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In a few words he told their hapless story,
Saying, "Our Machiavelian impresario,
Making a signal off some promontory,

Hail'd a strange brig; Corpo di Caio Mario!
We were transferr'd on board her in a hurry,
Without a single scudo of salario ;

But if the Sultan has a taste for song,
We will revive our fortunes before long.


"The prima donna, though a little old, And haggard with a dissipated life,

And subject, when the house is thin, to cold,

Has some good notes; and then the tenor's wife,
With no great voice, is pleasing to behold;
Last carnival she made a deal of strife

By carrying off Count Cesare Cicogna
From an old Roman princess at Bologna.


"And then there are the dancers; there's the Nini,
With more than one profession gains by all;
Then there's that laughing slut the Pelegrini,
She, too, was fortunate last carnival,

And made at least five hundred good zecchini,
But spends so fast, she has not now a paul;
And then there's the Grotesca-such a dancer!
Where men have souls or bodies she must answer. (1)

(1) [MS." If the Turks have a soul, she's sure to answer."]


"As for the figuranti, (1) they are like

The rest of all that tribe; with here and there A pretty person, which perhaps may strike,

The rest are hardly fitted for a fair;

There's one, though tall and stiffer than a pike,

Yet has a sentimental kind of air

Which might go far, but she don't dance with vigour; The more's the pity, with her face and figure.


"As for the men, they are a middling set; The musico is but a crack'd old basin, But being qualified in one way yet,

May the seraglio do to set his face in,(2) And as a servant some preferment get;

His singing I no further trust can place in : From all the Pope (3) makes yearly 't would perplex To find three perfect pipes of the third sex.


"The tenor's voice is spoilt by affectation, And for the bass, (4) the beast can only bellow; In fact, he had no singing education,

An ignorant, noteless, timeless, tuneless fellow,

(1) [The figuranti are those dancers of a ballet who do not dance singly, but many together, and serve to fill up the background during the exhi bition of individual performers. They correspond to the chorus in the GRAHAM.]


(2) [MS."To help the ladies in their dress and lacing."]

(3) It is strange that it should be the Pope and the Sultan, who are the chief encouragers of this branch of trade-women being prohibited as singers at St. Peter's, and not deemed trust-worthy as guardians of the harem.

(4) [The gravest and deepest of the male voices. - GRAHAM.]

But being the prima donna's near relation,

Who swore his voice was very rich and mellow, They hired him, though to hear him you'd believe An ass was practising recitative.


""Twould not become myself to dwell upon
My own merits, and though young-I see, Sir-you
Have got a travell'd air, which speaks you one
To whom the opera is by no means new:
You've heard of Raucocanti? (1)—I'm the man;
The time may come when you may hear me too;
You was not last year at the fair of Lugo,
But next, when I'm engaged to sing there-do go.


"Our baritone (2) I almost had forgot,
A pretty lad, but bursting with conceit;
With graceful action, science not a jot,

A voice of no great compass, and not sweet,
He always is complaining of his lot,

Forsooth, scarce fit for ballads in the street; In lovers' parts his passion more to breathe, Having no heart to show, he shows his teeth."


Here Raucocanti's eloquent recital

Was interrupted by the pirate crew,

Who came at stated moments to invite all

The captives back to their sad berths; each threw

$ (1) [Rauco-canti - may be rendered by Hoarse-song.]

(2) [A male voice, the compass of which partakes of those of the common bass and the tenor, but does not extend so far downwards as the one, nor to an equal height with the other.]

A rueful glance upon the waves, (which bright all From the blue skies derived a double blue, Dancing all free and happy in the sun,)

And then went down the hatchway one by one.


They heard next day—that in the Dardanelles,
Waiting for his Sublimity's firmān,
The most imperative of sovereign spells,
Which every body does without who can,
More to secure them in their naval cells,
Lady to lady, well as man to man,
Were to be chain'd and lotted out per couple,
For the slave market of Constantinople.


It seems when this allotment was made out,
There chanced to be an odd male, and odd female,
Who (after some discussion and some doubt,
If the soprano might be deem'd to be male,
They placed him o'er the women as a scout)
Were link'd together, and it happen'd the male
Was Juan, who,—an awkward thing at his age,
Pair'd off with a Bacchante blooming visage. (1)


With Raucocanti lucklessly was chain'd
The tenor; these two hated with a hate
Found only on the stage, and each more pain'd
With this his tuneful neighbour than his fate;

(1) [MS.- "Was fetter'd to a most enchanting visage."]

Sad strife arose, for they were so cross-grain'd,
Instead of bearing up without debate,

That each pull'd different ways with many an oath, "Arcades ambo," id est-blackguards both. (1)


Juan's companion was a Romagnole,

But bred within the March of old Ancona,

With eyes that look'd into the very soul (2)
(And other chief points of a "bella donna"),
Bright—and as black and burning as a coal;

And through her clear brunette complexion shone a Great wish to please - a most attractive dower, Especially when added to the power.

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But all that power was wasted upon him,

For sorrow o'er each sense held stern command; Her eye might flash on his, but found it dim; And though thus chain'd, as natural her hand Touch'd his, nor that—nor any handsome limb (And she had some not easy to withstand) Could stir his pulse, or make his faith feel brittle; Perhaps his recent wounds might help a little.


No matter; we should ne'er too much enquire,
But facts are facts: no knight could be more true,
And firmer faith no ladye-love desire;

We will omit the proofs, save one or two:

(1) MS."That each pull'd different ways and waxing rough, Had cuff'd each other, only for the cuff."]

(2) [MS." With eyes that seem'd to look you through the soul."]

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