Perhaps you 'll have a letter from the mother,

To say her daughter's feelings are trepann'd;
Perhaps you 'll have a visit from the brother,

All strut, and stays, and whiskers, to demand What "


intentions are ?"—One way or other
It seems the virgin's heart expects your hand;
And between pity for her case and yours,
You 'll add to matrimony's list of cures.


I've known a dozen weddings made even thus,

And some of them high names : I've also known
Young men who--though they hated to discuss

Pretensions which they never dream'd to have shown--
Yet neither frighten'd by a female fuss,

Nor by mustachios moved, were let alone,
And lived, as did the broken-hearted fair,
In happier plight than if they form'd a pair.

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LXII. There's also nightly, to the uninitiated,

A peril—not indeed like love or marriage, But not the less for this to be depreciated :

It is-I meant and mean not to disparage The show of virtue even in the vitiated

It adds an outward grace unto their carriageBut to denounce the amphibious sort of harlot, " Couleur de rose," who 's neither white nor scarlet.

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Such is your old coquette, who can't say “No,”

And won't say “Yes," and keeps you on and offing,
On a lee shore, till it begins to blow-

Then sees your heart wreck’d, with an inward scoffing.
This works a world of sentimental woe,

And sends new Werters yearly to their coffin ;
But yet is merely innocent flirtation,
Not quite adultery, but adulteration.


LXIV. “Ye gods, I grow a talker !" Let us prate.

The next of perils, though I place it sternest, Is when, without regard to “ church or state,"

A wife makes or takes love in upright earnest. Abroad, such things decide few women's fate

(Such, early traveller ! is the truth thou learnest) But in old England when a young bride errs, Poor thing ! Eve's was a trisling case to hers ;

For 't is a low, newspaper, humdrum, lawsuit

Country, where a young couple of the same ages
Can't form a friendship but the world o'erawes it.

Then there 's the vulgar trick of those d-d damages; A verdict-grievous foe to those who cause it !

Forms a sad climax to romantic homages; Besides those soothing speeches of the pleaders, And evidences which regale all readers !



But they who blunder thus are raw beginners ;

A little genial sprinkling of hypocrisy
Has saved the fame of thousand splendid sinners,

The loveliest oligarchs of our gynecracy;
You may see such at all the balls and dinners,

Among the proudest of our aristocracy, So gentle, charming, charitable, chasteAnd all by having tact as well as taste.

Juan, who did not stand in the predicament

Of a mere novice, had one safeguard more ;
For he was sick,-no, 't was not the word sick I meant---

But he had seen so much good love before, That he was not in heart so very weak ;-I meant

But thus much, and no sneer against the shore Of white cliffs, white necks, blue eyes, bluer stockings, Tithes, taxes, duns, and doors with double knockings.

But coming young from lands and scenes romantic,

Where lives, not lawsuits, must be risk'd for passion, And passion's self must have a spice of frantic,

Into a country where 't is half a fashion, Seem'd to him half commercial, half pedantic,

Howe'er he might esteem this moral nation Besides (alas ! his taste-forgive and pity !) At first he did not think the women pretty.

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I say at first—for he found out at last,

But by degrees, that they were fairer far
Than the more glowing dames whose lot is cast

Beneath the influence of the eastern star-
A further proof we should not judge in haste;

Yet inexperience could not be his bar
To taste :--the truth is, if men would confess,
That novelties please less than they impress.

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Though travell’d, I have never had the luck to

up those shuffling negroes, Nile or Niger, To that impracticable place, Tombuctoo,

Where geography finds no one to oblige her
With such a chart as may be safely stuck to-

For Europe ploughs in Afric like “bos piger :"
But if I had been at Tombuctoo, there
No doubt I should be told that black is fair.

It is. I will not swear that black is white;

But I suspect in fact that white is black,
And the whole matter rests upon eye-sight.

Ask a blind man, the best judge. You 'll attack, Perhaps, this new position—but I 'm right;

Or if I 'm wrong, I 'll not be ta’en aback :
He hath no morn nor night, but all is dark
Within ; and what see'st thou? A dubious spark.

LXXII. But I 'm relapsing into metaphysics,

That labyrinth, whose clue is of the same Construction as your cures for hectic phthisics,

Those bright moths fluttering round a dying flame : And this reflection brings me to plain physics,

And the beauties of a foreign dame, Compared with those of our pure pearls of price, Those Polar summers, all sun, and some ice.

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Or say they are like virtuous mermaids, whose

Beginnings are fair faces, ends mere fishes ;-
Not that there 's not a quantity of those

Who have a due respect for their own wishes. Like Russians rushing from hot baths to snows

Are they, at bottom virtuous e’en when vicious : They warm into a scrape, but keep of course, As a reserve, a plunge into remorse.



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But this has nought to do with their outsides.

I said that Juan did not think them pretty
At the first blush; for a fair · Briton hides

Half her attractions-probably from pityAnd rather calmly into the heart glides,

Than storms it as a foe would take a city; But once there (if you doubt this, prithee try) She keeps it for you like a true ally.


She cannot step as does an Arab barb,

Or Andalusian girl from mass returning, Nor wear as gracefully as Gauls her garb,

Nor in her eye Ausonia's glance is burning ; Her voice, though sweet, is not so fit to warb

le those bravuras (which I still am learning To like, though I have been seven years in Italy, And have, or had, an ear that served me prettily);

She cannot do these things, nor one or two

Others, in that off-hand and dashing style
Which takes so much—to give the devil his due ;

Nor is she quite so ready with her smile, Nor settles all things in one interview

(A thing approved as saying time and toil) :But though the soil may give you time and trouble, Well cultivated, it will render double.

And if in fact she takes to a “ grande passion,”

It is a very serious thing indeed ;
Nine times in ten 't is but caprice or fashion,

Coquetry, or a wish to take the lead,
The pride of a mere child with a new sash on,

Or wish to make a rival's bosom bleed;
But the tenth instance will be a tornado,
For there 's no saying what they will or may


The reason 's obvious : if there 's an eclat,

They lose their caste at once, as do the Parias;
And when the delicacies of the law

Have fill’d their papers with their comments various, Society, that china without flaw,

(The hypocrite !) will banish them like Marius, To sit amidst the ruins of their guilt : For Fame's a Carthage not so soon rebuilt.

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LXXIX. Perhaps this is as it should be ;-it is

A comment on the Gospel's “Sin no more, And be thy sins forgiven :"-but upon this

I leave the saints to settle their own score. Abroad, though doubtless they do much amiss,

An erring woman finds an open door For her return to virtuemas they call The lady who should be at home to all.

For me, I leave the matter where I find it,

Knowing that such uneasy virtue leads
People some ten times less in fact to mind it,

And care but for discoveries and not deeds. And as for chastity, you 'll never bind it

By all the laws the strictest lawyer pleads, But aggravate the crime you have not prevented, By rendering desperate those who 'd else repented.

But Juan was no casuist, nor had ponder'd

Upon the moral lessons of mankind :
Besides, he had not seen, of several hundred,

A lady altogether to his mind.
A little “ blasé”—'t is not to be wonder'd

At, that his heart had got a tougher rind :
And though not vainer from his past success,
No doubt his sensibilities were less.

LXXXII. He also had been busy seeing sights

The parliament and all the other houses ; Had sate beneath the galleries at nights,

To hear debates whose thunder roused (not rouses) The world to gaze upon those northern lights

Which flash'd as far as where the musk-bull browses : He had also stood at times behind the throneBut Grey was not arrived, and Chatham gone.

He saw,

however, at the closing session,
That noble sight, when really free the nation,
A king in constitutional possession

Of such a throne as is the proudest station,
Though despots know it not-till the progression

Of freedom shall complete their education. ’T is not mere splendour makes the show august To eye or heart—it is the people's trust.

LXXXIV. There too he saw (whate'er he may

be now) A prince, the prince of princes, at the time With fascination in his very bow,

And full of promise, as the spring of prime.
Though royalty was written on his brow,

He had then the grace too, rare in every clime,
Of being, without alloy of fop or beau,
A finish'd gentleman from top to toe.

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