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Slight but select, and just enough to express,
That he would rather make them more than less.
Though probably much less a fact than guess)
With her was rare; and Adeline, who as yet
Began to dread she 'd thaw to a coquetteSo very difficult, they say, it is
To keep extremes from meeting, when once set In motion ; but she here too much refined— Aurora's spirit was not of that kind.
A proud humility, if such there be,
As if each charming word were a decree.
And taught him when to be reserved or free:
Confounded him in common with the crowd
Than whispering foplings, or than witlings loud, Commenced (from such slight things will great commence)
To feel that flattery which attracts the proud
Nem. con. amongst the women, which I grieve
leads oft to crim. con. with the married A case which to the juries we may leave, Since with digressions we too long have tarried.
Now though we know of old that looks deceive, And always have done, somehow these good looks Make more impression than the best of books.
very young, although so very sage, Admiring more Minerva than the Graces,
Especially upon a printed page.
Has not the natural stays of strict old age ;
But innocently so, as Socrates ;
At seventy years had phantasies like these,
Has shown, I know not why they should displease
(See Littleton) whene'er 1 have express’d Opinions two, which at first sight may look
Twin opposites, the second is the best. Perhaps I have a third too in a nook,
Or none at all—which seems a sorry jest ; But if a writer should be quite consistent, How could he possibly show things existent ?
LXXXVIII. If people contradict themselves, can I
Help contradicting them, and every body, Even my veracious self ?—but that 's a lie ;
I never did so, never will-how should I ? He who doubts all things, nothing can deny;
Truth’s. fountains may be clear—her streams are muddy, And cut through such canals of contradiction, That she must often navigate o'er fiction.
Are false, but may be render'd also true
'T is wonderful what fable will not do ! ’T is said it makes reality more bearable :
But what 's reality? Who has its clue? Philosophy? No; she too much rejects. Religion? Yes ; but which of all her sects ?
XC. Some millions must be wrong, that 's pretty clear ;
Perhaps it may turn out that all were right. God help us! Since we 've need on our career
To keep our holy beacons always bright, 'T is time that some new prophet should appear,
Or old indulge man with a second sight. Opinions wear out in some thousand
years, Without a small refreshment from the spheres.
Myself with metaphysics ? None can hate
And yet such is my folly, or my fate,
About the present, past, and future state ;
And also meek as a metaphysician,
As Eldon on a lunatic commission,In politics, my duty is to show John
Bull something of the lower world's condition. It makes
blood boil like the springs of Hecla, To see men let these scoundrel sovereigns break law.
XCIII. But politics, and policy, and piety,
Are topics which I sometimes introduce, Not only for the sake of their variety,
But as subservient to a moral use; Because
business is to dress society, And stuff with
goose. And now, that we may furnish with some matter all Tastes, we are going to try the supernatural.
XCIV. And now I will give up all argument ;
And positively henceforth no temptation Shall“ fool me to the top up of my bent ;"
Yes, I 'll begin a thorough reformation. Indeed I never knew what people meant
By deeming that my Muse's conversation Was dangerous, I think she is as harmless As some who labour more and yet may charın less.
you 've heard—I understand-be dumb ! And don't regret the time you may have lost, For
you have got that pleasure still to come : And do not think I mean to sneer at most
Of these things, or by ridicule benumb
My smiles must be sincere or not at all. I say I do believe a haunted spot
Exists—and where? That shall I not recal, Because I'd rather it should be forgot.
"Shadows the soul of Richard" may appal : In short, upon that subject I 've some qualms very Like those of the philosopher of Malmsbury.?
And now and then a nightingale)—is dim,
Rattles around me her discordant hymn :
I wish to heaven they would not look so grim;
To rhyme at noon—when I have other things
I feel some chilly midnight shudderings, And prudently postpone, until mid-day,
Treating a topic which, alas ! but brings Shadows ;-but you must be in my
condition Before you learn to call this superstition.
XCIX. Between two worlds life hovers like a star,
'Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's vérge : How little do we know that which we are !
How less what we may be! The eternal surge Of time and tide rolls on, and bears afar
Our bubbles; as the old burst, new emerge, Lash'd from the foam of ages ; while the graves Of empires heave but like some passing waves.
NOTES TO CANTO XV.
Note I. Stanza xvij.
And thou, diviner still,
Whose lot it is by man to be mistaken, As it is necessary in these times to avoid ambiguity, I say, that I mean, by “diviner still,” CHRIST. If ever God was Man—or man God-he was both. I never arraigned his creed, but the use—or abuse-made of it. Mr. Canning one day quoted christianity to sanction Negro slavery, and Mr. Wilberforce had little to say in reply. And was Christ crucified, that black men might be scourged? If so, he had better been born a Mulatto, to give both colours an equal chance of freedom, or at least salvation.
Note 2. Stanza xxxv.
When Rapp the harmonist embargoed marriage
In his harmonious settlement.
This extraordinary and flourishing German colony in America does not entirely exclude matrimony, as the “Shakers” do; but lays such restrictions upon it as prevent more than a certain quantum of births within a certain number of years; which births (as Mr. Hulme observes) generally arrive “in a little flock like those of a farmer's lambs, all within the same month perhaps.” These Harmonists (so called from the name of their settlement) are represented as a remarkably flourishing, pious, and quiet people. See the various recent writers on America.
Note 3. Stanza xxxviii.
Nor canvass what so eminent a hand” meant.
Jacob Tonson, according to Mr. Pope, was accustomed to call his writers, “able pens >_"
persons of honour,” and especially “eminent hands.” Vide Correspondence, &c., &c.
Note 4. Stanza lxvi.
While great Lucullus' robe triumphale muffles
(There's fame)-young partridge fillets, deck'd with truffles. A dish à la Lucullus. This hero, who conquered the East, has left his more extended celebrity to the transplantation of cherries (which he first brought into Europe) and the nomenclature of some very good dishes ;—and I am not sure that (barring indigestion) he has not done more service to mankind by his cookery than by his conquests. A cherry-tree may weigh against a bloody laurel; besides he has contrived to earn celebrity from both.
Note 5. Stanza lxvii.
But even sans confitures, it no less true is,
There 's pretty picking in those petits puits. Petits puits d'amour garnis de confitures, a classical and well-known dish for part of the flank of a second course.