Had Bonaparte won at Waterloo,

It had been firmness; now 't is pertinacity:
Must the event decide between the two?
I leave it to your people of sagacity
To draw the line between the false and true,
If such can e'er be drawn by man's capacity:
My business is with Lady Adeline,

Who in her way too was a heroine.


She knew not her own heart; then how should I?
I think not she was then in love with Juan :
If so, she would have had the strength to fly
The wild sensation, unto her a new one ;
She merely felt a common sympathy

(I will not say it was a false or true one)

In him, because she thought he was in danger

Her husband's friend, her own, young, and a stranger,


She was, or thought she was, his friend-and this
Without the farce of friendship, or romance
Of Platonism, which leads so oft amiss

Ladies who have studied friendship but in France,

Or Germany, where people purely kiss.

To thus much Adeline would not advance;

But of such friendship as man's may to man be,
She was as capable as woman can be.


No doubt the secret influence of the sex
Will there, as also in the ties of blood,
An innocent predominance annex,


And tune the concord to a finer mood.
If free from passion, which all friendship checks,
And your true feelings fully understood,
No friend like to a woman earth discovers,
So that you have not been nor will be lovers,


Love bears within its breast the very germ
Of change; and how should this be otherwise?
That violent things more quickly find a term

Is shown through nature's whole analogies :
And how should the most fierce of all be firm?

Would you have endless lightning in the skies? Methinks love's very title says enough:

How should "the tender passion" e'er be tough?


Alas! by all experience, seldom yet

(I merely quote what I have heard from many) Had lovers not some reason to regret

The passion which made Solomon a zany.
I've also seen some wives (not to forget

The marriage state, the best or worst of any)
Who were the very paragons of wives,
Yet made the misery of at least two lives.


I've also seen some female friends ('t is odd,
But true-as, if expedient, I could prove)
That faithful were, through thick and thin, abroad,
At home, far more than ever yet was love—
Who did not quit me when oppression trod

Upon me; whom no scandal could remove; Who fought, and fight, in absence too, my battles, Despite the snake society's loud rattles.


Whether Don Juan and chaste Adeline
Grew friends in this or any other sense,
Will be discuss'd hereafter, I opine:
At present I am glad of a pretence

To leave them hovering, as the effect is fine,
And keeps the atrocious reader in suspense ;
The surest way for ladies and for books
To bait their tender or their tenter-hooks.


Whether they rode, or walk'd, or studied Spanish, To read Don Quixote in the original,

A pleasure before which all others vanish;

Whether their talk was of the kind call'd "small,"

Or serious, are the topics I must banish

To the next canto; where, perhaps, I shall Say something to the purpose, and display Considerable talent in my way.


Above all, I beg all men to forbear
Anticipating aught about the matter :
They 'll only make mistakes about the fair,
And Juan too, especially the latter.
And I shall take a much more serious air

Than I have yet done in this epic satire.

It is not clear that Adeline and Juan
Will fall; but if they do, 't will be their ruin.


But great things spring from little :

:--would you That, in our youth, as dangerous a passion As e'er brought man and woman to the brink

Of ruin, rose from such a slight occasion As few would ever dream could form the link Of such a sentimental situation?


You'll never guess, I'll bet you millions, milliards— It all sprung from a harmless game at billiards.


'T is strange-but true; for truth is always strange,
Stranger than fiction: if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold!
How oft would vice and virtue places change!

The new world would be nothing to the old,
If some Columbus of the moral seas
Would show mankind their soul's antipodes.


What "antres vast and deserts idle" then
Would be discovered in the human soul!
What icebergs in the hearts of mighty men,
With self-love in the centre as their pole!
What anthropophagi are nine of ten

Of those who hold the kingdoms in control!
Were things but only call'd by their right name,
Cæsar himself would be ashamed of fame.


Note 1. Stanza xxxiii.

And never craned, and made but few faux pas.

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Craning "To crane" is, or was, an expression used to denote a gentleman's stretching out his neck over a hedge, "to look before he leaped: -a pause in his '' vaulting ambition," which in the field doth occasion some delay and execration in those who may be immediately behind the equestrian sceptic. "Sir, if you don't chuse to take the leap, let me "—was a phrase which generally sent the aspirant on again; and to good purpose: for though "the horse and rider" might fall, they made a gap, through which, and over him and his steed, the field might follow.

Note 2. Stanza xlviii.

Go to the coffee-house, and take another.

In SWIFT'S or HORACE WALPOLE's Letters I think it is mentioned, that somebody regretting the loss of a friend, was answered by a universal Pylades: "When I lose one, I go to the Saint James's Coffee-house, and take another."

I recollect having heard an anecdote of the same kind. Sir W. D. was a great gamester. Coming in one day to the club of which he was a member, he was observed to look melancholy. "What is the matter, Sir William ?" cried Hare, of facetious memory. "Ah." replied Sir W. "I have just lost poor Lady D," Lost! What at?-Quinze or Hasard?" was the consolatory rejoinder of the querist.

Note 3. Stanza lix.

And I refer you to wise Oxenstiern.

The famous Chancellor Oxenstiern said to his son, on the latter expressing his surprise upon the great effects arising from petty causes in the presumed mystery of politics: "You see by this, my son, with how little wisdom the kingdoms of the world are governed."




AH !————What should follow slips from my
Whatever follows ne'ertheless may be

As apropos of hope or retrospection,


As though the lurking thought had follow'd free. All present life is but an interjection,

An "Oh!" or "Ah!" of joy or misery, Or a Ha! ha!" or "Bah!"- -a yawn, or Of which perhaps the latter is most true.


But, more or less, the whole 's a syncope,
Or a singultus-emblems of emotion,
The grand antithesis to great ennui,

"Pooh !".

Wherewith we break our bubbles on the ocean, That watery outline of eternity,

Or miniature at least, as is my notion, Which ministers unto the soul's delight, In seeing matters which are out of sight.


But all are better than the sigh supprest,
Corroding in the cavern of the heart,
Making the countenance a mask of rest,
And turning human nature to an art.
Few men dare show their thoughts of worst or best;
Dissimulation always sets apart

A corner for herself; and therefore fiction

Is that which passes with least contradiction.


Ah! who can tell? or rather, who can not

Remember, without telling, passion's errors ?

The drainer of oblivion, even the sot,

Hath got blue devils for his morning mirrors:
What though on Lethe's stream he seem to float,
He cannot sink his tremors or his terrors;
The ruby glass that shakes within his hand,
Leaves a sad sediment of Time's worst sand.

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