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And therefore humbly I would recommend "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 send
By any means least liable to loss),

Ketchup, Soy, Chili-vinegar, and Harvey,

Or, by the Lord! a Lent will well nigh starve ye;


That is to say, if your religion's Roman,
And you at Rome would do as Romans do,

According to the proverb,—although no man,
If foreign, is oblig'd to fast; and you,

If protestant, or sickly, or a woman,
Would rather dine in sin on a ragout—

Dine, and be d—d! I don't mean to be coarse,

But that's the penalty, to say no worse.

Of all the places where the Carnival

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, And at the moment when I fix my story, That sea-born city was in all her glory.


They've pretty faces yet, those same Venetians,

Black eyes, arch'd brows, and sweet expressions stifl,

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,


Whose tints are truth and beauty at their best;

And when you to Manfrini's palace go, That picture (howsoever fine the rest)

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,
Tis but a portrait of his son, and wife,
And self; but such a woman! love in life!


Love in full life and length, not love ideal,
No, nor ideal beauty, that fine name,

But something better still, so very real,

That the sweet model must have been the same;

A thing that you would purchase, beg, or steal,
Wer't not impossible, besides a shame:

The face recals some face, as 'twere with pain,

You once have seen, but ne'er will see again;


One of those forms which flit by us, when we
Are young, and fix our eyes on every face;

And, oh! the loveliness at times we see
In momentary gliding, the soft grace,

The youth, the bloom, the beauty which agree,
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.


I said that like a picture by Giorgione

Venetian women were, and so they are, Particularly seen from a balcony,

(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!

1 "Quae septem dici sex tamen esse solent." Ovid.


For glances beget ogles, ogles sighs,

Sighs wishes, wishes words, and words a letter,

Which flies on wings of light-heeled 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.


Shakespeare 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 servente."

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