Imagens das páginas

up we entered the church of a large Franciscan monastery, near which are two or three fine cedar trees; the monks were in the choir behind the high altar, singing with all their might to a very scanty audience, composed of half a dozen old women, and a country boy, who stood in the middle of the church dangling his holiday hat, which was ornamented with gay flowers. As we approached the castle by a very rough path, we saw a figure moving along its walls, and peeping over at us occasionally; when we entered the court it came down to ask what we wanted; it was a poor shepherd boy, who told us that he was the keeper of those walls-il custode di quelle mure. Grandeur blush over thy fall! within these massy walls pride once reigned, and power tyrannized, and blood and tears bedewed thy soil-now a ragged shepherd lad calls himself your master, and no one disputes his title! A modern farm-house has been thrown up within the walls, but is now deserted and falling to ruin. We wandered over the dilapidated castle; we climbed over mouldering walls, and through roofless towers; we forced our way through low arched doorways, blocked up with rubbish, and threaded a number of long dark passages; we descended to some sad dungeons, one of which receives light by a narrow aperture, through which the wide sea is visible, but not a span of land; and through the loop-hole of another, not even the monotonous waves can be descried, and no object could reach the sorrowing eye of the inmate but a wheeling bird, or a passing cloud. Madame de Stael says in her Corinne, that classic Italy, in devotion to the remains of her glorious ages, seems to have scorned to preserve the ruins of the gothic edifices with I which she was traced in times less honourable: we have not her book at hand to quote her words, but we believe this is her idea: a pretty idea it is, but much prettier than correct; in the portions of Europe we have had the fortune to traverse, we have no where seen a greater abundance of ruins of the middle ages than in Italy. On the mountains that bind in the plains of Piedmont, nearly every "coin of vantage" is crested with a fallen castle or rifted tower:

in Lombardy, in Tuscany, even in the Roman states, around the patrii Lares of the mistress of the world, these objects are of frequent occurrence, and in this kingdom there scarcely exists a town of any antiquity, without some of these feudal ruins. Our travel writers and travellers, intent on other objects, never pay attention to these things, but for ourselves, who are true children of the north, who have not at all been cured of our romantic or gothic tendencies by a long residence in classic countries, we confess with complacency an attachment to these romantic scenes, and aver without blushing, that, except the Coliseum, the capitol, and the church of St. Peter's, we have seen no ruins or buildings which have excited such deep feelings within us, as a gothic cathedral, a lordly castle, or a mountain watch tower. We lingered about this castle (which is, or should be, the scene of Signor Ugo Foscolo's tragedy of Ricciarda, and which has effectively been the scene of many an historical tragedy) for a long time, commenting on ite fate, speculating on its plan, and admiring the beautiful scenery it commands. The view from the top of the keep is magnificent, and we recommend every good-winded perigrinator to climb up here if it is only for seeing the bold rocky coast of Amalfi. While we were descending the sun set; as we passed the Franciscan convent, we saw one old monk sitting on a stone bench, apparently musing on the scene, and lower down we met several of the fraternity retiring slowly to their pleasant quiet home. On going through the town we were struck particularly with the size and style of many of the houses, and with the miserable holes on the ground floor, which the poor part of the population inhabit.

We left Salerno the next morning at seven o'clock; the road is excellent, and the country fertile and pleasant, presenting a range of hills covered with olive groves, orchards already in bloom, and green cornfields.

Palla di ulivi i colli, e d'auree spiche
Cerere i campi, di sua man feconde,
Flora e Pomona su quest' alme sponde

Ridono amiche.

We passed the two villages of Pastine and Santo Leonardo, near

which are some very fine palm-trees, and about ten o'clock reached Ponte di Cagnano, so called from a bridge that crosses a considerable stream. Here we breakfasted at a taverna; as we were about to depart, a detachment of gens-d-armes arrived escorting twenty-one prisoners; we inquired what were their offences; "sono presi," said the gens-d-armes, "but what have they done?" "Ah Signori, chi ha rubato, chi ha fatto omicidio, chi una cosa, chi un altra.” "Whence do they come, where are they going?" "They come from Cosenza in Calabria, and are going to serve their time in the galleys at Naples." They were miserable looking wretches, with physiognomies expressive of degrading indigence and brute ignorance, rather than of ferocity or serious crime. They were all, except two, of whom more anon, attached to a long chain in pairs, the right hand of one being fastened to the left of his fellow; the wrists of some of them were terribly inflamed by this inconvenient binding, and they cursed one another for galling and jagging the chain as they walked, with great bitterness. Two young men who were in durance for political delinquency, were decently dressed as respectable countrymen, but all the rest were squalid, ragged, shoeless, and seemed worn out with their journey. They bought some bread at the taverna, and the richer a little wine, but two wretches who were bound with long cords on asses, did not approach the door, and none of their comrades seemed to commiserate or offer them any thing: we went to them; one was an infirm old man, the other a sick lad, who seemed dying, and who was groaning in a shocking manner. We asked them why they did not eat; the old man said they had no money; we gave something to each of them; the boy put his share into the old man's hand, and he bought some bread and wine; the boy however could not eat, but begged us to ask one of the gensd'arms to loosen the cords a little that cut his legs. We asked the boy what he had done; "dicono che aggio rubato uno peccore da una mandra," (they say I have stolen a sheep from a fold): one of the soldiers informed us he had committed this offence

when he was twelve years old, that he had been six years in prison, and had just now been condemned_to twelve years in the galleys! "But what," said we, "will such a dying wretch as this do in the galleys? "O! si metterà in una parte e dormirà-non mangierà il pane e li faginoli del re molto tempo." (Oh he'll put himself in a corner and sleep, he'll not eat the king's bread and beans, long.) We left the revolting scene with our hearts aching at this piece of justice. At about a mile from Ponte di Cagnano, is Vicenza, which Mr. Eustace calls a little town, and which he supposes to occupy the site of the ancient Picentia; a little town it certainly is not; there is only a miserable taverna on the road, and there are two farm-houses in the fields behind; at a short distance farther on there is another taverna, a house and a chapel, but this place is called Sant' Antonio. We were now on the Paestan plain; cultivation and the mountains diverged from us to the left, and to our right, and before us, a wild heath, rich in brushwood and shrubs, spread as far as the eye could reach. Large herds of buffaloes ranged the lords of the wild. we advanced, however, we met with many plots of corn land, some of which were extensive. We halted awhile at Battapaglia, a village near a stream and bridge, consisting of four or five houses: in the taverna we met a few people who were idling away an after dinner hour, and were fain to enter into conversation with us. What struck us in them, was, that they had all sore eyes, and what struck them in us, was, that persons of our appearance should be walking on a journey; they gratified our curiosity by telling us their disorder was umore salsa in the eyes, and that it was common all over the plain, but we did not think fit to enter into any explanation about our favourite mode of peregrinating. As we were sitting by the side of the door, strengthening our inward man with the remnant of a quarter of a young kid we had provided ourselves with at Salerno, a calesso, behind which three of the gens-d'armes who had escorted the prisoners were crowded, came up and stopped. They too, who, Neapolitan like, preferred hang


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ing on most uncomfortably to a break down overloaded vehicle drawn by two skeletons of horses, began pestering us about our pedestrian proceed ings; come mai," said the orator, "due Signorini di questa maniera, vanno à piede, come i poverelli-mi fà venire una cosa allo stomaco!-ma non conviene." "Ah!" said one of our interlocutors in the house, "chi sà, chi sà le circostanze-le circostanze del mondo a che portano!" and then, with an air of commiseration he told us, that if we would wait, without doubt we should meet some return calesso that would carry us both on to Eboli for two carlins (eight pence). The soldiers, however, who perhaps did not share his idea of our necessities, asked us for something to drink; we gave them a trifle, and set out impatient of this injudicious meddling with our tastes.

As we were winding round the base of a rocky hill, our attention was arrested by a shepherd, who, with his large dog sleeping beside him, was busily employed carving a wooden stock for a knitting iron.


"Buon giorno illustrissimi,” said he, as we stopped, "ma come vostre eccellenze vanno à piede cosi? This exclamation was very near setting us going again; we, however, examined his work and asked him whether he did those things for sale. "Oh no," said he, "we do them to pass away time, for our consorts, our sisters, our wives, our friends.' "But who taught you?" "Oh Signore! we learn from one another." Willing to carry with us this curious specimen of rustic art, we asked if he would give it us, to which he replied, that he would if we would wait till he had finished it; as we had a good part of the day be fore us and had not far to go, we sat down beside him, and while he proceeded in his work we sketched his figure and the scene, enlivening our respective labours with a dialogue of which the following is a part. "Are you of these parts?" "NoI'm a forestiere (foreigner) I come from Sant' Arsenio in the Val di Rajano, I'm only here part of the year with the flocks and then I go home." "Where do you sleep?" "There's my house," pointing to a cave higher up the hill," and there's my sheepfold," showing a larger cave hard by,

"But isn't

faced with wattling. that a bad lodging-isn't it cold? "Signori, it's rather cold now and then, but there's plenty of stuff to burn here about; to be sure in bad weather it's very dull, for the wolves: come down sometimes and howl, and then the wind blows so-but we shepherds meet together a fare società; but t'other day some rogues, when I was away, went in, and stole a sheep-skin jacket, a pair of gaiters, and a new earthen cooking pot.' "Are you married?" "No," smirking" but I am making love,' (faccio l'amore) and shall get married as soon as I can get money enough." "How much money is necessary? "Ha! a great deal! I must have nine ducats to buy a bed and furniture, and clothes, and pay for the marriage papers.' "Is your Sposa

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handsome? "Bellissima, bellissima," with sparkling eyes, "she is nineteen years old-I am twentytwo." He expressed great admiration of the arts of reading and writing, and regretted that he knew neither, and had no means of learning;

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very few," said he, "in our country, are so instructed, there are no schools, no masters for poor people.” "But why don't the priests teach you? Havn't you plenty of priests?" "Oh yes! we have plenty of priests, but they are not for teaching reading and writing-priests are for saying mass." At length his work was finished; he had contrived to cut with a very rude knife a tolerable female bust, the face of course was bad, but the head drapery was well imitated; the figure was of the mummy kind without any attempt to indicate the arms; the whole figure had much the character of ancient Egyptian sculpture, whose origin, or we may say, the origin of imitative art in general, we suppose, was something like this-in the amusement of an idle shepherd, reclining under a mild, congenial climate. We rewarded the poor simple fellow and went on our way. About four o'clock (for we had loitered sadly on our seventeen mile walk,) we approached the pleasantly situated town of Eboli (anciently Eburi), and taking a short cut, diverging from the high road into some quiet green lanes, we entered its gates in a quarter of an hour, and

took refuge in the inn. Having washed and brushed from us, as well as we could," the filthy witnesses" of the dusty road, we were reposing half asleep on our beds, when we were disturbed by the muttering and intrusion of a priest and an under strapper, who were come to give the accustomary Easter benediction to the house of the faithful. The priest dipped his aspergoire in a small port able vase filled with holy water, and waved it about the room, mumbling most unintelligibly during the opera tion; the landlady gave him a fee, and he walked out to finish his business in the other rooms, but his follower, wishing to put even the unfaithful under contribution, lagged behind to ask us for qualche cosa. We too often feel to our cost the difficulty of resisting an application direct, but this time we were firm and would give him nothing, but that frequently used Italian recommendation which has the merit of being charitable, and of costing nothing, viz. Dio ti provegga, buon uomo!” About sunset we sat down to a good dinner in the back rooms of the little inn, which are by far the most pleasant, offering a fine prospect of cultivated plain, hills and olive groves, mountains and forests. After dinner our hostess gave us a sly bottle of vino particolare, which had the flavour of Burgundy, and was truly excellent; we expatiated a long time over this in great harmony of spirits, sitting near the open window through which the balmy evening breeze, highly impregnated with the odours of almond blossoms it caught from an orchard near us, stole mildly and deliciously into our room. In the mean time, the moon rose, and with its vaga luce aspergoire, gave a new and more romantic character to the scene, and an owl in a tree hard by began her melancholy hooting-Oh! why cannot we recall in all their force the exquisite, the indescribable sensations of that evening, to relieve us from the dull prosy moments of our existence? Oh! why do the soothing repose and the happy visions we enjoyed in that lowly inn, visit us so seldom?

The next morning we were awakened, refreshed and cheerful, by the first rays of the sun, which we hailed


with all the devotion of the ancient Magi, as he burst out in glory from the distant mountains. We have a great and reasonable objection, one in which we believe most pedestrians partake, to begin a long walk on an empty stomach; and accordingly, it was not until we had fortified ourselves with a hearty breakfast of coffee and milk, and fresh eggs, that we left Eboli. We soon emerged on a wild part of the plain, thickly covered with myrtle and other shrubs of extraordinary height, among which, at every step we took, we put to flight troops of pretty green lizards. At a turn in the road we gained sight of the hunting seat of Persano (which we had seen several times the preceding day) embosomed in woods that form an extensive royal chace, which was, until a doating wife, the carbonari, and business, and trouble prevented it, one of the most favoured and most frequented resorts of old King Froad soon brought us to the bank of the river Sele (Silaris) near a picturesque spot, where there is a ferry over to Persano, whose red minaretted moorish looking edifice, its waving woods, and the grand and classical mount Alburnus that backs them, are brought out finely to the view. The bed of the river is here flat and wide; large herds of buffaloes, each with his small, blood-red eyes, looking like a devil, were ranging along the sandy slips between the forest and the water. Beyond this point, the Paestan flat has in many places felt the plough and the hoe; there are many inclosures, well fenced or banked, cultivated with corn and legumes; the rest spreads in luxuriant wildness, scattered with herds of buffaloes, oxen, and horses, and flocks of goats and sheep. We saw only a few little farm-houses here and there, and the solitude and silence of the plain were extreme; in all our morning's walk we only met two peasants, and three or four of the King's guardia caccia, who were mounted on old mares. It was near noon when we reached the Taverna Nuova (an isolated public house) here we found a large and curious company of shepherds and other peasants who had just finished their Easter Sunday dinner; they

seemed merry and happy, and received us into the scene of their festivity with great respect and kindness; some were playing at cards, others singing, others conversing, and we had an opportunity while we were refreshing ourselves, to overhear an odd and characteristic dialogue on hospitality, a virtue imposed by a law among the ancient inhabitants of these regions, but which we imagine is now very nearly extinct.* On leaving the Taverna Nuova, we soon crossed the boundary river Silaris, by a wooden bridge lately erected, and trod on the lands of Lucania. On the Lucanian bank

stands a casale or small village, consisting of a decent house, a few cottages and barns, all of which belong to the Prince of Angri, who is one of the greatest proprietors of the plain; there are considerable tracts of culti vation around, and two large vineyards-nearer Paestum there is a deal of corn land.

At length, but not until we were within a mile of them, we got sight of the mighty ruins that rise gigantically from the flats, and, encouraged and spirited on, we soon found ourselves within the lonely walls of the once opulent and magnificent city.

• Aelian. Var. Hist. lib. iv. The law really existed among the Lucanians.

Specimen of popular Poetry




The antiquity of the song cannot now be ascertained, but it is of a very remote period.


THERE are three stars in the heaven's blue deep,

And brightly they shine and silently.

From the plain three silver fountains leap,
And there stood beside them ladies three;
A wife, a widow, a tender maid,
And thus to the rippling streams they said.

The wife hung over the fount, and there
Pour'd from her hand its waters clear.
"Fountain of purest wave! O say,
Do I a husband's love possess ;
And while I swerve not from virtue's
Shall I gather the flowers of happiness?


O yes! while in virtue's path thou art,
Bliss shall thine and thy husband's be;

Should thy faith wax cold,-and be false thy heart,
Thine shall be shame and misery.

Lonely and gloomy the widow stood,

And mingled her tears with the gushing flood.

"Sorrow is mine! for what dark deed

Am I forced to wander alone below,
Has God to punish my sins decreed

That mine should be helpless, hopeless woe?"

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