La Fontaine

Here you will find the Long Poem Richard Minutolo of poet La Fontaine

Richard Minutolo

IN ev'ry age, at Naples, we are told,
Intrigue and gallantry reign uncontrolled;
With beauteous objects in abundance blessed.
No country round so many has possessed;
Such fascinating charms the FAIR disclose,
That irresistibly soft passion flows.

'MONG these a belle, enchanting to behold,
Was loved by one, of birth and store of gold;
Minutolo (and Richard) was his name,
In Cupid's train a youth of brilliant fame:
'Tween Rome and Paris none was more gallant,
And num'rous hearts were for him known to pant.

CATELLA (thus was called our lady fair,)
So long, howe'er, resisted Richard's snare,
That prayers, and vows, and promises were vain;
A favour Minutolo could not gain.
At length, our hero weary, coldness showed,
And dropt attendance, since no kindness flowed;
Pretended to be cured:--another sought,
And feigned her charms his tender heart had caught:
Catella laughed, but jealousy was nigh;
'Twas for her friend that now He heaved the sigh.

THESE dames together met, and Richard too,
The gay gallant a glowing picture drew,
Of certain husbands, lovers, prudes, and wives;
Who led in secret most lascivious lives.
Though none he named, Catella was amazed;
His hints suspicions of her husband raised;
And such her agitation and affright,
That, anxious to procure more certain light,
In haste she took Minutolo aside,
And begged the names he would not from her hide,
With all particulars, from first to last:--
Her ardent wish to know whate'er had passed.

SO long your reign, said Richard, o'er my mind,
Deny I could not, howsoe'er inclined;
With Mrs. Simon often is your spouse;
Her character no doubt your spleen will rouse;
I've no design, observe to give offence,
But, when I see your int'rest in suspense,
I cannot silent keep; though, were I still
A slave, devoted wholly to your will,
As late I moved, I would not drop a word
Mistrust of lovers may not be absurd;
Besides, you'd fancy other motives led
To tell you of your husband what was said;
But heav'n be praised, of you I nothing want;
My object's plain--no more the fond gallant.

I'VE lately certain information had,
Your spouse (I scarcely thought the man so bad,)
Has with the lady an appointment made;
At Jack's nice bagnio he will meet the jade.

NOW clearly Jack's not rich, and there's no doubt;
A hundred ducats give, and--ALL will out;
Let him but have a handsome sum in view,
And any thing you wish, be sure he'll do;
You then can manage ev'ry way so well,
That, at the place assigned to meet his belle,
You'll take this truant husband by surprise;--
Permit me in this nice affair to advise.

THE lady has agreed, you will remark,
That in a room where ev'ry part is dark,
(Perhaps to 'scape the keeper's prying sight,
Or shame directs exclusion of the light,)
She will receive your gay inconstant spouse;
Now, take her place; the case deceit allows;
Make Jack your friend; nor haggle at the price;
A hundred ducats give, is my advice;
He'll place you in the room where darkness reigns;
Think not too fast, nor suffer heavy chains;
Do what you wish, and utter not a word;
To speak, assuredly would be absurd;
'Twould spoil the whole; destroy the project quite;
Attend, and see if all things be not right.

THE project pleased Catella to the soul;
Her wrath, no longer able to controul,
She Richard stopt; enough, enough, she cried;
I fully understand:--leave me to guide;
I'll play the fellow and his wanton lass
A pretty trick-shall all their art surpass,
Unless the string gives way and spoils my scheme;
What, take me for a nincompoop?--they dream.

THIS said, she sought excuse to get away,
And went in quest of Jack without delay.
The keeper, howsoe'er, a hint had got;
Minutolo had schooled him for the plot;
Oft cash does wonders, and, if such the case
In France or Britain, when conferred a grace,
The bribe is taken, and the truth abused,
In Italy it will not be refused;
There this sole quiver Cupid useful finds,--

A purse well stored--all binds, gunlocks, or blinds:
Jack took the pelf from Richard and the dame;
Had Satan offered--'twould have been the same.
In short, Minutolo had full success,
All came about, and marked the spark's address.

THE lady had at first some warm dispute
To many questions Jack was even mute;
But when he saw the golden charms unmasked,
Far more he promised than Catella asked.

THE time of rendezvous arrived, our spark
To Jack's repaired, and found the room quite dark;
So well arranged, no crevice could he find,
Through which the light might hurt what he designed.

NOT long he waited, ere our jealous dame,
Who longed to find her faithless husband, came,
Most thoroughly prepared his ears to greet.
Jack br