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And thought of wearing weeds, as well she might;
And could not sleep with ease alone at night; She deem'd the window-frames and shutters brittle
Against a daring housebreaker or sprite,
If only you will but oppose their choice ?)
And bid once more her faithful heart rejoice,
A coxcomb was he by the public voice:
Music and dancing, fiddling, French, and Tuscan; The last not easy, be it known to you,
For few Italians speak the right Etruscan.
And knew all niceties of the sock and
Hush'd “ academic" sigh’d in silent awe;
For fear of some false note's detected flaw.
Dreading the deep damnation of his " bah !"
XXXIII. He patronized the improvvisatori,
Nay, could himself extemporize some stanzas, Wrote rhymes, sang songs, could also tell a story,
Sold pictures, and was skilful in the dance as Italians can be, though in this their glory
Must surely yield the palm to that which France has ; In short, he was a perfect cavaliero, And to his very valet seem'd a hero.
So that no sort of female could complain,
He never put the pretty souls in pain :
Wax to receive, and marble to retain.
A female head, however sage and steady:
In law he was almost as good as dead; he
And she had waited several years already;
(Although, God knows, it is a grievous sin) 'T is, I may say, permitted to have two men :
I can't tell who first brought the custom in, But " cavalier serventes” are quite common,
And no one notices, nor cares a pin; And we may call this (not to say the worst) A second marriage which corrupts the first.
XXXVII. The word was formerly a cicisbeo,"
But that is now grown vulgar and indecent; The Spaniards call the
person a “ cortejo,"3 For the same mode subsists in Spain, though recent : In short it reaches from the Po to Teio,
And may perhaps at last be o'er the sea sent. But Heaven preserve Old England from such courses ! Or what becomes of damage and divorces ?
To the fair single part of the creation,
In tete-a-tete or general conversation-
To England, France, or any other nationBecause they know the world, and are at ease, And being natural, naturally please.
XXXIX. 'T is true, your budding Miss is very charming ,
But shy and awkward at first coming out;
All giggle, blush ; half pertness, and half pout;
she, it, or they may be about, The
nursery still lisps out in all they utterBesides, they always smell of bread and butter.
XL. But “ cavalier servente” is the phrase
Used in politest circles to express This supernumerary slave, who stays
Close to the lady as a part of dress ;
His is no sinecure, as you may guess ;
That Italy's a pleasant place to me, Who love to see the sun shine every day,
And vines (not nail'd to walls) from tree to tree
Or melodrame, which people flock to see,
Without being forced to bid my groom be sure
Because the skies are not the most secure : I know too that, if stopp'd upon my route,
Where the green alleys windingly allure, Reeling with grapes red waggons choke the wayIn England 't would be dung, dust, or a dray.
XLIII. I also like to dine on becaficas,
To see the sun set, sure he 'll rise to-morrow, Not through a misty morning, twinkling weak as
A drunken man's dead eye in maudlin sorrow, But with all heaven t’ himself; that day will break as
Beauteous as cloudless, nor be forced to borrow That sort of farthing-candle light, which glimmers Where reeking London's smoky cauldron simmers.
Which melts like kisses from a female mouth,
With syllables which breathe of the sweet south,
That not a single accent seems uncouth,
From the rich peasant-cheek of ruddy bronze,
a thousand things at once, To the high dama's brow, more melancholy,
But clear, and with a wild and liquid glance, Heart on her lips, and soul within her
eyes, Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies.
XLVI. Eve of the land which still is Paradise !
Italian beauty! didst thou not inspire
With all we know of heaven, or can desire,
Though flashing from the fervour of the lyre,
XLVII. · England! with all thy faults I love thee still,”
I said at Calais, and have not forgot it: I like to speak and lucubrate my fill ;
I like the government (but that is not it);
I like the Habeas Corpus (when we 've got it);
Of women, would be understood to say,
And always, reader, in a modest way.
Appear to have offended in this lay,
(Signed) PRINTER'S DEVIL. XLVIII.
I like the taxes, when they're not too many;
I like a sea-coal fire, when not too dear;
Have no objection to a pot of beer ;
That is, I like two months of every year.
Poor's rate, reform, my own, the nation's debt, Our little riots just to show we are freemen,
Our trifling bankruptcies in the gazette,
All these I can forgive, and those forget,
But to my tale of Laura,—for I find
Digression is a sin, that, by degrees, Becomes exceeding tedious to my mind,
And, therefore, may the reader too displeaseThe gentle reader, who may wax unkind,
And, caring little for the author's ease,
What should be easy reading! could I scale
Those pretty poems never known to fail,
A Grecian, Syrian, or Assyrian tale ;
(A broken dandy lately on my travels), And take for rhyme, to hook my rambling verse on,
The first that Walker's Lexicon unravels, And when I can't find that, I put a worse on,
Not caring as I ought for critics' cavils : I've half a mind to tumble down to prose, But verse is more in fashion-so here goes.