Page images

Orlando answer'd, «Baron just and pious,

If this good wish your heart can really move To the true God, who will not then deny us Eternal honour, you will go above.

And, if you please, as friends we will ally us,
And I will love you with a perfect love.
Your idols are vain liars full of fraud,
The only true God is the Christian's God.


<< The Lord descended to the virgin breast
Of Mary Mother, sinless and divine;
If you acknowledge the Redeemer blest,

Without whom neither sun or star can shine, Abjure bad Macon's false and felon test,

Your renegado God, and worship mine,Baptise yourself with zeal, since you repent. >> To which Morgaute answer'd, « I'm content. >> XLVI.

And then Orlando to embrace him flew,

And made much of his convert, as he cried, << To the abbey I will gladly marshal you :>>

To whom Morgante, « Let us go,» replied; «I to the friars have for peace to sue.»>

Which thing Orlando heard with inward pride, Saying, My brother, so devout and good, Ask the abbot pardon, as I wish you would:


<< Since God has granted your illumination, Accepting you in mercy for his own, Humility should be your first oblation.»>

Morgante said, «For goodness' sake make knownSince that your God is to be mine-your station,

And let your name in verity be shown; Then will I every thing at your command do.» On which the other said, he was Orlando.


« Then,» quoth the giant, « blessed be Jesu,

A thousand times with gratitude and praise! Oft, perfect baron! have I heard of you

Through all the different period of my days: And, as I said, to be your vassal too

I wish, for your great gallantry always.» Thus reasoning, they continued much to say, And onwards to the abbey went their way. XLIX. And by the way, about the giants dead

Orlando with Morgante reason'd: « Be, For their decease, I pray you, comforted,

And, since it is God's pleasure, pardon me; A thousand wrongs unto the monks they bred, And our true scripture soundeth openlyGood is rewarded, and chastised the ill, Which the Lord never faileth to fulfil :


«Because his love of justice unto all

Is such, he wills his judgment should devour All who have sin, however great or small;

But good he well remembers to restore: Nor without justice holy could we call

Him, whom I now require you to adore: All men must make his will their wishes sway, And quickly and spontaneously obey.

[blocks in formation]

They don't disturb themselves for him or her; What pleases God to them must joy inspire;— Such is the observance of the eternal choir.»


«A word unto the wise,» Morgante said,

«Is wont to be enough, and you shall see How much I grieve about my brethren dead;

And if the will of God seem good to me, Just, as you tell me, 't is in heaven obey'd— Ashes to ashes,-merry let us be!

I will cut off the hands from both their trunks, And carry them unto the holy monks.


«So that all persons may be sure and certain That they are dead, and have no further fear To wander solitary this desert in,

And that they may perceive my spirit clear By the Lord's grace, who hath withdrawn the curtain Of darkness, making his bright realm appear.»> He cut his brethren's hands off at these words, And left them to the savage beasts and birds.

Then to the abbey they went on together,

Where waited them the abbot in great doubt.
The monks, who knew not yet the fact, ran thither
To their superior, all in breathless rout,
Saying, with tremor, « Please to tell us whether
You wish to have this person in or out?»
The abbot, looking through upou the giant,
Too greatly fear'd, at first, to be compliant.

LVI. Orlando, seeing him thus agitated,

Said quickly, «Abbot, be thou of good cheer, He Christ believes, as Christian must be rated, And hath renounced his Macon false;» which here Morgante with the hands corroborated,

A proof of both the giants' fate quite clear: Thence, with due thanks, the abbot God adored, Saying, << Thou hast contented me, oh Lord!»>


He gazed; Morgante's height he calculated,

And more than once contemplated his size; And then he said, «Oh giant celebrated,

Know, that no more my wonder will arise, How you could tear and fling the trees you late did, When I behold your form with my own eyes. You now a true and perfect friend will show Yourself to Christ, as once you were a foe.


<< And one of our apostles, Saul once named, Long persecuted sore the faith of Christ, Till one day by the Spirit being inflamed,

'Why dost thou persecute me thus?' said Christ; And then from his offence he was reclaim'd,

And went for ever after preaching Christ;
And of the faith became a trump, whose sounding
O'er the whole earth is echoing and rebounding.


«So, my Morgante, you may do likewise;

He who repents,-thus writes the Evangelist,Occasions more rejoicing in the skies

Than ninety-nine of the celestial list.
You may be sure, should each desire arise

With just zeal for the Lord, that you'll exist
Among the happy saints for evermore;
But you were lost and damn'd to hell before!»>


And thus great honour to Morgante paid
The abbot; many days they did repose.
One day, as with Orlando they both stray'd,

And saunter'd here and there, where'er they chose,
The abbot show'd a chamber where array'd

Much armour was, and hung up certain bows;
And one of these Morgante for a whim
Girt on, though useless, he believed, to him.

[blocks in formation]

Perceiving that the pig was on him close,

He gave him such a punch upon the head
As floor'd him, so that he no more arose-
Smashing the very bone; and he fell dead
Next to the other. Having seen such blows,

The other pigs along the valley fled; Morgante on his neck the bucket took,

[blocks in formation]

The giant said, «Then carry him I will,

Since that to carry me he was so slack-
To render, as the gods do, good for ill;

But lend a hand to place him on my back.»
Orlando answer'd, « If my counsel still

May weigh, Morgante, do not undertake
To lift or carry this dead courser, who,

Full from the spring, which neither swerved nor shook. As you have done to him, will do to you.

[blocks in formation]

The abbot said, « The steeple may do well,

But, for the bells, you 've broken them, I wot.»> Morgante answer'd, « Let them pay in hell

The penalty, who lie dead in yon grot:>> And hoisting up the horse from where he fell,

He said, «Now look if I the gout have got, Orlando, in the legs-or if I have force;»And then he made two gambols with the horse. LXXIV. Morgante was like any mountain framed; So if he did this, 't is no prodigy; But secretly himself Orlando blamed,

Because he was one of his family;

And, fearing that he might be hurt or maim'd,

Once more he bade him lay his burthen by:

« Put down, nor bear him further the desert in.»> Morgante said, « I'll carry him for certain.>>

LXXV. He did; and stow'd him in some nook away, And to the abbey then return'd with speed. Orlando said, « Why longer do we stay?

Morgante, here is nought to do indeed.» The abbot by the hand he took one day,

And said with great respect, he had agreed To leave his Reverence; but for this decision He wish'd to have his pardon and permission.

The honours they continued to receive

Perhaps exceeded what his merits claim'd:
He said, «<I mean, and quickly, to retrieve

The lost days of time past, which may be blamed; Some days ago I should have ask'd your leave, Kind father, but I really was ashamed, And know not how to show my sentiment, So much I see you with our stay content.


« But in my heart I bear through every clime,
The abbot, abbey, and this solitude-
So much I love you in so short a time;

For me, from heaven reward you with all good The God so true, the eternal Lord sublime!

Whose kingdom at the last hath open stood: Meanwhile we stand expectant of your blessing, And recommend us to your prayers with pressing.»>


Now when the abbot Count Orlando heard,
His heart grew soft with inner tenderness,
Such fervour in his bosom bred each word;
And, « Cavalier,» he said, «< if I have less
Courteous and kind to your great worth appear'd,
Than fits me for such gentle blood to express,
I know I've done too little in this case;
But blame our ignorance, and this poor place.

LXXIX. We can indeed but honour you with masses, And sermons, thanksgivings, and pater-nosters, Hot suppers, dinners (fitting other places

In verity much rather than the cloisters); But such a love for you my heart embraces,

For thousand virtues which your bosom fosters, That wheresoe'er you go, I too shall be, And, on the other part, you rest with me.


<< This may involve a seeming contradiction,
But you, I know, are sage, and feel, and taste,
And understand my speech with full conviction.
For your just pious deeds may you be graced
With the Lord's great reward and benediction,

By whom you were directed to this waste:
To his high mercy is our freedom due,
For which we render thanks to him and you.


<< You saved at once our life and soul: such fear
The giants caused us, that the way was lost
By which we could pursue a fit career

In search of Jesus and the saintly host;
And your departure breeds such sorrow here,
That comfortless we all are to our cost;
But months and years you could not stay in sloth,
Nor are you form'd to wear our sober cloth;


<< But to bear arms and wield the lance; indeed,
With these as much is done as with this cowl;
In proof of which the scripture you may read.
This giant up to heaven may bear his soul
By your compassion; now in peace proceed.

Your state and name I seek not to unroll,
But, if I'm ask'd, this answer shall be given,
That here an angel was sent down from heaven,


«If you want armour or aught else, go in,
Look o'er the wardrobe, and take what
And cover with it o'er this giant's skin.»>
Orlando answer'd, « If there should lie loose
Some armour, ere our journey we begin,

Which might be turn'd to my companion's use,
The gift would be acceptable to me.»>
The abbot said to him, « Come in and see.»>

And in a certain closet, where the wall

Was cover'd with old armonr like a crust,
The abbot said to them, « I give you all.»

Morgante rummaged piece-meal from the dust
The whole, which, save one cuirass, was too small,
And that too had the mail inlaid with rust.
They wonder'd how it fitted him exactly,
Which ne'er had suited others so compactly.


T was an immeasurable giant's, who
By the great Milo of Argante fell
Before the abbey many years ago.

The story on the wall was figured well;
In the last moment of the abbey's foe,

you chuse ;

Who long had waged a war implacable: Precisely as the war occurr'd they drew him, And there was Milo as he overthrew him.


Seeing this history, Count Orlando said

In his own heart, «Oh God! who in the sky Know'st all things, how was Milo hither led,

Who caused the giant in this place to die?» And certain letters, weeping, then he read,

So that he could not keep his visage dry,— As I will tell in the ensuing story.

From evil keep you, the high King of Glory!



Qualis in Eurota ripis, aut per juga Cynthi,
Exercet Diana choros.


Such on Eurota's banks, or Cynthia's height,
Diana seems and so she charms the sight,
When in the dance the graceful goddess leads
The quire of nymphs, and overtops their heads.




I AM a country gentleman of a midland county. might have been a parliament-man for a certain borough, having had the offer of as many votes as General T. at the general election in 1812. But I was all for domestic happiness; as, fifteen years ago, on a visit to London, I married a middle-aged maid We lived happily at Hornem Hall till last season, when my wife and I were invited by the Countess of Waltzaway (a distant relation of my spouse) to pass the winter in town. Thinking no harm, and our girls being come to a marriageable (or as they call it, marketable) age, and having besides a chancery suit inveterately entailed upon the family estate, we came up in our old chariot, of which, by the bye, my wife

Note 1. Page 500, stanza 64.

He gave him such a punch upon the head.

«Gli dette in sulla testa un gran punzone.» It is strange that Pulci should have literally anticipated the technical terms of my old friend and master, Jackson, and the art which he has carried to its highest pitch. « A punch on the head,» or « a punch in the head,» « un punzone in sulla testa,» is the exact and frequent phrase of our best pugilists, who little dream that they are talking the purest Tuscan.

of honour.

grew so much ashamed in less than a week, that I was obliged to buy a second-hand barouche, of which I might mount the box, Mrs H. says, if I could drive, but never see the inside-that place being reserved for the honourable Augustus Tiptoe, her partnergeneral and opera-knight. Hearing great praises of Mrs H.'s dancing (she was famous for birth-night mi

nuets in the latter end of the last century), I unbooted, and went to a ball at the Countess's, expecting to see a country dance, or, at most, cotillions, reels, and all the old paces to the newest tunes. But, judge of my surprise, on arriving, to see poor dear Mrs Hornem with her arms half round the loins of a huge hussarlooking gentleman I never set eyes on before; and his, to say truth, rather more than half round her waist, turning round, and rouud, and round, to a d~~d see

saw up and down sort of tune, that reminded me of the « black joke,» only more « affettuoso,» till it made me quite giddy with wondering they were not so. By and by they stopped a bit, and I thought they would sit or fall down:-but, no; with Mrs H.'s hand on his shoulder, «quam familiariter» 2 (as Terence said when I was at school), they walked about a minute, and then at it again, like two cock-chafers spitted on the same bodkin. I asked what all this meant, when, with a loud laugh, a child no older than our Wilhelmina (a name I never heard but in the Vicar of Wakefield, though her mother would call her after the Princess of Swappenbach), said, «Lord, Mr Hornem, can't you see they are valtzing,» or waltzing (I forget which); and


up she got, and her mother and sister, and away ¦ they went, and round-abouted it till supper-time. Now that I know what it is, I like it of all things, and so does Mrs H. (though I have broken my shins, and four times overturned Mrs Hornem's maid in practising the |

preliminary steps in a morning.) Indeed, so much do
I like it, that having a turn for rhyme, tastily displayed |
in some election ballads, and songs in honour of all the
victories (but till lately I have had little practice in that
way) I sat down, and with the aid of W. F. Esq., and
a few hints from Dr B. (whose recitations I attend, and
am monstrous fond of Master B.'s manner of delivering
his father's late successful D. L. address), I composed
the following hymn, wherewithal to make my senti-
ments known to the public, whom, nevertheless, I
heartily despise as well as the critics.

I am, Sir, yours, etc., etc.



MUSE of the many-twinkling feet!3 whose charms
Are now extended up from legs to arms;
TERPSICHORE!-too long misdeem'd a maid—
Reproachful term-bestow'd but to upbraid-
Henceforth in all the bronze of brightness shine,
The least a vestal of the virgin Nine.

Far be from thee and thine the name of prude;
Mock'd, yet triumphant; sneer'd at, unsubdued;
Thy legs must move to conquer as they fly,
If but thy coats are reasonably high;
Thy breast-if bare enough-requires no shield;
Dance forth-sans armour thou shalt take the field,
And own-impregnable to most assaults,
Thy not too lawfully begotten « Waltz.»

Hail nimble nymph! to whom the young hussar,
The whisker'd votary of waltz and war—
His night devotes, despite of spur and boots,

A sight unmatch'd since Orpheus and his brutes:
Hail, spirit-stirring Waltz !-beneath whose banners
A modern hero fought for modish manners;
On Hounslow's heath to rival Wellesley's4 fame,
Cock'd-fired-and miss'd his man—but gain'd his aim.
Hail moving muse! to whom the fair one's breast
Gives all it can, and bids us take the rest.
Oh! for the flow of Busby, or of Fitz,
The latter's loyalty, the former's wits,
To a energise the object I pursue,»
And give both Belial and his dance their due!-

Imperial Waltz! imported from the Rhine (Famed for the growth of pedigrees and wine), Long be thine import from all duty free, And hock itself be less esteem'd than thee; In some few qualities alike-for hock Improves our cellar-thou our living stock. The head to hock belongs-thy subtler art Intoxicates alone the heedless heart: Through the full veins thy gentler poison swims, And wakes to wantonness the willing limbs.

Oh, Germany! how much to thee we owe, As heaven-born Pitt can testify below; Ere cursed confederation made thee France's, And only left us thy d――d debts and dances; Of subsidies and Hanover bereft,

We bless thee still-for George the Third is left!
Of kings the best-and last, not least in worth,
For graciously begetting George the Fourth.
To Germany, and highnesses serene,
Who owe us millions-don't we owe the queen?
To Germany what owe we not besides?
So oft bestowing Brunswickers and brides;
Who paid for vulgar, with her royal blood,
Drawn from the stem of each Teutonic stud:
Who sent us-so be pardon'd all her faults-
A dozen dukes-some kings-a queen-and Waltz.

But peace to her her emperor and diet, Though now transferr'd to Bonaparte's «fiat;» Back to my theme-O Muse of motion! say, How first to Albion found thy Waltz her way?

Borne on the breath of hyperborean gales, From Hamburg's port (while Hamburg yet had mails) Ere yet unlucky fame-compell'd to creep To snowy Gottenburg-was chill'd to sleep: Or, starting from her slumbers, deign'd arise, Heligoland to stock thy mart with lies; While unburnt Moscow5 yet had news to send, Nor owed her fiery exit to a friend,

She came-Waltz came-and with her certain sets
Of true dispatches, and as true gazettes :
Then flamed of Austerlitz the blest dispatch
Which Moniteur nor Morning Post can match;
And-almost crush'd beneath the glorious news-
Ten plays, and forty tales of Kotzebue's;
One envoy's letters, six composer's airs,
And loads from Frankfort and from Leipsic fairs;
Meiner's four volumes upen womankind,
Like Lapland witches to ensure a wind;
Brunck's heaviest tome for ballast, and to back it,
Of Heyné, such as should not sink the packet.
Fraught with this cargo-and her fairest freight,
Delightful Waltz, ou tiptoe for a mate,
The welcome vessel reach'd the genial strand,
And round her flock'd the daughters of the land.
Not decent David, when, before the ark,
His grand pas-seul excited some remark;
Not love-lorn Quixote, when his Sancho thought
The knight's fandango friskier than it ought;
Not soft Herodias, when with winning tread
Her nimble feet danced off another's head;
Not Cleopatra on her galley's deck,
Display'd so much of leg, or more of neck,
Than thou, ambrosial Waltz, when first the moon
Beheld thee twirling to a Saxon tune!

To you-ye husbands of ten years! whose brows
Ache with the annual tributes of a spouse;
Το you of nine years less-who only bear
The budding sprouts of those that shall wear,
With added ornaments around them roll'd,
Of native brass, or law-awarded gold;
To you, ye matrons, ever on the watch

To mar a son's, or make a daughter's match!
To you, ye children of-whom chance accords-
Always the ladies, and sometimes their lords;
To you-ye single gentlemen, who seek
Torments for life, or pleasures for a week;
As Love or Hymen your endeavours guide,
To gain your own, or snatch another's bride;
To one and all the lovely stranger came,
And every ball-room echoes with her name.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »