Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/384



to make her have, so hot was she in insisting, that mr. Piozzi should have it ali to the last farthing. The deed thus happily seaied and duly signed, Piozzi put it safe in his pocket, and away she posted back to Bath with the fellow and Mecci; and on their arrivai there, she happily celebrated her marriage with that pretended bastard-brother, now fully restored to his rights of legitimacy; rights undisputable, as he was really and truly, not the naturai and chance offspring of a Welsh baronet, but the true and lawful son of an honest mechanic, who died in very poor circumstances, several years ago, in his native town of Brescia in the Venetian territory. Let therefore some squeamish and over-delicate folks have no scruple about keeping company with him, on account of his having been conscious of the tale told by his wife to her former husband, as any body who reads this paper with due attention, will plainly perceive that he knew not a syllable of it ; besides that, his dear wife gives him now such a high character for innocence and integrity, that it is impossible to suspect him as a confederate in that witty and frolicksome kind of imposture.

But, my lads, shall the jolly widow Thrale marry a Gabriel Piozzi, esquire, and we not assist at the wedding? Come, come to take a peep at the happy pair while at their nuptial supper. There they are ! and but a small company. Here on her left hand is a mr. James, formerly a painter by professioni a bon vivant, that’s a friend to the rich and no enemy to the poor. He can sing as good 2^ falsetto as the best eunuch of them ali and imitate besides the wawling of a cat so exactly, that any body would think he had been at school under the walnut-tree at Benevento, where ali the Neapolitan and Sicilian witches keep their sabbath under the figure of she-cats once a fortnight. Opposite to him sits his wife, a very notable house-wife, as I am told, that has brought him several fine children. Mecci is by her side, and, according to custom, the bride and the bridegroom at the usuai ends of the table. None of them has much to say, not even the bride, tho’ naturally so talkative, because aged matrons, as well as young maidens, must, on such contingencies, look mo