Page images
PDF

But he grew rich, and with his riches grew so Or else the people would perhaps have sho Keen the desire to see his home again,

him; He thought himself in duty bound to do so, And thus at Venice landed to reclaim And not be always thieving on the main; His wife,religion, house, and Christian name Lonely he felt, at times, as Robin Crusoe, And so he hired a vessel come from Spain, Bound for Córfu; she was a fine polacca, His wife received, the patriarch re-baptize Mann'd with twelve hands, and laden with

him, tobacco,

(He made the church a present by the way; He then threw off the garments which dis

guised him, Himself, and much (heaven knows how And borrow'd the Count's small-clothes fa gotten) cash,

a day; He then embark'd, with risk of life and limb, His friends the more for his long absens And got clear off, although the attempt was

prized him, i rash;

Finding he'd wherewithal to make them ga He said that Providence protected him | With dinners, where he oft became ti For my part, I say nothing, lest we clash

laugh of them, In our opinions :- well, the ship was trim, For stories,-but I don't believe the ha Set sail, and kept her reckoning fairly on,

of them. Except three days of calm when off Cape

Bonn.

Whate'er his youth had suffer'd, his old a

With wealth and talking made him son They reach'd the island, he transferr'd his

amends; lading,

| Though Laura sometimes put him in a rag And self and live-stock, to another bottom, I've heard the Count and he were alwa And pass'd for a true Turkey-merchant,

friends. trading

My pen is at the bottom of a page, With goods of various names, but I've for- Which being finish'd here the story end

got 'em.

Tis to be wish'd it had been sooner done However, he got off by this evading, But stories somehow lengthen when begu

[blocks in formation]

CANTO I.

And fill'd their sign-posts then, like W

lesley now; I want a hero: an uncommon want,

Each in their turn like Banquo's monare

stalk, When every year and month sends forth a pa.

a Followers of fame, “nine farrow” of thi new one,

sow: Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant, The age discovers he is not the true one; ;

France, too, had Buonaparté and Damouri Of such as these I should not care to vaunt,

Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier. I'll therefore take our ancient friend Don

Juan;
We all have seen him in the Pantomime

Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabean, Sent to the devil, somewhat ere his time.

| Petion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayeti Were French, and famous people as we kna

And there were others, scarce forgotten y Vernon, the butcher Cumberland, Wolfe, Joubert, Hoche, Marceau, Lannes, Dessa Hawke,

Morean, Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Kep- With many of the military set,

pel, Howe, Exceedingly remarkable at times, Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk, But not at all adapted to my rhymes

Nelson was once Britannia's god of war, His mother was a learned lady, famed
And still should be so, but the tide is turn'd; For every branch of every science known-
There's no more to be said of Trafalgar, In every christian language ever named,
Tis with our hero quietly inurn'd; With virtues equall'd by her wit alone,
Because the army's grown more popular, She made the cleverest people quite ashamed,
At which the naval people are concern’d: And even the good with inward envy groan,
Besides, the Prince is all for the land-service, Finding themselves so very much exceeded
Fargetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe,andJervis. In their own way by all the things that

she did.

Brave men were living before Agamemnon
And since exceeding valorous and sage, Her meinory was a mine: she knew by heart
A good deal like him too, though quite the All Calderon and greater part of Lope,

same none; So that if any actor miss'd his part But then they shone not on the poet's page, She could have served him for the promptAnd se bave been forgotten :-1 condemn

er's copy; none,

For her Feinagle's were a useless art, Bat can't find any in the present age And he himself obliged to shut up shop-he fit far my poem (that is, for my new une); Could never make a memory so fine as &, as I said, I'll take my friend Don Juan. That which adorn'd the brain of Donna Inez.

est epic poets plunge in “medias res,” Her favourite science was the matheinatical, (Israce makes this the heroic turnpike- Her noblest virtue was her magnanimity, road),

Her wit (she sometimes tried at wit) was And then your hero tells, whene'er you

Attic all, please,

Her serious sayings darken'd to sublimity; That went before- by way of episode, In short, in all things she was fairly what Ubile seated after dinner at his ease,

I call brede his mistress in some soft abode, A prodigy-her morning-dress was dimity, Hlace, or garden, paradise, or cavern, Her evening silk, or, in the summer, muslin, Which serves the happy couple for a tavern. And other stuffs, with which I won't stay

puzzling.

[ocr errors]

That is the usual method, but not mineSy way is to begin with the beginning; She knew the Latin--that is, “the Lord's lle regularity of my design srbids all wandering as the worst of sinning, And Greek - the alphabat I'm nearly sure; I therefore I shall open with a line She read some French romances here and Although it cost me halfan hourin spinning)

there, Surating somewhat of Don Juan's father, Although her mode of speaking was not led also of his mother, if you'd rather.

pure; For native Spanish she had no great care,

At least her conversation was obscure; der ille was he born, a pleasant city, Her thoughts were theorems, her words a imays for oranges and women - he

problem, has not seen it will be much to pity, As if she deem'd that mystery would ensays the proverb - and I quite agree;

noble 'em. all the Spanish towns is none more

pretty, Adiz perhaps—but that you soon may see:- She liked the English and the Hebrew tongue,

Juan's parents lived beside the river, And said there was analogy between 'em; hable stream, and call'd the Guadalquivir. She proved it somehow out of sacred song,

But I must leave the proofs to those who've

seen 'em; lather's name was Jóse - Don, of course, But this I heard her say, and can't be wrong, Alme Hidalgo, free from every stain And all nay think which way their judgW Moor or Hebrew blood, he traced his

ments lean 'em, source

1 « Tis strange—the Hebrew noun which Threagh the most Gothic gentlemen of

means “I am,” Spain;

The English always use to govern d-n.” I better cavalier ne'er mounted horse,

being mounted, e'er got down again, Than Jóse, who begot our hero, who eget - but that's to come- Well, to renew:

In short she was a walking calculation, That you might brain them with the Miss Edgeworth's novels stepping from their

. lady's fan;" covers,

| And sometimes ladies hit exceeding hard Or Mrs. Trimmer's books on education, And fans turn into falchions in fair hand Or “Coelebs' Wife" set out in quest of And why and wherefore no one understand

lovers, Morality's prim personification, In which not Envy's self a flaw discovers ; / 'Tis pity learned virgins ever wed To others' share let “female crrors fall," With persons of no sort of education, For she had not even one-the worst of all. Or gentlemen, who, though well-born an

bred,

| Grow tired of scientific conversation: Oh! she was perfect past all parallel – I don't choose to say much upon this heas of any modern female saint's comparison ; I'm a plain man and in a single station, So far above the cunning powers of hell, But-Oh! ye lords of ladies intellectual Her guardian angel had given up his gar- Inform us truly, have they not hen-peck

rison; Even her minutest motions went as well As those of the best time-piece made by

Harrison : Don Jóse and his lady quarrell’d--why, In virtues nothing earthly could surpass her, Not any of the many could divine, Save thine "incomparable oil," Macassar! | Though several thousand people chose

you all ?

try,

[ocr errors]

'Twas surely no concern of theirs nor min Perfect she was, but as perfection is I loathe that low vice curiosity: Insipid in this naughty world of ours, But if there's any thing in which I shine Where our first parents never learn'd to kiss 'Tis in arranging all ny friends' affairs, Till they were exiled from their earlier Not having, of my own, domestic cares.

bowers, Where all was peace, and innocence, and

bliss,

And so I interfered, and with the best (I wonder how they got through the twelve Intentions, but their treatment was 1 hours)

kind; Don Jóse like a lineal son of Eve,

I think the foolish people were possess't Went plucking various fruit without her For neither of them could I ever find,

leave.

Although their porter afterwards confess'd
But that's no matter, and the worst behin

For little Juan o'er me threw, down stai He was a mortal of the careless kind, A pail of housemaid's water unawares. With no great love for learning, or the

learn'd, Who chose to go where'er he had a mind, A little curly-headed, good-for-nothing And never dream'd his lady was concern'd: And mischief-making monkey from! The world, as usual, wickedly inclined To see a kingdom or a house o'erturn'd, His parents ne'er agreed except in dotin Whisper'd he had a mistress, some said two, Upon the most unquiet imp on earth; But for domestic quarrels one will do. Instead of quarrelling, had they been

both in

Their senses, they'd have sent young mas Now Donna Inez had with all her merit,

forth A great opinion of her own good qualities; To school, or had him soundly whip Neglect, indeed, requires a saint to bear it,

at home, And such, indeed, she was in her moralities; To teach him manners for the time to con But then she had a devil of a spirit, And sometimes mix'd up fancies with re

alities,

Don Jóse and the Donna Inez led And let few opportunities escape

For some time an unhappy sort of life, of getting her liege lord into a scrape. Wishing each other, not divorced,

dead;

They lived respectably as man and wife This was an easy matter with a man Their conduct was exceedingly well-bi Oft in the wrong, and never on his guard; And gave no outward signs of inward str And even the wisest, do the best they can, Until at length the smother'd fire broke Have moments, hours, and days, so unpre-And put the business past all kind pared,

donbt.

[ocr errors]

For Inez called some druggists and physi-|(Twere hard to tell upon a like occasion cians,

To whom it may be best to have recourse-
And tried to prove her loving lord was mad, I can't say much for friend or yet relation):
But as he had some lucid intermissions, The lawyers did their utmost for divorce,
She next decided he was only bad; But scarce a fee was paid on either side
Yet when they askd her for her depositions, Before, unluckily, Don Jóse died.
Ne sort of explanation could be had,
Save that her duty both to man and God
Required this conduct, which seem'd very He died : and most unluckily, because,
odd.

According to all hints I could collect,
From counsel learned in those kinds of laws

(Although their talk's obscure and circumShe kept a journal, where his faults were

spect), noted,

His death contrived to spoil a charming And opend certain trunks of books and

cause; letters,

A thousand pities also with respect All which might, if occasion served, be To public feeling, which on this occasion quoted;

Was manifested in a great sensation.
And then she had all Seville for abettors,
Besides her good old grandmother (who
doted);

But ah! he died ! and buried with him lay The bearers of her case became repeaters, The public feeling and the lawyer's fees; Iben advocates, inquisitors, and judges, His house was sold, his servants sent Sune for amusement, others for old grudges.

away,
A Jew took one of his two mistresses,

| A priest the other—at least so they say: Ind then this best and meekest woman bore I ask'd the doctors after his disease, with such serenity her husband's woes, He died of the slow fever called the tertian, but as the Spartan ladies did of yore, And left his widow to her own aversion. Who say their spouses killid, and nobly

chose beter to say a word about them more- Yet Jóse was an honourable man, Calaly she heard each calumny that rose, That I must say, who knew him very well; An aw his agonies with such sublimity, Therefore his frailties I'll no further scan, That all the world exclaim'd, “What Indeed there were not many more to tell; magnanimity!” And if his passion now and then outran

Discretion, and were not so peaceable

As Numa's (who was also named Pompilius), he dogbt, this patience, when the world He had been ill brought up, and was born is damning us,

bilious. bphilosophic in our foriner friends; Tis also pleasant to be deem'd magnanimous, lle more so in obtaining our own ends; Whate'er might be his worthlessness or And what the lawyers call a “malus animus,"

worth, aduct like this by no means comprehends: Poor fellow! he had many things to wound kevenge in person's certainly no virtue,

him, il then 'tis not my fault if others hurt you. Let's own, since it can do no good on earth;

It was a trying moment that which found him

Standing alone beside his desolate hearth, Hif our quarrels should rip up old stories, Where all his household-gods lay shiver'd And help them with a lie or two additional,

round him; a not to blame, as you well know, no No choice was left his feelings or his pride more is

Save death or Doctors' Commons-s0 he died. Any one else- they were become traditional; Besides, their resurrection aids our glories by contrast, which is what we just were Dying intestate, Juan was sole heir

wishing all: To a chancery-suit, and messuages, and And wrience profits by this resurrection

lands, ** scandals form good subjects for dis- Which, with a long minority and care, section.

Promised to turn out well in proper hands :
Inez became sole guardian, which was fair,

And answer'd but to nature's just demands : heir friends had tried at reconciliation, An only son left with an only mother en their relations, who made matters Is brought up much more wisely than worse

another.

Sagest of women, even of widows, she So much indeed as to be downright rud Resolved that Juan should be quite a And then what proper person can be parti

paragon,

To all those nauseous epigrams of Martial And worthy of the noblest pedigree (His sire was of Castile, his dam from

Arragon):

Juan was taught from out the best editio Then for accomplishments of chivalry, Expurgated by learned men, who place, In case our lord the king should go to war Judiciously, from out the schoolboy's visia

again,

The grosser parts; but fearful to deface He learned the arts of riding, fencing Too much their modest bard by this omissio

gunnery,

And pitying sore his mutilated case, And how to scale a fortress—or a nunnery. They only add them all in an appendix,

Which saves, in fact, the trouble of an indet

But that which Donna Inez most desired,
And saw into herself each day before all For there we have them all “at one ft
The learned tutors whom for him she

swoop,"
hired,

Instead of being scatter'd through the page Was that his breeding should be strictly They stand forth marshall’d in a handson moral;

troop, Much into all his studies she inquired, To meet the ingenuous youth of future ag And so they were submitted first to her, all, Till some less rigid editor alall stoop Arts, sciences, no branch was made a mystery | To call them back into their separate cag To Juan's eyes, excepting natural history. Instead of standing staring altogether,

Like garden-gods—and not so decent, eith

The languages, especially the dead,
The sciences, and most of all the abstruse, The Missal too (it was the family-Missi
The arts, at least all such as could be said Was ornamented in a sort of way
To be the most remote from common use, Which ancient mass-books often are, 1
In all these he was much and deeply read;

deleted this all
But not a page of any thing that's loose, Kinds of grotesques illumined; and how th
Or hints continuation of the species, Who saw those figures on the margin kissi
Was ever suffer'd , lest he should grow Could turn their optics to the text and p!

vicious.

le more than I know-but Don Juan's mot Kept this herself, and gave her son anothe

His classic studies made a little puzzle,
Because of filthy loves of gods and goddesses, Sermons he read, and lectures he endur
Who in the earlier ages raised a bustle, And homilies, and lives of all the saint
But never put on pantaloons or bodices; To Jerome and to Chrysostom ingred,
His reverend tutors had at times a tussle, He did not take such studies for restrain
And for their Aeneids, Iliads and Odysseys, But how faith is acquired, and then insur
Were forced to make an odd sort of apology, So well not one of the aforesaid paints
For Donna Inez dreaded the mythology. As Saint Augustine, in his fine Confessid

| Which make the reader envy his tra

gressions. Ovid's a raké, as half bis verses show him : Anacreon's morals are a still worse sample; Catullus scarcely has a decent poem; | This, too, was a scal'd book to little Jual I don't think Sappho's Ode a good example, I can't but say that his mamma was rig Although Longinus tells us there is no hymn If such an education was the true one. Where the sublime soars forth on wings She scarcely trusted him from out her sig

more ample; Her maids were old, and if she tool Bat Virgil's songs are pure, except that

new one horrid one

You might be sure she was a perfect frig Beginning with "Formosum Pastor Corydon." She did this during even her husband's lin

I recommend as much to every wife.

Lucretius' irreligion is too strong
For early stomachs, to prove wholesome Young Juan wax'd in goodliness and gra

food;

At six a charming child, and at eleven I can't help thinking Juvenal was wrong, With all the promise of as fine a face Although no doubt his real intent was good, As e'er to man's maturer growth was giv For speaking out so plainly in his song. He studied steadily and grew apare,

« PreviousContinue »