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The Count and Laura made their new arrangement,

Which lasted, as arrangements sometimes do,
For half a dozen years without estrangement :

They had their little differences too ;
Those jealous whiffs, which never any change meant :

In such affairs there probably are few
Who have not had this pouting sort of squabble,
From sinners of high station to the rabble.

But on the whole they were a happy pair,

As happy as unlawful love could make them :
The gentleman was fond, the lady fair,

Their chains so slight, 't was not worth while to break them : The world beheld them with indulgent air ;

The pious only wished “the devil take them !"
He took them not; he very often waits,
And leaves old sinners to be young ones' baits.

But they were young : 0! what without our youth

Would love be! What would youth be without love!
Youth lends it joy, and sweetness, vigour, truth,

Heart, soul, and all that seems as from above :
But, languishing with years,


One of few things experience don't improve,
Which is, perhaps, the reason why old fellows
Are always so preposterously jealous.

It was the Carnival, as I have said

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

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 between the cases
Is-here, we have six weeks of “varnish'd 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

Colour'd, and silver paper leaved between
· That and the title-page, for fear the press
Should soil with parts of speech the parts of dress.

The company

LVIII. They went to the Ridotto :—'t is a hall

Where people dance, and sup, and dance again : Its

proper name, perhaps, were a mask'd ball,

But that is of no importance to my strain ; T is (on a smaller scale) like our Vauxhall, Excepting that it can't be spoilt by rain :

is “mixt” (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 basely brave

The fashionable stare of twenty score
Of well-bred persons, called “ the world;" 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 decline, 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,
Stopp'd by the elements, like a whaler,
A blundering novice in his new French

grammar : Good cause he had 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 closed 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 fortune.

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 begun, 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.

LXIV. They went to the Ridotto~'t is a place

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


space, Because I'm rather hippish, and may

borrow Some spirits, guessing 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 avow'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-whisper'd mode of praising,

And, till 't was done, determined not to stir. The women only 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 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 bow'd and mingled with her chat;
More than the rest one person seem'd 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 ; 'T is 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,
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
Small “ Triton of the minnows," the sublime

Of mediocrity, the furious tame,
The echo's echo, usher of the school
Of female wits, boy-bards-in short, a fool !

A stalking oracle of awful phrase,

The approving “Good !" (by no means Good in law) Humming like flies around the newest blaze,

The bluest of bluebottles you e'er saw ; Teasing with blame, excruciating with praise,

Gorging the little fame he gets all raw,
Translating tongues he knows not even by letter,
And sweating plays so middling, bad were better.

One hates an author that 's all author, fellows

In foolscap uniforms turn'd up with ink,
So very anxious, clever, fine, and jealous,

One don't know what to say to them, or thiņk, Unless to puff them with a pair of bellows;

Of coxcombry's worst coxcombs e’en the pink Are preferable to these shreds of

These unquench'd snuffings of the midnight taper.

Of these same we see several, and of others,

Men of the world, who know the world like men,
S—tt, R-s, M-re, and all the better brothers,

Who think of something else besides the pen; But for the children of the “ mighty mother's,'

The would-be wits and can't-be gentlemen, I leave them to their daily“ tea is ready," Snug coterie, and literary lady,

LXXVII. The poor

dear Mussulwomen whom I mention Have none of these instructive pleasant people; And one would seem to them a new invention,

Unknown as bells within a Turkish steeple; I think 't would almost be worth while to pension (Though best-sown projects very


reap ill) A missionary author, just to preach Our Christian usage of the parts of speech.

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