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« 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;
Even at your own imperative expense:
« 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-
And if this violent remedy be tried
a 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.
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.
And then he called his brethren to his aid,
And sent one on a summons to the pair,
And above all be combed even to a hair,
Enquiries after them with kindest care:
And here I leave them at their preparation
For the imperial presence, wherein whether Gulbeyaz shewed 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.
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 VI.