churches, but looking deserted; with streets of water, over which men glide noiselessly as spectres; . . . . and with houses that seem to have no foundation, as you step in and out of them. . . . . We rowed about in our gondola like Turks, ate ices and drank sherbets in St. Mark's Square with the thousand other gay idlers, . . . . and went home late, only to listen to music from the gondoliers and thoughtless minstrels, who seemed to fill the summer night with their harmony. The whole was purely Venetian. . . . . June 22.—. . . . We finished the evening, as usual, with a lounge in St. Mark's Square, where we had the pleasure of being joined by Wordsworth and Robinson, who arrived this afternoon, and talked very agreeably of their adventures. They found nobody at Iseo who remembered anything about Lady Mary Montagu's residence at Louvere.1 June 23.—. . . . In the evening we had the genuine gondolier music of the country. We procured four or five gondoliers, who went in one gondola, while we went in others, . . . . and embarking just at dark, rowed down the Grand Canal towards the Lagune. As soon as we were fairly in motion they began to sing. They took at first Tasso, and began in a sort of recitative, and in their soft Venetian dialect, to chant the episode of Armida. . . . . They were themselves much excited by it, and stood up and gesticulated as if they were improvisating. At first it did not produce much effect, but the recurrence of the same melody in the recitative soon got the command of our feelings, and it became striking . . . . . Wordsworth, who was with us, enjoyed it very much, and we were all put into a sort of spirit of reverie by it. The gondoliers evidently enjoyed it. . . . . We stopped them at the end of an hour and asked them for some of their national airs. With these, too, they were quite ready, and sang a great many of them, intermingling them occasionally with parts of operas, which the whole of them sang with much spirit. It was a beautiful evening, and we rowed about, over towards the Lido . . till after eleven o'clock. . . . . June 24.—We passed almost a long day in the Doge's Palace, giving it entirely to the pictures there, which seem the more astonishing and admirable the more we see them. At two o'clock we saw the
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu went to Italy for her health, and remained there twenty-two years, in the closing period of her life. During many of these years she passed her summers in the profound seclusion of Louvere on the Lago d'iseo. She returned to England in 1761, where she died ten months afterwards.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.