maintain that the ambition and arrogance of the clergy are again becoming intolerable. Though there is no food for the mind to be found, you cannot pass through the streets of these small towns without being struck by the advertisements everywhere to be seen in the shop windows: “Qui si giuoca per Napoli”—“Here is a lottery for Naples.” “Qui si giuoca per Firenze”—“Here is a lottery for Florence.” This taste for gambling is very strong in every part of Italy, and is encouraged by the governments. A ticket is purchased for a few pence, and thus a temptation is held out to the lower classes, which they find it impossible to resist. The people have no serious occupations; politics are tabooed, and there is little commerce, so that they are left a prey to their own thoughts, and glad to escape from them by any course of excitement, however pernicious it may be. You will see even boys playing at ball, pay and receive grani at the end of each game. The system of lotteries is of old date in Italy; we find (Suet., Aug. 75) that Augustus sometimes amused himself by selling tickets for prizes of very unequal value (inequalissimarum rerum sortes), and placed pictures with their faces turned towards the wall, that he might enjoy the satisfaction or disappointment of the parties who had purchased the tickets. In the afternoon I rode down to the village of Bivona, on the shore, which is considered to have been the ancient port of Monteleone. If it were so, it possessed a poor harbour, though we must recollect that the vessels of the ancients could be drawn up on the beach. There was much more protection at Pizzo. It was evident, however, that an attempt had been made to construct a port, as the remains are of a very massive style. I was present at mass this evening, and everywhere I can see that the Calabrese are urgent in their demands on Heaven. If drought desolate their fields, and no attention is paid to their prayers, it is said that they proceed to put the statues of their most revered saints in prison, hoping that this humiliation may make their intercession more effective. What can be done with a people in this abject state of superstition? What effect would a more spiritual form have upon them P Their belief seems to be in harmony with their impressionable character, and I sometimes doubt whether the exterior form of religion may not depend a good deal on climate and the constitutional temperament of a nation; yet I have found men of the highest intelligence in this remote district, and who felt the necessity of something better and more ennobling in religion, but what could they do? They are kept down by the knowledge that to disclose their sentiments is worse than death, and they prefer to bow in the temple of Rimmon to the ruin that would come upon them by an open announcement of their principles. Even here I find a division in the Church. There are what they call “Papisti,” men devoted to the Pope and those principles which are known to us as Ultramontane. But, besides these, there is a large body of men who are opposed to these extreme views, and may be regarded in the same position as the Low Church with us. What, however, speaks highly in their favour, when compared with the Spaniards, is, that all parties have refused to allow the Inquisition to be introduced into their kingdom. I inquired whether the feudal system still subsisted here in all its strictness, but I find that the French put an end to it in a great measure, and it has never recoveredits I

former power. Before the French occupied Calabria, the rich and powerful barons exercised a despotic sway long unknown in other parts of Europe, feudalism being never, as far as I can understand, seen in a more odious and disgusting form. Those who have read “I Promessi Sposi" of Manzoni, may have some idea of the miserable state in which the country was kept. The barons had an armed militia under the name of “Sbirri,” who were ready to attend to the will, and very often the caprices, of their sanguinary masters. If a vassal questioned or resisted the commands of his lord, he was sure to fall by the stiletto of some of these armed followers without any notice being taken of so atrocious a crime. Now all this is, no doubt, ended, and the law is, to a certain degree, omnipotent. The great barons, however, have deserted their property in the provinces, leaving it to be managed by agents, and lead an idle, useless life, dangling about the court at Naples. They have country-houses along the shores of the bay, and alternate all the year between the opera and the “dolce far niente” of their country-houses. I am now on the spot which suffered so much from the earthquake in 1783, destroying many thousands of the inhabitants, yet it is astonishing how tranquilly the mind can contemplate danger when it has once been accustomed to it. Whether it be on the edge of a slumbering volcano, or where nature is convulsed by the most fearful earthquakes, man lives and enjoys himself as calmly as we do, where no sudden convulsion of nature has in the memory of man overtaken us. This is a curious mental phenomenon, and may be accounted for by the strong feeling of hope that is implanted in the mind. We trust that, though all our neighbours may be destroyed, we shall escape. I left Monteleone this morning before daybreak, with a muleteer, to proceed to Casal Nuovo. The air was cool and refreshing at this early hour; the country was well cultivated in the immediate vicinity of the town, and all Nature was clad in her loveliest attire. We might have expected to meet Proserpine, with her attendant virgins at every corner, gathering the flowers that were as beautiful as they were in former times. We proceeded along the post-road which leads to Reggio; being only lately constructed, it was in a very rough and unfinished state. . As we receded from Monteleone, the country again began to assume the same desolate appearance which has so forcibly struck me in every part of my tour. When I use the appellation of desolate, I merely mean that man has left Nature to herself, and that he makes no use of those advantages which she offers to him. I have passed by many a lovely spot and many a beautiful landscape, but they wanted that charm which the industrious labours of man can alone confer. We met a party of gendarmes, with whom I entered into conversation, and found that they had succeeded in capturing three men who had been concerned in a murder, and that they were conveying them to Catanzaro. I confess that I was disappointed in their appearance, as they had none of that lofty daring in their looks and gait which we usually imagine to be found in an Italian brigand. It is seldom that these men suffer the extreme penalty of the law, even when they are laid hold of, as the government is inclined to deal leniently with all crimes that are not directed against itself. Though it is seldom that life is forfeited, I am not sure that the punishment inflicted is not

severer. They are condemned to the galleys, or, more correctly speaking, to be employed in the construction of public works. I have often seen fifty of them, chained two and two, working at a new road under a broiling sun, with half a dozen soldiers standing over them with loaded muskets. They are confined at night, and the food they receive is neither sufficient in quantity, nor to be commended for its quality. I believe that few of them survive any length of time the severe labours they are made to undergo. You know that they have no Botany Bay which they can colonise with their convicts. There is a small island, Ponza, a little to the north-west of Naples, to which the government usually sends those political offenders who are not considered worthy of death. The same island served for the same purpose to the tyrants Tiberius and Caligula. We met with an old man carrying a quantity of “ricotto,” a kind of curdled goat's milk, and on finding that he was conveying it to a neighbouring village to market, I became the purchaser of the greater part of it, that I might lose no portion of the coolness of the morning by delaying to breakfast. How often I have longed for a good substantial Scotch breakfast with “Finnon haddies,” salmon, and all the other et caeteras! The Italians are sadly ignorant on many points, but I am sometimes inclined to think, when I am hungry in the morning, that they display their ignorance in nothing more lamentably than in not knowing how excellent a thing a good breakfast is. Our route lay along the banks of the river Mesima, the ancient Medma or Mesma, till we approached a forest, which I found to be called Rosarno. The name sounded familiar to my ear, and the association with it was not of the most agreeable kind, when I recollected having heard at Naples, a short time ago, that two of my countrymen had been stripped here even of their clothes by a band of brigands. The muleteer confessed that it was a dangerous spot, and I consulted my map to see whether we might not, by some cross-roads, in a great measure avoid it. I saw at once that our distance to Casal Nuovo would be considerably shortened if we struck directly across the country, and I found from my muleteer that my chance of falling in with brigands would be pretty much the same. A narrow path led us to the river Mesima, which was now nearly without water, though it was evidently in the winter a turbulent stream. The bank was thickly covered with trees of all kinds, and we had now got into a path that was little frequented. It became so entangled that I was obliged to dismount, and at last we were pulled up by a thick natural hedge, through which, indeed, I contrived, with much difficulty, to insinuate myself, but it was vain to think that my mule could pass. My muleteer proposed that he should return some distance to a spot where we thought he might cross the hedge, and then join me on a path, which we found to be on the other side at the top of the bank. To this I agreed, and sat down to wait for his appearance. When about an hour had elapsed, and I could neither hear nor see anything of my mule, you may imagine that I was in some alarm for my goods and chattels, though they are of no great intrinsic value if I were anywhere else than in this remote part of Calabria. 3. was a lovely spot where I was seated; I could not help being struck, as I have been passing along this morning, with the almost tropical appearance of the country. In the neighbourhood of Monteleone I passed a continued grove of orange, lemon, and citron trees, which attain a size unknown in the north of Italy, and after I left the more cultivated parts, I found forests of arbutus and different kinds of oaks, having as underwood the oleander, the arborescent ericas, and the sweet-smelling myrtle. The hedge-row, which I had such difficulty in penetrating, consisted of alder and pomegranate bushes; but I had had sufficient time to admire its beauties, and I began to consider what steps I ought to adopt in such an emergency. I had luckily kept my money and my letters in my pocket, so that I determined to proceed forward in the direction of Casal Nuovo. Before I; finally gave up all hopes, I travelled down the bed of the river for some distance, and made the echoes of the Mesima to resound loudly with my voice. An answer was at last made to my hallooing, and my muleteer appeared in the distance. He apologised for his long absence by assuring me that he had been obliged to descend a great way down the river before he found a spot where he could ascend with his mule to the top of the bank. I began, therefore, to doubt whether I had adopted the wisest plan in making this attempt to cross the country. Ere long, however, we issued from the wood, and came upon a shepherd's solitary hut, which was unoccupied. We again descended into the channel of a river which I found to be called Vocale, and along it we proceeded for many miles without meeting a human being, or observing the slightest appearance of the country being inhabited. At a short distance I saw the ridge of the Apennines rising to a great height, thickly wooded. At last, the bell of a church struck upon my ear, and roused a host of pleasing recollections of times long gone by. I forgot for a moment the spot where I was, and the village church of my earlier days stood before me. This mental mirage, if I may so call it, was only momentary, for there were too many causes of physical suffering to allow long forgetfulness of the present. The village was called San Fili, in a gorge of the mountains, and as I had been upwards of seven hours astride of my mule, it was necessary to have some rest. My muleteer, however, maintained that we were only a few miles from Casal Nuovo, and I agreed that we should continue on our journey. We entered upon a plain, which is said to be nearly thirty miles in extent, and is thickly covered with olive-trees. It reaches between the rivers Mesima and Muro, and might be made one of the most fertile spots in Italy. These olive-trees are different in form from those to which I have been accustomed in other parts of Italy; instead of the knotted, hollow trunk, the stems were tall and straight, the branches not twisted into fantastic shapes, but smooth, and at equal distances from each other. The ground beneath was covered with beautiful ferns, through which paths are cut, and I believe that the ferns are moved every year, as it would otherwise injure the roots of the olive-trees. They are always very anxious respecting this crop, as it is apt to fail for various reasons. It is very much like our own apple-trees in Scotland, whose blossoms are often blighted by the dry east wind. So here the flowers of the olivetree are liable to early destruction from cold dry winds, or else from too much damp, and even after the fruit is set and far advanced a heavy

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shower of rain may utterly destroy it. They speak also of a glutinous fluid appearing upon the olive like a blight after the continuation of a south-west wind, which they believe to bring some poisonous vapour from Mount Etna, and this causes the olive to rot off the branch. After having passed upwards of eight hours on muleback, it may be easily conceived that I hailed with pleasure the small village of Casal Nuovo, where I meant to spend the night. The Marquis of Gagliardi had been kind enough to recommend me to the care of a gentleman who was agent on his estates here, and nothing could exceed his attention to me. I was now on the central spot where the earthquake of 1783 had been felt most severely, when the greater part of the village had been swallowed up. The houses are now built principally of wood, as few months pass without a shock more or less severe being felt, and yet they speak of the insecurity of their situation with the utmost nonchalance. About a week ago they had felt a severer shock than had taken place for many years before, and they had thought it prudent to spend the night in the open air. Several of the inhabitants were old enough to have a very vivid recollection of what had taken place in 1783, and shuddered at the thought of what they had witnessed. They said that the appearance of the sky gave warning of some fearful catastrophe impending; close, dark mists hung heavily over the surface of the plain; the atmosphere appeared in some places so red hot that they would not have been surprised to see it burst into flames; even the waters of the river had a turbid eolour, and a strong sulphureous smell was diffused around. The violent shocks began on the 5th of February, 1783, and continued to the 28th of May. It was on the 5th of February that Casal Nuovo more particularly suffered, when the greater proportion of the inhabitants were crushed under the ruins of the houses. I was anxious to see some of the more striking effects of the convulsions, and I was conducted a few miles to a deep glen, which they said had been formed by the earthquake. They

pointed to a forest which had been hurried down to the bottom of a deep

ravine, without having been in the least separated by the shock. In other parts, rivers had been arrested in their course by the fall of mountains, and had become large lakes, but of this I saw nothing. It is astonishing to what remote distances these shocks are felt, and in countries where nothing serious has ever been experienced. On Sunday, the 1st of November, 1755, the great earthquake in which Lisbon suffered took place, and at the same moment the small Castle loch of Closeburn, in Dumfries-shire, was so violently agitated, as the people were going to church, that they dared not enter, and service was performed in the open air. The Princess of Gerace happened to be at Casal Nuovo at the time of the earthquake, and perished with many thousands on the occasion. To the south my host pointed to the highest mountain, Aspromonte, and said that all their calamities arose from that central point. They would be safe if a volcano would burst out there, and give ease to the throes of the earth, letting off gases or pent-up air, to which he ascribed these disasters. This was the opinion of one who had watched for half a century the shocks to which they were constantly subject, and this man, abnormis sapiens, may not be far from the truth. Sir W. Hamilton places the focus of the earthquake of 1783 at Oppido, a village

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