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have no effect upon me; and if I should be alive the few people who know me, and perchance may guess I have written these pages, will either believe me or else I shall lose the little friendship they may have for me.

That will not matter, as there is not a single soul now living for whom I feel the slightest love or interest. I shall not use my real name, as I have no desire for notoriety, nor do I wish people to gaze askance at me as a natural curiosity while walking about the streets.

Men consider me morose; for women I feel no interest, so their opinion troubles me even less than that of men. None of my acquaintances know anything concerning my past life, therefore, I shall have no hesitation in giving an accurate account of a few needful particulars in reference to my family and early history.

My mother was English, but had been brought up in Italy (that land of a thousand memories) and had lived in Naples the greater part of her life before she met my father; he was also English, and whilst travelling through Naples had seen her. He stayed there for some time, then married and took her back to England with him. I was their only child, and was born on the 28th July, 1856, in Queen's Road, Peckham, near London.