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LXXXIX.

That is your present theme for popularity :

Now that the public hedge hath scarce a stake, It grows an act of patriotic charity,

To show the people the best way to break, My plan (but I, if but for singularity,

Reserve it) will be very sure to take. Meantime, read all the national debt-sinkers, And tell me what you think of our great thinkers. DON JUA N.

CANTO THE THIRTEENTH.

75

DON JUAN.

CANTO THE THIRTEENTH.

I.

I now mean to be serious;- it is ne,

Since laughter now-a-days is deem'd too serious. A jest at Vice by Virtue's call’d a crime,

And critically held as deleterious : Besides, the sad's a source of the sublime,

Although when long a little apt to weary us ; And therefore shall my lay soar high and solemn, As an old temple dwindled to a column.

II.

The Lady Adeline Amundeville

('Tis an old Norman name, and to be found In pedigrees by those who wander still

Along the last fields of that Gothic ground) Was high-born, wealthy by her father's will,

And beauteous, even where beauties most abound, In Britain - which of course true patriots find The goodliest soil of body and of mind.

III.

I'll not gainsay them; it is not my cue;

I'll leave them to their taste, no doubt the best: An eye's an eye, and whether black or blue,

Is no great matter, so 't is in request, 'Tis nonsense to dispute about a hue

The kindest may be taken as a test. The fair sex should be always fair; and no man, Till thirty, should perceive there's a plain woman.

IV.
And after that serene and somewhat dull

Epoch, that awkward corner turn'd for days
More quiet, when our moon's no more at full,

We may presume to criticise or praise ;
Because indifference begins to lull

Our passions, and we walk in wisdone's ways;
Also because the figure and the face
Hint, that 'tis time to give the younger place.

V.

I know that some would fain postpone this era,

Reluctant as all placemen to resign
Their post; but theirs is merely a chimera,

For they have pass'd life's equinoctial line :
But then they have their claret and Madeira

To irrigate the dryness of decline;
And county meetings, and the parliament,
And debt, and what not, for their solace sent.

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