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Sagest of women, even of widows, she So much indeed as to be downright rude; Resolved that Juan should be quite a And then what proper person can be partial
To all those nauseous epigrams of Martial ? And worthy of the noblest pedigree (His sire was of Castile, his dam from
Arragon): Juan was taught from out the best edition, Then for accomplishments of chivalry, Expurgated by learned men, who place, In case our lord the king should go to war Judiciously, from out the schoolboy's vision,
The grosser parts; but fearful to deface He learned the arts of riding, fencing Too much their modest bard by this omission,
And pitying sore his mutilated case, And how to scale a fortress—or a nunnery. They only add them all in an appendix,
Which saves, in fact, the trouble of an index;
But that which Donna Inez most desired,
Instead of being scatter'd through the pages; Was that his breeding should be strictly They stand forth marshall'd in a handsomo moral ;
troop, Much into all his studies she inquired, To meet the ingenuous youth of future ages, And so they were submitted first to her, all, Till some less rigid editor shall stoop Arts, sciences, no branch was made a mystery To call them back into their separate cages, To Juan's eyes, excepting natural history. Instead of standing staring altugether,
Like garden-gods—and not so decent, either. The languages, especially the dead, The sciences, and most of all the abstruse, The Missal too (it was the family-Missal) The arts, at least all such as could be said Was ornamented in a sort of way To be the most remote from common use, Which ancient mass-books often are, and In all these he was much and deeply read;
this all But not a page of any thing that's loose, Kinds of grotesques illumined; and how they, Or hints continuation of the species, Who saw those figures on the margin kiss all, Was ever suffer'd, lest he should grow 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. His classic studies made a little puzzle, Because of filthy loves of gods and goddesses, Sermons he read, and lectures he endured, Who in the earlier ages raised a bustle, And homilies, and lives of all the saints; But never put on pantaloons or bodices; To Jerome and to Chrysostom inured, His reverend tutors had at times a tussle, He did not take such studies for restraints : And for their Aeneids, Iiads and Odysseys, But how faith is acquired, and then insured, Were forced to make an odd sort of apology, So well not one of the aforesaid paints For Donna Inez dreaded the mythology. As Saint Augustine, in his fine Confessions,
Which make the reader envy his trans
gressions. Ovid's a rake, as half his verses show him : Anacreon's morals are a still worse sample; Catullus scarcely has a decent poem; This, too, was a seald book to little JuanI don't think Sappho's Ode a good example, I can't but say that his mamma was right, Although Longinus tells us there is no hymn If such an education was the true one. Where the sublime soars forth on wings She scarcely trusted him from out her sight;
more ample; Her maids were old, and if she took a But Virgil's songs are pure, except that
horrid one You might be sure she was a perfect fright; Beginning with“Formosum Pastor Corydon.” She did this during even her husband's life
I recommend as much to every wife.
Lucretius' irreligion is too strong
At six a charming child, and at eleven I can't help thinking Juvenal was wrong,
With all the promise of as fine a face Although no doubt his real intent was good, As e'er to man's maturer growth was given: For spoaking out 60 plainly in his song, He studied steadily and grew apace,
And seem'd, at least, in the right road to Of many charms, in her as natural
As sweetness to the flower, or salt to ocean, For half his days were pass'd at church, Her zone to Venus, or his bow to Cupid
(But this last simile is trite and stupid). Between his tutors, confessor, and mother.
The darkness of her oriental eye At six, I said, he was a charming child, Accorded with her Moorish origin At twelve he was a fine, but quiet boy; (Her blood was not all Spanish, by the by; Although in infancy a little wild,
In Spain, you know, this is a sort of sin); They tamed him down amongst them; to When proud Grenada fell, and, forced to fly,
Boabdill wept, of Donna Julia's kin His natural spirit not in vain they toil'd Some went to Africa, some stay'd in Spain, At least it seem'd so; and his mother's joy Her great great grandmamma chose to Was to declare how sage, and still, and steady,
remain. Her young philosopher was grown already.
She married (I forget the pedigree) I had my doubts, perhaps I have them still, With an Hidalgo, who transmitted down But what I say is neither here nor there : His blood less noble than such blood I knew his father well, and have some skill
should be ; In character—but it would not be fair At such alliances his sires would frown, From sire to son to augur good or ill: In that point so precise in each degree He and his wife were an ill-sorted pair- That they bred in and in, as might be shown, But scandal's my aversion-I protest Marrying their cousins --- nay, their aunts Against all evil speaking, even in jest.
and nieces, Which always spoils the breed,if it increases.
For my part I say nothing - nothing - but
again, To school (asGod be praised that I have none) Ruin'd its blood, but much improved its Tis not with Donna Inez I would shut
flesh: Him ap to learn his catechism alone; For, from a root, the ugliest in Old Spain, No-no-I'd send him out betimes to college, Sprung up a branch as beautiful as fresh; For there it was I pick'd up my own The sons no more were short, the daughters knowledge.
plain : But there's a rumour which I fain would
hushFor there one learns— 'tis not for me to boast, Tis said that Donna Julia's grandmamma Though I acquired – but I pass over that, Produced her Don more heirs at love than As well as all the Greek I since have lost:
law. I say that there's the place -- but“Verbum sat.” I think I pick'd up, too, as well as most, Knowledge of matters—but no matter what However this might be, the race went on I never married - but, I think, I know Improving still through every generation, That sons should not be educated so. Until it centred in an only son
Who left an only daughter; my narration
May have suggested that this single one Young Juan now was sixteen years of age, Could be but Julia (whom on this occasion Tall, handsome, slender, but well knit; I shall have much to speak about), and she
Was married, charming, chaste, and twentyActive, though not so sprightly, as a page;
three. And every body but his mother deem'd Him almost man; but she flew in a rage, And bit her lips (for else she might have Her eye (I'm very fond of handsome eyes)
Was large and dark, suppressing half its fire If any said so, for to be precocious Until she spoke,then through its soft disguise Was in her eyes a thing the most atrocious. Flash'd an expression more of pride than ire,
And love than either; and there would arise
A something in them which was not desire, Amongst her numerous acquaintance, all But would have been, perhaps, but for the Selected for discretion and devotion,
soul There was the Donna Julia, whom to call Which struggled through and chasten'd Pretty were but to give a feeble notion
down the whole.
Her glossy hair was cluster'd o'er a brow And that, still keeping up the old connexion, Bright with intelligence, and fair and Which time had lately render'd much more smooth;
chaste, Her eyebrows'shape was like the aerial bow; She took his lady also in affection, Her cheek all purple with the beam of youth, And certainly this course was much the Mounting, at times, to a transparent glow,
best: As if her veins ran lightning; she, in sooth, She flatter'd Julia with her sage protection, Possess'd an air and grace by no means And complimented Don Alfonso's taste;
And if she could not ( who can?) silence Her stature tall-I hate a dumpy woman.
scandal, At least she left it a more slender handle.
Wedded she was some years, and to a man
Of this, at least no symptome'er was shown; Especially in countries near the sun: Perhaps she did not know, or did not care, And now I think on't, “mi vien in mente,” Indifferent from the first, or callous grown: Ladies, even of the most uneasy virtue, I'm really puzzled what to think or say, Prefer a spouse whose age is short of thirty. She kept her counsel in so close a way.
Tis a sad thing, I cannot choose but say, Juan she saw, and, as a pretty child,
But I am not so sure I should have smiled The flesh is frail, and so the soul undone: When he was sixteen, Julia twenty-three: What men call gallantry, and gods adultery, These few short years make wondrous Is much more common where the climate's
Particularly amongst sun-burnt nations.
Happy the nations of the moral north! Whate'er the cause might be, they had Where all is virtue, and the winter-season
become Sends sin, without a rag on, shivering forth Changed; for the dame grew distant, the ('Twas snow that brought Saint Anthony to
youth shy, reason);
Their looks cast down, their greetings Where juries cast up what a wife is worth
almost dumb, By laying whate'er sum, in mulct, they And much embarrassment in either eye;
There surely will be little doubt with some The lover, who must pay a handsome price, That Donna Julia knew the reason why, Because it is a marketable vice.
But as for Juan, he had no more notion
Alfonso was the name of Julia's lord,
Like what this light touch left on Juan's
heart. Julia was - yet I never could see why With Donna Inez quite a favourite friend; Between their tastes there was small And if she met him, though she smiled no sympathy,
more, For not a line bad Julia ever penn'd: She look'd a sadness sweeter than her smile, Some people whisper (but, no doubt they lie, As if her heart had deeper thoughts in store For malice still imputes some private end) She must not own, but cherish'd more the That Inez had, ere Don Alfonso's marriage,
while, Forgot with him her very prudent carriage; For that compression in its burning core;
Even innocence itself has many a wile, Might please perhaps, a virtuous wife can And will not dare to trust itself with truth,
quell And love is taught hypocrisy from youth. Such thoughts, and be the better when
And, if the man should ask, 'tis but denial: Bat passion most dissembles, yet betrays, I recommend young ladies to make trial. Even by its darkness; as the blackest sky Foretels the heaviest tempest, it displays Its workings through the vainly-guarded eye, And then there are such things as love divine, And in whatever aspect it arrays
Bright and immaculate, unmix'd and pure, Itself, 'tis still the same hypocrisy: Such as the angels think so very fine, Coldness or anger, even disdain or hate, And matrons, who would be no less secure, Are masks it often wears, and still too late. Platonic, perfect, "just such love as
Thus Julia said- and thought so, to be sure, Then there were sighs, the deeper for And so I'd have her think, were I the man
suppression, On whom her reveries celestial ran. And stolen glances, sweeter for the theft, And burning blushes, though for no
transgression, Such love is innocent, and may exist Tremblings when met, and restlessness when Between young persons without any danger,
A hand may first, and then a lip be kiss'd; All these are little preludes to possession, For my part, to such doings I'm a stranger, of which young Passion cannot be bereft, But hear these freedoins form the utmost And merely tend to show how greatly Love is
list Embarrass'd at first starting with a novice. Of all o'er which such love may be a ranger:
If people go beyond, 'tis quite a crime,
But not my fault-I tell them all in time. Poor Julia's heart was in an awkward state; She felt it going, and resolved to make The noblest efforts for herself and mate, Lore, then, but love within its proper limits, For honour's,pride's, religion's,virtue's sake: Was Julia's innocent determination Her resolutions were most truly great, In young Don Juan's favour, and to him its And almost might have made a Tarquin Exertion might be useful on occasion;
And, lighted at too pure a shrine to dim its She pray'd the Virgin Mary for her grace, Etherial lustre, with what sweet persuasion As being the best judge of a lady's case. He might be taught by love and her together,
I really don't know what, nor Julia either. She row'd she never would see Juan more, And next day paid a visit to his mother, Fraught with this fine intention, and well Aud look'd extremely at the opening door,
fenced Which, by the Virgin’s grace, let in another; In mail of proof- her purity of soul, Grateful she was, and yet a little sore – She, for the future of her strength con
convinced, Again it opens, it can be no other, And that her honour was a rock, or mole, Tis surely Juan now -- No! I'm afraid Exceeding sagely from that hour dispensed That nighi the Virgin was no further pray'd. With any kind of troublesome control;
But whether Julia to the task was equal
Is that which must be mention'd in the She now determined that a virtuous woman
sequel. Should rather face and overcome temptation; That flight was base and dastardly,and no
Her plan she deem'd both innocent and Should ever give her heart the least sen
feasible, sation ;
And, surely, with a stripling of sixteen That is to say a thought beyond the common Not scandal's fangs could fix on much that's Preference that we must feel upon occasion
seizable; For people who are pleasanter than others, Or if they did so, satisfied to mean But then they only seem so many brothers. Nothing but what was good, her breast was
A quiet conscience makes one so serene! And even if by chance-and who can tell? Christians have burn'd each other, quite The Devil's so very sly-she should discover
persuaded That all within was not so very well, That all the Apostles would have done as And if, still free, that such or such a lover
And if, in the mean time, her husband died, Young Juan wander'd by the glassy brooks, But heaven forbid that such a thought should Thinking unutterable things; he threw
Himself at length within the leafy nooks Her brain, though in a dream!(and then she Where the wild branch of the cork-forest sigh'd)
grew ; Never could she survive that common loss; There poets find materials for their books, But just suppose that moment should betide, And every W and then we read them I only say suppose it-inter nos,
through, (This should be entre nous, for Julia thought so that their plan and prosody are eligible, In French, but then the rhyme would go Unless, like Wordsworth, they prove unfor nought).
I only say suppose this supposition : He, Juan (and not Wordsworth), so pursued Juan being then grown up to man's estate His self-communion with his own high soul, Would fully suit a widow of condition; Until his mighty heart, in its great mood, Even seven years hence it would not be too Had mitigated part, though not the whole
Of its disease; he did the best he could And in the interim (to pursue this vision) With things not very subject to control, The mischief after all, could not be great, And turn'd, without perceiving his condition, For he would learn the rudiments of love, Like Coleridge, into a metaphysician. I mean the seraph-way of those above.
He thought about himself, and the whole So much for Julia. Now we'll turn to Juan,
earth, Poor little fellow! he had no idea
Of man, the wonderful, and of the stars, Of his own case, and never hit the true one; And how the deuce they ever could have In feelings quick as Ovid's Miss Medea,
birth; He puzzled over what he found a new one, And then he thought of earthquakes and of But not as yet imagined it could be a Thing quite in course, and not at all How many miles the moon might have in alarining,
girth, Which, with a little patience, might grow of air-balloons, and of the many bars
charming To perfect knowledge of the boundless skies;
And then he thought of Donna Julia's eyes. Silent and pensive, idle, restless, slow, His home deserted for the lonely wood, In thoughts like these true wisdom may Tormented with a wound he could not know,
discern His, like all deep grief, plunged in solitude. Longings sublime, and aspirations high, I'm fond myself of solitude or so,
Which some are born with, but the most But then I beg it may be understood By solitude I mean a sultan's, not
To plague themselves withal, they know not A hermit's, with a haram for a grot.
'Twas strange that one so young should thus “Oh Love! in such a wilderness as this, His brain about the action of the sky; Where transport and security entwine, If you think 'twas philosophy that this did, Here is the empire of thy perfect bliss, I can't help thinking puberty assisted. And here thou art a god indeed divine.” The bard I quote from does not sing amiss, With the exception of the second line, He pored upon the leaves, and on the flowers, For that same twining “transport and And heard a voice in all the winds; and then
He thought of wood-nymphs and immortal Are twisted to a phrase of some obscurity.
bowers, And how the goddesses came down to men:
He mise'd the pathway, he forgot the hours, The poet meant, no doubt, and thus appeals And when he look'd upon his watch again, To the good sense and senses of mankind, He found how much old Time had been a The very thing which every body feels,
winnerAs all have found on trial, or may find, He also found that he had lost his dinner. That no one likes to be disturbid at meals Or love:-I won't say more about “entwined" Or “transport,” as we know all that before, Sometimes he turn'd to gaze upon his book, But beg “Security” will bolt the door. Boscan, or Garcilasso ;-by the wind