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Richard Walker

Shelley and Keats No.1

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 24 Sept 2015, 02:53

Shelley and Keats were talking one day.

"Do you have any holiday plans?" asked Shelley.

"Not exactly a holiday", Keats responded, "More a summer employment, but in a climate very congenial to my health, and well remunerated".

Intrigued, Shelley inquired: "What exactly is the post?"

"It's in the famous Italian city of Pisa", said Keats: "The popularity of the Grand Tour has burgeoned apace, and many visitors to Italy now clamour to ascend La Campanile from which the revered Signor Galileo Galilei is claimed to have carried out his celebrated experiment.

So popular is this to touristi—as they are there described—that crowds of our fellow-countrymen assemble daily at the entrance. The authorities make a small charge for the ascent, for the maintenance of the bell tower, and are also charged with ensuring that no person is put at risk of life or limb: so there is a limit on how many can be up the tower at any one time.

I answered an advertisement in the Times of London, seeking a person: 'Capable of organizing groups of people desirous of ascending our famous tower, and ensuring their convenience and safety in a highly popular destination. Fluent English is required'—and got the job.

So I'm off there for the summer months."

"Congratulations my dear fellow", Shelley exclaimed warmly. "So you'll be minding your Pisan queues."

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