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THE LIFE OF ROXANA

wards to Rome, where his business, whatever it was, called him to stay some time, and from thence to Venice.

He was as good as his word, indeed; for I had the pleasure of his company, and, in a word, engrossed his conversation almost all the way. He took delight in showing me everything that was to be seen, and particularly in telling me something of the history of everything he showed me.

What valuable pains were here thrown away upon one, who he was sure, at last, to abandon with regret! How below himself did a man of quality and of a thousand accomplishments behave in all this! It is one of my reasons for entering into this part, which otherwise would not be worth relating. Had I been a daughter or a wife, of whom it might be said that he had a just concern in their instruction or improvement, it had been an admirable step; but all this to a whore; to one who he carried with him upon no account that could be rationally agreeable, and none but to gratify the meanest of human frailties this was the wonder of it. But such is the power of a vicious inclination. Whoring was, in a word, his darling crime, the worst excursion he made, for he was otherwise one of the most excellent persons in the world. No passions, no furious excursions, no ostentatious pride; the most humble, courteous, affable person in the world. Not an oath, not an indecent word, or the least blemish in behaviour was to be seen in all his conversation, except as before excepted; and it has given me occasion for many dark reflections since, to look back and think that I should be the snare of such a person's life; that I should influence him to so much wickedness, and that I should be the instrument in the hand of the devil to do him so much prejudice.

We were near two years upon this grand tour, as it may be called, during most of which I resided at Rome, or at Venice, having only been twice at Florence and once at Naples. I made some very diverting and useful observations in all these places, and particularly of the conduct of the ladies; for I had opportunity to converse much among them, by the help of the old witch that travelled with us. She had been at Naples and at Venice, and had lived in the former several years, where, as I found, she had lived but a loose life, and indeed the women of Naples generally do; and, in short, I found she was fully acquainted with all the intriguing arts of that part of the world.

Here my lord bought me a little female Turkish slave, who, being taken at sea by a Maltese man-of-war, was brought in there, and of her I learnt the Turkish language, their way of dressing and dancing, and some Turkish, or rather Moorish, songs, of which I made use to my advantage on an extraordinary occasion some years after, as you shall hear in its place. I need not say I learnt Italian too, for I got pretty well mistress of that before I had been there a year; and as I had leisure enough and loved the language, I read all the Italian books I could come at.

I began to be so in love with Italy, especially with Naples and Venice, that I could have been very well satisfied to have sent for Amy and have taken up my residence there for life.

As to Rome, I did not like it at all. The swarms of ecclesiastics of all kinds on one side, and the scoundrel rabbles of the common people on the other, make Rome the unpleasantest place in the world to live in. The innumerable number of valets, lackeys, and other servants is such that they used to say that there are very few of the common people in Rome but what have been footmen, or porters, or grooms to cardinals or