He inquired where I had been travelling; and on learning that I had been in Malta and Sicily, he compared one island with the other, ‘repeating what he had said to the Bishop of London when he returned from that country, that Sicily was an excellent school of political economy; for, in any town there, it only needed to ask what the government enacted, and reverse that to know what ought to be done; it was the most felicitously opposite legislation to any thing good and wise. There were only three things which the government had brought into that garden of delights, namely, itch, pox, and famine. Whereas, in Malta, the force of law and mind was seen, in making that barren rock of semi-Saracen inhabitants the seat of population and plenty.’ Going out, he showed me in the next apartment a picture of Allston’s, and told me ‘that Montague, a picture-dealer, once came to see him, and, glancing towards this, said, “Well, you have got a picture!” thinking it the work of an old master; afterwards, Montague, still talking with his back to the canvas, put up his hand and touched it, and exclaimed, “By Heaven! this picture is not ten years old:” — so delicate and skilful was that man’s touch.’
"Death and destruction," whispered La Quoite, trembling.
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