Don Juan 05-046
Canto the Fifth

It was indeed a wide extensive building
     Which open'd on their view, and o'er the front
There seem'd to be besprent a deal of gilding
     And various hues, as is the Turkish wont, --
A gaudy taste; for they are little skill'd in
     The arts of which these lands were once the font:
Each villa on the Bosphorus looks a screen
New painted, or a pretty opera-scene.
Don Juan 05-047

And nearer as they came, a genial savour
     Of certain stews, and roast-meats, and pilaus,
Things which in hungry mortals' eyes find favour,
     Made Juan in his harsh intentions pause,
And put himself upon his good behaviour:
     His friend, too, adding a new saving clause,
Said, "In Heaven's name let's get some supper now,
And then I'm with you, if you're for a row."
Don Juan 05-048

Some talk of an appeal unto some passion,
     Some to men's feelings, others to their reason;
The last of these was never much the fashion,
     For reason thinks all reasoning out of season.
Some speakers whine, and others lay the lash on,
     But more or less continue still to tease on,
With arguments according to their "forte;"
But no one dreams of ever being short. --
Don Juan 05-049

But I digress: of all appeals, -- although
     I grant the power of pathos, and of gold,
Of beauty, flattery, threats, a shilling, -- no
     Method's more sure at moments to take hold
Of the best feelings of mankind, which grow
     More tender, as we every day behold,
Than that all-softening, overpowering knell,
The tocsin of the soul -- the dinner-bell.
Don Juan 05-050

Turkey contains no bells, and yet men dine;
     And Juan and his friend, albeit they heard
No Christian knoll to table, saw no line
     Of lackeys usher to the feast prepared,
Yet smelt roast-meat, beheld a huge fire shine,
     And cooks in motion with their clean arms bared,
And gazed around them to the left and right
With the prophetic eye of appetite.

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)