Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/375



pecuniary advantages to Piozzi would bave had an end about a year after he bad the honour of teaching ber eldest daughter, wbo in that interval made such progress in the art, as to want bis teaching no longer, and that might possibly bave produced, if not a total separation, at least an interrupted intercourse between the motber and the singer. To parr}’ so dreadful a misfortune as that of dismissing bim, what was the expedient the ingenious madam bad recourse to? — Look bere — quotb she to ber busband — do you know that tbis same Piozzi is my own brotber? — How so? — says mr. Tbrale; — are you gone mad? — Not mad at ali, sir; but you must know, that, wben we were last in Wales, I chanced to fínd in an old ’scrutore of my father’s some writings, and among them some letters written to bim by one Martha Piozzi, by which she solicited bim to send ber money for the maintenance and education of a little Gabriel she had brought bim wben on bis travels in Italy. Those letters I then destroyed, as I thought them of no use, but their contents were easy to remember; and I remembered them so well, that never was I so struck in my life, as wben I first heard the name of Piozzi from doctor Burnej’. Not longer agotban yesterday, I had the curiosity of asking Piozzi what town of Italy he carne from, and he told me from Brescia. Brescia was exactly the town from which those letters were dated. Is your motber alive? No: she died when I was stili a boy. What was her name? Martha. And in what year were you born? In such a year. Wonderful to teli, but ever>’ word of bis squaredto atittle with Martha Piozzi ’s letters. I am therefore perfectly satisfied that Piozzi is my brother, and cannot refuse my belief to so much accumulated evidence. What say you to this odd discovery? — And did you — quotb mr. Tbrale — inform bim of ali this? — No, I did not, as I would first communicate it to you. — Well then — says mr, Tbrale — keep your discovery to yourself, treat bim as kindly as you choose; let bim bave free access to our house if you like it; but cali bim not brotber, and by imparting bim your secret, plague me not with an acknowledgment that would prove disagreeable, as I will bave no brotber Gabriel nor Raphael.