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The Venetian Horseman

A horse in Venice, or a tree in Scotland, I think Johnson observed, were singularities. A Venetian, who was more accustomed to a Gondola than to a Horse, being for the first time mounted; and, as it not infrequently happens to young riders, having the misfortune to be furnished with one that was restiff, could not possibly make his nag advance a single step. Unable to account for the animal’s retrograde activity, he at length took out his handkerchief; and, holding it in the air, he exlaimed, in a tone of exultation—‘Ah, poor horse! no wonder thou couldst not get forward, per che il vento è contrario; for the wind, I see, is contrary.’