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DON JUA N.
CANTO THE ELEVENTH.
When Bishop Berkeley said there was no matter," (1)
And proved it-'t was no matter what he said : They say his system 'tis in vain to batter,
Too subtle for the airiest human head;
Gladly all matters down to stone or lead,
(1) [The celebrated and ingenious Bishop of Cloyne, in his “ Principles of Human Knowledge,” denies, without any ceremony, the existence of every kind of matter whatever ; nor (loes he think this conclusion one that need, in any degree, stagger the incredulous. “ Some truths there
says he, “ so near and obvious to the mind, that a man need only open his eyes to see them. Such I take this important one to be, that all the choir of heaven, and furniture of earth, - in a word, all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world, — have not any subsistence without a mind.” This deduction, however singular, was readily made from the theory of our perceptions laid down by Descartes and Mr. Locke, and at that time generally received in the world. According to that theory, we perceive nothing but ideas which are present in the mind, and which have no dependence whatever upon external things; so that we have no evidence of the existence of any thing external to our minds. Berkeley appears to have been altogether in earnest, in maintaining his scepticism concerning the existence of matter; and the more so, as he conceived this system to be highly favourable to the doctrines of religion, since it removed matter from the world, which had already been the strong hold of the atheists. — SIR DAVID BREWSTER.]
What a sublime discovery ’t was to make the
Universe universal egotism,
World (be it what you will) that that's no schism.
For ever and anon comes Indigestion,
(Not the most “ dainty Ariel") () and perplexes Our soarings with another sort of question :
And that which after all my spirit vexes,
Without confusion of the sorts and sexes,
If it be chance; or if it be according
To the old text, still better :- lest it should Turn out so, we'll say nothing 'gainst the wording,
As several people think such hazards rude.
Space to dispute what no one ever could
- or at least lie still.
(1) [“ Prosp. Why, that's my dainty Ariel : I shall miss thee
But yet thou shalt have freedom.” — Tempest. ]
And therefore will I leave off metaphysical
Discussion, which is neither here nor there: If I agree that what is, is; then this I call
Being quite perspicuous and extremely fair ; The truth is, I've grown lately rather phthisical :
I don't know what the reason is the air Perhaps; but as I suffer from the shocks Of illness, I grow much more orthodox.
The first attack at once proved the Divinity
(But that I never doubted, nor the Devil); The next, the Virgin's mystical virginity;
The third, the usual Origin of Evil;
On so uncontrovertible a level,
To our theme. - The man who has stood on the
Or seen Timbuctoo, or hath taken tea
Or sat amidst the bricks of Nineveh,
Don Juan had got out on Shooter's Hill ;( )
Sunset the time, the place the same declivity Which looks along that vale of good and ill
Where London streets ferment in full activity;
Except the creak of wheels, which on their pivot he
I say, Don Juan, wrapt in contemplation,
Walk’d on behind his carriage, o'er the summit, And lost in wonder of so great a nation,
Gave way to't, since he could not overcome it.
Here peals the people's voice, nor can entomb it
“ Here are chaste wives, pure lives; here people pay
But what they please; and if that things be dear, 'Tis only that they love to throw away
Their cash, to show how much they have a-year. Here laws are all inviolate; none lay
Traps for the traveller ; every highway's clear : Here —” he was interrupted by a knife, [life!” With,—“ Damn your eyes ! your money or your
(1) [“ From the summit of Shooter's Hill, which is eight miles from London, on the road to Dover, there is a delightful view of the metropolis, and the shipping on the Thames.” - Kent Tourist.]