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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 Ilotel, 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.

LETTER LXIX.

DEPARTURE FROM NAPLES-VISIT TO CASERTA-PALACE-GARDEN

AQUEDUCT-RETURN TO MONT ALBANO.

June, 1826.

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 Charge 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 VOL. II.

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friends seconded the advice; and thus in a moment, not without a painful emotion, with me expired the last ray of hope, so long and so fondly cherished, of visiting the most interesting portion of the earth, not even excepting the classic scenes of Italy, which had afforded us so much delight.

As the utmost limits of our tour towards the south and east bad now been reached, the same party that had anticipated the pleasure of visiting the islands and climbing the hills of Greece together, agreed to return to Rome in company. A vetturino was put in requisition, to take us on in a coach by ourselves; a full load for the miserable team. At the moment of leaving, it was found that the driver had engaged to take another passenger without our knowledge or consent. Remonstrances were in vain, till an appeal was made to the American Consul, who had had the kindness, among his many other favours, to agree for the carriage, being much better acquainted with the Nea ans than ourselves. The great overgrown coachman was so angry at being foiled in his scheme to impose upon us and abuse his horses, as actually to burst into tears. This attempt at fraud brings to mind another instance of a similar kind, which occurred in the same city. A vetturino endeavoured to impose on a party of our countrymen, who appealed to the law for redress, but soon learned that the Justice had been bribed to give a decision against them. In this dilemma they applied to the Consul, who informed them, that they had only to give a fee of two ducats instead of one to the Judge. They followed his advice, and the suit was instantly decided in their favour! This anecdote is said to be illustrative of judicial proceedings at Naples.

Our rights on this occasion were the more strenuously contested, for the sake of making room for the American gentleman, so often alluded to in my sketch of Naples, who concluded to take a seat with us as far as Caserta, fifteen or twenty miles from the city, whither we all wished to go, to examine a celebrated aqueduct and palace of the king. After sundry delays and disasters, incident to a dishonest, lazy, and shiftless people, the morning of the 4th of June saw us fairly off towards the north, not unwilling to escape from a region, where the physical and moral worlds present such striking contrasts. The troops of clamorous beggars and custom-louse officers, who pursued the coach, in some measure alleviated the poignancy of feeling, on taking a last view of the beautiful bay and its elysian shores.

At the town of Aversa, we made a diversion to the right of the great Capua road, and after crossing a broad fertile plain, tolerably well cultivated, waving with harvests and vineyards, we reached Caserta about noon. A decent breakfast was obtained at the village hotel.

One of the party incurred the expense of a carlin, for the sake of seeing a lazzarone eat a few yards of macaroni—a sight which all travellers are curious to witness. Whoever has seen a conjurer swallow tow, and spin from it red ribbon, may form some idea of the play of the muscles in this gormandizing process. The great art consists in swallowing a pound or two, without pausing to take breath, or interrupting the continuity of the rope. It is not an exhibition of a very intellectual or elevated kind, and the half-starved showman appeared to enjoy it with much more gout than the lookers-on.

After breakfast, we procured a local cicerone, and went to the famous palace, built by Charles III. a monarch of handsome talents, great magnificence, and no mean taste. This colossal pile is in point of architecture decidedly the finest edifice to be found south of Rome. Its length is eight hundred feet, and its breadth four hundred ; three stories high, besides the attic ; and of the composite order. The material is a light coloured stone, which shows remarkably well. There are three lofty arched doors in front, opening quite through the building, and disclosing in long perspective the elevated ridges of hills in the rear. Through the vista formed by the middle entrance, a copious stream is seen falling in cascades from the mountains, which are comparatively naked, uniform, and tame. The artificial character of the water also detracts much from the beauty of the prospect. In front of the palace, which, in spite of all its faults, presents an imposing façade, the view extends across a wide plain to the south, towards Naples and the sea. The old town of Caserta, seated on the top of one of the hills, and now in ruins, forms by far the most striking and romantic feature in the scenery. It is difficult to assign any particular reasons for selecting this spot, as the site of such a proud structure ; since it enjoys neither the advantages of the town nor country. The modern village of Caserta is populous, and deprives the palace of retirement and the charm of a rural situation. But the kings of Naples seem to have planted their ten or a dozen residences abroad among their subjects, as they would have established so many fortresses, without much regard to taste.

The interior of the palace is entirely unique in its construction, and notwithstanding its oddity, presents a coup d'oeil of perhaps unequalled architectural grandeur. It is erected round four spacious courts, two on each side of the central arched and pillared passage. From the middle of the edifice four magnificent avenues open diagonally into the courts, and afford views of the rich façades by which they are bordered. The spectator here finds himself in the midst of a splendid panorama of palaces rising on all sides, magnified and seen to

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more advantage through the long perspective of arches, forming hexagonal radii, including the two running transversely through the building. So far as my observation extends, this plan has the merit of perfect originality, and the unity of idea in such a maze of splendour produces a very happy effect.

The stair-way can hardly be surpassed in grandeur. It springs from the central arch, and ascends by a flight of marble steps, perhaps thirty feet in breadth, to the first story, where there is a spacious landing; and thence two other flights, of nearly the same width, rise laterally on each side of the former, to the second floor. In an alcove, opposite the foot, stands a colossal Hercules, a copy of the one in the Studii at Naples ; while the head of the steps is guarded by two beautiful lions in marble. The upper flights are enriched with balustrades and Ionic columns of the richest materials and the most exquisite workmanship. If there be any thing of the kind more magnificent in the

range of our travels in Great Britain or on the Continent, none of our party can boast of much taste in architecture ; for we all gazed in admiration and astonishment at the richness of the view. Yet it is not improbable, that critics might pick flaws; since there is scarcely a work of art in Italy, from the Venus de' Medicis downward, which has not alternately been the subject of panegyric and censure ; so that after wading perhaps through fifty volumes, a person after all must judge for himself.

Entering the labyrinth of apartments, we first visited the Chapel, which is a compound of splendour and meanness. The walls are surrounded by colonnades of Corinthian pillars supporting the galleries. Some of these are said to be from the temple of Jupiter Serapis at Pozzuoli. As a contrast to this richness of columns, the High Altar is of painted stucco, without a fragment of marble or precious stone in its tawdry ornaments. The theatre is splendidly finished, having three tiers of boxes, making about forty in all, with a throne in front, for the king, little inferior in its decorations to the royal seat in San Carlo. On extraordinary occasions, his Majesty takes with him to Caserta a company of players from Naples.

The cicerone led us through an inextricable suite of vacant rooms, which looked all alike, and in which the points of compass were easily lost. One of our party lingered a moment, to examine a fresco upon the ceiling, and became so bewildered, that after wandering for some time in pursuit of his comrades, he was obliged to halloo for the guide to help him out. The foors are painted red and varnished, like those of all the other regal palaces. There is a scanty show of furniture and tapestry; and the frescoed ceilings are not very remarkable either for

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