He wrote it down directly, feeling quite certain that his affair was as good as settled.
I called on Agatha, and her husband was much amused when I told my story.
He made me sign a power of attorney, empowering him to act for me, and he then advised the other advocate that all communications in the case must be made to him alone.
The 'paglietti' who abound in Naples only live by cheating, and especially by imposing on strangers.
Sir Rosebury remained at Naples, and I found myself acquainted with all the English visitors. They all lodged at "Crocielles," for the English are like a flock of sheep; they follow each other about, always go to the came place, and never care to shew any originality. We often arranged little trips in which the two Saxons joined, and I found the time pass very pleasantly. Nevertheless, I should have left Naples after the fair if my love for Callimena had not restrained me. I saw her every day and made her presents, but she only granted me the slightest of favours.
The fair was nearly over, and Agatha was making her preparations for going to Sorento as had been arranged. She begged her husband to invite a lady whom he had loved before marrying her while she invited Pascal Latilla for herself, and Callimena for me.
There were thus three couples, and the three gentlemen were to defray all expenses.
Agatha's husband took the direction of everything.
A few days before the party I saw, to my surprise, Joseph, son of Madame Cornelis and brother of my dear Sophie.
"How did you come to Naples? Whom are you with?"
"I am by myself. I wanted to see Italy, and my mother gave me this pleasure. I have seen Turin, Milan, Genoa, Florence, Venice, and Rome; and after I have done Italy I shall see Switzerland and Germany, and then return to England by way of Holland."
"How long is this expedition to take?"
"I suppose you will be able to give a full account of everything when you go back to London?"
"I hope to convince my mother that the money she spent was not wasted."
"How much do you think it will cost you?"
"The five hundred guineas she gave me, no more."
"Do you mean to say you are only going to spend five hundred guineas in six months? I can't believe it."
"Economy works wonders."
"I suppose so. How have you done as to letters of introduction in all these countries of which you now know so much?"
"I have had no introductions. I carry an English passport, and let people think that I am English."
"Aren't you afraid of getting into bad company?"
"I don't give myself the chance. I don't speak to anyone, and when people address me I reply in monosyllables. I always strike a bargain before I eat a meal or take a lodging. I only travel in public conveyances."
"Very good. Here you will be able to economize; I will pay all your expenses, and give you an excellent cicerone, one who will cost you nothing."
"I am much obliged, but I promised my mother not to accept anything from anybody."
"I think you might make an exception in my case."
"No. I have relations in Venice, and I would not take so much as a single dinner from them. When I promise, I perform."
Knowing his obstinacy, I did not insist. He was now a young man of twenty-three, of a delicate order of prettiness, and might easily have been taken for a girl in disguise if he had not allowed his whiskers to grow.
Although his grand tour seemed an extravagant project, I could not help admiring his courage and desire to be well informed.
I asked him about his mother and daughter, and he replied to my questions without reserve.
He told me that Madame Cornelis was head over ears in debts, and spent about half the year in prison. She would then get out by giving fresh bills and making various arrangements with her creditors, who knew that if they did not allow her to give her balls, they could not expect to get their money.
My daughter, I heard, was a pretty girl of seventeen, very talented, and patronized by the first ladies in London.