Don Juan
"Canto the First"
by George Gordon Lord Byron (1788-1824)


1   I want a hero: an uncommon want, 
2      When every year and month sends forth a new one, 
3   Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant, 
4      The age discovers he is not the true one; 
5   Of such as these I should not care to vaunt, 
6      I'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan, 
7   We all have seen him in the Pantomime 
8   Sent to the devil, somewhat ere his time. 


9   Vernon, the butcher Cumberland, Wolfe, Hawke, 
10      Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Keppel, Howe, 
11   Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk, 
12      And fill'd their sign-posts then, like Wellesley now; 
13   Each in their turn like Banquo's monarchs stalk, 
14      Followers of fame, "nine farrow" of that sow: 
15   France, too, had Buonaparté and Demourier 
16   Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier. 


17   Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau, 
18      Petion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayette, 
19   Were French, and famous people, as we know; 
20      And there were others, scarce forgotten yet, 
21   Joubert, Hoche, Marceau, Lannes, Dessaix, Moreau, 
22      With many of the military set, 
23   Exceedingly remarkable at times, 
24   But not at all adapted to my rhymes. 


25   Nelson was once Britannia's god of war, 
26      And still should be so, but the tide is turn'd; 
27   There's no more to be said of Trafalgar, 
28      'Tis with our hero quietly inurn'd; 
29   Because the army's grown more popular, 
30      At which the naval people are concern'd: 
31   Besides, the Prince is all for the land-service, 
32   Forgetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe, and Jervis. 


33   Brave men were living before Agamemnon 
34      And since, exceeding valorous and sage, 
35   A good deal like him too, though quite the same none; 
36      But then they shone not on the poet's page, 
37   And so have been forgotten:---I condemn none, 
38      But can't find any in the present age 
39   Fit for my poem (that is, for my new one); 
40   So, as I said, I'll take my friend Don Juan. 


41   Most epic poets plunge in "medias res," 
42      (Horace makes this the heroic turnpike road) 
43   And then your hero tells, whene'er you please, 
44      What went before---by way of episode, 
45   While seated after dinner at his ease, 
46      Beside his mistress in some soft abode, 
47   Palace, or garden, paradise, or cavern, 
48   Which serves the happy couple for a tavern. 


49   That is the usual method, but not mine--- 
50      My way is to begin with the beginning; 
51   The regularity of my design 
52      Forbids all wandering as the worst of sinning, 
53   And therefore I shall open with a line 
54      (Although it cost me half an hour in spinning) 
55   Narrating somewhat of Don Juan's father, 
56   And also of his mother, if you'd rather. 


57   In Seville was he born, a pleasant city, 
58      Famous for oranges and women---he 
59   Who has not seen it will be much to pity, 
60      So says the proverb---and I quite agree; 
61   Of all the Spanish towns is none more pretty, 
62      Cadiz perhaps---but that you soon may see:--- 
63   Don Juan's parents lived beside the river, 
64   A noble stream, and call'd the Guadalquivir. 


65   His father's name was Jóse--- Don , of course, 
66      A true Hidalgo, free from every stain 
67   Of Moor or Hebrew blood, he traced his source 
68      Through the most Gothic gentlemen of Spain; 
69   A better cavalier ne'er mounted horse, 
70      Or, being mounted, e'er got down again, 
71   Than Jóse, who begot our hero, who 
72   Begot---but that's to come---Well, to renew: 


73   His mother was a learned lady, famed 
74      For every branch of every science known--- 
75   In every christian language ever named, 
76      With virtues equall'd by her wit alone, 
77   She made the cleverest people quite ashamed, 
78      And even the good with inward envy groan, 
79   Finding themselves so very much exceeded 
80   In their own way by all the things that she did. 


81   Her memory was a mine: she knew by heart 
82      All Calderon and greater part of Lopé, 
83   So that if any actor miss'd his part 
84      She could have served him for the prompter's copy; 
85   For her Feinagle's were an useless art, 
86      And he himself obliged to shut up shop---he 
87   Could never make a memory so fine as 
88   That which adorn'd the brain of Donna Inez. 


89   Her favourite science was the mathematical, 
90      Her noblest virtue was her magnanimity, 
91   Her wit (she sometimes tried at wit) was Attic all, 
92      Her serious sayings darken'd to sublimity; 
93   In short, in all things she was fairly what I call 
94      A prodigy---her morning dress was dimity, 
95   Her evening silk, or, in the summer, muslin, 
96   And other stuffs, with which I won't stay puzzling. 


97   She knew the Latin---that is, "the Lord's prayer," 
98      And Greek---the alphabet---I'm nearly sure; 
99   She read some French romances here and there, 
100      Although her mode of speaking was not pure; 
101   For native Spanish she had no great care, 
102      At least her conversation was obscure; 
103   Her thoughts were theorems, her words a problem, 
104   As if she deem'd that mystery would ennoble 'em. 


105   She liked the English and the Hebrew tongue, 
106      And said there was analogy between 'em; 
107   She proved it somehow out of sacred song, 
108      But I must leave the proofs to those who've seen 'em, 
109   But this I heard her say, and can't be wrong, 
110      And all may think which way their judgments lean 'em, 
111   "'Tis strange---the Hebrew noun which means 'I am,' 
112   The English always use to govern d---n." 


113   Some women use their tongues---she look'd a lecture, 
114      Each eye a sermon, and her brow a homily, 
115   An all-in-all-sufficient self-director, 
116      Like the lamented late Sir Samuel Romilly, 
117   The Law's expounder, and the State's corrector, 
118      Whose suicide was almost an anomaly--- 
119   One sad example more, that "All is vanity,"--- 
120   (The jury brought their verdict in "Insanity"). 


121   In short, she was a walking calculation, 
122      Miss Edgeworth's novels stepping from their covers, 
123   Or Mrs. Trimmer's books on education, 
124      Or "Coelebs' Wife" set out in quest of lovers, 
125   Morality's prim personification, 
126      In which not Envy's self a flaw discovers, 
127   To others' share let "female errors fall," 
128   For she had not even one---the worst of all. 


129   Oh! she was perfect past all parallel--- 
130      Of any modern female saint's comparison; 
131   So far above the cunning powers of hell, 
132      Her guardian angel had given up his garrison; 
133   Even her minutest motions went as well 
134      As those of the best time-piece made by Harrison: 
135   In virtues nothing earthly could surpass her, 
136   Save thine "incomparable oil," Macassar! 


137   Perfect she was, but as perfection is 
138      Insipid in this naughty world of ours, 
139   Where our first parents never learn'd to kiss 
140      Till they were exiled from their earlier bowers, 
141   Where all was peace, and innocence, and bliss, 
142      (I wonder how they got through the twelve hours) 
143   Don Jóse, like a lineal son of Eve, 
144   Went plucking various fruit without her leave. 


145   He was a mortal of the careless kind, 
146      With no great love for learning, or the learn'd, 
147   Who chose to go where'er he had a mind, 
148      And never dream'd his lady was concern'd: 
149   The world, as usual, wickedly inclined 
150      To see a kingdom or a house o'erturn'd, 
151   Whisper'd he had a mistress, some said two , 
152   But for domestic quarrels one will do. 


153   Now Donna Inez had, with all her merit, 
154      A great opinion of her own good qualities; 
155   Neglect, indeed, requires a saint to bear it, 
156      And such, indeed, she was in her moralities; 
157   But then she had a devil of a spirit, 
158      And sometimes mix'd up fancies with realities, 
159   And let few opportunities escape 
160   Of getting her liege lord into a scrape. 


161   This was an easy matter with a man 
162      Oft in the wrong, and never on his guard; 
163   And even the wisest, do the best they can, 
164      Have moments, hours, and days, so unprepared, 
165   That you might "brain them with their lady's fan"; 
166      And sometimes ladies hit exceeding hard, 
167   And fans turn into falchions in fair hands, 
168   And why and wherefore no one understands. 


169   'Tis pity learned virgins ever wed 
170      With persons of no sort of education, 
171   Or gentlemen, who, though well-born and bred, 
172      Grow tired of scientific conversation: 
173   I don't choose to say much upon this head, 
174      I'm a plain man, and in a single station, 
175   But---Oh! ye lords of ladies intellectual, 
176   Inform us truly, have they not hen-peck'd you all? 


177   Don Jóse and his lady quarrell'd--- why , 
178      Not any of the many could divine, 
179   Though several thousand people chose to try, 
180      'Twas surely no concern of theirs nor mine; 
181   I loathe that low vice curiosity, 
182      But if there's any thing in which I shine 
183   'Tis in arranging all my friends' affairs, 
184   Not having, of my own, domestic cares. 


185   And so I interfered, and with the best 
186      Intentions, but their treatment was not kind; 
187   I think the foolish people were possess'd, 
188      For neither of them could I ever find, 
189   Although their porter afterwards confess'd--- 
190      But that's no matter, and the worst's behind, 
191   For little Juan o'er me threw, down stairs, 
192   A pail of housemaid's water unawares. 


193   A little curly-headed, good-for-nothing, 
194      And mischief-making monkey from his birth; 
195   His parents ne'er agreed except in doting 
196      Upon the most unquiet imp on earth; 
197   Instead of quarrelling, had they been but both in 
198      Their senses, they'd have sent young master forth 
199   To school, or had him soundly whipp'd at home, 
200   To teach him manners for the time to come. 


201   Don Jóse and the Donna Inez led 
202      For some time an unhappy sort of life, 
203   Wishing each other, not divorced, but dead; 
204      They lived respectably as man and wife, 
205   Their conduct was exceedingly well-bred, 
206      And gave no outward signs of inward strife, 
207   Until at length the smother'd fire broke out, 
208   And put the business past all kind of doubt. 


209   For Inez call'd some druggists and physicians, 
210      And tried to prove her loving lord was mad , 
211   But as he had some lucid intermissions, 
212      She next decided he was only bad ; 
213   Yet when they ask'd her for her depositions, 
214      No sort of explanation could be had, 
215   Save that her duty both to man and God 
216   Required this conduct---which seem'd very odd. 


217   She kept a journal, where his faults were noted, 
218      And open'd certain trunks of books and letters, 
219   All which might, if occasion served, be quoted; 
220      And then she had all Seville for abettors, 
221   Besides her good old grandmother (who doted); 
222      The hearers of her case became repeaters, 
223   Then advocates, inquisitors, and judges, 
224   Some for amusement, others for old grudges. 


225   And then this best and meekest woman bore 
226      With such serenity her husband's woes, 
227   Just as the Spartan ladies did of yore, 
228      Who saw their spouses kill'd, and nobly chose 
229   Never to say a word about them more--- 
230      Calmly she heard each calumny that rose, 
231   And saw his agonies with such sublimity, 
232   That all the world exclaim'd, "What magnanimity!" 


233   No doubt, this patience, when the world is damning us, 
234      Is philosophic in our former friends; 
235   'Tis also pleasant to be deem'd magnanimous, 
236      The more so in obtaining our own ends; 
237   And what the lawyers call a " malus animus ," 
238      Conduct like this by no means comprehends: 
239   Revenge in person's certainly no virtue, 
240   But then 'tis not my fault, if others hurt you. 


241   And if our quarrels should rip up old stories, 
242      And help them with a lie or two additional, 
243   I'm not to blame, as you well know, no more is 
244      Any one else---they were become traditional; 
245   Besides, their resurrection aids our glories 
246      By contrast, which is what we just were wishing all: 
247   And science profits by this resurrection--- 
248   Dead scandals form good subjects for dissection. 


249   Their friends had tried at reconciliation, 
250      Then their relations, who made matters worse; 
251   ('Twere hard to tell upon a like occasion 
252      To whom it may be best to have recourse--- 
253   I can't say much for friend or yet relation): 
254      The lawyers did their utmost for divorce, 
255   But scarce a fee was paid on either side 
256   Before, unluckily, Don Jóse died. 


257   He died: and most unluckily, because, 
258      According to all hints I could collect 
259   From counsel learned in those kinds of laws, 
260      (Although their talk's obscure and circumspect) 
261   His death contrived to spoil a charming cause; 
262      A thousand pities also with respect 
263   To public feeling, which on this occasion 
264   Was manifested in a great sensation. 


265   But ah! he died; and buried with him lay 
266      The public feeling and the lawyers' fees: 
267   His house was sold, his servants sent away, 
268      A Jew took one of his two mistresses, 
269   A priest the other---at least so they say: 
270      I ask'd the doctors after his disease, 
271   He died of the slow fever call'd the tertian, 
272   And left his widow to her own aversion. 


273   Yet Jóse was an honourable man, 
274      That I must say, who knew him very well; 
275   Therefore his frailties I'll no further scan, 
276      Indeed there were not many more to tell; 
277   And if his passions now and then outran 
278      Discretion, and were not so peaceable 
279   As Numa's (who was also named Pompilius), 
280   He had been ill brought up, and was born bilious. 


281   Whate'er might be his worthlessness or worth, 
282      Poor fellow! he had many things to wound him, 
283   Let's own, since it can do no good on earth; 
284      It was a trying moment that which found him 
285   Standing alone beside his desolate hearth, 
286      Where all his household gods lay shiver'd round him; 
287   No choice was left his feelings or his pride 
288   Save death or Doctors' Commons---so he died. 


289   Dying intestate, Juan was sole heir 
290      To a chancery suit, and messuages, and lands, 
291   Which, with a long minority and care, 
292      Promised to turn out well in proper hands: 
293   Inez became sole guardian, which was fair, 
294      And answer'd but to nature's just demands; 
295   An only son left with an only mother 
296   Is brought up much more wisely than another. 


297   Sagest of women, even of widows, she 
298      Resolved that Juan should be quite a paragon, 
299   And worthy of the noblest pedigree: 
300      (His sire was of Castile, his dam from Arragon). 
301   Then for accomplishments of chivalry, 
302      In case our lord the king should go to war again, 
303   He learn'd the arts of riding, fencing, gunnery, 
304   And how to scale a fortress---or a nunnery. 


305   But that which Donna Inez most desired, 
306      And saw into herself each day before all 
307   The learned tutors whom for him she hired, 
308      Was, that his breeding should be strictly moral; 
309   Much into all his studies she inquired, 
310      And so they were submitted first to her, all, 
311   Arts, sciences, no branch was made a mystery 
312   To Juan's eyes, excepting natural history. 


313   The languages, especially the dead, 
314      The sciences, and most of all the abstruse, 
315   The arts, at least all such as could be said 
316      To be the most remote from common use, 
317   In all these he was much and deeply read; 
318      But not a page of any thing that's loose, 
319   Or hints continuation of the species, 
320   Was ever suffer'd, lest he should grow vicious. 


321   His classic studies made a little puzzle, 
322      Because of filthy loves of gods and goddesses, 
323   Who in the earlier ages raised a bustle, 
324      But never put on pantaloons or boddices; 
325   His reverend tutors had at times a tussle, 
326      And for their Aeneids, Iliads, and Odysseys, 
327   Were forced to make an odd sort of apology, 
328   For Donna Inez dreaded the mythology. 


329   Ovid's a rake, as half his verses show him, 
330      Anacreon's morals are a still worse sample, 
331   Catullus scarcely has a decent poem, 
332      I don't think Sappho's Ode a good example, 
333   Although Longinus tells us there is no hymn 
334      Where the sublime soars forth on wings more ample; 
335   But Virgil's songs are pure, except that horrid one 
336   Beginning with " Formosum Pastor Corydon ." 


337   Lucretius' irreligion is too strong 
338      For early stomachs, to prove wholesome food; 
339   I can't help thinking Juvenal was wrong, 
340      Although no doubt his real intent was good, 
341   For speaking out so plainly in his song, 
342      So much indeed as to be downright rude; 
343   And then what proper person can be partial 
344   To all those nauseous epigrams of Martial? 


345   Juan was taught from out the best edition, 
346      Expurgated by learned men, who place, 
347   Judiciously, from out the schoolboy's vision, 
348      The grosser parts; but fearful to deface 
349   Too much their modest bard by this omission, 
350      And pitying sore his mutilated case, 
351   They only add them all in an appendix, 
352   Which saves, in fact, the trouble of an index; 


353   For there we have them all at one fell swoop, 
354      Instead of being scatter'd through the pages; 
355   They stand forth marshall'd in a handsome troop, 
356      To meet the ingenuous youth of future ages, 
357   Till some less rigid editor shall stoop 
358      To call them back into their separate cages, 
359   Instead of standing staring altogether, 
360   Like garden gods---and not so decent either. 


361   The Missal too (it was the family Missal) 
362      Was ornamented in a sort of way 
363   Which ancient mass-books often are, and this all 
364      Kinds of grotesques illumined; and how they, 
365   Who saw those figures on the margin kiss all, 
366      Could turn their optics to the text and pray 
367   Is more than I know---but Don Juan's mother 
368   Kept this herself, and gave her son another. 


369   Sermons he read, and lectures he endured, 
370      And homilies, and lives of all the saints; 
371   To Jerome and to Chrysostom inured, 
372      He did not take such studies for restraints; 
373   But how faith is acquired, and then insured, 
374      So well not one of the aforesaid paints 
375   As Saint Augustine in his fine Confessions, 
376   Which make the reader envy his transgressions. 


377   This, too, was a seal'd book to little Juan--- 
378      I can't but say that his mamma was right, 
379   If such an education was the true one. 
380      She scarcely trusted him from out her sight; 
381   Her maids were old, and if she took a new one 
382      You might be sure she was a perfect fright, 
383   She did this during even her husband's life--- 
384   I recommend as much to every wife. 


385   Young Juan wax'd in goodliness and grace; 
386      At six a charming child, and at eleven 
387   With all the promise of as fine a face 
388      As e'er to man's maturer growth was given: 
389   He studied steadily, and grew apace, 
390      And seem'd, at least, in the right road to heaven, 
391   For half his days were pass'd at church, the other 
392   Between his tutors, confessor, and mother. 


393   At six, I said, he was a charming child, 
394      At twelve he was a fine, but quiet boy; 
395   Although in infancy a little wild, 
396      They tamed him down amongst them; to destroy 
397   His natural spirit not in vain they toil'd, 
398      At least it seem'd so; and his mother's joy 
399   Was to declare how sage, and still, and steady, 
400   Her young philosopher was grown already. 


401   I had my doubts, perhaps I have them still, 
402      But what I say is neither here nor there: 
403   I knew his father well, and have some skill 
404      In character---but it would not be fair 
405   From sire to son to augur good or ill: 
406      He and his wife were an ill-sorted pair--- 
407   But scandal's my aversion---I protest 
408   Against all evil speaking, even in jest. 


409   For my part I say nothing---nothing---but 
410       This I will say---my reasons are my own--- 
411   That if I had an only son to put 
412      To school (as God be praised that I have none) 
413   'Tis not with Donna Inez I would shut 
414      Him up to learn his catechism alone, 
415   No---no---I'd send him out betimes to college, 
416   For there it was I pick'd up my own knowledge. 


417   For there one learns---'tis not for me to boast, 
418      Though I acquired---but I pass over that , 
419   As well as all the Greek I since have lost: 
420      I say that there's the place---but " Verbum sat ," 
421   I think I pick'd up too, as well as most, 
422      Knowledge of matters---but no matter what --- 
423   I never married---but, I think, I know 
424   That sons should not be educated so. 


425   Young Juan now was sixteen years of age, 
426      Tall, handsome, slender, but well knit; he seem'd 
427   Active, though not so sprightly, as a page; 
428      And every body but his mother deem'd 
429   Him almost man; but she flew in a rage, 
430      And bit her lips (for else she might have scream'd), 
431   If any said so, for to be precocious 
432   Was in her eyes a thing the most atrocious. 


433   Amongst her numerous acquaintance, all 
434      Selected for discretion and devotion, 
435   There was the Donna Julia, whom to call 
436      Pretty were but to give a feeble notion 
437   Of many charms in her as natural 
438      As sweetness to the flower, or salt to ocean, 
439   Her zone to Venus, or his bow to Cupid, 
440   (But this last simile is trite and stupid). 


441   The darkness of her oriental eye 
442      Accorded with her Moorish origin; 
443   (Her blood was not all Spanish, by the by; 
444      In Spain, you know, this is a sort of sin.) 
445   When proud Grenada fell, and, forced to fly, 
446      Boabdil wept, of Donna Julia's kin 
447   Some went to Africa, some staid in Spain, 
448   Her great great grandmamma chose to remain. 


449   She married (I forget the pedigree) 
450      With an Hidalgo, who transmitted down 
451   His blood less noble than such blood should be; 
452      At such alliances his sires would frown, 
453   In that point so precise in each degree 
454      That they bred in and in , as might be shown, 
455   Marrying their cousins---nay, their aunts and nieces, 
456   Which always spoils the breed, if it increases. 


457   This heathenish cross restored the breed again, 
458      Ruin'd its blood, but much improved its flesh; 
459   For, from a root the ugliest in Old Spain 
460      Sprung up a branch as beautiful as fresh; 
461   The sons no more were short, the daughters plain: 
462      But there's a rumour which I fain would hush, 
463   'Tis said that Donna Julia's grandmamma 
464   Produced her Don more heirs at love than law. 


465   However this might be, the race went on 
466      Improving still through every generation, 
467   Until it center'd in an only son, 
468      Who left an only daughter; my narration 
469   May have suggested that this single one 
470      Could be but Julia, (whom on this occasion 
471   I shall have much to speak about), and she 
472   Was married, charming, chaste, and twenty-three. 


473   Her eye (I'm very fond of handsome eyes) 
474      Was large and dark, suppressing half its fire 
475   Until she spoke, then through its soft disguise 
476      Flash'd an expression more of pride than ire, 
477   And love than either; and there would arise 
478      A something in them which was not desire, 
479   But would have been, perhaps, but for the soul 
480   Which struggled through and chasten'd down the whole. 


481   Her glossy hair was cluster'd o'er a brow 
482      Bright with intelligence, and fair and smooth; 
483   Her eyebrow's shape was like the aerial bow, 
484      Her cheek all purple with the beam of youth, 
485   Mounting, at times, to a transparent glow, 
486      As if her veins ran lightning; she, in sooth, 
487   Possess'd an air and grace by no means common: 
488   Her stature tall---I hate a dumpy woman. 


489   Wedded she was some years, and to a man 
490      Of fifty, and such husbands are in plenty; 
491   And yet, I think, instead of such a ONE 
492      'Twere better to have TWO of five and twenty, 
493   Especially in countries near the sun: 
494      And now I think on't, "mi vien in mente," 
495   Ladies even of the most uneasy virtue 
496   Prefer a spouse whose age is short of thirty. 


497   'Tis a sad thing, I cannot choose but say, 
498      And all the fault of that indecent sun, 
499   Who cannot leave alone our helpless clay, 
500      But will keep baking, broiling, burning on, 
501   That howsoever people fast and pray 
502      The flesh is frail, and so the soul undone: 
503   What men call gallantry, and gods adultery, 
504   Is much more common where the climate's sultry. 


505   Happy the nations of the moral north! 
506      Where all is virtue, and the winter season 
507   Sends sin, without a rag on, shivering forth; 
508      ('Twas snow that brought St. Anthony to reason); 
509   Where juries cast up what a wife is worth 
510      By laying whate'er sum, in mulct, they please on 
511   The lover, who must pay a handsome price, 
512   Because it is a marketable vice. 


513   Alfonso was the name of Julia's lord, 
514      A man well looking for his years, and who 
515   Was neither much beloved, nor yet abhorr'd; 
516      They lived together as most people do, 
517   Suffering each other's foibles by accord, 
518      And not exactly either one or two ; 
519   Yet he was jealous, though he did not show it, 
520   For jealousy dislikes the world to know it. 


521   Julia was---yet I never could see why--- 
522      With Donna Inez quite a favourite friend; 
523   Between their tastes there was small sympathy, 
524      For not a line had Julia ever penn'd: 
525   Some people whisper (but, no doubt, they lie, 
526      For malice still imputes some private end) 
527   That Inez had, ere Don Alfonso's marriage, 
528   Forgot with him her very prudent carriage; 


529   And that still keeping up the old connexion, 
530      Which time had lately render'd much more chaste, 
531   She took his lady also in affection, 
532      And certainly this course was much the best: 
533   She flatter'd Julia with her sage protection, 
534      And complimented Don Alfonso's taste; 
535   And if she could not (who can?) silence scandal, 
536   At least she left it a more slender handle. 


537   I can't tell whether Julia saw the affair 
538      With other people's eyes, or if her own 
539   Discoveries made, but none could be aware 
540      Of this, at least no symptom e'er was shown; 
541   Perhaps she did not know, or did not care, 
542      Indifferent from the first, or callous grown: 
543   I'm really puzzled what to think or say, 
544   She kept her counsel in so close a way. 


545   Juan she saw, and, as a pretty child, 
546      Caress'd him often, such a thing might be 
547   Quite innocently done, and harmless styled, 
548      When she had twenty years, and thirteen he; 
549   But I am not so sure I should have smiled 
550      When he was sixteen, Julia twenty-three, 
551   These few short years make wond'rous alterations, 
552   Particularly amongst sun-burnt nations. 


553   Whate'er the cause might be, they had become 
554      Changed; for the dame grew distant, the youth shy, 
555   Their looks cast down, their greetings almost dumb, 
556      And much embarrassment in either eye; 
557   There surely will be little doubt with some 
558      That Donna Julia knew the reason why, 
559   But as for Juan, he had no more notion 
560   Than he who never saw the sea of ocean. 


561   Yet Julia's very coldness still was kind, 
562      And tremulously gentle her small hand 
563   Withdrew itself from his, but left behind 
564      A little pressure, thrilling, and so bland 
565   And slight, so very slight, that to the mind 
566      'Twas but a doubt; but ne'er magician's wand 
567   Wrought change with all Armida's fairy art 
568   Like what this light touch left on Juan's heart. 


569   And if she met him, though she smiled no more, 
570      She look'd a sadness sweeter than her smile, 
571   As if her heart had deeper thoughts in store 
572      She must not own, but cherish'd more the while, 
573   For that compression in its burning core; 
574      Even innocence itself has many a wile, 
575   And will not dare to trust itself with truth, 
576   And love is taught hypocrisy from youth. 


577   But passion most dissembles yet betrays 
578      Even by its darkness; as the blackest sky 
579   Foretells the heaviest tempest, it displays 
580      Its workings through the vainly guarded eye, 
581   And in whatever aspect it arrays 
582      Itself, 'tis still the same hypocrisy; 
583   Coldness or anger, even disdain or hate, 
584   Are masks it often wears, and still too late. 


585   Then there were sighs, the deeper for suppression, 
586      And stolen glances, sweeter for the theft, 
587   And burning blushes, though for no transgression, 
588      Tremblings when met, and restlessness when left; 
589   All these are little preludes to possession, 
590      Of which young passion cannot be bereft, 
591   And merely tend to show how greatly love is 
592   Embarrass'd at first starting with a novice. 


593   Poor Julia's heart was in an awkward state; 
594      She felt it going, and resolved to make 
595   The noblest efforts for herself and mate, 
596      For honour's, pride's, religion's, virtue's sake; 
597   Her resolutions were most truly great, 
598      And almost might have made a Tarquin quake; 
599   She pray'd the Virgin Mary for her grace, 
600   As being the best judge of a lady's case. 


601   She vow'd she never would see Juan more, 
602      And next day paid a visit to his mother, 
603   And look'd extremely at the opening door, 
604      Which, by the Virgin's grace, let in another; 
605   Grateful she was, and yet a little sore--- 
606      Again it opens, it can be no other, 
607   'Tis surely Juan now---No! I'm afraid 
608   That night the Virgin was no further pray'd. 


609   She now determined that a virtuous woman 
610      Should rather face and overcome temptation, 
611   That flight was base and dastardly, and no man 
612      Should ever give her heart the least sensation; 
613   That is to say, a thought beyond the common 
614      Preference, that we must feel upon occasion, 
615   For people who are pleasanter than others, 
616   But then they only seem so many brothers. 


617   And even if by chance---and who can tell? 
618      The devil's so very sly---she should discover 
619   That all within was not so very well, 
620      And, if still free, that such or such a lover 
621   Might please perhaps, a virtuous wife can quell 
622      Such thoughts, and be the better when they're over; 
623   And if the man should ask, 'tis but denial: 
624   I recommend young ladies to make trial. 


625   And then there are such things as love divine, 
626      Bright and immaculate, unmix'd and pure, 
627   Such as the angels think so very fine, 
628      And matrons, who would be no less secure, 
629   Platonic, perfect, "just such love as mine": 
630      Thus Julia said---and thought so, to be sure, 
631   And so I'd have her think, were I the man 
632   On whom her reveries celestial ran. 


633   Such love is innocent, and may exist 
634      Between young persons without any danger 
635   A hand may first, and then a lip be kist; 
636      For my part, to such doings I'm a stranger, 
637   But hear these freedoms form the utmost list 
638      Of all o'er which such love may be a ranger: 
639   If people go beyond, 'tis quite a crime, 
640   But not my fault---I tell them all in time. 


641   Love, then, but love within its proper limits, 
642      Was Julia's innocent determination 
643   In young Don Juan's favour, and to him its 
644      Exertion might be useful on occasion; 
645   And, lighted at too pure a shrine to dim its 
646      Etherial lustre, with what sweet persuasion 
647   He might be taught, by love and her together--- 
648   I really don't know what, nor Julia either. 


649   Fraught with this fine intention, and well fenced 
650      In mail of proof---her purity of soul, 
651   She, for the future of her strength convinced, 
652      And that her honour was a rock, or mole, 
653   Exceeding sagely from that hour dispensed 
654      With any kind of troublesome control; 
655      But whether Julia to the task was equal 
656   Is that which must be mention'd in the sequel. 


657   Her plan she deem'd both innocent and feasible, 
658      And, surely, with a stripling of sixteen 
659   Not scandal's fangs could fix on much that's seizable, 
660      Or if they did so, satisfied to mean 
661   Nothing but what was good, her breast was peaceable--- 
662      A quiet conscience makes one so serene! 
663   Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded 
664   That all the Apostles would have done as they did. 


665   And if in the mean time her husband died, 
666      But heaven forbid that such a thought should cross 
667   Her brain, though in a dream! (and then she sigh'd) 
668      Never could she survive that common loss; 
669   But just suppose that moment should betide, 
670      I only say suppose it--- inter nos . 
671   (This should be entre nous , for Julia thought 
672   In French, but then the rhyme would go for nought.) 


673   I only say suppose this supposition: 
674      Juan being then grown up to man's estate 
675   Would fully suit a widow of condition, 
676      Even seven years hence it would not be too late; 
677   And in the interim (to pursue this vision) 
678      The mischief, after all, could not be great, 
679   For he would learn the rudiments of love, 
680   I mean the seraph way of those above. 


681   So much for Julia. Now we'll turn to Juan, 
682      Poor little fellow! he had no idea 
683   Of his own case, and never hit the true one; 
684      In feelings quick as Ovid's Miss Medea, 
685   He puzzled over what he found a new one, 
686      But not as yet imagined it could be a 
687   Thing quite in course, and not at all alarming, 
688   Which, with a little patience, might grow charming. 


689   Silent and pensive, idle, restless, slow, 
690      His home deserted for the lonely wood, 
691   Tormented with a wound he could not know, 
692      His, like all deep grief, plunged in solitude: 
693   I'm fond myself of solitude or so, 
694      But then, I beg it may be understood, 
695   By solitude I mean a sultan's, not 
696   A hermit's, with a haram for a grot. 


697   "Oh Love! in such a wilderness as this, 
698      Where transport and security entwine, 
699   Here is the empire of thy perfect bliss, 
700      And here thou art a god indeed divine." 
701   The bard I quote from does not sing amiss, 
702      With the exception of the second line, 
703   For that same twining "transport and security" 
704   Are twisted to a phrase of some obscurity. 


705   The poet meant, no doubt, and thus appeals 
706      To the good sense and senses of mankind, 
707   The very thing which every body feels, 
708      As all have found on trial, or may find, 
709   That no one likes to be disturb'd at meals 
710      Or love.---I won't say more about "entwined" 
711   Or "transport," as we knew all that before, 
712   But beg "Security" will bolt the door. 


713   Young Juan wander'd by the glassy brooks 
714      Thinking unutterable things; he threw 
715   Himself at length within the leafy nooks 
716      Where the wild branch of the cork forest grew; 
717   There poets find materials for their books, 
718      And every now and then we read them through, 
719   So that their plan and prosody are eligible, 
720   Unless, like Wordsworth, they prove unintelligible. 


721   He, Juan, (and not Wordsworth) so pursued 
722      His self-communion with his own high soul, 
723   Until his mighty heart, in its great mood, 
724      Had mitigated part, though not the whole 
725   Of its disease; he did the best he could 
726      With things not very subject to control, 
727   And turn'd, without perceiving his condition, 
728   Like Coleridge, into a metaphysician. 


729   He thought about himself, and the whole earth, 
730      Of man the wonderful, and of the stars, 
731   And how the deuce they ever could have birth; 
732      And then he thought of earthquakes, and of wars, 
733   How many miles the moon might have in girth, 
734      Of air-balloons, and of the many bars 
735   To perfect knowledge of the boundless skies; 
736   And then he thought of Donna Julia's eyes. 


737   In thoughts like these true wisdom may discern 
738      Longings sublime, and aspirations high, 
739   Which some are born with, but the most part learn 
740      To plague themselves withal, they know not why: 
741   'Twas strange that one so young should thus concern 
742      His brain about the action of the sky; 
743   If you think 'twas philosophy that this did, 
744   I can't help thinking puberty assisted. 


745   He pored upon the leaves, and on the flowers, 
746      And heard a voice in all the winds; and then 
747   He thought of wood nymphs and immortal bowers, 
748      And how the goddesses came down to men: 
749   He miss'd the pathway, he forgot the hours, 
750      And when he look'd upon his watch again, 
751   He found how much old Time had been a winner--- 
752   He also found that he had lost his dinner. 


753   Sometimes he turn'd to gaze upon his book, 
754      Boscan, or Garcilasso;---by the wind 
755   Even as the page is rustled while we look, 
756      So by the poesy of his own mind 
757   Over the mystic leaf his soul was shook, 
758      As if 'twere one whereon magicians bind 
759   Their spells, and give them to the passing gale, 
760   According to some good old woman's tale. 


761   Thus would he while his lonely hours away 
762      Dissatisfied, nor knowing what he wanted; 
763   Nor glowing reverie, nor poet's lay, 
764      Could yield his spirit that for which it panted, 
765   A bosom whereon he his head might lay, 
766      And hear the heart beat with the love it granted, 
767   With---several other things, which I forget, 
768   Or which, at least, I need not mention yet. 


769   Those lonely walks, and lengthening reveries, 
770      Could not escape the gentle Julia's eyes; 
771   She saw that Juan was not at his ease; 
772      But that which chiefly may, and must surprise, 
773   Is, that the Donna Inez did not tease 
774      Her only son with question or surmise; 
775   Whether it was she did not see, or would not, 
776   Or, like all very clever people, could not. 


777   This may seem strange, but yet 'tis very common; 
778      For instance---gentlemen, whose ladies take 
779   Leave to o'erstep the written rights of woman, 
780      And break the---Which commandment is't they break? 
781   (I have forgot the number, and think no man 
782      Should rashly quote, for fear of a mistake.) 
783   I say, when these same gentlemen are jealous, 
784   They make some blunder, which their ladies tell us. 


785   A real husband always is suspicious, 
786      But still no less suspects in the wrong place, 
787   Jealous of some one who had no such wishes, 
788      Or pandering blindly to his own disgrace 
789   By harbouring some dear friend extremely vicious; 
790      The last indeed's infallibly the case: 
791   And when the spouse and friend are gone off wholly, 
792   He wonders at their vice, and not his folly. 


793   Thus parents also are at times short-sighted; 
794      Though watchful as the lynx, they ne'er discover, 
795   The while the wicked world beholds delighted, 
796      Young Hopeful's mistress, or Miss Fanny's lover, 
797   Till some confounded escapade has blighted 
798      The plan of twenty years, and all is over; 
799   And then the mother cries, the father swears, 
800   And wonders why the devil he got heirs. 


801   But Inez was so anxious, and so clear 
802      Of sight, that I must think, on this occasion, 
803   She had some other motive much more near 
804      For leaving Juan to his new temptation; 
805   But what that motive was, I sha'n't say here; 
806      Perhaps to finish Juan's education, 
807   Perhaps to open Don Alfonso's eyes, 
808   In case he thought his wife too great a prize. 


809   It was upon a day, a summer's day;--- 
810      Summer's indeed a very dangerous season, 
811   And so is spring about the end of May; 
812      The sun, no doubt, is the prevailing reason; 
813   But whatsoe'er the cause is, one may say, 
814      And stand convicted of more truth than treason, 
815   That there are months which nature grows more merry in, 
816   March has its hares, and May must have its heroine. 


817   'Twas on a summer's day---the sixth of June:--- 
818      I like to be particular in dates, 
819   Not only of the age, and year, but moon; 
820      They are a sort of post-house, where the Fates 
821   Change horses, making history change its tune, 
822      Then spur away o'er empires and o'er states, 
823   Leaving at last not much besides chronology, 
824   Excepting the post-obits of theology. 


825   'Twas on the sixth of June, about the hour 
826      Of half-past six---perhaps still nearer seven, 
827   When Julia sate within as pretty a bower 
828      As e'er held houri in that heathenish heaven 
829   Described by Mahomet, and Anacreon Moore, 
830      To whom the lyre and laurels have been given, 
831   With all the trophies of triumphant song--- 
832   He won them well, and may he wear them long! 


833   She sate, but not alone; I know not well 
834      How this same interview had taken place, 
835   And even if I knew, I should not tell--- 
836      People should hold their tongues in any case; 
837   No matter how or why the thing befell, 
838      But there were she and Juan, face to face--- 
839   When two such faces are so, 'twould be wise, 
840   But very difficult, to shut their eyes. 


841   How beautiful she look'd! her conscious heart 
842      Glow'd in her cheek, and yet she felt no wrong. 
843   Oh Love! how perfect is thy mystic art, 
844      Strengthening the weak, and trampling on the strong, 
845   How self-deceitful is the sagest part 
846      Of mortals whom thy lure hath led along--- 
847   The precipice she stood on was immense, 
848   So was her creed in her own innocence. 


849   She thought of her own strength, and Juan's youth, 
850      And of the folly of all prudish fears, 
851   Victorious virtue, and domestic truth, 
852      And then of Don Alfonso's fifty years: 
853   I wish these last had not occurr'd, in sooth, 
854      Because that number rarely much endears, 
855   And through all climes, the snowy and the sunny, 
856   Sounds ill in love, whate'er it may in money. 


857   When people say, "I've told you fifty times," 
858      They mean to scold, and very often do; 
859   When poets say, "I've written fifty rhymes," 
860      They make you dread that they'll recite them too; 
861   In gangs of fifty , thieves commit their crimes; 
862      At fifty love for love is rare, 'tis true, 
863   But then, no doubt, it equally as true is, 
864   A good deal may be bought for fifty Louis. 


865   Julia had honour, virtue, truth, and love, 
866      For Don Alfonso; and she inly swore, 
867   By all the vows below to powers above, 
868      She never would disgrace the ring she wore, 
869   Nor leave a wish which wisdom might reprove; 
870      And while she ponder'd this, besides much more, 
871   One hand on Juan's carelessly was thrown, 
872   Quite by mistake---she thought it was her own; 


873   Unconsciously she lean'd upon the other, 
874      Which play'd within the tangles of her hair; 
875   And to contend with thoughts she could not smother, 
876      She seem'd by the distraction of her air. 
877   'Twas surely very wrong in Juan's mother 
878      To leave together this imprudent pair, 
879   She who for many years had watch'd her son so--- 
880   I'm very certain mine would not have done so. 


881   The hand which still held Juan's, by degrees 
882      Gently, but palpably confirm'd its grasp, 
883   As if it said "detain me, if you please"; 
884      Yet there's no doubt she only meant to clasp 
885   His fingers with a pure Platonic squeeze; 
886      She would have shrunk as from a toad, or asp, 
887   Had she imagined such a thing could rouse 
888   A feeling dangerous to a prudent spouse. 


889   I cannot know what Juan thought of this, 
890      But what he did, is much what you would do; 
891   His young lip thank'd it with a grateful kiss, 
892      And then, abash'd at its own joy, withdrew 
893   In deep despair, lest he had done amiss, 
894      Love is so very timid when 'tis new: 
895   She blush'd, and frown'd not, but she strove to speak, 
896   And held her tongue, her voice was grown so weak. 


897   The sun set, and up rose the yellow moon: 
898      The devil's in the moon for mischief; they 
899   Who call'd her chaste , methinks, began too soon 
900      Their nomenclature; there is not a day, 
901   The longest, not the twenty-first of June, 
902      Sees half the business in a wicked way 
903   On which three single hours of moonshine smile--- 
904   And then she looks so modest all the while. 


905   There is a dangerous silence in that hour, 
906      A stillness, which leaves room for the full soul 
907   To open all itself, without the power 
908      Of calling wholly back its self-control; 
909   The silver light which, hallowing tree and tower, 
910      Sheds beauty and deep softness o'er the whole, 
911   Breathes also to the heart, and o'er it throws 
912   A loving languor, which is not repose. 


913   And Julia sate with Juan, half embraced 
914      And half retiring from the glowing arm, 
915   Which trembled like the bosom where 'twas placed; 
916      Yet still she must have thought there was no harm, 
917   Or else 'twere easy to withdraw her waist; 
918      But then the situation had its charm, 
919   And then---God knows what next---I can't go on; 
920   I'm almost sorry that I e'er begun. 


921   Oh Plato! Plato! you have paved the way, 
922      With your confounded fantasies, to more 
923   Immoral conduct by the fancied sway 
924      Your system feigns o'er the controlless core 
925   Of human hearts, than all the long array 
926      Of poets and romancers:---You're a bore, 
927   A charlatan, a coxcomb---and have been, 
928   At best, no better than a go-between. 


929   And Julia's voice was lost, except in sighs, 
930      Until too late for useful conversation; 
931   The tears were gushing from her gentle eyes, 
932      I wish, indeed, they had not had occasion, 
933   But who, alas! can love, and then be wise? 
934      Not that remorse did not oppose temptation, 
935   A little still she strove, and much repented, 
936   And whispering "I will ne'er consent"---consented. 


937   'Tis said that Xerxes offer'd a reward 
938      To those who could invent him a new pleasure; 
939   Methinks, the requisition's rather hard, 
940      And must have cost his majesty a treasure: 
941   For my part, I'm a moderate-minded bard, 
942      Fond of a little love (which I call leisure); 
943   I care not for new pleasures, as the old 
944   Are quite enough for me, so they but hold. 


945   Oh Pleasure! you're indeed a pleasant thing, 
946      Although one must be damn'd for you, no doubt 
947   I make a resolution every spring 
948      Of reformation, ere the year run out, 
949   But, somehow, this my vestal vow takes wing, 
950      Yet still, I trust, it may be kept throughout: 
951   I'm very sorry, very much ashamed, 
952   And mean, next winter, to be quite reclaim'd. 


953   Here my chaste Muse a liberty must take--- 
954      Start not! still chaster reader---she'll be nice hence- 
955   Forward, and there is no great cause to quake; 
956      This liberty is a poetic licence, 
957   Which some irregularity may make 
958      In the design, and as I have a high sense 
959   Of Aristotle and the Rules, 'tis fit 
960   To beg his pardon when I err a bit. 


961   This licence is to hope the reader will 
962      Suppose from June the sixth (the fatal day, 
963   Without whose epoch my poetic skill 
964      For want of facts would all be thrown away), 
965   But keeping Julia and Don Juan still 
966      In sight, that several months have pass'd; we'll say 
967   'Twas in November, but I'm not so sure 
968   About the day---the era's more obscure. 


969   We'll talk of that anon.---'Tis sweet to hear 
970      At midnight on the blue and moonlit deep 
971   The song and oar of Adria's gondolier, 
972      By distance mellow'd, o'er the waters sweep; 
973   'Tis sweet to see the evening star appear; 
974      'Tis sweet to listen as the nightwinds creep 
975   From leaf to leaf; 'tis sweet to view on high 
976   The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky. 


977   'Tis sweet to hear the watchdog's honest bark 
978      Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near home; 
979   'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark 
980      Our coming, and look brighter when we come; 
981   'Tis sweet to be awaken'd by the lark, 
982      Or lull'd by falling waters; sweet the hum 
983   Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds, 
984   The lisp of children, and their earliest words. 


985   Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes 
986      In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth 
987   Purple and gushing: sweet are our escapes 
988      From civic revelry to rural mirth; 
989   Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps, 
990      Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth, 
991   Sweet is revenge---especially to women, 
992   Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen. 


993   Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet 
994      The unexpected death of some old lady 
995   Or gentleman of seventy years complete, 
996      Who've made "us youth" wait too---too long already 
997   For an estate, or cash, or country-seat, 
998      Still breaking, but with stamina so steady, 
999   That all the Israelites are fit to mob its 
1000   Next owner for their double-damn'd post-obits. 


1001   'Tis sweet to win, no matter how, one's laurels 
1002      By blood or ink; 'tis sweet to put an end 
1003   To strife; 'tis sometimes sweet to have our quarrels, 
1004      Particularly with a tiresome friend; 
1005   Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels; 
1006      Dear is the helpless creature we defend 
1007   Against the world; and dear the schoolboy spot 
1008   We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot. 


1009   But sweeter still than this, than these, than all, 
1010      Is first and passionate love---it stands alone, 
1011   Like Adam's recollection of his fall; 
1012      The tree of knowledge has been pluck'd---all's known--- 
1013   And life yields nothing further to recall 
1014      Worthy of this ambrosial sin, so shown, 
1015   No doubt in fable, as the unforgiven 
1016   Fire which Prometheus filch'd for us from heaven. 


1017   Man's a strange animal, and makes strange use 
1018      Of his own nature, and the various arts, 
1019   And likes particularly to produce 
1020      Some new experiment to show his parts; 
1021   This is the age of oddities let loose, 
1022      Where different talents find their different marts; 
1023   You'd best begin with truth, and when you've lost your 
1024   Labour, there's a sure market for imposture. 


1025   What opposite discoveries we have seen! 
1026      (Signs of true genius, and of empty pockets.) 
1027   One makes new noses, one a guillotine, 
1028      One breaks your bones, one sets them in their sockets; 
1029   But vaccination certainly has been 
1030      A kind antithesis to Congreve's rockets, 
1031   With which the Doctor paid off an old pox, 
1032   By borrowing a new one from an ox. 


1033   Bread has been made (indifferent) from potatoes; 
1034      And galvanism has set some corpses grinning, 
1035   But has not answer'd like the apparatus 
1036      Of the Humane Society's beginning, 
1037   By which men are unsuffocated gratis: 
1038      What wondrous new machines have late been spinning! 
1039   I said the small-pox has gone out of late; 
1040   Perhaps it may be follow'd by the great. 


1041   'Tis said the great came from America; 
1042      Perhaps it may set out on its return,--- 
1043   The population there so spreads, they say 
1044      'Tis grown high time to thin it in its turn, 
1045   With war, or plague, or famine, any way, 
1046      So that civilisation they may learn; 
1047   And which in ravage the more loathsome evil is--- 
1048   Their real lues, or our pseudo-syphilis? 


1049   This is the patent age of new inventions 
1050      For killing bodies, and for saving souls, 
1051   All propagated with the best intentions; 
1052      Sir Humphrey Davy's lantern, by which coals 
1053   Are safely mined for in the mode he mentions, 
1054      Tombuctoo travels, voyages to the Poles, 
1055   Are ways to benefit mankind, as true, 
1056   Perhaps, as shooting them at Waterloo. 


1057   Man's a phenomenon, one knows not what, 
1058      And wonderful beyond all wondrous measure; 
1059   'Tis pity though, in this sublime world, that 
1060      Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure; 
1061   Few mortals know what end they would be at, 
1062      But whether glory, power, or love, or treasure, 
1063   The path is through perplexing ways, and when 
1064   The goal is gain'd, we die, you know---and then--- 


1065   What then?---I do not know, no more do you--- 
1066      And so good night.---Return we to our story: 
1067   'Twas in November, when fine days are few, 
1068      And the far mountains wax a little hoary, 
1069   And clap a white cape on their mantles blue; 
1070      And the sea dashes round the promontory, 
1071   And the loud breaker boils against the rock, 
1072   And sober suns must set at five o'clock. 


1073   'Twas, as the watchmen say, a cloudy night; 
1074      No moon, no stars, the wind was low or loud 
1075   By gusts, and many a sparkling hearth was bright 
1076      With the piled wood, round which the family crowd; 
1077   There's something cheerful in that sort of light, 
1078      Even as a summer sky's without a cloud: 
1079   I'm fond of fire, and crickets, and all that, 
1080   A lobster salad, and champaigne, and chat. 


1081   'Twas midnight---Donna Julia was in bed, 
1082      Sleeping, most probably,---when at her door 
1083   Arose a clatter might awake the dead, 
1084      If they had never been awoke before, 
1085   And that they have been so we all have read, 
1086      And are to be so, at the least, once more--- 
1087   The door was fasten'd, but with voice and fist 
1088   First knocks were heard, then "Madam---Madam---hist! 


1089   "For God's sake, Madam---Madam---here's my master, 
1090      With more than half the city at his back--- 
1091   Was ever heard of such a curst disaster! 
1092      'Tis not my fault---I kept good watch---Alack! 
1093   Do, pray undo the bolt a little faster--- 
1094      They're on the stair just now, and in a crack 
1095   Will all be here; perhaps he yet may fly--- 
1096   Surely the window's not so very high!" 


1097   By this time Don Alfonso was arrived, 
1098      With torches, friends, and servants in great number; 
1099   The major part of them had long been wived, 
1100      And therefore paused not to disturb the slumber 
1101   Of any wicked woman, who contrived 
1102      By stealth her husband's temples to encumber: 
1103   Examples of this kind are so contagious, 
1104   Were one not punish'd, all would be outrageous. 


1105   I can't tell how, or why, or what suspicion 
1106      Could enter into Don Alfonso's head; 
1107   But for a cavalier of his condition 
1108      It surely was exceedingly ill-bred, 
1109   Without a word of previous admonition, 
1110      To hold a levee round his lady's bed, 
1111   And summon lackeys, arm'd with fire and sword, 
1112   To prove himself the thing he most abhorr'd. 


1113   Poor Donna Julia! starting as from sleep, 
1114      (Mind---that I do not say---she had not slept) 
1115   Began at once to scream, and yawn, and weep; 
1116      Her maid Antonia, who was an adept, 
1117   Contrived to fling the bed-clothes in a heap, 
1118      As if she had just now from out them crept: 
1119   I can't tell why she should take all this trouble 
1120   To prove her mistress had been sleeping double. 


1121   But Julia mistress, and Antonia maid, 
1122      Appear'd like two poor harmless women, who 
1123   Of goblins, but still more of men afraid, 
1124      Had thought one man might be deterr'd by two, 
1125   And therefore side by side were gently laid, 
1126      Until the hours of absence should run through, 
1127   And truant husband should return, and say, 
1128   "My dear, I was the first who came away." 


1129   Now Julia found at length a voice, and cried, 
1130      "In heaven's name, Don Alfonso, what d'ye mean? 
1131   Has madness seized you? would that I had died 
1132      Ere such a monster's victim I had been! 
1133   What may this midnight violence betide, 
1134      A sudden fit of drunkenness or spleen? 
1135   Dare you suspect me, whom the thought would kill? 
1136   Search, then, the room!" Alfonso said, "I will." 


1137   He search'd, they search'd, and rummaged every where, 
1138      Closet and clothes'-press, chest and window-seat, 
1139   And found much linen, lace, and several pair 
1140      Of stockings, slippers, brushes, combs, complete, 
1141   With other articles of ladies fair, 
1142      To keep them beautiful, or leave them neat: 
1143   Arras they prick'd and curtains with their swords, 
1144   And wounded several shutters, and some boards. 


1145   Under the bed they search'd, and there they found--- 
1146      No matter what---it was not that they sought; 
1147   They open'd windows, gazing if the ground 
1148      Had signs or footmarks, but the earth said nought; 
1149   And then they stared each others' faces round: 
1150      'Tis odd, not one of all these seekers thought, 
1151   And seems to me almost a sort of blunder, 
1152   Of looking in the bed as well as under. 


1153   During this inquisition Julia's tongue 
1154      Was not asleep---"Yes, search and search," she cried, 
1155   "Insult on insult heap, and wrong on wrong! 
1156      It was for this that I became a bride! 
1157   For this in silence I have suffer'd long 
1158      A husband like Alfonso at my side; 
1159   But now I'll bear no more, nor here remain, 
1160   If there be law, or lawyers, in all Spain. 


1161   "Yes, Don Alfonso! husband now no more, 
1162      If ever you indeed deserved the name, 
1163   Is't worthy of your years?---you have threescore, 
1164      Fifty, or sixty---it is all the same--- 
1165   Is't wise or fitting causeless to explore 
1166      For facts against a virtuous woman's fame? 
1167   Ungrateful, perjured, barbarous Don Alfonso, 
1168   How dare you think your lady would go on so? 


1169   "Is it for this I have disdain'd to hold 
1170      The common privileges of my sex? 
1171   That I have chosen a confessor so old 
1172      And deaf, that any other it would vex, 
1173   And never once he has had cause to scold, 
1174      But found my very innocence perplex 
1175   So much, he always doubted I was married--- 
1176   How sorry you will be when I've miscarried! 


1177   "Was it for this that no Cortejo ere 
1178      I yet have chosen from out the youth of Seville? 
1179   Is it for this I scarce went any where, 
1180      Except to bull-fights, mass, play, rout, and revel? 
1181   Is it for this, whate'er my suitors were, 
1182      I favour'd none---nay, was almost uncivil? 
1183   Is it for this that General Count O'Reilly, 
1184   Who took Algiers, declares I used him vilely? 


1185   "Did not the Italian Musico Cazzani 
1186      Sing at my heart six months at least in vain? 
1187   Did not his countryman, Count Corniani, 
1188      Call me the only virtuous wife in Spain? 
1189   Were there not also Russians, English, many? 
1190      The Count Strongstroganoff I put in pain, 
1191   And Lord Mount Coffeehouse, the Irish peer, 
1192   Who kill'd himself for love (with wine) last year. 


1193   "Have I not had two bishops at my feet? 
1194      The Duke of Ichar, and Don Fernan Nunez, 
1195   And is it thus a faithful wife you treat? 
1196      I wonder in what quarter now the moon is: 
1197   I praise your vast forbearance not to beat 
1198      Me also, since the time so opportune is--- 
1199   Oh, valiant man! with sword drawn and cock'd trigger, 
1200   Now, tell me, don't you cut a pretty figure? 


1201   "Was it for this you took your sudden journey, 
1202      Under pretence of business indispensible 
1203   With that sublime of rascals your attorney, 
1204      Whom I see standing there, and looking sensible 
1205   Of having play'd the fool? though both I spurn, he 
1206      Deserves the worst, his conduct's less defensible, 
1207   Because, no doubt, 'twas for his dirty fee, 
1208   And not from any love to you nor me. 


1209   "If he comes here to take a deposition, 
1210      By all means let the gentleman proceed; 
1211   You've made the apartment in a fit condition:--- 
1212      There's pen and ink for you, sir, when you need--- 
1213   Let every thing be noted with precision, 
1214      I would not you for nothing should be fee'd--- 
1215   But, as my maid's undrest, pray turn your spies out." 
1216   "Oh!" sobb'd Antonia, "I could tear their eyes out." 


1217   "There is the closet, there the toilet, there 
1218      The anti-chamber---search them under, over; 
1219   There is the sofa, there the great arm-chair, 
1220      The chimney---which would really hold a lover. 
1221   I wish to sleep, and beg you will take care 
1222      And make no further noise, till you discover 
1223   The secret cavern of this lurking treasure--- 
1224   And when 'tis found, let me, too, have that pleasure. 


1225   "And now, Hidalgo! now that you have thrown 
1226      Doubt upon me, confusion over all, 
1227   Pray have the courtesy to make it known 
1228       Who is the man you search for? how d'ye call 
1229   Him? what's his lineage? let him but be shown--- 
1230      I hope he's young and handsome---is he tall? 
1231   Tell me---and be assured, that since you stain 
1232   My honour thus, it shall not be in vain. 


1233   "At least, perhaps, he has not sixty years, 
1234      At that age he would be too old for slaughter, 
1235   Or for so young a husband's jealous fears--- 
1236      (Antonia! let me have a glass of water.) 
1237   I am ashamed of having shed these tears, 
1238      They are unworthy of my father's daughter; 
1239   My mother dream'd not in my natal hour 
1240   That I should fall into a monster's power. 


1241   "Perhaps 'tis of Antonia you are jealous, 
1242      You saw that she was sleeping by my side 
1243   When you broke in upon us with your fellows: 
1244      Look where you please---we've nothing, sir, to hide; 
1245   Only another time, I trust, you'll tell us, 
1246      Or for the sake of decency abide 
1247   A moment at the door, that we may be 
1248   Drest to receive so much good company. 


1249   "And now, sir, I have done, and say no more; 
1250      The little I have said may serve to show 
1251   The guileless heart in silence may grieve o'er 
1252      The wrongs to whose exposure it is slow:--- 
1253   I leave you to your conscience as before, 
1254      'Twill one day ask you why you used me so? 
1255   God grant you feel not then the bitterest grief! 
1256   Antonia! where's my pocket-handkerchief?" 


1257   She ceased, and turn'd upon her pillow; pale 
1258      She lay, her dark eyes flashing through their tears, 
1259   Like skies that rain and lighten; as a veil, 
1260      Waved and o'ershading her wan cheek, appears 
1261   Her streaming hair; the black curls strive, but fail, 
1262      To hide the glossy shoulder, which uprears 
1263   Its snow through all;---her soft lips lie apart, 
1264   And louder than her breathing beats her heart. 


1265   The Senhor Don Alfonso stood confused; 
1266      Antonia bustled round the ransack'd room, 
1267   And, turning up her nose, with looks abused 
1268      Her master, and his myrmidons, of whom 
1269   Not one, except the attorney, was amused; 
1270      He, like Achates, faithful to the tomb, 
1271   So there were quarrels, cared not for the cause, 
1272   Knowing they must be settled by the laws. 


1273   With prying snub-nose, and small eyes, he stood, 
1274      Following Antonia's motions here and there, 
1275   With much suspicion in his attitude; 
1276      For reputations he had little care; 
1277   So that a suit or action were made good, 
1278      Small pity had he for the young and fair, 
1279   And ne'er believed in negatives, till these 
1280   Were proved by competent false witnesses. 


1281   But Don Alfonso stood with downcast looks, 
1282      And, truth to say, he made a foolish figure; 
1283   When, after searching in five hundred nooks, 
1284      And treating a young wife with so much rigour, 
1285   He gain'd no point, except some self-rebukes, 
1286      Added to those his lady with such vigour 
1287   Had pour'd upon him for the last half-hour, 
1288   Quick, thick, and heavy---as a thunder-shower. 


1289   At first he tried to hammer an excuse, 
1290      To which the sole reply were tears, and sobs, 
1291   And indications of hysterics, whose 
1292      Prologue is always certain throes, and throbs, 
1293   Gasps, and whatever else the owners choose:--- 
1294      Alfonso saw his wife, and thought of Job's; 
1295   He saw too, in perspective, her relations, 
1296   And then he tried to muster all his patience. 


1297   He stood in act to speak, or rather stammer, 
1298      But sage Antonia cut him short before 
1299   The anvil of his speech received the hammer, 
1300      With "Pray sir, leave the room, and say no more, 
1301   Or madam dies."---Alfonso mutter'd "D---n her," 
1302      But nothing else, the time of words was o'er; 
1303   He cast a rueful look or two, and did, 
1304   He knew not wherefore, that which he was bid. 


1305   With him retired his " posse comitatus ," 
1306      The attorney last, who linger'd near the door, 
1307   Reluctantly, still tarrying there as late as 
1308      Antonia let him---not a little sore 
1309   At this most strange and unexplain'd " hiatus " 
1310      In Don Alfonso's facts, which just now wore 
1311   An awkward look; as he revolved the case 
1312   The door was fasten'd and his legal face. 


1313   No sooner was it bolted, than---Oh shame! 
1314      Oh sin! Oh sorrow! and Oh womankind! 
1315   How can you do such things and keep your fame, 
1316      Unless this world, and t'other too, be blind? 
1317   Nothing so dear as an unfilch'd good name! 
1318      But to proceed---for there is more behind: 
1319   With much heart-felt reluctance be it said, 
1320   Young Juan slipp'd, half-smother'd, from the bed. 


1321   He had been hid---I don't pretend to say 
1322      How, nor can I indeed describe the where--- 
1323   Young, slender, and pack'd easily, he lay, 
1324      No doubt, in little compass, round or square; 
1325   But pity him I neither must nor may 
1326      His suffocation by that pretty pair; 
1327   'Twere better, sure, to die so, than be shut 
1328   With maudlin Clarence in his Malmsey butt. 


1329   And, secondly, I pity not, because 
1330      He had no business to commit a sin, 
1331   Forbid by heavenly, fined by human laws, 
1332      At least 'twas rather early to begin; 
1333   But at sixteen the conscience rarely gnaws 
1334      So much as when we call our old debts in 
1335   At sixty years, and draw the accompts of evil, 
1336   And find a deuced balance with the devil. 


1337   Of his position I can give no notion: 
1338      'Tis written in the Hebrew Chronicle, 
1339   How the physicians, leaving pill and potion, 
1340      Prescribed, by way of blister, a young belle, 
1341   When old King David's blood grew dull in motion, 
1342      And that the medicine answer'd very well; 
1343   Perhaps 'twas in a different way applied, 
1344   For David lived, but Juan nearly died. 


1345   What's to be done? Alfonso will be back 
1346      The moment he has sent his fools away. 
1347   Antonia's skill was put upon the rack, 
1348      But no device could be brought into play--- 
1349   And how to parry the renew'd attack 
1350      Besides, it wanted but few hours of day: 
1351   Antonia puzzled; Julia did not speak, 
1352   But press'd her bloodless lip to Juan's cheek. 


1353   He turn'd his lip to hers, and with his hand 
1354      Call'd back the tangles of her wandering hair; 
1355   Even then their love they could not all command, 
1356      And half forgot their danger and despair: 
1357   Antonia's patience now was at a stand--- 
1358      "Come, come, 'tis no time now for fooling there," 
1359   She whisper'd, in great wrath---"I must deposit 
1360   This pretty gentleman within the closet: 


1361   "Pray, keep your nonsense for some luckier night--- 
1362       Who can have put my master in this mood? 
1363   What will become on't?---I'm in such a fright, 
1364      The devil's in the urchin, and no good--- 
1365   Is this a time for giggling? this a plight? 
1366      Why, don't you know that it may end in blood? 
1367   You'll lose your life, and I shall lose my place, 
1368   My mistress all, for that half-girlish face. 


1369   "Had it but been for a stout cavalier 
1370      Of twenty-five or thirty---(Come, make haste) 
1371   But for a child, what piece of work is here! 
1372      (I really, madam, wonder at your taste--- 
1373   Come, sir, get in)---my master must be near. 
1374      There, for the present, at the least he's fast, 
1375   And, if we can but till the morning keep 
1376   Our counsel---(Juan, mind, you must not sleep.)" 


1377   Now, Don Alfonso entering, but alone, 
1378      Closed the oration of the trusty maid: 
1379   She loiter'd, and he told her to be gone, 
1380      An order somewhat sullenly obey'd; 
1381   However, present remedy was none, 
1382      And no great good seem'd answer'd if she staid: 
1383   Regarding both with slow and sidelong view, 
1384   She snuff'd the candle, curtsied, and withdrew. 


1385   Alfonso paused a minute---then begun 
1386      Some strange excuses for his late proceeding; 
1387   He would not justify what he had done, 
1388      To say the best, it was extreme ill-breeding; 
1389   But there were ample reasons for it, none 
1390      Of which he specified in this his pleading: 
1391   His speech was a fine sample, on the whole, 
1392   Of rhetoric, which the learn'd call " rigmarole ." 


1393   Julia said nought; though all the while there rose 
1394      A ready answer, which at once enables 
1395   A matron, who her husband's foible knows, 
1396      By a few timely words to turn the tables, 
1397   Which if it does not silence still must pose, 
1398      Even if it should comprise a pack of fables; 
1399   'Tis to retort with firmness, and when he 
1400   Suspects with one , do you reproach with three . 


1401   Julia, in fact, had tolerable grounds, 
1402      Alfonso's loves with Inez were well known; 
1403   But whether 'twas that one's own guilt confounds, 
1404      But that can't be, as has been often shown, 
1405   A lady with apologies abounds; 
1406      It might be that her silence sprang alone 
1407   From delicacy to Don Juan's ear, 
1408   To whom she knew his mother's fame was dear. 


1409   There might be one more motive, which makes two, 
1410      Alfonso ne'er to Juan had alluded, 
1411   Mention'd his jealousy, but never who 
1412      Had been the happy lover, he concluded, 
1413   Conceal'd amongst his premises; 'tis true, 
1414      His mind the more o'er this its mystery brooded; 
1415   To speak of Inez now were, one may say, 
1416   Like throwing Juan in Alfonso's way. 


1417   A hint, in tender cases, is enough; 
1418      Silence is best, besides there is a tact 
1419   (That modern phrase appears to me sad stuff, 
1420      But it will serve to keep my verse compact) 
1421   Which keeps, when push'd by questions rather rough, 
1422      A lady always distant from the fact--- 
1423   The charming creatures lie with such a grace, 
1424   There's nothing so becoming to the face. 


1425   They blush, and we believe them; at least I 
1426      Have always done so; 'tis of no great use, 
1427   In any case, attempting a reply, 
1428      For then their eloquence grows quite profuse; 
1429   And when at length they're out of breath, they sigh, 
1430      And cast their languid eyes down, and let loose 
1431   A tear or two, and then we make it up; 
1432   And then---and then---and then---sit down and sup. 


1433   Alfonso closed his speech, and begg'd her pardon, 
1434      Which Julia half withheld, and then half granted, 
1435   And laid conditions, he thought, very hard on, 
1436      Denying several little things he wanted: 
1437   He stood like Adam lingering near his garden, 
1438      With useless penitence perplex'd and haunted, 
1439   Beseeching she no further would refuse, 
1440   When lo! he stumbled o'er a pair of shoes. 


1441   A pair of shoes!---what then? not much, if they 
1442      Are such as fit with lady's feet, but these 
1443   (No one can tell how much I grieve to say) 
1444      Were masculine; to see them, and to seize, 
1445   Was but a moment's act.---Ah! Well-a-day! 
1446      My teeth begin to chatter, my veins freeze--- 
1447   Alfonso first examined well their fashion, 
1448   And then flew out into another passion. 


1449   He left the room for his relinquish'd sword, 
1450      And Julia instant to the closet flew. 
1451   "Fly, Juan, fly! for heaven's sake---not a word--- 
1452      The door is open---you may yet slip through 
1453   The passage you so often have explored--- 
1454      Here is the garden-key---Fly---fly---Adieu! 
1455   Haste---haste!---I hear Alfonso's hurrying feet--- 
1456   Day has not broke---there's no one in the street." 


1457   None can say that this was not good advice, 
1458      The only mischief was, it came too late; 
1459   Of all experience 'tis the usual price, 
1460      A sort of income-tax laid on by fate: 
1461   Juan had reach'd the room-door in a trice, 
1462      And might have done so by the garden-gate, 
1463   But met Alfonso in his dressing-gown, 
1464   Who threaten'd death---so Juan knock'd him down. 


1465   Dire was the scuffle, and out went the light, 
1466      Antonia cried out "Rape!" and Julia "Fire!" 
1467   But not a servant stirr'd to aid the fight. 
1468      Alfonso, pommell'd to his heart's desire, 
1469   Swore lustily he'd be revenged this night; 
1470      And Juan, too, blasphemed an octave higher, 
1471   His blood was up; though young, he was a Tartar, 
1472   And not at all disposed to prove a martyr. 


1473   Alfonso's sword had dropp'd ere he could draw it, 
1474      And they continued battling hand to hand, 
1475   For Juan very luckily ne'er saw it; 
1476      His temper not being under great command, 
1477   If at that moment he had chanced to claw it, 
1478      Alfonso's days had not been in the land 
1479   Much longer.---Think of husbands', lovers' lives! 
1480   And how ye may be doubly widows---wives! 


1481   Alfonso grappled to detain the foe, 
1482      And Juan throttled him to get away, 
1483   And blood ('twas from the nose) began to flow; 
1484      At last, as they more faintly wrestling lay, 
1485   Juan contrived to give an awkward blow, 
1486      And then his only garment quite gave way; 
1487   He fled, like Joseph, leaving it; but there, 
1488   I doubt, all likeness ends between the pair. 


1489   Lights came at length, and men, and maids, who found 
1490      An awkward spectacle their eyes before; 
1491   Antonia in hysterics, Julia swoon'd, 
1492      Alfonso leaning, breathless, by the door; 
1493   Some half-torn drapery scatter'd on the ground, 
1494      Some blood, and several footsteps, but no more: 
1495   Juan the gate gain'd, turn'd the key about, 
1496   And liking not the inside, lock'd the out. 


1497   Here ends this canto.---Need I sing, or say, 
1498      How Juan, naked, favour'd by the night, 
1499   Who favours what she should not, found his way, 
1500      And reach'd his home in an unseemly plight? 
1501   The pleasant scandal which arose next day, 
1502      The nine days' wonder which was brought to light, 
1503   And how Alfonso sued for a divorce, 
1504   Were in the English newspapers, of course. 


1505   If you would like to see the whole proceedings, 
1506      The depositions, and the cause at full, 
1507   The names of all the witnesses, the pleadings 
1508      Of counsel to nonsuit, or to annul, 
1509   There's more than one edition, and the readings 
1510      Are various, but they none of them are dull, 
1511   The best is that in shorthand ta'en by Gurney, 
1512   Who to Madrid on purpose made a journey. 


1513   But Donna Inez, to divert the train 
1514      Of one of the most circulating scandals 
1515   That had for centuries been known in Spain, 
1516      At least since the retirement of the Vandals, 
1517   First vow'd (and never had she vow'd in vain) 
1518      To Virgin Mary several pounds of candles; 
1519   And then, by the advice of some old ladies, 
1520   She sent her son to be shipp'd off from Cadiz. 


1521   She had resolved that he should travel through 
1522      All European climes, by land or sea, 
1523   To mend his former morals, and get new, 
1524      Especially in France and Italy, 
1525   (At least this is the thing most people do). 
1526      Julia was sent into a convent; she 
1527   Grieved, but, perhaps, her feelings may be better 
1528   Shown in the following copy of her letter: 


1529   "They tell me 'tis decided; you depart: 
1530      'Tis wise---'tis well, but not the less a pain; 
1531   I have no further claim on your young heart, 
1532      Mine is the victim, and would be again; 
1533   To love too much has been the only art 
1534      I used;---I write in haste, and if a stain 
1535   Be on this sheet, 'tis not what it appears, 
1536   My eyeballs burn and throb, but have no tears. 


1537   "I loved, I love you, for this love have lost 
1538      State, station, heaven, mankind's, my own esteem, 
1539   And yet can not regret what it hath cost, 
1540      So dear is still the memory of that dream; 
1541   Yet, if I name my guilt, 'tis not to boast, 
1542      None can deem harshlier of me than I deem: 
1543   I trace this scrawl because I cannot rest--- 
1544   I've nothing to reproach, or to request. 


1545   "Man's love is of man's life a thing apart, 
1546      'Tis woman's whole existence; man may range 
1547   The court, camp, church, the vessel, and the mart, 
1548      Sword, gown, gain, glory, offer in exchange 
1549   Pride, fame, ambition, to fill up his heart, 
1550      And few there are whom these can not estrange; 
1551   Men have all these resources, we but one. 
1552   To love again, and be again undone. 


1553   "You will proceed in pleasure, and in pride, 
1554      Beloved and loving many; all is o'er 
1555   For me on earth, except some years to hide 
1556      My shame and sorrow deep in my heart's core; 
1557   These I could bear, but cannot cast aside 
1558      The passion which still rages as before, 
1559   And so farewell---forgive me, love me---No, 
1560   That word is idle now---but let it go. 


1561   "My breast has been all weakness, is so yet; 
1562      But still I think I can collect my mind; 
1563   My blood still rushes where my spirit's set, 
1564      As roll the waves before the settled wind; 
1565   My heart is feminine, nor can forget--- 
1566      To all, except one image, madly blind; 
1567   So shakes the needle, and so stands the pole, 
1568   As vibrates my fond heart to my fix'd soul. 


1569   "I have no more to say, but linger still, 
1570      And dare not set my seal upon this sheet, 
1571   And yet I may as well the task fulfil, 
1572      My misery can scarce be more complete: 
1573   I had not lived till now, could sorrow kill; 
1574      Death shuns the wretch who fain the blow would meet, 
1575   And I must even survive this last adieu, 
1576   And bear with life, to love and pray for you!" 


1577   This note was written upon gilt-edged paper 
1578      With a neat little crow-quill, slight and new; 
1579   Her small white hand could hardly reach the taper, 
1580      It trembled as magnetic needles do, 
1581   And yet she did not let one tear escape her; 
1582      The seal a sunflower; " Elle vous suit partout ," 
1583   The motto, cut upon a white cornelian; 
1584   The wax was superfine, its hue vermillion. 


1585   This was Don Juan's earliest scrape; but whether 
1586      I shall proceed with his adventures is 
1587   Dependent on the public altogether; 
1588      We'll see, however, what they say to this, 
1589   Their favour in an author's cap's a feather, 
1590      And no great mischief's done by their caprice; 
1591   And if their approbation we experience, 
1592   Perhaps they'll have some more about a year hence. 


1593   My poem's epic, and is meant to be 
1594      Divided in twelve books; each book containing, 
1595   With love, and war, a heavy gale at sea, 
1596      A list of ships, and captains, and kings reigning, 
1597   New characters; the episodes are three: 
1598      A panorama view of hell's in training, 
1599   After the style of Virgil and of Homer, 
1600      So that my name of Epic's no misnomer. 


1601   All these things will be specified in time, 
1602      With strict regard to Aristotle's rules, 
1603   The vade mecum of the true sublime, 
1604      Which makes so many poets, and some fools; 
1605   Prose poets like blank-verse, I'm fond of rhyme, 
1606      Good workmen never quarrel with their tools; 
1607   I've got new mythological machinery, 
1608   And very handsome supernatural scenery. 


1609   There's only one slight difference between 
1610      Me and my epic brethren gone before, 
1611   And here the advantage is my own, I ween; 
1612      (Not that I have not several merits more, 
1613   But this will more peculiarly be seen) 
1614      They so embellish, that 'tis quite a bore 
1615   Their labyrinth of fables to thread through, 
1616   Whereas this story's actually true. 


1617   If any person doubt it, I appeal 
1618      To history, tradition, and to facts, 
1619   To newspapers, whose truth all know and feel, 
1620      To plays in five, and operas in three acts; 
1621   All these confirm my statement a good deal, 
1622      But that which more completely faith exacts 
1623   Is, that myself, and several now in Seville, 
1624   Saw Juan's last elopement with the devil. 


1625   If ever I should condescend to prose, 
1626      I'll write poetical commandments, which 
1627   Shall supersede beyond all doubt all those 
1628      That went before; in these I shall enrich 
1629   My text with many things that no one knows, 
1630      And carry precept to the highest pitch: 
1631   I'll call the work "Longinus o'er a Bottle, 
1632   Or, Every Poet his own Aristotle." 


1633   Thou shalt believe in Milton, Dryden, Pope; 
1634      Thou shalt not set up Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey; 
1635   Because the first is crazed beyond all hope, 
1636      The second drunk, the third so quaint and mouthey: 
1637   With Crabbe it may be difficult to cope, 
1638      And Campbell's Hippocrene is somewhat drouthy: 
1639   Thou shalt not steal from Samuel Rogers, nor 
1640   Commit---flirtation with the muse of Moore. 


1641   Thou shalt not covet Mr. Sotheby's Muse, 
1642      His Pegasus, nor any thing that's his; 
1643   Thou shalt not bear false witness like "the Blues," 
1644      (There's one, at least, is very fond of this); 
1645   Thou shalt not write, in short, but what I choose: 
1646      This is true criticism, and you may kiss--- 
1647   Exactly as you please, or not, the rod, 
1648   But if you don't, I'll lay it on, by G---d! 


1649   If any person should presume to assert 
1650      This story is not moral, first, I pray, 
1651   That they will not cry out before they're hurt, 
1652      Then that they'll read it o'er again, and say, 
1653   (But, doubtless, nobody will be so pert) 
1654      That this is not a moral tale, though gay; 
1655   Besides, in canto twelfth, I mean to show 
1656   The very place where wicked people go. 


1657   If, after all, there should be some so blind 
1658      To their own good this warning to despise, 
1659   Led by some tortuosity of mind, 
1660      Not to believe my verse and their own eyes, 
1661   And cry that they "the moral cannot find," 
1662      I tell him, if a clergyman, he lies; 
1663   Should captains the remark or critics make, 
1664   They also lie too---under a mistake. 


1665   The public approbation I expect, 
1666      And beg they'll take my word about the moral, 
1667   Which I with their amusement will connect, 
1668      (So children cutting teeth receive a coral); 
1669   Meantime, they'll doubtless please to recollect 
1670      My epical pretensions to the laurel: 
1671   For fear some prudish readers should grow skittish, 
1672   I've bribed my grandmother's review---the British. 


1673   I sent it in a letter to the editor, 
1674      Who thank'd me duly by return of post--- 
1675   I'm for a handsome article his creditor; 
1676      Yet if my gentle Muse he please to roast, 
1677   And break a promise after having made it her, 
1678      Denying the receipt of what it cost, 
1679   And smear his page with gall instead of honey, 
1680   All I can say is---that he had the money. 


1681   I think that with this holy new alliance 
1682      I may ensure the public, and defy 
1683   All other magazines of art or science, 
1684      Daily, or monthly, or three monthly; I 
1685   Have not essay'd to multiply their clients, 
1686      Because they tell me 'twere in vain to try, 
1687   And that the Edinburgh Review and Quarterly 
1688   Treat a dissenting author very martyrly. 


1689   "Non ego hoc ferrem calida juventâ 
1690       Consule Planco ," Horace said, and so 
1691   Say I; by which quotation there is meant a 
1692      Hint that some six or seven good years ago 
1693   (Long ere I dreamt of dating from the Brenta) 
1694      I was most ready to return a blow, 
1695   And would not brook at all this sort of thing 
1696   In my hot youth---when George the Third was King. 


1697   But now at thirty years my hair is gray--- 
1698      (I wonder what it will be like at forty? 
1699   I thought of a peruke the other day) 
1700      My heart is not much greener; and, in short, I 
1701   Have squander'd my whole summer while 'twas May. 
1702      And feel no more the spirit to retort; I 
1703   Have spent my life, both interest and principal, 
1704   And deem not, what I deem'd, my soul invincible. 


1705   No more---no more---Oh! never more on me 
1706      The freshness of the heart can fall like dew, 
1707   Which out of all the lovely things we see 
1708      Extracts emotions beautiful and new, 
1709   Hived in our bosoms like the bag o' the bee: 
1710      Think'st thou the honey with those objects grew? 
1711   Alas! 'twas not in them, but in thy power 
1712   To double even the sweetness of a flower. 


1713   No more---no more---Oh! never more, my heart, 
1714      Canst thou be my sole world, my universe! 
1715   Once all in all, but now a thing apart, 
1716      Thou canst not be my blessing or my curse: 
1717   The illusion's gone for ever, and thou art 
1718      Insensible, I trust, but none the worse, 
1719   And in thy stead I've got a deal of judgment, 
1720   Though heaven knows how it ever found a lodgement. 


1721   My days of love are over, me no more 
1722      The charms of maid, wife, and still less of widow, 
1723   Can make the fool of which they made before, 
1724      In short, I must not lead the life I did do; 
1725   The credulous hope of mutual minds is o'er, 
1726      The copious use of claret is forbid too, 
1727   So for a good old-gentlemanly vice, 
1728   I think I must take up with avarice. 


1729   Ambition was my idol, which was broken 
1730      Before the shrines of Sorrow and of Pleasure; 
1731   And the two last have left me many a token 
1732      O'er which reflection may be made at leisure: 
1733   Now, like Friar Bacon's brazen head, I've spoken, 
1734      "Time is, Time was, Time's past," a chymic treasure 
1735   Is glittering youth, which I have spent betimes--- 
1736   My heart in passion, and my head on rhymes. 


1737   What is the end of fame? 'tis but to fill 
1738      A certain portion of uncertain paper: 
1739   Some liken it to climbing up a hill, 
1740      Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour; 
1741   For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill, 
1742      And bards burn what they call their "midnight taper," 
1743   To have, when the original is dust, 
1744   A name, a wretched picture, and worse bust. 


1745   What are the hopes of man? old Egypt's King 
1746      Cheops erected the first pyramid 
1747   And largest, thinking it was just the thing 
1748      To keep his memory whole, and mummy hid; 
1749   But somebody or other rummaging, 
1750      Burglariously broke his coffin's lid: 
1751   Let not a monument give you or me hopes, 
1752   Since not a pinch of dust remains of Cheops. 


1753   But I being fond of true philosophy, 
1754      Say very often to myself, "Alas! 
1755   All things that have been born were born to die, 
1756      And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass; 
1757   You've pass'd your youth not so unpleasantly, 
1758      And if you had it o'er again---'twould pass--- 
1759   So thank your stars that matters are no worse, 
1760   And read your Bible, sir, and mind your purse." 


1761   But for the present, gentle reader! and 
1762      Still gentler purchaser! the bard---that's I--- 
1763   Must, with permission, shake you by the hand, 
1764      And so your humble servant, and good bye! 
1765   We meet again, if we should understand 
1766      Each other; and if not, I shall not try 
1767   Your patience further than by this short sample--- 
1768   'Twere well if others follow'd my example. 


1769   "Go, little book, from this my solitude! 
1770      I cast thee on the waters, go thy ways! 
1771   And if, as I believe, thy vein be good, 
1772      The world will find thee after many days." 
1773   When Southey's read, and Wordsworth understood, 
1774      I can't help putting in my claim to praise--- 
1775   The four first rhymes are Southey's every line: 
1776   For God's sake, reader! take them not for mine.