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I hate it, as I hate a drove of cattle,
I hate it, as I hate an argument,
A laureate’s ode, or servile peer's “ content.”
'Tis sad to hack into the roots of things,
They are so much intertwisted with the earth; So that the branch a goodly verdure flings,
I reck not if an acorn gave it birth.
Would make indeed some melancholy mirth;
With the kind view of saving an éclat,
Both to the duchess and diplomatist,
That Juan was unlikely to resist—
In England ranks quite on a different list From those of other lands unblest with juries, Whose verdict for such sin a certain cure is ;—)
(1) The famous Chancellor Oxenstiern said to his son, on the latter expressing his surprise upon the great effects arising from petty causes in the presumed mystery of politics: “You see by this, my son, with how little wisdom the kingdoms of the world are governed.”—[The true story is;– young Oxenstiern, on being told he was to proceed on some diplomatic mission, expressed his doubts of his own fitness for such an office. The old Chancellor, laughing, answered, - “Nescis, mi fili, quantulá scientia guernatur mundus.” – E.]
The Lady Adeline resolved to take
Such measures as she thought might best impede The farther progress of this sad mistake.
She thought with some simplicity indeed; But innocence is bold even at the stake,
And simple in the world, and doth not need Nor use those palisades by dames erected, Whose virtue lies in never being detected.
It was not that she fear'd the very worst:
His Grace was an enduring, married man,
Into a scene, and swell the clients’ clan
The magic of her Grace's talisman,
Her Grace, too, pass'd for being an intrigante,
And somewhat méchante in her amorous sphere ; One of those pretty, precious plagues, which haunt
A lover with caprices soft and dear,
Find one, each day of the delightful year;
LXV. And first, in the o'erflowing of her heart, Which really knew or thought it knew no guile, She call'd her husband now and then apart, And bade him counsel Juan. With a smile Lord Henry heard her plans of artless art To wean Don Juan from the siren's wile; And answer'd, like a statesman or a prophet, In such guise that she could make nothing of it.
LXVI, Firstly, he said, “he never interfered In any body's business but the king's:” Next, that “he never judged from what appear'd, Without strong reason, of those sort of things: ' Thirdly, that “Juan had more brain than beard, And was not to be held in leading-strings;” And fourthly, what need hardly be said twice, “That good but rarely came from good advice."
And, therefore, doubtless to approve the truth
Of the last axiom, he advised his spouse To leave the parties to themselves, forsooth—
At least as far as bienséance allows: That time would temper Juan's faults of youth;
That young men rarely made monastic vows That opposition only more attaches But here a messenger brought in despatches:
And being of the council call'd “ the Privy,”
Lord Henry walk'd into his cabinet, To furnish matter for some future Livy
To tell how he reduced the nation's debt; And if their full contents I do not give ye,
It is because I do not know them yet; But I shall add them in a brief appendix, To come between mine epic and its index.
But ere he went, he added a slight hint,
Another gentle common-place or two, Such as are coin'd in conversation's mint,
And pass, for want of better, though not new Then broke his packet, to see what was in't,
And having casually glanced it through, Retired; and, as he went out, calmly kiss'd her, Less like a young wife than an aged sister.
He was a cold, good, honourable man,
Proud of his birth, and proud of every thing ; A goodly spirit for a state divan,
A figure fit to walk before a king;
On birthdays, glorious with a star and string;
But there was something wanting on the whole—
I don't know what, and therefore cannot tell— Which pretty women—the sweet souls 1–call soul.
Certes it was not body; he was well Proportion'd, as a poplar or a pole,
A handsome man, that human miracle; And in each circumstance of love or war Had still preserved his perpendicular.
Still there was something wanting, as I've said—
That undefinable “Je ne scais quoi,”
To Homer's Iliad, since it drew to Troy
Though on the whole, no doubt, the Dardan boy