For there we have them all "at one fell swoop," Instead of being scattered through the pages; They stand forth marshalled in a handsome troop, To meet the ingenuous youth of future ages, Till some less rigid editor shall stoop To call them back into their separate cages, Instead of standing staring all together, Like garden gods--and not so decent either. The Missal too (it was the family Missal) Was ornamented in a sort of way Which ancient mass-books often are, and this all Kinds of grotesques illumined; and how they, Who saw those figures on the margin kiss all, Could turn their optics to the text and pray, Is more than I know--But Don Juan's mother Kept this herself, and gave her son another. Sermons he read, and lectures he endured, And homilies, and lives of all the saints; To Jerome and to Chrysostom inured, He did not take such studies for restraints; But how Faith is acquired, and then insured, So well not one of the aforesaid paints As Saint Augustine in his fine Confessions, Which make the reader envy his transgressions. XLVIII.
This, too, was a sealed book to little Juan-- I can't but say that his mamma was right, If such an education was the true one.
She scarcely trusted him from out her sight; Her maids were old, and if she took a new one, You might be sure she was a perfect fright; She did this during even her husband's life-- I recommend as much to every wife. Young Juan waxed in goodliness and grace; At six a charming child, and at eleven With all the promise of as fine a face As e'er to Man's maturer growth was given: He studied steadily, and grew apace, And seemed, at least, in the right road to Heaven, For half his days were passed at church, the other Between his tutors, confessor, and mother. At six, I said, he was a charming child, At twelve he was a fine, but quiet boy; Although in infancy a little wild, They tamed him down amongst them: to destroy His natural spirit not in vain they toiled, At least it seemed so; and his mother's joy Was to declare how sage, and still, and steady, Her young philosopher was grown already. I had my doubts, perhaps I have them still, But what I say is neither here nor there: I knew his father well, and have some skill In character--but it would not be fair From sire to son to augur good or ill: He and his wife were an ill-sorted pair-- But scandal's my aversion--I protest Against all evil speaking, even in jest. For my part I say nothing--nothing--but _This_ I will say--my reasons are my own-- That if I had an only son to put To school (as God be praised that I have none), 'T is not with Donna Inez I would shut Him up to learn his catechism alone, No--no--I'd send him out betimes to college, For there it was I picked up my own knowledge. For there one learns--'t is not for me to boast, Though I acquired--but I pass over _that_, As well as all the Greek I since have lost: I say that there's the place--but "_Verbum sat_," I think I picked up too, as well as most, Knowledge of matters--but no matter _what_-- I never married--but, I think, I know That sons should not be educated so. Young Juan now was sixteen years of age, Tall, handsome, slender, but well knit: he seemed Active, though not so sprightly, as a page; And everybody but his mother deemed Him almost man; but she flew in a rage And bit her lips (for else she might have screamed) If any said so--for to be precocious Was in her eyes a thing the most atrocious. Amongst her numerous acquaintance, all Selected for discretion and devotion, There was the Donna Julia, whom to call Pretty were but to give a feeble notion Of many charms in her as natural As sweetness to the flower, or salt to Ocean, Her zone to Venus, or his bow to Cupid, (But this last simile is trite and stupid.) LVI.
The darkness of her Oriental eye Accorded with her Moorish origin; (Her blood was not all Spanish; by the by, In Spain, you know, this is a sort of sin;) When proud Granada fell, and, forced to fly, Boabdil wept: of Donna Julia's kin Some went to Africa, some stayed in Spain-- Her great great grandmamma chose to remain. She married (I forget the pedigree) With an Hidalgo, who transmitted down His blood less noble than such blood should be; At such alliances his sires would frown, In that point so precise in each degree That they bred _in and in_, as might be shown, Marrying their cousins--nay, their aunts, and nieces, Which always spoils the breed, if it increases. This heathenish cross restored the breed again, Ruined its blood, but much improved its flesh; For from a root the ugliest in Old Spain Sprung up a branch as beautiful as fresh; The sons no more were short, the daughters plain: But there's a rumour which I fain would hush,[l] 'T is said that Donna Julia's grandmamma Produced her Don more heirs at love than law. However this might be, the race went on Improving still through every generation, Until it centred in an only son, Who left an only daughter; my narration May have suggested that this single one Could be but Julia (whom on this occasion I shall have much to speak about), and she Was married, charming, chaste, and twenty-three. Her eye (I'm very fond of handsome eyes) Was large and dark, suppressing half its fire Until she spoke, then through its soft disguise Flashed an expression more of pride than ire, And love than either; and there would arise A something in them which was not desire, But would have been, perhaps, but for the soul Which struggled through and chastened down the whole. Her glossy hair was clustered o'er a brow Bright with intelligence, and fair, and smooth; Her eyebrow's shape was like the arial bow, Her cheek all purple with the beam of youth, Mounting, at times, to a transparent glow, As if her veins ran lightning; she, in sooth, Possessed an air and grace by no means common: Her stature tall--I hate a dumpy woman. Wedded she was some years, and to a man Of fifty, and such husbands are in plenty; And yet, I think, instead of such a ONE 'T were better to have TWO of five-and-twenty, Especially in countries near the sun: And now I think on 't, "_mi vien in mente_", Ladies even of the most uneasy virtue Prefer a spouse whose age is short of thirty.[m] LXIII.
" sobbed Antonia, "I could tear their eyes out." CLIII. now that you have thrown Doubt upon me, confusion over all, Pray have the courtesy to make it known _Who_ is the man you search for? Tell me--and be assured, that since you stain My honour thus, it shall not be in vain. "At least, perhaps, he has not sixty years, At that age he would be too old for slaughter, Or for so young a husband's jealous fears-- (Antonia! Now, Don Alfonso entering, but alone, Closed the oration of the trusty maid: She loitered, and he told her to be gone, An order somewhat sullenly obeyed; However, present remedy was none, And no great good seemed answered if she staid: Regarding both with slow and sidelong view, She snuffed the candle, curtsied, and withdrew. Alfonso paused a minute--then begun Some strange excuses for his late proceeding; He would not justify what he had done, To say the best, it was extreme ill-breeding; But there were ample reasons for it, none Of which he specified in this his pleading: His speech was a fine sample, on the whole, Of rhetoric, which the learned call "_rigmarole._" CLXXV. "You will proceed in pleasure, and in pride,[an] Beloved and loving many; all is o'er For me on earth, except some years to hide My shame and sorrow deep in my heart's core: These I could bear, but cannot cast aside The passion which still rages as before,-- And so farewell--forgive me, love me--No, That word is idle now--but let it go.[ao] CXCVI. It was entitled _Don Juan; or, The Libertine Destroyed_: A Tragic Pantomimical Entertainment, In Two Acts. He was cast for the part, in 1801, at Sadler's Wells, and,again, on a memorable occasion, November 28, 1809, at Covent Garden Theatre, when the O. riots were in full swing, and (see the _Morning Chronicle_, November 29, 1809) "there was considerable tumult in thepit." According to "Boz" (_Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi_, 1846, ii.
Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded That all the Apostles would have done as they did. And if in the mean time her husband died, But Heaven forbid that such a thought should cross Her brain, though in a dream! (I have forgot the number, and think no man Should rashly quote, for fear of a mistake;) I say, when these same gentlemen are jealous, They make some blunder, which their ladies tell us. A real husband always is suspicious, But still no less suspects in the wrong place,[p] Jealous of some one who had no such wishes, Or pandering blindly to his own disgrace, By harbouring some dear friend extremely vicious; The last indeed's infallibly the case: And when the spouse and friend are gone off wholly, He wonders at their vice, and not his folly. Thus parents also are at times short-sighted: Though watchful as the lynx, they ne'er discover, The while the wicked world beholds delighted, Young Hopeful's mistress, or Miss Fanny's lover, Till some confounded escapade has blighted The plan of twenty years, and all is over; And then the mother cries, the father swears, And wonders why the devil he got heirs. But Inez was so anxious, and so clear Of sight, that I must think, on this occasion, She had some other motive much more near For leaving Juan to this new temptation, But what that motive was, I sha'n't say here; Perhaps to finish Juan's education, Perhaps to open Don Alfonso's eyes, In case he thought his wife too great a prize. It was upon a day, a summer's day;-- Summer's indeed a very dangerous season, And so is spring about the end of May; The sun, no doubt, is the prevailing reason; But whatsoe'er the cause is, one may say, And stand convicted of more truth than treason, That there are months which nature grows more merry in,-- March has its hares, and May must have its heroine. 'T was on a summer's day--the sixth of June: I like to be particular in dates, Not only of the age, and year, but moon; They are a sort of post-house, where the Fates Change horses, making History change its tune,[q] Then spur away o'er empires and o'er states, Leaving at last not much besides chronology, Excepting the post-obits of theology.[r] CIV. her conscious heart Glowed in her cheek, and yet she felt no wrong: Oh Love!"I have no more to say, but linger still, And dare not set my seal upon this sheet, And yet I may as well the task fulfil, My misery can scarce be more complete; I had not lived till now, could sorrow kill; Death shuns the wretch who fain the blow would meet, And I must even survive this last adieu, And bear with life, to love and pray for you! This note was written upon gilt-edged paper With a neat little crow-quill, slight and new;[ar] Her small white hand could hardly reach the taper, It trembled as magnetic needles do, And yet she did not let one tear escape her; The seal a sun-flower; _"Elle vous suit partout,"_ The motto cut upon a white cornelian; The wax was superfine, its hue vermilion. This was Don Juan's earliest scrape; but whether I shall proceed with his adventures is Dependent on the public altogether; We'll see, however, what they say to this: Their favour in an author's cap's a feather, And no great mischief's done by their caprice; And if their approbation we experience, Perhaps they'll have some more about a year hence. My poem's epic, and is meant to be Divided in twelve books; each book containing, With Love, and War, a heavy gale at sea, A list of ships, and captains, and kings reigning, New characters; the episodes are three:[as] A panoramic view of Hell's in training, After the style of Virgil and of Homer, So that my name of Epic's no misnomer. All these things will be specified in time, With strict regard to Aristotle's rules, The _Vade Mecum_ of the true sublime, Which makes so many poets, and some fools: Prose poets like blank-verse, I'm fond of rhyme, Good workmen never quarrel with their tools; I've got new mythological machinery, And very handsome supernatural scenery. There's only one slight difference between Me and my epic brethren gone before, And here the advantage is my own, I ween (Not that I have not several merits more, But this will more peculiarly be seen); They so embellish, that 't is quite a bore Their labyrinth of fables to thread through, Whereas this story's actually true. If any person doubt it, I appeal To History, Tradition, and to Facts, To newspapers, whose truth all know and feel, To plays in five, and operas in three acts;[at] All these confirm my statement a good deal, But that which more completely faith exacts Is, that myself, and several now in Seville, _Saw_ Juan's last elopement with the Devil. If ever I should condescend to prose, I'll write poetical commandments, which Shall supersede beyond all doubt all those That went before; in these I shall enrich My text with many things that no one knows, And carry precept to the highest pitch: I'll call the work "Longinus o'er a Bottle,[au] Or, Every Poet his _own_ Aristotle." CCV. Sotheby's Muse, His Pegasus, nor anything that's his; Thou shalt not bear false witness like "the Blues"-- (There's _one_, at least, is very fond of this); Thou shalt not write, in short, but what I choose: This is true criticism, and you may kiss-- Exactly as you please, or not,--the rod; But if you don't, I'll lay it on, by G--d! If any person should presume to assert This story is not moral, first, I pray, That they will not cry out before they're hurt, Then that they'll read it o'er again, and say (But, doubtless, nobody will be so pert) That this is not a moral tale, though gay: Besides, in Canto Twelfth, I mean to show The very place where wicked people go. If, after all, there should be some so blind To their own good this warning to despise, Led by some tortuosity of mind, Not to believe my verse and their own eyes, And cry that they "the moral cannot find," I tell him, if a clergyman, he lies; Should captains the remark, or critics, make, They also lie too--under a mistake. The public approbation I expect, And beg they'll take my word about the moral, Which I with their amusement will connect (So children cutting teeth receive a coral); Meantime they'll doubtless please to recollect My epical pretensions to the laurel: For fear some prudish readers should grow skittish, I've bribed my Grandmother's Review--the British. CCX. 't was not in them, but in thy power To double even the sweetness of a flower. Once all in all, but now a thing apart, Thou canst not be my blessing or my curse: The illusion's gone for ever, and thou art Insensible, I trust, but none the worse, And in thy stead I've got a deal of judgment, Though Heaven knows how it ever found a lodgment. My days of love are over; me no more The charms of maid, wife, and still less of widow, Can make the fool of which they made before,-- In short, I must not lead the life I did do; The credulous hope of mutual minds is o'er, The copious use of claret is forbid too, So for a good old-gentlemanly vice, I think I must take up with avarice. Ambition was my idol, which was broken Before the shrines of Sorrow, and of Pleasure; And the two last have left me many a token O'er which reflection may be made at leisure: Now, like Friar Bacon's Brazen Head, I've spoken, "Time is, Time was, Time's past:"--a chymic treasure Is glittering Youth, which I have spent betimes-- My heart in passion, and my head on rhymes. But I, being fond of true philosophy, Say very often to myself, "Alas! the Bard--that's I-- Must, with permission, shake you by the hand,[ax] And so--"your humble servant, and Good-bye! Forthe "severity of the Duke of Cumberland," see Scott's _Tales of a Grandfather_, _Prose Works_, 1830, vii. James Wolfe, General, born January 2, 1726, was killed at the siege of Quebec, September 13, 1759.Thou shalt believe in Milton, Dryden, Pope; Thou shalt not set up Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey; Because the first is crazed beyond all hope, The second drunk, the third so quaint and mouthy: With Crabbe it may be difficult to cope, And Campbell's Hippocrene is somewhat drouthy: Thou shalt not steal from Samuel Rogers, nor Commit--flirtation with the muse of Moore. I sent it in a letter to the Editor, Who thanked me duly by return of post-- I'm for a handsome article his creditor; Yet, if my gentle Muse he please to roast, And break a promise after having made it her, Denying the receipt of what it cost, And smear his page with gall instead of honey, All I can say is--that he had the money. I think that with this holy _new_ alliance I may ensure the public, and defy All other magazines of art or science, Daily, or monthly, or three monthly; I Have not essayed to multiply their clients, Because they tell me 't were in vain to try, And that the Edinburgh Review and Quarterly Treat a dissenting author very martyrly. "_Non ego hoc ferrem calidus juvent Consule Planco_" Horace said, and so Say I; by which quotation there is meant a Hint that some six or seven good years ago (Long ere I dreamt of dating from the Brenta) I was most ready to return a blow, And would not brook at all this sort of thing In my hot youth--when George the Third was King. But now at thirty years my hair is grey-- (I wonder what it will be like at forty? never more on me The freshness of the heart can fall like dew, Which out of all the lovely things we see Extracts emotions beautiful and new, Hived in our bosoms like the bag o' the bee. All things that have been born were born to die, And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass; You've passed your youth not so unpleasantly, And if you had it o'er again--'t would pass-- So thank your stars that matters are no worse, And read your Bible, sir, and mind your purse." CCXXI. " We meet again, if we should understand Each other; and if not, I shall not try Your patience further than by this short sample-- 'T were well if others followed my example. Edward, Lord Hawke, Admiral (1715-1781), totally defeated the Frenchfleet in Quiberon Bay, November 20, 1759.(and then she sighed) Never could she survive that common loss; But just suppose that moment should betide, I only say suppose it--_inter nos_: (This should be _entre nous_, for Julia thought In French, but then the rhyme would go for nought.) LXXXV. 'T was on the sixth of June, about the hour Of half-past six--perhaps still nearer seven-- When Julia sate within as pretty a bower As e'er held houri in that heathenish heaven Described by Mahomet, and Anacreon Moore, To whom the lyre and laurels have been given, With all the trophies of triumphant song-- He won them well, and may he wear them long! She sate, but not alone; I know not well How this same interview had taken place, And even if I knew, I should not tell-- People should hold their tongues in any case; No matter how or why the thing befell, But there were she and Juan, face to face-- When two such faces are so, 't would be wise, But very difficult, to shut their eyes. how perfect is thy mystic art, Strengthening the weak, and trampling on the strong!I only say, suppose this supposition: Juan being then grown up to man's estate Would fully suit a widow of condition, Even seven years hence it would not be too late; And in the interim (to pursue this vision) The mischief, after all, could not be great, For he would learn the rudiments of Love, I mean the _seraph_ way of those above. How self-deceitful is the sagest part Of mortals whom thy lure hath led along!