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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/542

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Her new preferments in this novel reign:
Such was the time, nor ever yet was such;180
Hoops are no more, and petticoats not much;
Morals and Minuets, Virtue and her stays,
And tell-tale powder—all have had their days.
The Ball begins—the honours of the house
First duly done by daughter or by spouse,
Some Potentate—or royal or serene—
With Kent's gay grace, or sapient Gloster's mien,[1]
Leads forth the ready dame, whose rising flush
Might once have been mistaken for a blush.
From where the garb just leaves the bosom free,190
That spot where hearts[2] were once supposed to be;
Round all the confines of the yielded waist,

The strangest hand may wander undisplaced:
  1. With K—t's gay grace, or silly-Billy's mien.—[MS. M.]
    With K—t's gay grace, or G—r's booby mien.—[MS. erased.]
  2. "We have changed all that," says the Mock Doctor—'tis all gone—Asmodeus knows where. After all, it is of no great importance how women's hearts are disposed of; they have nature's privilege to distribute them as absurdly as possible. But there are also some men with hearts so thoroughly bad, as to remind us of those phenomena often mentioned in natural history; viz. a mass of solid stone—only to be opened by force—and when divided, you discover a toad in the centre, lively, and with the reputation of being venomous.

    [In the MS. the last sentence stood: "In this country there is one man with a heart so thoroughly bad that it reminds us of those unaccountable petrifactions often mentioned in natural history," etc. The couplet—

    "Such things we know are neither rich nor rare,
    But wonder how the Devil they got there,"

    which was affixed to the note, was subsequently erased.]