Tales Of A Traveller, By Washington Irving

 -  And the muses, those capricious dames,
who, forsooth, so often refuse to visit palaces, and deny a single
smile to - Page 120
Tales Of A Traveller, By Washington Irving - Page 120 of 433 - First - Home

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And The Muses, Those Capricious Dames, Who, Forsooth, So Often Refuse To Visit Palaces, And Deny A Single Smile To Votaries In Splendid Studies And Gilded Drawing-Rooms, - What Holes And Burrows Will They Frequent To Lavish Their Favors On Some Ragged Disciple!

This Green Arbour court I found to be a small square of tall and Miserable houses, the very intestines of which seemed turned inside out, to judge from the old garments and frippery that fluttered from every window.

It appeared to be a region of washerwomen, and lines were stretched about the little square, on which clothes were dangling to dry. Just as we entered the square, a scuffle took place between two viragos about a disputed right to a washtub, and immediately the whole community was in a hubbub. Heads in mob caps popped out of every window, and such a clamor of tongues ensued that I was fain to stop my ears. Every Amazon took part with one or other of the disputants, and brandished her arms dripping with soapsuds, and fired away from her window as from the embrazure of a fortress; while the swarms of children nestled and cradled in every procreant chamber of this hive, waking with the noise, set up their shrill pipes to swell the general concert.

Poor Goldsmith! what a time must he have had of it, with his quiet Disposition and nervous habits, penned up in this den of noise and vulgarity. How strange that while every sight and sound was sufficient to embitter the heart and fill it with misanthropy, his pen should be dropping the honey of Hybla.

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