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XCVI.

I've also seen some female friends ('t is odd,

But true—as, if expedient, I could prove) That faithful were through thick and thin, abroad,

At home, far more than ever yet was loveWho did not quit me when oppression trod

Upon me; whom no scandal could remove; Who fought, and fight, in absence too, my battles, Despite the snake society's loud rattles.

XCVII.

Whether Don Juan and chaste Adeline

Grew friends in this or any other sense,
Will be discuss'd hereafter, I opine:

At present I am glad of a pretence
To leave them hovering, as the effect is fine,

And keeps the atrocious reader in suspense;
The surest way for ladies and for books
To bait their tender or their tenterhooks.

XCVIJI.

Whether they rode, or walked, or studied Spanish,

To read Don Quixote in the original,
A pleasure before which all others vanish;

Whether their talk was of the kind call'd « small,» Or serious, are the topics I must banish

To the next canto; where perhaps I shall Say something to the purpose, and display Considerable talent in my way.

XCIX.

Above all, I beg all men to forbear

Anticipating aught about the matter: They'll only make mistakes about the fair,

And Juan too, especially the latter.
And I shall take a much more serious air

Than I have yet done, in this epic satire.
It is not clear that Adeline and Juan
Will fall; but if they do, 't will be their ruin.

C.

But great things spring from little:- Would you think,

That in our youth, as dangerous a passion As e'er brought man and woman to the brink

Of ruin, rose froin such a slight occasion, As few would ever dream could form the link

Of such a sentimental situation ? You 'll never guess, I 'll bet you millions, milliardsIt all sprung from a harmless game at billiards.

CI.

’T is strange,-but true; for truth is always strange,

Stranger than fiction : if it could be told, How much would novels gain by the exchange;

How differently the world would men behold!
How oft would vice and virtue places change!

The new world would be nothing to the old.
If some Columbus of the moral seas
Would show mankind their soul's antipodes.

CIT.

What « antres vast and desarts idle » then

Would be discover'd in the human soul! What icebergs in the hearts of mighty men,

With self-love in the centre as their pole! What Anthropophagi is nine of ten

Of those who hold the kingdoms in controul! Were things but only call'd by their right name, Cæsar himself would be ashamed of fame.

END OF CANTO XIV.

NOTES TO CANTO XIV.

Note 1, page :84, stanza xxxii.

And never craned, etc. Craning:

To cranen is, or was, an expression used to denote a gentleman's stretching out his neck over a hedge, « to look before he leaped :

l;n--a pause in his « vaulting ambition, » which in the field doth occasion some delay and execration in those who may be immediately behind the equestrian sceptic. «Sir, if you don't choose to take the leap, let men—was a phrase which generally sent the aspirant on again : and to good purpose : for though «the horse and rider» might fall, they made a gap, through which, and over him and his steed, the field might follow.

Note 2, page 189, stanza xlviii.

Go to the coffee-house, and take another. la Swift's or Horace Walpole's letters I think it is mentioned, that somebody regretting the loss of a friend, was answered by an universal Pylades: « When I lose one, I go to the Saint James's Coffee-house, and take another.»

I recollect having heard an anecdote of the same kind. Sir W. D. was a great gamester. Coming in one day to the club of which he was a member, he was observed to look melancholy. «What is the matter, Sir William?» cried Hare, of facetious inemory. «Ah!» replied Sir W. «I have just lost poor Lady D.» u Lost! What at? Quinze or Hazard?» was the consolatory rejoinder of the querist.

VOL. III.

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