The sails had been taken off the mainmast, but that on the foremast was dragging the Lido through the water at a good rate of speed, and before night they were off Cape Spartivento. The wind held till next morning, when they were abreast of the Gulf of Taranto.
There was something affecting in the good faith of this sketch of former social glories; the picnic at the Lido had remained vivid through the ages, and poor Miss Tita evidently was of the impression that she had had a brilliant youth.
From the Piazzetta's shore you look diagonally to the right to the Dogana and the vast Salute and all the masts in the Giudecca canal; diagonally to the left is the Lido with a mile of dancing water between us and it.
Returning from his walks on the Lido or wanderings through the little calli, he showed that unwise half-disdain, which an unenlightened masculine Herakles might have shown, for the blessedness of five o'clock tea. At dinner he was in his toilet what Mr Henry James calls the "member of society," never the poet whose necktie is a dithyramb. Good sense was his habit if not his foible.
Here the movement became slower, in order to permit the thousand gondolas to approach, and then the whole moved forward, in nearly one solid phalanx, to the landing of the Lido. The marriage of the Adriatic, as the ceremony was quaintly termed, has been too often described to need a repetition here.
Francis, who had received before starting a list of houses with whom Signor Polani was in the habit of doing business, at once rowed ashore, Matteo and Giuseppi accompanying him. His business arrangements were soon completed. The harvest had been a good one, and there was an abundance of corn to be had at a cheap rate. In half an hour he arranged for as large a quantity as the Lido would carry.
On being asked by his gondolier where he would like to be rowed, he always said, "Towards the Lido," and after his failure to acquire the Palazzo Manzoni he thought seriously for a while of buying an unfinished Lido villa which had been begun for Victor Emmanuel. Browning's desire was to see sunsets from it. Mrs.
I marvel that a girl of thy wit should not scent the treasures in yonder felucca!" "Dost thou mean the Sorrentine?" "What other padrone brings as well flavored liquors within the Lido! Quiet thy impatience to land, daughter of honest old Maso, and traffic with the padrone, for the comfort of us of the canals." "How! Thou knowest me, then?" "To be the pretty wine-seller of the Lido. Corpo di Bacco!
Francis described the nature and position of the rock which would afford a shelter, and the means by which they had ascertained that there was plenty of water for the Lido behind it. "It seems plausible," the captain said when he had concluded, "and I am quite ready to make the attempt, if, in your opinion, it can be done.
Then they laid her in a marble chest outside the church, and all departed, still with torches burning, to their homes. Now it so fell out that upon that very evening Gerardo's galley had returned from Syria, and was anchoring within the port of Lido, which looks across to the island of Castello.