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There were two poachers caught in a steel trap,
But luckily I've paid few parish fees since).
A reel within a bottle is a mystery,
One can't tell how it e'er got in or out,
Now justices of peace must judge all pieces
Of those who've not a license for the same;
The present culprit was extremely pale,
Pale as if painted so; her cheek being red By nature, as in higher dames less hale,
'Tis white, at least when they just rise from bed. Perhaps she was ashamed of seeming frail,
Poor soul! for she was country born and bred,
Her black, bright, downcast, yet espiègle eye Had gather'd a large tear into its corner, Which the poor thing at times essay'd to dry, For she was not a sentimental mourner, Parading all her sensibility,
Nor insolent enough to scorn the scorner, But stood in trembling, patient tribulation, To be call'd up for her examination.
You see here was enough of occupation
Those who in counties have great land resources, Have "public days," when all men may carouse, Though not exactly what's call'd "open house"LXIX.
But once a week or fortnight, uninvited
(Thus we translate a general invitation),
With fashionable wines and conversation;
Lord Henry was a great electioneerer,
Burrowing for boroughs like a rat or rabbit, But country contests cost him rather dearer,
Because the neighbouring Scotch Earl of Giftgabbit
Courteous and cautious therefore in his county,
And promises to all-which last commenced
Not calculating how much they condensed; But, what with keeping some and breaking others, His word had the same value as another's.
A friend to freedom and freeholders-yet
'Twixt place and patriotism-albeit compell'd,
Of course these groups were scatter'd here and there, He was "free to confess"-(whence comes this phrase? Not nigh the gay saloon of ladies gent.
The lawyers in the study; and in air
The prize pig, ploughman, poachers; the men sent From town, viz. architect and dealer, were
Both busy (as a general in his tent Writing despatches) in their several stations, Exulting in their brilliant lucubrations.
But this poor girl was left in the great hall,
Its kind attentions to their proper pale,
Is 't English? No-'tis only parliamentary) That innovation's spirit now-a-days
Had made more progress than for the last century.
Heaven and his friends knew that a private life
Cut through and through (oh! damnable incision!) The Gordian or the Geordian knot, whose strings Have tied together Commons, Lords, and Kings
And champion him to the utmost "—he would keep it, Till duly disappointed or dismiss'd:
Profit he cared not for, let others reap it;
He was as independent-ay, much more-
Who do not give professional attendance.
All this (save the last stanza) Henry said,
Of or upon the hustings-some slight such
His jokes were sermons, and his sermons jokes; But both were thrown away amongst the fens ; For wit hath no great friend in aguish folks.
No longer ready ears and short-hand pens Imbibed the gay bon-mot, or happy hoax:
The poor priest was reduced to common sense,
There is a difference, says the song, "between
And grace is said; the grace I should have sung-And yet great heroes have been bred by both.
But I'm too late, and therefore must make play.
The squires familiarly formal, and
My lords and ladies proudly condescending; The very servants puzzling how to hand
Their plates-without it might be too much bending From their high places by the sideboard's standYet, like their masters, fearful of offending; For any deviation from the graces
Might cost both men and masters too-their places. LXXX.
There were some hunters bold, and coursers keen, Whose hounds ne'er err'd, nor grayhounds deign'd to lurch;
Some deadly shots too, Septembrizers, seen
Earliest to rise, and last to quit the search
There were some country wags, too,-and, alas!
I sate next that o'erwhelming son of Heaven,
But of all Nature's discrepancies, none
Upon the whole is greater than the difference Beheld between the country and the town,
Of which the latter merits every preference From those who've few resources of their own, And only think, or act, or feel with reference To some small plan of interest or ambitionBoth which are limited to no condition.
But "en avant!" The light loves languish o'er
To these the invention of champagne and truffles
Dully pass'd o'er the dinner of the day;
And Juan took his place he knew not where, Confused, in the confusion, and distrait,
And sitting as if nail'd upon his chair; Though knives and forks clang'd round as in a fray He seem'd unconscious of all passing there, Till some one, with a groan, express'd a wish (Unheeded twice) to have a fin of fish.
On which, at the third asking of the bans,
He started; and, perceiving smiles around Broadening to grins, he coloured more than once, And hastily-as nothing can confound
A wise man more than laughter from a dunce-
This was no bad mistake, as it occurr'd,
They little knew, or might have sympathized,
That one scarce knew at what to marvel most Of two things-how (the question rather odd is) Such bodies could have souls, or souls such bodies.
But what confused him more than smile or stare From all the 'squires and 'squiresses around, Who wonder'd at the abstraction of his air, Especially as he had been renown'd
For some vivacity among the fair,
Even in the country circle's narrow bound
(For little things upon my lord's estate
Though this was most expedient on the whole,
By a look scarce perceptibly askance
So well she acted all and every part
By turns-with that vivacious versatility, Which many people take for want of heart. They err-'t is merely what is call'd mobility, A thing of temperament, and not of art,
Though seeming so, from its supposed facility; And false-though true; for surely they're sincerest, Who're strongly acted on by what is nearest.
This makes your actors, artists, and romancers,
Little that's great, but much of what is clever;
Though all Exchequer Chancellors endeavour, Of late years, to dispense with Cocker's rigours,
Were good small-talk for others still less great) And grow quite figurative with their figures.
Was, that he caught Aurora's eye on his,
In those who rarely smile, their smile bespeaks A strong external motive; and in this
Smile of Aurora's there was nought to pique, Or hope, or love, with any of the wiles Which some pretend to trace in ladies' smiles.
"T was a mere quiet smile of contemplation,
As Juan should have known, had not his senses
But, what was bad, she did not blush in turn,
And she withdrew, but cast not down, her eye, Yet grew a little pale-with what? concern?
I know not; but her colour ne'er was highThough sometimes faintly flush'd-and always clear As deep seas in a sunny atmosphere.
But Adeline was occupied by fame
This day; and watching, witching, condescending To the consumers of fish, fowl, and game, And dignity with courtesy so blending, As all must blend whose part it is to aim Especially as the sixth year is ending) At their lord's, son's, and similar connexions' Safe conduct through the rocks of re-elections.
The poets of arithmetic are they,
Who, though they prove not two and two to be Five, as they would do in a modest way,
Have plainly made it out that four are three,
While Adeline dispensed her airs and graces,
The fair Fitz-Fulke seem'd very much at ease; Though too well-bred to quiz men to their faces. Her laughing blue eyes with a glance could sen The ridicules of people in all places-
That honey of your fashionable bees--
However, the day closed, as days must close;
The evening also waned-and coffee came. Each carriage was announced, and ladies rose,
And curtsying off, as curtsies country dame, Retired: with most unfashionable bows
Their docile esquires also did the same, Delighted with the dinner and their host, But with the lady Adeline the most.
CII. Some praised her beauty; others her great grace; The warmth of her politeness, whose sincerity Was obvious in each feature of her face, Whose traits were radiant with the rays of verity. Yes: she was truly worthy her high place!
No one could envy her deserved prosperity: And then her dress-what beautiful simplicity Draperied her form with curious felicity!"
Meanwhile sweet Adeline deserved their praises, By an impartial indemnification
For all her past exertion and soft phrases,
In a most edifying conversation,
And full of sentiments, sublime as billows Heaving between this world and worlds beyond, Don Juan, when the midnight hour of pillows Arrived, retired to his; but to despond
Which turn'd upon their late guests' miens and faces, Rather than rest. Instead of poppies, willows
True, she said little-'t was the rest that broke Forth into universal epigram:
But then 't was to the purpose what she spoke: Like Addison's "faint praise" so wont to damn Her own but served to set off every joke,
As music chimes in with a melodrame. How sweet the task to shield an absent friend! I ask but this of mine, to-not defend.
There were but two exceptions to this keen Skirmish of wits o'er the departed; one, Aurora, with her pure and placid mien;
And Juan too, in general behind none In gay remark on what he'd heard or seen, Sate silent now, his usual spirits gone: In vain he heard the others rail or rally, He would not join them in a single sally.
Tis true he saw Aurora look as though
But seldom pay the absent, nor would look
Yet saw this much, which he was glad to see.
The ghost at least had done him this much good, In making him as silent as a ghost,
If in the circumstances which ensued
He gain'd esteem where it was worth the most. And certainly Aurora had renew'd
In him some feelings he had lately lost
The love of higher things and better days;
The unbounded hope, and heavenly ignorance Of what is call'd the world, and the world's ways; The moments when we gather from a glance More joy than from all future pride or praise, Which kindle manhood, but can ne'er entrance The heart in an existence of its own, Of which another's bosom is the zone. CIX.
Who would not sigh Λι αι των Κυθηρείαν!
That hath a memory, or that had a heart? Alas! her star must wane like that of Dian, Ray fades on ray, as years on years depart. Anacreon only had the soul to tie on
Unwithering myrtle round the unblunted dart Of Eros; but, though thou hast play'd us many tricks, Still we respect thee, "Alma Venus Genitrix!"
The night was as before: he was undrest,
He sate, with feelings awkward to express (By those who have not had such visitations), Expectant of the ghost's fresh operations.
And not in vain he listen'd-Hush! what's that?
Or tiptoe of an amatory Miss,
And dreading the chaste echoes of her shoe.
Again what is 't? The wind? No, no,-this time
With awful footsteps, regular as rhyme,
Or (as rhymes may be in these days) much more. Again, through shadows of the night sublime,
When deep sleep fell on men, and the world wore The starry darkness round her like a girdle Spangled with gems-the monk made his blood curdle. CXIV.
A noise like to wet fingers drawn on glass,
Which sets the teeth on edge; and a slight clatter, Like showers which on the midnight guests will pass Sounding like very supernatural water,Came over Juan's ear, which throbb'd, alas! For immaterialism's a serious matter: So that even those whose faith is the most great In souls immortal, shun them tête-à-tête.
The door flew wide, not swiftly-but, as fly
The sea-gulls, with a steady, sober flight-
For he had two, both tolerably bright,—
Don Juan shook, as erst he had been shaken The night before; but, being sick of shaking, He first inclined to think he had been mistaken, And then to be ashamed of such mistaking; His own internal ghost began to awaken
Within him, and to quell his corporal quakingHinting, that soul and body on the whole Were odds against a disembodied soul.
And then his dread grew wrath, and his wrath Gerce; And he arose-advanced-the shade retreated; But Juan, eager now the truth to pierce,
Follow'd; his veins no longer cold, but heated, Resolved to thrust the mystery carte and tierce, At whatsoever risk of being defeated: The ghost stopp'd, menaced, then retired, until He reach'd the ancient wall, then stood stone still.
Juan put forth one arm-Eternal Powers!
But still the shade remain'd; the blue eyes glared,
Yet one thing rather good the grave had spared-
And Juan, puzzled, but still curious, thrust
His other arm forth-Wonder upon wonder!
It press'd upon a hard but glowing bust,
Which beat as if there was a warm heart under. He found, as people on most trials must, That he had made at first a silly blunder, And that in his confusion he had caught Only the wall instead of what he sought. CXXIII.
The ghost, if ghost it were, seem'd a sweet soul, As ever lurk'd beneath a holy hood:
A dimpled chin, a neck of ivory, stole
Forth into something much like flesh and blood; Back fell the sable frock and dreary cowl, And they reveal'd (alas! that e'er they should!) In full, voluptuous, but not o'ergrown bulk, The phantom of her frolic grace-Fitz-Fulke!
Note 1. Stanza v.
Brave men were living before Agamemnon.
Save thine "incomparable oil," Macassar! "Description des vertus incomparables de l'huile de Macassar."-See the advertisement.
Note 3. Stanza xlii.
Although Longinus tells us there is no hymn
Where the sublime soars forth on wings more ample. See Longinus, Section 10, ἵνα μὴ ἔν τι περὶ αὐτὴν πάθος φαίνηται, παθῶν δὲ σύνοδος.
Note 4. Stanza xliv.
They only add them all in an appendix.
Fact. There is, or was, such an edition, with all the obnoxious epigrams of Martial placed by themselves at the end.
Note 5. Stanza lxxxviii.
The bard I quote from does not sing amiss, Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming; (I think) the opening of Canto II. but quote from memory.
Note 6. Stanza cxlviii.
Is it for this that General Count O'Reilly, Who took Algiers, declares I used him vilely? 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 17—.
Note 7. Stanza ccxvi.
My days of love are o'er, me no more.
Nec vincire novis tempora floribus."
Note 1. Stanza xlv.
For none likes more to hear himself converse.
lo non credo piu al nero, ch' a l'azzurro;
E credo alcuna volta anco nel burro,
Ne la cervogia, e quando' io n' ho nel mosto;
Ma sopra tutto nel buon vino ho fede;
E credo che sia salvo chi gli crede.
PULCI, Morgante Maggiore, Canto 18, Stanza 115
Note 2. Stanza lxxi.
That e'er by precious metal was held in. This dress is Moorish, and the bracelets and bar are worn in the manner described. The reader will per ceive hereafter, that, as the mother of Haidee was of | Fez, her daughter wore the garb of the country.