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I cannot say that she's done much for me yet: Admirers still,-but men are so debased,
Not that I mean her bounties to disparage, Those brazen creatures always suit their taste!
| A thing which is a scandal to the land,
I only don't see why it should be thus; To turn,—and to return :- the devil take it!
And if I were but in a gown and band, This story slips for ever through my fingers,
Just to entitle me to make a fuss, Because, just as the stanza likes to make it,
I'd preach on this till Wilberforce and Romilly
While Laura thus was seen and seeing, smiling, I'll take another when I'm next at leisure.
Talking, she knew not why and cared not what,
So that her female friends, with envy broiling,
Beheld her airs and triumph, and all that;
And well-dress'd males still kept before her filing, To which I mean to go myself to-morrow, (1)
And passing bow'd and mingled with her chat;
More than the rest one person seem'd to stare
With pertinacity that's rather rare.
And Laura saw him, and at first was glad,
Because the Turks so much admire philogyny,
Although their usage of their wives is sad;
'Tis said they use no better than a dog any Now Laura moves along the joyous crowd,
Poor woman, whom they purchase like a pad: Smiles in her eyes, and simpers on her lips; They have a number, though they ne'er exhibit'em, To some she whispers, others speaks aloud; Four wives by law, and concubines "ad libitum."
To some she curtsies, and to some she dips, Complains of warmth, -and, this complaint avow'd,
LXXI. Her lover brings the lemonade,-she sips;
They lock them up, and veil, and guard them daily, She then surveys, condemns, but pities still
They scarcely can behold their male relations, Her dearest friends for being dress's so ill.
So that their moments do not pass so gaily
As is supposed the case with northern nations; LXVI.
Confinement, too, must make them look quite palely: One has false curls, another too much paint,
And as the Turks abhor long conversations, A third—where did she buy that frightful turban? Their days are either pass'd in doing nothing, A fourth's so pale she fears she's going to faint,
Or bathing, nursing, making love, and clothing. A fifth's look's vulgar, dowdyish, and suburban,
They cannot read, and so don't lisp in criticism; And lo! an eighth appears,—“I'll see no more!”
| Nor write, and so they don't affect the muse; For fear, like Banquo's kings, they reach a score.
| Were never caught in epigram or witticism,
Have no romances, sermons, plays, reviews,-LXVII.
In harams learning soon would make a pretty schism!
But luckily these beacties are no “Blues," Meantime, while she was thus at others gazing,
No bustling Botherbys have they to show 'em Others were levelling their looks at her;
“That charming passage in the last new poem." (2) She heard the men's half-whisper'd mode of praising, And, till 't was done, determined not to stir;
LXXIII. The women only thought it quite amazing
No solemn, antique gentleman of rhyme, That, at her time of life, so many were
Who having angled all his life for fame,
for consideration was-who was to be object of his choice ; up the letter, but on reading it over observed, 'Well, really and, while his friend mentioned one lady, he himself named this is a
this is a very pretty letter; it is a pity it should not go. Miss Milbanke. To this however his adviser strongly ob I never read a prettier one. Then it shall go,' said Lord jected, remarking to him that Miss Milbanke had at presentByron; and in so saying sealed and sent off, on the in. no fortune, and that his embarrassed affairs would not stant, this fiat of his fate.".P.E. allow him to inarry without one; that she was moreover (1) In the margin of the original MS. Lord Byron has a learned lady, which would not at all suit him. In con written-.“ January 19th, 1818. To-morrow will be a Sun. sequence of these representations, he agreed that his friend day, and full Ridotto."-L.E. should write a proposal for him to the other lady named, (2) In these lines, and in the commencement of the folwhich was accordingly done; and an answer containing lowing stanza, allusion is made to Mr. Sotheby, who, while a refusal arrived as they were one morning sitting together. Lord Byron was at Venice, had, it seems, dunned him with . You see,' said Lord Byron, that after all, Miss Milbanke anonymous letters, containing disagreeable news"and, is to be the person ;-I will write to her.' He accordingly what was worse," says his Lordship, and more pauseous wrote on the moment, and as soon as be had finished, his and indigestible still, with his criticisms and advice." See friend, remonstrating still strongly against his choice, took Medwin's Conversations.-P.E.
And getting but a nibble at a time,
Still fussily keeps fishing on, the same Small “ Triton of the minnows," the sublime
or mediocrity, the furious tame,
The approving “Good!" (by no means good in law Humming like flies around the newest blaze,
The bluest of bluebottles you e'er saw, Teasing with blame, excruciating with praise,
Gorging the little fame he gets all raw,
In foolscap uniforms turn'd up with ink,
One don't know what to say to them, or think, Unless to puff them with a pair of bellows;
Of coxcombry's worst coxcombs e'en the pink
Who think of something else besides the pen; But for the children of the “mighty mothers,”
The would-be wits and can't-be gentlemen,
Have none of these instructive pleasant people,
Unknown as bells within a Turkish stecple; I think 't would almost be worth while to pensiou ! (Though best-sown projects very often reap ill)
A missionary author, just to preach
No metaphysics are let loose in lectures,
Religious novels, moral tales, and strictures
They stare not on the stars from out their attics,
I have my reasons, you no doubt suppose,
I'll keep them for my life (to come) in prose; I fear I have a little turn for satire,
And yet methinks the older that one grows Inclives us more to laugh than scold, though laughter Leaves us so doubly serious shortly after.
(1) * Yothinz can be cleverer than this caustic little diatrine, introduces à propos of the life of Turkish ladies in tucir harams." Jeffrey.-L.E.
Ye happy mixtures of more happy days!
Abominable man no more allays
I love you both, and both shall have my praise:
Less in the Mussulman than Christian way,
“And while I please to stare, you'll please to stay: Could staring win a woman, this had won ber,
But Laura could not thus be led astray;
A turn of time at which I would advise
In any other kind of exercise,
The ball-room ere the sun begins to rise,
And stay'd them over for some silly reason,
To see what lady best stood out the season; And though I've seen some thousands in their prime,'
Lovely and pleasing, and who still may please on,
Although I might, for she was nought to me
A charming woman, whom we like to see;
Yet if you like to find out this fair she,
To meet the daylight after seven hours sitting
To make her curtsy thought it right and fitting; The Count was at her elbow with her shawl,
And they the room were on the point of quitting,
Is much the same--they crowd, and pulling, hauling. With blasphemies enough to break their jaws,
They make a never-intermitting bawling.
And here a sentry stands within your calling:
You'll give it me? They say you eat no pork. The Count and Laura found their boat at last, And how so many years did you contrive And homeward floated o'er the silent tide,
To-Bless me! did I ever? No, I never Discussing all the dances gone and past;
Saw a man grown so yellow! How's your liver ? The dancers and their dresses, too, beside; Some little scandals eke: but all aghast
хсні. (As to their palace stairs the rowers glide) | “Beppo! that beard of yours becomes you not; Sate Laura by the side of her adorer, (1)
It shall be shaved before you're a day older: When lo! the Mussulman was there before her. Why do you wear it? Oh! I had forgotLXXXVIII.
Pray don't you think the weather here is colder?
How do I look? You shan't stir from this spot “Sir," said the Count, with brow exceeding grave, In that queer dress, for fear that some beholder |
“ Your unexpected presence here will make Should find you out, and make the story known. It necessary for myself to crave
How short your hair is! Lord! how grey it's grown!" Its import? But perhaps 't is a mistake; I hope it is so; and, at once to wave
xCIV. All compliment, I hope so for your sake;
What answer Beppo made to these demands | You understand my meaning, or you shall.”
Is more than I know. He was cast away : "Sir,” (quoth the Turk) “ 't is no mistake at all:
About where Troy stood once, and nothing stands; LXXXIX.
Became a slave of course, and for his pay 1 That lady is my wife!" Much wonder paints
Had bread and bastinadoes, till some bands The lady's changing cheek, as well it might;
Of pirates landing in a neighbouring bay, But where an English woman sometimes faints,
He joiu'd the rogues and prosper'd, and became Italian females don't do so outright;
A renegado of indifferent fame.
But he grew rich, and with his riches grew so
Keen the desire to see his home again, And cutting stays, as usual in such cases.
He thought himself in duty bound to do so,
And not be always thieving on the main;
Lonely he felt, at times, as Robin Crusoe,
Bound for Corfu: she was a fine polacco,
“Such things, perhaps, we'd best discuss within," Said he; don't let us make ourselves absurd
XCVI. In public, by a scene, nor raise a din,
Himself, and much (Heaven knows how gotten!) cash, For then the chief and only satisfaction
He then embark'd with risk of life and limb, Will be much quizzing on the whole transaction."
And got clear off, although the attempt was rash; XCI.
He said that Providence protected himThey enter'd, and for coffee call'd-it came,
For my part, I say nothing-lest we clash
In our opinions :-well, the ship was trim, A beverage for Turks and Christians both,
Set sail, and kept her reckoning fairly on, Although the way they make it's not the same.
Except three days of calm when off Cape Bonn.
They reach'd the island, he transferr'd his lading,
And self and live stock, to another bottom,
And pass'd for a true Turkey-merchant, trading
With goods of various names, but I've forgot 'ein "And ars you really, truly, now a Turk?
However he got off by this evading, With any other women did you wive?
Or else the people would perhaps have shot him; Is't true they use their fingers for a fork?
And thus at Venice (2) landed, to reclaim
(1) In the MS.
"Sate Laura with a kind of comic horror."--LE. (2) “You ask me," says Lord Byron, in a letter written in 1820, “ for a volume of Manners, etc. on Italy. Perhaps I am in the case to know more of them than most English men, because I have lived among the natives, and in parts of the country where Englishmen never resided before (I speak of Romagna and this place particularly); but there are many reasons why I do not choose to treat in print on such a subject. Their moral is not your moral; their life is not your life ; you would not understand it: it is not Eng. lish,, nor French, nor German, which you would all under stand. The conventual education, the cavalier servitude, the habits of thought and living, are so entirely different, and the difference becomes so much more striking the more
you live intimately with them, that I know not how to make i you comprehend a people who are at once temperate and profligate, serious in their characters and buffoons in their amusements, capable of impressions and passions, which are at once sudden and durable (wbat you find in no other nation), and who actually have no society (what we would call so), as you may see by thcir comedies; they have no real comedy, pot even in Goldoni, and that is because they have no society to draw it from. Their conversazioni are not society at all. They go to the theatre to talk, and into company to hold their tongues. The women sit in a circle, and the men gather into groups, or they play at dreary faro, or < lotto reale,' for small sums. Their academie are concerts like our own, with better music and more form. Their best things are the carnival balls and masqueradee,
(He made the church a present, by the way); With wealth and talking made him some amends; He then threw off the garments which disguised bim, Though Laura sometimes put him in a rage,
And borrow'd the Count's smallclothes for a day: I've heard the Count and he were always friends. His friends the more for his long absence prized him, My pen is at the bottom of a page, Finding he'd wherewithal to make them gay
Which being finish'd, here the story ends; With dinners, where he oft became the laugh of them 'Tis to be wish'd it had been sooner done, For stories- but I don't believe the half of them. But stories somehow lengthen when begun. (1)
when every body runs mad for six weeks. After their dinners and suppers, they make extempore verses and buffoon one another; but it is in a humour which you would not enter into, ye of the north."-" In their houses it is better. As for the women, from the fisherman's wife up to the nobil dama, their system has its rules, and its fitnesses, and its de corums, so as to be reduced to a kind of discipline or game at hearts, which admits few deviations, unless you wish to lose it. They are extremely tenacious, and jealous as furies, not permitting their lovers even to marry if they can help it, and keeping them always close to them in public as in private, whenever they can. In short, they transfer mar. riage to adultery, and strike the not ont of that commandment. The reason is, that they marry for their parents, and love for themselves. They exact fidelity from a lover as a debt of honour, while they pay the husband as a trades. man, that is, not at all. You hear a person's character, male or female, canvassed, not as depending on their conduct to their husbands or wives, but to their mistress or lover. If I wrote a quarto, I don't know that I could do more than amplify what I lave here noted."-L. E.
“The author of Sketches Descriptive of Italy, etc., one of the hundred tours lately published, is extremely anxious to disclaim a possible charge of plagiarism from Childe Hurold and Beppo. He adds, that still less could this presumed coincidence arise from my conversation,' as he had re. peatedly declined an introduction to me while in Italy.
Who this person may be I know not, but he must have been deceived by all or any of those who repeatedly offered to introduce bim, as I have invariably refused to receive any English with whom I was not previously acquainted, even when they had letters from England. If the whole assertion is not an invention, I request this person not to sit down with the notion that he COULD have been introduced, since there has been nothing I have so carefully avoided as any kind of intercourse with his countrymen, excepting the very few who were a considerable time resident in Venice, or had been of my previous acquaintance. Whoever made him any such offer was possessed of impudence equal to that of making such an assertion without having had it. The fact is, that I hold in utter abhorrence any contact with the travelling English, as my friend the Consul General Hoppner, and the Countess Benzoni (in whose house the conversazione mostly frequented by them is held), could amply testify, were it worth while. I was persecuted by these tourists even to my riding.ground at Lido, and reduced to the most disagreeable circuits to avoid them. At Ma. dame Benzoni's I repeatedly refused to be introduced to them ;-of a thousand such presentations pressed upon me, I accepted two, and both were to Irish women.
"I should hardly have descended to speak of such trifles publicly, if the impndence of this 'sketcher' had not forced me to a refutation of a disingenuous and gratuitously impertinent assertion ;- so meant to be, for what could it import to the reader to be told that the author had repeatedly declined an introduction,' even had it been true, which, for the reasons I have above given, is scarcely pos. sible? Except Lords Lansdowne, Jersey, and Lauderdale; Messrs. Scott, Hammond, Sir Humphry Davy, the late M. Lewis, W. Bankes, Mr. Hoppner, Thomas Moore, Lord Kinnaird, his brother, Mr. Joy, and Mr. Hobhouse, I do not recollect to have exchanged a word with another Englishman since I left their country; and almost all these I had known before. The others-and God knows there were some hundreds-who bored me with letters or visits, I refused to have any communication with, and shall be proud and happy when that wish becomes mutual." Byron.-P.E
(1) “This extremely clever and amusing performance af fords a very curious and complete specimen of a kind of diction and composition of which our English literature has hitherto presented very few examples. It is, in itself, ab. solutely a thing of nothing-without story, characters, sentiments, or intelligible object;-a mere piece of lively and loquacious prattling, in short, upon all kinds of frivolous sabjects,--a sort of gay and desultory babbling about Italy and England, Turks, balls, literature, and fish-sauces. But still there is something very engaging in the uniform gaiety, politeness, and good humour of the author, and something still more striking and admirable in the matchless facility with which he has cast into regular, and even difficult, versification, the unmingled, onconstrained, and unselected language of the most light, familiar, and ordinary conversation. With great skill and felicity, he has furnished us with an example of about one hundred stanzas of good verse, entirely composed of common words, in their common places; never presenting us with one sprig of what is called poetical diction, or even making use of a single inversion, cither to raise the style or assist the rhyme--but running on in an inexhaustible series of good easy colloquial phrases, and finding them fall into verse by some unaccountable and happy fatality. In this great and characteristic quality it is almost invariably excellent. In some otber respects, it is more unequal. About one half is as good as possible, in the style to which it belongs ; tbe other half bears, perhaps. too many marks of that haste with which sucb a work must necessarily be written. Some passages are rather too snappish, and some run too much on the cheap, and rather plebeian, humour of out-of-the-way rhymes, and strange sounding words and epithets. But the greater part is extremely pleasant, amiable, and gentlemuslike," Jeffrey.-L. E.
¡ avec la femme d'un gentilhomme polonais ayant été découverte, le mari le fit lier tout nu sur un cheval
farouche, et le laissa aller en cet état. Le cheval, "Celui qui remplissait alors cette place était un qui était du pays de l'Ukraine, y retourna, et y porta gentilhomme polonais, nommé Mazeppa, né dans le Mazeppa, demi-mort de fatigue et de faim. Quelques palatinat de Padolie: il avait été élevé page de Jean paysans le secoururent: il resta longtems parmi eux, Casimir, et avait pris à sa cour quelque teinture des et se signala dans plusieurs courses contre les Tarbelles-lettres. Une intrigue qu'il eut dans sa jeunesse tares. La supériorité de ses lumières lui donna une
(1) The following “lively, spirited, and pleasant tale," As Mr. Gifford calls it, on the margin of the MS., was
written in the autumn of 1818, at Ravenna. We extract the following from a reviewal, of the time:- Mazeppa is grande considération parmi les Cosaques: sa réputation s'augmentant de jour en jour, obligea le Czar à le faire Prince de l'Ukraine." — VOLTAIRE, Hist. de Charles XII. p. 196.
"Le roi fuyant, et poursuivi, eut son cheval tué sous lui; le Colonel Gieta, blessé, et perdant tout son sang, lui donna le sien. Ainsi on remit deux fois à cheval, dans la fuite, ce conquérant qui n'avait pu y monter pendant la bataille." —p. 216.
"Le roi alla par un autre chemin avec quelques cavaliers. Le carrosse où il était rompit dans la marche; on le remit à cheval. Pour comble de disgrace, il s'égara pendant la nuit dans un bois; là, son courage ne pouvant plus suppléer à ses forces épuisées, les į douleurs de sa blessure devenues plus insupportables par la fatigue, son cheval étant tombé de lassitude, il se coucha quelques heures au pied d'un arbre, en danger d'être surpris à tout moment par les vainqueurs, qui le cherchaient de tous côtés." - p. 218.(1)
'Twas after dread Pultowa's day,
When fortune left the royal Swede, Around a slaughter'd army lay,
No more to combat and to bleed; The power and glory of the war,
Faithless as their vain votaries, men, Had pass'd to the triumphant Czar,
And Moscow's walls were safe again,Until a day more dark and drear, And a more memorable year, Should give to slaughter and to shame A mightier host and haughtier name; A greater wreck, a deeper fall, A shock to one-a thunderbolt to all.
The beacons of surrounding foes
Are these the laurels and repose
Since but the fleeting of a day
And chivalrous: upon the clay
Beside his monarch and his steed,
And all are fellows in their need. Among the rest, Mazeppa made His pillow in an old oak's shadeHimself as rough, and scarce less old, The Ukraine's hetman, calm and bold: But first, outspent with this long course, The Cossack prince rubb'd down his horse, And made for him a leafy bed,
And smooth'd his fetlocks and his mane,
And slack'd his girth, and stripp'd his rein,
Such was the hazard of the die;
The watch-fires in the distance sparklinga very fine and spirited sketch of a very noble story, and is every way worthy of its author. The story is a well-known one ; namely, that of the young Pole, who, being bound baked on the back of a wild horse, on account of an intrigue with the lady of a certain great noble of his country, was carried by his steed into the heart of the Ukraine, and being there picked up by some Cossacks, in a state apparently of utter bopelessness and exhaustion, recovered, and lived to be long after the prince and leader of the nation among whom he had arrived in this extraordinary manner. Lord Byron has represented the strange and wild incidents of this adventure, as being related in a balf serious, half sportive way, by Mazeppa bimself, to no less a person than Charles the Twelfth of Sweden, in some of whose last cam. paigns the Cossack Hetman took a distinguished part. He tells it during the desolate bivouack of Charles and the few
friends who fled with him towards Turkey, after the bloody overthrow of Pultowa. There is not a little of beauty and gracefulness in this way of setting the picture;- the age of Mazeppa-the calm practised indifference with which bo now submits to the worst of fortune's deeds-the heroic unthinking coldness of the royal madman to whom he speaks- the dreary and perilous accompaniments of the scene around the speaker and the audience,- all contribute to throw a very striking charm both of preparation and of contrast over the wild story of the Hetman. Nothing can be more beautiful, in like manner, than the account of the love--the guilty love the fruits of which had been so miraculous." -L.E
(1) For some authentic and interesting particulars con. cerning the Hetman Mazeppa, see Mr. Barrow's delightful Life of Peter the Great. Family Library, Vol. XXXV.-L E.