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His afternoons he pass'd in visits, luncheons,
Lounging, and boxing; and the twilight hour In riding round those vegetable puncheons [flower
Call'd “ Parks,” where there is neither fruit nor Enough to gratify a bee's slight munchings;
But after all it is the only “bower,” (1)
Then dress, then dinner, then awakes the world !
Then glare the lamps, then whirl the wheels, then
Through street and square fast flashing chariots
Like harness'd meteors; then along the floor Chalk mimics painting; then festoons are twirl’d;
Then roll the brazen thunders of the door,
LXVII. There stands the noble hostess, nor shall sink With the three-thousandth curtsy; there the waltz, The only dance which teaches girls to think, (2) Makes one in love even with its very faults.
(1) [“Come to me, love, I've wander'd far,
(2) [See ante, Vol. IX, p. 123]
Saloon, room, hall, o'erflow beyond their brink,
'Midst royal dukes and dames condemn'd to climb,
And gain an inch of staircase at a time.
Thrice happy he who, after a survey
Of the good company, can win a corner, A door that's in or boudoir out of the way,
Where he may fix himself like small “Jack
And let the Babel round run as it may,
And look on as a mourner, or a scorner, Or an approver, or a mere spectator, Yawning a little as the night grows later.
But this won't do, save by and by; and he
Who, like Don Juan, takes an active share, Must steer with care through all that glittering sea
Of gems and plumes and pearls and silks, to where He deems it is his proper place to be;
Dissolving in the waltz to some soft air, Or proudlier prancing with mercurial skill Where Science marshals forth her own quadrille.
Full many an eager gentleman oft rues
Amongst a people famous for reflection,
Who like to play the fool with circumspection.
But, if you can contrive, get next at supper;
Or, if forestalled, get opposite and ogle:— Oh, ye ambrosial moments I always upper
In mind, a sort of sentimental bogle, () Which sits for ever upon memory's crupper,
The ghost of vanish'd pleasures once in vogue! Ill Can tender souls relate the rise and fall Of hopes and fears which shake a single ball.
But these precautionary hints can touch
Only the common run, who must pursue,
Or little overturns; and not the few
Whom a good mien, especially if new,
(1) Scotch for goblin.
As will environ a conspicuous man. Some
And ugliness, disease, as toil and trouble;—
I wish they knew the life of a young noble.
LXXIV. They are young, but know not youth—it is anticipated; Handsome but wasted, rich without a sou; Their vigour in a thousand arms is dissipated; Their cash comes from, their wealth goes to a J ew ; Both senates see their nightly votes participated Between the tyrant's and the tribunes' crew; And having voted, dined, drank, gamed, and whored, The family vault receives another lord.
LXXV. “Where is the world?” cries Young, at eighty—(?) “Where
The world in which a man was born ?” Alas ! Where is the world of eight years past?’Twas there—
I look for it—'tis gone, a globe of glass 1 Crack'd, shiver'd, vanish'd, scarcely gazed on, ere
A silent change dissolves the glittering mass. Statesmen, chiefs, orators, queens, patriots, kings, And dandies, all are gone on the wind's wings.
(1) [Young was more than eighty years old when he published his poem, entitled “Resignation.” &c.]
LXXVI. Where is Napoleon the Grand? God knows: Where little Castlereagh P. The devil can tell: Where Grattan, Curran, Sheridan, all those Who bound the bar or senate in their spell ? Where is the unhappy Queen, with all her woes 2 And where the Daughter, whom the Isles loved well? [Cents? () Where are those martyr'd saints the Five per And where — oh, where the devil are the rents?
LXXVII. Where's Brummel ? Dish'd. Where's Long Pole Wellesley P Diddled. Where's Whitbread? Romilly Where's George the Third P Where is his will? (?) (That's not so soon unriddled.) And where is “ Fum” the Fourth, our “royal bird?”(3) Gone down, it seems, to Scotland to be fiddled Unto by Sawney's violin, we have heard: “Caw me, caw thee"—for six months hath been hatching This scene of royal itch and loyal scratching. (1) [“I am ready to accept the, or almost any mortgage, any thing to get out of the tremulous Funds of these oscillatory times. There will be a war, somewhere no doubt — and wherever it may be, the Funds will be affected more or less; so pray get us out of them with all proper expedition. It has been the burthen of my song to you three years and better, and about as useful as better counsels.” – Lord B. to Mr. Kinnaird, Jan. 18, 1823.]
(2) [The old story of the will of George I., said to have been destroyed by George II. No such calumny was ever heard of as to George III.]