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XVI.

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.

XVII.

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

Husbạnd whom mere suspicion could inflame To suffocate a wise no more than twenty, Because she had a cavalier servente.“

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: 'Tis a long cover'd boat that's common here, Carved at the prow, built lightly, but com.

pactly, Row'd by two rowers, each callid „Gondolier,

It glides along the water looking blackly, Just like a collin clapt in a canoe, Where none can make out what you say or do.

XX.

And up 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 woeful things belong, For sometimes they contain a deal of fun, Like mourning coaches when the funeral's done.

XXI,

But to my story. - 'Twas some years ago, . It may 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.

B

XXII.

She was not old, nor young, nor at the years

Which certain people call a certain age,
Which yet the most uncertain age appears,

Because I never heard, nor could engage
A person yet by prayers, or bribes, or tears,

To name, define by speech, or write on page, The period meant precisely by that word, Which surely is exceedingly absurd.

XXIII.

Laura was blooming still, had made the best

Of time, and time return'd the compliment, And treated her genteelly, so that, drest,

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.

XXIV.

She was a married

woman; 'tis convenient, Because in Christian countries 'tis a rule To view their little slips with eyes more lenient;

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: He was a merchant traditg to Aleppo, His name Giuseppe, called more briefly; Beppo.

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