It is observed that ladies are litigious

Upon all legal objects of possession,
And not the least so when they are religious,

Which doubles what they think of the transgression.
With suits and prosecutions they besiege us,

As the tribunals show through many a session,
When they suspect that any one goes shares
In that to which the law makes them sole heirs.

Now, if this holds good in a christian land,

The heathens also, though with lesser latitude,
Are apt to carry things with a high hand,

And take what kings call “ an imposing attitude ;" And for their rights connubial make a stand,

When their liege husbands treat them with ingratitude ; And as four wives must have quadruple claims, The Tigris hath its jealousies like Thames.

XII. Gulbeyaz was the fourth, and (as I said)

The favourite ; but what 's favour amongst four ?
Polygamy may well be held in dread,

Not only as a sin, but as a bore :
Most wise men, with one moderate woman wed,

Will scarcely find philosophy for more ;
And all (except Mahometans) forbear
To make the nuptial couch a “ Bed of Ware."

His highness, the sublimest of mankind, -

So styled according to the usual forms
Of every monarch, till they are consign’d

To those sad hungry jacobins, the worms, Who on the very loftiest kings have dined,

His highness gazed upon Gulbeyaz' charms, Expecting all the welcome of a lover (A “ Highland welcome ” all the wide world over).

Now here we should distinguish ; for howe'er

Kisses, sweet words, embraces, and all that
May look like what is-neither here nor there;

They are put on as easily as a hat,
Or rather bonnet, which the fair sex wear,

Trimm'd either heads or hearts to decorate,
Which form an ornament, but no more part
Of heads than their caresses of the heart.

A slight blush, a soft tremor, a calı kind

Of gentle feminine delight, and shown
More in the eyelids than the eyes, resign'd

Rather to hide what pleases inost unknown,
Are the best tokens (to a modest mind)

Of love, when seated on his loveliest throne,
A sincere woman's breast,—for over warm
Or over cold annihilates the charm.

For over warmth, if false, is worse than truth;

If true, 't is no great lease of its own fire ;
For no one, save in very early youth,

Would like (I think) to trust all to desire, Which is but a precarious bond, in sooth,

And apt to be transferr’d to the first buyer At a sad discount : while your over chilly Women, on t' other hand, seem somewhat silly:



That is, we cannot pardon their bad taste;

For so it seems to lovers swift or slow,
Who fain would have a mutual flame confest,

And see a sentimental passion glow,
Even were St. Francis' paramour their guest,

In his monastic concubine of snow ;-
In short, the maxim for the amorous tribe is
Horatian, “ Medio tu tutissimus ibis.”


The “ tu " 's too much,—but let it stand--the verse

Requires it, that 's to say, the English rhyme, And not the pink of old hexameters;

But, after all, there 's neither tune nor time
In the last line, which cannot well be worse,

And was thrust in to close the octave's chime :
I own no prosody can ever rate it
As a rule, Truth may,


translate it.

If fair Gulbeyaz overdid her part,

I know not-it succeeded, and suecess
Is much in most things, not less in the heart

Than other articles of female dress.
Self-love in man too beats all female art;

They lie, we lie, all lie, but love no less : And no one virtue yet, except starvation, Could stop that worst of vices-propagation.


We leave this royal couple to repose ,

A bed is not a throne, and they may sleep, Whate'er their dreams be, if of joys or woes ;

Yet disappointed joys are woes as deep As man's clay mixture undergoes.

Our least of sorrows are such as we weep; 'T is the vile daily drop on drop which wears The soul out (like the stone) with petty cares.


XXI. A scolding wife, a sullen son, a bill

To pay, unpaid, protested or discounted At a per-centage ; a child cross, dog ill,

A favourite horse fallen lame just as he's mounted; A bad old woman making a worse will, Which leaves you minus of the cash you

counted As certain ;--these are paltry things, and yet I've rarely seen the man they did not fret.

I 'm a philosopher ; confound them all!

Bills, beasts, and men, and no! not womankind ! With one good hearty curse I vent my gall,

And then my stoicism leaves nought behind Which it can either pain or evil call,

And I can give my whole soul up to mind; Though what is soul or mind, their birth or growth, Is more than I know-the deuce take them both.

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So now all things are d-n'd, one feels at ease,

As after reading Athanasius' curse,
Which doth your true believer so much please :

I doubt if any now could make it worse
O'er his worst enemy when at his knees,

'T is so sententious, positive, and terse, And decorates the book of Common Prayer, As doth a rainbow the just clearing air.

XXIV. Gulbeyaz and her lord were sleeping, or

At least one of them—Oh the heavy night! When wicked wives who love some bachelor

Lie down in dudgeon to sigh for the light Of the gray morning, and look vainly for

Its twinkle through the lattice dusky quite, To toss, to tumble, doze, revive, and quake Lest their too lawful bed-fellow should wake.

These are beneath the canopy of heaven,

Also beneath the canopy of beds
Four-posted and silk-curtain’d, which are given

For rich men and their brides to lay their heads
Upon, in sheets white as what bards call “ driven

Snow.” Well ! 't is all hap-hazard when one weds. Gulbeyaz was an empress, but had been Perhaps as wretched if a peasant's quean.

Don Juan in his feminine disguise,

With all the damsels in their long array,
Had bow'd themselves before the imperial eyes,

And, at the usual signal, ta’en their way
Back to their chambers, those long galleries

In the seraglio, where the ladies lay
Their delicate limbs ; a thousand bosoms there
Beating for love, as the caged bird's for air.

I love the sex, and sometimes would reverse

The tyrant's wish, “ that mankind only had
One neck, which he with one fell stroke might pierce :"

My wish is quite as wide, but not so bad,
And much more tender on the whole than fierce :

It being (not now, but only while a lad)
That womankind had but one rosy mouth
To kiss them all at once from north to south.

XXVIII. Oh enviable Briareus ! with thy hands

And heads, if thou hadst all things multiplied In such proportion !-But my

Muse withstands
The giant thought of being a Titan's bride,
Or travelling in Patagonian lands ;

So let us back to Lilliput, and guide
Our hero through the labyrinth of love
In which we left him several lines above.

He went forth with the lovely odalisques,

At the given signal join’d to their array ;
And though he certainly ran many risks,

Yet he could not at times keep by the way, (Although the consequences of such frisks

Are worse than the worst damages men pay
In moral England, where the thing 's a tax)
From ogling all their charms from breasts to backs.

Still he forgot not his disguise :-along

The galleries from room to room they walk’d,
A virgin-like and edifying throng,

By eunuchs flank'd; while at their head there stalk'd A dame who kept up discipline among

The female ranks, so that none stirr'd or talk'd
Without her sanction on their she-parades :
Her title was - the Mother of the Maids."

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XXXI. Whether she was a “ mother," I know not, Or whether they were

"maids” who call'd her mother; But this is her seraglio title, got

I know not how, but good as any other ;
So Cantemir can tell you, or De Tott:

Her office was to keep aloof or smother
All bad propensities in fifteen hundred
Young women, and correct them when they blunder’d.

A goodly sinecure, no doubt! but made

More easy by the absence of all men
Except his Majesty, who, with her aid,

And guards, and bolts, and walls, and now and then
A slight example, just to cast a shade

Along the rest, contrived to keep this den
Of beauties cool as an Italian convent,
Where all the passions have, alas ! but one vent.

And what is that? Devotion, doubtless—how

you ask such a question ?—but we will Continue. As I said, this goodly row

Of ladies of all countries at the will
Of one good man, with stately march and slow,

Like water-lilies floating down a rill,
Or rather lake-for rills do not run slowly,
Paced on most maiden-like and melancholy.

But when they reach'd their own apartments, there,

Like birds, or boys, or bedlamites broke loose,
Waves at spring-tide, or women any where

When freed from bonds (which are great use
After all), or like Irish at a fair,

Their guards being gone, and, as it were, a truce
Establish'd between thein and bondage, they
Began to sing, dance, chatter, smile, and play.

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