Rome, December 25th, 1792.
OU ask me dear JEPH', to enliven my Song,
By transcribing my notes, as I travell'd along ;
E're I give to my fancy poetical scope ;
And an Anti-Christ paint, whom we here call a Pope.
At Venice how pleas'd where I relish'd the jeers,
Of those musical Sailors, the gay Gondoliers ;
Who in strains most melodious, most sweetly rehearse,
Tasso's amorous strains in their black floating hearse :
Yet our Boatmen of Thames never deign to display,
Their taste by reciting from Milton, or Gray ;
Because British Ladies intrigue in their houses,
And ne'er sail in barges uncumber'd with spouses.
Thro' the Gondola, Cupid his arrows dispatches,
'Mid Seignors and Seignoras coop'd under hatches ;
Who in the short pauses of mutual delight,
Hear the pilots of Love serenading all night ;
And tuning the Voice, as the bark moves along,
Keep time to the dash of their Oars with this Song :
SONGLET us chant our Seignoras to hail,
All night our soft Beauties may boat,
To sport and enjoy their sweet fun ;
They may do what they please while they float,
And go home with the light of the Sun.
How slow with her Spouse the day steals,
While she pants for the joys of the night ;
For a favour the Cicisbe' kneels,
Nor usurps like a Husband his right.
See Venice the Queen of the tide,
Bids the waves round her palaces twine ;
And to Venus she's warmly ally'd,
As they both started up from the brine.
Here the Goddess presides, and still bills like a dove,
And ev'ry sensation is wound up to love ;
Strange stories about this mad passion they tell us,
And make nothing of killing, whenever they're jealous ;
Th'assassin asylums himself in the Church,
And we see him in every fine portico lurch ;
Where he prays like a Saint, and devoutly sings psalms,
And piously lives on donations, and alms ;
With a sanctify'd phiz, struts about a sly fryar,
Who for killing his Mistress was forc'd to retire ;
As the Convent all swore, she was kind to another,
And her favours deny'd to their innocent brother :
The Saint in a rage had recourse to his knife,
And stab'd in the Church, where he now pass'd his life ;
May her Sons always cherish this Catholic hope,
To escape from the Devil, as well as the Rope.
To Letter 5
N O T E S.
o "Of diseases, the most endemical (at Carthagena) are intermitting and putrid fevers. In the year 1785, during the three autumnal months, they lost two thousand five hundred persons; and the succeeding year, two thousand three hundred more, yet the Almajar, (a pestilential marsh) remains undrained.
When the report of this calamity had reached the Court, an order was dispatched to the physician, that no other medicine should be administered to the sick, than the famous one prescribed by Don Joseph Mardeval, and called by his Opiate.
The physicians of Carthagena were willing to allow this medicine all the credit which was due to it, and to prescribe no other, when they thought this could be used with safety; but to preclude in all cases from the use of other remedies, they thought would be unreasonable. They therefore sent their remonstrances to Court; but in answer there came an express order from the King, that they should be subject to the Intendant of the Dock-yard, and prescribe according to his direction. On the receipt of this mandate from the Court, the Intendant immediately assembled the Physicians, and made known the royal pleasure, informing them, that in case of disobedience, the prisons were prepared, and the guards in waiting to execute his orders. They expostulated, but to little purpose; and being told that nothing short of absolute submission would be accepted, they consented to prescribe the Opiate in all cases, and to evince their sincerity, they signed a Certificate than to other Medicine was so efficacious at this recommended by the King.
This perhaps is the first instance of despotic power controlling the functions of the Physicians, and prescribing uniformity to this class of citizens in the line of their profession."
Townsend's Journey in Spain, Vol. III, p. 141.
As Tuscany's Duke, &c. The present Duke of Tuscany (I am told) has yielded to the remonstrances of his subjects, and now graciously allows every family to bury their dead in their own way. [Back]
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