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And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but!
The truth in masquerade; and |
A fact without some leaven of a lie.
Up annals, revelations, poesy,
Praised be all liars and all lies ' Who now
Can tax my mild Muse with misanthropy? She rings the world’s “Te Deum,” and her brow
Blushes for those who will not:—but to sigh Is idle; let us like most others bow,
Kiss hands, feet, any part of majesty, After the good example of “Green Erin,”(1) Whose shamrock now seems rather worse for wearing.
Don Juan was presented, and his dress
And inien excited general admiration—
One monstrous diamond drew much observation, Which Catherine in a moment of “ ivresse”
(In leve or brandy's fervent fermentation) Bestow'd upon him, as the public learn'd; And, to say truth, it had been fairly earn'd.
(1) [See the Irish Avatar, ante, Vol. XI. p. 320.] VOL. XVII. C
And insolence no doubt is what they are
Employ'd for, since it is their daily labour, In the dear offices of peace or war; [neighbour,
And should you doubt, pray ask of your next When for a passport, or some other bar
To freedom, he applied (a grief and a bore), If he found not this spawn of taxborn riches, Like lap-dogs, the least civil sons of b S.
XLII. But Juan was received with much “ empresse- ment:"— These phrases of refinement I must borrow From our next neighbours' land, where, like a chessman, There is a move set down for joy or sorrow Not only in mere talking, but the press. Man In islands is, it seems, downright and thorough, More than on continents—as if the sea (See Billingsgate) made even the tongue more free. XLIII. And yet the British “Damme”'s rather Attic Your continental oaths are but incontinent. And turn on things which no aristocratic [anent (1) Spirit would name, and therefore even I won't This subject quote; as it would be schismatic In politesse, and have a sound affronting in't:— But “Damme”'s quite ethereal, though too daring— Platonic blasphemy, the soul of swearing.
For downright rudeness, ye may stay at home;
For true or false politeness (and scarce that Now) you may cross the blue deep and white foam
The first the emblem (rarely though) of what You leave behind, the next of much you come
To meet. However, 'tis no time to chat On general topics: poems must confine Themselves to unity, like this of mine.
(1) “Anent” was a Scotch phrase meaning “concerning” – “with regard to :” it has been made English by the Scotch novels; and, as the Frenchman said, “If it be not, ought to be English.”
He was a bachelor, which is a matter
Of import both to virgin and to bride, The former's hymeneal hopes to flatter;
And (should she not hold fast by love or pride) 'Tis also of some moment to the latter:
A rib 's a thorn in a wed gallant's side, Requires decorum, and is apt to double The horrid sin—and what's still worse, the trouble.
But Juan was a bachelor—of arts, [had
And parts, and hearts: he danced and sung, and An air as sentimental as Mozart's
Softest of melodies; and could be sad
Just at the proper time; and though a lad,
Fair virgins blush’d upon him; wedded dames
Bloom'd also in less transitory hues;
The painting and the painted; youth, ceruse,
Such as no gentleman can quite refuse: Daughters admired his dress, and pious mothers Enquired his income, and if he had brothers.
The milliners who furnish “drapery Misses"(1)
Throughout the season, upon speculation Of payment ere the honey-moon's last kisses
Have waned into a crescent's coruscation, Thought such an opportunity as this is,
Of a rich foreigner's initiation, Not to be overlook’d—and gave such credit, That future bridegrooms swore, and sigh'd, and paid it.
The Blues, that tender tribe, who sigh o'er sonnets,
And with the pages of the last Review Line the interior of their heads or bonnets,
Advanced in all their azure's highest hue: They talk'd bad French or Spanish, and upon its
Late authors ask'd him for a hint or two; And which was softest, Russian or Castilian P And whether in his travels he saw Ilion ?
(1) “Drapery Misses.” – This term is probably any thing now but a mystery. It was, however, almost so to me when I first returned from the East in 1811–1812. It means a pretty, a high-born, a fashionable young female, well instructed by her friends, and furnished by her milliner with a wardrobe upon credit, to be repaid, when married, by the husband. The riddle was first read to me by a young and pretty heiress, on my praising the “drapery” of the “untochered” but “pretty virginities” (like Mrs. Anne Page) of the then day, which has now been some years yesterday : she assured me that the thing was common in London; and as her own thousands, and blooming looks, and rich simplicity of array, put any suspicion in her own case out of the question, I confess I gave some credit to the allegation. If necessary, authorities might be cited; in which case I could quote both “drapery” and the wearers. Let us hope, however, that it is now obsolete.