Count Ricla, a dupe to the last, gave her a considerable yearly income on the condition that she should never come to Barcelona again; but in a year the count died.
Nina did not survive him for more than a year, and died miserably from her fearful debauchery. I met her mother and sister at Venice, and she told me the story of the last two years of her daughter's life; but it is so sad and so disgusting a tale that I feel obliged to omit it.
As for the infamous midwife, she found powerful friends.
A pamphlet appeared in which the anonymous author declared that the archbishop had committed a great wrong in punishing a citizen in so shameful a manner without any of the proper formalities of justice. The writer maintained that even if she were guilty she had been unjustly punished, and should appeal to Rome.
The prelate, feeling the force of these animadversions, circulated a pamphlet in which it appeared that the midwife had made three prior appearances before the judge, and that she would have been sent to the gallows long ago if the archbishop had not hesitated to shame three of the noblest families in Bologna, whose names appeared in documents in the custody of his chancellor.
Her crimes were procuring abortion and killing erring mothers, substituting the living for the dead, and in one case a boy for a girl, thus giving him the enjoyment of property which did not belong to him.
This pamphlet of the prelate reduced the patrons of the infamous midwife to silence, for several young noblemen whose mothers had been attended by her did not relish the idea of their family secrets being brought to light.
At Bologna I saw Madame Marucci, who had been expelled from Spain for the same reason as Madame Pelliccia. The latter had retired to Rome, while Madame Marucci was on her way to Lucca, her native country.
Madame Soavi, a Bolognese dancer whom I had known at Parma and Paris, came to Bologna with her daughter by M. de Marigni. The girl, whose name was Adelaide, was very beautiful, and her natural abilities had been fostered by a careful education.
When Madame Soavi got to Bologna she met her husband whom she had not seen for fifteen years.
"Here is a treasure for you," said she, shewing him her daughter.
"She's certainly very pretty, but what am I to do with her? She does not belong to me."
"Yes she does, as I have given her to you. You must know that she has six thousand francs a year, and that I shall be her cashier till I get her married to a good dancer. I want her to learn character dancing, and to make her appearance on the boards. You must take her out on holidays."
"What shall I say if people ask me who she is?"
"Say she is your daughter, and that you are certain, because your wife gave her to you."
"I can't see that."
"Ah, you have always stayed at home, and consequently your wits are homely."
I heard this curious dialogue which made me laugh then, and makes me laugh now as I write it. I offered to help in Adelaide's education, but Madame Soavi laughed, and said,--
"Fox, you have deceived so many tender pullets, that I don't like to trust you with this one, for fear of your making her too precocious."
"I did not think of that, but you are right."
Adelaide became the wonder of Bologna.
A year after I left the Comte du Barri, brother-in-law of the famous mistress of Louis XV., visited Bologna, and became so amorous of Adelaide that her mother sent her away, fearing he would carry her off.
Du Barri offered her a hundred thousand francs for the girl, but she refused the offer.
I saw Adelaide five years later on the boards of a Venetian theatre. When I went to congratulate her, she said,--
"My mother brought me into the world, and I think she will send me out of it; this dancing is killing me."
In point of fact this delicate flower faded and died after seven years of the severe life to which her mother had exposed her.
Madame Soavi who had not taken the precaution to settle the six thousand francs on herself, lost all in losing Adelaide, and died miserably after having rolled in riches.