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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 tideYou love this boyish, new seraglio guest,

And if this violent remedy be triedExcuse 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 bis 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

Enquiries 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 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.

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.

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NOTE TO CANTO VI.

Note 1, page 332, stanza lxxv. A « wood obscure, like that where Dante found etc.

* Nel mezzo del Cammin 'di nostra vita Mi ritrovai per una Selva oscura, etc. »

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