Adeline Amundeville,

VI.
The Lady Adetine, right honourable,

And honour'd, ran a risk of growing less so:
For few of the soft sex are very stable

In their resolves-alas, that I should say so!
They differ as wine differs from its label,

When once decanted ;-I presume to guess so,
But will not swear: yet both, upon occasion,
Till old, may undergo adulteration.

VII.
But Adeline was of the purest vintage,

The unmingled essence of the grape; and yet
Bright as a new Napoleon from its mintage.

Or glorious as a diamond richly set ;
A page where Time should hesitate to print age,

And for which Nature might forego her debt-
Sole creditor whose process doth involve in't
The luck of finding everybody solvent.

VIII.
Oh death! thou dunvest of all duns ! thou daily

Knockest at doors, at first with modest tap.
Like a meek tradesman when approaching palely

Some splendid debtor he would take by sap;
But oft denied, as patience 'gins to fail, he

Advances with exasperated rap,
And (if let in) insists, in terms unhandsome,
On ready money, or a draft on Ransom.'

IX.
Whate'er thou takest, spare awhile poor Beauty!

She is so rare, and thou hast so much prey.
Whet though she now and then may slip frog

duty ? Tlie more's the reason why you ought to stay

Gaunt Gourmand! with whole nations for your Imagination's quite enough for that:
You should be civil in a modest way : (booty,

So that the outline's tolerably fair,
Suppress, then, some slight feminine diseases; They fill the canvas up--and verbum sat.
And take as many heroes as Heaven pleases.

If once their phantasies be brought to bear
X.

Upon an object, whether sad or playful,

They can transfigure brighter than a Raphael.
Fair Adeline, the more ingenuous
Where she was interested (as was said).

XVII.
Because she was 1.ot apt, like some of us,

Adeline, no deep judge of character, To like too readily, or too high bred

Was apt to add a colouring froin her own : To show it (points we need not now discuss),

"Tis thus the good will amiably err, Would give up artlessly both heart and head

And eke the wise, as has been often shown, Unto such feelings as seen'd innocent,

Experience is the chief philosopher, For objects worthy of the sentiment.

But saddest when his science is well known: XI.

And persecuted sages teach the schools
Some parts of Juan's history, which Rumour,

Their folly in forgetting there are fools.
That live-gazette, had scatter'd, to disfigure,
She had heard ; but women hear with more good

XVIII. humour

Was it not so, great Locker and greater Bacon? Such aberrations, than we men of rigour:

Great Socrates ? And thou, Diviner still, * Besides his conduct since in England grew more

Whose lot it is by man to be mistaken, Strict, and his mind assumed a manlier vigour;

And Thy pure creed made sanction of all ill? Because he had, like Alcibiades,

Redeeming worlds to be by bigots shaken, The art of living in all climes with ease.

How was Thy toil rewarded! We might fill

Volumes with similar sad illustrations,
XII.

But leave them to the conscience of the nations.
His manner was perhaps the more seductive,
Because he ne'er seemed anxious to seduce :

XIX. Nothing affected, studied, or constructive,

I perch upon an humbler promontory, Of coxcombry or conquest ; no abuse

Amidst life's infinite variety; of his attractions marrd the fair perspective,

With no great care for what is nicknamed glory, To indicate a Cupidon broke loose,

But speculating as I cast mine eye And seem to say, “Resist us if you can

On what may suit, or may not suit, my story,
Which makes a dandy, while it spoils a man.

And never straining hard to versify,
XIII.

I rattle on exactly as I'd talk
They are wrong-that's not the way to set about it; With anybody in a ride or walk.
As, if they told the truth, could well be shown.

XX. But, right or wrong. Don Juan was without it:

I don't know that there may be much ability In fact, his manner was liis own alone.

Shown in this sort of clesultory rhyme; Sincere he was-at least you could not doubt it,

But there's a conversational facility, In listening merely to his voice's tone.

Which may round off an hour upon a time. The devil hath not, in all his quiver's choice,

of this I'm sure, at least there's no servility An arrow for the heart like a sweet voice.

In mine irregularity of chime,
XIV.

Which rings what's upperniost of new or hoary, By nature soft, his whole address held off

Just as I feel the Improvisatore,
Suspicion : though not tiinid, his regard
Was such as rather seemed to keep aloof,

XXI.
To shield himself, than put you on your guard :

Omnia vult belle Matho dicere--dic aliquando Perhaps 'twas hardly quite assured enough,

Et bene, dic neutrum, dic aliquando male.' But modesty's at times its own reward,

The first is rather more than mortal can do: Like virtue ; and the absence of pretension

The second may be sadly done or gaily ; Will go much further than there's need to mention.

The third is still more difficult to stand to;

The fourth we hear, and see, and say too, daily: XV.

The whole together is what I could wish
Serene, accomplish'd, cheerful, but not loud;

To serve in this conundruin of a dish.
Insinuating, without insinuation ;
Observant of the foibles of the crowd,
Yet ne'er betraying this in conversation :

* As it is necessary in these times to avoid amProud with the proud, yet courteously proud,

biguity, I say that I mean by Diviner still,' Christ. Sa as to make them feel he knew his station

If ever God was man, or man God, He was both. I

never arraigned His creed, but the use, or abuse, And theirs : without a struggle for priority,

made of it. Mr. Canning one day quoted ChrisHe neither brook'd nor claimed superiority

tianity to sanction negro slavery, and Mr. Wilberfor ha litti

to say in reply. And was Christ XVI.

crucified that black men might be scourged! If

so, He had better been born a Mulatto, to give That is, with men : with women he was what

both colours an equal chance of freedom, or at They pleased to make or take him for; and their least salvation.

XXH.

XXIX. A modest hope--but modesty's my forte,

She had a good opinion of advice, And pride my foible: let us ramble on.

Like all who give and eke receive it gratis, I meant to make this poem very short;

For which small thanks are still the market price, But now I can't tell where it may not run.

Even where the article at highest rate is. No doubt, if I had wished to pay my court

She thought upon the subject twice or thrice, To critics, or to hail the setting sun

And morally decided the best state is, Of tyranny of all kinds, my concision

For morals, marriage; and this question carried, Were more ; but I was born for opposition.

She seriously advised him to get married
XXIII.

XXX.
But then 'tis mostly on the weaker side

Juan replied, with all becoming deference, So that I verily believe, if they

He had a predilection for that tie; Who now are basking in their full-blown pride But that at present, with immediate reference

Were shaken down, and dogs had had their day,' To his own circumstances, there might lie Though at the first I might perchance deride Some dificulties, as in his own preference, Their tumble, I should turn the other way,

Or that of her to whom he might apply ; And wax an ultra-royalist in loyalty,

That still he'd wed with such or such a lady,
Because I hate even democratic royalty.

If that they were not married all already,
XXIV.

XXXI.
I think I should have made a decent spouse, Next to the making matches for herself,
If I had never proved the soft condition :

And daughters, brothers, sisters, kith or kin, I think I should have made monastic vows,

Arranging them like books on the same shell, But for iny own peculiar superstition: [brows, There's nothing women love to dabble in 'Gainst rhyme I never should have knock'd my More (like a stockholder in growing pelf)

Nor broken my own head, nor that of Priscian, Than matchmaking in general: 'tis no sin,
Nor worn the motley mantle of a poet,

Certes, but a preventative, and therefore
If some one had not told me to forego it.

That is, no doubt, the only reason wherefore,
XXV.

XXXII.
But laissez aller-knights and dames I sing, But never yet (except of course a miss
Such as the times may furnish. 'Tis a flight

Unwed, or mistress never to be wed,
Which seems at first to need no lofty wing,

Or wed already, who object to this) Plumed by Longinus or the Stagyrite,

Was there chaste dame who had not, in her head, The difficulty lies in colouring

Some drama of the marriage unities, (Keeping the due proportions still in sight)

Observed as strictly, both at board and bed, With nature, manners which are artificial,

As those of Aristotle, though sometimes And rendering general that which is especial. They turn out melodrames or pantomimes, XXVI.

XXXIII. The difference is, that in the days of old,

They generally have some only son, Men made the manners: manners now make men- Some heir to a large property, some friend Pinn'd like a flock, and fleeced too in their fold, Of an old family, some gay Sir John, At least nine, and a ninth beside of ten.

Or grave Lord George, with whom perhaps might Now this at all events must render cold

A line, and leave posterity undone,

(end, Your writers, who must either draw again

Unless a marriage was applied to mend Days better drawn before, or else assume

The prospect and their inorals; and, besides, The present, with their commonplace costume. They have at hand a blooming glut of brides. XXVII.

XXXIV.
We'll do our best to make the best on't: March, From these they will be careful to select,

March, my Muse ! if you cannot fly, yet flutter; For this an heiress, and for that a beauty :
And when you may not be sublime, be arch,

For one, a songstress who hath no defect;
Or starch, as are the edicts statesmen utter.

For t'other, one who promises much duty :
We surely may find something worth research : For this, a lady no one can reject,
Columbus found a new world in a cutter,

Whose sole accomplishments were quite a booty; Or brigantine, or pink, of no great tonnage,

A second for her excellent connections;
While yet America was in her nonage,

A third because there can be no objections.
XXVIII.

XXXV,
When Adeline, in all her growing sense

When Rapp the Harmonist embargoed marriage of Juan's merits and his situation,

In his harmonious settlement* (which flourishes Felt on the whole an interest intensePartly perhaps because a fresh sensation,

* This extraordinary and flourishing Gerinan coOr that he had an air of innocence,

lony in America does not entirely exclude matrimony, Which is for innocence a sad temptation

as the Shakers' do, but lays such restrictions upon it As woinen hate half measures, on the whole,

as prevent more than a certain quantum of births

within a certain number of years, which births las Sic 'gan to ponder how to save his soul.

Mr. Hulme observes) 'generally arrive in a little flock

Strangely enough as yet without miscarriage, All these were unobjectionable matches, Because it breeds no more mouths than it And might go on, if well wound up, like watches. nourishes,

XLI. Without those sad expenses which disparage There was Miss Millpond, smooth as summer's sea, What Nature naturally most encourages),

That usual paragon, an only daughter, Why callid heHarmony' a state sans wedlock ? Who seein'd the cream of equanimity, Now here I've got the preacher at a dead lock. Till skimm'd-and then there was some milk and XXXVI.

water, Because he either meant to sneer at harmony With a slight shade of blue, too, it might he, Or inarriage, by divorcing them thus oddly;

Beneath the surface ; but what did it matter? But whether reverend Rapp learn'd this in Ger- Love's riotous, but marriage should have quiet, many

And, being consumptive, live on a milk diet.
Or not, 'tis said his sect is rich and godly,

XLII.
Pious and pure, beyond what I can term any And then there was the Miss Audacia Shoestring,

Of ours, although they propagate more broadly. A dashing demoiselle of good estate, My objection's to his title, not his ritual,

Whose heart was fixed upon a star or blue string ; Although I wonder how it grew habitual.

But whether English dukes grew rare of late, XXXVII.

Or that she had not harp'd upon the true string But Rapp is the reverse of zealous matrons,

By which such sirens can attract our great, Who favour, malgré Malthus, generation

She took up with some foreign younger brother, Professors of that genial art, and patrons

A Russ or Turk-the one's as good as t'other. of all the modest part of propagation;

XLIII. Which, after all, at such a desperate rate runs, And then there was--but why should I go on, That half its produce tends to emigration,

Unless the ladies should go off?—there was That sad result of passions and potatoes

Indeed a certain fair and fairy one, ['wo weeds which pose our economic Catos.

of the best class, and better than her class XXXVIIT.

Aurora Raby, a young star who shone Had Adeline read Malthus! I can't tell :

O'er life, too sweet an image for such glass; I wish she had; his book's the eleventh com- A lovely being, scarcely forni'd or moulded, mandment,

A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded ; Which says, “Thou shalt not marry,' unless well;

XLIV. This he (as far as I can understand) meant. Rich, noble, but an orphan; left an only 'Tis not my purpose on his views to dwell,

Child to the care of guardians good and kind; Nor canvass what so eminent a hand"* meant ; But still her aspect had an air so lonely! But certes it conducts to lives ascetic,

Blood is not water; and where shall we find Or turning marriage into arithmetic.

Feelings of youth like those which overthrown lie XXXIX.

By death, when we are left, alas, behind, But Adeline, who probably presumed

To feel in friendless palaces, a home That Juan had enough of maintenance,

Is wanting, and our best ties in the tomb ! Or separate maintenance, in case 'twas doom'd

XLV. As on the whole it is an even chance

Early in years, and yet more infantine That bridegrooms, after they are fairly groom'd, In figure, she had something of sublime May retrograde a little in the dance

In eyes, which sadly shone, as seraphs' shine : Of marriage (which might form a painter's fame, All youth--but with an aspect beyond time : Like Holbein's Dance of Death-but 'tis the Radiant and grave-as pitying man's decline ; san:e):

Mournful-but mournful of another's crime; XL.

She look'd as if she sat by Eden's door, But Adeline determined Juan's wedding

And grieved for those who could return no more. In her own mind, and that's enough for woman :

XLVI.
But then with whom? There was the sage Miss

She was a Catholic, too, sincere, austere,
Reading,

As far as her own gentle heart allow'd ;
Miss Raw, Miss Flaw, Miss Showman, and

And deem'd that fallen worship far more dear, Miss Knowman,

Perhaps, because 'twas fallen : her sires were And the two fair cocheiresses Giltbedding.

proud She deem'd his merits something more than

Of deeds and days, when they had filled the ear common :

Of nations, and had never bent or bow'd like those of a fariner's lambs, all within the same

To novel power; and as she was the last, month perhaps. These Harmonists (so called from She held their old faith and old feelings fast. the name of their settlement) arc represented as a remarkably flourishing, pious, and quiet people. See

XLVII. the various recent writers on America.

She gazed upon a world she scarcely knew, * Jacob Tonson, according to Mr. Pope, was accus.) As seeking not to know it; silent, lone, tomed to call his writers able pens, 'persons of honour,' and especially eminent hands. Vide Corre

As grows a flower, thus quietly she grew, spondence, etc.

And kept her heart serene within its zone,

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