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Was like all business, a laborious nothing,
And centaur Nessus garb of mortal clothing,
And talk in tender horrors of our loathing
Lounging, and boxing; and the twilight hour
Callid “Parks," where there is neither fruit nor flower Enough to gratify a bee's slight manchings;
But after all it is the only s bower" (In Moore's phrase) where the fashionable fair Can form a slight acquaintance with fresh air.
Then glare the lamps, then whirl the wheels, then roar Through street and square fast-flashing chariots, hurl'd
Like harness'd meteors; then along the floor
Then roll the brazen thunders of the door
With the three-thousandth curtsey; there the waltz-
faults. Saloon, room,
hall o'erflow beyond their brink, And long the latest of arrivals halts, 'Midst royal dukes and dames condemn'd to climb, And gain an inch of staircase at a time.
LXIX. Thrice happy he who, after a survey
Of the good company, can win a corner, A door that 's in, or boudoir out of the way,
Where he may fix himself, like small “ Jack Horner,” And let the Babel round run as it may,
And look on as a mourner, or a scorner, Or an approver, or a mere spectator, Yawning a little as the night grows
Who, like Don Juan, takes an active share,
Of gems and plumes, and pearls and silks, to where He deems it is his proper place to be ;
Dissolving in the waltz to some soft air,
Upon an heiress, or his neighbour's bride,
Is not at once too palpably descried.
His haste : impatience is a blundering guide
Or, if forestallid, get opposite and ogle:-
ambrosial moments! always upper In mind, a sort of sentimental bogle, Which sits for ever upon memory's crupper,
The ghost of vanish'd pleasures once in vogue! I Can tender souls relate the rise and fall Of hopes and fears which shake a single ball.
Only the common run, who must pursue,
Or little overturns; and not the few
Whom a good mien, especially if new,
Noble, rich, celebrated, and a stranger,
Before he can escape from so much danger
Talk about poetry, and “rack and manger,"
Handsome but wasted, rich without a sous;
Their cash comes from, their wealth goes to, a Jew;
Between the tyrant's and the tribune's crew;
LXXVI. “Where is the world,” cries Young, “ at eighty? Where
The world in which a man was born!" Alas ! Where is the world of eight years past? ’T was there
I look for it—'t is gone, a globe of glass ! Crack'd, shiver'd, vanish'd, scarcely gazed on ere
A silent change dissolves the glittering mass. Statesmen, chiefs, orators, queens, patriots, kings, And dandies, all are gone on the wind's wings.
Where little Castlereagh? The devil can tell :
Who bound the bar or senate in their spell ? Where is the unhappy queen, with all her woes ?
And where the daughter, whom the isles loved well ? Where are those martyr'd saints, the five per cents ? And where—oh where the devil are the rents ?
LXXVIII. Where's Brummel? Dish'd. Where's Long Pole Wellesley ? Diddled.
Where 's Whitbread ? Romilly? Where 's George the Third ? Where is his will? (That 's not so soon unriddled.)
And where is “Fum" the Fourth, our “royal bird ? ” Gone down, it seems, to Scotland, to be fiddled
Unto by Sawney's violin, we have heard :
The Honourable Mistresses and Misses ?
Married, unmarried, and remarried—(this is An evolution oft perform'd of late).
Where are the Dublin shouts—and London hisses ? Where are the Grenvilles ? Turn’d, as usual, Where My friends the whigs? Exactly where they were.
Divorced or doing there anent. Ye annals
Thou Morning Post, sole record of the panels
Of fashion—say what streams now fill those channels ? Some die, some fly, some languish on the continent, Because the times have hardly left them one tenant.
Have taken up at length with younger brothers ;
Some maids have been made wives—some merely mothers; Others have lost their fresh and fairy looks ;
In short, the list of alterations bothers.
I've seen more changes, down from monarchs to
Than might suffice a moderate century through.
Change grows too changeable, without being new :
Shrink to a Saturn. I have seen a duke (No matter which) turn politician stupider,
If that can well be, than his wooden look.
And sail for a new theme : I've seen-and shook
I've seen Johanna Southcote-I have seen
I've seen that sad affair of the late queenI 've seen crowns worn instead of a fool's cap
I 've seen a congress doing all that 's mean--I've seen some nations, like o'erloaded asses, Kick off their burthens--meaning the high classes.
I've seen the country gentlemen turn squeakersI've seen the people ridden o'er like sand
By slaves on horseback, I have seen malt liquors Exchanged for “thin potations" by John Ball -I've seen John half detect himself a fool.
LXXXVI. carpe diem,” Juan, "
carpe, carpe !" To-morrow sees another race as gay And transient, and devour'd by the same harpy.
Life 's a poor player, "-then “play out the play, Ye villains ! ” and, above all, keep a sharp eye
Much less on what you do than what you say :
but always what you see.
Of what befel our hero, in the land
handFor I disdain to write an Atalantis ;
But 't is as well at once to understand, You 're not a moral people, and you know it Without the aid of too sincere a poet.
LXXXVIII. What Juan saw and underwent shall be
My topic, with of course the due restriction Which is required by proper courtesy ;
And recollect the work is only fiction, And that I sing of neither mine nor me,
Though every scribe, in some slight turn of diction, Will hint allusions never meant. Ne'er doubt This—when I speak, I don't hint, but speak out.
LXXXIX. Whether he married with the third or fourth
Offspring of some sage, husband-hunting countess, Or whether with some virgin of more worth
(I mean in fortune's matrimonial bounties) He took to regularly peopling earth,
Of which your lawful awful wedlock fount is