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And Laura waited long, and wept a little,

And thought of wearing weeds, as well she might;
She almost lost all appetite for victual,

And could not sleep with ease alone at night; She deem'd the window-frames and shutters brittle

Against a daring housebreaker or sprite,
And so she thought it prudent to connect her
With a vice-husband, chiefly to protect her.

She chose, (and what is there they will not chuse,

If only you will but oppose their choice ?)
Till Beppo should return from his long cruise,

And bid once more her faithful heart rejoice,
A man some women like, and yet abuse-

A coxcomb was he by the public voice:
A count of wealth, they said, as well as quality,
And in his pleasures of great liberality.

And then he was a count, and then he knew

Music and dancing, fiddling, French, and Tuscan; The last not easy, be it known to you,

For few Italians speak the right Etruscan.
He was a critic upon operas too,

And knew all niceties of the sock and
And no Venetian audience could endure a
Song, scene, or air, when he cried “ seccatura.”

His “bravo" was decisive, for that sound

Hush'd “ academic" sigh’d in silent awe;
The fiddlers trembled as he look'd around,

For fear of some false note's detected flaw.
The “prima donna's” tuneful heart would bound,

Dreading the deep damnation of his " bah !"
Soprano, basso, even the contra-alto,
Wish'd him five fathom under the Rialto.

skin ;

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.

Then he was faithful too, as well as amorous ;

So that no sort of female could complain,
Although they 're now and then a little clamorous,

He never put the pretty souls in pain :
His heart was one of those which most enamour us,

Wax to receive, and marble to retain.
He was a lover of the good old school,
Who still become more constant as they cool.

No wonder such accomplishments should turn

A female head, however sage and steady:
With scarce a hope that Beppo could return,

In law he was almost as good as dead; he
Nor sent, nor wrote, nor show'd the least concern,

And she had waited several years already;
And really if a man won't let us know
That he 's alive, he 's dead, or should be so.

Besides, within the Alps, to every woman

(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 ?

However, I still think, with all due deference

To the fair single part of the creation,
That married ladies should preserve the preference

In tete-a-tete or general conversation-
And this I say without peculiar reference

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;
So much alarm'd, that she is quite alarming,

All giggle, blush ; half pertness, and half pout;
And glancing at Mamma, for fear there 's harm in

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 ;
Her word the only law which he obeys.

His is no sinecure, as you may guess ;
Coach, servants, gondola, he goes to call,
And carries fan, and tippet, gloves, and shawl.

With all its sinful doings, I must say,

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
Festoon'd, much like the back scene of a play-

Or melodrame, which people flock to see,
When the first act is ended by a dance,
In vineyards copied from the south of France.

I like on autumn evenings to ride out,

Without being forced to bid my groom be sure
My cloak is round his middle strapp'd about,

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.

I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,

Which melts like kisses from a female mouth,
And sounds as if it should be writ on satin,

With syllables which breathe of the sweet south,
And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in,

That not a single accent seems uncouth,
Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural,
Which we 're obliged to hiss and spit, and sputter all.

I like the women too (forgive my folly),

From the rich peasant-cheek of ruddy bronze,
And large black eyes that flash on you a volley

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
Raphael, 4 who died in thy embrace, and yies

With all we know of heaven, or can desire,
In what he hath bequeath'd us ?-in what guise,

Though flashing from the fervour of the lyre,
Would words describe thy past and present glow,
While yet Canova can create below ? *

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 freedom of the press and quill;

I like the Habeas Corpus (when we 've got it);
I like a parliamentary debate,
Particularly when 't is not too late ;

* Note.
In talking thus, the writer, more especially

Of women, would be understood to say,
He speaks as a spectator, not officially,

And always, reader, in a modest way.
Perhaps, too, in no very great degree shall he

Appear to have offended in this lay,
Since, as all know, without the sex, our sonnets
Would seem unfinish'd like their untrimm'd bonnets.


I like the taxes, when they're not too many;

I like a sea-coal fire, when not too dear;
I like a beef-steak, too, as well as any,

Have no objection to a pot of beer ;
I like the weather, when it is not rainy,

That is, I like two months of every year.
And so God save the regent, church and king !
Which means, that I like all and every thing.

Our standing army, and disbanded seamen,

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,
Our cloudy climate, and our chilly women,

All these I can forgive, and those forget,
And greatly venerate our recent glories,
And wish they were not owing to the tories.

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,
Insist on knowing what he means—a hard
And hapless situation for a bard.

Oh! that I had the art of easy writing

What should be easy reading! could I scale
Parnassus, where the Muses sit inditing

Those pretty poems never known to fail,
How quickly would I print (the world delighting)

A Grecian, Syrian, or Assyrian tale ;
And sell you, mix'd with western sentimentalism,
Some samples of the finest orientalism.

But I am but a nameless sort of person

(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.

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