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Juan, who was a little superficial,
And not in literature a great Drawcansir, Examined by this learned and especial
Jury of matrons, scarce knew what to answer : His duties warlike, loving or official,
His steady application as a dancer,
However, he replied at hazard, with
A modest confidence and calm assurance, Which lent his learned lucubrations pith,
And pass'd for arguments of good endurance. That prodigy, Miss Araminta Smith
(Who at sixteen translated “ Hercules Furens" Into as furious English), with her best look, Set down his sayings in her common-place book.
Juan knew several languages—as well
Hemight—and brought them up with skill, in time To save his fame with each accomplish'd belle,
Who still regretted that he did not rhyme. There wanted but this requisite to swell
His qualities (with them) into sublime : Lady Fitz-Frisky, and Miss Mævia Mannish, Both long'd extremely to be sung in Spanish.
However, he did pretty well, and was
Admitted as an aspirant to all
At great assemblies or in parties small,
That being about their average numeral;
In twice five years the “ greatest living poet,"
Like to the champion in the fisty ring,
Although 't is an imaginary thing.
Nor sought of foolscap subjects to be king,
But Juan was my Moscow, and Faliero
My Leipsic, and my Mont Saint Jean seems Cain:(1) « La Belle Alliance” of dunces down at zero,
Now that the Lion's fall’n, may rise again :
Nor reign at all, or as a monarch reign;
.(1) [See antè, Vol. XV. p. 104.]
Sir Walter reign'd before me; Moore and Campbell
Before and after ; but now grown more holy, The Muses upon Sion's hill must ramble
With poets almost clergymen, or wholly;
Beneath the very Reverend Rowley Powley,
LVIII.() Then there's my gentle Euphues; who, they say,
Sets up for being a sort of moral me ;() He'll find it rather difficult some day
To turn out both, or either, it may be. Some persons think that Coleridge hath the sway;
And Wordsworth has supporters, two or three ; And that deep-mouth'd Bæotian“ Savage Landor" ()
Has taken for a swan rogue Southey's gander.
John Keats, who was kill'd off by one critique,
Just as he really promised something great, If not intelligible, without Greek
Contrived to talk about the gods of late,
(1) (A stanza is left blank in this place in the printed copies. Mr. Mur. ray possesses no MS. of this Canto.]
(2) [Some Reviewer had bestowed the title of “a Moral Byron ” on Mr. Bryan Procter, author of Dramatic Sketches,' &c. &c, all published under the name of 'Barry Cornwall.'],
(3) [See antè, VOL. XII. p. 248.]
Much as they might have been supposed to speak. (')
Poor fellow ! His was an untoward fate ; *Tis strange the mind, that very fiery particle, (?) Should let itself be snuff®d out by an article.
The list grows long of live and dead pretenders
To that which none will gain --- or none will know The conqueror at least ; who, ere Time renders
His last award, will have the long grass grow Above his burnt-out brain, and sapless cinders.
If I might augur, I should rate but low Their chances;- they're too numerous, like the thirty Mock tyrants, when Rome's annals wax'd but dirty.
This is the literary lower empire,
the matter; A “ dreadful trade,” like his who “ gathers sam
phire," (3) The insolent soldiery to soothe and flatter, With the same feelings as you'd coax a vampire.
Now, were I once at home, and in good satire, I'd try conclusions with those Janizaries, And show them what an intellectual war is.
(1) [The Biographical Dictionary says,-“Being in delicate health, he was induced to try the climate of Italy, where he arrived in November, 1820, and died in the following December. His death has been attributed to the attacks of critics; but it was, in fact, owing to a consumptive complaint of long standing." Compare, however, antè, Vol XV. p. 92.]
(2) “ Divinæ particulum auræ.” (3)
[ “ Half-way down Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!” - Lear. ]
I think I know a trick or two, would turn
Their flanks ;- but it is hardly worth my while With such small gear to give myself concern :
Indeed I've not the necessary bile ;
And even my Muse's worst reproof 's a smile ; And then she drops a brief and modern curtsy, And glides away, assured she never hurts ye.
My Juan, whom I left in deadly peril
Amongst live poets and blue ladies, past Vith some small profit through that field so sterile.
Being tired in time, and neither least nor last Left it before he had been treated
very And henceforth found himself more gaily class'd Amongst the higher spirits of the day, The sun's true son, no vapour, but a ray.
His morns he pass'd in business—which dissected,
Was like all business, a laborious nothing That leads to lassitude, the most infected
And Centaur Nessus garb of mortal clothing, ( ) And on our sofas makes us lie dejected,
And talk in tender horrors of our loathing All kinds of toil, save for our country's good – Which
grows no better, though 'tis time it should.
(1) “ Illita Nesseo tibi texta veneno." - Ovid. Epist. ix,