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“ children, his object is to find some needy “man of equal rank, or a very rich one, the “ older the better, who will consent to take “ his daughter off his hands, under the mar“ ket price. This, if she happen to be hand
some, is not difficult of accomplishment.
Objections are seldom made on the part of “ the young lady to the age, and personal or “ other defects of the intended, who perhaps “ visits her once in the parlour as a matter of “ form or curiosity. She is too happy to get “ her liberty on any terms, and he her money “or her person. There is no love on either “ side. What happiness is to be expected, or
constancy, from such a liaison? Is it not “natural, that in her intercourse with a world,
of which she knows and has seen nothing, " and unrestrained mistress of her own time “ and actions, she should find somebody to “ like better, and who likes her better, than
“ her husband ? The Count Guiccioli, for in
stance, who is the richest man in Romagna, was sixty when he married Teresa; she six
From the first they had separate apartments, and she always used to call him “ Sir. What could be expected from such a
preposterous connexion ? For some time she was an Angiolina, and he a Marino Faliero, a good old man; but young women, and your Italian ones too, are not satisfied with your good old men. Love is not the same
dull, cold, calculating feeling here as “ in the North. It is the business, the seri
ous occupation of their lives; it is a want, “ a necessity. Somebody properly defines a “ woman, 'a creature that loves.' They die “ of love; particularly the Romans: they be
gin to love earlier, and feel the passion later “ than the Northern people. When I was at “ Venice, two dowagers of sixty made love to
me. But to return to the Guiccioli. The “old Count did not object to her availing her“ self of the privileges of her country; an Ita6 lian would have reconciled him to the thing: “ indeed for some time he winked at our in
timacy, but at length made an exception against me, as a foreigner, a heretic, an Englishman, and, what was worse than all,
6. He insisted the Guiccioli was as obstinate; her family took her part. Catholics “ cannot get divorces. But, to the scandal “ of all Romagna, the matter was at length “ referred to the Pope, who ordered her a
separate maintenance, on condition that she “ should reside under her father's roof. All “ this was not agreeable, and at length I was “ forced to smuggle her out of Ravenna, “having disclosed a plot laid with the sanc“ tion of the Legate for shutting her up in “a convent for life, which she narrowly
escaped.—Except Greece, I was never so “ attached to any place in my life as to Ravenna ;
and but for the failure of the Con“ stitutionalists and this fracas, should pro“ bably never have left it.
The peasantry “ are the best people in the world, and the “ beauty of their women is extraordinary. " Those at Tivoli and Frescati, who are so “ much vaunted, are mere Sabines, coarse “ creatures, compared to the Romagnese. “ You may talk of your English women, and so it is true that out of one hundred Italians " and English you will find thirty of the lat
ter handsome ; but then there will be one “ Italian on the other side of the scale, who 56 will more than balance the deficit in num“ bers-one who, like the Florence Venus, has
no rival, and can have none in the North.
“ I have learnt more from the peasantry of “ the countries I have travelled in than from “ any other source, especially from the wo“men* : they are more intelligent, as well
as communicative, than the men. : I found “ also at Ravenna much education and libe
rality of thinking among the higher classes. “ The climate is delightful. I was unbroken “ in upon by society. Ravenna lies out of “ the way of travellers. I was never tired “ of my rides in the pine-forest : it breathes “ of the Decameron; it is poetical ground. “ Francesca lived, and Dante was exiled and
Female hearts are such a genial soil For kinder feeling, whatsoe'er their nation, They generally pour the wine and oil, Samaritans in every situation.
Don Juan, Canto V. Stanza 122.