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The Parent's Assistant; Or, Stories for Children By Maria Edgeworth Characters: 31709

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:02

Chi va piano va sano, e anché lontano.

Fair and softly goes far in a day.

Piedro had now an opportunity of establishing a good character. When he went into the market with his grapes and figs, he found that he was not shunned or taunted as usual. All seemed disposed to believe in his intended reformation, and to give him a fair trial.

These favourable dispositions towards him were the consequence of Francisco's benevolent representations. He told them that he thought Piedro had suffered enough to cure him of his tricks, and that it would be cruelty in them, because he might once have been in fault, to banish him by their reproaches from amongst them, and thus to prevent him from the means of gaining his livelihood honestly.

Piedro made a good beginning, and gave what several of the younger customers thought excellent bargains. His grapes and figs were quickly sold, and with the money that he got for them he the next day purchased from a fruit dealer a fresh supply; and thus he went on for some time, conducting himself with scrupulous honesty, so that he acquired some credit among his companions. They no longer watched him with suspicious eyes. They trusted to his measures and weights, and they counted less carefully the change which they received from him.

The satisfaction he felt from this alteration in their manners was at first delightful to Piedro; but in proportion to his credit, his opportunities of defrauding increased; and these became temptations which he had not the firmness to resist. His old manner of thinking recurred.

"I make but a few shillings a day, and this is but slow work," said he to himself. "What signifies my good character, if I make so little by it?"

Light gains, and frequent, make a heavy purse, [314] was one of Francisco's proverbs. But Piedro was in too great haste to get rich to take time into his account. He set his invention to work, and he did not want for ingenuity, to devise means of cheating without running the risk of detection. He observed that the younger part of the community were extremely fond of certain coloured sugar plums, and of burnt almonds.

With the money he had earned by two months' trading in fruit he laid in a large stock of what appeared to these little merchants a stock of almonds and sugar-plums, and he painted in capital gold coloured letters upon his board, "Sweetest, largest, most admirable sugar-plums of all colours ever sold in Naples, to be had here; and in gratitude to his numerous customers, Piedro adds to these, 'Burnt almonds gratis.'".

This advertisement attracted the attention of all who could read; and many who could not read heard it repeated with delight. Crowds of children surrounded Piedro's board of promise, and they all went away the first day amply satisfied. Each had a full measure of coloured sugar-plums at the usual price, and along with these a burnt almond gratis. The burnt almond had such an effect upon the public judgment, that it was universally allowed that the sugar-plums were, as the advertisement set forth, the largest, sweetest, most admirable ever sold in Naples; though all the time they were, in no respect, better than any other sugar-plums.

It was generally reported that Piedro gave full measure-fuller than any other board in the city. He measured the sugar-plums in a little cubical tin box; and this, it was affirmed, he heaped up to the top, and pressed down before he poured out the contents into the open hands of his approving customers. This belief, and Piedro's popularity, continued longer even than he had expected; and, as he thought his sugar-plums had secured their reputation with the generous public, he gradually neglected to add burnt almonds gratis.

One day a boy of about ten years old passed carelessly by, whistling as he went along, and swinging a carpenter's rule in his hand. "Ha! what have we here?" cried he, stopping to read what was written on Piedro's board. "This promises rarely. Old as I am, and tall of my age, which makes the matter worse, I am still as fond of sugar-plums as my little sister, who is five years younger than I. Come, Signor, fill me quick, for I'm in haste to taste them, two measures of the sweetest, largest, most admirable sugar-plums in Naples-one measure for myself and one for my little Rosetta."

"You'll pay for yourself and your sister, then," said Piedro, "for no credit is given here."

"No credit do I ask," replied the lively boy; "when I told you I loved sugar-plums, did I tell you I loved them, or even my sister, so well as to run in debt for them? Here's for myself, and here's for my sister's share," said he, laying down his money; "and now for the burnt almonds gratis, my good fellow."

"They are all out; I have been out of burnt almonds this great while," said Piedro.

"Then why are they in your advertisement here?" said Carlo.

"I have not had time to scratch them out of the board."

"What! not when you have, by your own account, been out of them a great while? I did not know it required so much time to blot out a few words-let us try"; and as he spoke, Carlo, for that was the name of Piedro's new customer, pulled a bit of white chalk out of his pocket, and drew a broad score across the line on the board which promised burnt almonds gratis.

"You are most impatient," said Piedro; "I shall have a fresh stock of almonds to-morrow."

"Why must the board tell a lie to-day?"

"It would ruin me to alter it," said Piedro.

"A lie may ruin you, but I could scarcely think the truth could."

"You have no right to meddle with me or my board," said Piedro, put off his guard, and out of his usual soft voice of civility, by this last observation. "My character, and that of my board, are too firmly established now for any chance customer like you to injure."

"I never dreamed of injuring you or anyone else," said Carlo-"I wish, moreover, you may not injure yourself. Do as you please with your board, but give me my sugar-plums, for I have some right to meddle with those, having paid for them."

"Hold out your hand, then."

"No, put them in here, if you please; put my sister's, at least, in here; she likes to have them in this box: I bought some for her in it yesterday, and she'll think they'll taste the better out of the same box. But how is this? your measure does not fill my box nearly; you give us very few sugar-plums for our money."

"I give you full measure, as I give to everybody."

"The measure should be an inch cube, I know," said Carlo; "that's what all the little merchants have agreed to, you know."

"True," said Piedro, "so it is."

"And so it is, I must allow," said Carlo, measuring the outside of it with the carpenter's rule which he held in his hand. "An inch every way; and yet by my eye-and I have no bad one, being used to measuring carpenter's work for my father-by my eye I should think this would have held more sugar-plums."

"The eye often deceives us;" said Piedro. "There's nothing like measuring, you find."

"There's nothing like measuring, I find, indeed," replied Carlo, as he looked closely at the end of his rule, which, since he spoke last, he had put into the cube to take its depth in the inside. "This is not as deep by a quarter of an inch, Signor Piedro, measured within as it is measured without."

Piedro changed colour terribly, and seizing hold of the tin box, endeavoured to wrest it from the youth who measured so accurately. Carlo held his prize fast, and lifting it above his head, he ran into the midst of the square where the little market was held, exclaiming, "A discovery! a discovery! that concerns all who love sugar-plums. A discovery! a discovery that concerns all who have ever bought the sweetest, and most admirable sugar-plums ever sold in Naples."

The crowd gathered from all parts of the square as he spoke.

"We have bought," and "We have bought of those sugar-plums," cried several little voices at once, "if you mean Piedro's."

"The same," continued Carlo-"he who, out of gratitude to his numerous customers, gives, or promises to give, burnt almonds gratis."

"Excellent they were!" cried several voices. "We all know Piedro well; but what's your discovery?"

"My discovery is," said Carlo, "that you, none of you, know Piedro. Look you here; look at this box-this is his measure; it has a false bottom-it holds only three-quarters as much as it ought to do; and his numerous customers have all been cheated of one-quarter of every measure of the admirable sugar-plums they have bought from him. 'Think twice of a good bargain,' says the proverb."

"So we have been finely duped, indeed," cried some of the bystanders, looking at one another with a mortified air. "Full of courtesy, full of craft!" [317] "So this is the meaning of his burnt almonds gratis," cried others; all joined in an uproar of indignation, except one, who, as he stood behind the rest, expressed in his countenance silent surprise and sorrow.

"Is this Piedro a relation of yours?" said Carlo, going up to this silent person. "I am sorry, if he be, that I have published his disgrace, for I would not hurt you. You don't sell sugar-plums as he does, I'm sure; for my little sister Rosetta has often bought from you. Can this Piedro be a friend of yours?"

"I wished to have been his friend; but I see I can't," said Francisco. "He is a neighbour of ours, and I pitied him; but since he is at his old tricks again, there's an end of the matter. I have reason to be obliged to you, for I was nearly taken in. He has behaved so well for some time past, that I intended this very evening to have gone to him, and to have told him that I was willing to do for him what he has long begged of me to do-to enter into partnership with him."

"Francisco! Francisco!-your measure, lend us your measure!" exclaimed a number of little merchants crowding round him. "You have a measure for sugar-plums; and we have all agreed to refer to that, and to see how much we have been cheated before we go to break Piedro's bench and declare him bankrupt, [318]-the punishment for all knaves."

They pressed on to Francisco's board, obtained his measure, found that it held something more than a quarter above the quantity that could be contained in Piedro's. The cries of the enraged populace were now most clamorous. They hung the just and the unjust measures upon high poles; and, forming themselves into a formidable phalanx, they proceeded towards Piedro's well known yellow lettered board, exclaiming, as they went along, "Common cause! common cause! The little Neapolitan merchants will have no knaves amongst them! Break his bench! break his bench! He is a bankrupt in honesty."

Piedro saw the mob, heard the indignant clamour, and, terrified at the approach of numbers, he fled with the utmost precipitation, having scarcely time to pack up half his sugar-plums. There was a prodigious number, more than would have filled many honest measures, scattered upon the ground and trampled under foot by the crowd. Piedro's bench was broken, and the public vengeance wreaked itself also upon his treacherous painted board. It was, after being much disfigured by various inscriptions expressive of the universal contempt for Piedro, hung up in a conspicuous part of the market-place; and the false measure was fastened like a cap upon one of its corners. Piedro could never more show his face in this market, and all hopes of friendship-all hopes of partnership with Francisco-were for ever at an end.

If rogues would calculate, they would cease to be rogues; for they would certainly discover that it is most for their interest to be honest-setting aside the pleasure of being esteemed and beloved, of having a safe conscience, with perfect freedom from all the various embarrassments and terror to which knaves are subject. Is it not clear that our crafty hero would have gained rather more by a partnership with Francisco, and by a fair character, than he could possibly obtain by fraudulent dealing in comfits?

When the mob had dispersed, after satisfying themselves with executing summary justice upon Piedro's bench and board, Francisco found a carpenter's rule lying upon the ground near Piedro's broken bench, which he recollected to have seen in the hands of Carlo. He examined it carefully, and he found Carlo's name written upon it, and the name of the street where he lived; and though it was considerably out of his way, he set out immediately to restore the rule, which was a very handsome one, to its rightful owner. After a hot walk through several streets, he overtook Carlo, who had just reached the door of his own house. Carlo was particularly obliged to him, he said, for restoring this rule to him, as it was a present from the master of a vessel, who employed his father to do carpenter's work for him. "One should not praise one's self, they say," continued Carlo, "but I long so much to gain your good opinion, that I must tell you the whole history of the rule you have restored. It was given to me for having measured the work and made up the bill of a whole pleasure-boat myself. You may guess I should have been sorry enough to have lost it. Thank you for its being once more in my careless hands, and tell me, I beg, whenever I can do you any service. By-the-by, I can make up for you a fruit stall. I'll do it to-morrow, and it shall be the admiration of the market. Is there anything else you could think of for me?"

"Why, yes," said Francisco; "since you are so good-natured, perhaps you'd be kind enough to tell me the meaning of some of those lines and figures that I see upon your rule. I have a great curiosity to know their use."

"That I'll explain to you with pleasure, as far as I know them myself; but when I'm at fault, my father, who is cleverer than I am, and understands trigonometry, can help us out."

"Trigonometry!" repeated Francisco, not a little alarmed at the high sounding word; "that's what I certainly shall never understand."

"Oh, never fear," replied Carlo, laughing. "I looked just as you do now-I felt just as you do now-all in a fright and a puzzle, when I first heard of angles and sines, and cosines, and arcs and centres, and complements and tangents."

"Oh mercy! mercy!" interrupted Francisco, whilst Carlo laughed, with a benevolent sense of superiority.

"Why," said Carlo, "you'll find all these things are nothing when you are used to them. But I cannot explain my rule to you here broiling in the sun. Besides, it will not be the work of a day, I promise you; but come and see us at your leisure hours, and we'll study it together. I have a great notion we shall become friends; and, to begin, step in with me now," said Carlo, "and eat a little macaroni with us. I know it is ready by this time. Besides, you'll see my father, and he'll show you plenty of rules and compasses, as you like such things; and then I'll go home with you in the cool of the evening, and you shall show me your melons and vines, and teach me, in time, something of gardening. Oh, I see we must be good friends, just made for each other; so come in-no ceremony."

Carlo was not mistaken in his predictions; he and Francisco became very good friends, spent all their leisure hours together, either in Carlo's workshop or in Francisco's vineyard, and they mutually improved each other. Francisco, before he saw his friend's rule, knew but just enough of arithmetic to calculate in his head the price of the fruit which he sold in the market; but with Carlo's assistance, and the ambition to understand the tables and figures upon the wonderful rule, he set to work in earnest, and in due time, satisfied both himself and his master.

"Who knows but these things that I am learning now may be of some use to me before I di

e?" said Francisco, as he was sitting one morning with his tutor, the carpenter.

"To be sure it will," said the carpenter, putting down his compasses, with which he was drawing a circle-"Arithmetic is a most useful, and I was going to say necessary thing to be known by men in all stations; and a little trigonometry does no harm. In short, my maxim is, that no knowledge comes amiss; for a man's head is of as much use to him as his hands; and even more so.

"A word to the wise will always suffice."

"Besides, to say nothing of making a fortune, is not there a great pleasure in being something of a scholar, and being able to pass one's time with one's book, and one's compasses and pencil? Safe companions these for young and old. No one gets into mischief that has pleasant things to think of and to do when alone; and I know, for my part, that trigonometry is-"

Here the carpenter, just as he was going to pronounce a fresh panegyric upon his favourite trigonometry, was interrupted by the sudden entrance of his little daughter Rosetta, all in tears: a very unusual spectacle, for, taking the year round, she shed fewer tears than any child of her age in Naples.

"Why, my dear good humoured little Rosetta, what has happened? Why these large tears?" said her brother Carlo, and he went up to her, and wiped them from her cheeks. "And these that are going over the bridge of the nose so fast? I must stop these tears, too," said Carlo.

Rosetta, at this speech, burst out laughing, and said that she did not know till then that she had any bridge on her nose.

"And were these shells the cause of the tears?" said her brother, looking at a heap of shells, which she held before her in her frock.

"Yes, partly," said Rosetta. "It was partly my own fault, but not all. You know I went out to the carpenter's yard, near the arsenal, where all the children are picking up chips and sticks so busily; and I was as busy as any of them, because I wanted to fill my basket soon; and then I thought I should sell my basketful directly in the little wood-market. As soon as I had filled my basket, and made up my faggot (which was not done, brother, till I was almost baked by the sun, for I was forced to wait by the carpenters for the bits of wood to make up my faggot)-I say, when it was all ready, and my basket full, I left it altogether in the yard."

"That was not wise to leave it," said Carlo.

"But I only left it for a few minutes, brother, and I could not think anybody would be so dishonest as to take it whilst I was away. I only just ran to tell a boy, who had picked up all these beautiful shells upon the sea-shore, and who wanted to sell them, that I should be glad to buy them from him, if he would only be so good as to keep them for me, for an hour or so, till I had carried my wood to market, and till I had sold it, and so had money to pay him for the shells."

"Your heart was set mightily on these shells, Rosetta."

"Yes; for I thought you and Francisco, brother, would like to have them for your nice grotto that you are making at Resina. That was the reason I was in such a hurry to get them. The boy who had them to sell was very good-natured; he poured them into my lap, and said I had such an honest face he would trust me, and that as he was in a great hurry, he could not wait an hour whilst I sold my wood; but that he was sure I would pay him in the evening, and he told me that he would call here this evening for the money. But now what shall I do, Carlo? I shall have no money to give him: I must give back his shells, and that's a great pity."

"But how happened it that you did not sell your wood?"

"Oh, I forgot; did not I tell you that? When I went for my basket, do you know it was empty, quite empty, not a chip left? Some dishonest person had carried it all off. Had not I reason to cry now, Carlo?'

"I'll go this minute into the wood-market, and see if I can find your faggot. Won't that be better than crying?" said her brother. "Should you know any one of your pieces of wood again if you were to see them?"

"Yes, one of them, I am sure, I should know again," said Rosetta. "It had a notch at one end of it, where one of the carpenters cut it off from another piece of wood for me."

"And is this piece of wood from which the carpenter cut it still to be seen?" said Francisco.

"Yes, it is in the yard; but I cannot bring it to you, for it is very heavy."

"We can go to it," said Francisco, "and I hope we shall recover your basketful."

Carlo and his friend went with Rosetta immediately to the yard, near the arsenal, saw the notched piece of wood, and then proceeded to the little wood-market, and searched every heap that lay before the little factors; but no notched bit was to be found, and Rosetta declared that she did not see one stick that looked at all like any of hers.

On their part, her companions eagerly untied their faggots to show them to her, and exclaimed, "That they were incapable of taking what did not belong to them; that of all persons they should never have thought of taking anything from the good natured little Rosetta, who was always ready to give to others, and to help them in making up their loads."

Despairing of discovering the thief, Francisco and Carlo left the market. As they were returning home, they were met by the English servant Arthur, who asked Francisco where he had been, and where he was going.

As soon as he heard of Rosetta's lost faggot, and of the bit of wood, notched at one end, of which Rosetta drew the shape with a piece of chalk, which her brother had lent her, Arthur exclaimed, "I have seen such a bit of wood as this within this quarter of an hour; but I cannot recollect where. Stay! this was at the baker's, I think, where I went for some rolls for my master. It was lying beside his oven."

To the baker's they all went as fast as possible, and they got there but just in time. The baker had in his hand the bit of wood with which he was that instant going to feed his oven.

"Stop, good Mr. Baker!" cried Rosetta, who ran into the baker's shop first; and as he heard "Stop! stop!" re-echoed by many voices, the baker stopped; and turning to Francisco, Carlo and Arthur, begged, with a countenance of some surprise, to know why they had desired him to stop.

The case was easily explained, and the baker told them that he did not buy any wood in the little market that morning; that this faggot he had purchased between the hours of twelve and one from a lad about Francisco's height, whom he met near the yard of the arsenal.

"This is my bit of wood, I am sure; I know it by this notch," said Rosetta.

"Well," said the baker, "if you will stay here a few minutes, you will probably see the lad who sold it to me. He desired to be paid in bread, and my bread was not quite baked when he was here. I bid him call again in an hour, and I fancy he will be pretty punctual, for he looked desperately hungry."

The baker had scarcely finished speaking when Francisco, who was standing watching at the door, exclaimed, "Here comes Piedro! I hope he is not the boy who sold you the wood, Mr. Baker?"

"He is the boy, though," replied the baker, and Piedro, who now entered the shop, started at the sight of Carlo and Francisco, whom he had never seen since the day of disgrace in the fruit-market.

"Your servant, Signor Piedro," said Carlo; "I have the honour to tell you that this piece of wood, and all that you took out of the basket, which you found in the yard of the arsenal, belongs to my sister."

"Yes, indeed," cried Rosetta.

Piedro being very certain that nobody saw him when he emptied Rosetta's basket, and imagining that he was suspected only upon the bare assertion of a child like Rosetta, who might be baffled and frightened out of her story, boldly denied the charge, and defied any one to prove him guilty.

"He has a right to be heard in his own defence," said Arthur, with the cool justice of an Englishman; and he stopped the angry Carlo's arm, who was going up to the culprit with all the Italian vehemence of oratory and gesture. Arthur went on to say something in bad Italian about the excellence of an English trial by jury, which Carlo was too much enraged to hear, but to which Francisco paid attention, and turning to Piedro, he asked him if he was willing to be judged by twelve of his equals?

"With all my heart," said Piedro, still maintaining an unmoved countenance, and they returned immediately to the little wood-market. On their way, they had passed through the fruit-market, and crowds of those who were well acquainted with Piedro's former transactions followed, to hear the event of the present trial.

Arthur could not, especially as he spoke wretched Italian, make the eager little merchants understand the nature and advantages of an English trial by jury. They preferred their own summary mode of proceeding. Francisco, in whose integrity they all had perfect confidence, was chosen with unanimous shouts for the judge; but he declined the office, and another was appointed. He was raised upon a bench, and the guilty but insolent looking Piedro, and the ingenuous, modest Rosetta stood before him. She made her complaint in a very artless manner; and Piedro, with ingenuity, which in a better cause would have deserved admiration, spoke volubly and craftily in his own defence. But all that he could say could not alter facts. The judge compared the notched bit of wood found at the baker's with a piece from which it was cut, which he went to see in the yard of the arsenal. It was found to fit exactly. The judge then found it impossible to restrain the loud indignation of all the spectators. The prisoner was sentenced never more to sell wood in the market; and the moment sentence was pronounced, Piedro was hissed and hooted out of the market-place. Thus a third time he deprived himself of the means of earning his bread.

We shall not dwell upon all his petty methods of cheating in the trades he next attempted. He handed lemonade about in a part of Naples where he was not known, but he lost his customers by putting too much water and too little lemon into this beverage. He then took to the waters from the sulphurous springs, and served them about to foreigners; but one day, as he was trying to jostle a competitor from the coach door, he slipped his foot, and broke his glasses. They had been borrowed from an old woman, who hired out glasses to the boys who sold lemonade. Piedro knew that it was the custom to pay, of course, for all that was broken; but this he was not inclined to do. He had a few shillings in his pocket, and thought that it would be very clever to defraud this poor woman of her right, and to spend his shillings upon what he valued much more than he did his good name-macaroni. The shillings were soon gone.

We shall now for the present leave Piedro to his follies and his fate; or, to speak more properly, to his follies and their inevitable consequences.

Francisco was all this time acquiring knowledge from his new friends, without neglecting his own or his father's business. He contrived, during the course of autumn and winter, to make himself a tolerable arithmetician. Carlo's father could draw plans in architecture neatly; and pleased with the eagerness Francisco showed to receive instruction, he willingly put a pencil and compasses into his hand, and taught him all he knew himself. Francisco had great perseverance, and, by repeated trials, he at length succeeded in copying exactly all the plans which his master lent him. His copies, in time, surpassed the originals, and Carlo exclaimed, with astonishment: "Why, Francisco, what an astonishing genius you have for drawing!-Absolutely you draw plans better than my father!"

"As to genius," said Francisco, honestly, "I have none. All that I have done has been done by hard labour. I don't know how other people do things; but I am sure that I never have been able to get anything done well but by patience. Don't you remember, Carlo, how you and even Rosetta laughed at me the first time your father put a pencil into my awkward, clumsy hands?"

"Because," said Carlo, laughing again at the recollection, "you held your pencil so drolly; and when you were to cut it, you cut it just as if you were using a pruning-knife to your vines; but now it is your turn to laugh, for you surpass us all. And the times are changed since I set about to explain this rule of mine to you."

"Ay, that rule," said Francisco-"how much I owe to it! Some great people, when they lose any of their fine things, cause the crier to promise a reward of so much money to anyone who shall find and restore their trinket. How richly have you and your father rewarded me for returning this rule!"

Francisco's modesty and gratitude, as they were perfectly sincere, attached his friends to him most powerfully; but there was one person who regretted our hero's frequent absences from his vineyard at Resina. Not Francisco's father, for he was well satisfied his son never neglected his business; and as to the hours spent in Naples, he had so much confidence in Francisco that he felt no apprehensions of his getting into bad company. When his son had once said to him, "I spend my time at such a place, and in such and such a manner," he was as well convinced of its being so as if he had watched and seen him every moment of the day. But it was Arthur who complained of Francisco's absence.

"I see, because I am an Englishman," said he, "you don't value my friendship, and yet that is the very reason you ought to value it; no friends so good as the English, be it spoken without offence to your Italian friend, for whom you now continually leave me to dodge up and down here in Resina, without a soul that I like to speak to, for you are the only Italian I ever liked."

"You shall like another, I promise you," said Francisco. "You must come with me to Carlo's, and see how I spend my evenings; then complain of me, if you can."

It was the utmost stretch of Arthur's complaisance to pay this visit; but, in spite of his national prejudices and habitual reserve of temper, he was pleased with the reception he met with from the generous Carlo and the playful Rosetta. They showed him Francisco's drawings with enthusiastic eagerness; and Arthur, though no great judge of drawing, was in astonishment, and frequently repeated, "I know a gentleman who visits my master who would like these things. I wish I might have them to show him."

"Take them, then," said Carlo; "I wish all Naples could see them, provided they might be liked half as well as I like them."

Arthur carried off the drawings, and one day, when his master was better than usual, and when he was at leisure, eating a dessert of Francisco's grapes, he entered respectfully, with his little portfolio under his arm, and begged permission to show his master a few drawings done by the gardener's son, whose grapes he was eating.

Though not quite so partial a judge as the enthusiastic Carlo, this gentleman was both pleased and surprised at the sight of these drawings, considering how short a time Francisco had applied himself to this art, and what slight instructions he had received. Arthur was desired to summon the young artist. Francisco's honest, open manner, joined to the proofs he had given of his abilities, and the character Arthur gave him for strict honesty, and constant kindness to his parents, interested Mr. Lee, the name of this English gentleman, much in his favour. Mr. Lee was at this time in treaty with an Italian painter, whom he wished to engage to copy for him exactly some of the cornices, mouldings, tablets, and antique ornaments which are to be seen amongst the ruins of the ancient city of Herculaneum. [326]

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