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Into the best society: and there
However disciplined and debonnaire : The talent and good humour he display'd,
Besides the mark'd distinction of his air, Exposed him, as was natural, to temptation, Even though himself avoided the occasion.
LXXXVI. But what, and where, with whom, and when, and why,
Is not to be put hastily together ; And as my object is morality
(Whatever people say), I don't know whether I 'll leave a single reader's eyelid dry,
But harrow up his feelings till they wither,
Ends. When the body of the book 's begun,
From what some people say 't will be when done : The plan at present 's simply in concoction.
I can't oblige you, reader! to read on;
Remember, reader! you have had before
That e'er were brew'd from elements or gore, Besides the most sublime of—Heaven knows what else :
An usurer could scarce expect much moreBut my
best canto, save one on astronomy, Will turn upon
Now that the public hedge hath scarce a stake,
To show the people the best way to break.
Reserve it) will be very sure to take.
Gives, with Greek truth, the good old Greek the lie. See MITFORD'S Greece. “ Græcia Verax.” His great pleasure consists in praising tyrants, abusing Plutarch, spelling oddly, and writing quaintly; and, what is strange after all, his is the best modern history of Greece in any language, and he is perhaps the best of all modern historians whatsoever. Having named his sins, it is but fair to state his virtues-learning, labour, research, wrath, and partiality. I call the latter virtues in a writer, because they make him write in earnest.
Note 2. Stanza xxxvii.
A hazy widower turn'd of forty 's sure.
Note 3. Stanza lxxiii.
Like Russians rushing from hot baths to snows. The Russians, as is well known, run out from their hot baths to plunge into the Neva: a pleasant practical antithesis, which it seems does them no harm.
Note 4. Stanza lxxxii.
those northern lights
For a description and print of this inhabitant of the polar region and native country of the auroræ boreales, see Parry's Voyage in search of a North-West Passage.
Note 5. Stanza lxxxvi.
As Philip's son proposed to do with Athos. A sculptor projected to hew Mount Athos into a statue of Alexander, with a city in one hand, and, I believe, a river in his pocket, with various other similar devices. But Alexander 's gone, and Athos remains, I trust, ere long, to look over a nation of freemen.
1. I now mean to be serious ;-it is time,
Since laughter now-a-days is deem'd too serious. A jest at vice by virtue 's call'd a crime,
And critically held as deleterious : Besides, the sad 's a source of the sublime,
Although when long a little apt to weary us; And therefore shall my lay soar high and solemn As an old temple dwindled to a column.
II. The Lady Adeline Amundeville
('T is an old Norman name, and to be found In pedigrees by those who wander still
Along the last fields of that gothic ground) Was high-born, wealthy by her father's will,
And beauteous, even where beauties most abound, In Britain—which of course true patriots find The goodliest soil of body and of mind.
I leave them to their taste, no doubt the best :
Is no great matter, so 't is in request : 'T is nonsense to dispute about a hue
The kindest may be taken as a test. The fair sex should be always fair ; and no man, Till thirty, should perceive there 's a plain woman.
Epoch, that awkward corner turn’d for days
We may presume to criticise or praise;
Our passions, and we walk in wisdom's ways ;
Reluctant as all placemen to resign
post; but theirs is merely a chimera, For they have pass'd life's equinoctial line : But then they have their claret and madeira,
To irrigate the dryness of decline;
Peace, war, the taxes, and what 's call'd the “ nation p" The struggle to be pilots in a storm ?
The landed and the monied speculation ? The joys of mulual hate to keep them warm,
Instead of love, that mere hallucination ? Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure ; Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.
Right honestly, “he liked an honest hater"-
Within these latest thousand years or later. Perhaps the fine old fellow spoke in jest ;
For my part, I am but a mere spectator, And
gaze where'er the palace or the hovel is, Much in the mode of Goëthe's Mephistopheles ;
Though ’t was not once so. If I sneer sometimes,
And now and then it also suits my rhymes. I should be very willing to redress
Men's wrongs, and rather check than punish criines, Had not Cervantes, in that too true tale Of Quixote, shown how all such efforts fail.
Because it makes us smile ; his hero 's right,
His only object, and 'gainst odds to fight,
But his adventures form a sorry sight;
X. Redressing injury, revenging wrong,
To aid the damsel and destroy the caitiff ; Opposing singly the united strong,
From foreign yoke to free the helpless native ;
Be for mere fancy's sport a theme creative?
XI. Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away;
A single laugh demolish'd the right arm Of his own country ;-seldom since that day
Has Spain had heroeś. While romance could charm, The world gave ground before her bright array;
And therefore have his volumes done such harm,
Although she was not evil nor meant ill!
(Fate is a good excuse our own will), And caught them ; what do they not catch, methinks ? But I'm not Edipus, and life 's a sphinx.
XIII. I tell the tale as it is told, nor dare
To venture a solution : “ Davus sum!” And now I will proceed upon the pair.
Sweet Adeline, amidst the gay world's hum, Was the queen-bee, the glass of all that 's fair ;
Whose charms made all men speak, and women dumb. The last 's a miracle, and such was reckon'd, And since that time there has not been a second.
And wedded unto one she had loved well-
Cool, and quite English, imperturbable, Though apt to act with fire upon occasion,
Proud of himself and her ; the world could tell Nought against either, and both seem'd secure She in her virtue, he in his hauteur.