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LXXVII.

And if in fact she takes to a “grande passion,"

It is a very serious thing indeed:
Nine times in ten 't is but caprice or fashion,

Coquetry, or a wish to take the lead,
The pride of a mere child with a new sash on,

Or wish to make a rival's bosom bleed:
But the tenth instance will be a tornado,
For there's no saying what they will or may do.

LXXVIII.

The reason's obvious; if there's an éclat,

They lose their caste at once, as do the Parias; And when the delicacies of the law

Have fill’d their papers with their comments various, Society, that china without flaw,

(The hypocrite !) will banish them like Marius, To sit amidst the ruins of their guilt:(1) For Fame's a Carthage not so soon rebuilt.

LXXIX.

Perhaps this is as it should be ;- it is

A comment on the Gospel's “ Sin no more, And be thy sins forgiven:" — but upon

this I leave the saints to settle their own score.

(1) [“ A Gaulish or German soldier sent to arrest him, overawed by his aspect, recoiled from the task; and the people of the place, as if moved by the miracle, concurred in aiding his escape. The presence of such an exile on the ground where Carthage had stood was supposed to increase the majesty and the melancholy of the scene. 'Go,' he said to the lictor who brought him the orders of the prætor to depart, tell him that you have seen Marius sitting on the ruins of Carthage.'"- FERGUSON.)

Abroad, though doubtless they do much amiss,

An erring woman finds an opener door For her return to Virtue—as they call That lady who should be at home to all.

LXXX.

For me, I leave the matter where I find it,

Knowing that such uneasy virtue leads People some ten times less in fact to mind it,

And care but for discoveries and not deeds. And as for chastity, you'll never bind it

By all the laws the strictest lawyer pleads, But aggravate the crime you have not prevented, By rendering desperate those who had else repented.

LXXXI.

But Juan was no casuist, nor had ponder'd

Upon the moral lessons of mankind :
Besides, he had not seen of several hundred

A lady altogether to his mind.
A little “ blasé"-'tis not to be wonder'd

At, that his heart had got a tougher rind:
And though not vainer from his past success,
No doubt his sensibilities were less.

LXXXII.

He also had been busy seeing sights

The Parliament and all the other houses; Had sat beneath the gallery at nights,

To hear debates whose thunder roused (not rouses)

The world to gaze upon those northern lights Which flash'd as far as where the musk-bull

browses ;( ) He had also stood at times behind the throneBut Grey (2) was not arrived, and Chatham gone.(3)

LXXXIII.

He saw, however, at the closing session,

That noble sight, when really free the nation, A king in constitutional possession

Of such a throne as is the proudest station Though despots know it not-till the progression

Of freedom shall complete their education. 'Tis not mere splendour makes the show august To eye or heart- it is the people's trust.

LXXXIV.

There, too, he saw (whate'er he may

be now) A Prince, the prince of princes at the time, (4) With fascination in his very bow,

And full of promise, as the spring of prime.

(1) For a description and print of this inhabitant of the polar region and native country of the Aurora Boreales, see Parry's Voyage in search of a North-west Passage. (See antè, Vol. XII. p. 261.]

(2) [Charles, second Earl Grey, succeeded to the peerage in 1807.]

(3) [William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham, died in May, 1778, after having been carried home from the House of Lords, where he had fainted away at the close of a remarkable speech on the American war.]

(4) [“ Nature had bestowed uncommon graces on his figure and person. Convivial as well as social in his temper, destitute of all reserve, and affable even to familiarity in his reception of every person who had the honour to approach him; endued with all the aptitudes to profit of instruction, his mind had been cultivated with great care; and he was probably the

Though royalty was written on his brow,

He had then the grace, too, rare in every clime, Of being, without alloy of fop or beau, A finished gentleman from top to toe. (')

LXXXV.

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And Juan was received, as hath been said,

Into the best society: and there Occurr'd what often happens, I'm afraid,

However disciplined and debonnaire:The talent and good humour he display'd,

Besides the mark'd distinction of his air, Exposed him, as was natural, to temptation, Even though himself avoided the occasion.

LXXXVI.

But what, and where, with whom, and when, and why,

Is not to be put hastily together; And as my object is morality

(Whatever people say), I don't know whether

only prince in Europe, heir to a powerful monarchy, competent to peruse the Greek as well as the Roman poets and historians in their own language. Humane and compassionate, his purse was open to every application of distress ; nor was it ever shut against genius or merit.” WRAXALL, 1783.]

(1) [" Waving myself, let me talk to you of the Prince Regent. He ordered me to be presented to him at a ball; and after some sayings peculiarly pleasing from royal lips, as to my own attempts, he talked to me of you and your immortalities : he preferred you to every other bard past and present. He spoke alternately of Homer and yourself, and seemed well acquainted with both. All this was conveyed in language which would only suffer by my attempting to transcribe it, and with a tone and taste which gave me a very high idea of his abilities and accomplishments, which I had hitherto considered as confined to manners certainly superior to those of any living gentleman." - Lord B. to Sir Walter Scott, July, 1812.]

I'll leave a single reader's eyelid dry,

But harrow up his feelings till they wither,
And hew out a huge monument of pathos,
As Philip’s son proposed to do with Athos. (')

LXXXVII.
Here the twelfth Canto of our introduction

Ends. When the body of the book's begun,
You'll find it of a different construction

From what some people say 't will be when done: The plan at present's simply in concoction,

I can't oblige you, reader, to read on; That's your affair, not mine: a real spirit Should neither court neglect, nor dread to bear it.

LXXXVIII.

And if my thunderbolt not always rattles,

Remember, reader! you have had before The worst of tempests and the best of battles

That e'er were brew'd from elements or gore, Besides the most sublime of - Heaven knows what

else : An usurer could scarce expect much moreBut my

best canto, save one on astronomy, Will turn upon “ political economy."

(1) A sculptor projected to hew Mount Athos into a statue of Alexander, with a city in one hand, and, I believe, a river in his pocket, with various other similar devices. But Alexander 's gone, and Athos remains, I trust ere long to look over a nation of freemen, -(“Strasicrates, an engineer in the service of Alexander, offered to convert the whole mountain into a statue of that prince. The enormous figure was to hold a city in its left hal, containing ten thousand inhabitants, and in the right, an immense basin, whence the collected torrents of the mountain should issue in a mighty river. But the project was thought to be too extravagant, even by Alexander,“ _ BELOE.)

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