Le Grand Canal by Monet

The fortnight at Venice passed quickly and sweetly — perhaps to sweetly; I was drowning in honey, stingless. On some days life kept pace with the gondola, as we nosed through the side-canals and the boatman uttered his plaintive musical bird-cry of warning; on other days with the speed-boat bouncing over the lagoon in a stream of sun-lit foam; it left a confused memory of fierce sunlight on the sands and cool, marble interiors; of water everywhere, lapping on smooth stone, reflected in a dapple of light on painted ceilings; of a night at the Corombona palace such as Byron might have known, and another Byronic night fishing for scampi in the shallows of Chioggia, the phosphorescent wake of the little ship, the lantern swinging in the prow and the net coming up full of weed and sand and floundering fishes; of melon and prosciutto on the balcony in the cool of the morning; of hot cheese sandwiches and champagne cocktails at the English bar.

Waugh, Evelyn, Brideshead Revisited (Little Brown and Company, Boston: 1973), 101.

Advertisements