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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,
(Or if set out beforehand, these may send
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,
According to the proverb,—although no man,
If protestant, or sickly, or a woman,
Dine, and be d—d! I don't mean to be coarse,
But that's the penalty, to say no worse.
Was most facetious in the days of yore,
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,
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;
And that's the cause I rhyme upon it so,
Love in full life and length, not love ideal,
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,
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
And, oh! the loveliness at times we see
The youth, the bloom, the beauty which agree,
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,
And then, God knows, what mischief may arise,
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."