The Grand Tour in Venice - Page 124



THE GRAND TOUR IN VENICE
122
123
We have had a fortnight ago th e Devil’s own
row with an Elephant who broke loose, ate up a
fruit sh op, killed his keeper, broke into a Church
and was at last killed by a Cannon sh ot brought
from th e Arsenal.
I saw him th e day h e broke open his own h ouse,
h e was standing in th e Riva & his keepers trying
to persuade him with peck-loaves to go on board
a sort of Ark th ey had got. I went close to
him that afternoon in my Gondola & h e amused
himself with flinging great beams that flew
about over th e water in all directions. He was not
th en very angry but towards midnight h e becam e
furious & displayed th e most extraordinary
strength – pulling down everything before him.
All Musqu etry proved in vain & wh en h e charged,
th e Austrians threw down th eir musqu ets & ran.
At last th ey broke a h ole & brough t a fieldpiece. Th e first sh ot missed th e second entered
behind & cam e out all but th e Skin at his
Sh oulder. I saw him dead th e next day, a
stupendous fellow. He went mad for want of a
Sh e, it being th e rutting month.
The elephant was buried on the Lido.
Fig. 81 Byzantine
relief of an elephant,
Venice, Ca d’Oro.
THE GRAND TOUR IN VENICE

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