XX. As Juan mused on mutability,

Or on his mistress-terms synonymous No sound except the echo of his sigh

Or step ran sadly through that antique house, When suddenly he heard, or thought so, nigh,

A supernatural agent-or a mouse,
Whose little nibbling rustle will embarrass
Most people, as it plays along the arras.

It was no mouse, but lo! a monk, array'd

In cowl and beads and dusky garb, appear'd,
Now in the moonlight, and now lapsed in shade,

With steps that trod as heavy, yet unheard;
His garments only a slight murmur made ;

He moved as shadowy as the sisters weird,
But slowly; and as he pass’d Juan by,
Glanced, without pausing, on him a bright eye.

Juan was petrified; he had heard a hint

Of such a spirit in these halls of old, But thought, like most men, there was nothing in 't

Beyond the rumour which such spots unfold, Coin'd from surviving superstition's mint,

Which passes ghosts in currency like gold, But rarely seen, like gold compared with paper. And did he see this ? or was it a vapour

ir ?

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XXIII. Once, twice, thrice pass'd, repass'd—the thing of air

Or earth beneath, or heaven, or t other place ; And Juan gazed upon it with a stare,

Yet could not speak or move ; but, on its base As stands a statue, stood : he felt his hair

Twine like a knot of snakes around his face;
He tax'd his tongue for words, which were not granted,
To ask the reverend person what he wanted.

The third time, after a still longer pause,

The shadow pass'd away--but where? the hall
Was long, and thus far there was no great cause

To think his vanishing unnatural : Doors there were many, through which, by the laws

Of physics, bodies, whether short or tall, Might come or go; but Juan could not state Through which the spectre seem'd to evaporate.

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He stood, how long he knew not, but it seem'd

An age-expectant, powerless, with his eyes Straiu’d on the spot where first the figure gleam'd;

Then by degrees recall’d his energies,
And would have pass'd the whole off as a dream,

But could not wake ; he was, he did surmise,
Walking already, and return'd at length
Back to his chamber, shorn of half his strength.

All there was as he left it; still his taper

Burnt, and not blue, as modest tapers use,
Receiving sprites with sympathetic vapour ;

He rubb’d his eyes, and they did not refuse
Their office ; he took up an old newspaper,

The paper was right easy to peruse ;
He read an article the king attacking,
And a long eulogy of patent blacking."

This savour'd of this world; but his hand shook-

He shut his door, and after having read
A paragraph, I think about Horne Tooke,

Undress'd, and rather slowly went to bed. There, couch'd all snugly on his pillow's nook,

With what he 'd seen his phantasy he fed, And though it was no opiate, slumber crept Upon him by degrees, and so he slept.

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He woke betimes; and, as Inay be supposed,


his visitant or vision, And whether it ought not to be disclosed,

At risk of being quizzed for superstition. The more he thought, the more his mind was posed;

In the mean time his valet, whose precision Was great, because his master brook'd no less, Knock'd to inform him it was time to dress.

XXIX. He dress'd; and, like young people, he was wont

To take some trouble with his toilet, but This morning rather spent less time

Aside his very mirror soon was put; His curls fell negligently o'er his front,

His clothes were not curb'd to their usual cut, His very

neckcloth's Gordian knot was tied Almost a hair's breadth too much on one side.

upon 't;

And when he walk'd down into the saloon,

He sate him pensive o'er a dish of tea,
Which he perhaps had not discover'd soon,

Had it not happen'd scalding hot to be,
Which made him have recourse unto his spoon;

So much distrait he was, that all could see
That something was the matter—Adeline
The first-but what she could not well divine.

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She look'd and saw him pale, and turn’d as pale

Herself; then hastily look'd down and mutter'd
Something, but what 's not stated in


Lord Henry said, his muffin was ill butter'd ;
The Duchess of Fitz-Fulke play'd with her veil,

And look’d at Juan hard, but nothing utter’d.
Aurora Raby, with her large dark eyes,
Survey'd him with a kind of calm surprise.

But seeing him all cold and silent still,

And every body wondering more or less,
Fair Adeline inquired if he were ill ?

He started, and said, “ Yes-no-rather-yes."
The family physician had great skill,

And, being present, now began to express
His readiness to feel his pulse and tell
The cause ; but Juan said, “he was quite well.”


“Quite well ; yes—no.” These answers were mysterious,

And yet his looks appear'd to sanction both,
However they might savour of delirious ;

Something like illness of a sudden growth
Weigh’d on his spirit, though by no means serious.

But for the rest, as he himself seem'd loth
To state the case, it might be ta'en for granted,
It was not the physician that he wanted.

Lord Henry, who had now discuss'd his chocolate,

Also the muffin whereof he complain'd,
Said, Juan had not got his usual look elate,

At which he marvell’d, since it had not rain'd;
Then ask'd her grace what news were of the duke of late ?

Her grace replied, his grace was rather pain'd
With some slight, light, heredi twinges
Of gout, which rusts aristocratic hinges.

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Then Henry turn'd to Juan, and address'd

A few words of condolence on his state : “ You look," quoth he, you

'd had


Broke in upon by the Black Friar of late.”
" What friar ?” said Juan; and he did his best

To put the question with an air sedate,
Or careless; but the effort was not valid
To hinder him from growing still more pallid.


“Oh! have you never heard of the Black Friar ?

The spirit of these walls ?”—“In truth not I.”
Why fame—but fame you know 's sometimes a liar-

Tells an odd story, of which by the by:
Whether with time the spectre has grown shyer,

Or that our sires had a more gifted eye
For such sights, though the tale is half believed,
The friar of late has not been oft perceived.


XXXVII. " The last time was,”_66

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” said Adeline (Who watch'd the changes of Don Juan's brow, And from its context thought she could divine

Connexions stronger than he chose to avow With this same legend)—"if you

but design To jest, you 'll chuse some other theme just now, Because the present tale has oft been told, And is not much improved by growing old."

XXXVIII. “ Jest !" quoth my lord, “Why, Adeline, you know

That we ourselves—’t was in the honey-moonSaw_"_“Well, no matter, 't was so long ago ;

But come, I 'll set your story to a tune.” Graceful as Dian when she draws her bow,

She seized her harp, whose strings were kindled soon As touch'd, and plaintively began to play The air of “’T was a Friar of Orders Gray.”

XXXIX. “But add the words,” cried Henry," which you made,

For Adeline is half a poetess,"
Turning round to the rest, he smiling said.

Of course the others could not but express
In courtesy their wish to see display'd

By one three talents, for there were no less The voice, the words, the harper's skill, at once Could hardly be united by a dunce.

XL. After some fascinating hesitation

The charming of these charmers, who seem bound, I can't tell why, to this dissimulation,

Fair Adeline, with eyes fix'd on the ground
At first, then kindling into animation,

Added her sweet voice to the lyric sound,
And sang with much simplicity,--a merit
Not the less precious, that we seldom hear it.

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Beware! beware! of the Black Friar,

Who sitteth by Norman stone,
For he mutters his prayer in the midnight air,

And his mass of the days that are gone.
When the Lord of the Hill, Amundeville
Made Norman Church his

And expelld the friars, one friar still

Would not be driven away.


Though he came in his might, with King Henry's right,

To turn church lands to lay,
With sword in hand, and torch to light
Their walls, if they


A monk remain'd, unchased, unchain’d,

And he did not seem form’d of clay,
For he 's seen in the porch, and he is seen in the church,

Though he is not seen by day.

And whether for good, or whether for ill,

It is not mine to say ;
But still to the house of Amundeville,

He abideth night and day.
By the marriage bed of their lords, 't is said,

He flits on the bridal eve;
And 't is held as faith, to their bed of death

He comes—but not to grieve.

When an heir is born, he 's heard to mourn,

And when aught is to befal
That ancient line, in the pale moon-shine

He walks from hall to hall.
His form

you may trace, but not his face,
'T is shadow'd by his cowl ;
But his eyes may be seen from the folds between,

And they seem of a parted soul.

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