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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/452

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Nor call a ghost, unless some curséd scrape[1]
Must open ten trap-doors for your escape.
Of all the monstrous things I'd fain forbid,
I loathe an Opera worse than Dennis did;[2]
Where good and evil persons, right or wrong,
Rage, love, and aught but moralise—in song.
Hail, last memorial of our foreign friends,[3]
Which Gaul allows, and still Hesperia lends!300
Napoleon's edicts no embargo lay
On whores—spies—singers—wisely shipped away.
Our giant Capital, whose squares are spread[4]
Where rustics earned, and now may beg, their bread,
In all iniquity is grown so nice,
It scorns amusements which are not of price.
Hence the pert shopkeeper, whose throbbing ear
Aches with orchestras which he pays to hear,[5]
Whom shame, not sympathy, forbids to snore,
His anguish doubling by his own "encore;"[6]310

Squeezed in "Fop's Alley,"[7] jostled by the beaux,
  1. Nor call a Ghost, unless some curséd hitch
    Requires a trapdoor Goblin or a Witch.—[MS. L. (a).]

  2. [In 1706 John Dennis, the critic (1657-1734), wrote an Essay on the Operas after the Italian manner, which are about to be established on the English Stage; to show that they were more immoral than the most licentious play.]
  3. This comes from Commerce with our foreign friends
    These are the precious fruits Ausonia sends.—[MS. L. (a).]

  4. Our Giant Capital where streets still spread
    Where once our simpler sins were bred.—[MS. L. (a).]
    Our fields where once the rustic earned his bread.—[MS. L. (b).]

  5. Aches with the Orchestra he pays to hear.—{MS. M.]
  6. Scarce kept awake by roaring out encore.—[MS. L. (a).]
  7. [One of the gangways in the Opera House, where the