Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
The Debt of the “Giuli Tre” (I.)
By Giovanni Battista Casti (1724–1803)
Translated by Leigh Hunt

MY Creditor seems often in a way
  Extremely pleasant with me, and polite;
  Just like a friend;—you’d fancy, at first sight,
  He thought no longer of the giuli tre. 1
All that he wants to know is, what they say        5
  Of Frederick now; whether his guess was right
  About the sailing of the French that night;
  Or, what ’s the news of Hanover and D’Estrèe.
But start from whence he may, he comes as truly,
  By little and little, to his ancient pass,        10
  And says, “Well—when am I to have the giuli?”
’Tis the cat’s way. She takes her mouse, alas!
  And having purr’d, and eyed, and tapped him duly,
  Gives him at length the fatal coup de grace.
Note 1. Three sixpenny-pieces. [back]

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