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making thirty-six in all. They are twenty-seven feet in height, and twenty feet in circumference at the base, tapering towards the top, fluted and of the primitive Doric order, giving the heavy proportions of only five, instead of the usual number of eight or nine, diameters to the length. Each of them is composed of half a dozen separate blocks of stone, so accurately adjusted, that the junction is scarcely discernible. They have no bases, but the shafts are firmly planted upon a substantial platform, raised three steps from the ground. Their capitals are all entire, connected by doric architraves, friezes, and cornices, running quite round the building. After examining the construction of this severe but beautiful fabric, one feels less surprise that it has stood comparatively unimpaired for so many ages, amidst natural and civil convulsions, which have levelled structures of lighter and more elegant architecture. It is supposed to be the oldest edifice now in existence, and to date from a period anterior to the finished models of the Grecian orders.
The material out of which the temple of Neptune is built, is a porous but substantial species of stone, believed to be petrifactions from the banks of the Silaro. Its complexion is of a rich orange hue, and nothing can be finer than the aspect of the ruin, especially when softened and harmonized by a moderate distance. The interior contains two vestibules at each end, whence there is an ascent by steps to what is technically called the cella, forming an oblong platform in the centre of the temple. On this stand colonnades of less dimensions than the external pillars, but of the same order, and surmounted by a massive architrave, which supports another range of small columns. A few of the latter are missing-the only innovations which time has made upon the pillared magnificence of this fabric. Traces of the altars on which victims were offered are yet visible. The summits of the outer porticos are fancifully shaded by wild shrubbery and flowers springing from the crevices of the architrave, and hanging their blossoms over Grecian cornices. At the hour of our visit, two or three peasants had ascended to the battlements on ladders, to hunt for the nests of jackdaws, swallows, and wrens, that build in the ruin, and keep up a constant chattering. One little incident occurred, which formed so curious a coincidence, and was in such perfect keeping, that my companions were specially called to witness, lest a narrative of it might be considered a fiction. While gazing at the ruins, we observed three snowy bulls, feeding among the thistles at the western end. One of them, as the sun grew warm, deserted his pasture, and actually climbed the lofty steps, leading to the porch of the temple. He marched up toward the very altar, on which so many of his ancestors had pro
bably been sacrificed to the god of the sea. He walked deliberately over the platform, and we left him lounging in the shade of the colossal pillars
The edifice denominated the Basilica stands a few rods south of the temple of Neptune, to which it bears a strong resemblance in its general aspect. It is one hundred and sixty feet in length and eighty feet in width, raised on a platform, adorned with sixteen fluted columns on either side, and nine on each front. The pillars and architraves are precisely of the same character, as those which have already been described, though less massive, and varying slightly in complexion. There is not the shadow of a doubt, that the two buildings were erected by the same people, (probably the Dorians,) and in the same age. The absence of altars and of a cella has led antiquaries to believe, that this edifice was a Court of Justice. A range of columns, three of which are yet standing, extended lengthwise through the interior, dividing it into equal parts. The shafts are planted upon a slight elevation, which is supposed to have been the seat of the Judges.
From the Basilica, we strolled to the southern gate of the city, near which is a small cottage with a garden, where a bed of Pæstan roses was seen in full bloom. The poor tenants of the humble and dirty habitation permitted us to pluck for ourselves. There is certainly a peculiar fragrance in this flower, and the blushes of its crimson petals, as well as the verdure of the leaves, appeared unusually brilliant, in comparison with the paler hues of more northern climes. We made pets of the buds, and nursed them with the most assiduous care. The garden is watered by the Solofone, a pretty stream, which flows under the very walls of the town, and gurgles among the ruins. We here ascended the ramparts, and followed them nearly half way round the city, which was about three miles in circumference, with four gates placed at right angles, corresponding with the cardinal points of the compass. At the south-western corner, the murmurs of the sea breaking upon the solitary beach beneath us, at the distance of less than half a mile, were distinctly heard. The view from the walls, is both extensive and splendid, reaching to the amphitheatre of mountains beyond the bay of Salerno, to the north and east. On the south, the high hills of Callimara, Cantena, and Acropoli, in continuation of Mount Alburnus, form a long continuous chain, bearing on their acclivities a few scattered buildings, and terminating in the bold, desolate promontory of Leucosia. To the west spreads the boundless sea, rolling in azure brightness, but unenlivened by a single sail. The port, which tradition says Jason and Ulysses, Hercules and Pyrrhus once visited, has now entirely vanished, and even its site cannot be ascertained. It was
probably near the western gate, which still goes by the name of Porta a Mare.
Traversing the walls to the northern gate, we examined the ancient tombs, which are without the city. Antiquaries have inferred from their construction, that the people to whom they belonged, were of Chaldaic origin. They consist of separate cavities in the earth, of the dimensions and depth of an ordinary grave, walled up and covered with a triangular roof. The ruins are too vague to afford much satisfaction to the mind. Some beautiful relics have been found in them. Our ramble was extended thence to the eastern gate, which is nearly entire, and bears the name of the Siren, whose image was once seen upon the key-stone, holding in her hand a Pæstan rose. The arch is fifty feet in height, without side-paths. Here the walls are examined to the best advantage. They are built of large blocks of stone, resembling the ramparts of ancient Fæsulæ, and leading some to believe them to be of Etrurian origin, or to have been erected by a kindred people. They were originally fifty feet high, and twenty feet wide at top, flanked with eight massive towers.
After examining the obscure remains of the theatre and amphitheatre, which offer nothing worthy of notice, we repaired to the temple of Ceres, and there finished our round of observations. This beautiful edifice is very similar in construction to the other two, which have already been described. The order of architecture is the same, except that its proportions are lighter and more elegant. It is about one hundred feet in length, and fifty in breadth, elevated on a platform, with two fronts, and the same number of columns, as the temple of Neptune. A beautiful entablature extends quite round the building. It has altars, and a cella, separated from the vestibule by a range of pillars. By another odd coincidence, fields of grain almost fit for the sickle, were now waving under the very porticos of the shrine of Ceres. This circumstance is the more singular, as the greater part of the space enclosed by the walls of the city has run to waste, and is overgrown by wild bushes, brambles, and thistles. A few miserable huts, and a handful of sickly, wretched inhabitants, constitute the only remains of the town. The malaria is so destructive as to render the place uninhabitable in the summer months.
Having seen under the most favourable circumstances all the objects of interest, which Pæstum contains, we reclined on the pavement, in the shade of the porch of Ceres, and dined on coarse bread and wine, the only articles our cicerone could cater among his poor neighbours. A flow of soul sweetened the humble repast; and scanty as was our stock of provisions, some of the party made libations to
the goddess, just by way of seeing whether they remembered their classics. After dinner, we took a farewell view of the ruins, and at 1 o'clock set out for home.
Half a mile from the gate of Aurora, we paused a moment to examine the spot, near a large fig-tree, where Mr. and Mrs. Hunt were murdered, on their return from a visit to this place. The cicerone who conducted us over the ruins of Pæstum, was several months in prison, under a suspicion of being concerned in the robbery. He however escaped. A raw-boned, ragged peasant boy informed us, that he saw the murder, and was called as a witness. The banditti were behind the bushes, but almost within call of the town. One of them stepped out and demanded Mr. Hunt's 'money. He began to parley, when both he and his young wife received mortal wounds from a musket. They were carried to Naples and buried in the same grave.
At 7 o'clock this evening, we reached Salerno and found good accommodations for the night. Some of the party went to the village play, and others read Horace. The luxurious poet, tired of the hot springs and myrtle groves, the gaiety and dissipation of Baiæ, makes particular inquiries in his epistle to Caius Numonius Vala, respecting the advantages and comforts of a residence at Salernum. It does not appear, that he ever availed himself of the information he sought, though the region is far more attractive, than the neighbourhood of his Sabine farm. If the Roman town furnished as good accommodations as we found in the modern, Horace would have found all the dainties he required, even to his wine:
-generosum et lene requiro, Quod curas abigat.
A delicious red wine, the product of Calabrian hills, was set upon our table, and gave a higher relish to the varieties of fish from the neighbouring waters.
On the following morning, an excellent breakfast was served up on the balcony of the Hotel, fanned by the breezes of the sea, and in view of all the splendour of Calabrian scenery. One of our quartetto was so full of Pæstum, that he forgot his watch, and was obliged to travel back four miles. But notwithstanding this slight accident, we reached Naples at an early hour, delighted with the excursion.
DEPARTURE FROM NAPLES-VISIT TO CASERTA-PALACE-GARDENAQUEDUCT-RETURN TO MONT ALBANO.
PREVIOUS to our departure from Naples, we came to the determination of visiting Greece, by the way of Otranto and the Ionian Islands. The plan was to fall in if possible with the American squadron in the Levant, and return to Italy in the autumn. Our party was to consist of four-a surgeon in the United States Navy, who was anxious to reach his destination; an Englishman, a graduate from Oxford, who had been a Lieutenant in the British army, and was one of the few officers of his regiment who survived the battle of Chippewa; my fellow-traveller and myself. This enterprise was pushed with so much enthusiasm, that one whole day was occupied in going the rounds of the Neapolitan booksellers, in search of the most authentic topographical works on Greece, and I sat up one or two nights in reading Pausanias, preparatory to our departure, and began to dream of Parnassus, Athens, and the field of Marathon. The American Chargè did all in his power to favour the expedition, and very liberally presented to one of the party a French copy of the Travels of Anacharsis. Having our arrangements in such a train, that they could be completed in a few days, we went to the coach-office in company with the American Consul, to take places for the following Saturday to Barletta, thence to cross the Adriatic to Corfu. Among the names on the books were those of two Englishmen, (the Messrs. Suters,) on whom we took the liberty of calling, for the purpose of making arrangements to cross the Gulf in the same vessel. They were found to be intelligent gentlemen, who had resided as merchants at Corfu for several years, and were well acquainted with the present condition of the Archipelago. The authentic information derived from them led our party unanimously to abandon the expedition. They represented the seas as full of pirates, and the islands and shores in such a revolutionary state and so infested with banditti, that it would be impossible to penetrate the interior. The climate moreover at this season was next to fatal, and several English tourists had the last summer fallen victims to its ravages. They would be happy of our company across the Adriatic, and would lend us any facilities in their power, in obtaining passages from the Ionian Isles to the Levant; but in a friendly manner, advised us not to embark in such an enterprise. Our American