Books > Fiction > General & literary fiction
Loot Price: R146
Discovery Miles 1 460
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Loot Price R146
Discovery Miles 1 460
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The Senator Michele Pignaver, being a childless widower of several
years' standing and a personage of wealth and worth in Venice, made
up his mind one day that he would marry his niece Ortensia, as soon
as her education was completed. For he was a man of culture and of
refined tastes, fond of music, much given to writing sonnets and to
reading the works of the elegant Politian, as well as to composing
sentimental airs for the voice and lute. He patronised arts and
letters with vast credit and secret economy; for he never gave
anything more than a supper and a recommendation to the poets,
musicians, and artists who paid their court to him and dedicated to
him their choicest productions. The supper was generally a frugal
affair, but his reputation in aesthetic matters was so great that a
word from him to a leader of fashion, or a letter of introduction
to a Venetian Ambassador abroad, often proved to be worth more than
the gold he abstained from giving. He spoke Latin, he could read
Greek, and his taste in poetry was so highly cultivated that he
called Dante's verse rough, uncouth, and vulgar-precisely as Horace
Walpole, seventy or eighty years later, could not conceive how any
one could prefer Shakespeare's rude lines to the elegant verses of
Mr. Pope. For the Senator lived in the age when Louis XIV. was
young, and Charles II. had been restored to the throne only a few
years before the beginning of this story
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