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LXXXIX. “ That lady is my wife.!” Much wonder paints
The lady's changing cheek, as well it might; But where an English woman sometimes faints,
Italian females don't do so outrighit ; They only call a little on their saints,
And then come to themselves, almost or quite; Which saves much hartshorn, salts, and sprinkling faces, And cutting stays, as usual in such cases.
She said, what could she say? Why not a word :
But the Count courteously invited in
“ Such things, perhaps, we'd best discuss within,” Said he; 6 don't let us make ourselves absurd
“ In public, by a scene, nor raise a din, “ For then the chief and only satisfaction “ Will be much quizzing on the whole transaction."
A beverage for Turks and Christians both,
Now Laura, much recover'd, or less loth
“ Bless me! your beard is of amazing growth!
And are you really, truly, now a Turk?
“ With any other women did you wive? “ Is 't true they use their fingers for a fork ?
“ Well, that's the prettiest shawl as I'm alive! 66 You 'll give it me? They say you eat no pork. " And how so many years
contrive “ TonBless me! did I ever? No, I never “ Saw a man grown so yellow! How's your liver ?
“ Beppo! that beard of yours becomes you not;
“ It shall be shaved before you 're a day older : “.Why do you wear it? Oh! I had forgot Pray don't
think the weather here is colder ? “ How do I look? You sha'n't stir from this spot
“ In that queer dress, for fear that some beholder 6 Should find you out, and make the story known. “ How short your hair is ! Lord ! how gray it's grown!"
What answer Beppo made to these demands
Is more than I know. He was cast away
Became a slave of course, and for his pay
Of pirates landing in a neighbouring bay,
But he grew rich, and with his riches grew so
Keen the desire to see his home again,
And not be always thieving on the main ;
And so he hired a vessel come from Spain, Bound for Corfu : she was a fine polacca, Mann'd with twelve hands, and laden with tobacco.
Himself, and much (heaven knows how gotten) cash,
He then embark’d, with risk of life and limb, And got clear off, although the attempt was rash;
He said that Providence protected himFor my part, I say nothing, lest we clash
In our opinions:-well, the ship was trim, Set sail, and kept her reckoning fairly on, Except three days of calm when off Cape Bonn.
They reach'd the island, he transferr'd his lading,
And self and live-stock, to another bottom, And pass’d for a true Turkey-merchant, trading
With goods of various names, but I've forgot 'em. However, he got off by this evading,
Or else the people would perhaps have shot him ; And thus at Venice landed to reclaim His wife, religion, house, and Christian name.
His wife received, the patriarch re-baptized him,
(He made the church a present by the way); He then threw off the garments which disguised him,
And borrow'd the Count's small-clothes for a day: His friends the more for his long absence prized him,
Finding he'd wherewithal to make them gay, With dinners, where he oft became the laugh of them, For stories—but I don't believe the half of them.
Whate'er his youth had suffer'd, his old age
With wealth and talking made him some amends; Though Laura sometimes put him in a rage,
I've heard the Count and he were always friends, My pen is at the bottom of a page,
Which being finish’d, here the story ends ; Tis to wish'd it had been sooner done, But stories somehow lengthen when begun.
Note 1, page 359, last line.
Note 2, page 363, line 16.
Note 3, page 367, line 11. The Spaniards call the person a “ Cortejo." “ Cortejo" is pronounced “Corteho," with an aspirate, according to the Arabesque guttural. It means what there is as yet no precise name for in England, though the practice is as common as in any tramontane country whatever.
Note 4, page 370, line 11.
Raphael, who died in thy embrace. For the received accounts of the cause of Raphael's death, see his Lives.