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NAPLES 

IN TH E 

NINETIES 



I .NEVILLE-ROLFE 



rri'iH'l' TR I'l 'i i M'i'i'i' ' I i M ! ! ' I ' 




THE GETTY RESEARCH INSTITUTE LIBRARY 

Halsted VanderPoel Campanian Collection 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

A SEQUEL TO 

NAPLES IN 1888 



BY 



E. NEVILLE-ROLFE, B.A. 

OF HEACHAM HALL, NORFOLK, H.B.M. CONSUL FOR SOUTH ITALY 
AUTHOR OF 'POMPEII POPULAR AND PRACTICAL,' 'NAPLES IN 1888,' ETC. 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON 
ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK 

1897 



TO 



TO WHOSE ENERGY AND ABILITY 

THIS LITTLE BOOK IS PRINCIPALLY DUE 

IT IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED BY 

father 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 



PAGE 

VANISHING NAPLES . i 



CHAPTER II 

THE LEGENDARY GODDESSES OF SOUTHERN ITALY . 31 

CHAPTER III 
THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA . . . .62 

CHAPTER IV 

AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM . . . . - 97 

CHAPTER V 
SEA AND SUNSHINE . . . . .123 



viii NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



CHAPTER VI 

PAGE 

MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS . . . . -151 



CHAPTER VII 
SCENERY AND MYSTERY . . . . . .184 

CHAPTER VIII 

SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT . . . . .214 

CHAPTER IX 
AN OLD-WORLD JOURNEY 238 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

PRINTED SEPARATELY FROM THE TEXT 

THE TARANTELLA ..... Frontispiece 

THE FOUR SUITS OF THE NEAPOLITAN PACK 

To face page 1 6 

A NEAPOLITAN FUNERAL . . . 18 

A NOOK IN OLD NAPLES ... 24 

GOING HOME ..... 97 

A COUNTRY CART (Naples Cemetery in 

the background) . . . . ,, 114 

A FISHERMAN AT REST . . . ,, 123 

GOSSIPS AT SANTA LUCIA ... 138 

HAULING THE SEINE .... 148 

ZACCHIELLO CHARM . . . . 214 

EDMUND ROLFE, Esq 238 

PRINTED IN THE TEXT 

PAGE 

SIREN ON SEA-HORSE ...... 40 

SIREN WITH TWIN FISH-TAIL . . . . 41 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



PAGE 

WINGED SEA-HORSE 42 

SIREN MOUNTED ON DOUBLE SEA-HORSE . . 43 

THE HARPY SIREN ...... 44 

CIMARUTA t 51 

THE FROG AND CRESCENT AMULET . . . 57 

FATTURA DELLA MORTE 231 



CHAPTER I 

VANISHING NAPLES 

EIGHT years have passed over our heads since 
we brought out our last little book entitled 
Naples in 1888? and we have often been asked 
to bring out a new edition of it. The writer 
has hesitated to do this, first because he could 
no longer avail himself of the assistance of his 
indefatigable collaborators ; secondly because it 
is much more satisfactory to write a new book 
than to republish an old one ; and lastly, 
because the past eight years have witnessed 
such sweeping changes, that Naples is a 
different city materially if not morally. Most 
of the improvements and alterations, which 
were in contemplation when our former book 
was written, are either accomplished or far 

1 Naples in 1888. Rolfe and Ingleby-Trubner and Co., London, 

I 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



advanced ; a street- twenty-seven metres wide 
has been driven from east to west right through 
the worst of the slums, and has placed us in 
easy and rapid communication with the railway 
station ; the said slums have been pulled down 
on either side of it with no sparing hand, and 
magnificent palaces have taken their place ; 
five large new quarters of incomparable ugli- 
ness have been put up to house the working 
classes ; the great bulk of the sewage of the 
city runs away to the desert shores of Cumae, 
instead of defiling the bay as it used to do, 
and the remainder will soon follow it ; the 
play of the Nativity, to which we devoted 
many pages in 1888, was suppressed by the 
Prefect in 1889, and is played no more; fresh 
and important industries, whose absence we 
lamented, have sprung up on every side, and, 
in fact, so much of the local colour has faded 
away that there would have been little of the 
old book that was not quite out of date. 

Still Naples has a quaintness and charm 
of her own, which municipalities cannot 
destroy, and civilisation cannot altogether wreck. 
Things move quickly in these days, but much 
of the picturesqueness must last our time. 



VANISHING NAPLES 



Let us make the most of it, for the maid- 
servants are already beginning to wear bonnets, 
bicycles are thronging our thoroughfares, and 
that great criterion of educational progress 
the Post Office is expanding its operations in 
a remarkable manner. It is far, very far, from 
being perfect, 1 but a vast number of additional 
offices has been opened in all directions, and 
though we still see the public writers at their 
tables in the streets, there are fewer of them, 
. and their business is decidedly slacker than 
it was in the olden days. 

Let us glance at a few of the old-world 
survivals, and let us take the Neapolitan first 
in his religious aspect. Here we find him 
not only unchanged since 1888, but unchanged 
since the Middle Ages. He still has a great 
veneration for St. Januarius, and heartily be- 
lieves that it is by his merits alone that the 
lava has not long since overwhelmed Naples. 
When May and September respectively come 

1 An amusing instance of Post -Office officiousness occurred to us 
recently in sending a registered letter to a friend in England, upon 
which we had written in English the words "Not to be forwarded." 
The letter was returned to us with the observation that the Post Office 
could not undertake the transmission of a letter when the writer's 
own instructions were that it was not to be transmitted. Truly the 
Neapolitan and the Irishman have much in common ! 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



round, and the miracle of the liquefaction of 
the saint's blood is displayed for a week at 
a time, he is sure to be in his place to see 
the grave priest manipulate the venerable relic, 
and to hear the shout of praise which follows 
the announcement that the miracle has been 
vouchsafed to a faithful people. There will 
perhaps be a little practical shrewdness mixed 
up with his piety, but that detracts nothing 
from it from his point of view, and at the 
climax of the miracle he will look at his watch, 
in order to obtain the exact moment at which 
it came off; for this is notoriously an excellent, 
almost infallible number to play in the weekly 
lottery. Thus, assuming the miracle to take 
place at 9.45, he would play those two figures 
as an ambo and 9, 4, 5, as a terno, and 
supposing him to win the former he would 
realise 500 times the stake he speculated with, 
and if the latter, 5000 times his venture. 
Besides that, he would go home thinking that 
San Gennaro was "something like a saint," 
and probably present an offering to his shrine. 

The Corriere di Napoli, a leading Neapolitan 
journal, in its issue of 2ist September 1896, 
thus comments on the miracle. It is to be 



VANISHING NAPLES 



noted that the Corriere is not a religious 
organ. 

THE AUGURY. How many are the Neapolitans who, 
since yesterday, have been jubilant in joy and hope ? into 
how many Neapolitan houses have happiness and con- 
fidence entered since yesterday? and the anxiety of ex- 
pectation has this year been compensated for, nay, amply 
repaid. For the Neapolitans await the miracle of their 
patron with real anxiety, trembling lest it should not take 
place in time, trembling lest the blood should not com- 
pletely liquefy. Sometimes the patron retards the prodigy, 
sometimes the prodigy is not accomplished according to 
the wishes of the votaries, and this is blank desolation to 
the Neapolitans, desolation and discomfort, a terror to the 
devout and to the zealous, because they remember that 
the time and method of the prodigy are not without 
meaning, and that the slowness or incompleteness of the 
liquefaction augur a calamity, presage future scourges within 
the year scourges from which the wonder-worker is not 
allowed to deliver his people ; they signify divine punish- 
ments which the saint is not allowed to prevent. But 
when the miracle comes off, as it did this year as quickly 
as possible, when it occurs as completely as it did this 
year, then the festival of San Gennaro infuses ineffable 
joy and enthusiasm into the town, because the patron has 
always been as good as his word, his good people have 
never been deceived, the oracle of the blood has never 
failed. And nothing could be more touching than this 
bond, so cordial, so fast, and so indissoluble, which exists 
between the Neapolitans and their protector, and by which 
their protector desires to be united to them, his faithful 
flock. He is not satisfied with interceding for them, with 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



receiving their prayers benignantly, with pleading their 
cause ; he shows them by visible signs that he continually 
exercises his office of guardian, periodically heating the 
ardour of their faith with a marvellous phenomenon, 
by which he means to assure them that he is watchful, 
and that when he cannot free them entirely from punish- 
ment, he at all events obtains that it shall be reduced, and 
obtains also the privilege of warning them. 

And they, the Neapolitans, are passionately, tenderly 
and deeply devoted to him, nor do they ask him to do 
more than lies in his power, nor do they rebel against him 
when the prophecy is uncertain. The people feels pro- 
foundly the sentiment of full and unconditional trust in 
its protectors ; it is enough for them to know that some one 
watches over them, and this gives them strength and 
courage. Let calamity come, say they with a sigh, so long 
as there is a saint who will do all he can to soften it and 
make it supportable. 

But if San Gennaro is not above a friendly 
hint, we advise him to look to his laurels, for a 
shrine has grown up of late years called La 
Madonna di Pompei, which has already become 
the object of the most important pilgrimage in 
Italy, and may fairly hope some day to throw 
Lourdes itself into the shade. His Holiness 
the Pope has just given his sanction to the 
shrine and its pilgrimages by appointing a 
cardinal to be in charge of it ; and this should 
lead to a great extension of its popularity. 



VANISHING NAPLES 



The church is situated about half a mile from 
the ruins of the ancient Pompeii, and a visit 
to it can be easily combined with a morning's 
archaeology. There is nothing worth seeing 
when you get there, for the church is a mass 
of tawdry gilding, and in the worst modern 
taste, but it has a fine organ. There is a 
building attached to the church wherein the 
children of criminals who are undergoing sen- 
tences of penal servitude are brought up. This 
would seem to be a very useful charity in a 
country where there is no capital punishment, 
and long sentences are consequently much 
more common than they are with us. 

In his social aspects the Neapolitan has not 
altered very remarkably. The streets new and 
old still echo the violent cries of the vendors of 
every description of eatables ; there was an 
excuse for these when all the streets were 
narrow and steep, but there is no excuse 
whatever for the continuance of the nuisance 
where the streets are wide and straight. The 
"Society for the suppression of street noises" 
would have ample scope for its labours, and 
would wonder, after a few weeks here, that the 
London street noises ever claimed theirattention. 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



Scavenging must always be a very great 
difficulty at Naples until a law is passed prevent- 
ing human beings from living in what is called 
a basso, which is nothing more nor less than a 
coach-house having no opening except a door 
which is hermetically closed at night. Every 
bit of refuse must necessarily be thrown forth- 
with into the street at whatever time of day it 
may be convenient to eject it. Here it awaits 
the daily visit of the dust-cart, and in the 
meantime, if the family happens to have had 
a fowl for dinner, the feathers are blown all 
over the place ; the passing ragman turns the 
heap over with his crook and makes his 
selection, starving cats and dogs do the same, 
and fowls, the worst offenders of all, whose 
presence is tabooed in every respectable town, 
scatter the remainder about in all directions. 
If the basso were finally disestablished, much 
would be done towards the civilisation of the 
town. As matters now stand, the front of it 
is usually a shop where some small trade, such 
as shoemaking or ironing, is carried on ; there 
is usually a stove alight upon which a vegetable 
soup simmers for the greater part of the day, 
adding its quota to the terrible smell of the 



VANISHING NAPLES 



habitation. Behind this again is the family 
bed, which we must say is generally kept 
scrupulously clean ; but one shudders to think 
of a whole family huddled into this small space 
on a hot night, and one ceases to wonder that 
the Neapolitan of the lower class should 
literally live in the open air. The way in 
which the women dress their hair in the streets 
causes visitors a feeling of considerable un- 
easiness. Residents are of course used to it, 
but even they keep as far off as the width of 
the street will allow, to avoid the manifest 
danger of a too near approach to the lady who 
is being operated upon. It must be admitted 
that all the habits of the Neapolitan are much 
better suited to the old streets than to the new 
ones, for we can scarcely imagine a woman 
having her hair done on the pavement of 
Northumberland Avenue, and the Corso Re 
d' Italia is, in fact, just such another street. 
However, the said Corso has no bassi, which 
is a great advance, and we hope that in future 
all the new streets will be built without them. 

There is a party in the town which is not 
without influence, who desire to prevent cows 
and goats being led and driven from door to 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



door to provide milk for their respective 
customers, and certainly their presence in the 
old streets was much less incongruous than it 
is in the wider thoroughfares, though they pay 
no more respect to the one than they did to 
the other. We shall certainly miss the goats 
if ever they are abolished. They form a 
picturesque element, an incident one does not 
see in other towns, a little bit of local colouring 
not to be lightly thrown away. Nanny is a 
remarkably intelligent creature when she has 
been educated into town ways. Thousands of 
them troop into town morning and night, and 
are driven out to pasture again night and 
morning, on the hills in the neighbourhood. 
In any of the villages around you may see 
them in the afternoon (or in the morning if 
you are up early enough) trotting into the city, 
and when they arrive there breaking off into 
their own flocks without any confusion, and 
going their accustomed rounds, and when they 
reach a house where one of them has to be 
milked the others lie down on the pavement 
while the selected nanny marches sedately up 
the stairs with the goatherd, to be milked, and 
to descend again as a matter of course. A 



VANISHING NAPLES 1 1 

goat too has a great deal of character. It will 
not get out of the way of a bicycle, though it 
is far too sharp to be run over by a cab. It 
seems to know that the foot passenger and the 
wheelman are at its mercy, and it will not give 
place to them. Popular prejudice, which, in 
places where universal suffrage exists, is an 
amazingly powerful factor, is all on the side 
of the goats, for a Neapolitan must have his 
milk, and his faith in poor humanity is so 
slender that unless he sees it milked himself 
he does not care to become a purchaser. His 
idiomatic expression for extreme poverty is 
Passa la Vacca, "The cow goes by," meaning 
that he cannot afford to buy even a drink of 
milk ; and in our opinion it will be a very 
daring Syndic indeed, and one who is very 
sure of his seat at the next election, who will 
issue an order forbidding the cows and goats 
to wander at their own sweet will through the 
streets of the town. It might be possible to 
compel the goatherds to carry a broom instead 
of a quarterstaff, and to sweep the foot-pave- 
ments where his charges had been resting, and 
if this reform were carried out the chief nuis- 
ance appertaining to the goats would disappear. 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



We suppose that it must be the over- 
whelming idea of obtaining money without 
working for it that makes the Neapolitan of all 
classes such a consummate gambler. The public 
lottery, that terrible canker of Italian institu- 
tions, flourishes enormously in the southern 
provinces. As elsewhere, the gamblers of 
Naples are an excessively credulous lot. One 
can understand when a man is betting upon 
horses that he should accept the judgment of a 
sporting newspaper correspondent, and entrust 
his money to the bona fides of such a corre- 
spondent rather than to his own judgment, and 
even in the case of the advertising tipster the 
presumption is that he has obtained the best 
information that he can, and that it is decidedly 
in his interest to win money for his clients. 
But it is mysterious how a Neapolitan, or any 
one else, can bring himself to believe that there 
can be any such thing as a prophecy of the 
numbers which are about to be drawn in the 
lottery, or that any amount of calculation, based 
upon events which have already taken place, 
and numbers which have already been drawn, 
can possibly affect the future or indicate in the 
remotest way the numbers which are to issue 



VANISHING NAPLES 13 

from the urn. And yet the advertisements 
of lottery tipsters are as common in Naples 
as the advertisements of turf tipsters are in 
England, and occupy a prominent place in the 
most respectable papers. It is evident that the 
process pays, as such long advertisements cost 
a considerable sum of money. We have 
before us as we write an advertisement of 
thirty-two lines, full-column width, taken from 
the Corriere di Napoli, wherein, for payment of 
one franc, the advertiser promises that Naples 
and all the provinces will hold high revel if 
they will only play for a few pence the numbers 
which he will give them. The advertisement 
is headed : " The six million profit on the 
lottery is in danger," and appeals to the gentry, 
to the indigent, to working-men, to tradesmen, 
and in fact to all classes, to participate in the 
splendid fortune which here lies open before 
them. How it is that the man is not torn 
to pieces when his prophecies fail, seems 
mysterious, and is probably only to be accounted 
for by the fact that the dupe is in reality 
ashamed to confess himself to have been done, 
or else perhaps because the advertiser has a 
specious answer to explain away the mistake 



14 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

which he has made. It will be readily under- 
stood that this government lottery is a very 
great evil. The stakes allowed to be played 
for are so small that they are in the reach of 
the most impecunious classes of the population, 
and this causes a great temptation, especially 
to the class of domestic servants to steal small 
sums of money from their masters in order 
to participate in the weekly drawing. The 
drawing in Naples is a very queer sight, and 
a scene of great excitement. The numbers 
are drawn in the quadrangle of the Direction 
of the lottery, from a revolving glass cylinder 
containing ninety identical tubes, in each of 
which is a single number from one to ninety. 
They are drawn by a little boy, a different boy 
being selected every week and blindfolded for 
the purpose. He is given a suit of new 
clothes and a present of twenty-five francs 
for his trouble. The whole affair has been 
described in the greatest possible detail by 
Signora Matilde Serao, Editress of // Mattino, 
a paper having a large circulation in Naples, 
in a book called II paese di Cuccagna (the land 
of delights). She goes minutely into the evils 
of the lottery, and in a graphic narrative sets 



VANISHING NAPLES 15 

out the different systems by which a lower 
class Neapolitan settles upon the numbers 
which he deems certain to come out on the 
fateful day. 

The use of the Neapolitan cards is gradually 
and surely fading from the upper classes, for 
French cards are taking their place, such games 
as baccarat are coming into fashion, and scopa 
and other Neapolitan games are falling into 
desuetude. The Neapolitan games will no 
doubt hold their own amongst the lower classes, 
who are absolutely addicted to gambling and 
the keenest card-players in the world ; it is 
otherwise with the upper classes, principally 
because of recent years they have travelled so 
much more than they used to, and have found 
themselves compelled to reconcile themselves 
to the games played in other countries, and this 
has led to their introduction at home. 

The Neapolitan pack consists of forty cards 
in four suits. The emblems upon them are 
coarsely drawn as well as wretchedly painted ; 
and though many attempts at reform in this 
matter have been spoken of nothing has come 
of them, the traditional gaudy colours being 



16 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

perpetuated, and the cards being in all proba- 
bility precisely what they were a hundred and 
fifty or more years ago. The suits are named 
bastoni (clubs), which are not represented by a 
shamrock, as with us, but by a single club 
like a constable's staff with an oak leaf design 
upon it ; coppe, which are represented by 
goblets ; danari (money), by pictures of gold 
coins ; and spade (swords), by a short straight 
sword. Our illustration (Fig. 2) gives the 
two of coppe, the knaves of spade and danari, 
and the ace of bastoni. We have said that 
the Neapolitan cards are forty in number. 
They run from ace to seven, with Cavallo, 
Donna, and Re answering to Knave, Queen, 
King. 

A side-blow has been given to the burial 
practices at Naples which may ultimately lead 
to their modification. A very small thing is 
often sufficient to run a very old custom off 
the rails, and it may be so in this instance. 
About two years ago the municipality, desiring 
as usual to raise a little more money, created a 
monopoly of funeral rites in their own favour, 
and every one now, gentle and simple, is com- 






THE FOUR SUITS OF THE NEAPOLITAN PACK 



VANISHING NAPLES 17 

pelled to employ the hearse of one contractor. 
It was with much difficulty that the burials in 
the British cemetery obtained exclusion from 
this regulation, and leave to carry out their 
funerals with their own hearses and in their own 
way. It need hardly be said that the new 
funeral cars are marvels of appalling ugliness 
and execrable taste. The grandest car of all 
is constructed like an Egyptian temple and 
adorned with black-and-silver sphinxes ; on the 
roof of it is a life-size figure of an angel with 
outspread wings, the appearance of which is 
absolutely grotesque. 

Most Neapolitans belong to a guild called 
here a Confraternita, whose doctors attend him 
while he is alive, and whose members follow 
him when he is carried to his last resting-place. 
The whole affair contains so many survivals of 
Roman times that it is most interesting 
archaeologically. First we have the paid 
female mourners, wrapped in long black Spanish 
veils, who are identical with the Roman 
Praeficae, excepting that they do not wail and 
tear their hair, but march quietly after the 
coffin. It is usual also to have half a dozen 
male servants in knee-breeches and silk 



1 8 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

stockings, although it may be notorious that 
the deceased never employed a man-servant in 
his lifetime. Then we have a great number of 
men from the poorhouse clad in their blue 
cloaks and bearing banners upon which the 
initials of the deceased are usually stencilled. 
These men are mostly broken-down men- 
servants, and have taken the place of the 
liberti of Roman times, whom the deceased 
had made free by his will, and who always 
followed his funeral ; and lastly we have the 
fraternity of the Guild in their long white 
robes and masks representing .the imagines, 
that is the disembodied ancestors of the de- 
ceased, following the procession in long array. 
That these imagines were dressed very much 
like the confraternities is tolerably certain, 
from a fresco in the Naples Museum, of 
Mercury conveying a soul across the Styx, the 
soul being represented in a long white robe, 
and, except for the absence of a mask, resem- 
bling exactly the appearance of the brethren of 
one of the Neapolitan funerals. 

The functions of these guilds, after the 
death of one of their members, is moreover 
precisely the same as those of the Libitinarii 



VANISHING NAPLES 19 

of Roman times, who, after a death, undertook 
all the necessary formalities of registration and 
so on, and relieved the family of all trouble in 
the matter of the interment. There is a custom 
in the conduct of Neapolitan funerals the 
vanishing of which we wish we could record. 
It is usual for Neapolitan funerals to go up 
Toledo at a foot's pace, thereby causing a 
complete dislocation of the traffic in that busy 
thoroughfare. On arrival at a point beyond 
the Museum the cortege disperses, leaving the 
hearse to proceed alone to the cemetery. As 
soon as the mourners have gone, the hearse 
draws up at the contractor's stables, a porter 
issues therefrom with a basket containing a 
heterogeneous medley of garments ; the trap- 
pings are taken off the horses, the men proceed 
to divest themselves of their cocked hats and 
gorgeous liveries in the middle of the street 
and put on their working clothes, the horses 
are whipped up to a round trot, and the body 
is rattled off to the cemetery to be uncere- 
moniously carried .to its grave by half a dozen 
tattered gravediggers. To our notions the 
irreverence of the proceedings is inexcusable ; 
for nothing indicates the higher civilisation of 



20 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the living more than the scrupulous attention 
and reverence which they pay to their 
dead. 

Owing to the building of a new quarter at 
the eastern end of the town, the British 
cemetery was closed by the authorities three 
years ago, and is now surrounded with houses, 
the garden being kept up at the expense of 
the British community. A new piece of 
ground was given by the Municipality on the 
top of the hill near the Campo di Marte, 
the large military exercise-ground. The situa- 
tion is beautiful, but the distance from the 
town renders it extremely inconvenient. The 
cemetery has been beautifully laid out, and in 
this country, where shrubs of considerable size 
can readily be moved, and grow freely after- 
wards, the cemetery will, like the old one, 
soon resemble a beautiful pleasure-ground. 
The Protestant cemetery is the property of the 
British Government, but Protestants of all 
nations are buried in it, adopting the rites of 
their own denominations. There are a good 
many foreign Protestant communities in the 
town British, Swiss, and German so that, as 
long as they are content to use the same 



VANISHING NAPLES 



cemetery, the fees provide an income sufficient 
to keep it in proper order. The Italian Pro- 
testants have a corner given them in the 
Roman Catholic necropolis, and do not claim 
the hospitality of the British cemetery. In 
this part of Italy Protestants are mostly exotics, 
that is to say they belong to the North, hailing 
chiefly from the Waldensian valleys. Their 
influence is not to be neglected as a factor in 
the civilisation of Southern Italy, and it gives 
us pleasure to mention the missions to Nea- 
politans of the Wesleyan and Baptist churches, 
as well as the excellent school for Neapolitan 
children which is ably conducted by the Presby- 
terians. There are besides these two Walden- 
sian churches, which receive a great deal of 
British support. 

After a considerable interregnum, during 
which a royal commissioner has been sent 
down to override the mayor and manage the 
affairs of the municipality, Naples has again 
a mayor of her own, and a very energetic 
person he promises to be. He starts on the 
platform of "no favouritism," which is quite a 
new departure, and he promises many radical 
reforms. If he is anything like as radical a 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



reformer as he is said to be, he has come just 
at the right time, for the iron is hot and 
needs only the man to strike it. The North 
of Italy has long ago awoke from her lethargy 
and is forging ahead. Progressive Milan and 
busy Genoa were not very long ago as far 
behind the times as Naples. They are now 
emulating Paris and Marseilles. The tide of 
civilisation has reached Rome and must flow 
on to Naples. No one can check it, but all 
of us may encourage it and break down the 
barriers which oppose its progress. One great 
work, a work so expensive that all the 
engineers have quailed before it, is the widen- 
ing of the Strada di Chiaia ; but this is a 
work which will absolutely have to be done 
sooner or later, and the sooner the better. 
The west end of the town must be made to 
communicate easily with the east end ; now 
the whole traffic is forced through one little 
narrow street. Narrow as it is, it has a great 
history, for it forms the northern boundary of 
the Monte di Dio which is the name now 
given to what was once the acropolis of the 
Greek city. It was, in fact, as fine an 
acropolis as that of Athens ; it is as high; 



VANISHING NAPLES 23 

as large, and as sheer down. Centuries and 
the hand of man have much modified it, but 
to any one who knows it well its old grandeur 
remains, and imagination can sweep away the 
houses which have grown up at its base and 
dwarfed it, and the modern buildings on its 
summit, which have no doubt taken the place 
of the grand architectural edifices which once 
stood there in the days of Grecian glory. 
Why, it may be argued, should the Paestum 
marshes, the rock of Hercules at Pompeii, 
and the acropolis of Cumae have been selected 
for the erection of splendid temples, and the 
fine acropolis of Naples left out in the cold? 
We cannot believe it, for here was an im- 
pregnable rock washed by the bright blue 
sea, with its little island of Megaris now 
called Castel dell' Ovo not a quarter of a 
mile from it, sparkling with the silvery brine 
when the prevailing breezes lashed the bay 
into foam. Like the acropolis of Athens it 
was accessible only from one side, and there- 
fore it needed artificial defence on one side 
alone. This was accomplished by building 
a wall and sinking a fosse where the Strada 
di Chiaia now is, and in the lapse of ages 



24 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the fosse became a mule-path, and the mule- 
path a street ; and a street it now is, and a 
very inconvenient one too, for it is thronged 
from morning to night, although heavy traffic 
is excluded from it in the daytime. 

If we have dwelt at some length on 
Naples from the old-world point of view, it 
is because we love her best clad in her old 
garments, because there is something seductive 
in the local colouring, something special to 
itself in the development of centuries and the 
odd survivals belonging to them ; but we do 
not blind ourselves to the fact that all this 
must go, nay is going very rapidly indeed. 

There has been a great and marvellous 
development, and it seems as if the town had 
arrived at the stage of conscious progress ; 
that the people were beginning to realise that 
a thing is not in itself necessarily desirable 
because it has been the immemorial custom to 
do it at Naples ; that it is no part of the 
eternal fitness of things that ragged mendicants 
should infest the streets, and naked children 
wallow in the gutters ; that scavenging should 
be more or less a chance operation ; that the 
streets are not necessarily the best places for 



VANISHING NAPLES 25 

the drying of clothes and the letting off of 
fireworks ; and in short that what other towns 
have done Naples could do in spite of the 
bottomless vortex of her municipal debt and 
the innate supineness of her population. Yes, 
the time is coming when a Neapolitan will 
answer a letter, keep an appointment, have 
some little regard for truth, and some small 
respect for the feelings of his neighbours. 
The cabmen will some day drive with whips 
which do not rend the air with their terrible 
cracking, they will learn kindness to animals 
and the use of soap and water ; insect life will 
be kept at bay, and the city will fall to the 
dead level of Paris, Berlin, or any other 
civilised town. 

The extension of the railway system around 
Naples has been a great boon. We are much 
nearer Rome than we were, and only fifty 
hours from Charing Cross, by rapid trains with 
comfortable sleeping cars, while for those whose 
leisure and inclination lead them to prefer the 
sea, we have the finest steamers in the world 
to put us into Plymouth in about six days. A 
new railway along the coast has abridged the 
journey to Sicily by some six hours, and this 



26 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

railway has a peculiarity which we do not 
remember to have met on any other. When 
we were at Constantinople some years ago we 
recollect a somewhat phenomenal railway, the 
trains of which went down one day and up the 
next, so that there was only a departure from 
the capital every other day ; but the Naples to 
Reggio line has an equally striking peculiarity 
in that the trains only run at night. This is 
all very well for the through traffic, but rather 
galling to people who live at the intermediate 
stations. Imagine the feelings of the average 
Britisher if the only train at his disposal 
arrived between three and four A.M. ! He 
would no doubt fly to the press, and we 
should sympathise with his grievances when 
we were consuming our morning rasher ; but 
here the press has little power, and it is very 
rare to see a letter from a private person in 
the papers. 

We are promised a new railway very soon 
by the enterprise of Messrs. Thomas Cook and 
Sons, and this line when made will be a very 
great boon to the travelling public. As matters 
now stand, the ascent of Vesuvius occupies a 
whole day. The excursionist starts at nine in 



VANISHING NAPLES 27 

the morning, and drives for three hours to 
the foot of the cone, where he finds a com- 
fortable luncheon awaiting him, the number of 
the party having been telephoned up before- 
hand. The wire-rope railway then pulls him 
up the cone, where he can amuse himself for 
an hour or so, and the drive home will take 
him a couple of hours. Messrs. Cook, with 
their usual enterprise, are going to revolutionise 
all this. They intend to make a railway from 
Naples, which will climb up the mountain on 
the same system as the Righi line, and put the 
passenger to the very top in three-quarters 
of an hour. The result will be an enormous 
saving of time and expense, as the whole trip 
will be performed in less time than is now 
occupied in the ascent alone, and the cost of 
the excursion will be considerably diminished 
as well. This will probably vastly increase 
the number of trippers who frequent the 
mountain, as nothing can be more delightful 
than to have a mouthful of bright mountain air 
three thousand feet up in the hot weather, and 
it will be easy to go up for supper on a summer 
evening, and return when those beautiful slopes 
are bathed in the brilliant moonlight of southern 



28 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Italy. When Byron wrote in Childe Harold 
of "Vesuvius rearing his hackneyed height/' 
he little thought how soon the ingenuity of 
man was to conquer the obstacles of dame 
Nature. If the mountain was "hackneyed" 
then, what shall we call it now that some 
fifteen thousand travellers ascend it annually ? 
In these days everything must be done with a 
rush, we must all work at high pressure. We 
used to be content to enjoy the lovely coast- 
line of Baia from a carriage, now we must 
rush past it in a train ; we used to stroll over 
the country, now we must tear across it on a 
bicycle. And in fact the country round Naples 
is very suitable to the wheelman, for there are 
excellent flat roads in many directions, and by 
taking a machine up the wire-rope railway 
which leads from the town to the top of the 
Vomero hill at the back of it, the rider is 
raised without effort about seven hundred feet, 
and can ride down hill in any direction he 
pleases for about ten miles, and be sure of a 
flat road to return by. 

Elevators are very much in fashion, and as 
the abundant water-power we enjoy enables 
them to be put into any house with ease, all 



VANISHING NAPLES 29 

the hotels and most of the new private houses 
have them, but we have gone further than 
that. Most people who have been to Naples 
will remember the tunnel which leads from the 
city through the Vomero hill towards Pozzuoli. 
On the top of this hill are numerous villa 
residences which people live in during the 
summer season, and it occurred to an astute 
Belgian that a readier means of access to these 
villas would be a godsend to their owners. 
He accordingly constructed a steam lift from 
the centre of the tunnel to the top of the hill, 
and by means of this one can go up to the 
Vomero on the hottest day of summer and be 
in the shade all the time. It was a bold 
venture and has been crowned with well- 
deserved success. The only fault to be found 
with it is that it is too small, and not convenient 
for taking a bicycle up in. The point reached 
by it is that part of the Vomero whence the 
view can be obtained over the bay of Pozzuoli 
as well as over that of Naples, near the spot 
familiar to most visitors where the giant pine- 
tree makes a foreground to the lovely panorama 
of Sorrento and Capri, and where at sunset 
Vesuvius in the winter time, bathed in a roseate 



30 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

vapour, steams away as in proud consciousness 
that he is adding his quota to the dream of 
beauty before us. Or walk a few yards farther 
and look to the westward over the other bay. 
The colouring is altogether different here, for 
the sun is just sinking below the horizon. 
Nisida is in a glow of golden light ; Ischia, 
Procida, and Vivara are in a glow of golden 
haze ; the trawlers are beginning their night's 
work, the hand - liners are rowing steadily 
home ; and the last haul of the seine is making 
the black sand of Coroglio beach glitter with 
its myriad trophies of silvery mullet and 
anchovies. 

But night is upon us now, so we must put 
on our coats, for there is no twilight here, and 
allow the lift to land us in the tunnel, whence 
the prosaic tram will take us home. 



CHAPTER II 

THE LEGENDARY GODDESSES OF SOUTHERN 
ITALY 

WHEN Aeneas approached the shores of Italy 
and anchored his ship oft what he calls the 
" Euboean Cumae," his first object was to call 
upon the famous Sibyl, and in order to do so 
he crossed the forest which separated the coast- 
line of Cumae from the lake of Avernus. 
Virgil gives a detailed account of his meeting 
with the Sibyl, and of the advice which she 
gave him. Having obtained from her all the 
information he could acquire as to his future 
career and prospects, he asked her as a favour 
to show him the way across the Stygian lake, 
in order that he might go down into Hades and 
visit the ghost of his Father Anchises. Virgil's 
description of the Sibyl is particularly interest- 
ing because there can be no doubt that it 



32 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

embodies precisely the traditional idea which 
the Romans of the first century had of a 
woman who certainly was the most notable 
of the prophetic virgins of antiquity. 

There is a famous story among the legends 
of Tarquinius Superbus that it was he who 
purchased the Sibylline books from the Cumaean 
prophetess. The story goes that she offered 
to sell him the nine books for three hundred 
pieces of gold and that he at once turned his 
back upon her. She then destroyed three of 
the books and still asked him three hundred 
pieces of gold for the remaining six. Tarquinius 
was still resolute ; so with great persistence the 
Sibyl disappeared and burnt three of the remain- 
ing six, still asking the same price for those 
which were left. He now gave in, paying 
the price at which the nine were originally 
offered him for the only three that remained. 

Greek in Italy was the language of culture 
and refinement, and occupied much the same 
place at Rome as French did in the diplomatic 
world, until Prince Bismarck enunciated the 
much - needed reform that every diplomat 
should write despatches in his own language, 
and leave his colleague, to whom the despatch 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 33 

was addressed, to find out its meaning as best 
he could ; and then to reply to it in his own 
language, and thus take his revenge upon the 
original writer. Thus the Sibylline books were 
written in Greek, and the only three which 
were purchased by Tarquinius were kept in a 
stone chest in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus 
under the custody of certain officers, who could 
consult them only by special order of the 
Senate. When the temple was burnt in B.C. 
82 the books perished in the fire ; fresh col- 
lections of them were made, and when the 
temple was rebuilt these were deposited in 
the same place that their predecessors had 
occupied. In the time of Augustus many 
prophetic books had accumulated, and he, con- 
sidering that most of them were spurious, 
ordered all those which belonged to private 
persons to be burnt and only the genuine ones 
to be retained and kept in the custody of State 
officials. That the Ephesian books spoken of 
in the Acts of the Apostles were something of 
the same kind is almost beyond question, 
because the later Sibylline books were to a 
large extent collected in the time of Augustus 
from Asia Minor. 

3 



34 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

To return to the sixth Aeneid, the descrip- 
tion given by Virgil of the performances of the 
Cumaean Sibyl tallies exactly with what history 
tells us of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, and 
it must be remembered that the Sibyl was 
supposed in both cases to be influenced by 
Apollo. The Delphic oracle has been explained 
by stating that a potent gas, issuing from the 
cleft in the rock over which the tripod of the 
god was placed, caused the prophetess to go 
into a phrenzy, and when in that condition to 
issue her prophecies. 

Now if this was the case at Delphi, how 
much more likely was it to have been the case 
at Avernus, where the Sibyl is supposed to 
have dwelt, and where her grotto is shown 
to this day, for it forms a part of the Phlegraean 
Fields which are now an intensely volcanic 
region, and were much more volcanic in the 
ancient times. The so-called baths of Nero 
in the immediate vicinity are full of naturally 
boiling water, and from fissures in the rocks 
around Baiae volcanic gas may be seen to 
escape when the atmospheric conditions are 
favourable. There are also great varieties in 
this gas as will be noticed by any one who 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 35 

visits the Grotta del Cane near the lake of 
Agnano. 

Virgil, it will be remembered, describes the 
Sibyl as being absolutely phrenetic when giving 
forth her oracles. He says that her face and 
colour changed, that her hair became di- 
shevelled, her breast heaved, and her heart 
swelled with fury ; she no longer appeared 
mortal when in the possession of the god. 
This is his description of her at the opening 
interview with Aeneas, and he returns to it 
again, describing the same thing in other 
words when she comes to give out her 
prophecy. 

The usual way in which these prophecies are 
said to have been given was that they were 
written upon leaves and sent flying before the 
wind, being bound by the influence of Phoebus 
Apollo, the god alike of Delphi and Cumae, to 
reach the persons for whom they were intended. 
For the sake of dramatic unity Virgil causes 
Aeneas to entreat the Sibyl not to commit her 
oracular sayings to writing, but to recite them 
aloud. She then proceeds to declare her vision 
of the Tiber rolling with blood ; of a new 
Achilles born of a goddess for Latium, and the 



36 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

various troubles and battles which the hero 
will have to go through. 

Whatever may be the merits of the story, 
the description of the locality is particularly 
interesting to the traveller in Southern Italy, 
although that locality has been enormously 
changed by volcanic disturbances. It will be 
remembered that in the sixteenth century the 
crater now called Monte Nuovo was thrown up, 
and the Lucrine Lake, which once was a lake 
of importance, was reduced to very moderate 
dimensions. It was probably at this time, 
certainly after the Roman period, that a lava 
stream reached Baia, though where it came 
from has never been satisfactorily shown to 
our mind. The very name of Avernus was, 
according to Virgil, given to the lake by the 
Greeks, the derivation being from two Greek 
words which signify that no bird can fly across 
it on account of its mephitic exhalations. The 
lake is still there, but it was surrounded by a 
wall in the beginning of this century by the 
Bourbons, who intended to make a harbour of 
it, but found it too malarious for the purpose. 
The oak forest, from which the Sibyl ordered 
Aeneas to cut the wood for the funeral pyre of 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 37 

Misenus, his trumpeter, who had been drowned 
off the point which still bears his name, still 
skirts the shore, and is a Royal game preserve, 
and the shores of the lake itself, though now 
covered with vineyards, were until recently a 
tangle of brushwood. 

It is perhaps idle to inquire whether there 
ever was a wise woman of any kind at Cumae, 
but it is not unlikely that a story which seems 
to have been current for so many centuries had 
some foundation in fact. From the Witch of 
Endor down to the present day, the world has 
never lacked prophetic women in whom a 
section of the public has been found to place un- 
bounded confidence, and the woodsof Cumae may 
quite likely have been the abode of one of them. 
By trusting to vague generalities and issuing 
prophecies which could have more than one 
meaning, it has never been difficult to deceive 
such credulous persons as in reality desire to be 
deceived, and in all ages people, even among 
the educated classes, have, against their better 
judgment, become a prey to prophets not one 
whit less ridiculous than the Virgin at Cumae. 

Equally poetical was the legend of the 
Sirens of South Italy. These three nymphs, 



38 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Parthenope, Ligia, and Leucosia, were supposed 
to inhabit the three rocky islets now called 
I sole dei Galli, which lie off the promontory 
which forms the southern point of the bay of 
Naples. The legends concerning the Sirens 
are inextricably mixed up with those of Ceres or 
Demeter, and Persephone or Proserpine, and 
even as to the form of the Sirens themselves, 
the artistic evidence is very conflicting. A few 
years ago a picture of Ulysses passing the 
Siren rocks was exhibited in the Royal 
Academy. The Sirens in this picture were 
taken from a fresco, now in the British 
Museum, which was originally found at 
Pompeii, and was presented to the nation by 
the late king of Naples. Here they are 
represented as birds with human faces resem- 
bling rather the Harpy than the Siren. But 
the more common representation of the Sirens 
is that of sea- nymphs with fish-tails ; beings 
whose place was certainly much more the sea 
than the shore. 1 At any rate it was from 
Parthenope, Queen of the Sirens, that Naples 
obtained her most ancient name, and there can 

1 See The Gnostics and their Remains, C. W. King. Nutt, 
London, 1887. 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 39 

be no doubt that the Sirens and their legends 
have been firmly believed in from the classic 
times to the present day. 

Of the various stories concerning them, that 
which seems best to fit the Neapolitan view of 
the legend is that when Pluto carried off 
Proserpine to Hades, Neptune, distressed at 
her loss, furnished the Sirens (who were 
devoted to her) with winged sea-horses, so 
contrived that they could swim in the sea or fly 
through the air. Mounted on these steeds 
they pursued their quest, and having failed to 
find Persephone by sea or land, found her at 
last in the abode of Pluto. This variety of the 
legend is admirably illustrated by a vase of the 
transition period now in the Naples Museum, 
where we find all the denizens of Hades grouped 
round Pluto and Proserpine, who occupy a 
shrine in the centre of the painting. The 
figures are all named, with the one exception 
of the lady mounted on the sea-horse, which 
is an unfortunate omission. We have the 
group of Megara and the Heraclidae (one 
of whom has a bandage over his wound), 
Orpheus, the Furies, Hermes, and Sisyphus. 
On the other side of the central picture we 



4 o 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



have Myrtilus, Hippodamia, and Pelops in a 
group ; and below them Rhadamanthus, Tripto- 
lemus, and the Danaides with their empty 
pitchers. But the most interesting group to us 
is that at the bottom, for there we have the 




No. i. 

Acheron flowing between its rushy banks, and 
Hercules holding back Cerberus with all his 
might, while the Siren, represented as a 
crowned woman with a flowing robe, is riding 
her fish-tailed sea-horse high in the air above 
the rushing waters of the river of death. 1 

1 Mr. Elworthy (Evil Eye. London : John Murray) treats this 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 



Our illustration (No. i) is taken from this 
Greek vase, the date of which must be of the 




No. 2. 

figure as being Proserpine, in which case the picture represents the 
return of that goddess to the upper world, the legend being that as the 
"Corn goddess" she was, like the corn which she symbolised, subject 
to an annual inhumation, to appear again above ground in due season in 
the flower of her beauty and productiveness. We cannot say from 
what authority Mr. Elworthy has made this statement. Minervini 
suggests that the figure is a released soul flying out of Hades into 
Elysium. To our mind it is the Siren returning to earth after finding 
Persephone in Hades. The vase was certainly painted in Italy, where, 
as we have said, the Sirens , have been believed in for countless 
centuries. 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



fourth century before Christ. The same idea, 
carried on no doubt through all the intervening 
centuries, is current at Naples to the present 
day, and Siren charms, made to represent the 




No. 3. 

Sirens and their sea-horses, are still used by the 
populace to divert the influence of the evil eye 
from their children. The illustrations of these 
charms are taken from specimens in our own 
collection and consist of first (No. 2) the 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 



43 



Siren by herself with her twin fish-tail and a 
paddle on either side of her; secondly (No. 3) 
of the winged sea-horse by himself; thirdly 
(No. 4) of the Siren mounted on two sea- 




No. 4. 

horses; and lastly (No. 5) of the bird-shaped 
Siren. 

In a search after .these charms, extending 
now over many years, we have never but once 
seen a representation in silver of the bird- 



44 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

shaped Siren, showing that the other legend 
had the undoubted preference, in modern times 
at all events. The choice seems to lie between 
a harpy and a mermaid, and the Neapolitans 




No. 5. 

have decidedly shown their preference for the 
latter. There may perhaps be a confusion of 
the two legends which has arisen in the 
following way. Homer places the Siren rocks 
off the coast of Sicily, whereas the Roman 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 45 

writers place them, as we have done, on the 
Campanian coast. It seems strange that with 
the persistency with which the Neapolitans 
have stuck to the sea - nymph theory they 
should still call the rocks by the name of 
" I Galli," pointing clearly to the bird-shaped 
nature of their legendary inhabitants. It is 
evident too, that as far as the destruction of 
ships was concerned, the harpy form was far 
the more practical of the two, and that while 
there were two forms insisted upon by poets 
and painters, the legends have got blended 
till they are scarcely distinguishable. 

From being goddesses the representations 
of the Sirens became talismans ; from being 
talismans, and for the reason that they were 
chiefly used to protect children, bells were 
added to them in order to attract the attention 
of the infant from any evil eye that might 
chance to be cast upon him. The coral 
amulet with bells attached which not so 
many years ago was to be found in all the 
nurseries of the upper classes in England, 
is only a survival of the same idea. Origin- 
ally the coral part of it was, as we shall 
see further on, an amulet, and the bells are 



46 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

merely a survival of those found on the siren 
charms. 

We must now turn to a third legendary 
goddess the Diana Tifatina of Capua, who 
was the famous goddess of these provinces 
in the Roman times. Mr. Julius Beloch 1 has 
written very widely upon her shrine, and has 
set out a great many interesting inscriptions 
discovered there. 

In the Oscan times the goddess of maternity 
was worshipped by the Aborigines, and several 
of her statues are to be seen in the Museum 
at Capua. They are of tufa, rudely carved 
after the manner of an uncultured people, and 
they represent an old woman, having much 
the appearance of Mrs. Gamp, seated on a 
chair and holding half a dozen infants on each 
arm. When the Romans got possession of 
the country they no doubt introduced their 
goddess of maternity to the inhabitants, blend- 
ing their system with that of the conquered 
population as was their wont. In a system 
such as theirs, a new god or goddess was 
heartily welcomed, and wherever they went 

1 Campanien, Geschichte und Topographic des antiken Neapel und 
seiner Umgebung von Julius Beloch Breslau Verlag von E. Morgenstein, 
1890. 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 47 

they either introduced the worship of some 
of their gods who had the same attributes, 
or else, as in the case of the Egyptian gods, 
they took them over wholesale into their 
system. 

Accordingly when they arrived at Capua, 
and found the population worshipping the 
goddess of maternity, they instituted a shrine 
of Diana as the easiest method of conciliating 
the populace and weaning them from their 
old system to the new one. Let us now 
consider what this worship of Diana was which 
the Romans introduced into Capua. 

Here again as in everything we touch we 
find the legends in a very conflicting condition. 
Hecate, Diana, and Artemis are so inextricably 
mixed up that we are fain to treat them as 
we believe the Romans did, as a single goddess 
with a great diversity of attributes. We will 
therefore speak only of the Diana Tifatina of 
Capua, premising that we include under that 
title all the attributes of the goddesses we 
have mentioned. Diana was the goddess of 
the moon, and in that sense the wife of Janus, 
for she controlled the moon at night just as 
her husband controlled the sun during the 



48 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

day. In her attribute of moon goddess, she 
is represented with the crescent moon usually 
placed on her head, and in that capacity silver 
was her own metal, derived no doubt from 
the colour of her silvery moonbeams. Besides 
being in this sense the Queen of Heaven, she 
was Queen of Earth also, and as such the 
goddess of the chase, having rule over the 
beasts of the field and the fowls of the air. 
She had her kingdom, moreover, in the lower 
world, where she was sometimes called Perse- 
phone. Here she was regarded as a goddess 
who presided over sorcery and witchcraft, and 
in this character she dwelt at places where 
three roads met, whence she obtained the 
name of " Trivia." She also frequented tombs 
and dwelt near the blood of murdered persons. 
It was probably from this that the practice 
which once prevailed in England of burying 
suicides at cross roads arose. Her triple 
character is alluded to in such epithets as, 
" Tergemina " and " Triformis." Besides these 
she had the attributes of the Artemis of 
Ephesus, and in that capacity she became the 
goddess of maternity, presiding over the birth 
of infants and guarding them from evil in 



49 



their earlier years. There can be no manner 
of doubt that her worship prevailed very ex- 
tensively in these provinces in the Roman 
period, so much so that when Christianity 
superseded Paganism much of the heathen 
symbolism was adapted to the new rites, and 
the transition from the worship of Diana to 
that of the Madonna was made comparatively 
simple. Of that transition we shall speak 
further on. 

As goddess of the moon Diana's proper 
appellation was " Diana Jana," and it is a 
remarkable circumstance that the Neapolitan 
name for a witch or sorceress is Janara to 
this day, the etymology of which cannot but 
be derived from the Jana of the Romans. 
Witchcraft to this day is exceedingly common 
in Naples, and witches are firmly believed in 
by the lower classes. Their proceedings are 
pretty much the same as those of witches all 
over the world. Their power of " overlooking " 
children is especially recognised, and the super- 
stition still lingers in Naples that it is unlucky 
to tempt them by having one's photograph 
taken, or doing many of those things which 
appear trivial enough to civilised people. 



50 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

We are now in a position to consider the 
Cimaruta, a charm still made for and worn by 
the infants of the labouring classes. Years 
ago the use of these charms prevailed in the 
higher classes of society, and they were then 
more elaborately constructed, being made with 
more emblems, thicker metal, and superior 
workmanship. The charm itself is known by 
the name of Cimaruta, a Neapolitan word 
signifying a sprig of rue, and consists, when 
it is complete, of the following emblems : 

1 . The sprig of rue. 6. The hand and horn. 

2. The serpent. 7. A bird. 

3. The half-moon. 8. The shamrock. 

4. The key. 9. The metal (silver). 

5. The heart. 

Now all these emblems have a magical 
significance, all of them are emblems of Diana, 
and none of them have any Christian sig- 
nificance whatever, excepting so far as the 
Paganism of Rome was grafted in the early 
days upon the Christianity of South Italy. 

To comment upon these separately we must 
first of all consider the mysticism which has 
always been attached to the rue plant. Shake- 
speare calls it " the sour herb of grace," a 
name it is said to have derived from the fact 



LEGEND AR Y GODDESSES 



that it was used by the priests in the pre- 
reformation days when they sprinkled the 
houses with holy water. We hear a good 




No. 6. 

deal of it in the medical history of the Middle 
Ages ; it is specially mentioned in a Latin 
poem of the Middle Ages when speaking of 
the medical school of Salerno. The plant at 
any rate grows freely all over the district, 



52 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

though no doubt other drugs have taken its 
place in the pharmacopeia of the present day. 
The first emblem in the charm may therefore 
be taken to express the plant consecrated to 
the goddess of maternity. 

Of the serpent, the second emblem in the 
charm, it is notorious first of all that it was 
an emblem of Hecate, and also that the 
serpent has been an object of worship from 
the earliest periods. We find the tree and 
the serpent in the form of some legend or 
other in all the religions of the East, and 
certainly in Roman times it was looked upon 
as an object of reverence. In the ante- 
room of nearly all the kitchens of Pompeii 
a fresco will be observed representing an altar 
with a youth pouring a libation on either side. 
Upon the altar the sacred fire is burning, and 
a serpent, or sometimes two serpents, are seen 
approaching it. In the public streets the 
serpent was painted up in all directions ; the 
most famous instance in Pompeii being that of 
the large serpent painted on the wall opposite 
the house of Siricus, beneath which was a Latin 
hexameter which is worth quoting, because of 
recent years it has become almost illegible : 



LEGEND A R Y GODDESSES 53 

Otiosis locus hie non est, discede morator, 
which may be translated, 

This is no place for the lazy, move-on idler. 

If it is admitted that we find the serpent in 
all eastern religions, it must also be admitted 
that the worship of the heavenly bodies is 
common to nearly all the religions of the 
world which are worthy of the name. Moses 
appears to have been the first to have made 
a stand against it, and it will be remembered 
that one of the great difficulties which he 
experienced in combating the idolatry of the 
children of Israel, was in preventing their 
worship of the sun and moon, whether direct 
worship, or the adoration of the sun-god Baal 
or Bel. This was of course a survival of the 
superstitions which the Israelites had seen on 
every side of them during their sojourn in 
Egypt, where Osiris represented the sun, and 
Isis the moon. Diana, in her capacity of 
goddess of heaven, is always represented with 
the crescent moon on her head, and this again 
is frequently represented as a boar's tusk, to 
unite the emblems of the goddess of the 
heaven with that of the presiding genius of 
the chase. 



54 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

The key is an emblem common alike to 
Isis and Diana. In the case of Diana it 
represents the key of the heavens with which 
the goddess let out the moon when she de- 
spatched her on her nightly errand. There 
are two forms of key known to these amulets, 
differing only in the shape of the handle. In 
the one before us the handle is made in the 
shape of a shamrock, and the heart is placed 
on the amulet between the moon and the key. 
The key may thus be taken as the emblem of 
Diana Jana, the heart as the emblem of the 
spotless Diana Virgo, and the shamrock with 
its three leaves as the emblem of the threefold 
goddess, the Queen of Heaven, the Queen of 
Earth, and the Queen of Hell. 

In the hand grasping the horn we have an 
emblem which is common to every kind of 
magic. Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made 
him horns of iron and presented them to the 
king of Israel as a charm to insure his success 
if he went up to Ramoth-Gilead to battle, and 
it is not at all clear that his idea was an 
original one. The use of the horn as an 
amulet is absolutely universal at Naples to 
this day, where it may be seen hanging to the 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 55 

watch-chain of the passers-by in the street, and 
forming part of the adornment of almost every 
horse. It is true that the tramway company 
have not adopted this universal precaution to 
secure the safety of the cattle which draw their 
cars ; but then of course an amulet would be 
an unpardonable anachronism, and as difficult 
to reconcile with its surroundings as an electric 
light would be if set to burn in front of a 
medieval Madonna. 

The bird appears upon the specimen before 
us, and next to it is the flower of the rue plant. 
The bird may no doubt allude to the goddess 
of heaven or even of the chase, though we are 
not aware that any special bird was attributed 
to Diana. 

The metal of which the amulet is composed 
is unquestionably " par excellence " the metal 
of the moon goddess. In the Bible we read 
of Demetrius making " silver shrines " for the 
Ephesian Artemis, which were no doubt little 
miniature shrines for worshippers to take away 
with them as a souvenir of their visit to the 
great temple of Ephesus, and of the adoration 
which they had paid to the image which fell 
down from heaven, similar to the shrines and 



56 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

images taken away from modern pilgrimages 
by the devout of to-day. 

It must always be a matter of wonder that 
these amulets, totally Pagan as they unquestion- 
ably are, should have survived through nineteen 
centuries of Christianity in a country where 
the devotion of the people to their creed is 
incontestable, and the power of their priesthood 
almost unlimited. For, dissect the amulet as 
we may, we find no trace of any Christian 
emblem upon it. St. Peter's keys are always 
crossed, and if the moon had been accepted as 
an emblem of the Madonna, they would scarcely 
have put a grotesque face in the middle of it, 
or coiled a serpent round it. 

The only link we have ever seen between 
Christianity and Paganism is in the case of a 
little amulet of which we give a full-sized 
illustration. It represents a frog seated in the 
crescent of a moon. Now the frog is a common 
amulet, alluding no doubt to Diana in her 
capacity of goddess of pools and rivers. A 
bronze frog now in our possession was found in 
a tomb at Capua close to the mountain which 
was sacred to Diana Tifatina, and here we 
have the same frog connected with the crescent, 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 



57 



universally symbolical of the goddess ; but the 
chief curiosity of the amulet before us lies in 
the fact that upon the crescent the words 




No. 7. 

"Jesus Maria" have been rudely engraved by 
one of its owners, whose evident desire was 
to engraft Christianity upon an emblem the 
significance of which he did not in the least 
understand. 

The various emblems of which the Cimaruta 
is composed are all to be had separately, but 
we are not aware that their wearers attach any 



58 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

individual importance to them. The horn is 
certainly the most commonly worn. It was 
emblem of the bonus eventus in Roman times, 
and Macrobius tells us that there is nothing 
so powerful as a horn to avert evil. The 
gesture faire les cornes, which consists in 
stretching the first and little finger of the 
hand, and folding down the others against the 
thumb, has no name given to it in English, but 
it is universally in use at Naples, and there is 
abundant proof from the frescoes that it was 
used as a gesture to avert evil in the Roman 
times. All these matters are so exhaustively 
treated by Mr. El worthy in his work, to which 
we have already referred, that to carry the 
subject any further is only to stray from our 
point. 

We think we have sufficiently proved that 
these amulets are of classical origin, and that 
they have held their own against the models of 
saints and other Christian charms. But there 
exists a great similarity between the attributes 
of the Madonna as worshipped at Naples to- 
day, and the Diana Tifatina of Roman times, 
showing that the genius of the people remains 
unaltered, although their cult may from external 



LEGENDARY GODDESSES 59 

reasons have become nominally different. We 
have never heard of a Madonna della Caccia, 
but the Madonna del Parto answers precisely 
to the goddess of maternity. But it is not at 
all impossible that in the few districts where a 
certain amount of migratory game is still to be 
found in Italy, local sportsmen may have a 
shrine at which an active worship may pre- 
dicate good fortune in sport. Admitting that 
we have no goddess of the chase, we have 
Madonnas who fulfil pretty nearly every other 
attribute of the Diana of the Romans. We 
have the Madonna del Parto answering to 
the goddess of maternity, the Madonna del 
Pozzo answering to the goddess of pools and 
rivers ; and the Madonna is essentially the 
goddess of the moon (though St. John 
the Evangelist may be responsible for this), 
and we have Madonnas who wink and weep, 
and perform miracles sometimes essentially 
useful, at others despairingly trifling. 

In the Museum at Naples we have the bust 
of what was once an oracular statue of Diana, 
which was found in the temple of her twin 
brother Apollo at Pompeii. The mouth is 
open, and at the back of the head is a 



60 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

speaking-tube through which no doubt the 
priests of that degenerate age deluded their 
people with their oracles. On the shoulders 
of the figure are two holes which appear to 
have contained wires to move the eyes ; and 
Horace himself tells us how, in his journey to 
Brindisi, he was taken to see the local miracle 
of the incense being set alight by the action 
of a supernatural power without the application 
of material fire. Of modern miracles we 
certainly have a plethora in Italy ; and when 
we come to look at the popular pilgrimages 
and processions, what are they but a revival, 
or a survival if you please, of the orgies of 
Bacchus and the rites of Paganism ? 

To take the shrine of Diana Tifatina which 
we are now considering, there are two shrines 
in the immediate neighbourhood of it, named 
Monte San Michele at Maddaloni, and Monte 
Vergine near Nola. These shrines are simply 
the scenes of an annual picnic, when the whole 
country-side holds high revel, just as it did in 
the days when the festival of Diana was held 
at the Mons Tifata. So few strangers are 
here on Whit Monday that none but residents 
can appreciate what the pilgrimage to Monte 



LEGEND A R Y GODDESSES 6 1 

Vergine means. It recalls the words of the 
Psalmist, " They grieved him with their hill- 
altars, and provoked him to displeasure with 
their images." Anything more unlike an act 
of worship to the Supreme Power, and more 
like a frivolous revel, could not possibly be 
seen. The people save up their money for 
months to go these pilgrimages, and but that 
they do not get drunk (for the Italians appear 
to be a more sober race than their forebears), 
the processions precisely resemble the pictures 
which the Romans have left us of their orgies, 
accompanied as they are by shoutings, drums, 
trumpets, and all kinds of intolerable music. 
And then the return to Naples ! The fastest 
horses and the gayest trappings have been 
secured for the occasion. The women are 
decked in their best clothes ; the whips re- 
sound with their loudest reports ; the din is 
inconceivable as the long row of carriages 
dashes into town. The Posilipo road, where 
the majority of the pilgrims go to supper, is 
absolutely dangerous both to pedestrians and 
to sober - minded drivers ; it is very noisy, 
very picturesque, but in its religious aspect it 
savours distinctly of Paganism ! 



CHAPTER III 

THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 

THE title we have given to this chapter will 
lead many people to think only of Pompeii 
and Herculaneum, for of the many buried 
cities of Southern Italy these are the two 
most universally familiar to the travelling 
public. But there are in fact many others, 
less known perhaps, but in their way scarcely 
less interesting. We have remains of towns 
which were once highly powerful and highly 
civilised ; towns which had their armies and 
their fleets too ; towns which were not afraid 
to challenge the supremacy of Rome herself 
in the days before she was the undisputed 
mistress of the world. Let us glance over 
the list of them, premising that it is not a 
complete one, as there is no doubt that other 
cities still lie undiscovered at our doors. 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 63 

We have Cumae the oldest Greek settlement 
in Italy ; Capua the chief southern fortress of 
Rome, and now one of the principal garrisons 
of Italy ; Baiae the fashionable resort of all 
the gilded aristocracy of the first century ; 
Dikearchia, afterwards called Puteoli, a town 
of great commercial importance ; Parthenope, 
Neapolis, and Palaeopolis, all cities whose site 
is now covered by the modern town of Naples ; 
Suessola, whose healing waters were largely 
sought after in ancient times ; and last, but 
not least, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae, 
which all shared the same fate in the first 
century of our era. Besides these we have 
a buried city more important than any of 
them, namely Paestum, which, though not 
in Campania, is so near the border that we 
should be almost justified in including it in 
our researches. And besides these cities, we 
notice remains of ancient buildings scattered 
all over the country, as we drive along the 
roads ; or if we skirt the shores of the lovely 
bay, are not its cliffs and coves literally honey- 
combed with the ruins of magnificent villas, 
which were once the pride and glory of the 
sybaritic Patricians ? 



64 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

We have thus a large amount of ground 
to go over, and a period of history which is 
second to none in interest. We begin with 
the foundation of Cumae about 650 B.C., and 
we finish with the destruction of Pompeii in 
November 79 A.D. The period comprises the 
colonial ambition and expansion of Greece ; 
the golden age of her art and literature ; the 
time when she was the home of ethics and 
science, when her architects, painters, and 
sculptors were the greatest in the world (and 
these have ever remained unequalled), when 
her armies held the mighty Persian hosts at 
bay, when her navies swept every known sea, 
when her immortal literature was penned, and 
her athletes broke the record of the world. 
We shall see Rome rise and reach the zenith 
of her power ; we shall glance at the golden 
age of Augustus ; and finally witness the birth 
of Christ, an event the importance of which 
has not been dimmed by nearly twenty centuries 
of time, nor minimised by the countless hosts of 
its detractors. Nor will our task be complete 
till we have seen St. Paul land at Puteoli, and 
the Christian religion firmly rooted in Italy. 

We have placed the time of the colonisation 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 65 

of Cumae at 650 B.C., but of course we are 
ready to admit the uncertainty of the date, 
within a hundred years or so. It may have been 
founded before, but the evidence is pretty clear 
that it was not founded after the middle of the 
seventh century B.C. It is generally admitted 
that it was the oldest of the Greek colonies 
established in Italy, and that the first effort of 
the colonists was to settle in the island of 
Ischia, which is separated from Cumae by a 
narrow strait. Ischia, then as now, was subject 
to violent earthquakes, and the colonists, though 
doubtless well accustomed to these phenomena 
in their own country, were so disturbed by them 
that they determined to transfer their settlement 
to the mainland, and to accept the risks of war 
rather than those of the relentless violence of the 
natural phenomena. Now immediately opposite 
to Ischia is a rocky promontory such as the 
Greeks delighted in for the erection of an 
Acropolis. They selected sites almost identical 
with this one at Locri, Naples, and many 
other places in Italy, and in fact the sacred 
Acropolis of Athens herself is exactly similar to 
those we have mentioned. To Cumae ac- 
cordingly the colonists migrated from Ischia, 

5 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



and their first care no doubt was to fortify their 
citadel. This was particularly easy of accom- 
plishment, as the rock is absolutely inaccessible 
on its sea-front, and very difficult of access from 
the land side at any but its south-eastern corner. 
Here was the only gate which led into the 
fortress, and this was flanked by a mighty wall 
built of huge blocks of stone, which stand in 
their imposing grandeur to this day. The road 
from the outside leading up to the top was 
paved in the same way that the " Via Appia " 
is, but may perhaps have been of a later period, 
for the " Domitian " way joins it at a few yards 
from the city, and this was no doubt a road of 
much later construction. We know all about 
the land side of the acropolis, but the approach 
from the sea leaves a good deal of ground for 
conjecture. The colonists must have had a 
harbour of some sort. The beach at this spot 
is so exposed that even with our modern 
appliances a boat could not land there in 
safety in the winter, on account of the surf. 
They must therefore have had a harbour, 
and various conjectures have been hazarded 
as to where that harbour may have been. 
Dikearchia is manifestly too far off, and it 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 67 

seems not unlikely from the configuration of 
the ground that what is now the Lake Fusaro 
may in those days have been the harbour of 
Cumae. The original colonists, having come 
partly from Aeolia and partly from Eretria in 
Euboea, were thoroughly seafaring folk, and 
may be depended upon to have looked keenly 
to the naval as well as the military fitness 
of the locality before they decided upon it. It 
is clear too that they gave their settlement its 
name, and as colonists have done in all ages 
they chose one of their home names and called 
it after the Cumae which already existed in 
Aeolia. 

Having thoroughly secured their fortress, 
the colonists turned their attention to walling in 
that portion of the plain which was to provide 
them with the means of subsistence, and ulti- 
mately to be built over and become an important 
city. Once fairly established, the prosperity of 
the place increased by leaps and bounds. The 
colony acquired a vast commerce, the city being 
situated in the centre of the " Falernus Ager," 
then, as now, as rich a bit of land as any in Italy. 
The population is estimated to have reached 
the aggregate of 50,000 souls, and to have 



68 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

possessed itself of the greater part of Campania. 
From hence sprang many important colonies 
which owned Cumae as their Mother State. 
Paestum was probably colonised independently, 
but it is practically certain that Palaeopolis, 
Dikearchia, and even distant Messina owed 
their existence to Cumaean enterprise. Pros- 
perity is the parent of envy, and as soon as 
the new settlement was rich, it began to 
attract the attention of its neighbours. The 
Etruscans made a strong expedition against it 
in 474 B.C., when Hiero, the powerful tyrant of 
Syracuse, came to the assistance of the colonists, 
and meeting the Etruscan fleet, annihilated it 
off the walls of the Acropolis. This escape did 
not altogether save Cumae, for about fifty 
years after, the Campanians attacked her, broke 
up the colony and enslaved the inhabitants. 
In Roman times she became first a " Muni- 
cipium " and after a suburb of fashionable 
Baiae, until the population was driven out by 
the malaria which infested them both; and since 
that time, but for her magnificent agricultural 
capabilities, she has become merely a geo- 
graphical expression. 

But though neglected and despised, and per- 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 69 

haps because she was neglected and despised, 
Cumae has been a very fruitful field to the ex- 
cavator. The finds from her necropolis form 
an important item of the collections in the 
Naples Museum, and they are not yet exhausted, 
though nothing of the first importance has come 
to light during the last few years. The 
three-story tomb discovered by the Count of 
Syracuse is historical. The building consists 
of three tombs, the one above the other ; the 
lowest being early Greek, the next late 
Greek, and the upper one Roman. In the 
upper one were four headless trunks, with 
wax masks in the place where the head should 
have been. It is probable that they were the 
corpses of Christians beheaded during the 
persecutions of Diocletian, a coin of his date 
having been found in the tomb. Of the wax 
masks, one is in the Naples Museum, the others 
perished on exposure. The late Mr. King 
in his well-known book on ancient gems and 
rings says, " The face is that of a man, and a 
slight distortion of the nose and lips proves that 
the mould was taken from the face during life." 
This would mean that before execution the 
friends of the prisoners were permitted to take 



70 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

casts from their faces, and that after execution 
they were allowed to bury the corpses where 
they pleased. Further, the style and position 
of the tomb indicate a certain command of 
money, unless the sepulchre had been built for 
some one else, and was merely appropriated. 
Apart from the gruesomeness of the idea of 
taking the cast of a friend's face before he was 
executed, the whole conjecture, though generally 
accepted, has a flavour of suspicion about it. 
Of the lower tombs nothing can be said, except 
that the style of the vases found indicated their 
date, the vases themselves not having been 
sufficiently described to enable us to identify 
them, though they are among those found by 
the Count of Syracuse at Cumae and are now 
in the Naples Museum. 

The necropolis of Cumae, as is usual with 
ancient burial-grounds, was not a separate acre or 
so of ground devoted specifically to the purpose, 
as is the custom with us, but the tombs were all 
ranged on either side of the highway leading 
from the town into the country. Thus at 
Rome we find the Appian Way lined with 
tombs ; we find the same at Pompeii ; and 
throughout Italy the custom is of the highest 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 71 

antiquity, for the Etruscans practised it at 
Volterra, and the earliest Greeks at Cumae. 
We have personally had the privilege of being 
present at the opening of many tombs at Cumae, 
and have witnessed many remarkable finds. 
Of these perhaps the most unique occurred in 
two tombs found side by side on the same side 
of the road, and not very far from the three- 
story tomb we have spoken of. They were 
small, carefully- built vaults about three feet 
square, and on opening them we found them to 
contain bronze vases about the size of coal- 
scuttles. On opening these, great was our 
delight to find silver urns inside the bronze 
ones ! We had never found bronze urns before, 
much less silver ones. Alas ! no date of the 
tomb was present. The executors had spent 
all the assets on their testator of the urns, and 
had not a halfpenny left to put in among the 
ashes wherewith to pay the grim ferryman who 
was to convey his spectre across the Acheron. 
This little tribute to the superstition of the day 
seems to have been more common in the 
Roman times than in the earlier periods ; and 
more usual in the burial than in the cremation 
cycles. We have frequently taken a coin out of 



72 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the mouth of a skeleton in the burial periods, but 
it is rare to find one among the ashes in an urn. 
The only logical explanation is that Charon 
accepted payment from the gentry who had 
been cremated, and refused it from the un- 
fashionable people who had been buried ! 

As might be expected in a necropolis so 
ancient as that of Cumae, we find tombs of all 
the periods of Greek and Roman times, and we 
find cremation and burial side by side. But we 
can only argue from this that the same cemetery 
was used by successive generations, and we must 
not argue that one method or the other was 
resorted to merely at the caprice of the deceased 
or his executors. These two methods of 
disposing of the dead alternate in fairly well- 
defined cycles in the history of our period, as 
indeed they do in the history of the world ; for 
after nineteen centuries of burial are we not 
now entering upon a period of cremation ? 
Is it not possible that burial, now the rule, 
will be the exception in 1950? At the 
beginning of our era, cremation was the rule, 
one might say the universal rule of the Romans, 
and it was Christianity which reintroduced 
burial, in adherence to the Jewish custom, and 



73 



in imitation of the " tomb hewn out of the 
rock " in which Our Lord was laid, they con- 
structed the Catacombs. We have never found 
traces of any Christian tombs at Cumae, but 
this is accounted for by the fact that Cumae was 
probably virtually deserted before that religion 
had made any great headway in Italy. Many 
Christian burials of very early periods have 
been found at Pozzuoli only four miles off. 
These are determined by the emblems found in 
them, such as the fish, the palm-branch, the 
seven-branch candlestick, and so on, which are 
sometimes carved on the outer slab, and some- 
times embossed upon lamps, for in the early 
times lamps were found in Christian, as well as 
in heathen sepulchres. 

Gold and silver jewelry, as well as engraved 
gems and coins, are frequently found in the 
heathen tombs at Cumae, but it is by the 
painted vases that the date of a tomb can most 
certainly be ascertained. Jewelry was some- 
times mortuary, that is made of thin gold leaf, 
expressly for the dead, and as an ornament to 
the corpse, but often the shroud was fastened 
with gold brooches, and very frequently (though 
not as frequently as we should like) we find the 



74 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

most magnificent tiaras, necklaces, bracelets, and 
rings buried with the deceased. The engraved 
gems of the ancients were the signets by 
which every business transaction was authenti- 
cated, and were constantly buried with their 
owners. It was a felony to make two alike, 
and in ancient gems we have a compendium 
of their gods, their heroes, their legends and 
their beliefs. These subjects were as much 
"Sacred Subjects" to them as Madonnas and 
saints were to the medieval artists, or Biblical 
subjects to ourselves. 

The painted vases are commonly but 
erroneously called " Etruscan," whereas from 
the form and orthography of the inscriptions 
upon them it is quite certain that they are 
Greek. The Etruscans did not paint their 
vases, they only embossed them with quaint 
figures and rough designs ; but the Greeks 
knew how to draw a true line on a round 
surface, an art which is lost to the world in 
any but a mechanical sense. The period of 
Greek vase-painting extends from 600 to 200 
B.C., when metal began to take the place of 
clay for domestic purposes, and we find sauce- 
pans and other culinary implements made of 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 75 

bronze and carefully silvered over on the 
inner surface to prevent oxidisation with its 
attendant dangers. As might be expected, 
every period of vase - painting is represented 
at Cumae, and the rise, progress, perfection, 
transition, and decadence are all present 
to tell us the age of the tomb we are 
exploring. A certain class of vases called 
the " Panathenaic " is particularly interesting 
because they bear an inscription stating that 
they were the prizes given in the games at 
Athens, and great numbers of these have been 
found in various parts of Italy, showing that the 
colonists made it a practice to attend the games 
of Athens, and gave a very good account of 
themselves when they got there. Thus Strabo 
tells us that "the last wrestler of Crotona in 
Calabria was equal to the best of the other 
Greeks," an assertion which the number of 
these vases found in tombs in Italy abundantly 
bears out, and the fact that they were buried 
with their owners is the best possible proof 
of the store they set by them. The decoration 
upon them consists on the obverse of a figure 
of Athena standing between two pillars sur- 
mounted by fighting cocks, which represent 



76 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the posts round which the competitors turned 
at the two extremes of the " stadium." Along- 
side one of these . pillars was the legend, "Of 
the games of Athens," and sometimes the 
names of the " Archons " during whose rule 
the games had been held. When the names 
of the Archons appear we know the precise 
year in which the contest was held. One of 
the most celebrated of these vases, and the 
oldest extant, was found by Mr. Burgon at 
Athens, and now may be seen bearing his 
name among the treasures of the British 
Museum. 

The Greeks not only imported many vases 
into Italy, but established many factories in 
that country, notably at Nola and Tarentum. 
These were decorated with mythological scenes, 
and often with scenes from the favourite tragic 
poets. These vases are always found in tombs, 
where they were deposited with the armour, 
trinkets, and other objects which the deceased 
had most valued in his lifetime, in the belief 
that he would use them in his future state. 
For the same reason some slaves and a horse 
were frequently sacrificed at his burial-place, a 
custom of which we have a survival in these 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 77 

days when the charger is led in the cortege 
of a military officer's funeral, and not un- 
frequently shot afterwards. 

Dikearchia, or Puteoli, as it was called by 
the Romans, is the nearest to Cumae of all the 
colonies founded by her. We have given our 
reasons for stating that Cumae had a port of 
her own, which has probably been obliterated 
by the upheavals of the foreshore, and when 
we get to Puteoli, we have an extremely 
interesting specimen of what these upheavals 
were. Owing to the large corn trade which 
came from Egypt to Puteoli, it was a place 
particularly well adapted for the institution of 
the worship of Serapis. We are driven to the 
conclusion that many Egyptians lived there, 
because we find so many traces of them in 
the Puteoli tombs, and we know that the 
Roman emperors decorated the Serapeum there 
with great solemnity in the third century A.D. 
The temple stood on the sea -shore and was 
of course high and dry at that time ; and 
again we hear of it in the sixteenth century, 
when it was high and dry again. Between 
these dates we know nothing of it except the 
geological evidence that it must have been 



78 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

submerged. Now the geological evidence is 
particularly striking, for the columns of the 
temple are bored by lithodomi some eight or 
ten feet higher than the present water-level, 
which rises now a little above their bases. 
At the time of their submersion the bases 
were no doubt covered with sand and thus 
protected from the insects, but the shafts of 
the columns are honeycombed by them, proving 
that the columns were submerged for some 
centuries. History is silent, but legend has 
not left the matter alone. In a book called the 
Apocryphal Acts of Peter and Paul, published 
in the "Ante-Nicene Library" series, and 
admittedly written in the ninth century A.D., 
we are told that when Saint Paul arrived at 
Putiole (sic) the shipmaster landed, no doubt 
to deposit his articles at the Consulate, and 
being "himself also bald" was mistaken for 
the Apostle and promptly beheaded ! Whereat 
Saint Paul " being grieved with a great grief," 
went out to a place called " Baias," and in a 
prayer, singularly well worded for its period, 
called down the vengeance of heaven on 
Putiole. The account ends with these words, 
" Looking up with their eyes they all see that 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 79 

city of Putiole sunk into the shore about a 
fathom ; and there it is unto this day for a 
remembrance under the sea." It must not 
be supposed that this is the only evidence 
of the variation of the sea-level in this region ; 
for at Baia we have houses and streets under 
water, which are visible from a boat in calm 
weather, though they are many feet below the 
surface, and the Roman harbour at Puteoli 
itself tells the same tale to the scientific 
observer. 

Puteoli contained a splendid amphitheatre 
of the Augustan period, which was originally 
constructed for the revolting sport called 
Naumachia or sea-fight, which consisted in 
filling the amphitheatre with water and row- 
ing two armed boats full of slaves into the 
middle of it, and allowing them to hack them- 
selves to pieces in the middle of it till the 
whole tank was a lake of blood ! This 
abominable sport was put an end to by the 
lex Petronia, not so much on account of its 
foul cruelty as because it was difficult to provide 
slaves enough for the purpose. The tank was 
then arched over, and an amphitheatre made, 
the sports in which, though scarcely less brutal 



8o NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

and degrading, at all events involved a far 
less amount of waste of slave life. The tank 
was thus divided into capacious cells (as may 
be seen to this day), which have apertures at 
the top. These were closed with boards when 
the performances were held, and the whole 
floor was covered with a thick layer of sand, 
from which the term arena, which simply means 
"sand," has survived to our time. 

The amphitheatre of Puteoli is one of the 
most complete and interesting in Italy, com- 
peting seriously with the Flavian amphitheatre 
or Colosseum at Rome, for the water conduits 
are distinctly traceable, and the evolution of the 
sports is perfectly clear. That these sports 
were very much appreciated in the neighbour- 
hood of Naples is also abundantly evident, for 
we have noble arenas at Pozzuoli and Capua, 
as well as at Cumae and Pompeii, all within 
the radius of a few miles, and there is no 
saying that we may not find some more some 
day. The inscriptions leave no room for doubt 
that there were games at Ischia, even if there 
were no amphitheatre there, and one cannot 
help wondering where the ancients obtained 
the number of gladiators, slaves, Christians, 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 81 

and wild beasts to provide all these amuse- 
ments. The amphitheatres were all built by 
the Romans, for they had nothing in common 
with the Greek circus, which seems to have 
been a large enclosure of an oval shape, 
with a low wall in the centre, dedicated 
solely to athletic games and chariot-racing. 
The Romans were a distinctly imitative people, 
took their ideas of public entertainments from 
the Greeks, and modified them to their own 
debased tastes. 

The ancient city of Capua, of which only 
the amphitheatre remains, was founded by the 
Etruscans in very early times. The Samnites 
took possession of it in 420 B.C., and made a 
strong fortress of it, but it was always the 
Corinth of Italy, a city noted for luxury. It 
was here that Hannibal wintered after the 
battle of Cannae, and his soldiers became so 
demoralised that they could not again hold 
their own against the victorious legions of 
Rome. Perhaps the most interesting as well 
as the most ancient of her antiquities are the 
tufa statues of the Oscan goddess of maternity, 
representing an old woman of life-size holding 
half a dozen infants on each arm. It is a pity 



82 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

that one of these statues is not removed to 
the Naples Museum, where it would give 
pleasure to so many people, instead of being 
buried in the little museum of Capua which 
has so few visitors. We know but little of 
Capua in the Greek period except the evidence 
afforded by the Greek tombs, which have given 
us finds as rich as those of Cumae. Among 
other striking curiosities found at Capua was 
an artificial leg, which was found in the tomb 
of its owner. Did his executors think it would 
be of service to him on the other side of the 
" Acheron " ? This unique specimen is now 
in the museum of the College of Surgeons 
in Lincoln's Inn Fields. It is made of a 
thin lamina of bronze modelled like a human 
leg, at the upper end of which was a cavity 
large enough to contain the stump of the 
amputated limb, and below this the bronze 
was filled up with a wooden core. At the 
base of the core was an iron stirrup, which 
no doubt secured a wooden foot, but the foot 
not being protected by bronze had perished. 
The stirrup was so fixed that it allowed a 
certain amount of play to the foot, just enough 
to enable the wearer to avoid the friction which 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 83 

a perfectly rigid limb would have caused him. 
The following quotation from the seventh book 
of Pliny's Natural History will be interesting. 

I suppose every one would admit that Marcus Sergius 
the great-grandson of Catiline had not diminished the 
fame of his name, since he lost his right hand in his 
second campaign. . . . He made himself an iron right 
hand, and, with this fastened on, he having forced on a 
battle, raised the siege of Cremona. 

The date of the tomb in which this leg was 
found was of the third century B.C., to judge by 
the transition vases found in it. This would 
be nearly four hundred years older than the 
artificial arm mentioned by Pliny. 1 

Proceeding to Suessola we find nothing left 
of her but her necropolis. This is situated in 
the park of an Italian nobleman, and we drive 
through beautiful woods, and along the leafy 
banks of a picturesque stream, till we reach a 
park-like expanse of greensward such as is 
seldom seen in this part of Italy. Directly 
opposite the mansion, and not more than a 

1 The writer had the good luck to be the purchaser of the Capuan 
leg for the museum, and being very anxious to secure its safe arrival, 
after packing it very carefully, consigned it, with many injunctions, to 
a clerk for shipment. He sent it with a special recommendation to the 
captain of a ship, informing him that great care was to be taken of the 
box, as it contained a " Pre-Adamite artificial leg" ! 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



quarter of a mile from it, is a patch of broken 
ground, which has proved to be the necropolis 
of the Greek settlement. It puzzles us to 
account for the presence of a Greek colony in 
such a place, for it is situated in a plain ; there 
is no acropolis, and no special attraction that is 
obviously discernible ; but the secret lies in the 
stream we have spoken of ; for the water is quite 
warm and strongly impregnated with sulphur. 
We are hence forced to the conclusion that 
Suessola was a health resort, and that the 
tombs beneath our feet are tenanted by the 
remains of wealthy invalids. The Marquis 
has kindly had some three or four tombs 
uncovered for us. The large flat stone which 
we see at the bottom of each pit is about four 
feet below the surface, and is soon cleft into 
manageable pieces by a few well - directed 
blows from a pickaxe, and the fragments are 
hoisted up with a pulley. The tomb now looks 
like a neat slab of mud carefully enclosed 
between four well-built walls ; for the rain has 
found its way in the passing centuries through 
the joints of the stonework, and has carried 
the finest possible deposit of mud with it, until 
the tomb has been completely filled up. We 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 85 

now lower a basket (which, by the way, the 
natives still call by its Greek name of kophanos], 
and it is carefully filled again and again, till at 
last the neck of a vase appears above the 
surface. All is excitement now as the 
excavator cuts round it and under it with a 
vine-dresser's knife, casting the refuse into the 
basket with a trowel, until the vase is quite 
clear, when up it comes, and we wash the mud 
carefully off it in order to distinguish its period. 
An experienced excavator is like a good sporting 
dog ; he always seems to know when he is 
coming to game. How fast he is going now ! 
He will surely break something! He stops, 
and we see a bright object flashing beneath his 
right hand. In goes his trowel deftly, and 
trowel and contents are put bodily into the 
basket and sent up. We crumble the earth off 
carefully and give the object a rinse in the pail, 
to find that we have in our hands a lovely gold 
fibtila or brooch with which loving hands had 
pinned that shroud two thousand years ago. 
We may be fortunate enough to find his signet, 
or, if he were a warrior, and who was not a 
warrior then, when might was right ? we shall 
find his spear or his sword at his side ; or if the 



86 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

tomb be that of a lady, we shall assuredly find 
a mirror in it. These mirrors were usually 
made of bronze, and silvered over on the 
reflecting surface, the back being embossed 
or engraved with a design often embodying a 
classical legend. Thus in the Naples Museum 
we have a very handsome mirror made of 
silver throughout, and having the death of 
Cleopatra embossed on the back of it. No 
doubt this mirror was habitually in the hands 
of some great lady of antiquity, and reflected 
alike her handsome face and the elaborate 
coiffure of her back hair. 

The drawing-room of the mansion is arranged 
as a museum. The room is a large one, and 
is surrounded by handsome walnut presses a 
hundred years old, and the central space is 
filled up with table-cases. Both the presses 
and the tables are full of treasures from the 
tombs, neatly arranged and properly classified. 
There are some specimens well known to 
archaeologists in the collection ; more than one 
vase of wide reputation, and some excellent 
specimens of glass, bronze, and goldsmith's 
work. But the specialty of the collection has 
yet to be noticed ; for Suessola has given us a 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 87 

class of ornaments never, as far as we know, 
found elsewhere. They consist of bracelets and 
other ornaments made of a kind of pinchbeck, 
which closely resembles gold in appearance. 
It seems unaccountable that this out-of-the-way 
place should have had a special metal of its 
own. 

Let us now take the railway line that passes 
on the farther side of Vesuvius, and passing 
the flourishing town of Nola, where the 
Greeks made some of their finest vases, roll 
on through a plain which grows every product 
known in the temperate zone, and many pro- 
ducts belonging to the torrid zone as well. 
We see vines, oranges, lemons, hazel and 
walnuts, pears, apples, every ,kind of stone 
fruit; Indian corn, flax, all the usual cereals; 
tomatoes, cotton, tobacco, madder, liquorice, rice, 
mulberries ; in fact, there seems no end to this 
exuberant fertility. And in the midst of it all 
stands the grim monster Vesuvius, puffing 
out huge volumes of steam, as if to remind us 
that all this wealth is subject to his sway, and 
all this fertility at his disposal. For in a 
moment, and with no warning at all, he is 
capable of rolling out a stream of red-hot lava, 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



to flow down his sides like a rushing torrent, 
carrying all before it, crushing down houses as 
if they were made of paper, and enveloping the 
mighty forest trees till their sap hisses within 
them, and they explode, and are shivered with 
a report like a cannon-shot. 

A sharp bend in the line brings us in view 
of the Bay of Naples. 

We halt at a station midway between 
Pompeii and Herculaneum, and we can choose 
which we will visit first. Herculaneum is sixty 
feet below the surface ; Pompeii is on the level, 
having only been covered by pumice-stone and 
loose debris. It requires only a spade to 
excavate Pompeii, but it takes a chisel to make 
an impression on Herculaneum. 

For although these towns were destroyed by 
the same eruption, they were destroyed in totally 
different ways. The mountain threw up a vast 
mass of loose volcanic matter, which was carried 
by the N.W. gale over Pompeii, and filled it 
up just as an Alpine village is filled up by a 
snowstorm ; whereas quite a different set of 
phenomena were occurring on the other side of 
the mountain. There a torrent, not of molten 
lava, but of liquid mud, was pouring down the 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 89 

slopes, and this rushed to the doomed city, 
filling up every cranny with warm water, and 
as this drained away it left a deposit, which has 
since hardened into the consistency of stone 
and carefully preserved through all these inter- 
vening centuries the art treasures committed 
to its care. Yes ; these cities were not 
destroyed by Vesuvius, they were preserved 
by it ; and our regret must be that the cata- 
strophe did not happen some fifty years before, 
when a purer style of art flourished in Italy ; 
for thus treasures greater far than those we 
have found would have been ours. 

The great finds of Herculaneum were all 
discovered in one villa, which seems to have 
belonged to Calpurnius Piso, a member of a 
very important family, and a man distinguished 
for his admirable taste as well in art as in 
letters. The plate in his pantry is fine enough 
to excite the jealousy of the Goldsmiths' 
Company ; the bronzes in his garden make 
us shudder as we look upon the bronzes of 
London ; our Royal Academicians have to con- 
fess that they cannot rival his pictures ; and our 
engravers stand aghast when they contemplate 
his gems. Nor was this all, for he had a large 



90 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

and well - filled library, full of philosophical 
works, and on the top of his book-shelves 
were bronze portraits of his favourite authors. 

We must not, however, fall into too common 
a trap, and argue that because the chief treasures 
of the Naples Museum come from Herculaneum, 
therefore the art of the place was distinctly 
superior to that of Pompeii. We must recollect 
that good fortune enabled us to light upon three 
important buildings at Herculaneum, namely, 
the theatre, the basilica, and the villa of 
Calpurnius Piso. The rest of the city hitherto 
excavated is below the Pompeiian average. 
The villa and the basilica have both been 
filled up again ; because in those days, tram- 
ways being unknown, they did not know what 
to do with the rubbish. We therefore, in all 
probability, hit upon the two richest spots in 
the city; and it would be just as fair to judge of 
the average pictures in a London house after 
seeing only the National Gallery, as to judge 
the average value of the art of Herculaneum 
from a view of the treasures of Piso, who must 
have been alike a critic and a collector. His 
library alone is the most curious of the finds of 
Herculaneum. It was a room surrounded by 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 91 

shelves, upon which were a number of charred 
rolls of papyrus. These were at first taken to 
be charcoal, and the house was called " the 
house of the coal merchant," but they turned 
out to be books, rolled after the ancient manner. 
A process was discovered by which they could 
be unrolled and read, and there is no saying 
what literary treasures this library may not 
contain. Hitherto nothing of the first import- 
ance has been found, the works being chiefly 
philosophical ; but there is every reason to 
hope that a wealthy man's library contained in 
79 A.D. many works which have been lost to the 
world. Just imagine what a flutter there would 
be in the ecclesiastical world if a copy of one of 
the Gospels were to turn up, or suppose we were 
to find a lost book of Homer or Virgil? It is 
rather a remarkable thing in this connection.that 
though we find plenty of lines of Virgil scribbled 
about the walls, we have not found a single word 
from Horace, who was his admirer and con- 
temporary ; and, withal, the Romans of that day 
were fond of amatory poetry, and wrote it upon 
the walls pretty freely. One amusing line runs 

Candida me docuit nigras odisse puellas. 
Candida (the fair girl) taught me to hate the dark girls. 



92 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Under this a wit wrote 

Oderis sed iteras. 
You will hate them ; but you will go back to them. 

Let us now walk leisurely through the sunny 
streets of Pompeii, and people them in imagina- 
tion with Roman citizens. It is a winter after- 
noon, and the shadows of the columns of the 
Forum throw their dusky lines across the 
silvery travertine of its brilliant pavement. All 
the "upper ten " are there, for there is a show 
in the amphitheatre this afternoon, and did not 
one of Panza's swiftest galleys bring over a 
consignment of wild beasts from Africa to do 
credit to the occasion, and popularise his 
appointment as Aedile ? Every one must be 
there ! Were not the baths heated an hour 
earlier to - day that we might all be ready ? 
Has not every Pompeiian had an early lunch 
to-day ? See them all passing down the street 
of Abundance on their way to the amphi- 
theatre. There is the Praetor in his robes of 
office ! He condemned two men to death this 
morning, and they will form part of the sport 
to-day. Their offences were trivial, and some 
people said that the Praetor only wished to add 
an attraction to the show. But it is not worth 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 93 

while to be uncharitable. After all they would 
only live a little longer and die of something 
else ; and in the amphitheatre it is soon over. 
How could a slave die better? 

As the crowd goes down the street they 
pass a house (No. 9 is its present designation) 
where there is a woman lying ill in her bed. 
Does she envy the busy crowd going by ? 
Does she ask where they are going to, or is she 
past that ? We look upon her skeleton lying 
upon the bed to-day as it lay in the flesh 1900 
years ago, but dead men tell no tales, and the 
bones are silent ! 

Yes, all Pompeii is not at the show ! There 
are the sick and the suffering, the blind and the 
halt and the lame ; there are the slaves who are 
preparing the banquet of the evening, the 
rascals who are on the lookout for an unpro- 
tected house ; there are children whose parents 
think them too young for the revolting spectacle; 
ay, perhaps there are grown-up people too who 
think that a time will come when a higher 
culture will discountenance these barbarities. 

Hark to the merry laugh of the children of 
Diomede as we pass his house ! Let us look 
over his wall, and we see their mother on the 



94 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

terrace above with the baby in her arms ! Is it 
this little domestic tyrant who has kept her at 
home ? We should incline to this belief were it 
not that Diomede himself is playing at hide- 
and-seek with the older children in the garden 
below ! See, he lets go of as bright a little 
lassie as ever brought sunshine into any man's 
home (and Diomede's has ever been the 
happiest of homes). His face turns deadly 
white, and the merry peal of childish laughter 
seems to grate on his ears. He is looking at 
the mountain now ; his wife is asking him 
whatever is the matter. He can't answer, but 
she turns mechanically round and sees a huge 
column of black smoke being thrown up 
hundreds of feet into the air. Barely a 
moment after, though it seems to them an 
eternity, ten thousand thunders rend the air, 
and the house reels to its foundations ! 

No one who has not experienced an earth- 
quake can imagine the awful moment that 
succeeds it. It is a moment of terrible tragic 
silence. But Diomede is not frightened, for he 
was living in the same house sixteen years 
before, when the city was torn and shivered by 
them. Did not his cellar shelter his family 



THE BURIED CITIES OF CAMPANIA 95 

then ? and will it not preserve them now ? was 
not all else made into a heap of ruins, and has 
he not still got some amphorae of what he calls 
the " Earthquake wine," which was there then, 
and is there safely now ? To the cellar then 
with all speed! and mother and children, 
nurses and babies, rush down the steps and 
close the door. But Diomede is not there ! 
No, he has gone for a moment to his safe, to 
fetch thence some gold, the rents of his 
Campanian farms. One of the slaves has 
brought a lantern into the cellar, and it is a 
great comfort, as the children would be afraid 

o 

of the dark ; and now they look upon their 
position in the light of an adventure, and are 
rather pleased at it than otherwise ! But their 
mother is anxious. . . . What does the gold 
matter? Why does not Diomede come ? Her 
quick ear hears his well-known footfall, and 
she signs her own death-warrant by telling the 
slave to open the door for his master! For 
during this brief delay a heavy shower of dust 
has fallen on the devoted city, and it pours like 
an avalanche into the cellar. The last sound 
this unhappy woman hears is the death-cry of 
her husband as he falls with his money-bags, 



96 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

stifled, at the cellar-door, and then she sinks 
down among the children and dies, as so many 
thousands are dying around her. 

And there they lay buried for eighteen 
hundred years. Father and slave without, 
mother, children, and servants within (eighteen 
in all), money and jewels, lantern and keys, 
alone remaining to tell their mute tale of tragic 
suffering and untimely death. 



CHAPTER IV 

AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 

AT the point of Posilipo where a cutting 
through the hill leads us to the " Belvedere," 
from which we obtain such a beautiful view of 
the Bay of Pozzuoli, with Baia and the islands 
of the Italian Archipelago, in the rich glow of 
the evening light, the visitor will hardly fail to 
notice a pair of handsome iron gates, flanked 
by porters' lodges, and bearing on the top of 
them the legend " Sans Souci," and the crest of 
the well-known Yorkshire family of Strickland. 
The property has been in his family for fifty 
years, during which time they have resided 
upon it all the year round, devoting their lives 
to introducing the best systems of cultivation 
and conducting agricultural experiments which 
have made their farm the envy of all around 
them, The garden is on the crest of the 

7 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



Posllipo hill, and surrounds a handsome 
mansion. A wall twelve feet high is built 
round the entire property, in order to keep out 
light-fingered neighbours, and gentlemen who 
walk about with a gun to pursue the thrilling 
sport of la chasse aux petits oiseaux. If we 
could find parliamentary language strong 
enough, we should like to denounce these 
slayers of bird life in no measured terms. 
They have rendered Italy birdless. One may 
travel the length and breadth of Southern 
Italy, and count on the fingers of one hand 
the birds that one sees. This statement 
excludes migrants, of which there are a great 
number, many of which, such as the quail, 
woodcock, and thrush, are admittedly articles 
of food and legitimate prey. So, too, the snipe 
and the numerous varieties of wild duck which 
come over here in their season : but it does 
not include the song-thrush, the blackbird, the 
nightingale, the robin, the chaffinch, and many 
other birds, which migrate, it is true, if circum- 
stances compel them t6, but would build and 
rest and be thankful were they permitted to do 
so. In proof of this statement we can point to 
many places where birds are to be found in 



AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 99 

plenty, such as the Royal Park at Capodimonte, 
close to Naples, and the private grounds of a 
few bird -lovers, where so-called sporting is 
discouraged. We are convinced that during 
the greater portion of the year birds are the 
farmer's friends, and we are certain that Italy 
owes a great deal of the loss she suffers from 
caterpillars and other noxious insects to the 
wholesale destruction of her indigenous birds. 
But enough ; to his honour be it said, Mr. 
Strickland protects his birds, and we are 
convinced that he is none the poorer for it ! 

Mr. W. H. Hudson, in a letter to the 
Times of the 2nd September 1896, writes as 
follows : 

Space is wanted here to speak of the slaughter of larks 
and vvheatears ; enough has been said to show that the 
people of Sussex, by permitting this state of things on their 
coast, are inflicting a serious injury on neighbouring 
counties where bird life is valued, and on the country at 
large. The position of Sussex in England corresponds, 
roughly speaking, to that of Italy in Europe ; those who 
are concerned with the question of bird-protection on the 
Continent, and who advocate combined action of the 
various countries, are convinced that without the co-oper- 
ation of Italy little can be done. 

We have said enough to show that this co- 



ioo NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

operation is very far indeed from being an 
accomplished fact. Every bird that can be 
cooked or kept in a cage is trapped or shot, 
and every rare and beautiful bird throughout 
the country is hotly pursued by any number of 
cockney shooters, who hasten its mutilated 
body to the bird - stuffers with the greatest 
possible celerity. From thence it finds its way 
to their houses, where it is kept as a sort of 
sporting trophy till the thrifty house -wife 
throws it into the dust-bin, because it is filling 
the house with moth. 

Mr. Strickland's property consists of twenty- 
two acres, of which about half is planted with 
vines and the remainder with fruit trees and 
ornamental shrubs. The western part of the 
garden is a sloping plain, but the eastern side 
is a hill, falling sharply to the sea, and is all 
banked up into terraces and devoted to the 
cultivation of the best vines. The construc- 
tion of these terraces is particularly ingenious. 
When a hill is to be terraced it is usual to 
engage a gang of ten or twelve men, with a 
foreman who is an expert at the trade, and is 
responsible for the work executed. As soon as 
the vintage is over and labour easily to be had, 



AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 



the foreman sets to work, beginning at the 
bottom of the hill, and working upwards step 
by step. On the completion of the first terrace, 
the slope of it is faced up with beaten mould, 
and the upper surface of it well broken up to a 
considerable depth, in order to prepare the 
ground for the insertion of the plants. The 
height of the terraces has to be regulated 
according to the steepness of the hill, a very 
steep hill requiring very high terraces, as they 
must be made broad enough to allow plenty of 
room for the roots to obtain nourishment. 
The best wine is that grown upon terraces, 
because the plants get more air and more heat 
refraction ; for it is a notable fact that the 
hotter the vineyard the stronger the wine. 

One of Mr. Richard Cobden's pithy sayings 
was that no one knew how much money could 
be got out of an acre of land if enough capital 
were put into it ; but we do not think that Mr. 
Cobden could ever have contemplated the result 
had he had to deal with an acre of well-selected 
land in Southern Italy. We expect in the 
following pages to make the mouth of the 
British landowner water, for with all our 
scientific cultivation, all our experience, and the 



102 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

vast capital expended on the gardens of British 
country-houses, we feel convinced that there is 
no ground on the British Isles with anything like 
such an output of flowers, fruit and vegetables 
as the twenty-two acres we are about to de- 
scribe. The soil is volcanic and of very consider- 
able depth, so much so that in planting fruit 
trees trenches eleven feet deep are dug ; this, of 
course, brings virgin soil to the surface, and 
allows the roots an abundant spread in search 
of nourishment. 

Let us first deal with the vineyard proper, 
which consists of nine acres, partly on the 
western plain, but mostly on the slope of the 
hill facing east and south-east. And for the 
cultivation of the vine altitude and orientation 
must be strictly taken into account. The 
greatest altitude at which the vine will grow in 
Italy may be stated at 4000 feet, and this, of 
course, only in specially favoured localities; the 
vineyard we are describing is not more than 800 
feet above the sea, and consequently in most 
seasons free from any but the lightest frosts, 
which are hardly ever sufficient to damage the 
vines, though they necessitate a certain amount 
of protection for the oranges and lemons. Let 



AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 103 

us now follow the cultivation of the vines. We 
have seen how the terraces are made, and we 
will suppose the vines planted in them at 
distances of ten feet apart. The plants in the 
ground we are treating of were all imported into 
Italy in days long gone by, when the phylloxera 
and peronospera, those dreaded diseases which 
have decimated the French vineyards, and 
brought many of the Italian ones to the verge 
of ruin, were unknown. In those days plants 
might be freely imported ; now there is a strict 
prohibition of the practice, and the vines before 
us were imported some twenty years ago from 
France and Germany, and have thoroughly justi- 
fied the experiment. The character of the wine 
gets to a certain extent modified by the change 
of soil and climate ; it usually acquires a greater 
percentage of alcohol, but it remains essentially 
a better wine than the ordinary wine of the 
country, commands a higher price, and might in 
the hands of an unscrupulous merchant be sold 
as a French or German wine as the case might 
be. 

We must now pass over an interval of four 
years till our plants get into full bearing, and 
then from November to March we must prune 



104 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

them energetically, and train their long shoots 
on canes .in such a way that the fruit when it 
comes shall have as much sun and air as it can 
get. We must avoid the deleterious Italian 
custom of planting vegetables and fruit on the 
terraces between the vines, because the manure 
and cultivation and watering necessary in this 
country for vegetables do not agree with the 
roots of the vine. In April, when the plants 
first begin to sprout, it is necessary to dress 
them over with a solution of 3 per cent of 
sulphate of copper mixed with water, which 
must be renewed later on when the fruit-buds 
begin to show. This will guarantee the crop 
from the ravages of the vine disease. The 
operation is performed by a man with a tank 
shaped like a knapsack on his back, which con- 
tains the fluid. To the base of it a syringe is 
attached, and with this, both his hands being 
free, he squirts the composition over the vines. 
The sun and the rain and the gentle summer 
breezes do the rest, and when summer comes 
round the fruit colours and ripens, and in Sep- 
tember we come to the vintage, a function 
answering to the harvest home of Old England. 
It is true that the poetry of the matter has 



AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 105 

vanished to a great extent. In the olden days 
the owner and the farmer, the youths and the 
maidens, made a great annual festival of the 
vintage. All gathered together, and one after 
another jumped into the tub and trod away at 
the grapes till they were out of breath, for all 
alike went barefoot, and there was a prejudice, 
not altogether unsupported by the facts, that 
grapes could not be pressed by machinery 
because the machine crushed the stones, and 
thus imparted a bitter flavour to the wine. 
Besides, it was as lucky to take a tread in the 
wine tub as it was in old days at home to stir 
the Christmas pudding ! So all, gentle and 
simple, took a turn at the tub to show there 
was no ill-feeling. But we have left the days 
of poetry behind, and must turn to the more 
commonplace and rational methods of science. 
We want to make the best and most market- 
able wine we can, and to do this we must use 
the greatest care and adopt the most modern 
methods. First of all we must pick our fruit 
with judgment, choosing only that which is 
ripe, and leaving the rest for a few more days. 
Then we must be careful to keep our sorts 
separate, or if we mix them we must be sure 



106 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

that we are mixing kinds which blend satisfac- 
torily, for this is a matter of primary importance. 
Every grape must be selected for our first 
quality wine, and carefully put into the press ; 
the remainder may be put on one side for the 
common wine, which, though eminently useful 
in its way, is destined for the consumption of 
our labourers and not to be sent to market. 
We may now put the press in motion and run 
off the bright juice into the tub beneath, the 
machine itself automatically casting out the 
stalks, but leaving the stones and skins in the 
machine, whence they and the wine will be 
transferred into vats to undergo the necessary 
processes of fermentation, fining, and bottling. 
Every point in the manufacture requires most 
scrupulous care and the most scrupulous cleanli- 
ness. We must not use presses, tubs or vats 
for white grapes which have been used before 
for red ones, otherwise our wine, instead of 
being colourless, as the best white wine ought 
to be, will be amber-coloured ; nor must we mix 
white and red grapes (though this is often done 
in Italy), or we shall get a wine of a tawny 
colour and unsatisfactory in its keeping qualities. 
It is a common Italian custom to leave the 



AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 107 

wine often for as long as ten days upon the 
lees, five days being the maximum which should 
be allowed, the expression being, " I made it 
boil for ten days." The result of this is to 
obtain wines of a very much deeper colour, but 
wines thus treated are neither good to keep nor 
safe to travel, and besides that, they acquire a 
loaded character which renders them indigest- 
ible. The lees have their own special use in 
the economy of wine-making. They go to the 
laboratory, where they are subjected to still 
further pressure, and converted by chemical 
processes into " argols," which are duly exported 
to Great Britain and the United States. 1 The 
special types of wines we are making consist of 
white wines grow r n from the Rhenish grapes ; 
a sweet Muscat made from the muscatelle ; and 
from red grapes a Burgundy called " Merlot " ; 
a Bordeaux known by the name of Olivella ; 
" Moscato rosso," made from Procida grapes, a 
sweet wine something of the port type, and 
" Pappamosca," a wine grown from Neapolitan 

1 Mr. Strickland does not sell the lees of his wines, but causes them 
to undergo a second pressure with a certain amount of water added to 
them. This makes a beverage of which the labourers are very fond. 
The stortes are then gathered and used for feeding the fowls, and the 
stalks when calcined make an admirable "ley" for washing purposes, 
as there is so much potash in them. 



io8 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

grapes of the ordinary Posilipo type. Besides 
these we shall make a quantity of lighter or 
" seconds " wines, most of which will be con- 
sumed on the farm, and the remainder converted 
into vinegar for domestic use. 

Let us now leave the production of wine, 
and turn to that of silk. Silkworms are 
voracious creatures, and may be fed on many 
kinds of leaves. The quality of the leaf given 
to the worm determines the quality of silk he 
will produce. Thus silk made from worms fed 
on oak leaves is coarse and not very saleable, 
whereas the mulberry leaf, as every one knows, 
produces the best silk all over the world. In 
the days when South Italian silk-growing was 
a principal industry, a large silk worm-house 
was built upon this property. It is a lofty, airy 
building, fitted throughout with scaffoldings and 
trays made of cane. Each tray is constructed 
to hold many hundred worms, and the building 
is sufficient to provide for the hatching of ten 
ounces of eggs, which are sufficient to produce 
several thousand worms. The hatching of the 
eggs is a simple process. They are placed in 
a box (called by courtesy an incubator), within 
which a paraffin lamp is made to burn. The 



AN IDEAL GARDEN- FARM 109 

thermometer within this box has of course to 
be carefully watched, otherwise the little spots 
which our confidence in the grower makes us 
believe will be silkworms some day, are either 
baked by overheating or hatch unequally from 
the cold. Let us assume the eggs to be safely 
hatched and happily deposited upon the trays 
in the silk worm -house. It then becomes 
necessary to feed them, and for this purpose a 
machine like a diminutive chaff-cutter is em- 
ployed. When the house is full it takes all the 
time of seven or eight men to gather the leaves 
for daily consumption, and all the time of fifteen 
to twenty women and girls to cut them up and 
prepare and distribute them for the use of the 
silkworms. Absolute cleanliness is indispens- 
able, and practically speaking the " Bigatiere " 
(as it is called here) has to be watched day and 
night. As time passes on the silkworm weaves 
his own shroud, and becomes in course of nature 
a cocoon ; these are either sold as they are or 
immersed in boiling water, which is the prelimi- 
nary operation to their being spun off as silk. 
The outer walls of the house are not allowed 
to remain idle but are deftly covered with 
climbing roses, jasmine, and other flowering 



no NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

creepers, which serve to keep a delightful cool- 
ness within the house and to give food to many 
hives of Ligurian bees which now, and ever 
since classical times, have been considered the 
most productive of their species. The mulberry 
grove on this property yields about 10,000 
pounds weight of leaves, and the later-picked 
trees produce abundance of fruit as well, those 
which are denuded of their leaves at the be- 
ginning of the season producing of course no 
fruit worthy of the name. 

We will pass on now to one of the most 
productive portions of this garden, namely the 
groves of oranges, lemons, mandarins, citrons, 
and limes. The average number of these 
grown in the year amounts to about 72,000. 
The lemons are chiefly grown on arbours which 
span the walks of this charming pleasure farm, 
and in the spring the lemon walks of Sans 
Souci, with their myriad items of golden fruit, 
scarcely hidden by the abundant foliage of the 
trees, is a sight which when once seen is not likely 
to be forgotten. Nor is the lemon grove alone 
the place where lemons are to be found, for we 
see in the orange grove a very remarkable 
specialty of cultivation, seen, as far as we are 



AN IDEAL GARDEN- FARM \ 1 1 

aware, nowhere else. Among the many pieces 
of information imparted to us by our grand- 
mothers was the erroneous notion that grafting 
one tree upon another altered the nature as 
much of the parent tree as of the graft. We 
remember to have held it as an article of our 
primitive faith, that a quince was produced by 
grafting an apple upon a pear, and that a blood 
orange was evolved by the grafting of a 
pomegranate upon an orange, and so forth and 
so on. If our readers have been brought up 
in the same belief, we much regret, on Mr. 
Strickland's authority and on that of our own 
observation, to dispel the illusion once and for 
ever. The grafting of one tree upon another 
makes no difference whatever either in the 
fruit produced by the parent stem, or in that 
which grows from the graft inserted into it. 
Thus a lemon grafted into an orange -tree 
remains a lemon still, while the parent stem 
continues merrily to produce oranges as before. 
Use has been made of this ordinary piece of 
arboricultural knowledge to increase the pro- 
ductiveness of the Sans Souci fruit grounds in 
the following manner. When an orange grove 
is planted the wild orange-trees are planted in 



112 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the ground at a distance of so many feet the 
one from the other. The trees grow to about 
four or five feet from the ground, and then 
shoot out their boughs and produce their golden 
fruit in such profusion that they constantly have 
to be propped up with forked sticks, like a linen 
line at home. The ground beneath them is so 
overshadowed with thick foliage that nothing 
can be grown under them, and the lower part 
of an orange grove usually represents a well- 
dug fallow clear of all weeds, but producing 
nothing at all from tree to tree. In the 
present instance the barren nature of the lower 
part of an orange grove has been obviated in 
the following ingenious way. Lemon grafts 
have been inserted into the barren stems of 
the orange -trees, and these as they grew by 
degrees have been trained from tree to tree, 
till the lower and barren part of the orange 
grove has become a thicket of lemon garlands. 
The lemons grown by this method are in no 
whit inferior to those grown on the arbours 
specially made for them, and the oranges seem 
none the worse from adopting a give-and-take 
policy with their brethren the lemons. 

We may calculate the produce of the orange- 



AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 113 

trees at about 10,000 annually. These are 
divided into three kinds, namely, Seville 
oranges, which are bitter and suitable only 
for preserving, blood and "Vanille," which 
are sweeter and more juicy, are grown for 
table use. The lemon-trees flower three times 
a year, and even in this climate it is expedient 
to protect them in the winter by overshadowing 
them with screens of straw, lest the wintry 
winds should chill them, or a touch of frost 
cause the fruit to drop off before it is ripe. 
When the crop, whether of oranges or lemons, 
is fit to be gathered, it is sold either on the 
trees as it stands, or else, if the proprietor is 
willing to speculate on the turn of the market, 
he calls in a gang of women, usually from 
Sorrento, and engages them to pack at so much 
per thousand, contracting with them that each 
fruit shall be separately rolled in tissue paper 
and carefully placed in boxes provided for the 
purpose to the best possible advantage. He 
then ships them to the foreign market on his 
own account. 

The mandarin is a special kind of orange 
with a loose and very highly perfumed skin. 
These form a very valuable article of export, 



1 14 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

but as they are picked when nearly ripe they 
require extra careful packing. The annual 
yield from the grove under consideration 
amounts to about 30,000, most of which are 
consumed in London. We presume that most 
people who eat " candied peel " either as a 
dessert fruit or as a zest in their puddings, 
ices, and sweets generally, never trouble to 
think whence it comes, or if they do think, 
they call it "lemon peel" or conceive that it 
is the peel of a fruit grown from a lemon plant 
which has been grafted upon an orange. The 
citron is in fact as different from an orange 
and a lemon as either of these is from the 
other. Each fruit grows to the weight 
of from three to four pounds and is useless 
except for its rind. It seems likely that the 
fact of the French name for lemon being 
citron may have caused a confusion in the 
public mind between the two fruits. The lime, 
which is of the same family as the lemon and 
the citron, also grows here in great profusion, 
but is valuable chiefly for its abundant juice, 
which serves to make cooling drinks in the 
summer season. 

Although in the course of an ordinary drive 



AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 115 

through any of the fruit districts in Italy one 
may see specimens of every fruit tree which 
grows in England and a great many which 
do not, it is the rarest thing to see an Italian 
fruit tree properly pruned. They are as a 
general rule allowed to run riot at their own 
sweet will, and not touched at all unless they 
get in one another's way. The dead wood is 
cut out when the owner requires a little fuel, 
but even this is done a good deal more for the 
benefit of the owner than out of consideration 
for the tree. The French have gained a well- 
deserved notoriety for the excellence of their 
systems of cultivation and pruning of trees, 
and it is upon the French method that Mr. 
Strickland models himself. A very important 
crop in this country is the fig, as the fruit 
comes in the spring and the different sorts 
continue to bear right into the late autumn, 
when those which have been dried in the 
summer take their place for winter con- 
sumption. The dried figs are of three kinds : 
first, those which are simply dried ; secondly, 
those which having been dried are baked and 
impaled on a stick ; and thirdly, (a special 
Neapolitan delicacy) figs dried and baked, each 



ii6 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

fig being stuffed with an almond. The dried 
figs we eat in England come mostly from 
Smyrna and the neighbouring coasts of Asia 
Minor, where the climate is drier than that of 
Italy and grows fruit better adapted for pre- 
serving. Indeed the climate can scarcely be 
too dry for the production of the best figs, 
and fig-trees should on no account be watered. 
That fig-trees came here originally from 
Asia Minor is almost proved by their being 
called " Trojan " ; while that they came to 
England from here is similarly shown by our 
gardeners having given them the name of 
" Ischian." Neapolitans are particularly 
partial to figs and eat them in preference to 
grapes, consequently a far larger number are 
grown than are sent to market for fruit, as they 
form a great part of the diet of the Italian 
labourer, and are always thrown in, besides his 
wages, as part of the daily dinner which is 
included in his pay. Any one who has lived in 
a fig -producing country will bear out the 
assertion that we in England do not know 
what a fig is, the reason being no doubt that 
our climate is too damp to grow them in 
anything like perfection even against a south 



AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 117 

wall. A plan is adopted here to hasten the 
maturity of the fig by ten or twelve days which 
we have never heard of at home and perhaps 
might be tried there with advantage, namely 
touching the head of the fruit with a little 
cotton wool dipped in olive oil. 

Apricots are called here " Crisuommolo," a 
corruption of two Greek words meaning 
" golden apples " showing them to have been 
imported here from the Levant. To "throw 
apricots at a person " is a local slang expression 
for pelting them with stones. There are in 
other countries slang expressions connected 
with garden produce. We speak of giving a 
person "beans," though it would be difficult to 
give a reason for the expression, and although 
the derivation of a " box on the ear" may be 
doubtful, the German expression " a fig on the 
ear " is unquestionably horticultural. With 
regard to every description of stone fruit, 
Italy can easily leave England behind where 
her fruit is properly cultivated. It is a matter 
of common observation by strangers passing 
through Italy that they never get fruit fit to 
eat in the country. The reason for this is, 
first, that they are seldom here in the fruit 



ii8 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

season, but almost invariably in the winter ; 
secondly, that in many cases the fruit pur- 
chased for the use of strangers in hotels and 
restaurants is generally acquired more in the 
interest of the landlord's pocket than in that of 
the digestion of his guest. 

There are certain points in which the 
British gardener easily surpasses his Italian 
colleague. Currants and gooseberries may be 
said to be practically unknown, and the pears 
of Italy are not to be mentioned with those 
of the British Isles; the Italian strawberry, 
though it grows freely and has an excellent 
flavour, is not to be compared to the British 
article ; and though such apples as are grown 
here are excellent for table use, there is nothing 
like the variety which is to be found in our 
gardens at home. Again, the Italian gardener, 
while growing all the fruit known in England, 
with the few exceptions named above, is able 
to produce several kinds which are quite 
unknown to us. The loquat or Japanese 
medlar grows to a considerable height and 
with great freedom producing large crops of 
this favourite fruit. Cape gooseberries also 
grow freely, and the variety of the cactus 



A N IDEAL GARDEN- FARM 119 

known as the " prickly pear " grows so readily 
even on the most barren hillside that the fruit 
may rightly be termed an important article of 
the dietary of the lower classes, while the thick 
racquet-like leaves when cut into slices form a 
food of which goats are particularly fond. The 
plant is also extremely easy of propagation. 
In suitable soils it is sufficient merely to place 
one of the leaves in the ground and it will 
rapidly produce a fruit-bearing bush. We also 
have another fruit called the percuoco, a stone 
fruit something between a peach and an 
apricot but much larger than either of them. 
The texture of the skin resembles that of the 
peach, but the colour is more like that of an 
apricot. It is a hard juicy fruit, clinging 
closely to its stone, and requires to be eaten 
with a knife. Another winter fruit unknown 
in England is the sorba, a kind of medlar. 
When unripe it bears much the same relation 
to a pear as a "crab" does to an apple. It is 
gathered in September, tied up in bunches, 
hung to an outside wall to ripen, and is ready 
for the table at Christmas-time when other 
fruit is becoming scarce. 

The kitchen garden produces all the usual 



120 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

British vegetables. Rhubarb is not very 
frequently grown and is practically unknown 
to the natives, but we find a very flourishing 
bed of it hard by the tennis ground at the 
bottom of Mr. Strickland's flower garden. 
The Neapolitans live chiefly on fish, vegetables, 
and fruit, their favourites being potatoes, beans, 
artichokes, and especially tomatoes. These 
last are boiled into a preserve in the autumn 
months and kept in hermetically -sealed tins 
for use in the winter. 

It is evident that to cultivate all this ground 
and to grow this great variety of crops upon 
it much manure is required. Consequently a 
farmyard is a necessary appendage to the 
estate. This is provided here in the shape 
of a dairy of cows, and a considerable head 
of poultry and pigs. One peculiarity of the 
farmyard is the rabbit -pit. Owing to the 
dryness of the soil these creatures do extremely 
well, and increase, as is their wont, with 
wonderful rapidity in a pit about ten feet deep 
and ten feet across. At one part of this pit 
there is a burrow in which they can take 
refuge in wet weather. This burrow is 
furnished with a shutter, which can be raised 



AN IDEAL GARDEN-FARM 121 

or lowered at pleasure. The rabbits being 
habitually fed in the pit come out at feeding 
time without timidity ; the shutter is then 
closed behind them, and a selection made at 
leisure for the next day's market. 

But we have not yet exhausted the fertility 
of this wonderful garden, for we must feed 
the stock and the horses, the pigs and the 
rabbits. Here the banks of the terraces come 
in, for the grass upon them makes excellent 
hay, though at home it would be so sour 
that no stock would eat it. Nor must we 
forget to look at the plot of maize waving 
its tall stocks under the protection of the 
olives and walnuts, both in themselves highly 
remunerative crops ; nor must we neglect the 
fact that we shall want some fuel for the 
winter, so we must select a tree or two for 
this purpose, split its trunk into logs, tie up 
its twigs for kindling, and put its boughs on 
one side to await the arrival of the charcoal- 
burner, for all our cooking here is done by 
charcoal, and if we cannot make it ourselves 
we must buy it sea-borne from the wooded 
beaches of the Roman littoral. But here we 
can bake and roast and grill with our own 



122 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

charcoal, fry with our own oil, and heat our 
oven with our own logs. We might even 
grow our own tobacco, were it not that on 
account of the Government monopoly the 
regulations about tobacco - growing are so 
vexatiously severe. 

What more can you want, what more can 
you expect from twenty-two acres ? Anything 
more absolutely self-contained it seems to us 
impossible to imagine. We have veal, pork, 
poultry, milk, eggs, mutton, rabbits, every 
description of flowers, fruit, and vegetables ; 
we make our own honey, butter, and silk, as 
well as wine and vinegar, we raise our own 
fuel, and at the bottom of the hill not ten 
minutes' walk from the house we may, if we 
choose, catch our own fish, and bring it home 
alive for luncheon. And after lunch we may, 
if we please, bestride our bicycle and without 
turning a treadle run down the gentle slope 
of the Posilipo hill for some three miles and 
take the busy hum of noisy Naples in exchange 
for the country quiet and refreshing breezes 
of Mr. Strickland's delightful Italian home. 



CHAPTER V 

SEA AND SUNSHINE 

YACHTSMEN seem to have decided by common 
consent that a steam yacht painted white, and 
the bigger the better, is, or should be, the 
acme of the ambition of every amateur. For 
the purpose of going from place to place in 
these hurried days there can be no doubt 
that steam is infinitely preferable to sailing. 
But when it becomes a question of cruising 
in a somewhat limited area, and when that 
cruising is done solely as a relaxation, matters 
are at once placed on a different footing. A 
man living at Naples with a steam yacht at 
his disposal, can, if he picks his weather, go 
and return from Naples to any point in the 
neighbourhood within a single day ; and though 
there are a great many such points, a yachts- 
man with plenty of coal at his disposal will 



124 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

certainly exhaust them in a very limited time. 
Not so the man who is content to take the 
changes and chances belonging to a sailing 
craft, for he must always be dependent upon 
wind as well as weather, and can never feel 
himself master of the situation. There are 
two ways of yachting under sail in the Bay 
of Naples, which may be classified as the 
Italian way and the English way. We un- 
hesitatingly give our preference to the latter. 
Any one who knows the sea songs of both 
nations and who does not ? can easily dis- 
tinguish the difference. The Italian sings of 
" Placida 1'onda prospero il vento." He is 
all for a calm sea and a very light breeze. 
And his boats are built accordingly. They 
are so dangerously over-sailed that they are 
only fit to use in the lightest of light winds ; 
and even then unless they are in the hands 
of an experienced captain they may easily 
capsize in the sudden gusts which are common 
in these latitudes even in the middle of 
summer. The British sea-song is just as 
contrary to that of the Neapolitan, as his 
boat is different in rig and seaworthiness. 
The Briton sings of "A wet sheet and a 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 125 

flowing sea and a wind that follows fast " ; 
he delights in a wet jacket and loves to see 
the swirling water rushing out of his lee 
scuppers ; so that if he is to indulge his taste 
in this country he must sail in the spring 
and autumn in a boat which is always easy 
under plain sail, and has plenty of fancy 
sail which can be set when the wind falls 
light. If a stiff breeze gets up unexpectedly, 
he must take in his fancy sail as quickly as he 
can. If not, it blows away and no great 
harm is done. For enjoyable cruising in this 
neighbourhood we should recommend a boat 
with plenty of beam and not exceeding ten 
tons burden. A centre-board is a decided 
acquisition for beating to windward in light 
winds. Such a boat will enable her owner 
to anchor in any of the little ports within 
fifty miles of the city, and he will want no 
help for navigation other than a good pair 
of eyes, for he may break his bowsprit upon 
almost every point of the coast and still 
founder in deep water if it so pleases him. 
Of rigs for winter sailing we give the decided 
preference to the yawl, for we suppose our 
yachtsman to be more or less of a Corinthian. 



126 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

In the case of a heavy puff coming up the 
mainsail can be lowered and the boat will 
ride pleasantly under a mizzen and head sails 
although the sea may be disagreeably heavy. 
It must be remembered that very often there 
is not time to reef, unless of course the 
yachtsman has a considerable crew at his 
command, a condition of things we are not 
contemplating. We are assuming a man to 
be sailing his own boat with the assistance 
of a "leading hand" who is capable of steering 
a compass course, and of a boy who is efficient 
enough to take in a topsail, steer the boat 
where he is told, and generally execute ordinary 
orders. 

We can offer such a boat something like a 
hundred miles of coast as cruising ground. 
She may go from Paestum on the south to 
Gaeta on the north, and she may visit according 
to weather the islands of Ponza, Santo Stefano, 
Ventotene, Ischia, Vivara, Procida, and Capri ; 
besides all the ports in the Bay of Naples, most 
of which contain objects of interest which 
will well repay a sojourn of a day or two. The 
boat should contain such accommodation as 
will enable her owner to sleep on board her if 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 127 

necessary, and she should also have sufficient 
cooking accommodation to provide for him in 
case of necessity ; for it is a lamentable fact 
that in many of the places we are about to visit, 
there is scarcely anything to be had upon which 
even a hungry yachtsman can assuage his 
appetite. If he is game to tackle the garlic- 
laden sausage of South Italy he can rise to the 
occasion. If not, he is likely to find South Italy 
a starvation country, and to think that sailing 
in it is an absolutely overrated amusement. 
But if he can cook ever so little on board, he 
can always obtain fish and vegetables, and 
sometimes even fowls and bacon, which a little 
cooking will make palatable. And it is a note- 
worthy fact that in South Italy it may be taken 
as a rule that every man knows something 
about cooking, though, for some inscrutable 
reason, it is extremely difficult to find a woman 
who can cook an eatable dish. Therefore our 
friend may safely trust himself to his " leading 
hand," and if he is unable to reach a port where 
there is a decent hotel, he may rely upon it 
that he will lie down to sleep in his boat after 
his day's work with a comfortable sense of 
repletion. Many of the ports which he will 



128 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

visit, such as Capri, Ischia, Sorrento, Amalfi, 
and Gaeta, are furnished with excellent hotels, 
and on arrival at these he has only to let his 
anchor go, leave his boat in charge of his man, 
and live on shore as long as time and oppor- 
tunity allow. Many of the places we have 
mentioned are dealt with in detail in the guide- 
books, which will of course form part of the 
library of our yachtsman. We propose, accord- 
ingly, to treat of the beaten track rather cursorily, 
and to devote more attention to the less explored 
regions. 

Let us begin at our northernmost point, 
Gaeta. Caieta is the name given to the place 
by Virgil who, adopting a poetic license, makes 
it the place at which Aeneas buries his faithful 
nurse who is said to have borne that name. 
At all events, the city, placed upon a defensible 
headland, has been throughout all history the 
key-fortress of Southern Italy. It is no longer 
a place of great strength, for modern artillery 
would tumble it all down from the sea in the 
course of a few hours while the crews of the 
ships were laughing at the antiquated forti- 
fications. But it is an interesting place for all 
that ; for many of us, scarcely middle-aged, can 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 129 

remember the siege of the fortress in 1860, 
when Francis II., king of Naples, surrendered 
the place to General Cialdini who was the 
Commander of what was then the Sardinian 
army. The courageous behaviour of the queen 
in that siege will be in the recollection of all 
who are interested in the Italian history of that 
day, and the ludicrous position of the king 
hidden away in a casemate, where alone he 
esteemed himself safe, will not yet have been 
forgotten. 1 A French frigate conveyed him to 
Civitavecchia where he obtained shelter under 
the wing of His Holiness, and the kingdom of 
Naples became an integral part of United 
Italy. 

The old place got well knocked about by 
the Sardinian artillery, and many traces of their 
fire may still be seen on the walls of the houses. 
There is a great natural curiosity at Gaeta, 
which oddly enough has escaped the vigilance 
of the guide-books. This is the Montagna 
Spaccata, a rift formed apparently by an earth- 
quake which rent the mountain from the sea to 
the summit, leaving a cleft scarcely three feet 
wide at the base. Needless to say that the 

1 This casemate is now the Post Office of the town. 
9 



130 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Church has improved the occasion, erected a 
shrine on the spot, dedicated it to the Crucifixion 
of Our Saviour, and labelled it with the tradition 
that the earthquake occurred at the time of the 
Crucifixion. Pius IX., on the occasion of his 
visit to Gaeta, gave his sanction to the story by 
causing some crosses to be cut in the rock that 
the faithful pilgrim might kiss them as he went 
by, thereby acquiring certain stated spiritual 
advantages. A walk through the steep and 
narrow alleys of old Gaeta will be interesting ; 
and the tower of the Duomo with the quaint 
carvings in the porch, and the ancient pillar 
illustrating the history of Our Lord, which 
stands in front of the chief portal of the cathedral, 
are very pleasing to the antiquary. When the 
anchor is weighed a pleasant little sail may be 
made to Scauro, where there is a fine pre-Roman 
wall. Hence excursions may be taken to the 
nice seaside village of Formia, and on the 
other side to the fertile plain of Garigliano 
River, which flows into the sea about three miles 
from Scauro, and has been the scene of many 
battles, which for the time being have been 
decisive of the fate of South Italy. Here the 
ancient peasant costume is still seen to linger, 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 



and to deck the field with bright patches of 
white and scarlet. The women of Formia 
have a peculiar fashion of plaiting coloured 
ribbons into their hair, a fashion peculiar to 
this particular village. There was a time, not 
long ago, when every province, and often every 
separate township, had not only a costume of 
its own, but a type of jewellery specially worn 
by its inhabitants. These peculiarities have 
naturally become effaced by the prevalence of 
railways all over the cultivated parts of the 
country. The jewellery, much of which was 
very handsome, has been sent wholesale to the 
melting pot, and inartistic machine-made gew- 
gaws have taken its place. The late Signor 
Castellani, who was the first to reproduce with 
fidelity the admirable jewellery found in the 
tombs of Etruria and of Greece, made up his 
mind that some survival of this ancient and 
exquisite trade must still exist somewhere in 
Italy. He accordingly made diligent search 
among the small townships of his native 
country, and in an out-of-the-way village he 
discovered some goldsmiths who were making 
rough ornaments for the use of the peasants, 
which in their character indicated a strong 



132 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

survival of the early Etruscan art of these 
provinces. With his usual energy and intelli- 
gence he conveyed these operatives to Rome, 
where, with a little instruction and superintend- 
ence, he succeeded in causing them to turn out 
work identical to that found in the ancient 
tombs. 

In leaving either Gaeta or Scauro it is well 
to make as sure as one can of one's weather, for 
there is no port to the southward for thirty 
miles, and the beach all along the coast from 
Gaeta to Miseno is shallow, and a very heavy 
surf is frequently found there. 

All the islands of the Italian Archipelago are 
more or less convict stations, but no difficulty 
is made in the case of a traveller wishing to 
land on them. They are very interesting to the 
geologist, and in point of scenery Ponza is 
especially beautiful. The three islands of 
Procida, Ischia, and Capri, are those which will 
be of special interest to the tourist. 

Of these Ischia has a perfectly ideal port 
called "Porto Nuovo" which was constructed 
by the Bourbons for their own use, at the time 
when the building now used partly as an 
observatory for earthquakes and scientific 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 133 

phenomena generally, and partly as a hospital 
for invalid military officers, who have been 
ordered to take a course of the curative waters 
for which Ischia is so famous, was a royal 
residence. There are beautiful rides and drives 
all over the island, and if the weather is fine 
the ascent of Mount Epomeo should certainly 
be made. The pleasure grounds of Mr. 
Bourguignon's villa at the town of Ischia, about 
a quarter of an hour's walk from the Porto 
Nuovo, are decidedly worth a visit, as there is 
probably nothing like them elsewhere in 
Europe. They consist of winding paths most 
ingeniously constructed in the mazes of an 
ancient lava stream, whose huge gray boulders 
meet one on every side. Between them a 
thicket of trees and a carpet of flowers and ever- 
greens, brambles, and bracken, have managed, 
in some inscrutable manner, to obtain root-hold, 
until the whole place has the appearance of 
one of Gustave Dore's weird engravings. A 
courteous reception is always given to strangers 
by the caretaker in the absence of his master. 

The islands of Procida and Vivara are small ; 
Vivara, in fact, can be traversed from end to end 
in an hour's walk. There is no anchorage there, 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



but there is a breakwater on the neighbouring 
island of Procida, affording convenient shelter, 
although, owing to the drainage of the island 
running into the harbour, it sometimes emits 
very disagreeable odours in hot weather. There 
is a little inn at the top of the hill near the castle, 
where clean and rough accommodation can be 
had, and there are walks enough in the island 
to amuse a pedestrian or an artist for a day or 
two. 

Capri is unquestionably the gem of the group. 
This island is such a favourite that there are 
almost as many foreigners as natives to be 
found in it. The former often become con- 
firmed lotus-eaters, and many of them seldom or 
never leave the island. The anchorage can 
only be described as a fairly safe one for craft 
drawing a limited amount of water, as the break- 
water is extremely short and the bay entirely 
open to the North and North-West. There are 
two townships on the island, one named 
Anacapri at its western end, near the summit of 
the lofty Monte Solaro which is nearly 2000 
feet above the sea, the other Capri proper in 
the centre of the island. Three days may profit- 
ably be spent in visiting the various picturesque 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 135 

places with which the island is covered, and a 
fourth day may well be occupied by sailing 
round it and admiring its coast scenery, which 
is absolutely without rival in Italy. At the 
eastern extremity of it are the Faraglioni rocks, 
the " Needles of South Italy," standing out with 
their rugged peaks into the sea. The water is 
very deep round them, so that they may be 
safely approached in fine weather. The largest 
of them is famous for a particular kind of lizard 
with a blue back not found elsewhere, and it is 
supposed by naturalists that in the course of 
ages these lizards have become blue in accord- 
ance with that law of nature which causes 
creatures to assume the colour of their 
surroundings to enable them to escape from 
their enemies. Whether this be the cause or 
not, it is certain that these lizards live in the 
immediate vicinity of the bluest of blue water, 
and disport themselves under a sky of un- 
equalled radiance and incomparable azure. 
There are numerous and excellent hotels 
scattered all over the island, and very good wine 
can be procured at very cheap rates. The wine 
which is sold at Naples as " Capri " does not, in 
fact, come from the island, but is made of 



136 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

grapes grown on the mainland and prepared for 
foreign markets and for the consumption of 
hotel guests. 

Returning to the mainland at Miseno point, 
we have the harbour, which in old days was the 
Portsmouth of ancient Rome and sheltered her 
galleys and triremes at the time when the elder 
Pliny was Admiral of the fleet. Leaving our 
craft in a safe anchorage, we may ascend the 
hill of the promontory and see the whole of the 
Bay of Naples lying, as in a picture, at our feet ; 
or we may go on to Baia, whence Cumae and 
its antiquities can easily be reached, and we may 
refresh ourselves with the delicious oysters 
which are grown in the lake of Fusaro, far from 
the busy haunts of men, and where sewage is 
unknown. Half-an-hour's sail brings us to the 
port of Pozzuoli, an excellent harbour, where 
the attractions on shore are as numerous and 
varied as they are interesting. The semi- 
extinct volcano Solfatara, with its boiling wells 
and sulphur-steaming rocks ; the colossal amphi- 
theatre, in some respects a rival to the 
Colosseum in Rome ; the Serapeum, whose 
huge Cipollino pillars were sunk under the sea 
for many centuries till they were upheaved 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 



again riddled with the borings of lithodomi ; or, 
if the destruction of human beings appeals to 
us, we may see the finest artillery in the world 
in construction at the famous works of 
Armstrong, Mitchell and Co. 

Of the ports at Naples itself Mergellina and 
Santa Lucia are the most convenient for keeping 
a yacht, because they are in a habitable part of 
the town, which the port-merchant is not ; and 
Santa Lucia, which is the better of the two, is 
also freer from smells than Mergellina. 

Portici, seven miles further on, is an 
incommodious harbour, usually crowded with 
fishing-boats, and the only object in going there 
would be to make the ascent of Vesuvius from 
thence. This can be easily done on foot in 
about three hours, and, if the weather is warm 
and it happens to be moonlight, nothing is more 
delightful than to go up there in the evening, 
witness the sunrise from the top, enjoy the 
enchanting panorama of town and country, sea 
and sky, as well as the natural volcanic 
phenomena which are seen with especial 
completeness and a minimum of inconvenience 
at the mouth of the crater. 

In the days of the Bourbon kings Portici 



138 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Palace was a royal residence, and the park on 
both sides of the Palace was once beautifully laid 
out, and is still (though in decadence) a princely 
" pleasaunce." The upper part of the Palace has 
been turned into a school of agriculture and 
horticulture, where experiments are constantly 
being tried for the benefit of agriculture, by far 
the greatest industry in Italy. 

Torre del Greco is the health station of this 
neighbourhood. Being built on a lava stream, 
the dryness both of its air and soil is notorious, 
and people afflicted with pulmonary complaints 
take refuge in the sunshine of Torre from the 
winter damp caused by the luxuriant vegetation 
of the neighbouring villages. The place has a 
sad reputation for earthquakes which have 
committed grievous depredations from time to 
time, so much so that there is a saying in 
Naples that " Naples commits the sins and 
Torre pays for them." The main industry of 
the place is the coral fishery, which still employs 
the greater part of the population. The boats 
go out in the spring and return in the autumn 
after their voyage to one or other of the coral 
banks. The coral is fished with a dredge 
which goes down to a great depth, and is 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 139 

hauled up by a windlass. The work is ex- 
tremely hard, and as the finest kinds of coral 
are pretty well exhausted, and the common 
kinds do not bring in a remunerative price, 
coral-fishery has fallen very much into abeyance. 
Fashion, of course, has a great deal to do with 
the matter, and if fashion decrees that coral 
is no longer to be worn, it is of little use to 
fish it, and less still to work it up when obtained. 
One great reason of the depression of the coral 
trade was the discovery of important coral 
banks off Sciacca in Sicily. These banks gave 
a very abundant supply of an ugly yellowish-red 
coral which flooded the market for a time, and, 
after first spoiling the price of sale of the better 
class products, ended by driving coral out of 
fashion. The coral -workers will be noticed 
grinding and drilling away at every cottage 
door ; and, besides, there are large factories 
each employing a considerable number of 
hands. There is a not inconsiderable pony 
trade at Torre del Greco. The coral boats 
when they go down to Sardinia and North 
Africa, fill up with ponies on their return 
voyage and land them at Torre del Greco, 
where they are sold generally at three years 



140 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

of age and go to horse the Neapolitan " carroz- 
zelle." The ponies that come from Africa are 
barbs, and are called here " cavalli turchi " ; 
these are usually less spirited and slower than 
the Sardinian ponies, and rather inclined to 
get fat and become lazy. The Sardinian pony, 
on the other hand, is as good a working beast 
as exists anywhere. As a general rule they 
are not suited to saddle work, as they are 
narrow in the wither and upright in the 
shoulder, but the best of them are quite fit for 
harness use both in appearance and action. 
Special ships go over in the autumn and bring 
large quantities of them. They arrive as rough 
as bears, and it takes an experienced eye to select 
a good pair from the motley crowd, and probably 
a purchaser does not do much better for himself, 
in the long run, by buying them from the im- 
porter, than he would by buying them sub- 
sequently, when they have been broken in and 
got into working order by a respectable dealer. 
The best having been selected, the remainder 
find their way into the " submerged tenth " 
of horseflesh, and gravitate generally to cabs 
and carts. They are extremely hardy, living, 
as Dumas expresses it, chiefly upon "old straw 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 141 

hats," but in reality upon a kind of twitch grass 
which grows on the mountain - side and is 
brought into Naples daily in bundles, after being 
carefully washed in the river " Sebeto." The 
grass is exceedingly nourishing, and the stalks 
have a taste quite as pungent as horse radish. 
Upon this food these ponies, who have been 
accustomed to it all their lives, get into excellent 
condition, and the amount of work they do and 
the pace they go at is truly astonishing. Not 
only do they draw their little carriages up the 
steepest of streets and over the most slippery 
pavements with a sureness of foot which is 
extraordinary, but if they tumble down they are 
up again in a moment like a goat. Besides 
their adaptability to town work they are ex- 
cellent for a long journey, and will trot along a 
country road or climb a mountain with a game- 
ness which is beyond praise. 

A remarkable ecclesiastical festival is held 
in Torre del Greco in the early part of June. 
It is called La festa del quattro Altari (The 
Feast of the Four Altars). Now the expression 
" four " is a decidedly misleading one when used 
by a Neapolitan ; and means, in fact, " a good 
many," much in the same way as the Jews used 



142 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the expression "forty years" or "forty days" 
merely to indicate a round number, and not as 
a specific limit of time ; so the Neapolitans 
speak of eating four " macaroni " which may 
signify any quantity from a pound to a couple 
of chilos ! so too the four altars of Torre del 
Greco mean much more like twenty than four. 
On the day of the Festa the whole street, many 
miles in length, leading from Naples to Torre 
del Greco is spanned by arches placed a few 
yards apart and brilliantly lighted with coloured 
lamps. The front of the Cathedral, and indeed 
the whole of the little town, may be said to be 
draped in coloured light, and at various places 
in the city large altars are erected, the 
reredos of them being usually decorated in 
distemper with huge paintings representing 
some episode in the life of the Saints, and 
sometimes a Biblical subject. These altars are 
often as much as thirty feet high, and though, 
of course, they are tawdry, they have an element 
of the picturesque which blends happily with 
the merry scene. For Torre del Greco is 
really enjoying itself to-day. Naples is sending 
in its thousands of sightseers, and all the ad- 
joining townships are contributing their quota 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 143 

to the joyful throng. At a fixed hour the 
Syndic and the Municipal Council, headed by 
a brass band, go round to visit and unveil the 
various altars. Petards are let off in every 
direction, and noise so dear to the Neapolitan 
heart is freely indulged in. The streets have 
all the appearance of a country fair ; penny 
shows and whirligigs are seen in all directions, 
and it does not take many minutes to fill a 
basket with all kinds of rubbishy toys to be 
taken back to town for the delectation of the 
children. The unique feature of the Torre del 
Greco fete is to be seen in the churches. If it 
were only to see the flower pictures exhibited 
in these, our journey to Torre del Greco would 
not be wasted. All the chairs are cleared out 
from every church of importance, and a 
scaffolding erected which occupies a third of 
the church and has steps leading up to it from 
its main entrance. On reaching the gallery on 
the top of the scaffolding, the visitor looks down 
upon the pavement of the church, which is 
covered to the depth of several inches with the 
leaves of various shrubs and flowers arranged 
to form the most beautiful pictures. Thus in 
one church we find St. Peter walking on the 



144 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

water, the figures being much larger than life 
size ; in another the raising of Lazarus or some 
other well-known scene of the Gospel story ; 
and before we have been the round of the 
churches of the town we shall have seen a 
dozen other such pictures, so exquisitely com- 
posed that nothing short of a very close 
scrutiny will induce us to believe that they are 
constructed as they are, and not painted on 
canvas. The leaves are collected throughout 
the year for the purpose ; the browns and reds 
being composed of withered beech leaves and 
Virginia creepers, the dark greens of box 
leaves, and the brighter colours from the 
innumerable flowers which drape South Italy 
in brilliancy in the early days of June. It 
seems strange that a method of decoration so 
beautiful should be confined to a single town, 
and that the enormous trouble and artistic 
energy employed should produce a result 
which lasts only for a single day ; for the 
festival concludes with a procession to the 
various churches, when these beautiful pictures 
are trampled upon and destroyed. It is now 
midnight, and the cry is " Still they come." 
The streets are thronged, and outside every 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 145 

restaurant crowds are sitting eating their 
suppers of fish and macaroni at little tables in 
the open air ; and yet we pass amongst all 
these people with no crowding or jostling, and 
though we have been walking about for more 
than a couple of hours, we have never seen a 
single drunken man. 

The main object of anchoring at Torre dell' 
Annunziata (which is an excellent harbour) is 
to visit Pompeii, which can be reached by 
carriage in about twenty minutes, or by train 
in half that time. The station is close to the 
harbour. There is a buoy off the pier-head to 
which a craft may conveniently swing if it is 
intended to put to sea again after seeing the 
ruins. The principal industry of the town is 
macaroni-making, which may be seen here in 
great perfection on application at any of the 
mills. Until recently it was supposed that 
macaroni (like wine) could only be made by 
manual labour. The skill of modern engineers 
has shown this notion to be fallacious, and 
macaroni is now almost universally made by 
machinery, and is not at all inferior to that 
made by the old-fashioned plan. We have, of 



146 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

course, a loss of the picturesque, but we are 
learning to bear this loss with the serenity 
acquired by habit. 

Castellamare has a large and secure port, 
a Government arsenal, and a delightful bay for 
boat-sailing. The anchorage outside is large 
and safe, as many as twenty large men-of-war 
having anchored there recently. The main 
pleasure of a stay at Castellamare will be 
enjoyed by one who loves mountain scenery. 
The beautiful pleasure grounds surrounding the 
former Royal Palace of Quisisana (now a hotel) 
afford many miles of shady walks and drives on 
good roads and at easy gradients. To the 
more ambitious mountaineer the climb of Monte 
St. Angelo, the highest mountain of this range, 
rising to a height of nearly 5000 feet, is avail- 
able. It is a good plan to send the boat on to 
Sorrento and to walk right across the mountain, 
descending on the other side to the little town 
of Vico Equense. The boat can lie safely at 
Sorrento while her owner enjoys himself on the 
beautiful hills around ; or, if he is a golfer, he 
can go up to Sant' Agata, and indulge there in 
his favourite pastime. 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 147 

Our yachtsman will now find that he has 
visited every place of interest in the Bay of 
Naples ; and he will be unfortunate indeed if he 
has not had an enjoyable time, and does not 
find himself bronzed and weather-beaten. He 
must now choose his day and sail round Cam- 
panella Point to Amalfi. He will pass through 
the narrow channel between Capri and the 
mainland, and leaving the Faraglioni astern of 
him he will skirt the Siren Rocks, and passing 
along one of the most beautiful coast-lines in 
the world he will sail down to Amalfi, a city, 
by the bye, which by a curious omission is 
not marked in the charts. Here his guide 
book will take him over the antiquities of 
Amalfi and Ravello, and his legs, if he is a 
good pedestrian, will carry him to Agerola and 
many other points where he can indulge in the 
most beautiful scenery in Italy. The water 
off Amalfi is extremely deep, and the anchorage 
consequently not to be recommended, but there 
is a small breakwater under the cliffs where a 
light-draught boat can be moored in tolerable 
security in fine weather. There are only two 
other ports in the Bay of Salerno which are 
suitable for a visit ; namely, Vietri (which is 



148 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

a fairly sheltered anchorage) and Salerno, the 
latter having the only good harbour in the bay, 
and either of them being convenient for visiting 
the woody hills of Cava dei Tirreni and the 
interesting monastery of " Trinita di Cava." 
If it is the season for wild pigeons, permission 
should be obtained from the Secretary of one 
of the Clubs to be present in one of the towers, 
of which so many are seen on the hills, at the 
time of a catch. A vacant space is cleared 
round the tower, and upon this a clap-net is set. 
On the approach of the birds a large white 
stone is flung from a sling at the top of the 
tower to the ground beneath in the vicinity of 
the net ; this attracts the passing birds, which 
swoop down in large numbers. The net is then 
closed over them. 

The main attraction of the Bay of Salerno 
is the group of temples which may be seen 
at Paestum. A sail of about twenty miles 
takes us thither from Salerno ; but it must be 
borne in mind that the beach at Paestum is 
terribly exposed, and that often it is impossible 
to land on it in the yacht's dinghy. There 
are three groups of temples in the world : those 
of the Acropolis at Athens, which being built of 



SEA AND SUNSHINE 149 

marble and set up upon a commanding eminence 
bear away the palm for the majesty of their 
position, their great historical interest, and the 
artistic halo which glows round the great name 
of Phidias ; those of Girgenti, which, ruined as 
they are, impress us with their colossal magnifi- 
cence ; and lastly, the temples of Paestum. 

The very desolation and solitude of their 
site give them an additional interest. -They 
stand alone in the golden glory of their weather- 
beaten travertine, as deserted as the gods whom 
they once represented ; an impressive monument 
of ancient art at the time of its highest develop- 
ment, a noble relic of ancient grandeur and the 
sumptuousness of Pagan worship. There is 
not much else left at Paestum, but there is 
enough to make a walk round the walls of the 
ancient town an interesting excursion. Care 
should be taken not to fall asleep even in the 
daytime, as the country (especially in warm 
weather) is very malarious. It is advisable 
not even to sleep on board the boat when she 
is anchored off the temples ; consequently it is 
better, if one has come by sea, to send the craft 
back to Salerno, and crawl thither oneself by 
one of the afternoon trains. 



CHAPTER VI 

MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 

ALTHOUGH Naples is the largest town in Italy, 
the province in which it is situated is the 
smallest in the kingdom, just as London is 
situated in one of the least of our counties. 
We have already visited every point of its sea- 
board, and have minutely described many of 
its more important points. We are going to 
treat of Astroni among the royal hunting-places 
a little further on ; Vesuvius and Pompeii have 
already claimed their share of our attention ; and 
if we except the beautiful walks on the Camal- 
doli Hills, and the drives in the environs of 
Capo di Monte, we may be said fairly to have 
exhausted already the chief attractions of the 
little province. But we may go further afield 
and find much pleasure in a visit to the neigh- 
bouring provinces of Caserta, Benevento, and 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 151 

Avellino, all of which contain objects of the 
highest interest and scenery of incomparable 
beauty. A very few minutes, even in an Italian 
train, place us within the boundaries of the 
province of Caserta, of which we have already 
visited Gaeta, the northernmost city, and all its 
seaboard in our little boat. The first important 
town we come to on our route from Naples is 
Aversa, which is particularly celebrated for 
a light wine called Asprinio, which is said 
to be made from vines originally imported 
into the Neapolitan provinces by Murat from 
Champagne, in the hope of establishing that 
exhilarating beverage in his new kingdom. 

Large quantities of hemp are grown in the 
plains of Caserta. In the month of August this 
crop gives a very rich and verdant appearance 
to the country, as it grows to the height of some 
eight feet, is of a beautiful green, and reaches to 
the branches of the olives and other trees under 
which it flourishes. It is harvested in the 
month of September, when the leaves are all 
peeled off the stalks and heaped into large 
stacks. The stalks are then soaked in ponds, 
and produce a good deal of malaria in the 
province in the autumn. 



152 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

A curious story relating to the insalubrity 
of hemp (and a forgotten page of British 
military annals) is told by a writer whose letter 
bears date April I8O2. 1 

I have been told a curious circumstance which oc- 
curred when recently a detachment of our troops, in con- 
junction with the Neapolitans, besieged the French in this 
castle (St. Elmo, Naples). The British had no sooner 
built their huts at a convenient distance from the fortress, 
than many of the men were seized with violent vomitings, 
others with headache and languor, which rendered them 
unfit for duty. At first it was thought that the French 
had poisoned the wells ; but when it was found that other 
corps who had used the same water were in perfect health, 
it was feared that the plague, or some other epidemic 
disease, had infected the camp ; the more so, as medicine, 
although administered immediately, produced no abate- 
ment in the symptoms, until one of the surgeons dis- 
covered the true cause of the evil. The encampment 
being in the vicinity of a hemp-field, many of the men had 
formed their huts with the stalks and leaves of that plant, 
the effluvia of which had exerted their intoxicating and 
stuporific effects to the alarming degree above described. 
As soon, therefore, as the cause was removed, the evil 
ceased, without any further serious consequences. 

The wine-cellars of Aversa have a consider- 
able celebrity owing to their size, and to the 
fact that they are cut out of the solid tufa rock, 
but there is not much of interest in the town 

1 Naples and ike Caipagna Felice, Ackermann, London, 1815. 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 153 

except a celebrated miraculous picture of the 
Madonna said to have been painted by St. 
Luke, which as a compromise is kept for four 
months of the year at Aversa, and for the 
remaining eight months at the neighbouring 
village of Casaluce. There were such serious 
riots some years ago as to the possession of 
this picture that an arrangement between the 
towns became necessary, and the picture is 
transferred from the one to the other with 
great pomp and circumstance twice annually. 

Since we have compared the province of 
Naples to the county of Middlesex, we are 
quite justified in comparing that of Caserta to 
the county of York, these being the largest 
subdivisions of their respective countries. For 
the province of Caserta extends from the 
frontier of the old Papal States, and nearly 
half across the peninsula to the east, while to 
the south it reaches as far as the province of 
Salerno, touching on its south eastern frontier 
the provinces of Benevento and Avellino. Its 
capital city, Caserta, was a favourite residence 
of the Bourbon kings, and Charles the Third, 
who was the greatest of that dynasty, and 
subsequently succeeded to the Spanish throne 



154 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

under the title of Charles V., built a sumptuous 
palace there, which still stands a costly monu- 
ment of royal pomp, and of magnificent in- 
utility. A portion of the outbuildings has been 
utilised for military purposes, for Caserta is a 
warlike province, and has large garrisons both 
in the capital city and at Gaeta, Capua, and 
Aversa. 

A visit to an uninhabited royal palace which 
shines feebly with the departed lustre of a 
dynasty long passed away, is to our mind a 
tedious way of passing one's time, and the 
palace of Caserta is no exception to this rule ; 
but to any one interested in South Italy and 
her productions, the chapel of the palace and 
its handsome main staircase present a glory of 
coloured marbles which tempts one to inquire 
from whence they came. They are usually 
spoken of as " Sicilian," but in the parlance of 
marble -dealers "Sicilian" is a technical word 
of very wide significance. For, first of all, 
there is an inferior white marble with greyish 
veins found at Carrara in North Italy, which 
is called " Sicilian " in the trade for the curious 
reason that when Napoleon I. had possession 
of the quarries he forbade the export of marble 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 155 

to England, thus depriving the owners of their 
most lucrative market. In order to evade 
this law, the shippers sent their produce to 
Sicily, whence it was re-shipped to England 
under the misleading name of "Sicilian." 
Again, all the marble found and quarried in 
South Italy obtained the name of Sicilian from 
the fact that it came from the kingdom which 
was then called " The Two Sicilies," and not 
because it came from the island of that name. 
Hence on inquiry we found that the marble in 
the Royal Chapel came from the neighbouring 
province of Benevento, and principally from 
the quarries of Vitulano. That so little of 
this marble should be quarried in these days 
seems to us very extraordinary, but it is ac- 
counted for by the fact that the absence of 
roads makes the transport so difficult that it is 
next to impossible to convey any block larger 
than can be carried on a mule, without in- 
curring an extravagant expense. This is 
particularly true with regard to the beautiful 
yellow marble found at Pietraroia, a marble 
which in appearance is very little inferior to 
the giallo antico which in Roman times was so 
largely used for domestic ornamentation. 



156 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

The gardens of Caserta palace have been 
compared to those of Versailles, and are some- 
what similar to them in character with their 
clipped hedges and formal avenues. At the 
extreme end of them, and at some two miles 
from the palace, is an artificial waterfall and 
cascade which rushes from the top of a hill into 
a series of basins and thence by a conduit to 
Naples, of which some years ago it formed the 
principal source of water-supply. The main 
avenue of the grounds is peopled with an 
enormous number of second-rate statues, of 
which the most celebrated group is that of 
Diana and Actaeon which decorates the large 
basin at the foot of the cascade. This basin is 
so constructed that the water can be drawn off 
from it at any time, and it is used as a preserve 
for trout, which are caught and sent up to the 
royal dinner table at Rome weekly in Lent, to 
smooth over the austerity which the court (as 
in duty bound) exercises at that season. When 
we look at these beautiful fish swimming- in 

o 

goodly numbers in the foaming water at the 
foot of the waterfall, we cannot but reflect that 
to the ordinary mortal it would be no great 
hardship to make his dinner off one of them, 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 157 

especially if it were dished up by the chef of 
the Ouirinal. The keeper informed us that 
the fish frequently leap the waterfall, swimming 
up it and sometimes hesitating half-way, and 
being compelled by the force of the water to 
return. Those that reach the top cannot find 
water enough among the rocks of the cascade, 
and consequently have to return, and almost 
always perish in the attempt. Fish weighing 
as much as fourteen pounds have, we are in- 
formed, been taken out of this water. 

Close to the basin is the entrance to the 
so-called English garden, which contains a very 
choice selection of trees and shrubs, and goes 
far to prove, if proof were necessary, that 
almost all the trees we grow in England will 
flourish here under proper conditions of cultiva- 
tion. It is from this garden that flowers and 
plants are sent to Rome for His Majesty's use ; 
and as he obtains his pheasants from Capo di 
Monte, his wild boars from Astroni, and his 
sea-fish from Gaeta, it may be truly said that 
he is dependent upon his Neapolitan provinces 
for most of the luxuries of his table. 

Ferdinand IV. was an enthusiastic sportsman. 
He reserved a portion of the sea at Naples for 



158 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

his own fishing, and built himself a fishing- 
lodge at Mergellina, which is now known by 
the name of Palazzo Torlonia. It is said of 
him that one of his great amusements was 
to sell his own fish at the water - side of 
Mergellina, and to banter, chaff, and bargain 
with his beloved "lazzaroni." He had 
three principal shooting-boxes in the neigh- 
bourhood of Caserta, namely, Monte Caro, 
Carditello and Astroni. 1 These were chiefly 
stocked with deer and wild boar. Astroni 
is an ancient crater a mile or more across, 
and of very considerable depth ; indeed, the 
lake at the bottom of it is said to be below 
the sea-level. It lies between Naples and 
Pozzuoli, and is surrounded by a high wall 
which is said to be twelve miles long. Within 
this wall the crater is densely planted with 
trees and brushwood, and large numbers of 
wild boar, or, perhaps we should rather say 
tame boar, are reared within it. They are 
fed on Indian corn at a fixed time in the 
day, when the young pigs come down and 
enjoy a meal, but it is seldom that the 

1 The other royal shooting-boxes of Monte Longano, Cerquacupa, 
and Monte Grande, also near Caserta, are no longer kept up. 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 159 

full-grown boars are seen, as they provide 
themselves with nourishment from the acorns 
and roots in the forest. The keepers inform 
us that there are a number of old "rogues" 
which are never seen except on the rare occasion 
of a boar-hunt, and we presume that such boars 
as are slaughtered for table use are selected by 
the keepers from among the younger stock. 
The method of shooting Astroni is to place the 
guns and then harry the boar round and round 
the covert. Victor Emmanuel, who was a great 
sportsman, shot both Astroni and Carditello, 
killing at one stand in Astroni no less than 
ninety wild boar. We should imagine it to be 
a tame kind of sport, and we believe that the 
present king does not indulge in it. 1 The 
pheasants of Capodimonte are the tamest of 
the tame, and are usually, we believe, shot or 
trapped by the keepers only for the royal table. 

1 The anonymous writer of a series of letters addressed to a friend 
in England in 1802, entitled Naples and the Campania Felice 
(London: Ackermann, 101 Strand, 1815), speaks thus of Astroni : 
"This mountain, unlike the Solfatara, is completely burnt out. Its 
open crater, a circular plain perhaps three or four miles in circum- 
ference, is covered with a beautiful wood with large and small trees, 
and contains two or three lakes, or rather ponds, surrounded on all 
sides by a continued ridge. You can scarcely imagine a more 
romantic spot. I have only surveyed it from the heights above ; for, 
as it is a royal chase, well stocked with deer and other game, the place 
is enclosed and locked by a gate." 



160 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

The lake of Licola forms a grand preserve for 
wild duck, and the Prince of Naples had many 
excellent days' sport on its waters when he was 
in command of his regiment in Naples. 

Taking Caserta as a centre, for here we can 
obtain good accommodation, we may make 
some charming excursions. An interesting 
day may be spent at Capua, proceeding thither 
either by road or rail. The drive is preferable, 
because we thus pass through Santa Maria di 
Capua Vetere, which was the site of the Roman 
city. Here is the fine amphitheatre, and if the 
traveller is interested in ancient Byzantine 
paintings, the church of Sant' Angelo in Formis 
is only five miles off. If an early start is made 
both can be visited, and there will still be time 
to drive on to Capua and see the Museum and 
Cathedral, returning to Caserta by rail or 
carriage as may be desired. To our mind the 
best course is to take a carriage for several 
days, and to begin by the excursion to Capua, 
taking the trip to Suessola on the following 
day. We have written on both these places in 
a former chapter. 

A most delightful excursion can be made 
from Caserta to the picturesque little village of 



Sant' Agata dei Goti. This is not accessible 
by railway. The road from Caserta passes 
through Maddaloni, and following the direct 
road to Benevento goes under the prodigious 
aqueduct built by the Bourbons to convey the 
" Carmignano " water to form the cascade of 
Caserta. Some three miles farther on, the 
road to Sant' Agata branches off to the right. 
The place is worth a visit for the beauty of its 
site, and its interesting church. It forms, 
moreover, th'e entrance to the celebrated 
"Caudine Forks," through which we can 
drive if we keep on in our present direction, 
and take the mountain road to Cancello. If 
our traveller starts with this intention, and 
takes his carriage from Caserta, he must make 
it quite clear when he makes his bargain that 
this and no other is the route he intends 
to return by, otherwise the driver will take 
him to Cancello by the easier road which 
skirts the mountains, and his object will be 
defeated. 

It was at the " Furculae Caudinae," in 321 
B.C., that the Roman army were defeated by 
the Samnites and made to pass under the 
yoke. It was one of the most crushing defeats 



162 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

ever suffered by the Roman Legions, and is 
mentioned both by Livy and Cicero. But it is a 
little difficult to establish the exact spot. That 
it was in the one of the passes in these mountains 
is certain, for Montesarchio, a town on the 
coach road between Naples and Benevento, is 
situated on the site of the ancient city of 
Caudium. There are two solutions usually 
given, namely, one, the pass between Sant' 
Agata dei Goti and Ariano ; and the other, 
the pass between Arpaia and Arienzio. The 
argument in favour of the latter is that the 
Roman names are still extant in the locality. 
The valley is called "Valle Cauda"; the 
mountain which dominates Arpaia is the 
" Monte Costa Cauda " ; and the village in the 
valley still bears the name of " Forchia." 
Both passes can scarcely be visited in a single 
day, even from Caserta, but either of them 
passes through country where a delightful 
day's excursion may be enjoyed. Luncheon 
should be taken in the carriage, as nothing 
but wine is to be had on the way, and it will 
be necessary to halt on the road for an hour 
or so to rest the horses. 

A great many interesting antiquities have 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 163 

been found in the neighbourhood of Sant' 
Agata. Most of these are to be seen in the 
Naples Museum, and in the hall of that building 
are some very handsome marble pillars in verde 
antico, which must have belonged to a very 
sumptuous building of ancient times. The 
spring which feeds the aqueduct for the water- 
supply of Caserta rises in a hill just beyond 
Sant' Agata. 

Returning to Caserta for the night, we shall 
proceed to shift our place of residence next day 
in order that we may visit the " Matese " group 
of mountains, of which " Monte Mileto" is the 
highest peak. We can go as far as Telese by 
rail if we please, but as we shall require a 
carriage throughout our stay in the mountains, 
it is as well to go by road, taking a good 
carriage from Caserta, rather than relying on 
picking up an inferior one at Telese. Or, if 
time is an object, we can send our carriage on 
overnight to await us at Telese, which will be 
an economy of horse-flesh. The baths of Telese 
are situated at the base of Monte Pugliano, 
amongst picturesque hills and beautifully- wooded 
valleys. Here, in the season, we find an ex- 
cellent hotel, with first-class accommodation for 



1 64 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

men and horses, and situated at a point which 
makes it a most convenient centre for visiting 
the mountains and valleys around. The raison 
d'etre of this hotel is the bathing establishment, 
which is situated at a few minutes' drive from it. 
It is beautifully laid out, with a large shady 
garden, to which convenient reception rooms 
and an excellent restaurant are attached. 
Here in the summer hundreds of people resort 
to the baths, and to drink the waters, a special 
express being despatched daily from Naples. 
The baths consist of large tanks about three 
feet deep, round which a number of dressing- 
rooms are built ; the principal tank covers 3500 
square metres, and is arranged so that the 
patient can bathe in public or private accord- 
ing to his fancy. The water is so cold that 
most people are glad to get out into the sun, 
instead of bathing within the screens of their 
dressing-room. From every point of the tank 
strong emanations of carbonic acid gas bubble 
up through the soil below, and these cause such 
a reaction against the coldness of the water that 
the body is soon in the condition of a healthy 
glow. To accommodate those who require 
warmer water, there are numerous bath-rooms 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 165 

in which it is heated by steam, and it may be 
had at any temperature the bather pleases. 
There is a strong flow of water through all the 
tanks, fresh from the springs beneath them, so 
that the water is not stagnant, but in reality a 
swiftly running stream, perfectly bright and 
beautifully clear. Having enjoyed our bathe 
and strolled round the pretty grounds, we must 
hurry back to the hotel, if indeed we can resist 
the attractions of the restaurant, because the 
waters are of such a tonic and bracing nature 
that an insuperable appetite has come upon us 
after our immersion. 

The country around Telese abounds in 
beautiful drives and walks, and if we have 
brought our bicycles with us we shall find 
excellent roads, not too hilly, running around 
us in every direction. The first excursion we 
shall make is to Piedimonte d' Alife, a village 
situated at the base of Monte Mileto. It is 
a thriving industrious place, owing to the 
presence there of a large cotton mill, which gives 
employment to the whole population, and confers 
an enormous benefit on the country-side, by 
creating an important market for produce. 



1 66 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

From hence we look across the vast plain of 
the Terra di Lavoro, and discern Vesuvius and 
Ischia, the latter of which must be fully sixty 
miles off. The village is situated in the hollow 
of a mountain ravine, and only a few yards from 
the back of it we come to the source of the 
river, upon which all its industry and all its 
prosperity depend. It is a strange sight. The 
walls of the ravine rise high and ruggedly for 
many hundred feet above our heads, and the 
ravine at this point is scarcely more than fifteen 
yards across. In front of us, from what appears 
to be a very low cave, a powerful stream of water 
comes rushing and bubbling as it were out of 
the very heart of the mountain. It dashes on 
through the ravine, where it is utilised to turn 
the wheel which is to work the machinery and 
earn the wages of the five hundred hands whom 
Messrs. Berner and Co. employ at their mill. 
The same wheel of course provides the village 
with as much electric light as it requires. His 
Majesty the King of Italy is also primarily 
indebted to Piedimonte d' Alife for that part 
of his Lenten dinner which we have already 
mentioned as coming from Caserta, because the 
basin of Diana and Actaeon in the palace grounds 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 167 

is provided with trout from the stream of Piedi- 
monte. 

It is from this point that the Monte Mileto 
can most easily be ascended ; and it is an 
interesting and beautiful climb, but it involves 
a certain amount of roughing it, although this 
is no hardship in the climate of South Italy. 
The ascent from Piedimonte d' Alife takes 
about six hours. The best course for any one 
desiring to do feats of climbing in the higher 
Apennines is to apply to the Naples Alpine 
Club, from whom all information as to guides, 
huts to sleep in, and so on, is readily obtain- 
able. The peasants on the lower slopes of the 
mountain, and the shepherds higher up, are 
most hospitably disposed to the climber, but of 
course they have very little to give, and that 
little is not of a kind to be tempting. The 
beds in their huts are usually composed of dried 
leaves, which are comfortable enough to sleep on 
if the hut is tolerably clean. Mules may be 
used a good way up the Monte Mileto, and 
though a real mountaineer despises such assist- 
ance for himself, a sumpter beast is useful for 
carrying provisions and a change of clothes, 
with which it is always wise to be provided in 



168 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

this climate. There is a fine lake about two- 
thirds of the way up the mountain, which is 
said to contain excellent trout, and to feed 
the spring we have described as issuing at 
Piedimonte. As we desire to lose nothing of 
the beautiful scenery we must start early in the 
afternoon from Piedimonte, for our homeward 
drive to Telese will occupy three hours and a 
half, and every bit of it is through a country as 
fine as Switzerland in its mountainous aspect, 
and much more productive from the agricultural 
point of view. 

Our next excursion shall be taken by rail- 
way, for even a Neapolitan horse deserves a 
day off now and then, though he does not get 
it as often as he ought. The railway line runs 
along the banks of the river Galore, a mountain 
torrent flowing at times through very pictur- 
esque ravines. Benevento is situated on two 
such streams, the "Galore" and the " Sabato," 
each of which names has provided the in- 
habitants with a harmless little jokelet, the 
meaning of " Galore " being " heat," and of 
" Sabato " being " Saturday." The sayings 
are : A Benevento c e piu " calore " d 1 inverno 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 169 

che d esta (At Benevento there is more " heat " 
in winter than in summer) ; and again, A Bene- 
vento si mangia il Venerdi il pesce di Sabato 
(At Benevento we eat on Friday the fish of 
" Saturday "). 

The main objects of interest in the town are 
the Arch of Trajan, generally called the Porta 
Aurea, dating from A.D. 114, the Cathedral, 
and the Mediaeval Castle. The Porta Aurea is 
one of the finest Roman remains in Italy, and 
it is surprising that so few strangers go to see 
it. An enterprising American Museum has had 
a plaster cast made of the whole of it, with the 
view, we believe, of setting up a reproduction 
of it somewhere in the United States. The 
arch commemorates the triumphs of Trajan 
over the Dacians, as did his greatest work of all, 
the column which he erected in the centre of 
the "Forum Trajanum " at Rome. The arch 
is a splendid work of art, covered with groups 
of colossal figures in high relief, and much 
beautiful architectural ornament. 

The Cathedral is a building possessing a 
great charm of its own. The facade is of the 
twelfth century, and the bronze doors, cast in 
Constantinople (as so many of the bronze doors 



170 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

of South Italian Churches were at that period), 
are decorated in the upper part with scenes 
from the New Testament history, and in the 
lower panels with the portraits of sundry 
bishops who have been canonised. The 
ambones within the Cathedral are quite magni- 
ficent, and the carving of the capitals is especially 
worthy of study. 

The Mediaeval Castle contains a few 
antiquities, and some cells in which political 
prisoners used to be confined, which have a 
grim interest. There are many other nooks in 
this old town, which will furnish nice pictures 
for the owner of a " Kodak," but these, with 
the help of his guide-book and his own per- 
ception, he can easily find for himself. 

Benevento was a strong fortress in the middle 
ages, and a very good idea of the power of its 
position may be obtained by visiting the 
handsome public garden, which commands a 
fine view of the battlefield where Manfred lost 
his life and his kingdom in the thirteenth 
century, to which allusion is made by Dante in 
his Purgatorio, iii. 103. The poet describes 
the shade of Manfred as meeting him during 
his visit to Purgatory and claiming an acquaint- 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 171 

ance with him, which the poet is unable to 
acknowledge. He describes him as fair and 
handsome, and of noble aspect, one eyebrow 
being cut through, and the breast showing 
a wound. Having introduced himselt as 
Manfred, he begs him to be the bearer of a 
message to the Empress Constance that he had 
obtained Divine pardon, and that had Pope 
Clement and the Bishop of Cosenza been aware 
of this, the bones of his body would still have 
lain in their grave near the bridge of Benevento, 
under the guardianship of the vast heap of 
stones, instead of lying unburied on the banks 
of the Rio Verde. 

The name of Manfred is so familiar to 
students of South Italian history that it is 
scarcely worth while to say more than a few 
words about him. Manfred was the great- 
grandson of Frederick Barbarossa, and the 
son of Frederick II. of Hohenstauffen. He 
was proclaimed king by the Sicilians in order 
to fight against Pope Clement IV., who de- 
sired to add the territories of the Hohen- 
stauffen to the lands of the Holy See. Manfred 
was a popular man and had a large follow- 
ing ; but owing to the treachery of the Duke 



172 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

of Caserta he found himself and his army 
besieged in Benevento by Charles I. of Anjou, 
whom the Pope had called from France to his 
assistance. The attack upon the French troops 
was led by Manfred himself, who added to the 
romantic interest of his chivalrous career by 
fighting the memorable battle on the banks of 
the Galore. When he was on the point of 
victory he was treacherously deserted by his 
allies, and made up his mind to meet death upon 
the battle-field. He soon lay a prostrate corpse 
in the thickest of the fight. His body was 
treated with great indignity, being brought to 
Charles across the back of a donkey, but 
Charles caused it to be buried, and made his 
soldiers each cast a stone on the grave until it 
became the grave mora or " heavy stone heap " 
described by Dante. Making a pretence of 
his excommunication, the Bishop of Cosenza 
by order of the Pope exhumed it and cast it 
unburied on the banks of the Rio Verde. 
Manfred had been the champion of the Ghibelline 
party, and was a contemporary of the poet's, 
but no doubt it was his politics that especially 
appealed to Dante and caused him to make 
such a flattering mention of him in his poem. 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 173 

His name is still kept alive in South Italy by 
many traditions, and especially by the province 
of Manfredonia, which after so many centuries 
still bears his name. 

Of agricultural products the most important 
produced by Benevento is probably tobacco, 
which is grown in the neighbourhood in very 
considerable quantities. Being a Government 
monopoly it is placed under the most stringent 
restrictions by the officers of the Inland 
Revenue. An inspector goes round the field 
while it is growing, and counts not only every 
plant but every leaf, and these have all to be 
accounted for when the harvest comes round. 
Nor are the growers allowed to sell their 
produce to any but the Government officials. 
Any person buying tobacco other than from a 
Government store is liable to severe penalties, 
and no one may sell it unless he has a license 
to do so. This is much to be regretted from 
the smoker's point of view, because if the 
leaves were selected, the stalks drawn out, and 
the rest of the leaf carefully made up, the home- 
grown Italian tobacco might be made to be 
eminently smokable. As matters now stand, 



174 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the leaf is made up by the Government without 
any proper care of selection for manufacture, 
and the public having only " Hobson's choice" 
continue philosophically to smoke what is 
provided for them. We are glad to be able to 
state that the Government have decided to set 
up a school of tobacco -culture at Nocera dei 
Pagani, to import the best plants, and to pay 
close attention to the cultivation and preparation 
of their monopoly. 

Far the most interesting things, commercially 
speaking, about Benevento are the marble 
quarries of Monte Vitulano, which provided 
many of the beautiful marbles which we noticed in 
our visit to the Royal palace of Caserta. There 
seems to be no reason in the world except the 
want of a little capital and enterprise why these 
marbles should not become as marketable a com- 
modity as those of Carrara, for they are much 
more beautiful, and, generally speaking, of much 
harder and finer texture. Labour is abundant 
and cheap, in spite of the wholesale emigration 
which takes place from these provinces, the 
railway is at hand, the port of Naples is not 
out of reach ; and we feel sure that if Benevento 
would wake up to the importance of the 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 175 

treasure which is buried in the hills of her 
immediate vicinity, she might become the rival 
of Carrara, the " marbleopolis " of the world. 
It is true, certainly, that Carrara has been de- 
veloped mainly by foreign energy, and capital 
drawn from England and the United States ; 
but is there any reason why Benevento should 
not attract foreign capital, if the province and 
its capital city show that they are really in 
earnest, make good roads and branch railway 
lines, establish in short steam communication 
with the highest quarries, as is the case at 
Carrara, and generally make things easy for the 
capitalist ? 

We will assume that we have returned to 
Telese by rail, for under ordinary circumstances 
.a day is sufficient to visit the sights of Bene- 
vento, although a study of Almerico Meo- 
martini's work 1 makes us feel that we have 
given but scant attention to the beauties and 
antiquities in the place. 

If we have another day to spend at Telese, 
the drive to Cerreto is an interesting one, and 

1 "I monument! e le opere d' arte della citta di Benevento." 
Almerico Meomartini. Benevento, 1889. 



i;6 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

may be pursued through the ravines running 
northwards, beyond the town, where the scenery 
is as rugged and grand as the most fastidious 
can desire. 

The pedestrian will start from Cerreto to 
make an excursion to the marble quarries 
of Pietraroia, and he will learn by experi- 
ence the reason why that beautiful marble 
does not become a marketable commodity. 
A very small amount of capital levied on 
the security of the province, or even on the 
Communes of Cerreto and Pietraroia, would 
suffice to make a road down which ox-waggons 
or rather trollies laden with marble might 
convey it to the railway station of Telese. 
Cerreto itself is a country town of some pre- 
tensions ; it has nearly 6000 inhabitants, many 
of whom are engaged in the marble trade 
such as it is, and a very few miles of road might 
quintuple the output, and make Cerreto from 
a country township into a thriving munici- 
pality. Pietraroia itself is a village of 2000 
inhabitants, which, though it could not supply 
any considerable amount of money by way of 
taxation towards any scheme of the kind, is at 
all events a centre from which labour could be 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 177 

obtained, and a food-supply for the workmen 
as well ; for it is a pastoral country, and owing 
to its being well wooded is not badly off as Italian 
country villages go. The quantity of shells and 
fish in a fossil condition found in the rocks 
shows that at some time or other in the history 
of the planet these mountains were beneath the 
sea-level ; and the peak of the Monte Palom- 
baro, which rises to a height of 4000 feet above 
the sea, joins itself with the Monte Mutria, 
which is nearly 6000 feet high, and the 
highest peak of the group. These mountains, 
together with a smaller one called Pesco-Roseto, 
almost form an island in the centre of the 
plain. This is a characteristic of the mountains 
of this district, which the reader will have 
observed we have spoken of throughout as 
"groups" and not as a "chain." For we have 
the Matese group, with Monte Mileto for its 
central peak ; the Pietraroia group, with Monte 
Mutria as its loftiest peak ; the Benevento 
group, with Monte Vitulano as its most im- 
portant eminence, commercially at any rate, if 
not geographically, for it is not the highest 
peak of the group ; and the Avellino group in 
the province adjoining that of Benevento, upon 



178 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

which stands pre-eminent " Monte Vergine," 
which we have alluded to in a former chapter. 

The Pietraroia group, with which we are 
specially dealing at the present moment, 
contains the most beautifully coloured marbles, 
as well as a good deal of calcareous stone, such 
as is used by lithographers. It is quite clear 
that the marbles of Pietraroia have been 
known for many centuries. This is seen by the 
altars in the parish church, which were trans- 
ported from the old town of Pietraroia, which 
originally stood on the top of the hill and 
was surrounded by walls, but was destroyed by 
the earthquake of 1687, when it was rebuilt on 
the north side of the mountain the best part of 
a mile lower down. In the time of Charles 
III. many of these marbles were quarried for 
the construction of the palace of Caserta, and 
the panels of the magnificent staircase were 
entirely derived from thence. To bring the 
matter home more clearly to the tourist, the 
freak of nature by which the marble on the 
staircase represents roughly the portrait of 
Napoleon I., which is shown by the royal 
lackeys to every visitor, occurs in marble raised 
from these quarries. Charles III., who was 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 179 

one of the best and most advanced of the 
Bourbon dynasty, was extremely jealous of 
these marbles ; took possession of the quarries 
and put guards over them to prevent the public 
from obtaining their products, solely on the 
ground that having got them for the decoration 
of his new palace, he did not intend that they 
should be used elsewhere. 

In 1885 the citizens of Pietraroia succeeded 
in convincing the Government that they had a 
distinct right to be connected with the rest of 
the world by a road over which a carriage 
could travel. They had been agitating for this 
ever since 1852, and the result of the eventual 
opening of the road has been a considerable 
access of wealth to this mountain village. The 
extremely interesting geological Museum of 
the Naples University contains numerous 
specimens of the Pietraroia marbles, and the 
report of Signer Francesco Bassani, head of the 
geological section of the University, leaves no 
doubt that if a road were constructed from 
Pietraroia to the quarries an important industry 
might be opened up in this province, which, if 
it did nothing else, would check the emigration 
which is rapidly depopulating it. 



180 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Another pleasant drive from Telese is to the 
little village of Guardia di Sanframondi, driving 
on through the village until the view of the 
plain of Benevento is seen from the lofty road. 
It is useless to attempt to use a bicycle here, as 
the ascent to Guardia di Sanframondi is very 
long and exceedingly steep. Lord Macaulay 
graphically describes Volterra as an " eagle's 
nest perched on the crest of purple Apennine." 
But how can we describe this little village ? 
It is a regular architectural problem, to be 
decided only by an expert, how those houses 
managed to climb up, the one above the other, 
on that steep hill-side, till they look like dry- 
goods boxes heaped one above another in a 
bonded warehouse. The only point of real 
interest in the village is the castle, which is now 
a dwelling-house. We knock at the door and are 
received by a genial and courtly old gentleman, 
who with true Italian politeness and extreme 
suavity of manner makes us welcome in his 
very original home. Nor is he altogether 
deficient in humour, for he has given the little 
black dog who is playing about round him, 
and welcoming us almost as cordially as his 
master does, the name of " Frack," an Italian 



term signifying an evening-dress suit, because 
the only white about the dog is on his breast 
and neck, and forms a fair representation of a 
gentleman's shirt front. The old gentleman is 
extremely proud of his feudal castle, which he 
bought, he tells us, for a very reasonable price ; 
he has turned the ramparts into pretty flower 
gardens, the plants of which he tends most 
carefully himself. A few small rooms supply 
his modest requirements in the way of lodging, 
and the lovely view over the valley beneath gives 
him all he needs in the way of the picturesque. 
He invites us to mount the " keep " of the 
castle, and we follow him up a break-neck stair, 
which probably has never been repaired since 
it was first put up in the eleventh century. 
The old gentleman climbs up nimbly enough, and 
is as proud, or perhaps prouder, of the upper 
terrace than he was of the lower one. For he 
had real excavating to do here, the whole place 
being lumbered up with the rubbish of ages. 
His patience and labour were rewarded, for he 
discovered what he believes to have been a 
torture chamber of the castle, containing a set 
of very heavy manacles. He also discovered 
an old cannon about two feet long, which he 



1 82 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

greatly values as an ancient relic. He is very 
well up in the history of his house. He asserts 
that Sanframondi originally came and estab- 
lished himself at Cerreto, a few miles distant, 
but that being dissatisfied with the possibilities 
of fortifying it according to his ideas, he looked 
out for another and a better site. The result of 
his exploration was the selection of the rock upon 
which the castle now stands, and his selection 
was undoubtedly a wise one, for a place more 
impregnable in ancient times it will be very 
difficult to find, and besides, from its command- 
ing eminence no enemy in any force, scarcely 
even a band of twenty mounted knights, could 
approach by either valley without being seen 
from the ramparts of the castle. 

We do not pretend to have by any means 
exhausted the excursions which can be made 
from the points we have selected as our centres, 
but we do claim to have given our readers an 
introduction to a beautiful country, almost 
untrodden by the tourist, and capable by the 
light we have thrown upon it of being explored 
by him to any extent he may please. It is 
quite out of the beaten track ; the inhabitants 
are civil and quite unsophisticated, and though 



MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS 183 

it is in fact so near to Naples, its beauties are 
practically unknown to the great majority of the 
British residents in the city, and not appreciated 
as they ought to be by the many thousands of 
its visitors. 



CHAPTER VII 

SCENERY AND MYSTERY 

AVELLINO, the capital city of the province of 
that name, forms an excellent centre for visit- 
ing much that is interesting to the antiquarian, 
the mountaineer and the tourist. Like all the 
mountains in South Italy, those which form the 
Avellino group abound in highly picturesque 
excursions, and of these that to Monte Vergine 
will claim the first place. We have already 
mentioned this as a famous shrine which draws 
many thousand pilgrims every Whitsuntide. 
There is a carriage road now as far as Merco- 
gliano, but from thence the ascent must be made 
either on foot or on a mule, for the monastery 
is built in a gorge high up on the mountain. 
It is said to have been founded in the early 
days of the twelfth century on the ruins of a 
temple dedicated to Rhea, the ancient Greek 



SCENERY AND MYSTERY 185 

goddess of Earth. The church contains the 
tomb of Catherine de Valois and of her son, 
who was the second husband of the infamous 
Joanna I. It was Catherine who presented 
the church, with the miraculous picture of the 
Virgin, which has been held in the highest 
estimation in Southern Italy for the last six 
centuries. In this church Manfred had erected 
a chapel and tomb for himself which, as we 
have already seen, his defeat, death and insult- 
ing burial at Benevento prevented him from 
occupying. A curious Latin inscription records 
the gift of the tomb by Charles of Anjou to one 
of his soldiers. It is worth while after visiting 
the church to ascend to the top of the mountain, 
as it is the highest peak of the Avellino group, 
and commands extensive views over sea and 
land. The archaeologist will not fail on his 
return to Mercogliano to visit the archives 
contained in the Ospizio, where the abbot and 
several monks are still allowed to reside. The 
collection contains a great number of historical 
manuscripts. 

Another interesting ride from Avellino is to 
the source of the Serino spring, which rises 
from the mountain-side, and is supposed, like 



1 86 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the spring of Piedimonte d' Alife, to be fed by 
an underground lake in the mountains. During 
a part of the year there is a lake above ground, 
but in the summer this is said to dry up, and 
the spring is then fed from an underground 
lake which filters through the basin above in 
the winter months. This water is intercepted 
here and carried to Naples in iron pipes. It is 
there stored in vast tanks near the Palace of 
Capodimonte, whence it is disseminated through- 
out the city, providing it with the finest water- 
supply of any town in the world. As it comes 
at a pressure of five atmospheres it is capable 
of driving a lift to the top of the highest houses, 
and as the supply is continuous the use of house 
cisterns with their accompanying dangers is 
rendered wholly unnecessary. The water, 
moreover, is so cold that even in the height of 
a Neapolitan summer it is scarcely necessary to 
have ice in the house for the cooling of perish- 
able articles of consumption ; it being sufficient 
to put them in a closed vessel and allow a drip 
of the Serino water to fall upon them. So 
plentiful is the supply that many neighbouring 
towns have the benefit of it, and it is sent by 
train and steamer to places as far off as Procida 



SCENERY AND MYSTERY 187 

and even Bari, on the not infrequent occasions 
when such miserable water - supply as these 
towns have to put up with runs short. But 
the longest journey we have heard of as being 
taken by this water was its export in large 
quantities to Africa to supply the Italian troops 
at the time of their disastrous campaign against 
Abyssinia. 

Avellino is also the home of the hazel nut, 
which will be seen growing in profusion in the 
neighbourhood. Its Latin name is Coryolus 
Abellana, thus sufficiently indicating both the 
antiquity of cultivation and the classical origin 
of its establishment in this locality. 

The town of Nola, though in fact in the 
province of Caserta, is much more easily visited 
from Avellino. It is a typical example of the 
smaller class of South Italian towns, and is 
chiefly important for its garrison. It seems 
extraordinary that so small a town should 
contain no less than 12,000 inhabitants, and 
this must be to a great extent owing to the 
fertility of the plains around, which provide 
employment for so large a number of people. 
Like most places in this neighbourhood which 
have any pretension to be called towns, Nola 



1 88 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

boasts of a bishop, and what is much more, 
of a bishopric going back to a very respect- 
able antiquity. Indeed Nola takes an im- 
portant place in the annals of the Christian 
Church. 

St. Felix, presbyter of Nola, had a small 
oratory at Cimitile, about a couple of miles from 
the town. He suffered great persecution at the 
hands of the Roman Emperors Trajan and 
Hadrian, so that his date may be placed in the 
early part of the second century A.D. He was, 
however, not honoured with the crown of martyr- 
dom, but after his death his tomb and altar 
became the bourne of long pilgrimages. That 
he escaped martyrdom is accounted for by a 
time-honoured legend, which is corroborated 
by showing a hole in the wall of the crypt in 
which he hid himself from those who had come 
to take his life. No sooner had he ensconced 
himself in this refuge than a spider with 
miraculous energy spun her web completely 
over the entrance to it. When the soldiers 
arrived to take him they sought for him in vain 
and passed by the hole in the wall, on the 
ground that no one could be hidden in a place 
which was covered with a spider's web, which it 



SCENERY AND MYSTERY 189 

must have taken such an insect many days to 
make. 

The following incident is historical, for it 
occurs in the writings of no less a person 
than St. Augustin. 1 

A theological difference having arisen be- 
tween two disputants, St. Augustin sent them 
from Egypt to the altar of St. Felix at Nola, 
and thus records the matter : 

The holiness of this place, where the body of the 
blessed Felix of Nola is buried, is well known to many 
people, to which place I wish them (the disputants) to 
proceed, so that they may the more easily and faithfully 
write to us concerning anything which was contested in 
their theology. 

And again in the same letter : 

I decline to examine why these miracles are done here 
and not in other places. 

A very great number of the early Christians 
suffered martyrdom at Nola, and all of them 
seem to have been buried in this cemetery of 
Cimitile, near the altar and tomb of St. Felix, 
thereby hallowing a spot which has preserved 
its sanctity throughout the Christian centuries. 

Upon the importance of St. Felix and his 
works we hear most from the writings of St. 

1 St. Augustin, Epist. Ixxviii. 



190 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Paulinus who was born in Bordeaux in 353 A.D. 
and first came to Italy in his youth. On his 
arrival he went to Nola and dedicated himself 
to St. Felix. He then went to Rome and 
having obtained the appointment of Consul 
in Campania, he records how when he was 
twenty-one years of age he cut off his beard 
and dedicated it to St. Felix. He subsequently 
resigned his Consulship, returned to France, 
and married a Spaniard. He lost his only 
child a few days after its birth, and by his 
wife's advice sold his goods, went to Spain, 
was made a priest at Barcelona, came to 
Florence where he met St. Ambrose, and 
found his way back a poor pilgrim to worship 
at the tomb of his own Felix. He tells us 
most of these particulars, and a good many 
more, in some hexameter poems written 
evidently at intervals during his residence in 
Nola. 1 

The shrine of St. Felix was originally a small 
oratory in a little garden, but by degrees, as 
the burial-places of the martyrs became more 
revered, five basilicas arose in its neighbour- 
hood and were dedicated to St. Felix, the 

1 Sancti Paulini Opera. Migne, Paris, 1861, 



SCENER Y AND MYS TER Y 191 

Holy Martyrs, St. Stephen, St. Thomas, and 
St. John the Baptist. But little remains of 
these buildings. A hideous modern church 
has been built upon the foundations of the 
principal basilica, fortunately without causing 
any damage to the interesting crypt beneath ; 
in fact, were a few dozen loads of rubbish 
taken out of it, it would be a very interesting 
monument of ecclesiastical archaeology, and 
would probably present much the same 
appearance as it presented fifteen hundred 
years ago. 

The glory of San Felice has been very 
much eclipsed by that of St. Paulinus, whose 
name is held in high honour at Nola to this 
day, as the following account of the annual 
festival in his honour will prove : 

St. Paulinus, after a missionary journey 
to Turkey, landed from his ship at Torre dell' 
Annunziata, and the population of Nola turned 
out en masse to welcome him, bearing in their 
hands small towers of lilies. These towers 
were at first made in great numbers and placed 
about the town every year, on the 22nd of 
June, to celebrate the arrival of the saint ; and 
though the festival is still held, the character of 



192 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the lilies has altogether changed, and instead of 
being flowers they are now lofty towers of 
wood gaily papered over, and decked out with 
small lamps, numerous flags, and other orna- 
ments, and upon the top of all stands the statue 
of a saint. For ten days before the 22nd of 
June the whole town is alive in preparation for 
the festival, and the so-called "lilies" of last 
year are brought out and renovated. They 
are eight in number, and each one bears some 
emblem to distinguish its owner, who may be a 
shoemaker, or a tailor, or a butcher, or some 
other tradesman. They are carried to the 
main square of the town, and placed four on 
one side and four on the other. Between them 
is a sailing ship, which represents the vessel 
in which St. Paulinus came to Torre dell' 
Annunziata. In the ship is a brass band, and 
a black man dressed as a Turk who frantically 
waves a sword, and is intended to represent the 
captain of the ship. Needless to say that the 
city is full of guests, who troop in from all the 
towns in the neighbourhood. There is scarcely 
standing room in the Piazza, and as each "lily" 
has its own band the noise is deafening. It is 
a thoroughly popular festival, for men stand 



SCENER Y AND M YS TER Y 1 93 

upon the lilies and throw plaster confetti 
into the crowd. This is a little amusement 
commonly indulged in at Carnival time, and 
when skilfully thrown these missiles sting one's 
face pretty smartly. When the silver bust of 
Saint Paulinus is brought out all the fire is 
directed upon it, and the unfortunate saint is 
pelted till the silver rattles again. 

About mid-day a procession is formed, and 
these huge lilies are carried round the town on 
men's shoulders, and finally set down opposite 
the houses of their owners. It will be easily 
imagined that the work of carrying them is 
tremendous, and the unfortunate men who do 
the work well deserve the dinner they get 
when it is over. Still, they take a delight in 
their share of the day's entertainment, and 
march merrily to the sound of the band which 
precedes each lily. 

At nightfall the real "fun of the fair" 
begins. Every one has feasted sumptuously, 
according to his income ; macaroni has been 
swallowed in fabulous quantities ; wine has 
flowed freely from ten thousand goblets, and 
there they all are as merry as you please ; but 
as we stroll through the throng there is no 

13 



194 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

jostling, no elbowing, no disorder, and, above 
all, nobody drunk ! Not that they take their 
pleasures in any sense sadly. Not a bit of it ; 
there is joy on all the faces, merriment in every 
eye ; and, as the lilies are now lighted up from 
top to bottom, they present a lustre of coloured 
lights, hung all over them in fancy patterns. 
It is a very pretty and quite unique sight ; and 
the balmy air of an Italian summer evening 
does much to enhance one's enjoyment of the 
scene. The people withal are extremely chatty 
and agreeable. Talk to the peasant woman 
who is standing by you and you will not find 
her lose her composure or be in the least shy. 
Encourage her ever so little and she will tell 
you all about her home and her life in it. She 
will evince, perhaps, a mild amount of astonish- 
ment when you tell her that you come from 
a country where the people do not speak 
Neapolitan, and will heartily despise the British 
Isles when you tell her that they produce no 
wine ! Lastly, the inevitable fireworks rend 
the air, and when they are over the crowd 
disperses, leaving the lilies to burn out in 
silence and solitude, for the Festa di San 
Paolino is over. 



SCENER Y AND M YSTER Y 195 

The same performance is gone through on 
the following day, when a prize is given to the 
fortunate owner of that lily which, in the 
opinion of the judges, is the handsomest ; and 
then the lilies are stripped, and their skeletons 
are unscrewed and put by for the following year. 1 

Paulinus of Nola is said to have introduced 
a doubtful blessing into the Christian Church. 
Every one who knows anything of Italian, and 
many who do not, are aware that campana is an 
Italian word signifying a bell, but not every 
one is aware that the word is derived from 
Campania, the Latin name of the province we 
are visiting. It is said that Paulinus was the 
inventor of church bells, and that he called 
them after the name of the province. It is 
pretty certain that a bell with a tongue in it 

1 San Paollno cli Nola is not the same as the St. Paulinus who 
founded the Archbishopric of York. The following is an interesting 
account of Paulinus of York, taken from Dr. Brewer's Readers' Hand- 
book : 

" Paulinus of York christened 10,000 men, besides women and their 
children, in one single day, in the Swale. (Altogether some 50,000 
souls, i.e. 104 every minute, 6250 every hour, supposing he worked 
eight hours a clay without stopping.) 

"When the Saxons first received the Christian faith, 
Paulinus of old York, the zealous Bishop then, 
In Swale's abundant stream christened ten thousand men, 
With women and their babes a number more besides, 
Upon one happy day." 

Drayton, Polyolbion, xxviii. (1622). 



196 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

was not known much before the Christian era. 
We find cattle bells in considerable numbers 
at Pompeii in the first century A.D., and the 
writer himself found two hand bells of bronze, 
such as those commonly seen on office writing 
tables, in a late tomb of Roman period in the 
neighbourhood of Pozzuoli. The mistake of 
giving bells an earlier date than that to which 
they are entitled has arisen, no doubt, from the 
habit of translating the Latin word tympanum 
by the English word " bell." The tympanum 
of the Romans was a disc of bronze sounded 
with a striker, and would, in fact, better be 
translated by the word "gong," although the 
tympanum is a thick plate of solid metal like 
an Indian gong, in contradistinction to the 
Chinese gong, which is a thin plate of metal 
hammer-wrought. A very fine specimen of a 
Roman tympanum with its striker may be seen 
in the Naples Museum. It was found in 
Pompeii, but the exact locality is not known, 
so that we cannot conjecture to what special 
use it was put in Roman times. It is a bronze 
disc about eight inches in diameter, and has a 
fine clear tone, like an ordinary church bell of 
small size. 



SCENER Y AND MYSTER Y 197 

The most important production for which 
Nola has been celebrated since the fifth cen- 
tury B.C. is that of painted vases. In the early 
times of Greek colonisation factories of vases 
to imitate those made in Greece were established 
in divers parts of " Magna Grecia"as South 
Italy was then called. Of these the factory of 
Nola was by far the most important, and 
produced vases equal to those of the best period 
made in Athens. The clay was of the finest, 
they were unrivalled in shape and varnish, and 
the dexterity with which they were painted 
never has been and never will be excelled. 
The most famous product of the Nolan potters 
is a vase in the Naples Museum known to 
archaeologists by the name of " The vase of the 
Sack of Troy." It represents the last night of 
Troy, and it is probable that the composition 
was derived from a tradition of the celebrated 
groups of paintings with which Polygnotus 
decorated the Stoa of Delphi. The only 
difficulty with regard to this tradition is that 
Polygnotus did not go to Delphi till after the 
death of Cimon in 449 B.C., which would give 
this vase rather a later date than we should 
otherwise assign to it. Certain it is that the 



ig8 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

style of painting adopted on the vase corresponds 
exactly to what we know of the art of Polygnotus, 
but it may quite well be that the Nolan potter 
had studied in the same school, and was a 
disciple with Polygnotus of the same master. 
That he was a Greek is certain, and it is more 
than probable that in the pursuit of his art he 
had come over to Italy and established himself 
at Nola. This chef d'ceuvre of his composition 
displays a single band of nineteen figures ; the 
centre of the band containing the principal 
picture, which consists of a group representing 
Pyrrhus about to slay Priam who has taken 
refuge on the altar of Jove beneath a spreading 
palm-tree, holding on his knees the bloody 
corpse of the boy Astyanax, and clasping his 
head with his hand while he awaits his death- 
blow. At the foot of the altar Polytes, the son 
of Priam, who had in vain tried to save his 
father, lies prostrate from the sword of Pyrrhus. 
The next group represents Andromache attack- 
ing Menelaus with a pestle while he is spoiling 
the body of Deiphobus. We next find an Attic 
legend representing two heroes of Athens, 
Akamas and Demophon, who have found their 
grandmother Othra among the slaves of Helen. 



SCENERY AND MYSTERY 199 

Another exquisite group shows Hecuba and 
Helen by the Palladium to which Cassandra is 
clinging, while Ajax grasping her flowing locks 
endeavours to tear her from the shrine after 
killing Coroebus her suitor ; and lastly Aeneas 
carrying Anchises on his back and leading 
Ascanius by the hand. 

There exists also in the Naples Museum a 
small balsamarium of exquisite shape and 
varnish, bearing a red figure of a damsel playing 
on the lyre. This vase though quite small is 
looked upon as one of the greatest gems in the 
history of Nolan vase-painting; and the artist 
thought so too, for he wrote over her head the 
graceful legend, " I think you are very pretty." 

Among other souvenirs of the classical times, 
Nola contains a monument dear to archaeo- 
logists, and known to them by the name of the 
" Cippus Abellinus," which is preserved in the 
Seminary a few minutes' walk from the town. 
The material of which it is composed is identical 
with the marble found to this day in the 
neighbouring hills, showing that it must have 
been hewn on the spot. The inscription is in 
Oscan, and written from right to left, but the 
period of the stone itself is undoubtedly Roman, 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



as is proved by the meaning of the inscriptions 
on it. The reason of this apparent incongruity 
is that the Oscan language lingered long in 
these out-of-the-way places, as indeed was the 
case in the far less remote Pompeii, where we 
find inscriptions in the Oscan character which 
must have been put up under the Roman 
dominion. 

The obverse of the Cippus recites the 
boundaries of Nola and Abellinum, with the 
shape of Nola "as described on the tablets." 
It also mentions the strength of Nola on its 
boundaries, and having stated its disagreement 
with the previous award of Statelius of Suessola, 
orders that the ancient boundaries should be 
restored to the town. 

The reverse of the stone bears an inscription 
from the Roman Senate to the magistracy of 
Abellinum, giving them instructions as to their 
course of action in the matter. 

The stone thus is a record of the settlement 
of an ancient boundary dispute, which Statelius, 
an inhabitant of the neighbouring town of 
Suessola, had been called in to arbitrate upon. 
The records of similar disputes are not in- 
frequent. In the Street of the Tombs at 



SCENERY AND MYSTERY 



Pompeii we find the following inscription : 
"By authority of the Emperor Caesar Vespasian 
Augustus, Titus Suedius Clemens having heard 
the arguments and made the measurements, 
restored to the republic of Pompeii the public 
places which had been taken possession of 
by private individuals." 

In ancient times, whenever information had 
to be conveyed to the public, or a new law had 
to be promulgated, it was done by putting up 
an inscription in a public place where every- 
body who liked could read it, and every one 
who was scholar enough could copy it if he 
wished. The reference in the inscription to 
" the tablets " shows that the details of the 
survey were stored in the archives, and were 
accessible to any one who liked to refer to 
them. 

The stone was found in 1745, and no doubt 
at or near to the very spot where it had been 
placed by decree of the Senate many centuries 
before. It was wisely removed to the Seminary 
at Nola five years afterwards, where it has since 
been carefully preserved. It appears to have 
stood at the angle of a road because the marks 
of cart wheels have obliterated some of the 



202 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

words of the inscriptions and left them to the 
conjectures of experts. 

Another classical event for which Nola is 
famous is the death of Augustus in 14 A.D. 
Suetonius, the Roman historian, whose greatest 
work is his Lives of the Caesars, which includes 
the Caesars from Julius to Domitian, (writing 
probably in the early part of the second century) 
tells us that Augustus died at Nola in the same 
bed as his father Octavius, in the year when 
Sextius Pompeius and Appuleius were Consuls. 
Augustus was the first and greatest of the 
Roman emperors, and his reign was the golden 
age of art and literature at Rome. He died in 
his seventy-sixth year, and was succeeded by 
Tiberius. 

In more modern times Nola has had two 
celebrated sons, Giordano Bruno and Giovanni 
da Nola. The former began life as a Dominican 
Friar, but he threw up his orders, and escaped 
to Germany. He subsequently returned to 
Italy, was arrested, tried after the manner of 
the times, and ultimately taken to Rome where he 
was burnt as an atheist near St. Peter's in the 
seventeenth century, after promulgating radical 
doctrines in various parts of Europe. A few 



SCENER Y AND MYS TER Y 203 

years ago, Commendatore Bovio, a lawyer of 
considerable eminence and one of the most 
learned and eloquent of the radical deputies in 
Italy, discovered (if we may use the term) 
Giordano Bruno, and carried on a campaign in 
the political circles of Italy wherein he extolled 
Bruno as the leading spirit of his time, and 
having traced the effects of his career as running 
through the entire history of Liberalism in 
Italy, contrived to raise subscriptions enough 
to erect a statue to his memory. Until Bovio's 
campaign was inaugurated few people here seem 
ever to have heard much of Giordano Bruno, or 
to have esteemed him a personage of any great 
political importance ; but, eventually, a statue 
was unveiled to him at Rome on Whitsunday 
1889, on a spot believed to be that on which he 
was burnt. The ceremony, which was intended 
to be thoroughly anti-papal, was celebrated 
with great rejoicings by the Masonic body in 
Italy, and the whole radical party. 

Giovanni da Nola, whose real name was 
Giovanni Merliano, was born at Nola in 1478 
and died in 1559. He was the most famous 
sculptor that these provinces have produced, 
and a great deal of his work, both in wood and 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



in marble, is to be seen in many of the 
Neapolitan churches. The fine wooden crucifix 
in Santa Maria la Nuova is attributed to him, 
and a tomb in Sant' Anna dei Lombardi, that 
great museum of Neapolitan sculpture, is also 
by his hand. Clever as he undoubtedly was, 
he is barely entitled to take his place in the 
highest rank of the sculptors of the fifteenth 
century, but his work is so good that a town of 
far greater pretensions than Nola would have 
had every right to be proud of him, and to 
cherish his memory. 

We mentioned in our opening chapter that 
the old mystery play entitled La nascita del 
Verbo Umanato was no longer played at Naples, 
having been suppressed in the year 1889 by 
the municipal authorities. For the benefit of 
those who have not read our former work 1 we 
must explain that this drama was played in the 
Neapolitan theatres on Christmas eve, the scene 
being laid at Bethlehem and the performers of the 
piece including such characters as the Archangel 
Gabriel, St. Joseph, the Virgin Mary, and a 
comic character or two thrown in, by means of 
whom a drama which was originally no doubt 

1 Naples in iSSS. Trlibner, London. 



SCENE R Y AND M YS TER V 205 

extremely religious degenerated in parts into the 
broadest of broad farces. The drama, which had 
been played for centuries in various theatres in 
the town, was abolished the year after our book 
was written, and so we had the advantage of 
seeing the performance on the very last time 
it was played. Although this play was 
abolished in Naples itself, there are a great 
number of mystery plays given in the country 
towns, the difference being that these latter 
dramas are all acted either in the churches or 
on stages erected in front of their principal 
entrance, whereas the Naples play was given 
in one of the theatres. At Cava we have the 
Martyrdom of Santa Felicita played in front of 
the church to a crowd collected on the piazza. 
The scene opens with the saint at prayer 
surrounded by her seven sons. She is seized 
with her children and carried off to prison. She 
then appears on the stage again and informs 
the audience that her sons have all been thrown 
to the wild beasts in the Circus Maximus at 
Rome, and that although she was shut up in a 
dungeon without so much as a window, God 
the All-powerful enabled her to see what was 
going on in spite of the walls of her prison. A 



206 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

company of soldiers then enters and drags her 
before the judge, who asks her a number of 
questions, and receives from her replies de- 
nouncing the Pagan religion and glorifying that 
which she professes. He puts her to the torture 
and finally condemns her to death. The saint 
is (apparently) disrobed to the waist ; she is 
then beaten with rods which have been dipped 
in water coloured red to produce the realistic 
result of blood issuing from the stripes. Then 
comes her execution. Her hair is rudely cut 
off by a Roman soldier ; she is made to kneel 
and lay her head upon the trunk of a tree ; the 
sword is raised high to decapitate her, and the 
curtain falls amid roars of applause. Then the 
saint and the judge and the soldiers come out 
and bow to the entranced audience ; the saint 
being received with loud applause, and the judge 
and soldiers incontinently hissed. 

The most common form of mystery play is, 
however, the Passion of our Lord, and for sacred 
dramatism perhaps Ottaiano (a town of 19,476 
inhabitants on the slopes of Vesuvius, and in 
the neighbourhood of Nola) claims a place as 
important as any, for here we have mediaeval 
survivals so curious that we can scarcely believe 



SCENE R Y AND M YS TER Y 207 

we are living at the close of the nineteenth 
century. 

A procession is formed in Holy Week which 
marches completely round the town, and is 
formed in the following manner. 

Our Lord is represented by a man who bows 
himself under the weight of a large cross, 
having four ropes tied to him, each of which is 
held by a man ; two marching before him 
armed with lances, and two behind him bearing 
scourges in their hands. Behind them come 
two figures dressed in the long white robe of 
a burial guild, with hoods which completely 
cover their heads and faces, and having small 
slits in them through which their eyes alone 
can be seen. One of these carries a trumpet, 
and the other a drum. Another couple similarly 
dressed follow with the ladder and the whipping 
post ; a third couple bear a snake and a chalice ; 
a fourth bear the sun and moon with their 
noses, eyes, and mouths painted, thus giving 
the heavenly bodies a most ludicrous appear- 
ance ; a fifth couple carry the cock which 
crowed at the denial of Saint Peter, and a 
hammer, nails, pincers, and sponge all fastened 
on a piece of wood ; and lastly, a sixth couple 



208 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

bear the handkerchief of Saint Catherine with 
the picture of Christ's head upon it, and the 
three dice with which the Roman soldiers cast 
lots for the seamless robe. 

A vast public views this scene with extra- 
ordinary enthusiasm ; indeed the wonder is that 
they can be prevented from kneeling down as 
the procession goes by, for they are deeply 
moved, and seem to forget for the moment that 
the actors in this scene are their own next-door 
neighbours, people with whom they come in 
contact every day of their lives. 

The procession over, we proceed to the 
Chiesa del Carmine to see a performance in 
itself scarcely less curious. At the back of the 
altar a large wheel is set up, and upon the outer 
edge of this wheel statuettes are fixed repre- 
senting our Lord carrying the cross on His 
shoulders, and making His way to Calvary, 
followed by a crowd of Jews who strike and 
insult Him. Amongst these is one who is giving 
Him a blow with his hand and another a kick 
with his foot (for it seems impossible in these 
plays to eliminate the grotesque element). The 
scene appears natural enough, because, the 
wheel being gradually turned, group after group 



SCENE R Y AND M YS TER Y 209 

appears successively to the people, whose 
emotional faculties are intensely wrought upon, 
so that, whatever it may appear to more educated 
eyes, to the people for whom it is played it does 
not give the impression of a puppet show. 

It will thus be seen that Ottaiano is keen on 
the realistic, for besides the scene we have 
described they have another passion play to 
the glory of St. Michael and All Angels. This 
is played in a church, and a part of the 
performance consists in hanging children up by 
ropes to the roof of the building to represent 
angels, and causing them to sing hymns in 
honour of St. Michael in this uncomfortable 
position and at this dangerous altitude, while 
the awe-struck congregation listen with all their 
ears that they may not lose a word of what 
appears to them an inspired utterance. 

In the chapter which we devoted to yachting, 
we recommended our yachtsman, if he were a 
good pedestrian, to leave his boat at Amalfi and 
walk up to San Lazzaro in Agerola. Any one 
who does this will have a steep climb up a 
rugged path, and enjoy extremely beautiful 
scenery all the way. San Lazzaro may, however, 

14 



210 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

be reached far more easily than this, and the 
most comfortable way of getting there is to 
start from Castellamare di Stabia in a carriage, 
and passing through Gragnano ascend the 
lovely road which leads thence up the mountain 
to San Lazzaro. Like all Italian roads this one 
is beautifully engineered, and ends in a great 
surprise, for when we have climbed nearly to 
the top of the mountain we find a tunnel which 
takes us through the hill, and on emerging 
from it we find ourselves in a totally different 
country. The group of hamlets which constitute 
Agerola is situated in a ravine-like valley at 
something like 4000 feet above the sea. Instead 
of the flat-roofed cottages which we find in the 
plains below, the houses here have roofs made of 
chestnut poles sawn in half longitudinally, and 
built to a very high pitch, thus giving the 
village an absolutely Swiss appearance. The 
result is delightfully picturesque, and the reason 
why the houses are thus roofed is on account of 
the snow which falls heavily in the winter and 
would inevitably break in a flat roof. Passing 
through the village, we see on our right a large 
house which looks like a ruin. On approaching 
it we find it to be an unfinished mansion. It 



SCENE R Y AND M YS TER Y 211 

was commenced some years ago by the 
Marchese Avitabile, who was murdered before 
it was completed, and his successors have left 
it unfinished. The position chosen affords the 
most extensive view over the bay of Salerno, 
for the house may be seen from almost any 
point of that bay, and its position is truly a 
magnificent one, for during the heat of summer 
the locality is so cool that one could scarcely 
believe oneself to be in Southern Italy. The 
chief produce of the village is an excellent red 
eating apple, which is unrivalled for its keeping 
properties. These are exported in considerable 
quantities, besides providing the local market 
at a very reasonable figure. A walk of about 
three hours down a mountain path (for the most 
part so rugged and steep as to be difficult for a 
mule with a man on his back) leads from hence 
to Amain, and if we decide to take this route 
we shall have crossed the Sorrentine peninsula 
at its most picturesque point, and we shall have 
enjoyed a variety of scenery not often to be 
found in so brief a space of time ; for the land- 
scape of the Amalfi side is much more majestic 
than that of the Naples side of the range, 
though in its own way the latter is none the 



212 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

less beautiful. There are several points (notably 
the top of Sant' Angelo) where the promontory 
looks for all the world like an enchanted island, 
for the sea spreads round us on three sides, 
and the low ground which separates Vesuvius 
from Castellamare is so shut out that we can 
easily imagine an arm of the sea to run up 
into it. What if the ancient hands which made 
Athos 1 into an island had devoted their energies 
to this promontory, and cut a canal from Stabia 
to Salernum to avoid the dangers of the Siren 
rocks, so much dreaded by the mariners of 
antiquity ? Could we not people the banks of 
such a canal with thriving cities and busy 
populations ? Would it not have been much 
more profitable as a commercial enterprise than 
the same amount of labour expended on the 
barren shores of Northern Greece ? 

Let us, however, leave idle speculations to 
dreaming speculators, and wind down the 
carriage road again to the wooded slopes of 
Castellamare, and if there is any daylight 
left we may turn aside and ramble over the 
ruins of the mediaeval castle of Lettere, which 



1 " Creditur olim velificatus Athos ct quidquid Grccia mendax audct in 
historia." 



SCENER Y AND MYS TER Y 213 

we may people with knights and dames and 
belted retainers, as we watch the sun dip into 
the Bay of Naples, lighting up Pompeii, which 
is at our feet, with his golden rays, causing the 
townships on the further hills to appear like 
brilliant jewels set in dark enamel, and while 
glistening on the rugged peaks of Monte 
Somma throw into deep shadow the ever- 
varying colours of the volcano, till the crater 
fades from our sight in the soft purple haze 
of an Italian sunset. 



CHAPTER VIII 



WE have incidentally mentioned in a former 
chapter how extremely common the belief in 
witchcraft is in Southern Italy, and we give 
an illustration of an incantation with cabalistic 
signs, and an invocation in Italian, which 
fell into our hands recently in purchasing 
some cigars of a tobacconist in Naples. On 
unfolding the packet we found this curious 
document. 

The upper symbol consists of a black cross 
between two black pillars ; both pillars and 
the three points of the cross have red balls 
at their extremities. At the arms of the cross 
are the letters " G Z " in red ink, and " M Z " 
in blue. To the left of the cross is the letter 
" M," and beneath it, the letters " M M S " ; 
and on the right of the cross the letter " O " 








e- 





*%, 



215 



with a cross in it, in Italian fashion, and 
beneath that the letters "TGO," the lower 
" O," like the other one, having a cross in it. 
Beneath the main cross is a capital " E " with 
a spot of red ink ; beneath that again is a 
picture representing the sun, with three double 
triangles in red ink. Under these again are 
"G" in red ink, "P" in blue, and "Z" in 
black ink. Beneath these are two emblems. 
On the left the all-seeing eye in a triangle 
mixed blue and red, with blue and red lines 
trending downwards to a parallelogram, which 
appears to be reached by a black step. This 
step is, however, cut off by the red perpen- 
dicular line of the parallelogram, the upper 
line also being red and ending in a circle 
which is also red, the lower line of the parallel- 
ogram being blue. Within the parallelogram 
we see the configuration of a mountain, upon 
the rise of which is a red pillar with a blue 
ball over it ; and upon the summit are three 
red crosses, the centre one being larger than 
the others. Beneath the principal cross is a 
nearly square rectangle, which is interspaced 
by a cross of which the vertical is blue and 
the cross-bar red ; the figure itself being three- 



2i6 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

quarters red, and the rest blue. Beneath it is 
a red ball. The circle in which the parallel- 
ogram ends is all of red. Inside it are 
seven red balls, and what seems to be the 
sectional elevation of a cathedral church in 
black, with two crosses upon it, the verticals 
of which are black and the cross-pieces red. 
An angular segment of the circle is also made 
with a cross at the angle, of which the vertical 
is black and the cross-piece red, as in the other 
crosses. 

On the right-hand side of the paper we find 
a cross l with four cabalistic signs in red and 
blue at the extremities of the four arms. At 
the top the sign is red with a red ball above 
it. The next sign to the right is blue with 
a red ball ; the sign at the lower end of the 
cross is a red interrogative sign (upside down) 
with a blue ball above it ; and the sign on 
the left arm of the cross is partly red and 
partly blue, with a blue ball beneath it. 2 Of 
the emblems within the rectangles of the cross 

1 We have styled this symbol a "cross" for want of a better word. 
The verticals and horizontals being of equal height, it is not properly a 
cross. We shall show further on that, in our opinion, it is a Swastika. 

2 These may be letters of some alphabet unknown to the writer, as 
also the signs in lower left angle and the upper right angle. The 
former of these is something like the Hebrew "aleph." 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 217 

it is extremely difficult to speak with certainty, 
because every reader will admit that they are 
difficult to distinguish. In the first quarter 
we have to do with, there is a waxing moon 
with something coming out of the mouth which 
appears to direct attention to the red and blue 
symbol on the left arm of the cross. The 
incantation at the bottom is in bad Italian, 
and written in lines of red and blue ink 
alternately. 

It runs thus : 

In the name of the most High and of the Prince 
Zacchiello in name of God I command thee Baracchiello 
as thou hast had the strength given thee by God over 
everything I command thee O Prince Baracchiello drive 
off these clouds and get rid from the earth these formidable 
waters from the earth flee O ye fogs and stop these 
formidable waters from the earth I command thee because 
thou teachedst me and I shall command thee and thou 
must stop it in the name of God ZACCHIELLO. 

The original Italian is, as we have said, very 
incorrect, but the words written above are a 
literal translation of it. We have put in no 
stops because there are none in the original, 
and we shall deal with the invocation as soon 
as we have explained what we can of the 
cabalistic signs in the body of the paper. 



2i8 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

There can be no doubt that the paper was 
a charm against floods ; and there must have 
been two parties to the charm : first the man 
who made it ; and secondly, the man who 
bought it. Judging by analogy, one w r ould 
assume that some one suffering from a plague 
of water, a thing so common in all parts of 
Italy, went to a sorcerer, and obtained from him 
(no doubt on payment) a charm to stop the 
flood. If this is a fair inference, we may 
assume also that the sorcerer acted on a 
definite line, and that his cabalistic signs were 
not made absolutely by chance, but were 
copied or evolved from the writings of other 
sorcerers to whom he had been a pupil, or with 
whose writings he was conversant. 

With these premises in our mind, we ex- 
amined this writing with considerable care ; 
and without in any way pledging ourselves 
to anything above speculation in the matter, 
we venture to offer the following interpretations 
to our readers. 

First of all, having puzzled over the matter 
ourselves to the best of our ability, we sub- 
mitted it to a lady of our acquaintance, not 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 219 

a professional medium, who by her own con- 
fession knew nothing whatever about the 
matter. She is a lady absolutely above sus- 
picion ; and the answers were written by 
" Planchette " in the presence only of two other 
ladies, also well known to the writer, of whom 
only one knew Italian ; and she could not, 
by any known method of thought-transference, 
have influenced the two ladies who were 
working Planchette, for the excellent reason 
that the answers given were entirely out of 
her knowledge. 

The following is a verbatim copy of the 
paper forwarded to us. 

INTERPRETATION OF INCANTATION WITH CABALISTIC 
SIGNS, AND AN INVOCATION IN ITALIAN 

Q. Who is Zacchiello ? 

A. He was an Astrologer in the days of the Borgias, a 
follower of Pythagoras, and the parchment was used for 
exorcism and incantation. 

INTERPRETATION OF UPPER SYMBOL IN CENTRE 

The cross between the two pillars " Jachin " and 
" Boaz," the good and evil. " G " I do not know. " M" 
is Michael and the " Z's" are Zacchiello. They are on the 
left side from the figure who would be on the cross 
typifying : the " blue " his earth experience beneath the 
arm of the cross; the "red" the spiritual experience 
transformed by that cross. 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



Q. What is the " E " at the bottom ? 

A. Eleazar. Represents the earth-bound soul. 

SYMBOL ON THE LEFT HAND 

The eye and the triangle are the unity in Trinity, the 
mixed colours again representing humanity in divinity ; the 
hill is Calvary with the three crosses. The window below 
is Hades which has been opened by the central Cross. 
The excrescences are the earthly element pushed outside 
by the divine, and the pillar is again Jachin triumphing 
over evil and expelling it in the shape of a ball. The 
circle is the earth embraced by the divine, the balls are the 
seven lamps of the churches of Christendom ; the segment 
of the circle surmounted by the cross is Rome the first 
dispenser of salvation, which has spread over that portion 
of the globe. The remaining crosses are the Greek and 
Anglican churches working in a circle distinct from the 
true faith. 

SYMBOL ON THE RIGHT HAND 

This is the incantation to abate the plague of waters. 
All the signs, which belong to the Kabbala, are still show- 
ing the conflict between good and evil. The signs were 
to be invoked in the name of the Blessed Trinity, whose 
powers and symbols have been described. 

The words are those written below and form an occult 
exorcism. 

Q. What is the date of this paper ? 

A. This is a copy of an old incantation of Zacchiello 
and used within the last sixty years in the floods of 
1829. 

Q. Give me the exact date of the floods. 

A. August 1829. 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFJ^ 



Q. How did they read the incantation ? 

A. They assembled together and a chosen prophet or 
seer read out in solemn tones the invocation accompanying 
it with the burning of incense, preceded by prayer and 
fasting. It was read three nights when the moon began 
to decline from the full. 

Q. What is the meaning of the three letters " G P Z " ? 

A.' "P" is the symbol of the Christ, "Z" is Zacchiello, 
and " G " I do not know. 

Q. What spirit is answering these questions ? 

A. Cardinal Antonelli. 1 

It is fair to add, on the testimony of the three 
ladies who alone were present, that this ex- 
planation was written straight off by Planchette 
without any hesitation whatever. 

Leaving Planchette behind, let us see what 
we can make out for certain from our own 
observation. First of all, who was Baracchiello? 
We read in La Haute Magie 2 that the world 
according to ancient belief was governed 
by seven secondary causes which were the 
universal forces designated by Moses under 
the plural noun Elohim. These forces, being 
contrary the one to the other, produce an 
equilibrium by their contrast, and thus regulate 

1 We omit the remainder of the paper because it contains a private 
conversation between the spirit of the Cardinal and the ladies, which 
we do not venture to publish. 

2 Dogtne et Ritiiel de la haute Alagie, par Eliphas Levi. Paris, 1861. 



222 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the movement of the heavenly bodies. The 
Jews called them the seven great Archangels, 
and gave them the names of Michael, Gabriel, 
Raphael, Anael, Samael, Zadkiel, and Oriphiel. 
The Gnostics call the four last, Uriel, Barachiel, 
Sealtiel, and Jehudiel. Other nations have 
attributed to these spirits the government of 
the seven principal planets and have given 
them the name of their important divinities. 
All nations have believed in their relative 
influence ; and their astronomers divided the 
ancient heaven amongst them, and gave each 
one the rule over one of the seven days of the 
week. The seven sacraments refer to this 
great and universal division by seven. Baptism, 
which consecrates water, belongs to the Moon ; 
rigorous penance is under the auspices of 
Samael (otherwise Barachiel) the angel of 
Mars ; confirmation, which by tradition con- 
ferred the gift of tongues, under Raphael the 
angel of Mercury ; the Holy Eucharist, under 
Jupiter; marriage, under Anael (otherwise 
Oriel) ; the extreme unction, under Saturn ; 
and holy orders, under the dominion of the 
Sun. And to show the antiquity and uni- 
versality of the idea, we have incorporated it 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 223 

into our everyday language, and speak of our 
friends as jovial, or martial, and of those we 
dislike as saturnine, mercurial, or lunatic ! l 

The workings of magic are also seven in 
number: (i) works of light and wealth, under 
the auspices of the Sun ; (2) works of divina- 
tion and mystery are governed by the Moon ; 
(3) craft, science, and eloquence belong to 
Mercury ; (4) wrath and punishment to Mars ; 
(5) love to Venus ; (6) Ambition, and politics 
generally, to Jupiter; (7) curses and death are 
under the patronage of Saturn. 

That the document before us is in great part 
astrological, admits of no doubt ; for we find on 
examining it that it bears pictures of the sun, 
the moon, and three stars, and we shall see 
further on that there are other signs of the 
Kabbala upon it. Now these stars are the six- 
pointed stars formed by laying one triangle 
upon another ; and not the five-pointed star of 
the Jews which had a mysticism of its own 
belonging to it. 2 And if we are to take the 

1 "I know the shape of 's leg ; this is his hand, 
His foot mercurial, his martial thigh, 
The brawns of Hercules." 

Shakespeare, Cymbeline, ACT iv. Sc. 2. 

- See The Gnostics and their Remains, Plate " O, " by C. W. King. 
David Nutt, London, 1887. 



224 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

capital letters on the document to represent 
the archangels of the Gnostics, we should have 
the stars of Gabriel, Raphael, and Zadkiel 
especially indicated by the initial beneath them ; 
we find the invocation at the bottom is to 
Baracchiello, who is the representative of the 
planet Mars, as we have already seen, that is, 
of plague and punishment ; we have " M " for 
Michael ; " S " for Sealtiel ; and " O " for 
Oriphiel ; thus leaving only the initial " T " 
unexplained. 

To turn to the other astrological symbol, we 
find below on the right the sacred Swastika 
which represents the primeval method by which 
the Buddhists obtain the only fire which they 
esteem to be really pure for their religious rites. 
The Swastika thus became the emblem first of 
fire, then of the sun, and as the sun is the basis 
of almost all the religions of antiquity, the 
Swastika was practically the emblem of the 
Supreme Being. And the moon held a place 
second only to the sun, for the moon-goddess was 
ever associated with the sun-god in the East, in 
Egypt, and even in Greece and Rome. Now it 
will be observed that we have in this symbol 
nine emblems. First the Swastika, secondly the 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 225 

moon, thirdly, a cabalistic sign at the end of 
each arm of the Swastika, and cabalistic writings 
in the three remaining angles, at the intersection 
of the arms of the Swastika itself. Thus we have 
in this one symbol a representation of the sun, 
the moon, and the seven planets. 

The Christian portion of this talisman (to 
deal only with the emblems) consists of the big 
cross at the top round which Gabriel, Michael, 
and Zadkiel's initial letters are placed. But the 
most important Christian symbol is that one 
which is below on the left hand, and on a level 
with the Swastika. Here the Eye in the triangle 
above the picture clearly represents the All- 
seeing Eye of the Triune God, whose indivisible 
Trinity is in no way arrested by the sacrifice 
of Calvary, which is clearly represented beneath. 
The red circle on the extreme right represents 
the regenerate world and the seven red balls the 
seven sacraments of the Church. The building 
with the two crosses on it represents St. Peter's 
at Rome with its vast dome and its magnificent 
crypt, the crosses on it being turned in order to 
show them. The segment of the circle sur- 
mounted by the cross must represent the 
Church in partibus infedelium ; for the Church 

15 



226 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

of Rome has never recognised any other church 
as a means of grace. We think it quite likely 
that the square beneath the centre cross 
represents the gate of Hades drawn in red and 
blue, to show that all souls pure and impure 
must enter it. We notice beneath the gate a 
red ball representing the purity of the soul 
which has just descended into Hades. To 
return for a moment to the upper symbol. It 
strikes us as possible that it represents the three 
crosses of the crucifixion ; the two side ones 
being in profile do not show their arms, but are 
set up to face the Cross of the Redeemer, and 
not full-face as in ordinary pictures of the 
crucifixion. It may be noted also that the 
centre Cross appears to stand on the level of the 
earth while the other two are sunk considerably 
beneath, alluding perhaps to the doctrine that 
the sacrifice of Christ was intended for the 
whole world. 

The diversity of colours must also have its 
signification, as it is so persistently adhered to 
throughout the whole of the document. Three 
colours are used, red, black, and blue. In red 
we have all the initials of the archangels ex- 
cepting two, and of these two one is in blue, and 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 227 

the other in black. The one in blue represents 
a capital " P " of our character, and is beneath 
the central star. We have treated this letter 
as being an " R " because it is the Greek form 
of that letter, and have attributed the initial 
to Raphael. The central star may, however, 
represent Our Lord, and the letter may stand for 
a symbol of his perfect manhood, represented 
in blue. We should of course have expected 
"X P" (Chi-Ro) as this would have been the 
proper emblem of the Redeemer, and we should 
also have expected to have seen the middle star 
larger than the other two. But on the whole 
the suggestion of Planchette that the blue 
belongs to things appertaining to the earth, and 
the red to the regenerate world to come, is as 
good an explanation as can be given, and is 
supported by the fact that the Mount of 
Calvary is all in blue, whereas the crosses on it 
are in red. This opinion would have been 
further fortified had the cross of the impenitent 
thief been represented in blue, but this is not 
the case. A certain amount of the drawings 
are in black ink, namely, the whole emblem at 
the top ; the " Z " beneath the star of Zadkiel ; 
and the small parallelogram which looks like a 



228 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

step to Mount Calvary, but we think is really 
intended to give depth to the picture. The 
outlines of the church and the segment of the 
circle are also in black. 

With regard to the pillars "Jachin" and, 
" Boaz," there seems to be nothing to indicate 
their presence on the talisman. The left-hand 
pillar at the entrance of King Solomon's temple 
had the name " Boaz " inscribed on it, because 
Boaz was the husband of Ruth and the great- 
grandfather of David. The import of the word 
is "Strength." The left-hand pillar was called 
" Jachin," who is traditionally supposed to have 
been High Priest during the reign of King 
Solomon, and at the time of the dedication of 
the Temple. 1 The meaning of the word 
"Jachin" is "to establish"; and no doubt it 
was a happy circumstance, which was probably 
due to the literary genius of Solomon, that the 
Hebrew words written on the pillars of the 
main entrance of the temple should bear the 
meaning " Establish in Strength." We have, 
moreover, a symbol, traditionally well known, 
consisting of the letter " M " to symbolise these 
two pillars of the Temple ; for the letter " M," 

^See I Kings vii. 21, and 2 Chron. iii. 17. 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 229 

if widely spread out, shows two columns with 
a carpenter's square between them. Thus, 
magically interpreted, the letter " M " would 
mean "Established in Strength and Recti- 
tude," for of the last-named virtue the square 
is always the emblem. Still, it must be ad- 
mitted that the three " M's," which appear upon 
the parchment, have no pretence to imitate the 
symbolical " M," but are on the contrary in an 
especially cursive character, and, in our opinion, 
are much more likely to refer to the Archangel 
Michael than to any characters in the Old 
Testament. 

We have given no explanation of the capital 
"E" in blue, with a red ball coming from it 
at the foot of the upper Christian emblem, and 
we are unwilling to accept the explanation 
given by Planchette that it refers to "Eleazar," 
although it is true that a noted sorcerer of that 
name lived in the time of Vespasian. We 
think it much more likely to stand for 
" Eones," a Gnostic corruption of the Greek 
word " Aionas," meaning "Ages," and intend- 
ing to signify that the work of Christ on earth, 
symbolised by the blue colour of the letter, was 
to endure for ever, and, in fact, that his " soul 



230 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

should not be left in hell, nor his flesh see 
corruption." 

The red pillar ejecting the blue ball is much 
more likely to represent " Demas," the tradi- 
tional name of the penitent thief, 1 than any 
Old Testament character, and the more so that 
"Jachin" was esteemed by the Gnostics to 
personify the female principle, and would thus 
have been essentially out of place on Calvary. 

To sum up this document, we believe it to 
be a tracing of a much more ancient incantation, 
issued, to judge by the character of the hand- 
writing, in the early part of the present century. 
We consider that in it the astrological and the 
Christian have been carefully blended, and that 
although the interpretation given may be am- 
plified and improved, it will be found that the 
ultimate rendering of the riddle will be some- 
what on the lines laid down by ourselves. 

And with this reflection we leave the talis- 
man to the study and consideration of our 
readers. 



1 According to tbeAnlfoJSvattgg&'umlttfatttiae, Demas defended the 
Infant Jesus from the malice of the second thief during his flight into 
Egypt, and the Lord then, as a recompense for this service, predicted 
to His mother what would happen to these two persons thirty years 
afterwards on Golgotha. 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 



231 



When our friend, Mr. Frederick Elworthy, 
was preparing his valuable book, The Evil 
Eye, to which we have already referred, he 
happened to be in Naples, and consulted us 
as to the similarities existing between the 
witchcraft superstitions which he had traced 




No. 7. 

up in England and those which exist in 
Italy. We were able to show him a curious 
specimen of what is called here a Fattura 
della Morte, or "death charm"; and he 
was good enough to have a block done of it 
for his book, and to insert a short memor- 
andum of its history, which we had prepared 
for him. 

He has now added to the obligation by 



232 NAPLES JN THE NINETIES 

allowing us the use of the block, and permitting 
us to relate the story. We do so without hesita- 
tion, because so authentic a Neapolitan story 
deserves to find a place in a book on Naples, 
and the more so when the author had a direct 
share in the discovery. 

It is the custom of the lower class of witch- 
craft, or perhaps all witches have always been 
of the lower class, to compass some evil to 
their victims, and often to contrive their death. 
A common way to accomplish this end, more 
direct ways being out of the question, is to take 
some object and pierce it through with some 
sharp instrument, the object being intended to 
represent the heart of the victim. This done, 
appropriate incantations are used, the fictitious 
heart is almost carbonised over a slow fire, and 
is placed as near to the intended victim as 
circumstances will allow. 

In the present instance the article chosen to 
represent the heart of the victim was a common 
Neapolitan green lemon, a variety of the fruit 
not exported to England, but very frequently 
met with here. 1 It is much smaller than an 



1 See Naples and the Cainorra, by Charles Grant, pp. 162, 168. 
Macmillan, London, 1896. 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 233 

ordinary lemon, quite green, even when fully 
ripe, and full of the most delicious juice, so that 
it will stand the action of fire better than an 
ordinary lemon could be expected to do. This 
fruit was pierced with thirty-two clout-headed 
nails, such as are used in this country for 
fastening down carpets, and four ordinary 
French nails were thrown in, to make sure 
that the charm should not fail in its effect. A 
quantity of string was twined round each nail, 
in order to make certain that these should not 
lose their relative positions ; and the object, 
when thus prepared, was placed by some evil- 
intentioned person on the top of one of the 
curtain valances in the house of Mr. William 
Smith, an English merchant of this city, in the 
year of grace 1892. 

Owing to the amount of dust which blows 
into our houses through our open windows 
all the summer, we are obliged to submit to 
an autumn as well as to a spring cleaning, 
and for that purpose an upholsterer and his 
myrmidons are called in twice annually to take 
down all curtains, and other dust-collecting 
objects, clean them, and put them up again. 
It was in the course of one of these domestic 



234 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

purifications that the lemon was discovered 
on the top of Mr. Smith's valance, for in 
our lofty houses the top of the windows is 
quite out of the reach of the most enterprising 
housemaid, and Neapolitan housemaids are 
not noted for that quality, and the object 
having been brought to Mrs. Smith, was 
very kindly sent on by her to us, as she knew 
that we took a considerable interest in modern 
Neapolitan folk-lore. We had at the time 
a very old man who was serving us as cook ; 
a man quite of the most ignorant class of 
Neapolitan, to whom we must acknowledge 
our indebtedness for many explanations of 
queer local customs ; and on asking him what 
the thing was, he laid down his sauce-pan, and 
with a livid face inquired who had dared to 
send such a thing into his master's house. 
He proceeded to inform us that these things 
were made by all-powerful witches, who uttered 
incantations over them while they put them 
over a brazier, dancing naked round the 
impious fire, till the charm was ready to 
impart its deadly effect to the object of their 
fascination ! Nothing would induce him to 
remain even with "Our Excellency," unless 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 235 

the object was sent forthwith out of the house. 
Here the initial difficulty began, for the man 
had been cook to a British colonel, long 
resident in Naples, who had brought him 
up in the way in which he should go, and we 
were not inclined to part with him lightly. He 
had also been at sea, and it is a very great 
convenience when one lives on the seaboard, 
and is fond of sailing, to have a cook of 
whom one may be quite sure when one takes 
friends out for a sail. Balancing the exigencies 
of the case, we determined to copy the object, 
and having done so, gave it to our cook to 
roast over his charcoal fire, assuring him that 
as this specimen had not been cursed by the 
witches, it involved him in no risk to follow 
our orders. The original was sent to the 
Pitt - Rivers Museum at Oxford as a loan 
exhibit, where it now is. As far as we are 
aware, the Museum has suffered no damage 
from its presence, but this has been wittily 
explained by Mr. Balfour, the energetic Curator, 
by the fact that it has been put into a case 
with many objects of the same description, 
with the result that they neutralise one 
another's action, and that the resultant force 



236 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

upon the roof, walls, contributors, and visitors 
to the Museum, has not yet been apparent. 

The old cook, who had been a lifelong 
resident in Mergellina (in his youth a fishing 
village at the outskirts of the town, but now 
an integral part of the city itself), told us a 
curious story of Mergellina witchcraft. 

We will give it in his own words : 

Some years ago when I was young, there lived an 
important witch in Mergellina. Whatever she wished was 
sure to come to pass. Upon one occasion she was 
consulted by a young woman who stated that her lover 
had been unfaithful to her. The witch at once promised 
her a full revenge, and the necessary money having been 
produced, she promised her to bewitch a pig which should 
dog the footsteps of her beloved, and make it impossible 
that he should get into any mischief. Unfortunately, 
or fortunately perhaps, the lover was an enthusiastic sports- 
man, and having observed that he was being followed (or as 
we should say in modern language " shadowed ") by a pig, 
his suspicions became aroused, and he thenceforward 
made it a habit to carry his gun on his shoulder. One 
evening he was walking up the street still called "Santa 
Maria in Portico " intending to visit lady No. 2 who lived 
in a " basso " in that locality. To his surprise the pig 
which had always followed him at a respectful distance, 
preceded him, and after pushing open the door of the 
" basso " stood at bay inside. He lifted his gun to his 
shoulder and on the approach of the beast shot him full 
in the face. Nothing deterred, the pig charged him 



SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT 237 

furiously, and damaged him so severely that he was 
compelled to go home, repent of his sins, and return, as 
the witch had predicted, to his own true love. 

We tell the story as it was told to us, 
for " Angelo," the cook in question, is of blessed 
memory, and may perhaps be discussing the 
merits of the question with the spirits of the 
witch, the lover, and both the young ladies. 



CHAPTER IX 

AN OLD-WORLD JOURNEY 

IN these days when Italy is the winter play- 
ground of Europe, it has occurred to us that it 
will be interesting to reproduce the diary of 
what was called in those days " The grand 
tour," as made by an ancestor of our own, who 
was born in 1738, and died in 1817. The 
diary has never been yet published, though the 
original of it has been in the possession of our 
family ever since it was written. Mr. Edmund 
Rolfe, of Heacham Hall, Norfolk, was very 
well known in the squirearchy of the county, 
and served as High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1769, 
ten years after this diary was written. We 
have thought it better to leave the archaic 
strain severely alone, as the meaning of the 
writer is quite intelligible, and the antique 
spelling forms rather a set-off than otherwise to 
the quaintness of the narrative. 




EDMUND ROLFE, ESQ., OF H EACH AM HALL, NORFOLK 

Born 1738, died 1817. High Sheriff of Norfolk 1769. 

From tliepcrtra.it at H enchain Hull. 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 239 

It .will be seen by this diary that Mr. 
Edmund Rolfe, at that time just twenty-one 
years of age, was a man of intelligence and 
culture, and it is reported of him that he was 
well known in most of the Courts in Europe. 
It is not, however, our intention to write his 
biography ; we merely wish to reproduce his 
diary for the entertainment of our readers. 

CONTINENTAL DIARY OF EDMUND ROLFE ESQ. 
OF H EACH AM HALL NORFOLK. 

[Born 1738. Died 1817.] 

"On Thursday Aprill the I2th 1759. I 
sayled from Harwich at noon, and arrived at 
Helvoetsluis about 9 o'clock the next morning. 
As there were in the Paquet Boat several 
English officers going to the army in Germany, 
we hired a boat to carry us and our Bagage up 
the Maese to Rotterdam, on the assurance of 
the Bargeman that we should be there about 
4 o'clock in the afternoon. After having put 
our things on board, the fellow (notwithstanding 
that we had agreed on the price, and payed 
him the money beforehand,) refused to carry 
us unless we would give him something more, 



240 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

nor would he give us back our money ; this 
imposition however we put up with rather than 
be delayed, or have a dispute where we were 
not known. We set out about 1 1 o'clock in the 
morning, but instead of being at Rotterdam at 
the time promised us, we found it was not 
possible to be there before 12 at night. The 
desire I had to get on Terra firma made me 
put on shore, and hire a kind of a chaise to 
carry us there, and after some difficulty we 
arrived at Rotterdam, about 6 o'clock in the 
evening. On the I7th I left Rotterdam and 
went to Torgan in our way to Amsterdam 
there I lay'd, 1 and the next day saw the painted 
windows, for which a Church there is very 
famous ; at noon I went to Amsterdam in a 
Trekschuit, 2 a way of travelling I had much 
heard talk of, but it was far from pleasing me, 
for although you are sure to be at your place 
of destination in half an hour, still the slowness 
of the motion and the sameness of the prospect 
tired me, and I vow'd I would never get into 
another. On the 2ist I went to The Hague, 
where I met with all kinds of Civilities from 

1 An expression commonly used in the Norfolk dialect for to " sleep." 

2 A barge drawn by horses. 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 241 

Mr. Yorke, his Majesties Minister, to him I 
had Letters to desire he would endeavour to 
get me a Passeport to go through France. 
He told me the Thing was not to be done, but 
advised me to go to Brussels to Mr. Cobenral, 
prime minister to Prince Charles. 1 I left The 
Hague on the 2yth, and went to Rotterdam to 
joyn Mr. Dundas, who had been to see his 
Father at Utrecht, who had come from Munster 
the Head Quarters of Prince Ferdinand's 2 army 
to meet him. I found him there as was our 
appointment, and after staying two or three 
days there, on the ist of May at about 7 
o'clock in the evening, we hired a Yatch, and 
went by water to Antwerp, where we arrived 
the next day, after having crossed the Zericree 
and run up the Scheld. Antwerp is a fine old 
town but much depopulated since the decrease 
of its Commerce. Cardinal Bentivolio in his 
history of the Flemmish War says, 3 " che 
Amsterdam dopo Anversa in quel tempo era 
la piu mercantile piazza di Fiandra," what a 

1 Prince Charles of Lorraine, brother to the Emperor, who com- 
manded Maria Theresa's army. 

' Duke of Brunswick. 

3 Amsterdam after Antwerp was at that time the most commercial 
place in Flanders." 

16 



242 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

difference is there between them at present. 
We stayed there I am sorry to say but one 
day, and on the 4th of May arriv'd at Brussells. 
We followed the advice Mr. Yorke gave us, 
and obtained with the utmost ease a Passport 
to go through Loraine and the Franch Comte, 
on our Way to Swizerland. Here it was I 
met with a Capuchin, who said his name was 
Jarningham, a nephew of Sr George's it was he 
who gave me the first news of Captn Orme 
and Miss Townshend's being at Antwerp. 
On the 1 5th of May, we set out for Lausanne, 
the first day we passed Namur, on the fourth 
Luxembourg, and in three days more ran 
through France, Post, passed by Besa^on, 
and arrived safe at the place of our destination, 
without the least Inquietude, or even so much 
as having our passports asked for but once 
which was in the forest of Luxembourg. 

" Lausanne is a Town in the Canton of 
Berne, it is governed by a Baylife who is chosen 
out of the Counsel at Berne. The time of his 
Stay is generally 6 years, this is a place that 
every one has in his turn by Seniority, i.e. either 
this or another Bayliage, for there are several 
which belong to this Canton. The Swiss 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 243 

threw off the yoke of the house of Austria, 
and erected several little republics, and it was 
by the Treaty of Westphalia 1648, that they 
were declared free and independent. The 
Town of Lausanne is situated on the side of 
a hill, at the bottom of which is the lake of 
Geneva, which is a prodigious fine piece of 
water, about 90 miles in circumference, and 
in several places about 15 broad, which breadth 
appears very small on account of the high 
mountains of Savoy on the other side. The 
greatest part of the hill on which Lausanne 
is placed, is very fruitful, that part which lays 
near the Towns is cultivated for vines, which 
make a very considerable part of the Revenue 
of the inhabitants, it is a small kind of Wine 
something like the Moselle, and has not a 
body enough to pass the sea even so far as to 
England. The Town of Lausanne is governed 
by its own Magistrates, quite independant of 
the Baylife, who is only there from the Counsell 
of Berne, to levy the Taxes, inspect in to their 
Preveleges, and to see that no disturbances are 
fomented by the inhabitants, etc. The Swiss 
have no standing forces, except some few 
Regiments, which are in the service of France, 



244 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

or of Piedmont. The Militia here is very well 
regulated, every man here knows the use of 
Arms, and most of the gentlemen have served 
in foreign service. Every man before he's 
maryed, is obliged to buy an uniform, and 
inregister himself as a man of the Militia, 
ready to go on duty as soon as he receiveth 
orders for that Purpose. In all parts of 
Swizzerland except about Lausanne, and along 
the Lake to Geneva, German is the Language 
of the Country, even 5 miles north from Laus- 
anne, French is not known. This place has 
been chosen by the English on account of the 
inhabitants speaking good French, and the 
Politeness with which they receive strangers 
amongst them. Most of the Families are of 
French Extraction who have left France on 
account of their Religion. It is the Resort of 
People who have but small Incomes, and who 
are willing to retire and live at their ease, the 
cheapness of the place, and the orders to forbid 
all kinds of Luxury make a small fortune suffi- 
cient to support a Family better here than in 
most other places. The number of Foreigners 
and of English Men in particular who have 
been at this Place for these last 20 years, have 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 245 

occasioned Masters in almost all Sciences to 
come and settle themselves there, but there is 
no regular Accademy. As the People have no 
Commerce they are consequently very poor, and 
on that account the Legislator has wisely forbid 
all sorts of public entertainments, such as Plays, 
Operas, balls, etc., all gold or silver lace, all 
lace for ruffles, all Jewells are likewise forbid 
to be wore by the natives, but instead of 
Diamonds, the Women make use of la Pierre 
de sante, which takes a very fine Polish, with 
which they make Buccles, and Egrets for their 
Hair, the other part of the women, as well as the 
men's dress, is taken from the French. Here 
it was I spent the remainder of the year 1759, 
and a part of the next ; during the winter we, 
being many English Gentlemen together, 
endeavoured to enliven the Place as much as 
possible. We gave Balls once a week, for 
about three months, the Inhabitants were so 
sensible of our endeavouring to procure them 
an amusement their circumstances would not 
allow them to procure themselves, they strived 
by all possible means to show us their Gratitude, 
which they did in amusing us as well as they 
could, and in giving us free access to their 



246 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Houses on all Occasions. The winter was 
spent in a continuous course of Pleasure ; in 
the Spring Lt. Fitzmorris went to join the 
allied army, and others went to Italy. About 
the middle of April, Fox, Tucker, and myself 
hired a House La Chabliere, about a mile from 
Lausanne, the most beautiful situation in nature. 
The Duke of Roxburghe and Mr. Smythe, 
whose acquaintance I was so happy as to make 
at Lausanne, and with whom I had passed the 
winter, hired another house not far from ours, 
we lived much with one another in the most 
agreable manner, till I was obliged to leave 
Swizerland and go to Turin. During my stay 
in that Country I made the Tour of the Lake 
of Geneva, it is not very curious, but agreable 
enough, the Saline's of which the famous Dr. 
Haller is governor, are some miles beyond 
Vevay, they are cut of a rock in the side of a 
mountain, the Passages run several 100 yards, 
and have been a work of much trouble, but I 
believe the quantity of salt they produce does 
not exceed what is necessary for the consump- 
tion of the Country. On the Savoy side of the 
Lake is a Convent of Chartreux ; the situation 
of this place is most delightful, and the horrid 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 247 

bad Country I had passed thro' for three 
days before made it more particularly striking. 
The Park that belongs to the Convent is the 
most romantic Place I ever saw in my Life, 
it is well wooded, and has a fine view of the 
Lake, which it commands from Vevay to 
Geneva. As the Walks are not regularly 
disposed, nor too much adorned by any art, 
one seems to wander there as in an enchanted 
Place. The Gloominess of the Walks, the 
beating of the waves, heard at a distance, and 
the silence and solitariness inspire a melan- 
choly ; and that awe, which is supposed to 
reign in woods, and Gloomy Groves, is felt 
here in all its force, this I felt in a great 
degree ; and I am sure that let a man be never 
so gay, to walk but some minutes here alone, 
he would find a calm melancholy steal upon 
his mind, and make him think seriously malgre 
lui. At that time I almost envied the happi- 
ness of the Fryars, and almost thought their 
situation preferable to ours. The number 
at Chartreux is 12 with a Fryar, it is a very 
strict order, they never eat meat of any kind, 
not even when they are absolutely in want of 
it, as by sickness. Fruits, Eggs, Herbs, butter, 



248 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

and Cheese, and Fish, are what they live 
on ; they wear no Linnen and are not allowed 
to speak, or go out of the Convent but twice 
a week, and that but into the Park ; each Man 
has his Apartment detached from the rest, 
and each has a little garden, which he cultivates, 
and every Person is at Liberty to work at any 
Business he pleases, to amuse himself, and 
the necessaries are procured him at the Public 
expense. There are some who turn, others 
draw, some do one thing, and some another. 
Victor Amedous the 8th and first Due of Savoy, 
after having resigned his Dukedom, was made 
Pope, and then tired with that dignity, retired 
to this Convent of Rippail, where he dyed ; he 
was called the Solomon of his time. As all 
these people are of very good Families, they 
are very polite, and most of them have been 
Men of the World. Amongst the rest was 
one who told me he had been an Officer in the 
French Guards until the age of 24, that a 
Love Affair had made him from the most 
dissipated of all Mankind become a little 
serious, his mistress maryed another, he lost 
all relish for Pleasure. He endeavour'd by 
reading to calm himself, but at last tired with 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 249 

the Vanities of the World, and all its follies, 
he became a Chartreux, that he had been 
above 20 years of the Order, and that till then 
he never knew what was true Happiness. 

" After having left Lausanne, I went to 
Geneva, a city where I had several times 
been, it is almost on the same account as 
Lausanne, a kind of resort for foreigners, but as 
it is a Town of great Trade, the best company 
is more difficult to make acquaintance with 
here than at the other place ; but even here 
a Foreigner that shows any great Inclination 
to be introduced, might with a very little trouble 
get into the best Company. Some Irregularities 
a few years since, committed by the English 
Gentlemen, have made the Inhabitants more 
careful who they admit among them, besides 
this they are more in private Parties, or what 
they call coteries now, than they were some 
time agon. Geneva is situated on the west 
end of the Lake, the Rhone which takes 
its source in the Grisons and enters at one 
end, passes at the other directly through the 
Town of Geneva. The Town itself is hand- 
some and well built, that is, the upper part, 
as to the lower, which lies along side of the 



250 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Lake, it is but inhabitated by the Tradesmen. 
The greatest Part of the Trade of this Place 
is in Watches and Bi-jous, of which they send 
vast numbers to France and England, there 
is computed not to be less than 6000 hands 
in this Place, whose sole employ is in making 
Watches, the number of the inhabitants not 
being counted to exceed 30,000. 

" From hence I set out on the 25 of August 
to go to Turin, I crossed the Alps en Voiture, 
I passed by Aix, a place famous in these Parts 
for the warm baths, of Sulphur one, and 
another of Allum, they are much frequented 
by people in Savoy, and in Switzerland. I 
passed by Chamberry, the Capital of Savoy, 
but where there are few remains of Royalty, 
the people being most immensely poor. The 
Town is not Fortifyed, nor does it pretend to 
make any kind of Defence, but opens its gates 
to the first comers. On the 5th Day we 
crossed Mont Senis on Mules ; we got to 
the top after riding about an hour, and then 
came on a very fine Plain which lasted about 
5 miles, we then descended on the other side, 
and were carried down by two men, in a 
Chair as far as the foot of the mountain to 



AN OLD- WORLD JOURNE Y 25 1 

Novallis. 1 We lay that night at Sura, 2 a Town 
remarkably strong by nature, as well as by 
Art, it is on a very high hill and there are 
intire bastions cut out of the solid rock. 
At Sura there is an ancient triumphal Arch, 
reckoned a fine piece of Workmanship. On 
the 6th day we arrived at Turin, the Capital of 
Piedmont and residence of the king of Sardinia. 
The Town of Turin is of square form, about 
three miles of Piedmont in circumference, it 
is well Fortified, and secured by a Cittadel 
which is very formidable by its great quantity 
of mines ; this cittadel was built by Emanuel 
Philibert loth duke of Savoy, it was the first 
in Europe that was built, and was finished 
two years before that of Antwerp was begun, 
which was founded on the plan of this of 
Turin in the year 1564. In this Cittadel 
they talk much of a remarkable Well, which 
is contrived so that the Cavallery may go 
down to drink, and come up by a different 
staircase, so that no inconvenience may arise 
from the horses meeting one another. When 
this place was beseiged in the year 1706 by 
the French, this well was much damaged, and 

1 Novalesa. - Susa. 



252 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

has not since been put in any repair. The 
Town of Turin is remarkable for the uni- 
formity of its Buildings, and the streets being 
all drawn at right angles, so that you can 
see at the end of every street the open 
Country, which makes the place more airy, 
and gives it a look of the Country. The 
King's Palace is an old Building, but it is 
very magnificent, or rather elegant in the 
inside, it is reckoned that few Soveraigns 
in Europe are lodged with more taste and 
Comodity than the king of Sardinia, he has 
a very fine colection of Pictures, which has 
been augmented during these last twenty years 
by the colection of Prince Eugene, which was 
esteem'd by the Connoisseurs as containing 
some very fine Pieces, and particularly some 
by the best Flemish Masters. The Palace 
of the Prince of Piedmont which is not far 
from the King's, is reconned a fine Piece 
of Architecture, it was built by D. Philip 
Govara, at the expense of the Mother of 
Victor Amadeus, in the year 1720. It was 
formerly the boundary of the city to the south, 
before the street of the Po was built, this 
ancient part was built by Amadeo 8. in 1416. 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 253 

" The royal Theatre has a communication 
with the Palace by a long Gallery, it is 
reckoned one of the most complete in all 
Italy, and is much admired for its magnificence, 
and its conveniences, it is in the Shape d'un 
Oeuf tronque, has six rows of Boxes all of 
the same size, the King's Box which is in 
the Front, has the size of about five others 
in length and breadth, and about two in height, 
this appears a disproportion, and is so, but the 
Number of Nobility to whom his Majesty is 
willing to give Boxes, obliges him not to take 
up too much room for his own. There is 
behind the Stage a Conveniency by a wind- 
ing back staircase of bringing up horses and 
carnages on the Stage, as likewise have they 
by the means of a wooden machine that lets 
down, the advantage of lengthening the stage 
40 feet. In the year 1761, I saw a Battle on 
the Stage of Turin, in which was a squadron 
of about 60 horse, which attacked and re- 
treated, as regularly as in a feild, the Opera 
was Tigrannes. Close by the Theatre is the 
Academy, it was founded by Charles Emanuel 
the second, for the education of his nobility, 
and also for the reception of Foreigners, who 



254 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

come here to learn their exercises. It is 
through this Academy that all the Nobility 
of the country pass, before they can have 
any place, or in the army or at Court. It 
is divided into three different classes, the 
first is for foreigners, who come here for 
the learning their exercises, the second is 
for those of the Country, who are of a certain 
age, and who have passed through the third, 
which is like a School composed of boys, who 
learn Latin and the common education that is 
given to children. 

"The University here is well provided with 
able men to give Lectures to the Students in 
all Branches of Literature. They are Pay'd 
by the King ; here is a good collection of 
Manuscripts, and some very good Antiques, 
that have been found in and about Turin, are 
here preserved. The Piedmonteze Language 
is a mixture of French and Italian ; as it is 
not reduced to any Grammar, but is nothing 
but a Jargon, it is of no other use but in 
conversation, in which it is sometimes very 
expressive and carries a force with it beyond 
another language. All the public Lectures, 
Sermons, Pleadings, Accounts, the business 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 255 

of all offices is done in Italian, except the 
Business of the Secretary of State's offices, 
which is in French. 

" French is what is spoke in almost all public 
Assemblies, but very little Italian is known, at 
least made use of, for as most of the Business is 
transacted in this Tongue, it is to be supposed 
that none of the Inhabitants can be ignorant of 
it. The general character of the men of this 
Country is not of the most advantagious, they 
are looked on as Sharpers everywhere, great 
Gamesters, and not much to be trusted in 
any respect, they are very far from wanting 
good natural parts, but in general they are 
very illiterate. An English Gentleman had 
his snuf - box taken out of his Pocket, he 
immediately sent to the Governor of the 
Police to inform him of it, and to describe 
it, at the same time offering a reward for 
it as being a thing he should be sorry to 
loose ; the answer he received was this, ' Sir, 
if it is an Escroc who has stole your box, 
perhaps you may recover it, but if it is un 
Homme comme il faut, depend on it you'll 
never see it again.' This proves what an 
opinion even the Governor had of the people 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



of Fashion of this Country, to think that they 
could be capable of giving room for such a 
suspicion to fall upon them. A proof of the 
ignorance of some of the people of quality, 
of this Country, is that when the Squadron 
under the Command of Monsr De La Clue 
was attacked by Admiral Boscawen, and one 
division destroy'd, in passing through the 
Straights of Gibraltar a Gentleman at Court 
say'd he was surprized that the French Admiral 
instead of going through the Gut, to go to 
America did not take another Route. 

" The Women are lively and very agreeable 
after they have been a little formed in the 
World, Galantry is pretty much in vogue 
here, but more privately than in the rest of 
Italy. The Girls here are put into a Convent 
at the age of 7 years old, and there they stay 
until they are to be marry 'd, they seldom see 
the man who is to be their Husband but once 
or twice, before the Wedding day. Conveniency 
rather than inclination, is sort after in the 
Matches of this Country. After that the 
Women are married they then have every 
thing to learn, such as Dancing, Music, and 
the chief thing to which they apply themselves 



A N OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 257 

in the Convent is to study their Religion, of 
which they generally get such a surfeit as never 
to practice it afterwards. 

" As the Court of Turin is rather devout than 
gay, a very few diversions were there during 
the Carnival, the Opera Serieux was the only 
Spectacle, there were three Balls at Court but 
very small private ones, and were held in the 
King's Closet of Audience. The Order of 
Balls is, the Duke and Duchess of Savoy come 
in, and dance a Minuet, then the Duke of 
Chablais and the first Princess, the Prince of 
Carignan and the second Princess, and the 
third Princess with the first Ecuyer. Then 
come the Ecuyers, then the Acadamicians, and 
then the Gentlemen of the Court. Between 
the Minuets they dance two English Country 
Dances, and so the Thing continues, it begins 
at 6 o'clock, and ends exactly at 10. 

" On the Thursday in the Holy Week, the 
King washes the feet of thirteen poor boys, 
wipes them, and kisses them, after which he 
puts a piece of money in each of their purses, 
they are clothed at his expence, and each boy 
has a dinner of the finest Fish that can be had 
from all the Countrys adjacent, which the King 

17 



258 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

himself serves up and puts upon the Table. 
In the Evening of that Day as well as the next, 
there are Processions, in which is exposed the 
Passion of our Saviour which is followed by 
People, who do Penance, some carry great 
Crosses, and drag heavy chains, others have 
their arms extended and tyed to two sticks, 
others whip themselves with wire whips, till 
they have no skin left, and till they are all 
covered with Blood ; this is the only Catholic 
Country where this is allowed of, and here if 
these fellows could be catched from the Pro- 
cession they would be severely punished, there 
having been several endeavours used to put a 
stop to this Custom but without success. 
These Processions may last about 4 hours ; on 
this day the King and all the royal Family go 
a foot to visit seven Churches, they stay about 
15 minutes in each, and then return to the 
Palace. 

"Not far from Turin on a Hill called the 
Superga, is a Church, and a Monastery, it was 
built by Victor Amadeus, the Architect was 
D. Phillips de Giovarra, it was begun in the 
Year 1715, and finished 1739. It is dedicated 
to the Nativity of the Vergin Mary. It was 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 



from this hill that Victor Amadeus along with 
Prince Eugene reconnoitered the French Army 
when they beseiged the City of Turin in the 
year 1706. Here it was they resolved to attack 
them on the next day, and the plan was agreed 
on, Victor Amadeo made a vow that if he were 
successful in delivering his Capital, that he 
would on this spot of Ground build a Convent. 
The number of Religious is 12 with a Superiour, 
they are of no particular Order, but are dedi- 
cated to the Study of Divinity, and when they 
leave this Place, it is always for some Benifice 
of Importance. They have a very fine Chappell, 
where the Body of Victor Amadeus lies in 
State still (Victor Amadeus is not interred, but 
only lies in state, it not being the Custom here 
to bury a King until his Successor is dead) 
some rooms for the reception of the King, a 
very good Library, and every other Conveni- 
ency, but its situation is very unwholsome in 
Winter, by reason of the dampness. The 
Court has several Country Houses, but they 
are all neglected except La Venerie, where the 
royal Family passes some months in the Spring. 
The house is not at all uniform, as there has 
been continually additions made to it, here is a 



260 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Gallery which will when finished be very fine, 
the Orangerie is esteem'd a very fine Piece of 
Architecture. The Chappell is very fine and 
enriched with some very good Pictures. Stu- 
pinio is a Hunting seat of the King's, here is a 
House which is nothing more than two or three 
very small rooms, besides the large Hunting 
Hall ; this is built by Dom Philip de Giuvarra 
as well as the Orangery at the Venerie. 

"On the 5th, of September 1760, I went to 
Parma to see the Manage of the Princess with 
the Archduke of Austria, we passed by 
Alexandria, and Placentia in our Way thither. 
The Concourse of Strangers was not so numer- 
ous as was expected. The Suite of Prince 
Lichtenstein was formed of some of the first 
nobility from Vienna. The Court was very 
brilliant on the occasion, there was a very fine 
Opera every night, two grand Balls at Court, 
and some Fireworks, of which the Design 
was very noble, but the bad Weather that 
we unluckily had that evening, hinder'd their 
succeeding so well as was hoped. The Entry 
of the Prince was very magnificent, the equi- 
pages, Liveries, etc., were extremely rich ; the 
Cerimony lasted about 15 days, after which 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 261 

time, we returned to Turin by the Road of 
Milan, where I stay'd but one day ; here I 
passed the Winter at the Academy, and in 
April 1761 set out for Vennice. 

"On the 1 5th of April I arrived at Milan 
which is 1 1 Posts distance from Turin. In the 
Piedmonteze State as well as in the Milanese, 
one pays 7 livrs 10 sols for each pair of Horses, 
and 2 livrs 10 sols for each Saddle Horse, 
going Post, but if in Cambiature, one pays but 
4 livrs 10 sols a horse. N.B. in the Milanese 
there is no Cambiature, three Paoli to each 
Postillion. On the Road the most one ought 
to pay, except on extraordinary occasions, is six 
pauls for dinner, and eight for Supper, your 
room included. 

" Milan formerly was much more populous 
than it is at present, there being, about 200 
years since, near 300,000 souls, but the Plague 
has reduced the number to one third. The 
Inhabitants of Milan are extremely polite to 
Strangers, there are few or no Towns in Italy 
where so much Cordiality appears as here, and 
it suffices to have one letter, to someone of 
Consideration, to be presented all over Milan. 

"The Duke of Modena who is Governor of 



262 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the Milanese makes his Court by his affability 
very agreable. His Revenue as Governor is 
about I5,oools. Here are several Families 
very rich, and who live in the most superb 
manner, some very large Hotels, in particular 
that of Litta's and Clerici, which are fitted up 
in a very rich manner, and where there are two 
good Colections of Pictures. The Milanais are 
not looked upon as People of very sprightly 
parts, how far this is true I cannot determine, 
they are said to be fond of a good Table, and 
in everything love their ease. The Country 
about Milan is one of the finest and richest in 
all Italy, aboundantly provided with everything 
except wine, which they're obliged to have from 
other Countries. 

"The Church at Milan was begun in the 
year 1386, and dedicated to the Nativity of the 
blessed virgin ; this immense Gothic Building is 
not, nor in all Probability never will be finished. 
There is an estate left in the hands of Trustees 
for that purpose. The number of Statues that 
is to be in, and about this Church, when finish'd, 
amounts to 25,000, as yet there is but 11,000, 
from off the top of the Dome is the finest and 
richest view imaginable. In a little subteraneous 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 263 

Chappel directly under the great Dome. lies the 
Body of Chas. Borromeo, it is inclosed in a 
Coffin of Rock Cristal, inrich'd with Gold and 
precious Stones, he is dress'd in his Bishop's 
robe, and has in his hand a very rich Crosier, 
and a ring on his finger of great value. He 
was a Man of exemplary Piety and in the Time 
of the Plague assisted all those himself who 
were in the last extremity and exhorted the 
Priests to do the same. They tell a story, that 
being one day at Mass and having oft times 
repremanded in his Sermons a Society called 
the Miserali for the Licentiousness of their 
living, one of the Order came behind him and 
fired a Pistol, the ball struck at his skin, and 
only left a blue mark without doing him the 
least hurt ; after his death he was made a Saint, 
and the Church was dedicated to him, from 
which time he is the patron of the Milan. The 
Treasury here is very rich in Jewells and plate, 
both of Gold and Silver. In a alley behind the 
Choir is a Statue of St Bartolomew flealed alive, 
it is esteem'd a very good one, the skin seems 
to hang over his shoulders. At the Church of 
St. Victor is an Altar Piece of different kinds of 
marbles which cost ^"5000, it is very well 



264 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

worked, rich, and elegant. In the Refectory of 
the Convent of St. Marie des Graces is a famous 
Picture of the last Supper done by Leonardi 
Vinci, it is esteemed extreemely fine, it was 
spoyl'd by the moisture of the wall, so that 
nothing remain'd but a few shadows. The 
Superior of the Convent, seeing it in that condi- 
tion, and not knowing the Master it was done 
by, had a Piece cut out of it, to heighten the 
Hall door, and the rest was covered with a 
white wash, it remained in that Situation until 
a Painter knowing that such a Picture ought to 
be there, and seeing the Condition it was in, 
took off the white wash and rubbed the Picture 
with a certain wash of his Composition, which 
imediately brought out the colours as at first ; 
he left the receipt to the Convent, who rub the 
Picture with it once a year. In this Picture he 
began by painting the Apostles, and having 
exhausted himself in the expression of their 
heads, not finding any thing strong enough for 
the Christ, he left it unfinished. The Superior 
however plagued him to finish the Picture, and 
made his complaint of it to the Bishop. Leo De 
Vinci to revenge himself, made his Judas from 
the Superior, which figure also was unfinished. 



AN OLD- WORLD JOURNE Y 265 

The hand of one of the Apostles has five fingers 
and a thumb, but it was done as a Picture of one 
of the Order. In the Church of this Convent 
is the Crowning our Saviour with Thorns, by 
Titian. It is reckon'd fine, but it is now spoyl'd 
by the dampness. 

"In the Ambrosian Library are two of 
Raphael's Cartoons, several pieces done by 
Bruguell a Flemmish Painter, amongst which are 
his four Elements, they are esteemed very fine, 
there are also several pieces of different Masters, 
but none capital ones. There is also a book of 
the designs of the different Masters of that time, 
it is curious ; in the first room are some models of 
some Antique Statues ; as likewise a modern 
Statue of a woman, very fine. 

"The Hospital of Milan, though not in 
anything curious in itself, yet is unique in the 
extensiviness of its Charity, it is obliged to 
receive not only people of the Country, but also 
strangers, of whatever Country, or with what- 
ever distemper afflicted. The number of sick, 
generally speaking, amounts to about 1000, who 
are all attended by a Physician and a Surgeon 
belonging to the place. It receives all Found- 
lings without distinction, the Boys are kept till 



266 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the age of 1 5, and the Girls until they aremarryed, 
when they receive for their Portion 100 Livres 
of the Country; in the year 1761 the Hospital 
maintained about 11,000. The Lazeretto for 
keeping people in the time of the Plague, is a 
square Building about a mile and a half round, 
it has a little Church in the Square, and is 
intirely detached from the Town. 

" The Theatre of Milan is larger than that of 
Turin, but not so good a Piece of Architecture, 
the Boxes however are very superb, and when 
the House is well lighted up, it makes a fine 
appearance. 

"The great Convent of Chatreux at Pavia 
is remarkable for the richness of the Chapel, 
the front of which cost ,40,000. All the 
Altars are prodigiously richly adorn'd with 
precious stones, and particularly the great 
Altar which is all studded with Rubies, Jaspers, 
amethists, and a great deal of Lapis Lasily, 
these without the workmanship which is pro- 
digious, cost ,20,000. It is adorn'd with 
good Pictures and some statues ; but as to 
its situation it does not please me like that 
of Rippail. The Order is very rich, the 
Revenue amounts to ,15,000. 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 267 

"On the 23 of April I left Milan to go 
to Venise. Through all the Venetian State, 
the price of Post Horses is the same as in 
the Piedmontese, i.e. 7! vs. IDS. pr. pair, and 
2lvs. i os. each saddle horse, but with a Button 
you only pay half a Sequin for two horses 
one with another. I took Brescia in my 
road (from Milan to Brescia 7 posts) I only 
stayed there one day. There is nothing 
curious in the Town. Here are, however, 
some good Pictures, at Santa Afra is an 
excellent good one of Paul Veronese, which 
represents the Martyr of the St. to whom 
the Church is dedicated, there are also several 
of Titian's and of other very famous Masters, 
in the Church of San Lazaro is a Resurrection 
of Titian's very fine and well preserved. 
Here in the Churches are a great many 
other Pictures done by the best Hands. It 
is better stocked than most of the Towns 
of its size, but my Time would not let me 
stay long enough to regard them all. The 
25th I arrived at Verona, having passed 
through a very fine Country, which I could 
not see so much as I wished because of its 
being so rainy. We passed by the Lac de 



268 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Guarda, which is a fine Piece of Water, but 
much inferior to the Lac de Geneva. The 
Lac de Guarda formerly called Benaco by 
Virgil, and even in his time remarkable for 
being Tempestuous, was when I passed by 
it, excessively so, and put me in mind of the 
description that Virgil gives of it 

" Fluctibus et fremitu assurgens Benace marino 

for it roars like the sea, is allmost always 
boisterous, and its navigation very dangerous. 
It abounds with excellent fish. At Verona 
I only stayed one day, which was an intire 
one of Rain, however I saw the famous 
Amphitheatre or Arena, though at the prize 
of being quite wet to ye skin. The Inside 
is quite intire and contains 23,000 spectators. 
The grandure of this Edifice shows you the 
magnificence of the Ancients, and makes at 
the same time our modern Buildings so mean 
and little, when put in comparison with them. 
It is oval, and has 45 gradins, or Stone 
Benches on which the Spectators sat at a 
proper distance from one another. Its Con- 
struction for letting in and out such a number 
of Persons, without the one interrupting the 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 269 

other is very ingenious, and convenient. When 
I was there, I saw a sight ridiculous enough, 
and which served to show me more than 
anything else the difference between Verona 
in the time of the Romans and Verona a 
Present. They had in one part of the arena 
built a Stage for an Italian Comedie, the 
Gradins served for Benches to the Spectators, 
as formerly, so that the Stage was built of 
wood, and covered with an Oyl Cloak, all 
the Inhabitants of Verona that chose to see 
the Comedy, were in that little space sufficiently 
at their ease, and in the other part of the 
Amphitheatre was contain'd all the Equipages 
of the Nobility. It is impossible to concieve 
how little and despicable the Comedy and its 
Apparatus appear'd in that magnificent Place. 
The Churches here are not so well furnished 
with good Pictures as those of Brescia. St. 
George has one of Paul Veroneze which 
represents the refusal of that Saint to adore 
the Idols, it is a very good one and well 
preserved ; there are some others of that 
Master in the same Church. In the Cathedral 
is an Assomption of the Virgin by Titian 
a very good one but it is much spoyl'd since 



270 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the time Cochin saw it. Here are several 
Cabinets of Pictures, which are much esteem'd 
as being Curious and well stored with excellent 
pieces. The Conte Bevilagua has some good 
things of Paul Veroneze. The Marquis 
Gerardini and the Cabinet of Moscardi, are 
much valued. The Theatre of Verona pleased 
me much, it is not very large but appears 
very convenient, is neat and snug. I have 
seen few which I like so well ; how it is for 
the Voices, which is the main article I cannot 
say. At Vicenza and Padua I stayed but to 
change horses as I was in a Hurry to get 
to Venice, and as I could more conveniently 
see them at my return. At Padua I took 
a Barge and went down the Brenta to Venice. 
I was very well pleased at that water expe- 
dition. The sides of the Brenta are lined with 
Palaces which belonged to Venetian Nobles 
most of which are pretty and elegant ; some 
are built by Paladio in which is evident that 
Master's excellent taste, amongst the number 
of which is one call'd the Malcontento, because 
when it was built its situation was most de- 
lightful, but at present they having changed the 
Course of the River, the house is in a Marais. 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 271 

" The Palace Pisani is large and commode, 
the gardens are pritty enough, but as to 
Architecture it is but bad. On the evening 
of the 28th I arrived at Venice ; at some 
distance it appears like a floating town. It 
is situated on a number of small Islands or 
rather small Sand Banks, which are carried 
into the Adriatic by the streams of the different 
Rivers that fall into that part of it. The 
Foundations of the Buildings are secured by 
Piles of Wood that are driven into the mud, 
so as to hinder its giving way. Most of the 
buildings as well public as particular, are built 
of Marble, which they draw from Greece in 
great quantities, here are seen great remains 
of ancient Wealth and Power, and even now, 
although since their decrease of Trade, the 
Venetians in general are far from rich, they 
are very fond of Architecture, indeed the 
Sumptuary laws, which are very rigorous in 
Venice, hinder them from spending their 
money in dress or Equipage, so that what 
they have more than is sufficient for their 
necessary Expences, they can hardly dispose 
of any other way than in Building, this 
and Pictures is the only Expence they seem 



272 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

to give in to, at least to any degree. Here 
is the Place where Works of Titian, Tintoretto, 
Bassano, are to be seen in the greatest 
perfection, as well as Paul Veroneze, of this 
last Master, are to be found here some of 
his very best Pieces. One in the Sacristie 
of St. Zachary, which is admirable. In St. 
John and Paul, a Church belonging to the 
Dominicains is a Picture of Titian's represent- 
ing the Martirdom of St. Peter, and in the 
Refectoir of the same Church, is a Picture of 
P. Veroneze, one of his finest, it is the repast 
of J. C. with the Levite, the same as is in 
the Refectory of the Madona Delia Mania 
at Vicenza. The Church of St. Sebastian 
is almost all full of P. Veroneze his works. 
In the Refectoire of St. George is another 
repast of our Saviour done by P. Veroneze, 
there were four of these repast Pieces of 
this Author at Venise, one of which was 
given to the King of France, his Figures 
are all Portraits of the most famous men 
of his time, he is esteem'd particularly for 
the richness of his draperies, for his admirable 
Composition, and the Majesty of his Figures, 
he was very fond of Architecture, and allmost 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 273 

always put it into his Pictures, as well as 
some ridiculous Figure, such as a Monkey, 
a Cat, etc. There is hardly a Church in 
Venice but what has something good of his 
composition. The works of Tintoretto are 
very frequent here, but the best collection 
of them is in Scola Grandedi S. Rocca. 
Tintoretto is admired for the Warmth and 
Fire of his imagination and of his expression. 
It is remarkable that his best Pieces are those, 
with which he has taken the least pains, for 
by endeavouring to shine he does not give 
that loose to his Imagination, which makes 
him the most admired, and his pieces turn 
insipid, and cold. Here are in almost every 
Church some of Titian's Pieces, but in general 
they are very ill preserved, the best colection 
of this Master is in the Palace of Barbarigo, 
called La Scola di Titiano. The Venetian 
School is distinguished by the Beauty of its 
colours and the Boldness of desseign. All- 
most all the Churches in Venise are in a 
good Taste, as to other architecture, it is 
here and in the Country about, that the 
famous Palladio has shown his Genious. 

"There are at Venice a great number of his 

18 



274 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Desseigns, both Public and Private, and for a 
lover of Architecture, here is perhaps more 
things worthy his observation, than in any 
other part of Italy. Paladio was of Vicenza, 
they tell a story of him which is, that being 
desirous of getting himself ennobled, the Nobles 
of Vicentia would not consent to it. In revenge 
of this, he inspired in them the rage of Archi- 
tecture, and gave them such magnificent plans, 
that to put them in execution, must sooner or 
later ruin them. The Treasure of St. Mark is 
reckon'd very rich and worth seeing, but as 
there was so much fuss to get leave, as indeed 
there is in every thing else that belongs to the 
public, that I had not an opportunity to see it 
myself. 

" The arsenal which is so much talked on, 
did not appear to me anything extraordinary, 
it is true that all the stores that the Republic 
has are gathered together and are kept there, 
there are arms for about 75,000 men, when the 
Arsenal is quite stocked which seemed to be 
very far from being the case then. I was told 
that they had sent indeed a great many away 
to Corfu, and to other places, for the Troops 
which the State was then raising to defend 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 275 

themselves against the Turks, who were coming 
and against whom the Armament was desseign'd, 
was not then known. They have docks for 
20 men of War to be built at a time, the docks 
are dry, and are cover'd too which is another 
advantage ; at that time the Venetians might 
have about 35 Men of War of the Line, in and 
out of Comission ; the number of Gondoleers 
at Venice amounts to near 20,000, besides 
every man there knows something, or more or 
less, of sea affairs. Venice itself has nothing to 
fear from an Ennemy, its situation makes an 
approach to it impossible for any ships of 
burden, except up certain Canals, which are 
marked out, and which marks on any Emergency 
they can pull up, so as to render the Navigation 
quite impracticable. The Venetian Land forces 
are very ill regulated, and are perhaps in the 
worst condition, of any power in Europe ; they 
have on the establishment about 30,000 troops, 
but as they are never anything nigh compleat, 
at this present time I am assured that the 
number does not exceed 9000 at most, notwith- 
standing they are apprehensive of the Turk ; 
nor is the pay of the soldier better regulated, 
than their number, for out of his whole pay, I 



276 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

am assured he does not receive one third. The 
rest is swallowed up by the officers through 
whose hands those affairs pass. The Venitians 
are very jealous of anything being said, or 
against their Government or against their 
Religion. In every other article there is the 
utmost Liberty of acting, but in the above 
Articles they are very tender, and one touches 
them not without danger ; so apprehensive are 
they of any dessign being formed against the 
State, that no noble Venetian dares even stay a 
minute in the Company of a Foreign Minister, 
and if even by chance they meet with them in 
an indifferent House, they are obliged to leave 
it directly, and even go and declare it to a 
proper officer. This makes the Venetians keep 
very much together, and is the Reason that so 
little Society is going forward. It is on this 
account that no people are so fond of Masquing 
as these when they can give a little Freedom 
to their actions, for on taking up the mask, the 
consequence is, you lay aside the Noble 
Venetian. The Venetian masquing dress was 
given them by Michel Angelo, who was desired 
by the Senate to imagine a Dress proper for 
the Occasion. They are fonder of Operas than 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 277 

any other of the Italians, for only on certain 
times are they permitted, and I imagine it is by 
the same principle of human discontent that 
they are very fond of the Country, because 
they are obliged to be at Venice ten months in 
the year. Here is a great deal of Gaming 
going on, as well as a great deal of Gallantry, 
but the latter mostly among themselves. . . . 
The Women are handsome, and are reckon'd 
witty ; the men cunning and Libertins ; Venice 
by way of its novelty pleases for some time, 
but it is not a place where Strangers divert 
themselves much except at public times, or that 
they stay long enough to make acquaintance 
with the Inhabitants, to do which, not only a 
Knowledge of the language is necessary, but 
also is it necessary to adopt their customs and 
their manners. 

"On the 1 8th of May I left Venice and 
went to Padua, where I stayed two days ; the 
Botanic Garden which belongs to the University 
is much talked of, and seems to be kept in good 
order. This University formerly so famous, is 
now falling to decay, there are at present few 
or no foreigners, the only Students are poor 
People belonging to the Venetian State. From 



278 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

thence I went to Vicenza, where I stayed a 
week, I amused myself very well, it being the 
Time of the Fair, and Masquing going on 
there, the same as at Venice. The People are 
poor, but very polite and courteous to Strangers. 
This is the Place where the famous Paladio 
lived and florish'd, he has given a great 
number of plans, but in all the Town of Vicenza 
there is but one house that is finished in his 
desseign, they were too extravagant but one 
sees all about the Country houses half finished 
on his plan ; as to Churches most of the modern 
ones are built by him, not only here, but also 
at Venice, and in other parts of the Venetian 
Territory. There is a Country Seat near the 
Town, built by him, which belongs to the 
Marquis Carpra, it is very elegant, nothing can 
be more so, but like all the Italian Country 
Houses, it is only fit to live in about three 
months in the year, it is known by the name of 
the Rotunda, there are two houses in England 
taken from this plan only more extended, and 
I hope more suited to the conveniency, which 
is necessary in an English Country House. 
Here is in this town his own house which is 
elegant as well as convenient, nothing is wanting 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 279 

here, which can be found in the largest Palace 
notwithstanding it is so small, which shows that 
this Architect knew very well to mix con- 
venience with taste when he chose it. What 
is the most curious here, is the Theatre 
Olympique which was built by the same person, 
it is such as the Ancients used in Greece, as 
much as he has been able to draw from the 
best authors. The Parterre is in the style of 
the arena at Verona. The Spectators sit on 
gradins, which is adorned with the most beauti- 
ful Colonade. The Stage itself is a representa- 
tion of a Town all in Staco, the streets, houses, 
statues, all being made of the same materials, 
it is very pleasing as well as curious ; formerly 
were acted here the Pieces of Sophocles, and 
Euripides. La Madonna della Monte which is 
a church situated on a hill near Vicentia, is a 
pritty building, to which you go up by a 
Colonade which is Staco from the bottom to 
the top which consists of near 200 arches. In 
the Refectory of this Church is a very famous 
Picture by P. Veronese, it is a Supper, in the 
Architecture according to his custom, is most 
incomparably fine. In Palazzo Vecchio are 
four pictures done by Luca Jordano, as well as 



28o NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

some other Pieces of different Persons, they 
pass for being worth seeing. In Santa Corona 
is an Adoration of the Kings by P. Veronese, 
and in St. Biagio is another picture of the 
same subject by Maffei. Sainte Catharine is a 
very pritty little Church, belonging to a Convent 
of Nuns. From thence I passed by Verona 
and Mantua in my road to Parma ; in this 
latter hardly anything is to be seen, every- 
thing that was curious being carryed away to 
Vienna ; its situation is in a Lake, and is well 
fortifyed ; I arrived at Parma on the 27th 
of June. 

" Here I stayed some time on account of 
the Opera, which for its decorations, music, 
and dancing, is generally one of the very best 
in Italy, as it is on the French Plan, all 
Burlesque dancing is excluded ; and I make no 
doubt but if it continues some years on the 
same footing, that in Italy, the low dancing 
will only appear in the Opera Buffas ; at 
present Parma seems to be an Academy for 
forming fine dancers, and may in a little time 
perhaps furnish Italy with the best dancers, as 
Paris does at present. Here almost every- 
thing is dearer than elsewhere ; a Coach is paid 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 281 

14 Paoli, and two Paoli to the man; even the 
entrance to the Theatre to a foreigner is 
threeten Argent de Piedmont, the Inhabitants 
pay but 15 sols of the same money. In the 
curious, here is not much to be seen ; the great 
Theatre which was built by Vignoles partly on 
the ancient, and partly on the modern plan, is 
a fine piece of Architecture, it is the only one 
in Italy, except that of Paladio's at Vicenza, 
that has Grading instead of Boxes ; in the year 
1517, here was represented a sea fight in the 
Procenium, between two Gondolas, the water, 
which was about 5 feet deep, was brought in 
by pipes for that purpose ; it is so well contrived 
for hearing, that anything said however low on 
the stage, is heard distinctly all over .the house, 
it is said capable of holding 12,000 persons, 
though I can hardly believe it, when I compare 
the difference between this and the Arena at 
Verona. In the Gallery is the famous Picture 
of Corregio, which is esteemed one of the best 
in Italy, and the finest that ever was done by 
this Master ; the Subject is the Vergin with 
the Infant in her Arms, the Magdalene kissing 
his feet, and St. Jerome and an Angel on the 
other side. The Cupola of the Dome is peint'd 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



by Corregio, but it is quite spoyl'd. In St. 
Jean are two Pictures by the same Master, 
which are esteemed fine, the one is the Martyr- 
dom of a Fryar, the other which is the best, 
is Jesus dead, the Vergin dying, and the 
Magdalene. The Cupolo of this Church is 
done by Corregio, it is much better preserved 
than the other ; both these Cupolo's are very 
much esteem'd by the Connoisseurs, but for to 
see them distinctly, as they are very high, one 
must have better eyes than myself. In St. 
Sepulcre is another capital piece of this Master ; 
it is well preserved, a thing very rare in 
Churches. 

"In Parma is reckon'd about 45,000 souls, 
but I fancy it exceeds the number ; in Plaisance 
30,000, this last Town has been much de- 
populated since the last war. The Duke has 
no troops but two Batalions, which may amount 
to about 800 men. What he draws from his 
States here in Italy may amount to about 
,80,000 Stirling. The Court however is polite 
and elegant, the Prince is affable, which not 
contributes a little to make the Court agreable, 
but as he is very fond of hunting, he resides 
as much as possible at Colorno, a Country 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 283 

House about nine miles from Parma, it is not 
very elegant, great plans have been given for 
enlarging, and for beautifying it, but the want 
of cash, has I imagine been the reason they 
have not been put in execution. 

" On the 1 3th of June (July ?) I set out from 
Parma, and got to Reggio. The Court of 
Modena makes this the place of their residence 
during the time of the Fair, here was a very 
good Opera, but not equal to that of Parma. 
The Town itself is but poor and ill built, here 
is nothing at all curious to be seen. From 
thence we went to Modena. The Palace of 
the Duke was formerly one of the best furnished 
with Pictures in all Italy, but he has sold to 
the King of Poland 100 of the very best, for 
about ^50,000, which at present are all in the 
Galery at Dresden ; there are still two or three 
Pictures left which are done by the very best 
Masters, but no capital Pieces. The Cabinet 
which passes for being well worth seeing, we 
had not an Opportunity of looking at, as the 
man was not to be found. We arrived the 
same night at Bologna 

" For a Lover of Painting here is the Place 
where he'll find more to satisfy his curiosity 



284 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

than in any other part of Italy. It is here the 
most famous painters have flourish'd, and 
what is still more, there is no place where the 
Pictures give so much pleasure as at Bologna, 
because they are nowhere so well preserved. 
Bologna is govern'd by a Legate from Rome, 
but it still preserves its ancient priveliges, 
according to the Capitulation it made with the 
Pope, not an Article of which has hitherto 
been infringed. What the Pope draws from 
this State is but a meer trifle, about 6000 
Roman Crowns, which is raised on the wine. 
The number of inhabitants amounts to about 
80,000, though I believe the number is a little 
exagerated. It is remarqued that there are more 
blind people here than in any other Town in 
Italy ; what to attribute this to, is difficult, 
unless it is to the white walls and to all the 
buildings being faced with white stone, or 
perhaps the number of Painters that are in 
this Town, and who are continually at work 
may be the occasion of it. The number of 
Painters at present in Bologna, amounts to 
more than 200, all of which find means to 
subsist. This Town is not ill built, there are 
Arcades in all the streets, so that without being 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 285 

touched by the rain, one can go all over the 
Town. The number of Churches here is very 
considerable, it exceeds 200 much, all of which 
have some very excellent pictures. The people 
here in general and the women in particular 
are much given to devotion, more so greatly 
than in the other parts of Italy. 

" In the Academy of Sciences here, are given 
lectures in all branches of Knowledge in 
Anatomy, Chimistry, experimental philosophy, 
etc. In the first branch are designed in wax 
all the possible accidents that can happen in 
child Birth, by which young Practitioners may 
exercise themselves, either by seeing others, 
or by trying the different cases themselves. 
For the incouragement of Sculpture, Archi- 
tecture, Painting, Designing, etc., Pope Ben: 
XIV. who was of this place, has sent to this 
Accademy the Models of the most famous 
Statues which are at Rome or Florence, as 
well as the Dimentions of the Columns or of 
the Buildings which are the most esteemed for 
their architecture. Here is a collection of 
Natural History, of Medals and of ancient 
curiosities. The Architect of this Building 
was Pelegrino Tibaldi, it is very elegant and 



286 NAPLES IN 7 HE NINETIES 

convenient. The whole may consist of about 
18 chambers. The school of Bologna has 
produced Painters which are esteem'd amongst 
the most famous in Italy ; the Master of which 
was the Caraches, they were the Fathers 
of Painting in this Town. Guido Rani, 
Dominicain, Guercino, Albani, are Painters 
which have formed this School and have 
rendered it as famous as Titian and P. 
Veronese did that of Venise. They say that 
in the Bologneze School there is much more 
variety than in that of Rome or Venice, for in 
these two last the Painters have confined them- 
selves too much to the copying after Raphael 
and Titian, whereas here each famous painter 
has a manner or stile of his own, and which 
he has not taken from his Master. At St. 
Giovanne in Monte is a very famous picture 
of Raphael, the only one that's acknowledged 
for an original in this Town, there are several 
others which are said to be of this Masters, 
but they are not universally owned as such. 
The Subject of this is St. Cecilia, there are 
St. Paul, St. John, and several others. In 
the Palace Magnani is a Holy Family which 
they say is of Raphael's but which is not sure ; 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 287 

however it is a most excellent copy, if it is 
not an original. Dans le Palais Publique, in 
one room are three Pictures much esteem'd, 
one is Samson, who makes Water come out 
of the Ass his Jaw Bone, by Guido. A second 
represents several Saints who are the Protectors 
of the city of Bologna by the same Master ; 
and the third is a St. John by Raphael, as they 
say. At the Church of St. Jiesu and Maria 
is a Picture of the Circumcision of our Saviour 
by Guercino ; there is a very tender concern 
expressed in the face of the Virgin. St. Joseph 
is a fine Character. A la Chatreuse is a Picture 
of St. Brano kneeling before the Virgin by the 
same. Another capital Picture of this Master 
is in St. Michel in Bosco, which represents 
Bernard Tolomei, who receives the rules of 
the Order from the Virgin. At St. Agneze 
is the martyrdom of that Saint, by Domini- 
chino, it is one of the best Pieces of this 
Master, and is well preserved. The face of 
the Saint expresses very well pain, and at the 
same time resolution. Another of this Master 
is in the Church of St. Giovanne in Monte. 
The Subject is La Vierge du Rosaire. These 
are the only two done by this man in Bologna, 



288 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

for although of this School, he worked at Rome 
and Naples more than elsewhere. 

A 1'Eglise di Mendicant! di dentro are 
several capital Pieces, two of which are done 
by Guido ; that over the Principal Altar is 
like two different Pictures, en haut is the 
Virgin, a dead Christ, and two Angels, and 
below is St. Charles and some others which 
are the Protectors of Bologna, who look up 
at it. If the Composition of this picture is not 
so good as it might be, or indeed as one would 
have expected it to have been from the Master, 
one must consider that the Superiour and the 
Convent gave the dessein and order'd Guido to 
execute it. 

" The second is Job upon his Throne, after 
his misfortunes, to whom they bring presents, 
the Composition of this picture is admirable, 
the choice of the figures of different ages and 
sexes, is excellently varyed ; this is one of the 
most esteem'd pieces of this Master. There 
is also an excellent Picture of Cavedone, 
which represents St. Petronio and St. Alo 
kneeling before the Virgin, the Infant, which 
are on the Top. This Master was of the 
School of Caraches, but who always painted 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE I 289 

in the style of Titian. In this Church are 
several other pictures of the best Masters. 
At St. Bartholomy di Porta, beyond the great 
Altar, are three fine Pieces in fresque done by 
Franceschini and Cairi, they represent some 
part of the History of this St. and his death. 
Here is also a Annonciation by Albani, which 
is a very pleasing picture, but it is very much 
spoyled. 

" It would be endless to take a particular 
description of all the capital pictures that are to 
be seen here, each palace and each Church 
having something or other that is almost in- 
estimable. At St. Michel in Bosco is a Convent 
where are several fine paintings, and particularly 
a little court which is done by the most famous 
Masters of the Bolonese School. The situation 
is very delightful, the Prospect is rich and very 
extensive. Here is excomunication Threatned 
by the Pope to all Troops which on any 
pretence so ever dare to lodge in the Convent, 
notwithstanding which, last War the K. of 
Sardinia and the Germans successively lodged 
their soldiers there on Occasion, without finding 
any sensible effect of the prohibition. About 
a mile from town is a Convent of Chartreux ; 

19 



290 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

here are some fine pieces. The Monks are 
lodged very comodiously. Here are some 
large Squares, surrounded with fine spacious 
Arcades. The Palace St. Fieri passes for the 
choicest collection of pictures of any Palace 
here in Bologna. Here are but four rooms, 
three of the Platfonds are painted by the three 
Carraches, and the fourth by Guercino. There 
is also a capital piece of each of these Masters, 
painted upon canvas. The Adultress is done 
by Augustin, La Samaritane by Annibal, and 
La Cananee by Louis, and by Guercino is 
Abraham putting away Hagar. Here is one of 
the best pieces of Albani, after his Four Seasons, 
which are in the Palace at Turin, several 
pictures of Guido, amongst which is La Piscine 
Miraculeuse, and the famous picture of St. Peter 
and St. Paul which is the master Piece of Guido, 
and as says Cochin, the best finished and the most 
Compleat picture in all Italy. Here are several 
others of note done by the best Masters of this 
School of Bologna. From Bologna I went to 
Florence after having staid there about three 
weeks. The road is all the way upon the 
Apennines and consequently not good, and 
more particularly we thought it not so, as on 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 291 

account of the heats I travelled in the night, 

and arrived at Florence the 5th of July. I 

staid here but very few days, being desirus of 

picking up a little Italian, and for that reason 

went on the i2th to Sienna, leaving untill my 

return the care of seeing the Pictures, Statues, 

and the Palaces of that City. At Sienna I 

staid seven weeks, and as it is in the mountains I 

found much less inconvenience from the heats 

that I should have done at Florence, whose 

situation is so much lower. Here at Sienna 

are not many Things in the curious Way, few 

good pictures, although they tell you here 

that the School of Sienna is as famous as that 

of Florence. Here are a great number of noble 

families, the major part of which are exceeding 

poor, numbers of which as I have been told, 

who make a certain figure, keep an Equipage 

and have not above ^200 for all their income. 

Here is an Accademy which is much, or rather 

was formerly much frequented, upon account 

of the pureness of the Tuscan language, which 

is spoke here better than any other place in the 

Country ; the Academy is a good deal in the 

style of Lausanne, as well as the Town, and the 

Inhabitants, but the Country round about it is 



292 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

nothing like so fine and so pleasant. Here is a 
Fountain which Dantes, an old famous Italian 
Poet, mentions is very renowned for the pure- 
ness of its stream 

"Per Fonte Branda non darai la vista 

but whether it is now degenerated, or whether 
the present people have not the Taste for good 
Water so well as they had in his time I cannot 
say, but at present it is hardly known. The 
Cathedral here is however a very fine Building, 
\hefafade in particular is curious, but what is 
the most so is the pavement, which is done in 
Marble, in a kind of Mosaic, and expressing the 
History of the Bible in figures as big as life. 
The expence and trouble must have been 
immence. In a side Chappel is shown an 
antique statue of the Graces, not a thing very 
decent to be put up in a Church. The sides of 
the same chappel are painted in Fresque, they 
say by the famous Raphael, but I can hardly 
believe, the colours however are remarkably 
well preserved. This country round about was 
formerly a Republic, but at last fell into the 
power of the Florentines, who now send a 
Governor, but they are governed by their own 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 



laws, and by their own Magistrates as formerly. 
From this place of the first of September I set 
out for to go to Leghorn. 

o o 

" Leghorn is a free port l and much the most 
considerable trading Town in the Mediter- 
anean, the trade consists in the exportation of 
raw silks, wine, oyl, stufs of gold and silver, but 
almost all of it is carryed on in foreign Bottoms, 
of which the English have much the most con- 
siderable share. The Town is fortifyed but I 
believe is not very strong neither by sea nor yet 
by land. It is an excessively clean well built 
Town, much the most so of any Trading Town 
I ever saw in my Life, the number of In- 
habitants is prodigious, about 40,000, of which 
one third are foreigners. The Port is very 
convenient and safe for ships, the inner mole is 
for ships of small burden, the outer for those of 
larger ; the Police appears here to be very well 
regulated, for notwithstanding the number of 
People of all Nations who resort here, and 
particularly sea faring people, here are very few 
riots happened ; for the convenience of trans- 
porting goods to the different warehouses in 

1 The privileges of Leghorn were taken away in about 1865, jusi a 
luuidrecl years later. 



294 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

town, canals are cut in the same style as in 
Holland. Here is established lately a manu- 
facture for velvet, and one of Coral. Here are 
two Lazarettos for the airing of goods and for 
the reception of people under Quarantine, which 
considering their connexion with the Levant 
and the States of Barbary, are often made use 
of. In all the wars the English Fleets have 
been victualed here, and consequently spent a 
very considerable sum of money. Formerly 
on the arrival of a Fleet, the Port used to 
salute first, and the return was made with one 
gun less, but Admiral Osborn two or three years 
agone, as a compliment return'd gun for gun ; 
the present Governor of Tuscany who is 
Marshal Botta, considering this Duchy as 
belonging to the Emperor, as Emperor and not 
as Grand Duke of Tuscany, sent orders, on 
hearing Admiral Sanders intention of coming 
there, that the Port should not salute the first, 
and return one gun less than the English 
Admiral ; this was not easily to be adjusted, the 
Fleet would not come on those conditions and 
this ceremony on a moderate computation has 
been a loss to Leghorn of above 50,000 livres 
Stirling. 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 295 

" After a stay of about 10 days here I went 
to Pisa. It is a very pretty Town, through 
which runs the river Arno ; coming directly 
from Leghorn makes the contrast between 
these two Towns stronger ; at Leghorn every- 
thing wears a Face of Business, and the 
streets are so full that it's with some difficulty 
one walks along ; here you see a fine old 
Town quite deserted, without the least appear- 
ance of any Occupation whatever ; it has in 
this respect somewhat the look of Verona. 
This Town is very ancient, and formerly was 
very Powerful by sea, and in the time of the 
Croisades sent the most considerable Force 
against the Infidels, it was taken by the 
Florentines in the year 1509, and since that 
time has always been dwindling to its present 
situation. The Air is one of the best in Italy, 
and its situation very pleasant. Here is the 
residence of the Knights of the order of St 
Stephen, which was instituted by Cosmo di 
Medicis in the year 1561, and dedicated to 
that saint because on his day he won the 
Battle of Marciano ; these Knights have the 
same rules as those of Malta, and are different 
from the latter but in that Religious may 



296 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

engage in it as well as Secular ; the Grand 
Duke is supreme Master of the Order. The 
Dome here is ornamented with a great number 
of Pillars of different marbles, which have been 
brought from the ruined buildings in the Holy 
Land. The leaning Tower is reckoned curious. 
Here is the Campo Santo which is an oblong 
building surrounded with Cloisters, the walls 
of which are covered with ancient paintings 
Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, etc. This place was 
made for the Reposotary of some earth which 
the Pisan Gallies brought from the Holy Land, 
and from it takes its name. The Bottom was 
made like a square bason to receive it, and 
is paved with marble, the earth is about seven 
foot deep, and has the virtue, as was told me 
by a man who assured me to have seen it, of 
rotting a Body in 24 hours. . 

" From hence I went to Lucca to see the 
Opera which is there every Autumn, and which 
seldom fails of drawing many foreigners. This 
State followed the fate of the other Towns in 
Tuscany, but in the year 1279, bought its 
Liberty of the Emperor Rodolf for ten thousand 
crowns, and has ever since continued a free 
State. The number of Inhabitants in the 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 297 

whole State hardly amounts to 100,000; the 
Doge or Gonfaloniere is chose out of the 
Grand Council, and his Office is but of two 
months duration. The Trade here is very 
small, and the Export is in oyl, for which 
this place is famous ; the Luchese cannot 
wear Swords by the laws of the State, and 
most foreigners conform themselves to the 
usage of the Country. Here is nothing very 
curious either in Painting, or in Antiquities, 
at least not sufficient to attract a Traveller's 
attention. The Town itself is but ill fortifyed, 
only a Wall just for to hinder a Surprize. The 
ramparts are very pleasant, in each Bastion is 
a clump of trees, which produce an agreeable 
effect. On the 2Oth of September I set out 
from this place and arrived at Florence. 

" Florence the principal Town of Tuscany 
is situated at the foot of Appenines and through 
it runs the river Arno. As this place has been 
the nursery of Arts and Sciences it is not strange 
that it should be more particularly furnished 
than any other Town in Italy with every 
thing that they have produced of the most 
rare. The Town is most delightfully situated 
and very well built in general, not to mention 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



several Palaces which are remarkably elegant 
and noble, the whole style of Architecture of 
the place is very good, and much better than 
in most other Towns in Italy. One part of 
the Town communicates with the other by 
means of several Bridges, one of which is 
very famous for its elegancy and Beauty, and 
which in Summer time is much frequented 
by the people of fashion, who resort there 
in an undress for to take the cool air. Here 
are dispersed up and down this Town many 
Pieces of John of Bologna, amongst which 
is one very famous of Hercules killing the 
Centaur. In the time of the Medicis this 
Place was the seat of Pleasure and diversions, 
but since the Emperor has been Duke of 
Tuscany and that he has taken his Residence 
at Vienna, the considerable sums of money 
that is sent there, impoverishes so much the 
country, that it is by no means the same place 
with respect to amusements as formerly. 

" The Gallery which is so famous for the 
Collection of Statues, Pictures, Medalls, etc., 
was first begun by Cosimo the first, second 
Duke of Florence, and created first of Tuscany 
in the year 1570 by Pius V. then Pope. It 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 299 

is to him that Florence owes the Beginning of 
its grandeur, as he began the encouragement of 
arts and Sciences, and beautifyed the City very 
considerably, as many Public Inscriptions testify 
at present. He was the first that thought of 
building this Edifice, as a Repository of all his 
Statues, Busts, etc., and the Charge was given 
to George Vasari an Architect. Since his 
time the Collection has been very consider- 
ably augmented by purchaces made at Rome 
and elsewhere, as well as by Donations and 
Antiquities that have been found in different 
parts of Tuscany. 

"The Cielings of the Gallery are covered 
with Paintings representing the invention of 
Arts and Sciences, the walls are hung with 
Pictures of the most illustrious persons of 
the family of the Medicis. On each side of 
the Gallery are Antique Statues and Busts, 
amongst which are 48 Busts of the Roman 
Emperors ranged in order, and opposite to 
them are the wives of those that have been 
found, and in defect of that, are placed the 
Busts of some famous men. At the end of 
the Gallery is a copy of the Groupe of Laocoon 
and his sons, the original is in the Belvidera of 



300 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

the Vatican at Rome, this copy is done by 
Bandinelli a very famous Statuary here of< 
Florence. Here are several of Michel Angelo 
Buonarota's Works, some of which are not 
finished, amongst which is a Bust of Brutus 
with this remarkable inscription 

" Dum Bruti effigiem Sculptor di Marmore ducit 
In mentem Sceleris venit et abstinuit. 

Here is a Leda something in the attitude of 
the Venus of Medicis, caressing a Swan ; but 
the Swan is either very ill done, or else the 
Ancients were not acquainted with the figure 
of that Bird, for it is like a common duck ; 
the Antiquarian, who was Bianchi, a man who 
had been brought up always in the Gallery, 
and whose Father, who enjoyed before him 
the place of Keeper of the Gallery, was a 
very understanding person, assured me that 
he thought the Ancients were very little 
acquainted with that Bird, for that all the 
Statues as well as Medals, represented it 
much liker a Duck than any thing else ; 
there is in the next Isle of the Gallery 
another Leda with the very same figure 
instead of a Swan ; but this is very difficult 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 301 

to reconcile with the descriptions which we 
find in ancient Poets of that Bird, and Virgil 
in particular mentions it at large. Along the 
Gallery are different rooms assigned for hold- 
ing different Collections of Curiosities, The 
first which is seen in entering, is the Chamber 
of Painters, so called from its being hung with 
the Pictures of all the best Painters, and 
most of them if not all, done by themselves. 
Amongst them is Sir Godfrey Kneller ; there's 
one done by Sezbolt a German which is an 
affair of great labour, all the pits of the Small 
pox are distinctly marked, as are also the hairs 
of his beard. In another room are kept the 
designs of the best Masters. In the collection 
of Raphael's I saw the sketches of the Cartoons 
which are at Hampton Court. Here we saw 
likewise the drawings which were a doing for 
the Emperor, of every thing that is in the 
Gallery ; 1 2 men had been employed for these 
12 years last past, and it will take 30 more 
years to finish the design, but then every the 
most minute thing is to be done, which by the 
by is only so much time and money directly 
thrown away. 

" But the place where are kept the most choise 



302 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Pieces is La Tribuna, it's a room in the form of 
an octagon, here are perhaps some things which 
pass for the first of their kind: There are six 
large Statues, three of which are of Venus, one 
is Venus Victrix, the second La Venus Celeste, 
both of which have great merit, and would be 
much admired, were they not eclypsed by that 
Heavenly Statue, known by the name of Venus 
de Medicis. This Statue at first perhaps does 
not strike you but insensibly it grows upon you, 
and like a fine Woman, it's impossible to feel 
how much you like it, until you are about to 
leave it to look at something else, which is very 
difficult to do in her presence, the models which 
I have seen of her, did not give me in the least 
any idea of her. This is looked on as the 
perfection of Female beauty, as is the Apollon 
Belvidere at Rome of Male. The other three 
Statues are the dancing Faun, which expresses 
an infinite agility as he is in the attitude of just 
going to jump ; The Whetter, which is a Slave 
whetting a knife, and very attentive to a 
conversation, which is supposed between 
Cataline and his Conspirators ; the other is the 
Wrestlers. There are several other Antique 
Busts and Statues very exquisite in their kind, 



AN OLD- WORLD JO URNE Y 303 

but all are smaller than Nature ; amongst them 
is a sleeping Cupid very much esteemed ; in 
the middle of the room is a table made of 
different coloured marble des pieces rapports, 
which is a work here of Florence, it is neatly 
enough done but does not seem to answer 
the great time which is said to have been spent 
in the working of it. Here also a Cabinet 
in which are preserved several precious 
stones, small Things worked in Agate, Ama- 
thist, rock Crystal, etc. The great Diamant 
which belonged to the Medicis Family and 
which was but a few grains less than Mr. Pitts, 
has been sent to Vienna by order of this present 
Emperor. 

" The Pictures which adorn this room are 
some capital ones of the very best Masters 
amongst which are the Venus of Titian, which 
by the by is more likely some Venetian 
Courtesan, than a Venus, because she has first 
of all no attributes of that Goddess, and one 
can hardly suppose that Titian would have 
chose such a Chamber and such attendance for 
his Venus, but be that as it will, it does not in the 
least take off from the real goodness of the 
Picture which is very well preserved, and in a 



304 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

situation to make any man feel at least ' that's 
natural.' 

" The three manners of Raphael, two of 
which represent a Madonna, and the third is 
the famous picture of St. John. The St. John 
at Paris is a copy of this, done by Giacomo da 
Empoli by the Orders of Mary de Medicis, 
when she maryd Henry IV. which she carryed 
with her to Paris. 

" A Picture of Corregio which is the Virgin 
admiring- our Saviour, who is laid down before 

o 

her. 

" One of Hanibal Carrachi, which is a Satyr 
bringing a basket of flowers to a Nymph who is 
seen only by the back. It is the same as that 
in the King of Naples' Collection. There are 
abundance of other pictures by the best Masters 
which are much esteem'd. Here is a head of 
Raphael, painted by Leonardo di Vinci. 

"Two rooms which are called the rooms of the 
Flemmish Painters, are full of pictures done by 
men of that country, the most famous amongst 
which, is one by Rubens representing Hercules 
between virtue and vice. It is very well pre- 
served and the best of the collection. . . . 

"In the Gallery is to be seen the Altar Piece 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 305 

which was designed for the Chappel of St. 
Laurence, it's not yet finished, and in all 
likely hood never will ; had the dessign been 
carryed into execution it would have been one 
of the most curious as well as richest things of 
the kind perhaps in the world. The Pillars are 
made of Rock Cristal, Lapis Lasuli, and all the 
Marbles the most rare and most esteemed, 
composed the lower part, the figures are all 
made of Oriental Stones, Jewells of very great 
value were employed in adorning the different 
parts of the Cornishes, but it's now a very con- 
siderable number of years that they have left off 
working at it, which makes me believe the 
Emperor will not be at the Expence of finishing 
it. The Collection of Medals is very numerous, 
amongst which are some very rare and curious. 
There is likewise a large collection of Cameos 
and Intaglios, Antique all, except a very few. 

" The Palace Pitti was the place of the Re- 
sidence of the Grand Dukes. The Architecture 
is rather heavy than pleasing, nor is there any- 
thing very magnificent either in the outward 
appearance or in the rooms, considering it as 
the Palace of a Prince. Here is however a 
Collection of Pictures some of which are very 



306 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

much admired. The Madonna della Sedia of 
Raphael, Guide's Cleopatra, several of Titian's 
heads, all well preserved, a very fine picture of 
Rubens, and the best collection of Andrea del 
Sarto his works that is to be found any where, 
indeed the pictures of this Master are infinitely 
superior here at Florence, to what they are 
anywhere else. The Palace Ricardi was the 
Residence of the Medicis Family before that 
they were Grand Dukes. Here is a Gallery 
which is very elegant, the cieling is painted by 
Luca Giordano, and is most admirably well pre- 
served. The Palace Gerini is a modern built 
house, is elegantly rather than grandly fitted up, 
as well as laid out, and it seems to be a better 
house to live in than most of these Italian 
Palaces are. Here is a collection of Pictures 
some of which are pretty ; a Head of Rembrant 
done by himself is much esteem'd, and pleases 
me much more than that one in the Gallery. 
Another picture of St. Andrew agoing to be 
crucifyed ; it's done by and is reckoned the 
Capital Piece of that Master's. 

" Nel Palazzo vecchio is all the plate which 
belonged to the Grand Dukes, as well as several 
other ornaments of gold and silver. Amongst 



AN OLD- WORLD JOURNE Y 307 

the rest is a Piece worked in gold and precious 
stones, which was made in the reign of Cosmo 
III. and which when he was ill he vowed to give 
it to St. Chas. Boromeo in case that he recovered 
but as he dyed, his son thought that the Saint 
had no right to it, and there it still remains. 
Here is a Picture of Rubens. 

" Le Baptistaire du Dome, here are some 
gates of Bronze which are esteem'd perhaps the 
most curious in all Italy for the Basso Rilievos, 
which are indeed very fine ; they are very 
ancient, and were much consulted by Michel 
Angelo who studied them very much. 

"The Chapell of St. Laurence, had it been 
finished, certainly would have been one of the 
richest as well as the most elegant in Europe, 
the great quantity of the finest marble which is 
employed is astonishing, the finest stones, 
precious and oriental, were designed to adorn 
the different parts of it ; the statues of six 
Grand Dukes of the Medicis Family in Bronze 
were designed to be set up in Niches made on 
purpose, and the Altar Piece which is in the 
Gallery was designed to have been placed in it, 
it is considerably advanced and it is really a 
great pity that so noble a Piece of dessign 



3 o8 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

should not be accomplished. Under the 
Gallery, work men employed by the Emperor 
to make tables and pictures of inlaid marble 
and pierres dures ; it is a kind of Mosaic, 
and is excessively tedious, several years being 
necessary for four men to finish one picture not 
above 4 ft. long and 2 high. Every thing that 
is done here is for the Emperor's service, and 
it's very difficult to buy any of this Work which 
is at all well done ; here is a man however that 
does Landskips in a kind of paste of his com- 
position, which grows hard, and takes a very 
good Polish, but as it's neither so dear nor so 
difficult, it's not so much sought after. 

"John Gaston the last of the Medicis Family 
dyed in the year 1737; had the Florentines 
been left to their own disposal, it's said the late 
Marquis di Ricardi would have succeeded to 
that Duchy. Since that the present Emperor 
has been Grand Duke, here is a very visible 
decay of everything, the country round about 
Florence which is studded every where with 
Casines, which were built in the time of the 
Medicis now begin to fall to decay and plainly 
show that the alteration will in a few years 
more be much more perceptible than it is at 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 309 

present. The sums of money that is every 
year remitted to Vienna quite drains the 
Country, and as a great many of the Posts are 
filled by the Loreneze who followed the Fortune 
of the Emperor, Poverty succeeds to those 
happy times of Plenty, which were known when 
their Princes made Florence their residence. 

" Its situation is most delightful, but in 
Summer however it is excessively hot ; the 
Springs and Autumns are finer here than in 
almost any other part of Italy, and it but wants 
the presence of the Prince to make it one of 
the most delightful sejours in the world. 

"The Florentine Nobility differ from those of 
the rest of Italy in that they do not in the least 
look upon Commerce as beneath them, or as a 
reflection on their Family, in so much that 
several people of Distinction are engaged in 
Commerce. The People are lively and very 
clever, at least naturally so, for I believe that 
Education in general is as much neglected here 
as in the other parts of Italy. The women are 
handsome and lively, and want no kind of 
Attractions to please, insomuch that Florence is 
looked on in all Italy as the Center of Gallantry. 
... If pleasure is to be sought in Gallantry, 



310 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



let a man go to Florence, and if Variety with 
a little trouble is able to please him I am 
apt to imagine that he may content himself. 
The number of Inhabitants is about 40,000, in 
the whole Territory about 900,000, but I am 
apt to think that it's too much for the Town. 
The Emperor revenue is about 1,000,000 of 
sequins or about 500,000 Livres sterling. 

" On Wednesday the 28th of October I set 
out for Rome. I stopped seven days at Sienna 
in my way there. As it is impossible to give 
any kind of description of the things at Rome, 
they being in such a large number, I shall only 
say that few houses of any consideration are 
without something or other of value, either in 
Statues or in Painting, and that it is impos- 
sible to convey any idea of their Beauties by 
endeavouring to describe them, the only way 
being to see them in person upon the spot. 

" Frescati is about two posts from Rome, it 
stands upon an eminence, and upon that con- 
sideration is chose by the Roman Nobility for 
a place to retire to during the heats ; it is 
famous for being the ancient Tusculum, and 
they pretend to show you a room with a 
beautiful Mosaic Pavement in it, which they 



A N OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 311 

say is a part of Cicero's house. Tivoli is the 
ancient Tibur, its situation is on the side of a 
hill and is the resort of the nobility in the time 
of the Spring and villeggiatura as it was the 
retreat of the ancients in the same season. 
Maecenas here had a villa, the remains of 
which are seen at present, they show you the 
place where Horace's Farm was, but there is 
some dispute about the actual spot. Here are 
the rests of the Temple of the Sybil, which is 
one of the most beautiful Pieces of ancient 
Architecture that is to be seen in Italy. It is 
in the style of the Temple of Vesta in the 
Campo Vacino at Rome. 

" The Cascade of Tivoli is formed by a small 
river which falls with great rapidity about 50 
feet, it runs over the remainder of the inclina- 
tion of the hill, and in different streams falls 
into the valley below, where runs the Amio, it 
is these little streams which form the Cascatelle 
so much admired ; the place from which one 
sees the Cascatelle is exceedingly Romantic, 
and the view very picturesque. This Place 
has been chose by Landskip Painters very 
often, nor indeed is it easy to take one more 
interesting. Below the hill is Adrian's Villa 



312 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

which was built by that Emperor in about three 
years' time ; it was seven miles in circumference 
and contained Theatres, Amphitheatres, and 
in short every thing that the luxury of the 
Times made in use. The Ruins of this immence 
place are very great. It is from hence that 
most of the best Statues have been taken, 
especially the Egyptian ones. Between Rome 
and Tivoli is a Lake where are the floating 
Islands. The accounts of this Lake are vastly 
exagerated, it has formerly been very large, it's 
a sulphurious Water, upon the surface of which 
rises a kind of surf which gathers together and 
forms a kind of Island upon it, this as it 
approaches to the side grows of a greater 
consistency and in time cements itself to the 
side of the Lake, so that in a small time the 
Lake will be no more to be seen. 

" Upon the i5th of December I left Rome to 
go to Naples. Near Velletri which is about 4 
Posts from Rome we passed over the field 
where the Battle was fought in the year 1744 
in which Prince Lobeswitz was defeated by the 
king of Naples. In our Journey we passed 
over the Appian Way, which at present remains 
in one part quite entire. The Road, and more 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 313 

particularly near Rome is studded with antient 
Buildings most of which have been Sepulcres 
of Roman Families. At Gae'ta which by 
Virgil in the beginning of his seventh sEneid 
is called Gajeta, is a very famous urn, 1 perhaps 
one of the most famous in Italy ; here is also a 
rock which was split by some earthquake, and 
which they tell you was split at the time of our 
Saviour's Crucifiction, on the sides of which 
were found many Crosses which are looked 
upon as miraculous ; there is also the impression 
of a Turk's Hand, 2 which is said was made by a 
Turk's clapping his hand on the Wall, and 
declaring that unless the impression remained, 
that he would not believe that those Crosses 
were the effect of a miracle. 

"At Capua which is the first strong Town 
after Gae'ta, belonging to the King of Naples, 
are several Antiquities, but ancient Capua lies 
about three miles higher up the Country than 
the modern Town. Here is an Amphitheatre 
which as to its form is pritty well preserved. 3 
The Country for about 50 miles before one 
comes to Naples is very fine, and is called la 

1 Now in the Naples Museum. 
2 Still to be seen. 3 Since excavated. 



3 i4 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

Campagna Felice, it indeed well deserves the 
name for it's productive of every thing that's 
useful. Naples itself is situated at the bottom 
of the Gulph, it's supposed to contain T three 
hundred thousand inhabitants, a prodigious 
Quantity for its size, but the climate is so mild 
that several thousands have no other place to 
sleep than in the streets. The Misfortune of 
Naples is that the people of substance bear no 
kind of proportion to the rabble, it is this that 
makes them so riotous and so desirous of 
changing masters as often as they can get a 
Sequin by it, as the greatest part has nothing 
to loose. The Farneze collection of medals, 
Pictures, Cameos, etc., are kept at a Palace of 
the kings called // Capo di Monte, the Pictures 
are much spoiled, some of the best are engraving 
now by Mr. Strange. 

"The neighbourhood of Naples is more pro- 
ductive of natural Curiosities than any other 
part of Italy ; the whole Country stands upon 
one entire soil of Sulphur, which has vents in 
many places in the Environs. The Place 
called La Grotta del Cane is a small Grotto in 
the side of a hill from which rises a sulphurious 

1 The present population is 600,000 (1896). 



AN OLD WORLD JO URNE Y 315 

vapour to about the height of a foot and a half 
or something more, in which no animal can live. 
Close by this Grotto in a plain is the Avernan 
Lake l mention'd by Virgil. La Solfaterra, 
which is a mountain quite full of sulphur, is a 
place where the king has established a manu- 
facture of salts of all sorts ; from the side of 
this hill runs a stream which when it comes out 
of the earth is boyling hot. 

" The Baths of Nero are of the same nature. 
Baza 2 which was the place where the old Romans 
of the greatest Condition ran to spend their 
winter, is covered with ancient ruins and Sub- 
structions. Lucullus' House and Gardens are 
easily made out, which was the thing the most 
magnificent in his time. The Sun is here so 
warm that all kinds of Vegitables grow on the 
natural soil in the coldest winter. Portici is a 
Palace of the king's ; it is situated at the foot of 
Mt. Vesuvious, and upon Herculaneum which 
was discovered very singularly ; a man digging 
to make a well fell upon the Amphitheatre 3 of 
Herculaneum ; at first it was not known what 
this could be, but upon examination it was 

1 This is an error. Lake Avernus is about 8 miles off. The Lake 
at the Grotta del Cane was called " Agnano." 

' 2 Baia. 3 Theatre. 



316 NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 

found to be the town of Herculaneum which 
was covered in the year 79. A.D. by the Lava of 
an Eruption from Mount Vesuvious. The 
present King of Spain, 1 then of Naples, set men 
to work, and as they cleared away the rubbish 
they found houses in which many things have 
been discovered more curious than valuable 
and which are deposited in a place made for 
that purpose ; some miles from this place 
further up the country are the Towns of Stabia 
and Pompeia, one of which was covered by the 
ashes from Mt. Vesuvious, and the other 
swallowed up by an earthquake, and which 
have been discovered likewise by a similar 
accident. The King of Naples, when he 
embarked to go to take possession of Spain, 
took off his finger an Intaglio which had been 
found in Herculaneum and deposited it in the 
Collection, 2 as he would not take away anything 
from the Collection, especially as he had refused 
before to give his elder Brother some trifling 
thing which had been found, and which he 
asked not as a thing of value, but as it came 
out of Herculaneum. 

1 Charles V. of Spain, who occupied the throne of Naples as Charles 
III. 

2 Now in the Naples Museum. The ring is a niceolb with a mask 
engraved on it. 



AN OLD - WORLD JO URNE Y 317 

Caserta is a House which is building for the 
King of Naples about two Posts distant from 
Town, it is an immence large place, the 
Architecture not reckoned good, but the house 
will be very rich in marbles, of which Sicily 
produces great quantities of very fine. Smith 
assured me that going to Caserta, which must 
be at least 12 miles from the mountain, that 
being a windy day, his hat, horse, in short the 
whole road was quite covered with the ashes 
which were blown from the Mountain. On the 
5th of February I left Naples and arrived at 
Rome the 1 1 th l as the road was too bad to go 
any other way than en voiture. 

1 The direct train reaches Rome in 5.15 hours from Naples, and we 
complain of its slowness (1896). 



INDEX 



ACROPOLIS of Naples, 22 

Amalfi, 138, 147 

Amphitheatre, 80, 136, 268, 315 

Amsterdam, 240 

Amulets, 45, 54, 55, 58 

Apricots, 117, 118 

Archangels, 226, 229 

Arena, 80 

Artificial leg, 82, 83 

Asprinio, 151 

Astroni, 150, 157, 158, 159 

Avellino, 151, 177, 184-187 

Aversa, 152-154 

BAIA, 28, 34, 36, 63, 68, 78, 97, 

136 

Bassi, 9, 236 
Baths of Nero, 34, 315 
Bay of Pozzuoli, 29, 97 
Bees, no 

Bells, 45, 195, 196 
Benevento, 150, 161, 168, 170, 

173. 174, 175. 185 
,, Cathedral, 169 
,, Castle, 169, 170 
Bicycles, 3, 28, 122, 165 
Birds in Italy, 98-100 
Boaz, 228 
Bologna, 290 
British Cemetery, 20 
Burgon vase, 76 
Burial Guilds, 1 7 

CALVARY, 220, 225, 228 



Camaldoli, 150 
Campagna Felice, 314 
Capodimonte, 150, 157, 159 
Capri, 29, 128, 134, 147, 186 
Capua, 47, 63, 80, 81-83, J 54> 

160, 313 
Cards, 15 
Casaluce, 153 
Caserta Palace, 150, 151, 153-160, 

317 

Castellamare, 146, 210, 212 
Caudine Forks, 161 
Cerreto, 175, 176, 182 
Certosa di Pavla, 266 
Chambery, 250 
Changes since 1888, I 
Charms, 42, 218 
Church bells, 195 
Cimaruta, 50, 57 
Cimitero di Cimitile, 1 88 
Cippus Abellinus, 199 
Citrons, no 
Cooking, 127 
Crucifixion, 129, 130, 226-228, 

313 

Cultivation of wine, 1 02 
Cumae, 2, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 69, 

70-73, 80, 136 
Cumaean Sibyl, 34 

DEVELOPMENT of Naples, i, 24 
Diana Tifatina, 46, 56, 58, 59 
,, oracular statue of, 59, 60, 61 
,, and Actaeon, 156, 166 



320 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



Dikearchia, 63, 66, 68, 77-81 
Diomcde, 93-96 

ELEVATORS, 28 
English garden, 157 
Etruscans, 68, 71, 74, Si 
Excavation, 85 

FALERNUS Ager, 67 
Faraglioni rocks, 135, 147 
Farm-yard, 1 20-122 
Fattura della morte, 231 
Ferdinand IV. 157 
Figs, 115-117 

Floods (charm against), 218 
Florence, 290, 297 
Formia, 130 
Frog amulet, 56 
Funerals, 16 

GAETA, 128, 132, 154, 157 

Gambling, 12 

Garden farm, 97-122 

Garigliano, 130 

Gems, 69, 73, 74, 89 

Geneva, 249 

Giordano Bruno, 202, 203 

Giovanni da Nola, 202, 203, 205 

Goats, 10 

Grafting, 1 1 1 

Grotta del Cane, 35, 314 

Guardia di Sanframondi, 180-182 

HADES, 31, 39, 220, 226 

Hague, The, 240 

Hairdressing, 9, 131 

Harwich, 239 

Hazel-nut, 87, 187 

Hemp, 151 

Herculaneum, 62, 63, 88-92, 315 

Horns, 50, 54, 58 

IMPORT of plants, 103, 174 
Incantation, 214 
Invocation, 214 
Ischia, 30, 65, 128, 132, 133 



Isole clei Galli, 38 

JACHIN, 228 

Jewellery, 73, 85, 87, 131 

KEY, 50, 54, 56, 96 
Kitchen garden, 119 
Kophanos, 85 

LAGO di Garda, 268 

Lausanne, 242-249 

Lemons, no, 111-113, 232 

Lent, 156 

Licola, 1 60 

Lilies, 191-195 

Limes, 1 1 o 

Lottery, 12 

Loquats, 1 1 8 

Lucca, 296 

MACARONI, 142, 145, 193 
Madonna di Pompei, 6 

,, attributes of, 58 

Magic, 221 

Mandarins, no, 113-114 

Manfred, 170, 171, 172, 185 

Maternity (goddess of), 81, 82 

Medici Chapel, 307 

Milan, 22, 261-266 

Milk, II 

Mirrors, 86 

Montagna Spaccata, 129-130 

Monte Nuovo, 36 

,, Vergine, 60, 178, 184 

,, Matese, 163 
Mulberries, 108 
Municipal reform, 21 
Murat, 151 
Mystery plays, 204 

NAPLES (yachting ports), 126-149 

Neapolis, 63 

Necropolis, 21 

Nola, 87, 187, 197-202 

Nolan vases, 87, 197-199 

Novalesa, 251 



INDEX 



321 



ORACLE of Apollo, 34 
Oranges, no, 111-113 
Oscan (goddess of maternity), 46, 

81, 82 
Ospizio, 185 
Ottaiano, 206 

PADUA, 270, 277 

Paestum, 23, 63, 69, 148 

Palaeopolis, 63, 68 

Panathenaic vases, 75, 76 

Parma, 260, 261 

Parthenope, 38, 63 

Passion play, 206-209 

Paulinus of York, 191-195 

Percoco, 119 

Piedimonte d' Alife, 166, 186 

Pietraroia, 155, 176, 178, 179 

Pig (a bewitched), 236, 237 

Pilgrimages, 61 

Pisa, 295 

Piso, Calpurnius, 89, 90 

Planchette, 219-221, 227, 229 

Planets, 103 

Playing-cards, 15 

Polygnotus, 197, 198 

Pompeii, 7, 36, 52, 62, 63, 64, 

70, 80, 88, 93-96, 145 
Ponies, 139 
Ponza, 132 
Porta Aurea, 169 
Portici, 1 37- 138, 315 
Post office, 3, 129 
Procida, 30, 132, 133 
Protestants, 20 
Pruning, 115 
Puteoli, 63, 64, 77-81 

QUATTRO Altari, 141 

RAILWAYS, 25 
Rome, 70, 310 
Rotterdam, 240 
Rue, 50 



SACK of Troy, 197 



Sailing-boats, 123-128 

Sans Souci, 97, no, in 

Scauro, 130, 132 

Serapeum, 77, 136 

Serino, 185 

Serpent, 50, 52 

Shrines, 55, 60 

Sibylline books, 32 

Sicilian marbles, 154, 155 

Siena, 291 

Silkworms, 108-110 

Silver charms, 50, 55 

Siren rocks, 38, 44, 147 

Sirens, 37 

Solfatara, 136, 315 

Sorba, 119 

Sportsman, 59 

Stabia, 63, 316 

St. Agata dei Goti, 161-163 

,, Angelo in Formis, 160 

,, Felicita, 205, 206 

,, Januarius, 3 

,, Lazzaro, 209 

,, Leucio, 137 

,, Michael, 209 

,, Paolino, 194, note 195 

,, Paul, 64 
Street noises, 7 
Strickland, 97-122 
Swastika, 216, 224, 225 
Suessola, 63, 83-87, 16.0 
Superga, 258 

TELESE, 163, 165, 175, 197 
Terraces, 101 
Tivoli, 311 
Tobacco, 122, 173 
Torre del Greco, 138-145 
Torre dell' Annunziata, 145, 191 
Trout, 156-157 
Turin, 250-260 

VASES, 41, 74-77, 197-199 

Venice, 270 

Verbo Umanato, 204 



322 



NAPLES IN THE NINETIES 



Verona, 267 

Vesuvius (eruption), 87, 88, 316 
,, railway, 27 
Vintage. 100-108 
Virgil, 31, 91, 128, 268 
Vitulano, 155, 174 



Vivara, 30, 133 

WlNE-making, 103-108 
Witchcraft, 37, 49, 214 

ZACCHIELLO, 217, 219 



THE END 



Printed by R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, Edinburgh. 



In Two Volumes, post 8vo, cloth, 888 pages, containing 102 Illustrations 
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THE 

REMAINS OF ANCIENT ROME 

BY THE LATE PROF. J. HENRY MIDDLETON 



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CHAP. 

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3. Prehistoric Period and Time of the Kings. 

4, 5. The Palatine Hill. 

6, 7. The Forum Romanum and its Adjacent Buildings. 

8. The Capitoline Hill. 

9. The Architectural Growth of Rome. 

VOL. II 

I. The Imperial Fora. 2. The Circi of Rome. 

3. Theatres in Rome. 4. The Amphitheatres of Rome. 

5. Roman Baths. 

6. The Forum Boarium and the Campus Martius. 

7. Various Temples and other Buildings. 

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General Index. 



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STUDIES 



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GREEK POETS 

BY 

THE LATE JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS 



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VOL. I 

CHAP. 

i . The Periods of Greek Literature. 2. Mythology. 

3. Achilles. 4. The Women of Homer. 

5. Hesiod. 6. Parmenides. 

7. Empedocles. 8. The Gnomic Poets. 

9. The Satirists. 10. The Lyric Poets. 

II. Pindar. 12. yEschylus. 

13. Sophocles. 

VOL. II 

14. Greek Tragedy and Euripides. 

15. The Fragments of ^Eschylus, Sophocles, Euripides. 

1 6. The Fragments of the Lost Tragic Poets. 

17. Ancient and Modern Tragedy. 18. Aristophanes. 
19. The Comic Fragments. 20. Herondas. 

21. The Idyllists. 22. The Anthology. 

23. Hero and Leander. 

24. The Genius of Greek Art. 

25. Conclusion. Appendix. 



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AN INTRODUCTION 



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THE LATE JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS 



THIRD EDITION 



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3 3125 00978 6944 



THE PIPERS OF NAPLES. 

-- - * 



<stfte 3S3 



DECLINE OF ANCIENT RITUAL, n; 

(F110M OUR NAFLBS CORRESPONDENT.) 

Not many years ago strange figures 
were to be met with in the streets of 
Naples at the end of November. They 
were men in goat-skin trousers, blue cloth 
coals decorated with brass or silver 
buttons, and tall, pointed black felt hats ; 
and under their arms tjiiey carried some- 
thing that on close inspection proved to 
be rude bagpipes. 

Had tlwy been followed, one would have 
found they were making for one of thn way- 
.-id* shrines containing some kind of framed 
a- d glazed representation- oi' the Madonna, 
Christ, or a Saint, set in a rough tabernacle 
and lighted by a small oil lamp. Hero the men 
would doff their hats, bow reverently, and then 
play an air upon their pipes, a melodious turn*, 
soft and dulcet in quality, of a, pastoral sweet- 
.n.".-:,-- flavoured with melancholy. Pedestrians 
would stop and listen ; the local guardians of 
the shrine would como out of their bo&ti and 
stand by ; a collection would be made ; and 
the pipers, afVr another reverence to the 
shrine, would walk oft to repeat their simple 
performance elsewhere, or to dive into a 
trattoria and wash their mouths with a little 
wina. 

These M&mpoffnatori were mostly peasants] 
from Avellmo and Benevento. They -were sup- 
posed to typify the shepherds of Holy Writ, I 
Year after year they would walk to Naples,] 
supporting themselves on the way by their] 
pipes and timing their arrival for the NovenaA 
or nine days' celebration, of the Immaculate 
Conception on December 8. Pious people would I 
engage them to play during the Novena, either] 
at their houses or before a favourite shrine,] 
paying them live lire or so for their services. 
Thi'y would stay on for the Christmas Novana;\ 
and, that over, would walk back to their homes I 
again. It was a hereditary occupation. When 
t he fathers died or became too old for the 
journey, the sons took their place with tho J 
'family pipes. 



but. 



discarding of 



;~=^fiSsS? : =i 

IP ir hard ca&n was u L^'J the chief'