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LVII.

Laura, when dress'd, 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. LVIII. They went to the Ridotto; 't is a hall

Where people dance, and sup, and dance again; Its proper name, perhaps, were a masqued ball, But that's of no importance to my strain ; 'Tis (on a smaller scale) like our Vauxhall,

Excepting that it can't be spoilt by rain: The company is "mix'd" (the phrase I quote is As much as saying, they're below your notice);

LIX.

For a "mix'd 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, call'd "the World;" but I, Although I know them, really don't know why.

LX.

This is the case in England; at least was
During the dynasty of Dandies 1, 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!
LXI.
Crush'd was Napoleon by the northern Thor,

Who knock'd his army down with icy hammer,
Stopp'd by the elements 2, like a whaler, or

A blundering novice in his new French grammar; Good cause had he 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. 3

LXII.

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.

1 ["I liked the Dandies: they were always very civil to me; though, in general, they disliked literary people, and persecuted and mystified Madame de Stael, Lewis, Horace Twiss, and the like. The truth is, that though I gave up the business early, I had a tinge of Dandyism in my minority, and probably retained enough of it to conciliate the great ones at four and twenty."- Byron Diary, 1821.]

2 ["When Brummell was obliged to retire to France, he knew no French, and having obtained a grammar for the purpose of study, our friend Scrope Davies was asked what progress Brummell had made in French: he responded, ' that Brummell had been stopped, like Buonaparte in Russia, by the elements. I have put this pun into Beppo, which is a fair

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LXXIII.
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!

151

LXXV.

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 think,
Unless to puff them with a pair of bellows;

Of coxcombry's worst coxcombs e'en the pink
Are preferable to these shreds of paper,
These unquench'd snuffings of the midnight taper.

LXXVI.

Of these same we see several, and of others,
Men of the world, who know the world like men,
Scott, Rogers, Moore, 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,"
Smug coterie, and literary lady.1

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 often reap ill)
A missionary author, just to preach

Our Christian usage of the parts of speech.

LXXVIII.

No chemistry for them unfolds her gasses,

No metaphysics are let loose in lectures,
No circulating library amasses

Religious novels, moral tales, and strictures
Upon the living manners, as they pass us;

No exhibition glares with annual pictures;
They stare not on the stars from out their attics.
Nor deal (thank God for that!) in mathematics.
LXXIX.

Why I thank God for that is no great matter,

I have my reasons, you no doubt suppose,
And as, perhaps, they would not highly flatter,
I'll keep them for my life (to come) in prose;
I fear ha a little turn for satire,

And yet methinks the older that one grows Inclines us more to laugh than scold, though laughter Leaves us so doubly serious shortly after.

LXXX.

Oh, Mirth and Innocence! Oh, Milk and Water!
Ye happy mixtures of more happy days!
In these sad centuries of sin and slaughter,
Abominable Man no more allays

His thirst with such pure beverage.

No matter,

I love you both, and both shall have my praise. Oh, for old Saturn's reign of sugar-candy! — Meantime I drink to your return in brandy.

LXXXI.

Our Laura's Turk still kept his eyes upon her,

LXXIV.

Less in the Mussulman than Christian way,
Which seems to say, "Madam, I do you honour,
And while I please to stare, you'll please to stay: "

A stalking oracle of awful phrase,

The approving "Good!" (by no means GOOD in law)| Could staring win a woman, this had won her,
Humming like flies around the newest blaze,

But Laura could not thus be led astray;
She had stood fire too long and well, to boggle
Even at this stranger's most outlandish ogle.

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.

LXXXII.

The morning now was on the point of breaking,
A turn of time at which I would advise
Ladies who have been dancing, or partaking
In any other kind of exercise,

To make their preparations for forsaking

The ball-room ere the sun begins to rise, Because when once the lamps and candles fail, His blushes make them look a little pale.

[Nothing can be cleverer than this caustic little diatribe, introduced a propos of the life of Turkish ladies in their harams. JEFFREY.]

L 4

LXXXIII.

I've seen some balls and revels in my time,
And stay'd them over for some silly reason,
And then I look'd (I hope it was no crime)

To see what lady best stood out the season;
And though I've seen some thousands in their prime,
Lovely and pleasing, and who still may please on,
I never saw but one (the stars withdrawn)
Whose bloom could after dancing dare the dawn.
LXXXIV.

The name of this Aurora I'll not mention,

Although I might, for she was nought to me More than that patent work of God's invention, A charming woman, whom we like to see ; But writing names would merit reprehension, Yet if you like to find out this fair she, At the next London or Parisian ball You still may mark her cheek, out-blooming all. LXXXV.

Laura, who knew it would not do at all

To meet the daylight after seven hours' sitting Among three thousand people at a ball,

To make her curtsy thought it right and fitting: The Count was at her elbow with her shawl,

And they the room were on the point of quitting, When lo! those cursed gondoliers had got Just in the very place where they should not.

LXXXVI.

In this they're like our coachmen, and the cause
Is much the same-the crowd, and pulling, hauling,
With blasphemies enough to break their jaws,

They make a never intermitting bawling.
At home, our Bow-street gemmen keep the laws,
And here a sentry stands within your calling;
But for all that, there is a deal of swearing,
And nauseous words past mentioning or bearing.
LXXXVII.

The Count and Laura found their boat at last,
And homeward floated o'er the silent tide,
Discussing all the dances gone and past;

The dancers and their dresses, too, beside;
Some little scandals eke: but all aghast

(As to their palace stairs the rowers glide) Sate Laura by the side of her Adorer, 1 When lo! the Mussulman was there before her.

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XCVII.

They reach'd the island, he transferr'd his lading,
And self and live stock, to another bottom,
And pass'd for a true Turkey-merchant, trading
With goods of various names, but I forgot 'em.
However, he got off by this evading,

Or else the people would perhaps have shot him;
And thus at Venice landed to reclaim
His wife, religion, house, and Christian name.

XCVIII.

His wife received, the patriarch re-baptized him,
(He made the church a present, by the way);
He then threw off the garments which disguised him,
And borrow'd the Count's smallclothes for a day:

ADVERTISEMENT.

"CELUI qui remplissait alors cette place était un gentilhomme Polonais, nommé Mazeppa, né dans le

1 "You ask me," says Lord Byron, in a letter written in 1820, for a volume of Manners, &c. on Italy. Perhaps I am in the case to know more of them than most Englishmen, because I have lived among the natives, and in parts of the country where Englishmen never resided before (I speak of Romagna and this place particularly); but there are many reasons why I do not choose to treat in print on such a subject. Their moral is not your moral; their life is not your life; you would not understand it: it is not English, nor French, nor German, which you would all understand. The conventual education, the cavalier servitude, the habits of thought and living, are so entirely different, and the difference becomes so much more striking the more you live intimately with them, that I know not how to make you comprehend a people who are at once temperate and profligate, serious in their characters and buffoons in their amusements, capable of impressions and passions, which are at once sudden and durable (what you find in no other nation), and who actually have no society (what we would call so), as you may see by their comedies; they have no real comedy, not even in Goldoni, and that is because they have no society to draw it from. Their conversazioui are not society at all. They go to the theatre to talk, and into company to hold their tongues. The women sit in a circle, and the men gather into groups, or they play at dreary faro, or lotto reale,' for small sums. Their academie are concerts like our own, with better music and more form. Their best things are the carnival balls and masquerades, when every body runs mad for six weeks. After their dinners and suppers they make extempore verses and buffoon one another; but it is in a humour which you would not enter into, ye of the north. - In their houses it is better. As for the women, from the fisherman's wife up to the nobil dama, their system has its rules, and its fitnesses, and its decorums, so as to be reduced to a kind of discipline or game at hearts, which admits few deviations, unless you wish to lose it. They are extremely tenacious, and jealous as furies, not permitting their lovers even to marry if they can help it, and keeping them always close to them in public as in private, whenever they can. In short, they transfer marriage to adultery, and strike the not out of that commandment. The reason is, that they marry for their parents, and love for themselves. They exact fidelity from a lover as a debt of honour, while they pay the husband as a tradesman, that is, not at all. You hear a person's character, male or female, canvassed, not as depending on their conduct to their husbands or wives, but to their mistress or lover. If I wrote a quarto, I don't know that I could do more than amplify what I have here noted."]

Mazeppa.

2 [This extremely clever and amusing performance affords a very curious and complete specimen of a kind of diction and composition of which our English literature has hitherto presented very few examples. It is, in itself, absolutely a thing of nothing-without story, characters, sentiments, or

His friends the more for his long absence prized him,
Finding he'd wherewithal to make them gay,
With dinners, where he oft became the laugh of
them,

For stories-but I don't believe the half of them.

XCIX.

Whate'er his youth had suffer'd, his old age

With wealth and talking make him some amends; Though Laura sometimes put him in a rage,

I've heard the Count and he were always friends. My pen is at the bottom of a page,

Which being finish'd, here the story ends; 'Tis to be wish'd it had been sooner done, But stories somehow lengthen when begun. 2

palatinat de Podolie: il avait été élevé page de Jean Casimir, et avait pris à sa cour quelque teinture des belles-lettres. Une intrigue qu'il eut dans sa jeunesse avec la femme d'un gentilhomme Polonais ayant été

intelligible object; -a mere piece of lively and loquacious prattling, in short, upon all kinds of frivolous subjects, a sort

of gay and desultory babbling about Italy and England, Turks, balls, literature, and fish sauces. But still there is something very engaging in the uniform gaiety, politeness, and good humour of the author, and something still more striking and admirable in the matchless facility with which he has cast into regular, and even difficult, versification the unmingled, unconstrained, and unselected language of the most light, familiar, and ordinary conversation. With great skill and felicity, he has furnished us with an example of about one hundred stanzas of good verse, entirely composed of common words, in their common places; never presenting us with one sprig of what is called poetical diction, or even making use of a single inversion, either to raise the style or assist the rhyme, but running on in an inexhaustible series of good easy colloquial phrases, and finding them fall into verse by some unaccountable and happy fatality. In this great and characteristic quality it is almost invariably excellent. In some other respects, it is more unequal. About one half is as good as possible, in the style to which it belongs; the other half bears, perhaps, too many marks of that haste with which such a work must necessarily be written. Some passages are rather too snappish, and some run too much on the cheap and rather plebeian humour of out-of-the-way rhymes, and strange-sounding words and epithets. But the greater part is extremely pleasant, amiable, and gentlemanlike. - JEFFREY.]

The following "lively, spirited, and pleasant tale," as Mr. Gifford calls it, on the margin of the MS., was written in the autumn of 1818, at Ravenna. We extract the following from a reviewal of the time:-"MAZEPPA is a very fine and spirited sketch of a very noble story, and is every way worthy of its author. The story is a well-known one; namely, that of the young Pole, who, being bound naked on the back of a wild horse, on account of an intrigue with the lady of a certain great noble of his country, was carried by his steed into the heart of the Ukraine, and being there picked up by some Cossacks, in a state apparently of utter hopelessness and exhaustion, recovered, and lived to be long after the prince and leader of the nation among whom he had arrived in this extraordinary manner. Lord Byron has represented the strange and wild incidents of this adventure, as being related in a half serious, half sportive way, by Mazeppa himself, to no less a person than Charles the Twelfth of Sweden, in some of whose last campaigns the Cossack Hetinan took a distinguished part. He tells it during the desolate bivouack of Charles and the few friends who fled with him towards Turkey, after the bloody overthrow of Pultowa. There is not a little of beauty and gracefulness in this way of setting the picture; the age of Mazeppa-the calm, practised indifference with which he now submits to the worst of fortune's deeds—the heroic, unthinking coldness of the royal

découverte, le mari le fit lier tout nu sur un cheval farouche, et le laissa aller en cet état. Le cheval, qui était du pays de l'Ukraine, y retourna, et y porta Mazeppa, demi-mort de fatigue et de faim. Quelques paysans le secoururent: il resta long-tems parmi eux, et se signala dans plusieurs courses contre les Tartares. La supériorité de ses lumières lui donna une grande considération parmi les Cosaques : sa réputation s'augmentant de jour en jour, obligea le Czar à le faire Prince de l'Ukraine."—VOLTAIRE, Hist. de Charles XII. p. 196.

"Le roi fuyant, et poursuivi, eut son cheval tué sous lui; le Colonel Gieta, blessé, et perdant tout son sang, lui donna le sien. Ainsi on remit deux fois à cheval, dans la fuite, ce conquérant qui n'avait pu y monter pendant la bataille."-p. 216.

"Le roi alla par un autre chemin avec quelques cavaliers. Le carrosse où il était rompit dans la marche; on le remit à cheval. Pour comble de disgrace, il s'égara pendant la nuit dans un bois; là, son courage ne pouvant plus supplèer à ses forces épuisées, les douleurs de sa blessure devenues plus insupportables par la fatigue, son cheval étant tombé de lassitude, il se coucha quelques heures au pied d'un arbre, en danger d'être surpris à tout moment par les vainqueurs, qui le cherchaient de tous côtés." p. 218. 1

Mazeppa.

I.

"T WAS after dread Pultowa's day, When fortune left the royal Swede. Around a slaughter'd army lay,

No more to combat and to bleed. The power and glory of the war,

Faithless as their vain votaries, men, Had pass'd to the triumphant Czar,

And Moscow's walls were safe again, Until a day more dark and drear, And a more memorable year, Should give to slaughter and to shame A mightier host and haughtier name; A greater wreck, a deeper fall,

A shock to one—a thunderbolt to all.

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This too sinks after many a league
Of well sustain'd, but vain fatigue;
And in the depth of forests, darkling
The watch-fires in the distance sparkling-
The beacons of surrounding foes-
A king must lay his limbs at length.
Are these the laurels and repose

For which the nations strain their strength?
They laid him by a savage tree,

In outworn nature's agony;

His wounds were stiff-his limbs were stark —
The heavy hour was chill and dark;
The fever in his blood forbade

A transient slumber's fitful aid:
And thus it was; but yet through all,
Kinglike the monarch bore his fall,
And made, in this extreme of ill,
His pangs the vassals of his will:
All silent and subdued were they,
As once the nations round him lay.

III.

A band of chiefs!-alas! how few,
Since but the fleeting of a day

Had thinn'd it; but this wreck was true
And chivalrous: upon the clay
Each sate him down, all sad and mute,
Beside his monarch and his steed,
For danger levels man and brute,

And all are fellows in their need. Among the rest, Mazeppa made His pillow in an old oak's shadeHimself as rough, and scarce less old, The Ukraine's hetman, calm and bold: But first, outspent with this long course, The Cossack prince rubb'd down his horse, And made for him a leafy bed,

And smooth'd his fetlocks and his mane, And slack'd his girth, and stripp'd his rein, And joy'd to see how well he fed; For until now he had the dread His wearied courser might refuse To browse beneath the midnight dews: But he was hardy as his lord, And little cared for bed and board; But spirited and docile too; Whate'er was to be done, would do. Shaggy and swift, and strong of limb, All Tartar-like he carried him; Obey'd his voice, and came to call, And knew him in the midst of all: Though thousands were around,—and Night, Without a star, pursued her flight,That steed from sunset until dawn His chief would follow like a fawn.

IV.

This done, Mazeppa spread his cloak, And laid his lance beneath his oak, Felt if his arms in order good

The long day's march had well withstood If still the powder fill'd the pan,

And flints unloosen'd kept their lock—

than the account of the love the guilty love-the fruits of which had been so miraculous."]

For some authentic and interesting particulars concerning the Hetman Mazeppa, see Barrow's "Memoir of the Life of Peter the Great."]

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