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XC. Had Bonaparte won at Waterloo,
It had been firmness; now 't is pertinacity :
I leave it to your people of sagacity
If such can e'er be drawn by man's capacity :
I think not she was then in love with Juan :
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 dangerHer husband's friend, her own, young, and a stranger,
Without the farce of friendship, or romance
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.
Will there, as also in the ties of blood,
And tune the concord to a finer mood.
And your true feelings fully understood,
Of change; and how should this be otherwise ?
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
says enough: How should “ the tender passion” e'er be tough?
XCV. 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.
The marriage state, the best or worst of any)
But true-as, if expedient, I could prove)
At home, far more than ever yet was loveWho 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.
XCVII. Whether Don Juan and chaste Adeline
Grew friends in this or any other sense,
At present I am glad of a pretence
nd keeps the atrocious reader in suspense ;
To read Don Quixote in the original,
Whether their talk was of the kind callid “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.
XCIX. 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.
Than I have yet done in this epic satire.
C. But great things spring from little :—would you think,
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, milliardsIt all sprung from a harmless game at billiards.
CI. 'T is strange—but true; for truth is always strange,
Stranger than fiction : if it could be told,
How differently the world would men behold !
The new world would be nothing to the old,
Would be discovered in the human soul!
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 calld by their right name, Cæsar himself would be ashamed of fame.
NOTES TO CANTO XIV.
Note 1. Stanza xxxiii.
And never craned, and made but few faux pas. 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” inight 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."
1. Ан!- -What should follow slips from
reflection Whatever follows ne'ertheless
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
6 Pooh!" Of which perhaps the latter is most true.
Or a singultus—emblems of emotion,
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.
Corroding in the cavern of the heart,
And turning human nature to an art.
Dissimulation always sets apart
Remember, without telling, passion's errors ?
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.