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THESE letters, addressed to my relative, Mr. Morris Charles Jones, of Gungrog, originally formed a diary, which was written on my return from the Continent in 1828, from very full notes kept on my journey from day to day. In the cares and anxieties of life these early days had passed from my recollection, till my friend, to whom they are addressed, who takes a deep interest in the awakening of Italy from its long slumber of death, reminded me that I had made such a tour, and requested that I would give him the impression made on my mind by its people, and an account of what I saw of its ancient remains. I referred to my old diary, and found a fascinating interest in fighting over again those battles long gone by with brigands and public authorities, often doubtful which of them was most harassing to an inoffensive traveller. At that time I found Italy in a restless, dissatisfied state, which culminated at last, after many years of patient suffering, in throwing off the iron yoke of the Bourbons. After my return I was prevented from publishing any notes of my tour by the fear that some inadvertent expression might draw the attention of a suspicious government to some kind friend, who had received me with hospitality, and poured his grievances into my ear. Circumstances are now changed. The Constitutionalists are in the ascendant, and the Bourbon party, I have no doubt, are learning a lesson, by suffering something of the same pangs and anxieties which they were then inflicting on their opponents. They will now be able to exclaim in the words of Virgil:
Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco.
There will be the same surveillance of the police going on, but it will be exercised towards the party who then reigned supreme. . Many years have passed since that time, but it is not likely that the people differ much from the state in which I found them : kind and hospitable to strangers —divided in political sentiments from each other—a good deal of jealousy between different parts of the country—the lower classes superstitious and devoted to the priests, the higher classes in general lovers of pleasure, though some of them highly educated. The brigands seem to have increased in numbers, though I found quite enough to make travelling somewhat exciting. Though I saw all that travellers usually visit in their tour, it is the by-ways of Italy that I shall alone touch upon. My object more particularly was to examine those sites which were seldom visited, and my thorough knowledge of the Italian language gave me advantages in passing through the country, which are seldom possessed. . I visited the site of all the ancient cities along the coast of Magna Graecia, from Locri to Tarentum; wandered along the banks of the river Galaesus, with its skin-covered sheep; looked over the waters of the Adriatic from the heights of the Iapygium Promontorium, now Capo di Leuca; strolled through the malaria-stricken streets of Brundusium; traversed the plains ..", B o
of the famed Cannae, respecting the locality of which battle I have formed a theory differing from all others; saw what is called the house of the poet Horace at Venusia; drank from the fountain of Bandusia, at Palazzo ; ascended the steep slopes of Mons Vultur; stood on the brink of the Lacus Ampsanctus, near Frigento, so well known to readers of Virgil; sauntered through the Caudine Forks; meditated on the ruins of Scipio's tomb, at Liternum; cracked the filberts of Avella—the nuces Avellanae; traced the camp of Hannibal, on Mons Tifata; tasted the olive oil of Venafrum; traversed the wild lands of Samnium, the modern Abruzzi; got glorious on the wine of Horace's Sabine farm, though it is only the “vile Sabinum;” looked across the Campagna di Roma from the summit of Mons Lucretilis; visited the ruins of Corese, the ancient Cures of Numa Pompilius; drove out with the late Sir William Gell to the lake of Cutiliae, with its floating islands; saw in the distance Monte Carno, or il gran sasso d'Italia—the great rock of Italy—10,154 feet high; and, I may conclude with saying, every celebrated spot in Etruria and Umbria. The ancient history of these places I have scarcely alluded to, except where it seems necessary for the illustration of what I am describing. All that I have proposed to do is to give the state of the ruins of the ancient cities as they were presented to my eyes at the time I visited them, enlivened by the personal adventures that occurred in my solitary rambles. The course I pursued was from Naples down the western coast, till I reached the pass leading over the southern Apennines to Gerace, in the neighbourhood of which stand the ruins of Locri; and the subsequent parts of my tour will be developed as I proceed.
I HAVE got safely to the end of my first day's journey, and, when I tell you all the fatigues I have undergone, I dare say you will allow that I am pretty well seasoned for the tour I have undertaken. Last night Sir Henry Lushington gave a ball to the fashionables of Naples, and it was three before everything was quiet. As I had resolved to start at four, I had many little arrangements to make which I had not been able to overtake. About four I got into an open cabriolet, much of the same description as the old cabs you may have seen im Ilondon, but of a more picturesque form. The gaudy trappings and the gayness of the colours seem to harmonise with the beauty with which Nature has clothed herself here. You know that Naples stands at one corner of an extensive bay, and that at the opposite side rises a ridge of mountains of considerable height, which gradually sink down to a point opposite to a small island called Capri, celebrated as the spot where the Emperor Tiberius spent many of his last years. It was towards this ridge that m journey was first directed, and nothing could exceed the beauty of the scene, when the streaks of early light shot from behind the distant Apennines. , Long ere the sun's rays could reach me, they had tinged with a purple hue the lofty peaks of these mountains, and gradually the picturesque island of Capri became illuminated. The bay lay unruffled before me, thickly studded with tiny boats, whose lateen sails were unfurled, ready to receive the morning breeze. Vesuvius rose by my side, still exhibiting proofs of its late commotions in the smoke that issued ever and