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It had been an affront on this occasion

To talk of a subscription or petition;
But sixteen dowagers, ten unwed she sages,
Whose tale belongs to «< Hallam's Middle Ages, »

XXXI.

And one or two sad, separate wives, without

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A fruit to bloom upon their withering boughBegged to bring up the little girl, and « out, »— For that's the phrase that settles all things now, Meaning a virgin's first blush at a rout,

And all her points as thorough bred to show:
And I assure you, that like virgin honey
Tastes their first season (mostly if they have money.)
XXXII.

How all the needy honourable misters,
Each out-at-elbow peer, or desperate dandy,
The watchful mothers and the careful sisters,
(Who, by the by, when clever, are more handy
At making matches, where « 'tis gold that glisters,
Than their he relatives) like flies o'er candy
Buzz round << the Fortune » with their busy battery,
To turn her head with waltzing and with flattery!

XXXIII.

Each aunt, each cousin hath her speculation; Nay, married dames will now and then discover Such pure disinterestedness of passion,

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I've known them court an heiress for their lover. << Tantæne! >> Such the virtues of high station,

Even in the hopeful Isle, whose outlet's « Dover! » While the poor rich wretch, object of these cares, Has cause to wish her sire had had male heirs.

XXXIV.

Some are soon bagged, but some reject three dozen. 'Tis fine to see them scattering refusals And wild dismay o'er every angry cousin (Friends of the party) who begin accusals. Such as-<< Unless Miss (Blank) meant to have chosen

"

« Poor Frederick, why did she accord persuals « To his billets? Why waltz with him? Why, I pray, « Look yes last night, and yet say no to-day?

XXXV.

«Why?—Why?—Besides, Fred, really was attached; « 'Twas not her fortune-he has enough without; << The time will come she'll wish that she had snatched « So good an opportunity, no doubt :

. But the old marchioness some plan had hatched, « As I'll tell Aurea at to-morrow's rout:

« And after all poor Frederick may do betterPray, did you see her answer to his letter? » XXXVI.

Smart uniforms and sparkling coronets

Are spurned in turn, until her turn arrives, After male loss of time, and hearts, and bets Upon the sweep-stakes for substantial wives ¡ And when at last the pretty creature gets

Some gentleman who fights, or writes, or drives, It soothes the awkward squad of the rejected To find how very badly she selected.

XXXVII.

For sometimes they accept some long pursuer,
Worn out with importunity; or fall

(But here perhaps instances are fewer)
To the lot him who scarce pursued at all.

A hazy widower turned of forty's sure

(If 'tis not vain examples to recall )

*

To draw a high prize : now, hove'er he got her, I See nought more strange in this than t'other lottery.

C

XXXVIII.

I, for my part-( one « modern instance » more,
<«< True, 'tis a pity-pity 'tis, 'tis true »)
Was chosen from out an amatory score,
Albeit my years were less discreet than few;
But though I also had reformed before

Those became one who soon were to be two,
I'll not gainsay the generous public's voice.
That the young lady made a monstrous choice.

XXXIX.

Oh, pardon me digression-or at least
Peruse! 'Tis always with a moral end.
That I dissert, like Grace before a feast:
For like an aged aunt, or tiresome friend,
A rigid guardian, or a zealous priest,

My Muse by exhortation means to mend
All people, at all times, and in most places,
Which, puts my Pegasus to these grave paces.

: XL. #

But now I'm going to be immoral; now
I mean to show things really as they are,
Not as they ought to be: for I avow,

That till we see what's what in fact, we're far

* This line may puzzle the commentators more than the present generation.

From much improvement with that virtuous plough
Which skims the surface, leaving scarce a scar
Upon the black loam long manured by Vice,
Only to keep its corn at the old price.

XLI.

But first of little Leila we'll dispose;

"

T

For like a day-dawn she was young and pure, Or like the old comparison of snows,

Which are more pure than pleasant to be sure, Like many people every body knows,

Don Juan was delighted to securé

A goodly guardian for his infant charge,
Who might not profit much by being at large.

XLII.

Besides, he had found out that he was no tutor: (I wish that others would find out the same) And rather wished in such things to stand neuter,

For silly wards will bring their guardians blame : So when he saw each ancient dame a suitor

To make his little wild Asiatic tame

Consulting « the Society for Vice

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Suppression,» Lady Pinchbeck was his choice.
: XLIII.

Olden she was-but had been very young;
Virtuous she was-and had been, I believe
Although the world has such an evil tongue
That-but my chaster ear will not receive
An echo of a syllable that's wrong: bran
In fact there's nothing makes me so much grieve
As that abominable tittle tattle,

Which is the cud eschewed by human cattle.

XLIV.

Moreover I've remarked (and I was once
A slight observer in a modest way)
And so may every one except a dunce,

- That ladies in their youth a little gay,
Besides their knowledge of the world, and sense
Of the sad consequence of going astray,
Are wiser in their warnings 'gainst the woe
Which the mere passionless can never know.

XLV.

While the harsh Prude indemnifies her virtue

By railing at the unknown and envied passion, Seeking far less to save you than to hurt you,

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Or what's still worse, to put you out of fashion,The kinder veteran with calm words will court you,

Entreating you to pause before you dash on; Expounding and illustrating the riddle

Of Epic Love's beginning, end, and middle.

XLVI.

Now whether it be thus, or that they are stricter,
As better knowing why they should be so,
I think you'll find from many a family picture,
That daughters of such mothers as may know
The world by experience rather than by lecture,
Turn out much better for the Smithfield Show
Of vestals brought into the marriage mart,
Than those bred up by prudes without a heart.
XLVII.

I said that Lady Pinchbeck had been talked about—
And who has not, if female, young and pretty?
But now no more the ghost of Scandal stalked about;
She merely was deemed amiable and witty,

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