Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

together extempore stanzas, amid the relaxation of the tea-table?*

At Florence the usual salutation of

profound respect to a Superior, or a Lady, is to kiss the hand, a custom that was illustrated whimsically enough the

other

• In a tea conversation, at the house of Sir Joshua Reynolds, speaking of Percy's reliques of ancient English Poetry, Doctor Johnson ridiculed that kind of writing, by addressing, extempore, the following stanzas to the Young Lady that made the tea :

I pray thee, gentle Renny, dear,

That thou wilt give to me,
With cream and sugar tempered well,

Another dish of tca.

Nor fear that I, my gentle Maid,

Shall long detain the cup,
When once unto the bottom I

Have drank the liquor up.

;

Yet hear at last this mournful truth,

Nor hear it with a frown,
Thou canst not make the tea so fast

As I can gulp it down.

other day, by a Tuscan Prince, whose apartments at the Hotel were on the same floor with ours.

. Happening to return to his lodgings, in the dusk of the evening, his Highness mistook our rooms for his own, till he met my Wife coming out of her chamber expecting to find her Husband. The Prince made a thousand apologies for the unintentional intrusion, and begged to have the honour of kissing the Lady's hand before he withdrew. She unluckily knew nothing of the customs of Florence, and peremptorily refused to receive the compliment; assuring him she did not understand such freedoms. Upon which the poor Prince, retreating in a passion, slammed the door after him, and bawled out for his Servants;

Аа exclaiming,

exclaiming, in a paroxysm of vexation, that he had met with a Lady that would not let him kiss her hand.

I came in soon after, and chid

my

determined Spouse, for refusing so small an act of condescension to a Prince. But her spirits were still ruffled by the adventure, and she retorted on me with asperity: “How should I know a Prince from a Pedlar, without his Pack?"

LETTER IX.

Journey from Florence to Rome.

Rome, October 10th, 1801.

E left Florence, with impatience,

as the last place that should check our progress toward Rome.

W

As far as Sienna the soil is tolerably fertile, though very hilly. We entered the town under an elegant gateway; and, while the horses were feeding, went to see the Cathedral, a Gothic edifice, built of black and white marble, laid in alternate stripes, which gives it a whimsical, linsey-woolsey appearance.

While

While we were crossing the market place, in the great Square, a Mass was said, under an open Portico; and, at the elevation of the Host, both Buyers and Sellers fell upon their knees in the dirt. All however resumed their chaffering, as soon as the bell ceased to tinkle, with as much eagerness as if nothing had interrupted their occupations.

Quitting Sienna we soon entered a dreary Country, with few intervals of cultivation, between scattered villages, on the peaks of barren hills; and gladly passed by, without stopping at Radicofani; for aught I know the ancient Clusium, the capital of Porsenna.

Between this forsaken city, hanging like an Eagle's nest, upon

the crag

of a mountain,

« AnteriorContinuar »