n I went to Gondar's without my sword, but with two good pistols in my pocket. Medini was there, and began by reproaching me with attempting to assassinate him in my own house.
I took no notice of this, but told Gondar to give me my two hundred ounces.
Goudar asked Medini to give him the money.
There would undoubtedly have been a quarrel, if I had not been prudent enough to leave the room, threatening Gondar with ruin if he did not send on the money directly.
Just as I was leaving the house, the fair Sara put her head out of the window, and begged me to come up by the back stairs and speak to her.
I begged to be excused, so she said she would come down, and in a moment she stood beside me.
"You are in the right about your money," she said, "but just at present my husband has not got any; you really must wait two or three days, I will guarantee the payment."
"I am really sorry," I replied, "not to be able to oblige such a charming woman, but the only thing that will pacify me is my money, and till I have had it, you will see me no more in your house, against which I declare war."
Thereupon she drew from her finger a diamond ring, worth at least four hundred ounces, and begged me to accept it as a pledge.
I took it, and left her after making my bow. She was doubtless astonished at my behaviour, for in her state of deshabille she could not have counted on my displaying such firmness.
I was very well satisfied with my victory, and went to dine with the advocate, Agatha's husband. I told him the story, begging him to find someone who would give me two hundred ounces on the ring.
"I will do it myself," said he; and he gave me an acknowledgment and two hundred ounces on the spot. He then wrote in my name a letter to Goudar, informing him that he was the depositary of the ring.
This done, I recovered my good temper.
Before dinner Agatha took me into her boudoir and shewed me all the splendid jewels I had given her when I was rich and in love.
"Now I am a rich woman," said she, "and my good fortune is all your making; so take back what you gave me. Don't be offended; I am so grateful to you, and my good husband and I agreed on this plan this morning."
To take away any scruples I might have, she shewed me the diamonds her husband had given her; they had belonged to his first wife and were worth a considerable sum.
My gratitude was too great for words, I could only press her hand, and let my eyes speak the feelings of my heart. Just then her husband came in.
It had evidently been concerted between them, for the worthy man embraced me, and begged me to accede to his wife's request.
We then joined the company which consisted of a dozen or so of their friends, but the only person who attracted my attention was a very young man, whom I set down at once as in love with Agatha. His name was Don Pascal Latilla; and I could well believe that he would be successful in love, for he was intelligent, handsome, and well-mannered. We became friends in the course of the meal.
Amongst the ladies I was greatly pleased with one young girl. She was only fourteen, but she looked eighteen. Agatha told me she was studying singing, intending to go on the stage as she was so poor.
"So pretty, and yet poor?"
"Yes, for she will have all or nothing; and lovers of that kind are rare in Naples."
"But she must have some lover?"
"If she has, no one has heard of him. You had better make her acquaintance and go and see her. You will soon be friends."
"What's her name?"
"Callimena. The lady who is speaking to her is her aunt, and I expect they are talking about you."
We sat down to the enjoyment of a delicate and abundant meal. Agatha, I could see, was happy, and delighted to shew me how happy she was. The old Abbe Gama congratulated himself on having presented me. Don Pascal Latilla could not be jealous of the attentions paid me by his idol, for I was a stranger, and they were my due; while her husband prided himself on his freedom from those vulgar prejudices to which so many Neapolitans are subject.