Then the Saracen tale-teller said to Marco, "Tell me have you tales in your homeland of a maiden as wondrous as the Bride who Healed the Sultan.
"Yes", said Marco."There is a most wonderful woman all Venetian’s know, and her memory is honored once every year in Venice."
"Who is she?", asked the Saracen.
"This woman is a beautiful, but willful woman. Her favor is given to few, but those who gain it are most blessed of her and love her dearly. Her dress is blue as the saphire and her hair is golden. She is serene but her wrath is terrible. Many praise her beauty and all fear her anger but few can gain her love."
"Who is this wonderful woman?" asked the Saracen tale-teller.
Marco replied, "She is the sea, the wife of St. Mark’s city and the glory and nourishment of the Venetians. And every year we hold a pagent on boats and the Doge-the Lord of Venice throws a wreath into the sea to commerate our bond to the sea. Here is how this started."
Then Marco said, "Long ago when our City was small and held of little account by the Princes of the world, the seas were plagued by pirates. Now one day in their arogance they came on the very day when dozens of the youths of Venice were to be joined to their brides. They kidnapped all the women and the men were sorely greived. But the Doge said, "Come bear yourselves up and be men. Let us go forth and deliver the women we love and avenge the dishonor these wicked men have brought upon our beloved city."
So the Venetians went home, and fetched their cutlasses. They got aboard the ships and rode forth after the pirates. They found them and there was a great and bloody fight, but they slew the pirates, and despoiled them and brought the kidnapped brides back to Venice with the pirates spoil added to the dowries to pay for the trouble they had caused.
But the wrath of the Venetians was not done. For several generations after that Venice waged relentless war on the pirates, until all feared our name. After this was accomplished the Senate and the People agreed that they would have a memorial to commemorate this and to make reminder to all that the Sea is the Bride of Venice and none other can touch her.
When Marco had finished, the Saracen tale-teller said, "I have met merchants from another barbarous land in the far North that say that the sea belongs to their King"
Marco said, "Ah yes, Englishmen. They’ll say anything you know..."
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