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FIAM. Shall I read to you, mother?
No, my child. 109
Fiam. Or sing? or dance? or bring your favourite picture
Of Dido playing with the cheeks of Cupid,
As if she said unwittingly, “ You rogue!”
Vit. Oh no, no, no! talk to me of things common;
Of dress, for instance, flounces, coifs, and fashions,
And what new creature we're to look like next,
When some great lady quarrels with her shoulder-blade,
Or bas a private pique against her waist.
FIAM. Oh, if no waist, like a tied sack of charcoal,
Or like the letter B run up to seed;
And if a waist, why then we must be wasps
Cut right in two, or hour-glasses that shew
The time by letting their wise heads run empty.
Or if we must be neither, we'll preside
O’er hoops, like busts upon a cupola;
Or turn to real walking bells, with feet
For double clappers; and let mother church
Look to high winds, or we'll have belfry and all,
For bonnet, with the penthouse, and stick in it
The whole Flower-Market and the shops of plumes,
And all the Sunday ribbons in the parish.
Vit. Why you dash on this morning like Sebastian,
Along your gay reflections in wit's gondola.
FIAM. And you must think of gondolas again,
And sigh, dear mother. Well, if you will think of 'em,
Pray tell me now what think you of the Englishman;
Taking him in the common light, you know,—
His look, his figure; for to say the truth,
Only don't tell, I've hardly seen him yet;
Though I've the recollection at my heart
Vit. What, my love?
His terrible pinching fingers.
Vit. Why, you sweet trifler! this is the way, is it,
You treat a-gentleman that saves your life.
FIAM. A gentleman that saves one's life! Well, really now,
That is a proper philosophic way
Of putting it, before we've got the right
Of speaking highlier of him for himself.
You mean, I know, you dare not trust yourself
Just now, upon that watery subject, mother;-
But this, believe me, is the very way
To speak of such good chances giv’n the gentlemen.
From what I've read, there are some ladies who
Think one such plunge renders a man invulnerable
To all objection. By their rule, one ought
To save one's life, only to lose one's freedom;
Begging the gentleman, that since a shark
Was not to have you, or since he had kindly
Taken the trouble to pick you up, he'd have you.
'Tis lucky, mother, the same principle and
Does not extend to limbs, or 'twould be requisite
To give one's hand for saving it a scratch;
Or when a dog was hindered of his bite,
Present one's foot with an elaborate stretch,
Like a French dancer, and say,
« Gracious Sir,
You saved this foot of mine; will’t please ye accept it?"
Vit. Oh rattler, rattler! How am I to know
That all this smiling surface of your talk
Has not grave ground beneath?
Nay, mother, now
You make me blush to think that I could give
More than my thanks at first to one of whom
I know so little; grateful thanks, 'tis true,
Most grateful,-but-I'm sure you think a man
Should shew that he has picked up a few qualities
As well as ladies, ere he picks our hearts.
My brother, to be sure, is fond of truth,
Extremely fond, but then as uncle said
Enter Candian, followed by MOLINO, CONTARINI, and MALIPjERO.
CAND. And what did uncle say? Ladies, allow me
The Signor Malipiero, a sad gentleman,
Who thinks it necessary to apologize
For not being a king-fisher.-We found him
Eyeing his would-be element at the door.
MAL. Nay, Sir, I yield to none in hearty chearfulness;
And as I hope and think the best of others,
'Tis thought, I trust, of me: and yet, dear ladies,
A man may reasonably regret, that chance
Should on the turn, as 'twere, of one swift instant,
Whisk him from shewing all his zeal for ye.
Vit. My daughter loves a good intention, Sir,
Too well to make it answerable to fortune.
Mal. (to Fiam.) Then, Madam, I may hope that this omission
Will not be held a punishable sin,
When heavenly eyes look down upon one's homage.
Fiam. If you mean my eyes, Signor Malipiero,
Which heaven forbid should look down on tall gentlemen,
I think no evil of our other friends here,
And why should I of you?
Settle these grave state questions by and bye,
For here's Sebastian and the Englishman:
I saw them from the window, coming in.
Siguor Sebastian, and his noble friend, Sir.
Enter SEBASTIAN and WALTER HERBERT.
Seb. Dear mother, uncle, sister sweet, and gentlemen,
I need not introduce my noble friend
And your's—the Signor Walter Herbert, Englishman.
Dear Walter, this is the affectionate circle
I've told you of so often. Heaven be praised
You're in the midst of it, and have been so.
Cand. Our silence, Sir, must shew you what we feel.
This ready swiftness to oblige your friends,
Is, I perceive, a habit with you.
Winning their ready kindness be obliging them.
"Tis counted so by some.
Sir, the best thanks
A mother can pay to you, who has been
Made breathless with two rushing visitations,
Terror and joy, is to shew what you saved for her:
My daughter, Sir,
A pearl indeed, whose sight
Would pay a fathomless plunge.
I cannot, Sir,
Pay compliments; I fear, I had expected
I thank you, Sir, from bottom of my heart.
Herb. I am paid, Madam, beyond compliment, —
Almost beyond surprise, to think that two
Such spirits from the earthly heaven of womanhood
Should stand before me-pardon me this burst, --
And fancy that they owed me any thing.
Vit. You can pay compliments at any rate, Sir,
Whether we must or not.
You make me vain, Madam;
And vanity assumes the right to praise,
Where silence is best worship.
Nay, Sir, I neither
Deny your right, nor, to say truth, our pleasure.
We feel but doubly flattered to conjecture
That you are driven by your sympathy
Out of your plainer path.
You judge me, Madam,
Truly and nobly.
Cand. You're no friend then, Sir,
To compliment in general ?
Oh yes, Sir,
Where 'tis th' escape of pleased sincerity,
And not so needlessly alone, as shews it
Vanity and a superfluous common-place.
Vit. And what, Sir, as to taking compliments ?
HERB. It seems to me, Madam, as I presume
It does to you, by your reception of them,
That not to take a compliment in general,
With leaning rather to the praiser's feelings
Than his true sight, or our own better merits,
Argues self-love rather than modesty.
CAND. You see, Sir, we have scarcely yet recovered
Our drowning, and our gratitude. Come, this weight
Of mutual homage bows us into ceremony
In our own spite. It must give way to something
Quite as respectful, and more easy and pleasant:
The right proposition.
HERB. I feel the hand of home, Sir, in this grasp.
SEB. Yes, Walter, we but fancy we're new friends here;
We are as old ones as the tastes we love.
HERB. And friends have other privileges in England.
CAND. Ay, and in most places. "Come, girls, your cheeks.
(HERBERT kisses them.)
Fiam. (aside). I told you how 'twould be, Mother.
My cheek's gone off already.
And your heart;
(aside). She blushes, and I fear I do so too:-
I have most cause.
SEB. (to FIAM.) Well, Sister gravity, and have you no praises
As well as cheeks?
Yes, just as many as friends
Would wish to have just now;-at least I think so.
HERB. Your brother could not be more gladly answered,
Nor I more honoured.
Were to outdo the deeds of Hercules,
And make old Atlas turn to kiss his burden,
Like a borne lass. Your generous spirit, Sir,
Sees, like an eye, more infinite things outside it,
Than ever it would boast to hold itself.»
You measure my desert by your great joy.
Mal. Is not this contradicting your own sentiment,
A little so at least, -denying us
The pride of giving you what you give others?
Herb. Well, Sir, to shew you can claim my due,
And have my benefits returned, I'll ask
This lady to speak for me, and to own
That what would have been done by any gentleman
Should not be charged so brightly on my scutcheon.
FIAM. Nay, Sir, I'll own still more, and plainly tell you,
And that without the fear of being tossed back
Into the sea for my ingratitude,
That I insinuated as much just now
To Signor Malipiero here hiinself.
Did I not, gentlemen? And did I rate
You, Signor Contarini, or you, Sir,
For not being quicker than our other friend,
And catching me no agues !—Pardon me,
But I should have asked, Sir, whether you suffered
The least no clinging chilliness, I trust,
Not the least, Madam; no more
Than if I had put my hand into a brook,
To bring away a lily. I had heard
Of your own welfare: and if I had not,
I see.--You, Madam, (to Vit.) scarcely seem so well,
As when I first came in.
Oh quite, Sir, thank you,
I feel the ebbing of these waters yet
At intervals. Quite well, child,-quite indeed.
Uncle, we're getting at our compliments
CAND. Indeed! I fear I've scarcely given our friend
A proper English welcome. Well; I hope
You'll spend the day with us, and teach us how
To interchange each other's cordial customs.
My nephew tells me you must leave us now
To visit the ambassador. Be it so;
But come back quickly—will you? that's well looked :
For you must know, you have a face, young gentleman,
As full of dialogue as my niece's here.
Seb. In the evening we shall have a masquerade,
Which was already intended, and will serve
To let the whole tide of congratulation
Come in at once. A dance, a little music,
Hearts at their merriest, faces at their best,
And after all, a look into the still?
And smiling ferment of our starry hour,
Whose ear is kissed with waters gently spooned,
Whose nightingale is Love, shall give you a taste
Of Venice to the core.
Orders received by the Newsmen, by the Booksellers, and by the Publisher,
JOSEPH APPLEYARD, No. 19, Čatherine-street, Strand.-Price 2d. Printed by C. H. Reynell, No. 45, Broad-street, Golden-square, London.
There he arriving round about doth flie,
And takes survey with busie, curious eye:
Now this, now that, he tasteth tenderly.
No. XXII. --WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8th, 1820.
We know not what will be thought of our taste in so important a matter, but we must confess we are not fond of a new hat. There is a certain insolence about it: it seems to value itself upon it's finished appearance, and to presume upon our liking before we are acquainted with it. In the first place, it comes home more like a marmot or some other living creature, than a manufacture. It is boxed up, and wrapt in silver paper, and brought delicately. It is as sleek as a lap-dog. Then we are to take it out as nicely, and people are to wonder how we shall look in it. Maria twitches one this way, and Sophia that, and Caroline that, and Catharine tother. We have the difficult task, all the while, of looking easy, till the approving votes are pronounced : our only resource (which is also difficult) is to say good things to all four; or to clap the hat upon each of their heads, and see what pretty milk-women they make. At last the approving votes are pronounced; and (provided it is fine) we may go forth. But how uneasy sation about the head! How unlike the old hat, to which we had become used, and which must now make way for this fop of a stranger! We might do what we liked with the former. Dust, rain, a gale of wind, a fall, a squeeze,-nothing affected it. It was a true friend, a friend for all weathers. It's appearance only was against it: in every thing else it was the better. for wear. But if the roads or the streets are too dry, the new hat is afraid of getting dusty: if there is wind, and it is not tight, it may be blown off into the dirt: we may have to scramble after it through dust or mud; just reaching it with our fingers, only to see it blown away again. And if rain comes on! Oh ye gallant apprentices, who have issued forth on a Sunday morning, with Jane or Susan, careless either of storms at night-fall, or toils and scoldings next day! Ye, who have received your new hat and boots but an hour before ye set out; and then issue forth triumphantly, the charmer by your side! She, with arm in yours, and handkerchief in hand, blushing,