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smell from this weltering mass around me would have been overpowering. It is only a continuation of an ancient custom.
Da mihi thura, puer, pingues facientia flammas.
“Boy, give me frankincense sending forth odoriferous flames.”
Even so far back as the times of Homer, probably about B.C. 1184, we find frankincense used, so that we may imagine that the priests had a sufficient reason for the practice, and I do not doubt that it was to overcome the disagreeable smells that ill-washed and filthy bodies give forth in a hot climate. Homer (Il. viii. 48) calls the altar, ev#ets, perfumed with incense.
The altar was lighted up with a profusion of wax-lights and lamps in beautiful figures, as is always the case on grand occasions. What can be the meaning of this? Are we to go for its explanation to Plato, one of the chief Athenian comic poets, who flourished from B.C. 428 to B.C. 389, and who says (Athenaeus, x. 442),
“Evil spirits love not the smell of lamps.” We know that evil spirits are one of the bugbears of the Italians, and it is not unlikely that they have on this account continued a custom which they found prevailing in Pagan times. The congregation consisted principally of women, and what astonished me was the small number of the more respectable class. The men seemed to be principally peasants, but the cause of this was afterwards satisfactorily explained. At the close of the service the bishop began a discourse on the merits of some saint, in whom I did not feel sufficient interest to induce me to remain, more particularly as I had still to search for my night's lodgings, I slipped away as quietly as I could, and proceeded to wait on the syndic, though I expected to have found him at church. He received me with the utmost kindness, and at once requested that I would do him the honour to spend the night in his house, promising next morning to accompany me to the ruins of Terina. It was soon noised abroad that an Englishman had arrived, when all the principal inhabitants did me the honour to wait on me, and I found myself again transformed into a personage of great importance. No British subject had ever set foot within their territory in the memory of man, and it was not, therefore, surprising that I should be an object of curiosity. • I found the syndic and all the respectable inhabitants in great oxcitement against the bishop and the ecclesiastical authorities, of whom they spoke in most disrespectful terms. It was the power of bearing arms that had created the turmoil, and it arose in this way. The syndic and his council had been directed to make out a list of those whom they considered trustworthy, which had been sent to the royal governor of the province. He had referred it to the ecclesiastical authorities, with orders to purge it of all who had been legionarii soldati, “soldiers in the army of Murat,” carbonari, settari, “sectaries”—all, in fact, who had a black mark against their name for any political delinquency. They had only got the list lately returned, and you may imagine their great indignation when they found fifty of the richest and most influential men excluded, and none left except the poorest. . They could scarcely credit their eyes, and were still more confounded when they found the syndic's name scored out. Here was the bishop to-day, and they ought to proceed to church to make confession, but they declared, as they were already under the suspicion of government, and arising principally from the information furnished by the bishop, they were resolved to set him at defiance, and had absented themselves from confession, as they did not think that they could be worse in the eyes of government than they were.
They had appointed no schoolmaster at Nocera because they could not find an individual among the clergy fit for the situation, and it was needless to fix upon a layman, as he was always rejected by the secret influence of the clergy. This little village was very much in a state of petty insurrection, and spoke in no measured terms against the government and its authorities.
In the evening I paid a visit to the Capuchin monastery, and was introduced to an aged monk who had spent upwards of sixty years at this retired spot. He was regarded by the inhabitants as a learned astronomer, and the poor old man was kind enough to give me a lecture on the solar system, with which I could have very well dispensed; politeness to himself and friends induced me to express myself much gratified. I was not, however, sorry to get away, and, on my return to the house of my host, found a good supper prepared, chiefly of fish in various forms. I found that the river Savuto was a good fishing stream, and my host was addicted to the gentle craft, though he did not dare to penetrate far into the country, on account of its dangerous state. Mullets of a good size are caught at its mouth, and sword-fish in the months of July and August, with a kind of net which they call “indovinola.” We had a small fish —minuselle—which, though tiny in form, were of exquisite flavour. We had also a dish of quails, which are sometimes caught in great numbers at this period of the year. They call it “quail fishing.” The peasantry kill large quantities of eels and trout in the mountain streams with lime, or with the juice of certain plants, “sugo di certe piancelle,” which have the effect of stupifying them.
There must have been an ancient city Nuceria, but whether this is the site may be doubtful, as I could hear of no remains in the immediate vicinity. The ruins of what is considered Terina are some three miles distant. Nuceria is not mentioned by any ancient author, though its existence is clearly established by its coins, which have the Greek inscription Noy KPINQN. They have on the obverse a head of Apollo crowned with laurel, and on the reverse a lion's head. The coins of Terina have the same figures. As I could hear of no other ruins, I am inclined to think that it may be the same city under different names. Time passed pleasantly in such conversation, and it was long past midnight before we parted.
WHATEvER may be the vices of the Italians, I think you will allow that they are not deficient in hospitality and kindness to strangers. I should be inclined to say that their virtues were their own, and that the defects of their character were mainly caused by their system of government. . Everything is done to repress their energies and to keep their minds in an obscure twilight, not altogether forbidding the cultivation of their intellect, but preventing, as far as possible, all benefit to be derived from mental pursuits. The clergy and the lawyers are the two classes that monopolise whatever learning is possessed by the nation. The interests of the former are intimately bound up with the maintenance of the power of the present royal family, and of course the distribution of patronage must secure the allegiance of a considerable portion of the latter. Still it was found, in the late attempts to establish a more liberal form of government, that the lawyers were by no means unwilling to have a wider arena for the display of their talents, and many of them were able members of the House of Deputies. On the other hand, the clergy were, with few exceptions, opposed to change, dreading lest the remnant of their property left by the French should be confiscated. I can perceive, by the tone of conversation held by the various classes, that the clergy have lost the respect of the educated part of the community, and that whatever calamities befal them will not be regretted. While I was at Naples, I made myself acquainted with the university course of study, and in that course nothing was left out that could be desired. Theology, jurisprudence, moral philosophy, literature, medicine, natural philosophy, and mathematics, were all on the programme; all these chairs were worthily represented; but when I began to inquire when and where the lectures were delivered, I saw that my inquiry was considered an impertinence, and that most of the programme was a mere myth. Jurisprudence and its concomitant subjects might lead the youth of Naples to debate on the various forms of political government, and what might not result from such a discussion ? Yet Greek and Latin occupied a large portion of time, and some were malicious enough to maintain that this was done not without due calculation. In devoting so much time to the study of the classical languages, it was thought that they would serve as a sort of bugbear to frighten the youth from entering upon a course of study which was so indefinitely prolonged.
I left Nocera at an early hour this morning with my friendly host, and proceeded down the banks of the Savuto, passing groves of mulberries, which were growing in great abundance. Nocera had at one time been the seat of a considerable manufacture of silk; like everything else in the kingdom, it had dwindled to nothing. The ruins of the ancient city Terina are found about three miles from Nocera, close to the sea, at a spot called Torre del Piano. It had been placed at the extreme point of a hill, which has the appearance of having been levelled by artificial means; little, however, remains of the ancient city, except a few bricks scattered here and there, and the foundations of some buildings. The aqueduct, which had conveyed water to it from the Savuto, is still seen in some parts in tolerable preservation. This city must have been of considerable importance, as it gave name to the gulf on which it stood; which fact we learn from Thucydides (vi. 104), who tells us that Gylippus the Lacedaemonian, B.C. 413, was driven into it by adverse winds from the coast of Sicily. Strabo (vi. 255) informs us that it was destroyed by Hannibal when he found that he could no longer retain it; and it probably never recovered from this blow, though it is mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy. I met several shepherds at breakfast on excellent curds, and I was not sorry to partake of their hospitality. I bought a few coins and terracotta figures that had been found in this vicinity. The variety and beauty of the silver coins of Terina prove the importance of the town, and belong, for the most part, to the best period of Greek art. There is usually a winged female figure on the reverse, which is probably intended for the Siren Ligeia, who is reported to have been buried on a rocky islet, which was pointed out to me, and is known as Pietra della Nave. The Rivale, a rivulet which flows into the sea opposite, is thought to be the Ares of Lycophron (v. 730). I parted from my host amidst the ruins of Terina, and proceeded with a guide on my way to Nicastro. Our direct road would have been across the mountains and through the country which I had avoided yesterday; the longer and safer course was preferable. The ridge of the Apennines runs along about a mile from the shore, rising to no considerable height, and wooded to the summit. After walking a few miles, I was surprised to come upon a house whose neat and comfortable look was a striking contrast to the uninhabited appearance of the coast around. With us it would have been an unpardonable rudeness to have intruded on a gentleman to whom you had no introduction; strangers, however, are so seldom seen on this remote coast, that I did not doubt of a favourable reception. On approaching the house, which was surrounded by many of those plants which only grow with us under protection, I was met by two young ladies, whose manners at once showed that they had been accustomed to what the world calls good society. You may imagine how much surprised they were at my appearance, and still more so when I addressed them in French, and inquired for their father. They invited me into the house, and their father, Don Michele Procida, soon afterwards came forward, and, on entering into conversation with them, I found that they had resided a considerable time in France. He has a large property here, which he visits occasionally with his family, spending the greater part of his time at Naples. They had never heard of any one travelling through Calabria in the unprotected state in which I have been proceeding, and they could scarcely imagine it possible that I could have escaped. The old gentleman pressed me to pass the remainder of the day with him, and the young ladies joined their entreaties with such hearty good will, that, I do assure you, it required all my natural stoicism to keep to my original intentions. I feel, however, the heat increasing every day, and I am anxious to get my face turned towards the north. With unfeigned regret, therefore, I bade them farewell, and proceeded on my course along the coast. No words can describe to you its desolate appearance, and the reflexion of the sun's rays from the heated sand gave me some idea of the difficulties of travelling in the deserts of Africa. For a distance of upwards of ten miles we passed only a single house, and here we were able to procure a flask of miserable wine. It was a large and gloomy building, strongly barricaded, in which I should have been sorry to pass the night, and as we entered its massive gateway I was surprised to find it occupied by a party of men deeply engaged in conversation. They started up hastily, and waited in silence to hear an explanation of my intrusion. Their glances towards me were fierce and forbidding, and, had I known that the house was honoured with such company, I should have been willing to endure my thirst a little longer. My guide had told me that the landlord sold wine, and I accordingly called for some, which I drank without sitting down, and at once proceeded on my journey. My guide said they were “genti del coltello,” “genti cattive”—in other words, cut-throats or brigands—and I confess that I threw behind me many a fearful glance as I hurried along; but I saw no more of them. I believe that they were a good specimen of the Calabrese peasant; they were of the middle size, well proportioned, and very muscular. Their complexion was swarthy, their features strongly marked, and their eyes full of fire and expression. They were fully armed, and might easily have made me their prey. After a few more miles the ridge of the Apennines ended abruptly, and an extensive plain stretched before me. The isthmus, which separates the two seas here, is narrow, being not much more than thirty miles, and it is said that Dionysius the elder proosed to erect a fortification across to defend the southern part of Italy from the wild Bruttians; the Greek cities, however, were unwilling that this should be done, and Dionysius was obliged to abandon his proposed
We now left the coast, and proceeded into the interior, reaching the small village of S. Biagio, which is celebrated for its sulphureous waters, considered a cure for many diseases. Here I wished to dine, but there was no locanda. The shopkeeper, however, of the village undertook to furnish me with dinner, and I tried to get some rest by stretching myself on a hard bench. Meanwhile the inhabitants collected round the door, and jostled each other to get a peep at me. To think of sleep was useless, unless I could eject a large body of the inhabitants, who showed much anxiety to question me on many points respecting England. The Thames Tunnel they had heard of, and that seemed to give them a higher idea of the power and riches of England than any fact in her history with which they were acquainted. One classical gentleman exclaimed that it surpassed any work which their Roman ancestors had executed, and that nothing which the Greeks had done could be at all compared with it, ranking, he said, with the Pyramids of Egypt.
The hills round Nicastro, from which I found that I was distant only two miles, are covered with immense groves of olive-trees, and the balsamic odours which were exhaled from the orange and lemon trees in this neighbourhood, might have led me to believe that I had come upon “Araby the blest.” The olives rise to the height of forest-trees, but the