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What with a small diversity of climate, Himself for five, four, three, or two years' Of hot or cold, mercurial or sedate,
space, I could send forth my mandate like a primate, Would be much better taught beneath the eye Upon the rest of Europe's social state; Of Peeresses whose follies had run dry. But thou art the most difficult to rhyme at, Great-Britain, which the Muse may pene
So first there was a generous emulation, All countries have their "Lions,” but in thee And then there was a general competition There is but one superb menagerie. To undertake the orphan's education.
As Juan was a person of condition,
It had been an affront on this occasion But I am sick of politics. Begin,
To talk of a subscription or petition;
And one or two sad, separate wives, without Themselves on innocent tantalization, A fruit to bloom upon their withering And hate all vice except its reputation.
boughBegg’d to bring up the little girl, and
“out,”But these are few, and in the end they For that's the phrase that settles all things make
now, Some devilish escapade or stir, which shows Meaning a virgin's first blush at a rout, That even the parest people may mistake And all her points as thorough-bred to Their way through virtue's primrose paths
show: of snows;
And I assure you, that like virgin-honey And then men stare, as if a new ass spake Tastes their first season (mostly if they To Balaam, and from tongue to ear o'erflows
have money). Quick-silver Small Talk, ending (if you
note it) With the kind world's Amen!—“Who would How all the needy honourable misters,
have thought it?" Each out-at-elbow peer, or desperate dandy,
The watchful mothers and the careful sisters
(Who, by the bye, when clever, are more The little Leila, with her orient eyes
bandy And taciturn Asiatic disposition,
At making matches, where “ 'tis gold that (Which saw all Western things with small
Than their he-relatives) like flies o'er candy To the surprise of people of condition, Buzz round “the Fortune” with their busy Who think that novelties are butterflies
battery, To be pursued as food for inanition) To turn her head with waltzing and with Her charming figure artd romantic history,
flattery! Became a kind of fashionable mystery.
Each aunt, each cousin hath her speculation; The women much divided - as is usual Nay, married dames will now and then Amongst the sex in little things, or great.
discover Think not, fair creatures, that I mean to Such pure disinterestedness of passion,
abuse you all - I've known them court an heiress for their I have always liked you better than I state:
lover. Since I've grown moral, still I must accuse “Tantæne!" Such the virtues of high station!
Even in the hopeful isle, whose outlet's of being apt to talk at a great rate;
“Dover!” And now there was a general sensation While the poor rich wretch, object of these Amongst you, about Leila's education.
cares, Has cause to wish her sire had had male
heirs. In one point only were you settled and You had reason; 'twas that a young
Child of Grace,
Some are soon bagg'd, but some reject three As beautiful as her own native land,
dozen. And far away, the last bud of her race, 'Tis fine to see them scattering refusal. Howe'er our friend DonJuan might command | And wild dismay o'er every angry cousin
(Friends of the party) who begin accusals | But now I'm going to be immoral; now Such as—“Unless Miss (Blank) meant to I mean to show things really as they are,
have chosen Not as they ought to be: for I avow, Poor Frederick, why did she accord perusals That till we see what's what in fact, we're far To his billets? Why waltz with him? Why, From much improvement with that virtuous
plough Look yes last night, and yet say no to-day? Which skims the surface, leaving scarce
Upon the black loam long manured by Vice, Why?_Why? - Besides, Fred. really was Only to keep its corn at the old price.
attach'd; Twas not her fortune-he has enongh
But first of little Leila we'll dispose ; The time will come she'll wish that she For like a day-dawn she was young and pure,
had snatch'd Or like the old comparison of snows, So good an opportunity, no doubt: Which are more pure than pleasant to be But the old marchioness some plan has
Like many people every body knows. As I'll tell Aurea at to-morrow's rout: Don Juan was delighted to secure And after all poor Frederick may do better- A goodly guardian for his infant charge, Pray, did you see her answer to his letter?” Who might not profit much by being at
Smart uniforms and sparkling coronets
For silly wards will bring their guardians It soothes the awkward squad of the rejected
blame : To find how very badly she selected. So, when he saw each ancient dame a suitor
To make his little wild Asiatic tame, For sometimes they accept some long Suppression,” Lady Pinchbeck
Consulting the “Society for Vice
was his pursler,
choice. Worn out with importunity; or fall (But here perhaps the instances are fewer) To the lot of him who scarce pursued at all. Olden she was- but had been very young: A hazy widower turn'd of forty 's sure
Virtuous she was- and had been, I believe: (If 'tis not vain examples to recal) To draw a high prize: now, howe'er he Although the world has such an evil tongue
That--but my chaster ear will not receive got her, I
An echo of a syllable that's wrong: See nought more strange in this than t'other In fact, there's notlring makes me so much lottery.
As that abominable tittle tattle, I, for my part-(one “modern instance” more, which is the cud eschew'd by human cattle. “True, 'tis a pity-pity 'tis, 'tis true ") – Was chosen from out an amatory score, Albeit my years were less discreet than few; Moreover I've remark'd (and I was once But though I also had reform'd before A slight observer in a modest way), Those became one who soon were to be two, And so may every one except a dunce, I'll not gainsay the generous public's voice - That ladies in their youth a little gay, That the young lady made a monstrous Besides their knowledge of the world, and
Of the sad consequence of going astray,
Are wiser in their warnings 'gainst the woe Oh, pardon me digression - or at least Which the mere passionless can never know. Peruse! 'Tis always with a moral end That I dissert, like Grace before a feast : For like an aged aunt, or tiresome friend, while the harsh prude indemnifies her A rigid guardian, or a zealous priest,
virtue My Muse by exhortation means to mend By railing at the unknown and envied All people, at all times, and in most places,
passion, Which puts iny Pegasus to these grave paces. i Seeking far less to save you than to hurt you,
Or, what's still worse, to put you out of Adversity is the first path to truth:
He who hath proved war, storm, or woman's The kinder veteran with calm words will
Whether his winters be eighteen or eighty, Entreating you to pause before you dash on; Hath won the experience which is deem'd Expounding and illustrating the riddle
80 weighty. Of Epic Love's beginning, end, and middle.
How far it profits is another matter.Now, whether it be thus, or that they are Our hero gladly saw his little charge
Safe with a lady, whose last grown-up As better knowing why they should be so,
daughter I think you'll find from many a family- Being long married, and thus set at largo,
Had left all the accomplishments she taught That daughters of such mothers as may know
her The world by experience rather than by To be transmitted, like the Lord-Mayor's lecture,
barge, Turn out much better for the Smithfield show To the next comer; or—as it will tell Of vestals brought into the marriage-mart, More Muse-like – say like Cytherea's shell. Than those bred up by prudes without a
I call such things transmission; for there is
A floating balance of accomplishment I said that Lady Pinchbeck had been talk? Which forms a pedigree from Miss to Miss,
According as their minds or backs are bent. As who has not, if female, young, and Some waltz; some draw; some fathom the pretty ?
abyss But now no more the ghost of Scandal Of metaphysics; others are content
stalk'd about; With music; the most moderate shine as wits, She merely was deem'd amiable and witty, While others have a genius turn'd for fits. And several of her best bon-mots were
hawk'd about; Then she was given to charity and pity, But whether fits, or wits, or harpsichords, And pass'd (at least the latter years of life) Theology, fine arts, or finer stays For being a most exemplary wife. May be the baits for gentlemen or lords,
With regular descent, in these our days
The last year to the new transfers its hoards; High in high circles, gentle in her own, New vestals claim men's eyes with the same She was the mild reprover of the young
praise Whenever-which means every day—they'd Of “elegant,” et cetera, in fresh batches
All matchless creatures and yet bent on An awkward inclination to go wrong.
matches. The quantity of good she did's unknown,Or at the least would lengthen out my song: In brief, the little orphan of the East But now I will begin my poem. Tis Had raised an interest in her which incrcased. Perhaps a little strange, if not quite new,
That from the first of Cantos ap to this
I've not begun what we have to go through. Juan too was a sort of favourite with her, These first twelve books are merely flouBecause she thought him a good heart at
Preludios, trying just a string or two A little spoil'd, but not so altogether; Upon my lyre, or making the pegs sure; Which was a wonder, if you think who And when so, you shall have the overture.
got him, And how he had been toss'd, he scarce knew
My Muses do not care a pinch of rosin Though this might ruin others, it did not him, About what's callid success, or not succeedAt least entirely-for he had seen too many
ing: Changes in youth to be surprised at any. Such thoughts are quite below the strain
"Tis a “great moral lesson” they are reading. And these vicissitudes tell best in youth; I thought, at setting off, about two dozen For when they happen at a riper age, Cantos would do ; but, at Apollo's pleading, People are apt to blame the Fates, forsooth, If that my Pegasus should not be founder'd, And wonder Providence is not more sage. I think to canter gently through a hundred
Don Juan saw that microcosm on stilts, Pretensions which they never dream'd to
have shown Although the highest: but as swords have Yet neither frightend by a female fuss,
Nor by mustachios moved, were let alone, By which their power of mischief is in- And lived, as did the broken-hearted fair,
In happier plight than if they formed a pair.
There's also nightly, to the uninitiated, Must still obey the high – which is their A peril—not indeed like love or marriage,
But not the less for this to be depreciated: Their moon,
their gas, their It is -- I meant and mean not to disparage farthing-candle. The show of virtue even in the vitiated
It adds an outward grace unto their carriage
But to denounce the amphibious sort of He had many friends who had many wives,
harlot, and was
“Couleur de rose," who's neither white nor Well look'd upon by both, to that extent
scarlet. Of friendship which you may accept or pass, It does nor good nor harm; being merely
Sach is your cold coquette, who can't say To keep the wheels going of the higher class,
"No," And draw them nightly when a ticket's sent: And won't say “Yes," and keeps you on And what with masquerades, and fêtes, and
On a lee shore, till it begins to blow-
This works a world of sentimental woe,
Not quite adultery, but adulteration.
A wife makes or takes love in upright earnest.
Abroad, such things decide few women's I don't mean this as general, but particular
fateExamples may be found of such pursuits: (Such, early traveller! is the truth thou Though several also keep their perpen
But in old England when a young bride errs,
Can't form a friendship but the world Perhaps you'll have a letter from the mother,
o'erawes it. To say her daughter's feelings are trepann’d; Then there's the vulgar trick of those Perhaps you'll have a visit from the brother,
damn'd damages! All strut,and stays, and whiskers, to demand A verdict - grievous foe to those who cause What “your intentions are?”– One way or
Forms a sad climax to romantic homages; It seems the virgin's heart expects your hand; Besides those soothing speeches of the And, between pity for her case and yours,
pleaders, You'll add to Matrimony's list of cures. And evidences which regale all readers!
I've known a dozen weddings made even thus, But they who blunder thus, are
A little genial sprinkling of hypocrisy Young men who — though they hated to Has saved the fame of thousand splendid discuss
The loveliest Oligarchs of our Gynocrasy; But I'm relapsing Into metaphysics,
sics, And all by having tact as well as taste. Those bright moths fluttering round a dying
And this reflection brings me to plain Juan, who did not stand in the predicament
physics, Of a mere novice, had one safeguard more; And to the beauties of a foreign dame, For he was sick-no, 'twas not the word Compared with those of our pure pearls of sick I meant
price, But he had seen so much good love before, Those Polar summers, all sun, and some ice. That he was not in heart so very weak ;
I meant Bat thus much,and no sneer against the shore Or say they are like virtuous mermaids, Of white cliffs, white necks, blue eyes,
whose bluer stockings, Beginnings are fair faces,ends mere fishes ;Tithes, taxes, duns, and doors with double Not that there's not a quantity of those
knockings. Who have a due respect for their own wishes.
Like Russians rushing from hot baths to But coming young from lands and scenes
vicious : Where lives, not lawsuits, must be risk'd
They warm into a scrape,but keep of course, And Passion's self must have a spice of As a reserve, a plunge into remorse.
frantic, Into a country where 'tis half a fashion,
But this has nought to do with their outsides. Seem'd to him half commercial, half pedantic, I said that Juan did not think them pretty Howe'er he might esteem this moral nation; At the first blush; for a fair Briton hides Besides (alas! his taste-forgive and pity!) Half her attractions – probably from pityAt first he did not think the women pretty. And rather calmly into the heart glides,
Than storms it as a foe would take a city;
But once there if you doubt this,prithee try) 1 say at first-for he found out at last,
She keeps it for you like a true ally.
She cannot step as does an Arab barb, Beneath the influence of the Eastern star-Or Andalusian girl from mass returning, A further proof we should not judge in haste; Nor wear as gracefully as Gauls her garb, Yet inexperience could not be his bar
Nor in her eye Ausonia's glance is burning; To taste:- the truth is,if men would confess, Her voice, though sweet, is not so fit to warbThat no velties please less than they impress. le those bravuras (which I still am learning
Tolike, though I have been seven years in
And have, or had, an ear that served me Niger,
prettily);To that impracticable place, Timbuctoo, Where Geography finds no one to oblige her she cannot do these things, nor one or two With such a chart as may be safely stuck to
Others, in that off-hand and dashing style ForEurope ploughs in Afric like "bos piger:" Which takes so much – to give the devil But if I had been at Timbuctoo, there
his due; No doubt I should be told that black is fair. Nor is she quite so ready with her smile,
Nor settles all things in one interview
(A thing approved as saving time and toil); It is. I will not swear that black is white; But though the soil may give you time and But I suspect in fact that white is black,
trouble, And the whole matter rests upon eye-sight. Well cultivated, it will render double. Ask a blind man, the best judge. You'll
attack Perhaps this new position-but I'm right; And if in fact she takes to a “grande passion,” Or if I'm wrong, i'll not be ta’en aback : It is a very serious thing indeed : He hath no morn nor night, but all is dark Nine times in ten 'tis but caprice or fashion, Within ; and what sec'st thon? A dubious Coquetry, or a wish to take the lead,
The pride of a mere child with a new sash on,