We gave the worthy official fifty crowns, and supped with Betty, who had, as I have remarked, recovered her trunk, and had been busying herself in putting her things to rights.
She was glad to hear that the rascal was in prison, but she did not seem to wish to pay him a visit.
We went to see him in the afternoon of the next day.
The bargello had assigned us an advocate, who made out a document demanding payment by the prisoner of the expenses of the journey, and of his arrest, together with a certain sum as compensation to the person whom he had deceived, unless he could prove his right to the title of count in the course of six weeks.
We found l'Etoile with this document in his hand; someone was translating it for him into French.
As soon as the rascal saw me, he said, with a laugh, that I owed him twenty-five Louis as he had left Betty to sleep with me.
The Englishman told him he lied; it was he that had slept with her.
"Are you Betty's lover?" asked l'Etoile.
"Yes, and if I had caught you with her I should have blown out your brains, for you have deceived her doubly; you're only a beggarly actor."
"I have three thousand crowns."
"I will pay six thousand if the bill proves to be a good one. In the meanwhile you will stay here, and if it be false, as I expect it is, you will go to the galleys."
"I shall speak to my counsel."
We went out and called on the advocate, for Sir B---- M---- had a lively desire to send the impudent rascal to the galleys. However, it could not be done, for l'Etoile said he was quite ready to give up the bill, but that he expected Sir B---- M---- to pay a crown a day for his keep while he remained in prison.
Sir B---- M---- thought he would like to see something of Rome, as he was there, and was obliged to buy almost everything as he had left his belongings behind him, while Betty was well provided for as her trunk was of immense capacity. I went with them everywhere; it was not exactly the life I liked, but there would be time for me to please myself after they had gone. I loved Betty without desiring her, and I had taken a liking to the Englishman who had an excellent heart. At first he wanted to stay a fortnight at Rome, and then to return to Leghorn; but his friend Lord Baltimore, who had come to Rome in the meanwhile, persuaded him to pay a short visit to Naples.
This nobleman, who had with him a very pretty Frenchwoman and two servants, said he would see to the journey, and that I must join the party. I had made his acquaintance at London.
I was glad to have the opportunity of seeing Naples again. We lodged at the "Crocielles" at Chiaggia, or Chiaja, as the Neapolitans call it.
The first news I heard was the death of the Duke of Matalone and the marriage of his widow with Prince Caramanica.
This circumstance put an end to some of my hopes, and I only thought of amusing myself with my friends, as if I had never been at Naples before. Lord Baltimore had been there several times, but his mistress, Betty, and Sir B---- M----, were strangers, and wanted to see everything. I accordingly acted as cicerone, for which part I and my lord, too, were much better qualified than the tedious and ignorant fellows who had an official right to that title.
The day after our arrival I was unpleasantly surprised to see the notorious Chevalier Goudar, whom I had known at London. He called on Lord Baltimore.
This famous rout had a house at Pausilippo, and his wife was none other than the pretty Irish girl Sara, formerly a drawer in a London tavern. The reader has been already introduced to her. Goudar knew I had met her, so he told me who she was, inviting us all to dine with him the next day.
Sara skewed no surprise nor confusion at the sight of me, but I was petrified. She was dressed with the utmost elegance, received company admirably, spoke Italian with perfect correctness, talked sensibly, and was exquisitely beautiful; I was stupefied; the metamorphosis was so great.
In a quarter of an hour five or six ladies of the highest rank arrived, with ten or twelve dukes, princes, and marquises, to say nothing of a host of distinguished strangers.