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the expression which Virgil (AEn. vii. 740) uses respecting it, when you have once looked down from its heights:
Despectant maenia Abellae.
“The walls of Abella look down on the plains.”
Its cheese—ricotte—is still famed even in Naples, keeping up its former reputation for rich pastures, which are found on the hills behind. Silius Italicus, viii. 519, says:
Pascuaque haud tarde redeumtia tondet Abella.
“Avella clips its flocks, returning early.” Its soil is still better fitted for fruit-trees than for grain. Our guide spoke of a cave called Grotta degli Sportiglioni, half a mile distant, which seems to produce, as far as we could make out from his description, either stalactites or petrifications, like the little stream at Suessola, which I mentioned a few days ago. The discovery of an inscription in the Oscan language has rendered Abella particularly famous, recording, if it has been properly deciphered, a treaty of alliance between the citizens of Abella and those of Nola. It is still found in the museum of the seminary at Nola, and has been illustrated by many antiquarians, but most completely by Lepsius and Mommsen. We proceeded forward through the plain towards Nola, which we found to be a large and flourishing city of ten thousand inhabitants. It occupies the site of the ancient city, though there are scarcely any remains now visible, with the exception of inscriptions, which are very numerous. We were lucky enough to be present at the excavating of an ancient sepulchre, which furnished some beautiful specimens of painted Greek vases. I confess, however, to be a little sceptical on this point, and to suspect that an attempt was made to hoax us, believing that the inhabitants keep a sepulchre prepared for strangers, to induce them to purchase these vases, which are manufactured in Nola for this very purpose. Of course we did not let our suspicions be known, but the vases remained in their hands for some other travellers, more simple or less suspicious than we were. There can, however, be no doubt that immense numbers of these vases have been discovered here; you may see specimens of them in every museum of Europe, and it is a subject of dispute among antiquarians whether they were of native workmanship or imported from some other quarter. The most important event possibly mentioned in its ancient history is, that Augustus died here A.D. 14, on his return from Beneventum, whither he had accompanied Tiberius, and from thence to Bovillae his funeral procession was attended by the senators of the cities through which it passed (Suet. Ang. 98, Tac. Ann. i. 5). In the middle ages it is celebrated as the town where the use of bells was first introduced in churches; whence the names of “nola” and “campana” were given to such bells, and the Italians still call a belfry “campanile.” You will be surprised that no difficulties were started by the police during the whole of this trip; it was, however, so evident that we were simple travellers, visiting the country for our amusement, without any political object, that even these suspicious officers did not think it necessary to interfere with us. You will inquire what is the impression I have
received from my intercourse with the inhabitants; it is that the government rests on a very insecure basis, and that the great mass of the intelligence of the country would gladly welcome a change. Everywhere I was questioned on political subjects, and had often great difficulty in steering clear of the pitfalls laid for me but then, whether they are fitted for a more liberal government, I confess to feel great doubts. There are, no doubt, well-educated men scattered through the country, but so far as I am able to judge they are “rari mantes in gurgite vasto.” The great mass of the lower orders cannot be otherwise than steeped in stolid ignorance, as no continuous efforts have been made to diffuse education. Laws may be made, and such laws do exist, as I have elsewhere said, but there is no attempt to put them into execution.
I AM going to devote this letter to some points in which I know that you take a special interest—the proceedings of the Jesuits, the various miracles that are constantly going on here, and some curious words which I picked up in the south of Italy. I find that the Jesuits are the favourites of government, and that every aid is given to place the education of the country in their hands. I received much attention from the heads of the body at Naples, only, I am aware, because they felt an interest in converting me to their faith, and when they failed, they told me, honestly enough, that it was not because I was not convinced, but because my temporal prospects would be injured by such a change. I could afford to laugh at these taunts, and continued to be always on good terms with them. I was amused in having a French work sent to me with the compliments of the rector of the Jesuit College, and a request that I would read it carefully, and tell him if it were not thoroughly convincing. On looking over it, you may imagine my surprise to find it written by Pierre de Joux, whom I had left French master of Dollar Institution, and whom I had a short time before met at Harviestoun, the house of Mr. Craufurd Tait, to whom Scotland is in a great measure” indebted for that first-rate educational establishment. I had left this French gentleman outwardly conforming to the Protestant religion, while he was taking notes for undermining it. The rector was surprised when I told him that I was personally acquainted with M. De Joux,t
* A sum of nearly 80,000l. was left by Mr. M'Nab, a native of Dollar, without stating distinctly in what way it was to be employed., The clergyman of the parish, the Reverend Mr. Watson, proposed that it should be laid out in the erection and support of a gigantic poor-house, or hospital; but this did not coincide with the enlightened views of Mr. Craufurd Tait, a large proprietor in the parish, who believed that such an erection would tend to pauperise the district, and prove a curse rather than a blessing. He succeeded, by opposition in the Court of Chancery, in delaying the settlement of the question till the death of the clergyman, when, by a judicious appointment to the vacant charge, of which he was patron, he was able to carry out the noble design which he had originally proposed. To Mr. Tait, therefore, Scotland is indebted for this celebrated institution, who thus became nearly as great a benefactor to his country as the original donor of the money.
i M. De Joux was a pleasant companion, and could suit himself to any com: pany into which he was thrown. He was born in 1752, in a small town at the and that I had not been so impressed by his intellectual and moral qualities as to induce me to believe that he possessed the power of throwing light on such difficult and abstruse questions. The Jesuits have increased within the space of three years upwards of five hundred, and have several establishments throughout the country. Their college at Naples seems to be conducted in an able, and I would say fair manner, if we allow that they are conscientious in the views they have adopted, however mistaken we may consider them to be. I have had several opportunities not only of examining the mode which they pursue in their schools, but also of hearing their opinion on education. On every subject they speak liberally, except on religion. Their establishment in Naples is extensive ; they have a college for the education of those intended to belong to their own sect, and these are trained, of course, in the straitest Catholicism ; besides, they have a seminary, where they teach five hundred boys gratis. Aware of the importance of moulding the budding mind, the Jesuits have always devoted their energies to get hold of the youth of a country, and the Pope has been ever ready to give them his assistance. There are seven professors in their external seminary, who are in general men well acquainted with their several departments, though ignorant of everything foreign to their particular subject. Their prefect is an excellent mathematician, zealous in his efforts to convert Protestants, having been successful, it is said, in the case of an old Frenchman. The prefect was one of Napoleon's artillery officers, and is well skilled in scholastic rhetoric, employing the Socratic method of entrapping the unwary with great dexterity. I should not require a better specimen of Jesuitical sophistry than an hour's conversation would afford you. He is the rector of their school, and having no class, merely overlooks the teachers. Their mode of teaching somewhat resembles the Lancasterian plan: a class is in two divisions, equal not only in number, but also, as nearly as possible, in talent. These divisions are severally called Romani and Carthaginienses, having regular trials of strength in presence of the master. Is it possible that the hostile feelings between these two nations should have been perpetuated from generation to generation, till it reaches the present day in the peaceful combats of the school? With us, games of French and English were common enough when I was at school. Each boy has a right of challenge, when he receives permission from the master, and sends a written paper, signed with his name, to his opponent, in the following words: Ego, A. B. lacesso C. D., die 6" Jul. Ludimag. K. N. If he be conquered, he adds Cedo tibi, and loses his place. The Roman division has the regular number of officers employed in the time of the republic, such as consuls, praetors, quaestors, and even dictator, with appropriate badges. The Carthaginians have officers peculiar to themselves. These large divisions are subdivided into decuriae, with a decurio at their head, whose business it is to note down on paper all the blunders made by each boy in his division, and to report his behaviour to the master at the end of each week. Each decurio is furnished with a ruled printed paper to receive the names of his pupils. The boys who have behaved to the satisfaction of the master during a month receive the following testimonial to show to their parents:
foot of the Alps, studied at Geneva, and at the age of eighteen it is said that the Marquis of Abercorn brought him over to England, where he studied theology. Then he proceeded to Bâle, where he studied Hebrew and the Oriental languages under Buxtorf and Herzog, being admitted to the ministry at the age of twentythree. After having for five years assisted the celebrated Count de Gébelin in his grand work, the “Monde Primitif,” and composed, under his direction, the “Dictionnaire des Origines Latines,” he worked with him at his “Origines Grecques” and “Histoire de la Parole.” Then for fourteen years he was the chief director of the second college of the Department of Leman, and next president “du Consistoire réuni de la Loire Inférieure et de la Vendée” for eleven years and a half. He was then rector of the University of Bremen, during which presidentship he published, in 1803, his “Prédication du Christianisme.” The work which was put into my hands was, from end to end, a panegyric of Catholic worship, popes, Jesuits, religious corporations, &c. The title of this work is: “Lettres sur l’Italie, considérée sous le Rapport de la Religion. Par M. Pierre de Joux, Membre de plusieurs Sociétés Savantes. 2 vols. Paris: 1825.” It was written for a young English nobleman, preceded by, as he describes it, “un précis apologétique des motifs qui en ont déterminé la publication, et qui expliquent mon retour sincére à la religion catholique, professée par mes ancétres.” In this introduction, which fills nearly fifty pages, he gives not a very flattering account of Scottish manners and customs. He died at Paris in October, 1825. His son, Jean Marc, was an Anglican clergyman in Mauritius. A list of his works is given in Messrs. Haag's “France Protestante.”
In collegio Neapol. Soc. Jes.,
A. B. Auditori,
Diligentiae et modestiae praemium,
A mense Maio ad mensem Iunium, Anno 1826.
Ludimagister—Riccadonna. When the boys have chosen their magistrates by ballot, those elected receive the following testimonial :
In collegio Neapol. Soc. Jesu,
Cesare Bevilacqua, Auditor,
In solemni magistratuum creatione renuntiatus est. Die 6° Jul.
Such are a few of the incitements to emulation which the Jesuits employ, and which seem to be successful in their zealous hands. I was admitted to a private exhibition of the rhetorical class, and was highly pleased with the manner in which it was conducted. The pupils read a number of themes in Latin, Greek, and Italian, on various subjects. There were several copies of verses, chiefly on religious subjects—to the Madonna, San Paolo, &c., and one on Milton in Greek verse. It is the custom at the end of each hour for the whole class to stand up and repeat a Latin prayer, being in all external ceremonies much more attentive than we are. It is said that the Jesuits are anxious to furnish such a programme of classes that they may occupy the place of the university; and when we recollect the tenacity of this celebrated society, and the consummate art with which they accommodate themselves to circumstances, I should not be surprised if they were to be successful.
I became very intimate with the Jesuits, and though they found me staunch to my principles, they were ready to admit me to any of their ceremonies which they thought I should be anxious to witness. You are aware that, in Catholic countries, Thursday before Easter, and Good Friday are kept with great ceremony. On those days Naples exhibits such a contrast to its usual noise and tumult, that you would think you had been suddenly transferred to some other part of the world. The lifepulse of this bustling town seems at once suspended; not a carriage is to be seen in its streets, and the quietness is even greater than is to be found in the streets of Edinburgh when the inhabitants are in the performance of their religious duties. The idea which possesses them is, that Our Saviour having gone down to the grave, we may very well go on foot— a greater mortification of the flesh than it would be to us in our temperate climate, as these people never walk. It is a custom, I believe, introduced by the Spaniards, who were so long in possession of the country; but they have contrived, with their characteristic levity, to turn what might have been an imposing Christian solemnity into a mere amusement and diversion. Under pretext of performing their devotions at seven churches, the whole population issue forth in their gala dresses into the Toledo, the principal street, which can now be traversed without danger. The streets here have no side pavements for foot passengers, so that on ordinary days you are every moment in risk of being knocked down by carriages of all kinds. The novelty of the situation gives a zest to the change; yet you could never discover by the looks and appearance of the crowd that they were engaged in the performance of a solemn duty. Friends meet, laugh and talk, as they would do in the corridor of San Carlo. Some of the higher classes adhere to the old Spanish custom of black dresses with long veils reaching to their feet. I was much struck with their elegant drapery, and thought that they appeared more in conformity with the occasion. The king, with his family, is seen walking quietly along the street to visit the seven churches, and no one crowds after him, as would be the case with us. I observe that the Jesuits, having only been lately restored, are trying to make their church as attractive as possible, and on all festive occasions exert themselves to outdo their neighbours by those clap-trap effects which the Catholic Church does not think beneath it, if it only excite public attention. Perhaps they understand human nature in this country better than we phlegmatic northerns do; at all events, in their church fêtes there is a great deal of theatrical effect, though it may be little else than tinsel. One of the most effective ceremonies that I ever witnessed is the lifting of the funereal veil which shrouds the cross and principal altar during the hours of darkness. On Easter-eve they contrive to make this symbolic ceremony particularly striking; and though I have seen it in several of their churches, the Jesuits carried off the palm. Their church is one of the largest in Naples; it is plunged in gloom and darkness, only made more perceptible by an occasional glimmer of light when some door is opened. The low and monotonous chant of appropriate litanies, by invisible beings from the depth of the naves, fell hollowly on the ear. Though you know it to be mere acting, the mind could not help being filled with awe, while reflecting on the mighty event in the world's history, which this was an attempt to represent. This continues till the moment that Christ is supposed to burst from the fetters of the tomb, when the veil is suddenly withdrawn, and all appears in a blaze of light, while joyful hallelujahs and the full-toned organ burst into loud acclaim. The bells send forth a merry peal, and salvos of cannon in