Some Passages from the Poem
From Canto I
Young Juan now was sixteen years of age,
Tall, handsome, slender, but well knit: he seem'd
Active, though not so sprightly, as a page;
And everybody but his mother deem'd
Him almost man; but she flew in a rage
And bit her lips (for else she might have scream'd)
If any said so, for to be precocious
Was in her eyes a thing the most atrocious.
intelligent (or early-developed)
Amongst her numerous acquaintance, all
Selected for discretion and devotion,
There was the Donna Julia, whom to call
Pretty were but to give a feeble notion
Of many charms in her as natural
As sweetness to the flower, or salt to ocean,
Her zone to Venus, or his bow to Cupid
(But this last simile is trite and stupid).[...]
(ability to make wise decisions)
Wedded she was some years, and to a man
Of fifty, and such husbands are in plenty;
And yet, I think, instead of such a ONE
'T were better to have TWO of five-and-twenty,
Especially in countries near the sun:
And now I think on 't, 'mi vien in mente,'
Ladies even of the most uneasy virtue
Prefer a spouse whose age is short of thirty.[...]
(husband or wife)
'T was midnight-Donna Julia was in bed,
Sleeping, most probably,-when at her door
Arose a clatter might awake the dead,
If they had never been awoke before,
And that they have been so we all have read,
And are to be so, at the least, once more.--
The door was fasten'd, but with voice and fist
First knocks were heard, then 'Madam-Madam-hist!
'For God's sake, Madam-Madam-here 's my master,
With more than half the city at his back-
Was ever heard of such a curst disaster!
'T is not my fault-I kept good watch-Alack!
Do pray undo the bolt a little faster-
They 're on the stair just now, and in a crack
Will all be here; perhaps he yet may fly-
Surely the window 's not so very high!'[...]
benefit (of something or someone)
(what a shame!)
Now Julia found at length a voice, and cried,
'In heaven's name, Don Alfonso, what d' ye mean?
Has madness seized you? would that I had died
Ere such a monster's victim I had been!
What may this midnight violence betide,
A sudden fit of drunkenness or spleen?
Dare you suspect me, whom the thought would kill?
Search, then, the room!'-Alfonso said, 'I will.'
grabbed and took control of
(organ that stores blood)
He search'd, they search'd, and rummaged everywhere,
Closet and clothes' press, chest and window-seat,
And found much linen, lace, and several pair
Of stockings, slippers, brushes, combs, complete,
With other articles of ladies fair,
To keep them beautiful, or leave them neat:
Arras they prick'd and curtains with their swords,
And wounded several shutters, and some boards.
(more than two, but not a lot of)
hanging wall curtain
Under the bed they search'd, and there they found-
No matter what-it was not that they sought;
They open'd windows, gazing if the ground
Had signs or footmarks, but the earth said nought;
And then they stared each other's faces round:
'T is odd, not one of all these seekers thought,
And seems to me almost a sort of blunder,
Of looking in the bed as well as under.[...]
searched for/tried to get
searchers (for something)
Alfonso closed his speech, and begg'd her pardon,
Which Julia half withheld, and then half granted,
And laid conditions he thought very hard on,
Denying several little things he wanted:
He stood like Adam lingering near his garden,
With useless penitence perplex'd and haunted,
Beseeching she no further would refuse,
When, lo! he stumbled o'er a pair of shoes.
(more than two, but not a lot of)
(staying around; not going away)
sorrow for sin
(tripped while walking/made a mistake)
A pair of shoes!-what then? not much, if they
Are such as fit with ladies' feet, but these
(No one can tell how much I grieve to say)
Were masculine; to see them, and to seize,
Was but a moment's act.-Ah! well-a-day!
My teeth begin to chatter, my veins freeze-
Alfonso first examined well their fashion,
And then flew out into another passion.
suffer (because of death)
grab and take control of
He left the room for his relinquish'd sword,
And Julia instant to the closet flew.
'Fly, Juan, fly! for heaven's sake-not a word-
The door is open-you may yet slip through
The passage you so often have explored-
Here is the garden-key-Fly-fly-Adieu!
Haste-haste! I hear Alfonso's hurrying feet-
Day has not broke-there 's no one in the street:
for heaven's sake
so heaven remains a good place
None can say that this was not good advice,
The only mischief was, it came too late;
Of all experience 't is the usual price,
A sort of income-tax laid on by fate:
Juan had reach'd the room-door in a. trice,
And might have done so by the garden-gate,
But met Alfonso in his dressing-gown,
Who threaten'd death-so Juan knock'd him down.[...]
(opinions about what could or should be done about a situation)
(the) unavoidable, already-decided future
LnT You can find Byron's poem at
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