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to spend a few months and try to forget some of my misery.

Lucky for us poor mortals that we cannot foretell what the future has in store for us—but I am anticipating.

I made Casamicciola my headquarters, and renting a comfortable cottage, installed myself in it with my valet, and one servant to do my cooking.

I fitted myself up a laboratory, and in it amused myself, when tired of making excursions in or around the island.


One day, while standing outside the principal hotel, I saw an Indian with a basket on his back making his way towards me.

He stopped, placed the basket on the ground, drew out a small whistle, and commenced to play a monotonous air.

Presently I saw the lid of the basket move, and protruding from under it, the heads of several snakes; the music became quicker, and forth glided five cobra-di-capellas.