Page images
PDF
EPUB

Note 6, page 52, 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, page 75, stanza ccxvi.
. My days of love are over; me no more etc.

Me nec femina, nec puer
Jam, nec spes animi credula mutui,

Nec certare juvat mero;
Nec vincire novis tempora floribus.»

DON JUAN.

CANTO II.

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 employ'd in vain, Since in a way, that 's rather of the oddest, he Became divested of his native modesty.

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 proves its worthA lad of sixteen causing a divorce, Puzzled his tutors very much, of course.

6

VOL. II.

JII.

I can't say that it puzzles me at all,

If all things be consider'd : 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 learn'd to rebel) And such sweet girls—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:

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 ancles--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, which 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 plaộn'd A dress through which the eyes give such a volley, Excepting the Venetian Fazzioli.

VIII.

But to our tale :-The Donna Inez sent

Her son to Cadiz only to embark;
To stay there had not answer'd 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 bid 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 whipt, or set upon a stool : The

great success of Juan's education, Spurr'd her to teach another generation.

XI.

Juan embark'd—the ship got under-weigh,

The wind was fair, the water passing rough; A devil of a sea rolls in that bay,

As I, who ’ve cross'd it oft, know well enough; And, standing upon 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.

« PreviousContinue »