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Canto the First



I WANT a hero: an uncommon want,
When every year and month sends forth a new one,
Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,
The age discovers he is not the true one;
Of such as these I should not care to vaunt,
I'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan--
We all have seen him, in the pantomime,[15]
Sent to the Devil somewhat ere his time.


Vernon,[16] the butcher Cumberland, Wolfe, Hawke,
Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Keppel, Howe,
Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk,
And filled their sign-posts then, like Wellesley now;
Each in their turn like Banquo's monarchs stalk,
Followers of Fame, "nine farrow"[17] of that sow:
France, too, had Buonaparté[18] and Dumourier[19]
Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier.


Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau,
Petion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayette[20]
Were French, and famous people, as we know;
And there were others, scarce forgotten yet,
Joubert, Hoche, Marceau, Lannes, Desaix, Moreau,[21]
With many of the military set,
Exceedingly remarkable at times,
But not at all adapted to my rhymes.


Nelson was once Britannia's god of War,
And still should be so, but the tide is turned;
There's no more to be said of Trafalgar,
'T is with our hero quietly inurned;
Because the army's grown more popular,
At which the naval people are concerned;
Besides, the Prince is all for the land-service.
Forgetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe, and Jervis.


Brave men were living before Agamemnon[22]
And since, exceeding valorous and sage,
A good deal like him too, though quite the same none;
But then they shone not on the poet's page,
And so have been forgotten:--I condemn none,
But can't find any in the present age
Fit for my poem (that is, for my new one);
So, as I said, I'll take my friend Don Juan.


Most epic poets plunge _"in medias res"_[23]
(Horace makes this the heroic turnpike road),
And then your hero tells, whene'er you please,
What went before--by way of episode,
While seated after dinner at his ease,
Beside his mistress in some soft abode,
Palace, or garden, paradise, or cavern,
Which serves the happy couple for a tavern.


That is the usual method, but not mine--
My way is to begin with the beginning;
The regularity of my design
Forbids all wandering as the worst of sinning,
And therefore I shall open with a line
(Although it cost me half an hour in spinning),
Narrating somewhat of Don Juan's father,
And also of his mother, if you'd rather.


In Seville was he born, a pleasant city,
Famous for oranges and women,--he
Who has not seen it will be much to pity,
So says the proverb[24]--and I quite agree;
Of all the Spanish towns is none more pretty,
Cadiz perhaps--but that you soon may see;--
Don Juan's parents lived beside the river,
A noble stream, and called the Guadalquivir.


His father's name was José-_Don_, of course,--
A true Hidalgo, free from every stain
Of Moor or Hebrew blood, he traced his source
Through the most Gothic gentlemen of Spain;
A better cavalier ne'er mounted horse,
Or, being mounted, e'er got down again,
Than José, who begot our hero, who
Begot--but that's to come----Well, to renew:


His mother was a learnéd lady, famed
For every branch of every science known--
In every Christian language ever named,
With virtues equalled by her wit alone:
She made the cleverest people quite ashamed,
And even the good with inward envy groan,
Finding themselves so very much exceeded,
In their own way, by all the things that she did.


Her memory was a mine: she knew by heart
All Calderon and greater part of Lopé;
So, that if any actor missed his part,
She could have served him for the prompter's copy;
For her Feinagle's were an useless art,[26]
And he himself obliged to shut up shop--he
Could never make a memory so fine as
That which adorned the brain of Donna Inez.


Her favourite science was the mathematical,
Her noblest virtue was her magnanimity,
Her wit (she sometimes tried at wit) was Attic all,
Her serious sayings darkened to sublimity;[a]
In short, in all things she was fairly what I call
A prodigy--her morning dress was dimity,
Her evening silk, or, in the summer, muslin,
And other stuffs, with which I won't stay puzzling.


She knew the Latin--that is, "the Lord's prayer,"
And Greek--the alphabet--I'm nearly sure;
She read some French romances here and there,
Although her mode of speaking was not pure;
For native Spanish she had no great care,
At least her conversation was obscure;
Her thoughts were theorems, her words a problem,
As if she deemed that mystery would ennoble 'em.


She liked the English and the Hebrew tongue,
And said there was analogy between 'em;
She proved it somehow out of sacred song,
But I must leave the proofs to those who've seen 'em;
But this I heard her say, and can't be wrong,
And all may think which way their judgments lean 'em,
"'T is strange--the Hebrew noun which means 'I am,'
The English always use to govern d--n."


Some women use their tongues--she _looked_ a lecture,
Each eye a sermon, and her brow a homily,
An all-in-all sufficient self-director,
Like the lamented late Sir Samuel Romilly,[27]
The Law's expounder, and the State's corrector,
Whose suicide was almost an anomaly--
One sad example more, that "All is vanity,"--
(The jury brought their verdict in "Insanity!")


In short, she was a walking calculation,
Miss Edgeworth's novels stepping from their covers,[28]
Or Mrs. Trimmer's books on education,[29]
Or "Coelebs' Wife"[30] set out in quest of lovers,
Morality's prim personification,
In which not Envy's self a flaw discovers;
To others' share let "female errors fall,"[31]
For she had not even one--the worst of all.


Oh! she was perfect past all parallel--
Of any modern female saint's comparison;
So far above the cunning powers of Hell,
Her Guardian Angel had given up his garrison;
Even her minutest motions went as well
As those of the best time-piece made by Harrison:[32]
In virtues nothing earthly could surpass her,
Save thine "incomparable oil," Macassar![33]


Perfect she was, but as perfection is
Insipid in this naughty world of ours,
Where our first parents never learned to kiss
Till they were exiled from their earlier bowers,
Where all was peace, and innocence, and bliss,[b]
(I wonder how they got through the twelve hours),
Don José, like a lineal son of Eve,
Went plucking various fruit without her leave.


He was a mortal of the careless kind,
With no great love for learning, or the learned,
Who chose to go where'er he had a mind,
And never dreamed his lady was concerned;
The world, as usual, wickedly inclined
To see a kingdom or a house o'erturned,
Whispered he had a mistress, some said _two_.
But for domestic quarrels _one_ will do.


Now Donna Inez had, with all her merit,
A great opinion of her own good qualities;
Neglect, indeed, requires a saint to bear it,
And such, indeed, she was in her moralities;[c]
But then she had a devil of a spirit,
And sometimes mixed up fancies with realities,
And let few opportunities escape
Of getting her liege lord into a scrape.


This was an easy matter with a man
Oft in the wrong, and never on his guard;
And even the wisest, do the best they can,
Have moments, hours, and days, so unprepared,
That you might "brain them with their lady's fan;"[34]
And sometimes ladies hit exceeding hard,
And fans turn into falchions in fair hands,
And why and wherefore no one understands.


'T is pity learnéd virgins ever wed
With persons of no sort of education,
Or gentlemen, who, though well born and bred,
Grow tired of scientific conversation:
I don't choose to say much upon this head,
I'm a plain man, and in a single station,
But--Oh! ye lords of ladies intellectual,
Inform us truly, have they not hen-pecked you all?


Don José and his lady quarrelled--_why_,
Not any of the many could divine,
Though several thousand people chose to try,
'T was surely no concern of theirs nor mine;
I loathe that low vice--curiosity;
But if there's anything in which I shine,
'T is in arranging all my friends' affairs,
Not having, of my own, domestic cares.


And so I interfered, and with the best
Intentions, but their treatment was not kind;
I think the foolish people were possessed,
For neither of them could I ever find,
Although their porter afterwards confessed--
But that's no matter, and the worst's behind,
For little Juan o'er me threw, down stairs,
A pail of housemaid's water unawares.


A little curly-headed, good-for-nothing,
And mischief-making monkey from his birth;
His parents ne'er agreed except in doting
Upon the most unquiet imp on earth;
Instead of quarrelling, had they been but both in
Their senses, they'd have sent young master forth
To school, or had him soundly whipped at home,
To teach him manners for the time to come.


Don José and the Donna Inez led
For some time an unhappy sort of life,
Wishing each other, not divorced, but dead;[d]
They lived respectably as man and wife,
Their conduct was exceedingly well-bred,
And gave no outward signs of inward strife,
Until at length the smothered fire broke out,
And put the business past all kind of doubt.


For Inez called some druggists and physicians,
And tried to prove her loving lord was _mad_,[35]
But as he had some lucid intermissions,
She next decided he was only _bad_;
Yet when they asked her for her depositions,
No sort of explanation could be had,
Save that her duty both to man and God[36]
Required this conduct--which seemed very odd.[37]


She kept a journal, where his faults were noted,
And opened certain trunks of books and letters,[38]
All which might, if occasion served, be quoted;
And then she had all Seville for abettors,
Besides her good old grandmother (who doted);
The hearers of her case became repeaters,
Then advocates, inquisitors, and judges,
Some for amusement, others for old grudges.


And then this best and meekest woman bore
With such serenity her husband's woes,
Just as the Spartan ladies did of yore,
Who saw their spouses killed, and nobly chose
Never to say a word about them more--
Calmly she heard each calumny that rose,
And saw _his_ agonies with such sublimity,
That all the world exclaimed, "What magnanimity!"


No doubt this patience, when the world is damning us,
Is philosophic in our former friends;
'T is also pleasant to be deemed magnanimous,
The more so in obtaining our own ends;
And what the lawyers call a _"malus animus"_
Conduct like this by no means comprehends:
Revenge in person's certainly no virtue,
But then 't is not _my_ fault, if _others_ hurt you.


And if our quarrels should rip up old stories,
And help them with a lie or two additional,
_I_'m not to blame, as you well know--no more is
Any one else--they were become traditional;
Besides, their resurrection aids our glories
By contrast, which is what we just were wishing all:
And Science profits by this resurrection--
Dead scandals form good subjects for dissection.


Their friends had tried at reconciliation,[e]
Then their relations, who made matters worse.
('T were hard to tell upon a like occasion
To whom it may be best to have recourse--
I can't say much for friend or yet relation)
The lawyers did their utmost for divorce,[f]
But scarce a fee was paid on either side
Before, unluckily, Don José died.


He died: and most unluckily, because,
According to all hints I could collect
From Counsel learnéd in those kinds of laws,
(Although their talk's obscure and circumspect)
His death contrived to spoil a charming cause;
A thousand pities also with respect
To public feeling, which on this occasion
Was manifested in a great sensation.


But ah! he died; and buried with him lay
The public feeling and the lawyers' fees:
His house was sold, his servants sent away,
A Jew took one of his two mistresses,
A priest the other--at least so they say:
I asked the doctors after his disease--
He died of the slow fever called the tertian,
And left his widow to her own aversion.


Yet José was an honourable man,
That I must say, who knew him very well;
Therefore his frailties I'll no further scan,
Indeed there were not many more to tell:
And if his passions now and then outran
Discretion, and were not so peaceable
As Numa's (who was also named Pompilius),
He had been ill brought up, and was born bilious.[g]


Whate'er might be his worthlessness or worth,
Poor fellow! he had many things to wound him.
Let's own--since it can do no good on earth--[h]
It was a trying moment that which found him
Standing alone beside his desolate hearth,
Where all his household gods lay shivered round him:[39]
No choice was left his feelings or his pride,
Save Death or Doctors' Commons--so he died.[i]


Dying intestate, Juan was sole heir
To a chancery suit, and messuages, and lands,
Which, with a long minority and care,
Promised to turn out well in proper hands:
Inez became sole guardian, which was fair,
And answered but to Nature's just demands;
An only son left with an only mother
Is brought up much more wisely than another.


Sagest of women, even of widows, she
Resolved that Juan should be quite a paragon,
And worthy of the noblest pedigree,
(His Sire was of Castile, his Dam from Aragon)
Then, for accomplishments of chivalry,
In case our Lord the King should go to war again,
He learned the arts of riding, fencing, gunnery,
And how to scale a fortress--or a nunnery.


But that which Donna Inez most desired,
And saw into herself each day before all
The learnéd tutors whom for him she hired,
Was, that his breeding should be strictly moral:
Much into all his studies she inquired,
And so they were submitted first to her, all,
Arts, sciences--no branch was made a mystery
To Juan's eyes, excepting natural history.


The languages, especially the dead,
The sciences, and most of all the abstruse,
The arts, at least all such as could be said
To be the most remote from common use,
In all these he was much and deeply read:
But not a page of anything that's loose,
Or hints continuation of the species,
Was ever suffered, lest he should grow vicious.


His classic studies made a little puzzle,
Because of filthy loves of gods and goddesses,
Who in the earlier ages raised a bustle,
But never put on pantaloons or bodices;[40]
His reverend tutors had at times a tussle,
And for their Æneids, Iliads, and Odysseys,[j]
Were forced to make an odd sort of apology,
For Donna Inez dreaded the Mythology.


Ovid's a rake, as half his verses show him,
Anacreon's morals are a still worse sample,
Catullus scarcely has a decent poem,
I don't think Sappho's Ode a good example,
Although Longinus[41] tells us there is no hymn
Where the Sublime soars forth on wings more ample;
But Virgil's songs are pure, except that horrid one
Beginning with _"Formosum Pastor Corydon."_[42]


Lucretius' irreligion is too strong
For early stomachs, to prove wholesome food;
I can't help thinking Juvenal was wrong,
Although no doubt his real intent was good,
For speaking out so plainly in his song,
So much indeed as to be downright rude;
And then what proper person can be partial
To all those nauseous epigrams of Martial?


Juan was taught from out the best edition,
Expurgated by learned men, who place,
Judiciously, from out the schoolboy's vision,
The grosser parts; but, fearful to deface
Too much their modest bard by this omission,[k]
And pitying sore his mutilated case,
They only add them all in an appendix,[43]
Which saves, in fact, the trouble of an index;


For there we have them all "at one fell swoop,"
Instead of being scattered through the pages;
They stand forth marshalled in a handsome troop,
To meet the ingenuous youth of future ages,
Till some less rigid editor shall stoop
To call them back into their separate cages,
Instead of standing staring all together,
Like garden gods--and not so decent either.


The Missal too (it was the family Missal)
Was ornamented in a sort of way
Which ancient mass-books often are, and this all
Kinds of grotesques illumined; and how they,
Who saw those figures on the margin kiss all,
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.


Sermons he read, and lectures he endured,
And homilies, and lives of all the saints;
To Jerome and to Chrysostom inured,
He did not take such studies for restraints;
But how Faith is acquired, and then insured,
So well not one of the aforesaid paints
As Saint Augustine in his fine Confessions,
Which make the reader envy his transgressions.[44]


This, too, was a sealed book to little Juan--
I can't but say that his mamma was right,
If such an education was the true one.
She scarcely trusted him from out her sight;
Her maids were old, and if she took a new one,
You might be sure she was a perfect fright;
She did this during even her husband's life--
I recommend as much to every wife.


Young Juan waxed in goodliness and grace;
At six a charming child, and at eleven
With all the promise of as fine a face
As e'er to Man's maturer growth was given:
He studied steadily, and grew apace,
And seemed, at least, in the right road to Heaven,
For half his days were passed at church, the other
Between his tutors, confessor, and mother.


At six, I said, he was a charming child,
At twelve he was a fine, but quiet boy;
Although in infancy a little wild,
They tamed him down amongst them: to destroy
His natural spirit not in vain they toiled,
At least it seemed so; and his mother's joy
Was to declare how sage, and still, and steady,
Her young philosopher was grown already.


I had my doubts, perhaps I have them still,
But what I say is neither here nor there:
I knew his father well, and have some skill
In character--but it would not be fair
From sire to son to augur good or ill:
He and his wife were an ill-sorted pair--
But scandal's my aversion--I protest
Against all evil speaking, even in jest.


For my part I say nothing--nothing--but
_This_ I will say--my reasons are my own--
That if I had an only son to put
To school (as God be praised that I have none),
'T is not with Donna Inez I would shut
Him up to learn his catechism alone,
No--no--I'd send him out betimes to college,
For there it was I picked up my own knowledge.


For there one learns--'t is not for me to boast,
Though I acquired--but I pass over _that_,
As well as all the Greek I since have lost:
I say that there's the place--but "_Verbum sat_,"
I think I picked up too, as well as most,
Knowledge of matters--but no matter _what_--
I never married--but, I think, I know
That sons should not be educated so.


Young Juan now was sixteen years of age,
Tall, handsome, slender, but well knit: he seemed
Active, though not so sprightly, as a page;
And everybody but his mother deemed
Him almost man; but she flew in a rage[45]
And bit her lips (for else she might have screamed)
If any said so--for to be precocious
Was in her eyes a thing the most atrocious.


Amongst her numerous acquaintance, all
Selected for discretion and devotion,
There was the Donna Julia, whom to call
Pretty were but to give a feeble notion
Of many charms in her as natural
As sweetness to the flower, or salt to Ocean,
Her zone to Venus, or his bow to Cupid,
(But this last simile is trite and stupid.)


The darkness of her Oriental eye
Accorded with her Moorish origin;
(Her blood was not all Spanish; by the by,
In Spain, you know, this is a sort of sin;)
When proud Granada fell, and, forced to fly,
Boabdil wept:[46] of Donna Julia's kin
Some went to Africa, some stayed in Spain--
Her great great grandmamma chose to remain.


She married (I forget the pedigree)
With an Hidalgo, who transmitted down
His blood less noble than such blood should be;
At such alliances his sires would frown,
In that point so precise in each degree
That they bred _in and in_, as might be shown,
Marrying their cousins--nay, their aunts, and nieces,
Which always spoils the breed, if it increases.


This heathenish cross restored the breed again,
Ruined its blood, but much improved its flesh;
For from a root the ugliest in Old Spain
Sprung up a branch as beautiful as fresh;
The sons no more were short, the daughters plain:
But there's a rumour which I fain would hush,[l]
'T is said that Donna Julia's grandmamma
Produced her Don more heirs at love than law.


However this might be, the race went on
Improving still through every generation,
Until it centred in an only son,
Who left an only daughter; my narration
May have suggested that this single one
Could be but Julia (whom on this occasion
I shall have much to speak about), and she
Was married, charming, chaste, and twenty-three.


Her eye (I'm very fond of handsome eyes)
Was large and dark, suppressing half its fire
Until she spoke, then through its soft disguise
Flashed an expression more of pride than ire,
And love than either; and there would arise
A something in them which was not desire,
But would have been, perhaps, but for the soul
Which struggled through and chastened down the whole.


Her glossy hair was clustered o'er a brow
Bright with intelligence, and fair, and smooth;
Her eyebrow's shape was like the aërial bow,
Her cheek all purple with the beam of youth,
Mounting, at times, to a transparent glow,
As if her veins ran lightning; she, in sooth,
Possessed an air and grace by no means common:
Her stature tall--I hate a dumpy woman.


Wedded she was some years, and to a man
Of fifty, and such husbands are in plenty;
And yet, I think, instead of such a ONE
'T were better to have TWO of five-and-twenty,
Especially in countries near the sun:
And now I think on 't, "_mi vien in mente_",
Ladies even of the most uneasy virtue
Prefer a spouse whose age is short of thirty.[m]


'T is a sad thing, I cannot choose but say,
And all the fault of that indecent sun,
Who cannot leave alone our helpless clay,
But will keep baking, broiling, burning on,
That howsoever people fast and pray,
The flesh is frail, and so the soul undone:
What men call gallantry, and gods adultery,
Is much more common where the climate's sultry,


Happy the nations of the moral North!
Where all is virtue, and the winter season
Sends sin, without a rag on, shivering forth
('T was snow that brought St. Anthony[47] to reason);
Where juries cast up what a wife is worth,
By laying whate'er sum, in mulct, they please on
The lover, who must pay a handsome price,
Because it is a marketable vice.


Alfonso was the name of Julia's lord,
A man well looking for his years, and who
Was neither much beloved nor yet abhorred:
They lived together as most people do,
Suffering each other's foibles by accord,
And not exactly either _one_ or _two_;
Yet he was jealous, though he did not show it,
For Jealousy dislikes the world to know it.


Julia was--yet I never could see why--
With Donna Inez quite a favourite friend;
Between their tastes there was small sympathy,
For not a line had Julia ever penned:
Some people whisper (but, no doubt, they lie,
For Malice still imputes some private end)
That Inez had, ere Don Alfonso's marriage,
Forgot with him her very prudent carriage;


And that still keeping up the old connection,
Which Time had lately rendered much more chaste,
She took his lady also in affection,
And certainly this course was much the best:
She flattered Julia with her sage protection,
And complimented Don Alfonso's taste;
And if she could not (who can?) silence scandal,
At least she left it a more slender handle.


I can't tell whether Julia saw the affair
With other people's eyes, or if her own
Discoveries made, but none could be aware
Of this, at least no symptom e'er was shown;
Perhaps she did not know, or did not care,
Indifferent from the first, or callous grown:
I'm really puzzled what to think or say,
She kept her counsel in so close a way.


Juan she saw, and, as a pretty child,
Caressed him often--such a thing might be
Quite innocently done, and harmless styled,
When she had twenty years, and thirteen he;
But I am not so sure I should have smiled
When he was sixteen, Julia twenty-three;
These few short years make wondrous alterations,
Particularly amongst sun-burnt nations.


Whate'er the cause might be, they had become
Changed; for the dame grew distant, the youth shy,
Their looks cast down, their greetings almost dumb,
And much embarrassment in either eye;
There surely will be little doubt with some
That Donna Julia knew the reason why,
But as for Juan, he had no more notion
Than he who never saw the sea of Ocean.


Yet Julia's very coldness still was kind,
And tremulously gentle her small hand
Withdrew itself from his, but left behind
A little pressure, thrilling, and so bland
And slight, so very slight, that to the mind
'T was but a doubt; but ne'er magician's wand
Wrought change with all Armida's[48] fairy art
Like what this light touch left on Juan's heart.


And if she met him, though she smiled no more,
She looked a sadness sweeter than her smile,
As if her heart had deeper thoughts in store
She must not own, but cherished more the while
For that compression in its burning core;
Even Innocence itself has many a wile,
And will not dare to trust itself with truth,
And Love is taught hypocrisy from youth.


But Passion most dissembles, yet betrays
Even by its darkness; as the blackest sky
Foretells the heaviest tempest, it displays
Its workings through the vainly guarded eye,
And in whatever aspect it arrays
Itself, 't is still the same hypocrisy;
Coldness or Anger, even Disdain or Hate,
Are masks it often wears, and still too late.


Then there were sighs, the deeper for suppression,
And stolen glances, sweeter for the theft,
And burning blushes, though for no transgression,
Tremblings when met, and restlessness when left;
All these are little preludes to possession,
Of which young Passion cannot be bereft,
And merely tend to show how greatly Love is
Embarrassed at first starting with a novice.


Poor Julia's heart was in an awkward state;
She felt it going, and resolved to make
The noblest efforts for herself and mate,
For Honour's, Pride's, Religion's, Virtue's sake:
Her resolutions were most truly great,
And almost might have made a Tarquin quake:
She prayed the Virgin Mary for her grace,
As being the best judge of a lady's case.[49]


She vowed she never would see Juan more,
And next day paid a visit to his mother,
And looked extremely at the opening door,
Which, by the Virgin's grace, let in another;
Grateful she was, and yet a little sore--
Again it opens, it can be no other,
'T is surely Juan now--No! I'm afraid
That night the Virgin was no further prayed.[50]


She now determined that a virtuous woman
Should rather face and overcome temptation,
That flight was base and dastardly, and no man
Should ever give her heart the least sensation,
That is to say, a thought beyond the common
Preference, that we must feel, upon occasion,
For people who are pleasanter than others,
But then they only seem so many brothers.


And even if by chance--and who can tell?
The Devil's so very sly--she should discover
That all within was not so very well,
And, if still free, that such or such a lover
Might please perhaps, a virtuous wife can quell
Such thoughts, and be the better when they're over;
And if the man should ask, 't is but denial:
I recommend young ladies to make trial.


And, then, there are such things as Love divine,
Bright and immaculate, unmixed and pure,
Such as the angels think so very fine,
And matrons, who would be no less secure,
Platonic, perfect, "just such love as mine;"
Thus Julia said--and thought so, to be sure;
And so I'd have her think, were _I_ the man
On whom her reveries celestial ran.


Such love is innocent, and may exist
Between young persons without any danger.
A hand may first, and then a lip be kissed;
For my part, to such doings I'm a stranger,
But _hear_ these freedoms form the utmost list
Of all o'er which such love may be a ranger:
If people go beyond, 't is quite a crime,
But not my fault--I tell them all in time.


Love, then, but Love within its proper limits,
Was Julia's innocent determination
In young Don Juan's favour, and to him its
Exertion might be useful on occasion;
And, lighted at too pure a shrine to dim its
Ethereal lustre, with what sweet persuasion
He might be taught, by Love and her together--
I really don't know what, nor Julia either.


Fraught with this fine intention, and well fenced
In mail of proof--her purity of soul[51]--
She, for the future, of her strength convinced,
And that her honour was a rock, or mole,[n]
Exceeding sagely from that hour dispensed
With any kind of troublesome control;
But whether Julia to the task was equal
Is that which must be mentioned in the sequel.


Her plan she deemed both innocent and feasible,
And, surely, with a stripling of sixteen
Not Scandal's fangs could fix on much that's seizable,
Or if they did so, satisfied to mean
Nothing but what was good, her breast was peaceable--
A quiet conscience makes one so serene!
Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded
That all the Apostles would have done as they did.


And if in the mean time her husband died,
But Heaven forbid that such a thought should cross
Her brain, though in a dream! (and then she sighed)
Never could she survive that common loss;
But just suppose that moment should betide,
I only say suppose it--_inter nos_:
(This should be _entre nous_, for Julia thought
In French, but then the rhyme would go for nought.)


I only say, suppose this supposition:
Juan being then grown up to man's estate
Would fully suit a widow of condition,
Even seven years hence it would not be too late;
And in the interim (to pursue this vision)
The mischief, after all, could not be great,
For he would learn the rudiments of Love,
I mean the _seraph_ way of those above.


So much for Julia! Now we'll turn to Juan.
Poor little fellow! he had no idea
Of his own case, and never hit the true one;
In feelings quick as Ovid's Miss Medea,[52]
He puzzled over what he found a new one,
But not as yet imagined it could be a
Thing quite in course, and not at all alarming,
Which, with a little patience, might grow charming.


Silent and pensive, idle, restless, slow,
His home deserted for the lonely wood,
Tormented with a wound he could not know,
His, like all deep grief, plunged in solitude:
I'm fond myself of solitude or so,
But then, I beg it may be understood,
By solitude I mean a Sultan's (not
A Hermit's), with a haram for a grot.


"Oh Love! in such a wilderness as this,
Where Transport and Security entwine,
Here is the Empire of thy perfect bliss,
And here thou art a God indeed divine."[53]
The bard I quote from does not sing amiss,
With the exception of the second line,
For that same twining "Transport and Security"
Are twisted to a phrase of some obscurity.


The Poet meant, no doubt, and thus appeals
To the good sense and senses of mankind,
The very thing which everybody feels,
As all have found on trial, or may find,
That no one likes to be disturbed at meals
Or love.--I won't say more about "entwined"
Or "Transport," as we knew all that before,
But beg "Security" will bolt the door.


Young Juan wandered by the glassy brooks,
Thinking unutterable things; he threw
Himself at length within the leafy nooks
Where the wild branch of the cork forest grew;
There poets find materials for their books,
And every now and then we read them through,
So that their plan and prosody are eligible,
Unless, like Wordsworth, they prove unintelligible.


He, Juan (and not Wordsworth), so pursued
His self-communion with his own high soul,
Until his mighty heart, in its great mood,
Had mitigated part, though not the whole
Of its disease; he did the best he could
With things not very subject to control,
And turned, without perceiving his condition,
Like Coleridge, into a metaphysician.[54]


He thought about himself, and the whole earth,
Of man the wonderful, and of the stars,
And how the deuce they ever could have birth:
And then he thought of earthquakes, and of wars,
How many miles the moon might have in girth,
Of air-balloons, and of the many bars
To perfect knowledge of the boundless skies;--
And then he thought of Donna Julia's eyes.


In thoughts like these true Wisdom may discern
Longings sublime, and aspirations high,
Which some are born with, but the most part learn
To plague themselves withal, they know not why:
'T was strange that one so young should thus concern
His brain about the action of the sky;[o]
If _you_ think 't was Philosophy that this did,
I can't help thinking puberty assisted.


He pored upon the leaves, and on the flowers,
And heard a voice in all the winds; and then
He thought of wood-nymphs and immortal bowers,
And how the goddesses came down to men:
He missed the pathway, he forgot the hours,
And when he looked upon his watch again,
He found how much old Time had been a winner--
He also found that he had lost his dinner.


Sometimes he turned to gaze upon his book,
Boscan,[55] or Garcilasso;[56]--by the wind
Even as the page is rustled while we look,
So by the poesy of his own mind
Over the mystic leaf his soul was shook,
As if 't were one whereon magicians bind
Their spells, and give them to the passing gale,
According to some good old woman's tale.


Thus would he while his lonely hours away
Dissatisfied, not knowing what he wanted;
Nor glowing reverie, nor poet's lay,
Could yield his spirit that for which it panted,
A bosom whereon he his head might lay,
And hear the heart beat with the love it granted,
With----several other things, which I forget,
Or which, at least, I need not mention yet.


Those lonely walks, and lengthening reveries,
Could not escape the gentle Julia's eyes;
She saw that Juan was not at his ease;
But that which chiefly may, and must surprise,
Is, that the Donna Inez did not tease
Her only son with question or surmise;
Whether it was she did not see, or would not,
Or, like all very clever people, could not.


This may seem strange, but yet 't is very common;
For instance--gentlemen, whose ladies take
Leave to o'erstep the written rights of Woman,
And break the----Which commandment is 't they break?
(I have forgot the number, and think no man
Should rashly quote, for fear of a mistake;)
I say, when these same gentlemen are jealous,
They make some blunder, which their ladies tell us.


A real husband always is suspicious,
But still no less suspects in the wrong place,[p]
Jealous of some one who had no such wishes,
Or pandering blindly to his own disgrace,
By harbouring some dear friend extremely vicious;
The last indeed's infallibly the case:
And when the spouse and friend are gone off wholly,
He wonders at their vice, and not his folly.


Thus parents also are at times short-sighted:
Though watchful as the lynx, they ne'er discover,
The while the wicked world beholds delighted,
Young Hopeful's mistress, or Miss Fanny's lover,
Till some confounded escapade has blighted
The plan of twenty years, and all is over;
And then the mother cries, the father swears,
And wonders why the devil he got heirs.


But Inez was so anxious, and so clear
Of sight, that I must think, on this occasion,
She had some other motive much more near
For leaving Juan to this new temptation,
But what that motive was, I sha'n't say here;
Perhaps to finish Juan's education,
Perhaps to open Don Alfonso's eyes,
In case he thought his wife too great a prize.


It was upon a day, a summer's day;--
Summer's indeed a very dangerous season,
And so is spring about the end of May;
The sun, no doubt, is the prevailing reason;
But whatsoe'er the cause is, one may say,
And stand convicted of more truth than treason,
That there are months which nature grows more merry in,--
March has its hares, and May must have its heroine.


'T was on a summer's day--the sixth of June:
I like to be particular in dates,
Not only of the age, and year, but moon;
They are a sort of post-house, where the Fates
Change horses, making History change its tune,[q]
Then spur away o'er empires and o'er states,
Leaving at last not much besides chronology,
Excepting the post-obits of theology.[r]


'T was on the sixth of June, about the hour
Of half-past six--perhaps still nearer seven--
When Julia sate within as pretty a bower
As e'er held houri in that heathenish heaven
Described by Mahomet, and Anacreon Moore,[57]
To whom the lyre and laurels have been given,
With all the trophies of triumphant song--
He won them well, and may he wear them long!


She sate, but not alone; I know not well
How this same interview had taken place,
And even if I knew, I should not tell--
People should hold their tongues in any case;
No matter how or why the thing befell,
But there were she and Juan, face to face--
When two such faces are so, 't would be wise,
But very difficult, to shut their eyes.


How beautiful she looked! her conscious heart
Glowed in her cheek, and yet she felt no wrong:
Oh Love! how perfect is thy mystic art,
Strengthening the weak, and trampling on the strong!
How self-deceitful is the sagest part
Of mortals whom thy lure hath led along!--
The precipice she stood on was immense,
So was her creed in her own innocence.[s]


She thought of her own strength, and Juan's youth,
And of the folly of all prudish fears,
Victorious Virtue, and domestic Truth,
And then of Don Alfonso's fifty years:
I wish these last had not occurred, in sooth,
Because that number rarely much endears,
And through all climes, the snowy and the sunny,
Sounds ill in love, whate'er it may in money.


When people say, "I've told you _fifty_ times,"
They mean to scold, and very often do;
When poets say, "I've written _fifty_ rhymes,"
They make you dread that they 'll recite them too;
In gangs of _fifty_, thieves commit their crimes;
At _fifty_ love for love is rare, 't is true,
But then, no doubt, it equally as true is,
A good deal may be bought for _fifty_ Louis.


Julia had honour, virtue, truth, and love
For Don Alfonso; and she inly swore,
By all the vows below to Powers above,
She never would disgrace the ring she wore,
Nor leave a wish which wisdom might reprove;
And while she pondered this, besides much more,
One hand on Juan's carelessly was thrown,
Quite by mistake--she thought it was her own;


Unconsciously she leaned upon the other,
Which played within the tangles of her hair;
And to contend with thoughts she could not smother
She seemed by the distraction of her air.
'T was surely very wrong in Juan's mother
To leave together this imprudent pair,[t]
She who for many years had watched her son so--
I'm very certain _mine_ would not have done so.


The hand which still held Juan's, by degrees
Gently, but palpably confirmed its grasp,
As if it said, "Detain me, if you please;"
Yet there's no doubt she only meant to clasp
His fingers with a pure Platonic squeeze;
She would have shrunk as from a toad, or asp,
Had she imagined such a thing could rouse
A feeling dangerous to a prudent spouse.


I cannot know what Juan thought of this,
But what he did, is much what you would do;
His young lip thanked it with a grateful kiss,
And then, abashed at its own joy, withdrew
In deep despair, lest he had done amiss,--
Love is so very timid when 't is new:
She blushed, and frowned not, but she strove to speak,
And held her tongue, her voice was grown so weak.


The sun set, and up rose the yellow moon:
The Devil's in the moon for mischief; they
Who called her CHASTE, methinks, began too soon
Their nomenclature; there is not a day,
The longest, not the twenty-first of June,
Sees half the business in a wicked way,
On which three single hours of moonshine smile--
And then she looks so modest all the while!


There is a dangerous silence in that hour,
A stillness, which leaves room for the full soul
To open all itself, without the power
Of calling wholly back its self-control;
The silver light which, hallowing tree and tower,
Sheds beauty and deep softness o'er the whole,
Breathes also to the heart, and o'er it throws
A loving languor, which is not repose.


And Julia sate with Juan, half embraced
And half retiring from the glowing arm,
Which trembled like the bosom where 't was placed;
Yet still she must have thought there was no harm,
Or else 't were easy to withdraw her waist;
But then the situation had its charm,
And then--God knows what next--I can't go on;
I'm almost sorry that I e'er begun.


Oh Plato! Plato! you have paved the way,
With your confounded fantasies, to more
Immoral conduct by the fancied sway
Your system feigns o'er the controlless core
Of human hearts, than all the long array
Of poets and romancers:--You're a bore,
A charlatan, a coxcomb--and have been,
At best, no better than a go-between.


And Julia's voice was lost, except in sighs,
Until too late for useful conversation;
The tears were gushing from her gentle eyes,
I wish, indeed, they had not had occasion;
But who, alas! can love, and then be wise?
Not that Remorse did not oppose Temptation;
A little still she strove, and much repented,
And whispering "I will ne'er consent"--consented.


'T is said that Xerxes offered a reward[58]
To those who could invent him a new pleasure:
Methinks the requisition's rather hard,
And must have cost his Majesty a treasure:
For my part, I'm a moderate-minded bard,
Fond of a little love (which I call leisure);
I care not for new pleasures, as the old
Are quite enough for me, so they but hold.


Oh Pleasure! you're indeed a pleasant thing,[59]
Although one must be damned for you, no doubt:
I make a resolution every spring
Of reformation, ere the year run out,
But somehow, this my vestal vow takes wing,
Yet still, I trust, it may be kept throughout:
I'm very sorry, very much ashamed,
And mean, next winter, to be quite reclaimed.


Here my chaste Muse a liberty must take--
Start not! still chaster reader--she'll be nice hence-
Forward, and there is no great cause to quake;
This liberty is a poetic licence,
Which some irregularity may make
In the design, and as I have a high sense
Of Aristotle and the Rules, 't is fit
To beg his pardon when I err a bit.


This licence is to hope the reader will
Suppose from June the sixth (the fatal day,
Without whose epoch my poetic skill
For want of facts would all be thrown away),
But keeping Julia and Don Juan still
In sight, that several months have passed; we'll say
'T was in November, but I'm not so sure
About the day--the era's more obscure.


We'll talk of that anon.--'T is sweet to hear
At midnight on the blue and moonlit deep
The song and oar of Adria's gondolier,[60]
By distance mellowed, o'er the waters sweep;
'T is sweet to see the evening star appear;
'T is sweet to listen as the night-winds creep
From leaf to leaf; 't is sweet to view on high
The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky.


'T is sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark
Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home;
'T is sweet to know there is an eye will mark
Our coming, and look brighter when we come;[u]
'T is sweet to be awakened by the lark,
Or lulled by falling waters; sweet the hum
Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds,
The lisp of children, and their earliest words.


Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes
In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth,
Purple and gushing: sweet are our escapes
From civic revelry to rural mirth;
Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps,
Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth,
Sweet is revenge--especially to women--
Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen.


Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet[v]
The unexpected death of some old lady,
Or gentleman of seventy years complete,
Who've made "us youth"[61] wait too--too long already,
For an estate, or cash, or country seat,
Still breaking, but with stamina so steady,
That all the Israelites are fit to mob its
Next owner for their double-damned post-obits.[w]


'T is sweet to win, no matter how, one's laurels,
By blood or ink; 't is sweet to put an end
To strife; 't is sometimes sweet to have our quarrels,
Particularly with a tiresome friend:
Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels;
Dear is the helpless creature we defend
Against the world; and dear the schoolboy spot[62]
We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot.


But sweeter still than this, than these, than all,
Is first and passionate Love--it stands alone,
Like Adam's recollection of his fall;
The Tree of Knowledge has been plucked--all 's known--
And Life yields nothing further to recall
Worthy of this ambrosial sin, so shown,
No doubt in fable, as the unforgiven
Fire which Prometheus filched for us from Heaven.


Man's a strange animal, and makes strange use
Of his own nature, and the various arts,
And likes particularly to produce
Some new experiment to show his parts;
This is the age of oddities let loose,
Where different talents find their different marts;
You'd best begin with truth, and when you've lost your
Labour, there's a sure market for imposture.


What opposite discoveries we have seen!
(Signs of true genius, and of empty pockets.)
One makes new noses[63], one a guillotine,
One breaks your bones, one sets them in their sockets;
But Vaccination certainly has been
A kind antithesis to Congreve's rockets,[64]
With which the Doctor paid off an old pox,
By borrowing a new one from an ox.[65]


Bread has been made (indifferent) from potatoes:
And Galvanism has set some corpses grinning,[66]
But has not answered like the apparatus
Of the Humane Society's beginning,
By which men are unsuffocated gratis:
What wondrous new machines have late been spinning!
I said the small-pox has gone out of late;
Perhaps it may be followed by the great.[67]


'T is said the great came from America;
Perhaps it may set out on its return,--
The population there so spreads, they say
'T is grown high time to thin it in its turn,
With war, or plague, or famine--any way,
So that civilisation they may learn;
And which in ravage the more loathsome evil is--
Their real _lues,_ or our pseudo-syphilis?


This is the patent age of new inventions
For killing bodies, and for saving souls,
All propagated with the best intentions:
Sir Humphry Davy's lantern,[68] by which coals
Are safely mined for in the mode he mentions,
Tombuctoo travels,[69] voyages to the Poles[70]
Are ways to benefit mankind, as true,
Perhaps, as shooting them at Waterloo.


Man's a phenomenon, one knows not what,
And wonderful beyond all wondrous measure;
'T is pity though, in this sublime world, that
Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes Sin's a pleasure;[x]
Few mortals know what end they would be at,
But whether Glory, Power, or Love, or Treasure,
The path is through perplexing ways, and when
The goal is gained, we die, you know--and then----


What then?--I do not know, no more do you--
And so good night.--Return we to our story:
'T was in November, when fine days are few,
And the far mountains wax a little hoary,
And clap a white cape on their mantles blue;[y]
And the sea dashes round the promontory,
And the loud breaker boils against the rock,
And sober suns must set at five o'clock.


'T was, as the watchmen say, a cloudy night;[z]
No moon, no stars, the wind was low or loud
By gusts, and many a sparkling hearth was bright
With the piled wood, round which the family crowd;
There's something cheerful in that sort of light,
Even as a summer sky's without a cloud:
I'm fond of fire, and crickets, and all that,[aa][71]
A lobster salad[72], and champagne, and chat.


'T was midnight--Donna Julia was in bed,
Sleeping, most probably,--when at her door
Arose a clatter might awake the dead,
If they had never been awoke before,
And that they have been so we all have read,
And are to be so, at the least, once more;--
The door was fastened, but with voice and fist
First knocks were heard, then "Madam--Madam--hist!


"For God's sake, Madam--Madam--here's my master,[73]
With more than half the city at his back--Was
ever heard of such a curst disaster!
'T is not my fault--I kept good watch--Alack!
Do pray undo the bolt a little faster--
They're on the stair just now, and in a crack
Will all be here; perhaps he yet may fly--
Surely the window's not so _very_ high!"


By this time Don Alfonso was arrived,
With torches, friends, and servants in great number;
The major part of them had long been wived,
And therefore paused not to disturb the slumber
Of any wicked woman, who contrived
By stealth her husband's temples to encumber:
Examples of this kind are so contagious,
Were _one_ not punished, _all_ would be outrageous.


I can't tell how, or why, or what suspicion
Could enter into Don Alfonso's head;
But for a cavalier of his condition
It surely was exceedingly ill-bred,
Without a word of previous admonition,
To hold a levee round his lady's bed,
And summon lackeys, armed with fire and sword,
To prove himself the thing he most abhorred.


Poor Donna Julia! starting as from sleep,
(Mind--that I do not say--she had not slept),
Began at once to scream, and yawn, and weep;
Her maid, Antonia, who was an adept,
Contrived to fling the bed-clothes in a heap,
As if she had just now from out them crept:[ab]
I can't tell why she should take all this trouble
To prove her mistress had been sleeping double.


But Julia mistress, and Antonia maid,
Appeared like two poor harmless women, who
Of goblins, but still more of men afraid,
Had thought one man might be deterred by two,
And therefore side by side were gently laid,
Until the hours of absence should run through,
And truant husband should return, and say,
"My dear,--I was the first who came away."


Now Julia found at length a voice, and cried,
"In Heaven's name, Don Alfonso, what d' ye mean?
Has madness seized you? would that I had died
Ere such a monster's victim I had been![ac]
What may this midnight violence betide,
A sudden fit of drunkenness or spleen?
Dare you suspect me, whom the thought would kill?
Search, then, the room!"--Alfonso said, "I will."


_He_ searched, _they_ searched, and rummaged everywhere,
Closet and clothes' press, chest and window-seat,
And found much linen, lace, and several pair
Of stockings, slippers, brushes, combs, complete,
With other articles of ladies fair,
To keep them beautiful, or leave them neat:
Arras they pricked and curtains with their swords,
And wounded several shutters, and some boards.


Under the bed they searched, and there they found--
No matter what--it was not that they sought;
They opened windows, gazing if the ground
Had signs or footmarks, but the earth said nought;
And then they stared each others' faces round:
'T is odd, not one of all these seekers thought,
And seems to me almost a sort of blunder,
Of looking _in_ the bed as well as under.


During this inquisition Julia's tongue[ad]
Was not asleep--"Yes, search and search," she cried,
"Insult on insult heap, and wrong on wrong!
It was for this that I became a bride!
For this in silence I have suffered long
A husband like Alfonso at my side;
But now I'll bear no more, nor here remain,
If there be law or lawyers in all Spain.


"Yes, Don Alfonso! husband now no more,
If ever you indeed deserved the name,
Is 't worthy of your years?--you have threescore--
Fifty, or sixty, it is all the same--
Is 't wise or fitting, causeless to explore
For facts against a virtuous woman's fame?
Ungrateful, perjured, barbarous Don Alfonso,
How dare you think your lady would go on so?


"Is it for this I have disdained to hold
The common privileges of my sex?
That I have chosen a confessor so old
And deaf, that any other it would vex,
And never once he has had cause to scold,
But found my very innocence perplex
So much, he always doubted I was married--
How sorry you will be when I've miscarried!


"Was it for this that no Cortejo[74] e'er
I yet have chosen from out the youth of Seville?
Is it for this I scarce went anywhere,
Except to bull-fights, mass, play, rout, and revel?
Is it for this, whate'er my suitors were,
I favoured none--nay, was almost uncivil?
Is it for this that General Count O'Reilly,
Who took Algiers,[75] declares I used him vilely?


"Did not the Italian _Musico_ Cazzani
Sing at my heart six months at least in vain?
Did not his countryman, Count Corniani,[76]
Call me the only virtuous wife in Spain?
Were there not also Russians, English, many?
The Count Strongstroganoff I put in pain,
And Lord Mount Coffeehouse, the Irish peer,
Who killed himself for love (with wine) last year.


"Have I not had two bishops at my feet?
The Duke of Ichar, and Don Fernan Nunez;
And is it thus a faithful wife you treat?
I wonder in what quarter now the moon is:
I praise your vast forbearance not to beat
Me also, since the time so opportune is--
Oh, valiant man! with sword drawn and cocked trigger,
Now, tell me, don't you cut a pretty figure?


"Was it for this you took your sudden journey,
Under pretence of business indispensable
With that sublime of rascals your attorney,
Whom I see standing there, and looking sensible
Of having played the fool? though both I spurn, he
Deserves the worst, his conduct's less defensible,
Because, no doubt, 't was for his dirty fee,
And not from any love to you nor me.


"If he comes here to take a deposition,
By all means let the gentleman proceed;
You've made the apartment in a fit condition:--
There's pen and ink for you, sir, when you need--
Let everything be noted with precision,
I would not you for nothing should be fee'd--
But, as my maid's undressed, pray turn your spies out."
"Oh!" sobbed Antonia, "I could tear their eyes out."


"There is the closet, there the toilet, there
The antechamber--search them under, over;
There is the sofa, there the great arm-chair,
The chimney--which would really hold a lover.[ae]
I wish to sleep, and beg you will take care
And make no further noise, till you discover
The secret cavern of this lurking treasure--
And when 't is found, let me, too, have that pleasure.


"And now, Hidalgo! now that you have thrown
Doubt upon me, confusion over all,
Pray have the courtesy to make it known
_Who_ is the man you search for? how d' ye call
Him? what's his lineage? let him but be shown--
I hope he's young and handsome--is he tall?
Tell me--and be assured, that since you stain
My honour thus, it shall not be in vain.


"At least, perhaps, he has not sixty years,
At that age he would be too old for slaughter,
Or for so young a husband's jealous fears--
(Antonia! let me have a glass of water.)
I am ashamed of having shed these tears,
They are unworthy of my father's daughter;
My mother dreamed not in my natal hour,
That I should fall into a monster's power.


"Perhaps 't is of Antonia you are jealous,
You saw that she was sleeping by my side,
When you broke in upon us with your fellows:
Look where you please--we've nothing, sir, to hide;
Only another time, I trust, you'll tell us,
Or for the sake of decency abide
A moment at the door, that we may be
Dressed to receive so much good company.


"And now, sir, I have done, and say no more;
The little I have said may serve to show
The guileless heart in silence may grieve o'er[af]
The wrongs to whose exposure it is slow:--
I leave you to your conscience as before,
'T will one day ask you _why_ you used me so?
God grant you feel not then the bitterest grief!--
Antonia! where's my pocket-handkerchief?"


She ceased, and turned upon her pillow; pale
She lay, her dark eyes flashing through their tears,
Like skies that rain and lighten; as a veil,
Waved and o'ershading her wan cheek, appears
Her streaming hair; the black curls strive, but fail
To hide the glossy shoulder, which uprears
Its snow through all;--her soft lips lie apart,
And louder than her breathing beats her heart.


The Senhor Don Alfonso stood confused;
Antonia bustled round the ransacked room,
And, turning up her nose, with looks abused
Her master, and his myrmidons, of whom
Not one, except the attorney, was amused;
He, like Achates, faithful to the tomb,
So there were quarrels, cared not for the cause,
Knowing they must be settled by the laws.


With prying snub-nose, and small eyes, he stood,
Following Antonia's motions here and there,
With much suspicion in his attitude;
For reputations he had little care;
So that a suit or action were made good,
Small pity had he for the young and fair,
And ne'er believed in negatives, till these
Were proved by competent false witnesses.


But Don Alfonso stood with downcast looks,
And, truth to say, he made a foolish figure;
When, after searching in five hundred nooks,
And treating a young wife with so much rigour,
He gained no point, except some self-rebukes,
Added to those his lady with such vigour
Had poured upon him for the last half-hour,
Quick, thick, and heavy--as a thunder-shower.


At first he tried to hammer an excuse,
To which the sole reply was tears, and sobs,
And indications of hysterics, whose
Prologue is always certain throes, and throbs,
Gasps, and whatever else the owners choose:
Alfonso saw his wife, and thought of Job's;[77]
He saw too, in perspective, her relations,
And then he tried to muster all his patience.


He stood in act to speak, or rather stammer,
But sage Antonia cut him short before
The anvil of his speech received the hammer,
With "Pray, sir, leave the room, and say no more,
Or madam dies."--Alfonso muttered, "D--n her,"[78]
But nothing else, the time of words was o'er;
He cast a rueful look or two, and did,
He knew not wherefore, that which he was bid.


With him retired his _"posse comitatus,"_
The attorney last, who lingered near the door
Reluctantly, still tarrying there as late as
Antonia let him--not a little sore
At this most strange and unexplained "_hiatus_"
In Don Alfonso's facts, which just now wore
An awkward look; as he revolved the case,
The door was fastened in his legal face.


No sooner was it bolted, than--Oh Shame!
Oh Sin! Oh Sorrow! and Oh Womankind!
How can you do such things and keep your fame,
Unless this world, and t' other too, be blind?
Nothing so dear as an unfilched good name!
But to proceed--for there is more behind:
With much heartfelt reluctance be it said,
Young Juan slipped, half-smothered, from the bed.


He had been hid--I don't pretend to say
How, nor can I indeed describe the where--
Young, slender, and packed easily, he lay,
No doubt, in little compass, round or square;
But pity him I neither must nor may
His suffocation by that pretty pair;
'T were better, sure, to die so, than be shut
With maudlin Clarence in his Malmsey butt.[ag]


And, secondly, I pity not, because
He had no business to commit a sin,
Forbid by heavenly, fined by human laws;--
At least 't was rather early to begin,
But at sixteen the conscience rarely gnaws
So much as when we call our old debts in
At sixty years, and draw the accompts of evil,
And find a deuced balance with the Devil.[ah]


Of his position I can give no notion:
'T is written in the Hebrew Chronicle,
How the physicians, leaving pill and potion,
Prescribed, by way of blister, a young belle,
When old King David's blood grew dull in motion,
And that the medicine answered very well;
Perhaps 't was in a different way applied,
For David lived, but Juan nearly died.


What's to be done? Alfonso will be back
The moment he has sent his fools away.
Antonia's skill was put upon the rack,
But no device could be brought into play--
And how to parry the renewed attack?
Besides, it wanted but few hours of day:
Antonia puzzled; Julia did not speak,
But pressed her bloodless lip to Juan's cheek.


He turned his lip to hers, and with his hand
Called back the tangles of her wandering hair;
Even then their love they could not all command,
And half forgot their danger and despair:
Antonia's patience now was at a stand--
"Come, come, 't is no time now for fooling there,"
She whispered, in great wrath--"I must deposit
This pretty gentleman within the closet:


"Pray, keep your nonsense for some luckier night--
_Who_ can have put my master in this mood?
What will become on 't--I'm in such a fright,
The Devil's in the urchin, and no good--
Is this a time for giggling? this a plight?
Why, don't you know that it may end in blood?
You'll lose your life, and I shall lose my place,
My mistress all, for that half-girlish face.


"Had it but been for a stout cavalier[79]
Of twenty-five or thirty--(come, make haste)
But for a child, what piece of work is here!
I really, madam, wonder at your taste--
(Come, sir, get in)--my master must be near:
There, for the present, at the least, he's fast,
And if we can but till the morning keep
Our counsel--(Juan, mind, you must not sleep.)"


Now, Don Alfonso entering, but alone,
Closed the oration of the trusty maid:
She loitered, and he told her to be gone,
An order somewhat sullenly obeyed;
However, present remedy was none,
And no great good seemed answered if she staid:
Regarding both with slow and sidelong view,
She snuffed the candle, curtsied, and withdrew.


Alfonso paused a minute--then begun
Some strange excuses for his late proceeding;
He would not justify what he had done,
To say the best, it was extreme ill-breeding;
But there were ample reasons for it, none
Of which he specified in this his pleading:
His speech was a fine sample, on the whole,
Of rhetoric, which the learned call "_rigmarole._"


Julia said nought; though all the while there rose
A ready answer, which at once enables
A matron, who her husband's foible knows,
By a few timely words to turn the tables,
Which, if it does not silence, still must pose,--
Even if it should comprise a pack of fables;
'T is to retort with firmness, and when he
Suspects with _one_, do you reproach with _three_.


Julia, in fact, had tolerable grounds,--
Alfonso's loves with Inez were well known;
But whether 't was that one's own guilt confounds--
But that can't be, as has been often shown,
A lady with apologies abounds;--
It might be that her silence sprang alone
From delicacy to Don Juan's ear,
To whom she knew his mother's fame was dear.


There might be one more motive, which makes two;
Alfonso ne'er to Juan had alluded,--
Mentioned his jealousy, but never who
Had been the happy lover, he concluded,
Concealed amongst his premises; 't is true,
His mind the more o'er this its mystery brooded;
To speak of Inez now were, one may say,
Like throwing Juan in Alfonso's way.


A hint, in tender cases, is enough;
Silence is best: besides, there is a _tact_[80]--
(That modern phrase appears to me sad stuff,
But it will serve to keep my verse compact)--
Which keeps, when pushed by questions rather rough,
A lady always distant from the fact:
The charming creatures lie with such a grace,
There's nothing so becoming to the face.


They blush, and we believe them; at least I
Have always done so; 't is of no great use,
In any case, attempting a reply,
For then their eloquence grows quite profuse;
And when at length they're out of breath, they sigh,
And cast their languid eyes down, and let loose
A tear or two, and then we make it up;
And then--and then--and then--sit down and sup.


Alfonso closed his speech, and begged her pardon,
Which Julia half withheld, and then half granted,
And laid conditions he thought very hard on,
Denying several little things he wanted:
He stood like Adam lingering near his garden,
With useless penitence perplexed and haunted;[ai]
Beseeching she no further would refuse,
When, lo! he stumbled o'er a pair of shoes.


A pair of shoes![81]--what then? not much, if they
Are such as fit with ladies' feet, but these
(No one can tell how much I grieve to say)
Were masculine; to see them, and to seize,
Was but a moment's act.--Ah! well-a-day!
My teeth begin to chatter, my veins freeze!
Alfonso first examined well their fashion,
And then flew out into another passion.


He left the room for his relinquished sword,
And Julia instant to the closet flew.
"Fly, Juan, fly! for Heaven's sake--not a word--
The door is open--you may yet slip through
The passage you so often have explored--
Here is the garden-key--Fly--fly--Adieu!
Haste--haste! I hear Alfonso's hurrying feet--
Day has not broke--there's no one in the street."


None can say that this was not good advice,
The only mischief was, it came too late;
Of all experience 't is the usual price,
A sort of income-tax laid on by fate:
Juan had reached the room-door in a trice,
And might have done so by the garden-gate,
But met Alfonso in his dressing-gown,
Who threatened death--so Juan knocked him down.


Dire was the scuffle, and out went the light;
Antonia cried out "Rape!" and Julia "Fire!"
But not a servant stirred to aid the fight.
Alfonso, pommelled to his heart's desire,
Swore lustily he'd be revenged this night;
And Juan, too, blasphemed an octave higher;
His blood was up: though young, he was a Tartar,
And not at all disposed to prove a martyr.


Alfonso's sword had dropped ere he could draw it,
And they continued battling hand to hand,
For Juan very luckily ne'er saw it;
His temper not being under great command,
If at that moment he had chanced to claw it,
Alfonso's days had not been in the land
Much longer.--Think of husbands', lovers' lives!
And how ye may be doubly widows--wives!


Alfonso grappled to detain the foe,
And Juan throttled him to get away,
And blood ('t was from the nose) began to flow;
At last, as they more faintly wrestling lay,
Juan contrived to give an awkward blow,
And then his only garment quite gave way;
He fled, like Joseph, leaving it; but there,
I doubt, all likeness ends between the pair.


Lights came at length, and men, and maids, who found
An awkward spectacle their eyes before;
Antonia in hysterics, Julia swooned,
Alfonso leaning, breathless, by the door;
Some half-torn drapery scattered on the ground,
Some blood, and several footsteps, but no more:
Juan the gate gained, turned the key about,
And liking not the inside, locked the out.


Here ends this canto.--Need I sing, or say,
How Juan, naked, favoured by the night,
Who favours what she should not, found his way,[aj]
And reached his home in an unseemly plight?
The pleasant scandal which arose next day,
The nine days' wonder which was brought to light,
And how Alfonso sued for a divorce,
Were in the English newspapers, of course.


If you would like to see the whole proceedings,
The depositions, and the Cause at full,
The names of all the witnesses, the pleadings
Of Counsel to nonsuit, or to annul,
There's more than one edition, and the readings
Are various, but they none of them are dull:
The best is that in short-hand ta'en by Gurney,[82]
Who to Madrid on purpose made a journey.[83]


But Donna Inez, to divert the train
Of one of the most circulating scandals
That had for centuries been known in Spain,
At least since the retirement of the Vandals,
First vowed (and never had she vowed in vain)
To Virgin Mary several pounds of candles;
And then, by the advice of some old ladies,
She sent her son to be shipped off from Cadiz.


She had resolved that he should travel through
All European climes, by land or sea,
To mend his former morals, and get new,
Especially in France and Italy--
(At least this is the thing most people do.)
Julia was sent into a convent--she
Grieved--but, perhaps, her feelings may be better[ak]
Shown in the following copy of her Letter:--


"They tell me 't is decided you depart:
'T is wise--'t is well, but not the less a pain;
I have no further claim on your young heart,
Mine is the victim, and would be again:
To love too much has been the only art
I used;--I write in haste, and if a stain
Be on this sheet, 't is not what it appears;
My eyeballs burn and throb, but have no tears.


"I loved, I love you, for this love have lost
State, station, Heaven, Mankind's, my own esteem,
And yet can not regret what it hath cost,
So dear is still the memory of that dream;
Yet, if I name my guilt, 't is not to boast,
None can deem harshlier of me than I deem:
I trace this scrawl because I cannot rest--
I've nothing to reproach, or to request.


"Man's love is of man's life a thing apart,[al]
'T is a Woman's whole existence; Man may range
The Court, Camp, Church, the Vessel, and the Mart;
Sword, Gown, Gain, Glory, offer in exchange
Pride, Fame, Ambition, to fill up his heart,
And few there are whom these can not estrange;
Men have all these resources, We but one,[84]
To love again, and be again undone."[am]


"You will proceed in pleasure, and in pride,[an]
Beloved and loving many; all is o'er
For me on earth, except some years to hide
My shame and sorrow deep in my heart's core:
These I could bear, but cannot cast aside
The passion which still rages as before,--
And so farewell--forgive me, love me--No,
That word is idle now--but let it go.[ao]


"My breast has been all weakness, is so yet;
But still I think I can collect my mind;[ap]
My blood still rushes where my spirit's set,
As roll the waves before the settled wind;
My heart is feminine, nor can forget--
To all, except one image, madly blind;
So shakes the needle, and so stands the pole,
As vibrates my fond heart to my fixed soul.[aq]


"I have no more to say, but linger still,
And dare not set my seal upon this sheet,
And yet I may as well the task fulfil,
My misery can scarce be more complete;
I had not lived till now, could sorrow kill;
Death shuns the wretch who fain the blow would meet,
And I must even survive this last adieu,
And bear with life, to love and pray for you!"


This note was written upon gilt-edged paper
With a neat little crow-quill, slight and new;[ar]
Her small white hand could hardly reach the taper,
It trembled as magnetic needles do,
And yet she did not let one tear escape her;
The seal a sun-flower; _"Elle vous suit partout,"_[85]
The motto cut upon a white cornelian;
The wax was superfine, its hue vermilion.


This was Don Juan's earliest scrape; but whether
I shall proceed with his adventures is
Dependent on the public altogether;
We'll see, however, what they say to this:
Their favour in an author's cap's a feather,
And no great mischief's done by their caprice;
And if their approbation we experience,
Perhaps they'll have some more about a year hence.


My poem's epic, and is meant to be
Divided in twelve books; each book containing,
With Love, and War, a heavy gale at sea,
A list of ships, and captains, and kings reigning,
New characters; the episodes are three:[as]
A panoramic view of Hell's in training,
After the style of Virgil and of Homer,
So that my name of Epic's no misnomer.


All these things will be specified in time,
With strict regard to Aristotle's rules,
The _Vade Mecum_ of the true sublime,
Which makes so many poets, and some fools:
Prose poets like blank-verse, I'm fond of rhyme,
Good workmen never quarrel with their tools;
I've got new mythological machinery,
And very handsome supernatural scenery.


There's only one slight difference between
Me and my epic brethren gone before,
And here the advantage is my own, I ween
(Not that I have not several merits more,
But this will more peculiarly be seen);
They so embellish, that 't is quite a bore
Their labyrinth of fables to thread through,
Whereas this story's actually true.


If any person doubt it, I appeal
To History, Tradition, and to Facts,
To newspapers, whose truth all know and feel,
To plays in five, and operas in three acts;[at]
All these confirm my statement a good deal,
But that which more completely faith exacts
Is, that myself, and several now in Seville,
_Saw_ Juan's last elopement with the Devil.


If ever I should condescend to prose,
I'll write poetical commandments, which
Shall supersede beyond all doubt all those
That went before; in these I shall enrich
My text with many things that no one knows,
And carry precept to the highest pitch:
I'll call the work "Longinus o'er a Bottle,[au]
Or, Every Poet his _own_ Aristotle."


Thou shalt believe in Milton, Dryden, Pope;
Thou shalt not set up Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey;
Because the first is crazed beyond all hope,
The second drunk,[86] the third so quaint and mouthy:
With Crabbe it may be difficult to cope,
And Campbell's Hippocrene is somewhat drouthy:
Thou shalt not steal from Samuel Rogers, nor
Commit--flirtation with the muse of Moore.


Thou shalt not covet Mr. Sotheby's Muse,
His Pegasus, nor anything that's his;
Thou shalt not bear false witness like "the Blues"--
(There's _one_, at least, is very fond of this);
Thou shalt not write, in short, but what I choose:
This is true criticism, and you may kiss--
Exactly as you please, or not,--the rod;
But if you don't, I'll lay it on, by G--d!


If any person should presume to assert
This story is not moral, first, I pray,
That they will not cry out before they're hurt,
Then that they'll read it o'er again, and say
(But, doubtless, nobody will be so pert)
That this is not a moral tale, though gay:
Besides, in Canto Twelfth, I mean to show
The very place where wicked people go.


If, after all, there should be some so blind
To their own good this warning to despise,
Led by some tortuosity of mind,
Not to believe my verse and their own eyes,
And cry that they "the moral cannot find,"
I tell him, if a clergyman, he lies;
Should captains the remark, or critics, make,
They also lie too--under a mistake.


The public approbation I expect,
And beg they'll take my word about the moral,
Which I with their amusement will connect
(So children cutting teeth receive a coral);
Meantime they'll doubtless please to recollect
My epical pretensions to the laurel:
For fear some prudish readers should grow skittish,
I've bribed my Grandmother's Review--the British.[87]


I sent it in a letter to the Editor,
Who thanked me duly by return of post--
I'm for a handsome article his creditor;
Yet, if my gentle Muse he please to roast,
And break a promise after having made it her,
Denying the receipt of what it cost,
And smear his page with gall instead of honey,
All I can say is--that he had the money.


I think that with this holy _new_ alliance
I may ensure the public, and defy
All other magazines of art or science,
Daily, or monthly, or three monthly; I
Have not essayed to multiply their clients,
Because they tell me 't were in vain to try,
And that the Edinburgh Review and Quarterly
Treat a dissenting author very martyrly.


"_Non ego hoc ferrem calidus juventâ
Consule Planco_"[88] Horace said, and so
Say I; by which quotation there is meant a
Hint that some six or seven good years ago
(Long ere I dreamt of dating from the Brenta)
I was most ready to return a blow,
And would not brook at all this sort of thing
In my hot youth--when George the Third was King.


But now at thirty years my hair is grey--
(I wonder what it will be like at forty?
I thought of a peruke the other day--)[av]
My heart is not much greener; and, in short, I
Have squandered my whole summer while 't was May,
And feel no more the spirit to retort; I
Have spent my life, both interest and principal,
And deem not, what I deemed--my soul invincible.


No more--no more--Oh! never more on me
The freshness of the heart can fall like dew,
Which out of all the lovely things we see
Extracts emotions beautiful and new,
Hived[89] in our bosoms like the bag o' the bee.
Think'st thou the honey with those objects grew?
Alas! 't was not in them, but in thy power
To double even the sweetness of a flower.


No more--no more--Oh! never more, my heart,
Canst thou be my sole world, my universe!
Once all in all, but now a thing apart,
Thou canst not be my blessing or my curse:
The illusion's gone for ever, and thou art
Insensible, I trust, but none the worse,
And in thy stead I've got a deal of judgment,
Though Heaven knows how it ever found a lodgment.


My days of love are over; me no more[90]
The charms of maid, wife, and still less of widow,
Can make the fool of which they made before,--
In short, I must not lead the life I did do;
The credulous hope of mutual minds is o'er,
The copious use of claret is forbid too,
So for a good old-gentlemanly vice,
I think I must take up with avarice.


Ambition was my idol, which was broken
Before the shrines of Sorrow, and of Pleasure;
And the two last have left me many a token
O'er which reflection may be made at leisure:
Now, like Friar Bacon's Brazen Head, I've spoken,
"Time is, Time was, Time's past:"[91]--a chymic treasure
Is glittering Youth, which I have spent betimes--
My heart in passion, and my head on rhymes.


What is the end of Fame? 't is but to fill
A certain portion of uncertain paper:
Some liken it to climbing up a hill,
Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour;[92]
For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill,
And bards burn what they call their "midnight taper,"
To have, when the original is dust,
A name, a wretched picture and worse bust.[aw][93]


What are the hopes of man? Old Egypt's King
Cheops erected the first Pyramid
And largest, thinking it was just the thing
To keep his memory whole, and mummy hid;
But somebody or other rummaging,
Burglariously broke his coffin's lid:
Let not a monument give you or me hopes,
Since not a pinch of dust remains of Cheops.[94]


But I, being fond of true philosophy,
Say very often to myself, "Alas!
All things that have been born were born to die,
And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass;
You've passed your youth not so unpleasantly,
And if you had it o'er again--'t would pass--
So thank your stars that matters are no worse,
And read your Bible, sir, and mind your purse."


But for the present, gentle reader! and
Still gentler purchaser! the Bard--that's I--
Must, with permission, shake you by the hand,[ax]
And so--"your humble servant, and Good-bye!"
We meet again, if we should understand
Each other; and if not, I shall not try
Your patience further than by this short sample--
'T were well if others followed my example.


"Go, little Book, from this my solitude!
I cast thee on the waters--go thy ways!
And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,
The World will find thee after many days."[95]
When Southey's read, and Wordsworth understood,
I can't help putting in my claim to praise--
The four first rhymes are Southey's every line:
For God's sake, reader! take them not for mine.

Nov. 1, 1818.


{11}[14] [Begun at Venice, September 6; finished November 1, 1818.]

[15] [The pantomime which Byron and his readers "all had seen," was an
abbreviated and bowdlerized version of Shadwell's _Libertine_. "First
produced by Mr. Garrick on the boards of Drury Lane Theatre," it was
recomposed by Charles Anthony Delpini, and performed at the Royalty
Theatre, in Goodman's Fields, in 1787. It was entitled _Don Juan; or,
The Libertine Destroyed_: A Tragic Pantomimical Entertainment, In Two
Acts. Music Composed by Mr. Gluck. "Scaramouch," the "Sganarelle" of
Molière's _Festin de Pierre_, was a favourite character of Joseph
Grimaldi. He was cast for the part, in 1801, at Sadler's Wells, and,
again, on a memorable occasion, November 28, 1809, at Covent Garden
Theatre, when the O.P. riots were in full swing, and (see the _Morning
Chronicle_, November 29, 1809) "there was considerable tumult in the
pit." According to "Boz" (_Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi_, 1846, ii. 81,
106, 107), Byron patronized Grimaldi's "benefits at Covent Garden," was
repeatedly in his company, and when he left England, in 1816, "presented
him with a valuable silver snuff-box." At the end of the pantomime "the
Furies gather round him [Don Juan], and the Tyrant being bound in chains
is hurried away and thrown into flames." The Devil is conspicuous by his

{12}[16] [Edward Vernon, Admiral (1684-1757), took Porto Bello in 1739.

William Augustus, second son of George II. (1721-1765), fought at the
battles of Dettingen, 1743; Fontenoy, 1745; and at Culloden, 1746. For
the "severity of the Duke of Cumberland," see Scott's _Tales of a
Grandfather_, _Prose Works_, 1830, vii. 852, _sq_.

James Wolfe, General, born January 2, 1726, was killed at the siege of
Quebec, September 13, 1759.

Edward, Lord Hawke, Admiral (1715-1781), totally defeated the French
fleet in Quiberon Bay, November 20, 1759.

Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick (1721-1792), gained the victory at Minden,
August 1, 1759.

John Manners, Marquess of Granby (1721-1790), commanded the British
forces in Germany (1766-1769).

John Burgoyne, General, defeated the Americans at Germantown, October 3,
1777, but surrendered to General Gates at Saratoga, October 17, 1778. He
died in 1792.

Augustus, Viscount Keppel, Admiral (1725-1786), was tried by
court-martial, January-February, 1779, for allowing the French fleet off
Ushant to escape, July, 1778. He was honourably acquitted.

Richard, Earl Howe, Admiral (1725-1799), known by the sailors as "Black
Dick," defeated the French off Ushant, June 1, 1794.]

[17] [Compare _Macbeth_, act iv. sc. i, line 65.]

[18] ["In the eighth and concluding lecture of Mr. Hazlitt's canons of
criticism, delivered at the Surrey Institution (_The English Poets_,
1870, pp. 203, 204), I am accused of having 'lauded Buonaparte to the
skies in the hour of his success, and then peevishly wreaking my
disappointment on the god of my idolatry.' The first lines I ever wrote
upon Buonaparte were the 'Ode to Napoleon,' after his abdication in
1814. All that I have ever written on that subject has been done since
his decline;--I never 'met him in the hour of his success.' I have
considered his character at different periods, in its strength and in
its weakness: by his zealots I am accused of injustice--by his enemies
as his warmest partisan, in many publications, both English and foreign.

"For the accuracy of my delineation I have high authority. A year and
some months ago, I had the pleasure of seeing at Venice my friend the
honourable Douglas Kinnaird. In his way through Germany, he told me that
he had been honoured with a presentation to, and some interviews with,
one of the nearest family connections of Napoleon (Eugène Beauharnais).
During one of these, he read and translated the lines alluding to
Buonaparte, in the Third Canto of _Childe Harold_. He informed me, that
he was authorized by the illustrious personage--(still recognized as
such by the Legitimacy in Europe)--to whom they were read, to say, _that
'the delineation was complete,'_ or words to this effect. It is no
puerile vanity which induces me to publish this fact;--but Mr. Hazlitt
accuses my inconsistency, and infers my inaccuracy. Perhaps he will
admit that, with regard to the latter, one of the most intimate family
connections of the Emperor may be equally capable of deciding on the
subject. I tell Mr. Hazlitt that I never flattered Napoleon on the
throne, nor maligned him since his fall. I wrote what I think are the
incredible antitheses of his character.

"Mr. Hazlitt accuses me further of delineating _myself_ in _Childe
Harold_, etc., etc. I have denied this long ago--but, even were it true,
Locke tells us, that all his knowledge of human understanding was
derived from studying his own mind. From Mr. Hazlitt's opinion of my
poetry I do not appeal; but I request that gentleman not to insult me by
imputing the basest of crimes,--viz. 'praising publicly the same man
whom I wished to depreciate in his adversity:'--the _first_ lines I ever
wrote on Buonaparte were in his dispraise, in 1814,--the _last_, though
not at all in his favour, were more impartial and discriminative, in
1818. Has he become more fortunate since 1814?" For Byron's various
estimates of Napoleon's character and career, see _Childe Harold_, Canto
III, stanza xxxvi. line 7, _Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 238, note 1.]

{13}[19] [Charles François Duperier Dumouriez (1739-1823) defeated the
Austrians at Jemappes, November 6, 1792, etc. He published his
_Mémoires_ (Hamburg et Leipsic), 1794. For the spelling, see _Memoirs of
General Dumourier_, written by himself, translated by John Fenwick.
London, 1794. See, too, _Lettre de Joseph Servan_, Ex-ministre de la
Guerre, _Sur le mémoire lu par M. Dumourier le 13 Juin à l'Assemblée
Nationale; Bibiothèque Historique de la Révolution_, "Justifications,"
7, 8, 9.]

[20] [Antoine Pierre Joseph Barnave, born 1761, was appointed President
of the Constituent Assembly in 1790. He was guillotined November 30,

Jean Pierre Brissot de Warville, philosopher and politician, born
January 14, 1754, was one of the principal instigators of the revolt of
the Champ de Mars, July, 1789. He was guillotined October 31, 1793.

Marie Jean Antoine, Marquis de Condorcet, born September 17, 1743, was
appointed President of the Legislative Assembly in 1792. Proscribed by
the Girondins, he poisoned himself to escape the guillotine, March 28,

Honoré Gabriel Riquetti, Comte de Mirabeau, born March 9, 1749, died
April 2, 1791.

Jérôme Petion de Villeneuve, born 1753, Mayor of Paris in 1791, took an
active part in the imprisonment of the king. In 1793 he fell under
Robespierre's displeasure, and to escape proscription took refuge in the
department of Calvados. In 1794 his body was found in a field, half
eaten by wolves.

Jean Baptiste, Baron de Clootz (better known as Anacharsis Clootz), was
born in 1755. In 1790, at the bar of the National Convention, he
described himself as the "Speaker of Mankind." Being suspected by
Robespierre, he was condemned to death, March 24, 1794. On the scaffold
he begged to be executed last, "in order to establish certain
principles." (See Carlyle's _French Revolution_, 1839, iii. 315.)

Georges Jacques Danton, born October 28, 1759, helped to establish the
Revolutionary Tribunal, March 10, and the Committee of Public Safety,
April 6, 1793; agreed to proscription of the Girondists, June, 1793; was
executed with Camille Desmoulins and others, April 5, 1794.

Jean Paul Marat, born May 24, 1744, physician and man of science,
proposed and carried out the wholesale massacre of September 2-5, 1792;
was denounced to, but acquitted by, the Revolutionary Tribunal, May,
1793; assassinated by Charlotte Corday, July 13, 1793.

Marie Jean Paul, Marquis de La Fayette, born September 6, 1757, died May
19, 1834.

With the exception of La Fayette, who outlived Byron by ten years, and
Lord St. Vincent, all "the famous persons" mentioned in stanzas ii.-iv.
had passed away long before the First Canto of _Don Juan_ was written.]

{14}[21] [Barthélemi Catherine Joubert, born April 14, 1769,
distinguished himself at the engagements of Cava, Montebello, Rivoli,
and in the Tyrol. He was afterwards sent to oppose Suvóroff, and was
killed at Novi, August 15, 1799.

For Hoche and Marceau, _vide ante, Poetical Works_, 1899, ii. 296.

Jean Lannes, Duke of Montebello, born April 11, 1769, distinguished
himself at Lodi, Aboukir, Acre, Austerlitz, Jena and, lastly, at
Essling, where he was mortally wounded. He died May 31, 1809.

Louis Charles Antoine Desaix de Voygoux, born August 27, 1768, won the
victory at the Pyramids, July 21, 1798. He was mortally wounded at
Marengo, June 14, 1800.

Jean Victor Moreau, born August 11, 1763, was victorious at Engen, May
3, and at Hohenlinden, December 3, 1800. He was struck by a cannon-ball
at the battle of Dresden, August 27, and died September 2, 1813.]

{15}[22] [Hor., _Od._, iv. c. ix. 1. 25--
"Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona," etc.]

[23] [Hor., _Epist. Ad Pisones_, lines 148, 149--
"Semper ad eventum festinat, et in medias res,
Non secus ac notas, auditorem rapit--"]

[24] ["Quien no ha visto Sevilla, no ha visto maravilla."]

{16}[25] [In his reply to _Blackwood_ (No. xxix. August, 1819), Byron
somewhat disingenuously rebuts the charge that _Don Juan_ contained "an
elaborate satire on the character and manners of his wife." "If," he
writes, "in a poem by no means ascertained to be my production there
appears a disagreeable, casuistical, and by no means respectable female
pedant, it is set down for my wife. Is there any resemblance? If there
be, it is in those who make it--I can see none."--Letters, 1900, iv.
477. The allusions in stanzas xii.-xiv., and, again, in stanzas
xxvii.-xxix., are, and must have been meant to be, unmistakable.]

[26] [Gregor von Feinagle, born? 1765, was the inventor of a system of
mnemonics, "founded on the topical memory of the ancients," as described
by Cicero and Quinctilian. He lectured, in 1811, at the Royal
Institution and elsewhere. When Rogers was asked if he attended the
lectures, he replied, "No; I wished to learn the Art of Forgetting"
(_Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers_, 1856, p. 42).]

_Little she spoke--but what she spoke was Attic all_,
_With words and deeds in perfect unanimity._--[MS.]

[27] [Sir Samuel Romilly, born 1757, lost his wife on the 29th of
October, and committed suicide on the 2nd of November, 1818.--"But there
will come a day of reckoning, even if I should not live to see it. I
have at least seen Romilly shivered, who was one of the assassins. When
that felon or lunatic ... was doing his worst to uproot my whole family,
tree, branch, and blossoms--when, after taking my retainer, he went over
to them [see _Letters_, 1899, iii. 324]--when he was bringing desolation
... on my household gods--did he think that, in less than three years, a
natural event--a severe, domestic, but an unexpected and common
calamity--would lay his carcase in a cross-road, or stamp his name in a
verdict of Lunacy! Did he (who in his drivelling sexagenary dotage had
not the courage to survive his Nurse--for what else was a wife to him at
his time of life?)--reflect or consider what _my_ feelings must have
been, when wife, and child, and sister, and name, and fame, and country,
were to be my sacrifice on his legal altar,--and this at a moment when
my health was declining, my fortune embarrassed, and my mind had been
shaken by many kinds of disappointment--while I was yet young, and might
have reformed what might be wrong in my conduct, and retrieved what was
perplexing in my affairs! But the wretch is in his grave," etc.-Letter
to Murray, June 7, 1819, _Letters_, 1900, iv. 316.]

[28] [Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849) published _Castle Rackrent_, etc.,
etc., etc., in 1800. "In 1813," says Byron, "I recollect to have met
them [the Edgeworths] in the fashionable world of London.... She was a
nice little unassuming 'Jeannie Deans-looking body,' as we Scotch say;
and if not handsome, certainly not ill-looking" (_Diary_, January 19,
1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 177-179).]

[29] [Sarah Trimmer (1741-1810) published, in 1782, _Easy Introduction
to the Study of Nature_; _History of the Robins_ (dedicated to the
Princess Sophia) in 1786, etc.]

[30] [Hannah More (1745-1833) published _Coelebs in Search of a Wife_ in

[31] [Pope, _Rape of the Lock_, Canto II, line 17.]

{19}[32] [John Harrison (1693-1776), known as "Longitude" Harrison, was
the inventor of watch compensation. He received, in slowly and
reluctantly paid instalments, a sum of £20,000 from the Government, for
producing a chronometer which should determine the longitude within half
a degree. A watch which contained his latest improvements was worn by
Captain Cook during his three years' circumnavigation of the globe.]

[33] "Description des _vertus incomparables_ de l'Huile de Macassar."
See the Advertisement. [_An Historical, Philosophical and Practical
Essay on the Human Hair_, was published by Alexander Rowland, jun., in
1816. It was inscribed, "To her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte of
Wales and Cobourg."]

[b] _Where all was innocence and quiet bliss_.--[MS.]

[c] _And so she seemed, in all outside formalities_.--[MS.]

[34] ["'Zounds, an I were now by this rascal, I could brain him with his
lady's fan."--I _Henry IV._, act ii, sc 3, lines 19, 20.]

{21}[d] _Wishing each other damned, divorced, or dead_.--[MS.]

[35] [According to Medwin (_Conversations_, 1824, p. 55), Byron "was
surprised one day by a Doctor and a Lawyer almost forcing themselves at
the same time into my room. I did not know," he adds, "till afterwards
the real object of their visit. I thought their questions singular,
frivolous, and somewhat importunate, if not impertinent: but what should
I have thought, if I had known that they were sent to provide proofs of
my insanity?" Lady Byron, in her _Remarks on Mr. Moore's Life, etc_.
(_Life_, pp. 661-663), says that Dr. Baillie (_vide post_, p. 412, note
2), whom she consulted with regard to her husband's supposed insanity,
"not having had access to Lord Byron, could not pronounce a positive
opinion on this point." It appears, however, that another doctor, a Mr.
Le Mann (see _Letters_, 1899, iii. 293, note 1, 295, 299, etc.), visited
Byron professionally, and reported on his condition to Lady Byron.
Hence, perhaps, the mention of "druggists."]

{22}[36] ["I deem it _my duty to God_ to act as I am acting."--Letter of
Lady Byron to Mrs. Leigh, February 14, 1816, _Letters_, 1899, iii. 311.]

[37] ["This is so very pointed."--[?Hobhouse.] "If people make
application, it is their own fault."--[B.].--[_Revise._]

[38] ["There is some doubt about this."--[H.] "What has the 'doubt' to
do with the poem? it is, at least, poetically true. Why apply everything
to that absurd woman? I have no reference to living
characters."--[B.].--[_Revise._] Medwin (_Conversations_, 1824, p. 54)
attributes the "breaking open my writing-desk" to Mrs. Charlment (i.e.
Mrs. Clermont) the original of "A Sketch," _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii.
540-544. It is evident from Byron's reply to Hobhouse's remonstrance
that Medwin did not invent this incident, but that some one, perhaps
Fletcher's wife, had told him that his papers had been overhauled.]

{23}[e] _First their friends tried at reconciliation_.--[MS.]

[f] _The lawyers recommended a divorce_.--[MS.]

/ besides was \
_He had been ill brought up, < > bilious_.
\ besides being /

or, _The reason was, perhaps, that he was bilious_.--[MS.]

/ now but \
_And we may own--since he is < > earth_.--[MS.]
\ laid in /

[39] ["I could have forgiven the dagger or the bowl,--any thing but the
deliberate desolation piled upon me, when I stood alone upon my hearth,
with my household gods shivered around me.... Do you suppose I have
forgotten it? It has, comparatively swallowed up in me every other
feeling, and I am only a spectator upon earth till a tenfold opportunity
offers."--Letter to Moore, September 19, 1818, _Letters_, 1900, iv, 262,
263. Compare, too--

"I had one only fount of quiet left,
And _that_ they poisoned! My pure household gods
Were shivered on my hearth, and o'er their shrine
Sate grinning Ribaldry and sneering Scorn."

_Marino Faliero_, act iii. sc. II, lines 361-364.]

/ litigation--\
_Save death or < > so he died_.--[MS.]
\ banishment--/

{26}[40] [Compare Leigh Hunt on the illustrations to Andrew Tooke's
_Pantheon_: "I see before me, as vividly now as ever, his Mars and
Apollo ... and Venus very handsome, we thought, and not looking too
modest in a 'light cymar.'"--_Autobiography_, 1860, p. 75.]

[j] _Defending still their Iliads and Odysseys_.--[MS.]

[41] See Longinus, Section 10, [Greek: "I/na mê\ e(/n ti peri\ au)tê\n
pa/thos phai/nêtai, pathôn de\ sy/nodos."]

["The effect desired is that not one passion only should be seen in her,
but a concourse of passions" (_Longinis on the Sublime_, by W. Rhys
Roberts, 1899, pp. 70, 71).

The Ode alluded to is the famous [Greek: Phai/netai/ moi kênos i(/sos
theisin, k.t.l.]

"Him rival to the gods I place;
Him loftier yet, if loftier be,
Who, Lesbia, sits before thy face,
Who listens and who looks on thee."

W.E. Gladstone.

"I do not think you are quite held out by the quotation. Longinus says
the circumstantial assemblage of the passions makes the sublime; he does
not talk of the sublime being soaring and ample."--[H.] "I do not care
for this--it must stand."--[B.]--[_Marginal notes in Revise._]]

[42] [_Bucol._, Ecl. ii. "Alexis."]

/ antique \ / elision \
Too much their < modest > bard by the < >--[MS.]
\ downright / \ omission /

[43] Fact! There is, or was, such an edition, with all the obnoxious
epigrams of Martial placed by themselves at the end.

[In the Delphin _Martial_ (Amsterdam, 1701) the _Epigrammata Obscaena_
are printed as an Appendix (pp. 2-56), "[Ne] quiequam desideraretur a
morosis quibusdam hominibus."]

{28}[44] See his _Confessions_, lib. i. cap. ix.; [lib. ii. cap. ii.,
_et passim_]. By the representation which Saint Augustine gives of
himself in his youth, it is easy to see that he was what we should call
a rake. He avoided the school as the plague; he loved nothing but gaming
and public shows; he robbed his father of everything he could find; he
invented a thousand lies to escape the rod, which they were obliged to
make use of to punish his irregularities.

{30}[45] [Byron's early letters are full of complaints of his mother's
violent temper. See, for instance, letter to the Hon. Augusta Byron,
April 23, 1805. In another letter to John M.B. Pigot, August 9, 1806, he
speaks of her as "Mrs. Byron '_furiosa_'" (_Letters_, 1898, i. 60,

[46] ["Having surrendered the last symbol of power, the unfortunate
Boabdil continued on towards the Alpuxarras, that he might not behold
the entrance of the Christians into his capital.... Having ascended an
eminence commanding the last view of Granada, the Moors paused
involuntarily to take a farewell gaze at their beloved city, which a few
steps more would shut from their sight for ever.... The heart of
Boabdil, softened by misfortunes, and overcharged with grief, could no
longer contain itself. 'Allah achbar! God is great!' said he; but the
words of resignation died upon his lips, and he burst into a flood of
tears."--_Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada_, by Washington Irving,
1829, ii. 379-381.]

/ silence! hush!_ \
_I'll tell you a secret--< >--[MS.]
\ which you'll hush_ /

_Spouses from twenty years of age to thirty_
/ strict \
_Are most admired by women of < > virtue_.--[MS.]
\ staid /

[47] For the particulars of St. Anthony's recipe for hot blood in cold
weather, see Mr. Alban Butler's _Lives of the Saints_.

["I am not sure it was not St. Francis who had the wife of snow--in that
case the line must run, 'St. Francis back to reason.'"--[_MS. M._]

For the seven snow-balls, of which "the greatest" was his wife, see Life
of "St. Francis of Assisi" (_The Golden Legend_ (edited by F.S. Ellis),
1900, v. 221). See, too, _the Lives of the Saints, etc._, by the Rev.
Alban Butler, 1838, ii. 574.]

{34}[48] [The sorceress in Tasso's _Gerusalemme Liberata_. The story of
Armida and Rinaldo forms the plot of operas by Glück and Rossini.]

[49]§35§ _Thinking God might not understand the case_.--[MS. M.,

{36}[50] ["Quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante." Dante, _Inferno_,
canto v. line 138.]


["Conscienzia m'assicura,
La buona compagnia che l'uom francheggia
Sotto l'osbergo del sentirsi pura."

_Inferno_, canto xxviii, lines 115-117.]

[n] _Deemed that her thoughts no more required control_.--[MS.]

{38}[52] [See Ovid, _Metamorph_., vii. 9, sq.]

{39}[53] Campbell's _Gertrude of Wyoming_--(I think)--the opening of
Canto Second [Part III. stanza i. lines 1-4]--but quote from memory.

[54] [See Coleridge's _Biographia Literaria_, chap. i. (ed. 1847, i. 14,
15); and _Dejection: An Ode_, lines 86-93.]

_I say this by the way--so don't look stern_.
_But if you're angry, reader, pass it by_.--[MS.]

[55] [Juan Boscan, of Barcelona (1500-1544), in concert with his friend
Garcilasso, Italianized Castilian poetry. He was the author of the
_Leandro_, a poem in blank verse, of canzoni, and sonnets after the
model of Petrarch, and of _The Allegory_.--_History of Spanish
Literature_, by George Ticknor, 1888, i. 513.]

[56] [Garcias Lasso or Garcilasso de la Vega (1503-1536), of a noble
family at Toledo, was a warrior as well as a poet, "now seizing on the
sword and now the pen." After serving with distinction in Germany,
Africa, and Provence, he was killed at Muy, near Frejus, in 1536, by a
stone, thrown from a tower, which fell on his head as he was leading on
his battalion. He was the author of thirty-seven sonnets, five canzoni,
and three pastorals.--_Vide ibidem_, pp. 522-535.]

_A real wittol always is suspicious_,
_But always also hunts in the wrong place_.--[MS.]

{43}[q] _Change horses every hour from night till noon_.--[MS.]

[r] _Except the promises of true theology_.--[MS.]


["Oh, Susan! I've said, in the moments of mirth,
What's devotion to thee or to me?
I devoutly believe there's a heaven on earth,
And believe that _that_ heaven's in _thee._"

"The Catalogue," _Poetical Works of the late Thomas Little_, 1803, p.

_She stood on Guilt's steep brink, in all the sense_
_And full security of Innocence_.--[MS.]

{45}[t] _To leave these two young people then and there.--[MS.]_

{46}[58] ["Age Xerxes.. eo usque luxuria gaudens, ut edicto præmium ei
proponeret, qui novum voluptatis genus reperisset."--Val. Max, _De
Dictis, etc._, lib. ix. cap. 1, ext. 3.]

[59] ["You certainly will be damned for all this scene."--[H.]]

{48}[60] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto IV. stanza iii. line 2,
_Poetical Works_, ii. 329, note 3.]

[u] _Our coming, nor look brightly till we come_.--[MS.]

[v] _Sweet is a lawsuit to the attorney--sweet, etc_.--[MS.]

[61] [So, too, Falstaff, _Henry IV._, act ii. sc. 2, lines 79, 80.]

_Who've made us wait--God knows how long already,_
_For an entailed estate, or country-seat,_
_Wishing them not exactly damned, but dead--he_
_Knows nought of grief, who has not so been worried--_
_'T is strange old people don't like to be buried_.--[MS.]

[62] [Byron has not been forgotten at Harrow, though it is a bend of the
Cam (Byron's Pool), not his favourite Duck Pool (now "Ducker") which
bears his name.]

{50}[63] [The reference is to the metallic tractors of Benjamin Charles
Perkins, which were advertised as a "cure for all disorders, Red Noses,"
etc. Compare _English Bards, etc._, lines 131, 132--

"What varied wonders tempt us as they pass!
The Cow-pox, Tractors, Galvanism, and Gas."

See _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 307, note 3.]

[64] [Edward Jenner (1749-1823) made his first experiments in
vaccination, May 14, 1796. Napoleon caused his soldiers to be
vaccinated, and imagined that the English would be gratified by his
recognition of Jenner's discovery.

Sir William Congreve (1772-1828) invented "Congreve rockets" or shells
in 1804. They were used with great effect at the battle of Leipzig, in

[65] ["Mon cher ne touchez pas à la petite Vérole."--[H.]--[Revise.]]

[66] [Experiments in galvanism were made on the body of Forster the
murderer, by Galvani's nephew, Professor Aldini, January and February,

[67] ["Put out these lines, and keep the others."--[H.]--[_Revise._]]

{51}[68] [Sir Humphry Davy, P.R.S. (1778-1829), invented the safety-lamp
in 1815.]

[69] [In a critique of _An Account of the Empire of Marocco_.... _To
which is added an_ ... _account of Tombuctoo, the great Emporium of
Central Africa,_ by James Grey Jackson, London, 1809, the reviewer
comments on the author's pedantry in correcting "the common orthography
of African names." "We do not," he writes, "greatly object to ... _Fas_
for _Fez,_ or even _Timbuctoo_ for _Tombuctoo,_ but _Marocco_ for
_Morocco_ is a little too much."--_Edinburgh Review_, July, 1809 vol.
xiv. p. 307.]

[70] [Sir John Ross (1777-1856) published _A Voyage of Discovery_ ...
_for the purpose of Exploring Baffin's Bay, etc.,_ in 1819; Sir W.E.
Parry (1790-1855) published his _Journal of a Voyage of Discovery to the
Arctic Regions between 4th April and 18th November_, 1818, in 1820.]

[x] _Not only pleasure's sin, but sin's a pleasure_.--[MS.]

[y] _And lose in shining snow their summits blue_.--[MS.]

[z] _'Twas midnight--dark and sombre was the night, etc_.--[MS.]

[aa] _And supper, punch, ghost-stories, and such chat_.--[MS.]

[71] ["'All that, Egad,' as Bayes says" [in the Duke of Buckingham's
play _The Rehearsal_].--Letter to Murray, September 28, 1820, _Letters_,
1901, v. 80.]

[72] ["Lobster-sallad, _not_ a lobster-salad. Have you been at a London
_ball_, and not known a Lobster-_sallad?_"--[H.]--[_Revise._] ]

[73] ["To-night, as Countess Guiccioli observed me poring over _Don
Juan_, she stumbled by mere chance on the 137th stanza of the First
Canto, and asked me what it meant. I told her, 'Nothing,--but your
husband is coming.' As I said this in Italian with some emphasis, she
started up in a fright, and said, _'Oh, my God, is_ he _coming?'_
thinking it was _her own_....You may suppose we laughed when she found
out the mistake. You will be amused, as I was;--it happened not three
hours ago."--Letter to Murray, November 8, 1819, _Letters_, 1900, iv.

It should be borne in mind that the loves of Juan and Julia, the
irruption of Don Alfonso, etc., were rather of the nature of prophecy
than of reminiscence. The First Canto had been completed before the
Countess Guiccioli appeared on the scene.]

[ab] _And thus as 'twere herself from out them crept_.--[MS. M.]

{54}[ac] _Ere I the wife of such a man had been!_--[MS.]

{55}[ad] _But while this search was making, Julia's tongue_.--[MS.]

[74] The Spanish "Cortejo" is much the same as the Italian "Cavalier

{56}[75] 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 1775.

[Alexander O'Reilly, born 1722, a Spanish general of Irish extraction,
failed in an expedition against Algiers in 1775, in which the Spaniards
lost four thousand men. In 1794 he was appointed commander-in-chief of
the forces equipped against the army of the French National Convention.
He died March 23, 1794.]

[76] [The Italian names have an obvious signification.]

[ae] _The chimney--fit retreat for any lover!_--[MS.]

{58}[af] ---- _may deplore_.--[Alternative reading. MS. M.]

{59}[77] ["Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh" (_Job_
ii. 10).]

[78] ["Don't be read aloud."--[H.]--[_Revise._]]

---- _than be put_
_To drown with Clarence in his Malmsey butt_.--[MS.]

[ah] _And reckon up our balance with the devil_.--[MS.]

{62}[79] ["Carissimo, do review the whole scene, and think what you
would say of it, if written by another."--[H.] "I would say, read 'The
Miracle' ['A Tale from Boccace'] in Hobhouse's poems, and 'January and
May,' and 'Paulo Purganti,' and 'Hans Carvel,' and 'Joconde.' _These_
are laughable: it is the _serious_--Little's poems and _Lalla
Rookh_--that affect seriously. Now Lust is a serious passion, and cannot
be excited by the ludicrous."--[B.]--_Marginal Notes in Revise_.]

For the "Miracle," see _Imitations and Translations_, 1809, pp.
111--128. "January and May" is Pope's version of Chaucer's _Merchant's
Tale_. "Paulo Purganti" and "Hans Carvel" are by Matthew Prior; and for
"Joconde" (_Nouvelle Tirée de L'Ariosto_, canto xxviii.) see _Contes et
Nouvelles en Vers_, de Mr. de la Fontaine, 1691, i. 1-19.]

{63}[80] [Compare "The use made in the French tongue of the word _tact_,
to denote that delicate sense of propriety, which enables a man to _feel
his way_ in the difficult intercourse of polished society, seems to have
been suggested by similar considerations (i.e. similar to those which
suggested the use of the word _taste_)."--_Outlines of Moral
Philosophy_, by Dugald Stewart, Part I. sect. x. ed. 1855, p. 48. For
D'Alembert's use of _tact_, to denote "that peculiar delicacy of
perception (which, like the nice touch of a blind man) arises from
habits of close attention to those slighter feelings which escape
general notice," see _Philosophical Essays_, by Dugald Stewart, 1818, p.

{64}[ai] _With base suspicion now no longer haunted._--[MS.]

[81] [For the incident of the shoes, Lord Byron was probably indebted to
the Scottish ballad--

"Our goodman came hame at e'en, and hame came he;
He spy'd a pair of jack-boots, where nae boots should be,
What's this now, goodwife? What's this I see?
How came these boots there, without the leave o' me!
Boots! quo' she:
Ay, boots, quo' he.
Shame fa' your cuckold face, and ill mat ye see,
It's but a pair of water stoups the cooper sent to me," etc.

See James Johnson's _Musical Museum_, 1787, etc., v. 466.]

{66}[aj] _Found--heaven knows how--his solitary way._--[MS.]

[82] [William Brodie Gurney (1777-1855), the son and grandson of eminent
shorthand writers, "reported the proceedings against the Duke of York in
1809, the trials of Lord Cochrane in 1814, and of Thistlewood in 1820,
and the proceedings against Queen Caroline."--_Dict. of Nat. Biog_.,
art. "Gurney."]

{67}[83] ["Venice, December 7, 1818.

"After _that stanza_ in the first canto of _Don Juan_ (sent by Lord
Lauderdale) towards the _conclusion_ of the canto--I speak of the stanza
whose two last lines are--

"'The best is that in short-hand ta'en by Gurney,
Who to Madrid on purpose made a journey,'

insert the following stanzas, 'But Donna Inez,' etc."--B.

The text is based on a second or revised copy of stanzas cxc.-cxcviii.
Many of the corrections and emendations which were inserted in the first
draft are omitted in the later and presumably improved version. Byron's
first intention was to insert seven stanzas after stanza clxxxix.,
descriptive and highly depreciatory of Brougham, but for reasons of
"fairness" (_vide infra_) he changed his mind. The casual mention of
"blundering Brougham" in _English Bards, etc._ (line 524, _Poetical
Works_, 1898, i. 338, note 2), is a proof that his suspicions were not
aroused as to the authorship of the review of _Hours of Idleness_
(_Edin. Rev._, January, 1808), and it is certain that Byron's animosity
was due to the part played by Brougham at the time of the Separation.
(In a letter to Byron, dated February 18, 1817, Murray speaks of a
certain B. "as your incessant persecutor--the source of all affected
public opinion respecting you.") The stanzas, with the accompanying
notes, are not included in the editions of 1833 or 1837, and are now
printed for the first time.


"'Twas a fine cause for those in law delighting--
'Tis pity that they had no Brougham in Spain,
Famous for always talking, and ne'er fighting,
For calling names, and taking them again;
For blustering, bungling, trimming, wrangling, writing,
Groping all paths to power, and all in vain--
Losing elections, character, and temper,
A foolish, clever, fellow--_Idem semper!_


"Bully in Senates, skulker in the Field,[*A]
The Adulterer's advocate when duly feed,
The libeller's gratis Counsel, dirty shield
Which Law affords to many a dirty deed;
A wondrous Warrior against those who yield--
A rod to Weakness, to the brave a reed--
The People's sycophant, the Prince's foe,
And serving him the more by being so.


"Tory by nurture, Whig by Circumstance,
A Democrat some once or twice a year,
Whene'er it suits his purpose to advance
His vain ambition in its vague career:
A sort of Orator by sufferance,
Less for the comprehension than the ear;
With all the arrogance of endless power,
Without the sense to keep it for an hour.


"The House-of-Commons Damocles of words--
Above him, hanging by a single hair,
On each harangue depend some hostile Swords;
And deems he that we _always_ will forbear?
Although Defiance oft declined affords
A blotted shield no Shire's true knight would wear:
Thersites of the House. Parolles[*B] of Law,
The double Bobadill[*C] takes Scorn for Awe.


"How noble is his language--never pert--
How grand his sentiments which ne'er run riot!
As when he swore 'by God he'd sell his shirt
To head the poll!' I wonder who would buy it
The skin has passed through such a deal of dirt
In grovelling on to power--such stains now dye it--
So black the long-worn Lion's hide in hue,
You'd swear his very heart had sweated through.


"Panting for power--as harts for cooling streams--
Yet half afraid to venture for the draught;
A go-between, yet blundering in extremes,
And tossed along the vessel fore and aft;
Now shrinking back, now midst the first he seems,
Patriot by force, and courtisan[*D] by craft;
Quick without wit, and violent without strength--
A disappointed Lawyer, at full length.


"A strange example of the force of Law,
And hasty temper on a kindling mind--
Are these the dreams his young Ambition saw?
Poor fellow! he had better far been blind!
I'm sorry thus to probe a wound so raw--
But, then, as Bard my duty to Mankind,
For warning to the rest, compels these raps--
As Geographers lay down a Shoal in Maps."

[[*A] For Brougham's Fabian tactics with regard to duelling, _vide
post_, Canto XIII. stanza lxxxiv. line 1, p. 506, note 1.]

[[*B] Vide post, Canto XIII. stanza lxxxiv. line 1, p. 506, note 1.]

[[*C] For "Captain Bobadill, a Paul's man," see Ben Jonson's _Every Man
in his Humour_, act iv. sc. 5, et passim.]

[[*D] The _N. Eng. Dict._, quotes a passage in _Phil. Trans._, iv. 286
(1669), as the latest instance of "courtisan" for "courtier."]


"Distrusted by the Democracy, disliked by the Whigs, and detested
by the Tories, too much of a lawyer for the people, and too much of
a demagogue for Parliament, a contestor of counties, and a
Candidate for cities, the refuse of half the Electors of England,
and representative at last upon sufferance of the proprietor of
some rotten borough, which it would have been more independent to
have purchased, a speaker upon all questions, and the outcast of
all parties, his support has become alike formidable to all his
enemies (for he has no friends), and his vote can be only valuable
when accompanied by his Silence. A disappointed man with a bad
temper, he is endowed with considerable but not first-rate
abilities, and has blundered on through life, remarkable only for a
fluency, in which he has many rivals at the bar and in the Senate,
and an eloquence in which he has several Superiors. 'Willing to
wound and _not_ afraid to strike, until he receives a blow in
return, he has not yet betrayed any illegal ardour, or Irish
alacrity, in accepting the defiances, and resenting the disgraceful
terms which his proneness to evil-speaking have (sic) brought upon
him. In the cases of Mackinnon and Manners,[*E] he sheltered
himself behind those parliamentary privileges, which Fox, Pitt,
Canning, Castlereagh, Tierney, Adam, Shelburne, Grattan, Corry,
Curran, and Clare disdained to adopt as their buckler. The House of
Commons became the Asylum of his Slander, as the Churches of Rome
were once the Sanctuary of Assassins.

"His literary reputation (with the exception of one work of his
early career) rests upon some anonymous articles imputed to him in
a celebrated periodical work; but even these are surpassed by the
Essays of others in the same Journal. He has tried every thing and
succeeded in nothing; and he may perhaps finish as a Lawyer without
practice, as he has already been occasionally an orator without an
audience, if not soon cut short in his career.

"The above character is _not_ written impartially, but by one who
has had occasion to know some of the baser parts of it, and regards
him accordingly with shuddering abhorrence, and just so much fear
as he deserves. In him is to be dreaded the crawling of the
centipede, not the spring of the tiger--the venom of the reptile,
not the strength of the animal--the rancour of the miscreant, not
the courage of the Man.

"In case the prose or verse of the above should be actionable, I
put my name, that the man may rather proceed against me than the
publisher--not without some faint hope that the brand with which I
blast him may induce him, however reluctantly, to a manlier

[*E] [Possibly George Manners (1778-1853), editor of _The Satirist_,
whose appointment to a foreign consulate Brougham sharply criticized in
the House of Commons, July 9, 1817 (_Parl. Deb._, vol. xxxvi. pp. 1320,
1321); and Daniel Mackinnon (1791-1836), the nephew of Henry Mackinnon,
who fell at Ciudad Rodrigo. Byron met "Dan" Mackinnon at Lisbon in 1809,
and (Gronow, _Reminiscences_, 1889, ii. 259, 260) was amused by his
"various funny stories."]


"I enclose you the stanzas which were intended for 1st Canto, after
the line

'Who to Madrid on purpose made a journey:'

but I do not mean them for present publication, because I will not,
at this distance, publish _that_ of a Man, for which he has a claim
upon another too remote to give him redress.

"With regard to the Miscreant Brougham, however, it was only long
after the fact, and I was made acquainted with the language he had
held of me on my leaving England (with regard to the D^ss^ of D.'s
house),[*F] and his letter to Me. de Staël, and various matters for
all of which the first time he and I foregather--be it in England,
be it on earth--he shall account, and one of the two be carried

"As I have no wish to have mysteries, I merely prohibit the
_publication_ of these stanzas in _print_, for the reasons of
fairness mentioned; but I by no means wish _him not_ to _know_
their existence or their tenor, nor my intentions as to himself: he
has shown no forbearance, and he shall find none. You may show them
to _him_ and to all whom it may concern, with the explanation that
the only reason that I have not had satisfaction of this man has
been, that I have never had an opportunity since I was aware of the
facts, which my friends had carefully concealed from me; and it was
only by slow degrees, and by piecemeal, that I got at them. I have
not sought him, nor gone out of my way for him; but I will _find_
him, and then we can have it out: he has shown so little courage,
that he _must_ fight at last in his absolute necessity to escape
utter degradation.

"I send you the stanzas, which (except the last) have been written
nearly two years, merely because I have been lately copying out
most of the MSS. which were in my drawers."

[*F] [Byron's town-house, in 1815-1816, No. 13, Piccadilly, belonged to
the Duchess of Devonshire. When he went abroad in April, 1816, the rent
was still unpaid. The duchess, through her agent, distrained, but was
unable to recover the debt. See Byron's "Letter to Elizabeth, Duchess of
Devonshire," November 3, 1817, _Letters_, 1900, iv. 178.]

_Julia was sent into a nunnery_,
_And there, perhaps, her feelings may be better_.--[MS. M.]

[al] _Man's love is of his life_----.--[MS. M.]

[84] ["Que les hommes sont heureux d'aller à la guerre, d'exposer leur
vie, de se livrer à l'enthousiasme de l'honneur et du danger! Mais il
n'y a rien au-dehors qui soulage les femmes."--_Corinne, ou L'Italie_,
Madame de Staël, liv., xviii. chap. v. ed. 1835, iii. 209.]

_To mourn alone the love which has undone._
or, _To lift our fatal love to God from man._

Take that which, of these three, seems the best prescription.--B.

_You will proceed in beauty and in pride_,
_You will return_----.--[MS. M.]

/ fatal now \
Or, _That word is < lost for me >--but let it go_.--[MS. M.]
\ deadly now /

[ap] _I struggle, but can not collect my mind_.--[MS.]

_As turns the needle trembling to the pole_
_It ne'er can reach--so turns to you my soul_.--[MS.]

[ar] _With a neat crow-quill, rather hard, but new_.--[MS.]

{73}[85] [Byron had a seal bearing this motto.]

_And there are other incidents remaining_
_Which shall be specified in fitting time,_
_With good discretion, and in current rhyme_.--[MS.]

_To newspapers, to sermons, which the zeal_
_Of pious men have published on his acts_.--[MS.]

[au] _I'll call the work "Reflections o'er a Bottle_."--[MS.]

[86] [Here, and elsewhere in _Don Juan_, Byron attacked Coleridge
fiercely and venomously, because he believed that his _protégé_ had
accepted patronage and money, and, notwithstanding, had retailed
scandalous statements to the detriment and dishonour of his advocate and
benefactor (see letter to Murray, November 24, 1818, _Letters_, 1900,
iv. 272; and "Introduction to the _Vision of Judgment," Poetical Works_,
1901, iv. 475). Byron does not substantiate his charge of ingratitude,
and there is nothing to show whether Coleridge ever knew why a once
friendly countenance was changed towards him. He might have asked, with
the Courtenays, _Ubi lapsus, quid feci?_ If Byron had been on his mind
or his conscience he would have drawn up an elaborate explanation or
apology; but nothing of the kind is extant. He took the abuse as he had
taken the favours--for the unmerited gifts of the blind goddess Fortune.
(See, too, _Letter_ ..., by John Bull, 1821, p. 14.)]

{76}[87] [Compare Byron's "Letter to the Editor of My Grandmother's
Review," _Letters_, 1900, iv. Appendix VII. 465-470; and letter to
Murray, August 24, 1819, ibid., p. 348: "I wrote to you by last post,
enclosing a buffooning letter for publication, addressed to the buffoon
Roberts, who has thought proper to tie a canister to his own tail. It
was written off-hand, and in the midst of circumstances not very
favourable to facetiousness, so that there may, perhaps, be more
bitterness than enough for that sort of small acid punch." The letter
was in reply to a criticism of _Don Juan_ (Cantos I., II.) in the
_British Review_ (No. xxvii., 1819, vol. 14, pp. 266-268), in which the
Editor assumed, or feigned to assume, that the accusation of bribery was
to be taken _au grand sérieux_.]

{77}[88] [Hor., _Od._ III. C. xiv. lines 27, 28.]

[av] _I thought of dyeing it the other day_.--[MS.]

[89] [Compare _Childe Harold_, Canto III. stanza cvii. line 2.]


"Me nec femina, nec puer
Jam, nec spes animi credula mutui,
Nec certare juvat mero;
Nec vincire novis tempora floribus."

Hor., _Od._ IV. i. 30.

[In the revise the words _nec puer Jam_ were omitted. On this Hobhouse
comments, "Better add the whole or scratch out all after
femina."--"Quote the whole then--it was only in compliance with your
_settentrionale_ notions that I left out the remnant of the

[91] [For "How Fryer Bacon made a Brazen head to speak," see _The Famous
Historie of Fryer Bacon_ (Reprint, London, 1815, pp. 13-18); see, too,
_Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay_, by Robert Greene, ed. Rev. Alexander
Dyce, 1861, pp. 153-181.]


["Ah! who can tell how hard it is to climb
The steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar?" etc.

Beattie's _Minstrel_, Bk. I. stanza i. lines 1, 2.]

{79}[aw] _A book--a damned bad picture--and worse bust_.--[MS.]

["Don't swear again--the third 'damn.'"--[H.]--[_Revise._]]

[93] [Byron sat for his bust to Thorwaldsen, in May, 1817.]

[94] [This stanza appears to have been suggested by the following
passage in the _Quarterly Review_, April, 1818, vol. xix. p. 203: "[It
was] the opinion of the Egyptians, that the soul never deserted the body
while the latter continued in a perfect state. To secure this union,
King Cheops is said, by Herodotus, to have employed three hundred and
sixty thousand of his subjects for twenty years in raising over the
'angusta domus' destined to hold his remains, a pile of stone equal in
weight to six millions of tons, which is just three times that of the
vast Breakwater thrown across Plymouth Sound; and, to render this
precious dust still more secure, the narrow chamber was made accessible
only by small, intricate passages, obstructed by stones of an enormous
weight, and so carefully closed externally as not to be
perceptible.--Yet, how vain are all the precautions of man! Not a bone
was left of Cheops, either in the stone coffin, or in the vault, when
Shaw entered the gloomy chamber.]

{80}[ax] _Must bid you both farewell in accents bland_.--[MS.]

[95] [Lines 1-4 are taken from the last stanza of the _Epilogue to the
Lay of the Laureate_, entitled "L'Envoy." (See _Poetical Works_ of
Robert Southey, 1838, x. 174.)]

Lord George Gordon Byron