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A noise like to wet fingers drawn on glass,


Which sets the teeth on edge; and a slight clatter Like showers which on the midnight gusts will pass,

Sounding like very supernatural water,—
Came over Juan's ear, which throbb'd, alas!
For immaterialism 's a serious matter :

So that even those whose faith is the most great
In souls immortal, shun them tête-à-tête,


Were his eyes open?-Yes! and his mouth too.
Surprise has this effect-to make one dumb,
Yet leave the gate which eloquence slips through
As wide as if a long speech were to come.
Nigh and more nigh the awful echoes drew,
Tremendous to a mortal tympanum :
His eyes were open, and (as was before
Stated) his mouth.

What open'd next?—the door.


It open'd with a most infernal creak,

Like that of hell. "Lasciate ogni speranza,
Voi che entrate !" The hinge seem'd to speak,
Dreadful as Dante's rima, or this stanza;
Or-but all words upon such themes are weak:
A single shade 's sufficient to entrance a
Hero-for what is substance to a spirit?
Or how is 't matter trembles to come near it?


The door flew wide, not swiftly-but, as fly

The sea-gulls, with a steady, sober flightAnd then swung back; nor close-but stood awry, Half letting in long shadows on the light, Which still in Juan's candlesticks burn'd high, For he had two, both tolerably bright,And in the door-way, darkening darkness, stood The sable friar in his solemn hood.


Don Juan shook, as erst he had been shaken
The night before; but, being sick of shaking,
He first inclined to think he had been mistaken,
And then to be ashamed of such mistaking.
His own internal ghost began to awaken
Within him, and to quell his corporal quaking—
Hinting, that soul and body on the whole
Were odds against a disembodied soul.


And then his dread grew wrath, and his wrath fierce;
And he arose, advanced-the shade retreated;
But Juan, eager now the truth to pierce,

Follow'd; his veins no longer cold, but heated,
Resolved to thrust the mystery carte and tierce,
At whatsoever risk of being defeated :
The ghost stopp'd, menaced, then retired, until
He reach'd the ancient wall, then stood stone still.


Juan put forth one arm-Eternal Powers!

It touch'd no soul, nor body, but the wall,
On which the moonbeams fell in silvery showers,
Chequer'd with all the tracery of the hall :
He shudder'd, as no doubt the bravest cowers
When he can't tell what 't is that doth appal.
How odd, a single hobgoblin's non-entity

Should cause more fear than a whole host's identity!?


But still the shade remain'd; the blue eyes glared,
And rather variably for stony death;

Yet one thing rather good the grave had spared—
The ghost had a remarkably sweet breath.
A straggling curl show'd he had been fair-hair'd;
A red lip, with two rows of pearl beneath,
Gleam'd forth, as through the casement's ivy shroud
The moon peep'd, just escaped from a gray cloud.


And Juan, puzzled, but still curious, thrust
His other arm forth-Wonder upon wonder!
It press'd upon a hard but glowing bust,

Which beat as if there was a warm heart under.
He found, as people on most trials must,
That he had made at first a silly blunder,
And that in his confusion he had caught
Only the wall instead of what he sought.


The ghost, if ghost it were, seem'd a sweet soul,
As ever lurk'd beneath a holy hood:

A dimpled chin, a neck of ivory, stole

Forth into something much like flesh and blood;

Back fell the sable frock and dreary cowl,

And they reveal'd (alas! that e'er they should!)
In full, voluptuous, but not o'ergrown bulk,
The phantom of her frolic grace-Fitz-Fulke!


Note 1. Stanza x.

If from a shell-fish or from cochineal.

The composition of the old Tyrian purple, whether from a shell-fish, or from cochineal, or from kermes, is still an article of dispute; and even its colour-some say purple, others scarlet: I say nothing.

Note 2. Stanza xliii.

For a spoil'd carpet-but the "Attic Bee"
Was much consoled by his own repartee.

I think that it was a carpet on which Diogenes trod, with-" Thus I trample on the pride of Plato ! "_" With greater pride," as the other replied. But as carpets are meant to be trodden upon, my memory probably misgives me, and it might be a robe, or tapestry, or a table-cloth, or some other expensive and uncynical piece of furniture.

Note 3. Stanza xlv.

With "Tu mi chamases" from Portingale,

To soothe our ears lest Italy should fail.

I remember that the mayoress of a provincial town, somewhat surfeited with a similar display from foreign parts, did rather indecorously break through the applauses of an intelligent audience-intelligent, I mean, as to music,-for the words, besides being in recondite languages (it was some years before the peace, ere all the world had travelled, and while I was a collegian)—were sorely disguised by the performers; -this mayoress, I say, broke out with, "Rot your Italianos! for my part, I loves a simple ballat!" Rossini will go a good way to bring most people to the same opinion, some day. Who would imagine that he was to be the successor of Mozart? However, I state this with diffidence, as a liege and loyal admirer of Italian music in general, and of much of Rossini's: but we may say, as the connoisseur did of painting, in the Vicar of Wakefield, "that the picture would be better painted if the painter had taken more pains."

Note 4. Stanza lix.

For gothic daring shown in English money.

"Ausu Romano, ære Veneto" is the inscription (and well inscribed in this instance) on the sea walls between the Adriatic and Venice. The walls were a republican work of the Venetians; the inscription, I believe, imperial, and inscribed by Napoleon the First. It is time to continue to him that title-there will be a second by and bye, "Spes altera mundi," if he live; let him not defeat it like his father. But in any case he will be preferable to the Imbeciles. There is a glorious field for him, if he knew how to cultivate it.

Note 5. Stanza lx.

"Untying" squires "to fight against the churches."

Though ye untie the winds and bid them fight
Against the churches.-Macbeth.

Note 6. Stanza xcvii.

They err-'t is merely what is call'd mobility.

In French "mobilité." I am not sure that mobility is English; but it is expressive of a quality which rather belongs to other climates, though it is sometimes seen to a great extent in our own. It may be defined as an excessive susceptibility of immediate impressions at the same time without losing the past; and is, though sometimes apparently useful to the possessor, a most painful and unhappy attribute.

Note 7. Stanza cii.

Draperied her form with curious felicity.

"Curiosa felicitas."-PETRONIUS ARBITER.

Note 8. Stanza cxiv.

A noise like to wet fingers drawn on glass.

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See the account of the ghost of the uncle of Prince Charles of Saxony raised by Schroepfer-"Karl-Karl-was-walt wolt mich? "

Note 9. Stanza cxx.

How odd, a single hobgoblin's non-entity

Should cause more fear than a whole host's identity!

Shadows to-night

Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard

Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers, &c., &c.
See Richard III.

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