Little Aurora deem'd she was the theme

Of such discussion. She was there a guest, A beauteous ripple of the brilliant stream

Of rank and youth, though purer than the rest, Which flow'd on for a moment in the beam

Time sheds a moment o'er each sparkling crest. Had she known this, she would have calmly smiledShe had so much, or little, of the child.


The dashing and proud air of Adeline
Imposed not upon her: she saw her blaze
Much as she would have seen a glow-worm shine,
Then turn'd unto the stars for loftier rays.
Juan was something she could not divine,
Being no sybil in the new world's ways;
Yet she was nothing dazzled by the meteor,
Because she did not pin her faith on feature.


His fame too, for he had that kind of fame
Which sometimes plays the deuce with womankind,

A heterogeneous mass of glorious blame,

Half virtues and whole vices being combined; Faults which attract because they are not tame; Follies trick'd out so brightly that they blind :These seals upon her wax made no impression, Such was her coldness or her self-possession.


Juan knew nought of such a character-
High, yet resembling not his lost Haidee;
Yet each was radiant in her proper sphere:
The island girl, bred up by the lone sea,
More warm, as lovely, and not less sincere,

Was nature's all: Aurora could not be,
Nor would be thus ;-the difference in them
Was such as lies between a flower and gem.


Having wound up with this sublime comparison,
Methinks we may proceed upon our narrative,
And, as my friend Scott says, "I sound my Warison;"
Scott, the superlative of my comparative-

Scott, who can paint your Christian knight or Saracen,
Serf, lord, man, with such skill as none would share it, if

There had not been one Shakspeare and Voltaire,

Of one or both of whom he seems the heir.




in my slight way I may proceed
To play upon the surface of humanity.
I write the world, nor care if the world read,
At least for this I cannot spare its vanity.
My Muse hath bred, and still perhaps may breed
More foes by this same scroll: when I began it, I
Thought that it might turn out so—now I know it,
But still I am, or was, a pretty poet.


The conference or congress (for it ended
As congresses of late do) of the Lady
Adeline and Don Juan rather blended

Some acids with the sweets-for she was heady;
But, ere the matter could be marr'd or mended,

The silvery bell rung, not for "dinner ready," But for that hour, call'd half-hour, given to dress, Though ladies' robes seem scant enough for less.


Great things were now to be achieved at table,
With massy plate for armour, knives and forks
For weapons; but what Muse since Homer 's able
(His feasts are not the worst part of his works)
To draw up in array a single day-bill

Of modern dinners? where more mystery lurks
In soups or sauces, or a sole ragout,

Than witches, b―ches, or physicians brew.


There was a goodly soupe à la bonne femme,

Though God knows whence it came from; there was too A turbot for relief of those who cram,

Relieved with dindon à la Périgueux ;

There also was- -the sinner that I am!

How shall I get this gourmand stanza through?

Soupe à la Beauveau, whose relief was dory,
Relieved itself by pork, for greater glory.


But I must crowd all into one grand mess
Or mass; for should I stretch into detail,
My Muse would run much more into excess,
Than when some squeamish people deem her frail.

But, though a bonne vivante, I must confess

Her stomach 's not her peccant part: this tale
However doth require some slight refection,
Just to relieve her spirits from dejection.


Fowls à la Condé, slices eke of salmon,

With sauces Genevoises, and haunch of venison;

Wines too which might again have slain young Ammon-
A man like whom I hope we shan't see many soon;
They also set a glazed Westphalian ham on,

Whereon Apicius would bestow his benison;
And then there was champagne with foaming whirls,
Ås white as Cleopatra's melted pearls.*


Then there was God knows what à l'Allemande,

A l'Espagnole, timballe, and Salpicon

With things I can't withstand or understand,

Though swallow'd with much zest upon the whole;

And entremets to piddle with at hand,

Gently to lull down the subsiding soul;

While great Lucullus' robe triomphale muffles

(There's fame)-young partridge fillets, deck'd with truffles.4


What are the fillets on the victor's brow

To these? They are rags or dust. Where is the arch Which nodded to the nation's spoils below?

Where the triumphal chariot's haughty march?

Gone to where victories must like dinners go.
Further I shall not follow the research:
But oh! ye modern heroes with your cartridges,
When will your names lend lustre e'en to partridges?


Those truffles too are no bad accessaries,

Follow'd by petits puits d'amour,—

--a dish

Of which perhaps the cookery rather varies,
So every one may dress it to his wish,
According to the best of dictionaries,

Which encyclopædise both flesh and fish ;
But even sans confitures, it no less true is,
There 's pretty picking in those petits puits.


The mind is lost in mighty contemplation
Of intellect expended on two courses;
And indigestion's grand multiplication

Requires arithmetic beyond my forces.


Who would suppose, from Adam's simple ration,

That cookery could have call'd forth such resources,

As form a science and a nomenclature

From out the commonest demands of nature?


The glasses jingled, and the palates tingled;
The diners of celebrity dined well;
The ladies with more moderation mingled

In the feast, pecking less than I can tell;
Also the younger men too; for a springald
Can't like ripe age in gourmandise excel,
But thinks less of good eating than the whisper
(When seated next him) of some pretty lisper.



Alas! I must leave undescribed the gibier,
The salmi, the consommé, the purée,
All which I use to make my rhymes run glibber
Than could roast beef in our rough John Bull
I must not introduce even a spare rib here,
“Bubble and squeak" would spoil my liquid lay;
But I have dined, and must forego, alas!
The chaste description e'en of a bécasse.


And fruits, and ice, and all that art refines
From nature for the service of the gout,~
Taste or the gout,-pronounce it as inclines

Your stomach. Ere you dine, the French will do ;
But after, there are sometimes certain signs
Which prove plain English truer of the two.
Hast ever had the gout? I have not had it-
But I may have, and you too, reader, dread it.


The simple olives, best allies of wine,
Must I pass over in my bill of fare?

I must, although a favourite plat of mine

In Spain, and Lucca, Athens, every where :
On them and bread 't was oft my luck to dine,
The grass my table-cloth, in open air,
On Sunium or Hymettus, like Diogenes,
Of whom half my philosophy the progeny is.


Amidst this tumult of fish, flesh, and fowl,
And vegetables, all in masquerade,
The guests were placed according to their roll,
But various as the various meats display'd:

Don Juan sate next an à l'espagnole—

No damsel, but a dish, as hath been said; But so far like a lady, that 't was drest Superbly, and contain'd a world of zest.


By some odd chance too he was placed between
Aurora and the Lady Adeline-

A situation difficult, I ween,

For man therein, with eyes and heart, to dine. Also the conference which we have seen

Was not such as to encourage him to shine;

For Adeline, addressing few words to him,

With two transcendent eyes seem'd to look through him.


I sometimes almost think that eyes have ears:
This much is sure, that, out of ear-shot, things
Are somehow echoed to the pretty dears,

Of which I can't tell whence their knowledge springs; Like that same mystic music of the spheres,

Which no one hears so loudly though it rings.

'T is wonderful how oft the sex have heard Long dialogues which pass'd without a word!


Aurora sat with that indifference

Which piques a preux chevalier—as it ought: Of all offences that's the worst offence,

Which seems to hint you are not worth a thought.
Now Juan, though no coxcomb in pretence,

Was not exactly pleased to be so caught;
Like a good ship entangled among ice,
And after so much excellent advice.


To his gay nothings, nothing was replied,
Or something which was nothing, as urbanity
Required. Aurora scarcely look'd aside,
Nor even smiled enough for any vanity.
The devil was in the girl! Could it be pride,
Or modesty, or absence, or inanity?
Heaven knows! But Adeline's malicious eyes
Sparkled with her successful prophecies,


And look'd as much as if to say, "I said it,'
A kind of triumph I'll not recommend,
Because it sometimes, as I 've seen or read it,
Both in the case of lover and of friend,
Will pique a gentleman, for his own credit,
To bring what was a jest to a serious end;
For all men prophesy what is or was,

And hate those who won't let them come to pass.

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