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which I believe to have been situated at the Capo di Leuca. It was said to be adorned with columns and sculptures. Its entrance at once convinced me that to suppose a temple in such a spot was absurd, and I was prepared to find a cave with some stalactites, such as constantly occur in limestone rocks; but the miserable lamp, which was all that I could procure, would have rendered it impossible to make a satisfactory examination, while the slippery nature of the rock, with the slight ledge to save me from a watery grave, made me give up the attempt. I heard afterwards that this cave had a legend connected with some saint called Caesarea, who had taken refuge here. In it is a warm spring, said to be a specific for a variety of diseases.
WHEN I awoke next morning at Castro, in the hospitable house of the priest, I found myself very much in the state of one who had the rash of scarlet fever upon him. I do not believe that you could have placed a pin point on any part of my body which had not been bitten, and yet my fatigues had enabled me to sleep soundly during the whole attack. I felt feverish and uncomfortable when I got out of bed, but I went down to the shore and plunged into the sea, which was highly refreshing. I had passed along the shore last night in search of the cave, and now found—what I could indistinctly perceive at that time—that there was no spacious bay, such as Virgil describes, when he speaks of AEneas approaching Italy, and where the Temple of Minerva was seen. The coast is straight, with very slight indentations, and rises, as far as my eye could reach, to a considerable height, with ravines here and there, running down to the shore. I do not doubt, therefore, unless the poet has drawn an imaginary scene, that the Temple of Minerva was placed, as I have already stated, close to the point of De Leuca. Having satisfied my obliging host, I left Castro, and proceeded in the direction of Otranto, which my boyish recollections strongly associated with Horace Walpole's romance, “The Castle of Otranto.” The country was nearly of the same character as that which I had passed yesterday, and had no striking features to attract attention. We soon reached the small village of Waste, whose inhabitants were all astir. This is the ancient Basta, some of whose sepulchral monuments still remain, where vases and bronze ornaments had been found. They had also discovered an inscription, said to be in the Messapian dialect. I saw what seemed to be the remains of the ancient walls. The road for the last two days has been through an open country, interspersed with some copses of a jagged oak, dwarfish in appearance, and rendered so, I suspect, from exposure to the blasts from the sea during winter. As I approached Otranto, for which I looked anxiously, the landscape was less pleasing, from the quantity of dykes which divide the fields. Jn its immediate vicinity orange-trees began to appear, and the odour of the flowers is always delightful. There are many springs amidst laurel and citron groves, and the water in the wells is so near the surface—a very rare circumstance in this peninsula—that you can take it up with your hand. The city of Otranto lies low, and we were close to it before it was visible. I was, of course, disappointed to find no such castle as Horace Walpole describes, and my imagination has been disabused of all the wonders with which he had invested his description, though the castle is the most picturesque object in the city. Its walls are massive, and there are two large circular towers, which were added by Charles V. In the streets and on the parapets you see several enormous cannon-balls of granite, which had been fired into the city, A.D. 1480, by the Turks, when they took possession of Otranto, and filled all Christendom with terror and amazement. At that time there were twenty thousand inhabitants, of whom twelve thousand were massacred, and many were reduced to slavery.
Alphonso, son of Ferdinand, caused two hundred and forty of the bodies to be transported to Naples, where he placed them in the vaults of the church of St. Catherine, in Formello. The following inscription is found there:
SUB HOC ALTARE CONDITA SUNT OSSA
Otranto is a city of some importance, chiefly as the port from which travellers usually embark for the Ionian Islands. There is a packet-boat regularly every fortnight to Corfu, and on that account I found the hotel by far the most respectable since I left Naples. On entering, I was not a little pleased to find an officer of the 90th, as I had not seen the face of a countryman, or spoken a word of English, for upwards of a month. I was amused to find that he did not recognise me, and I was not surprised, as my dress had none of the usual neatness that we generally assume, and my appearance was altogether Italian. Besides, I was carrying on a fluent conversation with the servants in the native language, when, to his astonishment, I addressed him in English. I found that he had had a narrow escape of being detained here for ten days, from his passport not being countersigned by the English authorities at Naples. He was on his way to join his regiment at Corfu, and on leaving the kingdom of Naples it requires such a signature. Luckily, the secretary of Sir F. Adams—the governor of the Ionian Islands—was on board the packetboat, and through his interference he was relieved from his difficulties; otherwise he would have been detained at Otranto till he received a passport from Naples; and though the distance is only about two hundred miles, which would be passed in England in four-and-twenty hours, here it would have taken not less than ten days. I understand that the Neapolitan government is in great dread of any information respecting the progress of the Greek revolution being communicated to its subjects, except what it pleases to dole out in the Journal of the Two Sicilies, and that is confined to a very meagre account of the chief events. You will be amused to hear that they are fraid of General Church landing on the eastern coast with a body of Greeks, to proclaim I know not what. Orders have been given to put in repair all the fortified towns along the coast, and efforts are now making to place them in a state of defence. Some of the authorities, in their wisdom, suspect me to be an agent of General Church, taking a survey of the country with the view of a speedy invasion. I only laugh at their suspicions, and pretend to be blind to their surveillance. It is difficult to conceive anything more absurd than an expedition of the Greeks to conquer independence for others, before they have achieved their own. After seeing my countryman on board the boat, I proceeded to examine what ancient remains there were of Hydruntum, which was on the site of Otranto. The modern city seems to be built within the precincts of the ancient fortress, while Hydruntum in former times extended up the hill about half a mile towards a place called La Spezieria Vecchia, where the inhabitants are foolish enough to believe the ancients kept their medicines. It is evidently a fountain cut in the rock, which has long been dried up. I visited the church of St. Basilio, regarded as an ancient temple, but there is nothing visible to prove its right to a remote antiquity. Within the walls of the present city I could discover no ancient remains, except a few marble columns in the soccorpo of the cathedral, which are supposed to have belonged to a Temple of Minerva. Of Gothic architecture, it possesses several green marble pillars mixed with granite pillars, which are said to have been transferred from this Temple of Minerva, situated where there is a chapel to S. Nicolo, a little distance from Otranto; but they are spoiled by having stucco capitals adapted to them; its pavement is what is called Saracenic mosaic, composed of pieces of serpentine, porphyry, and cubes of gilt glass, which have been formed into rude representations of animals, among whom are seen monkeys sitting on branches of trees. In a chapel you are shown the bones of seven hundred of the natives of this town, who were massacred in 1480 by the Turks, and the superstitious regard them with equal veneration as they do the reliques of the ancient martyrs.
In ancient times the city was of some importance, as being the nearest part of Italy to the coast of Greece. In the year B.C. 191 (Liv., xxxvi. 21), it is mentioned as the usual place of landing for those coming from Greece, and crossing from Corcyra, the very island to which the officer of the 90th was on his way. The distance given by Pliny (iii. 16, 2) across the entrance of the Adriatic to Apollonia on the opposite coast, is fifty miles, which is correct enough. I saw the mountains of Epirus still more plainly than I did at Capo di Leuce. This was one of the last cities in the south of Italy which remained in the hands of the Greek emperors, from whom it was not finally taken till the eleventh century. Otranto gave a title to Fouché, Napoleon's minister of police. Its population is somewhere about five thousand. The “avius Hydrus” of Lucan (v. 375), now Idro, has at this period of the year so little water, that it is scarcely noticeable, but it falls into the small port, which affords good shelter for vessels of a hundred and fifty tons, when the wind is south or south-west, while a northerly wind blows straight into it. When I looked at the wide extent of sea before me, I could scarcely imagine how Pyrrhus could have entertained the project of joining Hydruntum to Apollonia by a bridge of boats, though Pliny tells us that this was the case. . As my intention is to proceed to Brindisi, the ancient Brundusium, which you will find about fifty miles along the coast, I had to consider in what direction I should approach it. Coastways, I was told, the roads were much the same as what I had passed for the last two days, and that I should have difficulty in procuring accommodation for the night; whereas if I proceeded to Lecce, I should have an excellent road and a good hotel. I might easily reach Brindisi the following day. This, therefore, is the course I have chosen, though, if I had anticipated the annoyance from the public authorities I received at Lecce, I should have preferred to have faced both the fatigues and even dangers of a coast journey to the trammels of the police.
The road was good, though the heat was great, and it was nearly sunset before I got over five-and-twenty miles, which is the distance to Lecce, the capital city of this province. On leaving Otranto, the road passes over an uncultivated waste, with nothing on it but a kind of holm oak, on which grows a scarlet berry, and from which they strip the leaves in winter to feed their cattle. Close to and communicating with the sea was a large lake, called Alimeni, which is said to abound with exeellent fish and eels, some of which I had enjoyed at breakfast. I saw nothing interesting till I reached the vicinity of Lecce, when I passed several respectable people, who were picking up something on whe side of the road and dropping it into baskets. I inquired what they were doing, and found that they were collecting a particular kind of snail to make soup, which they consider a great delicacy. I had witnessed the operation of boiling them, but I have never yet mustered courage to taste what appeared to me an abominable dish. Yet this is mere prejudice, and if I could taste it before I knew of what it was made, I am told that I should not dislike it. I found Lecce a large town, containing about fifteen thousand inhabitants, fortified by walls, in rather a ruinous state, and ditches, being defended by a castle or citadel. It is a wellbuilt town, having wide and regular streets, very uncommon in this part of the world, and many rather handsome buildings. It is evidently an active commercial town, and I found that it had manufactures of woollen, cotton, and silk goods, besides oil and wine. The hotel is respectable. though not particularly clean. While I was seated at supper in a private apartment, I was much annoyed by the servant showing in, without my permission, a person who said he was living in the hotel, and, hearing that a stranger had arrived, he had come to pay his respects. I was much inclined to request that he would retire, and in a short time was greatly inclined to kick him out, as, from his conversation, I considered him a police spy. He told me that he had been in trouble on account of his liberal sentiments, and pretended to speak violently against the government. I told him that I was a mere traveller, and took no part in the politics of his country, nor did I wish to become acquainted with any such matters. He then introduced the affairs of Greece, and as such a question seemed in my eyes in no way connected with the Neapolitans, I considered myself at liberty to express the opinions of every British subject on the question, which was, that we trusted they would be successful in achieving their independence from the Turks. At last, however, I could endure him no longer, and requested that he would retire; but I suspect the fellow, and shall not be surprised if he occasion me trouble.
Lecce is believed to be the site of the ancient Lupiae or Sybaris, and is well known to classical scholars as the spot where Augustus resided for some days after his return to Italy, on hearing of the murder of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, B. c. 44 (Appian., c. b. iii. 10), not venturing to advance to Brundusium till he received fresh information from Rome. No ancient remains are now visible, nor, indeed, is there anything to interest a stranger, except, perhaps, the church of Santa Croce, which is not a bad specimen of architectural design. The cathedral has a wooden roof, richly carved and gilt. In the public square is an antique column, said to have been brought from Brundusium, and on the summit is Saint Oronzio, the patron saint of Lecce. Verrio, a native of Lecce, has adorned many of the churches with his paintings; he was employed in England, where his staircases and ceilings are much admired. One of the gates of Lecce is called Porta di Rugge, and this was to me the most interesting poiut connected with Lecce, as it led the way to the ancient Rhudiae, the birthplace of the celebrated poet Ennius. The “Calabrae Pierides” is well known to all readers of Horace (Od., iv. 8); while Ovid (A. A., iii. 409) speaks in the same high strain:
Ennius emeruit, Calabris in montibus ortus,
“Ennius, born among the mountains of the Calabri, has deserved to be placed next to thee, mighty Scipio !” I could not be in this vicinity without making a pilgrimage to the poet's birthplace. Having obtained a guide at the hotel, I was led a mile from the town to a spot covered with olive-trees, called Rugge. There are no ruins, but an inscription was found here speaking of “Municipes Rudini;” and we are led, therefore, to believe that we have here the native village of Ennius, though Ovid is mistaken in speaking of mountains, as there is nothing of the kind in this vicinity. There is no appearance of high land till you reach the neighbourhood of Manduria and Oria, and even there it is a misnomer to speak of mountains. Sepulchres, however, have been discovered here, containing bronze vases and other objects of antiquity, and I could not but look with interest on the spot where the Roman poet may have seen the light of day B.c. 239, from whom Virgil is believed to have borrowed many of his most beautiful thoughts. I had thus accomplished all that I cared to see at Lecce, and I felt inclined to wend my way at once to Brindisi; but as I had a letter for Cavaliere Cito, the royal governor, I thought that it would not be respectful to omit presenting it. If I had in the least suspected the reception I was to receive, I should have taken care to leave Lecce without delay. After calling several times I was admitted to an audience, when I presented my letter, upon which he begged to see my passport, which I produced. He then inquired in what direction I intended to proceed, and told me that he must place it on my passport. I knew that this was not the case, as I had succeeded in obtaining from the minister of the interior a passport which enabled me to pass through the kingdom without the signature of the authorities. It was a favour seldom granted, but I had obtained it, and every authority whom I had met had acknowledged my right. Cito, however, was resolute, and insisted that he should