Low were the whispers, manifold the rumours:
Some said he had been poison'd by Potemkin;
Others talk'd learnedly of certain tumours,

Exhaustion, or disorders of the same kin;
Some said 't was a concoction of the humours,
Which with the blood too readily will claim kin;
Others again were ready to maintain,

""T was only the fatigue of last campaign."


But here is one prescription out of many:


Sode-sulphat. 3. vi. 3. S. Mannæ optim.

Aq. fervent. F. 3. iss. 3. ij. tinct. Sennæ

Haustus" (and here the surgeon came and cupp'd him). "R. Pulv. Com. gr. iii. Ipecacuanhæ

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(With more beside, if Juan had not stopp'd 'em), "Bolus potassæ sulphuret. sumendus,

Et haustus ter in die capiendus."


This is the way physicians mend or end us,

"Secundum artem : " but although we sneer
In health-when ill, we call them to attend us,
Without the least propensity to jeer:
While that "hiatus maxime deflendus,"

To be fill'd up by spade or mattock, 's near,
Instead of gliding graciously down Lethe,
We tease mild Baillie, or soft Abernethy.


Juan demurr'd at this first notice to

Quit; and, though death had threaten'd an ejection, His youth and constitution bore him through,

And sent the doctors in a new direction.

But still his state was delicate: the hue

Of health but flicker'd with a faint reflection Along his wasted cheek, and seem'd to gravel The faculty-who said that he must travel.


The climate was too cold, they said, for him,
Meridian-born, to bloom in. This opinion
Made the chaste Catherine look a little grim,

Who did not like at first to lose her minion:
But when she saw his dazzling eye wax dim,

And drooping like an eagle's with clipp'd pinion, She then resolved to send him on a mission,

But in a style becoming his condition.


There was just then a kind of a discussion,
A sort of treaty or negotiation,
Between the British cabinet and Russian,

Maintain'd with all the due prevarication

With which great states such things are apt to push on;
Something about the Baltic's navigation,
Hides, train-oil, tallow, and the rights of Thetis,
Which Britons deem their "uti possidetis."


So Catherine, who had a handsome way
Of fitting out her favourites, conferr'd
This secret charge on Juan, to display

At once her royal splendour, and reward
His services. He kiss'd hands the next day,
Received instructions how to play his card,
Was laden with all kinds of gifts and honours,
Which show'd what great discernment was the donor's.


But she was lucky, and luck 's all. Your queens
Are generally prosperous in reigning;
Which puzzles us to know what fortune means.
But to continue: though her years were waning,

Her climacteric teased her like her teens ;

And though her dignity brook'd no complaining,
So much did Juan's setting off distress her,
She could not find at first a fit successor.


But time, the comforter, will come at last;

And four-and-twenty hours, and twice that number Of candidates requesting to be placed,

Made Catherine taste next night a quiet slumber :Not that she meant to fix again in haste, Nor did she find the quantity encumber, But always chusing with deliberation, Kept the place open for their emulation.


While this high post of honour 's in abeyance,
For one or two days, reader, we request
You'll mount with our young hero the conveyance
Which wafted him from Petersburgh; the best
Barouche, which had the glory to display once
The fair Czarina's autocratic crest

(When, a new Iphigene, she went to Tauris),
Was given to her favourite, and now bore his.



A bull-dog, and a bull-finch, and an ermine,
All private favourites of Don Juan; for
(Let deeper sages the true cause determine)
He had a kind of inclination, or

Weakness, for what most people deem mere vermin-
Live animals :--an old maid of threescore

For cats and birds more penchant ne'er display'd,
Although he was not old, nor even a maid.

The animals aforesaid occupied


Their station there were valets, secretaries,
In other vehicles; but at his side

Sat little Leila, who survived the parries
He made 'gainst Cossack sabres, in the wide.
Slaughter of Ismail. Though my wild muse varies

Her note, she don't forget the infant girl
Whom he preserved, a pure and living pearl.


Poor little thing! She was as fair as docile,

And with that gentle, serious character,

As rare in living beings as a fossile

Man, 'midst thy mouldy mammoths, "grand Cuvier !" Ill fitted with her ignorance to jostle

With this o'erwhelming world, where all must err :

But she was yet but ten years old, and therefore

Was tranquil, though she knew not why or wherefore.


Don Juan loved her, and she loved him, as
Nor brother, father, sister, daughter love.

I cannot tell exactly what it was;

He was not yet quite old enough to prove Parental feelings, and the other class,

Call'd brotherly affection, could not move

His bosom for he never had a sister:

Ah! if he had, how much he would have miss'd her!


And still less was it sensual; for besides

That he was not an ancient debauchee

(Who like sour fruit to stir their veins' salt tides,
As acids rouse a dormant alkali),

Although ('t will happen as our planet guides)
His youth was not the chastest that might be,
There was the purest platonism at bottom
Of all his feelings-only he forgot 'em.


Just now there was no peril of temptation;
He loved the infant orphan he had saved,
As patriots (now and then) may love a nation;
His pride too felt that she was not enslaved,
Owing to him ;- -as also her salvation,

Through his means and the church's, might be paved.
But one thing's odd, which here must be inserted-
The little Turk refused to be converted.


'T was strange enough she should retain the impression
Through such a scene of change, and dread, and slaughter;
But, though three bishops told her the transgression,
She show'd a great dislike to holy water:
She also had no passion for confession;

Perhaps she had nothing to confess :-no matter;
Whate'er the cause, the church made little of it—
She still held out that Mahomet was a prophet.


In fact, the only christian she could bear

Was Juan, whom she seem'd to have selected
In place of what her home and friends once were.
He naturally loved what he protected;
And thus they form'd a rather curious pair :

A guardian green in years, a ward connected
In neither clime, time, blood, with her defender;
And yet this want of ties made theirs more tender.



They journey'd on through Poland and through Warsaw,
Famous for mines of salt and yokes of iron:
Through Courland also, which that famous farce saw,
Which gave her dukes the graceless name of “ Biron."
'Tis the same landscape which the modern Mars saw,
Who march'd to Moscow, led by fame, the syren!
To lose, by one month's frost, some twenty years
Of conquest, and his guard of grenadiers.



Let not this seem an anti-climax

My guard! my old guard!" exclaim'd that god of clayThink of the thunderer's falling down below

Carotid artery-cutting Castlereagh !—

Alas! that glory should be chill'd by snow!
But, should we wish to warm us on our way
Through Poland, there is Kosciusko's name
Might scatter fire through ice, like Hecla's flame.



From Poland they came on through Prussia Proper,
And Koningsberg the capital, whose vaunt,
Besides some veins of iron, lead, or copper,
Has lately been the great Professor Kant.
Juan, who cared not a tobacco-stopper
About philosophy, pursued his jaunt

To Germany, whose somewhat tardy millions

Have princes who spur more than their postilions.


And thence through Berlin, Dresden, and the like,
Until he reach'd the castellated Rhine :-
Ye glorious gothic scenes! how much ye strike
All phantasies, not e'en excepting mine:
A gray wall, a green ruin, rusty pike

Make my soul pass the equinoctial line
Between the present and past worlds, and hover
Upon their airy confine, half-seas-over.

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But Juan posted on through Manheim, Bonn,
Which Drachenféls frowns over, like a spectre
Of the good feudal times for ever gone,

On which I have not time just now to lecture.
From thence he was drawn onwards to Cologne,
A city which presents to the inspector
Eleven thousand maidenheads of bone,
The greatest number flesh hath ever known.o


From thence to Holland's Hague and Helvoetsluys, That water-land of Dutchmen and of ditches,

Where juniper expresses its best juice—

The poor man's sparkling substitute for riches. Senates and sages have condemn'd its use—

But to deny the mob a cordial which is

Too often all the clothing, meat, or fuel,
Good government has left them, seems but cruel.


Here he embark'd, and, with a flowing sail,

Went bounding for the island of the free,

Towards which the impatient wind blew half a gale;
High dash'd the spray, the bows dipp'd in the sea,
And sea-sick passengers turn'd somewhat pale :
But Juan, season'd, as he well might be

By former voyages, stood to watch the skiffs
Which pass'd, or catch the first glimpse of the cliffs.

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