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mitted, and who consider her as ¬t only to live by herself, as an object of curiosity,
perhaps of envy, although, in fact, deserving of the utmost commiseration.
Recognition of speci¬c echoes and allusions such as this one allows the
reader to resist the absolutism of masculinist ideology. Byron™s use of
˜the law™ in this stanza has all the Lacanian resonance of the name
of the Father, inscribed in the ˜comments various™ of the newspapers.
This symbolic authority, like all the other quoted texts in Don Juan, is
scrutinised and brought into question by its inclusion in quotation marks.
Feminine digression is ¬nally realised as a romantic ruin and the reference
to ˜Fame™ as a ˜Carthage™ suddenly identi¬es the ¬gure of the fallen
woman with Byron himself.
The place which Byron actualises as a ruined name is both a land-
scape and a measure of time. The narrator™s momentary re¬‚ection on
the ˜glorious Gothic scenes™ (. ±) of Juan™s passage along the Rhine de-
scribes the imaginative movement which is a romantic response to ruins:
A grey wall, a green ruin, rusty pike,
Make my soul pass the equinoctial line
Between the present and past worlds, and hover
Upon their airy con¬ne, half-seas-over.
(. ±)

An image of the equinoctial line is used by the narrator to describe the
approaching threshold of middle age and to describe the calm indif-
ference of Adeline™s poise, ˜Which ne™er can pass the equinoctial line /
Of anything which Nature would express™ (©©©. ). All the narrator™s
hints lead us to believe that eventually Adeline will cross the equinox
of ˜Patrician polish™ and that like the journeys of Juan™s other women, it
will be a digression permitting no return: the potential undoing of the
˜splendid mansion™ which is Adeline™s heart is likened to ˜an Earthquake™s
ruin™ (©. µ). As with the satanic abyss located earlier in Gulbeyaz, this
inner geography is more fraught with risk than the external distance
toured by Juan. The distance traversed by women who love ˜without
regard to “Church or State” ™ (©©. ) discovers a kinship between the
travelling, quoting, cavilling narrator who has wandered from the British
world of fashion and the women who wander within it.
±° Byron, Poetics and History
Byron™s depiction of English society as another world is in keeping with
a satirical perspective, but it also works to recreate a perspective of exile:
Then there was God knows what ˜` l™Allemande,™°
a
˜A l™Espagnole,™ ˜timballe,™ and ˜Salpicon™ “
With things I can™t withstand or understand,
Though swallow™d with much zest upon the whole;
(. )
Don Juan sat next an ˜à l™Espagnole™ “
No damsel, but a dish, as hath been said;
But so far like a lady, that ™twas drest
Superbly, and contained a world of zest.
(. ·)

The geography of dinner contributes to the exploration of domestic
space. By producing an atlas out of the banqueting table, Byron builds
up an alternative tour which will depend on the contingency of Adeline
rather than accidents at sea or the fortunes of war. The image of ˜a world
of zest™ in a woman is saved from bathos because it is involved in a shift of
scale. The ¬rst extract presents people swallowing parts of the world ˜with
much zest upon the whole™, but in the second extract, the experience of
˜zest™ has become a world itself. Our experience of global distance is
modi¬ed between the two images and this process is intensi¬ed in the
presentation of Adeline.
Canto ©© contains an extensive discussion on the comparative attrac-
tions of ˜foreign dames™ and ˜fair Britons™. The survey leads the narrator
to conclude that ˜the whole matter rests upon eye-sight™ (©©. ·±), and
he applies three images to English women which align them with other
landscapes of desire in the poem. They are compared to ˜Polar summers,
all sun, and some ice™ (©©. ·), to land which ˜though the soil may give you
time and trouble, / Well cultivated, it will render double™ (©©. ·), and
their one ˜ “grande passion” to a ˜Tornado™ (©©. ··). On the face of it, this
makes Byron™s depiction of English women indistinguishable from, for
example, the ˜genial soil™ or ˜Typhoon™ which characterised Gulbeyaz,
whilst the image of the Polar summers equates women at home with yet
another new found land. The picture of English women as a landscape
to be explored is, however, quali¬ed by meditations on what happens to
them if they do the exploring:
Abroad, though doubtless they do much amiss,
An erring woman ¬nds an opener door.
(©©. ·)
±±
˜Don Juan™, moral England and feminine caprice
Typically in the next stanza, the narrator ˜[leaves] the matter where
[he] ¬nd[s] it™ and refuses to impose a moral absolute. In English public
morality, we are told people ˜care but for discoveries and not deeds™
(©©. °). The narrator hints that the poem will disclose the Fall of the
House of Amundeville, but the allusive texture of the poem alerts us to
how arbitrary the process of discovery is:
Here the twelfth Canto of our introduction
Ends. When the body of the book™s begun,
You™ll ¬nd it of a different construction
From what some people say ™twill be when done:
The plan at present™s simply in concoction.
I can™t oblige you, reader! to read on;
That™s your affair, not mine.
(©©. ·)

Caroline Franklin sees Adeline as an archetypal Northern ˜self-
repressed™ woman, but the element of allusive play in the English cantos
allows the reader to see and hear much more.± From the start, the
marriage between Adeline and Lord Henry is placed on dif¬cult terrain:
She loved her lord, or thought so; but that love
Cost her an effort, which is a sad toil,
The stone of Sysiphus, if once we move
Our feelings ™gainst the nature of the soil.
(©. )

This introduction to Adeline™s emotional life echoes one of the stations of
Childe Harold™s Pilgrimage. In canto © the poet ponders the tomb of Metella:
Was she as those who love their lords, or they
Who love the lords of others?
(CHP ©. ±°±)

His detached conjectures on her ˜lovely form™ change, however, into an
admission that her inner life is a mystery:
Yet could I seat me by this ivied stone
Till I had bodied forth the heated mind
Forms from the ¬‚oating wreck which Ruin leaves behind.
(©. ±°)

The approach to Adeline follows through the desire to ˜[body] forth
the heated mind™, but attributes to a feminine mind what had been the
prerogative of a masculine poet. Following the Sysiphus image, Byron
returns to the territory of Childe Harold™s Pilgrimage to realise the marriage
± Byron, Poetics and History
between Adeline and Lord Henry as the Alpine landscape which in ±±
had re¬‚ected the masculine hero™s unique suffering:
They moved like stars united in their spheres,
Or like the Rhone by Leman™s waters wash™d,
Where mingled and yet separate appears
The river from the lake, all bluely dash™d
Through the serene and placid glassy deep,
Which fain would lull its river-child to sleep.
(©. ·)

Coleridge, Steffan and McGann note the overlap with the third canto
of Childe Harold™s Pilgrimage:
Is it not better, then, to be alone,
And love the Earth only for its earthly sake?
By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone,
Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake,
Which feeds it as a mother who doth make
A fair but froward infant her own care,
Kissing its cries away as these awake; “
Is it not better thus our lives to wear,
Than join the crushing crowd, doom™d to in¬‚ict or bear.
(©©©. ·±)

Although the Don Juan analogy does not allocate parts to Henry and
Adeline, we associate the blue movement of the Rhˆ ne with ˜the dashing
o
and proud air of Adeline™ (. µ), and the ˜imperturbable™ Henry with
the ˜placid™ lake. This hint is con¬rmed in stanza  when we are told
that Adeline™s ˜intense intentions . . . run like growing water / Upon her
mind™ (©. ). Whereas in Childe Harold, Byron used the image of river
meeting lake to turn from ˜the crushing crowd™, in Don Juan the scene is
a threshold before entrance into this social world. Adeline will be likened
to the sparkle of gems and the foam of champagne as Don Juan turns
from the natural images of Childe Harold to a celebration of human society.
The distance travelled by Byron in Childe Harold™s Pilgrimage canto ©©© is
translated ¬rstly to characterise English gothic architecture and then to
realise an English marriage.
For the reader who remembers Byron™s isolation on the shores of Lake
Leman, the recognition of the same scene offers a moment of familiarity,
but also strangeness as we have to transfer the experience of Childe Harold™s
voyaging to the internal journey of a woman. In the earlier poem, the
act of speculation by the lake is resolved in that it supplies a form for
consolation. With Adeline, however, speculation is de¬‚ected by other
±
˜Don Juan™, moral England and feminine caprice
matter. Don Juan wonders ˜how much of Adeline was real™ (©. ), and
the narrative then runs into the discussion of ˜mobility™, and from there
on to ˜The Sinking Fund™s unfathomable sea™ (©. ). As with so many
other allusions in Don Juan, the return of Childe Harold is feminised. When
Adeline is likened to the steep cascade and the blue dash of the Rhˆ ne, o
she assumes what was a masculine role in the earlier poem “ ˜the swift
Rhone cleaves his way between / Heights which appear as lovers who
have parted™ (©©©. ). The lake, in both pieces of writing, is presented as
a mother, and in Childe Harold it is also associated with ˜a sister™s voice™
(©©©. µ). In both cases, the active spirits of Childe Harold™s narrator and of
Adeline are ˜reproved™ in the moment of contact with the ˜placid, glassy
deep™.
Adeline, therefore, is as close to Byron the narrator as her appreciation
of Pope implies. By depicting her in terms of movement and cascade,
Byron anticipates her fall (which does not happen in the poem and may
not happen), suggesting that the social distance she will traverse will be
a version of his own fall, of the romantic questing of Harold, and of
the epic voyaging of Juan. Byron™s presentation of Adeline as a fellow-
traveller emerges in the echoes of Childe Harold, traces of the past which
haunt the Norman abbey in Don Juan before the ghost appears. Byron
lends to the terrain of Adeline™s marriage the indeterminacy which was
presented as a sublime natural experience in Childe Harold™s Pilgrimage.
The reader also experiences juxtapositions of post-war politics with sub-
lime landscape. Just as the narrator of Childe Harold was unable to see the
awe-inspiring whole of the Alps without interpolating particular details
of contemporary political strife,
While Waterloo with Cannae™s carnage vies,
Morat and Marathon twin names shall stand.
(©©©. )
so the Rhˆ ne and Leman, whose relationship forms a simile for the
o
Amundeville marriage, provoke a reference to Waterloo:
Had Bonaparte won at Waterloo,
It had been ¬rmness; now ™tis pertinacity:
Must the event decide between the two?
I leave it to your people of sagacity
To draw the line between the false and true,
If such can e™er be drawn by man™s capacity:
My business is with Lady Adeline,
Who in her way too was a heroine.
(©. °)
± Byron, Poetics and History
Once again, the shadow of what might happen to Adeline prompts
Byron™s questioning of absolute moral judgements. A ¬gurative link be-
tween the decisive actions of a sexually disgraced woman, Byron™s hero
at Waterloo and Byron himself creates a territory in the poem where
people are allowed their own ˜way™, leaving it for the community outside
the poem to ˜draw the line™.
By announcing that Adeline ˜in her way too was a heroine™, Byron
re-de¬nes generic conventions more quietly than in his earlier challenge,
˜I want a hero.™ In Adeline™s sphere, the reworking of prior conven-
tion includes Byron™s revision of his earlier work. Some of the echoes
of Harold™s quest are inevitable overlaps (for example, Juan™s journey
along the Rhine), but other memories are more disturbing. The chang-
ing events of the eve of Waterloo are traced in the countenances of the
ladies, with
cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush™d at the praise of their own loveliness.
(CHP ©©©. )

Byron redeploys the observation in the morning assembly at the Norman
Abbey, where the ladies
“ some rouged, some a little pale “
Met the morn as they might.
(©©©. ±°)

In other words, they are all pale. The second image is starker because
it describes a quotidian occurrence: for the party in the abbey, facing
each day represents the ordeal of battle. The ˜blush™ of Childe Harold is
replaced by the ˜rouge™ of the English cantos. Whereas the fading colour
of the skin in Childe Harold is a response to the sublime, in Don Juan, early
morning pallor reveals encroaching age and, in the case of Juan and
Fitz-Fulke, an account of incidents the night before.
The social circle of the Amundevilles epitomises the ˜contentious
world™ which both Harold and Byron sought ˜to ¬‚y from™. In Don Juan,
however, Byron recasts the isolation of Harold and the narrator so that
it is experienced by a woman from the very middle of the ˜coil™ and
˜wretched interchange™. Adeline™s soul-betraying look of ˜weariness or
scorn™ is given in a parenthesis and it allows us to meet her as a feminine
Childe Harold. The connection between Byron™s ¬rst hero and one of his
last heroines is their capacity for swift digressive action. In Childe Harold,
±µ
˜Don Juan™, moral England and feminine caprice
the narrator recoils from human society because:
There, in a moment, we may plunge our years
In fatal penitence, and in the blight
Of our own soul, turn all our blood to tears,
And colour things to come with hues of Night:
The race of life becomes a hopeless ¬‚ight
To those that walk in darkness: on the sea,
The boldest steer but where their ports invite,
But there are wanderers o™er Eternity
Whose bark drives on, and anchored ne™er shall be.
(CHP ©©©. ·°)
The main intertext of this stanza is Byron™s biography “ there was nothing
conditional about his own ˜plunge™. Re¬‚ecting this discovery, the fatal
˜moment™ or ˜turn™ in the English cantos is provided by feminine sexual
deviation:
They warm into a scrape, but keep of course,
As a reserve, a plunge into remorse.
(©©. ·)
This ˜plunge™ is the equivalent of a parenthetical afterthought and is
designed to counter digressive behaviour, but the very suddenness of the

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