Sidor som bilder

It was the carnival, as I have said

Some six and thirty stanzas back, and so
Laura the usual preparations made,

Which you do when your mind's made up to go To-night to Mrs. Boehm's masquerade,

Spectator, or partaker in the show;
The only difference known belween the cases
Is-here we have six weeks of « varnished faces. *

Laura, when drest, was (as I sang before) -

A pretty woman as was ever seen,
Fresh as the Angel o'er a new inn door,

Or frontispiece of a new magazine, With all the fashions which the last month wore,

Coloured, and silver paper leav'd between
That and the titlepage, for fear the press
Should soil with parts of speech the parts of dress.

They went to the Ridotto ;-'tis a hall

Where people dance, and sup, and dance again ; Its proper name, perhaps, were a masqu'd ball,

But that's of no importance to my strain; 'Tis (on a sinaller scale ) like our Vauxhall,

Excepting that it can't be spoilt by rain ;
The company is « mix'd » (the phrase I quote is
As much as saying, they're below your notice);

For a « mixt company » implies that, save

Yourself and friends, and half a hundred more, Whom you may bow to without looking grave,

The rest are but a vulgar set, the bore

Of public places, where they baselý brave

The fashionable stare of Iwenty score
Ol' well-bred persons, called « the IVorld; » but I,
Although I know them, really don't know why.

This is the case in England; at least was

During the dynasty of Dandies, now
Perchance succeeded by some other class

Of imitated imitators :-how
Irreparably soon declinc, alas!

The demagogues of fashion : all below
Is frail; how easily the world is lost
By love, or war, and now and then by frost!

Crush'd was Napoleon by the northern Thor,

Who knock'd his army down with icy hammer,
Stoppd by the elements, like a whaler, or

A blundering novice in his new French grammar; Good cause bad he to doubt the chance of war,

And as for Fortune-but I dare not d-n her,
Because, were I to ponder to infinity,
The more I should believe in her divinity.

She rules the present, past, and all to be yet,

She gives us luck in lotteries, love, and marriage; I cannot say that she's done much for me yet;

Not that I mean her bounties to disparage, We've not yet clos’d accounts, and we shall see yet

How much she'll make amends for past miscarriage; Meantime the goddess I'll no more importune, Unless to thank her when she's made my fortuire.

To turn,-and to return ;- the devil take it!

This story slips for ever through my fingers,
Because, just as the stanza likes to make it,

It needs must be—and so it rather lingers ; This form of verse began, I can't well break it,

But must keep time and tune like public singers;
But if I once get through my present measure,
I'll take another when I'm next at leisure.

They went to the Ridotto ('tis a place

To which I mean to go myself to-morrow,
Just to divert my thoughts a little space,

Because I'm rather hippish, and may borrow Some spirits, guessiug at what kind of face

May lurk beneath each mask ; and as my sorrow Slackens its pace sometimes, I'll make, or find, Something shall leave it half an hour behind.)

Now Laura moves along the joyous crowd,

Smiles in her eyes, and simpers on her lips;
To some she whispers, others speaks aloud ;

To some she curtsies, and to some she dips, Complains of warmth, and this complaint ayow'd,,

Her lover brings the lemonade, she sips;
She then surveys, condemns, but pities still
Her dearest friends for being drest so ill.

One has false curls, another too much paint,

A third-where did she buy that frightful turban? A fourth's so pale she fears she's going to faint,

A fifth's look's vulgar, dowdyish, and suburban,

A sixth's white silk has got a yellow taint,

A seventh's thin muslin surely will be her bane, And lo! an eighth appears,—« I'll see no more! » For fear, like Banquo's kings, they reach a score.

Meantime, while she was thus at others gazing,

Others were levelling their looks at her ;
She heard the men's half-whispered mode of praising,

And, till 'twas done, determined not to stir ;
The woinen ouly thought it quite amazing

That at her time of life so many were
Admirers still, -but men are so debased,
Those brazen creatures always suit their taste.

For my part, now, I ne'er could understand

Why naughty women--but I won't discuss
A thing which is a scandal to the land;

I only don't see why it should be thus ; And if I were but in a gown and band,

Just to entitle me to make a fuss,
I'd preach on this till Wilberforce and Romilly
Should quote in their next speeches from my homily.

While Laura thus was seen and seeing, smiling,

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 drest males still kept before her filing,

And passing bowed and minglect with her chat; . More than the rest one person seemed to stare With pertinacity that's rather rare.

He was a Turk, the colour of mahogany;

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

Poor woman, whom they purchase like a pad : They have a number, though they ne'er exhibit 'em. Four wives by law, and concubines « ad libitum. »

LXXI. They lock them up, and veil, and guard them daily,

They scarcely can behold their male relations, So that their moments do not pass so gaily

As is supposed the case with northern nations ; Confinement, too, must make them look quite palely:

And as the Turks abhor long conversations, i
Their days are either past in doing nothing,
Or bathing, nursing, making love, and clothing

They cannot read, and so don't lisp in criticism;

Nor write, and so they don't affect the muse;
Were never caught in epigram or witticism,
• Have no romances, sermons, plays, reviews,
In harams learning soon would make a pretty schism!

But luckily these beauties are no « blues, »
No bustling Botherbys have they to show 'em
« That charming passage in the last new poem, »

No solemn, antique gentleman of rhyme,

Who having angled all his life for fame,
And getting but a nibble at a time,

Still fussily keeps fishing on, the same

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