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figure of some animal. This is, no doubt, the Mormon, or Lupus, handed down from ancient times. To stop the cries of the child, the nurses used to threaten to give it up to the wolf. You may recollect the fable of AEsop, entitled the “Old Woman and the Wolf.” She says: “Cease your crying; if you don't, this very moment, I shall give you up to the wolf.” At Capo di Monte, the nurse made it assume the form of a bird; here again we have the “strix,” the horned owl, of which Ovid (Fast. vi. 135) says:
Nocte volant, puerosque petunt nutricis egentes.
“They fly by night, and search for children requiring the assistance of their nurse.” They frighten children, also, with the Marramao or Parasacco–malicious demons, to whom they threaten to give them up. It was in conversation on such subjects that several hours passed pleasantly enough ; but what has delighted me most is a discovery which I have accidentally made on a classical subject. Our conversation happened to turn on the fig-tree, and I inquired if he had ever heard of double figs... I find from the judge that they are by no means uncommon, being called Fich 'acchiette, or accocchiatelle. In Naples it seems that they are sold in the streets by people, who hawk them about, calling out, “accocchiatelle emmosce.” From his description they are the fruit of the ficus carica, of which I spoke before, as being a very fine species of the Cilento; they are split in two, and then two figs are squeezed together, with the skin of both figs outermost. They have a peculiar appearance when thus put together, being called by the Sicilians “chiappe di fichi,” from their resemblance to the “chiappé,” “breech.” Horace says (Sat. II. 2, 121):
tum pensilis uva secundas
“Then the dried grape hung up (in nets) and the walnut with the double fig furnished our desert.” Pliny also alludes to it (xx. 23, 2): Diocles hydropicis dedit allium in fico duplici ad evacuandam alvum—“Diocles administered to the dropsical garlic in the double fig to clear the bowels.” Of course that the fig has this effect on the bowels is a well-known fact. Cruquius, an old scholiast on Horace, gives bifida, “split,” as a synonym for duplex, which confirms what the judge stated. Palladius (R. R. 4, 10), who lived probably about A.D. 355, gives us the mode in which these figs were preserved. He says: Subinde ficus, sicut est divisa, vertatur, ut figorum coria siccentur, et pulpa tunc duplicatae in cistellis serventur aut loculis, quo genere Campania tota custodit—“Let the fig, when it has been split, be turned ever and anon, that the skins may be dried, and then let the pulps doubled be kept in small chests or boxes, in the manner in which they are kept by the whole of Campania.” This way of preserving the fig is so natural that it could scarcely fail to be handed down from generation to generation, the fruit being one of the most delightful, both in its fresh and preserved state, that this country produces. As it requires warmth, it does not grow in the Apennines, but along the coast, both on the western and
“For what reason is it that those are the most luscious of figs that are split in two halves, not those split up in many sections, nor those not split at all P. Is it because, from those that are split up in many sections, most of the sweetness has exhaled and evaporated with the juices? and in those closed there is too much juice, because it is not drawn off by evaporation; whereas those, on the other hand, split, but not into many pieces, do not suffer from either of these effects.” I do not doubt that we have thus, in the days of Aristotle, the same custom in regard to the preservation of figs that still prevails here; and as to the “pensilis uva” of Horace, I never enter a locanda in this quarter of Italy without seeing the net suspended to the roof containing dried grapes or raisins.
Figs are still used by the epicure to produce the diseased enlargement of the liver, which was considered so great a delicacy by the Romans. It was called Ficatum, and curiously enough the Italian word for liver is fegato, evidently a corruption of the old Latin word ficatum.
Horace (Sat. ii. 8, 88) says:
Pinguibus et ficis pastum jecur anseris albae.
Of course we have still here the ficedula feeding on the fig as of old, now called the “beccañco,” the “fig-pecker,” a tiny bird of most exquisite flavour, as I have often found at Naples; so small, indeed, and with such soft bones, that the whole is masticated without difficulty. I know not whether any other bird can be so completely eaten; but Aulus Gellius (xv. 8), who lived from about A.D. 117 to A.D. 180, says on this point: Praefecti popinae atque luxuriae negant, ullam avem, praeter ficedulam, totam comesse oportere—“The superintendents of eating-houses and luxurious entertainments affirm that no bird ought to be eaten entirely except the beccafico.” The Neapolitans still call this bird focetola in their dialect, a very slight change from ficedula. I was struck by a remark which the judge made to his son-in-law, respecting a friend, of whom they were speaking. He said, “A mangiato di pane con loglio”—“he has eaten bread mixed with darnel,” and by that he meant that he was melancolico, a little cracked in the head. I found that they have an idea that this effect is caused by eating bread which has been so mixed. It is the infelix lolium of Virgil (Georg. i. 154), and may possibly explain the use of infelix as applied to lolium. Ovid (Fast. i. 691) speaks of it as injurious to the eyes, and Plautus (Mil. Glor. ii. 3,50), who lived about B.o. 200, speaks
of a man “qui victitat lolio”—“who lives on the darnel,” and thereb became “luscitiosus”—“dim-sighted;” but the judge knew of no suc effects resulting from eating darnel. I was sorry to part with my good friend and his family. . The judge was full of intelligence on many subjects—as fine a specimen of the well-informed Italian gentleman as could be found; but still he was a proof of the truth of what Voltaire remarks (Essai sur les Moeurs, ch. lxxxii.)—Tout homme est formé par son siècle; bien peus'élèvent au-dessus des moeurs des temps—“Every man is the creature of the age in which he lives; very few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their times.” He could not get rid of some of the superstitious notions of those among whom he lived; but referring to Lo Monaco, who, I had tried to convince him, must be making a fool of the whole proVince, he said solemnly as we parted, Domenaddio non pagalo Sabbato -“The Lord God does not pay his accounts every Saturday-night,” a very expressive proverb, which the Italians use when they mean that God is laying up in his remembrance the iniquities of a man, whom he will by-and-by pay with accumulated interest. He might have quoted his countryman Horace (Od. iii. 2, 31) for the same idea:
Raro antecedentem scelestum
I need not tell you, who are so well acquainted with the various phases of human nature, that it is dangerous for a layman to poach on ecclesiastical preserves. Lo Monaco had, indeed, taken a true gauge of the superstitious nature of the lower orders of his countrymen, but he had forgotten that he had to contend with a large corporation like the Roman Church, that would not allow itself to be thus brought into ridicule with impunity. Not many miles distant were the monks of St. Biagio, who had from time immemorial been imposing upon the people in the same way, and we may imagine the dismay that they felt when they heard of the success which was attending Lo Monaco's miracle. I do not doubt that they made serious representations at Rome on the impropriety of allowing a layman to interfere in a matter which belonged more peculiarly to the Church, and you will hear hereafter of the close of the farce. It is difficult to conceive what object Lo Monaco could have had in organising the fraud he was perpetrating; it was possibly a mere love of notoriety which suggested it to him, or it might have been an intention to throw ridicule on the mummeries which were going on around him. If so, he found it a losing game to play.
You have heard that I was detained at Scalea yesterday by the unfavourable state of the weather. Towards evening there seemed some prospects of a change, and it was agreed that I should be called by one of the boatmen, if they determined to start. I merely threw myself on the top of my bed, ready to move at a moment's notice. Accordingly, a little after midnight I was roused, and proceeded at once to the house of the captain of the guard, under whose command, as the boat was carrying government despatches, it was placed. The house was in sad confusion. However, I was received with civility, and waited with patience till everything was got ready. It was evident that the wife of the captain and his family thought his departure for a few days a sad event, and attended by great dangers. His wife was in tears, and clung to his neck in unfeigned grief. I was not sorry when the last sounds of her voice rung in my ear, bearing buono viaggio, repeated for the fiftieth time.
It was a beautiful and calm night, lighted only by the stars of heaven rolling in their appointed course above us. All was silent, except the regular and measured sound of the oars as they propelled us forward, or when the boatmen beguiled their labour by joining in some wild and melancholy air of their country. The effect must have been striking to those, if any such there were, who happened to be passing along the shore. The music was of a wilder and bolder strain than that which I have ever heard in the vicinity of Venice or along the coasts of the Adriatic; and when the whole joined in chorus, the sound came back to us re-echoed from the shore. These men were scarcely conscious of fatigue, as they rowed to music. Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness.
A merry heart goes all the day,
is the wise observation of Shakspeare. But you must not suppose that this was all unalloyed pleasure, as I had many sublunary pains, which
were only too apt to occupy my attention. The boat was of small
dimensions, and though we tried to accommodate each other as far as possible, still we were sadly hampered. As the dawn approached it be. came intensely cold, and as my dress was suited for the heat of mid-day, you can believe that I found it little protection at this hour. Still time passed on, and the sun at last rose, shaded slightly by the mists of the night, though its appearance predicted that cold was not that of which we should have long to complain. I could not help thinking of the beautiful description by Dante (Purgatorio, xxx. 22) of the rising sun;
Iovidi già nel cominciar del giorno
E la faccia del sol nascere ombrata,
“Oft have I seen at break of day the eastern sky clad in roseate hues, and the rest of heaven one deep beautiful serene; while the sun's disk at rising, shaded by the mists, could be viewed with steady gaze.”
It was indeed such a morning as that which suggested Dante's description, but a short time served to dissipate the roseate hues, and the unclouded splendour of the sun threatened soon to drive away all the fancies of the poet. There was a slight swell from the south-west, which proved an annoyance to our captain, whose acquaintance with the sea was of a very limited kind, and I observed that he cast many a longing look to the land. At last he directed that the boat should be turned to the shore, and proposed that we should walk along the coast, that he might have some respite from his sufferings. The air was still cool, and though every step sunk deeply into the sand, the change was not unpleasant. It had, however, nearly brought our forward movements to a speedy close, as we fell in with a party of custom-house officers, who regarded us with much suspicion. I kept in the background, leaving the captain to fight his own battle, and amused to see a government officer, who was a man of importance at Scalea, sink a few miles from it into a suspicious character. They asserted that, however he might have a right to pass along in his boat, his papers showed no permission to walk along the coast; and as both parties began to get warm on the subject, I was afraid that I should get involved in an absurd quarrel, My appearance at last attracted attention, and, to prevent any unnecessary rudeness, I presented my passport, which completely changed their demeanour towards us. They pressed me strongly to accompany them to their village, called Belvedere, about three miles from the coast, and which they assured me was one of the most beautiful spots in Italy, as its name implied. I saw, however, that the captain did not relish this proposal, as my name was entered in his papers, and he would have to give an account of me when he reached Paola. One of the officers offered to remedy this matter by inserting a statement in his papers that I had left at Belvedere. Still I saw that the captain might get into difficulties with the authorities, who might imagine that I had been cast into the sea, and I did not think it a gentlemanly act to throw any suspicions on my friend the captain. The civility of these people may be partly explained from the circumstance of a considerable traffic in raisins being at one time carried on with England, though it has ceased, chiefly, I believe, from the Ionian Islands having come into our possession, from which we derive a large proportion of that article. Wherever there has been intercourse with England, you are sure to be treated with respect, though they may try to overcharge and plunder you. After we had walked several miles the sun began to be too oppressive, and we then had recourse to the boat. The mountains appeared rising to a great height in the interior. The loftiest is called Mondea (query Montium Dea), and from its top I am told that the - F 2