Whimsical...tragic...realistic...exalted...humorous...sensuous...melancholy...cynical...satirical...For joy! for shame! No, 'tis not the Vagabond. Not this time. The little stint this morning has to do with a certain Don Juan hailing from Spain and living many a spicy hour in the land of the Turk; the isles of Greece; the steppes of Russia; even unto Puritanical England.
Only yesterday the scandal began; only yesterday Senor Donna Inez sent the rapscallion away. But why be angry with the world? It is bound to turn on its axis; and the Senoritas and the Maters and the Paters and all humanity along with it. One must live, die, make love, pay taxes. Why fret about them if the hour be sweet. It is all amusing; dangerous; melancholy; inevitable. Philosopher's food; the poet's playground; the lover's misery. And so away: the soul of living is its license. Thus mused Donny Juan; and some hundred cantos bear witness to his story and disgressions.
The Vagabond feels the need of disgression himself. Climbing up his ladder tonight the Old Fellow found the rungs covered with ice! Winter is showing his sharpest teeth. The Tower at this moment is no picnic. Another log, ye merry hag. And fetch the Vagabond's cloak! We'll bear this through as in many winters past. Freedom! Freedom! Isn't that what George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron died for? Another log, merry hag! My fingers are a cold!
Byron was no closet theorist. And in Don Juan, as when he fought bodily for the freedom of Greece, he turns persistently for satire on the hypocrisies of the society, politics and literature of his time. Don Juan is not great poetry. "It is...meant to be a little quietly facetious upon everything...a playful satire, with as little poetry as could be helped." But the Vagabond likes it: "...when the old world grows dull, And we are sick of its hack sounds and sights..." 'tis good to turn to tales of adventure and the like. 'Tis good to go for an hour or so and learn more about it:
Today--Professor Rollins: Byron's "Don Juan" Sever 11 at 10.
At 12 o'clock--Professor Langer: "Revolution of 1848 in Hapsburg Dom." Harvard 6.
Dr. Graham, "American Influences on Canadian Conf." Sever 2 at 9 o'clock.
At 10 o'clock--Dr. Miller, "Loyalist Writes of Revolution." Harvard 6.