Edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge.
ignores resistance and presumes submission to passion; it is dangerous because, as Byron admitted, it is "now and then voluptuous;" and it is dangerous, in a lesser degree, because, here and there, the purport of the quips and allusions is gross and offensive. No one can take up the book without being struck and arrested by these violations of modesty and decorum; but no one can master its contents and become possessed of it as a whole without perceiving that the mirror is held up to nature, that it reflects spots and blemishes which, on a survey of the vast and various orb, dwindle into _natural_ and so comparative insignificance. Byron was under no delusion as to the grossness of _Don Juan_. His plea or pretence, that he was sheltered by the superior grossness of Ariosto and La Fontaine, of Prior and of Fielding, is _nihil ad rem_, if it is not insincere. When Murray (May 3, 1819) charges him with "approximations to indelicacy," he laughs himself away at the euphemism, but when Hobhouse and "the Zoili of Al