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Her powers elastic the soul shall regain,

And recall her original taste. Like the loadstone that long lay conceal'd in the earth,

Among metals which glitter'd around; Inactive her talents, and only call'd forth,

When the ore correspondent was found.

To these lines Mr. Parsons brought the following very flattering answer, which he repeated after dinner :


66 To Mrs. Piozzi.

“ Tho' sooth’d by soft music's seducing delights,

And blest with reciprocal love;
These cannot impede your poetical flights,

For still friends to the Muses they prove.
Then sitting so gaily your table around,

Let us all with glad sympathy view
What joys in this fortunate union abound,

This union of wit and virtù.

“ May the day that now sees you so mutually blest

In full confidence, love, and esteem,
Still return with increasing delight to your breast,

And be Hymen your favourite theme !
Nor fear that your fertile strong genius should fail,

Each thought of stagnation dispel ;
The fame which so long has attended a Thrale,

A Piozzi alone shall excel.

56 As the ore must for ever obedient be found

By the loadstone attracted along:

So in England you drew all the poets around,

By the magical force of your song:
The same power on Arno's fair side


retain ;
Your talents with wonder we see:
And we hope from your converse those talents to

Tho’ like magnets -- in smaller degree.”

Now if I should live to add any more anecdotes of my life, or any more verses to amuse you, they would come best at the end of my Journey-Book; and if you will send it, perhaps I may add a leaf or two. — 18th December, 1815.


(A separate and detached manuscript.)


BEFORE we began our journey, my good husband bespoke a magnificent carriage capable of containing every possible accommodation, and begged me to take tea enough and books enough; but when looking over the last article he saw “Diodati's Italian Bible, with Notes" (this was in 1784, I remember), “Ah ciel!” he exclaimed, “ this will bring us into trouble. Be content, my dear creature, with an English Bible, and reflect that you not travelling as you ought to be, like a Protestant lady of quality, but as the wife of a native, an acknowledged Papist, and one determined to remain so." I replied, from my heart, that I desired to appear in his country in no other character than that of his wife; that I would preserve my religious opinions inviolate at Milan, as he did his at London ; and that all would go on, to use his own phrase, all ottima perfezzione. Observing an undertoned expression, however, saying, “They shall tease quesť anima bella as little as I can help," my heart felt (though I changed the conversation) that my mind must prepare itself for controversy. The account of temptations he told me I should undergo of another kind I drove from me with unaffected laughter, but

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perceived that he was best pleased when I replied to them with equally unaffected but more serious protestations of exclusive and unalterable love.


He was right all the while. When we arrived at Milan, our abiding place, I perceived the men of quality and bon ton considered me as fair game to shoot their senseless attentions at; and my sometimes cold, some. times indignant, reception of their odd complimentary addresses, was received at first with most unmerited displeasure, and in a short time with admiration no less undeserved. Conjugal fidelity being a thing they had no conception of, and each concluding I kept my favours for some one else, nothing undeceived them but my strictly adhered-to resolution of never suffering a tête-à tête with any man whatever except my husband, and laughing with them in company, saying we inhabited a Casa Fidele, and should do honour to the residence.

The truth is, old Comte Fidele, a widower of seventy years old, said his house was too big for him (an invalid), and gave us up the winter side of his palace for a year, paying only 801. My bed-chamber, twenty-seven feet long and eighteen feet high, was lighted by one immense window at the end, and looked over the naviglio to the beautiful mountains of Brianza. Out of this went a handsome square room where I received my company in common. Out of that we walked into a large dinner apartment, next to which was the servants' hall (as we should call it, but known in Italy by name of anticamera), where and from whence the servants answered

the bell. Through this opened the best drawing-room, with two fire-places, two large glass lustres, four enormous windows with yellow damask curtains I am ashamed to say how long, but my maid always said they were eight yards from top to bottom. Her apartment opened through this; for all were passage rooms, and a small pair of stairs led to a lovely cold bath. I have not done yet. Behind my magnificent bed of whitewatered tabby, and very clean, a door opened into a large light closet where I kept my books; and through that a commodious staircase led to Mr. Piozzi's bedchamber, and a beautiful dressing-room or study, where he was supposed to receive company, people on business, &c. All this very well furnished indeed for four-score pounds a year !! A. D. 1784.

The showy valet was a Frenchman hired at Paris, the gaudy butler out of livery resembling nothing but a gold fish, had eighteen pence a day, and the man cook no less. One woman, besides my own English Abigail, formed our household; a word I should not have used, for they all walked home in the evening, after the wives and children &c. had been brought into the kitchen almost literally to lick the plates. It seemed very odd, but I believe Mr. Piozzi paid everybody every night of his life. I remember his asking me one day what I thought our dinner came to; we were eight at table, the dishes seven and nine. When I had made some ridiculous conjectures, he showed me that the whole expense, wine included, was thirteen shillings of our money, no more, and I expected to hear him say how happy he was. Not a bit; he was happy



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