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" bler, who said he might have known me, " but would not."
I interrupted him by telling him he need not have been so angry on that occasion,-that it was an authoress who had been guilty of that remark. “I don't wonder,” added I, “ that a spinster should have avoided associating with so dangerous an acquaintance as you had the character of being at Venice.”
“ Well, I did not know that these “ • Sketches of Italy' were the produc“tion of a woman; but whether it was “a Mr., Mrs., or Miss, the remark was “ equally uncalled for. To be sure, the “ life I led at Venice was not the most “ saintlike in the world.”
“ Yes,” said I, “ if you were to be canonized, it must be as San Ciappelletto.”
“ Not so bad as that either,” said he somewhat seriously.
“ Venice,” resumed he, “is a melan“ choly place to reside in :—to see a city “ die daily as she does, is a sad contem“plation. I sought to distract my mind " from a sense of her desolation, and my “ own solitude, by plunging into a vortex “ that was any thing but pleasure. When “ one gets into a mill-stream, it is difficult “ to swim against it, and keep out of the " wheels. The consequences of being “ carried down by it would furnish an ex“ cellent lesson for youth. You are too “old to profit by it. But, who ever pro“ fited by the experience of others, or his “ own ? When you read my Memoirs, you “ will learn the evils, moral and physical, “ of true dissipation. I assure you my “ life is very entertaining, and very in“structive.”
I said, “ I suppose, when you left England, you were a Childe Harold, and at Venice a Don Giovanni, and Fletcher your Leporello.” He laughed at the remark. I asked him, in what way his life would prove a good lesson ? and he gave me several anecdotes of himself, which I have thrown into a sort of narrative.
“ Almost all the friends of my youth “are dead; either shot in duels, ruined,
“ or in the galleys:" (mentioning the names of several.)
“ Among those I lost in the early part “ of my career, was Lord Falkland,-poor “ fellow! our fathers' fathers were friends. “ He lost his life for a joke, and one “ too he did not make himself. The pre“sent race is more steady than the last. “ They have less constitution and not so “ much money—that accounts for the “ change in their morals.
“ I am now tamed; but before I mar“ ried, shewed some of the blood of “ my ancestors. It is ridiculous to say “ that we do not inherit our passions, “ as well as the gout, or any other dis“ order.
“I was not so young when my father “ died, but that I perfectly remember “ him; and had very early a horror of “ matrimony, from the sight of domestic “ broils : this feeling came over me very “ strongly at my wedding. Something “whispered me that I was sealing my own “ death-warrant. I am a great believer “ in presentiments. Socrates' dæmon was “ no fiction. Monk Lewis had his mo“nitor, and Napoleon many warnings. “ At the last moment I would have re“ treated, if I could have done so. I “ called to mind a friend of mine, who “ had married a young, beautiful, and “ rich girl, and yet was miserable. He “ had strongly urged me against putting “my neck in the same yoke: and to “shew you how firmly I was resolved to “ attend to his advice, I betted Hay