Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Canto the Sixteenth



CANTO THE SIXTEENTH.[768]

I.

The antique Persians taught three useful things,
To draw the bow, to ride, and speak the truth,[769]
This was the mode of Cyrus, best of kings--
A mode adopted since by modern youth.
Bows have they, generally with two strings;
Horses they ride without remorse or ruth;
At speaking truth perhaps they are less clever,
But draw the long bow better now than ever.

II.

The cause of this effect, or this defect,--
"For this effect defective comes by cause,"--[770]
Is what I have not leisure to inspect;
But this I must say in my own applause,
Of all the Muses that I recollect,
Whate'er may be her follies or her flaws
In some things, mine's beyond all contradiction
The most sincere that ever dealt in fiction.

III.

And as she treats all things, and ne'er retreats
From anything, this Epic will contain
A wilderness of the most rare conceits,
Which you might elsewhere hope to find in vain.
'Tis true there be some bitters with the sweets,
Yet mixed so slightly, that you can't complain,
But wonder they so few are, since my tale is
"_De rebus cunctis et quibusdam aliis._"[771]

IV.

But of all truths which she has told, the most
True is that which she is about to tell.
I said it was a story of a ghost--
What then? I only know it so befell.
Have you explored the limits of the coast,
Where all the dwellers of the earth must dwell?
'Tis time to strike such puny doubters dumb as
The sceptics who would not believe Columbus.

V.

Some people would impose now with authority,
Turpin's or Monmouth Geoffry's Chronicle;
Men whose historical superiority
Is always greatest at a miracle.
But Saint Augustine has the great priority,
Who bids all men believe the impossible,
_Because 'tis so._ Who nibble, scribble, quibble, he
Quiets at once with "_quia impossibile._"[772]

VI.

And therefore, mortals, cavil not at all;
Believe:--if 'tis improbable, you _must_,
And if it is impossible, you _shall_:
'Tis always best to take things upon trust.
I do not speak profanely to recall
Those holier Mysteries which the wise and just
Receive as Gospel, and which grow more rooted,
As all truths must, the more they are disputed:

VII.

I merely mean to say what Johnson said,
That in the course of some six thousand years,
All nations have believed that from the dead
A visitant at intervals appears:[773]
And what is strangest upon this strange head,
Is, that whatever bar the reason rears
'Gainst such belief, there's something stronger still
In its behalf--let those deny who will.

VIII.

The dinner and the _soirée_ too were done,
The supper too discussed, the dames admired,
The banqueteers had dropped off one by one--
The song was silent, and the dance expired:
The last thin petticoats were vanished, gone
Like fleecy clouds into the sky retired,
And nothing brighter gleamed through the saloon
Than dying tapers--and the peeping moon.

IX.

The evaporation of a joyous day
Is like the last glass of champagne, without
The foam which made its virgin bumper gay;
Or like a system coupled with a doubt;
Or like a soda bottle when its spray
Has sparkled and let half its spirit out;
Or like a billow left by storms behind,
Without the animation of the wind;

X.

Or like an opiate, which brings troubled rest,
Or none; or like--like nothing that I know
Except itself;--such is the human breast;
A thing, of which similitudes can show
No real likeness,--like the old Tyrian vest
Dyed purple, none at present can tell how,
If from a shell-fish or from cochineal.[774]
So perish every Tyrant's robe piece-meal!

XI.

But next to dressing for a rout or ball,
Undressing is a woe; our _robe de chambre_
May sit like that of Nessus,[775] and recall
Thoughts quite as yellow, but less clear than amber.
Titus exclaimed, "I've lost a day!"[776] Of all
The nights and days most people can remember,
(I have had of both, some not to be disdained,)
I wish they'd state how many they have gained.

XII.

And Juan, on retiring for the night,
Felt restless, and perplexed, and compromised:
He thought Aurora Raby's eyes more bright
Than Adeline (such is advice) advised;
If he had known exactly his own plight,
He probably would have philosophised:
A great resource to all, and ne'er denied
Till wanted; therefore Juan only sighed.

XIII.

He sighed;--the next resource is the full moon,
Where all sighs are deposited; and now
It happened luckily, the chaste orb shone
As clear as such a climate will allow;
And Juan's mind was in the proper tone
To hail her with the apostrophe--"O thou!"
Of amatory egotism the _Tuism_,[777]
Which further to explain would be a truism.

XIV.

But Lover, Poet, or Astronomer--
Shepherd, or swain--whoever may behold,
Feel some abstraction when they gaze on her;
Great thoughts we catch from thence (besides a cold
Sometimes, unless my feelings rather err);
Deep secrets to her rolling light are told;
The Ocean's tides and mortals' brains she sways,
And also hearts--if there be truth in lays.

XV.

Juan felt somewhat pensive, and disposed
For contemplation rather than his pillow:
The Gothic chamber, where he was enclosed,
Let in the rippling sound of the lake's billow,
With all the mystery by midnight caused:
Below his window waved (of course) willow;
And he stood gazing out on the cascade
That flashed and after darkened in the shade.

XVI.

Upon his table or his toilet,[778]--_which_
Of these is not exactly ascertained,--
(I state this, for I am cautious to a pitch
Of nicety, where a fact is to be gained,)
A lamp burned high, while he leant from a niche,
Where many a Gothic ornament remained,
In chiselled stone and painted glass, and all
That Time has left our fathers of their Hall.

XVII.

Then, as the night was clear though cold, he threw
His chamber door wide open[779]--and went forth
Into a gallery of a sombre hue,
Long, furnished with old pictures of great worth,
Of knights and dames heroic and chaste too,
As doubtless should be people of high birth;
But by dim lights the portraits of the dead
Have something ghastly, desolate, and dread.

XVIII.

The forms of the grim Knight and pictured Saint
Look living in the moon; and as you turn
Backward and forward to the echoes faint
Of your own footsteps--voices from the Urn
Appear to wake, and shadows wild and quaint
Start from the frames which fence their aspects stern,
As if to ask how you can dare to keep
A vigil there, where all but Death should sleep.

XIX.

And the pale smile of Beauties in the grave,
The charms of other days, in starlight gleams,
Glimmer on high; their buried locks still wave
Along the canvas; their eyes glance like dreams
On ours, or spars within some dusky cave,[780]
But Death is imaged in their shadowy beams.
A picture is the past; even ere its frame
Be gilt, who sate hath ceased to be the same.

XX.

As Juan mused on Mutability,
Or on his Mistress--terms synonymous--
No sound except the echo of his sigh
Or step ran sadly through that antique house;
When suddenly he heard, or thought so, nigh,
A supernatural agent--or a mouse,
Whose little nibbling rustle will embarrass
Most people as it plays along the arras.

XXI.

It was no mouse--but lo! a monk, arrayed[781]
In cowl and beads, and dusky garb, appeared,
Now in the moonlight, and now lapsed in shade,
With steps that trod as heavy, yet unheard;
His garments only a slight murmur made;
He moved as shadowy as the Sisters weird,[782]
But slowly; and as he passed Juan by,
Glanced, without pausing, on him a bright eye.

XXII.

Juan was petrified; he had heard a hint
Of such a Spirit in these halls of old,
But thought, like most men, that there was nothing in 't
Beyond the rumour which such spots unfold,
Coined from surviving Superstition's mint,
Which passes ghosts in currency like gold,
But rarely seen, like gold compared with paper.
And did he see this? or was it a vapour?

XXIII.

Once, twice, thrice passed, repassed--the thing of air,
Or earth beneath, or Heaven, or t' other place;
And Juan gazed upon it with a stare,
Yet could not speak or move; but, on its base
As stands a statue, stood: he felt his hair
Twine like a knot of snakes around his face;
He taxed his tongue for words, which were not granted,
To ask the reverend person what he wanted.

XXIV.

The third time, after a still longer pause,
The shadow passed away--but where? the hall
Was long, and thus far there was no great cause
To think his vanishing unnatural:
Doors there were many, through which, by the laws
Of physics, bodies whether short or tall
Might come or go; but Juan could not state
Through which the Spectre seemed to evaporate.

XXV.

He stood--how long he knew not, but it seemed
An age--expectant, powerless, with his eyes
Strained on the spot where first the figure gleamed
Then by degrees recalled his energies,
And would have passed the whole off as a dream,
But could not wake; he was, he did surmise,
Waking already, and returned at length
Back to his chamber, shorn of half his strength.

XXVI.

All there was as he left it: still his taper
Burned, and not _blue_, as modest tapers use,
Receiving sprites with sympathetic vapour;
He rubbed his eyes, and they did not refuse
Their office: he took up an old newspaper;
The paper was right easy to peruse;
He read an article the King attacking,
And a long eulogy of "Patent Blacking."

XXVII.

This savoured of this world; but his hand shook:
He shut his door, and after having read
A paragraph, I think about Horne Tooke,
Undressed, and rather slowly went to bed.
There, couched all snugly on his pillow's nook,
With what he had seen his phantasy he fed;
And though it was no opiate, slumber crept
Upon him by degrees, and so he slept.

XXVIII.

He woke betimes; and, as may be supposed,
Pondered upon his visitant or vision,
And whether it ought not to be disclosed,
At risk of being quizzed for superstition.
The more he thought, the more his mind was posed:
In the mean time, his valet, whose precision
Was great, because his master brooked no less,
Knocked to inform him it was time to dress.

XXIX.

He dressed; and like young people he was wont
To take some trouble with his toilet, but
This morning rather spent less time upon 't;
Aside his very mirror soon was put;
His curls fell negligently o'er his front,
His clothes were not curbed to their usual cut,
His very neckcloth's Gordian knot was tied
Almost an hair's breadth too much on one side.

XXX.

And when he walked down into the Saloon,
He sate him pensive o'er a dish of tea,
Which he perhaps had not discovered soon,
Had it not happened scalding hot to be,
Which made him have recourse unto his spoon;
So much _distrait_ he was, that all could see
That something was the matter--Adeline
The first--but _what_ she could not well divine.

XXXI.

She looked, and saw him pale, and turned as pale
Herself; then hastily looked down, and muttered
Something, but what's not stated in my tale.
Lord Henry said, his muffin was ill buttered;
The Duchess of Fitz-Fulke played with her veil,
And looked at Juan hard, but nothing uttered.
Aurora Raby with her large dark eyes
Surveyed him with a kind of calm surprise.

XXXII.

But seeing him all cold and silent still,
And everybody wondering more or less,
Fair Adeline inquired, "If he were ill?"
He started, and said, "Yes--no--rather--yes."
The family physician had great skill,
And being present, now began to express
His readiness to feel his pulse and tell
The cause, but Juan said, he was "quite well."

XXXIII.

"Quite well; yes,--no."--These answers were mysterious,
And yet his looks appeared to sanction both,
However they might savour of delirious;
Something like illness of a sudden growth
Weighed on his spirit, though by no means serious:
But for the rest, as he himself seemed both
To state the case, it might be ta'en for granted
It was not the physician that he wanted.

XXXIV.

Lord Henry, who had now discussed his chocolate,
Also the muffin whereof he complained,
Said, Juan had not got his usual look elate,
At which he marvelled, since it had not rained;
Then asked her Grace what news were of the Duke of late?
_Her_ Grace replied, _his_ Grace was rather pained
With some slight, light, hereditary twinges
Of gout, which rusts aristocratic hinges.

XXXV.

Then Henry turned to Juan, and addressed
A few words of condolence on his state:
"You look," quoth he, "as if you had had your rest
Broke in upon by the Black Friar of late."
"What Friar?" said Juan; and he did his best
To put the question with an air sedate,
Or careless; but the effort was not valid
To hinder him from growing still more pallid.

XXXVI.

"Oh! have you never heard of the Black Friar?
The Spirit of these walls?"--"In truth not I."
"Why Fame--but Fame you know's sometimes a liar--
Tells an odd story, of which by and by:
Whether with time the Spectre has grown shyer,
Or that our Sires had a more gifted eye
For such sights, though the tale is half believed,
The Friar of late has not been oft perceived.

XXXVII.

"The last time was----"--"I pray," said Adeline--
(Who watched the changes of Don Juan's brow,
And from its context thought she could divine
Connections stronger than he chose to avow
With this same legend)--"if you but design
To jest, you'll choose some other theme just now,
Because the present tale has oft been told,
And is not much improved by growing old."

XXXVIII.

"Jest!" quoth Milor; "why, Adeline, you know
That we ourselves--'twas in the honey moon
Saw----"--"Well, no matter, 'twas so long ago;
But, come, I'll set your story to a tune."
Graceful as Dian when she draws her bow,
She seized her harp, whose strings were kindled soon
As touched, and plaintively began to play
The air of "'Twas a Friar of Orders Gray."[nz]

XXXIX.

"But add the words," cried Henry, "which you made;
For Adeline is half a poetess,"
Turning round to the rest, he smiling said.
Of course the others could not but express
In courtesy their wish to see displayed
By one _three_ talents, for there were no less--
The voice, the words, the harper's skill, at once,
Could hardly be united by a dunce.

XL.

After some fascinating hesitation,--
The charming of these charmers, who seem bound,
I can't tell why, to this dissimulation,--
Fair Adeline, with eyes fixed on the ground
At first, then kindling into animation,
Added her sweet voice to the lyric sound,
And sang with much simplicity,--a merit
Not the less precious, that we seldom hear it.

1.

Beware! beware! of the Black Friar,
Who sitteth by Norman stone,
For he mutters his prayer in the midnight air,
And his mass of the days that are gone.
When the Lord of the Hill, Amundeville,
Made Norman Church his prey,
And expelled the friars, one friar still
Would not be driven away.

2.

Though he came in his might, with King Henry's right,
To turn church lands to lay,
With sword in hand, and torch to light
Their walls, if they said nay;
A monk remained, unchased, unchained,
And he did not seem formed of clay,
For he's seen in the porch, and he's seen in the church,
Though he is not seen by day.

3.

And whether for good, or whether for ill,
It is not mine to say;
But still with the house of Amundeville
He abideth night and day.
By the marriage-bed of their lords, 'tis said,
He flits on the bridal eve;
And 'tis held as faith, to their bed of Death[oa]
He comes--but not to grieve.

4.

When an heir is born, he's heard to mourn,
And when aught is to befall
That ancient line, in the pale moonshine
He walks from hall to hall.
His form you may trace, but not his face,
'Tis shadowed by his cowl;
But his eyes may be seen from the folds between,
And they seem of a parted soul.

5.

But beware! beware! of the Black Friar,
He still retains his sway,
For he is yet the Church's heir,
Whoever may be the lay.
Amundeville is Lord by day,
But the monk is Lord by night;
Nor wine nor wassail could raise a vassal
To question that Friar's right.

6.

Say nought to him as he walks the Hall,
And he'll say nought to you;
He sweeps along in his dusky pall,
As o'er the grass the dew.
Then grammercy! for the Black Friar;
Heaven sain him! fair or foul,--
And whatsoe'er may be his prayer,
Let ours be for his soul.

XLI.

The lady's voice ceased, and the thrilling wires
Died from the touch that kindled them to sound;
And the pause followed, which when song expires
Pervades a moment those who listen round;
And then of course the circle much admires,
Nor less applauds, as in politeness bound,
The tones, the feeling, and the execution,
To the performer's diffident confusion.

XLII.

Fair Adeline, though in a careless way,
As if she rated such accomplishment
As the mere pastime of an idle day,
Pursued an instant for her own content,
Would now and then as 'twere _without_ display,
Yet _with_ display in fact, at times relent
To such performances with haughty smile,
To show she _could_, if it were worth her while.

XLIII.

Now this (but we will whisper it aside)
Was--pardon the pedantic illustration--
Trampling on Plato's pride with greater pride,
As did the Cynic on some like occasion;
Deeming the sage would be much mortified,
Or thrown into a philosophic passion,
For a spoilt carpet--but the "Attic Bee"
Was much consoled by his own repartee.[783]

XLIV.

Thus Adeline would throw into the shade
(By doing easily, whene'er she chose,
What dilettanti do with vast parade)
Their sort of _half profession_; for it grows
To something like this when too oft displayed;
And that it is so, everybody knows,
Who have heard Miss That or This, or Lady T'other,
Show off--to please their company or mother.

XLV.

Oh! the long evenings of duets and trios!
The admirations and the speculations;
The "Mamma Mia's!" and the "Amor Mio's!"
The "Tanti palpiti's" on such occasions:
The "Lasciami's," and quavering "Addio's,"
Amongst our own most musical of nations!
With "Tu mi chamas's" from Portingale,[784]
To soothe our ears, lest Italy should fail.[785]

XLVI.

In Babylon's _bravuras_--as the Home-
Heart-Ballads of Green Erin or Grey Highlands,
That bring Lochaber back to eyes that roam
O'er far Atlantic continents or islands,
The calentures[786] of music which o'ercome
All mountaineers with dreams that they are nigh lands,
No more to be beheld but in such visions--
Was Adeline well versed, as compositions.

XLVII.

She also had a twilight tinge of "_Blue_,"
Could write rhymes, and compose more than she wrote,
Made epigrams occasionally too
Upon her friends, as everybody ought.
But still from that sublimer azure hue,[787]
So much the present dye, she was remote;
Was weak enough to deem Pope a great poet,
And what was worse, was not ashamed to show it.

XLVIII.

Aurora--since we are touching upon taste,
Which now-a-days is the thermometer
By whose degrees all characters are classed--
Was more Shakespearian, if I do not err.
The worlds beyond this World's perplexing waste
Had more of her existence, for in her
There was a depth of feeling to embrace
Thoughts, boundless, deep, but silent too as Space.

XLIX.

Not so her gracious, graceful, graceless Grace,
The full-grown Hebe of Fitz-Fulke, whose mind,
If she had any, was upon her face,
And that was of a fascinating kind.
A little turn for mischief you might trace
Also thereon,--but that's not much; we find
Few females without some such gentle leaven,
For fear we should suppose us quite in Heaven.

L.

I have not heard she was at all poetic,
Though once she was seen reading the _Bath Guide_,[788]
And Hayley's _Triumphs_,[789] which she deemed pathetic,
Because she said _her temper_ had been tried
So much, the bard had really been prophetic
Of what she had gone through with--since a bride.
But of all verse, what most ensured her praise
Were sonnets to herself, or _bouts rimés_.

LI.

'Twere difficult to say what was the object
Of Adeline, in bringing this same lay
To bear on what appeared to her the subject
Of Juan's nervous feelings on that day.
Perhaps she merely had the simple project
To laugh him out of his supposed dismay;
Perhaps she might wish to confirm him in it,
Though why I cannot say--at least this minute.

LII.

But so far the immediate effect
Was to restore him to his self-propriety,
A thing quite necessary to the elect,
Who wish to take the tone of their society:
In which you cannot be too circumspect,
Whether the mode be persiflage or piety,
But wear the newest mantle of hypocrisy,
On pain of much displeasing the gynocracy.[790]

LIII.

And therefore Juan now began to rally
His spirits, and without more explanation
To jest upon such themes in many a sally.
Her Grace, too, also seized the same occasion,
With various similar remarks to tally,
But wished for a still more detailed narration
Of this same mystic friar's curious doings,
About the present family's deaths and wooings.

LIV.

Of these few could say more than has been said;
They passed as such things do, for superstition
With some, while others, who had more in dread
The theme, half credited the strange tradition;
And much was talked on all sides on that head:
But Juan, when cross-questioned on the vision,
Which some supposed (though he had not avowed it)
Had stirred him, answered in a way to cloud it.

LV.

And then, the mid-day having worn to one,
The company prepared to separate;
Some to their several pastimes, or to none,
Some wondering 'twas so early, some so late.
There was a goodly match too, to be run
Between some greyhounds on my Lord's estate,
And a young race-horse of old pedigree,
Matched for the spring, whom several went to see.

LVI.

There was a picture-dealer who had brought
A special Titian, warranted original,
So precious that it was not to be bought,
Though Princes the possessor were besieging all--
The King himself had cheapened it, but thought
The civil list he deigns to accept (obliging all
His subjects by his gracious acceptation)--
Too scanty, in these times of low taxation.

LVII.

But as Lord Henry was a connoisseur,--
The friend of Artists, if not Arts,--the owner,
With motives the most classical and pure,
So that he would have been the very donor,
Rather than seller, had his wants been fewer,
So much he deemed his patronage an honour,
Had brought the _capo d'opera_, not for sale,
But for his judgment--never known to fail.

LVIII.

There was a modern Goth, I mean a Gothic
Bricklayer of Babel, called an architect,[ob]
Brought to survey these grey walls which, though so thick,
Might have from Time acquired some slight defect;
Who, after rummaging the Abbey through thick
And thin, produced a plan whereby to erect
New buildings of correctest conformation,
And throw down old--which he called _restoration_.[791]

LIX.

The cost would be a trifle--an "old song,"
Set to some thousands ('tis the usual burden
Of that same tune, when people hum it long)--
The price would speedily repay its worth in
An edifice no less sublime than strong,
By which Lord Henry's good taste would go forth in
Its glory, through all ages shining sunny,
For Gothic daring shown in English money.[792]

LX.

There were two lawyers busy on a mortgage
Lord Henry wished to raise for a new purchase;
Also a lawsuit upon tenures burgage,[793]
And one on tithes, which sure as Discord's torches,
Kindling Religion till she throws down _her_ gage,
"Untying" squires "to fight against the churches;"[794]
There was a prize ox, a prize pig, and ploughman,
For Henry was a sort of Sabine showman.

LXI.

There were two poachers caught in a steel trap,
Ready for gaol, their place of convalescence;
There was a country girl in a close cap
And scarlet cloak (I hate the sight to see, since--
Since--since--in youth, I had the sad mishap--
But luckily I have paid few parish fees since):[795]
That scarlet cloak, alas! unclosed with rigour,
Presents the problem of a double figure.

LXII.

A reel within a bottle is a mystery,
One can't tell how it e'er got in or out;
Therefore the present piece of natural history
I leave to those who are fond of solving doubt;
And merely state, though not for the Consistory,
Lord Henry was a Justice, and that Scout
The constable, beneath a warrant's banner,
Had bagged this poacher upon Nature's manor.

LXIII.

Now Justices of Peace must judge all pieces
Of mischief of all kinds, and keep the game
And morals of the country from caprices
Of those who have not a licence for the same;
And of all things, excepting tithes and leases,
Perhaps these are most difficult to tame:
Preserving partridges and pretty wenches
Are puzzles to the most precautions benches.

LXIV.

The present culprit was extremely pale,
Pale as if painted so; her cheek being red
By nature, as in higher dames less hale
'Tis white, at least when they just rise from bed.
Perhaps she was ashamed of seeming frail,
Poor soul! for she was country born and bred,
And knew no better in her immorality
Than to wax white--for blushes are for quality.

LXV.

Her black, bright, downcast, yet _espiègle_ eye,
Had gathered a large tear into its corner,
Which the poor thing at times essayed to dry,
For she was not a sentimental mourner
Parading all her sensibility,
Nor insolent enough to scorn the scorner,
But stood in trembling, patient tribulation,
To be called up for her examination.

LXVI.

Of course these groups were scattered here and there,
Not nigh the gay saloon of ladies gent.[796]
The lawyers in the study; and in air
The prize pig, ploughman, poachers: the men sent
From town, viz. architect and dealer, were
Both busy (as a General in his tent
Writing despatches) in their several stations,
Exulting in their brilliant lucubrations.

LXVII.

But this poor girl was left in the great hall,
While Scout, the parish guardian of the frail,
Discussed (he hated beer yclept the "small")
A mighty mug of _moral_ double ale.
She waited until Justice could recall
Its kind attentions to their proper pale,
To name a thing in nomenclature rather[oc]
Perplexing for most virgins--a child's father.

LXVIII.

You see here was enough of occupation
For the Lord Henry, linked with dogs and horses.
There was much bustle too, and preparation
Below stairs on the score of second courses;
Because, as suits their rank and situation,
Those who in counties have great land resources
Have "public days," when all men may carouse,
Though not exactly what's called "open house."

LXIX.

But once a week or fortnight, _un_invited
(Thus we translate a _general invitation_)
All country gentlemen, esquired or knighted,
May drop in without cards, and take their station
At the full board, and sit alike delighted
With fashionable wines and conversation;
And, as the isthmus of the grand connection,
Talk o'er themselves the past and next election.

LXX.

Lord Henry was a great electioneerer,
Burrowing for boroughs like a rat or rabbit.
But county contests cost him rather dearer,
Because the neighbouring Scotch Earl of Giftgabbit
Had English influence, in the self-same sphere here;
His son, the Honourable Dick Dicedrabbit,
Was member for the "other interest" (meaning
The same self-interest, with a different leaning).

LXXI.

Courteous and cautious therefore in his county,
He was all things to all men, and dispensed
To some civility, to others bounty,
And promises to all--which last commenced
To gather to a somewhat large amount, he
Not calculating how much they condensed;
But what with keeping some, and breaking others,
His word had the same value as another's.

LXXII.

A friend to Freedom and freeholders--yet
No less a friend to Government--he held,
That he exactly the just medium hit
Twixt Place and Patriotism--albeit compelled,
Such was his Sovereign's pleasure, (though unfit,
He added modestly, when rebels railed,)
To hold some sinecures he wished abolished,
But that with them all Law would be demolished.

LXXIII.

He was "free to confess"--(whence comes this phrase?
Is 't English? No--'tis only parliamentary)
That Innovation's spirit now-a-days
Had made more progress than for the last century.
He would not tread a factious path to praise,
Though for the public weal disposed to venture high;
As for his place, he could but say this of it,
That the fatigue was greater than the profit.

LXXIV.

Heaven, and his friends, knew that a private life
Had ever been his sole and whole ambition;
But could he quit his King in times of strife,
Which threatened the whole country with perdition?
When demagogues would with a butcher's knife
Cut through and through (oh! damnable incision!)
The Gordian or the G_e_ordi-an knot, whose strings
Have tied together Commons, Lords, and Kings.

LXXV.

Sooner "come Place into the Civil List
And champion him to the utmost[797]--" he would keep it,
Till duly disappointed or dismissed:
Profit he cared not for, let others reap it;
But should the day come when Place ceased to exist,
The country would have far more cause to weep it:
For how could it go on? Explain who can!
_He_ gloried in the name of Englishman.

LXXVI.

He was as independent--aye, much more--
Than those who were not paid for independence,
As common soldiers, or a common----shore,
Have in their several arts or parts ascendance
O'er the irregulars in lust or gore,
Who do not give professional attendance.
Thus on the mob all statesmen are as eager
To prove their pride, as footmen to a beggar.

LXXVII.

All this (save the last stanza) Henry said,
And thought. I say no more--I've said too much;
For all of us have either heard or read--
Off--or _upon_ the hustings--some slight such
Hints from the independent heart or head
Of the official candidate. I'll touch
No more on this--the dinner-bell hath rung,
And grace is said; the grace I _should_ have _sung_--

LXXVIII.

But I'm too late, and therefore must make play.
'Twas a great banquet, such as Albion old
Was wont to boast--as if a glutton's tray
Were something very glorious to behold.
But 'twas a public feast and public day,--
Quite full--right dull--guests hot, and dishes cold,--
Great plenty, much formality, small cheer,--
And everybody out of their own sphere.

LXXIX.

The squires familiarly formal, and
My Lords and Ladies proudly condescending;
The very servants puzzling how to hand
Their plates--without it might be too much bending
From their high places by the sideboard's stand--
Yet, like their masters, fearful of offending;
For any deviation from the graces
Might cost both man and master too--their _places_.

LXXX.

There were some hunters bold, and coursers keen,
Whose hounds ne'er erred, nor greyhounds deigned to lurch;
Some deadly shots too, Septembrizers,[798] seen
Earliest to rise, and last to quit the search
Of the poor partridge through his stubble screen.
There were some massy members of the church,
Takers of tithes, and makers of good matches,
And several who sung fewer psalms than catches.

LXXXI.

There were some country wags too--and, alas!
Some exiles from the Town, who had been driven
To gaze, instead of pavement, upon grass,
And rise at nine in lieu of long eleven.
And lo! upon that day it came to pass,
I sate next that o'erwhelming son of Heaven,
The very powerful parson, Peter Pith,[799]
The loudest wit I e'er was deafened with.

LXXXII.

I knew him in his livelier London days,
A brilliant diner-out, though but a curate,
And not a joke he cut but earned its praise,
Until Preferment, coming at a sure rate,
(O Providence! how wondrous are thy ways!
Who would suppose thy gifts sometimes obdurate?)
Gave him, to lay the Devil who looks o'er Lincoln,[800]
A fat fen vicarage, and nought to think on.

LXXXIII.

His jokes were sermons, and his sermons jokes;
But both were thrown away amongst the fens;
For Wit hath no great friend in aguish folks.[od]
No longer ready ears and short-hand pens
Imbibed the gay _bon-mot_, or happy hoax:[oe]
The poor priest was reduced to common sense,
Or to coarse efforts very loud and long,
To hammer a hoarse laugh from the thick throng.[of]

LXXXIV.

There _is_ a difference, says the song, "between
A beggar and a Queen,"[801] or _was_ (of late
The latter worse used of the two we've seen--
But we 'll say nothing of affairs of state);
A difference "'twixt a Bishop and a Dean,"
A difference between crockery ware and plate,
As between English beef and Spartan broth--
And yet great heroes have been bred by both.

LXXXV.

But of all Nature's discrepancies, none
Upon the whole is greater than the difference
Beheld between the Country and the Town,
Of which the latter merits every preference
From those who have few resources of their own.
And only think, or act, or feel, with reference
To some small plan of interest or ambition--
Both which are limited to no condition.

LXXXVI.

But _En avant!_ The light loves languish o'er
Long banquets and too many guests, although
A slight repast makes people love much more,
Bacchus and Ceres being, as we know,
Even from our grammar upwards, friends of yore
With vivifying Venus,[802] who doth owe
To these the invention of champagne and truffles:
Temperance delights her, but long fasting ruffles.

LXXXVII.

Dully passed o'er the dinner of the day;
And Juan took his place, he knew not where,
Confused, in the confusion, and _distrait_,
And sitting as if nailed upon his chair:
Though knives and forks clanked round as in a fray,
He seemed unconscious of all passing there,
Till some one, with a groan, expressed a wish
(Unheeded twice) to have a fin of fish.

LXXXVIII.

On which, at the _third_ asking of the banns,
He started; and perceiving smiles around
Broadening to grins, he coloured more than once,
And hastily--as nothing can confound
A wise man more than laughter from a dunce--
Inflicted on the dish a deadly wound,
And with such hurry, that, ere he could curb it,
He had paid his neighbour's prayer with half a turbot.

LXXXIX.

This was no bad mistake, as it occurred,
The supplicator being an amateur;
But others, who were left with scarce a third,
Were angry--as they well might, to be sure,
They wondered how a young man so absurd
Lord Henry at his table should endure;
And this, and his not knowing how much oats
Had fallen last market, cost his host three votes.

XC.

They little knew, or might have sympathized,
That he the night before had seen a ghost,
A prologue which but slightly harmonized
With the substantial company engrossed
By matter, and so much materialised,
That one scarce knew at what to marvel most
Of two things--_how_ (the question rather odd is)
Such bodies could have souls, or souls such bodies!

XCI.

But what confused him more than smile or stare
From all the 'squires and 'squiresses around,
Who wondered at the abstraction of his air,
Especially as he had been renowned
For some vivacity among the fair,
Even in the country circle's narrow bound--
(For little things upon my Lord's estate
Were good small talk for others still less great)--

XCII.

Was, that he caught Aurora's eye on his,
And something like a smile upon her cheek.
Now this he really rather took amiss;
In those who rarely smile, their smile bespeaks
A strong external motive; and in this
Smile of Aurora's there was nought to pique,
Or Hope, or Love--with any of the wiles
Which some pretend to trace in ladies' smiles.

XCIII.

'Twas a mere quiet smile of contemplation,
Indicative of some surprise and pity;
And Juan grew carnation with vexation,
Which was not very wise, and still less witty,
Since he had gained at least her observation,
A most important outwork of the city--
As Juan should have known, had not his senses
By last night's Ghost been driven from their defences.

XCIV.

But what was bad, she did not blush in turn,
Nor seem embarrassed--quite the contrary;
Her aspect was as usual, still--_not_ stern--
And she withdrew, but cast not down, her eye,
Yet grew a little pale--with what? concern?
I know not; but her colour ne'er was high--
Though sometimes faintly flushed--and always clear,
As deep seas in a sunny atmosphere.

XCV.

But Adeline was occupied by fame
This day; and watching, witching, condescending
To the consumers of fish, fowl, and game,
And dignity with courtesy so blending,
As all must blend whose part it is to aim
(Especially as the sixth year is ending)
At their lord's, son's, or similar connection's
Safe conduct through the rocks of re-elections.

XCVI.

Though this was most expedient on the whole
And usual--Juan, when he cast a glance
On Adeline while playing her grand _rôle_,
Which she went through as though it were a dance,
Betraying only now and then her soul
By a look scarce perceptibly askance
(Of weariness or scorn), began to feel
Some doubt how much of Adeline was _real_;

XCVII.

So well she acted all and every part
By turns--with that vivacious versatility,
Which many people take for want of heart.
They err--'tis merely what is called mobility,[803]
A thing of temperament and not of art,
Though seeming so, from its supposed facility;
And false--though true; for, surely, they're sincerest
Who are strongly acted on by what is nearest.

XCVIII.

This makes your actors, artists, and romancers,
Heroes sometimes, though seldom--sages never:
But speakers, bards, diplomatists, and dancers,
Little that's great, but much of what is clever;
Most orators, but very few financiers,
Though all Exchequer Chancellors endeavour,
Of late years, to dispense with Cocker's rigours,[804]
And grow quite figurative with their figures.

XCIX.

The poets of Arithmetic are they
Who, though they prove not two and two to be
Five, as they might do in a modest way,
Have plainly made it out that four are three,
Judging by what they take, and what they pay:
The Sinking Fund's unfathomable sea,
That most unliquidating liquid, leaves
The debt unsunk, yet sinks all it receives.

C.

While Adeline dispensed her airs and graces,
The fair Fitz-Fulke seemed very much at ease;
Though too well bred to quiz men to their faces,
Her laughing blue eyes with a glance could seize
The ridicules of people in all places--
That honey of your fashionable bees--
And store it up for mischievous enjoyment;
And this at present was her kind employment.

CI.

However, the day closed, as days must close;
The evening also waned--and coffee came.
Each carriage was announced, and ladies rose,
And curtsying off, as curtsies country dame,
Retired: with most unfashionable bows
Their docile Esquires also did the same,
Delighted with their dinner and their Host,
But with the Lady Adeline the most.

CII.

Some praised her beauty: others her great grace;
The warmth of her politeness, whose sincerity
Was obvious in each feature of her face,
Whose traits were radiant with the rays of verity.
Yes; _she_ was truly worthy _her_ high place!
No one could envy her deserved prosperity.
And then her dress--what beautiful simplicity
Draperied her form with curious felicity![805]

CIII.

Meanwhile sweet Adeline deserved their praises,
By an impartial indemnification
For all her past exertion and soft phrases,
In a most edifying conversation,
Which turned upon their late guests' miens and faces,
Their families, even to the last relation;
Their hideous wives, their horrid selves and dresses,
And truculent distortion of their tresses.

CIV.

True, _she_ said little--'twas the rest that broke
Forth into universal epigram;
But then 'twas to the purpose what she spoke:
Like Addison's "faint praise,"[806] so wont to damn,
Her own but served to set off every joke,
As music chimes in with a melodrame.
How sweet the task to shield an absent friend!
I ask but this of mine, to----_not_ defend.

CV.

There were but two exceptions to this keen
Skirmish of wits o'er the departed; one,
Aurora, with her pure and placid mien;
And Juan, too, in general behind none
In gay remark on what he had heard or seen,
Sate silent now, his usual spirits gone:
In vain he heard the others rail or rally,
He would not join them in a single sally.

CVI.

'Tis true he saw Aurora look as though
She approved his silence; she perhaps mistook
Its motive for that charity we owe
But seldom pay the absent, nor would look
Farther--it might or it might not be so.
But Juan, sitting silent in his nook,
Observing little in his reverie,
Yet saw this much, which he was glad to see.

CVII.

The Ghost at least had done him this much good,
In making him as silent as a ghost,
If in the circumstances which ensued
He gained esteem where it was worth the most;
And, certainly, Aurora had renewed
In him some feelings he had lately lost,
Or hardened; feelings which, perhaps ideal,
Are so divine, that I must deem them real:--

CVIII.

The love of higher things and better days;
The unbounded hope, and heavenly ignorance
Of what is called the World, and the World's ways;
The moments when we gather from a glance
More joy than from all future pride or praise,
Which kindle manhood, but can ne'er entrance
The Heart in an existence of its own,
Of which another's bosom is the zone.

CIX.

Who would not sigh [Greek: Ai)/ ai)/ ta\n Kythe/reian][807]
That _hath_ a memory, or that _had_ a heart?
Alas! _her_ star must fade like that of Dian:
Ray fades on ray, as years on years depart.
Anacreon only had the soul to tie an
Unwithering myrtle round the unblunted dart
Of Eros: but though thou hast played us many tricks,
Still we respect thee,"_Alma Venus Genetrix!_"[808]

CX.

And full of sentiments, sublime as billows
Heaving between this World and Worlds beyond,
Don Juan, when the midnight hour of pillows
Arrived, retired to his; but to despond
Rather than rest. Instead of poppies, willows
Waved o'er his couch; he meditated, fond
Of those sweet bitter thoughts which banish sleep,
And make the worldling sneer, the youngling weep.

CXI.

The night was as before: he was undrest,
Saving his night-gown, which is an undress;
Completely _sans culotte_, and without vest;
In short, he hardly could be clothed with less:
But apprehensive of his spectral guest,
He sate with feelings awkward to express
(By those who have not had such visitations),
Expectant of the Ghost's fresh operations.

CXII.

And not in vain he listened;--Hush! what's that?
I see--I see--Ah, no!--'t is not--yet 't is--
Ye powers! it is the--the--the--Pooh! the cat!
The Devil may take that stealthy pace of his!
So like a spiritual pit-a-pat,
Or tiptoe of an amatory Miss,
Gliding the first time to a _rendezvous_,
And dreading the chaste echoes of her shoe.

CXIII.

Again--what is 't? The wind? No, no,--this time
It is the sable Friar as before,
With awful footsteps regular as rhyme,
Or (as rhymes may be in these days) much more.
Again through shadows of the night sublime,
When deep sleep fell on men,[809] and the World wore
The starry darkness round her like a girdle
Spangled with gems--the Monk made his blood curdle.

CXIV.

A noise like to wet fingers drawn on glass,[810]
Which sets the teeth on edge; and a slight clatter,
Like showers which on the midnight gusts will pass,
Sounding like very supernatural water,
Came over Juan's ear, which throbbed, alas!
For Immaterialism's a serious matter;
So that even those whose faith is the most great
In Souls immortal, shun them _tête-à-tête_.

CXV.

Were his eyes open?--Yes! and his mouth too.
Surprise has this effect--to make one dumb,
Yet leave the gate which Eloquence slips through
As wide as if a long speech were to come.
Nigh and more nigh the awful echoes drew,
Tremendous to a mortal tympanum:
His eyes were open, and (as was before
Stated) his mouth. What opened next?--the door.

CXVI.

It opened with a most infernal creak,
Like that of Hell. "Lasciate ogni speranza,
Voi, ch' entrate!"[811] The hinge seemed to speak,
Dreadful as Dante's _rima_, or this stanza;
Or--but all words upon such themes are weak:
A single shade's sufficient to entrance a
Hero--for what is Substance to a Spirit?
Or how is 't _Matter_ trembles to come near it?[og]

CXVII.

The door flew wide, not swiftly,--but, as fly
The sea-gulls, with a steady, sober flight--
And then swung back; nor close--but stood awry,
Half letting in long shadows on the light,
Which still in Juan's candlesticks burned high,
For he had two, both tolerably bright,
And in the doorway, darkening darkness, stood
The sable Friar in his solemn hood.

CXVIII.

Don Juan shook, as erst he had been shaken
The night before; but being sick of shaking,
He first inclined to think he had been mistaken;
And then to be ashamed of such mistaking;
His own internal ghost began to awaken
Within him, and to quell his corporal quaking--
Hinting that Soul and Body on the whole
Were odds against a disembodied Soul.

CXIX.

And then his dread grew wrath, and his wrath fierce,
And he arose, advanced--the Shade retreated;
But Juan, eager now the truth to pierce,
Followed, his veins no longer cold, but heated,
Resolved to thrust the mystery _carte_ and _tierce_,
At whatsoever risk of being defeated:
The Ghost stopped, menaced, then retired, until
He reached the ancient wall, then stood stone still.

CXX.

Juan put forth one arm--Eternal powers!
It touched no soul, nor body, but the wall,
On which the moonbeams fell in silvery showers,
Chequered with all the tracery of the Hall;
He shuddered, as no doubt the bravest cowers
When he can't tell what 'tis that doth appal.
How odd, a single hobgoblin's nonentity
Should cause more fear than a whole host's identity!

CXXI.

But still the Shade remained: the blue eyes glared,
And rather variably for stony death;
Yet one thing rather good the grave had spared,
The Ghost had a remarkably sweet breath:
A straggling curl showed he had been fair-haired;
A red lip, with two rows of pearls beneath,
Gleamed forth, as through the casement's ivy shroud
The Moon peeped, just escaped from a grey cloud.

CXXII.

And Juan, puzzled, but still curious, thrust
His other arm forth--Wonder upon wonder!
It pressed upon a hard but glowing bust,
Which beat as if there was a warm heart under.
He found, as people on most trials must,
That he had made at first a silly blunder,
And that in his confusion he had caught
Only the wall, instead of what he sought.

CXXIII.

The Ghost, if Ghost it were, seemed a sweet soul
As ever lurked beneath a holy hood:
A dimpled chin,[oh] a neck of ivory, stole
Forth into something much like flesh and blood;
Back fell the sable frock and dreary cowl,
And they revealed--alas! that e'er they should!
In full, voluptuous, but _not o'er_grown bulk,
The phantom of her frolic Grace--Fitz-Fulke![812]


FOOTNOTES:

{572}[768] March 29, 1823.

[769] [Herodotus, _Hist._, i. 136.]

[770] [_Hamlet_, act ii. sc. 2, line 103.]

{573}[771] [The story is told of St. Thomas Aquinas, that he wrote a
work _De Omnibus Rebus_, which was followed by a second treatise, _De
Quibusdam Aliis._]

[772] [Not St. Augustine, but Tertullian. See his treatise, _De Carne
Christi_, cap. V. c. (_Opera_, 1744, p. 310): "Crucifixus est Dei
filius: non pudet, quia pudendum est: et mortuus est Dei filius: prorsus
credibile est, quia ineptum est: et sepultus resurrexit: certum est quia
impossibile est."]

{574}[773] ["That the dead are seen no more," said Imlac, "I will not
undertake to maintain, against the concurrent and unvaried testimony of
all ages, and of all nations. There is no people, rude or unlearned,
among whom apparitions of the dead are not related and believed. This
opinion, which perhaps prevails as far as human nature is diffused,
could become universal only by its truth; those that never heard of one
another would not have agreed in a tale which nothing but experience can
make credible. That it is doubted by single cavillers, can very little
weaken the general evidence; and some, who deny it with their tongues,
confess it with their fears."--_Rasselas_, chap. xxx., _Works_, ed.
1806, iii. 372, 373.]

{575}[774] The composition of the old Tyrian purple, whether from a
shell-fish, or from cochineal, or from kermes, is still an article of
dispute; and even its colour--some say purple, others scarlet: I say
nothing.

[Kermes is cochineal, the Greek [Greek: kokkinon.] The
shell-fish (_murex_) is the _Purpura patula_. Both substances were used
as dyes.]

[775] [See Ovid, _Heroid_, Epist. ix. line 161.]

[776] [Titus used to promise to "bear in mind," "to keep on his list,"
the petitions of all his supplicants, and once, at dinner-time, his
conscience smote him, that he had let a day go by without a single
grant, or pardon, or promotion. Hence his confession. "Amici, diem
perdidi!" _Vide_ Suetonius, _De XII. Cæs._, "Titus," lib. viii. cap. 8.]

[777] [_Tuism_ is not in Johnson's _Dictionary_. Coleridge has a note
dated 1800 (_Literary Remains_, i. 292), on "egotizing in _tuism_" but
it was not included in Southey's _Omniana_ of 1812, and must have been
unknown to Byron.]

{576}[778] [Sc. _toilette_, a Gallicism.]

[779] [Byron loved to make fact and fancy walk together, but, here, his
memory played him false, or his art kept him true. The Black Friar
walked and walks in the Guests' Refectory (or Banqueting Hall, or
"Gallery" of this stanza), which adjoins the Prior's Parlour, but the
room where Byron slept (in a four-post bed-a coronet, at each corner,
atop) is on the floor above the Prior's Parlour, and can only be
approached by a spiral staircase. Both rooms look west, and command a
view of the "lake's billow" and the "cascade." Moreover, the Guests'
Refectory was never hung with "old pictures." It would seem that Don
Juan (perhaps Byron on an emergency) slept in the Prior's Parlour, and
that in the visionary Newstead the pictures forsook the Grand
Drawing-Room for the Hall. Hence the scene! _El Libertado_ steps out of
the Gothic Chamber "forth" into the "gallery," and lo! "a monk in cowl
and beads." But, _Quien sabe?_ The Psalmist's caution with regard to
princes is not inapplicable to poets.]

{577}[780] [Compare Mariner's description of the cave in Hoonga Island
(_Poetical Works_, 1901, v. 629, note 1).]

{578}[781] ["The place," wrote Byron to Moore, August 13, 1814, "is
worth seeing as a ruin, and I can assure you there _was_ some fun there,
even in my time; but that is past. The ghosts, however, and the Gothics,
and the waters, and the desolation, make it very lively still." "It
was," comments Moore (_Life_, p. 262, note 1), "if I mistake not, during
his recent visit to Newstead, that he himself actually fancied he saw
the ghost of the Black Friar, which was supposed to have haunted the
Abbey from the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, and which he
thus describes from the recollection, perhaps, of his own fantasy, in
_Don Juan_.... It is said that the Newstead ghost appeared, also, to
Lord Byron's cousin, Miss Fanny Parkins, and that she made a sketch of
him from memory." The legend of the Black Friar may, it is believed at
Newstead (_et vide post_, "Song," stanza ii. line 5, p. 583), be traced
to the alarm and suspicion of the country-folk, who, on visiting the
Abbey, would now and then catch sight of an aged lay-brother, or monkish
domestic, who had been retained in the service of the Byrons long after
the Canons had been "turned adrift." He would naturally keep out of
sight of a generation who knew not monks, and, when surprised in the
cloisters or ruins of the church, would glide back to his own quarters
in the dormitories.]

[782]

["Shew his eyes, and grieve his heart;
Come like shadows, so depart."

_Macbeth_, act iv. sc. 1, lines 110, 111.]

{582}[nz]
_With that she rose as graceful as a Roe_
_Slips from the mountain in the month of June,_
_And opening her Piano 'gan to play_
_Forthwith--"It was a Friar of Orders Gray."_--[MS. erased.]

{584}[oa] _By their bed of death he receives their_ [_breath_].--[MS.
erased.]

{585}[783] I think that it was a carpet on which Diogenes trod,
with--"Thus I trample on the pride of Plato!"--"With greater pride," as
the other replied. But as carpets are meant to be trodden upon, my
memory probably misgives me, and it might be a robe, or tapestry, or a
table-cloth, or some other expensive and uncynical piece of furniture.

[It was Plato's couch or lounge which Diogenes stamped upon. "So much
for Plato's pride!" "And how much for yours, Diogenes?" "Calco Platonis
fastum!" "Ast fastu alio?" (_Vide_ Diogenis Laertii _De Vita et
Sententiis_, lib. vi. ed. 1595, p. 321.)

For "Attic Bee," _vide_ Cic. I. _De Div._, xxxvi. § 78, "At Platoni cum
in cunis parvulo dormienti apes in labellis consedissent, responsum est,
singulari illum suavitate orationis fore."]

{586}[784] [For two translations of this Portuguese song, see _Poetical
Works_, 1900, iii. 71.]

[785] I remember that the mayoress of a provincial town, somewhat
surfeited with a similar display from foreign parts, did rather
indecorously break through the applauses of an intelligent
audience--intelligent, I mean, as to music--for the words, besides being
in recondite languages (it was some years before the peace, ere all the
world had travelled, and while I was a collegian), were sorely disguised
by the performers:--this mayoress, I say, broke out with, "Rot your
Italianos! for my part, I loves a simple ballat!" Rossini will go a good
way to bring most people to the same opinion some day. Who would imagine
that he was to be the successor of Mozart? However, I state this with
diffidence, as a liege and loyal admirer of Italian music in general,
and of much of Rossini's; but we may say, as the connoisseur did of
painting in _The Vicar of Wakefield_, that "the picture would be better
painted if the painter had taken more pains."

[A little while, and Rossini is being lauded at the expense of a
degenerate modern rival. Compare Browning's _Bishop Blougram's Apology_.
"Where sits Rossini patient in his stall."--_Poetical Works_, ed. 1868,
v. 276.]

[786] [Compare _The Two Foscari_, act iii. sc. 1, line 172, _Poetical
Works_, 1901, v. 159, note 1.]

{587}[787] [Of Lady Beaumont, who was "weak enough" to admire
Wordsworth, see _The Blues_, Ecl. II. line 47, _sq._, _Poetical Works_,
1901, iv. 582.]

[788] [Christopher Anstey (1724-1802) published his _New Bath Guide_ in
1766.]

[789] [Compare _English Bards, etc._, lines 309-318, _Poetical Works_,
1898, i. 321, note 1.]

{588}[790] [For "Gynocracy," _vide ante_, p. 473, note 1.]

{589}[ob] _Thrower down of buildings_----.--[MS. erased.]

[791] [Byron had, no doubt, inspected the plan of Colonel Wildman's
elaborate restoration of the Abbey, which was carried out at a cost of
one hundred thousand pounds (see stanza lix. lines 1, 2). The kitchen
and domestic offices, which extended at right angles to the west front
of the Abbey (see "Newstead from a Picture by Peter Tilleman, _circ._
1720" _Letters_, 1898, i. (to face p.) 216), were pulled down and
rebuilt, the massive Sussex Tower (so named in honour of H.R.H. the Duke
of Sussex) was erected at the south-west corner of the Abbey, and the
south front was, in part, rebuilt and redecorated. Byron had been ready
to "leave everything" with regard to his beloved Newstead to Wildman's
"own feelings, present or future" (see his letter, November 18, 1818,
_Letters_, 1900, iv. 270); but when the time came, the necessary and, on
the whole, judicious alterations of his successor, must have cost the
"banished Lord" many a pang.]

{590}[792] "Ausu Romano, sere Veneto" is the inscription (and well
inscribed in this instance) on the sea walls between the Adriatic and
Venice. The walls were a republican work of the Venetians; the
inscription, I believe, Imperial; and inscribed by Napoleon the _First_.
It is time to continue to him that title--there will be a second by and
by, "Spes altera mundi," _if he live_; let him not defeat it like his
father. But in any case, he will be preferable to "_Imbéciles_." There
is a glorious field for him, if he know how to cultivate it.

[Francis Charles Joseph Napoleon, Duke of Reichstadt, died at Vienna,
July 22, 1832. But, none the less, Byron's prophecy was fulfilled.]

[793] [Burgage, or tenure in burgage, is where the king or some other
person is lord of an ancient borough, in which the tenements are held by
a yearly rent certain.]

[794]

["I conjure you, by that which you profess,
(Howe'er you come to know it) answer me:
Though you _untie_ the winds, and let them fight
Against the _churches_."

_Macbeth_, act iv. sc. 1, lines 50-53.]

{591}[795] [See the lines "To my Son," _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 260,
note 1.]

{592}[796] [See Spenser's _Faëry Queen_, Book I. Canto IX. stanza 6,
line 1.]

[oc]
_To name what passes for a puzzle rather,_
_Although there must be such a thing--a father_.--[MS. erased.]

{594}[797]

["Rather than so, come, Fate, into the list,
And champion me to the utterance."

_Macbeth_, act iii. sc. 1, lines 70, 71.]

{595}[798] [For "Septemberers (_Septembriseurs_)," see Carlyle's _French
Revolution_, 1839, iii. 50.]

{596}[799] ["Query, _Sydney Smith_, author of Peter Plymley's
Letters?--Printer's Devil."--Ed. 1833. Byron must have met Sydney Smith
(1771-1845) at Holland House. The "fat fen vicarage" (_vide infra_,
stanza lxxxii. line 8) was Foston-le-Clay (Foston, All Saints), near
Barton Hill, Yorkshire, which Lord Chancellor Erskine presented to
Sydney Smith in 1806. The "living" consisted of "three hundred acres of
glebe-land of the stiffest clay," and there was no parsonage house.--See
_A Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith_, by Lady Holland, 1855, i. 100-107.]

[800] ["Observe, also, three grotesque figures in the blank arches of
the gable which forms the eastern end of St. Hugh's Chapel," and of
these, "one is popularly said to represent the 'Devil looking over
Lincoln.'"--_Handbook to the Cathedrals of England_, by R.J. King,
_Eastern Division_, p. 394, note x.

The devil looked over Lincoln because the unexampled height of the
central tower of the cathedral excited his envy and alarm; or, as Fuller
(_Worthies: Lincolnshire_) has it, "overlooked this church, when first
finished, with a torve and tetrick countenance, as maligning men's
costly devotions." So, at least, the vanity of later ages interpreted
the saying; but a time was when the devil "looked over" Lincoln to some
purpose, for in A.D. 1185 an earthquake clave the Church of Remigius in
twain, and in 1235 a great part of the central tower, which had been
erected by Bishop Hugh de Wells, fell and injured the rest of the
building.]

{597}[od] _For laughter rarely shakes these aguish folks_.--[MS,
erased.]

[oe] _Took down the gay_ bon-mot----.--[MS. erased.]

[of] _To hammer half a laugh_----.--[MS. erased.]

[801]

["There's a difference to be seen between a beggar and a Queen;
And I 'll tell you the reason why;
A Queen does not swagger, nor get drunk like a beggar,
Nor be half so merry as I," etc.

"There's a difference to be seen,'twixt a Bishop and a Dean,
And I'll tell you the reason why;
A Dean can not dish up a dinner like a Bishop,
And that's the reason why!"]

{598}[802] ["Sine Cerere et Libero friget Venus." Terentius, _Eun._, act
iv. sc. 5, line 6.]

{601}[803] In French "_mobilité_." I am not sure that mobility is
English; but it is expressive of a quality which rather belongs to other
climates, though it is sometimes seen to a great extent in our own. It
may be defined as an excessive susceptibility of immediate
impressions--at the same time without _losing_ the past: and is, though
sometimes apparently useful to the possessor, a most painful and unhappy
attribute.

["That he was fully aware not only of the abundance of this quality in
his own nature, but of the danger in which it placed consistency and
singleness of character, did not require the note on this passage to
assure us. The consciousness, indeed, of his own natural tendency to
yield thus to every chance impression, and change with every passing
impulse, was not only for ever present in his mind, but ... had the
effect of keeping him in that general line of consistency, on certain
great subjects, which ... he continued to preserve throughout
life."--_Life_, p. 646. "Mobility" is not the tendency to yield to
_every_ impression, to change with _every_ impulse, but the capability
of being moved by many and various impressions, of responding to an
ever-renewed succession of impulses. Byron is defending the enthusiastic
temperament from the charge of inconstancy and insincerity.]

[804] [The first edition of Cocker's _Arithmetic_ was published in 1677.
There are many allusions to Cocker in Arthur Murphy's _Apprentice_
(1756), whence, perhaps, the saying, "according to Cocker."]

{602}[805] "[Et Horatii] Curiosa felicitas."--Petronius Arbiter,
_Salyricôn_, cap. cxviii.

[806]

["Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer."

Pope _on Addison, Prologue to the Satires_, lines 201, 202.]

{604}[807] [Bion, _Epitaphium Adonidis_, line 28.]

[808] [" ... genetrix hominum, divômque voluptas, Alma Venus!" Lucret.,
_De Rerum Nat_., lib. i. lines 1, 2.]

{605}[809] [_Job_ iv. 13.]

[810] See the account of the ghost of the uncle of Prince Charles of
Saxony, raised by Schroepfer--"Karl--Karl--was willst du mit mir?"

[For Johann Georg Schrepfer (1730(?)-1774), see J.S.B. Schlegel's
_Tagebuch, etc._, 1806, and _Schwärmer und Schwindler_, von Dr. Eugen
Sierke, 1874, pp. 298-332.]

{606}[811] [_Inferno_, Canto III. line 9.]

[og] _When once discovered it don't like to come near it_.--[MS.]

{607}[oh] _A beardless chin_----.--[MS.]

[812] [End of Canto 16. B. My. 6, 1823.--MS.]


Lord George Gordon Byron