The Works of Lord Byron. Vol. 6 by Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron

THE WORKS OF LORD BYRON.

A NEW, REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.

Poetry. Vol. VI.

EDITED BY ERNEST HARTLEY COLERIDGE, M.A., HON. F.R.S.L.

LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET. NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS.

1903

THIS EDITION OF A GREAT POEM IS DEDICATED WITH HIS PERMISSION

TO

ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE.

MDCCCCII.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

This etext is a Unicode (UTF8) file. In a few places there are phrases or lines of Greek text, each followed by a Beta-code transliteration, for example: νους [Greek: nous].

An important feature of this edition is its copious footnotes. Footnotes indexed with arabic numbers (e.g. [17], [221]) are informational. Note text in square brackets is the work of editor E.H. Coleridge, and is unique to this edition. Other note text is from earlier editions and is by a preceding editor or Byron himself.

Footnotes indexed with letters (e.g. [c], [bf]) document variant forms of the text from manuscripts and other sources.

In the original, footnotes were printed at the foot of the page on which they were referenced, and their indices started over on each page. In this etext, footnotes have been collected at the ends of each preface or Canto, and have been numbered consecutively throughout. However, in the blocks of footnotes are numbers in braces: {321}. These represent the page number on which following notes originally appeared, and can be used to find notes by page. For example, the Preface directs you to "a note (pp. 495..." and you can locate this note in its new location by searching for {495}.

PREFACE TO THE SIXTH VOLUME.

The text of this edition of _Don Juan_ has been collated with original MSS. in the possession of the Lady Dorchester and Mr. John Murray. The fragment of a Seventeenth Canto, consisting of fourteen stanzas, is now printed and published for the first time.

I have collated with the original authorities, and in many instances retranscribed, the numerous quotations from Sir G. Dalzell's _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_ (1812, 8vo) [Canto II. stanzas xxiv.-civ. pp. 87-112], and from a work entitled _Essai sur l'Histoire Ancienne et Moderne de la Nouvelle Russie_, par le Marquis Gabriel de Castelnau (1827, 8vo) [Canto VII. stanzas ix.--liii. pp. 304-320, and Canto VIII. stanzas vi.--cxxvii. pp. 331-368], which were first included in the notes to the fifteenth and sixteenth volumes of the edition of 1833, and have been reprinted in subsequent issues of Lord Byron's _Poetical Works_.

A note (pp. 495-497) illustrative of the famous description of Newstead Abbey (Canto XIII. stanzas lv.-lxxii.) contains particulars not hitherto published. My thanks and acknowledgments are due to Lady Chermside and Miss Ethel Webb, for the opportunity afforded me of visiting Newstead Abbey, and for invaluable assistance in the preparation of this and other notes.

The proof-sheets of this volume have been read by Mr. Frank E. Taylor. I am indebted to his care and knowledge for many important corrections and emendations.

I must once more record my gratitude to Dr. Garnett, C.B., for the generous manner in which he has devoted time and attention to the solution of difficulties submitted to his consideration.

I am also indebted, for valuable information, to the Earl of Rosebery, K.G.; to Mr. J. Willis Clark, Registrar of the University of Cambridge; to Mr. W.P. Courtney; to my friend Mr. Thomas Hutchinson; to Miss Emily Jackson, of Hucknall Torkard; and to Mr. T.E. Page, of the Charterhouse.

On behalf of the publisher, I beg to acknowledge the kindness of the Lady Frances Trevanion, Sir J.G. Tollemache Sinclair, Bart., and Baron Dimsdale, in permitting the originals of portraits and drawings in their possession to be reproduced in this volume.

NOTE.

It was intended that the whole of Lord Byron's Poetical Works should be included in six volumes, corresponding to the six volumes of the Letters, and announcements to this effect have been made; but this has been found to be impracticable. The great mass of new material incorporated in the Introductions, notes, and variants, has already expanded several of the published volumes to a disproportionate size, and _Don Juan_ itself occupies 612 pages.

Volume Seven, which will complete the work, will contain Occasional Poems, Epigrams, etc., a Bibliography more complete than has ever hitherto been published, and an exhaustive Index.

CONTENTS OF VOL. VI.

Dedication v Preface to Vol. VI. of the Poems vii Introduction to DON JUAN xv Dedication to Robert Southey, Esq. 3 DON JUAN-- Canto I 11 Canto II 81 Canto III 143 Canto IV 183 Canto V 218 Preface to Cantos VI., VII., and VIII 264 Canto VI 268 Canto VII 302 Canto VIII 330 Canto IX 373 Canto X 400 Canto XI 427 Canto XII 455 Canto XIII 481 Canto XIV 516 Canto XV 544 Canto XVI 572 Canto XVII 608

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

1. PORTRAIT OF LORD BYRON, FROM A DRAWING FROM THE LIFE BY J. HOLMES, FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF THE LATE HUGH CHARLES TREVANION, ESQ. frontispiece

2. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, FROM THE PORTRAIT BY H.W. PICKERSGILL, R.A., IN THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY To face p. 4

3. NINON DE LENCLOS, FROM A MINIATURE IN THE POSSESSION OF SIR J.G. TOLLEMACHE SINCLAIR, BART. 246

4. FOUNTAIN AT NEWSTEAD ABBEY 500

INTRODUCTION TO _DON JUAN_

Byron was a rapid as well as a voluminous writer. His _Tales_ were thrown off at lightning speed, and even his dramas were thought out and worked through with unhesitating energy and rapid achievement. Nevertheless, the composition of his two great poems was all but coextensive with his poetical life. He began the first canto of _Childe Harold_ in the autumn of 1809, and he did not complete the fourth canto till the spring of 1818. He began the first canto of _Don Juan_ in the autumn of 1818, and he was still at work on a seventeenth canto in the spring of 1823. Both poems were issued in parts, and with long intervals of unequal duration between the parts; but the same result was brought about by different causes and produced a dissimilar effect. _Childe Harold_ consists of three distinct poems descriptive of three successive travels or journeys in foreign lands. The adventures of the hero are but the pretext for the shifting of the diorama; whereas in _Don Juan_ the story is continuous, and the scenery is exhibited as a background for the dramatic evolution of the personality of the hero. _Childe Harold_ came out at intervals, because there were periods when the author was stationary; but the interruptions in the composition and publication of _Don Juan_ were due to the disapproval and discouragement of friends, and the very natural hesitation and procrastination of the publisher. Canto I. was written in September, 1818; Canto II. in December-January, 1818-1819. Both cantos were published on July 15, 1819. Cantos III., IV. were written in the winter of 1819-1820; Canto V., after an interval of nine months, in October-November, 1820, but the publication of Cantos III., IV., V. was delayed till August 8, 1821. The next interval was longer still, but it was the last. In June, 1822, Byron began to work at a sixth, and by the end of March, 1823, he had completed a sixteenth canto. But the publication of these later cantos, which had been declined by Murray, and were finally entrusted to John Hunt, was spread over a period of several months. Cantos VI., VII., VIII., with a Preface, were published July 15; Cantos IX., X., XI, August 29; Cantos XII., XIII., XIV., December 17, 1823; and, finally, Cantos XV., XVI., March 26, 1824. The composition of _Don Juan_, considered as a whole, synchronized with the composition of all the dramas (except _Manfred_) and the following poems: _The Prophecy of Dante_, (the translation of) _The Morgante Maggiore, The Vision of Judgment, The Age of Bronze_, and _The Island_.

There is little to be said with regard to the "Sources" of _Don Juan_. Frere's _Whistlecraft_ had suggested _Beppo_, and, at the same time, had prompted and provoked a sympathetic study of Frere's Italian models, Berni and Pulci (see "Introduction to _Beppo_," _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 155-158; and "Introduction to _The Morgante Maggiore_" ibid., pp. 279-281); and, again, the success of _Beppo_, and, still more, a sense of inspiration and the conviction that he had found the path to excellence, suggested another essay of the _ottava rima_, a humorous poem "_à la Beppo_" on a larger and more important scale. If Byron possessed more than a superficial knowledge of the legendary "Don Juan," he was irresponsive and unimpressed. He speaks (letter to Murray, February 16, 1821) of "the Spanish tradition;" but there is nothing to show that he had read or heard of Tirso de Molina's (Gabriel Tellez) _El Burlador de Sevilla y Convidado de Piedra_ (_The Deceiver of Seville and the Stone Guest_), 1626, which dramatized the "ower true tale" of the actual Don Juan Tenorio; or that he was acquainted with any of the Italian (e.g. _Convitato di Pietra_, del Dottor Giacinto Andrea Cicognini, Fiorentino [see L. Allacci _Dramaturgia_, 1755, 4º, p. 862]) or French adaptations of the legend (_e.g_. _Le Festin de Pierre, ou le fils criminel_, Tragi-comédie de De Villiers, 1659; and Molière's _Dom Juan, ou Le Festin de Pierre_, 1665). He had seen (_vide post_, p. 11, note 2) Delpini's pantomime, which was based on Shadwell's _Libertine_, and he may have witnessed, at Milan or Venice, a performance of Mozart's _Don Giovanni_; but in taking Don Juan for his "hero," he took the name only, and disregarded the "terrible figure" "of the Titan of embodied evil, the likeness of sin made flesh" (see _Selections from the Works of Lord Byron_, by A.C. Swinburne, 1885, p. xxvi.), "as something to his purpose nothing"!

Why, then, did he choose the name, and what was the scheme or motif of his poem? Something is to be gathered from his own remarks and reflections; but it must be borne in mind that he is on the defensive, and that his half-humorous paradoxes were provoked by advice and opposition. Writing to Moore (September 19, 1818), he says, "I have finished the first canto ... of a poem in the style and manner of _Beppo_, encouraged by the good success of the same. It is ... meant to be a little quietly facetious upon every thing. But I doubt whether it is not--at least as far as it has gone--too free for these very modest days." The critics before and after publication thought that _Don Juan_ _was_ "too free," and, a month after the two first cantos had been issued, he writes to Murray (August 12, 1819), "You ask me for the plan of Donny Johnny; I _have_ no plan--I _had_ no plan; but I had or have materials.... You are too earnest and eager about a work never intended to be serious. Do you suppose that I could have any intention but to giggle and make giggle?--a playful satire, with as little poetry as could be helped, was what I meant." Again, after the completion but before the publication of Cantos III., IV., V., in a letter to Murray (February 16, 1821), he writes, "The Fifth is so far from being the last of _Don Juan_, that it is hardly the beginning. I meant to take him the tour of Europe, with a proper mixture of siege, battle, and adventure, and to make him finish as Anacharsis Cloots in the French Revolution.... I meant to have made him a _Cavalier Servente_ in Italy, and a cause for a divorce in England, and a Sentimental 'Werther-faced' man in Germany, so as to show the different ridicules of the society in each of these countries, and to have displayed him gradually _gâté_ and _blasé_, as he grew older, as is natural. But I had not quite fixed whether to make him end in Hell, or in an unhappy marriage, not knowing which would be the severest."

Byron meant what he said, but he kept back the larger truth. Great works, in which the poet speaks _ex animo_, and the man lays bare the very pulse of the machine, are not conceived or composed unconsciously and at haphazard. Byron did not "whistle" _Don Juan_ "for want of thought." He had found a thing to say, and he meant to make the world listen. He had read with angry disapproval, but he had read, Coleridge's _Critique on_ [Maturin's] _Bertram_ (_vide post_, p. 4, note 1), and, it may be, had caught an inspiration from one brilliant sentence which depicts the Don Juan of the legend somewhat after the likeness of Childe Harold, if not of Lord Byron: "Rank, fortune, wit, talent, acquired knowledge, and liberal accomplishments, with beauty of person, vigorous health, ... all these advantages, elevated by the habits and sympathies of noble birth and natural character, are ... combined in Don Juan, so as to give him the means of carrying into all its practical consequences the doctrine of a godless nature ... Obedience to nature is the only virtue." Again, "It is not the wickedness of Don Juan ... which constitutes the character an abstraction, ... but the rapid succession of the correspondent acts and incidents, his intellectual superiority, and the splendid accumulation of his gifts and desirable qualities as coexistent with entire wickedness in one and the same person." Here was at once a suggestion and a challenge.

Would it not be possible to conceive and to depict an ideal character, gifted, gracious, and delightful, who should "carry into all its practical consequences" the doctrine of a mundane, if not godless doctrine, and, at the same time, retain the charities and virtues of uncelestial but not devilish manhood? In defiance of monition and in spite of resolution, the primrose path is trodden by all sorts and conditions of men, sinners no doubt, but not necessarily abstractions of sin, and to assert the contrary makes for cant and not for righteousness. The form and substance of the poem were due to the compulsion of Genius and the determination of Art, but the argument is a vindication of the natural man. It is Byron's "criticism of life." _Don Juan_ was _taboo_ from the first. The earlier issues of the first five cantos were doubly anonymous. Neither author nor publisher subscribed their names on the title-page. The book was a monster, and, as its maker had foreseen, "all the world" shuddered. Immoral, in the sense that it advocates immoral tenets, or prefers evil to good, it is not, but it is unquestionably a dangerous book, which (to quote Kingsley's words used in another connection) "the young and innocent will do well to leave altogether unread." It is dangerous because it ignores resistance and presumes submission to passion; it is dangerous because, as Byron admitted, it is "now and then voluptuous;" and it is dangerous, in a lesser degree, because, here and there, the purport of the quips and allusions is gross and offensive. No one can take up the book without being struck and arrested by these violations of modesty and decorum; but no one can master its contents and become possessed of it as a whole without perceiving that the mirror is held up to nature, that it reflects spots and blemishes which, on a survey of the vast and various orb, dwindle into _natural_ and so comparative insignificance. Byron was under no delusion as to the grossness of _Don Juan_. His plea or pretence, that he was sheltered by the superior grossness of Ariosto and La Fontaine, of Prior and of Fielding, is _nihil ad rem_, if it is not insincere. When Murray (May 3, 1819) charges him with "approximations to indelicacy," he laughs himself away at the euphemism, but when Hobhouse and "the Zoili of Albemarle Street" talked to him "about morality," he flames out, "I maintain that it is the most moral of poems." He looked upon his great work as a whole, and he knew that the "_raison d'être_ of his song" was not only to celebrate, but, by the white light of truth, to represent and exhibit the great things of the world--Love and War, and Death by sea and land, and Man, half-angel, half-demon--the comedy of his fortunes, and the tragedy of his passions and his fate.

_Don Juan_ has won great praise from the great. Sir Walter Scott (_Edinburgh Weekly Journal_, May 19, 1824) maintained that its creator "has embraced every topic of human life, and sounded every string of the divine harp, from its slightest to its most powerful and heart-astounding tones." Goethe (_Kunst und Alterthum_, 1821 [ed. Weimar, iii. 197, and _Sämmtliche Werke_, xiii. 637]) described _Don Juan_ as "a work of boundless genius." Shelley (letter to Byron, October 21, 1821), on the receipt of Cantos III., IV., V., bore testimony to his "wonder and delight:" "This poem carries with it at once the stamp of originality and defiance of imitation. Nothing has ever been written like it in English, nor, if I may venture to prophesy, will there be, unless carrying upon it the mark of a secondary and borrowed light.... You are building up a drama," he adds, "such as England has not yet seen, and the task is sufficiently noble and worthy of you." Again, of the fifth canto he writes (Shelley's _Prose Works_, ed. H. Buxton Forman, iv. 219), "Every word has the stamp of immortality.... It fulfils, in a certain degree, what I have long preached of producing--something wholly new and relative to the age, and yet surpassingly beautiful." Finally, a living poet, neither a disciple nor encomiast of Byron, pays eloquent tribute to the strength and splendour of _Don Juan_: "Across the stanzas ... we swim forward as over the 'broad backs of the sea;' they break and glitter, hiss and laugh, murmur and move like waves that sound or that subside. There is in them a delicious resistance, an elastic motion, which salt water has and fresh water has not. There is about them a wide wholesome air, full of vivid light and constant wind, which is only felt at sea. Life undulates and Death palpitates in the splendid verse.... This gift of life and variety is the supreme quality of Byron's chief poem" (_A Selection, etc._, by A.C. Swinburne, 1885, p. x.).

Cantos I., II. of _Don Juan_ were reviewed in _Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine_, August, 1819, vol. v. pp. 512-518; Cantos III., IV., V., August, 1821, vol. x. pp. 107-115; and Cantos VI., VII., VIII., July, 1823, vol. xiv. pp. 88-92: in the _British Critic_, Cantos I., II. were reviewed August, 1819, vol. xii. pp. 195-205; and Cantos III., IV., V., September, 1821, vol. xvi. pp. 251-256: in the _British Review_, Cantos I., II. were reviewed August, 1819, vol. xiv. pp. 266-268; and Cantos III., IV., V., December, 1821, vol. xviii. pp. 245-265: in the _Examiner_, Cantos I., II. were reviewed October 31, 1819; Cantos III., IV., V., August 26, 1821; and Cantos XV., XVI., March 14 and 21, 1824: in the _Literary Gazette_, Cantos I., II. were reviewed July 17 and 24, 1819; Cantos III., IV., V., August 11 and 18, 1821; Cantos VI., VII., VIII., July 19, 1823; Cantos IX., X., XL, September 6, 1823; Cantos XII., XIII., XIV., December 6, 1823; and Cantos XV., XVI., April 3, 1824: in the _Monthly Review_., Cantos I., II. were reviewed July, 1819, Enlarged Series, vol. 89, p. 309; Cantos III., IV., V., August, 1821, vol. 95, p. 418; Cantos VI., VII., VIII., July, 1823, vol. 101, p. 316; Cantos IX., X., XI., October, 1823, vol. 102, p. 217; Cantos XII., XIII., XIV., vol. 103, p. 212; and Cantos XV., XVI., April, 1824, vol. 103, p. 434: in the _New Monthly Magazine_, Cantos I., II. were reviewed August, 1819, vol. xii. p. 75. See, too, an article on the "Morality of _Don Juan_," _Dublin University Magazine_, May, 1875, vol. lxxxv. pp. 630-637.

Neither the _Quarterly_ nor the _Edinburgh Review_ devoted separate articles to _Don Juan_; but Heber, in the _Quarterly Review_ (Lord Byron's _Dramas_), July, 1822, vol. xxvii. p. 477, and Jeffrey, in the _Edinburgh Review_ (Lord Byron's _Tragedies_), February, 1822, vol. 36, pp. 446-450, took occasion to pass judgment on the poem and its author.

For the history of the legend, see _History of Spanish Literature_, by George Ticknor, 1888, vol. ii. pp. 380, 381; and _Das Kloster_, von J. Scheible, 1846, vol. iii. pp. 663-765. See, too, _Notes sur le Don Juanisme_, par Henri de Bruchard, _Mercure de France_, Avril, 1898, vol. xxvi. pp. 58-73; and _Don Juan_, par Gustave Kahn, _Revue Encyclopédique_, 1898, tom. viii. pp. 326-329.

DON JUAN.

FRAGMENT ON THE BACK OF THE MS. OF CANTO I.

I WOULD to Heaven that I were so much clay, As I am blood, bone, marrow, passion, feeling-- Because at least the past were passed away, And for the future--(but I write this reeling, Having got drunk exceedingly to-day, So that I seem to stand upon the ceiling) I say--the future is a serious matter-- And so--for God's sake--hock and soda-water!

DEDICATION.[1]

I.

BOB SOUTHEY! You're a poet--Poet-laureate, And representative of all the race; Although 't is true that you turned out a Tory at Last,--yours has lately been a common case; And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at? With all the Lakers, in and out of place? A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye Like "four and twenty Blackbirds in a pye;

II.

"Which pye being opened they began to sing," (This old song and new simile holds good), "A dainty dish to set before the King," Or Regent, who admires such kind of food;-- And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing, But like a hawk encumbered with his hood,-- Explaining Metaphysics to the nation-- I wish he would explain his Explanation.[2]

III.

You, Bob! are rather insolent, you know, At being disappointed in your wish To supersede all warblers here below, And be the only Blackbird in the dish; And then you overstrain yourself, or so, And tumble downward like the flying fish Gasping on deck, because you soar too high, Bob, And fall, for lack of moisture, quite a-dry, Bob![3]

IV.

And Wordsworth, in a rather long "Excursion," (I think the quarto holds five hundred pages), Has given a sample from the vasty version Of his new system[4] to perplex the sages; 'T is poetry-at least by his assertion, And may appear so when the dog-star rages-- And he who understands it would be able To add a story to the Tower of Babel.

V.

You--Gentlemen! by dint of long seclusion From better company, have kept your own At Keswick, and, through still continued fusion Of one another's minds, at last have grown To deem as a most logical conclusion, That Poesy has wreaths for you alone: There is a narrowness in such a notion, Which makes me wish you'd change your lakes for Ocean.

VI.

I would not imitate the petty thought, Nor coin my self-love to so base a vice, For all the glory your conversion brought, Since gold alone should not have been its price. You have your salary; was 't for that you wrought? And Wordsworth has his place in the Excise.[5] You're shabby fellows--true--but poets still, And duly seated on the Immortal Hill.

VII.

Your bays may hide the baldness of your brows-- Perhaps some virtuous blushes;--let them go-- To you I envy neither fruit nor boughs-- And for the fame you would engross below, The field is universal, and allows Scope to all such as feel the inherent glow: Scott, Rogers, Campbell, Moore, and Crabbe, will try 'Gainst you the question with posterity.

VIII.

For me, who, wandering with pedestrian Muses, Contend not with you on the wingéd steed, I wish your fate may yield ye, when she chooses, The fame you envy, and the skill you need; And, recollect, a poet nothing loses In giving to his brethren their full meed Of merit--and complaint of present days Is not the certain path to future praise.

IX.

He that reserves his laurels for posterity (Who does not often claim the bright reversion) Has generally no great crop to spare it, he Being only injured by his own assertion; And although here and there some glorious rarity Arise like Titan from the sea's immersion, The major part of such appellants go To--God knows where--for no one else can know.

X.

If, fallen in evil days on evil tongues,[6] Milton appealed to the Avenger, Time, If Time, the Avenger, execrates his wrongs, And makes the word "Miltonic" mean "_Sublime_," _He_ deigned not to belie his soul in songs, Nor turn his very talent to a crime; _He_ did not loathe the Sire to laud the Son, But closed the tyrant-hater he begun.

XI.

Think'st thou, could he--the blind Old Man--arise Like Samuel from the grave, to freeze once more The blood of monarchs with his prophecies, Or be alive again--again all hoar With time and trials, and those helpless eyes, And heartless daughters--worn--and pale[7]--and poor; Would _he_ adore a sultan? _he_ obey The intellectual eunuch Castlereagh?[8]

XII.

Cold-blooded, smooth-faced, placid miscreant! Dabbling its sleek young hands in Erin's gore, And thus for wider carnage taught to pant, Transferred to gorge upon a sister shore, The vulgarest tool that Tyranny could want, With just enough of talent, and no more, To lengthen fetters by another fixed, And offer poison long already mixed.

XIII.

An orator of such set trash of phrase Ineffably--legitimately vile, That even its grossest flatterers dare not praise, Nor foes--all nations--condescend to smile,-- Nor even a sprightly blunder's spark can blaze From that Ixion grindstone's ceaseless toil, That turns and turns to give the world a notion Of endless torments and perpetual motion.

XIV.

A bungler even in its disgusting trade, And botching, patching, leaving still behind Something of which its masters are afraid-- States to be curbed, and thoughts to be confined, Conspiracy or Congress to be made-- Cobbling at manacles for all mankind-- A tinkering slave-maker, who mends old chains, With God and Man's abhorrence for its gains.

XV.

If we may judge of matter by the mind, Emasculated to the marrow _It_ Hath but two objects, how to serve, and bind, Deeming the chain it wears even men may fit, Eutropius of its many masters,[9]--blind To worth as freedom, wisdom as to wit, Fearless--because _no_ feeling dwells in ice, Its very courage stagnates to a vice.[10]

XVI.

Where shall I turn me not to _view_ its bonds, For I will never _feel_ them?--Italy! Thy late reviving Roman soul desponds Beneath the lie this State-thing breathed o'er thee[11]-- Thy clanking chain, and Erin's yet green wounds, Have voices--tongues to cry aloud for me. Europe has slaves--allies--kings--armies still-- And Southey lives to sing them very ill.

XVII.

Meantime, Sir Laureate, I proceed to dedicate, In honest simple verse, this song to you. And, if in flattering strains I do not predicate, 'T is that I still retain my "buff and blue;"[12] My politics as yet are all to educate: Apostasy's so fashionable, too, To keep _one_ creed's a task grown quite Herculean; Is it not so, my Tory, ultra-Julian?[13]

Venice, Sept. 16, 1818.

FOOTNOTES:

{3}[1] ["As the Poem is to be published anonymously, _omit_ the Dedication. I won't attack the dog in the dark. Such things are for scoundrels and renegadoes like himself" [_Revise_]. See, too, letter to Murray, May 6, 1819 (_Letters_, 1900, iv. 294); and Southey's letter to Bedford, July 31, 1819 (_Selections from the Letters, etc._, 1856, in. 137, 138). According to the editor of the _Works of Lord Byron_, 1833 (xv. 101), the existence of the Dedication "became notorious" in consequence of Hobhouse's article in the _Westminster Review_, 1824. He adds, for Southey's consolation and encouragement, that "for several years the verses have been selling in the streets as a broadside," and that "it would serve no purpose to exclude them on the present occasion." But Southey was not appeased. He tells Allan Cunningham (June 3, 1833) that "the new edition of Byron's works is ... one of the very worst symptoms of these bad times" (_Life and Correspondence_, 1850, vi. 217).]

{4}[2] [In the "Critique on _Bertram_," which Coleridge contributed to the _Courier_, in 1816, and republished in the _Biographia Literaria_, in 1817 (chap, xxiii.), he gives a detailed analysis of "the old Spanish play, entitled _Atheista Fulminato [vide ante_, the 'Introduction to _Don Juan_'] ... which under various names (_Don Juan_, the _Libertine_, etc.) has had its day of favour in every country throughout Europe ... Rank, fortune, wit, talent, acquired knowledge, and liberal accomplishments, with beauty of person, vigorous health, and constitutional hardihood,--all these advantages, elevated by the habits and sympathies of noble birth and national character, are supposed to have combined in Don Juan, so as to give him the means of carrying into all its practical consequences the doctrine of a godless nature, as the sole ground and efficient cause not only of all things, events, and appearances, but likewise of all our thoughts, sensations, impulses, and actions. Obedience to nature is the only virtue." It is possible that Byron traced his own lineaments in this too life-like portraiture, and at the same time conceived the possibility of a new Don Juan, "made up" after his own likeness. His extreme resentment at Coleridge's just, though unwise and uncalled-for, attack on Maturin stands in need of some explanation. See letter to Murray, September 17, 1817 (_Letters_, 1900, iv. 172).]

[3] ["Have you heard that _Don Juan_ came over with a dedication to me, in which Lord Castlereagh and I (being hand in glove intimates) were coupled together for abuse as 'the two Roberts'? A fear of persecution (_sic_) from the _one_ Robert is supposed to be the reason why it has been suppressed" (Southey to Rev. H. Hill, August 13, 1819, _Selections from the Letters, etc._, 1856, iii. 142). For "Quarrel between Byron and Southey," see Introduction to _The Vision of Judgment_, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 475-480; and _Letters_, 1901, vi. 377-399 (Appendix I.).]

[4] [The reference must be to the detailed enumeration of "the powers requisite for the production of poetry," and the subsequent antithesis of Imagination and Fancy contained in the Preface to the collected _Poems of William Wordsworth_, published in 1815. In the Preface to the _Excursion_ (1814) it is expressly stated that "it is not the author's intention formally to announce a system."]

{5}[5] Wordsworth's place may be in the Customs--it is, I think, in that or the Excise--besides another at Lord Lonsdale's table, where this poetical charlatan and political parasite licks up the crumbs with a hardened alacrity; the converted Jacobin having long subsided into the clownish sycophant [_despised retainer_,--_MS. erased_] of the worst prejudices of the aristocracy.

[Wordsworth obtained his appointment as Distributor of Stamps for the county of Westmoreland in March, 1813, through Lord Lonsdale's "patronage" (see his letter, March 6, 1813). _The Excursion_ was dedicated to Lord Lonsdale in a sonnet dated July 29, 1814--

"Oft through thy fair domains, illustrious Peer, In youth I roamed ... Now, by thy care befriended, I appear Before thee, Lonsdale, and this Work present." ]

{6}[6] [_Paradise Lost_, vii. 25, 26.]

{7}[7] "Pale, but not cadaverous:"--Milton's two elder daughters are said to have robbed him of his books, besides cheating and plaguing him in the economy of his house, etc., etc. His feelings on such an outrage, both as a parent and a scholar, must have been singularly painful. Hayley compares him to Lear. See part third, _Life of Milton_, by W. Hayley (or Hailey, as spelt in the edition before me).

[_The Life of Milton_, by William Hailey (_sic_), Esq., Basil, 1799, p. 186.]

[8] Or--

"Would _he_ subside into a hackney Laureate-- A scribbling, self-sold, soul-hired, scorned Iscariot?"

I doubt if "Laureate" and "Iscariot" be good rhymes, but must say, as Ben Jonson did to Sylvester, who challenged him to rhyme with--

"I, John Sylvester, Lay with your sister."

Jonson answered--"I, Ben Jonson, lay with your wife." Sylvester answered,--"That is not rhyme."--"No," said Ben Jonson; "but it is _true_."

[For Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, see _The Age of Bronze_, line 538, _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 568, note 2; and _Letters_, 1900, iv. 108, note 1.]

{8}[9] For the character of Eutropius, the eunuch and minister at the court of Arcadius, see Gibbon, [_Decline and Fall_, 1825, ii. 307, 308].

[10] ["Mr. John Murray,--As publisher to the Admiralty and of various Government works, if the five stanzas concerning Castlereagh should risk your ears or the Navy List, you may omit them in the publication--in that case the two last lines of stanza 10 [_i.e_. 11] must end with the couplet (lines 7, 8) inscribed in the margin. The stanzas on Castlerighi (as the Italians call him) are 11, 12, 13, 14, 15."--_MS. M_.]

[11] [Commenting on a "pathetic sentiment" of Leoni, the author of the Italian translation of _Childe Harold_ ("Sciagurata condizione di questa mia patria!"), Byron affirms that the Italians execrated Castlereagh "as the cause, by the conduct of the English at Genoa." "Surely," he exclaims, "that man will not die in his bed: there is no spot of the earth where his name is not a hissing and a curse. Imagine what must be the man's talent for Odium, who has contrived to spread his infamy like a pestilence from Ireland to Italy, and to make his name an execration in all languages."--Letter to Murray, May 8, 1820, _Letters_, 1901, v. 22, note 1.]

{9}[12] [Charles James Fox and the Whig Club of his time adopted a uniform of blue and buff. Hence the livery of the _Edinburgh Review_.]

[13] I allude not to our friend Landor's hero, the traitor Count Julian, but to Gibbon's hero, vulgarly yclept "The Apostate."

DON JUAN

CANTO THE FIRST.[14]

I.

I WANT a hero: an uncommon want, When every year and month sends forth a new one, Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant, The age discovers he is not the true one; Of such as these I should not care to vaunt, I'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan-- We all have seen him, in the pantomime,[15] Sent to the Devil somewhat ere his time.

II.

Vernon,[16] the butcher Cumberland, Wolfe, Hawke, Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Keppel, Howe, Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk, And filled their sign-posts then, like Wellesley now; Each in their turn like Banquo's monarchs stalk, Followers of Fame, "nine farrow"[17] of that sow: France, too, had Buonaparté[18] and Dumourier[19] Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier.

III.

Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau, Petion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayette[20] Were French, and famous people, as we know; And there were others, scarce forgotten yet, Joubert, Hoche, Marceau, Lannes, Desaix, Moreau,[21] With many of the military set, Exceedingly remarkable at times, But not at all adapted to my rhymes.

IV.

Nelson was once Britannia's god of War, And still should be so, but the tide is turned; There's no more to be said of Trafalgar, 'T is with our hero quietly inurned; Because the army's grown more popular, At which the naval people are concerned; Besides, the Prince is all for the land-service. Forgetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe, and Jervis.

V.

Brave men were living before Agamemnon[22] And since, exceeding valorous and sage, A good deal like him too, though quite the same none; But then they shone not on the poet's page, And so have been forgotten:--I condemn none, But can't find any in the present age Fit for my poem (that is, for my new one); So, as I said, I'll take my friend Don Juan.

VI.

Most epic poets plunge _"in medias res"_[23] (Horace makes this the heroic turnpike road), And then your hero tells, whene'er you please, What went before--by way of episode, While seated after dinner at his ease, Beside his mistress in some soft abode, Palace, or garden, paradise, or cavern, Which serves the happy couple for a tavern.

VII.

That is the usual method, but not mine-- My way is to begin with the beginning; The regularity of my design Forbids all wandering as the worst of sinning, And therefore I shall open with a line (Although it cost me half an hour in spinning), Narrating somewhat of Don Juan's father, And also of his mother, if you'd rather.

VIII.

In Seville was he born, a pleasant city, Famous for oranges and women,--he Who has not seen it will be much to pity, So says the proverb[24]--and I quite agree; Of all the Spanish towns is none more pretty, Cadiz perhaps--but that you soon may see;-- Don Juan's parents lived beside the river, A noble stream, and called the Guadalquivir.

IX.

His father's name was José-_Don_, of course,-- A true Hidalgo, free from every stain Of Moor or Hebrew blood, he traced his source Through the most Gothic gentlemen of Spain; A better cavalier ne'er mounted horse, Or, being mounted, e'er got down again, Than José, who begot our hero, who Begot--but that's to come----Well, to renew:

X.[25]

His mother was a learnéd lady, famed For every branch of every science known-- In every Christian language ever named, With virtues equalled by her wit alone: She made the cleverest people quite ashamed, And even the good with inward envy groan, Finding themselves so very much exceeded, In their own way, by all the things that she did.

XI.

Her memory was a mine: she knew by heart All Calderon and greater part of Lopé; So, that if any actor missed his part, She could have served him for the prompter's copy; For her Feinagle's were an useless art,[26] And he himself obliged to shut up shop--he Could never make a memory so fine as That which adorned the brain of Donna Inez.

XII.

Her favourite science was the mathematical, Her noblest virtue was her magnanimity, Her wit (she sometimes tried at wit) was Attic all, Her serious sayings darkened to sublimity;[a] In short, in all things she was fairly what I call A prodigy--her morning dress was dimity, Her evening silk, or, in the summer, muslin, And other stuffs, with which I won't stay puzzling.

XIII.

She knew the Latin--that is, "the Lord's prayer," And Greek--the alphabet--I'm nearly sure; She read some French romances here and there, Although her mode of speaking was not pure; For native Spanish she had no great care, At least her conversation was obscure; Her thoughts were theorems, her words a problem, As if she deemed that mystery would ennoble 'em.

XIV.

She liked the English and the Hebrew tongue, And said there was analogy between 'em; She proved it somehow out of sacred song, But I must leave the proofs to those who've seen 'em; But this I heard her say, and can't be wrong, And all may think which way their judgments lean 'em, "'T is strange--the Hebrew noun which means 'I am,' The English always use to govern d--n."

XV.

Some women use their tongues--she _looked_ a lecture, Each eye a sermon, and her brow a homily, An all-in-all sufficient self-director, Like the lamented late Sir Samuel Romilly,[27] The Law's expounder, and the State's corrector, Whose suicide was almost an anomaly-- One sad example more, that "All is vanity,"-- (The jury brought their verdict in "Insanity!")

XVI.

In short, she was a walking calculation, Miss Edgeworth's novels stepping from their covers,[28] Or Mrs. Trimmer's books on education,[29] Or "Coelebs' Wife"[30] set out in quest of lovers, Morality's prim personification, In which not Envy's self a flaw discovers; To others' share let "female errors fall,"[31] For she had not even one--the worst of all.

XVII.

Oh! she was perfect past all parallel-- Of any modern female saint's comparison; So far above the cunning powers of Hell, Her Guardian Angel had given up his garrison; Even her minutest motions went as well As those of the best time-piece made by Harrison:[32] In virtues nothing earthly could surpass her, Save thine "incomparable oil," Macassar![33]

XVIII.

Perfect she was, but as perfection is Insipid in this naughty world of ours, Where our first parents never learned to kiss Till they were exiled from their earlier bowers, Where all was peace, and innocence, and bliss,[b] (I wonder how they got through the twelve hours), Don José, like a lineal son of Eve, Went plucking various fruit without her leave.

XIX.

He was a mortal of the careless kind, With no great love for learning, or the learned, Who chose to go where'er he had a mind, And never dreamed his lady was concerned; The world, as usual, wickedly inclined To see a kingdom or a house o'erturned, Whispered he had a mistress, some said _two_. But for domestic quarrels _one_ will do.

XX.

Now Donna Inez had, with all her merit, A great opinion of her own good qualities; Neglect, indeed, requires a saint to bear it, And such, indeed, she was in her moralities;[c] But then she had a devil of a spirit, And sometimes mixed up fancies with realities, And let few opportunities escape Of getting her liege lord into a scrape.

XXI.

This was an easy matter with a man Oft in the wrong, and never on his guard; And even the wisest, do the best they can, Have moments, hours, and days, so unprepared, That you might "brain them with their lady's fan;"[34] And sometimes ladies hit exceeding hard, And fans turn into falchions in fair hands, And why and wherefore no one understands.

XXII.

'T is pity learnéd virgins ever wed With persons of no sort of education, Or gentlemen, who, though well born and bred, Grow tired of scientific conversation: I don't choose to say much upon this head, I'm a plain man, and in a single station, But--Oh! ye lords of ladies intellectual, Inform us truly, have they not hen-pecked you all?

XXIII.

Don José and his lady quarrelled--_why_, Not any of the many could divine, Though several thousand people chose to try, 'T was surely no concern of theirs nor mine; I loathe that low vice--curiosity; But if there's anything in which I shine, 'T is in arranging all my friends' affairs, Not having, of my own, domestic cares.

XXIV.

And so I interfered, and with the best Intentions, but their treatment was not kind; I think the foolish people were possessed, For neither of them could I ever find, Although their porter afterwards confessed-- But that's no matter, and the worst's behind, For little Juan o'er me threw, down stairs, A pail of housemaid's water unawares.

XXV.

A little curly-headed, good-for-nothing, And mischief-making monkey from his birth; His parents ne'er agreed except in doting Upon the most unquiet imp on earth; Instead of quarrelling, had they been but both in Their senses, they'd have sent young master forth To school, or had him soundly whipped at home, To teach him manners for the time to come.

XXVI.

Don José and the Donna Inez led For some time an unhappy sort of life, Wishing each other, not divorced, but dead;[d] They lived respectably as man and wife, Their conduct was exceedingly well-bred, And gave no outward signs of inward strife, Until at length the smothered fire broke out, And put the business past all kind of doubt.

XXVII.

For Inez called some druggists and physicians, And tried to prove her loving lord was _mad_,[35] But as he had some lucid intermissions, She next decided he was only _bad_; Yet when they asked her for her depositions, No sort of explanation could be had, Save that her duty both to man and God[36] Required this conduct--which seemed very odd.[37]

XXVIII.

She kept a journal, where his faults were noted, And opened certain trunks of books and letters,[38] All which might, if occasion served, be quoted; And then she had all Seville for abettors, Besides her good old grandmother (who doted); The hearers of her case became repeaters, Then advocates, inquisitors, and judges, Some for amusement, others for old grudges.

XXIX.

And then this best and meekest woman bore With such serenity her husband's woes, Just as the Spartan ladies did of yore, Who saw their spouses killed, and nobly chose Never to say a word about them more-- Calmly she heard each calumny that rose, And saw _his_ agonies with such sublimity, That all the world exclaimed, "What magnanimity!"

XXX.

No doubt this patience, when the world is damning us, Is philosophic in our former friends; 'T is also pleasant to be deemed magnanimous, The more so in obtaining our own ends; And what the lawyers call a _"malus animus"_ Conduct like this by no means comprehends: Revenge in person's certainly no virtue, But then 't is not _my_ fault, if _others_ hurt you.

XXXI.

And if our quarrels should rip up old stories, And help them with a lie or two additional, _I_'m not to blame, as you well know--no more is Any one else--they were become traditional; Besides, their resurrection aids our glories By contrast, which is what we just were wishing all: And Science profits by this resurrection-- Dead scandals form good subjects for dissection.

XXXII.

Their friends had tried at reconciliation,[e] Then their relations, who made matters worse. ('T were hard to tell upon a like occasion To whom it may be best to have recourse-- I can't say much for friend or yet relation) The lawyers did their utmost for divorce,[f] But scarce a fee was paid on either side Before, unluckily, Don José died.

XXXIII.

He died: and most unluckily, because, According to all hints I could collect From Counsel learnéd in those kinds of laws, (Although their talk's obscure and circumspect) His death contrived to spoil a charming cause; A thousand pities also with respect To public feeling, which on this occasion Was manifested in a great sensation.

XXXIV.

But ah! he died; and buried with him lay The public feeling and the lawyers' fees: His house was sold, his servants sent away, A Jew took one of his two mistresses, A priest the other--at least so they say: I asked the doctors after his disease-- He died of the slow fever called the tertian, And left his widow to her own aversion.

XXXV.

Yet José was an honourable man, That I must say, who knew him very well; Therefore his frailties I'll no further scan, Indeed there were not many more to tell: And if his passions now and then outran Discretion, and were not so peaceable As Numa's (who was also named Pompilius), He had been ill brought up, and was born bilious.[g]

XXXVI.

Whate'er might be his worthlessness or worth, Poor fellow! he had many things to wound him. Let's own--since it can do no good on earth--[h] It was a trying moment that which found him Standing alone beside his desolate hearth, Where all his household gods lay shivered round him:[39] No choice was left his feelings or his pride, Save Death or Doctors' Commons--so he died.[i]

XXXVII.

Dying intestate, Juan was sole heir To a chancery suit, and messuages, and lands, Which, with a long minority and care, Promised to turn out well in proper hands: Inez became sole guardian, which was fair, And answered but to Nature's just demands; An only son left with an only mother Is brought up much more wisely than another.

XXXVIII.

Sagest of women, even of widows, she Resolved that Juan should be quite a paragon, And worthy of the noblest pedigree, (His Sire was of Castile, his Dam from Aragon) Then, for accomplishments of chivalry, In case our Lord the King should go to war again, He learned the arts of riding, fencing, gunnery, And how to scale a fortress--or a nunnery.

XXXIX.

But that which Donna Inez most desired, And saw into herself each day before all The learnéd tutors whom for him she hired, Was, that his breeding should be strictly moral: Much into all his studies she inquired, And so they were submitted first to her, all, Arts, sciences--no branch was made a mystery To Juan's eyes, excepting natural history.

XL.

The languages, especially the dead, The sciences, and most of all the abstruse, The arts, at least all such as could be said To be the most remote from common use, In all these he was much and deeply read: But not a page of anything that's loose, Or hints continuation of the species, Was ever suffered, lest he should grow vicious.

XLI.

His classic studies made a little puzzle, Because of filthy loves of gods and goddesses, Who in the earlier ages raised a bustle, But never put on pantaloons or bodices;[40] His reverend tutors had at times a tussle, And for their Æneids, Iliads, and Odysseys,[j] Were forced to make an odd sort of apology, For Donna Inez dreaded the Mythology.

XLII.

Ovid's a rake, as half his verses show him, Anacreon's morals are a still worse sample, Catullus scarcely has a decent poem, I don't think Sappho's Ode a good example, Although Longinus[41] tells us there is no hymn Where the Sublime soars forth on wings more ample; But Virgil's songs are pure, except that horrid one Beginning with _"Formosum Pastor Corydon."_[42]

XLIII.

Lucretius' irreligion is too strong For early stomachs, to prove wholesome food; I can't help thinking Juvenal was wrong, Although no doubt his real intent was good, For speaking out so plainly in his song, So much indeed as to be downright rude; And then what proper person can be partial To all those nauseous epigrams of Martial?

XLIV.

Juan was taught from out the best edition, Expurgated by learned men, who place, Judiciously, from out the schoolboy's vision, The grosser parts; but, fearful to deface Too much their modest bard by this omission,[k] And pitying sore his mutilated case, They only add them all in an appendix,[43] Which saves, in fact, the trouble of an index;

XLV.

For there we have them all "at one fell swoop," Instead of being scattered through the pages; They stand forth marshalled in a handsome troop, To meet the ingenuous youth of future ages, Till some less rigid editor shall stoop To call them back into their separate cages, Instead of standing staring all together, Like garden gods--and not so decent either.

XLVI.

The Missal too (it was the family Missal) Was ornamented in a sort of way Which ancient mass-books often are, and this all Kinds of grotesques illumined; and how they, Who saw those figures on the margin kiss all, Could turn their optics to the text and pray, Is more than I know--But Don Juan's mother Kept this herself, and gave her son another.

XLVII.

Sermons he read, and lectures he endured, And homilies, and lives of all the saints; To Jerome and to Chrysostom inured, He did not take such studies for restraints; But how Faith is acquired, and then insured, So well not one of the aforesaid paints As Saint Augustine in his fine Confessions, Which make the reader envy his transgressions.[44]

XLVIII.

This, too, was a sealed book to little Juan-- I can't but say that his mamma was right, If such an education was the true one. She scarcely trusted him from out her sight; Her maids were old, and if she took a new one, You might be sure she was a perfect fright; She did this during even her husband's life-- I recommend as much to every wife.

XLIX.

Young Juan waxed in goodliness and grace; At six a charming child, and at eleven With all the promise of as fine a face As e'er to Man's maturer growth was given: He studied steadily, and grew apace, And seemed, at least, in the right road to Heaven, For half his days were passed at church, the other Between his tutors, confessor, and mother.

L.

At six, I said, he was a charming child, At twelve he was a fine, but quiet boy; Although in infancy a little wild, They tamed him down amongst them: to destroy His natural spirit not in vain they toiled, At least it seemed so; and his mother's joy Was to declare how sage, and still, and steady, Her young philosopher was grown already.

LI.

I had my doubts, perhaps I have them still, But what I say is neither here nor there: I knew his father well, and have some skill In character--but it would not be fair From sire to son to augur good or ill: He and his wife were an ill-sorted pair-- But scandal's my aversion--I protest Against all evil speaking, even in jest.

LII.

For my part I say nothing--nothing--but _This_ I will say--my reasons are my own-- That if I had an only son to put To school (as God be praised that I have none), 'T is not with Donna Inez I would shut Him up to learn his catechism alone, No--no--I'd send him out betimes to college, For there it was I picked up my own knowledge.

LIII.

For there one learns--'t is not for me to boast, Though I acquired--but I pass over _that_, As well as all the Greek I since have lost: I say that there's the place--but "_Verbum sat_," I think I picked up too, as well as most, Knowledge of matters--but no matter _what_-- I never married--but, I think, I know That sons should not be educated so.

LIV.

Young Juan now was sixteen years of age, Tall, handsome, slender, but well knit: he seemed Active, though not so sprightly, as a page; And everybody but his mother deemed Him almost man; but she flew in a rage[45] And bit her lips (for else she might have screamed) If any said so--for to be precocious Was in her eyes a thing the most atrocious.

LV.

Amongst her numerous acquaintance, all Selected for discretion and devotion, There was the Donna Julia, whom to call Pretty were but to give a feeble notion Of many charms in her as natural As sweetness to the flower, or salt to Ocean, Her zone to Venus, or his bow to Cupid, (But this last simile is trite and stupid.)

LVI.

The darkness of her Oriental eye Accorded with her Moorish origin; (Her blood was not all Spanish; by the by, In Spain, you know, this is a sort of sin;) When proud Granada fell, and, forced to fly, Boabdil wept:[46] of Donna Julia's kin Some went to Africa, some stayed in Spain-- Her great great grandmamma chose to remain.

LVII.

She married (I forget the pedigree) With an Hidalgo, who transmitted down His blood less noble than such blood should be; At such alliances his sires would frown, In that point so precise in each degree That they bred _in and in_, as might be shown, Marrying their cousins--nay, their aunts, and nieces, Which always spoils the breed, if it increases.

LVIII.

This heathenish cross restored the breed again, Ruined its blood, but much improved its flesh; For from a root the ugliest in Old Spain Sprung up a branch as beautiful as fresh; The sons no more were short, the daughters plain: But there's a rumour which I fain would hush,[l] 'T is said that Donna Julia's grandmamma Produced her Don more heirs at love than law.

LIX.

However this might be, the race went on Improving still through every generation, Until it centred in an only son, Who left an only daughter; my narration May have suggested that this single one Could be but Julia (whom on this occasion I shall have much to speak about), and she Was married, charming, chaste, and twenty-three.

LX.

Her eye (I'm very fond of handsome eyes) Was large and dark, suppressing half its fire Until she spoke, then through its soft disguise Flashed an expression more of pride than ire, And love than either; and there would arise A something in them which was not desire, But would have been, perhaps, but for the soul Which struggled through and chastened down the whole.

LXI.

Her glossy hair was clustered o'er a brow Bright with intelligence, and fair, and smooth; Her eyebrow's shape was like the aërial bow, Her cheek all purple with the beam of youth, Mounting, at times, to a transparent glow, As if her veins ran lightning; she, in sooth, Possessed an air and grace by no means common: Her stature tall--I hate a dumpy woman.

LXII.

Wedded she was some years, and to a man Of fifty, and such husbands are in plenty; And yet, I think, instead of such a ONE 'T were better to have TWO of five-and-twenty, Especially in countries near the sun: And now I think on 't, "_mi vien in mente_", Ladies even of the most uneasy virtue Prefer a spouse whose age is short of thirty.[m]

LXIII.

'T is a sad thing, I cannot choose but say, And all the fault of that indecent sun, Who cannot leave alone our helpless clay, But will keep baking, broiling, burning on, That howsoever people fast and pray, The flesh is frail, and so the soul undone: What men call gallantry, and gods adultery, Is much more common where the climate's sultry,

LXIV.

Happy the nations of the moral North! Where all is virtue, and the winter season Sends sin, without a rag on, shivering forth ('T was snow that brought St. Anthony[47] to reason); Where juries cast up what a wife is worth, By laying whate'er sum, in mulct, they please on The lover, who must pay a handsome price, Because it is a marketable vice.

LXV.

Alfonso was the name of Julia's lord, A man well looking for his years, and who Was neither much beloved nor yet abhorred: They lived together as most people do, Suffering each other's foibles by accord, And not exactly either _one_ or _two_; Yet he was jealous, though he did not show it, For Jealousy dislikes the world to know it.

LXVI.

Julia was--yet I never could see why-- With Donna Inez quite a favourite friend; Between their tastes there was small sympathy, For not a line had Julia ever penned: Some people whisper (but, no doubt, they lie, For Malice still imputes some private end) That Inez had, ere Don Alfonso's marriage, Forgot with him her very prudent carriage;

LXVII.

And that still keeping up the old connection, Which Time had lately rendered much more chaste, She took his lady also in affection, And certainly this course was much the best: She flattered Julia with her sage protection, And complimented Don Alfonso's taste; And if she could not (who can?) silence scandal, At least she left it a more slender handle.

LXVIII.

I can't tell whether Julia saw the affair With other people's eyes, or if her own Discoveries made, but none could be aware Of this, at least no symptom e'er was shown; Perhaps she did not know, or did not care, Indifferent from the first, or callous grown: I'm really puzzled what to think or say, She kept her counsel in so close a way.

LXIX.

Juan she saw, and, as a pretty child, Caressed him often--such a thing might be Quite innocently done, and harmless styled, When she had twenty years, and thirteen he; But I am not so sure I should have smiled When he was sixteen, Julia twenty-three; These few short years make wondrous alterations, Particularly amongst sun-burnt nations.

LXX.

Whate'er the cause might be, they had become Changed; for the dame grew distant, the youth shy, Their looks cast down, their greetings almost dumb, And much embarrassment in either eye; There surely will be little doubt with some That Donna Julia knew the reason why, But as for Juan, he had no more notion Than he who never saw the sea of Ocean.

LXXI.

Yet Julia's very coldness still was kind, And tremulously gentle her small hand Withdrew itself from his, but left behind A little pressure, thrilling, and so bland And slight, so very slight, that to the mind 'T was but a doubt; but ne'er magician's wand Wrought change with all Armida's[48] fairy art Like what this light touch left on Juan's heart.

LXXII.

And if she met him, though she smiled no more, She looked a sadness sweeter than her smile, As if her heart had deeper thoughts in store She must not own, but cherished more the while For that compression in its burning core; Even Innocence itself has many a wile, And will not dare to trust itself with truth, And Love is taught hypocrisy from youth.

LXXIII.

But Passion most dissembles, yet betrays Even by its darkness; as the blackest sky Foretells the heaviest tempest, it displays Its workings through the vainly guarded eye, And in whatever aspect it arrays Itself, 't is still the same hypocrisy; Coldness or Anger, even Disdain or Hate, Are masks it often wears, and still too late.

LXXIV.

Then there were sighs, the deeper for suppression, And stolen glances, sweeter for the theft, And burning blushes, though for no transgression, Tremblings when met, and restlessness when left; All these are little preludes to possession, Of which young Passion cannot be bereft, And merely tend to show how greatly Love is Embarrassed at first starting with a novice.

LXXV.

Poor Julia's heart was in an awkward state; She felt it going, and resolved to make The noblest efforts for herself and mate, For Honour's, Pride's, Religion's, Virtue's sake: Her resolutions were most truly great, And almost might have made a Tarquin quake: She prayed the Virgin Mary for her grace, As being the best judge of a lady's case.[49]

LXXVI.

She vowed she never would see Juan more, And next day paid a visit to his mother, And looked extremely at the opening door, Which, by the Virgin's grace, let in another; Grateful she was, and yet a little sore-- Again it opens, it can be no other, 'T is surely Juan now--No! I'm afraid That night the Virgin was no further prayed.[50]

LXXVII.

She now determined that a virtuous woman Should rather face and overcome temptation, That flight was base and dastardly, and no man Should ever give her heart the least sensation, That is to say, a thought beyond the common Preference, that we must feel, upon occasion, For people who are pleasanter than others, But then they only seem so many brothers.

LXXVIII.

And even if by chance--and who can tell? The Devil's so very sly--she should discover That all within was not so very well, And, if still free, that such or such a lover Might please perhaps, a virtuous wife can quell Such thoughts, and be the better when they're over; And if the man should ask, 't is but denial: I recommend young ladies to make trial.

LXXIX.

And, then, there are such things as Love divine, Bright and immaculate, unmixed and pure, Such as the angels think so very fine, And matrons, who would be no less secure, Platonic, perfect, "just such love as mine;" Thus Julia said--and thought so, to be sure; And so I'd have her think, were _I_ the man On whom her reveries celestial ran.

LXXX.

Such love is innocent, and may exist Between young persons without any danger. A hand may first, and then a lip be kissed; For my part, to such doings I'm a stranger, But _hear_ these freedoms form the utmost list Of all o'er which such love may be a ranger: If people go beyond, 't is quite a crime, But not my fault--I tell them all in time.

LXXXI.

Love, then, but Love within its proper limits, Was Julia's innocent determination In young Don Juan's favour, and to him its Exertion might be useful on occasion; And, lighted at too pure a shrine to dim its Ethereal lustre, with what sweet persuasion He might be taught, by Love and her together-- I really don't know what, nor Julia either.

LXXXII.

Fraught with this fine intention, and well fenced In mail of proof--her purity of soul[51]-- She, for the future, of her strength convinced, And that her honour was a rock, or mole,[n] Exceeding sagely from that hour dispensed With any kind of troublesome control; But whether Julia to the task was equal Is that which must be mentioned in the sequel.

LXXXIII.

Her plan she deemed both innocent and feasible, And, surely, with a stripling of sixteen Not Scandal's fangs could fix on much that's seizable, Or if they did so, satisfied to mean Nothing but what was good, her breast was peaceable-- A quiet conscience makes one so serene! Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded That all the Apostles would have done as they did.

LXXXIV.

And if in the mean time her husband died, But Heaven forbid that such a thought should cross Her brain, though in a dream! (and then she sighed) Never could she survive that common loss; But just suppose that moment should betide, I only say suppose it--_inter nos_: (This should be _entre nous_, for Julia thought In French, but then the rhyme would go for nought.)

LXXXV.

I only say, suppose this supposition: Juan being then grown up to man's estate Would fully suit a widow of condition, Even seven years hence it would not be too late; And in the interim (to pursue this vision) The mischief, after all, could not be great, For he would learn the rudiments of Love, I mean the _seraph_ way of those above.

LXXXVI.

So much for Julia! Now we'll turn to Juan. Poor little fellow! he had no idea Of his own case, and never hit the true one; In feelings quick as Ovid's Miss Medea,[52] He puzzled over what he found a new one, But not as yet imagined it could be a Thing quite in course, and not at all alarming, Which, with a little patience, might grow charming.

LXXXVII.

Silent and pensive, idle, restless, slow, His home deserted for the lonely wood, Tormented with a wound he could not know, His, like all deep grief, plunged in solitude: I'm fond myself of solitude or so, But then, I beg it may be understood, By solitude I mean a Sultan's (not A Hermit's), with a haram for a grot.

LXXXVIII.

"Oh Love! in such a wilderness as this, Where Transport and Security entwine, Here is the Empire of thy perfect bliss, And here thou art a God indeed divine."[53] The bard I quote from does not sing amiss, With the exception of the second line, For that same twining "Transport and Security" Are twisted to a phrase of some obscurity.

LXXXIX.

The Poet meant, no doubt, and thus appeals To the good sense and senses of mankind, The very thing which everybody feels, As all have found on trial, or may find, That no one likes to be disturbed at meals Or love.--I won't say more about "entwined" Or "Transport," as we knew all that before, But beg "Security" will bolt the door.

XC.

Young Juan wandered by the glassy brooks, Thinking unutterable things; he threw Himself at length within the leafy nooks Where the wild branch of the cork forest grew; There poets find materials for their books, And every now and then we read them through, So that their plan and prosody are eligible, Unless, like Wordsworth, they prove unintelligible.

XCI.

He, Juan (and not Wordsworth), so pursued His self-communion with his own high soul, Until his mighty heart, in its great mood, Had mitigated part, though not the whole Of its disease; he did the best he could With things not very subject to control, And turned, without perceiving his condition, Like Coleridge, into a metaphysician.[54]

XCII.

He thought about himself, and the whole earth, Of man the wonderful, and of the stars, And how the deuce they ever could have birth: And then he thought of earthquakes, and of wars, How many miles the moon might have in girth, Of air-balloons, and of the many bars To perfect knowledge of the boundless skies;-- And then he thought of Donna Julia's eyes.

XCIII.

In thoughts like these true Wisdom may discern Longings sublime, and aspirations high, Which some are born with, but the most part learn To plague themselves withal, they know not why: 'T was strange that one so young should thus concern His brain about the action of the sky;[o] If _you_ think 't was Philosophy that this did, I can't help thinking puberty assisted.

XCIV.

He pored upon the leaves, and on the flowers, And heard a voice in all the winds; and then He thought of wood-nymphs and immortal bowers, And how the goddesses came down to men: He missed the pathway, he forgot the hours, And when he looked upon his watch again, He found how much old Time had been a winner-- He also found that he had lost his dinner.

XCV.

Sometimes he turned to gaze upon his book, Boscan,[55] or Garcilasso;[56]--by the wind Even as the page is rustled while we look, So by the poesy of his own mind Over the mystic leaf his soul was shook, As if 't were one whereon magicians bind Their spells, and give them to the passing gale, According to some good old woman's tale.

XCVI.

Thus would he while his lonely hours away Dissatisfied, not knowing what he wanted; Nor glowing reverie, nor poet's lay, Could yield his spirit that for which it panted, A bosom whereon he his head might lay, And hear the heart beat with the love it granted, With----several other things, which I forget, Or which, at least, I need not mention yet.

XCVII.

Those lonely walks, and lengthening reveries, Could not escape the gentle Julia's eyes; She saw that Juan was not at his ease; But that which chiefly may, and must surprise, Is, that the Donna Inez did not tease Her only son with question or surmise; Whether it was she did not see, or would not, Or, like all very clever people, could not.

XCVIII.

This may seem strange, but yet 't is very common; For instance--gentlemen, whose ladies take Leave to o'erstep the written rights of Woman, And break the----Which commandment is 't they break? (I have forgot the number, and think no man Should rashly quote, for fear of a mistake;) I say, when these same gentlemen are jealous, They make some blunder, which their ladies tell us.

XCIX.

A real husband always is suspicious, But still no less suspects in the wrong place,[p] Jealous of some one who had no such wishes, Or pandering blindly to his own disgrace, By harbouring some dear friend extremely vicious; The last indeed's infallibly the case: And when the spouse and friend are gone off wholly, He wonders at their vice, and not his folly.

C.

Thus parents also are at times short-sighted: Though watchful as the lynx, they ne'er discover, The while the wicked world beholds delighted, Young Hopeful's mistress, or Miss Fanny's lover, Till some confounded escapade has blighted The plan of twenty years, and all is over; And then the mother cries, the father swears, And wonders why the devil he got heirs.

CI.

But Inez was so anxious, and so clear Of sight, that I must think, on this occasion, She had some other motive much more near For leaving Juan to this new temptation, But what that motive was, I sha'n't say here; Perhaps to finish Juan's education, Perhaps to open Don Alfonso's eyes, In case he thought his wife too great a prize.

CII.

It was upon a day, a summer's day;-- Summer's indeed a very dangerous season, And so is spring about the end of May; The sun, no doubt, is the prevailing reason; But whatsoe'er the cause is, one may say, And stand convicted of more truth than treason, That there are months which nature grows more merry in,-- March has its hares, and May must have its heroine.

CIII.

'T was on a summer's day--the sixth of June: I like to be particular in dates, Not only of the age, and year, but moon; They are a sort of post-house, where the Fates Change horses, making History change its tune,[q] Then spur away o'er empires and o'er states, Leaving at last not much besides chronology, Excepting the post-obits of theology.[r]

CIV.

'T was on the sixth of June, about the hour Of half-past six--perhaps still nearer seven-- When Julia sate within as pretty a bower As e'er held houri in that heathenish heaven Described by Mahomet, and Anacreon Moore,[57] To whom the lyre and laurels have been given, With all the trophies of triumphant song-- He won them well, and may he wear them long!

CV.

She sate, but not alone; I know not well How this same interview had taken place, And even if I knew, I should not tell-- People should hold their tongues in any case; No matter how or why the thing befell, But there were she and Juan, face to face-- When two such faces are so, 't would be wise, But very difficult, to shut their eyes.

CVI.

How beautiful she looked! her conscious heart Glowed in her cheek, and yet she felt no wrong: Oh Love! how perfect is thy mystic art, Strengthening the weak, and trampling on the strong! How self-deceitful is the sagest part Of mortals whom thy lure hath led along!-- The precipice she stood on was immense, So was her creed in her own innocence.[s]

CVII.

She thought of her own strength, and Juan's youth, And of the folly of all prudish fears, Victorious Virtue, and domestic Truth, And then of Don Alfonso's fifty years: I wish these last had not occurred, in sooth, Because that number rarely much endears, And through all climes, the snowy and the sunny, Sounds ill in love, whate'er it may in money.

CVIII.

When people say, "I've told you _fifty_ times," They mean to scold, and very often do; When poets say, "I've written _fifty_ rhymes," They make you dread that they 'll recite them too; In gangs of _fifty_, thieves commit their crimes; At _fifty_ love for love is rare, 't is true, But then, no doubt, it equally as true is, A good deal may be bought for _fifty_ Louis.

CIX.

Julia had honour, virtue, truth, and love For Don Alfonso; and she inly swore, By all the vows below to Powers above, She never would disgrace the ring she wore, Nor leave a wish which wisdom might reprove; And while she pondered this, besides much more, One hand on Juan's carelessly was thrown, Quite by mistake--she thought it was her own;

CX.

Unconsciously she leaned upon the other, Which played within the tangles of her hair; And to contend with thoughts she could not smother She seemed by the distraction of her air. 'T was surely very wrong in Juan's mother To leave together this imprudent pair,[t] She who for many years had watched her son so-- I'm very certain _mine_ would not have done so.

CXI.

The hand which still held Juan's, by degrees Gently, but palpably confirmed its grasp, As if it said, "Detain me, if you please;" Yet there's no doubt she only meant to clasp His fingers with a pure Platonic squeeze; She would have shrunk as from a toad, or asp, Had she imagined such a thing could rouse A feeling dangerous to a prudent spouse.

CXII.

I cannot know what Juan thought of this, But what he did, is much what you would do; His young lip thanked it with a grateful kiss, And then, abashed at its own joy, withdrew In deep despair, lest he had done amiss,-- Love is so very timid when 't is new: She blushed, and frowned not, but she strove to speak, And held her tongue, her voice was grown so weak.

CXIII.

The sun set, and up rose the yellow moon: The Devil's in the moon for mischief; they Who called her CHASTE, methinks, began too soon Their nomenclature; there is not a day, The longest, not the twenty-first of June, Sees half the business in a wicked way, On which three single hours of moonshine smile-- And then she looks so modest all the while!

CXIV.

There is a dangerous silence in that hour, A stillness, which leaves room for the full soul To open all itself, without the power Of calling wholly back its self-control; The silver light which, hallowing tree and tower, Sheds beauty and deep softness o'er the whole, Breathes also to the heart, and o'er it throws A loving languor, which is not repose.

CXV.

And Julia sate with Juan, half embraced And half retiring from the glowing arm, Which trembled like the bosom where 't was placed; Yet still she must have thought there was no harm, Or else 't were easy to withdraw her waist; But then the situation had its charm, And then--God knows what next--I can't go on; I'm almost sorry that I e'er begun.

CXVI.

Oh Plato! Plato! you have paved the way, With your confounded fantasies, to more Immoral conduct by the fancied sway Your system feigns o'er the controlless core Of human hearts, than all the long array Of poets and romancers:--You're a bore, A charlatan, a coxcomb--and have been, At best, no better than a go-between.

CXVII.

And Julia's voice was lost, except in sighs, Until too late for useful conversation; The tears were gushing from her gentle eyes, I wish, indeed, they had not had occasion; But who, alas! can love, and then be wise? Not that Remorse did not oppose Temptation; A little still she strove, and much repented, And whispering "I will ne'er consent"--consented.

CXVIII.

'T is said that Xerxes offered a reward[58] To those who could invent him a new pleasure: Methinks the requisition's rather hard, And must have cost his Majesty a treasure: For my part, I'm a moderate-minded bard, Fond of a little love (which I call leisure); I care not for new pleasures, as the old Are quite enough for me, so they but hold.

CXIX.

Oh Pleasure! you're indeed a pleasant thing,[59] Although one must be damned for you, no doubt: I make a resolution every spring Of reformation, ere the year run out, But somehow, this my vestal vow takes wing, Yet still, I trust, it may be kept throughout: I'm very sorry, very much ashamed, And mean, next winter, to be quite reclaimed.

CXX.

Here my chaste Muse a liberty must take-- Start not! still chaster reader--she'll be nice hence- Forward, and there is no great cause to quake; This liberty is a poetic licence, Which some irregularity may make In the design, and as I have a high sense Of Aristotle and the Rules, 't is fit To beg his pardon when I err a bit.

CXXI.

This licence is to hope the reader will Suppose from June the sixth (the fatal day, Without whose epoch my poetic skill For want of facts would all be thrown away), But keeping Julia and Don Juan still In sight, that several months have passed; we'll say 'T was in November, but I'm not so sure About the day--the era's more obscure.

CXXII.

We'll talk of that anon.--'T is sweet to hear At midnight on the blue and moonlit deep The song and oar of Adria's gondolier,[60] By distance mellowed, o'er the waters sweep; 'T is sweet to see the evening star appear; 'T is sweet to listen as the night-winds creep From leaf to leaf; 't is sweet to view on high The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky.

CXXIII.

'T is sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home; 'T is sweet to know there is an eye will mark Our coming, and look brighter when we come;[u] 'T is sweet to be awakened by the lark, Or lulled by falling waters; sweet the hum Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds, The lisp of children, and their earliest words.

CXXIV.

Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth, Purple and gushing: sweet are our escapes From civic revelry to rural mirth; Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps, Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth, Sweet is revenge--especially to women-- Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen.

CXXV.

Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet[v] The unexpected death of some old lady, Or gentleman of seventy years complete, Who've made "us youth"[61] wait too--too long already, For an estate, or cash, or country seat, Still breaking, but with stamina so steady, That all the Israelites are fit to mob its Next owner for their double-damned post-obits.[w]

CXXVI.

'T is sweet to win, no matter how, one's laurels, By blood or ink; 't is sweet to put an end To strife; 't is sometimes sweet to have our quarrels, Particularly with a tiresome friend: Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels; Dear is the helpless creature we defend Against the world; and dear the schoolboy spot[62] We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot.

CXXVII.

But sweeter still than this, than these, than all, Is first and passionate Love--it stands alone, Like Adam's recollection of his fall; The Tree of Knowledge has been plucked--all 's known-- And Life yields nothing further to recall Worthy of this ambrosial sin, so shown, No doubt in fable, as the unforgiven Fire which Prometheus filched for us from Heaven.

CXXVIII.

Man's a strange animal, and makes strange use Of his own nature, and the various arts, And likes particularly to produce Some new experiment to show his parts; This is the age of oddities let loose, Where different talents find their different marts; You'd best begin with truth, and when you've lost your Labour, there's a sure market for imposture.

CXXIX.

What opposite discoveries we have seen! (Signs of true genius, and of empty pockets.) One makes new noses[63], one a guillotine, One breaks your bones, one sets them in their sockets; But Vaccination certainly has been A kind antithesis to Congreve's rockets,[64] With which the Doctor paid off an old pox, By borrowing a new one from an ox.[65]

CXXX.

Bread has been made (indifferent) from potatoes: And Galvanism has set some corpses grinning,[66] But has not answered like the apparatus Of the Humane Society's beginning, By which men are unsuffocated gratis: What wondrous new machines have late been spinning! I said the small-pox has gone out of late; Perhaps it may be followed by the great.[67]

CXXXI.

'T is said the great came from America; Perhaps it may set out on its return,-- The population there so spreads, they say 'T is grown high time to thin it in its turn, With war, or plague, or famine--any way, So that civilisation they may learn; And which in ravage the more loathsome evil is-- Their real _lues,_ or our pseudo-syphilis?

CXXXII.

This is the patent age of new inventions For killing bodies, and for saving souls, All propagated with the best intentions: Sir Humphry Davy's lantern,[68] by which coals Are safely mined for in the mode he mentions, Tombuctoo travels,[69] voyages to the Poles[70] Are ways to benefit mankind, as true, Perhaps, as shooting them at Waterloo.

CXXXIII.

Man's a phenomenon, one knows not what, And wonderful beyond all wondrous measure; 'T is pity though, in this sublime world, that Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes Sin's a pleasure;[x] Few mortals know what end they would be at, But whether Glory, Power, or Love, or Treasure, The path is through perplexing ways, and when The goal is gained, we die, you know--and then----

CXXXIV.

What then?--I do not know, no more do you-- And so good night.--Return we to our story: 'T was in November, when fine days are few, And the far mountains wax a little hoary, And clap a white cape on their mantles blue;[y] And the sea dashes round the promontory, And the loud breaker boils against the rock, And sober suns must set at five o'clock.

CXXXV.

'T was, as the watchmen say, a cloudy night;[z] No moon, no stars, the wind was low or loud By gusts, and many a sparkling hearth was bright With the piled wood, round which the family crowd; There's something cheerful in that sort of light, Even as a summer sky's without a cloud: I'm fond of fire, and crickets, and all that,[aa][71] A lobster salad[72], and champagne, and chat.

CXXXVI.

'T was midnight--Donna Julia was in bed, Sleeping, most probably,--when at her door Arose a clatter might awake the dead, If they had never been awoke before, And that they have been so we all have read, And are to be so, at the least, once more;-- The door was fastened, but with voice and fist First knocks were heard, then "Madam--Madam--hist!

CXXXVII.

"For God's sake, Madam--Madam--here's my master,[73] With more than half the city at his back--Was ever heard of such a curst disaster! 'T is not my fault--I kept good watch--Alack! Do pray undo the bolt a little faster-- They're on the stair just now, and in a crack Will all be here; perhaps he yet may fly-- Surely the window's not so _very_ high!"

CXXXVIII.

By this time Don Alfonso was arrived, With torches, friends, and servants in great number; The major part of them had long been wived, And therefore paused not to disturb the slumber Of any wicked woman, who contrived By stealth her husband's temples to encumber: Examples of this kind are so contagious, Were _one_ not punished, _all_ would be outrageous.

CXXXIX.

I can't tell how, or why, or what suspicion Could enter into Don Alfonso's head; But for a cavalier of his condition It surely was exceedingly ill-bred, Without a word of previous admonition, To hold a levee round his lady's bed, And summon lackeys, armed with fire and sword, To prove himself the thing he most abhorred.

CXL.

Poor Donna Julia! starting as from sleep, (Mind--that I do not say--she had not slept), Began at once to scream, and yawn, and weep; Her maid, Antonia, who was an adept, Contrived to fling the bed-clothes in a heap, As if she had just now from out them crept:[ab] I can't tell why she should take all this trouble To prove her mistress had been sleeping double.

CXLI.

But Julia mistress, and Antonia maid, Appeared like two poor harmless women, who Of goblins, but still more of men afraid, Had thought one man might be deterred by two, And therefore side by side were gently laid, Until the hours of absence should run through, And truant husband should return, and say, "My dear,--I was the first who came away."

CXLII.

Now Julia found at length a voice, and cried, "In Heaven's name, Don Alfonso, what d' ye mean? Has madness seized you? would that I had died Ere such a monster's victim I had been![ac] What may this midnight violence betide, A sudden fit of drunkenness or spleen? Dare you suspect me, whom the thought would kill? Search, then, the room!"--Alfonso said, "I will."

CXLIII.

_He_ searched, _they_ searched, and rummaged everywhere, Closet and clothes' press, chest and window-seat, And found much linen, lace, and several pair Of stockings, slippers, brushes, combs, complete, With other articles of ladies fair, To keep them beautiful, or leave them neat: Arras they pricked and curtains with their swords, And wounded several shutters, and some boards.

CXLIV.

Under the bed they searched, and there they found-- No matter what--it was not that they sought; They opened windows, gazing if the ground Had signs or footmarks, but the earth said nought; And then they stared each others' faces round: 'T is odd, not one of all these seekers thought, And seems to me almost a sort of blunder, Of looking _in_ the bed as well as under.

CXLV.

During this inquisition Julia's tongue[ad] Was not asleep--"Yes, search and search," she cried, "Insult on insult heap, and wrong on wrong! It was for this that I became a bride! For this in silence I have suffered long A husband like Alfonso at my side; But now I'll bear no more, nor here remain, If there be law or lawyers in all Spain.

CXLVI.

"Yes, Don Alfonso! husband now no more, If ever you indeed deserved the name, Is 't worthy of your years?--you have threescore-- Fifty, or sixty, it is all the same-- Is 't wise or fitting, causeless to explore For facts against a virtuous woman's fame? Ungrateful, perjured, barbarous Don Alfonso, How dare you think your lady would go on so?

CXLVII.

"Is it for this I have disdained to hold The common privileges of my sex? That I have chosen a confessor so old And deaf, that any other it would vex, And never once he has had cause to scold, But found my very innocence perplex So much, he always doubted I was married-- How sorry you will be when I've miscarried!

CXLVIII.

"Was it for this that no Cortejo[74] e'er I yet have chosen from out the youth of Seville? Is it for this I scarce went anywhere, Except to bull-fights, mass, play, rout, and revel? Is it for this, whate'er my suitors were, I favoured none--nay, was almost uncivil? Is it for this that General Count O'Reilly, Who took Algiers,[75] declares I used him vilely?

CXLIX.

"Did not the Italian _Musico_ Cazzani Sing at my heart six months at least in vain? Did not his countryman, Count Corniani,[76] Call me the only virtuous wife in Spain? Were there not also Russians, English, many? The Count Strongstroganoff I put in pain, And Lord Mount Coffeehouse, the Irish peer, Who killed himself for love (with wine) last year.

CL.

"Have I not had two bishops at my feet? The Duke of Ichar, and Don Fernan Nunez; And is it thus a faithful wife you treat? I wonder in what quarter now the moon is: I praise your vast forbearance not to beat Me also, since the time so opportune is-- Oh, valiant man! with sword drawn and cocked trigger, Now, tell me, don't you cut a pretty figure?

CLI.

"Was it for this you took your sudden journey, Under pretence of business indispensable With that sublime of rascals your attorney, Whom I see standing there, and looking sensible Of having played the fool? though both I spurn, he Deserves the worst, his conduct's less defensible, Because, no doubt, 't was for his dirty fee, And not from any love to you nor me.

CLII.

"If he comes here to take a deposition, By all means let the gentleman proceed; You've made the apartment in a fit condition:-- There's pen and ink for you, sir, when you need-- Let everything be noted with precision, I would not you for nothing should be fee'd-- But, as my maid's undressed, pray turn your spies out." "Oh!" sobbed Antonia, "I could tear their eyes out."

CLIII.

"There is the closet, there the toilet, there The antechamber--search them under, over; There is the sofa, there the great arm-chair, The chimney--which would really hold a lover.[ae] I wish to sleep, and beg you will take care And make no further noise, till you discover The secret cavern of this lurking treasure-- And when 't is found, let me, too, have that pleasure.

CLIV.

"And now, Hidalgo! now that you have thrown Doubt upon me, confusion over all, Pray have the courtesy to make it known _Who_ is the man you search for? how d' ye call Him? what's his lineage? let him but be shown-- I hope he's young and handsome--is he tall? Tell me--and be assured, that since you stain My honour thus, it shall not be in vain.

CLV.

"At least, perhaps, he has not sixty years, At that age he would be too old for slaughter, Or for so young a husband's jealous fears-- (Antonia! let me have a glass of water.) I am ashamed of having shed these tears, They are unworthy of my father's daughter; My mother dreamed not in my natal hour, That I should fall into a monster's power.

CLVI.

"Perhaps 't is of Antonia you are jealous, You saw that she was sleeping by my side, When you broke in upon us with your fellows: Look where you please--we've nothing, sir, to hide; Only another time, I trust, you'll tell us, Or for the sake of decency abide A moment at the door, that we may be Dressed to receive so much good company.

CLVII.

"And now, sir, I have done, and say no more; The little I have said may serve to show The guileless heart in silence may grieve o'er[af] The wrongs to whose exposure it is slow:-- I leave you to your conscience as before, 'T will one day ask you _why_ you used me so? God grant you feel not then the bitterest grief!-- Antonia! where's my pocket-handkerchief?"

CLVIII.

She ceased, and turned upon her pillow; pale She lay, her dark eyes flashing through their tears, Like skies that rain and lighten; as a veil, Waved and o'ershading her wan cheek, appears Her streaming hair; the black curls strive, but fail To hide the glossy shoulder, which uprears Its snow through all;--her soft lips lie apart, And louder than her breathing beats her heart.

CLIX.

The Senhor Don Alfonso stood confused; Antonia bustled round the ransacked room, And, turning up her nose, with looks abused Her master, and his myrmidons, of whom Not one, except the attorney, was amused; He, like Achates, faithful to the tomb, So there were quarrels, cared not for the cause, Knowing they must be settled by the laws.

CLX.

With prying snub-nose, and small eyes, he stood, Following Antonia's motions here and there, With much suspicion in his attitude; For reputations he had little care; So that a suit or action were made good, Small pity had he for the young and fair, And ne'er believed in negatives, till these Were proved by competent false witnesses.

CLXI.

But Don Alfonso stood with downcast looks, And, truth to say, he made a foolish figure; When, after searching in five hundred nooks, And treating a young wife with so much rigour, He gained no point, except some self-rebukes, Added to those his lady with such vigour Had poured upon him for the last half-hour, Quick, thick, and heavy--as a thunder-shower.

CLXII.

At first he tried to hammer an excuse, To which the sole reply was tears, and sobs, And indications of hysterics, whose Prologue is always certain throes, and throbs, Gasps, and whatever else the owners choose: Alfonso saw his wife, and thought of Job's;[77] He saw too, in perspective, her relations, And then he tried to muster all his patience.

CLXIII.

He stood in act to speak, or rather stammer, But sage Antonia cut him short before The anvil of his speech received the hammer, With "Pray, sir, leave the room, and say no more, Or madam dies."--Alfonso muttered, "D--n her,"[78] But nothing else, the time of words was o'er; He cast a rueful look or two, and did, He knew not wherefore, that which he was bid.

CLXIV.

With him retired his _"posse comitatus,"_ The attorney last, who lingered near the door Reluctantly, still tarrying there as late as Antonia let him--not a little sore At this most strange and unexplained "_hiatus_" In Don Alfonso's facts, which just now wore An awkward look; as he revolved the case, The door was fastened in his legal face.

CLXV.

No sooner was it bolted, than--Oh Shame! Oh Sin! Oh Sorrow! and Oh Womankind! How can you do such things and keep your fame, Unless this world, and t' other too, be blind? Nothing so dear as an unfilched good name! But to proceed--for there is more behind: With much heartfelt reluctance be it said, Young Juan slipped, half-smothered, from the bed.

CLXVI.

He had been hid--I don't pretend to say How, nor can I indeed describe the where-- Young, slender, and packed easily, he lay, No doubt, in little compass, round or square; But pity him I neither must nor may His suffocation by that pretty pair; 'T were better, sure, to die so, than be shut With maudlin Clarence in his Malmsey butt.[ag]

CLXVII.

And, secondly, I pity not, because He had no business to commit a sin, Forbid by heavenly, fined by human laws;-- At least 't was rather early to begin, But at sixteen the conscience rarely gnaws So much as when we call our old debts in At sixty years, and draw the accompts of evil, And find a deuced balance with the Devil.[ah]

CLXVIII.

Of his position I can give no notion: 'T is written in the Hebrew Chronicle, How the physicians, leaving pill and potion, Prescribed, by way of blister, a young belle, When old King David's blood grew dull in motion, And that the medicine answered very well; Perhaps 't was in a different way applied, For David lived, but Juan nearly died.

CLXIX.

What's to be done? Alfonso will be back The moment he has sent his fools away. Antonia's skill was put upon the rack, But no device could be brought into play-- And how to parry the renewed attack? Besides, it wanted but few hours of day: Antonia puzzled; Julia did not speak, But pressed her bloodless lip to Juan's cheek.

CLXX.

He turned his lip to hers, and with his hand Called back the tangles of her wandering hair; Even then their love they could not all command, And half forgot their danger and despair: Antonia's patience now was at a stand-- "Come, come, 't is no time now for fooling there," She whispered, in great wrath--"I must deposit This pretty gentleman within the closet:

CLXXI.

"Pray, keep your nonsense for some luckier night-- _Who_ can have put my master in this mood? What will become on 't--I'm in such a fright, The Devil's in the urchin, and no good-- Is this a time for giggling? this a plight? Why, don't you know that it may end in blood? You'll lose your life, and I shall lose my place, My mistress all, for that half-girlish face.

CLXXII.

"Had it but been for a stout cavalier[79] Of twenty-five or thirty--(come, make haste) But for a child, what piece of work is here! I really, madam, wonder at your taste-- (Come, sir, get in)--my master must be near: There, for the present, at the least, he's fast, And if we can but till the morning keep Our counsel--(Juan, mind, you must not sleep.)"

CLXXIII.

Now, Don Alfonso entering, but alone, Closed the oration of the trusty maid: She loitered, and he told her to be gone, An order somewhat sullenly obeyed; However, present remedy was none, And no great good seemed answered if she staid: Regarding both with slow and sidelong view, She snuffed the candle, curtsied, and withdrew.

CLXXIV.

Alfonso paused a minute--then begun Some strange excuses for his late proceeding; He would not justify what he had done, To say the best, it was extreme ill-breeding; But there were ample reasons for it, none Of which he specified in this his pleading: His speech was a fine sample, on the whole, Of rhetoric, which the learned call "_rigmarole._"

CLXXV.

Julia said nought; though all the while there rose A ready answer, which at once enables A matron, who her husband's foible knows, By a few timely words to turn the tables, Which, if it does not silence, still must pose,-- Even if it should comprise a pack of fables; 'T is to retort with firmness, and when he Suspects with _one_, do you reproach with _three_.

CLXXVI.

Julia, in fact, had tolerable grounds,-- Alfonso's loves with Inez were well known; But whether 't was that one's own guilt confounds-- But that can't be, as has been often shown, A lady with apologies abounds;-- It might be that her silence sprang alone From delicacy to Don Juan's ear, To whom she knew his mother's fame was dear.

CLXXVII.

There might be one more motive, which makes two; Alfonso ne'er to Juan had alluded,-- Mentioned his jealousy, but never who Had been the happy lover, he concluded, Concealed amongst his premises; 't is true, His mind the more o'er this its mystery brooded; To speak of Inez now were, one may say, Like throwing Juan in Alfonso's way.

CLXXVIII.

A hint, in tender cases, is enough; Silence is best: besides, there is a _tact_[80]-- (That modern phrase appears to me sad stuff, But it will serve to keep my verse compact)-- Which keeps, when pushed by questions rather rough, A lady always distant from the fact: The charming creatures lie with such a grace, There's nothing so becoming to the face.

CLXXIX.

They blush, and we believe them; at least I Have always done so; 't is of no great use, In any case, attempting a reply, For then their eloquence grows quite profuse; And when at length they're out of breath, they sigh, And cast their languid eyes down, and let loose A tear or two, and then we make it up; And then--and then--and then--sit down and sup.

CLXXX.

Alfonso closed his speech, and begged her pardon, Which Julia half withheld, and then half granted, And laid conditions he thought very hard on, Denying several little things he wanted: He stood like Adam lingering near his garden, With useless penitence perplexed and haunted;[ai] Beseeching she no further would refuse, When, lo! he stumbled o'er a pair of shoes.

CLXXXI.

A pair of shoes![81]--what then? not much, if they Are such as fit with ladies' feet, but these (No one can tell how much I grieve to say) Were masculine; to see them, and to seize, Was but a moment's act.--Ah! well-a-day! My teeth begin to chatter, my veins freeze! Alfonso first examined well their fashion, And then flew out into another passion.

CLXXXII.

He left the room for his relinquished sword, And Julia instant to the closet flew. "Fly, Juan, fly! for Heaven's sake--not a word-- The door is open--you may yet slip through The passage you so often have explored-- Here is the garden-key--Fly--fly--Adieu! Haste--haste! I hear Alfonso's hurrying feet-- Day has not broke--there's no one in the street."

CLXXXIII.

None can say that this was not good advice, The only mischief was, it came too late; Of all experience 't is the usual price, A sort of income-tax laid on by fate: Juan had reached the room-door in a trice, And might have done so by the garden-gate, But met Alfonso in his dressing-gown, Who threatened death--so Juan knocked him down.

CLXXXIV.

Dire was the scuffle, and out went the light; Antonia cried out "Rape!" and Julia "Fire!" But not a servant stirred to aid the fight. Alfonso, pommelled to his heart's desire, Swore lustily he'd be revenged this night; And Juan, too, blasphemed an octave higher; His blood was up: though young, he was a Tartar, And not at all disposed to prove a martyr.

CLXXXV.

Alfonso's sword had dropped ere he could draw it, And they continued battling hand to hand, For Juan very luckily ne'er saw it; His temper not being under great command, If at that moment he had chanced to claw it, Alfonso's days had not been in the land Much longer.--Think of husbands', lovers' lives! And how ye may be doubly widows--wives!

CLXXXVI.

Alfonso grappled to detain the foe, And Juan throttled him to get away, And blood ('t was from the nose) began to flow; At last, as they more faintly wrestling lay, Juan contrived to give an awkward blow, And then his only garment quite gave way; He fled, like Joseph, leaving it; but there, I doubt, all likeness ends between the pair.

CLXXXVII.

Lights came at length, and men, and maids, who found An awkward spectacle their eyes before; Antonia in hysterics, Julia swooned, Alfonso leaning, breathless, by the door; Some half-torn drapery scattered on the ground, Some blood, and several footsteps, but no more: Juan the gate gained, turned the key about, And liking not the inside, locked the out.

CLXXXVIII.

Here ends this canto.--Need I sing, or say, How Juan, naked, favoured by the night, Who favours what she should not, found his way,[aj] And reached his home in an unseemly plight? The pleasant scandal which arose next day, The nine days' wonder which was brought to light, And how Alfonso sued for a divorce, Were in the English newspapers, of course.

CLXXXIX.

If you would like to see the whole proceedings, The depositions, and the Cause at full, The names of all the witnesses, the pleadings Of Counsel to nonsuit, or to annul, There's more than one edition, and the readings Are various, but they none of them are dull: The best is that in short-hand ta'en by Gurney,[82] Who to Madrid on purpose made a journey.[83]

CXC.

But Donna Inez, to divert the train Of one of the most circulating scandals That had for centuries been known in Spain, At least since the retirement of the Vandals, First vowed (and never had she vowed in vain) To Virgin Mary several pounds of candles; And then, by the advice of some old ladies, She sent her son to be shipped off from Cadiz.

CXCI.

She had resolved that he should travel through All European climes, by land or sea, To mend his former morals, and get new, Especially in France and Italy-- (At least this is the thing most people do.) Julia was sent into a convent--she Grieved--but, perhaps, her feelings may be better[ak] Shown in the following copy of her Letter:--

CXCII.

"They tell me 't is decided you depart: 'T is wise--'t is well, but not the less a pain; I have no further claim on your young heart, Mine is the victim, and would be again: To love too much has been the only art I used;--I write in haste, and if a stain Be on this sheet, 't is not what it appears; My eyeballs burn and throb, but have no tears.

CXCIII.

"I loved, I love you, for this love have lost State, station, Heaven, Mankind's, my own esteem, And yet can not regret what it hath cost, So dear is still the memory of that dream; Yet, if I name my guilt, 't is not to boast, None can deem harshlier of me than I deem: I trace this scrawl because I cannot rest-- I've nothing to reproach, or to request.

CXCIV.

"Man's love is of man's life a thing apart,[al] 'T is a Woman's whole existence; Man may range The Court, Camp, Church, the Vessel, and the Mart; Sword, Gown, Gain, Glory, offer in exchange Pride, Fame, Ambition, to fill up his heart, And few there are whom these can not estrange; Men have all these resources, We but one,[84] To love again, and be again undone."[am]

CXCV.

"You will proceed in pleasure, and in pride,[an] Beloved and loving many; all is o'er For me on earth, except some years to hide My shame and sorrow deep in my heart's core: These I could bear, but cannot cast aside The passion which still rages as before,-- And so farewell--forgive me, love me--No, That word is idle now--but let it go.[ao]

CXCVI.

"My breast has been all weakness, is so yet; But still I think I can collect my mind;[ap] My blood still rushes where my spirit's set, As roll the waves before the settled wind; My heart is feminine, nor can forget-- To all, except one image, madly blind; So shakes the needle, and so stands the pole, As vibrates my fond heart to my fixed soul.[aq]

CXCVII.

"I have no more to say, but linger still, And dare not set my seal upon this sheet, And yet I may as well the task fulfil, My misery can scarce be more complete; I had not lived till now, could sorrow kill; Death shuns the wretch who fain the blow would meet, And I must even survive this last adieu, And bear with life, to love and pray for you!"

CXCVIII.

This note was written upon gilt-edged paper With a neat little crow-quill, slight and new;[ar] Her small white hand could hardly reach the taper, It trembled as magnetic needles do, And yet she did not let one tear escape her; The seal a sun-flower; _"Elle vous suit partout,"_[85] The motto cut upon a white cornelian; The wax was superfine, its hue vermilion.

CXCIX.

This was Don Juan's earliest scrape; but whether I shall proceed with his adventures is Dependent on the public altogether; We'll see, however, what they say to this: Their favour in an author's cap's a feather, And no great mischief's done by their caprice; And if their approbation we experience, Perhaps they'll have some more about a year hence.

CC.

My poem's epic, and is meant to be Divided in twelve books; each book containing, With Love, and War, a heavy gale at sea, A list of ships, and captains, and kings reigning, New characters; the episodes are three:[as] A panoramic view of Hell's in training, After the style of Virgil and of Homer, So that my name of Epic's no misnomer.

CCI.

All these things will be specified in time, With strict regard to Aristotle's rules, The _Vade Mecum_ of the true sublime, Which makes so many poets, and some fools: Prose poets like blank-verse, I'm fond of rhyme, Good workmen never quarrel with their tools; I've got new mythological machinery, And very handsome supernatural scenery.

CCII.

There's only one slight difference between Me and my epic brethren gone before, And here the advantage is my own, I ween (Not that I have not several merits more, But this will more peculiarly be seen); They so embellish, that 't is quite a bore Their labyrinth of fables to thread through, Whereas this story's actually true.

CCIII.

If any person doubt it, I appeal To History, Tradition, and to Facts, To newspapers, whose truth all know and feel, To plays in five, and operas in three acts;[at] All these confirm my statement a good deal, But that which more completely faith exacts Is, that myself, and several now in Seville, _Saw_ Juan's last elopement with the Devil.

CCIV.

If ever I should condescend to prose, I'll write poetical commandments, which Shall supersede beyond all doubt all those That went before; in these I shall enrich My text with many things that no one knows, And carry precept to the highest pitch: I'll call the work "Longinus o'er a Bottle,[au] Or, Every Poet his _own_ Aristotle."

CCV.

Thou shalt believe in Milton, Dryden, Pope; Thou shalt not set up Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey; Because the first is crazed beyond all hope, The second drunk,[86] the third so quaint and mouthy: With Crabbe it may be difficult to cope, And Campbell's Hippocrene is somewhat drouthy: Thou shalt not steal from Samuel Rogers, nor Commit--flirtation with the muse of Moore.

CCVI.

Thou shalt not covet Mr. Sotheby's Muse, His Pegasus, nor anything that's his; Thou shalt not bear false witness like "the Blues"-- (There's _one_, at least, is very fond of this); Thou shalt not write, in short, but what I choose: This is true criticism, and you may kiss-- Exactly as you please, or not,--the rod; But if you don't, I'll lay it on, by G--d!

CCVII.

If any person should presume to assert This story is not moral, first, I pray, That they will not cry out before they're hurt, Then that they'll read it o'er again, and say (But, doubtless, nobody will be so pert) That this is not a moral tale, though gay: Besides, in Canto Twelfth, I mean to show The very place where wicked people go.

CCVIII.

If, after all, there should be some so blind To their own good this warning to despise, Led by some tortuosity of mind, Not to believe my verse and their own eyes, And cry that they "the moral cannot find," I tell him, if a clergyman, he lies; Should captains the remark, or critics, make, They also lie too--under a mistake.

CCIX.

The public approbation I expect, And beg they'll take my word about the moral, Which I with their amusement will connect (So children cutting teeth receive a coral); Meantime they'll doubtless please to recollect My epical pretensions to the laurel: For fear some prudish readers should grow skittish, I've bribed my Grandmother's Review--the British.[87]

CCX.

I sent it in a letter to the Editor, Who thanked me duly by return of post-- I'm for a handsome article his creditor; Yet, if my gentle Muse he please to roast, And break a promise after having made it her, Denying the receipt of what it cost, And smear his page with gall instead of honey, All I can say is--that he had the money.

CCXI.

I think that with this holy _new_ alliance I may ensure the public, and defy All other magazines of art or science, Daily, or monthly, or three monthly; I Have not essayed to multiply their clients, Because they tell me 't were in vain to try, And that the Edinburgh Review and Quarterly Treat a dissenting author very martyrly.

CCXII.

"_Non ego hoc ferrem calidus juventâ Consule Planco_"[88] Horace said, and so Say I; by which quotation there is meant a Hint that some six or seven good years ago (Long ere I dreamt of dating from the Brenta) I was most ready to return a blow, And would not brook at all this sort of thing In my hot youth--when George the Third was King.

CCXIII.

But now at thirty years my hair is grey-- (I wonder what it will be like at forty? I thought of a peruke the other day--)[av] My heart is not much greener; and, in short, I Have squandered my whole summer while 't was May, And feel no more the spirit to retort; I Have spent my life, both interest and principal, And deem not, what I deemed--my soul invincible.

CCXIV.

No more--no more--Oh! never more on me The freshness of the heart can fall like dew, Which out of all the lovely things we see Extracts emotions beautiful and new, Hived[89] in our bosoms like the bag o' the bee. Think'st thou the honey with those objects grew? Alas! 't was not in them, but in thy power To double even the sweetness of a flower.

CCXV.

No more--no more--Oh! never more, my heart, Canst thou be my sole world, my universe! Once all in all, but now a thing apart, Thou canst not be my blessing or my curse: The illusion's gone for ever, and thou art Insensible, I trust, but none the worse, And in thy stead I've got a deal of judgment, Though Heaven knows how it ever found a lodgment.

CCXVI.

My days of love are over; me no more[90] The charms of maid, wife, and still less of widow, Can make the fool of which they made before,-- In short, I must not lead the life I did do; The credulous hope of mutual minds is o'er, The copious use of claret is forbid too, So for a good old-gentlemanly vice, I think I must take up with avarice.

CCXVII.

Ambition was my idol, which was broken Before the shrines of Sorrow, and of Pleasure; And the two last have left me many a token O'er which reflection may be made at leisure: Now, like Friar Bacon's Brazen Head, I've spoken, "Time is, Time was, Time's past:"[91]--a chymic treasure Is glittering Youth, which I have spent betimes-- My heart in passion, and my head on rhymes.

CCXVIII.

What is the end of Fame? 't is but to fill A certain portion of uncertain paper: Some liken it to climbing up a hill, Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour;[92] For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill, And bards burn what they call their "midnight taper," To have, when the original is dust, A name, a wretched picture and worse bust.[aw][93]

CCXIX.

What are the hopes of man? Old Egypt's King Cheops erected the first Pyramid And largest, thinking it was just the thing To keep his memory whole, and mummy hid; But somebody or other rummaging, Burglariously broke his coffin's lid: Let not a monument give you or me hopes, Since not a pinch of dust remains of Cheops.[94]

CCXX.

But I, being fond of true philosophy, Say very often to myself, "Alas! All things that have been born were born to die, And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass; You've passed your youth not so unpleasantly, And if you had it o'er again--'t would pass-- So thank your stars that matters are no worse, And read your Bible, sir, and mind your purse."

CCXXI.

But for the present, gentle reader! and Still gentler purchaser! the Bard--that's I-- Must, with permission, shake you by the hand,[ax] And so--"your humble servant, and Good-bye!" We meet again, if we should understand Each other; and if not, I shall not try Your patience further than by this short sample-- 'T were well if others followed my example.

CCXXII.

"Go, little Book, from this my solitude! I cast thee on the waters--go thy ways! And if, as I believe, thy vein be good, The World will find thee after many days."[95] When Southey's read, and Wordsworth understood, I can't help putting in my claim to praise-- The four first rhymes are Southey's every line: For God's sake, reader! take them not for mine.

Nov. 1, 1818.

FOOTNOTES:

{11}[14] [Begun at Venice, September 6; finished November 1, 1818.]

[15] [The pantomime which Byron and his readers "all had seen," was an abbreviated and bowdlerized version of Shadwell's _Libertine_. "First produced by Mr. Garrick on the boards of Drury Lane Theatre," it was recomposed by Charles Anthony Delpini, and performed at the Royalty Theatre, in Goodman's Fields, in 1787. It was entitled _Don Juan; or, The Libertine Destroyed_: A Tragic Pantomimical Entertainment, In Two Acts. Music Composed by Mr. Gluck. "Scaramouch," the "Sganarelle" of Molière's _Festin de Pierre_, was a favourite character of Joseph Grimaldi. He was cast for the part, in 1801, at Sadler's Wells, and, again, on a memorable occasion, November 28, 1809, at Covent Garden Theatre, when the O.P. riots were in full swing, and (see the _Morning Chronicle_, November 29, 1809) "there was considerable tumult in the pit." According to "Boz" (_Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi_, 1846, ii. 81, 106, 107), Byron patronized Grimaldi's "benefits at Covent Garden," was repeatedly in his company, and when he left England, in 1816, "presented him with a valuable silver snuff-box." At the end of the pantomime "the Furies gather round him [Don Juan], and the Tyrant being bound in chains is hurried away and thrown into flames." The Devil is conspicuous by his absence.]

{12}[16] [Edward Vernon, Admiral (1684-1757), took Porto Bello in 1739.

William Augustus, second son of George II. (1721-1765), fought at the battles of Dettingen, 1743; Fontenoy, 1745; and at Culloden, 1746. For the "severity of the Duke of Cumberland," see Scott's _Tales of a Grandfather_, _Prose Works_, 1830, vii. 852, _sq_.

James Wolfe, General, born January 2, 1726, was killed at the siege of Quebec, September 13, 1759.

Edward, Lord Hawke, Admiral (1715-1781), totally defeated the French fleet in Quiberon Bay, November 20, 1759.

Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick (1721-1792), gained the victory at Minden, August 1, 1759.

John Manners, Marquess of Granby (1721-1790), commanded the British forces in Germany (1766-1769).

John Burgoyne, General, defeated the Americans at Germantown, October 3, 1777, but surrendered to General Gates at Saratoga, October 17, 1778. He died in 1792.

Augustus, Viscount Keppel, Admiral (1725-1786), was tried by court-martial, January-February, 1779, for allowing the French fleet off Ushant to escape, July, 1778. He was honourably acquitted.

Richard, Earl Howe, Admiral (1725-1799), known by the sailors as "Black Dick," defeated the French off Ushant, June 1, 1794.]

[17] [Compare _Macbeth_, act iv. sc. i, line 65.]

[18] ["In the eighth and concluding lecture of Mr. Hazlitt's canons of criticism, delivered at the Surrey Institution (_The English Poets_, 1870, pp. 203, 204), I am accused of having 'lauded Buonaparte to the skies in the hour of his success, and then peevishly wreaking my disappointment on the god of my idolatry.' The first lines I ever wrote upon Buonaparte were the 'Ode to Napoleon,' after his abdication in 1814. All that I have ever written on that subject has been done since his decline;--I never 'met him in the hour of his success.' I have considered his character at different periods, in its strength and in its weakness: by his zealots I am accused of injustice--by his enemies as his warmest partisan, in many publications, both English and foreign.

"For the accuracy of my delineation I have high authority. A year and some months ago, I had the pleasure of seeing at Venice my friend the honourable Douglas Kinnaird. In his way through Germany, he told me that he had been honoured with a presentation to, and some interviews with, one of the nearest family connections of Napoleon (Eugène Beauharnais). During one of these, he read and translated the lines alluding to Buonaparte, in the Third Canto of _Childe Harold_. He informed me, that he was authorized by the illustrious personage--(still recognized as such by the Legitimacy in Europe)--to whom they were read, to say, _that 'the delineation was complete,'_ or words to this effect. It is no puerile vanity which induces me to publish this fact;--but Mr. Hazlitt accuses my inconsistency, and infers my inaccuracy. Perhaps he will admit that, with regard to the latter, one of the most intimate family connections of the Emperor may be equally capable of deciding on the subject. I tell Mr. Hazlitt that I never flattered Napoleon on the throne, nor maligned him since his fall. I wrote what I think are the incredible antitheses of his character.

"Mr. Hazlitt accuses me further of delineating _myself_ in _Childe Harold_, etc., etc. I have denied this long ago--but, even were it true, Locke tells us, that all his knowledge of human understanding was derived from studying his own mind. From Mr. Hazlitt's opinion of my poetry I do not appeal; but I request that gentleman not to insult me by imputing the basest of crimes,--viz. 'praising publicly the same man whom I wished to depreciate in his adversity:'--the _first_ lines I ever wrote on Buonaparte were in his dispraise, in 1814,--the _last_, though not at all in his favour, were more impartial and discriminative, in 1818. Has he become more fortunate since 1814?" For Byron's various estimates of Napoleon's character and career, see _Childe Harold_, Canto III, stanza xxxvi. line 7, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 238, note 1.]

{13}[19] [Charles François Duperier Dumouriez (1739-1823) defeated the Austrians at Jemappes, November 6, 1792, etc. He published his _Mémoires_ (Hamburg et Leipsic), 1794. For the spelling, see _Memoirs of General Dumourier_, written by himself, translated by John Fenwick. London, 1794. See, too, _Lettre de Joseph Servan_, Ex-ministre de la Guerre, _Sur le mémoire lu par M. Dumourier le 13 Juin à l'Assemblée Nationale; Bibiothèque Historique de la Révolution_, "Justifications," 7, 8, 9.]

[20] [Antoine Pierre Joseph Barnave, born 1761, was appointed President of the Constituent Assembly in 1790. He was guillotined November 30, 1793.

Jean Pierre Brissot de Warville, philosopher and politician, born January 14, 1754, was one of the principal instigators of the revolt of the Champ de Mars, July, 1789. He was guillotined October 31, 1793.

Marie Jean Antoine, Marquis de Condorcet, born September 17, 1743, was appointed President of the Legislative Assembly in 1792. Proscribed by the Girondins, he poisoned himself to escape the guillotine, March 28, 1794.

Honoré Gabriel Riquetti, Comte de Mirabeau, born March 9, 1749, died April 2, 1791.

Jérôme Petion de Villeneuve, born 1753, Mayor of Paris in 1791, took an active part in the imprisonment of the king. In 1793 he fell under Robespierre's displeasure, and to escape proscription took refuge in the department of Calvados. In 1794 his body was found in a field, half eaten by wolves.

Jean Baptiste, Baron de Clootz (better known as Anacharsis Clootz), was born in 1755. In 1790, at the bar of the National Convention, he described himself as the "Speaker of Mankind." Being suspected by Robespierre, he was condemned to death, March 24, 1794. On the scaffold he begged to be executed last, "in order to establish certain principles." (See Carlyle's _French Revolution_, 1839, iii. 315.)

Georges Jacques Danton, born October 28, 1759, helped to establish the Revolutionary Tribunal, March 10, and the Committee of Public Safety, April 6, 1793; agreed to proscription of the Girondists, June, 1793; was executed with Camille Desmoulins and others, April 5, 1794.

Jean Paul Marat, born May 24, 1744, physician and man of science, proposed and carried out the wholesale massacre of September 2-5, 1792; was denounced to, but acquitted by, the Revolutionary Tribunal, May, 1793; assassinated by Charlotte Corday, July 13, 1793.

Marie Jean Paul, Marquis de La Fayette, born September 6, 1757, died May 19, 1834.

With the exception of La Fayette, who outlived Byron by ten years, and Lord St. Vincent, all "the famous persons" mentioned in stanzas ii.-iv. had passed away long before the First Canto of _Don Juan_ was written.]

{14}[21] [Barthélemi Catherine Joubert, born April 14, 1769, distinguished himself at the engagements of Cava, Montebello, Rivoli, and in the Tyrol. He was afterwards sent to oppose Suvóroff, and was killed at Novi, August 15, 1799.

For Hoche and Marceau, _vide ante, Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 296.

Jean Lannes, Duke of Montebello, born April 11, 1769, distinguished himself at Lodi, Aboukir, Acre, Austerlitz, Jena and, lastly, at Essling, where he was mortally wounded. He died May 31, 1809.

Louis Charles Antoine Desaix de Voygoux, born August 27, 1768, won the victory at the Pyramids, July 21, 1798. He was mortally wounded at Marengo, June 14, 1800.

Jean Victor Moreau, born August 11, 1763, was victorious at Engen, May 3, and at Hohenlinden, December 3, 1800. He was struck by a cannon-ball at the battle of Dresden, August 27, and died September 2, 1813.]

{15}[22] [Hor., _Od._, iv. c. ix. 1. 25-- "Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona," etc.]

[23] [Hor., _Epist. Ad Pisones_, lines 148, 149-- "Semper ad eventum festinat, et in medias res, Non secus ac notas, auditorem rapit--"]

[24] ["Quien no ha visto Sevilla, no ha visto maravilla."]

{16}[25] [In his reply to _Blackwood_ (No. xxix. August, 1819), Byron somewhat disingenuously rebuts the charge that _Don Juan_ contained "an elaborate satire on the character and manners of his wife." "If," he writes, "in a poem by no means ascertained to be my production there appears a disagreeable, casuistical, and by no means respectable female pedant, it is set down for my wife. Is there any resemblance? If there be, it is in those who make it--I can see none."--Letters, 1900, iv. 477. The allusions in stanzas xii.-xiv., and, again, in stanzas xxvii.-xxix., are, and must have been meant to be, unmistakable.]

[26] [Gregor von Feinagle, born? 1765, was the inventor of a system of mnemonics, "founded on the topical memory of the ancients," as described by Cicero and Quinctilian. He lectured, in 1811, at the Royal Institution and elsewhere. When Rogers was asked if he attended the lectures, he replied, "No; I wished to learn the Art of Forgetting" (_Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers_, 1856, p. 42).]

{17}[a] _Little she spoke--but what she spoke was Attic all_, _With words and deeds in perfect unanimity._--[MS.]

[27] [Sir Samuel Romilly, born 1757, lost his wife on the 29th of October, and committed suicide on the 2nd of November, 1818.--"But there will come a day of reckoning, even if I should not live to see it. I have at least seen Romilly shivered, who was one of the assassins. When that felon or lunatic ... was doing his worst to uproot my whole family, tree, branch, and blossoms--when, after taking my retainer, he went over to them [see _Letters_, 1899, iii. 324]--when he was bringing desolation ... on my household gods--did he think that, in less than three years, a natural event--a severe, domestic, but an unexpected and common calamity--would lay his carcase in a cross-road, or stamp his name in a verdict of Lunacy! Did he (who in his drivelling sexagenary dotage had not the courage to survive his Nurse--for what else was a wife to him at his time of life?)--reflect or consider what _my_ feelings must have been, when wife, and child, and sister, and name, and fame, and country, were to be my sacrifice on his legal altar,--and this at a moment when my health was declining, my fortune embarrassed, and my mind had been shaken by many kinds of disappointment--while I was yet young, and might have reformed what might be wrong in my conduct, and retrieved what was perplexing in my affairs! But the wretch is in his grave," etc.-Letter to Murray, June 7, 1819, _Letters_, 1900, iv. 316.]

[28] [Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849) published _Castle Rackrent_, etc., etc., etc., in 1800. "In 1813," says Byron, "I recollect to have met them [the Edgeworths] in the fashionable world of London.... She was a nice little unassuming 'Jeannie Deans-looking body,' as we Scotch say; and if not handsome, certainly not ill-looking" (_Diary_, January 19, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 177-179).]

[29] [Sarah Trimmer (1741-1810) published, in 1782, _Easy Introduction to the Study of Nature_; _History of the Robins_ (dedicated to the Princess Sophia) in 1786, etc.]

[30] [Hannah More (1745-1833) published _Coelebs in Search of a Wife_ in 1809.]

[31] [Pope, _Rape of the Lock_, Canto II, line 17.]

{19}[32] [John Harrison (1693-1776), known as "Longitude" Harrison, was the inventor of watch compensation. He received, in slowly and reluctantly paid instalments, a sum of £20,000 from the Government, for producing a chronometer which should determine the longitude within half a degree. A watch which contained his latest improvements was worn by Captain Cook during his three years' circumnavigation of the globe.]

[33] "Description des _vertus incomparables_ de l'Huile de Macassar." See the Advertisement. [_An Historical, Philosophical and Practical Essay on the Human Hair_, was published by Alexander Rowland, jun., in 1816. It was inscribed, "To her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte of Wales and Cobourg."]

[b] _Where all was innocence and quiet bliss_.--[MS.]

[c] _And so she seemed, in all outside formalities_.--[MS.]

[34] ["'Zounds, an I were now by this rascal, I could brain him with his lady's fan."--I _Henry IV._, act ii, sc 3, lines 19, 20.]

{21}[d] _Wishing each other damned, divorced, or dead_.--[MS.]

[35] [According to Medwin (_Conversations_, 1824, p. 55), Byron "was surprised one day by a Doctor and a Lawyer almost forcing themselves at the same time into my room. I did not know," he adds, "till afterwards the real object of their visit. I thought their questions singular, frivolous, and somewhat importunate, if not impertinent: but what should I have thought, if I had known that they were sent to provide proofs of my insanity?" Lady Byron, in her _Remarks on Mr. Moore's Life, etc_. (_Life_, pp. 661-663), says that Dr. Baillie (_vide post_, p. 412, note 2), whom she consulted with regard to her husband's supposed insanity, "not having had access to Lord Byron, could not pronounce a positive opinion on this point." It appears, however, that another doctor, a Mr. Le Mann (see _Letters_, 1899, iii. 293, note 1, 295, 299, etc.), visited Byron professionally, and reported on his condition to Lady Byron. Hence, perhaps, the mention of "druggists."]

{22}[36] ["I deem it _my duty to God_ to act as I am acting."--Letter of Lady Byron to Mrs. Leigh, February 14, 1816, _Letters_, 1899, iii. 311.]

[37] ["This is so very pointed."--[?Hobhouse.] "If people make application, it is their own fault."--[B.].--[_Revise._]

[38] ["There is some doubt about this."--[H.] "What has the 'doubt' to do with the poem? it is, at least, poetically true. Why apply everything to that absurd woman? I have no reference to living characters."--[B.].--[_Revise._] Medwin (_Conversations_, 1824, p. 54) attributes the "breaking open my writing-desk" to Mrs. Charlment (i.e. Mrs. Clermont) the original of "A Sketch," _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 540-544. It is evident from Byron's reply to Hobhouse's remonstrance that Medwin did not invent this incident, but that some one, perhaps Fletcher's wife, had told him that his papers had been overhauled.]

{23}[e] _First their friends tried at reconciliation_.--[MS.]

[f] _The lawyers recommended a divorce_.--[MS.]

{24}[g] / besides was \ _He had been ill brought up, < > bilious_. \ besides being /

or, _The reason was, perhaps, that he was bilious_.--[MS.]

[h] / now but \ _And we may own--since he is < > earth_.--[MS.] \ laid in /

[39] ["I could have forgiven the dagger or the bowl,--any thing but the deliberate desolation piled upon me, when I stood alone upon my hearth, with my household gods shivered around me.... Do you suppose I have forgotten it? It has, comparatively swallowed up in me every other feeling, and I am only a spectator upon earth till a tenfold opportunity offers."--Letter to Moore, September 19, 1818, _Letters_, 1900, iv, 262, 263. Compare, too--

"I had one only fount of quiet left, And _that_ they poisoned! My pure household gods Were shivered on my hearth, and o'er their shrine Sate grinning Ribaldry and sneering Scorn."

_Marino Faliero_, act iii. sc. II, lines 361-364.]

{25}[i] / litigation--\ _Save death or < > so he died_.--[MS.] \ banishment--/

{26}[40] [Compare Leigh Hunt on the illustrations to Andrew Tooke's _Pantheon_: "I see before me, as vividly now as ever, his Mars and Apollo ... and Venus very handsome, we thought, and not looking too modest in a 'light cymar.'"--_Autobiography_, 1860, p. 75.]

[j] _Defending still their Iliads and Odysseys_.--[MS.]

[41] See Longinus, Section 10, "Ίνα μὴ ἕν τι περὶ αὐτὴν πάθος φαίνηται, παθων δὲ σύνοδος." [Greek: "I/na mê\ e(/n ti peri\ au)tê\n pa/thos phai/nêtai, pathôn de\ sy/nodos."]

["The effect desired is that not one passion only should be seen in her, but a concourse of passions" (_Longinis on the Sublime_, by W. Rhys Roberts, 1899, pp. 70, 71).

The Ode alluded to is the famous Φαίνεταί μοι κηνος ἵσος θεισιν, κ.τ.λ. [Greek: Phai/netai/ moi kênos i(/sos theisin, k.t.l.]

"Him rival to the gods I place; Him loftier yet, if loftier be, Who, Lesbia, sits before thy face, Who listens and who looks on thee."

W.E. Gladstone.

"I do not think you are quite held out by the quotation. Longinus says the circumstantial assemblage of the passions makes the sublime; he does not talk of the sublime being soaring and ample."--[H.] "I do not care for this--it must stand."--[B.]--[_Marginal notes in Revise._]]

[42] [_Bucol._, Ecl. ii. "Alexis."]

{27}[k] / antique \ / elision \ Too much their < modest > bard by the < >--[MS.] \ downright / \ omission /

[43] Fact! There is, or was, such an edition, with all the obnoxious epigrams of Martial placed by themselves at the end.

[In the Delphin _Martial_ (Amsterdam, 1701) the _Epigrammata Obscaena_ are printed as an Appendix (pp. 2-56), "[Ne] quiequam desideraretur a morosis quibusdam hominibus."]

{28}[44] See his _Confessions_, lib. i. cap. ix.; [lib. ii. cap. ii., _et passim_]. By the representation which Saint Augustine gives of himself in his youth, it is easy to see that he was what we should call a rake. He avoided the school as the plague; he loved nothing but gaming and public shows; he robbed his father of everything he could find; he invented a thousand lies to escape the rod, which they were obliged to make use of to punish his irregularities.

{30}[45] [Byron's early letters are full of complaints of his mother's violent temper. See, for instance, letter to the Hon. Augusta Byron, April 23, 1805. In another letter to John M.B. Pigot, August 9, 1806, he speaks of her as "Mrs. Byron '_furiosa_'" (_Letters_, 1898, i. 60, 101).]

[46] ["Having surrendered the last symbol of power, the unfortunate Boabdil continued on towards the Alpuxarras, that he might not behold the entrance of the Christians into his capital.... Having ascended an eminence commanding the last view of Granada, the Moors paused involuntarily to take a farewell gaze at their beloved city, which a few steps more would shut from their sight for ever.... The heart of Boabdil, softened by misfortunes, and overcharged with grief, could no longer contain itself. 'Allah achbar! God is great!' said he; but the words of resignation died upon his lips, and he burst into a flood of tears."--_Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada_, by Washington Irving, 1829, ii. 379-381.]

{31}[l] / silence! hush!_ \ _I'll tell you a secret--< >--[MS.] \ which you'll hush_ /

{32}[m] _Spouses from twenty years of age to thirty_ / strict \ _Are most admired by women of < > virtue_.--[MS.] \ staid /

[47] For the particulars of St. Anthony's recipe for hot blood in cold weather, see Mr. Alban Butler's _Lives of the Saints_.

["I am not sure it was not St. Francis who had the wife of snow--in that case the line must run, 'St. Francis back to reason.'"--[_MS. M._]

For the seven snow-balls, of which "the greatest" was his wife, see Life of "St. Francis of Assisi" (_The Golden Legend_ (edited by F.S. Ellis), 1900, v. 221). See, too, _the Lives of the Saints, etc._, by the Rev. Alban Butler, 1838, ii. 574.]

{34}[48] [The sorceress in Tasso's _Gerusalemme Liberata_. The story of Armida and Rinaldo forms the plot of operas by Glück and Rossini.]

[49]§35§ _Thinking God might not understand the case_.--[MS. M., Revise.]

{36}[50] ["Quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante." Dante, _Inferno_, canto v. line 138.]

{37}[51]

["Conscienzia m'assicura, La buona compagnia che l'uom francheggia Sotto l'osbergo del sentirsi pura."

_Inferno_, canto xxviii, lines 115-117.]

[n] _Deemed that her thoughts no more required control_.--[MS.]

{38}[52] [See Ovid, _Metamorph_., vii. 9, sq.]

{39}[53] Campbell's _Gertrude of Wyoming_--(I think)--the opening of Canto Second [Part III. stanza i. lines 1-4]--but quote from memory.

[54] [See Coleridge's _Biographia Literaria_, chap. i. (ed. 1847, i. 14, 15); and _Dejection: An Ode_, lines 86-93.]

{40}[o] _I say this by the way--so don't look stern_. _But if you're angry, reader, pass it by_.--[MS.]

[55] [Juan Boscan, of Barcelona (1500-1544), in concert with his friend Garcilasso, Italianized Castilian poetry. He was the author of the _Leandro_, a poem in blank verse, of canzoni, and sonnets after the model of Petrarch, and of _The Allegory_.--_History of Spanish Literature_, by George Ticknor, 1888, i. 513.]

[56] [Garcias Lasso or Garcilasso de la Vega (1503-1536), of a noble family at Toledo, was a warrior as well as a poet, "now seizing on the sword and now the pen." After serving with distinction in Germany, Africa, and Provence, he was killed at Muy, near Frejus, in 1536, by a stone, thrown from a tower, which fell on his head as he was leading on his battalion. He was the author of thirty-seven sonnets, five canzoni, and three pastorals.--_Vide ibidem_, pp. 522-535.]

{42}[p] _A real wittol always is suspicious_, _But always also hunts in the wrong place_.--[MS.]

{43}[q] _Change horses every hour from night till noon_.--[MS.]

[r] _Except the promises of true theology_.--[MS.]

[57]

["Oh, Susan! I've said, in the moments of mirth, What's devotion to thee or to me? I devoutly believe there's a heaven on earth, And believe that _that_ heaven's in _thee._"

"The Catalogue," _Poetical Works of the late Thomas Little_, 1803, p. 128.]

{44}[s] _She stood on Guilt's steep brink, in all the sense_ _And full security of Innocence_.--[MS.]

{45}[t] _To leave these two young people then and there.--[MS.]_

{46}[58] ["Age Xerxes.. eo usque luxuria gaudens, ut edicto præmium ei proponeret, qui novum voluptatis genus reperisset."--Val. Max, _De Dictis, etc._, lib. ix. cap. 1, ext. 3.]

[59] ["You certainly will be damned for all this scene."--[H.]]

{48}[60] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto IV. stanza iii. line 2, _Poetical Works_, ii. 329, note 3.]

[u] _Our coming, nor look brightly till we come_.--[MS.]

[v] _Sweet is a lawsuit to the attorney--sweet, etc_.--[MS.]

[61] [So, too, Falstaff, _Henry IV._, act ii. sc. 2, lines 79, 80.]

{49}[w] _Who've made us wait--God knows how long already,_ _For an entailed estate, or country-seat,_ _Wishing them not exactly damned, but dead--he_ _Knows nought of grief, who has not so been worried--_ _'T is strange old people don't like to be buried_.--[MS.]

[62] [Byron has not been forgotten at Harrow, though it is a bend of the Cam (Byron's Pool), not his favourite Duck Pool (now "Ducker") which bears his name.]

{50}[63] [The reference is to the metallic tractors of Benjamin Charles Perkins, which were advertised as a "cure for all disorders, Red Noses," etc. Compare _English Bards, etc._, lines 131, 132--

"What varied wonders tempt us as they pass! The Cow-pox, Tractors, Galvanism, and Gas."

See _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 307, note 3.]

[64] [Edward Jenner (1749-1823) made his first experiments in vaccination, May 14, 1796. Napoleon caused his soldiers to be vaccinated, and imagined that the English would be gratified by his recognition of Jenner's discovery.

Sir William Congreve (1772-1828) invented "Congreve rockets" or shells in 1804. They were used with great effect at the battle of Leipzig, in 1813.]

[65] ["Mon cher ne touchez pas à la petite Vérole."--[H.]--[Revise.]]

[66] [Experiments in galvanism were made on the body of Forster the murderer, by Galvani's nephew, Professor Aldini, January and February, 1803.]

[67] ["Put out these lines, and keep the others."--[H.]--[_Revise._]]

{51}[68] [Sir Humphry Davy, P.R.S. (1778-1829), invented the safety-lamp in 1815.]

[69] [In a critique of _An Account of the Empire of Marocco_.... _To which is added an_ ... _account of Tombuctoo, the great Emporium of Central Africa,_ by James Grey Jackson, London, 1809, the reviewer comments on the author's pedantry in correcting "the common orthography of African names." "We do not," he writes, "greatly object to ... _Fas_ for _Fez,_ or even _Timbuctoo_ for _Tombuctoo,_ but _Marocco_ for _Morocco_ is a little too much."--_Edinburgh Review_, July, 1809 vol. xiv. p. 307.]

[70] [Sir John Ross (1777-1856) published _A Voyage of Discovery_ ... _for the purpose of Exploring Baffin's Bay, etc.,_ in 1819; Sir W.E. Parry (1790-1855) published his _Journal of a Voyage of Discovery to the Arctic Regions between 4th April and 18th November_, 1818, in 1820.]

[x] _Not only pleasure's sin, but sin's a pleasure_.--[MS.]

[y] _And lose in shining snow their summits blue_.--[MS.]

[z] _'Twas midnight--dark and sombre was the night, etc_.--[MS.]

[aa] _And supper, punch, ghost-stories, and such chat_.--[MS.]

[71] ["'All that, Egad,' as Bayes says" [in the Duke of Buckingham's play _The Rehearsal_].--Letter to Murray, September 28, 1820, _Letters_, 1901, v. 80.]

[72] ["Lobster-sallad, _not_ a lobster-salad. Have you been at a London _ball_, and not known a Lobster-_sallad?_"--[H.]--[_Revise._] ]

[73] ["To-night, as Countess Guiccioli observed me poring over _Don Juan_, she stumbled by mere chance on the 137th stanza of the First Canto, and asked me what it meant. I told her, 'Nothing,--but your husband is coming.' As I said this in Italian with some emphasis, she started up in a fright, and said, _'Oh, my God, is_ he _coming?'_ thinking it was _her own_....You may suppose we laughed when she found out the mistake. You will be amused, as I was;--it happened not three hours ago."--Letter to Murray, November 8, 1819, _Letters_, 1900, iv. 374.

It should be borne in mind that the loves of Juan and Julia, the irruption of Don Alfonso, etc., were rather of the nature of prophecy than of reminiscence. The First Canto had been completed before the Countess Guiccioli appeared on the scene.]

[ab] _And thus as 'twere herself from out them crept_.--[MS. M.]

{54}[ac] _Ere I the wife of such a man had been!_--[MS.]

{55}[ad] _But while this search was making, Julia's tongue_.--[MS.]

[74] The Spanish "Cortejo" is much the same as the Italian "Cavalier Servente."

{56}[75] Donna Julia here made a mistake. Count O'Reilly did not take Algiers--but Algiers very nearly took him: he and his army and fleet retreated with great loss, and not much credit, from before that city, in the year 1775.

[Alexander O'Reilly, born 1722, a Spanish general of Irish extraction, failed in an expedition against Algiers in 1775, in which the Spaniards lost four thousand men. In 1794 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces equipped against the army of the French National Convention. He died March 23, 1794.]

[76] [The Italian names have an obvious signification.]

[ae] _The chimney--fit retreat for any lover!_--[MS.]

{58}[af] ---- _may deplore_.--[Alternative reading. MS. M.]

{59}[77] ["Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh" (_Job_ ii. 10).]

[78] ["Don't be read aloud."--[H.]--[_Revise._]]

{60}[ag] ---- _than be put_ _To drown with Clarence in his Malmsey butt_.--[MS.]

[ah] _And reckon up our balance with the devil_.--[MS.]

{62}[79] ["Carissimo, do review the whole scene, and think what you would say of it, if written by another."--[H.] "I would say, read 'The Miracle' ['A Tale from Boccace'] in Hobhouse's poems, and 'January and May,' and 'Paulo Purganti,' and 'Hans Carvel,' and 'Joconde.' _These_ are laughable: it is the _serious_--Little's poems and _Lalla Rookh_--that affect seriously. Now Lust is a serious passion, and cannot be excited by the ludicrous."--[B.]--_Marginal Notes in Revise_.]

For the "Miracle," see _Imitations and Translations_, 1809, pp. 111--128. "January and May" is Pope's version of Chaucer's _Merchant's Tale_. "Paulo Purganti" and "Hans Carvel" are by Matthew Prior; and for "Joconde" (_Nouvelle Tirée de L'Ariosto_, canto xxviii.) see _Contes et Nouvelles en Vers_, de Mr. de la Fontaine, 1691, i. 1-19.]

{63}[80] [Compare "The use made in the French tongue of the word _tact_, to denote that delicate sense of propriety, which enables a man to _feel his way_ in the difficult intercourse of polished society, seems to have been suggested by similar considerations (i.e. similar to those which suggested the use of the word _taste_)."--_Outlines of Moral Philosophy_, by Dugald Stewart, Part I. sect. x. ed. 1855, p. 48. For D'Alembert's use of _tact_, to denote "that peculiar delicacy of perception (which, like the nice touch of a blind man) arises from habits of close attention to those slighter feelings which escape general notice," see _Philosophical Essays_, by Dugald Stewart, 1818, p. 603.]

{64}[ai] _With base suspicion now no longer haunted._--[MS.]

[81] [For the incident of the shoes, Lord Byron was probably indebted to the Scottish ballad--

"Our goodman came hame at e'en, and hame came he; He spy'd a pair of jack-boots, where nae boots should be, What's this now, goodwife? What's this I see? How came these boots there, without the leave o' me! Boots! quo' she: Ay, boots, quo' he. Shame fa' your cuckold face, and ill mat ye see, It's but a pair of water stoups the cooper sent to me," etc.

See James Johnson's _Musical Museum_, 1787, etc., v. 466.]

{66}[aj] _Found--heaven knows how--his solitary way._--[MS.]

[82] [William Brodie Gurney (1777-1855), the son and grandson of eminent shorthand writers, "reported the proceedings against the Duke of York in 1809, the trials of Lord Cochrane in 1814, and of Thistlewood in 1820, and the proceedings against Queen Caroline."--_Dict. of Nat. Biog_., art. "Gurney."]

{67}[83] ["Venice, December 7, 1818.

"After _that stanza_ in the first canto of _Don Juan_ (sent by Lord Lauderdale) towards the _conclusion_ of the canto--I speak of the stanza whose two last lines are--

"'The best is that in short-hand ta'en by Gurney, Who to Madrid on purpose made a journey,'

insert the following stanzas, 'But Donna Inez,' etc."--B.

The text is based on a second or revised copy of stanzas cxc.-cxcviii. Many of the corrections and emendations which were inserted in the first draft are omitted in the later and presumably improved version. Byron's first intention was to insert seven stanzas after stanza clxxxix., descriptive and highly depreciatory of Brougham, but for reasons of "fairness" (_vide infra_) he changed his mind. The casual mention of "blundering Brougham" in _English Bards, etc._ (line 524, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 338, note 2), is a proof that his suspicions were not aroused as to the authorship of the review of _Hours of Idleness_ (_Edin. Rev._, January, 1808), and it is certain that Byron's animosity was due to the part played by Brougham at the time of the Separation. (In a letter to Byron, dated February 18, 1817, Murray speaks of a certain B. "as your incessant persecutor--the source of all affected public opinion respecting you.") The stanzas, with the accompanying notes, are not included in the editions of 1833 or 1837, and are now printed for the first time.

I.

"'Twas a fine cause for those in law delighting-- 'Tis pity that they had no Brougham in Spain, Famous for always talking, and ne'er fighting, For calling names, and taking them again; For blustering, bungling, trimming, wrangling, writing, Groping all paths to power, and all in vain-- Losing elections, character, and temper, A foolish, clever, fellow--_Idem semper!_

II.

"Bully in Senates, skulker in the Field,[*A] The Adulterer's advocate when duly feed, The libeller's gratis Counsel, dirty shield Which Law affords to many a dirty deed; A wondrous Warrior against those who yield-- A rod to Weakness, to the brave a reed-- The People's sycophant, the Prince's foe, And serving him the more by being so.

III.

"Tory by nurture, Whig by Circumstance, A Democrat some once or twice a year, Whene'er it suits his purpose to advance His vain ambition in its vague career: A sort of Orator by sufferance, Less for the comprehension than the ear; With all the arrogance of endless power, Without the sense to keep it for an hour.

IV.

"The House-of-Commons Damocles of words-- Above him, hanging by a single hair, On each harangue depend some hostile Swords; And deems he that we _always_ will forbear? Although Defiance oft declined affords A blotted shield no Shire's true knight would wear: Thersites of the House. Parolles[*B] of Law, The double Bobadill[*C] takes Scorn for Awe.

V.

"How noble is his language--never pert-- How grand his sentiments which ne'er run riot! As when he swore 'by God he'd sell his shirt To head the poll!' I wonder who would buy it The skin has passed through such a deal of dirt In grovelling on to power--such stains now dye it-- So black the long-worn Lion's hide in hue, You'd swear his very heart had sweated through.

VI.

"Panting for power--as harts for cooling streams-- Yet half afraid to venture for the draught; A go-between, yet blundering in extremes, And tossed along the vessel fore and aft; Now shrinking back, now midst the first he seems, Patriot by force, and courtisan[*D] by craft; Quick without wit, and violent without strength-- A disappointed Lawyer, at full length.

VII.

"A strange example of the force of Law, And hasty temper on a kindling mind-- Are these the dreams his young Ambition saw? Poor fellow! he had better far been blind! I'm sorry thus to probe a wound so raw-- But, then, as Bard my duty to Mankind, For warning to the rest, compels these raps-- As Geographers lay down a Shoal in Maps."

[[*A] For Brougham's Fabian tactics with regard to duelling, _vide post_, Canto XIII. stanza lxxxiv. line 1, p. 506, note 1.]

[[*B] Vide post, Canto XIII. stanza lxxxiv. line 1, p. 506, note 1.]

[[*C] For "Captain Bobadill, a Paul's man," see Ben Jonson's _Every Man in his Humour_, act iv. sc. 5, et passim.]

[[*D] The _N. Eng. Dict._, quotes a passage in _Phil. Trans._, iv. 286 (1669), as the latest instance of "courtisan" for "courtier."]

NOTE TO THE ANNEXED STANZAS ON BROUGHAM.

"Distrusted by the Democracy, disliked by the Whigs, and detested by the Tories, too much of a lawyer for the people, and too much of a demagogue for Parliament, a contestor of counties, and a Candidate for cities, the refuse of half the Electors of England, and representative at last upon sufferance of the proprietor of some rotten borough, which it would have been more independent to have purchased, a speaker upon all questions, and the outcast of all parties, his support has become alike formidable to all his enemies (for he has no friends), and his vote can be only valuable when accompanied by his Silence. A disappointed man with a bad temper, he is endowed with considerable but not first-rate abilities, and has blundered on through life, remarkable only for a fluency, in which he has many rivals at the bar and in the Senate, and an eloquence in which he has several Superiors. 'Willing to wound and _not_ afraid to strike, until he receives a blow in return, he has not yet betrayed any illegal ardour, or Irish alacrity, in accepting the defiances, and resenting the disgraceful terms which his proneness to evil-speaking have (sic) brought upon him. In the cases of Mackinnon and Manners,[*E] he sheltered himself behind those parliamentary privileges, which Fox, Pitt, Canning, Castlereagh, Tierney, Adam, Shelburne, Grattan, Corry, Curran, and Clare disdained to adopt as their buckler. The House of Commons became the Asylum of his Slander, as the Churches of Rome were once the Sanctuary of Assassins.

"His literary reputation (with the exception of one work of his early career) rests upon some anonymous articles imputed to him in a celebrated periodical work; but even these are surpassed by the Essays of others in the same Journal. He has tried every thing and succeeded in nothing; and he may perhaps finish as a Lawyer without practice, as he has already been occasionally an orator without an audience, if not soon cut short in his career.

"The above character is _not_ written impartially, but by one who has had occasion to know some of the baser parts of it, and regards him accordingly with shuddering abhorrence, and just so much fear as he deserves. In him is to be dreaded the crawling of the centipede, not the spring of the tiger--the venom of the reptile, not the strength of the animal--the rancour of the miscreant, not the courage of the Man.

"In case the prose or verse of the above should be actionable, I put my name, that the man may rather proceed against me than the publisher--not without some faint hope that the brand with which I blast him may induce him, however reluctantly, to a manlier revenge."

[*E] [Possibly George Manners (1778-1853), editor of _The Satirist_, whose appointment to a foreign consulate Brougham sharply criticized in the House of Commons, July 9, 1817 (_Parl. Deb._, vol. xxxvi. pp. 1320, 1321); and Daniel Mackinnon (1791-1836), the nephew of Henry Mackinnon, who fell at Ciudad Rodrigo. Byron met "Dan" Mackinnon at Lisbon in 1809, and (Gronow, _Reminiscences_, 1889, ii. 259, 260) was amused by his "various funny stories."]

EXTRACT FROM LETTER TO MURRAY.

"I enclose you the stanzas which were intended for 1st Canto, after the line

'Who to Madrid on purpose made a journey:'

but I do not mean them for present publication, because I will not, at this distance, publish _that_ of a Man, for which he has a claim upon another too remote to give him redress.

"With regard to the Miscreant Brougham, however, it was only long after the fact, and I was made acquainted with the language he had held of me on my leaving England (with regard to the D^ss^ of D.'s house),[*F] and his letter to Me. de Staël, and various matters for all of which the first time he and I foregather--be it in England, be it on earth--he shall account, and one of the two be carried home.

"As I have no wish to have mysteries, I merely prohibit the _publication_ of these stanzas in _print_, for the reasons of fairness mentioned; but I by no means wish _him not_ to _know_ their existence or their tenor, nor my intentions as to himself: he has shown no forbearance, and he shall find none. You may show them to _him_ and to all whom it may concern, with the explanation that the only reason that I have not had satisfaction of this man has been, that I have never had an opportunity since I was aware of the facts, which my friends had carefully concealed from me; and it was only by slow degrees, and by piecemeal, that I got at them. I have not sought him, nor gone out of my way for him; but I will _find_ him, and then we can have it out: he has shown so little courage, that he _must_ fight at last in his absolute necessity to escape utter degradation.

"I send you the stanzas, which (except the last) have been written nearly two years, merely because I have been lately copying out most of the MSS. which were in my drawers."

[*F] [Byron's town-house, in 1815-1816, No. 13, Piccadilly, belonged to the Duchess of Devonshire. When he went abroad in April, 1816, the rent was still unpaid. The duchess, through her agent, distrained, but was unable to recover the debt. See Byron's "Letter to Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire," November 3, 1817, _Letters_, 1900, iv. 178.]

{71}[ak] _Julia was sent into a nunnery_, _And there, perhaps, her feelings may be better_.--[MS. M.]

[al] _Man's love is of his life_----.--[MS. M.]

[84] ["Que les hommes sont heureux d'aller à la guerre, d'exposer leur vie, de se livrer à l'enthousiasme de l'honneur et du danger! Mais il n'y a rien au-dehors qui soulage les femmes."--_Corinne, ou L'Italie_, Madame de Staël, liv., xviii. chap. v. ed. 1835, iii. 209.]

[am] _To mourn alone the love which has undone._ or, _To lift our fatal love to God from man._

Take that which, of these three, seems the best prescription.--B.

{72}[an] _You will proceed in beauty and in pride_, _You will return_----.--[MS. M.]

[ao] / fatal now \ Or, _That word is < lost for me >--but let it go_.--[MS. M.] \ deadly now /

[ap] _I struggle, but can not collect my mind_.--[MS.]

[aq] _As turns the needle trembling to the pole_ _It ne'er can reach--so turns to you my soul_.--[MS.]

[ar] _With a neat crow-quill, rather hard, but new_.--[MS.]

{73}[85] [Byron had a seal bearing this motto.]

[as] _And there are other incidents remaining_ _Which shall be specified in fitting time,_ _With good discretion, and in current rhyme_.--[MS.]

{74}[at] _To newspapers, to sermons, which the zeal_ _Of pious men have published on his acts_.--[MS.]

[au] _I'll call the work "Reflections o'er a Bottle_."--[MS.]

[86] [Here, and elsewhere in _Don Juan_, Byron attacked Coleridge fiercely and venomously, because he believed that his _protégé_ had accepted patronage and money, and, notwithstanding, had retailed scandalous statements to the detriment and dishonour of his advocate and benefactor (see letter to Murray, November 24, 1818, _Letters_, 1900, iv. 272; and "Introduction to the _Vision of Judgment," Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 475). Byron does not substantiate his charge of ingratitude, and there is nothing to show whether Coleridge ever knew why a once friendly countenance was changed towards him. He might have asked, with the Courtenays, _Ubi lapsus, quid feci?_ If Byron had been on his mind or his conscience he would have drawn up an elaborate explanation or apology; but nothing of the kind is extant. He took the abuse as he had taken the favours--for the unmerited gifts of the blind goddess Fortune. (See, too, _Letter_ ..., by John Bull, 1821, p. 14.)]

{76}[87] [Compare Byron's "Letter to the Editor of My Grandmother's Review," _Letters_, 1900, iv. Appendix VII. 465-470; and letter to Murray, August 24, 1819, ibid., p. 348: "I wrote to you by last post, enclosing a buffooning letter for publication, addressed to the buffoon Roberts, who has thought proper to tie a canister to his own tail. It was written off-hand, and in the midst of circumstances not very favourable to facetiousness, so that there may, perhaps, be more bitterness than enough for that sort of small acid punch." The letter was in reply to a criticism of _Don Juan_ (Cantos I., II.) in the _British Review_ (No. xxvii., 1819, vol. 14, pp. 266-268), in which the Editor assumed, or feigned to assume, that the accusation of bribery was to be taken _au grand sérieux_.]

{77}[88] [Hor., _Od._ III. C. xiv. lines 27, 28.]

[av] _I thought of dyeing it the other day_.--[MS.]

[89] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto III. stanza cvii. line 2.]

{78}[90]

"Me nec femina, nec puer Jam, nec spes animi credula mutui, Nec certare juvat mero; Nec vincire novis tempora floribus."

Hor., _Od._ IV. i. 30.

[In the revise the words _nec puer Jam_ were omitted. On this Hobhouse comments, "Better add the whole or scratch out all after femina."--"Quote the whole then--it was only in compliance with your _settentrionale_ notions that I left out the remnant of the line."--[B.]]

[91] [For "How Fryer Bacon made a Brazen head to speak," see _The Famous Historie of Fryer Bacon_ (Reprint, London, 1815, pp. 13-18); see, too, _Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay_, by Robert Greene, ed. Rev. Alexander Dyce, 1861, pp. 153-181.]

[92]

["Ah! who can tell how hard it is to climb The steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar?" etc.

Beattie's _Minstrel_, Bk. I. stanza i. lines 1, 2.]

{79}[aw] _A book--a damned bad picture--and worse bust_.--[MS.]

["Don't swear again--the third 'damn.'"--[H.]--[_Revise._]]

[93] [Byron sat for his bust to Thorwaldsen, in May, 1817.]

[94] [This stanza appears to have been suggested by the following passage in the _Quarterly Review_, April, 1818, vol. xix. p. 203: "[It was] the opinion of the Egyptians, that the soul never deserted the body while the latter continued in a perfect state. To secure this union, King Cheops is said, by Herodotus, to have employed three hundred and sixty thousand of his subjects for twenty years in raising over the 'angusta domus' destined to hold his remains, a pile of stone equal in weight to six millions of tons, which is just three times that of the vast Breakwater thrown across Plymouth Sound; and, to render this precious dust still more secure, the narrow chamber was made accessible only by small, intricate passages, obstructed by stones of an enormous weight, and so carefully closed externally as not to be perceptible.--Yet, how vain are all the precautions of man! Not a bone was left of Cheops, either in the stone coffin, or in the vault, when Shaw entered the gloomy chamber.]

{80}[ax] _Must bid you both farewell in accents bland_.--[MS.]

[95] [Lines 1-4 are taken from the last stanza of the _Epilogue to the Lay of the Laureate_, entitled "L'Envoy." (See _Poetical Works_ of Robert Southey, 1838, x. 174.)]

CANTO THE SECOND.[96]

I.

OH ye! who teach the ingenuous youth of nations, Holland, France, England, Germany, or Spain, I pray ye flog them upon all occasions-- It mends their morals, never mind the pain: The best of mothers and of educations In Juan's case were but employed in vain, Since, in a way that's rather of the oddest, he Became divested of his native modesty.[ay]

II.

Had he but been placed at a public school, In the third form, or even in the fourth, His daily task had kept his fancy cool, At least, had he been nurtured in the North; Spain may prove an exception to the rule, But then exceptions always prove its worth-- A lad of sixteen causing a divorce Puzzled his tutors very much, of course.

III.

I can't say that it puzzles me at all, If all things be considered: first, there was His lady-mother, mathematical, A----never mind;--his tutor, an old ass; A pretty woman--(that's quite natural, Or else the thing had hardly come to pass) A husband rather old, not much in unity With his young wife--a time, and opportunity.

IV.

Well--well; the World must turn upon its axis, And all Mankind turn with it, heads or tails, And live and die, make love and pay our taxes, And as the veering wind shifts, shift our sails; The King commands us, and the Doctor quacks us, The Priest instructs, and so our life exhales, A little breath, love, wine, ambition, fame, Fighting, devotion, dust,--perhaps a name.

V.

I said that Juan had been sent to Cadiz-- A pretty town, I recollect it well-- 'T is there the mart of the colonial trade is, (Or was, before Peru learned to rebel), And such sweet girls![97]--I mean, such graceful ladies, Their very walk would make your bosom swell; I can't describe it, though so much it strike, Nor liken it--I never saw the like:[az]

VI.

An Arab horse, a stately stag, a barb New broke, a camelopard, a gazelle, No--none of these will do;--and then their garb, Their veil and petticoat--Alas! to dwell Upon such things would very near absorb A canto--then their feet and ankles,--well, Thank Heaven I've got no metaphor quite ready, (And so, my sober Muse--come, let's be steady--

VII.

Chaste Muse!--well,--if you must, you must)--the veil Thrown back a moment with the glancing hand, While the o'erpowering eye, that turns you pale, Flashes into the heart:--All sunny land Of Love! when I forget you, may I fail To----say my prayers--but never was there planned A dress through which the eyes give such a volley, Excepting the Venetian Fazzioli.[98] VIII.

But to our tale: the Donna Inez sent Her son to Cadiz only to embark; To stay there had not answered her intent, But why?--we leave the reader in the dark-- 'T was for a voyage the young man was meant, As if a Spanish ship were Noah's ark, To wean him from the wickedness of earth, And send him like a Dove of Promise forth.

IX.

Don Juan bade his valet pack his things According to direction, then received A lecture and some money: for four springs He was to travel; and though Inez grieved (As every kind of parting has its stings), She hoped he would improve--perhaps believed: A letter, too, she gave (he never read it) Of good advice--and two or three of credit.

X.

In the mean time, to pass her hours away, Brave Inez now set up a Sunday school For naughty children, who would rather play (Like truant rogues) the devil, or the fool; Infants of three years old were taught that day, Dunces were whipped, or set upon a stool: The great success of Juan's education Spurred her to teach another generation.[ba]

XI.

Juan embarked--the ship got under way, The wind was fair, the water passing rough; A devil of a sea rolls in that bay, As I, who've crossed it oft, know well enough; And, standing on the deck, the dashing spray Flies in one's face, and makes it weather-tough: And there he stood to take, and take again, His first--perhaps his last--farewell of Spain.

XII.

I can't but say it is an awkward sight To see one's native land receding through The growing waters; it unmans one quite, Especially when life is rather new: I recollect Great Britain's coast looks white,[99] But almost every other country's blue, When gazing on them, mystified by distance, We enter on our nautical existence.

XIII.

So Juan stood, bewildered on the deck: The wind sung, cordage strained, and sailors swore, And the ship creaked, the town became a speck, From which away so fair and fast they bore. The best of remedies is a beef-steak Against sea-sickness: try it, Sir, before You sneer, and I assure you this is true, For I have found it answer--so may you.

XIV.

Don Juan stood, and, gazing from the stern, Beheld his native Spain receding far: First partings form a lesson hard to learn, Even nations feel this when they go to war; There is a sort of unexpressed concern, A kind of shock that sets one's heart ajar, At leaving even the most unpleasant people And places--one keeps looking at the steeple.

XV.

But Juan had got many things to leave, His mother, and a mistress, and no wife, So that he had much better cause to grieve Than many persons more advanced in life: And if we now and then a sigh must heave At quitting even those we quit in strife, No doubt we weep for those the heart endears-- That is, till deeper griefs congeal our tears.

XVI.

So Juan wept, as wept the captive Jews By Babel's waters, still remembering Sion: I'd weep,--but mine is not a weeping Muse, And such light griefs are not a thing to die on; Young men should travel, if but to amuse Themselves; and the next time their servants tie on Behind their carriages their new portmanteau, Perhaps it may be lined with this my canto.

XVII.

And Juan wept, and much he sighed and thought, While his salt tears dropped into the salt sea, "Sweets to the sweet;" (I like so much to quote; You must excuse this extract,--'t is where she, The Queen of Denmark, for Ophelia brought Flowers to the grave;) and, sobbing often, he Reflected on his present situation, And seriously resolved on reformation.

XVIII.

"Farewell, my Spain! a long farewell!" he cried, "Perhaps I may revisit thee no more, But die, as many an exiled heart hath died, Of its own thirst to see again thy shore: Farewell, where Guadalquivir's waters glide! Farewell, my mother! and, since all is o'er, Farewell, too, dearest Julia!--(here he drew Her letter out again, and read it through.)

XIX.

"And oh! if e'er I should forget, I swear-- But that's impossible, and cannot be-- Sooner shall this blue Ocean melt to air, Sooner shall Earth resolve itself to sea, Than I resign thine image, oh, my fair! Or think of anything, excepting thee; A mind diseased no remedy can physic-- (Here the ship gave a lurch, and he grew sea-sick.)

XX.

"Sooner shall Heaven kiss earth--(here he fell sicker) Oh, Julia! what is every other woe?-- (For God's sake let me have a glass of liquor; Pedro, Battista, help me down below.) Julia, my love!--(you rascal, Pedro, quicker)-- Oh, Julia!--(this curst vessel pitches so)-- Belovéd Julia, hear me still beseeching!" (Here he grew inarticulate with retching.)

XXI.

He felt that chilling heaviness of heart, Or rather stomach, which, alas! attends, Beyond the best apothecary's art, The loss of Love, the treachery of friends, Or death of those we dote on, when a part Of us dies with them as each fond hope ends: No doubt he would have been much more pathetic, But the sea acted as a strong emetic.

XXII.

Love's a capricious power: I've known it hold Out through a fever caused by its own heat, But be much puzzled by a cough and cold, And find a quinsy very hard to treat; Against all noble maladies he's bold, But vulgar illnesses don't like to meet, Nor that a sneeze should interrupt his sigh, Nor inflammations redden his blind eye.

XXIII.

But worst of all is nausea, or a pain About the lower region of the bowels; Love, who heroically breathes a vein,[100] Shrinks from the application of hot towels, And purgatives are dangerous to his reign, Sea-sickness death: his love was perfect, how else[bb] Could Juan's passion, while the billows roar, Resist his stomach, ne'er at sea before?

XXIV.

The ship, called the most holy "Trinidada,"[101] Was steering duly for the port Leghorn; For there the Spanish family Moncada Were settled long ere Juan's sire was born: They were relations, and for them he had a Letter of introduction, which the morn Of his departure had been sent him by His Spanish friends for those in Italy.

XXV.

His suite consisted of three servants and A tutor, the licentiate Pedrillo, Who several languages did understand, But now lay sick and speechless on his pillow And, rocking in his hammock, longed for land, His headache being increased by every billow; And the waves oozing through the port-hole made His berth a little damp, and him afraid.

XXVI.

'T was not without some reason, for the wind Increased at night, until it blew a gale; And though 't was not much to a naval mind, Some landsmen would have looked a little pale, For sailors are, in fact, a different kind: At sunset they began to take in sail, For the sky showed it would come on to blow, And carry away, perhaps, a mast or so.

XXVII.

At one o'clock the wind with sudden shift Threw the ship right into the trough of the sea, Which struck her aft, and made an awkward rift, Started the stern-post, also shattered the Whole of her stern-frame, and, ere she could lift Herself from out her present jeopardy, The rudder tore away: 't was time to sound The pumps, and there were four feet water found.

XXVIII.

One gang of people instantly was put Upon the pumps, and the remainder set To get up part of the cargo, and what not; But they could not come at the leak as yet; At last they did get at it really, but Still their salvation was an even bet: The water rushed through in a way quite puzzling, While they thrust sheets, shirts, jackets, bales of muslin,

XXIX.

Into the opening; but all such ingredients Would have been vain, and they must have gone down, Despite of all their efforts and expedients, But for the pumps: I'm glad to make them known To all the brother tars who may have need hence, For fifty tons of water were upthrown By them per hour, and they had all been undone, But for the maker, Mr. Mann, of London.[102]

XXX.

As day advanced the weather seemed to abate, And then the leak they reckoned to reduce, And keep the ship afloat, though three feet yet Kept two hand--and one chain-pump still in use. The wind blew fresh again: as it grew late A squall came on, and while some guns broke loose, A gust--which all descriptive power transcends-- Laid with one blast the ship on her beam ends.

XXXI.

There she lay, motionless, and seemed upset; The water left the hold, and washed the decks, And made a scene men do not soon forget; For they remember battles, fires, and wrecks, Or any other thing that brings regret Or breaks their hopes, or hearts, or heads, or necks: Thus drownings are much talked of by the divers, And swimmers, who may chance to be survivors.

XXXII.

Immediately the masts were cut away, Both main and mizen; first the mizen went, The main-mast followed: but the ship still lay Like a mere log, and baffled our intent. Foremast and bowsprit were cut down, and they Eased her at last (although we never meant To part with all till every hope was blighted), And then with violence the old ship righted.[103]

XXXIII.

It may be easily supposed, while this Was going on, some people were unquiet, That passengers would find it much amiss To lose their lives, as well as spoil their diet; That even the able seaman, deeming his Days nearly o'er, might be disposed to riot, As upon such occasions tars will ask For grog, and sometimes drink rum from the cask.

XXXIV.

There's nought, no doubt, so much the spirit calms As rum and true religion: thus it was, Some plundered, some drank spirits, some sung psalms, The high wind made the treble, and as bass The hoarse harsh waves kept time; fright cured the qualms Of all the luckless landsmen's sea-sick maws: Strange sounds of wailing, blasphemy, devotion, Clamoured in chorus to the roaring Ocean.

XXXV.

Perhaps more mischief had been done, but for[bc] Our Juan, who, with sense beyond his years, Got to the spirit-room, and stood before It with a pair of pistols;[104] and their fears, As if Death were more dreadful by his door Of fire than water, spite of oaths and tears, Kept still aloof the crew, who, ere they sunk, Thought it would be becoming to die drunk.

XXXVI.

"Give us more grog," they cried, "for it will be All one an hour hence." Juan answered, "No! 'T is true that Death awaits both you and me, But let us die like men, not sink below Like brutes:"--and thus his dangerous post kept he, And none liked to anticipate the blow; And even Pedrillo, his most reverend tutor, Was for some rum a disappointed suitor.

XXXVII.

The good old gentleman was quite aghast, And made a loud and pious lamentation; Repented all his sins, and made a last Irrevocable vow of reformation; Nothing should tempt him more (this peril past) To quit his academic occupation, In cloisters of the classic Salamanca, To follow Juan's wake, like Sancho Panca.

XXXVIII.

But now there came a flash of hope once more; Day broke, and the wind lulled: the masts were gone The leak increased; shoals round her, but no shore, The vessel swam, yet still she held her own.[105] They tried the pumps again, and though before Their desperate efforts seemed all useless grown, A glimpse of sunshine set some hands to bale-- The stronger pumped, the weaker thrummed a sail.

XXXIX.

Under the vessel's keel the sail was passed, And for the moment it had some effect; But with a leak, and not a stick of mast, Nor rag of canvas, what could they expect? But still 't is best to struggle to the last, 'T is never too late to be wholly wrecked: And though 't is true that man can only die once, 'T is not so pleasant in the Gulf of Lyons.[bd]

XL.

There winds and waves had hurled them, and from thence, Without their will, they carried them away; For they were forced with steering to dispense, And never had as yet a quiet day On which they might repose, or even commence A jurymast or rudder, or could say The ship would swim an hour, which, by good luck, Still swam--though not exactly like a duck.

XLI.

The wind, in fact, perhaps, was rather less, But the ship laboured so, they scarce could hope To weather out much longer; the distress Was also great with which they had to cope For want of water, and their solid mess Was scant enough: in vain the telescope Was used--nor sail nor shore appeared in sight, Nought but the heavy sea, and coming night.

XLII.

Again the weather threatened,--again blew A gale, and in the fore and after hold Water appeared; yet, though the people knew All this, the most were patient, and some bold, Until the chains and leathers were worn through Of all our pumps:--a wreck complete she rolled, At mercy of the waves, whose mercies are Like human beings during civil war.

XLIII.

Then came the carpenter, at last, with tears In his rough eyes, and told the captain, he Could do no more: he was a man in years, And long had voyaged through many a stormy sea, And if he wept at length they were not fears That made his eyelids as a woman's be, But he, poor fellow, had a wife and children,-- Two things for dying people quite bewildering.

XLIV.

The ship was evidently settling now Fast by the head; and, all distinction gone, Some went to prayers again, and made a vow Of candles to their saints[106]--but there were none To pay them with; and some looked o'er the bow; Some hoisted out the boats; and there was one That begged Pedrillo for an absolution, Who told him to be damned--in his confusion.[107]

XLV.

Some lashed them in their hammocks; some put on Their best clothes, as if going to a fair; Some cursed the day on which they saw the Sun, And gnashed their teeth, and, howling, tore their hair; And others went on as they had begun, Getting the boats out, being well aware That a tight boat will live in a rough sea, Unless with breakers close beneath her lee.[108]

XLVI.

The worst of all was, that in their condition, Having been several days in great distress, 'T was difficult to get out such provision As now might render their long suffering less: Men, even when dying, dislike inanition;[be] Their stock was damaged by the weather's stress: Two casks of biscuit, and a keg of butter, Were all that could be thrown into the cutter.

XLVII.

But in the long-boat they contrived to stow Some pounds of bread, though injured by the wet; Water, a twenty-gallon cask or so; Six flasks of wine; and they contrived to get A portion of their beef up from below,[109] And with a piece of pork, moreover, met, But scarce enough to serve them for a luncheon-- Then there was rum, eight gallons in a puncheon.

XLVIII.

The other boats, the yawl and pinnace, had Been stove in the beginning of the gale;[110] And the long-boat's condition was but bad, As there were but two blankets for a sail,[111] And one oar for a mast, which a young lad Threw in by good luck over the ship's rail; And two boats could not hold, far less be stored, To save one half the people then on board.

XLIX.

'T was twilight, and the sunless day went down Over the waste of waters; like a veil, Which, if withdrawn, would but disclose the frown[bf] Of one whose hate is masked but to assail. Thus to their hopeless eyes the night was shown, And grimly darkled o'er the faces pale, And the dim desolate deep: twelve days had Fear[bg] Been their familiar, and now Death was here.

L.

Some trial had been making at a raft, With little hope in such a rolling sea, A sort of thing at which one would have laughed,[112] If any laughter at such times could be, Unless with people who too much have quaffed, And have a kind of wild and horrid glee, Half epileptical, and half hysterical:-- Their preservation would have been a miracle.

LI.

At half-past eight o'clock, booms, hencoops, spars, And all things, for a chance, had been cast loose, That still could keep afloat the struggling tars,[113] For yet they strove, although of no great use: There was no light in heaven but a few stars, The boats put off o'ercrowded with their crews; She gave a heel, and then a lurch to port, And, going down head foremost--sunk, in short.[114]

LII.

Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell-- Then shrieked the timid, and stood still the brave,-- Then some leaped overboard with dreadful yell,[115] As eager to anticipate their grave; And the sea yawned around her like a hell, And down she sucked with her the whirling wave, Like one who grapples with his enemy, And strives to strangle him before he die.

LIII.

And first one universal shriek there rushed, Louder than the loud Ocean, like a crash Of echoing thunder; and then all was hushed, Save the wild wind and the remorseless dash Of billows; but at intervals there gushed, Accompanied by a convulsive splash, A solitary shriek, the bubbling cry Of some strong swimmer in his agony.

LIV.

The boats, as stated, had got off before, And in them crowded several of the crew; And yet their present hope was hardly more Than what it had been, for so strong it blew There was slight chance of reaching any shore; And then they were too many, though so few-- Nine in the cutter, thirty in the boat, Were counted in them when they got afloat.

LV.

All the rest perished; near two hundred souls Had left their bodies; and what's worse, alas! When over Catholics the Ocean rolls, They must wait several weeks before a mass Takes off one peck of purgatorial coals, Because, till people know what's come to pass, They won't lay out their money on the dead-- It costs three francs for every mass that's said.

LVI.

Juan got into the long-boat, and there Contrived to help Pedrillo to a place; It seemed as if they had exchanged their care, For Juan wore the magisterial face Which courage gives, while poor Pedrillo's pair Of eyes were crying for their owner's case: Battista, though, (a name called shortly Tita), Was lost by getting at some aqua-vita.

LVII.

Pedro, his valet, too, he tried to save, But the same cause, conducive to his loss, Left him so drunk, he jumped into the wave, As o'er the cutter's edge he tried to cross, And so he found a wine-and-watery grave; They could not rescue him although so close, Because the sea ran higher every minute, And for the boat--the crew kept crowding in it.

LVIII.

A small old spaniel,--which had been Don José's, His father's, whom he loved, as ye may think, For on such things the memory reposes With tenderness--stood howling on the brink, Knowing, (dogs have such intellectual noses!) No doubt, the vessel was about to sink; And Juan caught him up, and ere he stepped Off threw him in, then after him he leaped.[116]

LIX.

He also stuffed his money where he could About his person, and Pedrillo's too, Who let him do, in fact, whate'er he would, Not knowing what himself to say, or do, As every rising wave his dread renewed; But Juan, trusting they might still get through, And deeming there were remedies for any ill, Thus re-embarked his tutor and his spaniel.

LX.

'T was a rough night, and blew so stiffly yet, That the sail was becalmed between the seas,[117] Though on the wave's high top too much to set, They dared not take it in for all the breeze: Each sea curled o'er the stern, and kept them wet, And made them bale without a moment's ease,[118] So that themselves as well as hopes were damped, And the poor little cutter quickly swamped.

LXI.

Nine souls more went in her: the long-boat still Kept above water, with an oar for mast, Two blankets stitched together, answering ill Instead of sail, were to the oar made fast; Though every wave rolled menacing to fill, And present peril all before surpassed,[119] They grieved for those who perished with the cutter, And also for the biscuit-casks and butter.

LXII.

The sun rose red and fiery, a sure sign Of the continuance of the gale: to run Before the sea until it should grow fine, Was all that for the present could be done: A few tea-spoonfuls of their rum and wine Were served out to the people, who begun[120] To faint, and damaged bread wet through the bags, And most of them had little clothes but rags.

LXIII.

They counted thirty, crowded in a space Which left scarce room for motion or exertion; They did their best to modify their case, One half sate up, though numbed with the immersion, While t' other half were laid down in their place, At watch and watch; thus, shivering like the tertian Ague in its cold fit, they filled their boat, With nothing but the sky for a great coat.[121]

LXIV.

'T is very certain the desire of life Prolongs it: this is obvious to physicians, When patients, neither plagued with friends nor wife, Survive through very desperate conditions, Because they still can hope, nor shines the knife Nor shears of Atropos before their visions: Despair of all recovery spoils longevity, And makes men's misery of alarming brevity.

LXV.

'T is said that persons living on annuities Are longer lived than others,--God knows why, Unless to plague the grantors,--yet so true it is, That some, I really think, _do_ never die: Of any creditors the worst a Jew it is, And _that's_ their mode of furnishing supply: In my young days they lent me cash that way, Which I found very troublesome to pay.[122]

LXVI.

'T is thus with people in an open boat, They live upon the love of Life, and bear More than can be believed, or even thought, And stand like rocks the tempest's wear and tear; And hardship still has been the sailor's lot, Since Noah's ark went cruising here and there; She had a curious crew as well as cargo, Like the first old Greek privateer, the Argo.

LXVII.

But man is a carnivorous production, And must have meals, at least one meal a day; He cannot live, like woodcocks, upon suction, But, like the shark and tiger, must have prey; Although his anatomical construction Bears vegetables, in a grumbling way, Your labouring people think, beyond all question, Beef, veal, and mutton, better for digestion.

LXVIII.

And thus it was with this our hapless crew; For on the third day there came on a calm, And though at first their strength it might renew, And lying on their weariness like balm, Lulled them like turtles sleeping on the blue Of Ocean, when they woke they felt a qualm, And fell all ravenously on their provision, Instead of hoarding it with due precision.

LXIX.

The consequence was easily foreseen-- They ate up all they had, and drank their wine, In spite of all remonstrances, and then On what, in fact, next day were they to dine? They hoped the wind would rise, these foolish men! And carry them to shore; these hopes were fine, But as they had but one oar, and that brittle, It would have been more wise to save their victual.

LXX.

The fourth day came, but not a breath of air, And Ocean slumbered like an unweaned child: The fifth day, and their boat lay floating there, The sea and sky were blue, and clear, and mild-- With their one oar (I wish they had had a pair) What could they do? and Hunger's rage grew wild: So Juan's spaniel, spite of his entreating, Was killed, and portioned out for present eating.[123]

LXXI.

On the sixth day they fed upon his hide, And Juan, who had still refused, because The creature was his father's dog that died, Now feeling all the vulture in his jaws, With some remorse received (though first denied) As a great favour one of the fore-paws,[124] Which he divided with Pedrillo, who Devoured it, longing for the other too.

LXXII.

The seventh day, and no wind--the burning sun Blistered and scorched, and, stagnant on the sea, They lay like carcasses; and hope was none, Save in the breeze that came not: savagely They glared upon each other--all was done, Water, and wine, and food,--and you might see The longings of the cannibal arise (Although they spoke not) in their wolfish eyes.

LXXIII.

At length one whispered his companion, who Whispered another, and thus it went round, And then into a hoarser murmur grew, An ominous, and wild, and desperate sound; And when his comrade's thought each sufferer knew, 'T was but his own, suppressed till now, he found: And out they spoke of lots for flesh and blood, And who should die to be his fellow's food.

LXXIV.

But ere they came to this, they that day shared Some leathern caps, and what remained of shoes; And then they looked around them, and despaired, And none to be the sacrifice would choose; At length the lots were torn up,[125] and prepared, But of materials that must shock the Muse-- Having no paper, for the want of better, They took by force from Juan Julia's letter.

LXXV.

The lots were made, and marked, and mixed, and handed, In silent horror,[126] and their distribution Lulled even the savage hunger which demanded, Like the Promethean vulture, this pollution; None in particular had sought or planned it, 'T was Nature gnawed them to this resolution, By which none were permitted to be neuter-- And the lot fell on Juan's luckless tutor.

LXXVI.

He but requested to be bled to death: The surgeon had his instruments, and bled[127] Pedrillo, and so gently ebbed his breath, You hardly could perceive when he was dead. He died as born, a Catholic in faith, Like most in the belief in which they're bred, And first a little crucifix he kissed, And then held out his jugular and wrist.

LXXVII.

The surgeon, as there was no other fee, Had his first choice of morsels for his pains; But being thirstiest at the moment, he Preferred a draught from the fast-flowing veins:[128] Part was divided, part thrown in the sea, And such things as the entrails and the brains Regaled two sharks, who followed o'er the billow-- The sailors ate the rest of poor Pedrillo.

LXXVIII.

The sailors ate him, all save three or four, Who were not quite so fond of animal food; To these was added Juan, who, before Refusing his own spaniel, hardly could Feel now his appetite increased much more; 'T was not to be expected that he should, Even in extremity of their disaster, Dine with them on his pastor and his master.

LXXIX.

'T was better that he did not; for, in fact, The consequence was awful in the extreme; For they, who were most ravenous in the act, Went raging mad[129]--Lord! how they did blaspheme! And foam, and roll, with strange convulsions racked, Drinking salt-water like a mountain-stream, Tearing, and grinning, howling, screeching, swearing, And, with hyæna-laughter, died despairing.

LXXX.

Their numbers were much thinned by this infliction, And all the rest were thin enough, Heaven knows; And some of them had lost their recollection, Happier than they who still perceived their woes; But others pondered on a new dissection, As if not warned sufficiently by those Who had already perished, suffering madly, For having used their appetites so sadly.

LXXXI.

And next they thought upon the master's mate, As fattest; but he saved himself, because, Besides being much averse from such a fate, There were some other reasons: the first was, He had been rather indisposed of late; And--that which chiefly proved his saving clause-- Was a small present made to him at Cadiz, By general subscription of the ladies.

LXXXII.

Of poor Pedrillo something still remained, But was used sparingly,--some were afraid, And others still their appetites constrained, Or but at times a little supper made; All except Juan, who throughout abstained, Chewing a piece of bamboo, and some lead:[130] At length they caught two Boobies, and a Noddy,[131] And then they left off eating the dead body.

LXXXIII.

And if Pedrillo's fate should shocking be, Remember Ugolino[132] condescends To eat the head of his arch-enemy The moment after he politely ends His tale: if foes be food in Hell, at sea 'T is surely fair to dine upon our friends, When Shipwreck's short allowance grows too scanty, Without being much more horrible than Dante.

LXXXIV.

And the same night there fell a shower of rain, For which their mouths gaped, like the cracks of earth When dried to summer dust; till taught by pain, Men really know not what good water's worth; If you had been in Turkey or in Spain, Or with a famished boat's-crew had your berth, Or in the desert heard the camel's bell, You'd wish yourself where Truth is--in a well.

LXXXV.

It poured down torrents, but they were no richer Until they found a ragged piece of sheet, Which served them as a sort of spongy pitcher, And when they deemed its moisture was complete, They wrung it out, and though a thirsty ditcher[133] Might not have thought the scanty draught so sweet As a full pot of porter, to their thinking They ne'er till now had known the joys of drinking.

LXXXVI.

And their baked lips, with many a bloody crack,[134] Sucked in the moisture, which like nectar streamed; Their throats were ovens, their swoln tongues were black, As the rich man's in Hell, who vainly screamed To beg the beggar, who could not rain back A drop of dew, when every drop had seemed To taste of Heaven--If this be true, indeed, Some Christians have a comfortable creed.

LXXXVII.

There were two fathers in this ghastly crew, And with them their two sons, of whom the one Was more robust and hardy to the view, But he died early; and when he was gone, His nearest messmate told his sire, who threw One glance at him, and said, "Heaven's will be done! I can do nothing," and he saw him thrown Into the deep without a tear or groan.[135]

LXXXVIII.

The other father had a weaklier child, Of a soft cheek, and aspect delicate;[136] But the boy bore up long, and with a mild And patient spirit held aloof his fate; Little he said, and now and then he smiled, As if to win a part from off the weight He saw increasing on his father's heart, With the deep deadly thought, that they must part.

LXXXIX.

And o'er him bent his sire, and never raised His eyes from off his face, but wiped the foam From his pale lips, and ever on him gazed, And when the wished-for shower at length was come, And the boy's eyes, which the dull film half glazed, Brightened, and for a moment seemed to roam, He squeezed from out a rag some drops of rain Into his dying child's mouth--but in vain.[137]

XC.

The boy expired--the father held the clay, And looked upon it long, and when at last Death left no doubt, and the dead burthen lay Stiff on his heart, and pulse and hope were past, He watched it wistfully, until away 'T was borne by the rude wave wherein't was cast;[138] Then he himself sunk down all dumb and shivering, And gave no sign of life, save his limbs quivering.

XCI.

Now overhead a rainbow, bursting through The scattering clouds, shone, spanning the dark sea, Resting its bright base on the quivering blue; And all within its arch appeared to be Clearer than that without, and its wide hue Waxed broad and waving, like a banner free, Then changed like to a bow that's bent, and then Forsook the dim eyes of these shipwrecked men.

XCII.

It changed, of course; a heavenly Chameleon, The airy child of vapour and the sun, Brought forth in purple, cradled in vermilion, Baptized in molten gold, and swathed in dun, Glittering like crescents o'er a Turk's pavilion, And blending every colour into one, Just like a black eye in a recent scuffle (For sometimes we must box without the muffle).

XCIII.

Our shipwrecked seamen thought it a good omen-- It is as well to think so, now and then; 'T was an old custom of the Greek and Roman, And may become of great advantage when Folks are discouraged; and most surely no men Had greater need to nerve themselves again Than these, and so this rainbow looked like Hope-- Quite a celestial Kaleidoscope.

XCIV.

About this time a beautiful white bird, Webfooted, not unlike a dove in size And plumage (probably it might have erred Upon its course), passed oft before their eyes, And tried to perch, although it saw and heard The men within the boat, and in this guise It came and went, and fluttered round them till Night fell:--this seemed a better omen still.[139]

XCV.

But in this case I also must remark, 'T was well this bird of promise did not perch, Because the tackle of our shattered bark Was not so safe for roosting as a church; And had it been the dove from Noah's ark, Returning there from her successful search, Which in their way that moment chanced to fall, They would have eat her, olive-branch and all.

XCVI.

With twilight it again came on to blow, But not with violence; the stars shone out, The boat made way; yet now they were so low, They knew not where nor what they were about; Some fancied they saw land, and some said "No!" The frequent fog-banks gave them cause to doubt-- Some swore that they heard breakers, others guns,[140] And all mistook about the latter once.

XCVII.

As morning broke, the light wind died away, When he who had the watch sung out and swore, If 't was not land that rose with the Sun's ray, He wished that land he never might see more;[141] And the rest rubbed their eyes and saw a bay, Or thought they saw, and shaped their course for shore; For shore it was, and gradually grew Distinct, and high, and palpable to view.

XCVIII.

And then of these some part burst into tears, And others, looking with a stupid stare,[142] Could not yet separate their hopes from fears, And seemed as if they had no further care; While a few prayed--(the first time for some years)-- And at the bottom of the boat three were Asleep: they shook them by the hand and head, And tried to awaken them, but found them dead.

XCIX.

The day before, fast sleeping on the water, They found a turtle of the hawk's-bill kind, And by good fortune, gliding softly, caught her,[143] Which yielded a day's life, and to their mind Proved even still a more nutritious matter, Because it left encouragement behind: They thought that in such perils, more than chance Had sent them this for their deliverance.

C.

The land appeared a high and rocky coast, And higher grew the mountains as they drew, Set by a current, toward it: they were lost In various conjectures, for none knew To what part of the earth they had been tost, So changeable had been the winds that blew; Some thought it was Mount Ætna, some the highlands Of Candia, Cyprus, Rhodes, or other islands.

CI.

Meantime the current, with a rising gale, Still set them onwards to the welcome shore, Like Charon's bark of spectres, dull and pale: Their living freight was now reduced to four, And three dead, whom their strength could not avail To heave into the deep with those before, Though the two sharks still followed them, and dashed The spray into their faces as they splashed.

CII.

Famine--despair--cold--thirst and heat, had done Their work on them by turns, and thinned them to Such things a mother had not known her son Amidst the skeletons of that gaunt crew;[144] By night chilled, by day scorched, thus one by one They perished, until withered to these few, But chiefly by a species of self-slaughter, In washing down Pedrillo with salt water.

CII.

As they drew nigh the land, which now was seen Unequal in its aspect here and there, They felt the freshness of its growing green, That waved in forest-tops, and smoothed the air, And fell upon their glazed eyes like a screen From glistening waves, and skies so hot and bare-- Lovely seemed any object that should sweep Away the vast--salt--dread--eternal Deep.

CIV.

The shore looked wild, without a trace of man, And girt by formidable waves; but they Were mad for land, and thus their course they ran, Though right ahead the roaring breakers lay: A reef between them also now began To show its boiling surf and bounding spray, But finding no place for their landing better, They ran the boat for shore,--and overset her.[145]

CV.

But in his native stream, the Guadalquivir, Juan to lave his youthful limbs was wont; And having learnt to swim in that sweet river, Had often turned the art to some account: A better swimmer you could scarce see ever, He could, perhaps, have passed the Hellespont, As once (a feat on which ourselves we prided) Leander, Mr. Ekenhead, and I did.[146]

CVI.

So here, though faint, emaciated, and stark, He buoyed his boyish limbs, and strove to ply With the quick wave, and gain, ere it was dark, The beach which lay before him, high and dry: The greatest danger here was from a shark, That carried off his neighbour by the thigh; As for the other two, they could not swim, So nobody arrived on shore but him.

CVII.

Nor yet had he arrived but for the oar, Which, providentially for him, was washed Just as his feeble arms could strike no more, And the hard wave o'erwhelmed him as 't was dashed Within his grasp; he clung to it, and sore The waters beat while he thereto was lashed; At last, with swimming, wading, scrambling, he Rolled on the beach, half-senseless, from the sea:

CVIII.

There, breathless, with his digging nails he clung Fast to the sand, lest the returning wave, From whose reluctant roar his life he wrung, Should suck him back to her insatiate grave: And there he lay, full length, where he was flung, Before the entrance of a cliff-worn cave, With just enough of life to feel its pain, And deem that it was saved, perhaps, in vain.

CIX.

With slow and staggering effort he arose, But sunk again upon his bleeding knee And quivering hand; and then he looked for those Who long had been his mates upon the sea; But none of them appeared to share his woes, Save one, a corpse, from out the famished three, Who died two days before, and now had found An unknown barren beach for burial ground.

CX.

And as he gazed, his dizzy brain spun fast, And down he sunk; and as he sunk, the sand Swam round and round, and all his senses passed: He fell upon his side, and his stretched hand Drooped dripping on the oar (their jury-mast), And, like a withered lily, on the land His slender frame and pallid aspect lay, As fair a thing as e'er was formed of clay.

CXI.

How long in his damp trance young Juan lay[147] He knew not, for the earth was gone for him, And Time had nothing more of night nor day For his congealing blood, and senses dim; And how this heavy faintness passed away He knew not, till each painful pulse and limb, And tingling vein, seemed throbbing back to life, For Death, though vanquished, still retired with strife.

CXII.

His eyes he opened, shut, again unclosed, For all was doubt and dizziness; he thought He still was in the boat, and had but dozed, And felt again with his despair o'erwrought, And wished it Death in which he had reposed, And then once more his feelings back were brought, And slowly by his swimming eyes was seen A lovely female face of seventeen.

CXIII.

'T was bending close o'er his, and the small mouth Seemed almost prying into his for breath; And chafing him, the soft warm hand of youth Recalled his answering spirits back from Death: And, bathing his chill temples, tried to soothe Each pulse to animation, till beneath Its gentle touch and trembling care, a sigh To these kind efforts made a low reply.

CXIV.

Then was the cordial poured, and mantle flung Around his scarce-clad limbs; and the fair arm Raised higher the faint head which o'er it hung; And her transparent cheek, all pure and warm, Pillowed his death-like forehead; then she wrung His dewy curls, long drenched by every storm; And watched with eagerness each throb that drew A sigh from his heaved bosom--and hers, too.

CXV.

And lifting him with care into the cave, The gentle girl, and her attendant,--one Young, yet her elder, and of brow less grave, And more robust of figure,--then begun To kindle fire, and as the new flames gave Light to the rocks that roofed them, which the sun Had never seen, the maid, or whatsoe'er She was, appeared distinct, and tall, and fair.

CXVI.

Her brow was overhung with coins of gold, That sparkled o'er the auburn of her hair-- Her clustering hair, whose longer locks were rolled In braids behind; and though her stature were Even of the highest for a female mould, They nearly reached her heel; and in her air There was a something which bespoke command, As one who was a Lady in the land.

CXVII.

Her hair, I said, was auburn; but her eyes Were black as Death, their lashes the same hue, Of downcast length, in whose silk shadow lies Deepest attraction; for when to the view Forth from its raven fringe the full glance flies, Ne'er with such force the swiftest arrow flew; 'T is as the snake late coiled, who pours his length, And hurls at once his venom and his strength.

CXVIII.

Her brow was white and low, her cheek's pure dye Like twilight rosy still with the set sun; Short upper lip--sweet lips! that make us sigh Ever to have seen such; for she was one[bh] Fit for the model of a statuary (A race of mere impostors, when all's done-- I've seen much finer women, ripe and real, Than all the nonsense of their stone ideal).[bi][148]

CXIX.

I'll tell you why I say so, for 't is just One should not rail without a decent cause: There was an Irish lady,[149] to whose bust I ne'er saw justice done, and yet she was A frequent model; and if e'er she must Yield to stern Time and Nature's wrinkling laws, They will destroy a face which mortal thought Ne'er compassed, nor less mortal chisel wrought.

CXX.

And such was she, the lady of the cave: Her dress was very different from the Spanish, Simpler, and yet of colours not so grave; For, as you know, the Spanish women banish Bright hues when out of doors, and yet, while wave Around them (what I hope will never vanish) The basquiña and the mantilla, they Seem at the same time mystical and gay.[150]

CXXI.

But with our damsel this was not the case: Her dress was many-coloured, finely spun; Her locks curled negligently round her face, But through them gold and gems profusely shone: Her girdle sparkled, and the richest lace Flowed in her veil, and many a precious stone Flashed on her little hand; but, what was shocking, Her small snow feet had slippers, but no stocking.

CXXII.

The other female's dress was not unlike, But of inferior materials: she Had not so many ornaments to strike, Her hair had silver only, bound to be Her dowry; and her veil, in form alike, Was coarser; and her air, though firm, less free; Her hair was thicker, but less long; her eyes As black, but quicker, and of smaller size.

CXXIII.

And these two tended him, and cheered him both With food and raiment, and those soft attentions, Which are--as I must own--of female growth, And have ten thousand delicate inventions: They made a most superior mess of broth, A thing which poesy but seldom mentions, But the best dish that e'er was cooked since Homer's Achilles ordered dinner for new comers.[151]

CXXIV.

I'll tell you who they were, this female pair, Lest they should seem Princesses in disguise; Besides, I hate all mystery, and that air Of clap-trap, which your recent poets prize; And so, in short, the girls they really were They shall appear before your curious eyes, Mistress and maid; the first was only daughter Of an old man, who lived upon the water.

CXXV.

A fisherman he had been in his youth, And still a sort of fisherman was he; But other speculations were, in sooth, Added to his connection with the sea, Perhaps not so respectable, in truth: A little smuggling, and some piracy, Left him, at last, the sole of many masters Of an ill-gotten million of piastres.

CXXVI.

A fisher, therefore, was he,--though of men, Like Peter the Apostle, and he fished For wandering merchant-vessels, now and then, And sometimes caught as many as he wished; The cargoes he confiscated, and gain He sought in the slave-market too, and dished Full many a morsel for that Turkish trade, By which, no doubt, a good deal may be made.

CXXVII.

He was a Greek, and on his isle had built (One of the wild and smaller Cyclades) A very handsome house from out his guilt, And there he lived exceedingly at ease; Heaven knows what cash he got, or blood he spilt, A sad old fellow was he, if you please; But this I know, it was a spacious building, Full of barbaric carving, paint, and gilding.

CXXVIII.

He had an only daughter, called Haidée, The greatest heiress of the Eastern Isles; Besides, so very beautiful was she, Her dowry was as nothing to her smiles: Still in her teens, and like a lovely tree She grew to womanhood, and between whiles Rejected several suitors, just to learn How to accept a better in his turn.

CXXIX.

And walking out upon the beach, below The cliff, towards sunset, on that day she found, Insensible,--not dead, but nearly so,-- Don Juan, almost famished, and half drowned; But being naked, she was shocked, you know, Yet deemed herself in common pity bound, As far as in her lay, "to take him in, A stranger" dying--with so white a skin.

CXXX.

But taking him into her father's house Was not exactly the best way to save, But like conveying to the cat the mouse, Or people in a trance into their grave; Because the good old man had so much "νους"[Greek: "nous"], Unlike the honest Arab thieves so brave, He would have hospitably cured the stranger, And sold him instantly when out of danger.

CXXXI.

And therefore, with her maid, she thought it best (A virgin always on her maid relies) To place him in the cave for present rest: And when, at last, he opened his black eyes, Their charity increased about their guest; And their compassion grew to such a size, It opened half the turnpike-gates to Heaven-- (St. Paul says, 't is the toll which must be given).

CXXXII.

They made a fire,--but such a fire as they Upon the moment could contrive with such Materials as were cast up round the bay,-- Some broken planks, and oars, that to the touch Were nearly tinder, since, so long they lay, A mast was almost crumbled to a crutch; But, by God's grace, here wrecks were in such plenty, That there was fuel to have furnished twenty.

CXXXIII.

He had a bed of furs, and a pelisse,[bj] For Haidée stripped her sables off to make His couch; and, that he might be more at ease, And warm, in case by chance he should awake, They also gave a petticoat apiece, She and her maid,--and promised by daybreak To pay him a fresh visit, with a dish For breakfast, of eggs, coffee, bread, and fish.

CXXXIV.

And thus they left him to his lone repose: Juan slept like a top, or like the dead, Who sleep at last, perhaps (God only knows), Just for the present; and in his lulled head Not even a vision of his former woes Throbbed in accurséd dreams, which sometimes spread[bk] Unwelcome visions of our former years, Till the eye, cheated, opens thick with tears.

CXXXV.

Young Juan slept all dreamless:--but the maid, Who smoothed his pillow, as she left the den Looked back upon him, and a moment stayed, And turned, believing that he called again. He slumbered; yet she thought, at least she said (The heart will slip, even as the tongue and pen), He had pronounced her name--but she forgot That at this moment Juan knew it not.

CXXXVI.

And pensive to her father's house she went, Enjoining silence strict to Zoe, who Better than her knew what, in fact, she meant, She being wiser by a year or two: A year or two's an age when rightly spent, And Zoe spent hers, as most women do, In gaining all that useful sort of knowledge Which is acquired in Nature's good old college.

CXXXVII.

The morn broke, and found Juan slumbering still Fast in his cave, and nothing clashed upon His rest; the rushing of the neighbouring rill, And the young beams of the excluded Sun, Troubled him not, and he might sleep his fill; And need he had of slumber yet, for none Had suffered more--his hardships were comparative[bl] To those related in my grand-dad's "Narrative."[152]

CXXXVIII.

Not so Haidée: she sadly tossed and tumbled, And started from her sleep, and, turning o'er, Dreamed of a thousand wrecks, o'er which she stumbled, And handsome corpses strewed upon the shore; And woke her maid so early that she grumbled, And called her father's old slaves up, who swore In several oaths--Armenian, Turk, and Greek-- They knew not what to think of such a freak.

CXXXIX.

But up she got, and up she made them get, With some pretence about the Sun, that makes Sweet skies just when he rises, or is set; And 't is, no doubt, a sight to see when breaks Bright Phoebus, while the mountains still are wet With mist, and every bird with him awakes, And night is flung off like a mourning suit Worn for a husband,--or some other brute.[bm]

CXL.

I say, the Sun is a most glorious sight, I've seen him rise full oft, indeed of late I have sat up on purpose all the night,[bn][153] Which hastens, as physicians say, one's fate; And so all ye, who would be in the right In health and purse, begin your day to date From daybreak, and when coffined at fourscore, Engrave upon the plate, you rose at four.

CXLI.

And Haidée met the morning face to face; Her own was freshest, though a feverish flush Had dyed it with the headlong blood, whose race From heart to cheek is curbed into a blush, Like to a torrent which a mountain's base, That overpowers some Alpine river's rush, Checks to a lake, whose waves in circles spread; Or the Red Sea--but the sea is not red.[154]

CXLII.

And down the cliff the island virgin came, And near the cave her quick light footsteps drew, While the Sun smiled on her with his first flame, And young Aurora kissed her lips with dew, Taking her for a sister; just the same Mistake you would have made on seeing the two, Although the mortal, quite as fresh and fair, Had all the advantage, too, of not being air.[bo]

CXLIII.

And when into the cavern Haidée stepped All timidly, yet rapidly, she saw That like an infant Juan sweetly slept; And then she stopped, and stood as if in awe (For sleep is awful), and on tiptoe crept And wrapped him closer, lest the air, too raw, Should reach his blood, then o'er him still as Death Bent, with hushed lips, that drank his scarce-drawn breath.

CXLIV.

And thus like to an Angel o'er the dying Who die in righteousness, she leaned; and there All tranquilly the shipwrecked boy was lying, As o'er him lay the calm and stirless air: But Zoe the meantime some eggs was frying, Since, after all, no doubt the youthful pair Must breakfast--and, betimes, lest they should ask it, She drew out her provision from the basket.

CXLV.

She knew that the best feelings must have victual, And that a shipwrecked youth would hungry be; Besides, being less in love, she yawned a little, And felt her veins chilled by the neighbouring sea; And so, she cooked their breakfast to a tittle; I can't say that she gave them any tea, But there were eggs, fruit, coffee, bread, fish, honey, With Scio wine,--and all for love, not money.

CXLVI.

And Zoe, when the eggs were ready, and The coffee made, would fain have wakened Juan; But Haidée stopped her with her quick small hand, And without word, a sign her finger drew on Her lip, which Zoe needs must understand; And, the first breakfast spoilt, prepared a new one, Because her mistress would not let her break That sleep which seemed as it would ne'er awake.

CXLVII.

For still he lay, and on his thin worn cheek A purple hectic played like dying day On the snow-tops of distant hills; the streak Of sufferance yet upon his forehead lay, Where the blue veins looked shadowy, shrunk, and weak; And his black curls were dewy with the spray, Which weighed upon them yet, all damp and salt, Mixed with the stony vapours of the vault.

CXLVIII.

And she bent o'er him, and he lay beneath, Hushed as the babe upon its mother's breast, Drooped as the willow when no winds can breathe, Lulled like the depth of Ocean when at rest, Fair as the crowning rose of the whole wreath, Soft as the callow cygnet in its nest;[bp] In short, he was a very pretty fellow, Although his woes had turned him rather yellow.

CXLIX.

He woke and gazed, and would have slept again, But the fair face which met his eyes forbade Those eyes to close, though weariness and pain Had further sleep a further pleasure made: For Woman's face was never formed in vain For Juan, so that even when he prayed He turned from grisly saints, and martyrs hairy, To the sweet portraits of the Virgin Mary.

CL.

And thus upon his elbow he arose, And looked upon the lady, in whose cheek The pale contended with the purple rose, As with an effort she began to speak; Her eyes were eloquent, her words would pose, Although she told him, in good modern Greek, With an Ionian accent, low and sweet, That he was faint, and must not talk, but eat.

CLI.

Now Juan could not understand a word, Being no Grecian; but he had an ear, And her voice was the warble of a bird,[155] So soft, so sweet, so delicately clear, That finer, simpler music ne'er was heard;[bq] The sort of sound we echo with a tear, Without knowing why--an overpowering tone, Whence Melody descends as from a throne.

CLII.

And Juan gazed as one who is awoke By a distant organ, doubting if he be Not yet a dreamer, till the spell is broke By the watchman, or some such reality, Or by one's early valet's curséd knock; At least it is a heavy sound to me, Who like a morning slumber--for the night Shows stars and women in a better light.

CLIII.

And Juan, too, was helped out from his dream, Or sleep, or whatsoe'er it was, by feeling A most prodigious appetite; the steam Of Zoe's cookery no doubt was stealing Upon his senses, and the kindling beam Of the new fire, which Zoe kept up, kneeling, To stir her viands, made him quite awake And long for food, but chiefly a beef-steak.

CLIV.

But beef is rare within these oxless isles; Goat's flesh there is, no doubt, and kid, and mutton, And, when a holiday upon them smiles, A joint upon their barbarous spits they put on: But this occurs but seldom, between whiles, For some of these are rocks with scarce a hut on; Others are fair and fertile, among which This, though not large, was one of the most rich.

CLV.

I say that beef is rare, and can't help thinking That the old fable of the Minotaur--From which our modern morals, rightly shrinking, Condemn the royal lady's taste who wore A cow's shape for a mask--was only (sinking The allegory) a mere type, no more, That Pasiphae promoted breeding cattle, To make the Cretans bloodier in battle.

CLVI.

For we all know that English people are Fed upon beef--I won't say much of beer, Because 't is liquor only, and being far From this my subject, has no business here; We know, too, they are very fond of war, A pleasure--like all pleasures--rather dear; So were the Cretans--from which I infer, That beef and battles both were owing to her.

CLVII.

But to resume. The languid Juan raised His head upon his elbow, and he saw A sight on which he had not lately gazed, As all his latter meals had been quite raw, Three or four things, for which the Lord he praised, And, feeling still the famished vulture gnaw, He fell upon whate'er was offered, like A priest, a shark, an alderman, or pike.

CLVIII.

He ate, and he was well supplied; and she, Who watched him like a mother, would have fed Him past all bounds, because she smiled to see Such appetite in one she had deemed dead: But Zoe, being older than Haidée, Knew (by tradition, for she ne'er had read) That famished people must be slowly nurst, And fed by spoonfuls, else they always burst.

CLIX.

And so she took the liberty to state, Rather by deeds than words, because the case Was urgent, that the gentleman, whose fate Had made her mistress quit her bed to trace The sea-shore at this hour, must leave his plate, Unless he wished to die upon the place-- She snatched it, and refused another morsel, Saying, he had gorged enough to make a horse ill.

CLX.

Next they--he being naked, save a tattered Pair of scarce decent trowsers--went to work, And in the fire his recent rags they scattered, And dressed him, for the present, like a Turk, Or Greek--that is, although it not much mattered, Omitting turban, slippers, pistol, dirk,-- They furnished him, entire, except some stitches, With a clean shirt, and very spacious breeches.

CLXI.

And then fair Haidée tried her tongue at speaking, But not a word could Juan comprehend, Although he listened so that the young Greek in Her earnestness would ne'er have made an end; And, as he interrupted not, went eking Her speech out to her protégé and friend, Till pausing at the last her breath to take, She saw he did not understand Romaic.

CLXII.

And then she had recourse to nods, and signs, And smiles, and sparkles of the speaking eye, And read (the only book she could) the lines Of his fair face, and found, by sympathy, The answer eloquent, where the Soul shines And darts in one quick glance a long reply; And thus in every look she saw expressed A world of words, and things at which she guessed.

CLXIII.

And now, by dint of fingers and of eyes, And words repeated after her, he took A lesson in her tongue; but by surmise, No doubt, less of her language than her look: As he who studies fervently the skies Turns oftener to the stars than to his book, Thus Juan learned his _alpha beta_ better From Haidée's glance than any graven letter.

CLXIV.

'T is pleasing to be schooled in a strange tongue By female lips and eyes--that is, I mean, When both the teacher and the taught are young, As was the case, at least, where I have been;[156] They smile so when one's right, and when one's wrong They smile still more, and then there intervene Pressure of hands, perhaps even a chaste kiss;--[br] I learned the little that I know by this:

CLXV.

That is, some words of Spanish, Turk, and Greek, Italian not at all, having no teachers;[bs] Much English I cannot pretend to speak, Learning that language chiefly from its preachers, Barrow, South, Tillotson, whom every week I study, also Blair--the highest reachers Of eloquence in piety and prose-- I hate your poets, so read none of those.

CLXVI.

As for the ladies, I have nought to say, A wanderer from the British world of Fashion,[157] Where I, like other "dogs, have had my day," Like other men, too, may have had my passion-- But that, like other things, has passed away, And all her fools whom I _could_ lay the lash on: Foes, friends, men, women, now are nought to me But dreams of what has been, no more to be.[bt]

CLXVII.

Return we to Don Juan. He begun[158] To hear new words, and to repeat them; but Some feelings, universal as the Sun, Were such as could not in his breast be shut More than within the bosom of a nun: He was in love,--as you would be, no doubt, With a young benefactress,--so was she, Just in the way we very often see.

CLXVIII.

And every day by daybreak--rather early For Juan, who was somewhat fond of rest-- She came into the cave, but it was merely To see her bird reposing in his nest;[159] And she would softly stir his locks so curly, Without disturbing her yet slumbering guest, Breathing all gently o'er his cheek and mouth,[bu] As o'er a bed of roses the sweet South.

CLXIX.

And every morn his colour freshlier came, And every day helped on his convalescence; 'T was well, because health in the human frame Is pleasant, besides being true Love's essence, For health and idleness to Passion's flame Are oil and gunpowder; and some good lessons Are also learnt from Ceres and from Bacchus, Without whom Venus will not long attack us.[160]

CLXX.

While Venus fills the heart, (without heart really Love, though good always, is not quite so good,) Ceres presents a plate of vermicelli,-- For Love must be sustained like flesh and blood,--While Bacchus pours out wine, or hands a jelly: Eggs, oysters, too, are amatory food;[bv] But who is their purveyor from above Heaven knows,--it may be Neptune, Pan, or Jove.

CLXXI.

When Juan woke he found some good things ready, A bath, a breakfast, and the finest eyes That ever made a youthful heart less steady, Besides her maid's, as pretty for their size; But I have spoken of all this already-- A repetition's tiresome and unwise,-- Well--Juan, after bathing in the sea, Came always back to coffee and Haidée.

CLXXII.

Both were so young, and one so innocent, That bathing passed for nothing; Juan seemed To her, as 't were, the kind of being sent, Of whom these two years she had nightly dreamed, A something to be loved, a creature meant To be her happiness, and whom she deemed To render happy; all who joy would win Must share it,--Happiness was born a Twin.

CLXXIII.

It was such pleasure to behold him, such Enlargement of existence to partake Nature with him, to thrill beneath his touch, To watch him slumbering, and to see him wake: To live with him for ever were too much; But then the thought of parting made her quake; He was her own, her ocean-treasure, cast Like a rich wreck--her first love, and her last.[bw]

CLXXIV.

And thus a moon rolled on, and fair Haidée Paid daily visits to her boy, and took Such plentiful precautions, that still he Remained unknown within his craggy nook; At last her father's prows put out to sea, For certain merchantmen upon the look, Not as of yore to carry off an Io, But three Ragusan vessels, bound for Scio.

CLXXV.

Then came her freedom, for she had no mother, So that, her father being at sea, she was Free as a married woman, or such other Female, as where she likes may freely pass, Without even the encumbrance of a brother, The freest she that ever gazed on glass: I speak of Christian lands in this comparison, Where wives, at least, are seldom kept in garrison.

CLXXVI.

Now she prolonged her visits and her talk (For they must talk), and he had learnt to say So much as to propose to take a walk,-- For little had he wandered since the day On which, like a young flower snapped from the stalk, Drooping and dewy on the beach he lay,-- And thus they walked out in the afternoon, And saw the sun set opposite the moon.[bx]

CLXXVII.

It was a wild and breaker-beaten coast, With cliffs above, and a broad sandy shore, Guarded by shoals and rocks as by an host, With here and there a creek, whose aspect wore A better welcome to the tempest-tost; And rarely ceased the haughty billow's roar, Save on the dead long summer days, which make The outstretched Ocean glitter like a lake.

CLXXVIII.

And the small ripple spilt upon the beach Scarcely o'erpassed the cream of your champagne, When o'er the brim the sparkling bumpers reach, That spring-dew of the spirit! the heart's rain! Few things surpass old wine; and they may preach Who please,--the more because they preach in vain,-- Let us have Wine and Woman,[161] Mirth and Laughter, Sermons and soda-water the day after.

CLXXIX.

Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; The best of Life is but intoxication: Glory, the Grape, Love, Gold, in these are sunk The hopes of all men, and of every nation; Without their sap, how branchless were the trunk Of Life's strange tree, so fruitful on occasion! But to return,--Get very drunk, and when You wake with headache--you shall see what then!

CLXXX.

Ring for your valet--bid him quickly bring Some hock and soda-water,[162] then you'll know A pleasure worthy Xerxes the great king; For not the blest sherbet, sublimed with snow,[163] Nor the first sparkle of the desert-spring, Nor Burgundy in all its sunset glow,[by] After long travel, Ennui, Love, or Slaughter, Vie with that draught of hock and soda-water!

CLXXXI.

The coast--I think it was the coast that I Was just describing--Yes, it _was_ the coast-- Lay at this period quiet as the sky, The sands untumbled, the blue waves untossed, And all was stillness, save the sea-bird's cry, And dolphin's leap, and little billow crossed By some low rock or shelve, that made it fret Against the boundary it scarcely wet.

CLXXXII.

And forth they wandered, her sire being gone, As I have said, upon an expedition; And mother, brother, guardian, she had none, Save Zoe, who, although with due precision She waited on her lady with the Sun, Thought daily service was her only mission, Bringing warm water, wreathing her long tresses, And asking now and then for cast-off dresses.

CLXXXIII.

It was the cooling hour, just when the rounded Red sun sinks down behind the azure hill, Which then seems as if the whole earth it bounded, Circling all Nature, hushed, and dim, and still, With the far mountain-crescent half surrounded On one side, and the deep sea calm and chill Upon the other, and the rosy sky With one star sparkling through it like an eye.

CLXXXIV.

And thus they wandered forth, and hand in hand, Over the shining pebbles and the shells, Glided along the smooth and hardened sand, And in the worn and wild receptacles Worked by the storms, yet worked as it were planned In hollow halls, with sparry roofs and cells, They turned to rest; and, each clasped by an arm, Yielded to the deep Twilight's purple charm.

CLXXXV.

They looked up to the sky, whose floating glow Spread like a rosy Ocean, vast and bright;[bz] They gazed upon the glittering sea below, Whence the broad Moon rose circling into sight; They heard the waves' splash, and the wind so low, And saw each other's dark eyes darting light Into each other--and, beholding this, Their lips drew near, and clung into a kiss;

CLXXXVI.

A long, long kiss, a kiss of Youth, and Love, And Beauty, all concentrating like rays Into one focus, kindled from above; Such kisses as belong to early days, Where Heart, and Soul, and Sense, in concert move, And the blood's lava, and the pulse a blaze, Each kiss a heart-quake,--for a kiss's strength, I think, it must be reckoned by its length.

CLXXXVII.

By length I mean duration; theirs endured Heaven knows how long--no doubt they never reckoned; And if they had, they could not have secured The sum of their sensations to a second: They had not spoken, but they felt allured, As if their souls and lips each other beckoned, Which, being joined, like swarming bees they clung-- Their hearts the flowers from whence the honey sprung.[ca]

CLXXXVIII.

They were alone, but not alone as they Who shut in chambers think it loneliness; The silent Ocean, and the starlight bay, The twilight glow, which momently grew less, The voiceless sands, and dropping caves, that lay Around them, made them to each other press, As if there were no life beneath the sky Save theirs, and that their life could never die.

CLXXXIX.

They feared no eyes nor ears on that lone beach; They felt no terrors from the night; they were All in all to each other: though their speech Was broken words, they _thought_ a language there,-- And all the burning tongues the Passions teach[cb] Found in one sigh the best interpreter Of Nature's oracle--first love,--that all Which Eve has left her daughters since her fall.

CXC.

Haidée spoke not of scruples, asked no vows, Nor offered any; she had never heard Of plight and promises to be a spouse, Or perils by a loving maid incurred; She was all which pure Ignorance allows, And flew to her young mate like a young bird; And, never having dreamt of falsehood, she Had not one word to say of constancy.

CXCI.

She loved, and was belovéd--she adored, And she was worshipped after Nature's fashion-- Their intense souls, into each other poured, If souls could die, had perished in that passion,-- But by degrees their senses were restored, Again to be o'ercome, again to dash on; And, beating 'gainst _his_ bosom, Haidée's heart Felt as if never more to beat apart.

CXCII.

Alas! they were so young, so beautiful, So lonely, loving, helpless, and the hour Was that in which the Heart is always full, And, having o'er itself no further power, Prompts deeds Eternity can not annul, But pays off moments in an endless shower Of hell-fire--all prepared for people giving Pleasure or pain to one another living.

CXCIII.

Alas! for Juan and Haidée! they were So loving and so lovely--till then never, Excepting our first parents, such a pair Had run the risk of being damned for ever: And Haidée, being devout as well as fair, Had, doubtless, heard about the Stygian river, And Hell and Purgatory--but forgot Just in the very crisis she should not.

CXCIV.

They look upon each other, and their eyes Gleam in the moonlight; and her white arm clasps Round Juan's head, and his around her lies Half buried in the tresses which it grasps; She sits upon his knee, and drinks his sighs, He hers, until they end in broken gasps; And thus they form a group that's quite antique, Half naked, loving, natural, and Greek.

CXCV.

And when those deep and burning moments passed, And Juan sunk to sleep within her arms, She slept not, but all tenderly, though fast, Sustained his head upon her bosom's charms; And now and then her eye to Heaven is cast, And then on the pale cheek her breast now warms, Pillowed on her o'erflowing heart, which pants With all it granted, and with all it grants.[cc]

CXCVI.

An infant when it gazes on a light, A child the moment when it drains the breast, A devotee when soars the Host in sight, An Arab with a stranger for a guest, A sailor when the prize has struck in fight, A miser filling his most hoarded chest, Feel rapture; but not such true joy are reaping As they who watch o'er what they love while sleeping.

CXCVII.

For there it lies so tranquil, so beloved, All that it hath of Life with us is living; So gentle, stirless, helpless, and unmoved, And all unconscious of the joy 't is giving; All it hath felt, inflicted, passed, and proved, Hushed into depths beyond the watcher's diving: There lies the thing we love with all its errors And all its charms, like Death without its terrors.

CXCVIII.

The Lady watched her lover--and that hour Of Love's, and Night's, and Ocean's solitude O'erflowed her soul with their united power; Amidst the barren sand and rocks so rude She and her wave-worn love had made their bower, Where nought upon their passion could intrude, And all the stars that crowded the blue space Saw nothing happier than her glowing face.

CXCIX.

Alas! the love of Women! it is known To be a lovely and a fearful thing; For all of theirs upon that die is thrown, And if 't is lost, Life hath no more to bring To them but mockeries of the past alone, And their revenge is as the tiger's spring, Deadly, and quick, and crushing; yet, as real Torture is theirs--what they inflict they feel.

CC.

They are right; for Man, to man so oft unjust, Is always so to Women: one sole bond Awaits them--treachery is all their trust; Taught to conceal their bursting hearts despond Over their idol, till some wealthier lust Buys them in marriage--and what rests beyond? A thankless husband--next, a faithless lover-- Then dressing, nursing, praying--and all's over.

CCI.

Some take a lover, some take drams or prayers, Some mind their household, others dissipation, Some run away, and but exchange their cares, Losing the advantage of a virtuous station; Few changes e'er can better their affairs, Theirs being an unnatural situation, From the dull palace to the dirty hovel:[cd] Some play the devil, and then write a novel.[164]

CCII.

Haidée was Nature's bride, and knew not this; Haidée was Passion's child, born where the Sun Showers triple light, and scorches even the kiss Of his gazelle-eyed daughters; she was one Made but to love, to feel that she was his Who was her chosen: what was said or done Elsewhere was nothing. She had nought to fear, Hope, care, nor love, beyond,--her heart beat _here_.

CCIII.

And oh! that quickening of the heart, that beat! How much it costs us! yet each rising throb Is in its cause as its effect so sweet, That Wisdom, ever on the watch to rob Joy of its alchemy, and to repeat Fine truths; even Conscience, too, has a tough job To make us understand each good old maxim, So good--I wonder Castlereagh don't tax 'em.

CCIV.

And now 't was done--on the lone shore were plighted Their hearts; the stars, their nuptial torches, shed Beauty upon the beautiful they lighted: Ocean their witness, and the cave their bed, By their own feelings hallowed and united, Their priest was Solitude, and they were wed:[ce] And they were happy--for to their young eyes Each was an angel, and earth Paradise.

CCV.

Oh, Love! of whom great Cæsar was the suitor, Titus the master,[165] Antony the slave, Horace, Catullus, scholars--Ovid tutor-- Sappho the sage blue-stocking, in whose grave All those may leap who rather would be neuter-- (Leucadia's rock still overlooks the wave)-- Oh, Love! thou art the very God of evil, For, after all, we cannot call thee Devil.

CCVI.

Thou mak'st the chaste connubial state precarious, And jestest with the brows of mightiest men: Cæsar and Pompey, Mahomet, Belisarius,[166] Have much employed the Muse of History's pen: Their lives and fortunes were extremely various, Such worthies Time will never see again; Yet to these four in three things the same luck holds, They all were heroes, conquerors, and cuckolds.

CCVII.

Thou mak'st philosophers; there's Epicurus And Aristippus, a material crew! Who to immoral courses would allure us By theories quite practicable too; If only from the Devil they would insure us, How pleasant were the maxim (not quite new), "Eat, drink, and love, what can the rest avail us?" So said the royal sage Sardanapalus.[167]

CCVIII.

But Juan! had he quite forgotten Julia? And should he have forgotten her so soon? I can't but say it seems to me most truly a Perplexing question; but, no doubt, the moon Does these things for us, and whenever newly a Strong palpitation rises, 't is her boon, Else how the devil is it that fresh features Have such a charm for us poor human creatures?

CCIX.

I hate inconstancy--I loathe, detest, Abhor, condemn, abjure the mortal made Of such quicksilver clay that in his breast No permanent foundation can be laid; Love, constant love, has been my constant guest, And yet last night, being at a masquerade, I saw the prettiest creature, fresh from Milan, Which gave me some sensations like a villain.

CCX.

But soon Philosophy came to my aid, And whispered, "Think of every sacred tie!" "I will, my dear Philosophy!" I said, "But then her teeth, and then, oh, Heaven! her eye! I'll just inquire if she be wife or maid, Or neither--out of curiosity." "Stop!" cried Philosophy, with air so Grecian, (Though she was masqued then as a fair Venetian;)

CCXI.

"Stop!" so I stopped.--But to return: that which Men call inconstancy is nothing more Than admiration due where Nature's rich Profusion with young beauty covers o'er Some favoured object; and as in the niche A lovely statue we almost adore, This sort of adoration of the real Is but a heightening of the _beau ideal_.

CCXII.

'T is the perception of the Beautiful, A fine extension of the faculties, Platonic, universal, wonderful, Drawn from the stars, and filtered through the skies, Without which Life would be extremely dull; In short, it is the use of our own eyes, With one or two small senses added, just To hint that flesh is formed of fiery dust.[cf]

CCXIII.

Yet 't is a painful feeling, and unwilling, For surely if we always could perceive In the same object graces quite as killing As when she rose upon us like an Eve, 'T would save us many a heartache, many a shilling, (For we must get them anyhow, or grieve), Whereas if one sole lady pleased for ever, How pleasant for the heart, as well as liver!

CCXIV.

The Heart is like the sky, a part of Heaven, But changes night and day, too, like the sky; Now o'er it clouds and thunder must be driven, And Darkness and Destruction as on high: But when it hath been scorched, and pierced, and riven, Its storms expire in water-drops; the eye Pours forth at last the Heart's blood turned to tears, Which make the English climate of our years.

CCXV.

The liver is the lazaret of bile, But very rarely executes its function, For the first passion stays there such a while, That all the rest creep in and form a junction, Like knots of vipers on a dunghill's soil--[168] Rage, fear, hate, jealousy, revenge, compunction-- So that all mischiefs spring up from this entrail, Like Earthquakes from the hidden fire called "central."

CCXVI.

In the mean time, without proceeding more In this anatomy, I've finished now Two hundred and odd stanzas as before,[cg] That being about the number I'll allow Each canto of the twelve, or twenty-four; And, laying down my pen, I make my bow, Leaving Don Juan and Haidée to plead For them and theirs with all who deign to read.

FOOTNOTES:

[96] Begun at Venice, December 13, 1818,-finished January 20, 1819.

{81}[ay] _Lost that most precious stone of stones--his modesty_.--[MS.]

{82}[97] [Compare "The Girl of Cadiz," _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 1, and note 1.

[az] _But d----n me if I ever saw the like_.--[MS.]

{83}[98] _Fazzioli_--literally, little handkerchiefs--the veils most availing of St. Mark.

["_I fazzioli_, or kerchiefs (a white kind of veil which the lower orders wear upon their heads)."--Letter to Rogers, March 3, 1818, _Letters,_ 1900, iv. 208.]

[ba] _Their manners mending, and their morals curing. She taught them to suppress their vice--and urine_.--[MS.]

{84}[99] [Compare--

"And fast the white rocks faded from his view * * * * * And then, it may be, of his wish to roam Repented he."

_Childe Harold_, Canto I. stanza xii. lines 3-6, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 24.]

{87}[100] ["To breathe a vein ... to lance it so as to let blood." Compare--

"_Rosalind_. Is the fool sick? _Biron_. Sick at heart. _Ros_. Alack, let it blood." _Love's Labour's Lost_, act ii. sc. I, line 185.]

[bb] _Sea-sickness death; then pardon Juan--how else_ _Keep down his stomach ne'er at sea before_?--[MS. M.]

[101] ["With regard to the charges about the Shipwreck, I think that I told you and Mr. Hobhouse, years ago, that there was not a _single circumstance_ of it _not_ taken from _fact_: not, indeed, from any _single_ shipwreck, but all from _actual_ facts of different wrecks."---Letter to Murray, August 23, 1821. In the _Monthly Magazine_, vol. liii. (August, 1821, pp. 19-22, and September, 1821, pp. 105-109), Byron's indebtedness to Sir G. Dalzell's _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_ (1812, 8vo) is pointed out, and the parallel passages are printed in full.]

[102] ["Night came on worse than the day had been; and a _sudden shift of wind,_ about midnight, _threw the ship into the trough of the sea, which struck her aft, tore away the rudder, started the stern-post, and shattered the whole of her stern-frame. The pumps_ were _immediately sounded,_ and in the course of a few minutes the water had increased to _four feet_....

_"One gang was instantly put on them, and the remainder of the people employed in getting up_ rice from the run of the ship, and heaving it over, _to come at the leak,_ if possible. After three or four hundred bags were thrown into the sea, _we did get at it,_ and found _the water rushing_ into the ship with astonishing rapidity; therefore we _thrust sheets, shirts, jackets, tales of muslin,_ and everything of the like description that could be got, _into the opening._

"Notwithstanding the pumps _discharged fifty tons of water an hour,_ the ship certainly _must have gone down,_ had not our _expedients_ been attended with some success. _The pumps,_ to the excellent construction of which I owe the preservation of my life, _were made by Mr. Mann of London. As the next day advanced, the weather appeared to moderate,_ the men continued incessantly at the pumps, and every exertion was made to _keep the ship afloat._"--See "Loss of the American ship _Hercules,_ Captain Benjamin Stout, June 16, 1796," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea,_ 1812, iii. 316, 317.]

{90}[103] ["Scarce was this done, when _a gust, exceeding in violence everything of the kind I had ever seen, or could conceive, laid the ship on her beam ends_....

"The ship _lay motionless_, and, to all appearance, irrevocably overset.... _The water forsook the hold_, and appeared between decks....

"Immediate directions were given _to cut away the main and mizen masts_, trusting when the ship righted, to be able to wear her. On cutting one or two lanyards, the _mizen-mast went first over_, but without producing the smallest effect on the ship, and, on cutting the lanyard of one shroud, the _main-mast followed_. I had next the mortification to see the _foremast and bowsprit also go over_. On this, _the ship immediately righted with great violence_."--"Loss of the _Centaur_ Man-of-War, 1782, by Captain Inglefield," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 41.]

[bc] _Perhaps the whole would have got drunk, but for_.--[MS.]

{91}[104] ["A midshipman was appointed to guard the spirit-room, to repress that unhappy desire of a devoted crew _to die in a state of intoxication._ The sailors, though in other respects orderly in conduct, here pressed eagerly upon him.

"_'Give us some grog,'_ they exclaimed, _'it will be all one an hour hence.'--'I know we must die,'_ replied the gallant officer, coolly, _'but let us die like men!'--Armed with a brace of pistols,_ he kept his post, even while the ship was sinking."--"Loss of the _Earl of Abergavenny,_ February 5, 1805," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 418. John Wordsworth, the poet's brother, was captain of the _Abergavenny_. See _Life of William Wordsworth_, by Professor Knight, 1889, i. 370-380; see, too, Coleridge's _Anima Poetæ_, 1895, p. 132. For a contemporary report, see a Maltese paper, _Il Cartaginense_, April 17, 1805.]

[105] ["However, by great exertions of the chain-pumps, we _held our own_.... All who were not seamen by profession, had been employed in _thrumming a sail which was passed under the ship's bottom, and I thought_ had some effect....

"_The Centaur laboured so much_, that I _could scarce hope she would swim_ till morning: ... our sufferings _for want of water_ were very great....

"_The weather again threatened_, and by noon _it blew a storm_. The ship laboured greatly; _the water appeared in the fore and after-hold_. I was informed by the carpenter also that _the leathers_ were nearly consumed, and the _chains of the pumps_, by constant exertion, and friction of the coils, were rendered almost useless....

"At this period the carpenter acquainted me that the well was stove in.... and the chain-pumps displaced and totally useless.... Seeing their efforts useless, many of them [the people] burst into tears, and wept like children....

"I perceived _the ship settling by the head._"--"Loss of the _Centaur_," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. pp. 45-49.]

{92}[bd] _'T is ugly dying in the Gulf of Lyons_.--[MS.]

{93}[106] [Byron may have had in mind the story of the half-inaudible vow of a monster wax candle, to be offered to St. Christopher of Paris, which Erasmus tells in his _Naufragium_. The passage is scored with a pencil-mark in his copy of the _Colloquies_.]

[107] [Stanza xliv. recalls Cardinal de Retz's description of the storm at sea in the Gulf of Lyons: "Everybody were at their prayers, or were confessing themselves.... The private captain of the galley caused, in the greatest height of the danger, _his embroidered coat and his red scarf_ to be brought to him, saying, that a true Spaniard ought to die bearing his King's Marks of distinction. He sat himself down in a great elbow chair, and with his foot struck a poor Neapolitan in the chops, who, not being able to stand upon the Coursey of the Galley, was crawling along, crying out aloud, _'Sennor Don Fernando, por l'amor de Dios, Confession.'_ The captain, when he struck him, said to him, _'Inimigo de Dios piedes Confession!'_ And as I was representing to him, that his inference was not right, he said that that old man gave offence to the whole galley. You can't imagine the horror of a great storm; you can as little imagine the Ridicule mixed with it. A Sicilian Observantine monk was preaching at the foot of the great mast, that St. Francis had appeared to him, and had assured him that we should not perish. I should never have done, should I undertake to describe all the ridiculous frights that are seen on these occasions."--_Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz_, 1723, iii. 353.]

{94}[108] ["Some appeared perfectly resigned, _went to their hammocks,_ and desired their messmates _to lash them in_; others were securing themselves to gratings and small rafts; but the most predominant idea was that _of putting on their best_ and _cleanest clothes_. The boats ... were got over the side."--"Loss of the _Centaur_," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 49, 50.]

[be] _Men will prove hungry, even when next perdition_.--[MS.]

{95}[109] ["Eight bags of rice, _six casks of water_, and a _small quantity of salted beef and pork_, were put into the long-boat, as provisions for the whole."--"Wreck of the _Sidney_, 1806," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 434.]

[110] ["The _yawl was stove_ alongside and sunk."--"Loss of the _Centaur_," _ibid._, iii. 50.]

[111] ["_One oar_ was erected for a _main-mast_, and the other broke to the breadth of the _blankets for a yard_."--"Loss of the _Duke William_ Transport, 1758," _ibid_., ii. 387.]

[bf] _Which being withdrawn, discloses but the frown_.--[MS. erased.]

[bg] _Of one who hates us, so the night was shown_ _And grimly darkled o'er their faces pale_, _And hopeless eyes, which o'er the deep alone_ _Gazed dim and desolate_----.--[MS.]

{96}[112] ["As _rafts_ had been mentioned by the carpenter, I thought it right _to make the attempt_.... It was impossible for any man to deceive himself with the hopes of being saved on a raft in such a sea."--"Loss of the _Centaur_," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 50. 51.]

[113] ["_Spars, booms, hencoops_, and _every thing_ buoyant, was therefore _cast loose_, that the men might have some chance to save themselves."--"Loss of the _Pandora_," ibid., iii. 197.]

[114] ["We had scarce quitted the ship, when she gave a heavy _lurch to port_, and _then went down, head foremost._"--"Loss of the _Lady Hobart_," ibid., iii. 378.]

[115] ["At this moment, one of the officers told the captain that she was going down.... and bidding him farewell, leapt overboard: ... the crew had just time to _leap overboard_, which they did, uttering _a most dreadful yell_."--"Loss of the _Pandora_," ibid., iii. 198.]

{98}[116] ["The boat, being fastened to the rigging, was no sooner cleared of the greatest part of the water, than a dog of mine came to me running along the gunwale. _I took him in_."--"Shipwreck of the Sloop _Betsy_, on the Coast of Dutch Guiana, August 5, 1756 (Philip Aubin, Commander)," _Remarkable Shipwrecks_, Hartford, 1813, p. 175.]

[117] [Qy. "My good Sir! when the sea runs very high this is the case, as _I know_, but if _my authority_ is not enough, see Bligh's account of his run to Timor, after being cut adrift by the mutineers headed by Christian."--[B.]

"Pray tell me who was the Lubber who put the query? surely not _you_, Hobhouse! We have both of us seen too much of the sea for that. You may rely on my using no nautical word not founded on authority, and no circumstances not grounded in reality."]

{99}[118] ["It blew a violent storm, and the sea ran very high, so that between the seas the sail was becalmed; and when _on the top of the sea, it was too much to have set_, but I was obliged to carry it, for we were now in very imminent danger and distress; _the sea curling over the stern_ of the boat, which obliged us _to bale with all our might_."--_A Narrative of the Mutiny of the Bounty_, by William Bligh, 1790, p. 23.]

[119] ["Before it was dark, _a blanket_ was discovered in the boat. This was immediately bent to one of the stretchers, and under it, _as a sail_, we scudded all night, in expectation of being _swallowed up by every wave._"--"Loss of the _Centaur_," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 52.]

[120] ["_The sun rose very fiery and red, a sure indication of a severe gale of wind_.--We could do nothing more than keep before the sea.--_I now served a tea-spoonful of rum to each person_, ... with a quarter of a bread-fruit, which was scarce eatable, for dinner."--_A Narrative, etc._, by W. Bligh, 1790, pp. 23, 24.]

{100}[121] ["[As] our lodgings were very miserable and confined, I had only in my power to remedy the latter defect, by putting ourselves _at watch and watch_; so that _one half_ always sat up, while the other half _lay down_ on the boat's bottom, with _nothing to cover us but the heavens."--A Narrative of the Mutiny of the Bounty_, by William Bligh, 1790, p. 28.]

[122] [For Byron's debts to Mrs. Massingberd, "Jew" King, etc., and for money raised on annuities, see _Letters_, 1898, ii. 174, note 2, and letter to Hanson, December 11, 1817, _Letters_, 1900, iv. 187, "The list of annuities sent by Mr. Kinnaird, including Jews and Sawbridge, amounts to twelve thousand eight hundred and some odd pounds."]

{101}[123] ["The third day we began to suffer exceedingly ... from hunger and thirst. I then seized my dog, and plunged the knife in his throat. We caught his blood in the hat, receiving in our hands and drinking what ran over; we afterwards drank in turn out of the hat, and felt ourselves refreshed."--"Shipwreck of the _Betsy_," _Remarkable Shipwrecks_, Hartford, 1813, p. 177.]

{102}[124] ["One day, when I was at home in my hut with my Indian dog, a party came to my door, and told me their necessities were such that they must eat the creature or starve. Though their plea was urgent, I could not help using some arguments to endeavour to dissuade them from killing him, as his faithful services and fondness deserved it at my hands; but, without weighing my arguments, they took him away by force and killed him.... Three weeks after that I was glad to make a meal of his paws and skin which, upon recollecting the spot where they had killed him, I found thrown aside and rotten."--_The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron, etc._, 1768, pp. 47, 48.]

{103}[125] [Being driven to distress for want of food, "they _soaked their shoes_, and two _hairy caps_ in water; and when sufficiently softened ate portions of the leather." But day after day having passed, and the cravings of hunger pressing hard upon them, they fell upon the horrible and dreadful expedient of eating each other; and in order to prevent any contention about who should become the food of the others, "they cast lots to determine the sufferer."--"Sufferings of the Crew of the _Thomas_ [Twelve Men in an Open Boat, 1797]," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii 356.]

[126] ["_The lots were drawn_: 'the captain, summoning all his strength, wrote upon slips of paper the name of each man, folded them up, put them into a hat, and shook them together. The crew, meanwhile, preserved _an awful silence_; each eye was fixed and each mouth open, while terror was strongly impressed upon every countenance.' The unhappy person, with manly fortitude, resigned himself to his miserable associates."--"Famine in the American Ship _Peggy_, 1765," _Remarkable Shipwrecks_, Hartford, 1813, pp. 358, 359.]

[127] ["_He requested to be bled to death, the surgeon_ being with them, and having _his case of instruments_ in his pocket when he quitted the vessel."--"Sufferings of the Crew of the _Thomas," Shipwrecks, etc._, 1812, iii. 357.]

{104}[128] ["Yet scarce was the vein divided when the operator, applying his own parched lips, _drank the stream as it flowed_, and his comrades anxiously watched the last breath of the victim, that they might prey upon his flesh."--_Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 357.]

[129] ["Those who indulged their cannibal appetite to excess speedily perished in _raging madness_," etc.--_Ibid_.]

{105}[130] ["Another expedient we had frequent recourse to, on finding it supplied our mouths with temporary moisture, was _chewing_ any substance we could find, generally a bit of canvas, or even _lead_."--"The Shipwreck of the _Juno_ on the Coast of Aracan," 1795, _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 270.]

[131] ["At noon, some noddies came so near to us that one of them was caught by hand.... I divided it into eighteen portions. In the evening we saw several _boobies_."--_A Narrative of the Mutiny of the Bounty_, by William Bligh, 1790, p. 41.]

[132]

["Quand' ebbe detto ciò, con gli occhi torti Riprese il teschio misero coi denti, Che furo all' osso, come d'un can forti."

Dante, _Inferno_, canto xxxiii. lines 76-78.]

{106}[133] ["Whenever a heavy shower afforded us a few mouthfuls of fresh water, either by catching the drops as they fell or by squeezing them out of our clothes, it infused new life and vigour into us, and for a while we had almost forgot our misery."--_Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 270. Compare _The Island_, Canto I. stanza ix. lines 193, 194, _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 595.]

[134] [Compare--

"With throats unslaked, with black lips baked."

_Ancient Mariner_, Part III. line 157.]

{107}[135] ["Mr. Wade's boy, a _stout healthy lad, died early_, and almost without a groan; while another, of the same age, but of a less promising appearance, held out much longer. Their fathers were both in the fore-top, when the boys were taken ill. [Wade], hearing of his son's illness, answered, with indifference, that _he could do nothing for him_, and left him to his fate."--"Narrative of the Shipwreck of the _Juno_, 1795," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 273.]

[136] ["_The other [Father]_ hurried down.... By that time only three or four planks of the quarter-deck remained, just over the quarter gallery. To this spot the unhappy man led his son, making him fast to the rail, to prevent his being washed away."--_Ibid_.]

[137] ["Whenever the _boy was seized_ with a fit of retching, the father lifted him up and _wiped away the foam from his lips_; and if a _shower came_, he made him open his mouth to _receive the drops_, or gently _squeezed them into it from a rag."--Ibid_.]

{108}[138] ["In this affecting situation both remained four or five days, till _the boy expired_. The unfortunate parent, as if unwilling to believe the fact, raised the body, looked _wistfully_ at it, and when he could no _longer entertain any doubt_, watched it in silence _until_ it was carried _off by sea_; then wrapping himself in a piece of canvas, _sunk down_, and rose no more; though he must have lived two days longer, as we judged from the _quivering of his limbs_ when a wave broke over him."--"Narrative of the Shipwreck of the _Juno_, 1795," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, p. 274.]

{109}[139] [_"About this time a beautiful white bird, web-footed, and not unlike a dove in size and plumage_, hovered over the mast-head of the cutter, and, notwithstanding the pitching of the boat, frequently _attempted to perch on it_, and continued _fluttering there till dark_. Trifling as such an incident may appear, we all considered it a _propitious omen_."--"Loss of the _Lady Hobart_, 1803," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 389.]

[140] ["I found it necessary to caution the people against being deceived by the _appearance of land_, or calling out till we were quite convinced of its reality, more especially as _fog-banks_ are often mistaken for land: several of the poor fellows nevertheless repeatedly exclaimed _they heard breakers_, and some the _firing of guns_."--"Loss of the _Lady Hobart," Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii. 391.]

{110}[141] ["_At length one of them broke out into a most immoderate swearing fit of joy_, which I could not restrain, and declared, that _he had never seen land in his life, if what he now saw was not so_."--"Loss of the _Centaur," ibid_., p. 55.]

[142] ["The joy at a speedy relief affected us all in a most remarkable way. Many _burst into tears; some looked at each other with a stupid stare, as if doubtful_ of the reality of what they saw; while several were in such a lethargic condition, that no animating words could rouse them to exertion. At this affecting period, I proposed offering up our solemn thanks to Heaven for the miraculous deliverance."--"Loss of the _Lady Hobart," ibid_., p. 391.]

[143] [After having suffered the horrors of hunger and thirst for many days, "they accidentally descried a _small_ turtle _floating on the surface of the water asleep_."--"Sufferings of the Crew of the _Thomas," ibid_., p. 356.]

{111}[144] ["An indifferent spectator would have been at a loss which most to admire; the eyes of famine sparkling at immediate relief, or the horror of their preservers at the sight of so many spectres, whose ghastly countenances, if the cause had been unknown, would rather have excited terror than pity. Our bodies were nothing but skin and bones, our limbs were full of sores, and we were clothed in rags."--_Narrative of the Mutiny of the Bounty_, by William Bligh, 1790, p. 80. Compare _The Siege of Corinth_, lines 1048, 1049, _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 494, note 3.]

{112}[145] ["They discovered land _right ahead_, and steered for it. There being a very _heavy surf_, they endeavoured to turn the boat's head to it, which, from weakness, they were unable to accomplish, and soon afterwards _the boat upset_."--"Sufferings of Six Deserters from St. Helena, 1799," _Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea_, 1812, iii, 371.]

[146] [Compare lines "Written after swimming from Sestos to Abydos," _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 13, note 1; see, too, _Letters_, 1898, i. 262, 263, note 1.]

{114}[147] [Compare--

"How long in that same fit I lay I have not to declare."

_The Ancient Mariner_, Part V. lines 393, 394.]

{115}[bh] ---- _in short she's one_.--[MS.]

{116}[bi] _A set of humbug rascals, when all's done_-- _I've seen much finer women, ripe and real_, _Than all the nonsense of their d----d ideal_.--[MS.]

[148] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto IV. stanza 1. lines 6-9, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 366, note 1.]

[149] [Probably that "Alpha and Omega of Beauty," Lady Adelaide Forbes (daughter of George, sixth Earl of Granard), whom Byron compared to the Apollo Belvidere. See _Letters_, 1898, ii. 230, note 3.]

[150] ["The _saya_ or _basquiña_ ... the outer petticoat ... is always black, and is put over the indoor dress on going out." Compare Μελανείμονες ἅπαντες τ οπλέον ἐν σάγοις, [Greek: Melanei/mones a(/pantes t ople/on e)n sa/gois,] Strabo, lib. iii. ed. 1807, i. 210. Ford's _Handbook for Spain_, 1855, i. 111.]

{117}[151] ["When Ajax, Ulysses, and Phoenix stand before Achilles, he rushes forth to greet them, brings them into the tent, directs Patroclus to mix the wine, cuts up the meat, dresses it, and sets it before the ambassadors." (_Iliad_, ix. 193, sq.)--_Study of the Classics_, by H.N. Coleridge, 1830, p, 71]

{119}[bj] _And such a bed of furs, and a pelisse_.--[MS.]

{120}[bk] ---- _which often spread_, _And come like opening Hell upon the mind_, _No "baseless fabric" but "a wrack behind."_--[MS.]

{121}[bl] _Had e'er escaped more dangers on the deep_;-- _And those who are not drowned, at least may sleep_.--[MS.]

[152] [Entitled "_A Narrative of the Honourable John Byron_ (Commodore in a late expedition round the world), containing an account of the great distresses suffered by himself and his companions on the coast of Patagonia, from the year 1740, till their arrival in England, 1746. Written by Himself," London, 1768, 40. For the Hon. John Byron, 1723-86, younger brother of William, fifth Lord Byron, see _Letters_, 1898, i. 3.]

[bm] _Wore for a husband--or some such like brute_.--[MS.]

[bn] ---- _although of late_ _I've changed, for some few years, the day to night_.--[MS.]

[153] [The second canto of _Don Juan_ was finished in January, 1819, when the Venetian Carnival was at its height.]

{122}[154] [Strabo (lib. xvi. ed. 1807, p. 1106) gives various explanations of the name, assigning the supposed redness to the refraction of the rays of the vertical sun; or to the shadow of the scorched mountain-sides which form its shores; or, as Ctesias would have it, to a certain fountain which discharged red oxide of lead into its waters. "Abyssinian" Bruce had no doubt that "large trees or plants of coral spread everywhere over the bottom," made the sea "red," and accounted for the name. But, according to Niebuhr, the Red Sea is the Sea of Edom, which, being interpreted, is "Red."]

[bo] ---- _just the same_ _As at this moment I should like to do;--_ _But I have done with kisses--having kissed_ _All those that would--regretting those I missed_.--[MS.]

{124}[bp] _Fair as the rose just plucked to crown the wreath_, _Soft as the unfledged birdling when at rest_.--[MS.]

[155] [Compare _Mazeppa_, lines 829, sq., _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 232.]

{125}[bq] _That finer melody was never heard_, _The kind of sound whose echo is a tear_, _Whose accents are the steps of Music's throne_.[*]--[MS.]

[*] ["To the Publisher. Take of these varieties which is thought best. I have no choice."]

{128}[156] [Moore, quoting from memory from one of Byron's MS. journals, says that he speaks of "making earnest love to the younger of his fair hostesses at Seville, with the help of a dictionary."--_Life,_ p. 93. See, too, letter to his mother, August 11, 1809, _Letters,_ 1898, i. 240.]

[br] _Pressure of hands, et cetera--or a kiss_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

[bs] _Italian rather more, having more teachers_.--[MS. erased.]

[157] ["In 1813 ... in the fashionable world of London, of which I then formed an item, a fraction, the segment of a circle, the unit of a million, the nothing of something.... I had been the lion of 1812."--Extracts from a Diary, January 19, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 177, 178.]

[bt] _foes, friends, sex, kind, are nothing more to me_ _Than a mere dream of something o'er the sea_.--[MS.]

{129}[158] [For the same archaism or blunder, compare _Manfred_, act i. sc. 4, line 19, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 132.]

[159] [Compare _The Prisoner of Chillon_, line 78, _ibid_., p. 16.]

[bu] _Holding her sweet breath o'er his cheek and mouth_, _As o'er a bed of roses, etc_.--[MS.]

[160] [_Vide post_, Canto XVI. stanza lxxxvi. line 6, p. 598, note 1.]

{130}[bv] _For without heart Love is not quite so good_; _Ceres is commissary to our bellies_, _And Love, which also much depends on food_: _While Bacchus will provide with wine and jellies_-- _Oysters and eggs are also living food_.--[MS.]

[bw] _He was her own, her Ocean lover, cast_ _To be her soul's first idol, and its last_.--[MS.]

{131}[bx] _And saw the sunset and the rising moon_.--[MS.]

{132}[161] [The MS. and the editions of 1819, 1823, 1828, read "woman." The edition of 1833 reads "women." The text follows the MS. and the earlier editions.]

[162] [Compare stanza prefixed to Dedication, vide ante, p. 2.]

[163] [Compare--

"Yes! thy Sherbet to-night will sweetly flow, See how it sparkles in its vase of snow!"

_Corsair_, Canto I. lines 427, 428, _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 242.]

[by] _A pleasure naught but drunkenness can bring:_ _For not the blest sherbet all chilled with snow._ _Nor the full sparkle of the desert-spring,_ _Nor wine in all the purple of its glow_.--[MS.]

{134}[bz] _Spread like an Ocean, varied, vast, and bright._--[MS.]

[ca] _---- I'm sure they never reckoned;_ _And being joined--like swarming bees they clung,_ _And mixed until the very pleasure stung._

or,

_And one was innocent, but both too young,_ _Their hearts the flowers, etc_.--[MS.]

{135}[cb] _In all the burning tongues the Passions teach_ _They had no further feeling, hope, nor care_ _Save one, and that was Love_.--[MS. erased.]

{136}[cc] _Pillowed upon her beating heart--which panted With the sweet memory of all it granted_.--[MS.]

{138}[cd] _Some drown themselves, some in the vices grovel_.--[MS.]

[164] [Lady Caroline Lamb's _Glenarvon_ was published in 1816. For Byron's farewell letter of dismissal, which Lady Caroline embodied in her novel (vol. iii. chap. ix.), see _Letters_, 1898, ii. 135, note 1. According to Medwin (_Conversations_, 1824, p. 274), Madame de Staël catechized Byron with regard to the relation of the story to fact.]

{139}[ce] _In their sweet feelings holily united,_ _By Solitude (soft parson) they were wed_.--[MS.]

[165] [Titus forebore to marry "Incesta" Berenice (see Juv., _Sat_. vi. 158), the daughter of Agrippa I., and wife of Herod, King of Chalcis, out of regard to the national prejudice against intermarriage with an alien.]

[166] [Cæsar's third wife, Pompeia, was suspected of infidelity with Clodius (see Langhorne's _Plutarch_, 1838, p. 498); Pompey's third wife, Mucia, intrigued with Cæsar (_vide ibid_., p. 447); Mahomet's favourite wife, Ayesha, on one occasion incurred suspicion; Antonina, the wife of Belisarius, was notoriously profligate (see Gibbon's _Decline and Fall_, 1825, iii. 432, 102).]

{140}[167] [Compare _Sardanapalus_, act i. sc. 2, line 252, _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 23, note 1.]

{141}[cf] _--of ticklish dust_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

{142}[168] ["Mr. Hobhouse is at it again about indelicacy. There is _no indelicacy_. If he wants _that_, let him read Swift, his great idol; but his imagination must be a dunghill, with a viper's nest in the middle, to engender such a supposition about this poem."--Letter to Murray, May 15, 1819, _Letters_, 1900, iv. 295.]

[cg] _Two hundred stanzas reckoned as before._--[MS.]

CANTO THE THIRD.[169]

I.

HAIL, Muse! _et cetera._--We left Juan sleeping, Pillowed upon a fair and happy breast, And watched by eyes that never yet knew weeping, And loved by a young heart, too deeply blest To feel the poison through her spirit creeping, Or know who rested there, a foe to rest, Had soiled the current of her sinless years, And turned her pure heart's purest blood to tears!

II.

Oh, Love! what is it in this world of ours Which makes it fatal to be loved? Ah why With cypress branches hast thou wreathed thy bowers, And made thy best interpreter a sigh? As those who dote on odours pluck the flowers, And place them on their breast--but place to die-- Thus the frail beings we would fondly cherish Are laid within our bosoms but to perish.

III.

In her first passion Woman loves her lover, In all the others all she loves is Love, Which grows a habit she can ne'er get over, And fits her loosely--like an easy glove,[ch] As you may find, whene'er you like to prove her: One man alone at first her heart can move; She then prefers him in the plural number, Not finding that the additions much encumber.

IV.

I know not if the fault be men's or theirs; But one thing's pretty sure; a woman planted (Unless at once she plunge for life in prayers)-- After a decent time must be gallanted; Although, no doubt, her first of love affairs Is that to which her heart is wholly granted; Yet there are some, they say, who have had _none_, But those who have ne'er end with only _one_.[170]

V.

'T is melancholy, and a fearful sign Of human frailty, folly, also crime, That Love and Marriage rarely can combine, Although they both are born in the same clime; Marriage from Love, like vinegar from wine-- A sad, sour, sober beverage--by Time Is sharpened from its high celestial flavour Down to a very homely household savour.

VI.

There's something of antipathy, as 't were, Between their present and their future state; A kind of flattery that's hardly fair Is used until the truth arrives too late-- Yet what can people do, except despair? The same things change their names at such a rate; For instance--Passion in a lover's glorious, But in a husband is pronounced uxorious.

VII.

Men grow ashamed of being so very fond; They sometimes also get a little tired (But that, of course, is rare), and then despond: The same things cannot always be admired, Yet 't is "so nominated in the bond,"[171] That both are tied till one shall have expired. Sad thought! to lose the spouse that was adorning Our days, and put one's servants into mourning.

VIII.

There's doubtless something in domestic doings Which forms, in fact, true Love's antithesis; Romances paint at full length people's wooings, But only give a bust of marriages; For no one cares for matrimonial cooings, There's nothing wrong in a connubial kiss: Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife, He would have written sonnets all his life?[ci]

IX.

All tragedies are finished by a death, All comedies are ended by a marriage; The future states of both are left to faith, For authors fear description might disparage The worlds to come of both, or fall beneath, And then both worlds would punish their miscarriage; So leaving each their priest and prayer-book ready, They say no more of Death or of the Lady.[172]

X.

The only two that in my recollection, Have sung of Heaven and Hell, or marriage, are Dante[173] and Milton,[174] and of both the affection Was hapless in their nuptials, for some bar Of fault or temper ruined the connection (Such things, in fact, it don't ask much to mar); But Dante's Beatrice and Milton's Eve Were not drawn from their spouses, you conceive.

XI.

Some persons say that Dante meant Theology By Beatrice, and not a mistress--I, Although my opinion may require apology, Deem this a commentator's phantasy, Unless indeed it was from his own knowledge he Decided thus, and showed good reason why; I think that Dante's more abstruse ecstatics Meant to personify the Mathematics.[175]

XII.

Haidée and Juan were not married, but The fault was theirs, not mine: it is not fair, Chaste reader, then, in any way to put The blame on me, unless you wish they were; Then if you'd have them wedded, please to shut The book which treats of this erroneous pair, Before the consequences grow too awful; 'T is dangerous to read of loves unlawful.

XIII.

Yet they were happy,--happy in the illicit Indulgence of their innocent desires; But more imprudent grown with every visit, Haidée forgot the island was her Sire's; When we have what we like 't is hard to miss it, At least in the beginning, ere one tires; Thus she came often, not a moment losing, Whilst her piratical papa was cruising.

XIV.

Let not his mode of raising cash seem strange, Although he fleeced the flags of every nation, For into a Prime Minister but change His title, and 't is nothing but taxation; But he, more modest, took an humbler range Of Life, and in an honester vocation Pursued o'er the high seas his watery journey,[cj] And merely practised as a sea-attorney.

XV.

The good old gentleman had been detained By winds and waves, and some important captures; And, in the hope of more, at sea remained, Although a squall or two had damped his raptures, By swamping one of the prizes; he had chained His prisoners, dividing them like chapters In numbered lots; they all had cuffs and collars, And averaged each from ten to a hundred dollars.

XVI.

Some he disposed of off Cape Matapan, Among his friends the Mainots; some he sold To his Tunis correspondents, save one man Tossed overboard unsaleable (being old); The rest--save here and there some richer one, Reserved for future ransom--in the hold, Were linked alike, as, for the common people, he Had a large order from the Dey of Tripoli.

XVII.

The merchandise was served in the same way, Pieced out for different marts in the Levant, Except some certain portions of the prey, Light classic articles of female want, French stuffs, lace, tweezers, toothpicks, teapot, tray,[ck] Guitars and castanets from Alicant, All which selected from the spoil he gathers, Robbed for his daughter by the best of fathers.

XVIII.

A monkey, a Dutch mastiff, a mackaw,[176] Two parrots, with a Persian cat and kittens, He chose from several animals he saw-- A terrier, too, which once had been a Briton's, Who dying on the coast of Ithaca, The peasants gave the poor dumb thing a pittance: These to secure in this strong blowing weather, He caged in one huge hamper altogether.

XIX.

Then, having settled his marine affairs, Despatching single cruisers here and there, His vessel having need of some repairs, He shaped his course to where his daughter fair Continued still her hospitable cares; But that part of the coast being shoal and bare, And rough with reefs which ran out many a mile, His port lay on the other side o' the isle.

XX.

And there he went ashore without delay, Having no custom-house nor quarantine To ask him awkward questions on the way, About the time and place where he had been: He left his ship to be hove down next day, With orders to the people to careen; So that all hands were busy beyond measure, In getting out goods, ballast, guns, and treasure.

XXI.

Arriving at the summit of a hill Which overlooked the white walls of his home, He stopped.--What singular emotions fill Their bosoms who have been induced to roam! With fluttering doubts if all be well or ill-- With love for many, and with fears for some; All feelings which o'erleap the years long lost, And bring our hearts back to their starting-post.

XXII.

The approach of home to husbands and to sires, After long travelling by land or water, Most naturally some small doubt inspires-- A female family's a serious matter, (None trusts the sex more, or so much admires-- But they hate flattery, so I never flatter); Wives in their husbands' absences grow subtler, And daughters sometimes run off with the butler.

XXIII.

An honest gentleman at his return May not have the good fortune of Ulysses; Not all lone matrons for their husbands mourn, Or show the same dislike to suitors' kisses; The odds are that he finds a handsome urn To his memory--and two or three young misses Born to some friend, who holds his wife and riches-- And that _his_ Argus[177]--bites him by the breeches.

XXIV.

If single, probably his plighted Fair Has in his absence wedded some rich miser; But all the better, for the happy pair May quarrel, and, the lady growing wiser, He may resume his amatory care As cavalier servente, or despise her; And that his sorrow may not be a dumb one, Writes odes on the Inconstancy of Woman.

XXV.

And oh! ye gentlemen who have already Some chaste _liaison_ of the kind--I mean An honest friendship with a married lady-- The only thing of this sort ever seen To last--of all connections the most steady, And the true Hymen, (the first's but a screen)-- Yet, for all that, keep not too long away-- I've known the absent wronged four times a day.[cl]

XXVI.

Lambro, our sea-solicitor, who had Much less experience of dry land than Ocean, On seeing his own chimney-smoke, felt glad; But not knowing metaphysics, had no notion Of the true reason of his not being sad, Or that of any other strong emotion; He loved his child, and would have wept the loss of her, But knew the cause no more than a philosopher.

XXVII.

He saw his white walls shining in the sun, His garden trees all shadowy and green; He heard his rivulet's light bubbling run, The distant dog-bark; and perceived between The umbrage of the wood, so cool and dun, The moving figures, and the sparkling sheen Of arms (in the East all arm)--and various dyes Of coloured garbs, as bright as butterflies.

XXVIII.

And as the spot where they appear he nears, Surprised at these unwonted signs of idling, He hears--alas! no music of the spheres, But an unhallowed, earthly sound of fiddling! A melody which made him doubt his ears, The cause being past his guessing or unriddling; A pipe, too, and a drum, and shortly after-- A most unoriental roar of laughter.

XXIX.

And still more nearly to the place advancing, Descending rather quickly the declivity, Through the waved branches o'er the greensward glancing, 'Midst other indications of festivity, Seeing a troop of his domestics dancing Like Dervises, who turn as on a pivot, he Perceived it was the Pyrrhic dance[178] so martial, To which the Levantines are very partial.

XXX.

And further on a troop of Grecian girls,[179] The first and tallest her white kerchief waving, Were strung together like a row of pearls, Linked hand in hand, and dancing; each too having Down her white neck long floating auburn curls-- (The least of which would set ten poets raving);[cm] Their leader sang--and bounded to her song With choral step and voice the virgin throng.

XXXI.

And here, assembled cross-legged round their trays, Small social parties just begun to dine; Pilaus and meats of all sorts met the gaze, And flasks of Samian and of Chian wine, And sherbet cooling in the porous vase; Above them their dessert grew on its vine;-- The orange and pomegranate nodding o'er, Dropped in their laps, scarce plucked, their mellow store.

XXXII.

A band of children, round a snow-white ram,[180] There wreathe his venerable horns with flowers; While peaceful as if still an unweaned lamb, The patriarch of the flock all gently cowers His sober head, majestically tame, Or eats from out the palm, or playful lowers His brow, as if in act to butt, and then Yielding to their small hands, draws back again.

XXXIII.

Their classical profiles, and glittering dresses, Their large black eyes, and soft seraphic cheeks, Crimson as cleft pomegranates, their long tresses, The gesture which enchants, the eye that speaks, The innocence which happy childhood blesses, Made quite a picture of these little Greeks; So that the philosophical beholder Sighed for their sakes--that they should e'er grow older.

XXXIV.

Afar, a dwarf buffoon stood telling tales To a sedate grey circle of old smokers, Of secret treasures found in hidden vales, Of wonderful replies from Arab jokers, Of charms to make good gold and cure bad ails, Of rocks bewitched that open to the knockers, Of magic ladies who, by one sole act, Transformed their lords to beasts (but that's a fact).

XXXV.

Here was no lack of innocent diversion For the imagination or the senses, Song, dance, wine, music, stories from the Persian, All pretty pastimes in which no offence is; But Lambro saw all these things with aversion, Perceiving in his absence such expenses, Dreading that climax of all human ills, The inflammation of his weekly bills.

XXXVI.

Ah! what is man? what perils still environ[181] The happiest mortals even after dinner! A day of gold from out an age of iron Is all that Life allows the luckiest sinner; Pleasure (whene'er she sings, at least) 's a Siren, That lures, to flay alive, the young beginner; Lambro's reception at his people's banquet Was such as fire accords to a wet blanket.

XXXVII.

He--being a man who seldom used a word Too much, and wishing gladly to surprise (In general he surprised men with the sword) His daughter--had not sent before to advise Of his arrival, so that no one stirred; And long he paused to re-assure his eyes, In fact much more astonished than delighted, To find so much good company invited.

XXXVIII.

He did not know (alas! how men will lie) That a report (especially the Greeks) Avouched his death (such people never die), And put his house in mourning several weeks,-- But now their eyes and also lips were dry; The bloom, too, had returned to Haidée's cheeks: Her tears, too, being returned into their fount, She now kept house upon her own account.

XXXIX.

Hence all this rice, meat, dancing, wine, and fiddling, Which turned the isle into a place of pleasure; The servants all were getting drunk or idling, A life which made them happy beyond measure. Her father's hospitality seemed middling, Compared with what Haidée did with his treasure; 'T was wonderful how things went on improving, While she had not one hour to spare from loving.[cn]

XL.

Perhaps you think, in stumbling on this feast, He flew into a passion, and in fact There was no mighty reason to be pleased; Perhaps you prophesy some sudden act, The whip, the rack, or dungeon at the least, To teach his people to be more exact, And that, proceeding at a very high rate, He showed the royal _penchants_ of a pirate.

XLI.

You're wrong.--He was the mildest mannered man That ever scuttled ship or cut a throat; With such true breeding of a gentleman, You never could divine his real thought; No courtier could, and scarcely woman can Gird more deceit within a petticoat; Pity he loved adventurous life's variety, He was so great a loss to good society.

XLII.

Advancing to the nearest dinner tray, Tapping the shoulder of the nighest guest, With a peculiar smile, which, by the way, Boded no good, whatever it expressed, He asked the meaning of this holiday; The vinous Greek to whom he had addressed His question, much too merry to divine The questioner, filled up a glass of wine,

XLIII.

And without turning his facetious head, Over his shoulder, with a Bacchant air, Presented the o'erflowing cup, and said, "Talking's dry work, I have no time to spare." A second hiccuped, "Our old Master's dead, You'd better ask our Mistress who's his heir." "Our Mistress!" quoth a third: "Our Mistress!--pooh!-- You mean our Master--not the old, but new."

XLIV.

These rascals, being new comers, knew not whom They thus addressed--and Lambro's visage fell-- And o'er his eye a momentary gloom Passed, but he strove quite courteously to quell The expression, and endeavouring to resume His smile, requested one of them to tell The name and quality of his new patron, Who seemed to have turned Haidée into a matron.

XLV.

"I know not," quoth the fellow, "who or what He is, nor whence he came--and little care; But this I know, that this roast capon's fat, And that good wine ne'er washed down better fare; And if you are not satisfied with that, Direct your questions to my neighbour there; He'll answer all for better or for worse, For none likes more to hear himself converse."[182]

XLVI.

I said that Lambro was a man of patience, And certainly he showed the best of breeding, Which scarce even France, the Paragon of nations, E'er saw her most polite of sons exceeding; He bore these sneers against his near relations, His own anxiety, his heart, too, bleeding, The insults, too, of every servile glutton, Who all the time was eating up his mutton.

XLVII.

Now in a person used to much command-- To bid men come, and go, and come again-- To see his orders done, too, out of hand-- Whether the word was death, or but the chain-- It may seem strange to find his manners bland; Yet such things are, which I cannot explain, Though, doubtless, he who can command himself Is good to govern--almost as a Guelf.

XLVIII.

Not that he was not sometimes rash or so, But never in his real and serious mood; Then calm, concentrated, and still, and slow, He lay coiled like the Boa in the wood; With him it never was a word and blow, His angry word once o'er, he shed no blood, But in his silence there was much to rue, And his _one_ blow left little work for _two_.

XLIX.

He asked no further questions, and proceeded On to the house, but by a private way, So that the few who met him hardly heeded, So little they expected him that day; If love paternal in his bosom pleaded For Haidée's sake, is more than I can say, But certainly to one deemed dead returning, This revel seemed a curious mode of mourning.

L.

If all the dead could now return to life, (Which God forbid!) or some, or a great many, For instance, if a husband or his wife[co] (Nuptial examples are as good as any), No doubt whate'er might be their former strife, The present weather would be much more rainy-- Tears shed into the grave of the connection Would share most probably its resurrection.

LI.

He entered in the house no more his home, A thing to human feelings the most trying, And harder for the heart to overcome, Perhaps, than even the mental pangs of dying; To find our hearthstone turned into a tomb, And round its once warm precincts palely lying The ashes of our hopes, is a deep grief, Beyond a _single gentleman's_ belief.

LII.

He entered in the house--his home no more, For without hearts there is no home;--and felt The solitude of passing his own door Without a welcome: _there_ he long had dwelt, There his few peaceful days Time had swept o'er, There his worn bosom and keen eye would melt Over the innocence of that sweet child, His only shrine of feelings undefiled.

LIII.

He was a man of a strange temperament, Of mild demeanour though of savage mood, Moderate in all his habits, and content With temperance in pleasure, as in food, Quick to perceive, and strong to bear, and meant For something better, if not wholly good; His Country's wrongs and his despair to save her Had stung him from a slave to an enslaver.

LIV.

The love of power, and rapid gain of gold, The hardness by long habitude produced, The dangerous life in which he had grown old, The mercy he had granted oft abused, The sights he was accustomed to behold, The wild seas, and wild men with whom he cruised, Had cost his enemies a long repentance, And made him a good friend, but bad acquaintance.

LV.

But something of the spirit of old Greece Flashed o'er his soul a few heroic rays, Such as lit onward to the Golden Fleece His predecessors in the Colchian days; 'T is true he had no ardent love for peace-- Alas! his country showed no path to praise: Hate to the world and war with every nation He waged, in vengeance of her degradation.

LVI.

Still o'er his mind the influence of the clime Shed its Ionian elegance, which showed Its power unconsciously full many a time,-- A taste seen in the choice of his abode, A love of music and of scenes sublime, A pleasure in the gentle stream that flowed Past him in crystal, and a joy in flowers, Bedewed his spirit in his calmer hours.

LVII.

But whatsoe'er he had of love reposed On that belovéd daughter; she had been The only thing which kept his heart unclosed Amidst the savage deeds he had done and seen, A lonely pure affection unopposed: There wanted but the loss of this to wean His feelings from all milk of human kindness, And turn him like the Cyclops mad with blindness.[cp]

LVIII.

The cubless tigress in her jungle raging Is dreadful to the shepherd and the flock; The Ocean when its yeasty war is waging Is awful to the vessel near the rock; But violent things will sooner bear assuaging, Their fury being spent by its own shock, Than the stern, single, deep, and wordless ire[cq] Of a strong human heart, and in a Sire.

LIX.

It is a hard although a common case To find our children running restive--they In whom our brightest days we would retrace, Our little selves re-formed in finer clay, Just as old age is creeping on apace, And clouds come o'er the sunset of our day, They kindly leave us, though not quite alone, But in good company--the gout or stone.

LX.

Yet a fine family is a fine thing (Provided they don't come in after dinner); 'T is beautiful to see a matron bring Her children up (if nursing them don't thin her); Like cherubs round an altar-piece they cling To the fire-side (a sight to touch a sinner). A lady with her daughters or her nieces Shine like a guinea and seven-shilling pieces.

LXI.

Old Lambro passed unseen a private gate, And stood within his hall at eventide; Meantime the lady and her lover sate At wassail in their beauty and their pride: An ivory inlaid table spread with state Before them, and fair slaves on every side;[183] Gems, gold, and silver, formed the service mostly, Mother of pearl and coral the less costly.

LXII.

The dinner made about a hundred dishes; Lamb and pistachio nuts--in short, all meats, And saffron soups, and sweetbreads; and the fishes Were of the finest that e'er flounced in nets, Dressed to a Sybarite's most pampered wishes; The beverage was various sherbets Of raisin, orange, and pomegranate juice, Squeezed through the rind, which makes it best for use.

LXIII.

These were ranged round, each in its crystal ewer, And fruits, and date-bread loaves closed the repast, And Mocha's berry, from Arabia pure, In small fine China cups, came in at last; Gold cups of filigree, made to secure The hand from burning, underneath them placed; Cloves, cinnamon, and saffron too were boiled Up with the coffee, which (I think) they spoiled.

LXIV.

The hangings of the room were tapestry, made Of velvet panels, each of different hue, And thick with damask flowers of silk inlaid; And round them ran a yellow border too; The upper border, richly wrought, displayed, Embroidered delicately o'er with blue, Soft Persian sentences, in lilac letters, From poets, or the moralists their betters.

LXV.

These Oriental writings on the wall, Quite common in those countries, are a kind Of monitors adapted to recall, Like skulls at Memphian banquets, to the mind, The words which shook Belshazzar in his hall, And took his kingdom from him: You will find, Though sages may pour out their wisdom's treasure, There is no sterner moralist than Pleasure.

LXVI.

A Beauty at the season's close grown hectic, A Genius who has drunk himself to death, A Rake turned methodistic, or Eclectic--[184] (For that's the name they like to pray beneath)--[cr] But most, an Alderman struck apoplectic, Are things that really take away the breath,-- And show that late hours, wine, and love are able To do not much less damage than the table.

LXVII.

Haidée and Juan carpeted their feet On crimson satin, bordered with pale blue; Their sofa occupied three parts complete Of the apartment--and appeared quite new; The velvet cushions (for a throne more meet) Were scarlet, from whose glowing centre grew A sun embossed in gold, whose rays of tissue, Meridian-like, were seen all light to issue.[cs]

LXVIII.

Crystal and marble, plate and porcelain, Had done their work of splendour; Indian mats And Persian carpets, which the heart bled to stain, Over the floors were spread; gazelles and cats, And dwarfs and blacks, and such like things, that gain Their bread as ministers and favourites (that's To say, by degradation) mingled there As plentiful as in a court, or fair.

LXIX.

There was no want of lofty mirrors, and The tables, most of ebony inlaid With mother of pearl or ivory, stood at hand, Or were of tortoise-shell or rare woods made, Fretted with gold or silver:--by command The greater part of these were ready spread With viands and sherbets in ice--and wine-- Kept for all comers at all hours to dine.

LXX.

Of all the dresses I select Haidée's: She wore two jelicks--one was of pale yellow; Of azure, pink, and white was her chemise-- 'Neath which her breast heaved like a little billow: With buttons formed of pearls as large as peas, All gold and crimson shone her jelick's fellow, And the striped white gauze baracan that bound her, Like fleecy clouds about the moon, flowed round her.

LXXI.

One large gold bracelet clasped each lovely arm, Lockless--so pliable from the pure gold That the hand stretched and shut it without harm, The limb which it adorned its only mould; So beautiful--its very shape would charm, And clinging, as if loath to lose its hold, The purest ore enclosed the whitest skin That e'er by precious metal was held in.[185]

LXXII.

Around, as Princess of her father's land, A like gold bar above her instep rolled[186] Announced her rank; twelve rings were on her hand; Her hair was starred with gems; her veil's fine fold Below her breast was fastened with a band Of lavish pearls, whose worth could scarce be told; Her orange silk full Turkish trousers furled About the prettiest ankle in the world.

LXXIII.

Her hair's long auburn waves down to her heel Flowed like an Alpine torrent which the sun Dyes with his morning light,--and would conceal Her person[187] if allowed at large to run, And still they seemed resentfully to feel The silken fillet's curb, and sought to shun Their bonds whene'er some Zephyr caught began To offer his young pinion as her fan.

LXXIV.

Round her she made an atmosphere of life,[188] The very air seemed lighter from her eyes, They were so soft and beautiful, and rife With all we can imagine of the skies, And pure as Psyche ere she grew a wife-- Too pure even for the purest human ties; Her overpowering presence made you feel It would not be idolatry to kneel.[189]

LXXV.

Her eyelashes, though dark as night, were tinged (It is the country's custom, but in vain), For those large black eyes were so blackly fringed, The glossy rebels mocked the jetty stain, And in their native beauty stood avenged: Her nails were touched with henna; but, again, The power of Art was turned to nothing, for They could not look more rosy than before.

LXXVI.

The henna should be deeply dyed to make The skin relieved appear more fairly fair; She had no need of this, day ne'er will break On mountain tops more heavenly white than her: The eye might doubt if it were well awake, She was so like a vision; I might err, But Shakespeare also says, 't is very silly "To gild refinéd gold, or paint the lily."[190]

LXXVII.

Juan had on a shawl of black and gold, But a white baracan, and so transparent The sparkling gems beneath you might behold, Like small stars through the milky way apparent; His turban, furled in many a graceful fold, An emerald aigrette, with Haidée's hair in 't, Surmounted as its clasp--a glowing crescent, Whose rays shone ever trembling, but incessant.

LXXVIII.

And now they were diverted by their suite, Dwarfs, dancing girls, black eunuchs, and a poet, Which made their new establishment complete; The last was of great fame, and liked to show it; His verses rarely wanted their due feet-- And for his theme--he seldom sung below it, He being paid to satirise or flatter, As the Psalm says, "inditing a good matter."

LXXIX.

He praised the present, and abused the past, Reversing the good custom of old days, An Eastern anti-jacobin at last He turned, preferring pudding to _no_ praise-- For some few years his lot had been o'ercast By his seeming independent in his lays, But now he sung the Sultan and the Pacha-- With truth like Southey, and with verse[191] like Crashaw.[ct]

LXXX.

He was a man who had seen many changes, And always changed as true as any needle; His Polar Star being one which rather ranges, And not the fixed--he knew the way to wheedle: So vile he 'scaped the doom which oft avenges; And being fluent (save indeed when fee'd ill), He lied with such a fervour of intention-- There was no doubt he earned his laureate pension.

LXXXI.

But _he_ had genius,--when a turncoat has it, The _Vates irritabilis_[192] takes care That without notice few full moons shall pass it; Even good men like to make the public stare:-- But to my subject--let me see--what was it?-- Oh!--the third canto--and the pretty pair-- Their loves, and feasts, and house, and dress, and mode Of living in their insular abode.

LXXXII.

Their poet, a sad trimmer, but, no less,[cu] In company a very pleasant fellow, Had been the favourite of full many a mess Of men, and made them speeches when half mellow;[cv] And though his meaning they could rarely guess, Yet still they deigned to hiccup or to bellow The glorious meed of popular applause, Of which the first ne'er knows the second cause.[cw]

LXXXIII.

But now being lifted into high society, And having picked up several odds and ends Of free thoughts in his travels for variety, He deemed, being in a lone isle, among friends, That, without any danger of a riot, he Might for long lying make himself amends; And, singing as he sung in his warm youth, Agree to a short armistice with Truth.

LXXXIV.

He had travelled 'mongst the Arabs, Turks, and Franks, And knew the self-loves of the different nations; And having lived with people of all ranks, Had something ready upon most occasions-- Which got him a few presents and some thanks. He varied with some skill his adulations; To "do at Rome as Romans do,"[193] a piece Of conduct was which _he_ observed in Greece.

LXXXV.

Thus, usually, when _he_ was asked to sing, He gave the different nations something national; 'T was all the same to him--"God save the King," Or "Ça ira," according to the fashion all: His Muse made increment of anything, From the high lyric down to the low rational;[cx][194] If Pindar sang horse-races, what should hinder Himself from being as pliable as Pindar?

LXXXVI.

In France, for instance, he would write a chanson; In England a six canto quarto tale; In Spain he'd make a ballad or romance on The last war--much the same in Portugal; In Germany, the Pegasus he'd prance on Would be old Goethe's--(see what says De Staël);[195] In Italy he'd ape the "Trecentisti;" In Greece, he'd sing some sort of hymn like this t' ye:[196]

1.

The Isles of Greece, the Isles of Greece! Where burning Sappho loved and sung, Where grew the arts of War and Peace, Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung! Eternal summer gilds them yet, But all, except their Sun, is set.

2.

The Scian and the Teian muse, The Hero's harp, the Lover's lute, Have found the fame your shores refuse: Their place of birth alone is mute To sounds which echo further west Than your Sires' "Islands of the Blest."[197]

3.

The mountains look on Marathon--[cy] And Marathon looks on the sea; And musing there an hour alone, I dreamed that Greece might still be free; For standing on the Persians' grave, I could not deem myself a slave.

4.[198]

A King sate on the rocky brow Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis; And ships, by thousands, lay below, And men in nations;--all were his! He counted them at break of day-- And, when the Sun set, where were they?

5.

And where are they? and where art thou, My Country? On thy voiceless shore The heroic lay is tuneless now-- The heroic bosom beats no more![cz] And must thy Lyre, so long divine, Degenerate into hands like mine?

6.

'T is something, in the dearth of Fame, Though linked among a fettered race, To feel at least a patriot's shame, Even as I sing, suffuse my face; For what is left the poet here? For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear.

7.

Must _we_ but weep o'er days more blest? Must _we_ but blush?--Our fathers bled. Earth! render back from out thy breast A remnant of our Spartan dead! Of the three hundred grant but three, To make a new Thermopylæ!

8.

What, silent still? and silent all? Ah! no;--the voices of the dead Sound like a distant torrent's fall, And answer, "Let one living head, But one arise,--we come, we come!" 'T is but the living who are dumb.

9.

In vain--in vain: strike other chords; Fill high the cup with Samian wine! Leave battles to the Turkish hordes, And shed the blood of Scio's vine! Hark! rising to the ignoble call-- How answers each bold Bacchanal!

10.

You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,[199] Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone? Of two such lessons, why forget The nobler and the manlier one? You have the letters Cadmus gave-- Think ye he meant them for a slave?

11.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! We will not think of themes like these! It made Anacreon's song divine: He served--but served Polycrates--[200] A Tyrant; but our masters then Were still, at least, our countrymen.

12.

The Tyrant of the Chersonese Was Freedom's best and bravest friend; _That_ tyrant was Miltiades! Oh! that the present hour would lend Another despot of the kind! Such chains as his were sure to bind.

13.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore, Exists the remnant of a line Such as the Doric mothers bore; And there, perhaps, some seed is sown, The Heracleidan blood might own.[da]

14.

Trust not for freedom to the Franks--[201] They have a king who buys and sells; In native swords, and native ranks, The only hope of courage dwells; But Turkish force, and Latin fraud, Would break your shield, however broad.

15.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! Our virgins dance beneath the shade-- I see their glorious black eyes shine; But gazing on each glowing maid, My own the burning tear-drop laves, To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

16.

Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,[202] Where nothing, save the waves and I, May hear our mutual murmurs sweep; There, swan-like, let me sing and die: A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine-- Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!

LXXXVII.

Thus sung, or would, or could, or should have sung, The modern Greek, in tolerable verse; If not like Orpheus quite, when Greece was young, Yet in these times he might have done much worse: His strain displayed some feeling--right or wrong; And feeling,[203] in a poet, is the source Of others' feeling; but they are such liars, And take all colours--like the hands of dyers.

LXXXVIII.

But words are things,[204] and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think; 'T is strange, the shortest letter which man uses Instead of speech, may form a lasting link Of ages; to what straits old Time reduces Frail man, when paper--even a rag like this, Survives himself, his tomb, and all that's his!

LXXXIX.

And when his bones are dust, his grave a blank, His station, generation, even his nation, Become a thing, or nothing, save to rank In chronological commemoration, Some dull MS. Oblivion long has sank, Or graven stone found in a barrack's station In digging the foundation of a closet,[db] May turn his name up, as a rare deposit.

XC.

And Glory long has made the sages smile; 'T is something, nothing, words, illusion, wind-- Depending more upon the historian's style Than on the name a person leaves behind: Troy owes to Homer what whist owes to Hoyle:[205] The present century was growing blind To the great Marlborough's skill in giving knocks, Until his late Life by Archdeacon Coxe.[206]

XCI.

Milton's the Prince of poets--so we say; A little heavy, but no less divine: An independent being in his day-- Learned, pious, temperate in love and wine; But, his life falling into Johnson's way, We're told this great High Priest of all the Nine Was whipped at college--a harsh sire--odd spouse, For the first Mrs. Milton left his house.[207]

XCII.

All these are, _certes_, entertaining facts, Like Shakespeare's stealing deer, Lord Bacon's bribes; Like Titus' youth, and Cæsar's earliest acts;[208] Like Burns (whom Doctor Currie well describes);[209] Like Cromwell's pranks;[210]--but although Truth exacts These amiable descriptions from the scribes, As most essential to their Hero's story, They do not much contribute to his glory.

XCIII.

All are not moralists, like Southey, when He prated to the world of "Pantisocracy;"[211] Or Wordsworth unexcised,[212] unhired, who then Seasoned his pedlar poems with Democracy;[dc] Or Coleridge[213] long before his flighty pen Let to the Morning Post its aristocracy;[dd] When he and Southey, following the same path, Espoused two partners (milliners of Bath).[214]

XCIV.

Such names at present cut a convict figure, The very Botany Bay in moral geography; Their loyal treason, renegado rigour, Are good manure for their more bare biography; Wordsworth's last quarto, by the way, is bigger Than any since the birthday of typography; A drowsy, frowzy poem, called the "Excursion," Writ in a manner which is my aversion.

XCV.

He there builds up a formidable dyke Between his own and others' intellect; But Wordsworth's poem, and his followers, like Joanna Southcote's Shiloh[215] and her sect, Are things which in this century don't strike The public mind,--so few are the elect; And the new births of both their stale Virginities Have proved but Dropsies, taken for Divinities.

XCVI.

But let me to my story: I must own, If I have any fault, it is digression, Leaving my people to proceed alone, While I soliloquize beyond expression: But these are my addresses from the throne, Which put off business to the ensuing session: Forgetting each omission is a loss to The world, not quite so great as Ariosto.

XCVII.

I know that what our neighbours call _"longueurs,"_ (We've not so good a _word_, but have the _thing_, In that complete perfection which insures An epic from Bob Southey every spring--) Form not the true temptation which allures The reader; but 't would not be hard to bring Some fine examples of the _Epopée_, To prove its grand ingredient is _Ennui_.[216]

XCVIII.

We learn from Horace, "Homer sometimes sleeps;"[217] We feel without him,--Wordsworth sometimes wakes,-- To show with what complacency he creeps, With his dear "_Waggoners_," around his lakes.[218] He wishes for "a boat" to sail the deeps-- Of Ocean?--No, of air; and then he makes Another outcry for "a little boat," And drivels seas to set it well afloat.[219]

XCIX.

If he must fain sweep o'er the ethereal plain, And Pegasus runs restive in his "Waggon," Could he not beg the loan of Charles's Wain? Or pray Medea for a single dragon?[220] Or if, too classic for his vulgar brain, He feared his neck to venture such a nag on, And he must needs mount nearer to the moon, Could not the blockhead ask for a balloon?

C.

"Pedlars," and "Boats," and "Waggons!" Oh! ye shades Of Pope and Dryden, are we come to this? That trash of such sort not alone evades Contempt, but from the bathos' vast abyss Floats scumlike uppermost, and these Jack Cades Of sense and song above your graves may hiss-- The "little boatman" and his _Peter Bell_ Can sneer at him who drew "Achitophel!"[221]

CI.

T' our tale.--The feast was over, the slaves gone, The dwarfs and dancing girls had all retired; The Arab lore and Poet's song were done, And every sound of revelry expired; The lady and her lover, left alone, The rosy flood of Twilight's sky admired;-- Ave Maria! o'er the earth and sea, That heavenliest hour of Heaven is worthiest thee!

CII.

Ave Maria! blesséd be the hour! The time, the clime, the spot, where I so oft Have felt that moment in its fullest power Sink o'er the earth--so beautiful and soft-- While swung the deep bell in the distant tower,[de] Or the faint dying day-hymn stole aloft, And not a breath crept through the rosy air, And yet the forest leaves seemed stirred with prayer.

CIII.

Ave Maria! 't is the hour of prayer! Ave Maria! 't is the hour of Love! Ave Maria! may our spirits dare Look up to thine and to thy Son's above! Ave Maria! oh that face so fair! Those downcast eyes beneath the Almighty Dove-- What though 't is but a pictured image?--strike-- That painting is no idol,--'t is too like.

CIV.

Some kinder casuists are pleased to say, In nameless print[df]--that I have no devotion; But set those persons down with me to pray, And you shall see who has the properest notion Of getting into Heaven the shortest way; My altars are the mountains and the Ocean, Earth--air--stars,[222]--all that springs from the great Whole, Who hath produced, and will receive the Soul.

CV.

Sweet Hour of Twilight!--in the solitude Of the pine forest, and the silent shore Which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood, Rooted where once the Adrian wave flowed o'er, To where the last Cæsarean fortress stood,[223] Evergreen forest! which Boccaccio's lore And Dryden's lay made haunted ground to me, How have I loved the twilight hour and thee![224]

CVI.

The shrill cicalas, people of the pine, Making their summer lives one ceaseless song, Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine, And Vesper bell's that rose the boughs along; The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line, His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the fair throng Which learned from this example not to fly From a true lover,--shadowed my mind's eye.[225]

CVII.

Oh, Hesperus! thou bringest all good things--[226] Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer, To the young bird the parent's brooding wings, The welcome stall to the o'erlaboured steer; Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clings, Whate'er our household gods protect of dear, Are gathered round us by thy look of rest; Thou bring'st the child, too, to the mother's breast.

CVIII.

Soft Hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart Of those who sail the seas, on the first day When they from their sweet friends are torn apart; Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way As the far bell of Vesper makes him start, Seeming to weep the dying day's decay;[227] Is this a fancy which our reason scorns? Ah! surely Nothing dies but Something mourns!

CIX.

When Nero perished by the justest doom Which ever the Destroyer yet destroyed, Amidst the roar of liberated Rome, Of nations freed, and the world overjoyed, Some hands unseen strewed flowers upon his tomb:[228] Perhaps the weakness of a heart not void Of feeling for some kindness done, when Power Had left the wretch an uncorrupted hour.

CX.

But I'm digressing; what on earth has Nero, Or any such like sovereign buffoons,[dg] To do with the transactions of my hero, More than such madmen's fellow man--the moon's? Sure my invention must be down at zero, And I grown one of many "Wooden Spoons" Of verse, (the name with which we Cantabs please To dub the last of honours in degrees).

CXI.

I feel this tediousness will never do-- T' is being _too_ epic, and I must cut down (In copying) this long canto into two; They'll never find it out, unless I own The fact, excepting some experienced few; And then as an improvement 't will be shown: I'll prove that such the opinion of the critic is From Aristotle _passim_.--See ΠΟΙΗΤΙΚΗΣ[Greek: POIAETIKAES].[229]

FOOTNOTES:

[169] [November 30, 1819. Copied in 1820 (MS.D.). Moore (_Life_, 421) says that Byron was at work on the third canto when he stayed with him at Venice, in October, 1819. "One day, before dinner, [he] read me two or three hundred lines of it; beginning with the stanzas "Oh Wellington," etc., which, at the time, formed the opening of the third canto, but were afterwards reserved for the commencement of the ninth." The third canto, as it now stands, was completed by November 8, 1819; see _Letters_, 1900, iv. 375. The date on the MS. may refer to the first fair copy.]

{144}[ch] _And fits her like a stocking or a glove_.--[MS. D.]

[170] ["On peut trouver des femmes qui n'ont jamais eu de galanterie, mais il est rare d'en trouver qui n'en aient jamais eu qu'une."--_Réflexions_ ... du Duc de la Rochefoucauld, No. lxxiii.

Byron prefixed the maxim as a motto to his "Ode to a Lady whose Lover was killed by a Ball, which at the same time shivered a Portrait next his Heart."--_Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 552.]

{145}[171] [_Merchant of Venice_, act iv. sc. 1, line 254.]

[ci] _Had Petrarch's passion led to Petrarch's wedding,_ _How many sonnets had ensued the bedding?_--[MS.]

[172] [The Ballad of "Death and the Lady" was printed in a small volume, entitled _A Guide to Heaven_, 1736, 12mo. It is mentioned in _The Vicar of Wakefield_ (chap. xvii.), _Works of Oliver Goldsmith_, 1854, i. 369. See _Old English Popular Music_, by William Chappell, F.S.A., 1893, ii. 170, 171.]

{146}[173] [See _The Prophecy of Dante,_ Canto I. lines 172-174, _Poetical Works,_ 1901, iv. 253, note 1.]

[174] Milton's first wife ran away from him within the first month. If she had not, what would John Milton have done?

[Mary Powell did not "run away," but at the end of the honeymoon obtained her husband's consent to visit her family at Shotover, "upon a promise of returning at Michaelmas." "And in the mean while his studies went on very vigorously; and his chief diversion, after the business of the day, was now and then in an evening to visit the Lady Margaret Lee.... This lady, being a woman of excellent wit and understanding, had a particular honour for our author, and took great delight in his conversation; as likewise did her husband, Captain Hobson." See, too, his sonnet "To the Lady Margaret Ley."--_The Life of Milton_ (by Thomas Newton, D.D.), _Paradise Regained,_ ed. (Baskerville), 1758, pp. xvii., xviii.]

[175] ["Yesterday a very pretty letter from Annabella.... She is a poetess--a mathematician--a metaphysician."--_Journal_ November 30, 1813, _Letters_, 1898, ii. 357.]

{147}[cj] _Displayed much more of nerve, perhaps, of wit,_ _Than any of the parodies of Pitt_.--[MS.]

{148}[ck] _---- toothpicks, a bidet_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

"_Dr. Murray--As you are squeamish you may put 'teapot, tray,' in case the other piece of feminine furniture frightens you.--B._"

[176] [For Byron's menagerie, see _Werner_, act i. sc. 1, line 216, _Poetical Works_, 1902, v. 348, note 1.]

{149}[177] ["But as for canine recollections ... I had one (half a _wolf_ by the she-side) that doted on me at ten years old, and very nearly ate me at twenty. When I thought he was going to enact Argus, he bit away the backside of my breeches, and never would consent to any kind of recognition, in despite of all kinds of bones which I offered him."--Letter to Moore, January 19, 1815, _Letters_, 1899, iii. 171, 172. Compare, too, _Childe Harold_, Canto I. Song, stanza ix., _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 30.]

{150}[cl] _Yet for all that don't stay away too long,_ _A sofa, like a bed, may come by wrong_.--[MS.] _I've known the friend betrayed_----.--[MS. D.]

{151}[178] [The Pyrrhic war-dance represented "by rapid movements of the body, the way in which missiles and blows from weapons were avoided, and also the mode in which the enemy was attacked" (_Dict. of Ant._). Dodwell (_Tour through Greece_, 1819, ii. 21, 22) observes that in Thessaly and Macedon dances are performed at the present day by men armed with their musket and sword. See, too, Hobhouse's description (_Travels in Albania_, 1858, i. 166, 167) of the Albanian war-dance at Loutráki.]

[179] ["Their manner of dancing is certainly the same that Diana is _sung_ to have danced on the banks of Eurotas. The great lady still leads the dance, and is followed by a troop of young girls, who imitate her steps, and, if she sings, make up the chorus. The tunes are extremely gay and lively, yet with something in them wonderfully soft. The steps are varied according to the pleasure of her that leads the dance, but always in exact time, and infinitely more agreeable than any of our dances."--Lady M.W. Montagu to Pope, April 1, O.S., 1817, _Letters, etc._, 1816, p. 138. The "kerchief-waving" dance is the _Romaika_. See _The Waltz_, line 125, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 492, note 1. See, too, _Voyage Pittoresque_ ... by the Comte de Choiseul-Gouffier, 1782, vol. i. Planche 33.]

[cm] _That would have set Tom Moore, though married, raving._--[MS.]

{152}[180] ["Upon the whole, I think the part of _Don Juan_ in which Lambro's return to his home, and Lambro himself are described, is the best, that is, the most individual, thing in all I know of Lord B.'s works. The festal abandonment puts one in mind of Nicholas Poussin's pictures."--_Table Talk_ of S.T. Coleridge, June 7, 1824.]

{153}[181] [Compare _Hudibras_, Part I. canto iii. lines 1, 2--

"Ay me! what perils do environ The man that meddles with cold iron!"

Byron's friend, C.S. Matthews, shouted these lines, _con intenzione_, under the windows of a Cambridge tradesman named Hiron, who had been instrumental in the expulsion from the University of Sir Henry Smyth, a riotous undergraduate. (See letter to Murray, October 19, 1820.)]

{154}[cn] _All had been open, heart, and open house,_ _Ever since Juan served her for a spouse._--[MS.]

{155}[182]

["Rispose allor Margutte: a dirtel tosto, Io non credo più al nero ch' all' azzurro; Ma nel cappone, o lesso, o vuogli arrosto, E credo alcuna volta anche nel burro; Nella cervogia, e quando io n' ho nel mosto, E molto più nell' aspro che il mangurro; Ma sopra tutto nel buon vino ho fede, E credo che sia salvo chi gli crede."

Pulci, _Morgante Maggiore_, Canto XVIII. stanza cxv.]

{157}[co] _For instance, if a first or second wife._--[MS.]

{159}[cp] _And send him forth like Samson strong in blindness_.--[MS. D.] _And make him Samson-like--more fierce with blindness_.--[MS. M.]

[cq] _Not so the single, deep, and wordless ire,_ _Of a strong human heart_--.--[MS.]

{160}[183] ["Almost all _Don Juan_ is _real_ life, either my own, or from people I knew. By the way, much of the description of the _furniture_, in Canto Third, is taken from _Tully's Tripoli_ (pray _note this_), and the rest from my own observation. Remember, I never meant to conceal this at all, and have only not stated it, because _Don Juan_ had no preface, nor name to it."--Letter to Murray, August 23, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 346.

The first edition of _"Tully's Tripoli"_ is entitled _Narrative of a Ten Years' Residence in Tripoli In Africa: From the original correspondence in the possession of the Family of the late Richard Tully, Esq., the British Consul_, 1816, 410. The book is in the form of letters (so says the _Preface_) written by the Consul's sister. The description of Haidée's _dress_ is taken from the account of a visit to Lilla Kebbiera, the wife of the Bashaw (p. 30); the description of the furniture and refreshments from the account of a visit to "Lilla Amnani," Hadgi Abderrahmam's Greek wife (pp. 132-137). It is evident that the "Chiel" who took _these_ "notes" was the Consul's _sister_, not the Consul: "Lilla Aisha, the Bey's wife, is thought to be very sensible, though rather haughty. Her apartments were grand, and herself superbly habited. Her chemise was covered with gold embroidery at the neck; over it she wore a gold and silver tissue _jileck_, or jacket without sleeves, and over that another of purple velvet richly laced with gold, with coral and pearl buttons set quite close together down the front; it had short sleeves finished with a gold band not far below the shoulder, and discovered a wide loose chemise of transparent gauze, with gold, silver, and ribband strips. She wore round her ancles ... a sort of fetter made of a thick bar of gold so fine that they bound it round the leg with one hand; it is an inch and a half wide, and as much in thickness: each of these weighs four pounds. Just above this a band three inches wide of gold thread finished the ends of a pair of trousers made of pale yellow and white silk."

Page 132. "[Lilla] rose to take coffee, which was served in very small china cups, placed in silver filigree cups; and gold filigree cups were put under those presented to the married ladies. They had introduced cloves, cinnamon, and saffron into the coffee, which was abundantly sweetened; but this mixture was very soon changed, and replaced by excellent simple coffee for the European ladies...."

Page 133. "The Greek then shewed us the gala furniture of her own room.... The hangings of the room were of tapestry, made in pannels of different coloured velvets, thickly inlaid with flowers of silk damask; a yellow border, of about a foot in depth, finished the tapestry at top and bottom, the upper border being embroidered with Moorish sentences from the Koran in lilac letters. The carpet was of crimson satin, with a deep border of pale blue quilted; this is laid over Indian mats and other carpets. In the best part of the room the sofa is placed, which occupies three sides in an alcove, the floor of which is raised. The sofa and the cushions that lay around were of crimson velvet, the centre cushions were embroidered with a sun in gold of highly embossed work, the rest were of gold and silver tissue. The curtains of the alcove were made to match those before the bed. A number of looking-glasses, and a profusion of fine china and chrystal completed the ornaments and furniture of the room, in which were neither tables nor chairs. A small table, about six inches high, is brought in when refreshments are served; it is of ebony, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, ivory, gold and silver, of choice woods, or of plain mahogany, according to the circumstances of the proprietor."

Page 136. "On the tables were placed all sorts of refreshments, and thirty or forty dishes of meat and poultry, dressed different ways; there were no knives nor forks, and only a few spoons of gold, silver, ivory, or coral...."

Page 137. "The beverage was various sherbets, some composed of the juice of boiled raisins, very sweet; some of the juice of pomegranates squeezed through the rind; and others of the pure juice of oranges. These sherbets were copiously supplied in high glass ewers, placed in great numbers on the ground.... After the dishes of meat were removed, a dessert of Arabian fruits, confectionaries, and sweetmeats was served; among the latter was the date-bread. This sweetmeat is made in perfection only by the blacks at Fezzan, of the ripe date of the country.... They make it in the shape of loaves, weighing from twenty to thirty pounds; the stones of the fruit are taken out, and the dates simply pressed together with great weights; thus preserved, it keeps perfectly good for a year."]

{162}[184] ["He writes like a man who has that clear perception of the truth of things which is the result of the guilty knowledge of good and evil; and who, by the light of that knowledge, has deliberately preferred the evil with a proud malignity of purpose, which would seem to leave little for the last consummating change to accomplish. When he calculates that the reader is on the verge of pitying him, he takes care to throw him back the defiance of laughter, as if to let him know that all the Poet's pathos is but the sentimentalism of the drunkard between his cups, or the relenting softness of the courtesan, who the next moment resumes the bad boldness of her degraded character. With such a man, who would wish either to laugh or to weep?"--_Eclectic Review_ (Lord Byron's _Mazeppa_), August, 1819, vol. xii. p. 150.]

[cr] _For that's the name they like to cant beneath._--[MS.]

{163}[cs] _The upholsterer's_ "fiat lux" _had bade to issue._--[MS.]

{164}[185] This dress is Moorish, and the bracelets and bar are worn in the manner described. The reader will perceive hereafter, that as the mother of Haidée was of Fez, her daughter wore the garb of the country. [_Vide ante, p. 160, note 1._]

[186] The bar of gold above the instep is a mark of sovereign rank in the women of the families of the Deys, and is worn as such by their female relatives. [_Vide ibid._]

[187] This is no exaggeration: there were four women whom I remember to have seen, who possessed their hair in this profusion; of these, three were English, the other was a Levantine. Their hair was of that length and quantity, that, when let down, it almost entirely shaded the person, so as nearly to render dress a superfluity. Of these, only one had dark hair; the Oriental's had, perhaps, the lightest colour of the four.

[188] [Compare--

"Yet there was round thee such a dawn Of Light ne'er seen before, As Fancy never could have drawn, And never can restore."

Song by Rev. C. Wolfe (1791-1823).

Compare, too--

"She was a form of Life and Light That, seen, became a part of sight."

_The Giaour_, lines 1127, 1128.]

{165}[189]

[" ... but Psyche owns no lord-- She walks a goddess from above; All saw, all praised her, all adored, But no one ever dared to love."

_The Golden Ass of Apuleius; in English verse, entitled Cupid and Psyche_, by Hudson Gurney, 1799.]

[190] [_King John_, act iv. sc. 2, line 11.]

{166}[191] ["Richard Crashaw (died 1650), the friend of Cowley, was honoured," says Warton, "with the praise of Pope; who both read his poems and borrowed from them. After he was ejected from his Fellowship at Peterhouse for denying the covenant, he turned Roman Catholic, and died canon of the church at Loretto." Cowley sang his _In Memoriam_--

"_Angels_ (they say) brought the famed _Chappel_ there; And bore the sacred Load in Triumph through the air:-- 'T is surer much they brought thee there, and _They_, And _Thou_, their charge, went _singing_ all the way."

_The Works, etc._, 1668, pp. 29, 30.]

[ct] _Believed like Southey--and perused like Crashaw._--[MS.]

{167}[192] [The second chapter of Coleridge's _Biographia Literaria_ is on the "supposed irritability of men of genius." Ed. 1847, i. 29.]

[cu] _Their poet a sad Southey_.--[MS. D.]

[cv] _Of rogues_--.--[MS. D.]

[cw] _Of which the causers never know the cause_.--[MS. D.]

{168}[193] [_Vide St. August. Epist._, xxxvi., cap. xiv., "Ille [Ambrosius, Mediolanensis Episcopus] adjecit; Quando hic sum, non jejuno sabbato; quando Romae sum, jejuno sabbato."--Migne's _Patrologiæ Cursus_, 1845, xxxiii. 151.]

[cx] _From the high lyrical to the low rational_.--[MS.D.]

[194] [The allusion is to Coleridge's eulogy of Southey in the Biographia Literaria (ed. 1847, i. 61): "In poetry he has attempted almost every species of composition known before, and he has added new ones; and if we except the very highest lyric ... he has attempted every species successfully." But the satire, primarily and ostensibly aimed at Southey, now and again glances at Southey's eulogist.]

[195] ["Goethe pourroit représenter la littérature allemande toute entière."--_De L'Allemagne_, par Mme. la Baronne de Staël-Holstein, 1818, i. 227.]

[196] [The poet is not "a sad Southey," but is sketched from memory. "Lord Byron," writes Finlay (_History of Greece_, vi. 335, note), "used to describe an evening passed in the company of Londos [a Morean landowner, who took part in the first and second Greek Civil Wars], at Vostitza (in 1809), when both were young men, with a spirit that rendered the scene worthy of a place in _Don Juan_. After supper Londos, who had the face and figure of a chimpanzee, sprang upon a table, ... and commenced singing through his nose Rhiga's Hymn to Liberty. A new cadi, passing near the house, inquired the cause of the discordant hubbub. A native Mussulman replied, 'It is only the young primate Londos, who is drunk, and is singing hymns to the new panaghia of the Greeks, whom they call Eleutheria.'" (See letter to Andreas Londos (undated), _Letters_, 1901, vi. 320, note 1.)]

{169}[197] The Μακάρων νησοι [Greek: Maka/rôn nêsoi] [Hesiod, _Works and Days_, line 169] of the Greek poets were supposed to have been the Cape de Verd Islands, or the Canaries.

[cy] _Euboea looks on Marathon, And Marathon looks on the sea, etc._--[MS.]

[198] [See Æschylus, _Persæ_, 463, sq.; and Herodotus, viii. 90. Harpocration records the preservation, in the Acropolis, of the silver-footed throne on which Xerxes sat when he watched the battle of Salamis from the slope of Mount Ægaleos.]

{170}[cz] _The Heroic heart awakes no more_.--[MS. D.]

{171}[199] [For "that most ancient military dance, the _Pyrrhica_," see _Travels_, by E.D. Clarke, 1814, part ii. sect. 11, p. 641; and for specimens of "Cadmean characters," _vide ibid._, p. 593.]

[200] [After his birthplace Teos was taken by the Persians, B.C. 510, Anacreon migrated to Abdera, but afterwards lived at Samos, under the protection of Polycrates.]

[da] _Which Hercules might deem his own._--[MS.]

{172}[201] [See the translation of a speech delivered to the Pargiots, in 1815, by an aged citizen: "I exhort you well to consider, before you yield yourselves up to the English, that the King of England now has in his pay all the kings of Europe--obtaining money for this purpose from his merchants; whence, should it become advantageous to the merchants to sell you, in order to conciliate Ali, and obtain certain commercial advantages in his harbours, the _English will sell you to Ali._" --"Parga," _Edinburgh Review_, October, 1819. vol. 32, pp. 263-293. Here, perhaps, the "Franks" are the Russians. Compare--

"Greeks only should free Greece, Not the barbarian with his masque of peace."

_The Age of Bronze_, lines 298, 299, _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 557, note 1.]

[202]

Γενοίμαν, ἵν' ὑλαεν ἔπεστι πόν- [Greek: Genoi/man, i(/n' y(laen e)/pesti po/n-] του πρόβλημ' ἁλικυστον, ἄ- [Greek: tou pro/blêm' a(likyston, a)/-] κραν ὑπὸ πλάκα Σουνίου, κ.τ.λ. [Greek: kran y(po\ pla/ka Souni/ou, k.t.l.]

Sophocles, _Ajax_, lines 1190-1192.]

{173}[203] [Compare--

"What poets feel not, when they make, A pleasure in creating, The world, in _its_ turn, will not take Pleasure in contemplating."

Matthew Arnold (Motto to _Poems_, 1869, vol. i. Fly-leaf).]

[204] [For this "sentence," see _Journal_, November 16, 1813, _Letters_, 1898, ii. 320, note 1; see, too, letter to Rogers, 1814, _Letters_, 1899, iii. 89, note 1.]

[db] _In digging drains for a new water-closet._--[MS.]

[205] [For Edmund Hoyle (1672-1769), see _English Bards, etc._, lines 966-968, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 372, note 4.]

{174}[206] [William Coxe (1747-1828), Archdeacon of Wilts, a voluminous historian and biographer, published _Memoirs of John, Duke of Marlborough_, in 1817-1819.]

[207] [See _Life of Milton, Works_ of Samuel Johnson, 1825, vii. pp. 67, 68, 80, _et vide ante_, p. 146, note 2.]

[208] [According to Suetonius, the youthful Titus amused himself by copying handwriting, and boasted that he could have made a first-rate _falsarius_. One of Cæsar's "earliest acts" was to crucify some jovial pirates, who had kidnapped him, and with whom he pretended to be on pleasant if not friendly terms.]

[209] [James Currie, M.D. (1756-1805), published, anonymously, the _Works of Robert Burns, with an account of his Life, etc._, in 1800.]

[210] ["He [Cromwell] was very notorious for robbing orchards, a puerile crime ... but grown so scandalous and injurious by the frequent spoyls and damages of Trees, breaking of Hedges, and Inclosures, committed by this _Apple-Dragon_, that many solemn complaints were made both to his Father and Mother for redresse thereof; which missed not their satisfaction and expiation out of his hide," etc.--_Flagellum_, by James Heath, 1663, p. 5. See, too, for his "name of a Royster" at Cambridge, _A Short View of the Late Troubles in England_, by Sir William Dugdale, 1681, p. 459.]

{175}[211] [In _The Friend_, 1818, ii. 38, Coleridge refers to "a plan ... of trying the experiment of human perfectibility on the banks of the Susquehanna;" and Southey, in his _Letter to William Smith, Esq._ (1817), (_Essays Moral and Political_, by Robert Southey, 1832, ii. 17), speaks of his "purpose to retire with a few friends into the wilds of America, and there lay the foundations of a community," etc.; but the word "_Pantisocracy_" is not mentioned. It occurs, perhaps, for the first time in print, in George Dyer's biographical sketch of Southey, which he contributed to _Public Characters of 1799-1800_, p. 225, "Coleridge, no less than Southey, possessed a strong passion for poetry. They commenced, like two young poets, an enthusiastic friendship, and in connection with others, struck out a plan for settling in America, and for having all things in common. This scheme they called Pantisocracy." Hence, the phrase must have "caught on," for, in a footnote to his review of Coleridge's _Literary Life_ (_Edin. Rev._, August, 1817, vol. xxviii. p. 501), Jeffrey speaks of "the Pantisocratic or Lake School."]

[212] [Wordsworth _was_ "hired," but not, like Burns, "excised." Hazlitt (_Lectures on the English Poets_, 1870, p. 174) is responsible for the epithet: "Mr. Wordsworth might have shown the incompatibility between the Muse and the Excise," etc.]

[dc] _Confined his pedlar poems to democracy._--[MS.]

[213] [Coleridge began his poetical contributions to the _Morning Post_ in January, 1798; his poetical articles in 1800.]

[dd] _Flourished its sophistry for aristocracy._--[MS.]

[214] [Coleridge was married to Sarah Fricker, October 5; Southey to her younger sister Edith, November 15, 1795. Their father, Stephen Fricker, who had been an innkeeper, and afterwards a potter at Bristol, migrated to Bath about the year 1780. For the last six years of his life he was owner and manager of a coal wharf. He had inherited a small fortune, and his wife brought him money, but he died bankrupt, and left his family destitute. His widow returned to Bristol, and kept a school. In a letter to Murray, dated September 11, 1822 (_Letters_, 1901, vi. 113), Byron quotes the authority of "Luttrell," and "his friend Mr. Nugent," for the statement that Mrs. Southey and "Coleridge's Sara ... before they were married ... were milliner's or dressmaker's apprentices." The story rests upon their evidence. It is certain that in 1794, when Coleridge appeared upon the scene, the sisters earned their living by going out to work in the houses of friends, and were not, at that time, "milliners of Bath."]

{176}[215] [For Joanna Southcott (1750-1814), see _Letters_, 1899, iii. 128-130, note 2.]

[216] [Here follows, in the original MS.--

"Time has approved Ennui to be the best Of friends, and opiate draughts; your love and wine, Which shake so much the human brain and breast, Must end in languor;--men must sleep like swine: The happy lover and the welcome guest Both sink at last into a swoon divine; Full of deep raptures and of bumpers, they Are somewhat sick and sorry the next day."]

{177}[217] ["Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus."--Hor., _Epist. Ad Pisones_, line 359.]

[218] [Wordsworth's _Benjamin the Waggoner_, was written in 1805, but was not published till 1819. "Benjamin" was servant to William Jackson, a Keswick carrier, who built Greta Hall, and let off part of the house to Coleridge.]

[219]

["There's something in a flying horse, There's something in a huge balloon; But through the clouds I'll never float Until I have a little Boat, Shaped like the crescent-moon."

Wordsworth's _Peter Bell_, stanza i.]

[220] [For Medea's escape from the wrath of Jason, "Titaniacis ablata draconibus," see Ovid., _Met._, vii. 398.]

[221] [In his "Essay, Supplementary to the Preface," to his "Poems" of 1815, Wordsworth, commenting on a passage on Night in Dryden's _Indian Emperor_, says, "Dryden's lines are vague, bombastic, and senseless.... The verses of Dryden once celebrated are forgotten." He is not passing any general criticism on "him who drew _Achitophel_." In a letter to Sir Walter Scott (November 7, 1805), then engaged on his great edition of Dryden's _Works_, he admits that Dryden is not "as a poet any great favourite of mine. I admire his talents and genius highly, but he is not a poetical genius. The only qualities I can find in Dryden that are _essentially_ poetical, are a certain ardour and impetuosity of mind, with an excellent ear" (_Life of Wordsworth_, by W. Knight, 1889, ii. 26-29). Scott may have remarked on Wordsworth's estimate of Dryden in conversation with Byron.]

{178}[de] _While swung the signal from the sacred tower._--[MS.]

{179}[df] _Are not these pretty stanzas?--some folks say--_ _Downright in print_--.--[MS.]

[222] [Compare Coleridge's _Lines to Nature_, which were published in the _Morning Herald_, in 1815, but must have been unknown to Byron--

"So will I build my altar in the fields, And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be."]

[223] ["As early as the fifth or sixth century of the Christian era, the port of Augustus was converted into pleasant orchards, and a lovely grove of pines covered the ground where the Roman fleet once rode at anchor.... This advantageous situation was fortified by art and _labour_, and in the twentieth year of his age, the Emperor of the West ... retired to ... the walls and morasses of Ravenna."--Gibbon's _Decline and Fall_, 1825, ii. 244, 245.]

[224] ["The first time I had a conversation with Lord Byron on the subject of religion was at Ravenna, my native country, in 1820, while we were riding on horseback in an extensive solitary wood of pines. The scene invited to religious meditation. It was a fine day in spring. 'How,' he said, 'raising our eyes to heaven, or directing them to the earth, can we doubt of the existence of God?--or how, turning them to what is within us, can we doubt that there is something more noble and durable than the clay of which we are formed?'"--Count Gamba.]

{180}[225] [If the _Pineta_ of Ravenna, _bois funèbre_, invited Byron "to religious meditation," the mental picture of the "spectre huntsman" pursuing his eternal vengeance on "the inexorable dame"--"that fatal she," who had mocked his woes--must have set in motion another train of thought. Such lines as these would "speak comfortably" to him--

"Because she deem'd I well deserved to die, And _made a merit_ of her cruelty, ... Mine is the ungrateful maid by heaven design'd: Mercy she would not give, nor mercy shall she find."

"By her example warn'd, the rest beware; More easy, less imperious, were the fair; And that one hunting, which the Devil design'd For one fair female, lost him half the kind."

Dryden's _Theodore and Honoria_ (_sub fine_).]

[226]

Εσπερε παντα φερεις [Greek: Espere panta phereis] Φερεις οινον--φερεις αιγα, [Greek: Phereis oinon--phereis aiga,] Φερεις ματερι παιδα. [Greek: Phereis materi paida.]

_Fragment of Sappho._

[Ϝέσπερε, πάντα φέρων, ὅσα φαίνολις ἐσκέδασ' αὔως· [Greek: We/spere, pa/nta phe/rôn, o(/sa phai/nolis e)ske/das' au)/ôs] Φέρεις οἴν φέρεις αἶγα, Φέρεις ἄπυ ματέρι παῖδα. [Greek: Phe/reis oi)/n phe/reis ai~)ga, Phe/reis a)/py mate/ri pai~da.]

_Sappho_, Memoir, Text, by Henry Thornton Wharton, 1895, p. 136.

"Evening, all things thou bringest Which dawn spread apart from each other; The lamb and the kid thou bringest, Thou bringest the boy to his mother."

J.A. Symonds.

Compare Tennyson's _Locksley Hall, Sixty Years After_--"Hesper, whom the poet call'd the Bringer home of all good things."]

{181}[227]

"Era già l'ora che volge il disio Ai naviganti, e intenerisce il cuore; Lo di ch' han detto ai dolci amici addio; E che lo nuovo peregrin' damore Punge, se ode squilla di lontano, Che paia il giorno pianger che si more."

Dante's _Purgatory_, canto viii., lines 1-6.

This last line is the first of Gray's Elegy, taken by him without acknowledgment.

[228] See Suetonius for this fact.

["The public joy was so great upon the occasion of his death, that the common people ran up and down with caps upon their heads. And yet there were some, who for a long time trimmed up his tomb with spring and summer flowers, and, one while, placed his image upon his rostra dressed up in state robes, another while published proclamations in his name, as if he was yet alive, and would shortly come to Rome again, with a vengeance to all his enemies."--_De XII. Cæs._, lib. vi. cap. lvii.]

[dg] _But I'm digressing--what on earth have Nero And Wordsworth--both poetical buffoons, etc._--[MS.]

{182}[229] [See _De Poeticâ_, cap. xxiv. See, too, the Preface to Dryden's "Dedication" of the _Æneis_ (_Works_ of John Dryden, 1821, xiv. 130-134). Dryden is said to have derived his knowledge of Aristotle from Dacier's translation, and it is probable that Byron derived his from Dryden. See letter to Hodgson (_Letters_, 1891, v. 284), in which he quotes Aristotle as quoted in Johnson's _Life of Dryden_.]

CANTO THE FOURTH.

I.

NOTHING so difficult as a beginning In poesy, unless perhaps the end; For oftentimes when Pegasus seems winning The race, he sprains a wing, and down we tend, Like Lucifer when hurled from Heaven for sinning; Our sin the same, and hard as his to mend, Being Pride,[230] which leads the mind to soar too far, Till our own weakness shows us what we are.

II.

But Time, which brings all beings to their level, And sharp Adversity, will teach at last Man,--and, as we would hope,--perhaps the Devil, That neither of their intellects are vast: While Youth's hot wishes in our red veins revel, We know not this--the blood flows on too fast; But as the torrent widens towards the Ocean, We ponder deeply on each past emotion.[231]

III.

As boy, I thought myself a clever fellow, And wished that others held the same opinion; They took it up when my days grew more mellow, And other minds acknowledged my dominion: Now my sere Fancy "falls into the yellow Leaf,"[232] and Imagination droops her pinion, And the sad truth which hovers o'er my desk Turns what was once romantic to burlesque.

IV.

And if I laugh at any mortal thing, 'T is that I may not weep; and if I weep, 'T is that our nature cannot always bring Itself to apathy, for we must steep[dh] Our hearts first in the depths of Lethe's spring,[di] Ere what we least wish to behold will sleep: Thetis baptized her mortal son in Styx; A mortal mother would on Lethe fix.

V.

Some have accused me of a strange design Against the creed and morals of the land, And trace it in this poem every line: I don't pretend that I quite understand My own meaning when I would be _very_ fine; But the fact is that I have nothing planned, Unless it were to be a moment merry-- A novel word in my vocabulary.

VI.

To the kind reader of our sober clime This way of writing will appear exotic; Pulci[233] was sire of the half-serious rhyme,[dj] Who sang when Chivalry was more quixotic, And revelled in the fancies of the time, True Knights, chaste Dames, huge Giants, Kings despotic; But all these, save the last, being obsolete, I chose a modern subject as more meet.

VII.

How I have treated it, I do not know; Perhaps no better than _they_ have treated me, Who have imputed such designs as show Not what they saw, but what they wished to see: But if it gives them pleasure, be it so; This is a liberal age, and thoughts are free: Meantime Apollo plucks me by the ear, And tells me to resume my story here.[234]

VIII.

Young Juan and his lady-love were left To their own hearts' most sweet society; Even Time the pitiless in sorrow cleft With his rude scythe such gentle bosoms; he Sighed to behold them of their hours bereft, Though foe to Love; and yet they could not be Meant to grow old, but die in happy Spring, Before one charm or hope had taken wing.

IX.

Their faces were not made for wrinkles, their Pure blood to stagnate, their great hearts to fail; The blank grey was not made to blast their hair, But like the climes that know nor snow nor hail, They were all summer; lightning might assail And shiver them to ashes, but to trail A long and snake-like life of dull decay Was not for them--they had too little clay.

X.

They were alone once more; for them to be Thus was another Eden; they were never Weary, unless when separate: the tree Cut from its forest root of years--the river Dammed from its fountain--the child from the knee And breast maternal weaned at once for ever,-- Would wither less than these two torn apart;[dk] Alas! there is no instinct like the Heart--

XI.

The Heart--which may be broken: happy they! Thrice fortunate! who of that fragile mould, The precious porcelain of human clay, Break with the first fall: they can ne'er behold The long year linked with heavy day on day, And all which must be borne, and never told; While Life's strange principle will often lie Deepest in those who long the most to die.

XII.

"Whom the gods love die young," was said of yore,[235] And many deaths do they escape by this: The death of friends, and that which slays even more-- The death of Friendship, Love, Youth, all that is, Except mere breath; and since the silent shore Awaits at last even those who longest miss The old Archer's shafts, perhaps the early grave[236] Which men weep over may be meant to save.

XIII.

Haidée and Juan thought not of the dead-- The Heavens, and Earth, and Air, seemed made for them: They found no fault with Time, save that he fled; They saw not in themselves aught to condemn: Each was the other's mirror, and but read Joy sparkling in their dark eyes like a gem. And knew such brightness was but the reflection Of their exchanging glances of affection.

XIV.

The gentle pressure, and the thrilling touch, The least glance better understood than words, Which still said all, and ne'er could say too much; A language,[237] too, but like to that of birds, Known but to them, at least appearing such As but to lovers a true sense affords; Sweet playful phrases, which would seem absurd To those who have ceased to hear such, or ne'er heard--

XV.

All these were theirs, for they were children still, And children still they should have ever been; They were not made in the real world to fill A busy character in the dull scene, But like two beings born from out a rill, A Nymph and her belovéd, all unseen To pass their lives in fountains and on flowers, And never know the weight of human hours.

XVI.

Moons changing had rolled on, and changeless found Those their bright rise had lighted to such joys As rarely they beheld throughout their round; And these were not of the vain kind which cloys, For theirs were buoyant spirits, never bound By the mere senses; and that which destroys[dl] Most love--possession--unto them appeared A thing which each endearment more endeared.

XVII.

Oh beautiful! and rare as beautiful! But theirs was Love in which the Mind delights To lose itself, when the old world grows dull, And we are sick of its hack sounds and sights, Intrigues, adventures of the common school, Its petty passions, marriages, and flights, Where Hymen's torch but brands one strumpet more, Whose husband only knows her not a whore.

XVIII.

Hard words--harsh truth! a truth which many know. Enough.--The faithful and the fairy pair, Who never found a single hour too slow, What was it made them thus exempt from care? Young innate feelings all have felt below, Which perish in the rest, but in them were Inherent--what we mortals call romantic, And always envy, though we deem it frantic.

XIX.

This is in others a factitious state, An opium dream[238] of too much youth and reading, But was in them their nature or their fate: No novels e'er had set their young hearts bleeding,[dm] For Haidée's knowledge was by no means great, And Juan was a boy of saintly breeding; So that there was no reason for their loves More than for those of nightingales or doves.

XX.

They gazed upon the sunset; 't is an hour Dear unto all, but dearest to _their_ eyes, For it had made them what they were: the power Of Love had first o'erwhelmed them from such skies, When Happiness had been their only dower, And Twilight saw them linked in Passion's ties; Charmed with each other, all things charmed that brought The past still welcome as the present thought.

XXI.

I know not why, but in that hour to-night, Even as they gazed, a sudden tremor came, And swept, as 't were, across their hearts' delight, Like the wind o'er a harp-string, or a flame, When one is shook in sound, and one in sight: And thus some boding flashed through either frame, And called from Juan's breast a faint low sigh, While one new tear arose in Haidée's eye.

XXII.

That large black prophet eye seemed to dilate And follow far the disappearing sun, As if their last day of a happy date With his broad, bright, and dropping orb were gone; Juan gazed on her as to ask his fate-- He felt a grief, but knowing cause for none, His glance inquired of hers for some excuse For feelings causeless, or at least abstruse.

XXIII.

She turned to him, and smiled, but in that sort Which makes not others smile; then turned aside: Whatever feeling shook her, it seemed short, And mastered by her wisdom or her pride; When Juan spoke, too--it might be in sport-- Of this their mutual feeling, she replied-- "If it should be so,--but--it cannot be-- Or I at least shall not survive to see."

XXIV.

Juan would question further, but she pressed His lip to hers, and silenced him with this, And then dismissed the omen from her breast, Defying augury with that fond kiss; And no doubt of all methods 't is the best: Some people prefer wine--'t is not amiss; I have tried both--so those who would a part take May choose between the headache and the heartache.

XXV.

One of the two, according to your choice, Woman or wine, you'll have to undergo; Both maladies are taxes on our joys: But which to choose, I really hardly know; And if I had to give a casting voice, For both sides I could many reasons show, And then decide, without great wrong to either, It were much better to have both than neither.

XXVI.

Juan and Haidée gazed upon each other With swimming looks of speechless tenderness, Which mixed all feelings--friend, child, lover, brother-- All that the best can mingle and express When two pure hearts are poured in one another, And love too much, and yet can not love less; But almost sanctify the sweet excess By the immortal wish and power to bless.

XXVII.

Mixed in each other's arms, and heart in heart, Why did they not then die?--they had lived too long Should an hour come to bid them breathe apart; Years could but bring them cruel things or wrong; The World was not for them--nor the World's art For beings passionate as Sappho's song; Love was born _with_ them, _in_ them, so intense, It was their very Spirit--not a sense.

XXVIII.

They should have lived together deep in woods, Unseen as sings the nightingale;[239] they were Unfit to mix in these thick solitudes Called social, haunts of Hate, and Vice, and Care:[dn] How lonely every freeborn creature broods! The sweetest song-birds nestle in a pair; The eagle soars alone; the gull and crow Flock o'er their carrion, just like men below.

XXIX.

Now pillowed cheek to cheek, in loving sleep, Haidée and Juan their siesta took, A gentle slumber, but it was not deep, For ever and anon a something shook Juan, and shuddering o'er his frame would creep; And Haidée's sweet lips murmured like a brook A wordless music, and her face so fair Stirred with her dream, as rose-leaves with the air.[do]

XXX.

Or as the stirring of a deep clear stream Within an Alpine hollow, when the wind Walks o'er it, was she shaken by the dream, The mystical Usurper of the mind-- O'erpowering us to be whate'er may seem Good to the soul which we no more can bind; Strange state of being! (for 't is still to be) Senseless to feel, and with sealed eyes to see.[dp]

XXXI.

She dreamed of being alone on the sea-shore, Chained to a rock; she knew not how, but stir She could not from the spot, and the loud roar Grew, and each wave rose roughly, threatening her; And o'er her upper lip they seemed to pour, Until she sobbed for breath, and soon they were Foaming o'er her lone head, so fierce and high-- Each broke to drown her, yet she could not die.

XXXII.

Anon--she was released, and then she strayed O'er the sharp shingles with her bleeding feet, And stumbled almost every step she made: And something rolled before her in a sheet, Which she must still pursue howe'er afraid: 'T was white and indistinct, nor stopped to meet Her glance nor grasp, for still she gazed and grasped, And ran, but it escaped her as she clasped.

XXXIII.

The dream changed:--in a cave[240] she stood, its walls Were hung with marble icicles; the work Of ages on its water-fretted halls, Where waves might wash, and seals might breed and lurk; Her hair was dripping, and the very balls Of her black eyes seemed turned to tears, and mirk The sharp rocks looked below each drop they caught, Which froze to marble as it fell,--she thought.[dq]

XXXIV.

And wet, and cold, and lifeless at her feet, Pale as the foam that frothed on his dead brow, Which she essayed in vain to clear, (how sweet Were once her cares, how idle seemed they now!) Lay Juan, nor could aught renew the beat Of his quenched heart: and the sea dirges low Rang in her sad ears like a Mermaid's song, And that brief dream appeared a life too long.

XXXV.

And gazing on the dead, she thought his face Faded, or altered into something new-- Like to her Father's features, till each trace More like and like to Lambro's aspect grew-- With all his keen worn look and Grecian grace; And starting, she awoke, and what to view? Oh! Powers of Heaven! what dark eye meets she there? 'T is--'t is her Father's--fixed upon the pair!

XXXVI.

Then shrieking, she arose, and shrieking fell, With joy and sorrow, hope and fear, to see Him whom she deemed a habitant where dwell The ocean-buried, risen from death, to be Perchance the death of one she loved too well: Dear as her father had been to Haidée, It was a moment of that awful kind-- I have seen such--but must not call to mind.

XXXVII.

Up Juan sprang to Haidée's bitter shriek, And caught her falling, and from off the wall Snatched down his sabre, in hot haste to wreak Vengeance on him who was the cause of all: Then Lambro, who till now forbore to speak, Smiled scornfully, and said, "Within my call, A thousand scimitars await the word; Put up, young man, put up your silly sword."

XXXVIII.

And Haidée clung around him; "Juan, 't is-- 'T is Lambro--'t is my father! Kneel with me-- He will forgive us--yes--it must be--yes. Oh! dearest father, in this agony Of pleasure and of pain--even while I kiss Thy garment's hem with transport, can it be That doubt should mingle with my filial joy? Deal with me as thou wilt, but spare this boy."

XXXIX.

High and inscrutable the old man stood, Calm in his voice, and calm within his eye-- Not always signs with him of calmest mood: He looked upon her, but gave no reply; Then turned to Juan, in whose cheek the blood Oft came and went, as there resolved to die; In arms, at least, he stood, in act to spring On the first foe whom Lambro's call might bring.

XL.

"Young man, your sword;" so Lambro once more said: Juan replied, "Not while this arm is free." The old man's cheek grew pale, but not with dread, And drawing from his belt a pistol he Replied, "Your blood be then on your own head." Then looked close at the flint, as if to see 'T was fresh--for he had lately used the lock-- And next proceeded quietly to cock.

XLI.

It has a strange quick jar upon the ear, That cocking of a pistol, when you know A moment more will bring the sight to bear Upon your person, twelve yards off, or so; A gentlemanly distance, not too near, If you have got a former friend for foe; But after being fired at once or twice, The ear becomes more Irish, and less nice.

XLII.

Lambro presented, and one instant more Had stopped this Canto, and Don Juan's breath, When Haidée threw herself her boy before; Stern as her sire: "On me," she cried, "let Death Descend--the fault is mine; this fatal shore He found--but sought not. I have pledged my faith; I love him--I will die with him: I knew Your nature's firmness--know your daughter's too."

XLIII.

A minute past, and she had been all tears, And tenderness, and infancy; but now She stood as one who championed human fears-- Pale, statue-like, and stern, she wooed the blow; And tall beyond her sex, and their compeers, She drew up to her height, as if to show A fairer mark; and with a fixed eye scanned Her Father's face--but never stopped his hand.

XLIV.

He gazed on her, and she on him; 't was strange How like they looked! the expression was the same; Serenely savage, with a little change In the large dark eye's mutual--darted flame; For she, too, was as one who could avenge, If cause should be--a Lioness, though tame. Her Father's blood before her Father's face Boiled up, and proved her truly of his race.

XLV.

I said they were alike, their features and Their stature, differing but in sex and years; Even to the delicacy of their hand[241] There was resemblance, such as true blood wears; And now to see them, thus divided, stand In fixed ferocity, when joyous tears And sweet sensations should have welcomed both, Shows what the passions are in their full growth.

XLVI.

The father paused a moment, then withdrew His weapon, and replaced it; but stood still, And looking on her, as to look her through, "Not _I_," he said, "have sought this stranger's ill; Not _I_ have made this desolation: few Would bear such outrage, and forbear to kill; But I must do my duty--how thou hast Done thine, the present vouches for the past.[dr]

XLVII.

"Let him disarm; or, by my father's head, His own shall roll before you like a ball!" He raised his whistle, as the word he said, And blew; another answered to the call, And rushing in disorderly, though led, And armed from boot to turban, one and all, Some twenty of his train came, rank on rank; He gave the word,--"Arrest or slay the Frank."

XLVIII.

Then, with a sudden movement, he withdrew His daughter; while compressed within his clasp, Twixt her and Juan interposed the crew; In vain she struggled in her father's grasp-- His arms were like a serpent's coil: then flew Upon their prey, as darts an angry asp, The file of pirates--save the foremost, who Had fallen, with his right shoulder half cut through.

XLIX.

The second had his cheek laid open; but The third, a wary, cool old sworder, took The blows upon his cutlass, and then put His own well in; so well, ere you could look, His man was floored, and helpless at his foot, With the blood running like a little brook From two smart sabre gashes, deep and red-- One on the arm, the other on the head.

L.

And then they bound him where he fell, and bore Juan from the apartment: with a sign Old Lambro bade them take him to the shore, Where lay some ships which were to sail at nine.[ds] They laid him in a boat, and plied the oar Until they reached some galliots, placed in line; On board of one of these, and under hatches, They stowed him, with strict orders to the watches.

LI.

The world is full of strange vicissitudes, And here was one exceedingly unpleasant: A gentleman so rich in the world's goods, Handsome and young, enjoying all the present,[dt] Just at the very time when he least broods On such a thing, is suddenly to sea sent, Wounded and chained, so that he cannot move, And all because a lady fell in love.

LII.

Here I must leave him, for I grow pathetic, Moved by the Chinese nymph of tears, green tea! Than whom Cassandra was not more prophetic; For if my pure libations exceed three, I feel my heart become so sympathetic, That I must have recourse to black Bohea: 'T is pity wine should be so deleterious, For tea and coffee leave us much more serious,

LIII.

Unless when qualified with thee, Cogniac! Sweet Naïad of the Phlegethontic rill! Ah! why the liver wilt thou thus attack,[du]-- And make, like other nymphs, thy lovers ill? I would take refuge in weak punch, but _rack_ (In each sense of the word), whene'er I fill My mild and midnight beakers to the brim, Wakes me next morning with its synonym.[242]

LIV.

I leave Don Juan for the present, safe-- Not sound, poor fellow, but severely wounded; Yet could his corporal pangs amount to half Of those with which his Haidée's bosom bounded? She was not one to weep, and rave, and chafe, And then give way, subdued because surrounded; Her mother was a Moorish maid from Fez, Where all is Eden, or a wilderness.

LV.

There the large olive rains its amber store In marble fonts; there grain, and flower, and fruit, Gush from the earth until the land runs o'er;[243] But there, too, many a poison-tree has root, And Midnight listens to the lion's roar, And long, long deserts scorch the camel's foot, Or heaving whelm the helpless caravan; And as the soil is, so the heart of man.

LVI.

Afric is all the Sun's, and as her earth Her human clay is kindled; full of power For good or evil, burning from its birth, The Moorish blood partakes the planet's hour, And like the soil beneath it will bring forth: Beauty and love were Haidée's mother's dower; But her large dark eye showed deep Passion's force, Though sleeping like a lion near a source.[dv]

LVII.

Her daughter, tempered with a milder ray, Like summer clouds all silvery, smooth, and fair, Till slowly charged with thunder they display Terror to earth, and tempest to the air, Had held till now her soft and milky way; But overwrought with Passion and Despair, The fire burst forth from her Numidian veins, Even as the Simoom[244] sweeps the blasted plains.

LVIII.

The last sight which she saw was Juan's gore, And he himself o'ermastered and cut down; His blood was running on the very floor Where late he trod, her beautiful, her own; Thus much she viewed an instant and no more,-- Her struggles ceased with one convulsive groan; On her Sire's arm, which until now scarce held Her writhing, fell she like a cedar felled.

LIX.

A vein had burst, and her sweet lips' pure dyes[dw] Were dabbled with the deep blood which ran o'er;[245] And her head drooped, as when the lily lies O'ercharged with rain: her summoned handmaids bore Their lady to her couch with gushing eyes; Of herbs and cordials they produced their store, But she defied all means they could employ, Like one Life could not hold, nor Death destroy.

LX.

Days lay she in that state unchanged, though chill-- With nothing livid, still her lips were red; She had no pulse, but Death seemed absent still; No hideous sign proclaimed her surely dead; Corruption came not in each mind to kill All hope; to look upon her sweet face bred New thoughts of Life, for it seemed full of soul-- She had so much, Earth could not claim the whole.

LXI.

The ruling passion, such as marble shows When exquisitely chiselled, still lay there, But fixed as marble's unchanged aspect throws O'er the fair Venus, but for ever fair;[246] O'er the Laocoon's all eternal throes, And ever-dying Gladiator's air, Their energy like life forms all their fame, Yet looks not life, for they are still the same.--[dx]

LXII.

She woke at length, but not as sleepers wake, Rather the dead, for Life seemed something new, A strange sensation which she must partake Perforce, since whatsoever met her view Struck not on memory, though a heavy ache Lay at her heart, whose earliest beat still true Brought back the sense of pain without the cause, For, for a while, the Furies made a pause.

LXIII.

She looked on many a face with vacant eye, On many a token without knowing what: She saw them watch her without asking why, And recked not who around her pillow sat; Not speechless, though she spoke not--not a sigh Relieved her thoughts--dull silence and quick chat Were tried in vain by those who served; she gave No sign, save breath, of having left the grave.

LXIV.

Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not; Her Father watched, she turned her eyes away; She recognised no being, and no spot, However dear or cherished in their day; They changed from room to room--but all forgot-- Gentle, but without memory she lay; At length those eyes, which they would fain be weaning Back to old thoughts, waxed full of fearful meaning.

LXV.

And then a slave bethought her of a harp; The harper came, and tuned his instrument; At the first notes, irregular and sharp, On him her flashing eyes a moment bent, Then to the wall she turned as if to warp Her thoughts from sorrow through her heart re-sent; And he began a long low island-song Of ancient days, ere Tyranny grew strong.

LXVI.

Anon her thin wan fingers beat the wall In time to his old tune: he changed the theme, And sung of Love; the fierce name struck through all Her recollection; on her flashed the dream Of what she was, and is, if ye could call To be so being; in a gushing stream The tears rushed forth from her o'erclouded brain, Like mountain mists at length dissolved in rain.

LXVII.

Short solace, vain relief!--Thought came too quick, And whirled her brain to madness; she arose As one who ne'er had dwelt among the sick, And flew at all she met, as on her foes; But no one ever heard her speak or shriek, Although her paroxysm drew towards its close;-- Hers was a frenzy which disdained to rave, Even when they smote her, in the hope to save.

LXVIII.

Yet she betrayed at times a gleam of sense; Nothing could make her meet her Father's face, Though on all other things with looks intense She gazed, but none she ever could retrace; Food she refused, and raiment; no pretence Availed for either; neither change of place, Nor time, nor skill, nor remedy, could give her Senses to sleep--the power seemed gone for ever.

LXIX.

Twelve days and nights she withered thus; at last, Without a groan, or sigh, or glance, to show A parting pang, the spirit from her passed: And they who watched her nearest could not know The very instant, till the change that cast Her sweet face into shadow, dull and slow,[dy] Glazed o'er her eyes--the beautiful, the black-- Oh! to possess such lustre--and then lack!

LXX.

She died, but not alone; she held, within, A second principle of Life, which might Have dawned a fair and sinless child of sin;[dz] But closed its little being without light, And went down to the grave unborn, wherein Blossom and bough lie withered with one blight; In vain the dews of Heaven descend above The bleeding flower and blasted fruit of Love.

LXXI.

Thus lived--thus died she; never more on her Shall Sorrow light, or Shame. She was not made Through years or moons the inner weight to bear, Which colder hearts endure till they are laid By age in earth: her days and pleasures were Brief, but delightful--such as had not staid Long with her destiny; but she sleeps well[247] By the sea-shore, whereon she loved to dwell.

LXXII.

That isle is now all desolate and bare, Its dwellings down, its tenants passed away; None but her own and Father's grave is there, And nothing outward tells of human clay; Ye could not know where lies a thing so fair, No stone is there to show, no tongue to say, What was; no dirge, except the hollow sea's,[ea] Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades.

LXXIII.

But many a Greek maid in a loving song Sighs o'er her name; and many an islander With her Sire's story makes the night less long; Valour was his, and Beauty dwelt with her: If she loved rashly, her life paid for wrong-- A heavy price must all pay who thus err, In some shape; let none think to fly the danger, For soon or late Love is his own avenger.

LXXIV.

But let me change this theme, which grows too sad, And lay this sheet of sorrows on the shelf; I don't much like describing people mad, For fear of seeming rather touched myself-- Besides, I've no more on this head to add; And as my Muse is a capricious elf, We'll put about, and try another tack With Juan, left half-killed some stanzas back.

LXXV.

Wounded and fettered, "cabined, cribbed, confined,"[248] Some days and nights elapsed before that he Could altogether call the past to mind; And when he did, he found himself at sea, Sailing six knots an hour before the wind; The shores of Ilion lay beneath their lee-- Another time he might have liked to see 'em, But now was not much pleased with Cape Sigeum.

LXXVI.

There, on the green and village-cotted hill, is (Flanked by the Hellespont, and by the sea) Entombed the bravest of the brave, Achilles; They say so--(Bryant[249] says the contrary): And further downward, tall and towering still, is The tumulus--of whom? Heaven knows! 't may be Patroclus, Ajax, or Protesilaus-- All heroes, who if living still would slay us.[eb]

LXXVII.

High barrows, without marble, or a name, A vast, untilled, and mountain-skirted plain,[ec] And Ida in the distance, still the same, And old Scamander (if 't is he) remain; The situation seems still formed for fame-- A hundred thousand men might fight again, With ease; but where I sought for Ilion's walls, The quiet sheep feeds, and the tortoise[250] crawls;[ed]

LXXVIII.

Troops of untended horses; here and there Some little hamlets, with new names uncouth; Some shepherds (unlike Paris) led to stare A moment at the European youth Whom to the spot their school-boy feelings bear;[ee] A Turk, with beads in hand, and pipe in mouth, Extremely taken with his own religion, Are what I found there--but the devil a Phrygian.

LXXIX.

Don Juan, here permitted to emerge From his dull cabin, found himself a slave; Forlorn, and gazing on the deep blue surge, O'ershadowed there by many a Hero's grave; Weak still with loss of blood, he scarce could urge A few brief questions; and the answers gave No very satisfactory information About his past or present situation.

LXXX.

He saw some fellow captives, who appeared To be Italians (as they were in fact)-- From them, at least, _their_ destiny he heard, Which was an odd one; a troop going to act In Sicily--all singers, duly reared In their vocation, had not been attacked In sailing from Livorno by the pirate, But sold by the _impresario_ at no high rate.[251]

LXXXI.

By one of these, the _buffo_[252] of the party, Juan was told about their curious case; For although destined to the Turkish mart, he Still kept his spirits up--at least his face; The little fellow really looked quite hearty, And bore him with some gaiety and grace, Showing a much more reconciled demeanour, Than did the prima donna and the tenor.

LXXXII.

In a few words he told their hapless story, Saying, "Our Machiavelian _impresario_, Making a signal off some promontory, Hailed a strange brig--_Corpo di Caio Mario!_ We were transferred on board her in a hurry, Without a single scudo of _salario_; But if the Sultan has a taste for song, We will revive our fortunes before long.

LXXXIII.

"The prima donna, though a little old, And haggard with a dissipated life, And subject, when the house is thin, to cold, Has some good notes; and then the tenor's wife, With no great voice, is pleasing to behold; Last carnival she made a deal of strife, By carrying off Count Cesare Cicogna From an old Roman Princess at Bologna.

LXXXIV.

"And then there are the dancers; there's the Nini, With more than one profession gains by all; Then there's that laughing slut the Pelegrini, She, too, was fortunate last Carnival, And made at least five hundred good _zecchini_, But spends so fast, she has not now a paul; And then there's the Grotesca--such a dancer! Where men have souls or bodies she must answer.

LXXXV.

"As for the _figuranti_,[253] they are like The rest of all that tribe; with here and there A pretty person, which perhaps may strike-- The rest are hardly fitted for a fair; There's one, though tall and stiffer than a pike, Yet has a sentimental kind of air Which might go far, but she don't dance with vigour-- The more's the pity, with her face and figure.

LXXXVI.

"As for the men, they are a middling set; The _musico_ is but a cracked old basin, But, being qualified in one way yet, May the seraglio do to set his face in,[ef] And as a servant some preferment get; His singing I no further trust can place in: From all the Pope[254] makes yearly 't would perplex To find three perfect pipes of the _third_ sex.

LXXXVII.

"The tenor's voice is spoilt by affectation; And for the bass, the beast can only bellow-- In fact, he had no singing education, An ignorant, noteless, timeless, tuneless fellow; But being the prima donna's near relation, Who swore his voice was very rich and mellow, They hired him, though to hear him you'd believe An ass was practising recitative.

LXXXVIII.

"'T would not become myself to dwell upon My own merits, and though young--I see, Sir--you Have got a travelled air, which speaks you one To whom the opera is by no means new: You've heard of Raucocanti?--I'm the man; The time may come when you may hear me too; You was[255] not last year at the fair of Lugo, But next, when I'm engaged to sing there--do go.

LXXXIX.

"Our baritone I almost had forgot, A pretty lad, but bursting with conceit; With graceful action, science not a jot, A voice of no great compass, and not sweet, He always is complaining of his lot, Forsooth, scarce fit for ballads in the street; In lovers' parts his passion more to breathe, Having no heart to show, he shows his teeth."[eg]

XC.

Here Raucocanti's eloquent recital Was interrupted by the pirate crew, Who came at stated moments to invite all The captives back to their sad berths; each threw A rueful glance upon the waves, (which bright all From the blue skies derived a double blue, Dancing all free and happy in the sun,) And then went down the hatchway one by one.

XCI.

They heard next day--that in the Dardanelles, Waiting for his Sublimity's firman,[256] The most imperative of sovereign spells, Which everybody does without who can, More to secure them in their naval cells, Lady to lady, well as man to man, Were to be chained and lotted out per couple, For the slave market of Constantinople.

XCII.

It seems when this allotment was made out, There chanced to be an odd male, and odd female, Who (after some discussion and some doubt, If the soprano might be deemed to be male, They placed him o'er the women as a scout) Were linked together, and it happened the male Was Juan,--who, an awkward thing at his age, Paired off with a Bacchante blooming visage.

XCIII.

With Raucocanti lucklessly was chained The tenor; these two hated with a hate Found only on the stage, and each more pained With this his tuneful neighbour than his fate; Sad strife arose, for they were so cross-grained, Instead of bearing up without debate, That each pulled different ways with many an oath, "Arcades ambo," _id est_--blackguards both.[eh]

XCIV.

Juan's companion was a Romagnole, But bred within the march of old Ancona, With eyes that looked into the very soul (And other chief points of a _bella donna_), Bright--and as black and burning as a coal; And through her clear brunette complexion shone a Great wish to please--a most attractive dower, Especially when added to the power.

XCV.

But all that power was wasted upon him, For Sorrow o'er each sense held stern command; Her eye might flash on his, but found it dim: And though thus chained, as natural her hand Touched his, nor that--nor any handsome limb (And she had some not easy to withstand) Could stir his pulse, or make his faith feel brittle; Perhaps his recent wounds might help a little.

XCVI.

No matter; we should ne'er too much inquire, But facts are facts: no Knight could be more true, And firmer faith no Ladye-love desire; We will omit the proofs, save one or two: 'T is said no one in hand "can hold a fire By thought of frosty Caucasus"[257]--but few, I really think--yet Juan's then ordeal Was more triumphant, and not much less real.

XCVII.

Here I might enter on a chaste description, Having withstood temptation in my youth,[ei] But hear that several people take exception At the first two books having too much truth; Therefore I'll make Don Juan leave the ship soon, Because the publisher declares, in sooth, Through needles' eyes it easier for the camel is To pass, than those two cantos into families.

XCVIII.

'T is all the same to me; I'm fond of yielding, And therefore leave them to the purer page Of Smollett, Prior, Ariosto, Fielding, Who say strange things for so correct an age;[258] I once had great alacrity in wielding My pen, and liked poetic war to wage, And recollect the time when all this cant Would have provoked remarks--which now it shan't.

XCIX.

As boys love rows, my boyhood liked a squabble; But at this hour I wish to part in peace, Leaving such to the literary rabble; Whether my verse's fame be doomed to cease While the right hand which wrote it still is able, Or of some centuries to take a lease, The grass upon my grave will grow as long, And sigh to midnight winds, but not to song.

C.

Of poets who come down to us through distance Of time and tongues, the foster-babes of Fame, Life seems the smallest portion of existence; Where twenty ages gather o'er a name, 'T is as a snowball which derives assistance From every flake, and yet rolls on the same, Even till an iceberg it may chance to grow; But, after all, 't is nothing but cold snow.

CI.

And so great names are nothing more than nominal, And love of Glory's but an airy lust, Too often in its fury overcoming all Who would as 't were identify their dust From out the wide destruction, which, entombing all, Leaves nothing till "the coming of the just"-- Save change: I've stood upon Achilles' tomb, And heard Troy doubted;[259] Time will doubt of Rome.

CII.

The very generations of the dead Are swept away, and tomb inherits tomb, Until the memory of an Age is fled, And, buried, sinks beneath its offspring's doom: Where are the epitaphs our fathers read? Save a few gleaned from the sepulchral gloom Which once-named myriads nameless lie beneath, And lose their own in universal Death.

CIII.

I canter by the spot each afternoon Where perished in his fame the hero-boy, Who lived too long for men, but died too soon For human vanity, the young De Foix! A broken pillar, not uncouthly hewn, But which Neglect is hastening to destroy, Records Ravenna's carnage on its face, While weeds and ordure rankle round the base.[260]

CIV.

I pass each day where Dante's bones are laid:[261] A little cupola, more neat than solemn, Protects his dust, but reverence here is paid[ej] To the Bard's tomb, and not the Warrior's column: The time must come, when both alike decayed, The Chieftain's trophy, and the Poet's volume, Will sink where lie the songs and wars of earth, Before Pelides' death, or Homer's birth.

CV.

With human blood that column was cemented, With human filth that column is defiled, As if the peasant's coarse contempt were vented To show his loathing of the spot he soiled:[ek] Thus is the trophy used, and thus lamented Should ever be those blood-hounds, from whose wild Instinct of gore and glory Earth has known Those sufferings Dante saw in Hell alone.[el]

CVI.

Yet there will still be bards: though Fame is smoke, Its fumes are frankincense to human thought; And the unquiet feelings, which first woke Song in the world, will seek what then they sought;[em] As on the beach the waves at last are broke, Thus to their extreme verge the passions brought Dash into poetry, which is but Passion, Or, at least, was so ere it grew a fashion.

CVII.

If in the course of such a life as was At once adventurous and contemplative, Men who partake all passions as they pass, Acquire the deep and bitter power to give[en] Their images again as in a glass, And in such colours that they seem to live; You may do right forbidding them to show 'em, But spoil (I think) a very pretty poem.[262]

CVIII.

Oh! ye, who make the fortunes of all books! Benign Ceruleans of the second sex! Who advertise new poems by your looks, Your "Imprimatur" will ye not annex? What! must I go to the oblivious cooks,[eo] Those Cornish plunderers of Parnassian wrecks? Ah! must I then the only minstrel be, Proscribed from tasting your Castalian tea![263]

CIX.

What! can I prove "a lion" then no more? A ball-room bard, a foolscap, hot-press darling? To bear the compliments of many a bore, And sigh, "I can't get out," like Yorick's starling;[264] Why then I'll swear, as poet Wordy swore (Because the world won't read him, always snarling), That Taste is gone, that Fame is but a lottery, Drawn by the blue-coat misses of a coterie.[265]

CX.

Oh! "darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,"[266] As some one somewhere sings about the sky, And I, ye learnéd ladies, say of you; They say your stockings are so--(Heaven knows why, I have examined few pair of that hue); Blue as the garters which serenely lie Round the Patrician left-legs, which adorn The festal midnight, and the levee morn.[ep]

CXI.

Yet some of you are most seraphic creatures-- But times are altered since, a rhyming lover, You read my stanzas, and I read your features: And--but no matter, all those things are over; Still I have no dislike to learnéd natures, For sometimes such a world of virtues cover; I knew one woman of that purple school, The loveliest, chastest, best, but--quite a fool.[267]

CXIII.

Humboldt, "the first of travellers," but not The last, if late accounts be accurate, Invented, by some name I have forgot, As well as the sublime discovery's date, An airy instrument, with which he sought To ascertain the atmospheric state, By measuring "the _intensity of blue:_"[268] Oh, Lady Daphne! let me measure you![eq]

CXIII.

But to the narrative:--The vessel bound With slaves to sell off in the capital, After the usual process, might be found At anchor under the seraglio wall; Her cargo, from the plague being safe and sound, Were landed in the market,[269] one and all; And, there, with Georgians, Russians, and Circassians, Bought up for different purposes and passions.

CXIV.

Some went off dearly; fifteen hundred dollars For one Circassian, a sweet girl, were given, Warranted virgin; Beauty's brightest colours Had decked her out in all the hues of heaven: Her sale sent home some disappointed bawlers, Who bade on till the hundreds reached eleven; But when the offer went beyond, they knew 'T was for the Sultan, and at once withdrew.

CXV.

Twelve negresses from Nubia brought a price Which the West Indian market scarce could bring-- Though Wilberforce, at last, has made it twice What 't was ere Abolition; and the thing Need not seem very wonderful, for Vice Is always much more splendid than a King: The Virtues, even the most exalted, Charity, Are saving--Vice spares nothing for a rarity.

CXVI.

But for the destiny of this young troop, How some were bought by Pachas, some by Jews, How some to burdens were obliged to stoop, And others rose to the command of crews As renegadoes; while in hapless group, Hoping no very old Vizier might choose, The females stood, as one by one they picked 'em, To make a mistress, or fourth wife, or victim:[er]

CXVII.

All this must be reserved for further song; Also our Hero's lot, howe'er unpleasant (Because this Canto has become too long),[es] Must be postponed discreetly for the present; I'm sensible redundancy is wrong, But could not for the Muse of me put less in 't: And now delay the progress of Don Juan, Till what is called in Ossian the fifth Duan.

Written Nov. 1819. Copied January, 1820.

FOOTNOTES:

{183}[230]

["Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me down, Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless King."

_Paradise Lost_, iv. 40, 41.]

[231]

["Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy, And shuts up all the passages of joy: In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour, The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flow'r; With listless eyes the dotard views the store, He views, and wonders that they please no more."

Johnson's _Vanity of Human Wishes._]

{184}[232]

[" ... my May of Life Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf."

_Macbeth_, act v. sc. 3, lines 22, 23.]

[dh] _Itself to that fit apathy whose deed._--[MS.]

[di] _First in the icy depths of Lethe's spring._--[MS.]

[233] [See "Introduction to the _Morgante Maggiore_," _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 280.]

[dj] _Pulci being Father_--.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

{185}[234] ["Cum canerem reges et prælia, Cynthius aurem Vellit, et admonuit." Virgil, _Ecl._ vi. lines 3, 4.]

{186}[dk] ---- _from its mother's knee_ _When its last weaning draught is drained for ever_, _The child divided--it were less to see_, _Than these two from each other torn apart_.--[MS.]

[235] [See Herodotus (_Cleobis and Biton_), i. 31. The sentiment is in a fragment of Menander.

Ὄν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνἠσκει νέος [Greek: O)/n oi( theoi\ philou~sin a)pothnê)skei ne/os] or Ὄν γὰρ φιλεῖ θεὸς ἀποθνἠσκει νέος. [Greek: O)/n ga\r philei~ theo\s a)pothnê)skei ne/os.]

_Menandri at Philomenis reliquiæ_, edidit Augustus Meineke, p. 48.

See _Letters_, 1898, ii. 22, note 1. Byron applied the saying to Allegra in a letter to Sir Walter Scott, dated May 4, 1822, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 57.]

[236] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto II. stanza xcvi. line 7. Compare, too, Young's _Night Thoughts_ ("The Complaint," Night I. ed. 1825, p. 5)]

{187}[237] [Compare Swift's "little language" in his letter to Stella: _Podefar_, for instance, which is supposed to stand for "Poor dear foolish rogue," and Ppt., which meant "Poor pretty thing."--See _The Journal of Stella_, edited by G.A. Aitken, 1901, xxxv. note 1, and "Journal: March, 1710-11," 165, note 2.]

[dl] _For theirs were buoyant spirits, which would bound_ '_Gainst common failings, etc_.--[MS.]

{188}[238] [The reference may be to Coleridge's _Kubla Khan_, which, to Medwin's wonderment, "delighted" Byron (_Conversations_, 1824, p. 264). De Quincy's _Confessions of an English Opium Eater_ appeared in the _London Magazine_, October, November, 1821, after Cantos III., IV., V., of _Don Juan_ were published. But, perhaps, he was contrasting the "simpler blisses" of Juan and Haidée with Shelley's mystical affinities and divagations.]

[dm] _---- had set their hearts a bleeding._--[MS.]

{190}[239]

["The shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, I better brook than flourishing peopled towns: There can I sit alone, unseen of any, And to the nightingale's complaining notes Tune my distresses, and record, my woes."

_Two Gentlemen of Verona_, act v. sc. 4, lines 2-6.]

{191}[dn] _Called social, where all Vice and Hatred are._--[MS.]

[do] _Moved with her dream----._--[MS.]

[dp] _Strange state of being!--for 't is still to be--_ _And who can know all false what then we see?_--[MS.]

{192}[240] [Compare the description of the "spacious cave," in _The Island_, Canto IV. lines 121, _sq., Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 629, note 1.]

[dq]---- _methought_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

{195}[241] [The reader will observe a curious mark of propinquity which the poet notices, with respect to the hands of the father and daughter. Lord Byron, we suspect, is indebted for the first hint of this to Ali Pacha, who, by the bye, is the original of Lambro; for, when his lordship was introduced, with his friend Hobhouse, to that agreeable mannered tyrant, the Vizier said that he knew he was the _Megalos Anthropos_ (i.e. the great Man), by the smallness of his ears and hands.--Galt. See Byron's letter to his mother, November 12, 1809, _Letters_, 1898, i. 251.]

[dr] _And if_ I _did my duty as_ thou _hast_, _This hour were thine, and thy young minions last_.--[MS.]

{196}[ds] _Till further orders should his doom assign_.--[MS.]

[dt] _Loving and loved_--.--[MS.]

{197}[du] _But thou, sweet fury of the fiery rill,_ _Makest on the liver a still worse attack;_ _Besides, thy price is something dearer still_.--[MS.]

[242] ["As squire Sullen says, '\My head aches consumedly,' 'Scrub, bring me a dram!' Drank some Imola wine, and some punch!"--_Extracts from a Diary_, February 25, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 209. For rack or "arrack" punch, see Thackeray's _Vanity Fair, A Novel without a Hero_, chap. vi. ed. 1892, p. 44.]

{198}[243] ["At Fas [Fez] the houses of the great and wealthy have, within-side, spacious courts, adorned with sumptuous galleries, fountains, basons of fine marble, and fish-ponds, shaded with orange, lemon, pomegranate, and fig trees, abounding with fruit, and ornamented with roses, hyacinths, jasmine, violets, and orange flowers, emitting a delectable fragrance."--_Account of the Empire of Marocco and Suez_, by James Grey Jackson, 1811, pp. 69, 70.]

[dv] _Beauty and Passion were the natural dower_ _Of Haidée's mother, but her climate's force_ _Lay at her heart, though sleeping at the source_. or, _But in her large eye lay deep Passion's force_, _Like to a lion sleeping by a source_. or, _But in her large eye lay deep Passion's force_, _As sleeps a lion by a river's source_.--[MS.]

[244] [Compare _Manfred_, act iii. sc. 1, line 128, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 125.]

{199}[dw] _The blood gushed from her lips, and ears, and eyes:_ _Those eyes, so beautiful--beheld no more_.--[MS.]

[245] This is no very uncommon effect of the violence of conflicting and different passions. The Doge Francis Foscari, on his deposition in 1457, hearing the bells of St. Mark announce the election of his successor, "mourut subitement d'une hémorragie causée par une veine qui s'éclata dans sa poitrine" [see Sismondi, 1815, x. 46, and Daru, 1821, ii. 536; see, too, _The Two Foscari_, act v. sc. i, line 306, and Introduction to the _Two Foscari_, _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 118, 193], at the age of eighty years, when "_Who would have thought the old man had so much blood in him?_" (_Macbeth_, act v. sc. 1, lines 34-36.) Before I was sixteen years of age I was witness to a melancholy instance of the same effect of mixed passions upon a young person, who, however, did not die in consequence, at that time, but fell a victim some years afterwards to a seizure of the same kind, arising from causes intimately connected with agitation of mind.

{200}[246] [The view of the Venus of Medici instantly suggests the lines in the "Seasons" [the description of "Musidora bathing" in _Summer_]--

" ... With wild surprise, As if to marble struck, devoid of sense, A stupid moment motionless she stood: So stands the statue that enchants the world."

Hobhouse.

A still closer parallel to this stanza, and to _Childe Harold_, Canto IV. stanzas xlix., cxl., cxli., clx., clxi., is to be found in Thomson's _Liberty_, pt. iv. lines 131-206, where the "Farnese Hercules," the "Dying Gladiator," the "Venus of Medici," and the "Laocoon" group, are commemorated as typical works of art.]

[dx] _Distinct from life, as being still the same_.--[MS.]

{202}[dy] _--working slow._--[MS.]

[dz] _Have dawned a child of beauty, though of sin._--[MS.]

[247]

[" ... Duncan is in his grave: After life's fitful fever he sleeps well."

_Macbeth_, act iii. sc. 2., lines 22, 23.]

{203}[ea] _No stone is there to read, nor tongue to say_, _No dirge--save when arise the stormy seas_.--[MS.]

[248] ["But now I am cabined, cribbed," etc. _Macbeth_, act iii. sc. 4, line 24.]

{204}[249] [Jacob Bryant (1715-1804) published his _Dissertation concerning the War of Troy, etc._, in 1796. See _The Bride of Abydos_, Canto II. lines 510, sq., _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 179, note 1. See, too, _Extracts from a Diary_, January 11, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 165, 166, "I have stood upon that plain [of Troy] _daily_, for more than a month, in 1810; and if anything diminished my pleasure, it was that the blackguard Bryant had impugned its veracity." Hobhouse, in his _Travels in Albania_, 1858, ii. 93, sq., discusses at length the identity of the barrows of the Troad with the _tumuli_ of Achilles, Ajax, and Protesilaus, and refutes Bryant's arguments against the identity of Cape Janissary and the Sigean promontory.

[eb] / who alive perhaps \ _All heroes_ < >--[MS. Alternative reading.] \ if still alive /

[ec] / _and mountain-bounded \ ---- < > plain_.--[MS. Alternative reading.] \ _and mountain-outlined /

[250] ["The whole region was, in a manner, in possession of the _Salsette's_ crew, parties of whom, in their white summer dresses, might be seen scattered over the plains collecting the tortoises, which swarm on the sides of the rivulets, and are found under every furze-bush."--_Travels in Albania_, 1858, ii. 116. See, too, for mention of "hundreds of tortoises" falling "from the overhanging branches, and thick underwood," into the waters of the Mender, _Travels, etc._, by E.D. Clarke, 1812, Part II. sect. i. p. 96.]

[ed]---- _and land tortoise crawls_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

{205}[ee] --_their learned researches bear_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

[251] This is a fact. A few years ago a man engaged a company for some foreign theatre, embarked them at an Italian port, and carrying them to Algiers, sold them all. One of the women, returned from her captivity, I heard sing, by a strange coincidence, in Rossini's opera of _L'Italiana in Algieri_, at Venice, in the beginning of 1817.

[We have reason to believe that the following, which we take from the MS. journal of a highly respectable traveller, is a more correct account: "In 1812 a Signor Guariglia induced several young persons of both sexes--none of them exceeding fifteen years of age--to accompany him on an operatic excursion; part to form the opera, and part the ballet. He contrived to get them on board a vessel, which took them to Janina, where he sold them for the basest purposes. Some died from the effect of the climate, and some from suffering. Among the few who returned were a Signor Molinari, and a female dancer named Bonfiglia, who afterwards became the wife of Crespi, the tenor singer. The wretch who so basely sold them was, when Lord Byron resided at Venice, employed as _capo de' vestarj_, or head tailor, at the Fenice."--Maria Graham (Lady Callcot). Ed. 1832.]

{206}[252] [A comic singer in the _opera buffa_. The Italians, however, distinguish the _buffo cantante_, which requires good singing, from the _buffo comico_, in which there is more acting.--Ed. 1832.]

{207}[253] [The figuranti are those dancers of a ballet who do not dance singly, but many together, and serve to fill up the background during the exhibition of individual performers. They correspond to the chorus in the opera.--Maria Graham.]

[ef] _To help the ladies in their dress and lacing_.--[MS.]

[254] It is strange that it should be the Pope and the Sultan, who are the chief encouragers of this branch of trade--women being prohibited as singers at St. Peter's, and not deemed trustworthy as guardians of the harem.

["Scarcely a soul of them can read. Pacchierotti was one of the best informed of the _castrati_ ... Marchesi is so grossly ignorant that he wrote the word opera, _opperra_, but Nature has been so bountiful to the animal, that his ignorance and insolence were forgotten the moment he sang."--_Venice, etc._, by a Lady of Rank, 1824, ii. 86.]

{208}[255] [The N. Engl. Dict. cites Bunyan, Walpole, Fielding, Miss Austen, and Dickens as authorities for the plural "was." See art. "be." Here, as elsewhere, Byron wrote as he spoke.]

[eg] _He never shows his feelings, but his teeth_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

[256] ["Our firman arrived from Constantinople on the 30th of April (1810)."--Travels in Albania, 1858, ii. 186.]

{209}[eh] _That each pulled, different ways--and waxing rough_, _Had cuffed each other, only for the cuff_.--[MS.]

{210}[257]

["O, who can hold a fire in his hand, By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?"

_Richard II.,_ act i. sc. 3, lines 294, 295.]

[ei] _Having had some experience in my youth_.--[MS. erased.]

[258] ["_Don Juan_ will be known, _by and by_, for what it is intended--a Satire on abuses in the present states of society, and not an eulogy of vice. It may be now and then voluptuous:--I can't help that. Ariosto is worse. Smollett (see Lord Strutwell in vol. 2^nd^ of _R_[_oderick_] _R_[_andom_][1793, pp. 119-127]) ten times worse; and Fielding no better."--Letter to Murray, December 25, 1822, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 155, 156.]

{211}[259] [Vide ante, p. 204, note 1. "It seems hardly to admit of doubt, that the plain of Anatolia, watered by the Mender, and backed by a mountainous ridge, of which Kazdaghy is the summit, offers the precise territory alluded to by Homer. The long controversy, excited by Mr. Bryant's publication, and since so vehemently agitated, would probably never have existed, had it not been for the erroneous maps of the country which, even to this hour, disgrace our geographical knowledge of that part of Asia."--_Travels, etc._, by E.D. Clarke, 1812, Part II. sect, i. p. 78.]

{212}[260] The pillar which records the battle of Ravenna is about two miles from the city, on the opposite side of the river to the road towards Forli. Gaston de Foix [(1489-1512) Duc de Nemours, nephew of Louis XII.], who gained the battle, was killed in it: there fell on both sides twenty thousand men. The present state of the pillar and its site is described in the text.

[Beyond the Porta Sisi, about two miles from Ravenna, on the banks of the Ronco, is a square pillar (_La Colonna de Francesi_), erected in 1557 by Pietro Cesi, president of Romagna, as a memorial of the battle gained by the combined army of Louis XII. and the Duke of Ferrara over the troops of Julius II. and the King of Spain, April 11 1512.--_Handbook of Northern Italy_, p. 548.]

[261] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto IV. stanza lvii. line i, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 371, note i. See, too, Preface to the _Prophecy of Dante, ibid_., iv. 243.]

[ej] _Protects his tomb, but greater care is paid_.--[MS.]

{213}[ek] _With human ordure is it now defiled_, _As if the peasant's scorn this mode invented_ _To show his loathing of the thing he soiled_.--[MS.]

[el] _Those sufferings once reserved for Hell alone._--[MS.]

[em] _Its fumes are frankincense; and were there nought_ _Even of this vapour, still the chilling yoke_ _Of silence would not long be borne by Thought_.--[MS.]

[en] _I have drunk deep of passions as they pass,_ _And dearly bought the bitter power to give_.--[MS.]

[262] [See, for instance, Wilson's review of _Don Juan_, in _Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine_, August, 1819, vol. v. p. 512, _sq._: "To confess ... to his Maker, and to weep over in secret agonies the wildest and most fantastic transgressions of heart and mind, is the part of a conscious sinner, in whom sin has not become the sole principle of life and action.... But to lay bare to the eye of man--and of _woman_--all the hidden convulsions of a wicked spirit," etc.]

{214}[eo] _What! must I go with Wordy to the cooks?_ _Read--were it but your Grandmother's to vex--_ _And let me not the only minstrel be_ _Cut off from tasting your Castalian tea_.--[MS.]

[263] [Compare--

"I leave them to their daily 'tea is ready,' Snug coterie, and literary lady."

_Beppo_, stanza lxxvi. lines 7, 8, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 184, note.]

[264] [The caged starling, by its repeated cry, "I can't get out! I can't get out!" cured Yorick of his sentimental yearnings for imprisonment in the Bastille. See Sterne's _Sentimental Journey_, ed. 1804, pp. 100-106.]

[265] [In his _Essay, Supplement to the Preface_ (_Poems by William Wordsworth_, ed. 1820, iii. 315-348), Wordsworth maintains that the appreciation of great poetry is a plant of slow growth, that immediate recognition is a mark of inferiority, or is to be accounted for by the presence of adventitious qualities: "So strange, indeed, are the obliquities of admiration, that they whose opinions are much influenced by authority will often be tempted to think that there are no fixed principles in human nature for this art to rest upon.... Away, then, with the senseless iteration of the word _popular!_ ... The voice that issues from this spirit [of human knowledge] is that _Vox Populi_ which the Deity inspires. Foolish must he be who can mistake for this a local acclamation, or a transitory outcry--transitory though it be for years, local though from a Nation. Still more lamentable is his error who can believe that there is anything of divine infallibility in this clamour of that small though loud portion of the community ever governed by factitious influence, which under the name of the PUBLIC, passes itself upon the unthinking for the PEOPLE." Naturally enough Byron regarded this pronouncement as a taunt if not as a challenge. Wordsworth's noble appeal from a provincial to an imperial authority, from the present to the future, is not strengthened by the obvious reference to the popularity of contemporaries.]

{215}[266] [Southey's _Madoc in Wales, Poetical Works_, Part I. Canto V. Ed. 1838, v. 39.]

[ep] _Not having looked at many of that hue,_ _Nor garters--save those of the_ "honi soit"--_which lie_ _Round the Patrician legs which walk about,_ _The ornaments of levee and of rout_.--[M.S.]

[267] [Probably Lady Charlemont. See "Journal," November 22, 1813.]

{216}[268] [The cyanometer, an instrument for ascertaining the intensity of the blue colour of the sky, was invented by Horace Bénédict de Saussure (1740-1799); see his _Essai sur l'Hygrométrie_. F.H. Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) "made great use of his instrument on his voyages, and ascertained by the colour the degree of blueness, the accumulation and the nature of the non-transparent exhalations of the air."--_Alexander von Humboldt_, by Professor Klencke, translated by Juliette Bauer, 1852, pp. 45, 46.]

[eq] _I'll back a London_ "Bas" _against Peru_. or, _I'll bet some pair of stocking beat Peru_. or, _And so, old Sotheby, we'll measure you_.--[MS.]

[269] ["The slave-market is a quadrangle, surrounded by a covered gallery, and ranges of small and separate apartments." Here the poor wretches sit in a melancholy posture. "Before they cheapen 'em, they turn 'em about from this side to that, survey 'em from top to bottom.... Such of 'em, both men and women, to whom Dame Nature has been niggardly of her charms, are set apart for the vilest services: but such girls as have youth and beauty pass their time well enough.... The retailers of this human ware are the Jews, who take good care of their slaves' education, that they may sell the better: their choicest they keep at home, and there you must go, if you would have better than ordinary; for 'tis here, as 'tis in markets for horses, the handsomest don't always appear, but are kept within doors."--_A Voyage into the Levant_, by M. Tournefort, 1741, ii. 198, 199. See, too, for the description of the sale of two Circassians and one Georgian, _Voyage de Vienne à Belgrade_, ... par N.E. Kleeman, 1780, pp. 141, 142. The "lowest offer for the prize Circassian was 4000 piastres."]

[er] _The females stood, till chosen each as victim_ _To the soft oath of "Ana seing Siktum!"_[*]--[MS.]

[[*]If the Turkish words are correctly given, "the oath" may be an imprecation on "your mother's" chastity.]

[es] _For fear the Canto should become too long._--[MS.]

CANTO THE FIFTH.[270]

I.

WHEN amatory poets sing their loves In liquid lines mellifluously bland, And pair their rhymes as Venus yokes her doves, They little think what mischief is in hand; The greater their success the worse it proves, As Ovid's verse may give to understand; Even Petrarch's self, if judged with due severity, Is the Platonic pimp of all posterity.

II.

I therefore do denounce all amorous writing, Except in such a way as not to attract; Plain--simple--short, and by no means inviting, But with a moral to each error tacked, Formed rather for instructing than delighting, And with all passions in their turn attacked; Now, if my Pegasus should not be shod ill, This poem will become a moral model.

III.

The European with the Asian shore Sprinkled with palaces--the Ocean stream[271] Here and there studded with a seventy-four, Sophia's Cupola with golden gleam,[272] The cypress groves, Olympus high and hoar, The twelve isles, and the more than I could dream, Far less describe, present the very view Which charmed the charming Mary Montagu.

IV.

I have a passion for the name of "Mary,"[273] For once it was a magic sound to me; And still it half calls up the realms of Fairy, Where I beheld what never was to be; All feelings changed, but this was last to vary, A spell from which even yet I am not quite free: But I grow sad--and let a tale grow cold, Which must not be pathetically told.

V.

The wind swept down the Euxine, and the wave Broke foaming o'er the blue Symplegades; 'T is a grand sight from off "the Giant's Grave"[274] To watch the progress of those rolling seas Between the Bosphorus, as they lash and lave Europe and Asia, you being quite at ease: There's not a sea the passenger e'er pukes in, Turns up more dangerous breakers than the Euxine.

VI.

'T was a raw day of Autumn's bleak beginning, When nights are equal, but not so the days; The Parcæ then cut short the further spinning Of seamen's fates, and the loud tempests raise[et] The waters, and repentance for past sinning In all, who o'er the great deep take their ways: They vow to amend their lives, and yet they don't; Because if drowned, they can't--if spared, they won't.

VII.

A crowd of shivering slaves of every nation, And age, and sex, were in the market ranged; Each bevy with the merchant in his station: Poor creatures! their good looks were sadly changed. All save the blacks seemed jaded with vexation, From friends, and home, and freedom far estranged; The negroes more philosophy displayed,-- Used to it, no doubt, as eels are to be flayed.

VIII.

Juan was juvenile, and thus was full, As most at his age are, of hope, and health; Yet I must own, he looked a little dull, And now and then a tear stole down by stealth; Perhaps his recent loss of blood might pull His spirit down; and then the loss of wealth, A mistress, and such comfortable quarters, To be put up for auction amongst Tartars,

IX.

Were things to shake a Stoic; ne'ertheless, Upon the whole his carriage was serene: His figure, and the splendour of his dress, Of which some gilded remnants still were seen, Drew all eyes on him, giving them to guess He was above the vulgar by his mien; And then, though pale, he was so very handsome; And then--they calculated on his ransom.[eu]

X.

Like a backgammon board the place was dotted With whites and blacks, in groups on show for sale, Though rather more irregularly spotted: Some bought the jet, while others chose the pale. It chanced amongst the other people lotted,[ev] A man of thirty, rather stout and hale, With resolution in his dark grey eye, Next Juan stood, till some might choose to buy.

XI.

He had an English look; that is, was square In make, of a complexion white and ruddy, Good teeth, with curling rather dark brown hair, And, it might be from thought, or toil, or study, An open brow a little marked with care: One arm had on a bandage rather bloody; And there he stood with such _sang froid,_ that greater Could scarce be shown even by a mere spectator.

XII.

But seeing at his elbow a mere lad, Of a high spirit evidently, though At present weighed down by a doom which had O'erthrown even men, he soon began to show A kind of blunt compassion for the sad Lot of so young a partner in the woe, Which for himself he seemed to deem no worse Than any other scrape, a thing of course.

XIII.

"My boy!"--said he, "amidst this motley crew Of Georgians, Russians, Nubians, and what not, All ragamuffins differing but in hue, With whom it is our luck to cast our lot, The only gentlemen seem I and you; So let us be acquainted, as we ought: If I could yield you any consolation, 'T would give me pleasure.--Pray, what is your nation?"

XIV.

When Juan answered--"Spanish!" he replied, "I thought, in fact, you could not be a Greek; Those servile dogs are not so proudly eyed: Fortune has played you here a pretty freak, But that's her way with all men, till they're tried; But never mind,--she'll turn, perhaps, next week; She has served me also much the same as you, Except that I have found it nothing new."

XV.

"Pray, sir," said Juan, "if I may presume, _What_ brought you here?"--"Oh! nothing very rare-- Six Tartars and a drag-chain----"--"To this doom But what conducted, if the question 's fair, Is that which I would learn."--"I served for some Months with the Russian army here and there; And taking lately, by Suwarrow's bidding, A town, was ta'en myself instead of Widdin."[275]

XVI.

"Have you no friends?"--"I had--but, by God's blessing, Have not been troubled with them lately. Now I have answered all your questions without pressing, And you an equal courtesy should show." "Alas!" said Juan, "'t were a tale distressing, And long besides."--"Oh! if 't is really so, You're right on both accounts to hold your tongue; A sad tale saddens doubly when 't is long.

XVII.

"But droop not: Fortune at your time of life, Although a female moderately fickle, Will hardly leave you (as she's not your wife) For any length of days in such a pickle. To strive, too, with our fate were such a strife As if the corn-sheaf should oppose the sickle: Men are the sport of circumstances, when The circumstances seem the sport of men."

XVIII.

"'T is not," said Juan, "for my present doom I mourn, but for the past;--I loved a maid:"-- He paused, and his dark eye grew full of gloom; A single tear upon his eyelash staid A moment, and then dropped; "but to resume, 'Tis not my present lot, as I have said, Which I deplore so much; for I have borne Hardships which have the hardiest overworn,

XIX.

"On the rough deep. But this last blow--" and here He stopped again, and turned away his face. "Aye," quoth his friend, "I thought it would appear That there had been a lady in the case; And these are things which ask a tender tear, Such as I, too, would shed if in your place: I cried upon my first wife's dying day, And also when my second ran away:

XX.

"My third----"--"Your third!" quoth Juan, turning round; "You scarcely can be thirty: have you three?" "No--only two at present above ground: Surely 't is nothing wonderful to see One person thrice in holy wedlock bound!" "Well, then, your third," said Juan; "what did she? She did not run away, too,--did she, sir?" "No, faith."--"What then?"--"I ran away from her."

XXI.

"You take things coolly, sir," said Juan. "Why," Replied the other, "what can a man do? There still are many rainbows in your sky, But mine have vanished. All, when Life is new, Commence with feelings warm, and prospects high; But Time strips our illusions of their hue, And one by one in turn, some grand mistake Casts off its bright skin yearly like the snake.

XXII.

"'T is true, it gets another bright and fresh, Or fresher, brighter; but the year gone through, This skin must go the way, too, of all flesh, Or sometimes only wear a week or two;-- Love's the first net which spreads its deadly mesh; Ambition, Avarice, Vengeance, Glory, glue The glittering lime-twigs of our latter days, Where still we flutter on for pence or praise."

XXIII.

"All this is very fine, and may be true," Said Juan; "but I really don't see how It betters present times with me or you." "No?" quoth the other; "yet you will allow By setting things in their right point of view, Knowledge, at least, is gained; for instance, now, We know what slavery is, and our disasters May teach us better to behave when masters."

XXIV.

"Would we were masters now, if but to try Their present lessons on our Pagan friends here," Said Juan,--swallowing a heart-burning sigh: "Heaven help the scholar, whom his fortune sends here!" "Perhaps we shall be one day, by and by," Rejoined the other, "when our bad luck mends here; Meantime (yon old black eunuch seems to eye us) I wish to G--d that somebody would buy us.

XXV.

"But after all, what _is_ our present state? 'T is bad, and may be better--all men's lot: Most men are slaves, none more so than the great, To their own whims and passions, and what not; Society itself, which should create Kindness, destroys what little we had got: To feel for none is the true social art Of the world's Stoics--men without a heart."

XXVI.

Just now a black old neutral personage Of the third sex stepped up, and peering over The captives seemed to mark their looks and age, And capabilities, as to discover If they were fitted for the purposed cage: No lady e'er is ogled by a lover, Horse by a blackleg, broadcloth by a tailor, Fee by a counsel, felon by a jailor,

XXVII.

As is a slave by his intended bidder. 'T is pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures; And all are to be sold, if you consider Their passions, and are dext'rous; some by features Are bought up, others by a warlike leader, Some by a place--as tend their years or natures: The most by ready cash--but all have prices, From crowns to kicks, according to their vices.

XXVIII.

The eunuch, having eyed them o'er with care, Turned to the merchant, and began to bid First but for one, and after for the pair; They haggled, wrangled, swore, too--so they did! As though they were in a mere Christian fair, Cheapening an ox, an ass, a lamb, or kid; So that their bargain sounded like a battle For this superior yoke of human cattle.

XXIX.

At last they settled into simple grumbling, And pulling out reluctant purses, and Turning each piece of silver o'er, and tumbling Some down, and weighing others in their hand, And by mistake sequins[276] with paras jumbling, Until the sum was accurately scanned, And then the merchant giving change, and signing Receipts in full, began to think of dining.

XXX.

I wonder if his appetite was good? Or, if it were, if also his digestion? Methinks at meals some odd thoughts might intrude, And Conscience ask a curious sort of question, About the right divine how far we should Sell flesh and blood. When dinner has oppressed one, I think it is perhaps the gloomiest hour Which turns up out of the sad twenty-four.

XXXI.

Voltaire says "No:" he tells you that Candide Found life most tolerable after meals;[277] He's wrong--unless man were a pig, indeed, Repletion rather adds to what he feels, Unless he's drunk, and then no doubt he's freed From his own brain's oppression while it reels. Of food I think with Philip's son[278] or rather Ammon's (ill pleased with one world and one father);[ew]

XXXII.

I think with Alexander, that the act Of eating, with another act or two, Makes us feel our mortality in fact Redoubled; when a roast and a ragout, And fish, and soup, by some side dishes backed, Can give us either pain or pleasure, who Would pique himself on intellects, whose use Depends so much upon the gastric juice?

XXXIII.

The other evening ('t was on Friday last)-- This is a fact, and no poetic fable-- Just as my great coat was about me cast, My hat and gloves still lying on the table, I heard a shot--'t was eight o'clock scarce past-- And, running out as fast as I was able,[279] I found the military commandant Stretched in the street, and able scarce to pant.

XXXIV.

Poor fellow! for some reason, surely bad, They had slain him with five slugs; and left him there To perish on the pavement: so I had Him borne into the house and up the stair, And stripped, and looked to[ex]----But why should I add More circumstances? vain was every care; The man was gone--in some Italian quarrel Killed by five bullets from an old gun-barrel.

XXXV.

I gazed upon him, for I knew him well; And though I have seen many corpses, never Saw one, whom such an accident befell, So calm; though pierced through stomach, heart, and liver, He seemed to sleep,--for you could scarcely tell (As he bled inwardly, no hideous river Of gore divulged the cause) that he was dead: So as I gazed on him, I thought or said--

XXXVI.

"Can this be Death? then what is Life or Death? Speak!" but he spoke not: "wake!" but still he slept:-- "But yesterday and who had mightier breath? A thousand warriors by his word were kept In awe: he said, as the Centurion saith, 'Go,' and he goeth; 'come,' and forth he stepped. The trump and bugle till he spake were dumb-- And now nought left him but the muffled drum."[ey]

XXXVII.

And they who waited once and worshipped--they With their rough faces thronged about the bed To gaze once more on the commanding clay Which for the last, though not the first, time bled; And such an end! that he who many a day Had faced Napoleon's foes until they fled,-- The foremost in the charge or in the sally, Should now be butchered in a civic alley.

XXXVIII.

The scars of his old wounds were near his new, Those honourable scars which brought him fame; And horrid was the contrast to the view---- But let me quit the theme; as such things claim Perhaps even more attention than is due From me: I gazed (as oft I have gazed the same) To try if I could wrench aught out of Death Which should confirm, or shake, or make a faith;

XXXIX.

But it was all a mystery. Here we are, And there we go:--but _where_? five bits of lead, Or three, or two, or one, send very far! And is this blood, then, formed but to be shed? Can every element our elements mar? And Air--Earth--Water--Fire live--and we dead? _We_, whose minds comprehend all things? No more; But let us to the story as before.

XL.

The purchaser of Juan and acquaintance Bore off his bargains to a gilded boat, Embarked himself and them, and off they went thence As fast as oars could pull and water float; They looked like persons being led to sentence, Wondering what next, till the caique[280] was brought Up in a little creek below a wall O'ertopped with cypresses, dark-green and tall.

XLI.

Here their conductor tapping at the wicket Of a small iron door, 't was opened, and He led them onward, first through a low thicket Flanked by large groves, which towered on either hand: They almost lost their way, and had to pick it-- For night was closing ere they came to land. The eunuch made a sign to those on board, Who rowed off, leaving them without a word.

XLII.

As they were plodding on their winding way Through orange bowers, and jasmine, and so forth: (Of which I might have a good deal to say, There being no such profusion in the North Of oriental plants, _et cetera_, But that of late your scribblers think it worth Their while to rear whole hotbeds in _their_ works, Because _one_ poet travelled 'mongst the Turks:)[281]

XLIII.

As they were threading on their way, there came Into Don Juan's head a thought, which he Whispered to his companion:--'t was the same Which might have then occurred to you or me. "Methinks,"--said he,--"it would be no great shame If we should strike a stroke to set us free; Let's knock that old black fellow on the head, And march away--'t were easier done than said."

XLIV.

"Yes," said the other, "and when done, what then? _How_ get out? how the devil got we in? And when we once were fairly out, and when From Saint Bartholomew we have saved our skin,[282][ez] To-morrow'd see us in some other den, And worse off than we hitherto have been; Besides, I'm hungry, and just now would take, Like Esau, for my birthright a beef-steak.

XLV.

"We must be near some place of man's abode;-- For the old negro's confidence in creeping, With his two captives, by so queer a road, Shows that he thinks his friends have not been sleeping; A single cry would bring them all abroad: 'T is better therefore looking before leaping-- And there, you see, this turn has brought us through, By Jove, a noble palace!--lighted too."

XLVI.

It was indeed a wide extensive building Which opened on their view, and o'er the front There seemed to be besprent a deal of gilding And various hues, as is the Turkish wont,-- A gaudy taste; for they are little skilled in The arts of which these lands were once the font: Each villa on the Bosphorus looks a screen New painted, or a pretty opera-scene.[283]

XLVII.

And nearer as they came, a genial savour Of certain stews, and roast-meats, and pilaus, Things which in hungry mortals' eyes find favour, Made Juan in his harsh intentions pause, And put himself upon his good behaviour: His friend, too, adding a new saving clause, Said, "In Heaven's name let's get some supper now, And then I'm with you, if you're for a row."

XLVIII.

Some talk of an appeal unto some passion, Some to men's feelings, others to their reason; The last of these was never much the fashion, For Reason thinks all reasoning out of season: Some speakers whine, and others lay the lash on, But more or less continue still to tease on, With arguments according to their "forte:" But no one ever dreams of being short.--

XLIX.

But I digress: of all appeals,--although I grant the power of pathos, and of gold, Of beauty, flattery, threats, a shilling,--no Method's more sure at moments to take hold[fa] Of the best feelings of mankind, which grow More tender, as we every day behold, Than that all-softening, overpowering knell, The Tocsin of the Soul--the dinner-bell.

L.

Turkey contains no bells, and yet men dine; And Juan and his friend, albeit they heard No Christian knoll to table, saw no line Of lackeys usher to the feast prepared, Yet smelt roast-meat, beheld a huge fire shine, And cooks in motion with their clean arms bared, And gazed around them to the left and right, With the prophetic eye of appetite.

LI.

And giving up all notions of resistance, They followed close behind their sable guide, Who little thought that his own cracked existence Was on the point of being set aside: He motioned them to stop at some small distance, And knocking at the gate, 't was opened wide, And a magnificent large hall displayed The Asian pomp of Ottoman parade.

LII.

I won't describe; description is my "forte," But every fool describes in these bright days His wondrous journey to some foreign court, And spawns his quarto, and demands your praise-- Death to his publisher, to him 't is sport; While Nature, tortured twenty thousand ways, Resigns herself with exemplary patience To guide-books, rhymes, tours, sketches, illustrations.[284]

LIII.

Along this hall, and up and down, some, squatted Upon their hams, were occupied at chess; Others in monosyllable talk chatted, And some seemed much in love with their own dress; And divers smoked superb pipes decorated With amber mouths of greater price or less; And several strutted, others slept, and some Prepared for supper with a glass of rum.[285]

LIV.

As the black eunuch entered with his brace Of purchased Infidels, some raised their eyes A moment, without slackening from their pace; But those who sate ne'er stirred in any wise: One or two stared the captives in the face, Just as one views a horse to guess his price; Some nodded to the negro from their station, But no one troubled him with conversation.[286]

LV.

He leads them through the hall, and, without stopping, On through a farther range of goodly rooms, Splendid, but silent, save in _one_, where dropping[287] A marble fountain echoes through the glooms Of night which robe the chamber, or where popping Some female head most curiously presumes To thrust its black eyes through the door or lattice, As wondering what the _devil_ noise that is!

LVI.

Some faint lamps gleaming from the lofty walls Gave light enough to hint their farther way, But not enough to show the imperial halls In all the flashing of their full array; Perhaps there's nothing--I'll not say appals, But saddens more by night as well as day, Than an enormous room without a soul[288] To break the lifeless splendour of the whole.

LVII.

Two or three seem so little, _one_ seems nothing: In deserts, forests, crowds, or by the shore, _There_ Solitude, we know, has her full growth in The spots which were her realms for evermore; But in a mighty hall or gallery, both in More modern buildings and those built of yore, A kind of Death comes o'er us all alone, Seeing what's meant for many with but one.

LVIII.

A neat, snug study on a winter's night,[fb] A book, friend, single lady, or a glass Of claret, sandwich, and an appetite, Are things which make an English evening pass-- Though _certes_ by no means so grand a sight As is a theatre lit up by gas-- _I_ pass my evenings in long galleries solely,[fc][289] And that's the reason I'm so melancholy.

LIX.

Alas! Man makes that great which makes him little-- I grant you in a church 't is very well: What speaks of Heaven should by no means be brittle, But strong and lasting, till no tongue can tell Their names who reared it; but huge houses fit ill, And huge tombs, worse, Mankind--since Adam fell: Methinks the story of the tower of Babel Might teach them this much better than I'm able.

LX.

Babel was Nimrod's hunting-box, and then A town of gardens, walls, and wealth amazing, Where Nabuchadonosor,[290] King of men, Reigned, till one summer's day he took to grazing, And Daniel tamed the lions in their den, The people's awe and admiration raising; 'T was famous, too, for Thisbe and for Pyramus,[291] And the calumniated queen Semiramis--

LXI.

That injured Queen, by chroniclers[292] so coarse, Has been accused (I doubt not by conspiracy) Of an improper friendship for her horse (Love, like Religion, sometimes runs to heresy): This monstrous tale had probably its source (For such exaggerations here and there I see) In writing "Courser" by mistake for "Courier:"[fd] I wish the case could come before a jury here.[293]

LXII.

But to resume,--should there be (what may not Be in these days?) some infidels, who don't, Because they can't find out the very spot Of that same Babel, or because they won't (Though Claudius Rich, Esquire, some bricks has got, And written lately two memoirs upon't),[294] Believe the Jews, those unbelievers, who Must be believed, though they believe not you:

LXIII.

Yet let them think that Horace has expressed Shortly and sweetly the masonic folly Of those, forgetting the great place of rest, Who give themselves to Architecture wholly; We know where things and men must end at best: A moral (like all morals) melancholy, And "Et sepulchri immemor struis domos" Shows that we build when we should but entomb us.

LXIV.

At last they reached a quarter most retired, Where Echo woke as if from a long slumber; Though full of all things which could be desired, One wondered what to do with such a number Of articles which nobody required; Here Wealth had done its utmost to encumber With furniture an exquisite apartment, Which puzzled Nature much to know what Art meant.

LXV.

It seemed, however, but to open on A range or suite of further chambers, which Might lead to Heaven knows where; but in this one The moveables were prodigally rich: Sofas 't was half a sin to sit upon, So costly were they; carpets every stitch Of workmanship so rare, they made you wish You could glide o'er them like a golden fish.

LXVI.

The black, however, without hardly deigning A glance at that which wrapped the slaves in wonder, Trampled what they scarce trod for fear of staining, As if the milky way their feet was under With all its stars; and with a stretch attaining A certain press or cupboard niched in yonder, In that remote recess which you may see-- Or if you don't the fault is not in me,--

LXVII.

I wish to be perspicuous--and the black, I say, unlocking the recess, pulled forth A quantity of clothes fit for the back Of any Mussulman, whate'er his worth: And of variety there was no lack-- And yet, though I have said there was no dearth,-- He chose himself to point out what he thought Most proper for the Christians he had bought.

LXVIII.

The suit he thought most suitable to each Was, for the elder and the stouter, first A Candiote cloak, which to the knee might reach, And trousers not so tight that they would burst, But such as fit an Asiatic breech; A shawl, whose folds in Cashmire had been nursed, Slippers of saffron, dagger rich and handy; In short, all things which form a Turkish Dandy.

LXIX.

While he was dressing, Baba, their black friend, Hinted the vast advantages which they Might probably attain both in the end, If they would but pursue the proper way Which Fortune plainly seemed to recommend; And then he added, that he needs must say, "'T would greatly tend to better their condition, If they would condescend to circumcision.

LXX.

"For his own part, he really should rejoice To see them true believers, but no less Would leave his proposition to their choice." The other, thanking him for this excess Of goodness, in thus leaving them a voice In such a trifle, scarcely could express "Sufficiently" (he said) "his approbation Of all the customs of this polished nation.

LXXI.

"For his own share--he saw but small objection To so respectable an ancient rite; And, after swallowing down a slight refection, For which he owned a present appetite, He doubted not a few hours of reflection Would reconcile him to the business quite." "Will it?" said Juan, sharply: "Strike me dead, But they as soon shall circumcise my head![fe]

LXXII.

"Cut off a thousand heads, before----"--"Now, pray," Replied the other, "do not interrupt: You put me out in what I had to say. Sir!--as I said, as soon as I have supped, I shall perpend if your proposal may Be such as I can properly accept; Provided always your great goodness still Remits the matter to our own free-will."

LXXIII.

Baba eyed Juan, and said, "Be so good As dress yourself--" and pointed out a suit In which a Princess with great pleasure would Array her limbs; but Juan standing mute, As not being in a masquerading mood, Gave it a slight kick with his Christian foot; And when the old negro told him to "Get ready," Replied, "Old gentleman, I'm not a lady."

LXXIV.

"What you may be, I neither know nor care," Said Baba; "but pray do as I desire: I have no more time nor many words to spare." "At least," said Juan, "sure I may inquire The cause of this odd travesty?"--"Forbear," Said Baba, "to be curious; 't will transpire, No doubt, in proper place, and time, and season: I have no authority to tell the reason."

LXXV.

"Then if I do," said Juan, "I'll be----"--"Hold!" Rejoined the negro, "pray be not provoking; This spirit's well, but it may wax too bold, And you will find us not too fond of joking." "What, sir!" said Juan, "shall it e'er be told That I unsexed my dress?" But Baba, stroking The things down, said, "Incense me, and I call Those who will leave you of no sex at all.

LXXVI.

"I offer you a handsome suit of clothes: A woman's, true; but then there is a cause Why you should wear them."--"What, though my soul loathes The effeminate garb?"--thus, after a short pause, Sighed Juan, muttering also some slight oaths, "What the devil shall I do with all this gauze?" Thus he profanely termed the finest lace Which e'er set off a marriage-morning face.

LXXVII.

And then he swore; and, sighing, on he slipped A pair of trousers of flesh-coloured silk;[ff] Next with a virgin zone he was equipped, Which girt a slight chemise as white as milk; But tugging on his petticoat, he tripped, Which--as we say--or as the Scotch say, _whilk_.[295] (The rhyme obliges me to this; sometimes Monarchs are less imperative than rhymes)--[fg]

LXXVIII.

Whilk, which (or what you please), was owing to His garment's novelty, and his being awkward: And yet at last he managed to get through His toilet, though no doubt a little backward: The negro Baba helped a little too, When some untoward part of raiment stuck hard; And, wrestling both his arms into a gown, He paused, and took a survey up and down.

LXXIX.

One difficulty still remained--his hair Was hardly long enough; but Baba found So many false long tresses all to spare, That soon his head was most completely crowned, After the manner then in fashion there; And this addition with such gems was bound As suited the _ensemble_ of his toilet, While Baba made him comb his head and oil it.

LXXX.

And now being femininely all arrayed, With some small aid from scissors, paint, and tweezers, He looked in almost all respects a maid,[fh] And Baba smilingly exclaimed, "You see, sirs, A perfect transformation here displayed; And now, then, you must come along with me, sirs, That is--the Lady:" clapping his hands twice, Four blacks were at his elbow in a trice.

LXXXI.

"You, sir," said Baba, nodding to the one, "Will please to accompany those gentlemen To supper; but you, worthy Christian nun, Will follow me: no trifling, sir; for when I say a thing, it must at once be done. What fear you? think you this a lion's den? Why, 't is a palace; where the truly wise Anticipate the Prophet's paradise.

LXXXII.

"You fool! I tell you no one means you harm." "So much the better," Juan said, "for them; Else they shall feel the weight of this my arm, Which is not quite so light as you may deem. I yield thus far; but soon will break the charm, If any take me for that which I seem: So that I trust for every body's sake, That this disguise may lead to no mistake."

LXXXIII.

"Blockhead! come on, and see," quoth Baba; while Don Juan, turning to his comrade, who Though somewhat grieved, could scarce forbear a smile Upon the metamorphosis in view,-- "Farewell!" they mutually exclaimed: "this soil Seems fertile in adventures strange and new; One's turned half Mussulman, and one a maid, By this old black enchanter's unsought aid."

LXXXIV.

"Farewell!" said Juan: "should we meet no more, I wish you a good appetite."--"Farewell!" Replied the other; "though it grieves me sore: When we next meet, we'll have a tale to tell: We needs must follow when Fate puts from shore. Keep your good name; though Eve herself once fell." "Nay," quoth the maid, "the Sultan's self shan't carry me, Unless his Highness promises to marry me."

LXXXV.

And thus they parted, each by separate doors; Baba led Juan onward, room by room, Through glittering galleries, and o'er marble floors, Till a gigantic portal through the gloom, Haughty and huge, along the distance lowers; And wafted far arose a rich perfume: It seemed as though they came upon a shrine, For all was vast, still, fragrant, and divine.

LXXXVI.

The giant door was broad, and bright, and high, Of gilded bronze, and carved in curious guise; Warriors thereon were battling furiously; Here stalks the victor, there the vanquished lies; There captives led in triumph droop the eye, And in perspective many a squadron flies: It seems the work of times before the line Of Rome transplanted fell with Constantine.

LXXXVII.

This massy portal stood at the wide close Of a huge hall, and on its either side Two little dwarfs, the least you could suppose, Were sate, like ugly imps, as if allied In mockery to the enormous gate which rose O'er them in almost pyramidic pride: The gate so splendid was in all its _features_,[296] You never thought about those little creatures,

LXXXVIII.

Until you nearly trod on them, and then You started back in horror to survey The wondrous hideousness of those small men, Whose colour was not black, nor white, nor grey, But an extraneous mixture, which no pen Can trace, although perhaps the pencil may; They were mis-shapen pigmies, deaf and dumb-- Monsters, who cost a no less monstrous sum.

LXXXIX.

Their duty was--for they were strong, and though They looked so little, did strong things at times-- To ope this door, which they could really do, The hinges being as smooth as Rogers' rhymes; And now and then, with tough strings of the bow, As is the custom of those Eastern climes, To give some rebel Pacha a cravat-- For mutes are generally used for that.

XC.

They spoke by signs--that is, not spoke at all; And looking like two Incubi, they glared As Baba with his fingers made them fall To heaving back the portal folds: it scared Juan a moment, as this pair so small, With shrinking serpent optics on him stared;[297] It was as if their little looks could poison Or fascinate whome'er they fixed their eyes on.

XCI.

Before they entered, Baba paused to hint To Juan some slight lessons as his guide: "If you could just contrive," he said, "to stint That somewhat manly majesty of stride, 'T would be as well, and--(though there's not much in 't) To swing a little less from side to side, Which has at times an aspect of the oddest;-- And also could you look a little modest,

XCII.

"'T would be convenient; for these mutes have eyes Like needles, which may pierce those petticoats; And if they should discover your disguise, You know how near us the deep Bosphorus floats; And you and I may chance, ere morning rise, To find our way to Marmora without boats, Stitched up in sacks--a mode of navigation A good deal practised here upon occasion."[298]

XCIII.

With this encouragement he led the way Into a room still nobler than the last; A rich confusion formed a disarray In such sort, that the eye along it cast Could hardly carry anything away, Object on object flashed so bright and fast; A dazzling mass of gems, and gold, and glitter, Magnificently mingled in a litter.

XCIV.

Wealth had done wonders--taste not much; such things Occur in Orient palaces, and even In the more chastened domes of Western kings (Of which I have also seen some six or seven), Where I can't say or gold or diamond flings Great lustre, there is much to be forgiven; Groups of bad statues, tables, chairs, and pictures, On which I cannot pause to make my strictures.

XCV.

In this imperial hall, at distance lay Under a canopy, and there reclined Quite in a confidential queenly way, A lady; Baba stopped, and kneeling signed To Juan, who though not much used to pray, Knelt down by instinct, wondering in his mind What all this meant: while Baba bowed and bended His head, until the ceremony ended.

XCVI.

The lady rising up with such an air As Venus rose with from the wave, on them Bent like an antelope a Paphian pair[fi] Of eyes, which put out each surrounding gem; And raising up an arm as moonlight fair, She signed to Baba, who first kissed the hem Of her deep purple robe, and, speaking low, Pointed to Juan who remained below.

XCVII.

Her presence was as lofty as her state; Her beauty of that overpowering kind, Whose force Description only would abate: I'd rather leave it much to your own mind, Than lessen it by what I could relate Of forms and features; it would strike you blind Could I do justice to the full detail; So, luckily for both, my phrases fail.

XCVIII.

Thus much however I may add,--her years Were ripe, they might make six-and-twenty springs, But there are forms which Time to touch forbears, And turns aside his scythe to vulgar things:[fj] Such as was Mary's, Queen of Scots; true--tears And Love destroy; and sapping Sorrow wrings Charms from the charmer, yet some never grow Ugly; for instance--Ninon de l'Enclos.[299]

XCIX.

She spake some words to her attendants, who Composed a choir of girls, ten or a dozen, And were all clad alike; like Juan, too, Who wore their uniform, by Baba chosen: They formed a very nymph-like looking crew,[300] Which might have called Diana's chorus "cousin," As far as outward show may correspond-- I won't be bail for anything beyond.

C.

They bowed obeisance and withdrew, retiring, But not by the same door through which came in Baba and Juan, which last stood admiring, At some small distance, all he saw within This strange saloon, much fitted for inspiring Marvel and praise; for both or none things win; And I must say, I ne'er could see the very Great happiness of the "Nil admirari."[301]

CI.

"Not to admire is all the art I know (Plain truth, dear Murray, needs few flowers of speech)-- To make men happy, or to keep them so" (So take it in the very words of Creech)-- Thus Horace wrote we all know long ago; And thus Pope[302] quotes the precept to re-teach From his translation; but had _none admired_, Would Pope have sung, or Horace been inspired?[303]

CII.

Baba, when all the damsels were withdrawn, Motioned to Juan to approach, and then A second time desired him to kneel down, And kiss the lady's foot; which maxim when He heard repeated, Juan with a frown Drew himself up to his full height again, And said, "It grieved him, but he could not stoop To any shoe, unless it shod the Pope."

CII.

Baba, indignant at this ill-timed pride, Made fierce remonstrances, and then a threat He muttered (but the last was given aside) About a bow-string--quite in vain; not yet Would Juan bend, though 't were to Mahomet's bride: There's nothing in the world like _etiquette_ In kingly chambers or imperial halls, As also at the Race and County Balls.

CIV.

He stood like Atlas, with a world of words About his ears, and nathless would not bend; The blood of all his line's Castilian lords Boiled in his veins, and, rather than descend To stain his pedigree, a thousand swords A thousand times of him had made an end; At length perceiving the "_foot_" could not stand, Baba proposed that he should kiss the hand,

CV.

Here was an honourable compromise, A half-way house of diplomatic rest, Where they might meet in much more peaceful guise; And Juan now his willingness expressed To use all fit and proper courtesies, Adding, that this was commonest and best, For through the South, the custom still commands The gentleman to kiss the lady's hands.

CVI.

And he advanced, though with but a bad grace, Though on more _thorough-bred_[304] or fairer fingers No lips e'er left their transitory trace: On such as these the lip too fondly lingers, And for one kiss would fain imprint a brace, As you will see, if she you love shall bring hers In contact; and sometimes even a fair stranger's An almost twelvemonth's constancy endangers.

CVII.

The lady eyed him o'er and o'er, and bade Baba retire, which he obeyed in style, As if well used to the retreating trade; And taking hints in good part all the while, He whispered Juan not to be afraid, And looking on him with a sort of smile, Took leave, with such a face of satisfaction, As good men wear who have done a virtuous action.

CVIII.

When he was gone, there was a sudden change: I know not what might be the lady's thought, But o'er her bright brow flashed a tumult strange, And into her clear cheek the blood was brought, Blood-red as sunset summer clouds which range The verge of Heaven; and in her large eyes wrought, A mixture of sensations might be scanned, Of half voluptuousness and half command.

CIX.

Her form had all the softness of her sex, Her features all the sweetness of the Devil, When he put on the Cherub to perplex[305] Eve, and paved (God knows how) the road to evil; The Sun himself was scarce more free from specks Than she from aught at which the eye could cavil; Yet, somehow, there was something somewhere wanting, As if she rather _ordered_ than was _granting_.--

CX.

Something imperial, or imperious, threw A chain o'er all she did; that is, a chain Was thrown as 't were about the neck of you,-- And Rapture's self will seem almost a pain With aught which looks like despotism in view; Our souls at least are free, and 't is in vain We would against them make the flesh obey-- The spirit in the end will have its way.

CXI.

Her very smile was haughty, though so sweet; Her very nod was not an inclination; There was a self-will even in her small feet, As though they were quite conscious of her station-- They trod as upon necks; and to complete Her state (it is the custom of her nation), A poniard decked her girdle, as the sign She was a Sultan's bride (thank Heaven, not mine!).

CXII.

"To hear and to obey" had been from birth The law of all around her; to fulfil All phantasies which yielded joy or mirth, Had been her slaves' chief pleasure, as her will; Her blood was high, her beauty scarce of earth: Judge, then, if her caprices e'er stood still; Had she but been a Christian, I've a notion We should have found out the "perpetual motion."

CXIII.

Whate'er she saw and coveted was brought; Whate'er she did _not_ see, if she supposed It might be seen, with diligence was sought, And when 't was found straightway the bargain closed: There was no end unto the things she bought, Nor to the trouble which her fancies caused; Yet even her tyranny had such a grace, The women pardoned all except her face.[fk]

CXIV.

Juan, the latest of her whims, had caught Her eye in passing on his way to sale; She ordered him directly to be bought, And Baba, who had ne'er been known to fail In any kind of mischief to be wrought, At all such auctions knew how to prevail:[fl] She had no prudence, but he had--and this Explains the garb which Juan took amiss.

CXV.

His youth and features favoured the disguise, And should you ask how she, a Sultan's bride, Could risk or compass such strange phantasies, This I must leave sultanas to decide: Emperors are only husbands in wives' eyes, And kings and consorts oft are mystified,[fm] As we may ascertain with due precision, Some by experience, others by tradition.

CXVI.

But to the main point, where we have been tending:-- She now conceived all difficulties past, And deemed herself extremely condescending When, being made her property at last, Without more preface, in her blue eyes blending Passion and power, a glance on him she cast, And merely saying, "Christian, canst thou love?" Conceived that phrase was quite enough to move.

CXVII.

And so it was, in proper time and place; But Juan, who had still his mind o'erflowing With Haidée's isle and soft Ionian face, Felt the warm blood, which in his face was glowing Rush back upon his heart, which filled apace, And left his cheeks as pale as snowdrops blowing: These words went through his soul like Arab spears,[306] So that he spoke not, but burst into tears.

CXVIII.

She was a good deal shocked; not shocked at tears, For women shed and use them at their liking; But there is something when man's eye appears Wet, still more disagreeable and striking: A woman's tear-drop melts, a man's half sears, Like molten lead, as if you thrust a pike in His heart to force it out, for (to be shorter) To them 't is a relief, to us a torture.

CXIX.

And she would have consoled, but knew not how: Having no equals, nothing which had e'er Infected her with sympathy till now, And never having dreamt what 't was to bear Aught of a serious, sorrowing kind, although There might arise some pouting petty care To cross her brow, she wondered how so near Her eyes another's eye could shed a tear.

CXX.

But Nature teaches more than power can spoil,[fn] And, when a strong although a strange sensation Moves--female hearts are such a genial soil For kinder feelings, whatso'er their nation, They naturally pour the "wine and oil," Samaritans in every situation; And thus Gulbeyaz, though she knew not why, Felt an odd glistening moisture in her eye.

CXXI.

But tears must stop like all things else; and soon Juan, who for an instant had been moved To such a sorrow by the intrusive tone Of one who dared to ask if "he _had_ loved," Called back the Stoic to his eyes, which shone Bright with the very weakness he reproved; And although sensitive to beauty, he Felt most indignant still at not being free.

CXXII.

Gulbeyaz, for the first time in her days, Was much embarrassed, never having met In all her life with aught save prayers and praise; And as she also risked her life to get Him whom she meant to tutor in love's ways Into a comfortable tête-à-tête, To lose the hour would make her quite a martyr, And they had wasted now almost a quarter.

CXXIII.

I also would suggest the fitting time To gentlemen in any such like case, That is to say in a meridian clime-- With us there is more law given to the chase, But here a small delay forms a great crime: So recollect that the extremest grace Is just two minutes for your declaration-- A moment more would hurt your reputation.

CXXIV.

Juan's was good; and might have been still better, But he had got Haidée into his head: However strange, he could not yet forget her, Which made him seem exceedingly ill-bred. Gulbeyaz, who looked on him as her debtor For having had him to her palace led, Began to blush up to the eyes, and then Grow deadly pale, and then blush back again.

CXXV.

At length, in an imperial way, she laid Her hand on his, and bending on him eyes Which needed not an empire to persuade, Looked into his for love, where none replies: Her brow grew black, but she would not upbraid, That being the last thing a proud woman tries; She rose, and pausing one chaste moment threw Herself upon his breast, and there she grew.

CXXVI.

This was an awkward test, as Juan found, But he was steeled by Sorrow, Wrath, and Pride: With gentle force her white arms he unwound, And seated her all drooping by his side, Then rising haughtily he glanced around, And looking coldly in her face he cried, "The prisoned eagle will not pair, nor I Serve a Sultana's sensual phantasy.

CXXVII.

"Thou ask'st, if I can love? be this the proof How much I _have_ loved--that I love not _thee!_ In this vile garb, the distaff, web, and woof, Were fitter for me: Love is for the free! I am not dazzled by this splendid roof; Whate'er thy power, and great it seems to be, Heads bow, knees bend, eyes watch around a throne, And hands obey--our hearts are still our own."

CXXVIII.

This was a truth to us extremely trite; Not so to her, who ne'er had heard such things: She deemed her least command must yield delight, Earth being only made for Queens and Kings. If hearts lay on the left side or the right She hardly knew, to such perfection brings Legitimacy its born votaries, when Aware of their due royal rights o'er men.

CXXIX.

Besides, as has been said, she was so fair As even in a much humbler lot had made A kingdom or confusion anywhere, And also, as may be presumed, she laid Some stress on charms, which seldom are, if e'er, By their possessors thrown into the shade: She thought hers gave a double "right divine;" And half of that opinion's also mine.

CXXX.

Remember, or (if you can not) imagine, Ye! who have kept your chastity when young, While some more desperate dowager has been waging Love with you, and been in the dog-days stung[fo] By your refusal, recollect her raging! Or recollect all that was said or sung On such a subject; then suppose the face Of a young downright beauty in this case!

CXXXI.

Suppose,--but you already have supposed, The spouse of Potiphar, the Lady Booby,[307] Phaedra,[308] and all which story has disclosed Of good examples; pity that so few by Poets and private tutors are exposed,[fp] To educate--ye youth of Europe--you by! But when you have supposed the few we know, You can't suppose Gulbeyaz' angry brow.

CXXXII.

A tigress robbed of young, a lioness, Or any interesting beast of prey, Are similes at hand for the distress Of ladies who can _not_ have their own way; But though my turn will not be served with less, These don't express one half what I should say: For what is stealing young ones, few or many, To cutting short their hope of having _any?_

CXXXIII.

The love of offspring's Nature's general law, From tigresses and cubs to ducks and ducklings; There's nothing whets the beak, or arms the claw Like an invasion of their babes and sucklings; And all who have seen a human nursery, saw How mothers love their children's squalls and chucklings: This strong extreme effect (to tire no longer Your patience) shows the cause must still be stronger.[fq]

CXXXIV.

If I said fire flashed from Gulbeyaz' eyes, 'T were nothing--for her eyes flashed always fire; Or said her cheeks assumed the deepest dyes, I should but bring disgrace upon the dyer, So supernatural was her passion's rise; For ne'er till now she knew a checked desire: Even ye who know what a checked woman is (Enough, God knows!) would much fall short of this.

CXXXV.

Her rage was but a minute's, and 't was well-- A moment's more had slain her; but the while It lasted 't was like a short glimpse of Hell: Nought's more sublime than energetic bile, Though horrible to see, yet grand to tell, Like Ocean warring 'gainst a rocky isle; And the deep passions flashing through her form Made her a beautiful embodied storm.

CXXXVI.

A vulgar tempest 't were to a typhoon To match a common fury with her rage, And yet she did not want to reach the moon,[309] Like moderate Hotspur on the immortal page;[fr] Her anger pitched into a lower tune, Perhaps the fault of her soft sex and age-- Her wish was but to "kill, kill, kill," like Lear's,[310] And then her thirst of blood was quenched in tears.

CXXXVII.

A storm it raged, and like the storm it passed, Passed without words--in fact she could not speak; And then her sex's shame[311] broke in at last, A sentiment till then in her but weak, But now it flowed in natural and fast, As water through an unexpected leak; For she felt humbled--and humiliation Is sometimes good for people in her station.

CXXXVIII.

It teaches them that they are flesh and blood, It also gently hints to them that others, Although of clay, are yet not quite of mud; That urns and pipkins are but fragile brothers, And works of the same pottery, bad or good, Though not all born of the same sires and mothers; It teaches--Heaven knows only what it teaches, But sometimes it may mend, and often reaches.

CXXXIX.

Her first thought was to cut off Juan's head; Her second, to cut only his--acquaintance; Her third, to ask him where he had been bred; Her fourth, to rally him into repentance; Her fifth, to call her maids and go to bed; Her sixth, to stab herself; her seventh, to sentence The lash to Baba:--but her grand resource Was to sit down again, and cry--of course.

CXL.

She thought to stab herself, but then she had The dagger close at hand, which made it awkward; For Eastern stays are little made to pad, So that a poniard pierces if 't is struck hard: She thought of killing Juan--but, poor lad! Though he deserved it well for being so backward, The cutting off his head was not the art Most likely to attain her aim--his heart.

CXLI.

Juan was moved: he had made up his mind To be impaled, or quartered as a dish For dogs, or to be slain with pangs refined, Or thrown to lions, or made baits for fish, And thus heroically stood resigned, Rather than sin--except to his own wish: But all his great preparatives for dying Dissolved like snow before a woman crying.

CXLII.

As through his palms Bob Acres' valour oozed,[312] So Juan's virtue ebbed, I know not how; And first he wondered why he had refused; And then, if matters could be made up now; And next his savage virtue he accused, Just as a friar may accuse his vow, Or as a dame repents her of her oath, Which mostly ends in some small breach of both.

CXLIII.

So he began to stammer some excuses; But words are not enough in such a matter, Although you borrowed all that e'er the Muses Have sung, or even a Dandy's dandiest chatter, Or all the figures Castlereagh abuses;[fs] Just as a languid smile began to flatter His peace was making, but, before he ventured Further, old Baba rather briskly entered.

CXLIV.

"Bride of the Sun! and Sister of the Moon!" ('T was thus he spake,) "and Empress of the Earth! Whose frown would put the spheres all out of tune, Whose smile makes all the planets dance with mirth, Your slave brings tidings--he hopes not too soon-- Which your sublime attention may be worth: The Sun himself has sent me like a ray, To hint that he is coming up this way."

CXLV.

"Is it," exclaimed Gulbeyaz, "as you say? I wish to heaven he would not shine till morning! But bid my women form the milky way. Hence, my old comet! give the stars due warning--[ft] And, Christian! mingle with them as you may, And as you'd have me pardon your past scorning-----" Here they were interrupted by a humming Sound, and then by a cry, "The Sultan's coming!"

CXLVI.

First came her damsels, a decorous file, And then his Highness' eunuchs, black and white; The train might reach a quarter of a mile: His Majesty was always so polite As to announce his visits a long while Before he came, especially at night; For being the last wife of the Emperor, She was of course the favourite of the four.

CXLVII.

His Highness was a man of solemn port, Shawled to the nose, and bearded to the eyes, Snatched from a prison to preside at court, His lately bowstrung brother caused his rise; He was as good a sovereign of the sort As any mentioned in the histories Of Cantemir, or Knōllěs, where few shine[fu] Save Solyman, the glory of their line.[313]

CXLVIII.

He went to mosque in state, and said his prayers With more than "Oriental scrupulosity;"[314] He left to his vizier all state affairs, And showed but little royal curiosity: I know not if he had domestic cares-- No process proved connubial animosity; Four wives and twice five hundred maids, unseen, Were ruled as calmly as a Christian queen.[fv]

CXLIX.

If now and then there happened a slight slip, Little was heard of criminal or crime; The story scarcely passed a single lip-- The sack and sea had settled all in time, From which the secret nobody could rip: The public knew no more than does this rhyme; No scandals made the daily press a curse-- Morals were better, and the fish no worse.[fw]

CL.

He saw with his own eyes the moon was round, Was also certain that the earth was square, Because he had journeyed fifty miles, and found No sign that it was circular anywhere;[fx] His empire also was without a bound: 'T is true, a little troubled here and there, By rebel pachas, and encroaching giaours, But then they never came to "the Seven Towers;"[315]

CLI.

Except in shape of envoys, who were sent To lodge there when a war broke out, according To the true law of nations, which ne'er meant Those scoundrels, who have never had a sword in Their dirty diplomatic hands, to vent Their spleen in making strife, and safely wording Their lies, yclept despatches, without risk or The singeing of a single inky whisker.

CLII.

He had fifty daughters and four dozen sons, Of whom all such as came of age were stowed, The former in a palace, where like nuns They lived till some Bashaw was sent abroad, When she, whose turn it was, was wed at once, Sometimes at six years old[316]--though this seems odd, 'T is true; the reason is, that the Bashaw Must make a present to his sire-in-law.

CLIII.

His sons were kept in prison, till they grew Of years to fill a bowstring or the throne, One or the other, but which of the two Could yet be known unto the fates alone; Meantime the education they went through Was princely, as the proofs have always shown; So that the heir apparent still was found No less deserving to be hanged than crowned.

CLIV.

His Majesty saluted his fourth spouse With all the ceremonies of his rank, Who cleared her sparkling eyes and smoothed her brows, As suits a matron who has played a prank; These must seem doubly mindful of their vows, To save the credit of their breaking bank: To no men are such cordial greetings given As those whose wives have made them fit for Heaven.[317]

CLV.

His Highness cast around his great black eyes, And looking, as he always looked, perceived Juan amongst the damsels in disguise, At which he seemed no whit surprised nor grieved, But just remarked with air sedate and wise,[fy] While still a fluttering sigh Gulbeyaz heaved, "I see you've bought another girl; 't is pity That a mere Christian should be half so pretty."

CLVI.

This compliment, which drew all eyes upon The new-bought virgin, made her blush and shake. Her comrades, also, thought themselves undone: Oh! Mahomet! that his Majesty should take Such notice of a giaour, while scarce to one Of them his lips imperial ever spake! There was a general whisper, toss, and wriggle, But etiquette forbade them all to giggle.

CLVII.

The Turks do well to shut--at least, sometimes-- The women up--because, in sad reality, Their chastity in these unhappy climes[fz] Is not a thing of that astringent quality Which in the North prevents precocious crimes, And makes our snow less pure than our morality; The Sun, which yearly melts the polar ice, Has quite the contrary effect--on vice.

CLVIII.

Thus in the East they are extremely strict, And wedlock and a padlock mean the same: Excepting only when the former's picked It ne'er can be replaced in proper frame; Spoilt, as a pipe of claret is when pricked: But then their own polygamy's to blame; Why don't they knead two virtuous souls for life Into that moral centaur, man and wife?[318]

CLIX.

Thus far our chronicle; and now we pause, Though not for want of matter; but 't is time, According to the ancient epic laws, To slacken sail, and anchor with our rhyme. Let this fifth canto meet with due applause, The sixth shall have a touch of the sublime; Meanwhile, as Homer sometimes sleeps, perhaps You'll pardon to my muse a few short naps.[ga]

End of Canto 5^th^ Finished Ravenna, Nov. 27^th^ 1820. Begun Oct. 16, 1820. and finished copying out, Dec. 26. with some intermediate additions, 1820. B.

FOOTNOTES:

{218}[270] [Canto V. was begun at Ravenna, October the 16th, and finished November the 20th, 1820. It was published August 8, 1821, together with Cantos III. and IV.]

[271] This expression of Homer has been much criticized. It hardly answers to our Atlantic ideas of the ocean, but is sufficiently applicable to the Hellespont, and the Bosphorus, with the Aegean intersected with islands.

[Vide Iliad, xiv. 245, etc. Homer's "ocean-stream" was not the Hellespont, but the rim of waters which encircled the disk of the world.]

{219}[272] ["The pleasure of going in a barge to Chelsea is not comparable to that of rowing upon the canal of the sea here, where, for twenty miles together, down the Bosphorus, the most beautiful variety of prospects present themselves. The Asian side is covered with fruit trees, villages, and the most delightful landscapes in nature; on the European stands Constantinople, situated on seven hills; showing an agreeable mixture of gardens, pine and cypress trees, palaces, mosques, and public buildings, raised one above another, with as much beauty and appearance of symmetry as your ladyship ever saw in a cabinet adorned by the most skilful hands, where jars show themselves above jars, mixed with canisters, babies, and candlesticks. This is a very odd comparison: but it gives me an exact idea of the thing."--See letter to Mr. Pope, No. xl. June 17, 1717, and letter to the Countess of Bristol, No. xlvi. n.d., _Letters of the Lady Mary Worthy Montagu,_ 1816, pp. 183-219. See, too, letter to Mrs. Byron, June 28, 1810, _Letters,_ 1890, i. 280, note 1.]

[273] [For Byron's "Marys," see _Poetical Works,_ 1898, i. 192, note 2.]

[274] The "Giant's Grave" is a height on the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, much frequented by holiday parties; like Harrow and Highgate.

["The Giant's Mountain, 650 feet high, is almost exactly opposite Buyukdereh ... It is called by the Turks Yoshadagh, _Mountain of Joshua,_ because the _Giant's Grave_ on the top is, according to the Moslem legend, the grave of Joshua. The grave was formerly called the _Couch of Hercules;_ but the classical story is that it was the tomb of Amycus, king of the Bebryces [on his grave grew the _laurus insana_, a branch of which caused strife (Plin., _Hist. Nat.,_ lib. xvi. cap. xliv. ed. 1593, ii. 198)]. The grave is 20 feet long, and 5 feet broad; it is within a stone enclosure, and is planted with flowers and bushes."--_Handbook for Constantinople,_ p. 103.]

{220}[et] _For then the Parca are most busy spinning_ _The fates of seamen, and the loud winds raise_.--[MS.]

{221}[eu] _That he a man of rank and birth had been_, _And then they calculated on his ransom_, _And last not least--he was so very handsome_.--[MS.]

[ev] _It chanced that near him, separately lotted_, _From out the group of slaves put up for sale_, _A man of middle age, and_----.--[MS.]

{222}[275] [The object of Suwarof's campaign of 1789 was the conquest of Belgrade and Servia, that of Wallachia by the Austrians, etc. Neither of these plans succeeded."--_The Life of Field-Marshal Suwarof,_ by L.M.P. Tranchant de Laverne, 1814, pp. 105, 106.]

{226}[276] [The Turkish zecchino is a gold coin, worth about seven shillings and sixpence. The para is not quite equal to an English halfpenny.]

[277] [Candide's increased satisfaction with life is implied in the narrative. For example, in chap, xviii., where Candide visits Eldorado:--"Never was there a better entertainment, and never was more wit shown at table than that which fell from His Majesty. Cacambo explained the king's _bons mots_ to Candide, and notwithstanding they were translated, they still appeared _bons mots._" This was after supper. See, too, Part II. chap, ii.]

[278] See Plutarch in _Alex._, Q. Curt. _Hist. Alexand._, and Sir Richard Clayton's "Critical Inquiry into the Life of Alexander the Great," 1763 [from the _Examen Critique, etc._, of Guilhem de Clermont-Lodève, Baron de Sainte Croix, 1775.]

["He used to say that sleep and the commerce with the sex were the things that made him most sensible of his mortality, ... He was also very temperate in eating."--Plutarch's _Alexander_, Langhorne, 1838, p. 473.]

[ew] _But for mere food, I think with Philip's son_, _Or Ammon's--for two fathers claimed this one_.--[MS.]

{227}[279] The assassination alluded to took place on the 8th of December, 1820, in the streets of Ravenna, not a hundred paces from the residence of the writer. The circumstances were as described.

["December 9, 1820. I open my letter to tell you a fact, which will show the state of this country better than I can. The commandant of the troops is _now_ lying _dead_ in my house. He was shot at a little past eight o'clock, about two hundred paces from my door. I was putting on my great coat to visit Madame la Comtessa G., when I heard the shot. On coming into the hall, I found all my servants on the balcony, exclaiming that a man was murdered. I immediately ran down, calling on Tita (the bravest of them) to follow me. The rest wanted to hinder us from going, as it is the custom for everybody here, it seems, to run away from 'the stricken deer.' ... we found him lying on his back, almost, if not quite, dead, with five wounds; one in the heart, two in the stomach, one in the finger, and the other in the arm. Some soldiers cocked their guns, and wanted to hinder me from passing. However, we passed, and I found Diego, the adjutant, crying over him like a child--a surgeon, who said nothing of his profession--a priest, sobbing a frightened prayer--and the commandant, all this time, on his back, on the hard, cold pavement, without light or assistance, or anything around him but confusion and dismay. As nobody could, or would, do anything but howl and pray, and as no one would stir a finger to move him, for fear of consequences, I lost my patience--made my servant and a couple of the mob take up the body--sent off two soldiers to the guard--despatched Diego to the Cardinal with the news, and had him carried upstairs into my own quarters. But it was too late--he was gone.... I had him partly stripped--made the surgeon examine him, and examined him myself. He had been shot by cut balls or slugs. I felt one of the slugs, which had gone through him, all but the skin.... He only said, 'O Dio!' and 'Gesu!' two or three times, and appeared to have suffered little. Poor fellow! he was a brave officer; but had made himself much disliked by the people."--Letter to Moore, December 9, 1820, _Letters,_ 1901, v. 133. The commandant's name was Del Pinto (_Life,_ p. 472).]

[ex] ---- _so I had_ _Him borne, as soon's I could, up several pair_ _Of stairs--and looked to,----But why should I add_ _More circumstances?_----.--[MS.]

[ey] _And now as silent as an unstrung drum_.--[MS.]

{229}[280] The light and elegant wherries plying about the quays of Constantinople are so called.

{230}[281] [_Ilderim, a Syrian Tale_, by Henry Gally Knight, was published in 1816; _Phrosyne, a Grecian Tale_, and _Alashtar, an Arabian Tale_, in 1817. Moore's _Lalla Kookh_ also appeared in 1817.]

[282] [St. Bartholomew was "discoriate, and flayed quick" (_Golden Legend_, 1900, v. 43).]

[ez] _We from impalement_----.--[MS.]

{231}[283] "Many of the seraï and summer-houses [on the Bosphorus] have received these significant, or rather fantastic names: one is the Pearl Pavilion; another is the Star Palace; a third the Mansion of Looking-glasses."--_Travels in Albania_, 1858, ii. 243.

{232}[fa] _Of speeches, beauty, flattery--there is no_ _Method more sure_----.--[MS.]

{233}[284] [_Guide des Voyageurs_; _Directions for Travellers_, etc.--_Rhymes, Incidental and Humorous_; _Rhyming Reminiscences_; _Effusions in Rhyme_, etc.--Lady Morgan's _Tour in Italy_; _Tour through Istria_, etc., etc.--_Sketches of Italy_; _Sketches of Modern Greece_, etc., etc.--_Historical Illustrations of the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold_, by J.C. Hobhouse, 1818.]

[285] In Turkey nothing is more common than for the Mussulmans to take several glasses of strong spirits by way of appetiser. I have seen them take as many as six of raki before dinner, and swear that they dined the better for it: I tried the experiment, but fared like the Scotchman, who having heard that the birds called kittiwakes were admirable whets, ate six of them, and complained that "he was no hungrier than when he began."

[286] ["Everything is so still [in the court of the Seraglio], that the motion of a fly might be heard, in a manner; and if any one should presume to raise his voice ever so little, or show the least want of respect to the Mansion-place of their Emperor, he would instantly have the bastinado by the officers that go the rounds."-_A Voyage in the Levant_, by M. Tournefort, 1741, ii. 183.]

{234}[287] _A common furniture. I recollect being received by Ali Pacha, in a large room, paved with marble, containing a marble basin, and fountain playing in the centre, etc., etc._

[Compare Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza Ixii.--

"In marble-paved pavilion, where a spring Of living water from the centre rose, Whose bubbling did a genial freshness fling, And soft voluptuous couches breathed repose, Ali reclined, a man of war and woes," etc.]

[288] [A reminiscence of Newstead. Compare Moore's song, "Oft in the Stilly Night"--

"I feel like one Who treads alone Some banquet-hall deserted."]

{235}[fb] _A small, snug chamber on a winter's night_, _Well furnished with a book, friend, girl, or glass, etc_.--[MS.]

[fc] _I pass my days in long dull galleries solely_.--[MS. erased.]

[289] [When this stanza was written Byron was domiciled in the Palazzo Guiccioli (in the Via di Porta Adriana) at Ravenna; but he may have had in his mind the monks' refectory at Newstead Abbey, "the dark gallery, where his fathers frowned" (_Lara_, Canto I. line 137), or the corridors which form the upper story of the cloisters.]

[290] ["Nabuch_o_donosor," here used _metri gratiâ_, is Latin (see the Vulgate) and French (see J.P. De Béranger, _Chansons Inédites_, 1828, p. 48) for Nebuchadnezzar.]

[291] [See Ovid's _Metamorphoses_, lib. iv. lines 55-58--

"In Babylon, where first her queen, for state, Raised walls of brick magnificently great, Lived Pyramus and Thisbe, lovely pair! He found no Eastern youth his equal there, And she beyond the fairest nymph was fair."

Garth.]

{236}[292] Babylon was enlarged by Nimrod, strengthened and beautified by Nabuchadonosor, and rebuilt by Semiramis.

[Pliny (_Nat. Hist._, lib. viii. cap. xlii. ed. 1593, i. 392) cites Juba, King of Mauretania, died A.D. 19, as his authority for the calumny.]

[fd] _In an Erratum of her Horse for Courier_.--[MS.]

[293] [Queen Caroline--whose trial (August--November, 1820) was proceeding whilst this canto was being written--was charged with having committed adultery with Bartolommeo Bergami, who had been her courier, and was, afterwards, her chamberlain.]

[294] ["_Memoir on the Ruins of Babylon_, by Claudius James Rich, Esq., Resident for the Honourable East India Company at the Court of the Pasha of Bagdad, 1815," pp. 61-64: _Second Memoir on Babylon,_ ... 1818, by Claudius James Rich. See the plates at the end of the volume.]

[fe] _If they shall not as soon cut off my head._--[MS.]

{240}[ff] _A pair of drawers_----.--[MS.]

[295] [Compare "Extracts from a Diary," January 24, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 184.]

[fg] _Kings are not more imperative than rhymes_.--[MS.]

{241}[fh] _He looked almost in modesty a maid_.--[MS.]

{242}[296] _Features_ of a gate--a ministerial metaphor: "the _feature_ upon which this question _hinges_." See the "Fudge Family," or hear Castlereagh.

[Phil. Fudge, in his letter to Lord Castlereagh, says--

"As _thou_ would'st say, my guide and teacher In these gay metaphoric fringes, I must _embark_ into the _feature_ On which this letter chiefly _hinges_."

Moore's note adds, "Verbatim from one of the noble Viscount's speeches:--'_And now, sir, I must embark into the_ feature _on which this question chiefly hinges_.'"--_Fudge Family in Paris_, Letter II. See, too, _post_, the Preface to Cantos VI., VII., and VIII., p. 264, note 3.]

{243}[297] [Compare--

"A snake's small eye blinks dull and sly, And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her head, Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye."

_Christabel_, Part II. lines 583-585.]

{244}[298] A few years ago the wile of Muchtar Pacha complained to his father of his son's supposed infidelity: he asked with whom, and she had the barbarity to give in a list of the twelve handsomest women in Yanina. They were seized, fastened up in sacks, and drowned in the lake the same night. One of the guards who was present informed me, that not one of the victims uttered a cry, or showed a symptom of terror at so sudden a "wrench from all we know, from all we love."

[See _The Giaour_, line _1328, Poetical Works, 1900_, iii. 144, note 1.]

{245}[fi] _As Venus rose from Ocean--bent on them_ _With a far-reaching glance, a Paphian pair_.--[MS.]

[fj] _But there are forms which Time adorns, not wears_, _And to which Beauty obstinately clings_.--[MS.]

{246}[299] [Legend has credited Ninon de Lenclos (1620-1705) with lovers when she had "come to four-score years." According to Voltaire, John Casimir, ex-king of Poland, succumbed to her secular charms (see _Mazeppa_, line 138, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 212, note 1). "In her old age, her house was the rendezvous of wits and men of letters. Scarron is said to have consulted her on his romances, Saint-Evremond on his poems, Molière on his comedies, Fontenelle on his dialogues, and La Rochefoucauld on his maxims. Coligny, Sévigné, etc., were her lovers and friends. At her death, in 1705, she bequeathed to Voltaire two thousand francs, to expend in books."--_Biographic Universelle_, art. "Lenclos."]

[300] ["Her fair maids were ranged below the sofa, to the number of twenty, and put me in mind of the pictures of the ancient nymphs. I did not think all nature could have furnished such a scene of beauty," etc.--Lady M.W. Montagu to the Countess of Mar, April 18, O.S. 1717, ed. 1816, p. 163.]

[301]

["Nil admirari prope res est una, Numici, Solaque quæ possit facere et servare beatum."

Hor., _Epist._, lib. 1, ep. vi. lines 1, 2.]

{247}[302]

["Not to admire, is all the Art I know To make men happy, and to keep them so, (Plain Truth, dear MURRAY, needs no flow'rs of speech, So take it in the very words of Creech).

_To Mr. Murray_ (Lord Mansfield), Pope's _Imitations of Horace_, Book I. epist. vi. lines 1-4.

Thomas Creech (1659-1701) published his _Translation of Horace_ in 1684. In the second edition, 1688, p. 487, the lines run--

"Not to admire, as most are wont to do, It is the only method that I know, To make Men happy and to keep 'em so."]

[303] [Johnson placed judgment and friendship above admiration and love. "Admiration and love are like being intoxicated with champagne; judgment and friendship like being enlivened." See Boswell's _Life of Johnson_, 1876, p. 450.]

{248}[304] There is nothing, perhaps, more distinctive of birth than the hand. It is almost the only sign of blood which aristocracy can generate.

{249}[305] [In old pictures of the Fall, it is a cherub who whispers into the ear of Eve. The serpent's coils are hidden in the foliage of the tree.]

{250}[fk] _The very women half forgave her face_.--[MS, Erased.]

[fl] _Had his instructions--where and how to deal_.--[MS.]

[fm] _And husbands now and then are mystified_.--[MS.]

{251}[306] [Narrow javelins, once known as archegays--the assegais of Zulu warfare.]

{252}[fn] _But nature teaches what power cannot spoil_ _And, though it was a new and strange sensation_, _Young female hearts are such a genial soil_ _For kinder feelings, she forgot her station_.--[MS.]

[fo] _War with your heart_--.--[MS.]

{254}[307] [See _Fielding's History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews_, bk. i. chap. v.]

[308]

["'But if my boy with virtue be endued, What harm will beauty do him?' Nay, what good? Say, what avail'd, of old, to Theseus' son, The stern resolve? what to Bellerophon?-- O, then did Phaedra redden, then her pride Took fire to be so steadfastly denied! Then, too, did Sthenobaea glow with shame, And both burst forth with unextinguish'd flame!"

Gifford, _Juvenal_, Sat. x. 473-480.

The adventures of Hippolytus, the son of Theseus, and Bellerophon are well known. They were accused of incontinence, by the women whose inordinate passions they had refused to gratify at the expense of their duty, and sacrificed to the fatal credulity of the husbands of the disappointed fair ones. It is very probable that both the stories are founded on the Scripture account of Joseph and Potiphar's wife.--Footnote, ibid., ed. 1817, ii. pp. 49, 50.]

[fp] _The poets and romances_----.--[MS.]

[fq] _And this strong second cause (to tire no longer_ _Your patience) shows the first must still be stronger_.

--[MS. Alternative reading.]

{256}[309]

["By Heaven! methinks, it were an easy leap, To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon."

_Henry IV_., act i. sc. 3, lines 201, 202.]

[fr] _Like natural Shakespeare on the immortal page_.--[MS.]

[310]

["And when I have stol'n upon these sons-in law, Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill."

_King Lear_, act iv. sc. 6, lines 185, 186.]

[311]

["A woman scorn'd is pitiless as fate, For, there, the dread of shame adds stings to hate." Gifford's _Juvenal, Sat_. x. lines 481, 482, ed. 1817, ii. p. 50.]

{258}[312] ["Yes--my valour is certainly going! it is sneaking off! I feel it _oozing_ out, as it were, at the palms of my hands!"--Sheridan's _Rivals_, act v. sc. 3.]

[fs] _Or all the stuff which uttered by the "Blues" is_.--[MS.]

{259}[ft] _But prithee--get my women in the way_, _That all the stars may gleam with due adorning_.--[MS.]

[fu] _Of Cantemir or Knollēs_-----.--[MS.]

[313] It may not be unworthy of remark, that Bacon, in his essay on "Empire" (Essays, No. xx.), hints that Solyman was the last of his line; on what authority, I know not. These are his words: "The destruction of Mustapha was so fatal to Solyman's line; as the succession of the Turks from Solyman until this day is suspected to be untrue, and of strange blood; for that Selymus the second was thought to be supposititious." But Bacon, in his historical authorities, is often inaccurate. I could give half a dozen instances from his Apophthegms only.

[Selim II. (1524-1574) succeeded his father as Sultan in 1566. Hofmann (_Lexicon Univ_.) describes him as "meticulosus, effeminatus, ebriosus," but neither Demetrius Cantemir, in his _History of the Growth and Decay of the Othman Empire_ (translated by N. Tyndal, 1734); nor _The Turkish History_ (written by Mr. Knolles, 1701), cast any doubts on his legitimacy. Byron complained of the omission from the notes to the first edition of Don Juan, of his corrections of Bacon's "Apophthegms" (see _Letters_, 1901, v. Appendix VI. pp. 597-600), in a letter to Murray, dated January 21, 1821,--_vide ibid_., p. 220.]

{260}[314] [Gibbon.]

[fv] _Because he kept them wrapt up in his closet, he_ _Ruled fair wives and twelve hundred whores, unseen,_ _More easily than Christian kings one queen_.--[MS.]

[fw] _Then ended many a fair Sultana's trip_: _The Public knew no more than does this rhyme_; _No printed scandals flew,--the fish, of course,_ _Were better--while the morals were no worse_.--[MS.]

[fx] _No sign of its depression anywhere_.--[MS.]

[315] ["We attempted to visit the Seven Towers, but were stopped at the entrance, and informed that without a firman it was inaccessible to strangers.... It was supposed that Count Bulukof, the Russian minister, would be the last of the _Moussafirs_, or imperial hostages, confined in this fortress; but since the year 1784 M. Ruffin and many of the French have been imprisoned in the same place; and the dungeons.... were gaping, it seems, for the sacred persons of the gentlemen composing his Britannic Majesty's mission, previous to the rupture between Great Britain and the Porte in 1809."--Hobhouse, _Travels in Albania_, 1858, ii. 311, 312.]

{261}[316] ["The princess" (Asma Sultana, daughter of Achmet III.) "complained of the barbarity which, at thirteen years of age, united her to a decrepit old man, who, by treating her like a child, had inspired her with nothing but disgust."--_Memoirs of Baron de Toil_, 1786, i. 74. See, too, _Mémoires_, etc., 1784, i. 84, 85.]

{262}[317] [The connection between "horns" and Heaven, to which Byron twice alludes, is not very obvious. The reference may be to the Biblical "horn of salvation," or to the symbolical horns of Divine glory as depicted in the Moses of Michel Angelo. Compare _Mazeppa_, lines 177, 178, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 213.]

[fy]---- _with solemn air and wise_.--[MS.]

[fz] _Virginity in these unhappy climes_.--[MS.]

{263}[318] [This stanza, which Byron composed in bed, February 27, 1821 (see _Extracts from a Diary, Letters_, 1901, v. 209), is not in the first edition. On discovering the omission, he wrote to Murray: "Upon what principle have you omitted ... one of the concluding stanzas sent as an addition?--because it ended, I suppose, with--

'And do not link two virtuous souls for life Into that moral centaur, man and wife?'

Now, I must say, once for all, that I will not permit any human being to take such liberties with my writings because I am absent. I desire the omissions to be replaced (except the stanza on Semiramis)--particularly the stanza upon the Turkish marriages."--Letter to Murray, August 31, 1821, ibid., p. 351.]

[ga] _Meanwhile as Homer sometimes sleeps, much more_ _The modern muse may be allowed to snore_.--[MS.]

PREFACE TO CANTOS VI., VII., AND VIII.

THE details of the siege of Ismail in two of the following cantos (_i.e._ the seventh and eighth) are taken from a French Work, entitled _Histoire de la Nouvelle Russie._[319] Some of the incidents attributed to Don Juan really occurred, particularly the circumstance of his saving the infant, which was the actual case of the late Duc de Richelieu, then a young volunteer in the Russian service, and afterward the founder and benefactor of Odessa, where his name and memory can never cease to be regarded with reverence.

In the course of these cantos, a stanza or two will be found relative to the late Marquis of Londonderry,[320] but written some time before his decease. Had that person's oligarchy died with him, they would have been suppressed; as it is, I am aware of nothing in the manner of his death or of his life to prevent the free expression of the opinions of all whom his whole existence was consumed in endeavouring to enslave. That he was an amiable man in _private_ life, may or may not be true: but with this the public have nothing to do; and as to lamenting his death, it will be time enough when Ireland has ceased to mourn for his birth. As a minister, I, for one of millions, looked upon him as the most despotic in intention, and the weakest in intellect, that ever tyrannised over a country. It is the first time indeed since the Normans that England has been insulted by a _minister_ (at least) who could not speak English, and that Parliament permitted itself to be dictated to in the language of Mrs. Malaprop.

Of the manner of his death little need be said, except that if a poor radical, such as Waddington or Watson,[321] had cut his throat, he would have been buried in a cross-road, with the usual appurtenances of the stake and mallet. But the minister was an elegant lunatic--a sentimental suicide--he merely cut the "carotid artery," (blessings on their learning!) and lo! the pageant, and the Abbey! and "the syllables of dolour yelled forth"[322] by the newspapers--and the harangue of the Coroner in a eulogy over the bleeding body of the deceased--(an Anthony worthy of such a Cæsar)--and the nauseous and atrocious cant of a degraded crew of conspirators against all that is sincere and honourable. In his death he was necessarily one of two things by the law[323]--a felon or a madman--and in either case no great subject for panegyric.[324] In his life he was--what all the world knows, and half of it will feel for years to come, unless his death prove a "moral lesson" to the surviving Sejani[325] of Europe. It may at least serve as some consolation to the nations, that their oppressors are not happy, and in some instances judge so justly of their own actions as to anticipate the sentence of mankind. Let us hear no more of this man; and let Ireland remove the ashes of her Grattan from the sanctuary of Westminster. Shall the patriot of humanity repose by the Werther of politics!!!

With regard to the objections which have been made on another score to the already published cantos of this poem, I shall content myself with two quotations from Voltaire:--"La pudeur s'est enfuite des coeurs, et s'est refugiée sur les lèvres." ... "Plus les moeurs sont dépravés, plus les expressions deviennent mesurées; on croit regagner en langage ce qu'on a perdu en vertu."

This is the real fact, as applicable to the degraded and hypocritical mass which leavens the present English generation, and is the only answer they deserve. The hackneyed and lavished title of Blasphemer--which, with Radical, Liberal, Jacobin, Reformer, etc., are the changes which the hirelings are daily ringing in the ears of those who will listen--should be welcome to all who recollect on _whom_ it was originally bestowed. Socrates and Jesus Christ were put to death publicly as _blasphemers_, and so have been and may be many who dare to oppose the most notorious abuses of the name of God and the mind of man. But persecution is not refutation, nor even triumph: the "wretched infidel," as he is called, is probably happier in his prison than the proudest of his assailants. With his opinions I have nothing to do--they may be right or wrong--but he has suffered for them, and that very suffering for conscience' sake will make more proselytes to deism than the example of heterodox[326] Prelates to Christianity, suicide statesmen to oppression, or overpensioned homicides to the impious alliance which insults the world with the name of "Holy!"[327] I have no wish to trample on the dishonoured or the dead; but it would be well if the adherents to the classes from whence those persons sprung should abate a little of the cant which is the crying sin of this double-dealing and false-speaking time of selfish spoilers, and----but enough for the present.

FOOTNOTES:

{264}[319] [The Marquis Gabriel de Castelnau, author of an _Essai sur L'Histoire ancienne et moderne de la Nouvelle Russie_ (Sec. Ed. 3 tom. 1827), was, at one time, resident at Odessa, where he met and made the acquaintance of Armand Emanuel, Duc de Richelieu, who took part in the siege of Ismail. M. Léon de Crousaz-Crétet describes him as "ancien surintendant des théâtres sous l'Empereur Paul."--_Le Duc de Richelieu_, 1897, p. 83.]

[320] [For Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, second Marquis of Londonderry (1769-1822), see _Letters_, 1900, iv. 108, 109, note 1.]

{266}[321] [Samuel Ferrand Waddington, born 1759, hop-grower and radical politician, first came into notice as the chairman of public meetings in favour of making peace with the French in 1793. He was the author, _inter alia_, of _A Key to a Delicate Investigation_, 1812, and _An Address to the People of the United Kingdom_, 1812. He was alive in 1822. James Watson (1766-1838), a radical agitator of the following of Thomas Spence, was engaged, in the autumn of 1816, in an abortive conspiracy to blow up cavalry barracks, barricade the streets, and seize the Bank and the Tower. He was tried for high treason before Lord Ellenborough, and acquitted.]

[322] [_Macbeth_, act iv. sc. 3, lines 7, 8.]

[323] I say by the _law_ of the _land_--the laws of humanity judge more gently; but as the legitimates have always the law in their mouths, let them here make the most of it.

[324] [Mr. Joseph Carttar, of Deptford, coroner for the County of Kent, addressed the jury at some length. The following sentences are taken from the report of the inquest, contained in _The Annual Biography and Obituary for the year 1823_, vol. vii. p. 57: "As a public man, it is impossible for me to weigh his character in any scales that I can hold. In private life I believe the world will admit that a more amiable man could not be found.... If it should unfortunately appear that there is not sufficient evidence to prove what is generally considered the indication of a disordered mind, I trust that the jury will pay some attention to my humble opinion, which is, that no man can be in his proper senses at the moment he commits so rash an act as self-murder. ...The Bible declares that a man clings to nothing so strongly as his own life, I therefore view it as an axiom, and an abstract principle, that a man must necessarily be out of his mind at the moment of destroying himself." Byron, probably, read the report of the inquest in Cobbett's _Weekly Register_ (August 17, 1822, vol. 43, pp. 389-425). The "eulogy" was in perfectly good taste, but there can be little doubt that if "Waddington or Watson" had cut _their_ "carotid arteries," the verdict would have been different.]

[325] From this number must be excepted Canning. Canning is a genius, almost a universal one, an orator, a wit, a poet, a statesman; and no man of talent can long pursue the path of his late predecessor, Lord C. If ever man saved his country, Canning _can_, but _will_ he? I for one, hope so.

[The phrase, "great moral lesson," was employed by the Duke of Wellington, _à propos_ of the restoration of pictures and statues to their "rightful owners," in a despatch addressed to Castlereagh, under date, Paris, September 19, 1815 (_The Dispatches, etc._ (ed. by Colonel Gurwood), 1847, viii. 270). The words, "moral lesson," as applied to the French generally, are to be found in Scott's _Field of Waterloo_ (conclusion, stanza vi. line 3), which was written about the same time as the despatch. Byron quotes them in his "Ode from the French," stanza iv. line 8 (see _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 434, note 1). There is a satirical allusion to the Duke's "assumption of the didactic" about teaching a "great moral lesson" in the Preface to the first number of the _Liberal_ (1822, p. xi.).]

{267}[326] When Lord Sandwich said "he did not know the difference between orthodoxy and heterodoxy," Warburton, the bishop, replied, "Orthodoxy, my lord, is _my doxy_, and heterodoxy is _another man's_ doxy." A prelate of the present day has discovered, it seems, a _third_ kind of doxy, which has not greatly exalted in the eyes of the elect that which Bentham calls "Church-of-Englandism."

[For the "prelate," see _Letters_, 1902, vi. 101, note 2.]

[327] [For the Duke of Wellington and the Holy Alliance, see the Introduction to _The Age of Bronze, Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 538, 561.]

CANTO THE SIXTH.[328]

I.

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which,--taken at the flood,"--you know the rest,[329] And most of us have found it now and then: At least we think so, though but few have guessed The moment, till too late to come again. But no doubt everything is for the best-- Of which the surest sign is in the end: When things are at the worst they sometimes mend.

II.

There is a tide in the affairs of women, Which, taken at the flood, leads--God knows where: Those navigators must be able seamen Whose charts lay down its currents to a hair; Not all the reveries of Jacob Behmen[330] With its strange whirls and eddies can compare: Men with their heads reflect on this and that-- But women with their hearts on Heaven knows what![gb]

III.

And yet a headlong, headstrong, downright She, Young, beautiful, and daring--who would risk A throne--the world--the universe--to be Beloved in her own way--and rather whisk The stars from out the sky, than not be free[gc] As are the billows when the breeze is brisk-- Though such a She's a devil (if there be one), Yet she would make full many a Manichean.

IV.

Thrones, worlds, _et cetera_, are so oft upset By commonest ambition, that when Passion O'erthrows the same, we readily forget, Or at the least forgive, the loving rash one. If Anthony be well remembered yet, 'T is not his conquests keep his name in fashion, But Actium, lost for Cleopatra's eyes, Outbalances all Cæsar's victories.[gd]

V.

He died at fifty for a queen of forty; I wish their years had been fifteen and twenty,[ge] For then wealth, kingdoms, worlds are but a sport--I Remember when, though I had no great plenty Of worlds to lose, yet still, to pay my court, I Gave what I had--a heart;[331] as the world went, I Gave what was worth a world; for worlds could never Restore me those pure feelings, gone for ever.

VI.

'T was the boy's "mite," and, like the "widow's," may Perhaps be weighed hereafter, if not now; But whether such things do or do not weigh, All who have loved, or love, will still allow Life has nought like it. God is Love, they say, And Love's a god, or was before the brow Of Earth was wrinkled by the sins and tears Of--but Chronology best knows the years.

VII.

We left our hero and third heroine in A kind of state more awkward than uncommon, For gentlemen must sometimes risk their skin For that sad tempter, a forbidden woman: Sultans too much abhor this sort of sin, And don't agree at all with the wise Roman, Heroic, stoic Cato, the sententious, Who lent his lady to his friend Hortensius.[332]

VIII.

I know Gulbeyaz was extremely wrong; I own it, I deplore it, I condemn it; But I detest all fiction even in song, And so must tell the truth, howe'er you blame it. Her reason being weak, her passions strong, She thought that her Lord's heart (even could she claim it) Was scarce enough; for he had fifty-nine Years, and a fifteen-hundredth concubine.

IX.

I am not, like Cassio, "an arithmetician," But by "the bookish theoric"[333] it appears, If 't is summed up with feminine precision, That, adding to the account his Highness' years, The fair Sultana erred from inanition; For, were the Sultan just to all his dears, She could but claim the fifteen-hundredth part Of what should be monopoly--the heart.

X.

It is observed that ladies are litigious Upon all legal objects of possession, And not the least so when they are religious, Which doubles what they think of the transgression: With suits and prosecutions they besiege us, As the tribunals show through many a session, When they suspect that any one goes shares In that to which the law makes them sole heirs.

XI.

Now, if this holds good in a Christian land, The heathen also, though with lesser latitude,[gf] Are apt to carry things with a high hand, And take, what Kings call "an imposing attitude;" And for their rights connubial make a stand, When their liege husbands treat them with ingratitude; And as four wives must have quadruple claims, The Tigris hath its jealousies like Thames.

XII.

Gulbeyaz was the fourth, and (as I said) The favourite; but what's favour amongst four? Polygamy may well be held in dread, Not only as a sin, but as a bore: Most wise men with one moderate woman wed,[gg] Will scarcely find philosophy for more; And all (except Mahometans) forbear To make the nuptial couch a "Bed of Ware."[334]

XIII.

His Highness, the sublimest of mankind,--[gh] So styled according to the usual forms Of every monarch, till they are consigned To those sad hungry Jacobins the worms, Who on the very loftiest kings have dined,-- His Highness gazed upon Gulbeyaz' charms, Expecting all the welcome of a lover (A "Highland welcome"[335] all the wide world over).

XIV.

Now here we should distinguish; for howe'er Kisses, sweet words, embraces, and all that, May look like what it is--neither here nor there,[gi] They are put on as easily as a hat, Or rather bonnet, which the fair sex wear, Trimmed either heads or hearts to decorate, Which form an ornament, but no more part Of heads, than their caresses of the heart.

XV.

A slight blush, a soft tremor, a calm kind Of gentle feminine delight, and shown More in the eyelids than the eyes, resigned Rather to hide what pleases most unknown, Are the best tokens (to a modest mind)[gj] Of Love, when seated on his loveliest throne, A sincere woman's breast,--for over-_warm_ Or over-_cold_ annihilates the charm.

XVI.

For over-warmth, if false, is worse than truth; If true, 't is no great lease of its own fire; For no one, save in very early youth, Would like (I think) to trust all to desire, Which is but a precarious bond, in sooth, And apt to be transferred to the first buyer At a sad discount: while your over chilly Women, on t' other hand, seem somewhat silly.

XVII.

That is, we cannot pardon their bad taste, For so it seems to lovers swift or slow, Who fain would have a mutual flame confessed, And see a sentimental passion glow, Even were St. Francis' paramour their guest, In his monastic concubine of snow;--[336] In short, the maxim for the amorous tribe is Horatian, "_Medio tu tutissimus ibis_"[337]

XVIII.

The "tu" 's _too_ much,--but let it stand,--the verse Requires it, that's to say, the English rhyme, And not the pink of old hexameters; But, after all, there's neither tune nor time In the last line, which cannot well be worse,[gk] And was thrust in to close the octave's chime: I own no prosody can ever rate it As a rule, but _Truth_ may, if you translate it.

XIX.

If fair Gulbeyaz overdid her part, I know not--it succeeded, and success Is much in most things, not less in the heart Than other articles of female dress. Self-love in Man, too, beats all female art;[gl] They lie, we lie, all lie, but love no less: And no one virtue yet, except starvation, Could stop that worst of vices--propagation.

XX.

We leave this royal couple to repose: A bed is not a throne, and they may sleep, Whate'er their dreams be, if of joys or woes: Yet disappointed joys are woes as deep As any man's clay mixture undergoes. Our least of sorrows are such as we _weep_; 'T is the vile daily drop on drop which wears The soul out (like the stone) with petty cares.[gm]

XXI.

A scolding wife, a sullen son, a bill To pay, unpaid, protested, or discounted At a per-centage; a child cross, dog ill, A favourite horse fallen lame just as he's mounted, A bad old woman making a worse will,[338] Which leaves you minus of the cash you counted[gn] As certain;--these are paltry things, and yet I've rarely seen the man they did not fret.

XXII.

I'm a philosopher; confound them all![go] Bills, beasts, and men, and--no! not womankind![gp] With one good hearty curse I vent my gall, And then my Stoicism leaves nought behind Which it can either pain or evil call, And I can give my whole soul up to mind; Though what _is_ soul, or mind, their birth or growth, Is more than I know--the deuce take them both![gq]

XXIII.

So now all things are damned one feels at ease, As after reading Athanasius' curse, Which doth your true believer so much please: I doubt if any now could make it worse O'er his worst enemy when at his knees, 'T is so sententious, positive, and terse, And decorates the Book of Common Prayer, As doth a rainbow the just clearing air.

XXIV.

Gulbeyaz and her lord were sleeping, or At least one of them!--Oh, the heavy night, When wicked wives, who love some bachelor,[gr] Lie down in dudgeon to sigh for the light Of the grey morning, and look vainly for Its twinkle through the lattice dusky quite-- To toss, to tumble, doze, revive, and quake Lest their too lawful bed-fellow should wake![gs]

XXV.

These are beneath the canopy of heaven, Also beneath the canopy of beds Four-posted and silk-curtained, which are given For rich men and their brides to lay their heads Upon, in sheets white as what bards call "driven Snow,"[339] Well! 't is all hap-hazard when one weds. Gulbeyaz was an empress, but had been Perhaps as wretched if a _peasants quean_.

XXVI.

Don Juan in his feminine disguise,[340] With all the damsels in their long array, Had bowed themselves before th' imperial eyes, And at the usual signal ta'en their way Back to their chambers, those long galleries In the seraglio, where the ladies lay Their delicate limbs; a thousand bosoms there Beating for Love, as the caged bird's for air.

XXVII.

I love the sex, and sometimes would reverse The Tyrant's[341] wish, "that Mankind only had One neck, which he with one fell stroke might pierce:" My wish is quite as wide, but not so bad,[gt] And much more tender on the whole than fierce; It being (not _now_, but only while a lad) That Womankind had but one rosy mouth,[gu] To kiss them all at once from North to South.

XXVIII.

Oh, enviable Briareus! with thy hands And heads, if thou hadst all things multiplied In such proportion!--But my Muse withstands The giant thought of being a Titan's bride, Or travelling in Patagonian lands; So let us back to Lilliput, and guide Our hero through the labyrinth of Love In which we left him several lines above.

XXIX.

He went forth with the lovely Odalisques,[342] At the given signal joined to their array; And though he certainly ran many risks, Yet he could not at times keep, by the way, (Although the consequences of such frisks Are worse than the worst damages men pay In moral England, where the thing's a tax,) From ogling all their charms from breasts to backs.

XXX.

Still he forgot not his disguise:--along The galleries from room to room they walked, A virgin-like and edifying throng, By eunuchs flanked; while at their head there stalked A dame who kept up discipline among The female ranks, so that none stirred or talked, Without her sanction on their she-parades: Her title was "the Mother of the Maids."

XXXI.

Whether she was a "Mother," I know not, Or whether they were "Maids" who called her Mother; But this is her Seraglio title, got I know not how, but good as any other; So Cantemir[343] can tell you, or De Tott:[344] Her office was to keep aloof or smother All bad propensities in fifteen hundred Young women, and correct them when they blundered.

XXXII.

A goodly sinecure, no doubt! but made More easy by the absence of all men-- Except his Majesty,--who, with her aid, And guards, and bolts, and walls, and now and then A slight example, just to cast a shade Along the rest, contrived to keep this den Of beauties cool as an Italian convent, Where all the passions have, alas! but one vent.

XXXIII.

And what is that? Devotion, doubtless--how Could you ask such a question?--but we will Continue. As I said, this goodly row Of ladies of all countries at the will[345] Of one good man, with stately march and slow, Like water-lilies floating down a rill-- Or rather lake--for _rills_ do _not_ run _slowly_,-- Paced on most maiden-like and melancholy.

XXXIV.

But when they reached their own apartments, there, Like birds, or boys, or bedlamites broke loose, Waves at spring-tide, or women anywhere When freed from bonds (which are of no great use After all), or like Irish at a fair, Their guards being gone, and as it were a truce Established between them and bondage, they Began to sing, dance, chatter, smile, and play.

XXXV.

Their talk, of course, ran most on the new comer; Her shape, her hair, her air, her everything: Some thought her dress did not so much become her, Or wondered at her ears without a ring; Some said her years were getting nigh their summer, Others contended they were but in spring; Some thought her rather masculine in height, While others wished that she had been so quite.

XXXVI.

But no one doubted on the whole, that she Was what her dress bespoke, a damsel fair, And fresh, and "beautiful exceedingly,"[346] Who with the brightest Georgians[347] might compare: They wondered how Gulbeyaz, too, could be So silly as to buy slaves who might share (If that his Highness wearied of his bride) Her Throne and Power, and everything beside.

XXXVII.

But what was strangest in this virgin crew, Although her beauty was enough to vex, After the first investigating view, They all found out as few, or fewer, specks In the fair form of their companion new, Than is the custom of the gentle sex, When they survey, with Christian eyes or Heathen, In a new face "the ugliest creature breathing."

XXXVIII.

And yet they had their little jealousies, Like all the rest; but upon this occasion, Whether there are such things as sympathies Without our knowledge or our approbation, Although they could not see through his disguise, All felt a soft kind of concatenation, Like Magnetism, or Devilism, or what You please--we will not quarrel about that:

XXXIX.

But certain 't is they all felt for their new Companion something newer still, as 't were A sentimental friendship through and through, Extremely pure, which made them all concur In wishing her their sister, save a few Who wished they had a brother just like her, Whom, if they were at home in sweet Circassia, They would prefer to Padisha[348] or Pacha.

XL.

Of those who had most genius for this sort Of sentimental friendship, there were three, Lolah, Katinka,[349] and Dudù--in short (To save description), fair as fair can be Were they, according to the best report, Though differing in stature and degree, And clime and time, and country and complexion-- They all alike admired their new connection.

XLI.

Lolah was dusk as India and as warm; Katinka was a Georgian, white and red, With great blue eyes, a lovely hand and arm, And feet so small they scarce seemed made to tread, But rather skim the earth; while Dudù's form Looked more adapted to be put to bed, Being somewhat large, and languishing, and lazy, Yet of a beauty that would drive you crazy.

XLII.

A kind of sleepy Venus seemed Dudù, Yet very fit to "murder sleep"[350] in those Who gazed upon her cheek's transcendent hue, Her Attic forehead, and her Phidian nose: Few angles were there in her form, 't is true, Thinner she might have been, and yet scarce lose; Yet, after all, 't would puzzle to say where It would not spoil some separate charm to _pare_.

XLIII.

She was not violently lively, but Stole on your spirit like a May-day breaking; Her eyes were not too sparkling, yet, half-shut, They put beholders in a tender taking; She looked (this simile's quite new) just cut From marble, like Pygmalion's statue waking, The mortal and the marble still at strife, And timidly expanding into Life.

XLIV.

Lolah demanded the new damsel's name-- "Juanna."--Well, a pretty name enough. Katinka asked her also whence she came-- "From Spain."--"But where _is_ Spain?"--"Don't ask such stuff, Nor show your Georgian ignorance--for shame!" Said Lolah, with an accent rather rough, To poor Katinka: "Spain's an island near Morocco, betwixt Egypt and Tangier."

XLV.

Dudù said nothing, but sat down beside Juanna, playing with her veil or hair; And, looking at her steadfastly, she sighed, As if she pitied her for being there, A pretty stranger without friend or guide, And all abashed, too, at the general stare Which welcomes hapless strangers in all places, With kind remarks upon their mien and faces.

XLVI.

But here the Mother of the Maids drew near, With "Ladies, it is time to go to rest. I'm puzzled what to do with _you_, my dear!" She added to Juanna, their new guest: "Your coming has been unexpected here, And every couch is occupied; you had best Partake of mine; but by to-morrow early We will have all things settled for you fairly."

XLVII.

Here Lolah interposed--"Mamma, you know You don't sleep soundly, and I cannot bear That anybody should disturb you so; I'll take Juanna; we're a slenderer pair Than you would make the half of;--don't say no; And I of your young charge will take due care." But here Katinka interfered, and said, "She also had compassion and a bed."

XLVIII.

"Besides, I hate to sleep alone," quoth she. The matron frowned: "Why so?"--"For fear of ghosts," Replied Katinka; "I am sure I see A phantom upon each of the four posts; And then I have the worst dreams that can be, Of Guebres, Giaours, and Ginns, and Gouls in hosts." The dame replied, "Between your dreams and you, I fear Juanna's dreams would be but few.

XLIX.

"You, Lolah, must continue still to lie Alone, for reasons which don't matter; you The same, Katinka, until by and by: And I shall place Juanna with Dudù, Who's quiet, inoffensive, silent, shy, And will not toss and chatter the night through. What say you, child?"--Dudù said nothing, as Her talents were of the more silent class;

L.

But she rose up, and kissed the matron's brow Between the eyes, and Lolah on both cheeks, Katinka too; and with a gentle bow (Curt'sies are neither used by Turks nor Greeks) She took Juanna by the hand to show Their place of rest, and left to both their piques, The others pouting at the matron's preference Of Dudù, though they held their tongues from deference.

LI.

It was a spacious chamber (Oda is The Turkish title), and ranged round the wall Were couches, toilets--and much more than this I might describe, as I have seen it all, But it suffices--little was amiss; 'T was on the whole a nobly furnished hall, With all things ladies want, save one or two, And even those were nearer than they knew.

LII.

Dudù, as has been said, was a sweet creature, Not very dashing, but extremely winning, With the most regulated charms of feature, Which painters cannot catch like faces sinning Against proportion--the wild strokes of nature Which they hit off at once in the beginning, Full of expression, right or wrong, that strike, And pleasing, or unpleasing, still are like.

LIII.

But she was a soft landscape of mild earth, Where all was harmony, and calm, and quiet, Luxuriant, budding; cheerful without mirth, Which, if not happiness, is much more nigh it Than are your mighty passions and so forth, Which, some call "the Sublime:" I wish they'd try it: I've seen your stormy seas and stormy women, And pity lovers rather more than seamen.

LIV.

But she was pensive more than melancholy, And serious more than pensive, and serene, It may be, more than either--not unholy Her thoughts, at least till now, appear to have been. The strangest thing was, beauteous, she was wholly Unconscious, albeit turned of quick seventeen, That she was fair, or dark, or short, or tall; She never thought about herself at all.

LV.

And therefore was she kind and gentle as The Age of Gold (when gold was yet unknown, By which its nomenclature came to pass;[gv] Thus most appropriately has been shown "Lucus à _non_ lucendo," _not_ what _was_, But what _was not_; a sort of style that's grown Extremely common in this age, whose metal The Devil may decompose, but never settle:[gw]

LVI.

I think it may be of "Corinthian Brass,"[351] Which was a mixture of all metals, but The brazen uppermost). Kind reader! pass This long parenthesis: I could not shut It sooner for the soul of me, and class My faults even with your own! which meaneth, Put A kind construction upon them and me: But _that_ you won't--then don't--I am not less free.

LVII.

'T is time we should return to plain narration, And thus my narrative proceeds:--Dudù, With every kindness short of ostentation, Showed Juan, or Juanna, through and through This labyrinth of females, and each station Described--what's strange--in words extremely few: I have but one simile, and that's a blunder, For wordless woman, which is _silent_ thunder.[gx]

LVIII.

And next she gave her (I say _her_, because The gender still was epicene, at least In outward show, which is a saving clause) An outline of the customs of the East, With all their chaste integrity of laws, By which the more a Harem is increased, The stricter doubtless grow the vestal duties Of any supernumerary beauties.

LIX.

And then she gave Juanna a chaste kiss: Dudú was fond of kissing--which I'm sure That nobody can ever take amiss, Because 't is pleasant, so that it be pure, And between females means no more than this-- That they have nothing better near, or newer. "Kiss" rhymes to "bliss" in fact as well as verse-- I wish it never led to something worse.

LX.

In perfect innocence she then unmade Her toilet, which cost little, for she was A child of Nature, carelessly arrayed: If fond of a chance ogle at her glass, 'T was like the fawn, which, in the lake displayed, Beholds her own shy, shadowy image pass, When first she starts, and then returns to peep, Admiring this new native of the deep.

LXI.

And one by one her articles of dress Were laid aside; but not before she offered Her aid to fair Juanna, whose excess Of modesty declined the assistance proffered: Which passed well off--as she could do no less; Though by this _politesse_ she rather suffered, Pricking her fingers with those cursed pins, Which surely were invented for our sins,--

LXII.

Making a woman like a porcupine, Not to be rashly touched. But still more dread, Oh ye! whose fate it is, as once 't was mine, In early youth, to turn a lady's maid;-- I did my very boyish best to shine In tricking her out for a masquerade: The pins were placed sufficiently, but not Stuck all exactly in the proper spot.

LXIII.

But these are foolish things to all the wise, And I love Wisdom more than she loves me; My tendency is to philosophise On most things, from a tyrant to a tree; But still the spouseless virgin _Knowledge_ flies. What are we? and whence came we? what shall be Our _ultimate_ existence? what's our present? Are questions answerless, and yet incessant.

LXIV.

There was deep silence in the chamber: dim And distant from each other burned the lights, And slumber hovered o'er each lovely limb Of the fair occupants: if there be sprites, They should have walked there in their sprightliest trim, By way of change from their sepulchral sites, And shown themselves as ghosts of better taste Than haunting some old ruin or wild waste.

LXV.

Many and beautiful lay those around, Like flowers of different hue, and clime, and root, In some exotic garden sometimes found, With cost, and care, and warmth induced to shoot. One with her auburn tresses lightly bound, And fair brows gently drooping, as the fruit Nods from the tree, was slumbering with soft breath, And lips apart, which showed the pearls beneath.

LXVI.

One with her flushed cheek laid on her white arm, And raven ringlets gathered in dark crowd Above her brow, lay dreaming soft and warm; And smiling through her dream, as through a cloud The moon breaks, half unveiled each further charm, As, slightly stirring in her snowy shroud, Her beauties seized the unconscious hour of night All bashfully to struggle into light.

LXVII.

This is no bull, although it sounds so; for 'T was night, but there were lamps, as hath been said. A third's all pallid aspect offered more The traits of sleeping sorrow, and betrayed Through the heaved breast the dream of some far shore Belovéd and deplored; while slowly strayed (As night-dew, on a cypress glittering, tinges The black bough) tear-drops through her eyes' dark fringes.

LXVIII.

A fourth as marble, statue-like and still, Lay in a breathless, hushed, and stony sleep; White, cold, and pure, as looks a frozen rill, Or the snow minaret on an Alpine steep, Or Lot's wife done in salt,--or what you will;-- My similes are gathered in a heap, So pick and choose--perhaps you'll be content With a carved lady on a monument.

LXIX.

And lo! a fifth appears;--and what is she? A lady of a "certain age,"[352] which means Certainly agéd--what her years might be I know not, never counting past their teens; But there she slept, not quite so fair to see, As ere that awful period intervenes Which lays both men and women on the shelf, To meditate upon their sins and self.

LXX.

But all this time how slept, or dreamed, Dudú? With strict inquiry I could ne'er discover, And scorn to add a syllable untrue; But ere the middle watch was hardly over, Just when the fading lamps waned dim and blue, And phantoms hovered, or might seem to hover, To those who like their company, about The apartment, on a sudden she screamed out:

LXXI.

And that so loudly, that upstarted all The Oda, in a general commotion: Matron and maids, and those whom you may call Neither, came crowding like the waves of Ocean, One on the other, throughout the whole hall, All trembling, wondering, without the least notion More than I have myself of what could make The calm Dudù so turbulently wake.

LXXII.

But wide awake she was, and round her bed. With floating draperies and with flying hair, With eager eyes, and light but hurried tread, And bosoms, arms, and ankles glancing bare, And bright as any meteor ever bred By the North Pole,--they sought her cause of care, For she seemed agitated, flushed, and frightened, Her eye dilated, and her colour heightened.

LXXIII.

But what is strange--and a strong proof how great A blessing is sound sleep--Juanna lay As fast as ever husband by his mate In holy matrimony snores away. Not all the clamour broke her happy state Of slumber, ere they shook her,--so they say At least,--and then she, too, unclosed her eyes, And yawned a good deal with discreet surprise.[gy]

LXXIV.

And now commenced a strict investigation, Which, as all spoke at once, and more than once Conjecturing, wondering, asking a narration, Alike might puzzle either wit or dunce To answer in a very clear oration. Dudú had never passed for wanting sense, But being "no orator as Brutus is,"[353] Could not at first expound what was amiss.

LXXV.

At length she said, that in a slumber sound She dreamed a dream, of walking in a wood-- A "wood obscure," like that where Dante found[354] Himself in at the age when all grow good;[gz] Life's half-way house, where dames with virtue crowned Run much less risk of lovers turning rude; And that this wood was full of pleasant fruits, And trees of goodly growth and spreading roots;

LXXVI.

And in the midst a golden apple grew,-- A most prodigious pippin--but it hung Rather too high and distant; that she threw Her glances on it, and then, longing, flung Stones and whatever she could pick up, to Bring down the fruit, which still perversely clung To its own bough, and dangled yet in sight, But always at a most provoking height;[ha]

LXXVII.

That on a sudden, when she least had hope, It fell down of its own accord before Her feet; that her first movement was to stoop And pick it up, and bite it to the core; That just as her young lip began to ope[hb] Upon the golden fruit the vision bore, A bee flew out, and stung her to the heart, And so--she woke with a great scream and start.

LXXVIII.

All this she told with some confusion and Dismay, the usual consequence of dreams Of the unpleasant kind, with none at hand To expound their vain and visionary gleams. I've known some odd ones which seemed really planned Prophetically, or that which one deems A "strange coincidence," to use a phrase By which such things are settled now-a-days.[355]

LXXIX.

The damsels, who had thoughts of some great harm, Began, as is the consequence of fear, To scold a little at the false alarm That broke for nothing on their sleeping ear. The matron, too, was wroth to leave her warm Bed for the dream she had been obliged to hear, And chafed at poor Dudù, who only sighed, And said, that she was sorry she had cried.

LXXX.

"I've heard of stories of a cock and bull; But visions of an apple and a bee, To take us from our natural rest, and pull The whole Oda from their beds at half-past three, Would make us think the moon is at its full. You surely are unwell, child! we must see, To-morrow, what his Highness's physician Will say to this hysteric of a vision.

LXXXI.

"And poor Juanna, too, the child's first night Within these walls, to be broke in upon With such a clamour--I had thought it right That the young stranger should not lie alone, And, as the quietest of all, she might With you, Dudù, a good night's rest have known: But now I must transfer her to the charge Of Lolah--though her couch is not so large."

LXXXII.

Lolah's eyes sparkled at the proposition; But poor Dudù, with large drops in her own, Resulting from the scolding or the vision, Implored that present pardon might be shown For this first fault, and that on no condition (She added in a soft and piteous tone) Juanna should be taken from her, and Her future dreams should be all kept in hand.

LXXXIII.

She promised never more to have a dream, At least to dream so loudly as just now; She wondered at herself how she could scream-- 'T was foolish, nervous, as she must allow, A fond hallucination, and a theme For laughter--but she felt her spirits low, And begged they would excuse her; she'd get over This weakness in a few hours, and recover.

LXXXIV.

And here Juanna kindly interposed, And said she felt herself extremely well Where she then was, as her sound sleep disclosed, When all around rang like a tocsin bell; She did not find herself the least disposed To quit her gentle partner, and to dwell Apart from one who had no sin to show, Save that of dreaming once "mal-à-propos."

LXXXV.

As thus Juanna spoke, Dudù turned round And hid her face within Juanna's breast: Her neck alone was seen, but that was found The colour of a budding rose's crest.[hc] I can't tell why she blushed, nor can expound The mystery of this rupture of their test; All that I know is, that the facts I state Are true as Truth has ever been of late,

LXXXVI.

And so good night to them,--or, if you will, Good morrow--for the cock had crown, and light Began to clothe each Asiatic hill, And the mosque crescent struggled into sight Of the long caravan, which in the chill Of dewy dawn wound slowly round each height That stretches to the stony belt, which girds Asia, where Kaff looks down upon the Kurds.[356]

LXXXVII.

With the first ray, or rather grey of morn, Gulbeyaz rose from restlessness; and pale As Passion rises, with its bosom worn, Arrayed herself with mantle, gem, and veil. The Nightingale that sings with the deep thorn, Which fable places in her breast of wail, Is lighter far of heart and voice than those Whose headlong passions form their proper woes.

LXXXVIII.

And that's the moral of this composition, If people would but see its real drift;-- But _that_ they will not do without suspicion, Because all gentle readers have the gift Of closing 'gainst the light their orbs of vision: While gentle writers also love to lift Their voices 'gainst each other, which is natural, The numbers are too great for them to flatter all.

LXXXIX.

Rose the Sultana from a bed of splendour, Softer than the soft Sybarite's, who cried[357] Aloud because his feelings were too tender To brook a ruffled rose-leaf by his side,-- So beautiful that Art could little mend her, Though pale with conflicts between Love and Pride;-- So agitated was she with her error, She did not even look into the mirror.

XC.

Also arose about the self-same time, Perhaps a little later, her great Lord, Master of thirty kingdoms so sublime, And of a wife by whom he was abhorred; A thing of much less import in that clime-- At least to those of incomes which afford The filling up their whole connubial cargo-- Than where two wives are under an embargo.

XCI.

He did not think much on the matter, nor Indeed on any other: as a man He liked to have a handsome paramour At hand, as one may like to have a fan, And therefore of Circassians had good store, As an amusement after the Divan; Though an unusual fit of love, or duty, Had made him lately bask in his bride's beauty.

XCII.

And now he rose; and after due ablutions Exacted by the customs of the East, And prayers and other pious evolutions, He drank six cups of coffee at the least, And then withdrew to hear about the Russians, Whose victories had recently increased In Catherine's reign, whom Glory still adores, As greatest of all sovereigns and w----s.

XCIII.

But oh, thou grand legitimate Alexander![hd][358] Her son's son, let not this last phrase offend Thine ear, if it should reach--and now rhymes wander Almost as far as Petersburgh, and lend A dreadful impulse to each loud meander Of murmuring Liberty's wide waves, which blend Their roar even with the Baltic's--so you be Your father's son, 't is quite enough for me.

XCIV.

To call men love-begotten, or proclaim[he] Their mothers as the antipodes of Timon, That hater of Mankind, would be a shame, A libel, or whate'er you please to rhyme on: But people's ancestors are History's game;[hf] And if one Lady's slip could leave a crime on All generations, I should like to know What pedigree the best would have to show?[359]

XCV.

Had Catherine and the Sultan understood Their own true interests, which Kings rarely know, Until 't is taught by lessons rather rude, There was a way to end their strife, although Perhaps precarious, had they but thought good, Without the aid of Prince or Plenipo: She to dismiss her guards and he his Harem, And for their other matters, meet and share 'em.

XCVI.

But as it was, his Highness had to hold His daily council upon ways and means How to encounter with this martial scold, This modern Amazon and Queen of queans; And the perplexity could not be told Of all the pillars of the State, which leans Sometimes a little heavy on the backs Of those who cannot lay on a new tax.

XCVII.

Meantime Gulbeyaz when her King was gone, Retired into her boudoir, a sweet place For love or breakfast; private, pleasing, lone, And rich with all contrivances which grace Those gay recesses:--many a precious stone Sparkled along its roof, and many a vase Of porcelain held in the fettered flowers, Those captive soothers of a captive's hours.

XCVIII.

Mother of pearl, and porphyry, and marble, Vied with each other on this costly spot; And singing birds without were heard to warble; And the stained glass which lighted this fair grot Varied each ray;--but all descriptions garble The true effect,[360] and so we had better not Be too minute; an outline is the best,-- A lively reader's fancy does the rest.

XCIX.

And here she summoned Baba, and required Don Juan at his hands, and information Of what had passed since all the slaves retired, And whether he had occupied their station: If matters had been managed as desired, And his disguise with due consideration Kept up; and above all, the where and how He had passed the night, was what she wished to know.

C.

Baba, with some embarrassment, replied To this long catechism of questions, asked More easily than answered,--that he had tried His best to obey in what he had been tasked; But there seemed something that he wished to hide, Which Hesitation more betrayed than masked; He scratched his ear, the infallible resource To which embarrassed people have recourse.

CI.

Gulbeyaz was no model of true patience, Nor much disposed to wait in word or deed; She liked quick answers in all conversations; And when she saw him stumbling like a steed In his replies, she puzzled him for fresh ones; And as his speech grew still more broken-kneed, Her cheek began to flush, her eyes to sparkle, And her proud brow's blue veins to swell and darkle.

CII.

When Baba saw these symptoms, which he knew To bode him no great good, he deprecated Her anger, and beseeched she'd hear him through-- He could not help the thing which he related: Then out it came at length, that to Dudù Juan was given in charge, as hath been stated; But not by Baba's fault, he said, and swore on The holy camel's hump, besides the Koran.

CIII.

The chief dame of the Oda,[361] upon whom The discipline of the whole Harem bore, As soon as they re-entered their own room, For Baba's function stopped short at the door, Had settled all; nor could he then presume (The aforesaid Baba) just then to do more, Without exciting such suspicion as Might make the matter still worse than it was.

CIV.

He hoped, indeed he thought, he could be sure, Juan had not betrayed himself; in fact 'T was certain that his conduct had been pure, Because a foolish or imprudent act Would not alone have made him insecure, But ended in his being found out and _sacked,_ And thrown into the sea.--Thus Baba spoke Of all save Dudù's dream, which was no joke.

CV.

This he discreetly kept in the back ground, And talked away--and might have talked till now, For any further answer that he found, So deep an anguish wrung Gulbeyaz' brow: Her cheek turned ashes, ears rung, brain whirled round, As if she had received a sudden blow, And the heart's dew of pain sprang fast and chilly O'er her fair front, like Morning's on a lily.

CVI.

Although she was not of the fainting sort, Baba thought she would faint, but there he erred-- It was but a convulsion, which though short Can never be described; we all have heard,[hg] And some of us have felt thus "_all amort_"[362] When things beyond the common have occurred;-- Gulbeyaz proved in that brief agony What she could ne'er express--then how should I?

CVII.

She stood a moment as a Pythoness Stands on her tripod, agonized, and full Of inspiration gathered from distress, When all the heart-strings like wild horses pull The heart asunder;--then, as more or less Their speed abated or their strength grew dull, She sunk down on her seat by slow degrees, And bowed her throbbing head o'er trembling knees.

CVIII.

Her face declined and was unseen; her hair Fell in long tresses like the weeping willow, Sweeping the marble underneath her chair, Or rather sofa (for it was all pillow, A low, soft ottoman), and black Despair Stirred up and down her bosom like a billow, Which rushes to some shore whose shingles check Its farther course, but must receive its wreck.

CIX.

Her head hung down, and her long hair in stooping Concealed her features better than a veil; And one hand o'er the ottoman lay drooping, White, waxen, and as alabaster pale: Would that I were a painter! to be grouping All that a poet drags into detail! Oh that my words were colours! but their tints May serve perhaps as outlines or slight hints.

CX.

Baba, who knew by experience when to talk And when to hold his tongue, now held it till This passion might blow o'er, nor dared to balk Gulbeyaz' taciturn or speaking will. At length she rose up, and began to walk Slowly along the room, but silent still, And her brow cleared, but not her troubled eye; The wind was down, but still the sea ran high.

CXI.

She stopped, and raised her head to speak-but paused And then moved on again with rapid pace; Then slackened it, which is the march most caused By deep emotion:--you may sometimes trace A feeling in each footstep, as disclosed By Sallust in his Catiline, who, chased By all the demons of all passions, showed Their work even by the way in which he trode[363].

CXII.

Gulbeyaz stopped and beckoned Baba:--"Slave! Bring the two slaves!" she said in a low tone, But one which Baba did not like to brave, And yet he shuddered, and seemed rather prone To prove reluctant, and begged leave to crave (Though he well knew the meaning) to be shown What slaves her Highness wished to indicate, For fear of any error, like the late.

CXIII.

"The Georgian and her paramour," replied The Imperial Bride--and added, "Let the boat Be ready by the secret portal's side: You know the rest." The words stuck in her throat, Despite her injured love and fiery pride; And of this Baba willingly took note, And begged by every hair of Mahomet's beard, She would revoke the order he had heard.

CXIV.

"To hear is to obey," he said; "but still, Sultana, think upon the consequence: It is not that I shall not all fulfil Your orders, even in their severest sense; But such precipitation may end ill, Even at your own imperative expense: I do not mean destruction and exposure, In case of any premature disclosure;

CXV.

"But your own feelings. Even should all the rest Be hidden by the rolling waves, which hide Already many a once love-beaten breast Deep in the caverns of the deadly tide-- You love this boyish, new, Seraglio guest, And if this violent remedy be tried-- Excuse my freedom, when I here assure you, That killing him is not the way to cure you."

CXVI.

"What dost thou know of Love or feeling?--Wretch! Begone!" she cried, with kindling eyes--"and do My bidding!" Baba vanished, for to stretch His own remonstrance further he well knew Might end in acting as his own "Jack Ketch;" And though he wished extremely to get through This awkward business without harm to others, He still preferred his own neck to another's.

CXVII.

Away he went then upon his commission, Growling and grumbling in good Turkish phrase Against all women of whate'er condition, Especially Sultanas and their ways; Their obstinacy, pride, and indecision, Their never knowing their own mind two days, The trouble that they gave, their immorality, Which made him daily bless his own neutrality.

CXVIII.

And then he called his brethren to his aid, And sent one on a summons to the pair, That they must instantly be well arrayed, And above all be combed even to a hair, And brought before the Empress, who had made Inquiries after them with kindest care: At which Dudù looked strange, and Juan silly; But go they must at once, and will I--nill I.

CXIX.

And here I leave them at their preparation For the imperial presence, wherein whether Gulbeyaz showed them both commiseration, Or got rid of the parties altogether, Like other angry ladies of her nation,-- Are things the turning of a hair or feather May settle; but far be 't from me to anticipate In what way feminine caprice may dissipate.

CXX.

I leave them for the present with good wishes, Though doubts of their well doing, to arrange Another part of History; for the dishes Of this our banquet we must sometimes change; And trusting Juan may escape the fishes, (Although his situation now seems strange, And scarce secure),--as such digressions _are_ fair, The Muse will take a little touch at warfare.

End of Canto 6th.

FOOTNOTES:

{268}[328] [Two MSS. (A, B) are extant, A in Byron's handwriting, B a transcription by Mrs. Shelley. The variants are marked respectively _MS. A., MS. B._

Motto: "Thinkest thou that because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale? Aye! and ginger shall be hot in the mouth too."--_Twelfth Night, or What You Will_, Shakespeare, act ii. sc. 3, lines 109-112.--[_MS. B._]

This motto, in an amended form, which was prefixed to the First Canto in 1833, appears on the title-page of the first edition of Cantos VI., VII., VIII., published by John Hunt in 1823.]

[329] [See Shakespeare, _Julius Cæsar_, act iv. sc. 3, lines 216, 217.]

[330] [Jacob Behmen (or Boehm) stands for "mystic." Byron twice compares him with Wordsworth (see _Letters_, 1899, iii. 239, 1900, iv. 238).]

{269}[gb] _Man with his head reflects (as Spurzheim tells),_ _But Woman with the heart--or something else_. or, _Man's pensive part is (now and then) the head,_ _Woman's the heart or anything instead_.-- [MS. A. Alternative reading.]

[gc] _Like to a Comet's tail_----.--[MS. A. erased.]

[gd] _O'erbalance all the Cæsar's victories_.--[MS. A.] _Outbalance all the Cæsar's victories_.--[MS. B.]

_In the Shelley copy "o'erbalance" has been erased and "outbalance" inserted in Byron's handwriting. The lines must have been intended to run thus_--

_'T is not his conquests keep his name in fashion_ _But Actium lost; for Cleopatra's eyes_ _Outbalance all the Cæsar's victories_.

[ge] _I wish that they had been eighteen_----.--[MS. A. erased.]

{270}[331] [To Mary Chaworth. Compare "Our union would have healed feuds ... it would have joined lands broad and rich; it would have joined at least _one_ heart."--_Detached Thoughts_, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 441.]

[332] [Cato gave up his wife Martia to his friend Hortensius; but, on the death of the latter, took her back again. This conduct was censured by Cæsar, who observed that Cato had an eye to the main chance. "It was the wealth of Hortensius. He lent the young man his wife, that he might make her a rich widow."--Langhorne's Plutarch, 1838, pp. 539, 547.]

{271}[333] [_Othello_, act i. sc. i, lines 19-24.]

[gf]---- _though with greater latitude_.--[MS. A.]

{272}[gg] ---- _with one foolish woman wed_.--[MS. B.]

[334] [The famous _bed_, measuring twelve feet square, to which an allusion is made by Shakespeare in _Twelfth Night_, act iii. sc. 2, line 44, was formerly preserved at the Saracen's Head at Ware, in Hertfordshire. The bed was removed from Ware to the Rye House in 1869.]

[gh] _His Highness the sublimest of mankind,_ _The greatest, wisest, bravest, [and the] best,_ _Proved by his edicts somewhat blind,_ _Who saw his virtues as they saw the rest_-- _His Highness quite connubially inclined_ _Had deigned that night to be Gulbeyaz' guest_.--[MS. A.]

[335] See Waverley [chap. xx.]

[gi] _May look like what I need not mention here_--[MS. A.]

{273}[gj] _Are better signs if such things can be signed_.--[MS. A.]

[336] [For St. Francis of Assisi, and the "seven great balls of snow," of which "the greatest" was "his wife," see _The Golden Legend_, 1900, v. 221, _vide ante_, p. 32, note 1.]

[337] [The words _medio_, etc., are to be found in Ovid., _Metam._, lib. ii. line 137; the doctrine, _Virtus est medium vitiorum_, in Horace, _Epist_., lib. i, ep. xviii. line 9.]

[gk] _In the damned line ('t is worth, at least, a curse)_ _Which I have examined too close_.--[MS. erased.]

{274}[gl] _Self-love that whetstone of Don Cupid's art_.--[MS. A.]

[gm]---- _with love despairs._--[MS. A. erased.]

[338] [Lady Noel's will was proved February 22, 1812. She left to the trustees a portrait of Byron ... with directions that it was not to be shown to his daughter Ada till she attained the age of twenty-one; but that if her mother was still living, it was not to be so delivered without Lady Byron's consent.--_Letters_, 1901, vi. 42, note 1.]

[gn] _Which diddles you_----.--[MS. A. erased.]

[go] _I'm a philosopher; G--d damn them all_.--[MS. B.]

[gp] _Bills, women, wives, dogs, horses and mankind_.--[MS. B. erased.]

{275}[gq] _Is more than I know, and, so, damn them both_.--[MS. A. erased.]

[gr] _When we lie down--wife, spouse, or bachelor_ _By what we love not, to sigh for the light_.--[MS. A. erased.]

[gs] _By their infernal bedfellow_----.--[MS. A. erased.]

[339] [The comparison of Queen Caroline to snow may be traced to an article in the _Times_ of August 23, 1820: "The Queen may now, we believe, be considered as triumphing! For the first three years at least of her Majesty's painful peregrinations, she stands before her husband's admiring subjects 'as white as unsunned snows.'" Political bards and lampoonists of the king's party thanked the _Times_ for "giving them that word."]

{276}[340] [According to Gronow (_Reminiscences_, 1889, i. 62), a practical joke of Dan Mackinnon's (_vide ante_, p. 69, _footnote_) gave Byron a hint for this scene in the harem: "Lord Wellington was curious about visiting a convent near Lisbon, and the lady abbess made no difficulty. Mackinnon hearing this contrived to get clandestinely within the sacred walls ... at all events, when Lord Wellington arrived Dan Mackinnon was to be seen among the nuns, dressed out in their sacred costume, with his whiskers shaved; and, as he possessed good features, he was declared to be one of the best-looking among those chaste dames. It was supposed that this adventure, which was known to Lord Byron, suggested a similar episode in _Don Juan_."]

[341] [Caligula--_vide_ Suetonius, _De XII. Cæs_., C. _Cæs_. Calig., cap, xxx., "Infensus turbæ faventi adversus studium exclamavit: 'Utinam populus Romanus unam cervicem haberet!'"]

[gt] _My wish were general but no worse_.--[MS. A. erased.]

[gu] _That Womankind had only one--say heart_.--[MS. A. erased.]

{277}[342] The ladies of the Seraglio.

[343] [Demetrius Cantemir, hospodar of Moldavia. His work, the _History of the Growth and Decay of the Othman Empire_, was translated into English by N. Tyndal, 1734. He died in 1723.]

[344] [Baron de Tott, in his _Memoirs concerning the State of the Turkish Empire_ (1786, i. 72), gives the title of this functionary as _Kiaya Kadun_, i.e. Mistress or Governess of the Ladies.]

{278}[345] [The repetition of the same rhyme-word was noted in _Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine_, July, 1823, vol. xiv. p. 90.]

{279}[346]

["I guess, 't was frightful there to see A lady so richly clad as she-- Beautiful exceedingly." _Christabel_, Part I. lines 66-68.]

[347] "It is in the adjacent climates of Georgia, Mingrelia, and Circassia, that nature has placed, at least to our eyes, the model of beauty, in the shape of the limbs, the colour of the skin, the symmetry of the features, and the expression of the countenance: the men are formed for action, the women for love."--Gibbon, [_Decline and Fall, etc._, 1825, iii 126.]

{280}[348] Padisha is the Turkish title of the Grand Signior.

[349] [Katinka was the name of the youngest sister of Theresa, the "Maid of Athens."--See letter to H. Drury, May 3, 1810, _Letters_, 1898, i. 269, note 1; and _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 15, note 1.

It is probable that the originals of Katinka and Dudù were two Circassians who were presented for sale to Nicolas Ernest Kleeman (see his _Voyage de Vienne, etc._, 1780, pp. 142, 143) at Kaffa, in the Crimea. Of the first he writes, "Elle me baisa la main, et par l'ordre de son maître, elle se promena en long et en large, pour me faire remarquer sa taille mince et aisée. Elle avoit un joli petit pied.... Quand elle a en ôté son voile elle a présenté à mes yeux une beauté très-attrayante; ses cheveux étoient blonds argentés; elle avoit de grands yeux bleux, le nez un peu long, et les lèvres appétissantes. Sa figure étoit régulière, son teint blanc, délicat, les joues couvertes d'un charmant vermilion.... La seconde étoit un peu petite, assez grasse, et avoit les cheveux roux, l'air sensuel et revenant." Kleeman pretended to offer terms, took notes, and retired. But the Circassians are before us still.]

{281}[350] [_Macbeth_, act ii. sc. 2, line 36.]

{284}[gv] _By which no doubt its Baptism came to pass_.--[MS. A. erased.]

[gw] _The Devil in Hell might melt but never settle_.--[MS. A. erased.]

[351] [Hence the title of the satire, _The Age of Bronze_.]

[gx] _For Woman's silence startles more than thunder_.--[MS. A. erased.]

{287}[352] [Compare _Beppo_, stanza xxii. line 2, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 166, note 1.]

[gy] _With no less true and feminine surprise_.--[MS. A. erased.]

{289}[353] [_Julius Cæsar_, act iii. sc. II, line 216.]

[354]

["Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura," etc.

_Inferno_, Canto I, lines I, 2.]

[gz] _Himself in an age when men grow good,_ _As Life's best half is done_----.--[MS. A. erased.]

[ha] _But out of reach--a most provoking sight_.--[MS. A. erased.]

[hb] _That ere her unreluctant lips could ope_.--[MS. A.]

{290}[355] [One of the advocates employed for Queen Caroline in the House of Lords spoke of some of the most puzzling passages in the history of her intercourse with Bergami, as amounting to "odd instances of strange coincidence."--Ed. 1833, xvi. 160.]

{291}[hc] _At least as red as the Flamingo's breast_.--[MS. A. erased.]

{292}[356] [Byron used Kaff for Caucasus, _vide ante_, _English Bards, etc._, line 1022, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 378, note 3. But there may be some allusion to the fabulous Kaff, "anciently imagined by the Asiatics to surround the world, to bind the horizon on all sides." There was a proverb "From Kaf to Kaf," _i.e._ "the wide world through." See, too, D'Herbelot's _Bibliothèque Orientale_, 1697, art. "Caf."]

[357] [See L.A. Seneca, _De Irâ_, lib. ii. cap. 25.]

{294}[hd] _Oh thou her lawful grandson Alexander_ _Let not this quality offend_----.--[MS. A. erased.]

[358] [Compare _The Age of Bronze_, lines 434, sq., _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 563, note 1.]

{294}[he] _To call a man a whoreson_----.--[MS. A. erased.]

[hf] _But a man's grandmother is deemed fair game_.--[MS. A.]

[359] [It is probable that Byron knew that there was a "hint of illegitimacy" in his own pedigree. John Byron of Clayton, grandfather of Richard the second Lord Byron, was born, out of wedlock, to Elizabeth, daughter of William Costerden, of Blakesley, in Lancashire, widow to George Halgh of Halgh (_sic_), and second wife of Sir John Byron of Clayton, "little Sir John with the great beard." He succeeded to Newstead and the Lancashire estates, not as heir-at-law, but by deed of gift. (See letter to Murray, October 20, 1820, _Letters_, 1901, v. 99, note 2.)]

{295}[360] [Aubry de la Motraye, in describing the interior of the Grand Signior's palace, into which he gained admission as the assistant of a watchmaker who was employed to regulate the clocks, says that the eunuch who received them at the entrance of the harem, conducted them into a hall: "Cette salle est incrustee de porcelaines fines; et le lambris doré et azuré qui orne le fond d'une coupole qui regne au-dessus, est des plus riches.... Une fontaine artificielle et jaillissante, dont le bassin est d'un prétieux marbre verd qui m'a paru serpentin ou jaspe, s'élevoit directement au milieu, sous le dôme.... Je me trouvai la tête si pleine de _Sophas_ de prétieux plafonds, de meubles superbes, en un mot, d'une si grande confusion de matériaux magnifiques, ... qu'il seroit difficile d'en donner une idée claire."--_Voyages_, 1727, i. 220, 222.]

{296}[361] ["Il n'ya point de Religieuses ... point de novices, plus soumises à la volonté de leur abbesse que ces filles [les Odaliques] le sont à leurs maitresses."--A. de la Motraye, _Voyages,_ 1727, i. 338.]

{297}[hg] ---- _though seen not heard_ _For it is silent_.--[MS. A. erased.]

[362] ["How fares my Kate? What! sweeting, all amort?"--_Taming of the Shrew,_ act iv. sc. 3, line 36. "Amort" is said to be a corruption of _à la mort_. Byron must have had in mind his silent ecstasy of grief when the Countess Guiccioli endeavoured to break the announcement of Allegra's death (April, 1822). "'I understand,' said he; 'it is enough; say no more.' A mortal paleness spread itself over his face, his strength failed him, and he sunk into a seat. His look was fixed, and the expression such that I began to fear for his reason; he did not shed a tear" (_Life,_ p. 368).]

{299}[363] ["His guilty soul, at enmity with gods and men, could find no rest; so violently was his mind torn and distracted by a consciousness of guilt. Accordingly his countenance was pale, his eyes ghastly, his pace one while quick, another slow [citus modo, modo tardus incessus]; indeed, in all his looks there was an air of distraction."--Sallust, _Catilina_, cap. xv. sf.]

CANTO THE SEVENTH.[364]

I.

O LOVE! O Glory! what are ye who fly Around us ever, rarely to alight? There's not a meteor in the polar sky Of such transcendent and more fleeting flight. Chill, and chained to cold earth, we lift on high Our eyes in search of either lovely light; A thousand and a thousand colours they Assume, then leave us on our freezing way.

II.

And such as they are, such my present tale is, A nondescript and ever-varying rhyme, A versified Aurora Borealis, Which flashes o'er a waste and icy clime. When we know what all are, we must bewail us, But ne'ertheless I hope it is no crime To laugh at _all_ things--for I wish to know _What_, after _all_, are _all_ things--but a _show_?

III.

They accuse me--_Me_--the present writer of The present poem--of--I know not what--A tendency to under-rate and scoff At human power and virtue, and all that;[365] And this they say in language rather rough. Good God! I wonder what they would be at! I say no more than hath been said in Danté's Verse, and by Solomon and by Cervantes;

IV.

By Swift, by Machiavel, by Rochefoucault, By Fénélon, by Luther, and by Plato;[hh] By Tillotson, and Wesley, and Rousseau, Who knew this life was not worth a potato. 'T is not their fault, nor mine, if this be so,-- For my part, I pretend not to be Cato, Nor even Diogenes.--We live and die, But which is best, _you_ know no more than I.

V.

Socrates said, our only knowledge was[366] "To know that nothing could be known;" a pleasant Science enough, which levels to an ass Each man of wisdom, future, past, or present. Newton (that proverb of the mind), alas! Declared, with all his grand discoveries recent, That he himself felt only "like a youth Picking up shells by the great ocean--Truth."[hi][367]

VI.

Ecclesiastes said, "that all is vanity"-- Most modern preachers say the same, or show it By their examples of true Christianity: In short, all know, or very soon may know it; And in this scene of all-confessed inanity, By Saint, by Sage, by Preacher, and by Poet, Must I restrain me, through the fear of strife, From holding up the nothingness of Life?[hj]

VII.

Dogs, or men!--for I flatter you[368] in saying That ye are dogs--your betters far--ye may Read, or read not, what I am now essaying To show ye what ye are in every way. As little as the moon stops for the baying Of wolves, will the bright Muse withdraw one ray From out her skies--then howl your idle wrath! While she still silvers o'er your gloomy path.

VIII.

"Fierce loves and faithless wars"--I am not sure If this be the right reading--'t is no matter; The fact's about the same, I am secure; I sing them both, and am about to batter A town which did a famous siege endure, And was beleaguered both by land and water By Souvaroff,[369] or Anglicè Suwarrow, Who loved blood as an alderman loves marrow.

IX.

The fortress is called Ismail, and is placed Upon the Danube's left branch and left bank,[370] With buildings in the Oriental taste, But still a fortress of the foremost rank, Or was at least, unless 't is since defaced, Which with your conquerors is a common prank: It stands some eighty versts from the high sea, And measures round of toises thousands three.[371]

X.

Within the extent of this fortification A borough is comprised along the height Upon the left, which from its loftier station Commands the city, and upon its site A Greek had raised around this elevation A quantity of palisades _upright_, So placed as to _impede_ the fire of those Who held the place, and to _assist_ the foe's.[372]

XI.

This circumstance may serve to give a notion Of the high talents of this new Vauban: But the town ditch below was deep as Ocean, The rampart higher than you'd wish to hang: But then there was a great want of precaution (Prithee, excuse this engineering slang), Nor work advanced, nor covered way was there,[373] To hint, at least, "Here is no thoroughfare."

XII.

But a stone bastion, with a narrow gorge, And walls as thick as most skulls born as yet; Two batteries, cap-à-pie, as our St. George, Casemated[374] one, and t' other "a barbette,"[375] Of Danube's bank took formidable charge; While two-and-twenty cannon duly set Rose over the town's right side, in bristling tier, Forty feet high, upon a cavalier.[376]

XIII.

But from the river the town's open quite, Because the Turks could never be persuaded A Russian vessel e'er would heave in sight;[377] And such their creed was till they were invaded, When it grew rather late to set things right: But as the Danube could not well be waded, They looked upon the Muscovite flotilla, And only shouted, "Allah!" and "Bis Millah!"

XIV.

The Russians now were ready to attack; But oh, ye goddesses of War and Glory! How shall I spell the name of each Cossacque Who were immortal, could one tell their story? Alas! what to their memory can lack? Achilles' self was not more grim and gory Than thousands of this new and polished nation, Whose names want nothing but--pronunciation.

XV.

Still I'll record a few, if but to increase Our euphony: there was Strongenoff, and Strokonoff, Meknop, Serge Lwow, Arséniew of modern Greece, And Tschitsshakoff, and Roguenoff, and Chokenoff,[378] And others of twelve consonants apiece; And more might be found out, if I could poke enough Into gazettes; but Fame (capricious strumpet), It seems, has got an ear as well as trumpet,

XVI.

And cannot tune those discords of narration,[hk] Which may be names at Moscow, into rhyme; Yet there were several worth commemoration, As e'er was virgin of a nuptial chime; Soft words, too, fitted for the peroration Of Londonderry drawling against time, Ending in "ischskin," "ousckin," "iffskchy," "ouski," Of whom we can insert but Rousamouski,[379]

XVII.

Scherematoff and Chrematoff, Koklophti, Koclobski, Kourakin, and Mouskin Pouskin, All proper men of weapons, as e'er scoffed high[380] Against a foe, or ran a sabre through skin: Little cared they for Mahomet or Mufti, Unless to make their kettle-drums a new skin Out of their hides, if parchment had grown dear, And no more handy substitute been near.

XVIII.

Then there were foreigners of much renown, Of various nations, and all volunteers; Not fighting for their country or its crown, But wishing to be one day brigadiers; Also to have the sacking of a town;-- A pleasant thing to young men at their years. 'Mongst them were several Englishmen of pith, Sixteen called Thomson, and nineteen named Smith.

XIX.

Jack Thomson and Bill Thomson;--all the rest Had been called _"Jemmy,"_ after the great bard; I don't know whether they had arms or crest, But such a godfather's as good a card. Three of the Smiths were Peters; but the best Amongst them all, hard blows to inflict or ward, Was _he_, since so renowned "in country quarters At Halifax;"[381] but now he served the Tartars.

XX.

The rest were Jacks and Gills and Wills and Bills, But when I've added that the elder Jack Smith Was born in Cumberland among the hills, And that his father was an honest blacksmith, I've said all _I_ know of a name that fills Three lines of the despatch in taking "Schmacksmith," A village of Moldavia's waste, wherein He fell, immortal in a bulletin.

XXI.

I wonder (although Mars no doubt's a god I Praise) if a man's name in a _bulletin_ May make up for a _bullet in_ his body? I hope this little question is no sin, Because, though I am but a simple noddy, I think one Shakespeare puts the same thought in The mouth of some one in his plays so doting, Which many people pass for wits by quoting.[382]

XXII.

Then there were Frenchmen, gallant, young, and gay; But I'm too great a patriot to record Their Gallic names upon a glorious day; I'd rather tell ten lies than say a word Of truth;--such truths are treason; they betray Their country; and as traitors are abhorred, Who name the French in English, save to show How Peace should make John Bull the Frenchman's foe.

XXIII.

The Russians, having built two batteries on An isle near Ismail, had two ends in view; The first was to bombard it, and knock down The public buildings and the private too, No matter what poor souls might be undone:[hl] The city's shape suggested this, 't is true, Formed like an amphitheatre--each dwelling Presented a fine mark to throw a shell in.[383]

XXIV.

The second object was to profit by The moment of the general consternation, To attack the Turk's flotilla, which lay nigh Extremely tranquil, anchored at its station: But a third motive was as probably To frighten them into capitulation;[384] A phantasy which sometimes seizes warriors, Unless they are game as bull-dogs and fox-terriers.[hm]

XXV.

A habit rather blameable, which is That of despising those we combat with, Common in many cases, was in this The cause[385] of killing Tchitchitzkoff and Smith-- One of the valorous "Smiths" whom we shall miss Out of those nineteen who late rhymed to "pith;" But 't is a name so spread o'er "Sir" and "Madam," That one would think the _first_ who bore it _"Adam."_

XXVI.

The Russian batteries were incomplete, Because they were constructed in a hurry;[386] Thus the same cause which makes a verse want feet, And throws a cloud o'er Longman and John Murray, When the sale of new books is not so fleet As they who print them think is necessary, May likewise put off for a time what story Sometimes calls "Murder," and at others "Glory."

XXVII.

Whether it was their engineer's stupidity, Their haste or waste, I neither know nor care, Or some contractor's personal cupidity, Saving his soul by cheating in the ware Of homicide, but there was no solidity In the new batteries erected there; They either missed, or they were never missed, And added greatly to the missing list.

XXVIII.

A sad miscalculation about distance Made all their naval matters incorrect; Three fireships lost their amiable existence Before they reached a spot to take effect; The match was lit too soon, and no assistance Could remedy this lubberly defect; They blew up in the middle of the river, While, though 't was dawn, the Turks slept fast as ever.[387]

XXIX.

At seven they rose, however, and surveyed The Russ flotilla getting under way; 'T was nine, when still advancing undismayed, Within a cable's length their vessels lay Off Ismail, and commenced a cannonade, Which was returned with interest, I may say, And by a fire of musketry and grape, And shells and shot of every size and shape.[388]

XXX.

For six hours bore they without intermission The Turkish fire, and, aided by their own Land batteries, worked their guns with great precision; At length they found mere cannonade alone By no means would produce the town's submission, And made a signal to retreat at one. One bark blew up, a second near the works Running aground, was taken by the Turks.[389]

XXXI.

The Moslem, too, had lost both ships and men; But when they saw the enemy retire, Their Delhis[390] manned some boats, and sailed again, And galled the Russians with a heavy fire, And tried to make a landing on the main; But here the effect fell short of their desire: Count Damas drove them back into the water Pell-mell, and with a whole gazette of slaughter.[391]

XXXII.

"If" (says the historian here) "I could report All that the Russians did upon this day, I think that several volumes would fall short, And I should still have many things to say;"[392] And so he says no more--but pays his court To some distinguished strangers in that fray; The Prince de Ligne, and Langeron, and Damas, Names great as any that the roll of Fame has.[393]

XXXIII.

This being the case, may show us what Fame _is_: For out of these three "_preux Chevaliers_," how Many of common readers give a guess That such existed? (and they may live now For aught we know.) Renown's all hit or miss; There's fortune even in Fame, we must allow. 'T is true, the Memoirs of the Prince de Ligne[394] Have half withdrawn from _him_ Oblivion's screen.

XXXIV.

But here are men who fought in gallant actions As gallantly as ever heroes fought, But buried in the heap of such transactions Their names are rarely found, nor often sought. Thus even good fame may suffer sad contractions, And is extinguished sooner than she ought: Of all our modern battles, I will bet You can't repeat nine names from each Gazette.

XXXV.

In short, this last attack, though rich in glory, Showed that _somewhere, somehow_, there was a fault, And Admiral Ribas[395] (known in Russian story) Most strongly recommended an assault; In which he was opposed by young and hoary, Which made a long debate; but I must halt, For if I wrote down every warrior's speech, I doubt few readers e'er would mount the breach.

XXXVI.

There was a man, if that he was a man, Not that his manhood could be called in question, For had he not been Hercules, his span Had been as short in youth as indigestion Made his last illness, when, all worn and wan, He died beneath a tree, as much unblest on The soil of the green province he had wasted, As e'er was locust on the land it blasted.

XXXVII.

This was Potemkin[396]--a great thing in days When homicide and harlotry made great; If stars and titles could entail long praise, His glory might half equal his estate. This fellow, being six foot high, could raise A kind of phantasy proportionate In the then Sovereign of the Russian people, Who measured men as you would do a steeple.

XXXVIII.

While things were in abeyance, Ribas sent A courier to the Prince, and he succeeded In ordering matters after his own bent; I cannot tell the way in which he pleaded, But shortly he had cause to be content. In the mean time, the batteries proceeded, And fourscore cannon on the Danube's border Were briskly fired and answered in due order.[397]

XXXIX.

But on the thirteenth, when already part Of the troops were embarked, the siege to raise, A courier on the spur inspired new heart Into all panters for newspaper praise,[hn] As well as dilettanti in War's art, By his despatches (couched in pithy phrase) Announcing the appointment of that lover of Battles to the command, Field-Marshal Souvaroff.[398]

XL.

The letter of the Prince to the same Marshal Was worthy of a Spartan, had the cause Been one to which a good heart could be partial-- Defence of freedom, country, or of laws; But as it was mere lust of Power to o'er-arch all With its proud brow, it merits slight applause, Save for its style, which said, all in a trice, "You will take Ismail at whatever price."[399]

XLI.

"Let there be Light! said God, and there was Light!" "Let there be Blood!" says man, and there's a sea! The fiat of this spoiled child of the Night (For Day ne'er saw his merits) could decree More evil in an hour, than thirty bright Summers could renovate, though they should be Lovely as those which ripened Eden's fruit; For War cuts up not only branch, but root.

XLII.

Our friends, the Turks, who with loud "Allahs" now Began to signalise the Russ retreat,[400] Were damnably mistaken; few are slow In thinking that their enemy is beat,[401] (Or _beaten_, if you insist on grammar, though I never think about it in a heat,) But here I say the Turks were much mistaken, Who hating hogs, yet wished to save their bacon.

XLIII.

For, on the sixteenth, at full gallop, drew In sight two horsemen, who were deemed Cossacques For some time, till they came in nearer view: They had but little baggage at their backs, For there were but _three_ shirts between the two; But on they rode upon two Ukraine hacks, Till, in approaching, were at length descried In this plain pair, Suwarrow and his guide.[402]

XLIV.

"Great joy to London now!" says some great fool, When London had a grand illumination, Which to that bottle-conjuror, John Bull, Is of all dreams the first hallucination; So that the streets of coloured lamps are full, That sage (said John) surrenders at discretion[ho] His purse, his soul, his sense, and even his nonsense, To gratify, like a huge moth, this _one_ sense.

XLV.

'T is strange that he should further "Damn his eyes," For they are damned; that once all-famous oath Is to the Devil now no further prize, Since John has lately lost the use of both. Debt he calls Wealth, and taxes Paradise; And Famine, with her gaunt and bony growth, Which stare him in the face, he won't examine, Or swears that Ceres hath begotten Famine.

XLVI.

But to the tale;--great joy unto the camp! To Russian, Tartar, English, French, Cossacque, O'er whom Suwarrow shone like a gas lamp, Presaging a most luminous attack; Or like a wisp along the marsh so damp, Which leads beholders on a boggy walk, He flitted to and fro a dancing light, Which all who saw it followed, wrong or right.

XLVII.

But, certes, matters took a different face; There was enthusiasm and much applause, The fleet and camp saluted with great grace, And all presaged good fortune to their cause. Within a cannot-shot length of the place They drew, constructed ladders, repaired flaws In former works, made new, prepared fascines, And all kinds of benevolent machines.

XLVIII.

'T is thus the spirit of a single mind Makes that of multitudes take one direction, As roll the waters to the breathing wind, Or roams the herd beneath the bull's protection; Or as a little dog will lead the blind, Or a bell-wether form the flock's connection By tinkling sounds, when they go forth to victual; Such is the sway of your great men o'er little.

XLIX.

The whole camp rung with joy; you would have thought That they were going to a marriage feast (This metaphor, I think, holds good as aught, Since there is discord after both at least): There was not now a luggage boy but sought Danger and spoil with ardour much increased; And why? because a little--odd--old man, Stripped to his shirt, was come to lead the van.

L.

But so it was; and every preparation Was made with all alacrity: the first Detachment of three columns took its station, And waited but the signal's voice to burst Upon the foe: the second's ordination Was also in three columns, with a thirst For Glory gaping o'er a sea of Slaughter: The third, in columns two, attacked by water.[403]

LI.

New batteries were erected, and was held A general council, in which Unanimity, That stranger to most councils, here prevailed,[404] As sometimes happens in a great extremity;[hp] And every difficulty being dispelled, Glory began to dawn with due sublimity,[hq] While Souvaroff, determined to obtain it, Was teaching his recruits to use the bayonet.[405]

LII.

It is an actual fact, that he, commander In chief, in proper person deigned to drill The awkward squad, and could afford to squander His time, a corporal's duty to fulfil; Just as you'd break a sucking salamander To swallow flame, and never take it ill:[hr] He showed them how to mount a ladder (which Was not like Jacob's) or to cross a ditch.[406]

LIII.

Also he dressed up, for the nonce, fascines Like men with turbans, scimitars, and dirks, And made them charge with bayonet these machines, By way of lesson against actual Turks;[407] And when well practised in these mimic scenes, He judged them proper to assail the works,-- (At which your wise men sneered in phrases witty),[hs] He made no answer--but he took the city.

LIV.

Most things were in this posture on the eve Of the assault, and all the camp was in A stern repose; which you would scarce conceive; Yet men resolved to dash through thick and thin Are very silent when they once believe That all is settled:--there was little din, For some were thinking of their home and friends, And others of themselves and latter ends.[ht]

LV.

Suwarrow chiefly was on the alert, Surveying, drilling, ordering, jesting, pondering; For the man was, we safely may assert, A thing to wonder at beyond most wondering; Hero, buffoon, half-demon, and half-dirt, Praying, instructing, desolating, plundering--Now Mars, now Momus--and when bent to storm A fortress, Harlequin in uniform.[408]

LVI.

The day before the assault, while upon drill-- For this great conqueror played the corporal-- Some Cossacques, hovering like hawks round a hill, Had met a party towards the Twilight's fall, One of whom spoke their tongue--or well or ill, 'T was much that he was understood at all; But whether from his voice, or speech, or manner, They found that he had fought beneath their banner.

LVII.

Whereon immediately at his request They brought him and his comrades to head-quarters; Their dress was Moslem, but you might have guessed That these were merely masquerading Tartars, And that beneath each Turkish-fashioned vest Lurked Christianity--which sometimes barters Her inward grace for outward show, and makes It difficult to shun some strange mistakes.

LVIII.

Suwarrow, who was standing in his shirt Before a company of Calmucks, drilling, Exclaiming, fooling, swearing at the inert, And lecturing on the noble art of killing,-- For deeming human clay but common dirt This great philosopher was thus instilling His maxims,[409] which to martial comprehension Proved death in battle equal to a pension;--

LIX.

Suwarrow, when he saw this company Of Cossacques and their prey, turned round and cast Upon them his slow brow and piercing eye:-- "Whence come ye?"--"From Constantinople last, Captives just now escaped," was the reply. "What are ye?"--"What you see us." Briefly passed This dialogue; for he who answered knew To whom he spoke, and made his words but few.

LX.

"Your names?"--"Mine's Johnson, and my comrade's Juan; The other two are women, and the third Is neither man nor woman." The Chief threw on The party a slight glance, then said," I have heard _Your_ name before, the second is a new one: To bring the other three here was absurd: But let that pass:--I think I have heard your name In the Nikolaiew regiment?"--"The same."

LXI.

"You served at Widdin?"--"Yes."--"You led the attack?" "I did."--"What next?"--"I really hardly know"-- "You were the first i' the breach?"--"I was not slack At least to follow those who might be so"--"What followed?"--"A shot laid me on my back, And I became a prisoner to the foe"-- "You shall have vengeance, for the town surrounded Is twice as strong as that where you were wounded.

LXII.

"Where will you serve?"--"Where'er you please."--"I know You like to be the hope of the forlorn, And doubtless would be foremost on the foe After the hardships you've already borne. And this young fellow--say what can he do? He with the beardless chin and garments torn?"-- "Why, General, if he hath no greater fault In War than Love, he had better lead the assault"--

LXIII.

"He shall if that he dare." Here Juan bowed Low as the compliment deserved. Suwarrow Continued: "Your old regiment's allowed, By special providence, to lead to-morrow, Or, it may be, to-night, the assault: I have vowed To several Saints, that shortly plough or harrow Shall pass o'er what was Ismail, and its tusk[410] Be unimpeded by the proudest mosque.

LXIV.

"So now, my lads, for Glory!"--Here he turned And drilled away in the most classic Russian, Until each high heroic bosom burned For cash and conquest, as if from a cushion A preacher had held forth (who nobly spurned All earthly goods save tithes) and bade them push on To slay the Pagans who resisted, battering The armies of the Christian Empress Catherine.

LXV.

Johnson, who knew by this long colloquy Himself a favourite, ventured to address Suwarrow, though engaged with accents high In his resumed amusement. "I confess My debt in being thus allowed to die Among the foremost; but if you'd express Explicitly our several posts, my friend And self would know what duty to attend."

LXVI.

"Right! I was busy, and forgot. Why, you Will join your former regiment, which should be Now under arms. Ho! Katskoff, take him to"-- (Here he called up a Polish orderly) "His post, I mean the regiment Nikolaiew: The stranger stripling may remain with me; He's a fine boy. The women may be sent To the other baggage, or to the sick tent."

LXVII.

But here a sort of scene began to ensue: The ladies,--who by no means had been bred To be disposed of in a way so new, Although their Harem education led, Doubtless, to that of doctrines the most true, Passive obedience,--now raised up the head With flashing eyes and starting tears, and flung Their arms, as hens their wings about their young,

LXVIII.

O'er the promoted couple of brave men Who were thus honoured by the greatest Chief That ever peopled Hell with heroes slain, Or plunged a province or a realm in grief. Oh, foolish mortals! Always taught in vain! Oh, glorious Laurel! since for one sole leaf Of thine imaginary deathless tree, Of blood and tears must flow the unebbing sea.[hu]

LXIX.

Suwarrow, who had small regard for tears, And not much sympathy for blood, surveyed The women with their hair about their ears And natural agonies, with a slight shade Of feeling: for however Habit sears Men's hearts against whole millions, when their trade Is butchery, sometimes a single sorrow Will touch even heroes--and such was Suwarrow.

LXX.

He said,--and in the kindest Calmuck tone,-- "Why, Johnson, what the devil do you mean By bringing women here? They shall be shown All the attention possible, and seen In safety to the waggons, where alone In fact they can be safe. You should have been Aware this kind of baggage never thrives; Save wed a year, I hate recruits with wives"--

LXXI.

"May it please your Excellency," thus replied Our British friend, "these are the wives of others, And not our own. I am too qualified By service with my military brothers To break the rules by bringing one's own bride Into a camp: I know that nought so bothers The hearts of the heroic on a charge, As leaving a small family at large.

LXXII.

"But these are but two Turkish ladies, who With their attendant aided our escape, And afterwards accompanied us through A thousand perils in this dubious shape. To me this kind of life is not so new; To them, poor things, it is an awkward scrape: I therefore, if you wish me to fight freely, Request that they may both be used genteelly."

LXXIII.

Meantime these two poor girls, with swimming eyes, Looked on as if in doubt if they could trust Their own protectors; nor was their surprise Less than their grief (and truly not less just) To see an old man, rather wild than wise In aspect, plainly clad, besmeared with dust, Stripped to his waistcoat, and that not too clean, More feared than all the Sultans ever seen.

LXXIV.

For everything seemed resting on his nod, As they could read in all eyes. Now to them, Who were accustomed, as a sort of god, To see the Sultan, rich in many a gem, Like an imperial peacock stalk abroad (That royal bird, whose tail's a diadem,) With all the pomp of Power, it was a doubt How Power could condescend to do without.

LXXV.

John Johnson, seeing their extreme dismay, Though little versed in feelings oriental, Suggested some slight comfort in his way: Don Juan, who was much more sentimental, Swore they should see him by the dawn of day, Or that the Russian army should repent all: And, strange to say, they found some consolation In this--for females like exaggeration.

LXXVI.

And then with tears, and sighs, and some slight kisses, They parted for the present--these to await, According to the artillery's hits or misses, What sages call Chance, Providence, or Fate-- (Uncertainty is one of many blisses, A mortgage on Humanity's estate;)[hv] While their belovéd friends began to arm, To burn a town which never did them harm.

LXXVII.

Suwarrow,--who but saw things in the gross. Being much too gross to see them in detail, Who calculated life as so much dross, And as the wind a widowed nation's wail, And cared as little for his army's loss (So that their efforts should at length prevail) As wife and friends did for the boils of Job,-- What was 't to him to hear two women sob?

LXXVIII.

Nothing.--The work of Glory still went on In preparations for a cannonade As terrible as that of Ilion, If Homer had found mortars ready made; But now, instead of slaying Priam's son, We only can but talk of escalade, Bombs, drums, guns, bastions, batteries, bayonets, bullets-- Hard words, which stick in the soft Muses' gullets.

LXXIX.

Oh, thou eternal Homer! who couldst charm All ears, though long; all ages, though so short, By merely wielding with poetic arm Arms to which men will never more resort, Unless gunpowder should be found to harm Much less than is the hope of every court, Which now is leagued young Freedom to annoy; But they will not find Liberty a Troy:--

LXXX.

Oh, thou eternal Homer! I have now To paint a siege, wherein more men were slain, With deadlier engines and a speedier blow, Than in thy Greek gazette of that campaign; And yet, like all men else, I must allow, To vie with thee would be about as vain As for a brook to cope with Ocean's flood,-- But still we moderns equal you in blood:[hw]

LXXXI.

If not in poetry, at least in fact; And fact is Truth, the grand desideratum! Of which, howe'er the Muse describes each act, There should be ne'ertheless a slight substratum. But now the town is going to be attacked; Great deeds are doing--how shall I relate 'em? Souls of immortal Generals! Phoebus watches To colour up his rays from your despatches.[hx]

LXXXII.

Oh, ye great bulletins of Bonaparte! Oh, ye less grand long lists of killed and wounded! Shade of Leonidas, who fought so hearty, When my poor Greece was once, as now, surrounded! Oh, Cæsar's Commentaries! now impart, ye Shadows of Glory! (lest I be confounded), A portion of your fading twilight hues-- So beautiful, so fleeting--to the Muse.

LXXXIII.

When I call "fading" martial immortality, I mean, that every age and every year, And almost every day, in sad reality, Some sucking hero is compelled to rear, Who, when we come to sum up the totality Of deeds to human happiness most dear, Turns out to be a butcher in great business, Afflicting young folks with a sort of dizziness.

LXXXIV.

Medals, rank, ribands, lace, embroidery, scarlet, Are things immortal to immortal man, As purple to the Babylonian harlot;[hy] An uniform to boys is like a fan To women; there is scarce a crimson varlet But deems himself the first in Glory's van. But Glory's glory; and if you would find What _that_ is--ask the pig who sees the wind!

LXXXV.

At least _he feels it_, and some say he _sees_, Because he runs before it like a pig; Or, if that simple sentence should displease, Say, that he scuds before it like a brig, A schooner, or--but it is time to ease This Canto, ere my Muse perceives fatigue. The next shall ring a peal to shake all people, Like a bob-major from a village steeple.

LXXXVI.

Hark! through the silence of the cold, dull night, The hum of armies gathering rank on rank! Lo! dusky masses steal in dubious sight Along the leaguered wall and bristling bank Of the armed river, while with straggling light The stars peep through the vapours dim and dank, Which curl in various wreaths:--how soon the smoke Of Hell shall pall them in a deeper cloak!

LXXXVII.

Here pause we for the present--as even then That awful pause, dividing Life from Death, Struck for an instant on the hearts of men,-- Thousands of whom were drawing their last breath! A moment--and all will be Life again! The march! the charge! the shouts of either faith, Hurrah! and Allah! and one moment more-- The death-cry drowning in the Battle's roar.[hz][411]

FOOTNOTES:

{302}[364] ["These [the seventh and eighth] Cantos contain a full detail (like the storm in Canto Second) of the siege and assault of Ismael, with much of sarcasm on those butchers in large business, your mercenary soldiery.... With these things and these fellows it is necessary, in the present clash of philosophy and tyranny, to throw away the scabbard. I know it is against fearful odds; but the battle must be fought; and it will be eventually for the good of mankind, whatever it may be for the individual who risks himself."--Letter to Moore, August 8, 1822, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 101.]

[365] §§[Byron attributes this phrase to Orator Henley (_Letters_, 1898, i. 227); and to Bayes in the Duke of Buckingham's play, _The Rehearsal_ (_Letters_, 1901, v. 80).]

[hh] _Of Fenelon, of Calvin and of Christ_.--[MS. erased.]

[366] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto II. stanza vii. line 1, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 103, note 2.]

[hi] _Picking a pebble on the shore of Truth_.--[MS. erased.]

[367] ["Sir Isaac Newton, a little before he died, said, 'I don't know what I may seem to the world; but, as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.'"--Spence, _Anecdotes_ (quoting Chevalier Ramsay), 1858, p. 40.]

{304}[hj] _From fools who dread to know the truth of Life_.--[MS. erased.]

[368] [Compare "Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog," lines 7, sq., _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 280.]

[369] [Aleksandr Vasilievitch Suvóroff (1729-1800) opened his attack on Ismail, November 30, 1790. His forces, including Kossacks, exceeded 27,000 men.--_Essai sur l'Histoire Ancienne et Moderne de la Nouvelle Russie_, par le Marquis Gabriel de Castelnau, 1827, ii. 201.]

[370] ["Ismaël est situé sur la rive gauche du bras gauche (i.e. the ilia) du Danube."--_Ibid._.]

{305}[371] [----"à peu près à quatre-vingts verstes de la mer: elle a près de trois milles toises de tour."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 201.]

[372] ["On a compris dans ces fortifications un faubourg moldave, situé à la gauche de la ville, sur une hauteur qui la domine: l'ouvrage a été terminé par un Grec. Pour donner une idée des talens de cet ingénieur, il suffira de dire qu'il fit placer les palissades perpendiculairement sur le parapet, de manière qu'elles favorisaient les assiégeans, et arrêtaient le feu des assiégés."--_Ibid._, p. 202.]

[373] ["Le rempart en terre est prodigieusement élevé à cause de l'immense profondeur du fossé; il est cependant absolument rasant: il n'y a ni ouvrage avancé, ni chemin couvert."--_Ibid._, p. 202.]

[374] [Casemate is a work made under the rampart, like a cellar or cave, with loopholes to place guns in it, and is bomb proof.--_Milit. Dict._]

[375] [When the breastwork of a battery is only of such height that the guns may fire over it without being obliged to make embrasures, the guns are said to fire in barbet.--_Ibid._]

{306}[376] ["Un bastion de pierres, ouvert par une gorge très-étroite, et dont les murailles son fort épaisses, a une batterie casematée et une à barbette; il défend la rive du Danube. Du côté droit de la ville est un cavalier de quarante pieds d'élévation à pic, garni de vingt-deux pièces de canon, et qui défend la partie gauche."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 202.]

[377] ["Du côté du fleuve, la ville est absolument ouverte; les Turcs ne croyaient pas que les Russes pussent jamais avoir une flotille dans le Danube."--_Ibid._, p. 203.]

[378] [Meknop [supposed to be a corruption of McNab], etc., in line three, are real names: Strongenoff stands for Strogonof, Tschitsshakoff for Tchitchagof, and, perhaps, Chokenoff for Tchoglokof.]

{307}[hk] ---- _these discords of damnation_.--[MS. erased.]

[379] ["La première attaque était composée de trois colonnes, commandées par les lieutenans-generaux Paul Potiemkin, Serge Lwow, les généraux-majors Maurice Lascy, Théodore Meknop.... Trois autres colonnes ... avaient pour chefs le comte de Samoïlow, les généraux Êlie de Bezborodko, Michel Koutousow; les brigadiers Orlow, Platow, Ribaupierre.... La troisième attaque par eau n'avait que deux colonnes, sous les ordres des généraux-majors Ribas et Arséniew, des brigadiers Markoff et Tchépéga," etc.--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 207.

Compare--

"Oscharoffsky and Rostoffsky, And all the others that end in-offsky.

* * * * *

And Kutousoff he cut them off," etc.

Southey's _March to Moscow_, 1813.]

[380] [Count Boris Petrowitch Scheremetov, Russian general, died 1819; Prince Alexis Borisovitch Kourakin (1759-1829), and Count Alexis Iwanowitch Moussine-Pouschkine (1744-1817) were distinguished statesmen; Chrematoff is, perhaps, a rhyming double of Scherematoff, and Koklophti "a match-piece" to Koclobski.]

{308}[381] [Captain Smith, in the song--

"A Captain bold, in Halifax, That dwelt in country quarters, Seduc'd a maid who hang'd herself One Monday in her garters."

See George Colman's farce, _Love Laughs at Locksmiths_, 1818, p. 31.]

{309}[382] [Compare--

"While to my shame I see The imminent death of twenty thousand men, That for a fantasy and trick of fame Go to their graves like beds."

_Hamlet_, act iv. sc. 4, lines 56-59.]

[hl] _The Conquest seemed not difficult_----.--[MS. erased.]

[383] ["On s'était proposé deux buts également avantageux, par la construction de deux batteries sur l'île qui avoisine Ismaël: le premier, de bombarder la place, d'en abattre les principaux édifices avec du canon de quarante-huit, effet d'autant plus probable, que la ville étant bâtie en amphithéâtre, presque aucun coup ne serait perdu."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 203.]

[384] ["Le second objet était de profiter de ce moment d'alarme pour que la flottille, agissant en même temps, put détruire celle des Turcs. Un troisième motif, et vraisemblablement le plus plausible, était de jeter la consternation parmi les Turcs, et de les engager à capituler."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 203.]

{310}[hm] _Unless they are as game as bull-dogs or even tarriers_. or, _A thing which sometimes hath occurred to warriors_, _Unless they happened to be as game as tarriers_.-- [MS. A. Alternative reading.] _Unless they are Game as bull-dogs or even terriers_.--[MS. B.]

(Byron erased the reading of MS. B. and superscribed the reading of the text.)

[385] ["Une habitude blâmable, celle de mépriser son ennemi, fut la cause."--_Ibid._, p. 203.]

[386] [" ... du défaut de perfection dans la construction des batteries; on voulait agir promptement, et on négligea de donner aux ouvrages la solidité qu'ils exigaient."--_Ibid._, p. 203.]

{311}[387] ["Le même esprit fit manquer l'effet de trois brûlots; on calcula mal la distance; on se pressa d'allumer la méche, ils brûlèrent au milieu du fleuve, et quoiqu'il fût six heures du matin, les Turcs, encore couchés, n'en prirent aucun ombrage."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 203.]

[388] ["1^er^ Dec. 1790. La flottille russe s'avança vers les sept heures; il en était neuf lorsqu'elle se trouva à cinquante toises de la ville [d'Ismaël]: elle souffrit, avec une constance calme, un feu de mitraille et de mousqueterie...."--_Ibid._, p. 204.]

[389] [" ... près de six heures ... les batteries de terre secondaient la flottille; mais on reconnut alors que les canonnades ne suffiraient pas pour réduire la place, on fit la retraite à une heure. Un lançon sauta pendant l'action, un autre dériva par la force du courant, et fut pris par l'ennemi."'--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 204.]

{312}[390] [For Delhis, see _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii., note 1.]

[391] ["Les Turcs perdirent beaucoup de monde et plusieurs vaisseaux. A peine la retraite des Russes fut-elle remarquée, que les plus braves d'entre les ennemis se jetèrent dans de petites barques et essayèrent une descente: le Comte de Damas les mit en fuite, et leur tua plusieurs officiers et grand nombre de soldats."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, p. 204.]

[392] ["On ne tarirait pas si on voulait rapporter tout ce que les Russes firent de mémorable dans cette journée; pour conter les hauts faits d'armes, pour particulariser toutes les actions d'éclat, il faudrait composer des volumes."--_Ibid._, p. 204.]

[393] ["Parmi les étrangers, le prince de Ligne se distingua de manière à mériter l'estime générale; de vrais chevaliers français, attirés par l'amour de la gloire, se montrèrent dignes d'elle: les plus marquans étaient le jeune Duc de Richelieu, les Comtes de Langeron et de Damas."--_Ibid._, p. 204.

Andrault, Comte de Langeron, born at Paris, January 13, 1763, on the outbreak of the Revolution (1790) took service in the Russian Army. He fought against the Swedes in 1790, and the Turks in 1791, and, after serving as a volunteer in the army of the Duke of Brunswick (1792-93), returned to Russia, and was raised to the rank of general in 1799. He commanded a division of the Russian Army in the German campaign of 1813, and entered Paris with Blücher, March 30, 1814. He was afterwards Governor of Odessa and of New Russia; and, a second time, fought against the Turks in 1828. He died at St. Petersburg, July 4, 1831. Joseph Elizabeth Roger, Comte de Damas d'Antigny, born at Paris, September 4, 1765, owed his commission in the Russian Army to the influence of the Prince de Ligne. He fought against the Turks in 1787-88, and was distinguished for bravery and daring. At the Restoration in 1814 he re-entered the French Army, was made Governor of Lyons; shared the temporary exile of Louis XVIII. at Ghent in 1815, and, in the following year, as commandant of a division, took part in repressing the revolutionary disturbances in the central and southern departments of France. He died at Cirey, September 3, 1823.--_La Grande Encyclopédie_.]

{313}[394] [Charles Joseph, Prince de Ligne, was born at Brussels, May 12, 1735. In 1782 he visited St. Petersburg as envoy of the Emperor Joseph II., won Catherine's favour, and was appointed Field Marshal in the Russian Army. In 1788 he was sent to assist Potemkin at the siege of Ochakof. His _Mélanges Militaires, etc._, were first published in 1795. He died in November, 1814.

Josef de Ribas (1737-c. 1797).]

[395] ["L'Amiral de Ribas ... déclara, en plein conseil, que ce n'était qu'en donnant l'assaut qu'on obtiendrait la place: cet avis parut hardi; on lui opposa mille raisons, auxquelles il répondit par de meilleures." --_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii, 205.]

{314}[396] [Prince (Gregor Alexandrovitch) Potemkin, born 1736, died October 15, 1791. "He alighted from his carriage in the midst of the highway, threw himself on the grass, and died under a tree" (_Life of Catherine II_., by W. Tooke, 1880, iii. 324). His character has been drawn by Louis Philippe, Comte de Ségur, who, writes Tooke (_ibid_., p. 326), "lived a long time in habits of intimacy with him, and was so obliging as to delineate it at our solicitation." "In his person were collected the most opposite defects and advantages of every kind. He was avaricious and ostentatious, ... haughty and obliging, politic and confiding, licentious and superstitious, bold and timid, ambitious and indiscreet; lavish of his bounties to his relations, his mistresses, and his favourites, yet frequently paying neither his household nor his creditors. His consequence always depended on a woman, and he was always unfaithful to her. Nothing could equal the activity of his mind, nor the indolence of his body. No dangers could appal his courage; no difficulties force him to abandon his projects. But the success of an enterprise always brought on disgust.... Everything with him was desultory; business, pleasure, temper, carriage. His presence was a restraint on every company. He was morose to all that stood in awe of him, and caressed all such as accosted him with familiarity.... None had read less than he; few people were better informed.... One while he formed the project of becoming Duke of Courland; at another he thought of bestowing on himself the crown of Poland. He frequently gave intimations of an intention to make himself a bishop, or even a simple monk. He built a superb palace, and wanted to sell it before it was finished. In his youth he had pleased her [Catherine] by the ardour of his passion, by his valour, and by his masculine beauty.... Become the rival of Orloff, he performed for his sovereign whatever the most romantic passion could inspire. He put out his eye, to free it from a blemish which diminished his beauty. Banished by his rival, he ran to meet death in battle, and returned with glory."]

{315}[397] ["Ce projet, remis à un autre jour, éprouva encore les plus grandes difficultés; son courage les surmonta: il ne s'agíssait que de déterminer le Prince Potiemkin; il y réussit. Tandis qu'il se démenait pour l'exécution de projet agréé, on construisait de nouvelles batteries; on comptait, le 12 décembre, quatre-vingts pièces de canon sur le bord du Danube, et cette journée se passa en vives canonnades."--_Histoire de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 205.]

[hn] _Into all aspirants for martial praise_.--[MS. erased.]

[398] ["Le 13^e^, une partie des troupes était embarquée; on allait lever le siège: un courrier arrive.... Ce courrier annonce, de la part du prince, que le maréchal Souwarow va prendre le commandement des forces réunies sous Ismaël."--_Ibid._, p. 205.]

{316}[399] ["La lettre du Prince Potiemkin à Souwarow est très courte; elle peint le caractere de ces deux personnages. La voici dans toute sa teneur: _'Vous prendrez Ismaël à quel frix que ce soit!'_"--_Hist, de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 205.]

[400] ["[Le courrier] est témoin des cris de joie du Turc, qui se croyait à la fin de ses maux."-_Ibid_., p. 205.]

[401] ["Beat," as in "dead-beat," is occasionally used for "beaten."--See _N.E.D._, art. "Beat," 10.]

[402] ["Le 16^e^, on voit venir de loin deux hommes courant à toute bride: on les prit pour des Kozaks; l'un était Souwarow, et l'autre son guide, portant un paquet gros comme le poing, et renfermant le bagage du général."-_Hist, de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 205.

M. de Castelnau in his description of the arrival of Suvóroff on the field of battle (_Hist, de la_ N.R., 1827, ii. pp, 205, 206) summarizes the Journal of the Duc de Richelieu. The original passage runs as follows:--

"L'arrivée du comte Souvorow produisit un grand effet parmi les troupes.... La manière d'être plus que simple, puis-qu'il logeait sous une canonnière, et qu'il n'avait pas même de chaises dans sa tente, son affabilité, sa bonhomie lui conciliaient l'affection de tous les individus de son armée. Cet homme singulier qui ressemble plus à un chef de cosaques ou de Tartares, qu'au général d'une armée européenne, est doué d'une intrépidité et d'une hardiesse peu communes.... La manière de vivre, de s'habiller et de parler du comte Souvorow, est aussi singulière que ses opinions militaires.... II mangeait dans sa tente assis par terre autour d'une natte sur laquelle il prenait le plus détestable repas. L'apres-midi, un semblable repas lui servait de souper, il s'endormait ensuite pendant quelques heures, passait une partie de la nuit à chanter, et a la pointe du jour il sortait presque nu et se roulait sur l'herbe assurant que cet exercice lui était necessaire pour le preserver des rhumatismes.... Sa manière de s'exprimer dans toutes les langues est aussi singulière que toute sa façon d'être, ses phrases sont incohérentes, et s'il n'est pas insensé, il dit et fait du moins tout ce qu'il faut pour le paraître; mais il est heureux et cette quality dont le Cardinal Mazarin faisait tant de cas, est, à bon droit, fort estimée de l'Impératrice et du Prince Potemkin ... Le moment de l'arrivée du Comte Souvorow fut annonce par une décharge générale des batteries ou camp et de la flotte."--_Journal de mon Voyage en Allemagne_. _Soc, Imp. d'Hist de Russie_, 1886, tom. liv. pp. 168, 169.]

{317}[ho] _That sage John Bull_----.--[MS.]

_That fool John Bull_----.--[MS. erased.]

{319}[403] ["La première attaque était composée de trois colonnes ... Trois autres colonnes, destinées a la seconde attaque, avaient pour chefs, etc.... La troisième attaque par eau n'avait que deux colonnes."--_Hist, de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 207.]

[404] ["On construisit de nouvelles batteries le 18^e^.... On tint un conseil de guerre, on y examina les plans pour l'assaut proposés par M. de Ribas, ils réunirent tous les souffrages."--_Ibid._, p. 208.]

[hp] _For once by some odd sort of magnanimity._--[MS. erased.]

[hq] _Bellona shook her spear with much sublimity._--[MS. erased.]

[405] Fact: Suwaroff did this in person.

[hr]---- _and neither swerve nor spill._--[MS. erased.]

[406] ["Le 19^e^ et le 20^e^, Souwarow exerçailes soldats; il leur montra comment il fallait s'y prendre pour escalader; il enseigna aux recrues la manière de donner le coup de baïonnette."--_Ibid_., p. 208.]

{320}[407] ["Pour ces exercices d'un nouveau genre, il se servit de fascines disposées de manière a représenter un Turc."-_Hist, de la Nauvelle Russie_, ii. 208.]

[hs] _At which your wise men laughed, but all their Wit is_ _Lost, for his repartee was taking cities._--[MS. erased.]

[ht] _For some were thinking of their wives and families,_ _And others of themselves_ (_as poet Samuel is_). --[MS. Alternative reading.] _And others of themselves_ (_as my friend Samuel is_). --[MS. erased.]

[408] [For a detailed account of Suvóroff's personal characteristics, see _The Life of Field-Marshal Souvaroff_, by L.M.P. Tranchant de Laverne, 1814, pp. 267-291; and _Suvóroff_, by Lieut.-Colonel Spalding, 1890, pp. 222-229.

Byron's epithet "buffoon" (line 5) may, perhaps, be traced to the following anecdote recorded by Tranchant de Laverne (p. 281): "During the first war of Poland ... he published, in the order of the day, that at the first crowing of the cock the troops would march to attack the enemy, and caused the spy to send word that the Russians would be upon them some time after midnight. But about eight o'clock Souvarof ran through the camp, imitating the crowing of a cock.... The enemy, completely surprised, lost a great number of men."

For his "praying" (line 6), _vide ibid._, pp. 272, 273: "He made a short prayer after each meal, and again when going to bed. He usually performed his devotions before an image of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of Russia."

"Half-dirt" (line 5) is, however, a calumny (_ibid_. p. 272): "It was his custom to rise at the earliest dawn; several buckets of cold water were thrown over his naked body."

The same writer (p. 268) repudiates the charges of excessive barbarity and cruelty brought against Suvóroff by C.F.P. Masson, in his _Mémoires Secrets sur la Russie_ (_vide_, e.g., ed. 1800, i. 311): "Souvorow ne scroit que le plus ridicule bouffon, s'il n'étoit pas montré le plus barbare guerrier. C'est un monstre, qui renferme dans le corps d'un singe l'âme d'un chien de boucher. Attila, son compatriote, et don't il descend, peut-être ne fut ni si heureux, ni si féroce."

Suvóroff did not regard himself as "half-demon." "Your pencil," he reminded the artist Müller, "will delineate the features of my face. These are visible: but my inner man is hidden. I must tell you that I have shed rivers of blood. I tremble, but I love my neighbour. In my whole life I have made no one unhappy; not an insect hath perished by my hand. I was little; I was big. In fortune's ebb and flow, relying on God, I stood immovable--even as now." (_Suvóroff_, 1890, p. 228, note.)]

{322}[409] [See, for instance, _The Storm_, in "Souvarof's Catechism," Appendix (pp. 299-305) to the _Life, etc._, by Tranchant de Laverne, 1814: "Break down the fence.... Fly over the walls! Stab them on the ramparts!... Fire down the streets! Fire briskly!... Kill every enemy in the streets! Let the cavalry hack them!" etc.]

{323}[410] [The "tusk" of the plough is the coulter or share. Compare "Dens vomeris" (Virg., _Georg._, i. 22).]

{324}[hu] _Of thine imaginary deathless bough_ _The unebbing sea of blood and tears must flow_.--[MS. erased.]

{326}[hv] _Entailed upon Humanity's estate_.--[MS. erased.]

{327}[hw] _As a brook's stream to cope with Ocean's flood shed_ _But still we moderns equal you in bloodshed_.--[MS. erased.]

{328}[hx] _As in a General's letter when well whacked_ _Whatever deeds be done I will relate 'em,_ _With some small variations in the text_ _Of killed and wounded who will not be missed_.--[MS. erased.]

[hy] _Whose leisure hours are wasted on an harlot_.--[MS. erased.]

{329}[hz] _The desperate death-cry and the Battle's roar_.--[MS. erased.]

[411] End of Canto 7. 1822.--[MS.]

CANTO THE EIGHTH.

I.

Oh, blood and thunder! and oh, blood and wounds! These are but vulgar oaths, as you may deem, Too gentle reader! and most shocking sounds:-- And so they are; yet thus is Glory's dream Unriddled, and as my true Muse expounds At present such things, since they are her theme, So be they her inspirers! Call them Mars, Bellona, what you will--they mean but wars.

II.

All was prepared--the fire, the sword, the men To wield them in their terrible array,-- The army, like a lion from his den, Marched forth with nerve and sinews bent to slay,-- A human Hydra, issuing from its fen To breathe destruction on its winding way, Whose heads were heroes, which cut off in vain Immediately in others grew again.

III.

History can only take things in the gross; But could we know them in detail, perchance In balancing the profit and the loss, War's merit it by no means might enhance, To waste so much gold for a little dross, As hath been done, mere conquest to advance. The drying up a single tear has more Of honest fame, than shedding seas of gore.

IV.

And why?--because it brings self-approbation; Whereas the other, after all its glare, Shouts, bridges, arches, pensions from a nation, Which (it may be) has not much left to spare, A higher title, or a loftier station, Though they may make Corruption gape or stare, Yet, in the end, except in Freedom's battles, Are nothing but a child of Murder's rattles.

V.

And such they are--and such they will be found: Not so Leonidas and Washington, Whose every battle-field is holy ground, Which breathes of nations saved, not worlds undone. How sweetly on the ear such echoes sound! While the mere victor's may appal or stun The servile and the vain--such names will be A watchword till the Future shall be free.

VI.

The night was dark, and the thick mist allowed Nought to be seen save the artillery's flame, Which arched the horizon like a fiery cloud, And in the Danube's waters shone the same--[412] A mirrored Hell! the volleying roar, and loud Long booming of each peal on peal, o'ercame The ear far more than thunder; for Heaven's flashes Spare, or smite rarely--Man's make millions ashes!

VII.

The column ordered on the assault scarce passed Beyond the Russian batteries a few toises, When up the bristling Moslem rose at last, Answering the Christian thunders with like voices: Then one vast fire, air, earth, and stream embraced, Which rocked as 't were beneath the mighty noises; While the whole rampart blazed like Etna, when The restless Titan hiccups in his den;[413]

VIII.

And one enormous shout of "Allah!"[414] rose In the same moment, loud as even the roar Of War's most mortal engines, to their foes Hurling defiance: city, stream, and shore Resounded "Allah!" and the clouds which close With thickening canopy the conflict o'er, Vibrate to the Eternal name. Hark! through All sounds it pierceth--"Allah! Allah Hu!"[415]

IX.

The columns were in movement one and all, But of the portion which attacked by water, Thicker than leaves the lives began to fall,[416] Though led by Arseniew, that great son of slaughter, As brave as ever faced both bomb and ball. "Carnage" (so Wordsworth tells you) "is God's daughter:"[417] If _he_ speak truth, she is Christ's sister, and Just now behaved as in the Holy Land.

X.

The Prince de Ligne was wounded in the knee; Count Chapeau-Bras,[ia]--too, had a ball between His cap and head,[418] which proves the head to be Aristocratic as was ever seen, Because it then received no injury More than the cap; in fact, the ball could mean No harm unto a right legitimate head; "Ashes to ashes"--why not lead to lead?

XI.

Also the General Markow, Brigadier, Insisting on removal of _the Prince_ Amidst some groaning thousands dying near,-- All common fellows, who might writhe and wince, And shriek for water into a deaf ear,-- The General Markow, who could thus evince His sympathy for rank, by the same token, To teach him greater, had his own leg broken.[419]

XII.

Three hundred cannon threw up their emetic, And thirty thousand muskets flung their pills Like hail, to make a bloody Diuretic.[420] Mortality! thou hast thy monthly bills: Thy plagues--thy famines--thy physicians--yet tick, Like the death-watch, within our ears the ills Past, present, and to come;--but all may yield To the true portrait of one battle-field;

XIII.

There the still varying pangs, which multiply Until their very number makes men hard By the infinities of agony, Which meet the gaze, whate'er it may regard-- The groan, the roll in dust, the all-_white_ eye Turned back within its socket,--these reward Your rank and file by thousands, while the rest May win perhaps a riband at the breast!

XIV.

Yet I love Glory;--Glory's a great thing:-- Think what it is to be in your old age Maintained at the expense of your good King: A moderate pension shakes full many a sage, And Heroes are but made for bards to sing, Which is still better--thus, in verse, to wage Your wars eternally, besides enjoying Half-pay for life, make Mankind worth destroying.

XV.

The troops, already disembarked, pushed on To take a battery on the right: the others, Who landed lower down, their landing done, Had set to work as briskly as their brothers: Being grenadiers, they mounted one by one, Cheerful as children climb the breasts of mothers, O'er the intrenchment and the palisade,[421] Quite orderly, as if upon parade.

XVI.

And this was admirable: for so hot The fire was, that were red Vesuvius loaded, Besides its lava, with all sorts of shot And shells or hells, it could not more have goaded. Of officers a third fell on the spot, A thing which Victory by no means boded To gentlemen engaged in the assault: Hounds, when the huntsman tumbles, are at fault.

XVII.

But here I leave the general concern To track our Hero on his path of Fame: He must his laurels separately earn-- For fifty thousand heroes, name by name, Though all deserving equally to turn A couplet, or an elegy to claim, Would form a lengthy lexicon of Glory, And, what is worse still, a much longer story:

XVIII.

And therefore we must give the greater number To the Gazette--which doubtless fairly dealt By the deceased, who lie in famous slumber In ditches, fields, or wheresoe'er they felt Their clay for the last time their souls encumber;-- Thrice happy he whose name has been well spelt In the despatch: I knew a man whose loss Was printed _Grove_, although his name was Grose.[422]

XIX.

Juan and Johnson joined a certain corps, And fought away with might and main, not knowing The way which they had never trod before, And still less guessing where they might be going; But on they marched, dead bodies trampling o'er, Firing, and thrusting, slashing, sweating, glowing, But fighting thoughtlessly enough to win, To their _two_ selves, _one_ whole bright bulletin.

XX.

Thus on they wallowed in the bloody mire Of dead and dying thousands,--sometimes gaining A yard or two of ground, which brought them nigher To some odd angle for which all were straining; At other times, repulsed by the close fire, Which really poured as if all Hell were raining Instead of Heaven, they stumbled backwards o'er A wounded comrade, sprawling in his gore.

XXI.

Though 't was Don Juan's first of fields, and though The nightly muster and the silent march In the chill dark, when Courage does not glow So much as under a triumphal arch, Perhaps might make him shiver, yawn, or throw A glance on the dull clouds (as thick as starch, Which stiffened Heaven) as if he wished for day;-- Yet for all this he did not run away.

XXII.

Indeed he could not. But what if he had? There _have been_ and _are_ heroes who begun With something not much better, or as bad: Frederick the Great from Molwitz[423] deigned to run, For the first and last time; for, like a pad, Or hawk, or bride, most mortals after one Warm bout are broken in to their new tricks, And fight like fiends for pay or politics.

XXIII.

He was what Erin calls, in her sublime Old Erse or Irish, or it may be _Punic_;-- (The antiquarians[424]--who can settle Time, Which settles all things, Roman, Greek, or Runic-- Swear that Pat's language sprung from the same clime With Hannibal, and wears the Tyrian tunic Of Dido's alphabet--and this is rational As any other notion, and not national;)--

XXIV.

But Juan was quite "a broth of a boy," A thing of impulse and a child of song; Now swimming in the sentiment of joy, Or the _sensation_ (if that phrase seem wrong), And afterward, if he must needs destroy, In such good company as always throng To battles, sieges, and that kind of pleasure, No less delighted to employ his leisure;

XXV.

But always without malice: if he warred Or loved, it was with what we call "the best Intentions," which form all Mankind's _trump card_, To be produced when brought up to the test. The statesman--hero--harlot--lawyer--ward Off each attack, when people are in quest Of their designs, by saying they _meant well_; 'T is pity "that such meaning should pave Hell."[425]

XXVI.

I almost lately have begun to doubt Whether Hell's pavement--if it be so _paved_-- Must not have latterly been quite worn out, Not by the numbers good intent hath saved, But by the mass who go below without Those ancient good intentions, which once shaved And smoothed the brimstone of that street of Hell Which bears the greatest likeness to Pall Mall.[ib]

XXVII.

Juan, by some strange chance, which oft divides Warrior from warrior in their grim career, Like chastest wives from constant husbands' sides Just at the close of the first bridal year, By one of those odd turns of Fortune's tides, Was on a sudden rather puzzled here, When, after a good deal of heavy firing, He found himself alone, and friends retiring.

XXVIII.

I don't know how the thing occurred--it might Be that the greater part were killed or wounded, And that the rest had faced unto the right About; a circumstance which has confounded Cæsar himself, who, in the very sight Of his whole army, which so much abounded In courage, was obliged to snatch a shield, And rally back his Romans to the field.[426]

XXIX.

Juan, who had no shield to snatch, and was No Cæsar, but a fine young lad, who fought He knew not why, arriving at this pass, Stopped for a minute, as perhaps he ought For a much longer time; then, like an ass (Start not, kind reader, since great Homer[427] thought This simile enough for Ajax, Juan Perhaps may find it better than a new one);

XXX.

Then, like an ass, he went upon his way, And, what was stranger, never looked behind; But seeing, flashing forward, like the day Over the hills, a fire enough to blind Those who dislike to look upon a fray, He stumbled on, to try if he could find A path, to add his own slight arm and forces To corps, the greater part of which were corses.

XXXI.

Perceiving then no more the commandant Of his own corps, nor even the corps, which had Quite disappeared--the gods know how! (I can't Account for everything which may look bad In history; but we at least may grant It was not marvellous that a mere lad, In search of Glory, should look on before, Nor care a pinch of snuff about his corps:)--[ic]

XXXII.

Perceiving nor commander nor commanded, And left at large, like a young heir, to make His way to--where he knew not--single handed; As travellers follow over bog and brake An "ignis fatuus;" or as sailors stranded Unto the nearest hut themselves betake; So Juan, following Honour and his nose, Rushed where the thickest fire announced most foes.[428]

XXXIII.

He knew not where he was, nor greatly cared, For he was dizzy, busy, and his veins Filled as with lightning--for his spirit shared The hour, as is the case with lively brains; And where the hottest fire was seen and heard, And the loud cannon pealed his hoarsest strains, He rushed, while earth and air were sadly shaken By thy humane discovery, Friar Bacon![id][429]

XXXIV.

And as he rushed along, it came to pass he Fell in with what was late the second column, Under the orders of the General Lascy, But now reduced, as is a bulky volume Into an elegant extract (much less massy) Of heroism, and took his place with solemn Air 'midst the rest, who kept their valiant faces And levelled weapons still against the Glacis.[ie]

XXXV.

Just at this crisis up came Johnson too, Who had "retreated," as the phrase is when Men run away much rather than go through Destruction's jaws into the Devil's den; But Johnson was a clever fellow, who Knew when and how "to cut and come again," And never ran away, except when running Was nothing but a valorous kind of cunning.

XXXVI.

And so, when all his corps were dead or dying, Except Don Juan, a mere novice, whose More virgin valour never dreamt of flying, From ignorance of danger, which indues Its votaries, like Innocence relying On its own strength, with careless nerves and thews,-- Johnson retired a little, just to rally Those who catch cold in "shadows of Death's valley."

XXXVII.

And there, a little sheltered from the shot, Which rained from bastion, battery, parapet, Rampart, wall, casement, house--for there was not In this extensive city, sore beset By Christian soldiery, a single spot Which did not combat like the Devil, as yet,-- He found a number of Chasseurs, all scattered By the resistance of the chase they battered.

XXXVIII.

And these he called on; and, what 's strange, they came Unto his call, unlike "the spirits from The vasty deep," to whom you may exclaim, Says Hotspur, long ere they will leave their home:--[430] Their reasons were uncertainty, or shame At shrinking from a bullet or a bomb, And that odd impulse, which in wars or creeds[if] Makes men, like cattle, follow him who leads.

XXXIX.

By Jove! he was a noble fellow, Johnson, And though his name, than Ajax or Achilles, Sounds less harmonious, underneath the sun soon We shall not see his likeness: he could kill his Man quite as quietly as blows the Monsoon Her steady breath (which some months the same _still_ is): Seldom he varied feature, hue, or muscle, And could be very busy without bustle;

XL.

And therefore, when he ran away, he did so Upon reflection, knowing that behind He would find others who would fain be rid so Of idle apprehensions, which like wind Trouble heroic stomachs. Though their lids so Oft are soon closed, all heroes are not blind, But when they light upon immediate death, Retire a little, merely to take breath.

XLI.

But Johnson only ran off, to return With many other warriors, as we said, Unto that rather somewhat misty bourne, Which Hamlet tells us is a pass of dread.[431] To Jack, howe'er, this gave but slight concern: His soul (like galvanism upon the dead) Acted upon the living as on wire, And led them back into the heaviest fire.

XLII.

Egad! they found the second time what they The first time thought quite terrible enough To fly from, malgré all which people say Of Glory, and all that immortal stuff Which fills a regiment (besides their pay, That daily shilling which makes warriors tough)-- They found on their return the self-same welcome, Which made some _think_, and others _know_, a _hell_ come.

XLIII.

They fell as thick as harvests beneath hail, Grass before scythes, or corn below the sickle, Proving that trite old truth, that Life's as frail As any other boon for which men stickle. The Turkish batteries thrashed them like a flail, Or a good boxer, into a sad pickle Putting the very bravest, who were knocked Upon the head before their guns were cocked.

XLIV.

The Turks behind the traverses and flanks Of the next bastion, fired away like devils, And swept, as gales sweep foam away, whole ranks: However, Heaven knows how, the Fate who levels Towns--nations--worlds, in her revolving pranks, So ordered it, amidst these sulphury revels, That Johnson, and some few who had not scampered, Reached the interior "talus"[432] of the rampart.[433]

XLV.

First one or two, then five, six, and a dozen Came mounting quickly up, for it was now All neck or nothing, as, like pitch or rosin, Flame was showered forth above, as well 's below, So that you scarce could say who best had chosen, The gentlemen that were the first to show Their martial faces on the parapet, Or those who thought it brave to wait as yet.

XLVI.

But those who scaled, found out that their advance Was favoured by an accident or blunder: The Greek or Turkish Cohorn's[434] ignorance Had pallisadoed in a way you'd wonder To see in forts of Netherlands or France-- (Though these to our Gibraltar must knock under)-- Right in the middle of the parapet Just named, these palisades were primly set:[435]

XLVII.

So that on either side some nine or ten Paces were left, whereon you could contrive To march; a great convenience to our men, At least to all those who were left alive, Who thus could form a line and fight again; And that which farther aided them to strive Was, that they could kick down the palisades, Which scarcely rose much higher than grass blades.[436]

XLVIII.

Among the first,--I will not say _the first_, For such precedence upon such occasions Will oftentimes make deadly quarrels burst Out between friends as well as allied nations: The Briton must be bold who really durst Put to such trial John Bull's partial patience, As say that Wellington at Waterloo Was beaten,--though the Prussians say so too;--

XLIX.

And that if Blucher, Bulow, Gneisenau, And God knows who besides in "au" and "ow," Had not come up in time to cast an awe[437] Into the hearts of those who fought till now As tigers combat with an empty craw, The Duke of Wellington had ceased to show His Orders--also to receive his pensions, Which are the heaviest that our history mentions.

L.

But never mind;--"God save the King!" and _Kings!_ For if _he_ don't, I doubt if _men_ will longer-- I think I hear a little bird, who sings The people by and by will be the stronger: The veriest jade will wince whose harness wrings So much into the raw as quite to wrong her Beyond the rules of posting,--and the mob At last fall sick of imitating Job.

LI.

At first it grumbles, then it swears, and then, Like David, flings smooth pebbles 'gainst a Giant; At last it takes to weapons such as men Snatch when Despair makes human hearts less pliant. Then comes "the tug of war;"--'t will come again, I rather doubt; and I would fain say "fie on 't," If I had not perceived that Revolution Alone can save the earth from Hell's pollution.

LII.

But to continue:--I say not _the_ first, But of the first, our little friend Don Juan Walked o'er the walls of Ismail, as if nursed Amidst such scenes--though this was quite a new one To him, and I should hope to _most_. The thirst Of Glory, which so pierces through and through one, Pervaded him--although a generous creature, As warm in heart as feminine in feature.[ig]

LIII.

And here he was--who upon Woman's breast, Even from a child, felt like a child; howe'er The Man in all the rest might be confessed, To him it was Elysium to be there; And he could even withstand that awkward test Which Rousseau points out to the dubious fair, "Observe your lover when he _leaves_ your arms;" But Juan never _left_ them--while they had charms,

LIV.

Unless compelled by Fate, or wave, or wind, Or near relations--who are much the same. But _here_ he was!--where each tie that can bind Humanity must yield to steel and flame: And _he_ whose very body was all mind, Flung here by Fate or Circumstance, which tame The loftiest, hurried by the time and place, Dashed on like a spurred blood-horse in a race.

LV.

So was his blood stirred while he found resistance, As is the hunter's at the five-bar gate, Or double post and rail, where the existence Of Britain's youth depends upon their weight--The lightest being the safest: at a distance He hated cruelty, as all men hate Blood, until heated--and even then his own At times would curdle o'er some heavy groan.

LVI.

The General Lascy, who had been hard pressed, Seeing arrive an aid so opportune As were some hundred youngsters all abreast, Who came as if just dropped down from the moon To Juan, who was nearest him, addressed His thanks, and hopes to take the city soon, Not reckoning him to be a "base Bezonian"[438] (As Pistol calls it), but a young Livonian.[439]

LVII.

Juan, to whom he spoke in German, knew As much of German as of Sanscrit, and In answer made an inclination to The General who held him in command; For seeing one with ribands, black and blue, Stars, medals, and a bloody sword in hand, Addressing him in tones which seemed to thank, He recognised an officer of rank.

LVIII.

Short speeches pass between two men who speak No common language; and besides, in time Of war and taking towns, when many a shriek Rings o'er the dialogue, and many a crime Is perpetrated ere a word can break Upon the ear, and sounds of horror chime In like church-bells, with sigh, howl, groan, yell, prayer, There cannot be much conversation there.

LIX.

And therefore all we have related in Two long octaves, passed in a little minute; But in the same small minute, every sin Contrived to get itself comprised within it. The very cannon, deafened by the din, Grew dumb, for you might almost hear a linnet, As soon as thunder, 'midst the general noise Of Human Nature's agonizing voice!

LX.

The town was entered. Oh Eternity!-- "God made the country, and man made the town," So Cowper says[440]--and I begin to be Of his opinion, when I see cast down Rome--Babylon-Tyre-Carthage--Nineveh-- All walls men know, and many never known; And pondering on the present and the past, To deem the woods shall be our home at last:--

LXI.

Of all men, saving Sylla,[441] the man-slayer, Who passes for in life and death most lucky, Of the great names which in our faces stare, The General Boon, back-woodsman of Kentucky,[442] Was happiest amongst mortals anywhere; For killing nothing but a bear or buck, he Enjoyed the lonely, vigorous, harmless days Of his old age in wilds of deepest maze.

LXII.

Crime came not near him--she is not the child Of solitude; Health shrank not from him--for Her home is in the rarely trodden wild, Where if men seek her not, and death be more Their choice than life, forgive them, as beguiled By habit to what their own hearts abhor-- In cities caged. The present case in point I Cite is, that Boon lived hunting up to ninety;

LXIII.

And, what's still stranger, left behind a name For which men vainly decimate the throng, Not only famous, but of that _good_ fame, Without which Glory's but a tavern song-- Simple, serene, the _antipodes_ of Shame, Which Hate nor Envy e'er could tinge with wrong; An active hermit, even in age the child Of Nature--or the Man of Ross[443] run wild.

LXIV.

'T is true he shrank from men even of his nation, When they built up unto his darling trees,-- He moved some hundred miles off, for a station Where there were fewer houses and more ease; The inconvenience of civilisation Is, that you neither can be pleased nor please; But where he met the individual man, He showed himself as kind as mortal can.

LXV.

He was not all alone: around him grew A sylvan tribe of children of the chase, Whose young, unwakened world was ever new, Nor sword nor sorrow yet had left a trace On her unwrinkled brow, nor could you view A frown on Nature's or on human face; The free-born forest found and kept them free, And fresh as is a torrent or a tree.

LXVI.

And tall, and strong, and swift of foot were they, Beyond the dwarfing city's pale abortions, Because their thoughts had never been the prey Of care or gain: the green woods were their portions; No sinking spirits told them they grew grey, No fashion made them apes of her distortions; Simple they were, not savage--and their rifles, Though very true, were not yet used for trifles.

LXVII.

Motion was in their days, Rest in their slumbers, And Cheerfulness the handmaid of their toil; Nor yet too many nor too few their numbers; Corruption could not make their hearts her soil; The lust which stings, the splendour which encumbers, With the free foresters divide no spoil; Serene, not sullen, were the solitudes Of this unsighing people of the woods.

LXVIII.

So much for Nature:--by way of variety, Now back to thy great joys, Civilisation! And the sweet consequence of large society, War--pestilence--the despot's desolation, The kingly scourge, the lust of notoriety, The millions slain by soldiers for their ration, The scenes like Catherine's boudoir at threescore,[444] With Ismail's storm to soften it the more.

LXIX.

The town was entered: first one column made Its sanguinary way good--then another; The reeking bayonet and the flashing blade Clashed 'gainst the scimitar, and babe and mother With distant shrieks were heard Heaven to upbraid:-- Still closer sulphury clouds began to smother The breath of morn and man, where foot by foot The maddened Turks their city still dispute.

LXX.

Koutousow,[445] he who afterwards beat back (With some assistance from the frost and snow) Napoleon on his bold and bloody track, It happened was himself beat back just now: He was a jolly fellow, and could crack His jest alike in face of friend or foe, Though Life, and Death, and Victory were at stake;[446] But here it seemed his jokes had ceased to take:

LXXI.

For having thrown himself into a ditch, Followed in haste by various grenadiers, Whose blood the puddle greatly did enrich, He climbed to where the parapet appears; But there his project reached its utmost pitch ('Mongst other deaths the General Ribaupierre's Was much regretted), for the Moslem men Threw them all down into the ditch again.[447]

LXXII.

And had it not been for some stray troops landing They knew not where, being carried by the stream To some spot, where they lost their understanding, And wandered up and down as in a dream, Until they reached, as daybreak was expanding, That which a portal to their eyes did seem,-- The great and gay Koutousow might have lain Where three parts of his column yet remain.[448]

LXXIII.

And scrambling round the rampart, these same troops, After the taking of the "Cavalier,"[449] Just as Koutousow's most "forlorn" of "hopes" Took, like chameleons, some slight tinge of fear, Opened the gate called "Kilia," to the groups[450] Of baffled heroes, who stood shyly near, Sliding knee-deep in lately frozen mud, Now thawed into a marsh of human blood.

LXXIV.

The Kozacks, or, if so you please, Cossacques-- (I don't much pique myself upon orthography, So that I do not grossly err in facts, Statistics, tactics, politics, and geography)-- Having been used to serve on horses' backs, And no great dilettanti in topography Of fortresses, but fighting where it pleases Their chiefs to order,--were all cut to pieces.[451]

LXXV.

Their column, though the Turkish batteries thundered Upon them, ne'ertheless had reached the rampart,[452] And naturally thought they could have plundered The city, without being farther hampered; But as it happens to brave men, they blundered-- The Turks at first pretended to have scampered, Only to draw them 'twixt two bastion corners,[453] From whence they sallied on those Christian scorners.

LXXVI.

Then being taken by the tail--a taking Fatal to bishops as to soldiers--these[ih] Cossacques were all cut off as day was breaking, And found their lives were let at a short lease--But perished without shivering or shaking, Leaving as ladders their heaped carcasses, O'er which Lieutenant-Colonel Yesouskoi Marched with the brave battalion of Polouzki:--[454]

LXXVII.

This valiant man killed all the Turks he met, But could not eat them, being in his turn Slain by some Mussulmans,[455] who would not yet, Without resistance, see their city burn. The walls were won, but 't was an even bet Which of the armies would have cause to mourn: 'T was blow for blow, disputing inch by inch, For one would not retreat, nor 't other flinch.

LXXVIII.

Another column also suffered much:-- And here we may remark with the historian, You should but give few cartridges to such Troops as are meant to march with greatest glory on: When matters must be carried by the touch Of the bright bayonet, and they all should hurry on; They sometimes, with a hankering for existence, Keep merely firing at a foolish distance.[456]

LXXIX.

A junction of the General Meknop's men (Without the General, who had fallen some time Before, being badly seconded just then) Was made at length with those who dared to climb The death-disgorging rampart once again; And, though the Turk's resistance was sublime, They took the bastion, which the Seraskier Defended at a price extremely dear.[457]

LXXX.

Juan and Johnson, and some volunteers, Among the foremost, offered him good quarter, A word which little suits with Seraskiers, Or at least suited not this valiant Tartar. He died, deserving well his country's tears, A savage sort of military martyr: An English naval officer, who wished To make him prisoner, was also dished:

LXXXI.

For all the answer to his proposition Was from a pistol-shot that laid him dead;[458] On which the rest, without more intermission, Began to lay about with steel and lead-- The pious metals most in requisition On such occasions: not a single head Was spared;--three thousand Moslems perished here, And sixteen bayonets pierced the Seraskier.[459]

LXXXII.

The city's taken--only part by part-- And Death is drunk with gore: there's not a street Where fights not to the last some desperate heart For those for whom it soon shall cease to beat.[460] Here War forgot his own destructive art In more destroying Nature; and the heat Of Carnage, like the Nile's sun-sodden slime, Engendered monstrous shapes of every crime.

LXXXIII.

A Russian officer, in martial tread Over a heap of bodies, felt his heel Seized fast, as if 't were by the serpent's head Whose fangs Eve taught her human seed to feel; In vain he kicked, and swore, and writhed, and bled, And howled for help as wolves do for a meal-- The teeth still kept their gratifying hold, As do the subtle snakes described of old.[ii]

LXXXIV.

A dying Moslem, who had felt the foot Of a foe o'er him, snatched at it, and bit The very tendon which is most acute-- (That which some ancient Muse or modern wit Named after thee, Achilles!) and quite through 't He made the teeth meet, nor relinquished it Even with his life--for (but they lie) 't is said To the live leg still clung the severed head.

LXXXV.

However this may be, 't is pretty sure The Russian officer for life was lamed, For the Turk's teeth stuck faster than a skewer, And left him 'midst the invalid and maimed: The regimental surgeon could not cure His patient, and, perhaps, was to be blamed More than the head of the inveterate foe, Which was cut off, and scarce even then let go.

LXXXVI.

But then the fact's a fact--and 't is the part Of a true poet to escape from fiction Whene'er he can; for there is little art in leaving verse more free from the restriction Of Truth than prose, unless to suit the mart For what is sometimes called poetic diction, And that outrageous appetite for lies Which Satan angles with for souls, like flies.[ij]

LXXXVII.

The city's taken, but not rendered!--No! There's not a Moslem that hath yielded sword: The blood may gush out, as the Danube's flow Rolls by the city wall; but deed nor word Acknowledge aught of dread of Death or foe: In vain the yell of victory is roared By the advancing Muscovite--the groan Of the last foe is echoed by his own.

LXXXVIII.

The bayonet pierces and the sabre cleaves, And human lives are lavished everywhere, As the year closing whirls the scarlet leaves[ik] When the stripped forest bows to the bleak air, And groans; and thus the peopled city grieves, Shorn of its best and loveliest, and left bare; But still it falls in vast and awful splinters, As oaks blown down with all their thousand winters.

LXXXIX.

It is an awful topic--but 't is not My cue for any time to be terrific: For checkered as is seen our human lot With good, and bad, and worse, alike prolific Of melancholy merriment, to quote Too much of one sort would be soporific;-- Without, or with, offence to friends or foes, I sketch your world exactly as it goes.

XC.

And one good action in the midst of crimes Is "quite refreshing," in the affected phrase[461] Of these ambrosial, Pharisaic times, With all their pretty milk-and-water ways, And may serve therefore to bedew these rhymes, A little scorched at present with the blaze Of conquest and its consequences, which Make Epic poesy so rare and rich.

XCI.

Upon a taken bastion, where there lay Thousands of slaughtered men, a yet warm group Of murdered women, who had found their way To this vain refuge, made the good heart droop And shudder;--while, as beautiful as May, A female child of ten years tried to stoop And hide her little palpitating breast Amidst the bodies lulled in bloody rest.[462]

XCII.

Two villanous Cossacques pursued the child With flashing eyes and weapons: matched with _them_, The rudest brute that roams Siberia's wild Has feelings pure and polished as a gem,-- The bear is civilised, the wolf is mild; And whom for this at last must we condemn? Their natures? or their sovereigns, who employ All arts to teach their subjects to destroy?

XCIII.

Their sabres glittered o'er her little head, Whence her fair hair rose twining with affright, Her hidden face was plunged amidst the dead: When Juan caught a glimpse of this sad sight, I shall not say exactly what he _said_, Because it might not solace "ears polite;"[463] But what he _did_, was to lay on their backs, The readiest way of reasoning with Cossacques.

XCIV.

One's hip he slashed, and split the other's shoulder, And drove them with their brutal yells to seek If there might be chirurgeons who could solder The wounds they richly merited,[464] and shriek Their baffled rage and pain; while waxing colder As he turned o'er each pale and gory cheek, Don Juan raised his little captive from The heap a moment more had made her tomb.

XCV.

And she was chill as they, and on her face A slender streak of blood announced how near Her fate had been to that of all her race; For the same blow which laid her mother here Had scarred her brow, and left its crimson trace, As the last link with all she had held dear;[465] But else unhurt, she opened her large eyes, And gazed on Juan with a wild surprise.

XCVI.

Just at this instant, while their eyes were fixed Upon each other, with dilated glance, In Juan's look, pain, pleasure, hope, fear, mixed With joy to save, and dread of some mischance Unto his protégée; while hers, transfixed With infant terrors, glared as from a trance, A pure, transparent, pale, yet radiant face, Like to a lighted alabaster vase:--[466]

XCVII.

Up came John Johnson (I will not say _"Jack,"_ For that were vulgar, cold, and common-place On great occasions, such as an attack On cities, as hath been the present case): Up Johnson came, with hundreds at his back, Exclaiming--"Juan! Juan! On, boy! brace Your arm, and I'll bet Moscow to a dollar, That you and I will win St. George's collar.[467]

XCVIII.

"The Seraskier is knocked upon the head, But the stone bastion still remains, wherein The old Pacha sits among some hundreds dead, Smoking his pipe quite calmly 'midst the din Of our artillery and his own: 't is said Our killed, already piled up to the chin, Lie round the battery; but still it batters, And grape in volleys, like a vineyard, scatters.

XCIX.

"Then up with me!"--But Juan answered, "Look Upon this child--I saved her--must not leave Her life to chance; but point me out some nook Of safety, where she less may shrink and grieve, And I am with you."--Whereon Johnson took A glance around--and shrugged--and twitched his sleeve And black silk neckcloth--and replied, "You're right; Poor thing! what's to be done? I'm puzzled quite."

C.

Said Juan--"Whatsoever is to be Done, I'll not quit her till she seems secure Of present life a good deal more than we."-- Quoth Johnson--"_Neither_ will I quite insure; But at the least _you_ may die gloriously."-- Juan replied--" At least I will endure Whate'er is to be borne--but not resign This child, who is parentless, and therefore mine."

CI.

Johnson said--"Juan, we've no time to lose; The child's a pretty child--a very pretty-- I never saw such eyes--but hark! now choose Between your fame and feelings, pride and pity:-- Hark! how the roar increases!--no excuse Will serve when there is plunder in a city;-- I should be loath to march without you, but, By God! we'll be too late for the first cut."

CII.

But Juan was immovable; until Johnson, who really loved him in his way, Picked out amongst his followers with some skill Such as he thought the least given up to prey, And, swearing, if the infant came to ill That they should all be shot on the next day,-- But if she were delivered safe and sound, They should at least have fifty rubles round,

CIII.

And all allowances besides of plunder In fair proportion with their comrades;--then Juan consented to march on through thunder, Which thinned at every step their ranks of men: And yet the rest rushed eagerly--no wonder, For they were heated by the hope of gain, A thing which happens everywhere each day-- No hero trusteth wholly to half pay.

CIV.

And such is Victory, and such is Man! At least nine tenths of what we call so:--God May have another name for half we scan As human beings, or his ways are odd. But to our subject: a brave Tartar Khan-- Or "Sultan," as the author (to whose nod In prose I bend my humble verse) doth call This chieftain--somehow would not yield at all:

CV.

But flanked by _five_ brave sons (such is polygamy, That she spawns warriors by the score, where none Are prosecuted for that false crime bigamy), He never would believe the city won While Courage clung but to a single twig.--Am I Describing Priam's, Peleus', or Jove's son? Neither--but a good, plain, old, temperate man, Who fought with his five children in the van.[468]

CVI.

To _take_ him was the point.--The truly brave, When they behold the brave oppressed with odds, Are touched with a desire to shield and save;-- A mixture of wild beasts and demi-gods Are they--now furious as the sweeping wave, Now moved with pity: even as sometimes nods The rugged tree unto the summer wind, Compassion breathes along the savage mind.

CVII.

But he would _not_ be _taken_, and replied To all the propositions of surrender By mowing Christians down on every side, As obstinate as Swedish Charles at Bender.[469] His five brave boys no less the foe defied; Whereon the Russian pathos grew less tender As being a virtue, like terrestrial patience,[il] Apt to wear out on trifling provocations.

CVIII.

And spite of Johnson and of Juan, who Expended all their Eastern phraseology In begging him, for God's sake, just to show So much less fight as might form an apology For _them_ in saving such a desperate foe-- He hewed away, like Doctors of Theology When they dispute with sceptics; and with curses Struck at his friends, as babies beat their nurses.

CIX.

Nay, he had wounded, though but slightly, both Juan and Johnson; whereupon they fell, The first with sighs, the second with an oath, Upon his angry Sultanship, pell-mell, And all around were grown exceeding wroth At such a pertinacious infidel, And poured upon him and his sons like rain, Which they resisted like a sandy plain

CX.

That drinks and still is dry. At last they perished-- His second son was levelled by a shot; His third was sabred; and the fourth, most cherished Of all the five, on bayonets met his lot; The fifth, who, by a Christian mother nourished, Had been neglected, ill-used, and what not, Because deformed, yet died all game and bottom,[im] To save a Sire who blushed that he begot him.

CXI.

The eldest was a true and tameless Tartar, As great a scorner of the Nazarene As ever Mahomet picked out for a martyr, Who only saw the black-eyed girls in green, Who make the beds of those who won't take quarter On earth, in Paradise; and when once seen, Those houris, like all other pretty creatures, Do just whate'er they please, by dint of features.

CXII.

And what they pleased to do with the young Khan In Heaven I know not, nor pretend to guess; But doubtless they prefer a fine young man To tough old heroes, and can do no less;[in] And that's the cause no doubt why, if we scan A field of battle's ghastly wilderness, For one rough, weather-beaten, veteran body, You'll find ten thousand handsome coxcombs bloody.

CXIII.

Your houris also have a natural pleasure In lopping off your lately married men, Before the bridal hours have danced their measure And the sad, second moon grows dim again, Or dull Repentance hath had dreary leisure To wish him back a bachelor now and then: And thus your Houri (it may be) disputes Of these brief blossoms the immediate fruits.

CXIV.

Thus the young Khan, with Houris in his sight, Thought not upon the charms of four young brides, But bravely rushed on his first heavenly night. In short, howe'er _our_ better faith derides, These black-eyed virgins make the Moslems fight, As though there were one Heaven and none besides-- Whereas, if all be true we hear of Heaven And Hell, there must at least be six or seven.

CXV.

So fully flashed the phantom on his eyes, That when the very lance was in his heart, He shouted "Allah!" and saw Paradise With all its veil of mystery drawn apart, And bright Eternity without disguise On his soul, like a ceaseless sunrise, dart:-- With Prophets--Houris--Angels--Saints, descried In one voluptuous blaze,--and then he died,--[io]

CXVI.

But with a heavenly rapture on his face. The good old Khan, who long had ceased to see Houris, or aught except his florid race, Who grew like cedars round him gloriously-- When he beheld his latest hero grace The earth, which he became like a felled tree, Paused for a moment from the fight, and cast A glance on that slain son, his first and last.

CXVII.

The soldiers, who beheld him drop his point, Stopped as if once more willing to concede Quarter, in case he bade them not "aroynt!" As he before had done. He did not heed Their pause nor signs: his heart was out of joint, And shook (till now unshaken) like a reed, As he looked down upon his children gone, And felt--though done with life--he was alone.[470]

CXVIII.

But 't was a transient tremor:--with a spring Upon the Russian steel his breast he flung, As carelessly as hurls the moth her wing Against the light wherein she dies: he clung Closer, that all the deadlier they might wring, Unto the bayonets which had pierced his young; And throwing back a dim look on his sons, In one wide wound poured forth his soul at once.

CXIX.

'T is strange enough--the rough, tough soldiers, who Spared neither sex nor age in their career Of carnage, when this old man was pierced through, And lay before them with his children near, Touched by the heroism of him they slew, Were melted for a moment; though no tear Flowed from their bloodshot eyes, all red with strife, They honoured such determined scorn of Life.

CXX.

But the stone bastion still kept up its fire, Where the chief Pacha calmly held his post: Some twenty times he made the Russ retire, And baffled the assaults of all their host; At length he condescended to inquire If yet the city's rest were won or lost; And being told the latter, sent a Bey To answer Ribas' summons to give way.[471]

CXXI.

In the mean time, cross-legged, with great sang-froid, Among the scorching ruins he sat smoking Tobacco on a little carpet;--Troy Saw nothing like the scene around;--yet looking With martial Stoicism, nought seemed to annoy His stern philosophy; but gently stroking His beard, he puffed his pipe's ambrosial gales, As if he had three lives, as well as tails.[472] CXXII.

The town was taken--whether he might yield Himself or bastion, little mattered now: His stubborn valour was no future shield. Ismail's no more! The Crescent's silver bow Sunk, and the crimson Cross glared o'er the field, But red with no _redeeming_ gore: the glow Of burning streets, like moonlight on the water, Was imaged back in blood, the sea of slaughter.[ip]

CXXIII.

All that the mind would shrink from of excesses-- All that the body perpetrates of bad; All that we read--hear--dream, of man's distresses-- All that the Devil would do if run stark mad; All that defies the worst which pen expresses,-- All by which Hell is peopled, or as sad As Hell--mere mortals who their power abuse-- Was here (as heretofore and since) let loose.

CXXIV.

If here and there some transient trait of pity Was shown, and some more noble heart broke through Its bloody bond, and saved, perhaps, some pretty Child, or an agéd, helpless man or two-- What's this in one annihilated city, Where thousand loves, and ties, and duties grew? Cockneys of London! Muscadins of Paris! Just ponder what a pious pastime War is.[iq]

CXXV.

Think how the joys of reading a Gazette Are purchased by all agonies and crimes: Or if these do not move you, don't forget Such doom may be your own in after-times. Meantime the Taxes, Castlereagh, and Debt, Are hints as good as sermons, or as rhymes. Read your own hearts and Ireland's present story, Then feed her famine fat with Wellesley's glory.

CXXVI.

But still there is unto a patriot nation, Which loves so well its country and its King, A subject of sublimest exultation-- Bear it, ye Muses, on your brightest wing! Howe'er the mighty locust, Desolation, Strip your green fields, and to your harvests cling, Gaunt famine never shall approach the throne-- Though Ireland starve, great George weighs twenty stone.[473]

CXXVII.

But let me put an end unto my theme: There was an end of Ismail--hapless town! Far flashed her burning towers o'er Danube's stream, And redly ran his blushing waters down. The horrid war-whoop and the shriller scream Rose still; but fainter were the thunders grown: Of forty thousand who had manned the wall, Some hundreds breathed--the rest were silent all![474]

CXXVIII.

In one thing ne'ertheless 't is fit to praise The Russian army upon this occasion, A virtue much in fashion now-a-days, And therefore worthy of commemoration:[ir] The topic's tender, so shall be my phrase-- Perhaps the season's chill, and their long station In Winter's depth, or want of rest and victual, Had made them chaste;--they ravished very little.

CXXIX.

Much did they slay, more plunder, and no less Might here and there occur some violation In the other line;--but not to such excess As when the French, that dissipated nation, Take towns by storm: no causes can I guess, Except cold weather and commiseration;[is] But all the ladies, save some twenty score, Were almost as much virgins as before.

CXXX.

Some odd mistakes, too, happened in the dark, Which showed a want of lanterns, or of taste-- Indeed the smoke was such they scarce could mark Their friends from foes,--besides such things from haste Occur, though rarely, when there is a spark Of light to save the venerably chaste: But six old damsels, each of seventy years, Were all deflowered by different grenadiers.

CXXXI.

But on the whole their continence was great; So that some disappointment there ensued To those who had felt the inconvenient state Of "single blessedness," and thought it good (Since it was not their fault, but only fate, To bear these crosses) for each waning prude To make a Roman sort of Sabine wedding, Without the expense and the suspense of bedding.

CXXII.

Some voices of the buxom middle-aged Were also heard to wonder in the din (Widows of forty were these birds long caged) "Wherefore the ravishing did not begin!" But while the thirst for gore and plunder raged, There was small leisure for superfluous sin; But whether they escaped or no, lies hid In darkness--I can only hope they did.

CXXXIII.

Suwarrow now was conqueror--a match For Timour or for Zinghis in his trade. While mosques and streets, beneath his eyes, like thatch Blazed, and the cannon's roar was scarce allayed, With bloody hands he wrote his first despatch; And here exactly follows what he said:-- "Glory to _God_ and to the Empress!" (_Powers Eternal! such names mingled!_) "Ismail's ours."[475]

CXXXIV.

Methinks these are the most tremendous words, Since "MENE, MENE, TEKEL," and "UPHARSIN," Which hands or pens have ever traced of swords. Heaven help me! I'm but little of a parson: What Daniel read was short-hand of the Lord's, Severe, sublime; the prophet wrote no farce on The fate of nations;--but this Russ so witty Could rhyme, like Nero, o'er a burning city.

CXXXV.

He wrote this Polar melody, and set it, Duly accompanied by shrieks and groans, Which few will sing, I trust, but none forget it-- For I will teach, if possible, the stones To rise against Earth's tyrants. Never let it Be said that we still truckle unto thrones;-- But ye--our children's children! think how we Showed _what things were_ before the World was free!

CXXXVI.

That hour is not for us, but 't is for you: And as, in the great joy of your Millennium, You hardly will believe such things were true As now occur, I thought that I would pen you 'em; But may their very memory perish too!-- Yet if perchance remembered, still disdain you 'em More than you scorn the savages of yore, Who _painted_ their _bare_ limbs, but _not_ with gore.

CXXXVII.

And when you hear historians talk of thrones, And those that sate upon them, let it be As we now gaze upon the mammoth's bones, And wonder what old world such things could see, Or hieroglyphics on Egyptian stones, The pleasant riddles of futurity-- Guessing at what shall happily be hid, As the real purpose of a pyramid.

CXXXVIII.

Reader! I have kept my word,--at least so far As the first Canto promised. You have now Had sketches of Love--Tempest--Travel--War,-- All very accurate, you must allow, And _Epic_, if plain truth should prove no bar; For I have drawn much less with a long bow Than my forerunners. Carelessly I sing, But Phoebus lends me now and then a string,

CXXXIX.

With which I still can harp, and carp, and fiddle. What further hath befallen or may befall The hero of this grand poetic riddle, I by and by may tell you, if at all: But now I choose to break off in the middle, Worn out with battering Ismail's stubborn wall, While Juan is sent off with the despatch, For which all Petersburgh is on the watch.

CXL.

This special honour was conferred, because He had behaved with courage and humanity-- Which last men like, when they have time to pause From their ferocities produced by vanity. His little captive gained him some applause For saving her amidst the wild insanity Of carnage,--and I think he was more glad in her Safety, than his new order of St. Vladimir.

CXLI.

The Moslem orphan went with her protector, For she was homeless, houseless, helpless; all Her friends, like the sad family of Hector, Had perished in the field or by the wall: Her very place of birth was but a spectre Of what it had been; there the Muezzin's call To prayer was heard no more!--and Juan wept, And made a vow to shield her, which he kept.

FOOTNOTES:

{331}[412] ["La nuit était obscure; un brouillard épais ne nous permettait de distinguer autre chose que le feu de notre artillerie, dont l'horizon était embrasé de tous côtés: ce feu, partant du milieu du Danube, se réfléchissait sur les eaux, et offrait un coup d'oeil très-singulier."-_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 209.]

{332}[413] ["À peine eut-on parcouru l'espace de quelques toises au-delà des batteries, que les Turcs, qui n'avaient point tiré pendant toute la nuit s'apperçevant de nos mouvemens, commencèrent de leur côté un feu très-vif, qui embrasa le reste de l'horizon: mais ce fut bien autre chose lorsque, avancés davantage, le feu de la mousqueterie commença dans toute l'étendue du rempart que nous appercevions. Ce fut alors que la place parut à nos yeux comme un volcan dont le feu sortait de toutes parts."-_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 209.]

[414] ["Un cri universel d'_allah_, qui se répétait tout autour de la ville, vint encore rendre plus extraordinaire cet instant, dont il est impossible de se faire une idée."--_Ibid._, p. 209.]

[415] Allah Hu! is properly the war-cry of the Mussulmans, and they dwell on the last syllable, which gives it a wild and peculiar effect.

[See _The Giaour_, line 734, _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 120, note 1; see, too, _Siege of Corinth_, line 713, ibid., p. 481.]

[416] ["Toutes les colonnes étaient en mouvement; celles qui attaquaient par eau commandées par le général Arséniew, essuyèrent un feu épouvantable, et perdirent avant le jour un tiers de leurs officiers."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 209.]

[417]

"But _Thy_[*] most dreaded instrument, In working out a pure intent, Is Man--arrayed for mutual slaughter,-- Yea, _Carnage is thy daughter!_"

Wordsworth's _Thanksgiving Ode_ (January 18, 1816), stanza xii. lines 20, 23.

[*]To wit, the Deity's: this is perhaps as pretty a pedigree for murder as ever was found out by Garter King at Arms.--What would have been said, had any free-spoken people discovered such a lineage?

[Wordsworth omitted the lines in the last edition of his poems, which was revised by his own hand.]

{333}[ia] _The Duc de Richelieu_----.--[MS. erased.]

[418] ["Le Prince de Ligne fut blessé au genou; le Duc de Richelieu eut une balle entre le fond de son bonnet et sa tête."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 210.

For the gallantry of Prince Charles de Ligne (died September 14, 1792) eldest son of Prince Charles Joseph de Ligne (1735-1814), see _The Prince de Ligne_, 1899, ii. 46.

Armand Emanuel du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, born 1767, a grandson of Louis François Duc de Richelieu, the Marshal of France (1696-1780), served under Catherine II., and afterwards under the Czar Paul. On the restoration of Louis XVIII. he entered the King's household; and after the battle of Waterloo took office as President of the Council and Minister for Foreign Affairs. His _Journal de mon Voyage en Allemagne_, which was then unpublished, was placed at the disposal of the Marquis de Castelnau (see _Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, 1827, i. 241). It has been printed in full by the _Société Impériale d'Histoire de Russie_, 1886, tom. liv. pp. 111-198. See for further mention of the manuscript, _Le Duc de Richelieu_, par Raoul de Cisternes, 1898, Preface, p. 3, note 1. He died May 17, 1822, two months before Cantos VI., VII., VIII. were completed.]

{334}[419] ["Le brigadier Markow, insistant pour qu'on emportât le prince blessé, reçut un coup de fusil qui lui fracassa le pied."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 210.]

[420] ["Trois cents bouches à feu vomissaient sans interruption, et trente mille fusils alimentaient sans reláche une grêle de balles."--_Ibid._, p. 210.]

{335}[421] ["Les troupes, déja débarquées, se portèrent á droite pour s'emparer d'une batterie; et celles débarquées plus bas, principalement composées des grenadiers de Fanagorie, escaladaient le retranchement et la palissade."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 210.]

[422] A fact: see the Waterloo Gazettes. I recollect remarking at the time to a friend:--"_There_ is _fame!_ a man is killed, his name is Grose, and they print it Grove." I was at college with the deceased, who was a very amiable and clever man, and his society in great request for his wit, gaiety, and "Chansons à boire."

[In the _London Gazette Extraordinary_ of June 22, 1815, Captain Grove, 1st Guards, is among the list of killed. In the supplement to the _London Gazette_, published July 3, 1815, the mistake was corrected, and the entry runs, "1st Guards, 3d Batt. Lieut. Edward Grose, (Captain)." I am indebted to the courtesy of the Registrar of the University of Cambridge for the information that Edward Grose matriculated at St. John's College as a pensioner, December 7, 1805. Thanks to the "misprint" in the _Gazette_, and to Byron, he is "a name for ever."--_Vir nullâ non donatus lauru!_]

{337}[423] [At the Battle of Mollwitz, April 10, 1741, "the king vanishes for sixteen hours into the regions of Myth 'into Fairyland,' ... of the king's flight ... the king himself, who alone could have told us fully, maintained always rigorous silence, and nowhere drops the least hint. So that the small fact has come down to us involved in a great bulk of fabulous cobwebs, mostly of an ill-natured character, set a-going by Voltaire, Valori, and others."--Carlyle's _Frederick the Great_, 1862, iii. 314, 322, sq.]

[424] See General Valancey and Sir Lawrence Parsons.

[Charles Vallancey (1721-1812), general in the Royal Engineers, published an "Essay on the Celtic Language," etc., in 1782. "The language [the Iberno-Celtic]," he writes (p. 4), "we are now going to explain, had such an affinity with the Punic, that it may be said to have been, in a great degree, the language of Hanibal (_sic_), Hamilcar, and of Asdrubal." Sir Laurence Parsons (1758-1841), second Earl of Rosse, represented the University of Dublin 1782-90, and afterwards King's County, in the Irish House of Commons. He was an opponent of the Union. In a pamphlet entitled _Defence of the Antient History of Ireland_, published in 1795, he maintains (p. 158) "that the Carthaginian and the Irish language being originally the same, either the Carthaginians must have been descended from the Irish, or the Irish from the Carthaginians."]

{338}[425] The Portuguese proverb says that "hell is paved with good intentions."--[See _Vision of Judgment_, stanza xxxvii. line 8, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 499, note 2.]

[ib] _At least the sharp faints of that "burning marle."_--[MS. erased.]

{339}[426] ["The Nervii marched to the number of sixty thousand, and fell upon Cæsar, as he was fortifying his camp, and had not the least notion of so sudden an attack. They first routed his cavalry, and then surrounded the twelfth and the seventh legions, and killed all the officers. Had not Cæsar snatched a buckler from one of his own men, forced his way through the combatants before him, and rushed upon the barbarians; or had not the tenth legion, seeing his danger, ran from the heights where they were posted, and mowed down the enemy's ranks, not one Roman would have survived the battle."--Plutarch, _Cæsar_, Langhorne's translation, 1838, p. 502.]

[427] ["As near a field of corn, a stubborn ass ... E'en so great Ajax son of Telamon."

_The Iliad_, Lord Derby's translation, bk. xi. lines 639, 645.]

{339}[ic] _Nor care a single damn about his corps_.--[MS. erased.]

[428] ["N'apercevant plus le commandant du corps dont je faisais partie, et ignorant où je devais porter mes pas, je crus reconnaître le lieu où le rempart était situé; on y faisait un feu assez vif, que je jugeai être celui ... du général-major de Lascy."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 210. The speaker is the Duc de Richelieu. See, for original, his _Journal de mon Voyage, etc., Soc. Imp. d'Hist. de Russie_, tom. liv. p. 179]

[id] _For he was dizzy, busy, and his blood_ _Lightening along his veins, and where he heard_ _The liveliest fire, and saw the fiercest flood_ _Of Friar Bacon's mild discovery, shared_ _By Turks and Christians equally, he could_ _No longer now resist the attraction of gunpowder_ _But flew to where the merry orchestra played louder_.--[MS. erased.]

[429] Gunpowder is said to have been discovered by this friar. [N.B. Though Friar Bacon seems to have discovered gunpowder, he had the _humanity_ not to record his discovery in intelligible language.]

{341}[ie] ---- _whose short breath, and long faces_ _Kept always pushing onwards to the Glacis_.--[MS. erased.]

{342}[430] [_I Henry IV._, act iii. sc. 1, line 53.]

[if] _And that mechanic impulse_----.--[MS. erased.]

[431] [_Hamlet_, act iii, sc. 1, lines 79, 80.]

{343}[432] ["_Talus:_ the slope or inclination of a wall, whereby, reclining at the top so as to fall within its base, the thickness is gradually lessened according to the height."--_Milit. Dict._]

[433] ["Appelant ceux des chasseurs qui étaient autour de moi en assez grand nombre, je m'avançai et reconnus ne m'être point trompé dans mon calcul; c'était en effet cette colonne qui à l'instant parvenait au sommet du rempart. Les Turcs de derrière les travers et les flancs des bastions voisins fasaient sur elle un feu très-vif de canon et de mousqueterie. Je gravis, avec les gens qui m'avaient suivi, le talus intérieur du rempart."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 210.]

{344}[434] [Baron Menno van Coehoorn (circ. 1641-1704), a Dutch military engineer, the contemporary and rival of Vauban, invented a mortar which bore his name. He was the author of a celebrated work on fortification, published in 1692.]

[435] ["Ce fut dans cet instant que je reconnus combien l'ignorance du constructeur des palissades était importante pour nous; car, comme elles étaient placées au milieu du parapet," etc.--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 211.]

[436] They were but two feet above the level.--[MS.]

["Il y avait de chaque côté neuf à dix pieds sur lesquels on pouvait marcher; et les soldats, après être montés, avaient pu se ranger commodément sur l'espace extérieur et enjamber ensuite les palissades, qui ne s'élevaient que d'à-peu-près deux pieds au-dessus du niveau de la terre."--_Ibid._, p. 211.]

{345}[437] [Friederich Wilhelm, Baron von Bülow (1755-1816), was in command of the 4th corps of the Prussian Army at Waterloo. August Wilhelm Antonius Neidhart von Gneisenau (1760-1831) was chief of staff, and after Blücher was disabled by a fall at Ligny, assumed temporary command, June 16-17, 1815. He headed the triumphant pursuit of the French on the night of the battle. For Blücher's official account of the battles of Ligny and Waterloo (subscribed by Gneisenau), see W.H. Maxwell's _Life of the Duke of Wellington_, 1841, iii. 566-571; and for Wellington's acknowledgment of Blücher's "cordial and timely assistance," see _Dispatches_, 1847, viii. 150. See, too, _The Life of Wellington_, by the Right Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell, Bart., 1899, ii. 88, et passim.]

{346}[ig] ---- _as feminine of feature_.--[MS.]

_Led him on--although he was the gentlest creature_, _As kind in heart as feminine of feature_.--[MS. erased.]

{347}[438] [Pistol's "_Bezonian_" is a corruption of _bisognoso_--a rogue, needy fellow. Byron, quoting from memory, confuses two passages. In _2 Henry VI._, act iv. sc. 1, line 134, Suffolk says, "Great men oft die of vile bezonians;" in _2 Henry IV._, act v. sc. 3, line 112, Pistol says, "Under which King, Besonian? speak or die."]

[439] ["Le Général Lascy, voyant arriver un corps, si à-propos à son secours, s'avança vers l'officier qui l'avait conduit, et, le prenant pour un Livonien, lui fit, en allemand, les complimens les plus flatteurs; le jeune militaire (le Duc de Richelieu) qui parlait parfaitement cette langue, y répondit avec sa modestie ordinaire."-_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 211.]

{348}[440] [_The Task_, bk. i. line 749. It was pointed out to Cowper that the same thought had been expressed by Isaac Hawkins Browne, in _The Fire-side, a Pastoral Soliloquy_, lines 15, 16 (_Poems_, ed. 1768, p. 125)--

"I have said it at home, I have said it abroad, That the town is Man's world, but that this is of God."

There is a parallel passage in M.T. Varro, _Rerum Rusticarum_, lib. iii. I. 4, "Nee minim, quod divina natura dedit agros, ars humami aedificavit urbes."--See _The Task, etc._, ed. by H.T. Griffith, 1896, ii. 234.]

[441] [Sulla spoke of himself as the "fortunate," and in the twenty-second book of his Commentaries, finished only two days before his death, "he tells us that the Chaldeans had predicted, that after a life of glory he would depart in the height of his prosperity." He was fortunate, too, with regard to his funeral, for, at first, a brisk wind blew which fanned the pile into flame, and it was not till the fire had begun to die out that the rain, which had been expected throughout the day, began to fall in torrents.--Langhorne's _Plutarch_, 1838, pp. 334, 335. See, too, _Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte_, stanza vii. _Poetical Works_, 1900, in. 308, note I.]

[442] [Daniel Boone (1735-1820) was the grandson of an English settler, George Boone, of Exeter. His great work in life was the conquest of Kentucky. Following in the steps of another pioneer, John Finley, he left his home in North Carolina in May, 1769, and, after numerous adventures, effected a settlement on the Kentucky river. He constructed a fort, which he named Boonesborough, and carried on a protracted campaign with varying but final success against the Indians. When Kentucky was admitted into the Union, February 4, 1791, he failed to make good his title to his property at Boonesborough, and withdrew to Mount Pleasant, beyond the Ohio. Thence, in 1795, he removed to Missouri, then a Spanish possession. Napoleon wrested Missouri from the Spaniards, only to sell the territory to the United States, with the result that in 1810 he was confirmed in the possession of 850 out of the 8000 acres which he had acquired in 1795. "Boone was then seventy-five years of age, hale and strong. The charm of the hunter's life clung to him to the last, and in his eighty-second year he went on a hunting excursion to the mouth of the Kansas river."--Appleton's _Encyclopedia, etc_., art. "Boone." His fine and gracious nature reveals itself in his autobiography (_The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boon, Formerly a Hunter; Containing a Narrative of the Wars of Kentucky_; Imlay's _North America_, 1793, ii. 52-54). "One day," he writes (pp. 330, _sq_.), "I undertook a tour through the country, and the diversity and beauties of nature ... expelled every gloomy and vexatious thought. Just at the close of day the gentle gales retired, and left the place to the disposal of a profound calm. Not a breeze shook the most tremulous leaf. I had gained the summit of a commanding ridge, and, looking round with astonishing delight, beheld the ample plains, the beauteous tracts below. On the other hand, I surveyed the famous river Ohio, that rolled in silent dignity, marking the western boundary of Kentucky with inconceivable grandeur. ... All things were still. I kindled a fire near a fountain of sweet water, and feasted on the loins of a buck, which a few hours before I had killed.... No populous city, with all the varieties of commerce and stately structures, could afford so much pleasure to my mind as the beauties of nature I found here." (See, too, _The Kentucky Pioneers_, by John Brown, _Harper's New Monthly Magazine_, 1887, vol. lxxv. pp. 48-71.)]

{350}[443] [For John Kyrle, "the Man of Ross" (1635-1724), see Pope's _Moral Essays_, epist. iii. lines 249-284. See, too, _Letters of S.T. Coleridge_, 1895 (letter to R. Southey, July 13, 1794), i. 77.]

{351}[444] [Byron seems to have derived his knowledge of Catherine's _vie intime_ from the _Mémoires Secrets sur la Russie_, of C.F.P. Masson, which were published in Amsterdam in 1800, and translated into English in the same year.]

[445] [Michailo Smolenskoi Koutousof (1743-1813), who was raised to eminence through the influence of Potemkin, was in command of the Austro-Russian Army at Austerlitz. During the retreat from Moscow he repulsed Napoleon at Malo-yaroslavetz, and pursued the French to Kalisz. Tolstoi introduces Koutousof in his novel, _War and Peace_, and dwells on his fatalism.]

{352}[446] ["Parmi les colonnes, une de celles qui souffrirent le plus était commandée par le général Koutouzow (aujourd'hui Prince de Smolensko). Ce brave militaire réunit l'intrépidité à un grand nombre de connaissances acquises; il marche au feu avec la même gaîeté qu'il va à une fête; il sait commander avec autant de sang froid qu'il déploie d'esprit et d'amabilité dans le commerce habituel de la vie."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 212.]

[447] ["Ce brave Koutouzow se jeta dans le fossé, fut suivi des siens, et ne pénétra jusqu'au haut du parapet qu'après avoir éprouvé des difficultés incroyables. (Le brigadier de Ribaupierre perdit la vie dans cette occasion: il avail fixé l'estime générale, et sa mort occasionna beaucoup de regrets.) Les Turcs accoururent en grand nombre; cette multitude repoussa deux fois le général jusqu'au fossé."--_Ibid._, p. 212.]

[448] ["Quelques troupes russes, emportées par le courant, n'ayant pu débarquer sur le terrain qu'on leur avait prescrit," etc.--_Ibid._, p. 213.]

[449] ["A 'Cavalier' is an elevation of earth, situated ordinarily in the gorge of a bastion, bordered with a parapet, and cut into more or fewer embrasures, according to its capacity."--_Milit. Dict._]

{353}[450] [" ... longèrent le rempart, après la prise du cavalier, et ouvrirent la porte dite _de Kilia_ aux soldats du général Koutouzow."--_Hist, de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 213.]

[451] ["Il était réservé aux Kozaks de combler de leurs corps la partie du fossé où ils combattaient; leur colonne avail été divisée entre MM. Platow et d'Orlow ..."--_Ibid._, p. 213.]

[452] [" ... la première partie, devant se joindre à la gauche du général Arséniew, fut foudroyée par le feu des batteries, et parvint néanmoins au haut du rempart."--_Ibid._, p. 213.]

[453] ["Les Turcs la laissèrent un peu s'avancer, dans la ville, et firent deux sorties par les angles saillans des bastions."--_Ibid._, p. 213.]

[ih] _Fatal to warriors as to women--these_.--[MS.]

{354}[454] ["Alors, se trouvant prise en queue, elle fut écrasée; cependant le Lieutenant-colonel Yesouskoï, qui commandait la réserve composée d'un bataillon du régiment de Polozk, traversa le fossé sur les cadavres des Kozaks ..."--_Hist. de la Nouvell Russia_, ii. 212.]

[455] [" ... et extermina tous les Turcs qu'il eut en tête: ce brave homme fut tué pendant l'action."--_Ibid._, p. 213.]

[456] ["L'autre partie des Kozaks, qu' Orlow commandait, souffrit de la manière la plus cruelle: elle attaqua à maintes reprises, fut souvent repoussée, et perdit les deux tiers de son monde (c'est ici le lieu de placer une observation, que nous prenons dans les mémoires qui nous guident; elle fait remarquer combien il est raal vu de donner beaucoup de cartouches aux soldats qui doivent emporter un poste de vive force, et par conséquent où la baïonnette doit principalement agir; ils pensent ne devoir se servir de cette derniere arme, que lorsque les cartouches sont epuisées: dans cette persuasion, ils retardent leur marche, et restent plus long-temps exposés au canon et à la mitraille de l'ennemi)."--_Ibid._, p. 214.]

{355}[457] ["La jonction de la colonne de Meknop--(le général fut nial secondé et tué)--ne put s'effectuer avec celle qui l'avoisinait, ... ces colonnes attaquèrent un bastion, et éprouvèrent une résistance opiniâtre; raais bientôt des cris de victoire se font entendre de toutes parts, et le bastion est emporté: le séraskier défendait cette partie."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 214.]

[458] [" ... un officier de marine Anglais veut le faire prisonnier, et reçoit un coup de pistolet qui l'étend roide mort."--_Ibid._, p. 214.]

[459] ["Les Russes passent trois mille Turcs au fil de l'épée; seize baïonnettes percent à la fois le séraskier."--_Ibid._, p. 214.]

[460] ["La ville est emportée; l'image de la mort et de la désolation se représente de tous les côtés le soldat furieux n'écoute plus la voix de ses officiers, il ne respire que le carnage; altéré de sang, tout est indifférent pour lui."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 214.]

{356}[ii] _As do the subtle snake's denounced of old_.--[MS.]

{357}[ij] _Which most of all doth man characterise_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

[ik] _As Autumn winds disperse the yellow leaves_.--[MS. erased.]

[461] [See _The Blues_, ecl. i. line 25, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 574, note 3.]

{358}[462] ["Je sauvai la vie à une fille de dix ans, don't l'innocence et la candeur formaient un contraste bien frappant avec la rage de tout ce qui m'environnait. En arrivant sur le bastion où commença le carnage, j'aperçus un groupe de quatre femmes égorgées, entre lesquelles cet enfant, d'une figure charmante, cherchait un asile contre la fureur de deux Kozaks qui étaient sur le point de la massacrer,"--Duc de Richelieu. (See _Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 217.)]

[463] ["Who never mentions Hell to ears polite."--Pope, _Moral Essays_, ep. iv, line 150.]

{359}[464] ["Ce spectacle m'attira bientôt, et je n'hésitai pas, comme on peut le croire, à prendre entre mes bras cette infortunée, que les barbares voulaient y poursuivre encore. J'eus bien de la peine à me retenir et à ne pas percer ces misérables du sabre que je tenais suspendu sur leur tête:--je me contentai cependant de les éloigner, non sans leur prodiguer les coups et les injures qu'ils méritaient...."--Duc de Richelieu, _vide Hist, de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 217.]

[465] [" ... J'eus le plaisir d'apercevoir que ma petite prisonnière n'avait d'autre mal qu'une coupure legere que lui avail faite au visage le même fer qui avail percé sa mére."--Duc de Richelieu, _ibid_.

The Turks clamoured for the child, and Richelieu was forced to give way. But in the original the story ends unhappily.

"Je fus obligé de céder á leurs instances et á celles de l'officier qui parlementait avec eux; ... ce ne fut pas sans de grandes difficultés et sans une promesse expresse de la parl de cet officier [Colonel Ribas] de me la faire rendre aussitôt que les Tures auraient mis bas les armes. Je me séparai donc de cet enfant qui m'était déjà devenu très-cher, et même a présent, je ne puis penser á ce moment sans amertume, puisque malgré toutes les recherches et les peines que je me donnai pour la retrouver, il me fut impossible d'y réussir, el je n'ai que trop sujet de craindre qu'elle n'ait péri malheureusement."--_Société Impériale d'Histoire de Russie_, tom. liv. p. 185.]

{360}[466] [Sir Walter Scott (_Quarterly Review_, October, 1816, vol. xvi. p. 177) says that a "brother-poet" compared Byron's features to the sculpture of a beautiful alabaster vase, only seen to perfection when lighted up from within. Byron alludes to this comparison in his _Detached Thoughts_, October 15, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 408. It may be noted that Lorenzo Bartolini, the Italian sculptor who took a bust of Byron at Pisa, in the spring of 1822, had been employed by Napoleon, in 1814, to design marble vases for a terrace at Elba, which were to be illuminated at night "from within."]

[467] A Russian military order.

{362}[468] ["Le sultan périt dans l'action en brave homme, digne d'un meilleur destin; ce fut lui qui rallia les Turcs lorsque l'ennemi pénétra dans la place ... ce sultan, d'une valeur éprouvée, surpassait en générosité les plus civilisés de sa nation; cinq de ses fils combattaient à ses côtés, il les encourageait par son exemple."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 215.]

[469] ["When Charles XII. reached Bender, August 1, 1709, he refused, in the first instance, to cross the river Dniester, and on yielding to the representations of the Turks, he declined to enter the town, but decided on remaining encamped on an island, in spite of the assurances of the inhabitants that it was occasionally flooded." But, perhaps, Byron had in mind Voltaire's remarks on Charles's _Opiniâtreté_. (See _Histoire de Charles XII._, 1772, p. 377. See, too, _Charles XII._, by Oscar Browning, 1899, pp. 231-234.)]

[il]---- _like celestial patience_.--[MS. erased.]

[im] _Because a hunchback_----.--[MS. erased.]

{364}[in] _In battle to old age and ugliness_.--[MS. erased.]

{365}[io] _In one immortal glance, and then he died_.--[MS. erased]

[470] ["Tous cinq furent tous tués sous ces yeux: il ne cessa point de se battre, répondit par des coups de sabre aux propositions de se rendre, et ne fut atteint du coup mortel qu'après avoir abattu de sa main beaucoup de Kozaks des plus acharnée à sa prise; le reste de sa troupe fut massacré."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 215.]

{366}[471] ["Quoique les Russes fussent répandus dans la ville, le bastion de pierre résistait encore; il était défendu par un vicillard, pacha à trois queues, et commandant les forces réunies à Ismaël. On lui proposa une capitulation; il demanda si le reste de la ville était conquis; sur cette réponse, il autorisa quelques-uns de ces officiers à capituler avec M. de Ribas."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 215.]

[472] ["Pendant ce colloque, il resta étendu sur des tapis placés sur les ruines de la forteresse, fumant sa pipe avec la même tranquillité et la même indifférence que s'il eût été étranger à tout ce qui se passait."--_Ibid._, p. 215.]

{367}[ip] _Of burning cities, those full moons of slaughter_ _Was imaged back in blood instead of water_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

[iq] _Would_ you _do less_, "pro focis et pro aris"?--[MS. erased.]

{368}[473] [Compare--

"Spread--spread for Vitellius, the royal repast, Till the gluttonous despot be stuffed to the gorge!"

_The Irish Avatar_, stanza 20, _Poetical Works_, 1891, iv. 559.]

[474] ["On égorgea indistinctement, on saccagea la place; et la rage du vainqueur ... se répandit comme un torrent furieux qui a renversé les digues qui le rétenaient: personne obtint de grâce, et _trente huit mille huit cent soixante_ Turcs périrent dans cette journée de sang."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 216.]

[ir]---- _of my peroration_.--[MS. erased.]

{369}[is] ---- _the cause I cannot guess_-- _I hardly think it was commiseration_.--[MS. erased.]

{370}[475] In the original Russian--

"Slava bogu! slava vam! Krépost vzata i ya tam;"

a kind of couplet; for he was a poet.

[J.H. Castéra (_Vie de Catherine II._, 1797, ii. 374) relates this incident in connection with the fall of Turtukey (or Tutrakaw) in Bulgaria, giving the words in French, "Gloire à Dieu! Louange à Catherine! Toutoukai est pris. Souwaroff y est entré." W. Tooke (_Life of Catherine II._, 1800, iii. 278). Castéra's translator, gives the original Russian with an English version. But according to Spalding (_Suvóroff_, 1890, pp. 42, 43), the words, which were written on a scrap of paper, and addressed to Soltikoff, ran thus: "Your Excellency, we have conquered. Glory to God! Glory to you! Alexander Suvóroff." When Ismail was taken he wrote to Potemkin, "The Russian standard floats above the walls of Ismail," and to the Empress, "Proud Ismail lies at your Majesty's feet." The tenour of the poetical message on the fall of Tutrakaw recalls the triumphant piety of the Emperor William I. of Germany. See, too, for "mad Suwarrow's rhymes," Canto IX. stanza lx. lines 1-4.]

CANTO THE NINTH.

I.[476]

Oh, Wellington! (or "Villainton"[477]--for Fame[it] Sounds the heroic syllables both ways; France could not even conquer your great name, But punned it down to this facetious phrase-- Beating or beaten she will laugh the same,) You have obtained great pensions and much praise: Glory like yours should any dare gainsay, Humanity would rise, and thunder "Nay!"[478]

II.

I don't think that you used Kinnaird quite well In Marinèt's affair[479]--in fact, 't was shabby, And like some other things won't do to tell Upon your tomb in Westminster's old Abbey. Upon the rest 't is not worth while to dwell, Such tales being for the tea-hours of some tabby;[480] But though your years as _man_ tend fast to zero, In fact your Grace is still but a _young Hero_.

III.

Though Britain owes (and pays you too) so much, Yet Europe doubtless owes you greatly more: You have repaired Legitimacy's crutch, A prop not quite so certain as before: The Spanish, and the French, as well as Dutch, Have seen, and felt, how strongly you _restore_; And Waterloo has made the world your debtor (I wish your bards would sing it rather better).

IV.

You are "the best of cut-throats:"[481]--do not start; The phrase is Shakespeare's, and not misapplied:-- War's a brain-spattering, windpipe-slitting art, Unless her cause by right be sanctified. If you have acted _once_ a generous part, The World, not the World's masters, will decide, And I shall be delighted to learn who, Save you and yours, have gained by Waterloo?

V.

I am no flatterer--you've supped full of flattery:[482] They say you like it too--'t is no great wonder. He whose whole life has been assault and battery, At last may get a little tired of thunder; And swallowing eulogy much more than satire, he May like being praised for every lucky blunder, Called "Saviour of the Nations"--not yet saved,-- And "Europe's Liberator"--still enslaved.[483]

VI.

I've done. Now go and dine from off the plate Presented by the Prince of the Brazils, And send the sentinel before your gate A slice or two from your luxurious meals:[484] He fought, but has not fed so well of late. Some hunger, too, they say the people feels:-- There is no doubt that you deserve your ration, But pray give back a little to the nation.

VII.

I don't mean to reflect--a man so great as You, my lord Duke! is far above reflection: The high Roman fashion, too, of Cincinnatus, With modern history has but small connection: Though as an Irishman you love potatoes, You need not take them under your direction; And half a million for your Sabine farm Is rather dear!--I'm sure I mean no harm.

VIII.

Great men have always scorned great recompenses: Epaminondas saved his Thebes, and died, Not leaving even his funeral expenses:[485] George Washington had thanks, and nought beside, Except the all-cloudless glory (which few men's is) To free his country: Pitt too had his pride, And as a high-souled Minister of state is Renowned for ruining Great Britain gratis.[486]

IX.

Never had mortal man such opportunity, Except Napoleon, or abused it more: You might have freed fallen Europe from the unity Of Tyrants, and been blest from shore to shore: And _now_--what is your fame? Shall the Muse tune it ye? _Now_--that the rabble's first vain shouts are o'er? Go! hear it in your famished country's cries! Behold the World! and curse your victories!

X.

As these new cantos touch on warlike feats, To _you_ the unflattering Muse deigns to inscribe[iu] Truths, that you will not read in the Gazettes, But which 't is time to teach the hireling tribe Who fatten on their country's gore, and debts, Must be recited--and without a bribe. You _did great_ things, but not being _great_ in mind, Have left _undone_ the _greatest_--and mankind.

XI.

Death laughs--Go ponder o'er the skeleton With which men image out the unknown thing That hides the past world, like to a set sun Which still elsewhere may rouse a brighter spring-- Death laughs at all you weep for!--look upon This hourly dread of all! whose _threatened sting_ Turns Life to terror, even though in its sheath: Mark! how its lipless mouth grins without breath!

XII.

Mark! how it laughs and scorns at all you are! And yet _was_ what you are; from _ear_ to _ear_ It _laughs not_--there is now no fleshy bar So called; the Antic long hath ceased to _hear_, But still he _smiles_; and whether near or far, He strips from man that mantle (far more dear Than even the tailor's), his incarnate skin,[iv] White, black, or copper--the dead bones will grin.

XIII.

And thus Death laughs,--it is sad merriment, But still it _is_ so; and with such example Why should not Life be equally content With his Superior, in a smile to trample Upon the nothings which are daily spent Like bubbles on an Ocean much less ample Than the Eternal Deluge, which devours Suns as rays--worlds like atoms--years like hours?

XIV.

"To be, or not to be? _that_ is the question," Says Shakespeare,[487] who just now is much in fashion. I am neither Alexander nor Hephæstion, Nor ever had for _abstract_ fame much passion; But would much rather have a sound digestion Than Buonaparte's cancer:--could I dash on Through fifty victories to shame or fame-- Without a stomach what were a good name?

XV.

_"O dura ilia messorum!"_[488]--"Oh Ye rigid guts of reapers!" I translate[iw] For the great benefit of those who know What indigestion is--that inward fate Which makes all Styx through one small liver flow. A peasant's sweat is worth his lord's estate: Let _this_ one toil for bread--_that_ rack for rent, He who sleeps best may be the most content.

XVI.

"To be, or not to be?"--Ere I decide, I should be glad to know that which _is being_. 'T is true we speculate both far and wide, And deem, because we _see_, we are _all-seeing_: For my part, I'll enlist on neither side, Until I see both sides for once agreeing. For me, I sometimes think that Life is Death, Rather than Life a mere affair of breath.

XVII.

_"Que scais-je"_[489] was the motto of Montaigne, As also of the first academicians: That all is dubious which man may attain, Was one of their most favourite positions. There's no such thing as certainty, that's plain As any of Mortality's conditions; So little do we know what we're about in This world, I doubt if doubt itself be doubting.

XVIII.

It is a pleasant voyage perhaps to float, Like Pyrrho,[490] on a sea of speculation; But what if carrying sail capsize the boat? Your wise men don't know much of navigation; And swimming long in the abyss of thought Is apt to tire: a calm and shallow station Well nigh the shore, where one stoops down and gathers Some pretty shell, is best for moderate bathers.

XIX.

"But Heaven," as Cassio says, "is above all--[491] No more of this, then, let us pray!" We have Souls to save, since Eve's slip and Adam's fall, Which tumbled all mankind into the grave, Besides fish, beasts, and birds. "The sparrow's fall Is special providence,"[492] though how _it_ gave Offence, we know not; probably it perched Upon the tree which Eve so fondly searched.

XX.

Oh! ye immortal Gods! what is Theogony? Oh! thou, too, mortal man! what is Philanthropy? Oh! World, which was and is, what is Cosmogony? Some people have accused me of Misanthropy; And yet I know no more than the mahogany That forms this desk, of what they mean;--_Lykanthropy_[493] I comprehend, for without transformation Men become wolves on any slight occasion.

XXI.

But I, the mildest, meekest of mankind, Like Moses, or Melancthon,[494] who have ne'er[ix] Done anything exceedingly unkind,-- And (though I could not now and then forbear Following the bent of body or of mind) Have always had a tendency to spare,-- Why do they call me Misanthrope? Because _They hate me, not I them:_--and here we'll pause.

XXII.

'T is time we should proceed with our good poem,-- For I maintain that it is really good, Not only in the body but the proem, However little both are understood Just now,--but by and by the Truth will show 'em Herself in her sublimest attitude: And till she doth, I fain must be content To share her beauty and her banishment.

XXIII.

Our hero (and, I trust, kind reader! yours) Was left upon his way to the chief city Of the immortal Peter's polished boors, Who still have shown themselves more brave than witty. I know its mighty Empire now allures Much flattery--even Voltaire's,[495] and that's a pity. For me, I deem an absolute autocrat _Not_ a barbarian, but much worse than that.

XXIV.

And I will war, at least in words (and--should My chance so happen--deeds), with all who war With Thought;--and of Thought's foes by far most rude, Tyrants and sycophants have been and are. I know not who may conquer: if I could Have such a prescience, it should be no bar To this my plain, sworn, downright detestation Of every despotism in every nation.[iy]

XXV.

It is not that I adulate the people: Without _me_, there are demagogues enough,[496] And infidels, to pull down every steeple, And set up in their stead some proper stuff. Whether they may sow scepticism to reap Hell, As is the Christian dogma rather rough, I do not know;--I wish men to be free As much from mobs as kings--from you as me.

XXVI.

The consequence is, being of no party, I shall offend all parties:--never mind! My words, at least, are more sincere and hearty Than if I sought to sail before the wind. He who has nought to gain can have small art: he Who neither wishes to be bound nor bind, May still expatiate freely, as will I, Nor give my voice to slavery's jackal cry.[iz]

XXVII.

_That's_ an appropriate simile, _that jackal;_-- I've heard them in the Ephesian ruins howl[497] By night, as do that mercenary pack all, Power's base purveyors, who for pickings prowl, And scent the prey their masters would attack all. However, the poor jackals are less foul (As being the brave lions' keen providers) Than human insects, catering for spiders.[ja]

XXVIII.

Raise but an arm! 't will brush their web away, And without _that_, their poison and their claws Are useless. Mind, good people! what I say-- (Or rather Peoples)--_go on_ without pause! The web of these Tarantulas each day Increases, till you shall make common cause: None, save the Spanish Fly and Attic Bee, As yet are strongly stinging to be free.[jb]

XXIX.

Don Juan, who had shone in the late slaughter, Was left upon his way with the despatch, Where blood was talked of as we would of water; And carcasses that lay as thick as thatch O'er silenced cities, merely served to flatter Fair Catherine's pastime--who looked on the match Between these nations as a main of cocks, Wherein she liked her own to stand like rocks.

XXX.

And there in a _kibitka_ he rolled on, (A cursed sort of carriage without springs, Which on rough roads leaves scarcely a whole bone,) Pondering on Glory, Chivalry, and Kings, And Orders, and on all that he had done-- And wishing that post-horses had the wings Of Pegasus, or at the least post-chaises Had feathers, when a traveller on deep ways is.

XXXI.

At every jolt--and they were many--still He turned his eyes upon his little charge, As if he wished that she should fare less ill Than he, in these sad highways left at large To ruts, and flints, and lovely Nature's skill, Who is no paviour, nor admits a barge On _her_ canals, where God takes sea and land, Fishery and farm, both into his own hand.

XXXII.

At least he pays no rent, and has best right To be the first of what we used to call "Gentlemen farmers"--a race worn out quite, Since lately there have been no rents at all, And "gentlemen" are in a piteous plight, And "farmers" can't raise Ceres from her fall: She fell with Buonaparte,[498]--What strange thoughts Arise, when we see Emperors fall with oats!

XXXIII.

But Juan turned his eyes on the sweet child Whom he had saved from slaughter--what a trophy Oh! ye who build up monuments, defiled With gore, like Nadir Shah,[499] that costive Sophy, Who, after leaving Hindostan a wild, And scarce to the Mogul a cup of coffee To soothe his woes withal, was slain, the sinner! Because he could no more digest his dinner;--[jc][500]

XXXIV.

Oh ye! or we! or he! or she! reflect, That _one_ life saved, especially if young Or pretty, is a thing to recollect Far sweeter than the greenest laurels sprung From the manure of human clay, though decked With all the praises ever said or sung: Though hymned by every harp, unless within Your heart joins chorus, Fame is but a din.

XXXV.

Oh! ye great authors luminous, voluminous! Ye twice ten hundred thousand daily scribes! Whose pamphlets, volumes, newspapers, illumine us! Whether you're paid by government in bribes, To prove the public debt is not consuming us-- Or, roughly treading on the "courtier's kibes" With clownish heel[501] your popular circulation Feeds you by printing half the realm's starvation;--

XXXVI.

Oh, ye great authors!--_A propos des bottes,_-- I have forgotten what I meant to say, As sometimes have been greater sages' lots;-- 'T was something calculated to allay All wrath in barracks, palaces, or cots: Certes it would have been but thrown away, And that's one comfort for my lost advice, Although no doubt it was beyond all price.

XXXVII.

But let it go:--it will one day be found With other relics of "a former World," When this World shall be _former,_ underground, Thrown topsy-turvy, twisted, crisped, and curled, Baked, fried, or burnt, turned inside-out, or drowned, Like all the worlds before, which have been hurled First out of, and then back again to chaos-- The superstratum which will overlay us.[jd]

XXXVIII.

So Cuvier says:[502]--and then shall come again Unto the new creation, rising out From our old crash, some mystic, ancient strain Of things destroyed and left in airy doubt; Like to the notions we now entertain Of Titans, giants, fellows of about Some hundred feet in height, _not_ to say _miles,_ And mammoths, and your winged crocodiles.

XXXIX.

Think if then George the Fourth should be dug up![503] How the new worldlings of the then new East Will wonder where such animals could sup! (For they themselves will be but of the least: Even worlds miscarry, when too oft they pup, And every new creation hath decreased In size, from overworking the material-- Men are but maggots of some huge Earth's burial.)

XL.

_How_ will--to these young people, just thrust out From some fresh Paradise, and set to plough, And dig, and sweat, and turn themselves about, And plant, and reap, and spin, and grind, and sow, Till all the arts at length are brought about, Especially of War and taxing,--_how_, I say, will these great relics, when they see 'em, Look like the monsters of a new Museum!

XLI.

But I am apt to grow too metaphysical: "The time is out of joint,"[504]--and so am I; I quite forget this poem's merely quizzical, And deviate into matters rather dry. I ne'er decide what I shall say, and this I call[je] Much too poetical: men should know why They write, and for what end; but, note or text, I never know the word which will come next.

XLII.

So on I ramble, now and then narrating, Now pondering:--it is time we should narrate. I left Don Juan with his horses baiting-- Now we'll get o'er the ground at a great rate: I shall not be particular in stating His journey, we've so many tours of late: Suppose him then at Petersburgh; suppose That pleasant capital of painted snows;[505]

XLIII.

Suppose him in a handsome uniform-- A scarlet coat, black facings, a long plume, Waving, like sails new shivered in a storm, Over a cocked hat in a crowded room, And brilliant breeches, bright as a Cairn Gorme, Of yellow casimire we may presume, White stockings drawn uncurdled as new milk O'er limbs whose symmetry set off the silk;[jf]

XLIV.

Suppose him sword by side, and hat in hand, Made up by Youth, Fame, and an army tailor-- That great enchanter, at whose rod's command Beauty springs forth, and Nature's self turns paler, Seeing how Art can make her work more grand (When she don't pin men's limbs in like a gaoler),-- Behold him placed as if upon a pillar! He[jg] Seems Love turned a Lieutenant of Artillery![506]

XLV.

His bandage slipped down into a cravat-- His wings subdued to epaulettes--his quiver Shrunk to a scabbard, with his arrows at His side as a small sword, but sharp as ever-- His bow converted into a cocked hat-- But still so like, that Psyche were more clever Than some wives (who make blunders no less stupid), If she had not mistaken him for Cupid.

XLVI.

The courtiers stared, the ladies whispered, and The Empress smiled: the reigning favourite frowned--[jh] I quite forget which of them was in hand Just then, as they are rather numerous found,[507] Who took, by turns, that difficult command Since first her Majesty was singly crowned:[508] But they were mostly nervous six-foot fellows, All fit to make a Patagonian jealous.

XLVII.

Juan was none of these, but slight and slim, Blushing and beardless; and, yet, ne'ertheless, There was a something in his turn of limb, And still more in his eye, which seemed to express, That, though he looked one of the Seraphim, There lurked a man beneath the Spirit's dress. Besides, the Empress sometimes liked a boy, And had just buried the fair-faced Lanskoi.[ji][509]

XLVIII.

No wonder then that Yermoloff, or Momonoff,[510] Or Scherbatoff, or any other _off_ Or _on_, might dread her Majesty had not room enough Within her bosom (which was not too tough), For a new flame; a thought to cast of gloom enough Along the aspect, whether smooth or rough, Of him who, in the language of his station, Then held that "high official situation."

XLIX.

O gentle ladies! should you seek to know The import of this diplomatic phrase, Bid Ireland's Londonderry's Marquess[511] show His parts of speech, and in the strange displays Of that odd string of words, all in a row, Which none divine, and every one obeys, Perhaps you may pick out some queer _no_ meaning,-- Of that weak wordy harvest the sole gleaning.

L.

I think I can explain myself without That sad inexplicable beast of prey-- That Sphinx, whose words would ever be a doubt, Did not his deeds unriddle them each day-- 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.

LI.

An English lady asked of an Italian, What were the actual and official duties Of the strange thing some women set a value on, Which hovers oft about some married beauties, Called "Cavalier Servente?"[512]--a Pygmalion Whose statues warm (I fear, alas! too true 't is) Beneath his art:[jj]--the dame, pressed to disclose them, Said--"Lady, I beseech you to _suppose them_."

LII.

And thus I supplicate your supposition, And mildest, matron-like interpretation, Of the imperial favourite's condition. 'T was a high place, the highest in the nation In fact, if not in rank; and the suspicion Of any one's attaining to his station, No doubt gave pain, where each new pair of shoulders, If rather broad, made stocks rise--and their holders.

LIII.

Juan, I said, was a most beauteous boy, And had retained his boyish look beyond The usual hirsute seasons which destroy, With beards and whiskers, and the like, the fond _Parisian_ aspect, which upset old Troy And founded Doctors' Commons:[jk]--I have conned The history of divorces, which, though chequered, Calls Ilion's the first damages on record.

LIV.

And Catherine, who loved all things (save her Lord, Who was gone to his place), and passed for much, Admiring those (by dainty dames abhorred) Gigantic gentlemen, yet had a touch Of sentiment: and he she most adored Was the lamented Lanskoi, who was such A lover as had cost her many a tear, And yet but made a middling grenadier.

LV.

Oh thou "_teterrima causa_" of all "_belli_"--[513] Thou gate of Life and Death--thou nondescript! Whence is our exit and our entrance,--well I May pause in pondering how all souls are dipped In thy perennial fountain:--how man _fell_ I Know not, since Knowledge saw her branches stripped Of her first fruit; but how he _falls_ and rises Since,--_thou_ hast settled beyond all surmises.

LVI.

Some call thee "the _worst_ cause of War," but I Maintain thou art the _best_.--for after all, From thee we come, to thee we go, and why To get at thee not batter down a wall, Or waste a World? since no one can deny Thou dost replenish worlds both great and small: With--or without thee--all things at a stand[jl] Are, or would be, thou sea of Life's dry land![jm]

LVII.

Catherine, who was the grand Epitome Of that great cause of War, or Peace, or what You please (it causes all the things which be, So you may take your choice of this or that)-- Catherine, I say, was very glad to see The handsome herald, on whose plumage sat[514] Victory; and, pausing as she saw him kneel With his despatch, forgot to break the seal.

LVIII.

Then recollecting the whole Empress, nor Forgetting quite the Woman (which composed At least three parts of this great whole), she tore The letter open with an air which posed The Court, that watched each look her visage wore, Until a royal smile at length disclosed Fair weather for the day. Though rather spacious, Her face was noble, her eyes fine, mouth gracious.[515]

LIX.

Great joy was hers, or rather joys: the first Was a ta'en city, thirty thousand slain: Glory and triumph o'er her aspect burst, As an East Indian sunrise on the main:-- These quenched a moment her Ambition's thirst-- So Arab deserts drink in Summer's rain: In vain!--As fall the dews on quenchless sands, Blood only serves to wash Ambition's hands!

LX.

Her next amusement was more fanciful; She smiled at mad Suwarrow's rhymes, who threw Into a Russian couplet rather dull The whole gazette of thousands whom he slew: Her third was feminine enough to annul The shudder which runs naturally through Our veins, when things called Sovereigns think it best To kill, and Generals turn it into jest.

LXI.

The two first feelings ran their course complete, And lighted first her eye, and then her mouth: The whole court looked immediately most sweet, Like flowers well watered after a long drouth:-- 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.

LXII.

Though somewhat large, exuberant, and truculent, When _wroth_--while _pleased_, she was as fine a figure As those who like things rosy, ripe, and succulent, Would wish to look on, while they are in vigour. She could repay each amatory look you lent With interest, and, in turn, was wont with rigour To exact of Cupid's bills the full amount At sight, nor would permit you to discount.

LXIII.

With her the latter, though at times convenient, Was not so necessary; for they tell That she was handsome, and though fierce _looked_ lenient, And always used her favourites too well. If once beyond her boudoir's precincts in ye went, Your "fortune" was in a fair way "to swell A man" (as Giles says);[516] for though she would widow all Nations, she liked Man as an individual.

LXIV.

What a strange thing is Man! and what a stranger Is Woman! What a whirlwind is her head, And what a whirlpool full of depth and danger Is all the rest about her! Whether wed, Or widow--maid--or mother, she can change her Mind like the wind: whatever she has said Or done, is light to what she'll say or do;-- The oldest thing on record, and yet new!

LXV.

Oh Catherine! (for of all interjections, To thee both _oh!_ and _ah!_ belong, of right, In Love and War) how odd are the connections Of human thoughts, which jostle in their flight! Just now _yours_ were cut out in different sections: _First_ Ismail's capture caught your fancy quite; _Next_ of new knights, the fresh and glorious batch: And _thirdly_ he who brought you the despatch!

LXVI.

Shakespeare talks of "the herald Mercury New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill:"[517] And some such visions crossed her Majesty, While her young herald knelt before her still. 'T is very true the hill seemed rather high, For a Lieutenant to climb up; but skill Smoothed even the Simplon's steep, and by God's blessing, With Youth and Health all kisses are "Heaven-kissing."

LXVII.

Her Majesty looked down, the youth looked up-- And so they fell in love;--she with his face, His grace, his God-knows-what: for Cupid's cup With the first draught intoxicates apace, A quintessential laudanum or "Black Drop," Which makes one drunk at once, without the base Expedient of full bumpers; for the eye In love drinks all Life's fountains (save tears) dry.

LXVIII.

He, on the other hand, if not in love, Fell into that no less imperious passion, Self-love--which, when some sort of thing above Ourselves, a singer, dancer, much in fashion, Or Duchess--Princess--Empress, "deigns to prove"[518] ('T is Pope's phrase) a great longing, though a rash one, For one especial person out of many, Make us believe ourselves as good as any.

LXIX.

Besides, he was of that delighted age Which makes all female ages equal--when We don't much care with whom we may engage, As bold as Daniel in the lions' den, So that we can our native sun assuage In the next ocean, which may flow just then-- To make a _twilight_ in, just as Sol's heat is Quenched in the lap of the salt sea, or Thetis.

LXX.

And Catherine (we must say thus much for Catherine), Though bold and bloody, was the kind of thing Whose temporary passion was quite flattering, Because each lover looked a sort of King, Made up upon an amatory pattern, A royal husband in all save the _ring_--[jn] Which, (being the damnedest part of matrimony,) Seemed taking out the sting to leave the honey:

LXXI.

And when you add to this, her Womanhood In its meridian, her blue eyes[519] or gray-- (The last, if they have soul, are quite as good, Or better, as the best examples say: Napoleon's, Mary's[520] (Queen of Scotland), should Lend to that colour a transcendent ray; And Pallas also sanctions the same hue, Too wise to look through optics black or blue)--

LXXII.

Her sweet smile, and her then majestic figure,[jo] Her plumpness, her imperial condescension, Her preference of a boy to men much bigger (Fellows whom Messalina's self would pension), Her prime of life, just now in juicy vigour, With other _extras_, which we need not mention,-- All these, or any one of these, explain Enough to make a stripling very vain.

LXXIII.

And that's enough, for Love is vanity, Selfish in its beginning as its end,[jp] Except where 't is a mere insanity, A maddening spirit which would strive to blend Itself with Beauty's frail inanity, On which the Passion's self seems to depend; And hence some heathenish philosophers Make Love the main-spring of the Universe.

LXXIV.

Besides Platonic love, besides the love Of God, the love of sentiment, the loving Of faithful pairs--(I needs must rhyme with dove, That good old steam-boat which keeps verses moving 'Gainst reason--Reason ne'er was hand-and-glove With rhyme, but always leant less to improving The sound than sense)--besides all these pretences To Love, there are those things which words name senses;

LXXV.

Those movements, those improvements in our bodies Which make all bodies anxious to get out Of their own sand-pits, to mix with a goddess, For such all women are at first no doubt.[jq] How beautiful that moment! and how odd is That fever which precedes the languid rout Of our sensations! What a curious way The whole thing is of clothing souls in clay![jr]

LXXVI.[521]

The noblest kind of love is love Platonical, To end or to begin with; the next grand Is that which may be christened love canonical, Because the clergy take the thing in hand; The third sort to be noted in our chronicle As flourishing in every Christian land, Is when chaste matrons to their other ties Add what may be called _marriage in disguise_.

LXXVII.

Well, we won't analyse--our story must Tell for itself: the Sovereign was smitten, Juan much flattered by her love, or lust;-- I cannot stop to alter words once written, And the _two_ are so mixed with human dust, That he who _names one_, both perchance may hit on: But in such matters Russia's mighty Empress Behaved no better than a common sempstress.

LXXVIII.

The whole court melted into one wide whisper, And all lips were applied unto all ears! The elder ladies' wrinkles curled much crisper As they beheld; the younger cast some leers On one another, and each lovely lisper Smiled as she talked the matter o'er; but tears Of rivalship rose in each clouded eye Of all the standing army who stood by.

LXXIX.

All the ambassadors of all the powers Inquired, Who was this very new young man, Who promised to be great in some few hours? Which is full soon (though Life is but a span). Already they beheld the silver showers Of rubles rain, as fast as specie can, Upon his cabinet, besides the presents Of several ribands, and some thousand peasants.[522]

LXXX.

Catherine was generous,--all such ladies are: Love--that great opener of the heart and all The ways that lead there, be they near or far, Above, below, by turnpikes great or small,-- Love--(though she had a cursed taste for War, And was not the best wife unless we call Such Clytemnestra, though perhaps 't is better That one should die--than two drag on the fetter)--

LXXXI.

Love had made Catherine make each lover's fortune, Unlike our own half-chaste Elizabeth, Whose avarice all disbursements did importune, If History, the grand liar, ever saith The truth; and though grief her old age might shorten, Because she put a favourite to death, Her vile, ambiguous method of flirtation, And stinginess, disgrace her sex and station.

LXXXII.

But when the levée rose, and all was bustle In the dissolving circle, all the nations' Ambassadors began as 't were to hustle Round the young man with their congratulations. Also the softer silks were heard to rustle Of gentle dames, among whose recreations It is to speculate on handsome faces, Especially when such lead to high places.

LXXXIII.

Juan, who found himself, he knew not how, A general object of attention, made His answers with a very graceful bow, As if born for the ministerial trade. Though modest, on his unembarrassed brow Nature had written "Gentleman!" He said Little, but to the purpose; and his manner Flung hovering graces o'er him like a banner.

LXXXIV.

An order from her Majesty consigned Our young Lieutenant to the genial care Of those in office: all the world looked kind, (As it will look sometimes with the first stare, Which Youth would not act ill to keep in mind,) As also did Miss Protasoff[523] then there,[js] Named from her mystic office "l'Eprouveuse," A term inexplicable to the Muse.

LXXXV.

With _her_ then, as in humble duty bound, Juan retired,--and so will I, until My Pegasus shall tire of touching ground. We have just lit on a "heaven-kissing hill," So lofty that I feel my brain turn round, And all my fancies whirling like a mill; Which is a signal to my nerves and brain, To take a quiet ride in some green lane.[524]

FOOTNOTES:

{373}[476] [Stanzas i.-viii., which are headed "_Don Juan_, Canto III., July 10, 1819," are in the handwriting of (?) the Countess Guiccioli. Stanzas ix., x., which were written on the same sheet of paper, are in Byron's handwriting. The original MS. opens with stanza xi., "Death laughs," etc. (See letter to Moore, July 12, 1822, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 96.)]

[477]

["Faut qu' lord Villain-ton ait tout pris; N'y a plus d' argent dans c' gueux de Paris."

De Béranger, "Complainte d'une de ces Demoiselles a l'Occasion des Affaires du Temps (Février, 1816)," _Chansons_, 1821, ii. 17.

Compare a retaliatory epigram which appeared in a contemporary newspaper--

"These French _petit-maîtres_ who the spectacle throng, Say of Wellington's dress _qu'il fait vilain ton!_ But, at Waterloo, Wellington made the French stare When their army he dressed _à la mode Angleterre!_"]

[it] _Oh Wellington_ (_or "Vilainton"_)----.--[MS. B.]

[478] Query, _Ney?_--Printer's Devil. [Michel Ney, Duke of Elchingen, "the bravest of the brave" (see _Ode from the French_, stanza i. _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 431), born January 10, 1769, was arrested August 5, and shot December 7, 1815.]

[479] [The story of the attempted assassination (February 11, 1818) of the Duke of Wellington, which is dismissed by Alison in a few words (_Hist. of Europe_ (1815-1852), 1853, i. 577, 578), occupies many pages of the _Supplementary Despatches_ (1865, xii. 271-546). Byron probably drew his own conclusions as to the Kinnaird-Marinet incident, from the _Letter to the Duke of Wellington on the Arrest of M. Marinet_, by Lord Kinnaird, 1818. The story, which is full of interest, may be briefly recounted. On January 30, 1818, Lord Kinnaird informed Sir George Murray (Chief of the Staff of the Army of Occupation) that a person, whose name he withheld, had revealed to him the existence of a plot to assassinate the Duke of Wellington. At 12.30 a.m., February 11, 1818, the Duke, on returning to his Hotel, was fired at by an unknown person; and then, but not till then, he wrote to urge Lord Clancarty to advise the Prince Regent to take steps to persuade or force Kinnaird to disclose the name of his informant. A Mr. G.W. Chad, of the Consular Service, was empowered to proceed to Brussels, and to seek an interview with Kinnaird. He carried with him, among other documents, a letter from the Duke to Lord Clancarty, dated February 12, 1818. A postscript contained this intimation: "It may be proper to mention to you that the French Government are disposed to go every length in the way of negotiation with the person mentioned by Lord Kinnaird, or others, to discover the plot."

Kinnaird absolutely declined to give up the name of his informant, but, acting on the strength of the postscript, which had been read but not shown to him, started for Paris with "the great unknown." Some days after their arrival, and while Kinnaird was a guest of the Duke, the man was arrested, and discovered to be one Nicholle or Marinet, who had been appointed _receveur_ under the restored government of Louis XVIII., but during the _Cent jours_ had fled to Belgium, retaining the funds he had amassed during his term of office. Kinnaird regarded this action of the French Government as a breach of faith, and in a "Memorial" to the French Chamber of Peers, and his _Letter_, maintained that the Duke's postscript implied a promise of a safe conduct for Marinet to and from Paris to Brussels. The Duke, on the other hand, was equally positive (see his letter to Lord Liverpool, May 30, 1818) "that he never intended to have any negotiations with anybody." Kinnaird was a "dog with a bad name," He had been accused (see his _Letter to the Earl of Liverpool_, 1816, p. 16) of "the promulgation of dangerous opinions," and of intimacy "with persons suspected." The Duke speaks of him as "the friend of Revolutionists"! It is evident that he held the dangerous doctrine that a promise to a rogue _is_ a promise, and that the authorities took a different view of the ethics of the situation. It is clear, too, that the Duke's postscript was ambiguous, but that it did not warrant the assumption that if Marinet went to Paris he should be protected. The air was full of plots. The great Duke despised and was inclined to ignore the pistol or the dagger of the assassin; but he believed that "mischief was afoot," and that "great personages" might or might not be responsible. He was beset by difficulties at every turn, and would have been more than mortal if he had put too favourable a construction on the scruples, or condoned the imprudence of a "friend of Revolutionists."]

{374}[480] [The reference may be to the Duke of Wellington's intimacy with Lady Frances Wedderburn Webster. Byron had "passed that way" himself (see _Letters_, 1898, ii. 251, note i, 323, etc.), and could hardly attack the Duke on _that_ score.]

[481] ["Thou art the best o' the cut-throats." _Macbeth_, act iii. sc. 4, line 17.]

[482] ["I have supped full of horrors." _Macbeth_, act v. sc. 5, line 13.]

[483] _Vide_ speeches in Parliament, after the battle of Waterloo.

{376}[484] ["I at this time got a post, being for fatigue, with four others. We were sent to break biscuit, and make a mess for Lord Wellington's hounds. I was very hungry, and thought it a good job at the time, as we got our own fill, while we broke the biscuit,--a thing I had not got for some days. When thus engaged, the Prodigal Son was never once out of my mind; and I sighed, as I fed the dogs, over my humble situation and my ruined hopes."--_Journal of a Soldier of the 71st Regiment_, 1806 to 1815 (Edinburgh, 1822), pp. 132, 133.]

[485] ["We are assured that Epaminondas died so poor that the Thebans buried him at the public charge; for at his death nothing was found in his house but an iron spit."--Plutarch's _Fabius Maximus_, Langhorne's translation, 1838, p. 140. See, too, Cornelius Nepos, _Epam_., cap. iii. "Paupertatem adeo facilè perpessus est, ut de Republica nihil præter gloriam ceperit."]

[486] [For Pitt's refusal to accept £100,000 from the merchants of London towards the payment of his debts, or £30,000 from the King's Privy Purse, see _Pitt_, by Lord Rosebery, 1891. p. 231.]

{377}[iu] _To_ you _this_ one _unflattering Muse inscribes_.--[MS. erased.]

{377}[iv] _He strips from man his mantle (which is dear_ _Though beautiful in youth) his carnal skin_.--[MS. erased.]

[487] [_Hamlet_, act iii. sc. i, line 56.]

[488] ["O dura messorum ilia!" etc.-Hor., _Epod._ iii. 4.]

[iw] _Ye iron guts_----.--[MS. erased.]

{379}[489] ["Ce n'est qu'à l'édition de 1635 qu'on voit paraître la devise que Montaigne avait adoptée, le _que sais-je_? avec l'emblème des balances. ... Ce _que sais-je_ que Pascal a si sévèrement analysé se lit au chapitre douze du livre ii; il caractérise parfaitement la philosophie de Montaigne; il est la conséquence de cette maxime qu'il avait inscrite en grec sur les solives de sa librairie: 'Il n'est point de raisonnement au quel on n'oppose un raissonnement contraire.'"--_Oeuvres de ... Montaigne_, 1837, "Notice Bibliographique," p. xvii.]

[490] [Concerning the Pyrrhonists or Sceptics and their master Pyrrho, who held that Truth was incomprehensible (_inprensibilis_), and that you may not affirm of aught that it be rather this or that, or neither this nor that (οὐ μᾶλλον οὕτως ἕχει τόδε ἢ ἐκείνως ἢ οὐδετέρως), [Greek: (ou) ma~llon ou(/tôs e(/chei to/de ê)\ e)kei/nôs ê)\ ou)dete/rôs),] see Aul. Gellii _Noct. Attic._, lib. xi. cap. v.]

[491] See _Othello_, [act ii. sc. 3, lines 206, 207: "Well, God's above all, and there be souls must be saved; and there be souls must not be saved--Let's have no more of this."]

{380}[492] [_Hamlet_, act v. sc. 2, lines 94, 98, 102.]

[493] [For "Lycanthropy," see "The Soldier's Story" in the _Satyricôn_ of Petronius Arbiter, cap. 62; see, too, _Letters on Demonology, etc._, by Sir W. Scott, 1830, pp. 211, 212.]

[494] [In respect of suavity and forbearance Melancthon was the counterpart of Luther. John Arrowsmith (1602-1657), in his _Tractica Sacra_, describes him as "Vir in quo cum pietate doctrina, et cum utrâque candor certavit."]

[ix] _Like Moses or like Cobbett who have ne'er._

Moses and Cobbet proclaim themselves the "meekest of men." See their writings.--[MS.]

_Like Moses who was "very meek" had ne'er_.--[MS. erased.]

{381}[495] [See his "Correspondance avec L'Impératrice de Russie," _Oeuvres Complètes_ de Voltaire, 1836, x. 393-477. M. Waliszewski, in his _Story of a Throne_, 1895, i. 224, has gathered a handful of these flowers of speech: "She is the chief person in the world.... She is the fire and life of nations.... She is a saint.... She is above all saints.... She is equal to the mother of God.... She is the divinity of the North.--_Te Catherinam laudamus, te Dominam confitemur, etc., etc._"]

[iy] _Of everything that ever cursed a nation._--[_MS. erased._]

[496] ["It is still more difficult to say which form of government is the _worst_--all are so bad. As for democracy, it is the worst of the whole; for what is (_in fact_) democracy?--an Aristocracy of Blackguards."--See "My Dictionary" (May 1, 1821), _Letters_, 1901, v. 405, 406.]

{382}[iz] _Though priests and slaves may join the servile cry_.--[_MS. erased._]

[497] In Greece I never saw or heard these animals; but among the ruins of Ephesus I have heard them by hundreds.

[See _Childe Harold_, Canto IV. stanza cliii. line 6, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 441; and _Siege of Corinth_, line 329, ibid., 1900, iii. 462, note 1.]

[ja] _Whereas the others hunt for rascal spiders._--[_MS. erased._]

[jb] _Which still are strongly fluttering to be free_.--[_MS. erased._]

{383}[498] [Compare _The Age of Bronze_, line 576, sq., _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 570.]

{384}[499] [Nadir Shah, or Thamas Kouli Khan, born November, 1688, invaded India, 1739-40, was assassinated June 19, 1747.]

[jc] ---- _went mad and was_ _Killed because what he swallowed would not pass_.--[MS. erased.]

[500] He was killed in a conspiracy, after his temper had been exasperated by his extreme costivity to a degree of insanity.

[To such a height had his madness (attributed to _melancholia_ produced by dropsy) attained, that he actually ordered the Afghan chiefs to rise suddenly upon the Persian guard, and seize the ... chief nobles; but the project being discovered, the intended victims conspired in turn, and a body of them, including Nadir's guard, and the chief of his own tribe of Afshar, entered his tent at midnight, and, after a moment's involuntary pause--when challenged by the deep voice at which they had so often trembled--rushed upon the king, who being brought to the ground by a sabre-stroke, begged for life, and attempted to rise, but soon expired beneath the repeated blows of the conspirators.--_The Indian Empire_, by R. Montgomery Martin (1857), i. 172.]

[501] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto I. stanza lxvii. line 5, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 64, note 3.]

{385}[jd] _Or the substrata_----.--[MS.]

[502] [Compare Preface to _Cain_, _Poetical Works_, 1901, V. 210, note 1.]

[503] [_Vide ante,_ Canto VIII. stanza cxxvi. line 9, p. 368.]

{386}[504] [_Hamlet_, act i. sc. 5, line 189.]

[je] _I never know what's next to come_----.--[MS. erased.]

[505] [It is possible that the phrase "painted snows" was suggested by Tooke's description of the winter-garden of the Taurida Palace: "The genial warmth, ... the voluptuous silence that reigns in this enchanting garden, lull the fancy into sweet romantic dreams: we think ourselves in the groves of Italy, while torpid nature, through the windows of this pavilion, announces the severity of a northern winter" (_The Life, etc._, 1800, iii. 48).]

{387}[jf] _O'er limits which mightily_----:--[MS. erased.]

[jg]---- _in Youth and Glory's pillory_.--[MS. erased.]

[506] [In his _Notes sur le Don Juanisme_ (_Mercure de France_, 1898, xxvi. 66), M. Bruchard says that this phrase defines and summarizes the Byronic Don Juan.]

[jh] _The Empress smiled while all the Orloff frowned_-- _A numerous family, to whose heart or hand_ _Mild Catherine owed the chance of being crowned,_.--[MS. erased.]

{388}[507] [C.F.P. Masson, in his _Mémoires Secrets, etc._, 1880, i. 150-178, gives a list of twelve favourites, and in this Canto, Don Juan takes upon himself the characteristics of at least three, Lanskoï, Zoritch (or Zovitch), and Plato Zoubof. For example (p. 167), "Zoritch ... est le seul étranger qu'elle ait osé créer son favori pendant son regne. C'étoit un _Servien_ échappé du bagne de Constantinople où il étoit prisonnier: il parut, pour la première fois, en habit de hussard à la cour. Il éblouit tout le monde par sa beauté, et les vielles dames en parlent encore comme d'un Adonis." M. Waliszewski, in his _Romance of an Empress_ (1894), devotes a chapter to "Private Life and Favouritism" (ii. 234-286), in which he graphically describes the election and inauguration of the _Vremienchtchik_, "the man of the moment," paramour regnant, and consort of the Empress _pro hac vice_: "'We may observe in Russia a sort of interregnum in affairs, caused by the displacement of one favourite and the installation of his successor.' ... The interregnums are, however, of very short duration. Only one lasts for several months, between the death of Lanskoï (1784) and the succession of Iermolof.... There is no lack of candidates. The place is good.... Sometimes, too, on the height by the throne, reached at a bound, these spoilt children of fate grow giddy.... It is over in an instant, at an evening reception it is noticed that the Empress has gazed attentively at some obscure lieutenant, presented but just before ... next day it is reported that he has been appointed aide-de-camp to her Majesty. What that means is well known. Next day he finds himself in the special suite of rooms.... The rooms are already vacated, and everything is prepared for the new-comer. All imaginable comfort and luxury ... await him; and, on opening a drawer, he finds a hundred thousand roubles [about £20,000], the usual first gift, a foretaste of Pactolus. That evening, before the assembled court, the Empress appears, leaning familiarly on his arm, and on the stroke of ten, as she retires, the new favourite follows her" (_ibid._, pp. 246-249).]

[508] [After the death or murder of her husband, Peter III., Catherine Alexievna (1729-1796) (born Sophia Augusta), daughter of the Prince of Anhalt Zerbst, was solemnly crowned (September, 1762) Empress of all the Russias.]

{389}[ji] _And almost died for the scarce-fledged Lanskoi_.--[MS. erased.]

[509] He was the grande passion of the grande Catherine. See her Lives under the head of "Lanskoi."

[Lanskoi was a youth of as fine and interesting a figure as the imagination can paint. Of all Catherine's favourites, he was the man whom she loved the most. In 1784 he was attacked with a fever, and perished in the arms of her Majesty. When he was no more, Catherine gave herself up to the most poignant grief, and remained three months without going out of her palace of Tzarsko-selo. She afterwards raised a superb monument to his memory. (See _Life of Catherine II._, by W. Tooke, 1800, iii. 88, 89.)]

[510] [Ten months after the death of Lanskoi, the Empress consoled herself with Iermolof, described, by Bezborodky, as "a modest refined young man, who cultivates the society of serious people." In less than a year this excellent youth is, in turn, displaced by Dmitrief Mamonof. His _petit nom_ was _Red Coat_, and, for a time, he is a "priceless creature." "He has," says Catherine, "two superb black eyes, with eyebrows outlined as one rarely sees; about the middle height, noble in manner, easy in demeanour." But Mamonof suffered from "scruples of conscience," and, after a while, with Catherine's consent and blessing, was happily married to the Princess Shtcherbatof, a maid of honour, and not, as Byron supposed, a rival "man of the moment."--See _The Story of a Throne_, by K. Waliszewski, 1895, ii. 135, sq.]

[511] This was written long before the suicide of that person. [For "his parts of speech" compare--

" ... that long mandarin C-stle-r-agh (whom Fum calls the Confucius of Prose) Was rehearsing a speech upon Europe's repose To the deep double bass of the fat Idol's nose."

Moore's _Fum and Hum, The Two Birds of Royalty_.]

{390}[512] [Compare _Beppo_, stanza xvii. line 8, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 165. See, too, letter to Hoppner, December 31, 1819, _Letters_, 1900, iv. 393.]

[jj] _Beneath his chisel_-- or, _Beneath his touches_----.--[MS. erased.]

{391}[jk] ---- _and bound fair Helen in a bond_.--[MS. erased.]

[513] Hor., _Sat._, lib. i. sat. iii. lines 107, 108.

[jl] _That Riddle which all read, none understand_.--[MS. erased.]

[jm]---- _thou Sea which lavest Life's sand_.--[MS. erased.]

{392}[514] ["Fortune and victory sit on thy helm."--_Richard III._, act v, sc. 3, line 79.]

[515] ["Catherine had been handsome in her youth, and she preserved a gracefulness and majesty to the last period of her life. She was of a moderate stature, but well proportioned; and as she carried her head very high, she appeared rather tall. She had an open front, an aquiline nose, an agreeable mouth, and her chin, though long, was not mis-shapen. Her hair was auburn, her eyebrows black and rather thick, and her blue eyes had a gentleness which was often affected, but oftener still a mixture of pride. Her physiognomy was not deficient in expression; but this expression never discovered what was passing in the soul of Catherine, or rather it served her the better to disguise it."--_Life of Catherine II._, by W. Tooke, in. 381 (translated from _Vie de Catherine II._ (J.H. Castéra), 1797, ii. 450).]

{393}[516] ["His fortune swells him: 'Tis rank, he's married."--_Sir Giles Overreach_, in Massinger's _New Way to pay Old Debts_, act v. sc. 1.]

{394}[517] [_Hamlet_, act iii. sc. iv. lines 58, 59.]

{395}[518]

["Not Cæsar's empress would I deign to prove; No! make me mistress to the man I love."

Pope, _Eloisa to Abelard_, lines 87, 88.]

[jn] _O'er whom an Empress her Crown-jewels scattering_ _Was wed with something better than a ring_.--[MS. erased.]

[519] ["Several persons who lived at the court affirm that Catherine had very blue eyes, and not brown, as M. Rulhières has stated."--_Life of Catherine II._, by W. Tooke, 1800, iii. 382.]

{396}[520] [The historic Catherine (_æt._ 62) was past her meridian in the spring of 1791.]

[jo] _Her figure, and her vigour, and her rigour_.--[MS. erased.]

[jp] _In its sincere beginning, or dull end_.--[MS. erased.]

{397}[jq] _For such all women are just_ then, _no doubt_.--[MS.]

[jr] _Of such sensations, in the drowsy drear_ After--_which shadows the, say_--second _year_.--[MS.] _Of that sad heavy, drowsy, doubly drear_ After, _which shadows the first--say, year_.--[MS. erased.]

[521] [Stanza lxxvi. is not in the MS.]

{398}[522] A Russian estate is always valued by the number of the slaves upon it.

{399}[523] [The "Protassova" (born 1744) was a cousin of the Orlofs. She survived Catherine by many years, and was, writes M. Waliszewski (_The Story of a Throne_, 1895, ii. 193), "present at the Congress of Vienna, covered with diamonds like a reliquary, and claiming precedence of every one." She is named _l'éprouveuse_ in a note to the _Mémoires Secrets_, 1800, i. 148.]

[js] _And not be dazzled by its early glare_.--[MS. erased.]

[524] End of Canto 9^th^, Augt. Sept., 1822. B.

CANTO THE TENTH.

I.

When Newton saw an apple fall, he found In that slight startle from his contemplation-- 'T is _said_ (for I'll not answer above ground For any sage's creed or calculation)-- A mode of proving that the Earth turned round In a most natural whirl, called "gravitation;" And this is the sole mortal who could grapple,[jt] Since Adam--with a fall--or with an apple.[ju][525]

II.

Man fell with apples, and with apples rose, If this be true; for we must deem the mode In which Sir Isaac Newton could disclose Through the then unpaved stars the turnpike road,[jv] A thing to counterbalance human woes:[526] For ever since immortal man hath glowed With all kinds of mechanics, and full soon Steam-engines will conduct him to the moon.

III.

And wherefore this exordium?--Why, just now, In taking up this paltry sheet of paper, My bosom underwent a glorious glow, And my internal spirit cut a caper: And though so much inferior, as I know, To those who, by the dint of glass and vapour, Discover stars, and sail in the wind's eye, I wish to do as much by Poesy.

IV.

In the wind's eye I have sailed, and sail; but for The stars, I own my telescope is dim; But at the least I have shunned the common shore, And leaving land far out of sight, would skim The Ocean of Eternity:[527] the roar Of breakers has not daunted my slight, trim, But _still_ sea-worthy skiff; and she may float Where ships have foundered, as doth many a boat.

V.

We left our hero, Juan, in the _bloom_ Of favouritism, but not yet in the _blush;--_ And far be it from my _Muses_ to presume (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 Of Youth, and Vigour, Beauty, and those things Which for an instant clip Enjoyment's wings.

VI.

But soon they grow again and leave their nest. "Oh!" saith the Psalmist, "that I had a dove's Pinions to flee away, and be at rest!" 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 dimmed eye's sphere,--but would much rather Sigh like his son, than cough like his grandfather?

VII.

But sighs subside, and tears (even widows') shrink, Like Arno[528] in the summer, to a shallow, So narrow as to shame their wintry brink, Which threatens inundations deep and yellow! Such difference doth a few months make. You'd think Grief a rich field which never would lie fallow; No more it doth--its ploughs but change their boys, Who furrow some new soil to sow for joys.

VIII.

But coughs will come when sighs depart--and now And then before sighs cease; for oft the one Will bring the other, ere the lake-like brow Is ruffled by a wrinkle, or the Sun Of Life reached ten o'clock: and while a glow, Hectic and brief as summer's day nigh done, O'erspreads the cheek which seems too pure for clay, Thousands blaze, love, hope, die,--how happy they!--

IX.

But Juan was not meant to die so soon:-- We left him in the focus of such glory As may be won by favour of the moon Or ladies' fancies--rather transitory Perhaps; but who would scorn the month of June, Because December, with his breath so hoary, Must come? Much rather should he court the ray, To hoard up warmth against a wintry day.

X.

Besides, he had some qualities which fix Middle-aged ladies even more than young: The former know what's what; while new-fledged chicks Know little more of Love than what is sung In rhymes, or dreamt (for Fancy will play tricks) In visions of those skies from whence Love sprung. Some reckon women by their suns or years, I rather think the Moon should date the dears.

XI.

And why? because she's changeable and chaste: I know no other reason, whatsoe'er Suspicious people, who find fault in haste,[jw] May choose to tax me with; which is not fair, Nor flattering to "their temper or their taste," As my friend Jeffrey writes with such an air:[529] However, I forgive him, and I trust He will forgive himself;--if not, I must.

XII.

Old enemies who have become new friends Should so continue--'t is a point of honour; And I know nothing which could make amends For a return to Hatred: I would shun her Like garlic, howsoever she extends Her hundred arms and legs, and fain outrun her. Old flames, new wives, become our bitterest foes-- Converted foes should scorn to join with those.

XIII.

This were the worst desertion:--renegadoes, Even shuffling Southey, that incarnate lie,[jx] Would scarcely join again the "reformadoes,"[530] Whom he forsook to fill the Laureate's sty; And honest men from Iceland to Barbadoes, Whether in Caledon or Italy, Should not veer round with every breath, nor seize To pain, the moment when you cease to please.

XIV.

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 common men grow ignorantly old, The lawyer's brief is like the surgeon's knife, Dissecting the whole inside of a question, And with it all the process of digestion.

XV.[531]

A legal broom's a moral chimney-sweeper, And that's the reason he himself's so dirty; The endless soot[532] bestows a tint far deeper Than can be hid by altering his shirt; he Retains the sable stains of the dark creeper, At least some twenty-nine do out of thirty, In all their habits;--not so _you_, I own; As Cæsar wore his robe you wear your gown.[533]

XVI.

And all our little feuds, at least all _mine_, Dear Jeffrey, once my most redoubted foe (As far as rhyme and criticism combine To make such puppets of us things below), Are over: Here's a health to "Auld Lang Syne!" I do not know you, and may never know Your face--but you have acted on the whole Most nobly, and I own it from my soul.

XVII.

And when I use the phrase of "Auld Lang Syne!" 'T is not addressed to you--the more's the pity For me, for I would rather take my wine With you, than aught (save Scott) in your proud city: But somehow--it may seem a schoolboy's whine, And yet I seek not to be grand nor witty, But I am half a Scot by birth, and bred A whole one, and my heart flies to my head,--[534]

XVIII.

As "Auld Lang Syne" brings Scotland, one and all,[535] Scotch plaids, Scotch snoods, the blue hills, and clear streams, The Dee--the Don--Balgounie's brig's _black wall_--[536] All my boy feelings, all my gentler dreams Of what I _then dreamt_, clothed in their own pall,-- Like Banquo's offspring--floating past me seems My childhood, in this childishness of mine:-- I care not--'t is a glimpse of "_Auld Lang Syne_."

XIX.

And though, as you remember, in a fit Of wrath and rhyme, when juvenile and curly, I railed at Scots to show my wrath and wit, Which must be owned was sensitive and surly, Yet 't is in vain such sallies to permit, They cannot quench young feelings fresh and early: I "_scotched_ not killed" the Scotchman in my blood, And love the land of "mountain and of flood."[537]

XX.

Don Juan, who was real, or ideal,-- For both are much the same, since what men think Exists when the once thinkers are less real Than what they thought, for Mind can never sink, And 'gainst the Body makes a strong appeal; And yet 't is very puzzling on the brink Of what is called Eternity to stare, And know no more of what is _here_, than _there_;--

XXI.

Don Juan grew a very polished Russian-- _How_ we won't mention, _why_ we need not say: Few youthful minds can stand the strong concussion Of any slight temptation in their way; But _his_ just now were spread as is a cushion Smoothed for a Monarch's seat of honour: gay Damsels, and dances, revels, ready money, Made ice seem Paradise, and winter sunny.

XXII.

The favour of the Empress was agreeable; And though the duty waxed a little hard, Young people at his time of life should be able To come off handsomely in that regard. He was now growing up like a green tree, able For Love, War, or Ambition, which reward Their luckier votaries, till old Age's tedium Make some prefer the circulating medium.

XXIII.

About this time, as might have been anticipated, Seduced by Youth and dangerous examples, Don Juan grew, I fear, a little dissipated; Which is a sad thing, and not only tramples On our fresh feelings, but--as being participated With all kinds of incorrigible samples Of frail humanity--must make us selfish, And shut our souls up in us like a shell-fish.

XXIV.

This we pass over. We will also pass The usual progress of intrigues between Unequal matches, such as are, alas! A young Lieutenant's with a _not old_ Queen, But one who is not so youthful as she was In all the royalty of sweet seventeen.[jy] Sovereigns may sway materials, but not matter, And wrinkles, the d----d democrats! won't flatter.

XXV.

And Death, the Sovereign's Sovereign, though the great Gracchus of all mortality, who levels, With his _Agrarian_ laws,[538] the high estate Of him who feasts, and fights, and roars, and revels, To one small grass-grown patch (which must await Corruption for its crop) with the poor devils Who never had a foot of land till now,-- Death's a reformer--all men must allow.

XXVI.

He lived (not Death, but Juan) in a hurry Of waste, and haste, and glare, and gloss, and glitter, In this gay clime of bear-skins black and furry-- Which (though I hate to say a thing that's bitter) Peep out sometimes, when things are in a flurry, Through all the "purple and fine linen," fitter For Babylon's than Russia's royal harlot-- And neutralise her outward show of scarlet.

XXVII.

And this same state we won't describe: we would Perhaps from hearsay, or from recollection: But getting nigh grim Dante's "obscure wood,"[539] That horrid equinox, that hateful section Of human years--that half-way house--that rude Hut, whence wise travellers drive with circumspection[jz] Life's sad post-horses o'er the dreary frontier Of Age, and looking back to Youth, give _one_ tear;--

XXVIII.

I won't describe,--that is, if I can help Description; and I won't reflect,--that is, If I can stave off thought, which--as a whelp Clings to its teat--sticks to me through the abyss Of this odd labyrinth; or as the kelp Holds by the rock; or as a lover's kiss Drains its first draught of lips:--but, as I said, I _won't_ philosophise, and _will_ be read.

XXIX.

Juan, instead of courting courts, was courted,-- A thing which happens rarely: this he owed Much to his youth, and much to his reported Valour; much also to the blood he showed, Like a race-horse; much to each dress he sported, Which set the beauty off in which he glowed, As purple clouds befringe the sun; but most He owed to an old woman and his post.

XXX.

He wrote to Spain;--and all his near relations, Perceiving he was in a handsome way Of getting on himself, and finding stations For cousins also, answered the same day. Several prepared themselves for emigrations; And eating ices, were o'erheard to say, That with the addition of a slight pelisse, Madrid's and Moscow's climes were of a piece.

XXXI.

His mother, Donna Inez, finding, too, That in the lieu of drawing on his banker, Where his assets were waxing rather few, He had brought his spending to a handsome anchor,-- Replied, "that she was glad to see him through Those pleasures after which wild youth will hanker; As the sole sign of Man's being in his senses Is--learning to reduce his past expenses.[ka]

XXXII.

"She also recommended him to God, And no less to God's Son, as well as Mother, Warned him against Greek worship, which looks odd In Catholic eyes; but told him, too, to smother _Outward_ dislike, which don't look well abroad; Informed him that he had a little brother Born in a second wedlock; and above All, praised the Empress's _maternal_ love.

XXXIII.

"She could not too much give her approbation Unto an Empress, who preferred young men Whose age, and what was better still, whose nation And climate, stopped all scandal (now and then);-- At home it might have given her some vexation; But where thermometers sink down to ten, Or five, or one, or zero, she could never Believe that Virtue thawed before the river."[kb]

XXXIV.

Oh for a _forty-parson power_[540]--to chant Thy praise, Hypocrisy! Oh for a hymn Loud as the virtues thou dost loudly vaunt, Not practise! Oh for trump of Cherubim! Or the ear-trumpet of my good old aunt,[541] Who, though her spectacles at last grew dim, Drew quiet consolation through its hint, When she no more could read the pious print.

XXXV.

She was no Hypocrite at least, poor soul, But went to heaven in as sincere a way As anybody on the elected roll, Which portions out upon the Judgment Day Heaven's freeholds, in a sort of Doomsday scroll, Such as the conqueror William did repay His knights with, lotting others' properties Into some sixty thousand new knights' fees.

XXXVI.

I can't complain, whose ancestors are there, Erneis, Radulphus--eight-and-forty manors (If that my memory doth not greatly err) Were _their_ reward for following Billy's banners:[542] And though I can't help thinking 't was scarce fair To strip the Saxons of their _hydes_[543] like tanners; Yet as they founded churches with the produce, You'll deem, no doubt, they put it to a good use.[kc]

XXXVII.

The gentle Juan flourished, though at times He felt like other plants called sensitive, Which shrink from touch, as Monarchs do from rhymes, Save such as Southey can afford to give. Perhaps he longed in bitter frosts for climes In which the Neva's ice would cease to live Before May-day: perhaps, despite his duty, In Royalty's vast arms he sighed for Beauty:

XXXVIII.

Perhaps--but, sans perhaps, we need not seek[kd] For causes young or old: the canker-worm Will feed upon the fairest, freshest cheek, As well as further drain the withered form: Care, like a housekeeper, brings every week His bills in, and however we may storm, They must be paid: though six days smoothly run, The seventh will bring blue devils or a dun.

XXXIX.

I don't know how it was, but he grew sick: The Empress was alarmed, and her physician (The same who physicked Peter) found the tick Of his fierce pulse betoken a condition Which augured of the dead, however _quick_ Itself, and showed a feverish disposition; At which the whole Court was extremely troubled, The Sovereign shocked, and all his medicines doubled.

XL.

Low were the whispers, manifold the rumours: Some said he had been poisoned by Potemkin; Others talked learnedly of certain tumours, Exhaustion, or disorders of the same kin;[544] Some said 't was a concoction of the humours, Which with the blood too readily will claim kin: Others again were ready to maintain, "'T was only the fatigue of last campaign."

XLI.

But here is one prescription out of many: "_Sodae sulphat_. ʒvj. ʒfs. _Mannae optim._ _Aq. fervent._ f. ℥ ifs. ʒij. _tinct. Sennae_ _Haustus_" (And here the surgeon came and cupped him) "℞ _Pulv. Com._ gr. iij. _Ipecacuanhæ_" (With more beside if Juan had not stopped 'em). "_Bolus Potassae Sulphuret. sumendus_, _Et haustus ter in die capiendus._"

XLII.

This is the way physicians mend or end us, _Secundum artem_: but although we sneer In health--when ill, we call them to attend us, Without the least propensity to jeer; While that "_hiatus maxime deflendus_" To be filled up by spade or mattock's near, Instead of gliding graciously down Lethe, We tease mild Baillie,[545] or soft Abernethy.

XLIII.

Juan demurred at this first notice to Quit; and though Death had threatened an ejection, His youth and constitution bore him through, And sent the doctors in a new direction. But still his state was delicate: the hue Of health but flickered with a faint reflection Along his wasted cheek, and seemed to gravel The faculty--who said that he must travel.

XLIV.

The climate was too cold, they said, for him, Meridian-born, to bloom in. This opinion Made the chaste Catherine look a little grim, Who did not like at first to lose her minion: But when she saw his dazzling eye wax dim, And drooping like an eagle's with clipt pinion, She then resolved to send him on a mission, But in a style becoming his condition.

XLV.

There was just then a kind of a discussion, A sort of treaty or negotiation, Between the British cabinet and Russian, Maintained with all the due prevarication With which great states such things are apt to push on; Something about the Baltic's navigation, Hides, train-oil, tallow, and the rights of Thetis, Which Britons deem their _uti possidetis_.

XLVI.

So Catherine, who had a handsome way Of fitting out her favourites, conferred This secret charge on Juan, to display At once her royal splendour, and reward His services. He kissed hands the next day, Received instructions how to play his card, Was laden with all kinds of gifts and honours, Which showed what great discernment was the donor's.

XLVII.

But she was lucky, and luck's all. Your Queens Are generally prosperous in reigning-- Which puzzles us to know what Fortune means:-- But to continue--though her years were waning, Her climacteric teased her like her teens; And though her dignity brooked no complaining, So much did Juan's setting off distress her, She could not find at first a fit successor.

XLVIII.

But Time, the comforter, will come at last; And four-and-twenty hours, and twice that number Of candidates requesting to be placed, Made Catherine taste next night a quiet slumber:-- Not that she meant to fix again in haste, Nor did she find the quantity encumber, But always choosing with deliberation, Kept the place open for their emulation.

XLIX.

While this high post of honour's in abeyance, For one or two days, reader, we request You'll mount with our young hero the conveyance Which wafted him from Petersburgh: the best Barouche, which had the glory to display once The fair Czarina's autocratic crest, When, a new Iphigene, she went to Tauris, Was given to her favourite,[546] and now _bore his_.

L.

A bull-dog, and a bullfinch, and an ermine, All private favourites of Don Juan;--for (Let deeper sages the true cause determine) He had a kind of inclination, or Weakness, for what most people deem mere vermin, Live animals: an old maid of threescore For cats and birds more penchant ne'er displayed, Although he was not old, nor even a maid;--

LI.

The animals aforesaid occupied Their station: there were valets, secretaries, In other vehicles; but at his side Sat little Leila, who survived the parries He made 'gainst Cossacque sabres in the wide Slaughter of Ismail. Though my wild Muse varies Her note, she don't forget the infant girl Whom he preserved, a pure and living pearl.

LII.

Poor little thing! She was as fair as docile, And with that gentle, serious character, As rare in living beings as a fossile Man, 'midst thy mouldy mammoths, "grand Cuvier!"[ke] Ill fitted was her ignorance to jostle With this o'erwhelming world, where all must err: But she was yet but ten years old, and therefore Was tranquil, though she knew not why or wherefore.

LIII.

Don Juan loved her, and she loved him, as Nor brother, father, sister, daughter love.--I cannot tell exactly what it was; He was not yet quite old enough to prove Parental feelings, and the other class, Called brotherly affection, could not move His bosom,--for he never had a sister: Ah! if he had--how much he would have missed her!

LIV.

And still less was it sensual; for besides That he was not an ancient debauchee, (Who like sour fruit, to stir their veins' salt tides, As acids rouse a dormant alkali,)[kf] Although (_'t will_ happen as our planet guides) His youth was not the chastest that might be, There was the purest Platonism at bottom Of all his feelings--only he forgot 'em.

LV.

Just now there was no peril of temptation; He loved the infant orphan he had saved, As patriots (now and then) may love a nation; His pride, too, felt that she was not enslaved Owing to him;--as also her salvation Through his means and the Church's might be paved. But one thing's odd, which here must be inserted, The little Turk refused to be converted.

LVI.

'T was strange enough she should retain the impression Through such a scene of change, and dread, and slaughter; But though three Bishops told her the transgression, She showed a great dislike to holy water; She also had no passion for confession; Perhaps she had nothing to confess:--no matter, Whate'er the cause, the Church made little of it-- She still held out that Mahomet was a prophet.

LVII.

In fact, the only Christian she could bear Was Juan; whom she seemed to have selected In place of what her home and friends once _were_. _He_ naturally loved what he protected: And thus they formed a rather curious pair, A guardian green in years, a ward connected In neither clime, time, blood, with her defender; And yet this want of ties made theirs more tender.

LVIII.

They journeyed on through Poland and through Warsaw, Famous for mines of salt and yokes of iron: Through Courland also, which that famous farce saw Which gave her dukes the graceless name of "Biron."[547] 'T is the same landscape which the modern Mars saw, Who marched to Moscow, led by Fame, the Siren! To lose by one month's frost some twenty years Of conquest, and his guard of Grenadiers.

LIX.

Let this not seem an anti-climax:--"Oh! My guard! my old guard!"[548] exclaimed that god of clay. Think of the Thunderer's falling down below Carotid-artery-cutting Castlereagh![kg] Alas! that glory should be chilled by snow! But should we wish to warm us on our way Through Poland, there is Kosciusko's name Might scatter fire through ice, like Hecla's flame.

LX.

From Poland they came on through Prussia Proper, And Königsberg, the capital, whose vaunt, Besides some veins of iron, lead, or copper, Has lately been the great Professor Kant.[549] Juan, who cared not a tobacco-stopper About philosophy, pursued his jaunt To Germany, whose somewhat tardy millions Have princes who spur more than their postilions.

LXI.

And thence through Berlin, Dresden, and the like, Until he reached the castellated Rhine:-- Ye glorious Gothic scenes! how much ye strike All phantasies, not even excepting mine! A grey wall, a green ruin, rusty pike, Make my soul pass the equinoctial line Between the present and past worlds, and hover Upon their airy confines, half-seas-over.

LXII.

But Juan posted on through Mannheim, Bonn, Which Drachenfels[550] frowns over like a spectre Of the good feudal times for ever gone, On which I have not time just now to lecture. From thence he was drawn onwards to Cologne, A city which presents to the inspector Eleven thousand maiden heads of bone. The greatest number flesh hath ever known.[551]

LXIII.

From thence to Holland's Hague and Helvoetsluys, That water-land of Dutchmen and of ditches, Where juniper expresses its best juice, The poor man's sparkling substitute for riches. Senates and sages have condemned its use-- But to deny the mob a cordial, which is Too often all the clothing, meat, or fuel, Good government has left them, seems but cruel.

LXIV.

Here he embarked, and with a flowing sail Went bounding for the Island of the free, Towards which the impatient wind blew half a gale; High dashed the spray, the bows dipped in the sea, And sea-sick passengers turned somewhat pale; But Juan, seasoned, as he well might be, By former voyages, stood to watch the skiffs Which passed, or catch the first glimpse of the cliffs.

LXV.

At length they rose, like a white wall along The blue sea's border; and Don Juan felt-- What even young strangers feel a little strong At the first sight of Albion's chalky belt--A kind of pride that he should be among Those haughty shopkeepers, who sternly dealt Their goods and edicts out from pole to pole, And made the very billows pay them toll.

LXVI.

I've no great cause to love that spot of earth, Which holds what _might have been_ the noblest nation; But though I owe it little but my birth, I feel a mixed regret and veneration For its decaying fame and former worth. Seven years (the usual term of transportation) Of absence lay one's old resentments level, When a man's country's going to the devil.

LXVII.

Alas! could she but fully, truly, know How her great name is now throughout abhorred; How eager all the Earth is for the blow Which shall lay bare her bosom to the sword; How all the nations deem her their worst foe, That worse than _worst of foes_, the once adored False friend, who held out Freedom to Mankind, And now would chain them--to the very _mind_;--

LXVIII.

Would she be proud, or boast herself the free, Who is but first of slaves? The nations are In prison,--but the gaoler, what is he? No less a victim to the bolt and bar. Is the poor privilege to turn the key Upon the captive, Freedom? He's as far From the enjoyment of the earth and air Who watches o'er the chain, as they who wear.

LXIX.

Don Juan now saw Albion's earliest beauties, Thy cliffs, _dear_ Dover! harbour, and hotel; Thy custom-house, with all its delicate duties; Thy waiters running mucks at every bell; Thy packets, all whose passengers are booties To those who upon land or water dwell; And last, not least, to strangers uninstructed, Thy long, long bills, whence nothing is deducted.

LXX.

Juan, though careless, young, and _magnifique_, And rich in rubles, diamonds, cash, and credit, Who did not limit much his bills per week, Yet stared at this a little, though he paid it,-- (His Maggior Duomo, a smart, subtle Greek, Before him summed the awful scroll and read it): But, doubtless, as the air--though seldom sunny-- Is free, the respiration's worth the money.

LXXI.

On with the horses! Off to Canterbury! Tramp, tramp o'er pebble, and splash, splash through puddle; Hurrah! how swiftly speeds the post so merry! Not like slow Germany, wherein they muddle Along the road,[552] as if they went to bury Their fare; and also pause besides, to fuddle With "schnapps"--sad dogs! whom "Hundsfot," or "Verflucter,"[553] Affect no more than lightning a conductor.[kh]

LXXII.

Now there is nothing gives a man such spirits, Leavening his blood as cayenne doth a curry, As going at full speed--no matter where its Direction be, so 't is but in a hurry, And merely for the sake of its own merits; For the less cause there is for all this flurry, The greater is the pleasure in arriving At the great _end_ of travel--which is driving.

LXXIII.

They saw at Canterbury the cathedral; Black Edward's helm, and Becket's bloody stone, Were pointed out as usual by the bedral, In the same quaint, uninterested tone:-- There's glory again for you, gentle reader! All Ends in a rusty casque and dubious bone,[554] Half-solved into these sodas or magnesias, Which form that bitter draught, the human species.

LXXIV.

The effect on Juan was of course sublime: He breathed a thousand Cressys, as he saw That casque, which never stooped except to Time. Even the bold Churchman's tomb excited awe, Who died in the then great attempt to climb O'er Kings, who _now_ at least _must talk_ of Law Before they butcher. Little Leila gazed, And asked why such a structure had been raised:

LXXV.

And being told it was "God's House," she said He was well lodged, but only wondered how He suffered Infidels in his homestead, The cruel Nazarenes, who had laid low His holy temples in the lands which bred The True Believers;--and her infant brow Was bent with grief that Mahomet should resign A mosque so noble, flung like pearls to swine.

LXXVI.

On! on! through meadows, managed like a garden, A paradise of hops and high production; For, after years of travel by a bard in Countries of greater heat, but lesser suction, A green field is a sight which makes him pardon The absence of that more sublime construction, Which mixes up vines--olives--precipices-- Glaciers--volcanoes--oranges and ices.

LXXVII.

And when I think upon a pot of beer---- But I won't weep!--and so drive on, postilions! As the smart boys spurred fast in their career, Juan admired these highways of free millions-- A country in all senses the most dear To foreigner or native, save some silly ones, Who "kick against the pricks" just at this juncture, And for their pains get only a fresh puncture.[ki]

LXXVIII.

What a delightful thing's a turnpike road! So smooth, so level, such a mode of shaving The Earth, as scarce the eagle in the broad Air can accomplish, with his wide wings waving. Had such been cut in Phaeton's time, the god Had told his son to satisfy his craving With the York mail;--but onward as we roll, _Surgit amari aliquid_--the toll![555]

LXXIX.

Alas! how deeply painful is all payment! Take lives--take wives--take aught except men's purses: As Machiavel shows those in purple raiment, Such is the shortest way to general curses.[556] They hate a murderer much less than a claimant On that sweet ore which everybody nurses.-- Kill a man's family, and he may brook it, But keep your hands out of his breeches' pocket:

LXXX.

So said the Florentine: ye monarchs, hearken To your instructor. Juan now was borne, Just as the day began to wane and darken, O'er the high hill, which looks with pride or scorn Toward the great city.--Ye who have a spark in Your veins of Cockney spirit, smile or mourn According as you take things well or ill;-- Bold Britons, we are now on Shooter's Hill!

LXXXI.

The Sun went down, the smoke rose up, as from A half-unquenched volcano, o'er a space Which well beseemed the "Devil's drawing-room," As some have qualified that wondrous place: But Juan felt, though not approaching _Home_, As one who, though he were not of the race, Revered the soil, of those true sons the mother, Who butchered half the earth, and bullied t' other.[557]

LXXXII.

A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping, Dirty and dusky, but as wide as eye Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping In sight, then lost amidst the forestry Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy; A huge, dun Cupola, like a foolscap crown On a fool's head--and there is London Town!

LXXXIII.

But Juan saw not this: each wreath of smoke Appeared to him but as the magic vapour Of some alchymic furnace, from whence broke The wealth of worlds (a wealth of tax and paper): The gloomy clouds, which o'er it as a yoke Are bowed, and put the Sun out like a taper, Were nothing but the natural atmosphere, Extremely wholesome, though but rarely clear.

LXXXIV.

He paused--and so will I; as doth a crew Before they give their broadside. By and by, My gentle countrymen, we will renew Our old acquaintance; and at least I'll try To tell you truths _you_ will not take as true, Because they are so;--a male Mrs. Fry,[558] With a soft besom will I sweep your halls, And brush a web or two from off the walls.

LXXXV.

Oh Mrs. Fry! Why go to Newgate? Why Preach to _poor_ rogues? And wherefore not begin With Carlton, or with other houses? Try Your hand at hardened and imperial Sin. To mend the People's an absurdity, A jargon, a mere philanthropic din, Unless you make their betters better:--Fie! I thought you had more religion, Mrs. Fry.

LXXXVI.

Teach _them_ the decencies of good threescore; Cure _them_ of tours, hussar and highland dresses; Tell _them_ that youth once gone returns no more, That hired huzzas redeem no land's distresses; Tell them Sir William Curtis[559] is a bore, Too dull even for the dullest of excesses-- The witless Falstaff of a hoary Hal, A fool whose bells have ceased to ring at all.

LXXXVII.

Tell them, though it may be, perhaps, too late-- On Life's worn confine, jaded, bloated, sated-- To set up vain pretence of being _great_, 'T is not so to be _good_; and, be it stated, The worthiest kings have ever loved least state: And tell them--But you won't, and I have prated Just now enough; but, by and by, I'll prattle Like Roland's horn[560] in Roncesvalles' battle.[kj][561]

FOOTNOTES:

{400}[jt] _In a most natural whirling of rotation_.--[MS. erased.]

[ju] _Since Adam--gloriously against an apple_.--[MS. erased.]

[525] ["Neither Pemberton nor Whiston, who received from Newton himself the history of his first Ideas of Gravity, records the story of the falling apple. It was mentioned, however, to Voltaire by Catherine Barton (afterwards Mrs. Conduit), Newton's niece. We saw the apple tree in 1814.... The tree was so much decayed that it was taken down in 1820" (_Memoirs, etc., of Sir Isaac Newton_, by Sir David Brewster, 1855, i. 27, note 1). Voltaire tells the story thus (_Éléments de la Philosophie de Newton_, Partie III. chap, iii.): "Un jour, en l'année 1666 [1665], Newton, retiré à la campagne, et voyant tomber des fruits d'un arbre, à ce que m'a conté sa nièce (Madame Conduit), se laissa aller à une méditation profonde sur la cause qui entraîne ainsi tous les corps dans une ligne qui, si elle était prolongée, passerait à peu près par le centre de la terre."--_Oeuvres Complètes_, 1837, v. 727.]

[jv] _To the then unploughed stars_----.--[MS. erased.]

{401}[526] [Compare _Churchill's Grave,_ line 23, _Poetical Works,_ 1901, iv. 47, note 1.]

[527] [Shelley entitles him "The Pilgrim of Eternity," in his _Adonais_ (stanza xxx. line 3), which was written and published at Pisa in 1821.]

{402}[528] [Byron left Pisa (Palazzo Lanfranchi on the Arno) for the Villa Saluzzo at Genoa, in the autumn of 1822.]

[jw]: §403§_Malicious people_--.--[MS. erased.]

[529] ["We think the abuse of Mr. Southey ... by far too savage and intemperate. It is of ill example, we think, in the literary world, and does no honour either to the _taste_ or the _temper_ of the noble author." --_Edinburgh Review_, February, 1822, vol. xxxvi. p. 445.

"I have read the recent article of Jeffrey ... I suppose the long and the short of it is, that he wishes to provoke me to reply. But I won't, for I owe him a good turn still for his kindness by-gone. Indeed, I presume that the present opportunity of attacking me again was irresistible; and I can't blame him, knowing what human nature is."--Letter to Moore, June 8, 1822, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 80.]

[jx]--_that essence of all Lie_.--[MS. erased.]

{404}[530] "Reformers," or rather "Reformed." The Baron Bradwardine in _Waverley_ is authority for the word. [The word is certainly in Butler's _Hudibras_, Part II. Canto 2--

"Although your Church be opposite To mine as Black Fryars are to White, In _Rule_ and _Order_, yet I grant You are a _Reformado Saint_."]

[531] [Stanza XV. is not in the MS. The "legal broom," _sc._ Brougham, was an afterthought.]

[532] Query, _suit_?--Printer's Devil.

[533] [It has been argued that when "great Cæsar fell" he wore his "robe" to muffle up his face, and that, in like manner, Jeffrey sank the critic in the lawyer. A "deal likelier" interpretation is that Jeffrey wore "his gown" right royally, as Cæsar wore his "triumphal robe." (See Plutarch's _Julius Cæsar_, Langhorne's translation, 1838, p. 515.)]

{405}[534] ["I don't like to bore you about the Scotch novels (as they call them, though two of them are English, and the rest half so); but nothing can or could ever persuade me, since I was the first ten minutes in your company, that you are _not_ the man. To me these novels have so much of 'Auld Lang Syne' (I was bred a canny Scot till ten years old), that I never move without them."--Letter to Sir W. Scott, January 12, 1822, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 4, 5.]

[535] [Compare _The Island_, Canto II. lines 280-297.]

[536] The brig of Don, near the "auld toun" of Aberdeen, with its one arch, and its black deep salmon stream below, is in my memory as yesterday. I still remember, though perhaps I may misquote, the awful proverb which made me pause to cross it, and yet lean over it with a childish delight, being an only son, at least by the mother's side. The saying as recollected by me was this, but I have never heard or seen it since I was nine years of age:--

"Brig of Balgounie, _black_'s your _wa'_, Wi' a wife's _ae son_, and a mear's _ae foal_, Doun ye shall fa'!"

[See for illustration of the Brig o' Balgownie, with its single Gothic arch, _Letters_, 1901 [L.P.], v. 406. ]

{406}[537]

["Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, Land of the mountain and the flood," etc.

_Lay of the Last Minstrel_, Canto VI. stanza ii.]

{407}[jy] _Some thirty years before at fair eighteen_.--[MS.] or, _Seven and twenty_--which, _it does not matter_,-- _Wrinkles, those damnedst democrats, won't flatter_.--[MS. erased.]

[538] Tiberius Gracchus, being tribune of the people, demanded in their name the execution of the Agrarian law; by which all persons possessing above a certain number of acres were to be deprived of the surplus for the benefit of the poor citizens.

{408}[539]

"Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura." _Inferno_, Canto I. line 2.

[jz] _Hut where we travellers bait with dim reflection_.--[MS. erased.]

{409}[ka] _Is when he learns to limit his expenses_.--[MS. erased.]

[kb] ---- _till the ice_ _Cracked, she would ne'er believe in thaws for vice_.--[MS. erased.]

{410}[540] A metaphor taken from the "forty-horse power" of a steam-engine. That mad wag, the Reverend Sydney Smith, sitting by a brother clergyman at dinner, observed afterwards that his dull neighbour had a _"twelve-parson power"_ of conversation.

[541] [In a letter to his sister, October 25, 1804 (_Letters_, 1898, i. 40), Byron mentions an aunt--"the amiable antiquated Sophia," and asks, "Is she yet in the land of the living, or does she sing psalms with the Blessed in the other world?" This was his father's sister, Sophia Maria, daughter of Admiral the Hon. John Byron. But his "good old aunt" is, more probably, the Hon. Mrs. Frances Byron, widow of George (born April 22, 1730) son of the fourth, and brother of the "Wicked" lord. She was the daughter and co-heiress of Ellis Levett, Esq., and lived "at Nottingham in her own house." She died, aged 86, June 13, 1822, not long before this Canto was written. She is described in the obituary notice of the _Gentleman's Magazine_, June, 1822, vol. 92, p. 573, as "Daughter of Vice-Admiral the Hon. John Byron (who sailed round the world with Lord Anson), grandfather of the present Lord Byron." But that is, chronologically, impossible. Byron must have retained a pleasing recollection of the ear-trumpet and the spectacles, and it gratified his kindlier humour to embalm their owner in his verse.]

[542] [See Collins's _Peerage_, 1779, vii. 120. It is probable that Byron was lineally descended from Ralph de Burun, of Horestan, who is mentioned in Doomsday Book (sect. xi.) as holding eight lordships in Notts and five in Derbyshire, but with regard to Ernysius or Erneis the pedigree is silent. (See _Pedigree of George Gordon, Sixth Lord Byron_, by Edward Bernard, 1870.)]

{411}[543] "Hyde."--I believe a hyde of land to be a legitimate word, and, as such, subject to the tax of a quibble.

[kc] _And humbly hope that the same God which hath given_ _Us land on earth, will do no less in Heaven_.--[MS. erased.]

[kd] _Perhaps--but d--n perhaps_----.--[MS.]

{412}[544] [For the illness ("a scarlet fever, complicated by angina, both aggravated by premature exhaustion") and death of Lanskoï, see _The Story of a Throne_, by K. Waliszewsky, 1895, ii. 131, 133. For the rumour that he was poisoned by Potemkin, see _Mémoires Secrets, etc._ [by C.F.P. Masson], 1800, i. 170.]

[545] [Matthew Baillie (1761-1823), the nephew of William Hunter, the brother of Agnes and Joanna Baillie, was a celebrated anatomist. He attended Byron (1799-1802), when an endeavour was made to effect a cure of the muscular contraction of his right leg and foot. He was consulted by Lady Byron, in 1816, with regard to her husband's supposed derangement, but was not admitted when he called at the house in Piccadilly. He is said to have "avoided technical and learned phrases; to have affected no sentimental tenderness, but expressed what he had to say in the simplest and plainest terms" (_Annual Biography_, 1824, p. 319). Jekyll (_Letters_, 1894, p. 110) repeats or invents an anecdote that "the old king, in his mad fits, used to say he could bring any dead people to converse with him, except those who had died under Baillie's care, for that the doctor always dissected them into so many morsels, that they had not a leg to walk to Windsor with." It is hardly necessary to say that John Abernethy (1764-1831) "expressed what _he_ had to say" in the bluntest and rudest terms at his disposal.]

[546] The empress went to the Crimea, accompanied by the Emperor Joseph, in the year--I forget which.

[The Prince de Ligne, who accompanied Catherine in her progress through her southern provinces, in 1787, gives the following particulars: "We have crossed during many days vast, solitary regions, from which her Majesty has driven Zaporogua, Budjak, and Nogais Tartars, who, ten years ago, threatened to ravage her empire. All these places were furnished with magnificent tents for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, suppers, and sleeping-rooms ... deserted regions were at once transformed into fields, groves, villages: ... The Empress has left in each chief town gifts to the value of a hundred thousand roubles. Every day that we remained stationary was marked with diamonds, balls, fireworks, and illuminations throughout a circuit of ten leagues." --_The Prince de Ligne, His Memoirs, etc._, translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, 1899, ii. 31.]

{415}[ke] _Man, midst thy mouldy mammoths, Cuvier._--[MS.]

{416}[kf] _Who like sour fruit to sharpen up the tides_ _Of their salt veins, and stir their stagnancy._--[MS. erased.]

{417}[547] In the Empress Anne's time, Biren, her favourite, assumed the name and arms of the "Birons" of France; which families are yet extant with that of England. There are still the daughters of Courland of that name; one of them I remember seeing in England in the blessed year of the Allies (1814)--the Duchess of S.--to whom the English Duchess of Somerset presented me as a namesake.

["Ernest John Biren was born in Courland [in 1690]. His grandfather had been head groom to James, the third Duke of Courland, and obtained from his master the present of a small estate in land.... In 1714 he made his appearance at St. Petersburg, and solicited the place of page to the Princess Charlotte, wife of the Tzarovitch Alexey; but being contemptuously rejected as a person of mean extraction, retired to Mittau, where he chanced to ingratiate himself with Count Bestuchef, Master of the Household to Anne, widow of Frederic William, Duke of Courland, who resided at Mittau. Being of a handsome figure and polite address, he soon gained the good will of the duchess, and became her secretary and chief favourite. On her being declared sovereign of Russia, Anne called Biren to Petersburg, and the secretary soon became Duke of Courland, and first minister or rather despot of Russia. On the death of Anne, which happened in 1740, Biren, being declared regent, continued daily increasing his vexations and cruelties, till he was arrested, on the 18th of December, only twenty days after he had been appointed to the regency; and at the revolution that ensued he was exiled to the frozen shores of the Oby." _Catherine II._, by W. Tooke, 1800, i. 160, _footnote_. He was recalled in 1763, and died in 1772.

In a letter to his sister, dated June 18, 1814, Byron gives a slightly different version of the incident, recorded in his note (_vide supra_): "The Duchess of Somerset also, to mend matters, insisted on presenting me to a Princess _Biron_, Duchess of Hohen-God-knows-what, and another person to her two sisters, Birons too. But I flew off, and _would_ not, saying I had had enough of introductions for that night at least."--_Letters_, 1899, iii. 98. The "daughters of Courland" must have been descendants of "Pierre, dernier Duc de Courlande, De la Maison de Biron," viz. Jeanne Cathérine, born June 24, 1783, who married, in 1801, François Pignatelli de Belmonte, Duc d'Acerenza, and Dorothée, born August 21, 1793, who married, in 1809, Edmond de Talleyrand Périgord, Duc de Talleyrand, nephew to the Bishop of Autun. (See _Almanach de Gotha_, 1848, pp. 109, 110.)]

{418}[548] [Napoleon's exclamation at the Elysée Bourbon, June 23, 1815. "When his civil counsellors talked of defence, the word wrung from him the bitter ejaculation, 'Ah! my old guard! could they but defend themselves like you!'"--_Life of Napoleon Buonaparte_, by Sir Walter Scott, _Prose Works_, 1846, ii. 760.]

[kg] _Who now that he is dead has not a foe_; _The last expired in cut-throat Castlereagh_.--[MS. erased.]

[549] [Immanuel Kant, born at Königsberg, in 1729, became Professor and Rector of the University, and died at Königsberg in 1804.]

{419}[550]

["The castled crag of Drachenfels Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine," etc.

_Childe Harold_, Canto III.]

[551] St. Ursula and her eleven thousand virgins were still extant in 1816, and may be so yet, as much as ever.

{421}[552] ["We left Ratzeburg at 7 o'clock Wednesday evening, and arrived at Lüneburg--_i.e._ 35 English miles--at 3 o'clock on Thursday afternoon. This is a fair specimen! In England I used to laugh at the 'flying waggons;' but compared with a German Post-Coach, the metaphor is perfectly justifiable, and for the future I shall never meet a flying waggon without thinking respectfully of its speed."--S.T. Coleridge, March 12, 1799, _Letters of S.T.C._, 1895, i. 278.]

[553] [See for German oaths, "Extracts from a Diary," January 12, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 172.]

[kh] _With "Schnapps"--Democritus would cease to smile,_ _By German, post-boys driven a mile_.--[MS.] _With "Schnapps"--and spite of "Dam'em," "dog" and "log"_ _Launched at their heads jog-jog-jog-jog-jog-jog_.--[MS. erased.]

{422}[554] [The French Inscription (see _Memorial Inscriptions_, etc., by Joseph Meadows Cowper, 1897, p. 134) on the Black Prince's monument is thus translated in the _History of Kent_ (John Weevers' _Funerall Monuments_, 1636, pp. 205, 206)--

"Who so thou be that passeth by Where this corps entombed lie, Understand what I shall say, As at this time, speake I may. Such as thou art, sometime was I. Such as I am, shalt thou be. I little thought on th' oure of death, So long as I enjoyéd breath. Great riches here did I possess, Whereof I made great nobleness; I had gold, silver, wardrobes, and Great treasure, horses, houses, land. But now a caitife poore am I, Deepe in the ground, lo! here I lie; My beautie great is all quite gone, My flesh is wasted to the bone. My house is narrow now and throng, Nothing but Truth comes from my tongue. And if ye should see me this day, I do not think but ye would say, That I had never beene a man, So much altered now I am."]

{423}[ki] ---- _of higher stations_, _And for their pains get smarter puncturations_.--[MS. erased.]

{424}[555] [See _Childe Harold_, Canto I. stanza xxxii. line 2, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 93, note 16.]

[556] [See _The Prince_ (_Il Principe_), chap. xvii., by Niccolò Machiavelli, translated by Ninian Hill Thomson, 1897, p. 121: "But above all [a Prince] must abstain from the property of others. For men will sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony."]

[557] [India; America.]

{425}[558] [Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) began her visits to Newgate in 1813. In 1820 she corresponded with the Princess Sophie of Russia, and at a later period she was entertained by Louis Philippe, and by the King of Prussia at Kaiserwerth. She might have, she may have, admonished George IV. "with regard to all good things."]

{426}[559] [See _The Age of Bronze_, line 768, _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 578, note 1.]

[560]

["O for a blast of that dread horn, On Fontarabian echoes borne, That to King Charles did come, When Rowland brave, and Olivier, And every paladin and peer, On Roncesvalles died."

_Marmion_, Canto VI. stanza xxxiii. lines 7-12.]

[kj] _Like an old Roman trumpet ere a battle_.--[MS. erased.]

[561] B. Genoa, Oct. 6^th^, 1822. End of Canto 10^th^.

CANTO THE ELEVENTH.

I.

WHEN Bishop Berkeley said "there was no matter,"[562] And proved it--'t was no matter what he said: They say his system 't is in vain to batter, Too subtle for the airiest human head; And yet who can believe it? I would shatter Gladly all matters down to stone or lead, Or adamant, to find the World a spirit, And wear my head, denying that I wear it.

II.

What a sublime discovery 't was to make the Universe universal egotism, That all's ideal--_all ourselves!_--I'll stake the World (be it what you will) that _that's_ no schism. Oh Doubt!--if thou be'st Doubt, for which some take thee, But which I doubt extremely--thou sole prism Of the Truth's rays, spoil not my draught of spirit! Heaven's brandy, though our brain can hardly bear it.

III.

For ever and anon comes Indigestion (Not the most "dainty Ariel"),[563] and perplexes Our soarings with another sort of question: And that which after all my spirit vexes, Is, that I find no spot where Man can rest eye on, Without confusion of the sorts and sexes, Of Beings, Stars, and this unriddled wonder, The World, which at the worst's a _glorious_ blunder--

IV.

If it be chance--or, if it be according To the old text, still better:--lest it should Turn out so, we 'll say nothing 'gainst the wording, As several people think such hazards rude. They're right; our days are too brief for affording Space to dispute what _no one_ ever could Decide, and _everybody one day_ will Know very clearly--or at least lie still.

V.

And therefore will I leave off metaphysical Discussion, which is neither here nor there: If I agree that what is, is; then this I call Being quite perspicuous and extremely fair; The truth is, I've grown lately rather phthisical:[564] I don't know what the reason is--the air Perhaps; but as I suffer from the shocks Of illness, I grow much more orthodox.

VI.

The first attack at once proved the Divinity (But that I never doubted, nor the Devil); The next, the Virgin's mystical virginity; The third, the usual Origin of Evil; The fourth at once established the whole Trinity On so uncontrovertible a level, That I devoutly wished the three were four-- On purpose to believe so much the more.

VII.

To our theme.--The man who has stood on the Acropolis, And looked down over Attica; or he Who has sailed where picturesque Constantinople is, Or seen Timbuctoo, or hath taken tea In small-eyed China's crockery-ware metropolis, Or sat amidst the bricks of Nineveh,[kk] May not think much of London's first appearance-- But ask him what he thinks of it a year hence!

VIII.

Don Juan had got out on Shooter's Hill; Sunset the time, the place the same declivity Which looks along that vale of Good and Ill Where London streets ferment in full activity, While everything around was calm and still, Except the creak of wheels, which on their pivot he Heard,--and that bee-like, bubbling, busy hum Of cities, that boil over with their scum:--

IX.

I say, Don Juan, wrapped in contemplation, Walked on behind his carriage, o'er the summit, And lost in wonder of so great a nation, Gave way to 't, since he could not overcome it. "And here," he cried, "is Freedom's chosen station; Here peals the People's voice, nor can entomb it Racks--prisons--inquisitions; Resurrection Awaits it, each new meeting or election.

X.

"Here are chaste wives, pure lives; here people pay But what they please; and if that things be dear, 'T is only that they love to throw away Their cash, to show how much they have a-year. Here laws are all inviolate--none lay Traps for the traveller--every highway's clear-- Here"--he was interrupted by a knife, With--"Damn your eyes! your money or your life!"--

XI.

These free-born sounds proceeded from four pads In ambush laid, who had perceived him loiter Behind his carriage; and, like handy lads, Had seized the lucky hour to reconnoitre, In which the heedless gentleman who gads Upon the road, unless he prove a fighter, May find himself within that isle of riches Exposed to lose his life as well as breeches.

XII.

Juan, who did not understand a word Of English, save their shibboleth, "God damn!"[565] And even that he had so rarely heard, He sometimes thought 't was only their "Salām," Or "God be with you!"--and 't is not absurd To think so,--for half English as I am (To my misfortune), never can I say I heard them wish "God with you," save that way;--

XIII.

Juan yet quickly understood their gesture, And being somewhat choleric and sudden, Drew forth a pocket pistol from his vesture, And fired it into one assailant's pudding-- Who fell, as rolls an ox o'er in his pasture, And roared out, as he writhed his native mud in, Unto his nearest follower or henchman, "Oh Jack! I'm floored by that 'ere bloody Frenchman!"

XIV.

On which Jack and his train set off at speed, And Juan's suite, late scattered at a distance, Came up, all marvelling at such a deed, And offering, as usual, late assistance. Juan, who saw the moon's late minion[566] bleed As if his veins would pour out his existence, Stood calling out for bandages and lint, And wished he had been less hasty with his flint.

XV.

"Perhaps," thought he, "it is the country's wont To welcome foreigners in this way: now I recollect some innkeepers who don't Differ, except in robbing with a bow, In lieu of a bare blade and brazen front-- But what is to be done? I can't allow The fellow to lie groaning on the road: So take him up--I'll help you with the load."

XVI.

But ere they could perform this pious duty, The dying man cried, "Hold! I've got my gruel! Oh! for a glass of _max_![567] We've missed our booty; Let me die where I am!" And as the fuel Of Life shrunk in his heart, and thick and sooty The drops fell from his death-wound, and he drew ill His breath,--he from his swelling throat untied A kerchief, crying, "Give Sal that!"--and died.

XVII.

The cravat stained with bloody drops fell down Before Don Juan's feet: he could not tell Exactly why it was before him thrown, Nor what the meaning of the man's farewell. Poor Tom was once a kiddy upon town, A thorough varmint, and a _real_ swell, Full flash,[568] all fancy, until fairly diddled, His pockets first and then his body riddled.

XVIII.

Don Juan, having done the best he could In all the circumstances of the case, As soon as "Crowner's quest"[569] allowed, pursued His travels to the capital apace;-- Esteeming it a little hard he should In twelve hours' time, and very little space, Have been obliged to slay a free-born native In self-defence: this made him meditative.

XIX.

He from the world had cut off a great man, Who in his time had made heroic bustle. Who in a row like Tom could lead the van, Booze in the ken, or at the spellken hustle? Who queer a flat?[570] Who (spite of Bow-street's ban) On the high toby-spice so flash the muzzle? Who on a lark with black-eyed Sal (his blowing), So prime--so swell--so nutty--and so knowing?[kl][571]

XX.

But Tom's no more--and so no more of Tom. Heroes must die; and by God's blessing 't is Not long before the most of them go home. Hail! Thamis, hail! Upon thy verge it is That Juan's chariot, rolling like a drum In thunder, holds the way it can't well miss, Through Kennington and all the other "tons," Which make us wish ourselves in town at once;--

XXI.

Through Groves, so called as being void of trees, (Like _lucus_ from _no_ light); through prospects named Mount Pleasant, as containing nought to please, Nor much to climb; through little boxes framed Of bricks, to let the dust in at your ease, With "To be let," upon their doors proclaimed; Through "Rows" most modestly called "Paradise,"[572] Which Eve might quit without much sacrifice;--[km]

XXII.

Through coaches, drays, choked turnpikes, and a whirl Of wheels, and roar of voices, and confusion; Here taverns wooing to a pint of "purl,"[573] There mails fast flying off like a delusion; There barbers' blocks with periwigs in curl In windows; here the lamplighter's infusion Slowly distilled into the glimmering glass (For in those days we had not got to gas--);[kn][574]

XXIII.

Through this, and much, and more, is the approach Of travellers to mighty Babylon: Whether they come by horse, or chaise, or coach, With slight exceptions, all the ways seem one. I could say more, but do not choose to encroach Upon the Guide-book's privilege. The Sun Had set some time, and night was on the ridge Of twilight, as the party crossed the bridge.

XXIV.

That's rather fine, the gentle sound of Thamis-- Who vindicates a moment, too, his stream-- Though hardly heard through multifarious "damme's:" The lamps of Westminster's more regular gleam, The breadth of pavement, and yon shrine where Fame is A spectral resident--whose pallid beam In shape of moonshine hovers o'er the pile-- Make this a sacred part of Albion's isle.

XXV.

The Druids' groves are gone--so much the better: Stonehenge is not--but what the devil is it?--But Bedlam still exists with its sage fetter, That madmen may not bite you on a visit; The Bench too seats or suits full many a debtor; The Mansion House,[575] too (though some people quiz it), To me appears a stiff yet grand erection; But then the Abbey's worth the whole collection.

XXVI.

The line of lights,[576] too, up to Charing Cross, Pall Mall, and so forth, have a coruscation Like gold as in comparison to dross, Matched with the Continent's illumination, Whose cities Night by no means deigns to gloss. The French were not yet a lamp-lighting nation, And when they grew so--on their new-found lantern, Instead of wicks, they made a wicked man turn.[577]

XXVII.

A row of Gentlemen along the streets Suspended may illuminate mankind, As also bonfires made of country seats; But the old way is best for the purblind: The other looks like phosphorus on sheets, A sort of _ignis fatuus_ to the mind, Which, though 't is certain to perplex and frighten, Must burn more mildly ere it can enlighten.

XXVIII.

But London's so well lit, that if Diogenes Could recommence to hunt his _honest man_, And found him not amidst the various progenies Of this enormous City's spreading span, 'T were not for want of lamps to aid his dodging his Yet undiscovered treasure. What _I_ can, I've done to find the same throughout Life's journey, But see the World is only one attorney.

XXIX.

Over the stones still rattling, up Pall Mall, Through crowds and carriages, but waxing thinner As thundered knockers broke the long sealed spell Of doors 'gainst duns, and to an early dinner Admitted a small party as night fell,-- Don Juan, our young diplomatic sinner, Pursued his path, and drove past some hotels, St. James's Palace, and St. James's "Hells."[578]

XXX.

They reached the hotel: forth streamed from the front door[ko] A tide of well-clad waiters, and around The mob stood, and as usual several score Of those pedestrian Paphians who abound In decent London when the daylight's o'er; Commodious but immoral, they are found Useful, like Malthus, in promoting marriage.-- But Juan now is stepping from his carriage

XXXI.

Into one of the sweetest of hotels,[kp][579] Especially for foreigners--and mostly For those whom favour or whom Fortune swells, And cannot find a bill's small items costly. There many an envoy either dwelt or dwells (The den of many a diplomatic lost lie), Until to some conspicuous square they pass, And blazon o'er the door their names in brass.

XXXII.

Juan, whose was a delicate commission, Private, though publicly important, bore No title to point out with due precision The exact affair on which he was sent o'er. 'T was merely known, that on a secret mission A foreigner of rank had graced our shore, Young, handsome, and accomplished, who was said (In whispers) to have turned his Sovereign's head.

XXXIII.

Some rumour also of some strange adventures Had gone before him, and his wars and loves; And as romantic heads are pretty painters, And, above all, an Englishwoman's roves[kq] Into the excursive, breaking the indentures Of sober reason, wheresoe'er it moves, He found himself extremely in the fashion, Which serves our thinking people for a passion.

XXXIV.

I don't mean that they are passionless, but quite The contrary; but then 't is in the head; Yet as the consequences are as bright As if they acted with the heart instead, What after all can signify the site Of ladies' lucubrations? So they lead In safety to the place for which you start, What matters if the road be head or heart?

XXXV.

Juan presented in the proper place, To proper placemen, every Russ credential; And was received with all the due grimace By those who govern in the mood potential, Who, seeing a handsome stripling with smooth face, Thought (what in state affairs is most essential), That they as easily might _do_ the youngster, As hawks may pounce upon a woodland songster.

XXXVI.

They erred, as agéd men will do; but by And by we'll talk of that; and if we don't, 'T will be because our notion is not high Of politicians and their double front, Who live by lies, yet dare not boldly lie:-- Now what I love in women is, they won't Or can't do otherwise than lie--but do it So well, the very Truth seems falsehood to it.

XXXVII.

And, after all, what is a lie? 'T is but The truth in masquerade; and I defy[kr] Historians--heroes--lawyers--priests, to put A fact without some leaven of a lie. The very shadow of true Truth would shut Up annals--revelations--poesy, And prophecy--except it should be dated Some years before the incidents related.

XXXVIII.

Praised be all liars and all lies! Who now Can tax my mild Muse with misanthropy? She rings the World's "Te Deum," and her brow Blushes for those who will not:--but to sigh Is idle; let us like most others bow, Kiss hands--feet--any part of Majesty, After the good example of "Green Erin,"[580] Whose shamrock now seems rather worse for wearing.[ks]

XXXIX.

Don Juan was presented, and his dress And mien excited general admiration-- I don't know which was more admired or less: One monstrous diamond drew much observation, Which Catherine in a moment of _"ivresse"_ (In Love or Brandy's fervent fermentation), Bestowed upon him, as the public learned; And, to say truth, it had been fairly earned.

XL.

Besides the ministers and underlings, Who must be courteous to the accredited Diplomatists of rather wavering Kings, Until their royal riddle's fully read, The very clerks,--those somewhat dirty springs Of Office, or the House of Office, fed By foul corruption into streams,--even they Were hardly rude enough to earn their pay:

XLI.

And insolence no doubt is what they are Employed for, since it is their daily labour, In the dear offices of Peace or War; And should you doubt, pray ask of your next neighbour, When for a passport, or some other bar To freedom, he applied (a grief and a bore), If he found not this spawn of tax-born riches, Like lap-dogs, the least civil sons of b-----s.

XLII.

But Juan was received with much _"empressement:"_-- These phrases of refinement I must borrow From our next neighbours' land, where, like a chessman, There is a move set down for joy or sorrow, Not only in mere talking, but the press. Man In Islands is, it seems, downright and thorough, More than on Continents--as if the Sea (See Billingsgate) made even the tongue more free.

XLIII.

And yet the British "Damme"'s rather Attic, Your continental oaths are but incontinent, And turn on things which no aristocratic Spirit would name, and therefore even I won't anent[581] This subject quote; as it would be schismatic In _politesse_, and have a sound affronting in 't;-- But "Damme"'s quite ethereal, though too daring-- Platonic blasphemy--the soul of swearing.[kt]

XLIV.

For downright rudeness, ye may stay at home; For true or false politeness (and scarce _that Now_) you may cross the blue deep and white foam-- The first the emblem (rarely though) of what You leave behind, the next of much you come To meet. However, 't is no time to chat On general topics: poems must confine Themselves to unity, like this of mine.[ku]

XLV.

In the great world,--which, being interpreted, Meaneth the West or worst end of a city, And about twice two thousand people bred By no means to be very wise or witty, But to sit up while others lie in bed, And look down on the Universe with pity,-- Juan, as an inveterate patrician, Was well received by persons of condition.

XLVI.

He was a bachelor, which is a matter Of import both to virgin and to bride, The former's hymeneal hopes to flatter; And (should she not hold fast by Love or Pride) 'T is also of some moment to the latter: A rib's a thorn in a wed gallant's side, Requires decorum, and is apt to double The horrid sin--and what's still worse, the trouble.

XLVII.

But Juan was a bachelor--of arts, And parts, and hearts: he danced and sung, and had An air as sentimental as Mozart's Softest of melodies; and could be sad Or cheerful, without any "flaws or starts,"[582] Just at the proper time: and though a lad, Had seen the world--which is a curious sight, And very much unlike what people write.

XLVIII.

Fair virgins blushed upon him; wedded dames Bloomed also in less transitory hues;[kv] For both commodities dwell by the Thames, The painting and the painted; Youth, Ceruse,[kw] Against his heart preferred their usual claims, Such as no gentleman can quite refuse: Daughters admired his dress, and pious mothers Inquired his income, and if he had brothers.

XLIX.

The milliners who furnish "drapery Misses"[583] Throughout the season, upon speculation Of payment ere the Honeymoon's last kisses Have waned into a crescent's coruscation, Thought such an opportunity as this is, Of a rich foreigner's initiation, Not to be overlooked--and gave such credit, That future bridegrooms swore, and sighed, and paid it.

L.

The Blues, that tender tribe, who sigh o'er sonnets, And with the pages of the last Review Line the interior of their heads or bonnets, Advanced in all their azure's highest hue: They talked bad French or Spanish, and upon its Late authors asked him for a hint or two; And which was softest, Russian or Castilian? And whether in his travels he saw Ilion?

LI.

Juan, who was a little superficial, And not in literature a great Drawcansir,[584] Examined by this learnéd and especial Jury of matrons, scarce knew what to answer: His duties warlike, loving or official, His steady application as a dancer, Had kept him from the brink of Hippocrene, Which now he found was blue instead of green.

LII.

However, he replied at hazard, with A modest confidence and calm assurance, Which lent his learnéd lucubrations pith, And passed for arguments of good endurance. That prodigy, Miss Araminta Smith (Who at sixteen translated "Hercules Furens" Into as furious English), with her best look, Set down his sayings in her common-place book.

LIII.

Juan knew several languages--as well He might--and brought them up with skill, in time To save his fame with each accomplished belle, Who still regretted that he did not rhyme. There wanted but this requisite to swell His qualities (with them) into sublime: Lady Fitz-Frisky, and Miss Maevia Mannish, Both longed extremely to be sung in Spanish.

LIV.

However, he did pretty well, and was Admitted as an aspirant to all The coteries, and, as in Banquo's glass, At great assemblies or in parties small, He saw ten thousand living authors pass, That being about their average numeral; Also the eighty "greatest living poets,"[585] As every paltry magazine can show _it's_.

LV.

In twice five years the "greatest living poet," Like to the champion in the fisty ring, Is called on to support his claim, or show it, Although 't is an imaginary thing. Even I--albeit I'm sure I did not know it, Nor sought of foolscap subjects to be king,-- Was reckoned, a considerable time, The grand Napoleon of the realms of rhyme.[kx]

LVI.

But Juan was my Moscow, and Faliero My Leipsic, and my Mont Saint Jean seems Cain:[586] _La Belle Alliance_ of dunces down at zero, Now that the Lion's fallen, may rise again: But I will fall at least as fell my Hero; Nor reign at all, or as a _monarch_ reign; Or to some lonely isle of gaolers go, With turncoat Southey for my turnkey Lowe.[ky]

LVII.

Sir Walter reigned before me; Moore and Campbell Before and after; but now grown more holy, The Muses upon Sion's hill must ramble With poets almost clergymen, or wholly; And Pegasus has a psalmodic amble Beneath the very Reverend Rowley Powley,[kz][587] Who shoes the glorious animal with stilts, A modern Ancient Pistol--"by these hilts!"[588]

LVIII.

Still he excels that artificial hard Labourer in the same vineyard, though the vine Yields him but vinegar for his reward.-- That neutralised dull Dorus of the Nine; That swarthy Sporus, neither man nor bard; That ox of verse, who _ploughs_ for every line:-- Cambyses' roaring Romans beat at least The howling Hebrews of Cybele's priest.--[589]

LIX.

Then there's my gentle Euphues,--who, they say,[la] Sets up for being a sort of _moral me_;[590] He'll find it rather difficult some day To turn out both, or either, it may be. Some persons think that Coleridge hath the sway; And Wordsworth has supporters, two or three; And that deep-mouthed Boeotian "Savage Landor"[591] Has taken for a swan rogue Southey's gander.

LX.

John Keats, who was killed off by one critique, Just as he really promised something great, If not intelligible, without Greek Contrived to talk about the gods of late, Much as they might have been supposed to speak.[592] Poor fellow! His was an untoward fate; 'T is strange the mind, that very fiery particle,[lb][593] Should let itself be snuffed out by an article.

LXI.

The list grows long of live and dead pretenders To that which none will gain--or none will know The conqueror at least; who, ere Time renders His last award, will have the long grass grow Above his burnt-out brain, and sapless cinders. If I might augur, I should rate but low Their chances;--they're too numerous, like the thirty[594] Mock tyrants, when Rome's annals waxed but dirty.

LXII.

This is the literary _lower_ empire, Where the praetorian bands take up the matter;-- A "dreadful trade," like his who "gathers samphire,"[595] The insolent soldiery to soothe and flatter, With the same feelings as you'd coax a vampire. Now, were I once at home, and in good satire, I'd try conclusions with those Janizaries, And show them _what_ an intellectual war is.

LXIII.

I think I know a trick or two, would turn Their flanks;--but it is hardly worth my while, With such small gear to give myself concern: Indeed I've not the necessary bile; My natural temper's really aught but stern, And even my Muse's worst reproof's a smile; And then she drops a brief and modern curtsy, And glides away, assured she never hurts ye.

LXIV.

My Juan, whom I left in deadly peril Amongst live poets and _blue_ ladies, passed With some small profit through that field so sterile, Being tired in time--and, neither least nor last, Left it before he had been treated very ill; And henceforth found himself more gaily classed Amongst the higher spirits of the day, The Sun's true son, no vapour, but a ray.

LXV.

His morns he passed in business--which dissected, Was, like all business, a laborious nothing That leads to lassitude, the most infected And Centaur Nessus garb of mortal clothing,[596] And on our sofas makes us lie dejected, And talk in tender horrors of our loathing All kinds of toil, save for our country's good-- Which grows no better, though 't is time it should.

LXVI.

His afternoons he passed in visits, luncheons, Lounging and boxing; and the twilight hour In riding round those vegetable puncheons Called "Parks," where there is neither fruit nor flower Enough to gratify a bee's slight munchings; But after all it is the only "bower"[597] (In Moore's phrase) where the fashionable fair Can form a slight acquaintance with fresh air.

LXVII.

Then dress, then dinner, then awakes the world! Then glare the lamps, then whirl the wheels, then roar Through street and square fast flashing chariots hurled Like harnessed meteors; then along the floor Chalk mimics painting; then festoons are twirled; Then roll the brazen thunders of the door, Which opens to the thousand happy few An earthly Paradise of _Or Molu_.

LXVIII.

There stands the noble hostess, nor shall sink With the three-thousandth curtsy; there the waltz, The only dance which teaches girls to think,[598] Makes one in love even with its very faults. Saloon, room, hall, o'erflow beyond their brink, And long the latest of arrivals halts, 'Midst royal dukes and dames condemned to climb, And gain an inch of staircase at a time.

LXIX.

Thrice happy he who, after a survey Of the good company, can win a corner, A door that's _in_ or boudoir _out_ of the way, Where he may fix himself like small "Jack Horner," And let the Babel round run as it may, And look on as a mourner, or a scorner, Or an approver, or a mere spectator, Yawning a little as the night grows later.

LXX.

But this won't do, save by and by; and he Who, like Don Juan, takes an active share, Must steer with care through all that glittering sea Of gems and plumes and pearls and silks, to where He deems it is his proper place to be; Dissolving in the waltz to some soft air, Or proudlier prancing with mercurial skill, Where Science marshals forth her own quadrille.

LXXI.

Or, if he dance not, but hath higher views Upon an heiress or his neighbour's bride, Let him take care that that which he pursues Is not at once too palpably descried: Full many an eager gentleman oft rues His haste; Impatience is a blundering guide Amongst a people famous for reflection, Who like to play the fool with circumspection.

LXXII.

But, if you can contrive, get next at supper; Or, if forestalled, get opposite and ogle:-- Oh, ye ambrosial moments! always upper In mind, a sort of sentimental bogle,[599] Which sits for ever upon Memory's crupper, The ghost of vanished pleasures once in vogue! Ill Can tender souls relate the rise and fall Of hopes and fears which shake a single ball.

LXXIII.

But these precautionary hints can touch Only the common run, who must pursue, And watch and ward; whose plans a word too much Or little overturns; and not the few Or many (for the number's sometimes such) Whom a good mien, especially if new, Or fame--or name--for Wit, War, Sense, or Nonsense, Permits whate'er they please,--or _did_ not long since.

LXXIV.

Our Hero--as a hero--young and handsome, Noble, rich, celebrated, and a stranger, Like other slaves of course must pay his ransom, Before he can escape from so much danger As will environ a conspicuous man. Some Talk about poetry, and "rack and manger," And ugliness, disease, as toil and trouble;-- I wish they knew the life of a young noble.

LXXV.

They are young, but know not Youth--it is anticipated; Handsome but wasted, rich without a sou;[lc] Their vigour in a thousand arms is dissipated; Their cash comes _from_, their wealth goes _to_ a Jew; Both senates see their nightly votes participated Between the Tyrant's and the Tribunes' crew; And having voted, dined, drunk, gamed, and whored, The family vault receives another Lord.

LXXVI.

"Where is the World?" cries Young, at _eighty_[600]--"Where The World in which a man was born?" Alas! Where is the world of _eight_ years past? _'T was there_-- I look for it--'t is gone, a globe of glass! Cracked, shivered, vanished, scarcely gazed on, ere[ld] A silent change dissolves the glittering mass. Statesmen, Chiefs, Orators, Queens, Patriots, Kings, And Dandies--all are gone on the Wind's wings.

LXXVII.

Where is Napoleon the Grand? God knows! Where little Castlereagh? The devil can tell! Where Grattan, Curran, Sheridan--all those Who bound the Bar or Senate in their spell? Where is the unhappy Queen, with all her woes? And where the Daughter, whom the Isles loved well? Where are those martyred saints the Five per Cents?[le][601] And where--oh, where the devil are the Rents?

LXXVIII.

Where's Brummell? Dished. Where's Long Pole Wellesley?[602] Diddled. Where's Whitbread? Romilly? Where's George the Third? Where is his will?[603] (That's not so soon unriddled.) And where is "Fum" the Fourth, our "royal bird?"[604] Gone down, it seems, to Scotland to be fiddled Unto by Sawney's violin, we have heard: "Caw me, caw thee"--for six months hath been hatching This scene of royal itch and loyal scratching.

LXXIX.

Where is Lord This? And where my Lady That? The Honourable Mistresses and Misses? Some laid aside like an old Opera hat, Married, unmarried, and remarried: (this is An evolution oft performed of late). Where are the Dublin shouts--and London hisses? Where are the Grenvilles? Turned as usual. Where My friends the Whigs? Exactly where they were.

LXXX.

Where are the Lady Carolines and Franceses?[605] Divorced or doing thereanent. Ye annals So brilliant, where the list of routs and dances is,-- Thou Morning Post, sole record of the panels Broken in carriages, and all the phantasies Of fashion,--say what streams now fill those channels? Some die, some fly, some languish on the Continent, Because the times have hardly left them _one_ tenant.

LXXXI.

Some who once set their caps at cautious dukes,[lf] Have taken up at length with younger brothers: Some heiresses have bit at sharpers' hooks: Some maids have been made wives, some merely mothers: Others have lost their fresh and fairy looks: In short, the list of alterations bothers. There's little strange in this, but something strange is The unusual quickness of these common changes.

LXXXII.

Talk not of seventy years as age; in seven I have seen more changes, down from monarchs to The humblest individuals under Heaven, Than might suffice a moderate century through. I knew that nought was lasting, but now even Change grows too changeable, without being new: Nought's permanent among the human race, Except the Whigs _not_ getting into place.

LXXXIII.

I have seen Napoleon, who seemed quite a Jupiter, Shrink to a Saturn. I have seen a Duke (No matter which) turn politician stupider, If that can well be, than his wooden look. But it is time that I should hoist my "blue Peter," And sail for a new theme:--I have seen--and shook To see it--the King hissed, and then caressed; But don't pretend to settle which was best.

LXXXIV.

I have seen the Landholders without a rap-- I have seen Joanna Southcote--I have seen The House of Commons turned to a tax-trap-- I have seen that sad affair of the late Queen-- I have seen crowns worn instead of a fool's cap-- I have seen a Congress[606] doing all that's mean-- I have seen some nations, like o'erloaded asses, Kick off their burthens--meaning the high classes.

LXXXV.

I have seen small poets, and great prosers, and Interminable--_not eternal_--speakers-- I have seen the funds at war with house and land-- I have seen the country gentlemen turn squeakers-- I have seen the people ridden o'er like sand By slaves on horseback--I have seen malt liquors Exchanged for "thin potations"[607] by John Bull-- I have seen John half detect himself a fool.--

LXXXVI.

But _"carpe diem,"_ Juan, _"carpe, carpe!"_[608] To-morrow sees another race as gay And transient, and devoured by the same harpy. "Life's a poor player,"[609]--then "play out the play,[610] Ye villains!" and above all keep a sharp eye Much less on what you do than what you say: Be hypocritical, be cautious, be Not what you _seem_, but always what you _see_.

LXXXVII.

But how shall I relate in other cantos Of what befell our hero in the land, Which 't is the common cry and lie to vaunt as A moral country? But I hold my hand-- For I disdain to write an Atalantis;[611] But 't is as well at once to understand, You are _not_ a moral people, and you know it, Without the aid of too sincere a poet.

LXXXVIII.

What Juan saw and underwent shall be My topic, with of course the due restriction Which is required by proper courtesy; And recollect the work is only fiction, And that I sing of neither mine nor me, Though every scribe, in some slight turn of diction, Will hint allusions never _meant_. Ne'er doubt _This_--when I speak, I _don't hint_, but _speak out_.

LXXXIX.

Whether he married with the third or fourth Offspring of some sage husband-hunting countess, Or whether with some virgin of more worth (I mean in Fortune's matrimonial bounties), He took to regularly peopling Earth, Of which your lawful, awful wedlock fount is,-- Or whether he was taken in for damages, For being too excursive in his homages,--

XC.

Is yet within the unread events of Time. Thus far, go forth, thou Lay, which I will back Against the same given quantity of rhyme, For being as much the subject of attack As ever yet was any work sublime, By those who love to say that white is black. So much the better!--I may stand alone, But would not change my free thoughts for a throne.[612]

FOOTNOTES:

{427}[562] [Berkeley did not deny the reality of existence, but the reality of matter as an abstract conception. "It is plain," he says (_On the Principles of Human Knowledge_, sect. ix.), "that the very notion of what is called _matter_ or _corporeal substance_, involves a contradiction in it." Again, "It were a mistake to think that what is here said derogates in the least from the reality of things." His contention was that this _reality_ depended, not on an abstraction _called_ matter, "an inert, extended unperceiving substance," but on "those unextended, indivisible substances or _spirits_, which act, and think, and perceive them [unthinking beings]."--_Ibid._, sect. xci., _The Works_ of George Berkeley, D.D., 1820, i. 27, 69, 70.]

{428}[563] [_Tempest_, act v. sc. i, line 95.]

[564] ["I have been very unwell--four days confined to my bed in 'the worst inn's worst room' at Lerici, with a violent rheumatic and bilious attack, constipation, and the devil knows what."--Letter to Murray, October 9, 1822, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 121. The same letter contains an announcement that he had "a fifth [Canto of _Don Juan_] (the 10th) finished, but not transcribed yet; and the _eleventh_ begun."]

{429}[kk] _Or Rome, or Tiber--Naples or the sea_.--[MS. erased.]

{430}[565] [_Vide ante_, Canto I. stanza xiv. lines 7, 8.]

{431}[566] ["_Falstaff_. Let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon: and let men say, we be men of good government; being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we--steal."-_I Henry IV._, act i. sc. 2, lines 24-28.]

[567] [Gin. Hence the antithesis of _"All Max"_ in the East to Almack's in the West. (See _Life in London_, by Pierce Egan, 1823, pp. 284-290.)]

[568] [According to the _Vocabulary of the Flash Language_, compiled by James Hardy Vaux, in 1812, and published at the end of his Memoirs, 1819, ii. 149-227, a kiddy, or "flash-kiddy," is a thief of the lower orders, who, when he is _breeched_ by a course of successful depredation dresses in the extreme of vulgar gentility, and affects a knowingness in his air and conversation. A "swell" or "rank swell" ("_real_ swell" appears in Egan's _Life in London_) is the more recent "toff;" and "flash" is "fly," "down," or "awake," _i.e._ knowing, not easily imposed upon.]

{432}[569] [_Hamlet_, act v. sc. 1, line 21.]

[570] ["Ken" is a house, s.c. a thieves' lodging-house; "spellken," a play-house; "high toby-spice" is robbery on horseback, as distinguished from "spice," i.e. footpad robbery; to "flash the muzzle" is to show off the face, to swagger openly; "blowing" or "blowen" is a doxy or trull; and "nutty" is, conjointly, amorous and fascinating.]

[kl] _Poor Tom was once a knowing one in town_. _Not a mere_ kiddy, _but a_ real _one_.--[MS. erased.]

[571] The advance of science and of language has rendered it unnecessary to translate the above good and true English, spoken in its original purity by the select mobility and their patrons. The following is a stanza of a song which was very popular at least in my early days:--

"On the high toby-spice flash the muzzle, In spite of each gallows old scout; If you at the spellken can't hustle, You'll be hobbled in making a clout. Then your blowing will wax gallows haughty, When she hears of your scaly mistake, She'll surely turn snitch for the forty-- That her Jack may be regular weight."

If there be any gemman so ignorant as to require a traduction, I refer him to my old friend and corporeal pastor and master, John Jackson, Esq., Professor of Pugilism; who, I trust, still retains the strength and symmetry of his model of a form, together with his good humour, and athletic as well as mental accomplishments.

[Gentleman Jackson was of good renown. "Servility," says Egan (_Life in London_, 1823, p. 217), "is not known to him. Flattery he detests. Integrity, impartiality, good-nature, and manliness, are the corner-stones of his understanding." Byron once said of him that "his manners were infinitely superior to those of the Fellows of the College whom I meet at the high table" (J.W. Clark, _Cambridge_, 1890, p. 140). (See, too, letter to John Jackson, September 18, 1808, _Letters_, 1898, i. 189, note 2; _Hints from Horace_, line 638, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 433, note 3.) As to the stanza quoted by Egan (_Anecdotes of the Turf_, 1827, p. 44), but not _traduced_ or interpreted, "To be hobbled for making a clout" is to be taken into custody for stealing a handkerchief, to "turn snitch" is to inform, and the "forty" is the £40 offered for the detection of a capital crime, and shared by the police or Bow Street runners. Dangerous characters were let alone and tacitly encouraged to continue their career of crime, until the measure of their iniquity was full, and they "weighed forty." If Jack was clumsy enough to be detected in a trifling theft, his "blowen" would go over to the enemy, and betray him for the sake of the Government reward (see _Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue_, by Francis Grose, 1823, art. "Weigh forty").]

{433}[572] [Don Juan must have driven by _Pleasant Row_, and passed within hail of _Paradise Row_, on the way from Kennington to Westminster Bridge. (See Cary's _New Pocket Plan of London, Westminster, and Southwark_, 1819.) But, perhaps, there is more in the names of streets and places than meets the eye. Here, as elsewhere, there is, or there may be, "a paltering with us in a double sense."]

[km] _Through rows called "Paradise," by way of showing_ _Good Christians that to which they all are going_.--[MS. erased.]

{434}[573] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto 1. stanza lxix. line 8, var. ii., _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 66, note 2.]

[kn]---- _distilling into the re-kindling glass_.--[MS.]

[574] [The streets of London were first regularly lighted with gas in 1812.]

{435}[575] [Thomas Pennant, in _Some Account of London_, 1793, p. 444. writes down the Mansion House (1739-1752) as "damned ... to everlasting fame."]

[576] [Fifty years ago "the lights of Piccadilly" were still regarded as one of the "sights" of London. Byron must often have looked at them from his house in Piccadilly Terrace.]

[577] [Joseph François Foulon, army commissioner, provoked the penalty of the "lantern" (i.e. an improvised gallows on the yard of a lamp-post at the corner of the Rue de la Vannerie) by his heartless sneer, "Eh bien! si cette canaille n'a pas de pain, elle mangera du foin." He was hanged, July 22, 1789. See _The Tale of Two Cities_, by Charles Dickens, cap. xxii.; see, too, Carlyle's _French Revolution_, 1839, i. 253: "With wild yells, Sansculottism clutches him, in its hundred hands: he is whirled ... to the _'Lanterne,'_ ... pleading bitterly for life,--to the deaf winds. Only with the third rope (for two ropes broke, and the quavering voice still pleaded), can he be so much as got hanged! His Body is dragged through the streets; his Head goes aloft on a pike, the mouth filled with grass: amid sounds as of Tophet, from a grass-eating people."]

{436}[578] "Hells," gaming-houses. What their number may now be in this life, I know not. Before I was of age I knew them pretty accurately, both "gold" and "silver." I was once nearly called out by an acquaintance, because when he asked me where I thought that his soul would be found hereafter, I answered, "In Silver Hell."

[ko] _At length the boys drew up before a door_, _From whence poured forth a tribe of well-clad waiters_; (_While on the pavement many a hungry w--re_ _With which the moralest of cities caters_ _For gentlemen whose passions may boil o'er,_ _Stood as the unpacking gathered more spectators,_) _And Juan found himself in an extensive_ _Apartment;--fashionable but expensive_.--[MS.]

{437}[kp] _'Twas one of the delightfullest hotels_.--[MS.]

[579] [Perhaps Grillion's Hotel (afterwards Grillion's Club) in Albemarle Street. In 1822 diplomats patronized more than one hotel in and near St. James's Street, but among the "Departures from Grillion's Hotel," recorded in the _Morning Chronicle_ of September, 17, 1822, appositely enough, is that of H.E. Don Juan Garcia, del Rio.]

[kq] ---- _of his loves and wars_; _And as romantic heads are pretty painters,_ _And ladies like a little spice of Mars_.--[MS. erased.]

{438}[kr] _The false attempt at Truth_----.--[MS.]

{439}[580] [Compare--

"Lo! Erin, thy Lord! Kiss his foot with thy blessing"----

_The Irish Avatar_, stanza 14, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 558.]

[ks] _Kiss hands--or feet--or what Man by and by_ Will _kiss, not in sad metaphor--but earnest,_ _Unless on Tyrants' sterns--we turn the sternest_.--[MS.]

{440}[581] "Anent" was a Scotch phrase meaning "concerning"--"with regard to: "it has been made English by the Scotch novels; and, as the Frenchman said, "If it _be not, ought to be_ English." [See, for instance, _The Abbot_, chap. xvii. 132.]

[kt] _But "Damme's" simple--dashing--free and daring_ _The purest blasphemy_----.--[MS.]

[ku] _About such general matters--but particular_ _A poem's progress should be perpendicular_.--[MS.]

{441}[582] [_Macbeth_, act iii. sc. 4, line 63.]

[kv] _Blushed, too, but it was hidden by their rouge_.--[MS. erased.]

[kw] _The natural and the prepared ceruse_.--[MS. erased.]

{442}[583] "Drapery Misses."--This term is probably anything now but a _mystery_. It was, however, almost so to me when I first returned from the East in 1811-1812. It means a pretty, a high-born, a fashionable young female, well instructed by her friends, and furnished by her milliner with a wardrobe upon credit, to be repaid, when married, by the _husband_. The riddle was first read to me by a young and pretty heiress, on my praising the "drapery" of the _"untochered"_ but "pretty virginities" (like Mrs. Anne Page) of the _then_ day, which has now been some years yesterday: she assured me that the thing was common in London; and as her own thousands, and blooming looks, and rich simplicity of array, put any suspicion in her own case out of the question, I confess I gave some credit to the allegation. If necessary, authorities might be cited; in which case I could quote both "drapery" and the wearers. Let us hope, however, that it is now obsolete.

[584] [Compare _Hints from Horace_, line 173, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 401, note 1.]

{443}[585] [In his so-called "Dedication" of _Marino Faliero_ to Goethe, Byron makes fun of the "nineteen hundred and eighty-seven poets," whose names were to be found in _A Biographical Dictionary of Living Authors, etc._ (See Introduction to _Marino Faliero, Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 340, 341, note 1.)]

{444}[kx] _A paper potentate_----.--[MS. erased.]

[586] [See "Introduction to _Cain_," _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 204.]

[ky] _With turnkey Southey for my Hudson Lowe._--[MS.]

[kz] _Beneath the reverend Cambyses Croly._--[MS.]

[587] [The Reverend George Croly, D.D. (1780-1860), began his literary career as dramatic critic of the _Times_. "Croly," says H.C. Robinson (_Diary_, 1869, i. 412), "is a fierce-looking Irishman, very lively in conversation, and certainly has considerable talents as a writer; his eloquence, like his person, is rather energetic than eloquent" (hence the epithet "Cambyses," i.e. "King Cambyses' vein" in _var._ iii.). "He wrote tragedies, comedies, and novels; and, at last, settled down as a preacher, with the rank of doctor, but of what faculty I do not know" (ibid., footnote, H.C.R., 1847). He wrote, _inter alia_, _Paris in 1815_, a poem; _Catiline, A Tragedy_, 1822; and _Salathiel_, a novel, 1827. In lines 7, 8, Byron seems to refer to _The Angel of the World, An Arabian Poem_, published in 1820.]

[588] [_I Henry IV._, act ii. sc. 4, line 197.]

{445}[589] [Stanza lviii. was first published in 1837. The reference is to Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868). Byron was under the impression that Milman had influenced Murray against continuing the publication of _Don Juan_. Added to this surmise, was the mistaken belief that it was Milman who had written the article in the _Quarterly_, which "killed John Keats." Hence the virulence of the attack.

"Dull Dorus" is obscure, but compare Propertius, _Eleg._ III. vii. 44, where Callimachus is addressed as "Dore poeta." He is the "ox of verse," because he had been recently appointed to the Professorship of Poetry at Oxford. The "roaring Romans" are "The soldiery" who shout "All, All," in Croly's _Catiline_, act v. sc. 2.]

[la] _Then there's my gentle Barry--who they say._--[MS.]

[590] [Jeffrey, in his review of _A Sicilian Story, etc._, Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall), 1787-1874 (_Edinburgh Review_, January, 1820, vol. 33, pp. 144-155), compares _Diego de Montilla_, a poem in _ottava rima_, with _Don Juan_, favourably and unfavourably: "There is no profligacy and no horror ... no mocking of virtue and honour, and no strong mixtures of buffoonery and grandeur." But it may fairly match with Byron and his Italian models "as to the better qualities of elegance, delicacy, and tenderness." See, too, _Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine_, March, 1820, vol. vi. pp. 153, 647.]

[591] [See Preface to the _Vision of Judgment, Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 484, note 3.]

[592] [Croker's article in the _Quarterly_ (April, 1818 [pub, September], vol. xix. pp. 204-208) did not "kill John Keats." See letter to George and Georgiana Keats, October, 1818 (_Letters, etc._, 1895, p. 215). Byron adopts Shelley's belief that the Reviewer, "miserable man," "one of the meanest," had "wantonly defaced one of the noblest specimens of the workmanship of God." See Preface to _Adonais_, and stanzas xxxvi., xxxvii.]

{446}[lb] _And weakly mind, to let that all celestial Particle_.--[MS. erased.] or, _'T is strange the mind should let such phrases quell its_ Chief Impulse with a few, frail, paper pellets_.--[MS. erased.]

[593] "Divinæ particulam auræ" [Hor., _Sat._ ii. 2. 79]

[594] [For "the crowd of usurpers" who started up in the reign of Gallienus, and were dignified with the honoured appellation of "the thirty tyrants," see Gibbon's _Decline and Fall_, 1825, i. 164.]

[595] [_King Lear_, act iv. sc. 6, line 15.]

{447}[596] ["Illita Nesseo misi tibi texta veneno."

Ovid., _Heroid. Epist_. ix. 163.]

[597] [A "bower," in Moore's phrase, signifies a solitude _à deux_; e.g. "Here's the Bower she lov'd so much."

"Come to me, love, the twilight star Shall guide thee to my bower."

Moore.]

{448}[598] [Compare _The Waltz_, lines 220-229, _et passim_, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 501.]

{449}[599] Scotch for goblin.

[lc] _Handsome but_ blasé----[MS.]

{450}[600] [The sentiment is reiterated in _The Night Thoughts_, and is the theme of _Resignation_, which was written and published when Young was more than eighty years old. ]

[ld] _And fresher, since without a breath of air_.--[MS.]

[le] _Where are the thousand lovely innocents?_--[MS.]

[601] ["I have ... written ... to express my willingness to accept the, or almost any mortgage, any thing to get out of the tremulous Funds of these oscillating times. There will be a war somewhere, no doubt--and whatever it may be, the Funds will be affected more or less; so pray get us out of them with all proper expedition. It has been the burthen of my song to you three years and better, and about as useful as better counsels."--Letter of Byron to Kinnaird, January 18, 1823, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 162, 163.]

{451}[602] [For William Pole Tylney Long Wellesley (1788-1857), see _The Waltz_, line 21, _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 484, note 1. He was only on the way to being "diddled" in 1822, but the prophecy (suggested, no doubt, by the announcement of the sale of furniture, etc., at Wanstead House, in the _Morning Chronicle_, July 8, 1822) was ultimately fulfilled. Samuel Whitbread, born 1758, committed suicide July 6, 1815. Sir Samuel Romilly, born 1758, committed suicide November 2, 1818.]

[603] [According to Charles Greville, George the Third made two wills--the first in 1770, the second, which he never signed, in 1810. By the first will he left "all he had to the Queen for her life, Buckingham House to the Duke of Clarence," etc., and as Buckingham House had been twice sold, and the other legatees were dead, a question arose between the King and the Duke of York as to the right of inheritance of their father's personal property. George IV. conceived that it devolved upon him personally, and not on the Crown, and "consequently appropriated to himself the whole of the money and the jewels." It is possible that this difference between the brothers was noised abroad, and that old stories of the destruction of royal wills were revived to the new king's discredit. (See _The Greville Memoirs_, 1875, i. 64, 65.)]

[604] [See Moore's _Fum and Hum, the Two Birds of Royalty_, appended to his _Fudge Family_.]

[605] [Lady Caroline Lamb and Lady Frances Wedderburn Webster.]

{452}[lf] ---- _their caps and curls at Dukes._--[MS.]

{453}[606] [The Congress at Verona, in 1822. See the Introduction to _The Age of Bronze, Poetical Works_, 1891, v. 537-540.]

[607] [_2 Henry IV._, act iv. sc. 3, line 117.]

[608] [Hor., _Od._ I. xi. line 8.]

[609] [_Macbeth_, act v. sc. 5, line 24.]

[610] [_1 Henry IV._, act ii. sc. 4, line 463.]

[611] [See the _Secret Memoirs and Manners of several Persons of Quality, of Both Sexes, from the New Atalantis_, 1709, a work in which the authoress, Mrs. Manley, satirizes the distinguished characters of her day. Warburton (_Works of Pope_, ed. 1751, i. 244) calls it "a famous book.... full of court and party scandal, and in a loose effeminacy of style and sentiment, which well suited the debauched taste of the better vulgar." Pope also alludes to it in the _Rape of the Lock_, iii. 165, 166--

"As long as _Atalantis_ shall be read. Or the small pillow grace a lady's bed."

And Swift, in his ballad on "Corinna" (stanza 8)--

"Her common-place book all gallant is, Of scandal now a cornucopia, She pours it out in _Atalantis_, Or memoirs of the New Utopia."

_Works_, 1824, xii. 302.]

{454}[612] [Oct. 17, 1822.--MS.]

CANTO THE TWELFTH.

I.

Of all the barbarous middle ages, that Which is most barbarous is the middle age Of man! it is--I really scarce know what; But when we hover between fool and sage, And don't know justly what we would be at-- A period something like a printed page, Black letter upon foolscap, while our hair Grows grizzled, and we are not what we were;--

II.

Too old for Youth,--too young, at thirty-five, To herd with boys, or hoard with good threescore,-- I wonder people should be left alive; But since they are, that epoch is a bore: Love lingers still, although 't were late to wive: And as for other love, the illusion's o'er; And Money, that most pure imagination, Gleams only through the dawn of its creation.[613]

III.

O Gold! Why call we misers miserable?[614] Theirs is the pleasure that can never pall; Theirs is the best bower anchor, the chain cable Which holds fast other pleasures great and small. Ye who but see the saving man at table, And scorn his temperate board, as none at all, And wonder how the wealthy can be sparing, Know not what visions spring from each cheese-paring.

IV.

Love or lust makes Man sick, and wine much sicker; Ambition rends, and gaming gains a loss; But making money, slowly first, then quicker, And adding still a little through each cross (Which _will_ come over things), beats Love or liquor, The gamester's counter, or the statesman's _dross_. O Gold! I still prefer thee unto paper, Which makes bank credit like a bank of _vapour_.

V.

Who hold the balance of the World? Who reign O'er congress, whether royalist or liberal? Who rouse the shirtless patriots of Spain?[615] (That make old Europe's journals "squeak and gibber"[616] all) Who keep the World, both old and new, in pain Or pleasure? Who make politics run glibber all? The shade of Buonaparte's noble daring?-- Jew Rothschild,[617] and his fellow-Christian, Baring.

VI.

Those, and the truly liberal Lafitte,[618] Are the true Lords of Europe. Every loan Is not a merely speculative hit, But seats a Nation or upsets a Throne. Republics also get involved a bit; Columbia's stock hath holders not unknown On 'Change; and even thy silver soil, Peru, Must get itself discounted by a Jew.

VII.

Why call the miser miserable? as I said before: the frugal life is his, Which in a saint or cynic ever was The theme of praise: a hermit would not miss Canonization for the self-same cause, And wherefore blame gaunt Wealth's austerities? Because, you 'll say, nought calls for such a trial;-- Then there's more merit in his self-denial.

VIII.

He is your only poet;--Passion, pure And sparkling on from heap to heap, displays, _Possessed_, the ore, of which _mere hopes_ allure Nations athwart the deep: the golden rays Flash up in ingots from the mine obscure: On him the Diamond pours its brilliant blaze, While the mild Emerald's beam shades down the dies Of other stones, to soothe the miser's eyes.

IX.

The lands on either side are his; the ship From Ceylon, Inde, or far Cathay, unloads For him the fragrant produce of each trip; Beneath his cars of Ceres groan the roads, And the vine blushes like Aurora's lip; His very cellars might be Kings' abodes; While he, despising every sensual call, Commands--the intellectual Lord of _all_.

X.

Perhaps he hath great projects in his mind, To build a college, or to found a race, A hospital, a church,--and leave behind Some dome surmounted by his meagre face: Perhaps he fain would liberate Mankind Even with the very ore which makes them base; Perhaps he would be wealthiest of his nation, Or revel in the joys of calculation.

XI.

But whether all, or each, or none of these May be the hoarder's principle of action, The fool will call such mania a disease:-- What is his _own?_ Go--look at each transaction, Wars, revels, loves--do these bring men more ease Than the mere plodding through each "vulgar fraction?" Or do they benefit Mankind? Lean Miser! Let spendthrifts' heirs inquire of yours--who's wiser?

XII.

How beauteous are rouleaus! how charming chests Containing ingots, bags of dollars, coins (Not of old victors, all whose heads and crests Weigh not the thin ore where their visage shines,[lg] But) of fine unclipped gold, where dully rests Some likeness, which the glittering cirque confines, Of modern, reigning, sterling, stupid stamp!-- Yes! ready money _is_ Aladdin's lamp.[619]

XIII.

"Love rules the Camp, the Court, the Grove,--for Love Is Heaven, and Heaven is Love:"[620]--so sings the bard; Which it were rather difficult to prove (A thing with poetry in general hard). Perhaps there may be something in "the Grove," At least it rhymes to "Love:" but I'm prepared To doubt (no less than landlords of their rental) If "Courts" and "Camps" be quite so sentimental.

XIV.

But if Love don't, _Cash_ does, and Cash alone: Cash rules the Grove, and fells it too besides; Without cash, camps were thin, and courts were none; Without cash, Malthus tells you--"take no brides."[621] So Cash rules Love the ruler, on his own High ground, as virgin Cynthia sways the tides: And as for "Heaven being Love," why not say honey Is wax? Heaven is not Love, 't is Matrimony.

XV.

Is not all Love prohibited whatever, Excepting Marriage? which is Love, no doubt, After a sort; but somehow people never With the same thought the two words have helped out. Love may exist _with_ Marriage, and _should_ ever, And Marriage also may exist without; But Love _sans_ banns is both a sin and shame, And ought to go by quite another name.

XVI.

Now if the "Court," and "Camp," and "Grove," be not Recruited all with constant married men, Who never coveted their neighbour's lot, I say _that_ line's a lapsus of the pen;-- Strange too in my _buon camerado_ Scott, So celebrated for his morals, when My Jeffrey held him up as an example[622] To me;--of whom these morals are a sample.[lh]

XVII.

Well, if I don't succeed, I _have_ succeeded, And that's enough; succeeded in my youth, The only time when much success is needed: And my success produced what I, in sooth, Cared most about; it need not now be pleaded-- Whate'er it was, 'twas mine; I've paid, in truth, Of late, the penalty of such success, But have not learned to wish it any less.

XVIII.

That suit in Chancery,[623]--which some persons plead In an appeal to the unborn, whom they, In the faith of their procreative creed, Baptize Posterity, or future clay,-- To me seems but a dubious kind of reed To lean on for support in any way; Since odds are that Posterity will know No more of them, than they of her, I trow.

XIX.[li]

Why, I'm Posterity--and so are you; And whom do we remember? Not a hundred. Were every memory written down all true, The tenth or twentieth name would be but blundered; Even Plutarch's Lives have but picked out a few, And 'gainst those few your annalists have thundered; And Mitford[624] in the nineteenth century Gives, with Greek truth, the good old Greek the lie.

XX.

Good people all, of every degree, Ye gentle readers and ungentle writers, In this twelfth Canto 't is my wish to be As serious as if I had for inditers Malthus and Wilberforce:--the last set free The Negroes, and is worth a million fighters; While Wellington has but enslaved the Whites, And Malthus[625] does the thing 'gainst which he writes.

XXI.

I'm serious--so are all men upon paper; And why should I not form my speculation, And hold up to the Sun my little taper?[626] Mankind just now seem wrapped in meditation On constitutions and steam-boats of vapour; While sages write against all procreation, Unless a man can calculate his means Of feeding brats the moment his wife weans.

XXII.

That's noble! That's romantic! For my part, I think that "Philo-genitiveness" is-- (Now here's a word quite after my own heart, Though there's a shorter a good deal than this, If that politeness set it not apart; But I'm resolved to say nought that's amiss)-- I say, methinks that "Philo-genitiveness"[627] Might meet from men a little more forgiveness.

XXIII.

And now to business.--O my gentle Juan! Thou art in London--in that pleasant place, Where every kind of mischief's daily brewing, Which can await warm Youth in its wild race. 'T is true, that thy career is not a new one; Thou art no novice in the headlong chase Of early life; but this is a new land, Which foreigners can never understand.

XXIV.

What with a small diversity of climate, Of hot or cold, mercurial or sedate, I could send forth my mandate like a Primate Upon the rest of Europe's social state; But thou art the most difficult to rhyme at, Great Britain, which the Muse may penetrate. All countries have their "Lions," but in thee There is but one superb menagerie.

XXV.

But I am sick of politics. Begin-- _"Paulo Majora."_ Juan, undecided Amongst the paths of being "taken in," Above the ice had like a skater glided:[lj] When tired of play, he flirted without sin With some of those fair creatures who have prided Themselves on innocent tantalisation,[lk] And hate all vice except its reputation.

XXVI.

But these are few, and in the end they make Some devilish escapade or stir, which shows That even the purest people may mistake Their way through Virtue's primrose paths of snows; And then men stare, as if a new ass spake To Balaam, and from tongue to ear o'erflows Quicksilver small talk, ending (if you note it) With the kind World's Amen--"Who would have thought it?"

XXVII.

The little Leila, with her Orient eyes, And taciturn Asiatic disposition, (Which saw all Western things with small surprise, To the surprise of people of condition, Who think that novelties are butterflies To be pursued as food for inanition,) Her charming figure and romantic history Became a kind of fashionable mystery.

XXVIII.

The women much divided--as is usual Amongst the sex in little things or great-- Think not, fair creatures, that I mean to abuse you all, I have always liked you better than I state-- Since I've grown moral, still I must accuse you all Of being apt to talk at a great rate; And now there was a general sensation Amongst you, about Leila's education.

XXIX.

In one point only were you settled--and You had reason; 't was that a young child of grace, As beautiful as her own native land, And far away, the last bud of her race, Howe'er our friend Don Juan might command Himself for five, four, three, or two years' space, Would be much better taught beneath the eye Of peeresses whose follies had run dry.

XXX.

So first there was a generous emulation, And then there was a general competition, To undertake the orphan's education: As Juan was a person of condition, It had been an affront on this occasion To talk of a subscription or petition; But sixteen dowagers, ten unwed she sages Whose tale belongs to "Hallam's Middle Ages,"[628]

XXXI.

And one or two sad, separate wives, without A fruit to bloom upon their withering bough-- Begged to bring _up_ the little girl, and _"out"_-- For that's the phrase that settles all things now, Meaning a virgin's first blush at a rout, And all her points as thorough-bred to show: And I assure you, that like virgin honey Tastes their first season (mostly if they have money).

XXXII.

How all the needy honourable misters, Each out-at-elbow peer, or desperate dandy, The watchful mothers, and the careful sisters, (Who, by the by, when clever, are more handy At making matches, where "'t is gold that glisters," Than their _he_ relatives), like flies o'er candy Buzz round "the Fortune" with their busy battery, To turn her head with waltzing and with flattery!

XXXIII.

Each aunt, each cousin, hath her speculation; Nay, married dames will now and then discover Such pure disinterestedness of passion, I've known them court an heiress for their lover. "_Tantoene!_" Such the virtues of high station, Even in the hopeful Isle, whose outlet's "Dover!" While the poor rich wretch, object of these cares, Has cause to wish her sire had had male heirs.

XXXIV.

Some are soon bagged, and some reject three dozen: 'T is fine to see them scattering refusals And wild dismay o'er every angry cousin (Friends of the party), who begin accusals, Such as--"Unless Miss Blank meant to have chosen Poor Frederick, why did she accord perusals To his billets? _Why_ waltz with him? Why, I pray, Look _'Yes'_ last night, and yet say _'No'_ to-day?

XXXV.

"Why?--Why?--Besides, Fred really was _attached_; 'T was not her fortune--he has enough without; The time will come she'll wish that she had snatched So good an opportunity, no doubt:-- But the old Marchioness some plan had hatched, As I'll tell Aurea at to-morrow's rout: And after all poor Frederick may do better-- Pray did you see her answer to his letter?"

XXXVI.

Smart uniforms and sparkling coronets Are spurned in turn, until her turn arrives, After male loss of time, and hearts, and bets Upon the sweepstakes for substantial wives; And when at last the pretty creature gets Some gentleman, who fights, or writes, or drives, It soothes the awkward squad of the rejected To find how very badly she selected.

XXXVII.

For sometimes they accept some long pursuer, Worn out with importunity; or fall (But here perhaps the instances are fewer) To the lot of him who scarce pursued at all. A hazy widower turned of forty 's sure[ll][629] (If 't is not vain examples to recall)[lm] To draw a high prize: now, howe'er he got her, I See nought more strange in this than t' other lottery.

XXXVIII.

I, for my part--(one "modern instance" more, "True,'t is a pity--pity 't is, 't is true")--[630] Was chosen from out an amatory score, Albeit my years were less discreet than few; But though I also had reformed before Those became one who soon were to be two, I'll not gainsay the generous public's voice, That the young lady made a monstrous choice.

XXXIX.

Oh, pardon my digression--or at least Peruse! 'T is always with a moral end That I dissert, like grace before a feast: For like an agéd aunt, or tiresome friend, A rigid guardian, or a zealous priest, My Muse by exhortation means to mend All people, at all times, and in most places, Which puts my Pegasus to these grave paces.

XL.

But now I'm going to be immoral; now I mean to show things really as they are, Not as they ought to be: for I avow, That till we see what's what in fact, we're far From much improvement with that virtuous plough Which skims the surface, leaving scarce a scar Upon the black loam long manured by Vice, Only to keep its corn at the old price.

XLI.

But first of little Leila we'll dispose,[ln] For like a day-dawn she was young and pure-- Or like the old comparison of snows,[631] (Which are more pure than pleasant, to be sure, Like many people everybody knows),-- Don Juan was delighted to secure A goodly guardian for his infant charge, Who might not profit much by being at large.

XLII.

Besides, he had found out he was no tutor (I wish that others would find out the same),[632] And rather wished in such things to stand neuter, For silly wards will bring their guardians blame: So when he saw each ancient dame a suitor To make his little wild Asiatic tame, Consulting "the Society for Vice Suppression," Lady Pinchbeck was his choice.

XLIII.

Olden she was--but had been very young; Virtuous she was--and had been, I believe; Although the World has such an evil tongue That--but my chaster ear will not receive An echo of a syllable that's wrong:[lo] In fact, there's nothing makes me so much grieve, As that abominable tittle-tattle, Which is the cud eschewed[633] by human cattle.

XLIV.

Moreover I've remarked (and I was once A slight observer in a modest way), And so may every one except a dunce, That ladies in their youth a little gay, Besides their knowledge of the World, and sense Of the sad consequence of going astray, Are wiser in their warnings 'gainst the woe Which the mere passionless can never know.

XLV.

While the harsh prude indemnifies her virtue By railing at the unknown and envied passion, Seeking far less to save you than to hurt you, Or, what's still worse, to put you out of fashion,-- The kinder veteran with calm words will court you, Entreating you to pause before you dash on; Expounding and illustrating the riddle Of epic Love's beginning--end--and middle.

XLVI.

Now whether it be thus, or that they are stricter, As better knowing why they should be so, I think you'll find from many a family picture, That daughters of such mothers as may know The World by experience rather than by lecture, Turn out much better for the Smithfield Show Of vestals brought into the marriage mart, Than those bred up by prudes without a heart.

XLVII.

I said that Lady Pinchbeck had been talked about-- As who has not, if female, young, and pretty? But now no more the ghost of Scandal stalked about; She merely was deemed amiable and witty, And several of her best _bons-mots_ were hawked about: Then she was given to charity and pity, And passed (at least the latter years of life) For being a most exemplary wife.

XLVIII.

High in high circles, gentle in her own, She was the mild reprover of the young, Whenever--which means every day--they'd shown An awkward inclination to go wrong. The quantity of good she did 's unknown, Or at the least would lengthen out my song: In brief, the little orphan of the East Had raised an interest in her,--which increased.

XLIX.

Juan, too, was a sort of favourite with her, Because she thought him a good heart at bottom, A little spoiled, but not so altogether; Which was a wonder, if you think who got him, And how he had been tossed, he scarce knew whither: Though this might ruin others, it did _not_ him, At least entirely--for he had seen too many Changes in Youth, to be surprised at any.

L.

And these vicissitudes tell best in youth; For when they happen at a riper age, People are apt to blame the Fates, forsooth, And wonder Providence is not more sage. Adversity is the first path to Truth: He who hath proved War--Storm--or Woman's rage, Whether his winters be eighteen or eighty, Hath won the experience which is deemed so weighty.

LI.

How far it profits is another matter.-- Our hero gladly saw his little charge Safe with a lady, whose last grown-up daughter Being long married, and thus set at large, Had left all the accomplishments she taught her To be transmitted, like the Lord Mayor's barge, To the next comer; or--as it will tell More Muse-like--like to Cytherea's shell.[lp]

LII.

I call such things transmission; for there is A floating balance of accomplishment, Which forms a pedigree from Miss to Miss, According as their minds or backs are bent. Some waltz--some draw--some fathom the abyss Of Metaphysics; others are content With Music; the most moderate shine as wits;-- While others have a genius turned for fits.

LIII.

But whether fits, or wits, or harpsichords-- Theology--fine arts--or finer stays, May be the baits for Gentlemen or Lords With regular descent, in these our days, The last year to the new transfers its hoards; New vestals claim men's eyes with the same praise Of "elegant" _et cætera_, in fresh batches-- All matchless creatures--and yet bent on matches.

LIV.

But now I will begin my poem. 'Tis Perhaps a little strange, if not quite new, That from the first of Cantos up to this I've not begun what we have to go through. These first twelve books are merely flourishes, _Preludios_, trying just a string or two Upon my lyre, or making the pegs sure; And when so, you shall have the overture.

LV.

My Muses do not care a pinch of rosin About what's called success, or not succeeding: Such thoughts are quite below the strain they have chosen; 'T is a "great moral lesson"[634] they are reading. I thought, at setting off, about two dozen Cantos would do; but at Apollo's pleading, If that my Pegasus should not be foundered, I think to canter gently through a hundred.

LVI.

Don Juan saw that Microcosm on stilts, Yclept the Great World; for it is the least, Although the highest: but as swords have hilts By which their power of mischief is increased, When Man in battle or in quarrel tilts, Thus the low world, north, south, or west, or east, Must still obey the high[635]--which is their handle, Their Moon, their Sun, their gas, their farthing candle.

LVII.

He had many friends who had many wives, and was Well looked upon by both, to that extent Of friendship which you may accept or pass, It does nor good nor harm; being merely meant To keep the wheels going of the higher class, And draw them nightly when a ticket's sent; And what with masquerades, and fêtes, and balls, For the first season such a life scarce palls.

LVIII.

A young unmarried man, with a good name And fortune, has an awkward part to play; For good society is but a game, "The royal game of Goose,"[636] as I may say, Where everybody has some separate aim, An end to answer, or a plan to lay-- The single ladies wishing to be double, The married ones to save the virgins trouble.

LIX.

I don't mean this as general, but particular Examples may be found of such pursuits: Though several also keep their perpendicular Like poplars, with good principles for roots; Yet many have a method more _reticular_-- "Fishers for men," like Sirens with soft lutes: For talk six times with the same single lady, And you may get the wedding-dresses ready.

LX.

Perhaps you'll have a letter from the mother, To say her daughter's feelings are trepanned; Perhaps you'll have a visit from the brother, All strut, and stays, and whiskers, to demand What "your intentions are?"--One way or other It seems the virgin's heart expects your hand: And between pity for her case and yours, You'll add to Matrimony's list of cures.

LXI.

I've known a dozen weddings made even _thus_, And some of them high names: I have also known Young men who--though they hated to discuss Pretensions which they never dreamed to have shown-- Yet neither frightened by a female fuss, Nor by mustachios moved, were let alone, And lived, as did the broken-hearted fair, In happier plight than if they formed a pair.

LXII.

There's also nightly, to the uninitiated, A peril--not indeed like Love or Marriage, But not the less for this to be depreciated: It is--I meant and mean not to disparage The show of Virtue even in the vitiated-- It adds an outward grace unto their carriage-- But to denounce the amphibious sort of harlot, _Couleur de rose_, who's neither white nor scarlet.

LXIII.

Such is your cold coquette, who can't say "No," And won't say "Yes," and keeps you on and off-ing On a lee-shore, till it begins to blow-- Then sees your heart wrecked, with an inward scoffing. This works a world of sentimental woe,[lq] And sends new Werters yearly to their coffin; But yet is merely innocent flirtation, Not quite adultery, but adulteration.

LXIV.

"Ye gods, I grow a talker!"[637] Let us prate. The next of perils, though I place it _stern_est, Is when, without regard to Church or State, A wife makes or takes love in upright earnest. Abroad, such things decide few women's fate-- (Such, early Traveller! is the truth thou learnest)-- But in old England, when a young bride errs, Poor thing! Eve's was a trifling case to hers.

LXV.

For 't is a low, newspaper, humdrum, lawsuit Country, where a young couple of the same ages[lr] Can't form a friendship, but the world o'erawes it. Then there's the vulgar trick of those d----d damages! A verdict--grievous foe to those who cause it!-- Forms a sad climax to romantic homages; Besides those soothing speeches of the pleaders, And evidences which regale all readers.

LXVI.

But they who blunder thus are raw beginners; A little genial sprinkling of hypocrisy Has saved the fame of thousand splendid sinners, The loveliest oligarchs of our Gynocracy;[638] You may see such at all the balls and dinners, Among the proudest of our aristocracy, So gentle, charming, charitable, chaste-- And all by having _tact_ as well as taste.

LXVII.

Juan, who did not stand in the predicament Of a mere novice, had one safeguard more; For he was sick--no, 't was not the word _sick_ I meant-- But he had seen so much good love before, That he was not in heart so very weak;--I meant But thus much, and no sneer against the shore Of white cliffs, white necks, blue eyes, bluer stockings-- Tithes, taxes, duns--and doors with double knockings.[ls]

LXVIII.

But coming young from lands and scenes romantic, Where lives, not lawsuits, must be risked for Passion And Passion's self must have a spice of frantic, Into a country where 't is half a fashion, Seemed to him half commercial, half pedantic, Howe'er he might esteem this moral nation: Besides (alas! his taste--forgive and pity!) At _first_ he did not think the women pretty.

LXIX.

I say at _first_--for he found out at _last_, But by degrees, that they were fairer far Than the more glowing dames whose lot is cast Beneath the influence of the Eastern Star. A further proof we should not judge in haste; Yet inexperience could not be his bar To taste:--the truth is, if men would confess, That novelties _please_ less than they _impress_.

LXX.

Though travelled, I have never had the luck to Trace up those shuffling negroes, Nile or Niger, To that impracticable place Timbuctoo, Where Geography finds no one to oblige her With such a chart as may be safely stuck to-- For Europe ploughs in Afric like "_bos piger_:"[639] But if I _had been_ at Timbuctoo, there No doubt I should be told that black is fair.[lt][640]

LXXI.

It is. 1 will not swear that black is white, But I suspect in fact that white is black, And the whole matter rests upon eye-sight:-- Ask a blind man, the best judge. You'll attack Perhaps this new position--but I'm right; Or if I'm wrong, I'll not be ta'en aback:-- He hath no morn nor night, but all is dark Within--and what seest thou? A dubious spark!

LXXII.

But I'm relapsing into Metaphysics, That labyrinth, whose clue is of the same Construction as your cures for hectic phthisics, Those bright moths fluttering round a dying flame: And this reflection brings me to plain Physics, And to the beauties of a foreign dame, Compared with those of our pure pearls of price, Those polar summers, _all_ Sun, and some ice.[lu][641]

LXXIII.

Or say they are like virtuous mermaids, whose Beginnings are fair faces, ends mere fishes;-- Not that there's not a quantity of those Who have a due respect for their own wishes. Like Russians rushing from hot baths to snows[642] Are they, at bottom virtuous even when vicious: They warm into a scrape, but keep of course, As a reserve, a plunge into remorse.

LXXIV.

But this has nought to do with their outsides. I said that Juan did not think them pretty At the first blush; for a fair Briton hides Half her attractions--probably from pity--And rather calmly into the heart glides, Than storms it as a foe would take a city; But once _there_ (if you doubt this, prithee try)[lv] She keeps it for you like a true ally.

LXXV.

She cannot step as does an Arab barb,[643] Or Andalusian girl from mass returning, Nor wear as gracefully as Gauls her garb, Nor in her eye Ausonia's glance is burning; Her voice, though sweet, is not so fit to warb- le those _bravuras_ (which I still am learning To like, though I have been seven years in Italy, And have, or had, an ear that served me prettily);--

LXXVI.

She cannot do these things, nor one or two Others, in that off-hand and dashing style Which takes so much--to give the Devil his due; Nor is she quite so ready with her smile, Nor settles all things in one interview, (A thing approved as saving time and toil);-- But though the soil may give you time and trouble, Well cultivated, it will render double.

LXXVII.

And if in fact she takes to a _grande passion_, It is a very serious thing indeed: Nine times in ten 't is but caprice or fashion, Coquetry, or a wish to take the lead, The pride of a mere child with a new sash on, Or wish to make a rival's bosom bleed: But the _tenth_ instance will be a tornado, For there's no saying what they will or may do.

LXXVIII.

The reason's obvious: if there's an _éclat_, They lose their caste at once, as do the Parias; And when the delicacies of the Law Have filled their papers with their comments various, Society, that china without flaw, (The Hypocrite!) will banish them like Marius, To sit amidst the ruins of their guilt:[644] For Fame's a Carthage not so soon rebuilt.

LXXIX.

Perhaps this is as it should be;--it is A comment on the Gospel's "Sin no more, And be thy sins forgiven:"--but upon this I leave the Saints to settle their own score. Abroad, though doubtless they do much amiss, An erring woman finds an opener door For her return to Virtue--as they call That Lady, who should be at home to all.[lw]

LXXX.

For me, I leave the matter where I find it, Knowing that such uneasy virtue leads People some ten times less in fact to mind it, And care but for discoveries, and not deeds. And as for Chastity, you'll never bind it By all the laws the strictest lawyer pleads, But aggravate the crime you have not prevented, By rendering desperate those who had else repented.

LXXXI.

But Juan was no casuist, nor had pondered Upon the moral lessons of mankind: Besides, he had not seen of several hundred A lady altogether to his mind. A little _blasé_--'t is not to be wondered At, that his heart had got a tougher rind: And though not vainer from his past success, No doubt his sensibilities were less.

LXXXII.

He also had been busy seeing sights-- The Parliament and all the other houses; Had sat beneath the Gallery at nights, To hear debates whose thunder _roused_ (not _rouses_) The World to gaze upon those Northern Lights, Which flashed as far as where the musk-bull browses;[645] He had also stood at times behind the Throne-- But Grey[646] was not arrived, and Chatham gone.[647]

LXXXIII.

He saw, however, at the closing session, That noble sight, when _really_ free the nation, A King in constitutional possession Of such a Throne as is the proudest station, Though Despots know it not--till the progression Of Freedom shall complete their education. 'T is not mere Splendour makes the show august To eye or heart--it is the People's trust.

LXXXIV.

There, too, he saw (whate'er he may be now) A Prince, the prince of Princes at the time,[648] With fascination in his very bow, And full of promise, as the spring of prime. Though Royalty was written on his brow, He had _then_ the grace, too, rare in every clime, Of being, without alloy of fop or beau, A finished Gentleman from top to toe.[649]

LXXXV.

And Juan was received, as hath been said, Into the best society; and there Occurred what often happens, I'm afraid, However disciplined and debonnaire:-- The talent and good humour he displayed, Besides the marked distinction of his air, Exposed him, as was natural, to temptation, Even though himself avoided the occasion.

LXXXVI.

But what, and where, with whom, and when, and why, Is not to be put hastily together; And as my object is Morality (Whatever people say), I don't know whether I'll leave a single reader's eyelid dry, But harrow up his feelings till they wither, And hew out a huge monument of pathos, As Philip's son proposed to do with Athos.[650]

LXXXVII.

Here the twelfth canto of our Introduction Ends. When the body of the Book's begun, You'll find it of a different construction From what some people say 't will be when done; The plan at present 's simply in concoction. I can't oblige you, reader, to read on; That's your affair, not mine: a real spirit Should neither court neglect, nor dread to bear it.

LXXXVIII.

And if my thunderbolt not always rattles, Remember, reader! you have had before, The worst of tempests and the best of battles, That e'er were brewed from elements or gore, Besides the most sublime of--Heaven knows what else; An usurer could scarce expect much more-- But my best canto--save one on astronomy-- Will turn upon "Political Economy."[651]

LXXXIX.

_That_ is your present theme for popularity: Now that the public hedge hath scarce a stake, It grows an act of patriotic charity, To show the people the best way to break. _My plan_ (but I, if but for singularity, Reserve it) will be very sure to take. Meantime, read all the National-Debt sinkers, And tell me what you think of our great thinkers.[652]

FOOTNOTES:

{455}[613] [See letter to Douglas Kinnaird, dated Genoa, January 18, 1823.]

[614] [Johnson would not believe that "a complete miser is a happy man." "That," he said, "is flying in the face of all the world, who have called an avaricious man a _miser_, because he is miserable. No, sir; a man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoyments."--Boswell's _Life of Johnson_, 1876, p. 605.]

{456}[615] [The _Descamisados_, or Sansculottes of the Spanish Revolution of 1820-1823. For Spanish "Liberals," see _Quarterly Review_, April, 1823, vol. xxix. pp. 270-276.]

[616] [_Hamlet_, act i. sc. 1, line 116.]

[617] [See _The Age of Bronze_, line 678, sq., _Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 573, note 3.]

[618] [Jacques Laffitte (1767-1844), as Governor of the Bank of France, advanced sums to Parisians to meet their enforced contributions to the allies, and, in 1817, advocated liberal measures as a Deputy.]

{458}[lg] _Were not worth one whereon their profile shines_.--[MS. erased.]

[619] ["They say that 'Knowledge is Power';--I used to think so; but I now know that they meant Money ... every guinea is a philosopher's stone, or at least his _touch_-stone. You will doubt me the less, when I pronounce my pious belief--that _Cash is Virtue_."--Letter to Kinnaird, February 6, 1822, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 11.]

[620] [_Lay of the Last Minstrel_, Canto III. stanza ii. lines 4-6.]

{459}[621] [See Godwin's Essay _Of Population_, 1820 (pp. 18, 19, et passim), in which he renews his attack on Malthus's _Essay on the Principles of Population_.]

[622] ["We have no notion that Lord B[yron] had any mischievous intention in these publications--and readily acquit him of any wish to corrupt the morals, or impair the happiness of his readers ... but it is our duty ... to say, that much of what he has published appears to us to have this tendency.... How opposite to this is the system, or the temper, of the great author of Waverley!"--_Edinburgh Review_, February, 1822, vol. 36, p. 451.]

[lh] ---- _for his moral pen_ _Held up to me by Jeffrey as example_. _Of which with profit--as you'll soon see by a sample_.--[MS. erased.]

{460}[623] [In the case of Murray v. Benbow (February 9, 1822), the Lord Chancellor (Lord Eldon) refused the motion for an injunction to restrain the defendant from publishing a pirated edition of Lord Byron's poem of Cain (Jacob's _Reports_, p. 474, note). Hence (see _var._ i.) the allusion to "Law" and "Equity." The "suit" and the "appeal" (vide ibid.) refer to legal proceedings taken, or intended to be taken, with regard to certain questions arising out of the disposition of property under Lady Noel's will. (See letters to Charles Hanson, September 21, November 30, 1822, _Letters_, 1901, vi. 115, 146.)]

[li] _That suit in Chancery--have a Chancery suit-- In right good earnest--also an appeal Before the Lords, whose Chancellor's more acute In Law than Equity--as I can feel Because my Cases put his Lordship to 't And--though no doubt 't is for the Public weal, His Lordship's Justice is not that of Solomon-- Not that I deem our Chief Judge is a hollow man_.--[MS. erased.]

[624] See [William] Mitford's Greece (1829, v. 314, 315), _"Græcia Verax."_ His great pleasure consists in praising tyrants, abusing Plutarch, spelling oddly, and writing quaintly; and what is strange, after all, _his_ is the best modern history of Greece in any language, and he is perhaps the best of all modern historians whatsoever. Having named his sins, it is but fair to state his virtues--learning, labour, research, wrath, and partiality. I call the latter virtues in a writer, because they make him write in earnest.

[Byron consulted Mitford when he was at work on _Sardanapalus_. (See Extracts from a Diary, January 5, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 152, note 1.)]

{461}[625] [Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) married, in 1804, Harriet, daughter of John Eckersall of Claverton House, near Bath. There were three children of the marriage, of whom two survived him. Byron may be alluding to the apocryphal story of "his eleven daughters," related by J.L.A. Cherbuliez, in the _Journal des Économistes_ (1850, vol. xxv. p. 135): "Un soir ... il y avait cercle chez M. de Sismondi, à sa maison de campagne près de Genève.... Enfin, on annonce le _révérend Malthus et sa famille_. Sa famille!... Alors on voit entrer une charmante jeune fille, puis une seconde, puis une troisième, puis une quatrième, puis ... Il n'y en avait, ma fois, pas moins de onze!" See _Malthus and his Work_, by James Bonar, 1885, pp. 412, 413. See, too, _Nouveau Dictionnaire de L'Économie Politique_, 1892, art. "Malthus."]

[626] [Compare--

"How commentators each dark passage shun, And hold their farthing candle to the sun."

_Love of Fame, the Universal Passion_, by Edward Young, _Sat_. vii. lines 97, 98.]

{462}[627] [Philo-_pro_genitiveness. Spurzheim and Gall discover the organ of this name in a bump behind the ears, and say it is remarkably developed in the bull.]

[lj] _He played and paid, made love without much sin_.--[MS. erased.]

{463}[lk] _Themselves on seldom yielding to temptation_.--[MS. erased.]

{464}[628] [Henry Hallam (1778-1859) published his _View of the State of Europe in the Middle Ages_ in 1818.]

{465}[ll] _A drunken Gentleman of forty's sure._--[MS.]

[629] This line may puzzle the commentators more than the present generation.

[lm] _If he can hiccup nonsense at a ball._ or, _If he goes after dinner to a ball_.-[MS. erased.]

{466}[630] [_As You Like It_, act ii. sc. 7, line 156; and _Hamlet_, act ii. sc. 2, lines, 97, 98.]

[ln] _But first of little Leilah----._--[MS.]

[631] [For the allusion to "unsunned snows," vide ante, p. 275, note 1.]

{467}[632] [The reference may be to Hobhouse and the "Zoili of Albemarle Street," who did their best to "tutor" him with regard to "blazing indiscretions" in _Don Juan_.]

[lo] _That--but I will not listen, by your leave, Unto a single syllable_----.--[MS.]

[633] [For another instance of this curious mistake, see letter to Hodgson, December 8, 1811, _Letters_, 1898, ii. 85; et ibid., p. 31, note 1.]

{469}[lp] _Painted and gilded--or, as it will tell More Muse-like--say--like Cytherea's shell_.--[MS.]

{470}[634] [Vide ante, Preface to Cantos VI., VII., and VIII., p. 266.]

[635] ["Enfin partout la bonne société régle tout."--Voltaire.]

{471}[636] ["This game originated, I believe, in Germany.... It is called the game of the _goose_, because at every fourth and fifth compartment of the table in succession a _goose_ is depicted; and if the cast thrown by the player falls upon a _goose_, he moves forward double the number of his throw" (_Sports and Pastimes, etc._, by Joseph Strutt, 1801, p. 250).

Goldsmith, in his _Deserted Village_, among other "parlour splendours," mentions "the twelve good rules, the royal game of goose."]

{472}[lq] _Most young beginners may be taken so, But those who have been a little used to roughing Know how to end this half-and-half flirtation_.--[MS. erased.]

[637] ["I'll grow a talker for this gear."

_Merchant of Venice_, act i. sc. 1, line 110.]

{473}[lr] _Country where warm young people_----.--[MS. erased.]

[638] [Pope and Scott use the quasi-contracted "gynocracy" for "gynæcocracy." (See _N. Engl. Dict._)]

[ls] _Of white cliffs--and white bosoms--and blue eyes-- And stockings--virtues, loves and Chastities_.--[MS. erased.]

{474}[639] [Hor., _Epist._, lib. 1, ep. xiv. line 43. The meaning is that Europe makes but little progress in the discovery and settlement of Africa, and, as it were, "ploughs the sands."]

[lt] _Though many thousands both of birth and pluck too, Have ventured past the jaws of Moor and Tiger_.[*]

[*]_Note. By particular licence, "positively for the last time, by desire," etc., to be pronounced "tydger." Such is what Gifford calls "the necessity of rhyming."_--[MS. erased.]

[640] ["Though many degrees nearer our own fair and blue-eyed beauties in complexion ... yet no people ever lost more by comparison than did the white ladies of Moorzuk [capital of Fezzan] with the black ones of Bornou and Soudan."--_Narrative of Travels ... in Northern and Central Africa_, 1822-24, by Denham, Clapperton, and Oudney, 1828, ii. 133.]

{475}[lu] _Above, all sunshine, and, below, all ice_.--[MS. erased.]

[641] [Compare _Prisoner of Chillon_, lines 82-85, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 17.]

[642] The Russians, as is well known, run out from their hot baths to plunge into the Neva; a pleasant practical antithesis, which it seems does them no harm.

{476}[lv] _But once there (few have felt this more than I)_.--[MS. erased.]

[643] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto II. stanza lviii. line 9, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 59, note 1.]

{477}[644] [See Plutarch's _Caius Marius_, Langhorne's translation, 1838, pp. 304, 305.]

[lw] _That Lady who is not at home to all_.--[MS. erased.]

{478}[645] For a description and print of this inhabitant of the polar region and native country of the Aurorae Boreales, see Sir E. Parry's _Voyage In Search of a North-West Passage_, [1821, p. 257. The print of the Musk-Bull is drawn and engraved by W. Westall, A.R.A., from a sketch by Lieut. Beechy. He is a "fearful wild-fowl!"]

[646] [Charles, second Earl Grey, born March 13, 1764, succeeded to the peerage in 1807, died July 17, 1847.]

[647] [William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham, born November 15, 1708, died May 11, 1778.]

[648] ["His person was undoubtedly cast by Nature in an elegant and pleasing mould, of a just height, well-proportioned, and with due regard to symmetry.... His countenance was handsome and prepossessing.... His manners were captivating, noble, and dignified, yet unaffectedly condescending.... Homer, as well as Virgil, was familiar to the Prince of Wales; and his memory, which was very tenacious, enabled him to cite with graceful readiness the favourite passages of either poet."--_The Historical ... Memoirs_ of Sir N.W. Wraxall, 1884, v. 353, 354.]

[649] ["Waving myself, let me talk to you of the Prince Regent. He ordered me to be presented to him at a ball; and after some sayings peculiarly pleasing from royal lips, as to my own attempts, he talked to me of you and your immortalities; he preferred you to every other bard past and present.... He spoke alternately of Homer and yourself, and seemed well acquainted with both.... [All] this was conveyed in language which would only suffer by my attempting to transcribe it, and with a tone and taste which gave me a very high idea of his abilities and accomplishments, which I had hitherto considered as confined to _manners_ certainly superior to those of any living _gentleman_."--Letter to Sir Walter Scott, July 6, 1812, _Letters_, 1898, ii. 134.]

{479}[650] B. 10^bre^ 7^th^ 1822.--[MS.]

A sculptor projected to hew Mount Athos into a statue of Alexander, with a city in one hand, and, I believe, a river in his pocket, with various other similar devices. But Alexander's gone, and Athos remains, I trust ere long to look over a nation of freemen.

[It was an architect named Stasicrates who proposed to execute this imperial monument. But Alexander bade him leave Mount Athos alone. As it was, it might be christened "Xerxes, his Folly," and, for his part, he preferred to regard Mount Caucasus, and the Himalayas, and the river Don as the symbolic memorials of his acts and deeds.--Plutarch's _Moralia_. "De Alexandri Fortuna et Virtute," Orat. II. cap. ii.]

{480}[651] [The "Political Economy" Club was founded in April, 1821. James Mill, Thomas Tooke, and David Ricardo were among the original members, See _Political Economy Club_, Revised Report, 1876, p. 60.]

[652] [Stanzas lxxxviii. and lxxxix. are not in the MS.]

CANTO THE THIRTEENTH.[653]

I.

I now mean to be serious;--it is time, Since Laughter now-a-days is deemed too serious; A jest at Vice by Virtue's called a crime, And critically held as deleterious: Besides, the sad's a source of the sublime, Although, when long, a little apt to weary us; And therefore shall my lay soar high and solemn, As an old temple dwindled to a column.

II.

The Lady Adeline Amundeville ('T is an old Norman name, and to be found In pedigrees, by those who wander still Along the last fields of that Gothic ground) Was high-born, wealthy by her father's will, And beauteous, even where beauties most abound, In Britain--which, of course, true patriots find The goodliest soil of Body and of Mind.

III.

I'll not gainsay them; it is not my cue; I'll leave them to their taste, no doubt the best; An eye's an eye, and whether black or blue, Is no great matter, so 't is in request; 'T is nonsense to dispute about a hue-- The kindest may be taken as a test. The fair sex should be always fair; and no man, Till thirty, should perceive there's a plain woman.

IV.

And after that serene and somewhat dull Epoch, that awkward corner turned for days More quiet, when our moon's no more at full, We may presume to criticise or praise; Because Indifference begins to lull Our passions, and we walk in Wisdom's ways; Also because the figure and the face Hint, that 't is time to give the younger place.

V.

I know that some would fain postpone this era, Reluctant as all placemen to resign Their post; but theirs is merely a chimera, For they have passed Life's equinoctial line: But then they have their claret and Madeira, To irrigate the dryness of decline; And County meetings, and the Parliament, And debt--and what not, for their solace sent.

VI.

And is there not Religion, and Reform, Peace, War, the taxes, and what's called the "Nation"? The struggle to be pilots in a storm?[654] The landed and the monied speculation? The joys of mutual hate to keep them warm, Instead of Love, that mere hallucination? Now Hatred is by far the longest pleasure; Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.

VII.

Rough Johnson, the great moralist, professed, Right honestly, "he liked an honest hater!"[655]-- The only truth that yet has been confessed Within these latest thousand years or later. Perhaps the fine old fellow spoke in jest:-- For my part, I am but a mere spectator, And gaze where'er the palace or the hovel is, Much in the mode of Goethe's Mephistopheles;

VIII.

But neither love nor hate in much excess; Though 't was not once so. If I sneer sometimes, It is because I cannot well do less, And now and then it also suits my rhymes. I should be very willing to redress Men's wrongs, and rather check than punish crimes, Had not Cervantes, in that too true tale Of Quixote, shown how all such efforts fail.

IX.[656]

Of all tales 't is the saddest--and more sad, Because it makes us smile: his hero's right, And still pursues the right;--to curb the bad His only object, and 'gainst odds to fight His guerdon: 't is his virtue makes him mad! But his adventures form a sorry sight;-- A sorrier still is the great moral taught By that real Epic unto all who have thought.[lx]

X.

Redressing injury, revenging wrong, To aid the damsel and destroy the caitiff; Opposing singly the united strong, From foreign yoke to free the helpless native:-- Alas! must noblest views, like an old song, Be for mere Fancy's sport a theme creative, A jest, a riddle, Fame through thin and thick sought! And Socrates himself but Wisdom's Quixote?

XI.

Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away; A single laugh demolished the right arm Of his own country;--seldom since that day Has Spain had heroes. While Romance could charm, The World gave ground before her bright array; And therefore have his volumes done such harm, That all their glory, as a composition, Was dearly purchased by his land's perdition.

XII.

I'm "at my old lunes"[657]--digression, and forget The Lady Adeline Amundeville; The fair most fatal Juan ever met, Although she was not evil nor meant ill; But Destiny and Passion spread the net (Fate is a good excuse for our own will), And caught them;--what do they _not_ catch, methinks? But I'm not Oedipus, and Life's a Sphinx.

XIII.

I tell the tale as it is told, nor dare To venture a solution: "_Davus sum!_"[658] And now I will proceed upon the pair. Sweet Adeline, amidst the gay World's hum, Was the Queen-Bee, the glass of all that's fair; Whose charms made all men speak, and women dumb. The last's a miracle, and such was reckoned, And since that time there has not been a second.

XIV.

Chaste was she, to Detraction's desperation, And wedded unto one she had loved well-- A man known in the councils of the Nation, Cool, and quite English, imperturbable, Though apt to act with fire upon occasion, Proud of himself and her: the World could tell Nought against either, and both seemed secure-- She in her virtue, he in his hauteur.

XV.

It chanced some diplomatical relations, Arising out of business, often brought Himself and Juan in their mutual stations Into close contact. Though reserved, nor caught By specious seeming, Juan's youth, and patience, And talent, on his haughty spirit wrought, And formed a basis of esteem, which ends In making men what Courtesy calls friends.

XVI.

And thus Lord Henry, who was cautious as Reserve and Pride could make him, and full slow In judging men--when once his judgment was Determined, right or wrong, on friend or foe, Had all the pertinacity Pride has, Which knows no ebb to its imperious flow, And loves or hates, disdaining to be guided, Because its own good pleasure hath decided.

XVII.

His friendships, therefore, and no less aversions, Though oft well founded, which confirmed but more His prepossessions, like the laws of Persians And Medes, would ne'er revoke what went before. His feelings had not those strange fits, like tertians, Of common likings, which make some deplore What they should laugh at--the mere ague still Of men's regard, the fever or the chill.

XVIII.

"'T is not in mortals to command success:"[659] But _do you more_, Sempronius--_don't_ deserve it, And take my word, you won't have any less. Be wary, watch the time, and always serve it; Give gently way, when there's too great a press; And for your conscience, only learn to nerve it; For, like a racer, or a boxer training, 'T will make, if proved, vast efforts without paining.

XIX.

Lord Henry also liked to be superior, As most men do, the little or the great; The very lowest find out an inferior, At least they think so, to exert their state Upon: for there are very few things wearier Than solitary Pride's oppressive weight, Which mortals generously would divide, By bidding others carry while they ride.

XX.

In birth, in rank, in fortune likewise equal, O'er Juan he could no distinction claim; In years he had the advantage of Time's sequel; And, as he thought, in country much the same-- Because bold Britons have a tongue and free quill, At which all modern nations vainly aim; And the Lord Henry was a great debater, So that few Members kept the House up later.

XXI.

These were advantages: and then he thought-- It was his foible, but by no means sinister-- That few or none more than himself had caught Court mysteries, having been himself a minister: He liked to teach that which he had been taught, And greatly shone whenever there had been a stir; And reconciled all qualities which grace man, Always a patriot--and, sometimes, a placeman.

XXII.

He liked the gentle Spaniard for his gravity; He almost honoured him for his docility; Because, though young, he acquiesced with suavity, Or contradicted but with proud humility. He knew the World, and would not see depravity In faults which sometimes show the soil's fertility, If that the weeds o'erlive not the first crop-- For then they are very difficult to stop.

XXIII.

And then he talked with him about Madrid, Constantinople, and such distant places; Where people always did as they were bid, Or did what they should not with foreign graces. Of coursers also spake they: Henry rid Well, like most Englishmen, and loved the races; And Juan, like a true-born Andalusian, Could back[660] a horse, as Despots ride a Russian.

XXIV.

And thus acquaintance grew, at noble routs, And diplomatic dinners, or at other-- For Juan stood well both with Ins and Outs, As in freemasonry a higher brother. Upon his talent Henry had no doubts; His manner showed him sprung from a high mother, And all men like to show their hospitality To him whose breeding matches with his quality.

XXV.

At Blank-Blank Square;--for we will break no squares[661] By naming streets: since men are so censorious, And apt to sow an author's wheat with tares, Reaping allusions private and inglorious, Where none were dreamt of, unto Love's affairs, Which were, or are, or are to be notorious, That therefore do I previously declare, Lord Henry's mansion was in Blank-Blank Square.

XXVI.

Also there bin[662] another pious reason For making squares and streets anonymous; Which is, that there is scarce a single season Which doth not shake some very splendid house With some slight heart-quake of domestic treason-- A topic Scandal doth delight to rouse: Such I might stumble over unawares, Unless I knew the very chastest squares.

XXVII.

'T is true, I might have chosen Piccadilly,[663] A place where peccadillos are unknown; But I have motives, whether wise or silly, For letting that pure sanctuary alone. Therefore I name not square, street, place, until I Find one where nothing naughty can be shown, A vestal shrine of Innocence of Heart: Such are--but I have lost the London Chart.

XXVIII.

At Henry's mansion then, in Blank-Blank Square, Was Juan a _recherché_, welcome guest, As many other noble scions were; And some who had but Talent for their crest; Or Wealth, which is a passport everywhere; Or even mere Fashion, which indeed's the best Recommendation; and to be well dressed Will very often supersede the rest.

XXIX.

And since "there's safety in a multitude Of counsellors," as Solomon has said, Or some one for him, in some sage, grave mood;-- Indeed we see the daily proof displayed In Senates, at the Bar, in wordy feud, Where'er collective wisdom can parade, Which is the only cause that we can guess Of Britain's present wealth and happiness;--

XXX.

But as "there's safety" grafted in the number "Of counsellors," for men,--thus for the sex A large acquaintance lets not Virtue slumber; Or should it shake, the choice will more perplex-- Variety itself will more encumber.[ly] 'Midst many rocks we guard more against wrecks-- And thus with women: howsoe'er it shocks some's Self-love, there's safety in a crowd of coxcombs.

XXXI.

But Adeline had not the least occasion For such a shield, which leaves but little merit To Virtue proper, or good education. Her chief resource was in her own high spirit, Which judged Mankind at their due estimation; And for coquetry, she disdained to wear it-- Secure of admiration: its impression Was faint--as of an every-day possession.

XXXII.

To all she was polite without parade; To some she showed attention of that kind Which flatters, but is flattery conveyed In such a sort as cannot leave behind A trace unworthy either wife or maid;-- A gentle, genial courtesy of mind,[lz] To those who were, or passed for meritorious, Just to console sad Glory for being glorious;

XXXIII.

Which is in all respects, save now and then, A dull and desolate appendage. Gaze Upon the shades of those distinguished men Who were or are the puppet-shows of praise, The praise of persecution. Gaze again On the most favoured; and amidst the blaze Of sunset halos o'er the laurel-browed, What can ye recognise?--a gilded cloud.

XXXIV.

There also was of course in Adeline That calm patrician polish in the address, Which ne'er can pass the equinoctial line Of anything which Nature would express; Just as a Mandarin finds nothing fine,-- At least his manner suffers not to guess, That anything he views can greatly please: Perhaps we have borrowed this from the Chinese--[ma]

XXXV.

Perhaps from Horace: his _"Nil admirari"_ Was what he called the "Art of Happiness"-- An art on which the artists greatly vary, And have not yet attained to much success. However, 't is expedient to be wary: Indifference, certes, don't produce distress; And rash Enthusiasm in good society Were nothing but a moral inebriety.

XXXVI.

But Adeline was not indifferent: for (_Now_ for a common-place!) beneath the snow, As a Volcano holds the lava more Within--_et cætera_. Shall I go on?--No! I hate to hunt down a tired metaphor, So let the often-used Volcano go. Poor thing! How frequently, by me and others, It hath been stirred up till its smoke quite smothers!

XXXVII.

I'll have another figure in a trice:-- What say you to a bottle of champagne? Frozen into a very vinous ice, Which leaves few drops of that immortal rain, Yet in the very centre, past all price, About a liquid glassful will remain; And this is stronger than the strongest grape Could e'er express in its expanded shape:

XXXVIII.

'T is the whole spirit brought to a quintessence; And thus the chilliest aspects may concentre A hidden nectar under a cold presence.[mb] And such are many--though I only meant her From whom I now deduce these moral lessons, On which the Muse has always sought to enter. And your cold people are beyond all price, When once you've broken their confounded ice.

XXXIX.

But after all they are a North-West Passage Unto the glowing India of the soul; And as the good ships sent upon that message Have not exactly ascertained the Pole (Though Parry's efforts look a lucky presage),[mc] Thus gentlemen may run upon a shoal; For if the Pole's not open, but all frost (A chance still), 't is a voyage or vessel lost.

XL.

And young beginners may as well commence With quiet cruising o'er the ocean, Woman; While those who are not beginners should have sense Enough to make for port, ere Time shall summon With his grey signal-flag; and the past tense, The dreary _Fuimus_ of all things human, Must be declined, while Life's thin thread's spun out Between the gaping heir and gnawing gout.

XLI.

But Heaven must be diverted; its diversion Is sometimes truculent--but never mind: The World upon the whole is worth the assertion (If but for comfort) that all things are kind: And that same devilish doctrine of the Persian,[664] Of the "Two Principles," but leaves behind As many doubts as any other doctrine Has ever puzzled Faith withal, or yoked her in,

XLII.

The English winter--ending in July, To recommence in August--now was done. 'T is the postilion's paradise: wheels fly; On roads, East, South, North, West, there is a run. But for post-horses who finds sympathy? Man's pity's for himself, or for his son, Always premising that said son at college Has not contracted much more debt than knowledge.

XLIII.

The London winter's ended in July-- Sometimes a little later. I don't err In this: whatever other blunders lie Upon my shoulders, here I must aver My Muse a glass of _Weatherology_; For Parliament is our barometer: Let Radicals its other acts attack, Its sessions form our only almanack.

XLIV.

When its quicksilver's down at zero,--lo! Coach, chariot, luggage, baggage, equipage! Wheels whirl from Carlton Palace to Soho, And happiest they who horses can engage; The turnpikes glow with dust; and Rotten Row Sleeps from the chivalry of this bright age; And tradesmen, with long bills and longer faces, Sigh--as the postboys fasten on the traces.

XLV.

They and their bills, "Arcadians both,"[665] are left To the Greek Kalends of another session. Alas! to them of ready cash bereft, What hope remains? Of _hope_ the full possession, Or generous draft, conceded as a gift, At a long date--till they can get a fresh one-- Hawked about at a discount, small or large; Also the solace of an overcharge.

XLVI.

But these are trifles. Downward flies my Lord, Nodding beside my Lady in his carriage. Away! away! "Fresh horses!" are the word, And changed as quickly as hearts after marriage; The obsequious landlord hath the change restored; The postboys have no reason to disparage Their fee; but ere the watered wheels may hiss hence, The ostler pleads too for a reminiscence.

XLVII.

'T is granted; and the valet mounts the dickey-- That gentleman of Lords and Gentlemen; Also my Lady's gentlewoman, tricky, Tricked out, but modest more than poet's pen Can paint,--_"Cosi viaggino i Ricchi!"_[666] (Excuse a foreign slipslop now and then, If but to show I've travelled: and what's Travel, Unless it teaches one to quote and cavil?)

XLVIII.

The London winter and the country summer Were well nigh over. 'T is perhaps a pity, When Nature wears the gown that doth become her, To lose those best months in a sweaty city, And wait until the nightingale grows dumber, Listening debates not very wise or witty, Ere patriots their true _country_ can remember;-- But there's no shooting (save grouse) till September.

XLIX.

I've done with my tirade. The World was gone; The twice two thousand, for whom Earth was made, Were vanished to be what they call alone-- That is, with thirty servants for parade, As many guests, or more; before whom groan As many covers, duly, daily laid. Let none accuse old England's hospitality-- Its quantity is but condensed to quality.

L.

Lord Henry and the Lady Adeline Departed like the rest of their compeers, The peerage, to a mansion very fine; The Gothic Babel of a thousand years. None than themselves could boast a longer line, Where Time through heroes and through beauties steers; And oaks as olden as their pedigree Told of their Sires--a tomb in every tree.

LI.

A paragraph in every paper told Of their departure--such is modern fame: 'T is pity that it takes no further hold Than an advertisement, or much the same; When, ere the ink be dry, the sound grows cold. The Morning Post was foremost to proclaim-- "Departure, for his country seat, to-day, Lord H. Amundeville and Lady A.

LII.

"We understand the splendid host intends[md] To entertain, this autumn, a select And numerous party of his noble friends; 'Midst whom we have heard, from sources quite correct, The Duke of D---- the shooting season spends, With many more by rank and fashion decked; Also a foreigner of high condition, The envoy of the secret Russian mission."

LIII.

And thus we see--who doubts the Morning Post? (Whose articles are like the "Thirty-nine," Which those most swear to who believe them most)-- Our gay Russ Spaniard was ordained to shine, Decked by the rays reflected from his host, With those who, Pope says, "greatly daring dine."--[667] 'T is odd, but true,--last war the News abounded More with these dinners than the killed or wounded;--

LIV.

As thus: "On Thursday there was a grand dinner; Present, Lords A.B.C."--- Earls, dukes, by name Announced with no less pomp than Victory's winner: Then underneath, and in the very same Column: date, "Falmouth. There has lately been here The Slap-dash regiment, so well known to Fame, Whose loss in the late action we regret: The vacancies are filled up--see Gazette."

LV.

To Norman Abbey[668] whirled the noble pair,-- An old, old Monastery once, and now Still older mansion--of a rich and rare Mixed Gothic, such as artists all allow Few specimens yet left us can compare Withal: it lies, perhaps, a little low, Because the monks preferred a hill behind, To shelter their devotion from the wind.

LVI.

It stood embosomed in a happy valley, Crowned by high woodlands, where the Druid oak[669] Stood like Caractacus, in act to rally His host, with broad arms 'gainst the thunder-stroke; And from beneath his boughs were seen to sally The dappled foresters; as Day awoke, The branching stag swept down with all his herd, To quaff a brook which murmured like a bird.

LVII.

Before the mansion lay a lucid Lake,[670] Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed By a river, which its softened way did take In currents through the calmer water spread Around: the wildfowl nestled in the brake And sedges, brooding in their liquid bed: The woods[671] sloped downwards to its brink, and stood With their green faces fixed upon the flood.

LVIII.

Its outlet dashed into a deep cascade, Sparkling with foam, until again subsiding, Its shriller echoes--like an infant made[me] Quiet--sank into softer ripples, gliding Into a rivulet; and thus allayed, Pursued its course, now gleaming, and now hiding Its windings through the woods; now clear, now blue, According as the skies their shadows threw.

LIX.

A glorious remnant of the Gothic pile (While yet the Church was Rome's) stood half apart In a grand Arch, which once screened many an aisle. These last had disappeared--a loss to Art: The first yet frowned superbly o'er the soil, And kindled feelings in the roughest heart, Which mourned the power of Time's or Tempest's march, In gazing on that venerable Arch.[mf]

LX.

Within a niche, nigh to its pinnacle, Twelve Saints had once stood sanctified in stone; But these had fallen, not when the friars fell, But in the war which struck Charles from his throne, When each house was a fortalice--as tell The annals of full many a line undone,-- The gallant Cavaliers,[672] who fought in vain For those who knew not to resign or reign.

LXI.

But in a higher niche, alone, but crowned, The Virgin-Mother of the God-born Child, With her Son in her blesséd arms, looked round, Spared by some chance when all beside was spoiled: She made the earth below seem holy ground. This may be superstition, weak or wild; But even the faintest relics of a shrine Of any worship wake some thoughts divine.

LXII.

A mighty window, hollow in the centre, Shorn of its glass of thousand colourings, Through which the deepened glories once could enter, Streaming from off the Sun like Seraph's wings, Now yawns all desolate: now loud, now fainter, The gale sweeps through its fretwork, and oft sings The owl his anthem, where the silenced quire Lie with their Hallelujahs quenched like fire.

LXIII.

But in the noontide of the moon, and when[mg] The wind is wingéd from one point of heaven, There moans a strange unearthly sound, which then Is musical--a dying accent driven Through the huge Arch, which soars and sinks again. Some deem it but the distant echo given Back to the night wind by the waterfall, And harmonised by the old choral wall:

LXIV.

Others, that some original shape, or form Shaped by decay perchance, hath given the power (Though less than that of Memnon's statue,[673] warm In Egypt's rays, to harp at a fixed hour) To this grey ruin: with a voice to charm, Sad, but serene, it sweeps o'er tree or tower; The cause I know not, nor can solve; but such The fact:--I've heard it,--once perhaps too much.[674]

LXV.

Amidst the court a Gothic fountain played, Symmetrical, but decked with carvings quaint-- Strange faces, like to men in masquerade, And here perhaps a monster, there a saint: The spring gushed through grim mouths of granite made, And sparkled into basins, where it spent Its little torrent in a thousand bubbles, Like man's vain Glory, and his vainer troubles.

LXVI.

The Mansion's self was vast and venerable, With more of the monastic than has been Elsewhere preserved: the cloisters still were stable, The cells, too, and Refectory, I ween: An exquisite small chapel had been able, Still unimpaired, to decorate the scene; The rest had been reformed, replaced, or sunk, And spoke more of the baron than the monk.

LXVII.

Huge halls, long galleries, spacious chambers, joined By no quite lawful marriage of the arts, Might shock a connoisseur; but when combined, Formed a whole which, irregular in parts, Yet left a grand impression on the mind, At least of those whose eyes are in their hearts: We gaze upon a giant for his stature, Nor judge at first if all be true to nature.

LXVIII.

Steel Barons, molten the next generation To silken rows of gay and gartered Earls, Glanced from the walls in goodly preservation: And Lady Marys blooming into girls, With fair long locks, had also kept their station: And Countesses mature in robes and pearls: Also some beauties of Sir Peter Lely, Whose drapery hints we may admire them freely.

LXIX.

Judges in very formidable ermine Were there, with brows that did not much invite The accused to think their lordships would determine His cause by leaning much from might to right: Bishops, who had not left a single sermon; Attorneys-general, awful to the sight, As hinting more (unless our judgments warp us) Of the "Star Chamber" than of "Habeas Corpus."

LXX.

Generals, some all in armour, of the old And iron time, ere lead had ta'en the lead; Others in wigs of Marlborough's martial fold, Huger than twelve of our degenerate breed:[mh] Lordlings, with staves of white or keys of gold: Nimrods, whose canvas scarce contained the steed; And, here and there, some stern high patriot stood, Who could not get the place for which he sued.

LXXI.

But ever and anon, to soothe your vision, Fatigued with these hereditary glories, There rose a Carlo Dolce or a Titian, Or wilder group of savage Salvatore's:[675] Here danced Albano's boys, and here the sea shone In Vernet's ocean lights; and there the stories Of martyrs awed, as Spagnoletto tainted His brush with all the blood of all the sainted.

LXXII.

Here sweetly spread a landscape of Lorraine; There Rembrandt made his darkness equal light, Or gloomy Caravaggio's gloomier stain Bronzed o'er some lean and stoic anchorite:-- But, lo! a Teniers woos, and not in vain, Your eyes to revel in a livelier sight: His bell-mouthed goblet makes me feel quite Danish[676] Or Dutch with thirst--What, ho! a flask of Rhenish.[mi]

LXXIII.

Oh, reader! if that thou canst read,--and know, 'T is not enough to spell, or even to read, To constitute a reader--there must go Virtues of which both you and I have need;-- Firstly, begin with the beginning--(though That clause is hard); and secondly, proceed: Thirdly, commence not with the end--or, sinning In this sort, end at last with the beginning.

LXXIV.

But, reader, thou hast patient been of late, While I, without remorse of rhyme, or fear, Have built and laid out ground at such a rate, Dan Phoebus takes me for an auctioneer. That Poets were so from their earliest date, By Homer's "Catalogue of ships" is clear; But a mere modern must be moderate-- I spare you then the furniture and plate.

LXXV.

The mellow Autumn came, and with it came The promised party, to enjoy its sweets. The corn is cut, the manor full of game; The pointer ranges, and the sportsman beats In russet jacket:--lynx-like in his aim; Full grows his bag, and wonder_ful_ his feats. Ah, nutbrown partridges! Ah, brilliant pheasants! And ah, ye poachers!--'T is no sport for peasants.

LXXVI.

An English Autumn, though it hath no vines, Blushing with Bacchant coronals along The paths o'er which the far festoon entwines The red grape in the sunny lands of song, Hath yet a purchased choice of choicest wines;[mj] The Claret light, and the Madeira strong. If Britain mourn her bleakness, we can tell her, The very best of vineyards is the cellar.

LXXVII.

Then, if she hath not that serene decline Which makes the southern Autumn's day appear As if 't would to a second Spring resign The season, rather than to Winter drear,-- Of in-door comforts still she hath a mine,-- The sea-coal fires,[677] the "earliest of the year;"[678] Without doors, too, she may compete in mellow, As what is lost in green is gained in yellow.

LXXVIII.

And for the effeminate _villeggialura_-- Rife with more horns than hounds--she hath the chase, So animated that it might allure a Saint from his beads to join the jocund race: Even Nimrod's self might leave the plains of Dura,[679] And wear the Melton jacket for a space: If she hath no wild boars, she hath a tame Preserve of bores, who ought to be made game.[mk]

LXXIX.

The noble guests,[680] assembled at the Abbey, Consisted of--we give the sex the _pas_-- The Duchess of Fitz-Fulke; the Countess Crabby;[ml][681] The Ladies Scilly, Busey;--Miss Eclat, Miss Bombazeen, Miss Mackstay, Miss O'Tabby, And Mrs. Rabbi,[682] the rich banker's squaw; Also the honourable Mrs. Sleep, Who looked a white lamb, yet was a black sheep:

LXXX.

With other Countesses of Blank--but rank; At once the "lie"[683] and the _élite_ of crowds; Who pass like water filtered in a tank, All purged and pious from their native clouds; Or paper turned to money by the Bank: No matter how or why, the passport shrouds The _passée_ and the past; for good society Is no less famed for tolerance than piety,--

LXXXI.

That is, up to a certain point; which point Forms the most difficult in punctuation. Appearances appear to form the joint On which it hinges in a higher station; And so that no explosion cry "Aroint Thee, witch!"[684] or each Medea has her Jason; Or (to the point with Horace and with Pulci)[mm] _"Omne tulit punctum,_ quæ _miscuit utile dulci."_[685]

LXXXII.

I can't exactly trace their rule of right, Which hath a little leaning to a lottery. I've seen a virtuous woman put down quite By the mere combination of a coterie; Also a so-so matron boldly fight Her way back to the world by dint of plottery,[mn] And shine the very _Siria_,[686] of the spheres, Escaping with a few slight, scarless sneers.

LXXXIII.

I have seen more than I'll say:--but we will see[mo] How _our "villeggiatura"_ will get on. The party might consist of thirty-three Of highest caste--the Brahmins of the _ton_. I have named a few, not foremost in degree, But ta'en at hazard as the rhyme may run. By way of sprinkling, scattered amongst these, There also were some Irish absentees.

LXXXIV.

There was Parolles,[687] too, the legal bully,[mp] Who limits all his battles to the Bar And Senate: when invited elsewhere, truly, He shows more appetite for words than war. There was the young bard Rackrhyme, who had newly Come out and glimmered as a six weeks' star. There was Lord Pyrrho, too, the great freethinker; And Sir John Pottledeep, the mighty drinker.

LXXXV.

There was the Duke of Dash,[688] who was a--duke, "Aye, every inch a" duke; there were twelve peers Like Charlemagne's--and all such peers in _look_ And _intellect_, that neither eyes nor ears For commoners had ever them mistook. There were the six Miss Rawbolds--pretty dears! All song and sentiment; whose hearts were set Less on a convent than a coronet.

LXXXVI.

There were four Honourable Misters, whose Honour was more before their names than after; There was the _preux Chevalier de la Ruse_,[689] Whom France and Fortune lately deigned to waft here, Whose chiefly harmless talent was to amuse; But the clubs found it rather serious laughter, Because--such was his magic power to please-- The dice seemed charmed, too, with his repartees.

LXXXVII.

There was Dick Dubious,[690] the metaphysician, Who loved philosophy and a good dinner; Angle, the _soi-disant_ mathematician; Sir Henry Silvercup, the great race-winner. There was the Reverend Rodomont Precisian, Who did not hate so much the sin as sinner: And Lord Augustus Fitz-Plantagenet, Good at all things, but better at a bet.

LXXXVIII.

There was Jack Jargon, the gigantic guardsman;[691] And General Fireface,[692] famous in the field, A great tactician, and no less a swordsman, Who ate, last war, more Yankees than he killed. There was the waggish Welsh Judge, Jefferies Hardsman, In his grave office so completely skilled, That when a culprit came for condemnation, He had his Judge's joke for consolation.[693]

LXXXIX.

Good company's a chess-board--there are kings, Queens, bishops, knights, rooks, pawns; the World's a game; Save that the puppets pull at their own strings, Methinks gay Punch hath something of the same. My Muse, the butterfly hath but her wings, Not stings, and flits through ether without aim, Alighting rarely:--were she but a hornet, Perhaps there might be vices which would mourn it.

XC.

I had forgotten--but must not forget-- An orator, the latest of the session, Who had delivered well a very set Smooth speech, his first and maidenly transgression Upon debate: the papers echoed yet With his _début_, which made a strong impression, And ranked with what is every day displayed-- "The best first speech that ever yet was made."

XCI.

Proud of his "Hear hims!" proud, too, of his vote, And lost virginity of oratory, Proud of his learning (just enough to quote), He revelled in his Ciceronian glory: With memory excellent to get by rote, With wit to hatch a pun or tell a story, Graced with some merit, and with more effrontery,[mq] "His country's pride," he came down to the country.

XCII.

There also were two wits by acclamation, Longbow from Ireland,[694] Strongbow from the Tweed[695]--Both lawyers and both men of education-- But Strongbow's wit was of more polished breed; Longbow was rich in an imagination As beautiful and bounding as a steed, But sometimes stumbling over a potato,-- While Strongbow's best things might have come from Cato.

XCIII.

Strongbow was like a new-tuned harpsichord; But Longbow wild as an Æolian harp, With which the Winds of heaven can claim accord, And make a music, whether flat or sharp. Of Strongbow's talk you would not change a word: At Longbow's phrases you might sometimes carp: Both wits--one born so, and the other bred-- This by his heart--his rival by his head.

XCIV.

If all these seem an heterogeneous mass To be assembled at a country seat, Yet think, a specimen of every class Is better than a humdrum tête-à-tête. The days of Comedy are gone, alas! When Congreve's fool could vie with Molière's _bête_: Society is smoothed to that excess, That manners hardly differ more than dress.

XCV.

Our ridicules are kept in the back-ground-- Ridiculous enough, but also dull; Professions, too, are no more to be found Professional; and there is nought to cull[mr] Of Folly's fruit; for though your fools abound, They're barren, and not worth the pains to pull. Society is now one polished horde, Formed of two mighty tribes, the _Bores_ and _Bored_.

XCVI.

But from being farmers, we turn gleaners, gleaning The scanty but right-well threshed ears of Truth; And, gentle reader! when you gather meaning, You may be Boaz, and I--modest Ruth. Further I'd quote, but Scripture intervening Forbids. A great impression in my youth Was made by Mrs. Adams, where she cries, "That Scriptures out of church are blasphemies."[696]

XCVII.

But what we can we glean in this vile age[ms] Of chaff, although our gleanings be not grist. I must not quite omit the talking sage, Kit-Cat, the famous Conversationist,[697] Who, in his common-place book, had a page Prepared each morn for evenings. "List, oh list!" "Alas, poor ghost!"[698]--What unexpected woes Await those who have studied their _bons-mots!_

XCVIII.

Firstly, they must allure the conversation, By many windings to their clever clinch; And secondly, must let slip no occasion, Nor _bate_ (abate) their hearers of an _inch_,[mt] But take an ell--and make a great sensation, If possible; and thirdly, never flinch When some smart talker puts them to the test, But seize the last word, which no doubt's the best.

XCIX.

Lord Henry and his lady were the hosts; The party we have touched on were the guests. Their table was a board to tempt even ghosts To pass the Styx for more substantial feasts. I will not dwell upon _ragoûts_ or roasts, Albeit all human history attests That happiness for Man--the hungry sinner!-- Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner.

C.

Witness the lands which "flowed with milk and honey," Held out unto the hungry Israelites: To this we have added since, the love of money, The only sort of pleasure which requites. Youth fades, and leaves our days no longer sunny; We tire of mistresses and parasites; But oh, ambrosial cash! Ah! who would lose thee? When we no more can use, or even abuse thee!

CI.

The gentlemen got up betimes to shoot, Or hunt: the young, because they liked the sport-- The first thing boys like after play and fruit; The middle-aged, to make the day more short; For _ennui_[699] is a growth of English root, Though nameless in our language:--we retort The fact for words, and let the French translate That awful yawn which sleep can not abate.

CII.

The elderly walked through the library, And tumbled books, or criticised the pictures, Or sauntered through the gardens piteously, And made upon the hot-house several strictures, Or rode a nag which trotted not too high, Or on the morning papers read their lectures, Or on the watch their longing eyes would fix, Longing at sixty for the hour of six.

CIII.

But none were _gêné_: the great hour of union Was rung by dinner's knell; till then all were Masters of their own time--or in communion, Or solitary, as they chose to bear The hours, which how to pass is but to few known. Each