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You 'd better walk about begirt with briars,
Instead of coat and small-clothes, than put on
Although you swore it only was in fun :
son, Nor say one mass to cool the cauldron's bubble That boil'd your bones, unless you paid them double.
You like, by way of doublet, cape, or cloak,
Would rig you out in seriousness or joke ;
With prettier names in softer accents spoke,
Interpreted, implies, “ farewell to flesh :"
Through Lent they live on fish both salt and fresh. But why they usher Lent with so much glee in,
Is more than I can tell, although I guess
And solid meats, and highly-spiced ragouts,
Because they have no sauces to their stews, A thing which causes many 'poohs” and “pishes,"
And several oaths (which would not suit the Muse). From travellers accustom'd from a boy To eat their salmon, at the least, with
And therefore humbly I would recommend
6. The curious in fish-sauce," before they cross The sea, to bid their cook, or wife, or friend,
Walk or ride to the Strand, and buy in gross (Or if set out beforehand, these may
at Rome would do as Romans do, According to the proverb, although no man,
If foreign, is obliged to fast; and you,
Would rather dine in sin on a ragout-
Was most facetious in the days of yore, For dance and song, and serenade, and ball,
And masque and mime, and mystery, and more Than I have time to tell now, or at all,
Venice the bell from every city bore;
Black eyes, arch'd brows, and sweet expressions still, Such as of old were copied from the Grecians,
In ancient arts by moderns mimick'd ill ; And like so many Venuses of Titian's
(The best 's at Florence-see it, if ye will.) They look when leaning over the balcony, Or stepp'd from out a picture by Giorgione,
And when you to Manfrini's palace go,
Is loveliest to my mind of all the show : It may perhaps be also to your zest,
And that's the cause I rhyme upon it so ’T is but a portrait of his son, and wife, And self: but such a woman! love in life!
No, nor ideal beauty, that fine name.
That the sweet model must have been the same :
Were 't not impossible, besides a shame :
One of those forms which flit by us,
Are young, and fix our eyes on every face ;
In many a nameless being we retrace, Whose course and home we knew not, nor shall know, Like the lost Pleiad, seen no more below.
Venetian women were, and so they are,
(For beauty 's sometimes best set off afar); And there, just like a heroine of Goldoni, They peep
from out the blind, or o'er the bar ; And, truth to say, they ’re mostly very pretty, And rather like to show it, more 's the pity!
XVI. For glances beget ogles, ogles sighs,
Sighs wishes, wishes words, and words a letter, Which flies on wings of light-heeld Mercuries,
Who do such things because they know no better ; And then, God knows what mischief may arise,
When love links two young people in one fetter : Vile assignations, and adulterous beds, Elopements, broken vows, and hearts, and heads.
XVII. Shakspeare described the sex in Desdemona
As very fair, but yet suspect in fame, And to this day, from Venice to Verona,
Such matters may be probably the same, Except that since those times was never known a
Husband whom mere suspicion could inflame To suffocate a wife no more than twenty, Because she had a cavalier seryente."
XVIII. Their jealousy (if they are ever jealous)
Is of a fair complexion altogether, Not like that sooty devil of Othello's,
Which smothers women in a bed of feather : But worthier of these much more jolly fellows,
When weary of the matrimonial tether, His head for such a wife no mortal bothers, But takes at once another, or another's.
XIX. Didst ever see a gondola? For fear
You should not, I 'll describe it you exactly ; 'T is a long covered boat that 's common here,
Carved at the prow, built lightly, but compactly; Row'd by two rowers, each call’d“ gondolier,"
It glides along the water looking blackly,
and down the long canals they go, And under the Rialto shoot along, By night and day, all paces, swift or slow ;
And round the theatres, a sable throng, They wait in their dusk livery of woe;
But not to them do woful things belong,
be thirty, forty, more or less, The Carnival was at its height, and so
Were all kinds of buffoonery and dress ; A certain lady went to see the show,
Her real name I know not, nor can guess, And so we 'll call her Laura, if
you please, Because it slips into my verse with ease.
Which certain people call a certain age,
Because I never heard, nor could engage A person yet, by prayers, or bribes, or tears,
define by speech, or write on page, The period meant precisely by that word, Which surely is exceedingly absurd.
Of time, and time return'd the compliment,
She look'd extremely well where'er she went : A pretty woman is a welcome guest,
And Laura's brow a frown had rarely bent ; Indeed she shone all smiles, and seem'd to flatter Mankind with her black eyes for looking at her.
Because in Christian countries 't is a rule
Whereas if single ladies play the fool (Unless, within the period intervenient,
A well-timed wedding makes the scandal cool), I don't know how they ever can get over it, Except they manage never to discover it,
XXV. Her husband sail'd upon the Adriatic,
And made some voyages, too, in other seas ; And when he lay in quarantine for pratique
(A forty days' precaution 'gainst disease), His wife would mount, at times, her highest attic,
For thence she could discern the ship with ease :
Sunburnt with travel, yet a portly figure ;
He was a person both of sense and vigourA better seaman never yet did man yard :
And she, although her manners show'd no rigour,
Soine people thought the ship was lost, and some That he had somehow blunder'd into debt,
And did not like the thoughts of steering home ; And there were several offer'd any bet,
Or that he would, or that he would not come, For most men (till by losing render'd sager) Will back their own opinions with a wager.
XXVIII. 'T is said that their last parting was pathetic,
As partings often are, or ought to be, And their presentiment was quite prophetic
That they should never more each other see (A sort of morbid feeling, half poetic,
Which I have known occur in two or three), When kneeling on the shore upon her sad knee, He left this Adriatic Ariadne.