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“Io vado e vengo ogni giorno,
Ma tu andrai senza ritorno.”
Motto on a sundial in Arma, a small village between
San Remo and Porto Maurizio (Liguria Occidentale).
I daily come and daily go;
But thou, once gone, com’st never mo'.
I 'm daily born and daily die,
Thou 'rt born but once, but once to die,
And there 's an end. Be off, good bye,
Poor, silly fool! great Time am I.
Walking from ArmA to Porto MAURIZIO, Jan. 18, 1861.
ORTUNA favet fortibus," they say, And I believe it true, but in this way: Fortune 's a cheat, who, skilled at thimble-rig, Neither for brave nor coward cares one fig, But takes out gold, and challenges to play; The coward, faint of heart, turns pale away; The brave puts down his stake, the totum spins, And, losing often, some mere odd time wins, And clears the board; the proverb hence arose That Fortune to the brave her favor shows.
SESTRI DI LEVANTE (LIGURIA ORIENTALE), Jan. 26, 1861.
"I'd like to know,” said Fate to Fortune, once, “Why men so love and court and honor thee, Mé fear and shun and hold in detestation." “The reason 's plain,” said Fortune with a smile, “Thou hast a certain rude and savage way Which terrifies the vulgar, and which scarce Even the magnanimous hero bears with patience. My manners thou 'lt excuse the vanity Are gentle, and conciliate esteem.” “I do as much for men as thou, or more,”
Said Fate, "and should be liked at least as well.”
“It's all our different manners, I insist,"
Said Fortune; “manners make the man, men say;
I say it 's manners, manners make the God:
Venus frowns never, Pallas never laughs,
Who thinks of bowing to a limping Jove,
Or to stand by him in the brunt of battle,
Invokes a civeted, spruce, smirking Mars?
Let 's put it to the test, Fate; I 'll take thine,
And thou, my manners, and we 'll separate here,
To meet again soon, and compare experience.”
So said, so done; they parted, met again,
And thus to Fortune with a smile said Fate:
“Well! men are fools, who from the manner form
Their judgment of the matter. Here, take back
Thy gracious, condescending, winning ways,
And give me back my dignity austere.
Men's homage is not worth the pains to please them."
But Fortune now accustomed to grand pas
And sullen state retired, and dignity,
And to indulge her humor: - "Not so fast,
Good sister Fate; "in medio tutius itur.”
Keep thou one half of mine, and I 'll of thine
One half keep, and we 'll be henceforth the same
In manner, as we've heretofore the same
In heart and spirit been, and love and purpose,
Unanimous, indissoluble, one."
Fate, nothing loath, agreed, and from that day
The sisters pass indifferent for each other,
Fate in good humor being Fortune called,
And frowning, disobliging Fortune, Fate.
So runs the myth; receive it, if you like;
I, for my part, believe that Fate and Fortune
Are but one person called by different names,
And answering to either on occasion,
A female Janus with both pairs of eyes
Bandaged, and bearing keys in either hand,
Rusty and little used those in the right,
The keys of Good; those in the left, smooth worn
With never ceasing use, the keys of Ill.
Walking from CARRARA to Pisa, Jan. 30 and 31, 1861.
“Vendere velle rosas inquis; cum sis rosa, quaero
Tene rosasne velis, virgo, an utrumque dare?”
“WHO 'll a blushing red rose buy?"
Rob heard Rose, the flower girl, cry,
Selling flowers as she went by,
And, quick witted, answered: "I!
But thou ’lt sell cheap
small 's my pelf."
"I 'll not take less than thyself.”
“Self and all I have, is thine;
With this kiss I make thee mine."
“More I ask not. Take thy kiss
and this and this.”
So the pair the bargain close,
And Rob 's got his long loved Rose.
CASA CARTONI AI CAVALLEGGIERI, LEGHORN, Febr. 28, 1861.
Don't talk to me of morals and improvement
And closing for the night at six o'clock,
And the whole livelong summer evening spent
In recreation in the open air,
Or useful books at home, or conversation,
Till the bell rings for supper, prayers and bed,
To rise betimes, and ply again till six
Some pettifogging, half dishonest trade
Pence gathering and with long care making rich.
The daisy far outdoes thee, which observes
No rule of closing but the paling light,
And, under heaven's own free and airy vault,
Spends not the evening only but the day
And livelong night; which has no need of books
Oft dull, or conversation duller still,
Or trade demoralizing, or to leave
Widow and children well provided for
When at the last it yields to stronger Fate
both flesh and grass must go. Most wise young man, and promising as wise, The "modest, crimson-tipped flower” outdoes thee,
Nor thee alone, but me and all the race. Walking from PIETRA Santa to CARRARA, May 24, 1861.