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lawless violence of the dark ages, and resulted in making woman the presiding deity of the tournament and the battlefield, and the object of devoted idolatry to those of every grade, from the mere soldier of fortune, to the king on his throne, - we know that this fever raged with its greatest violence, and reached its highest point of extravagance and folly, in Spain. And though the author of Don Quixote, by the force of ridicule, did much to lessen this infatuation, still the seeds of the old disease have ever remained in the heart of the nation. The form in which it now exhibits itself is owing to the fact, that the head of the nation is a woman; and, as the ladies have either found a deficiency of heroism in the stronger sex, or from some other cause, they have chosen to become heroines themselves. In other words, in some of the provinces, large numbers of women have organized themselves into military companies and regiments, that, by their prowess and their valor, they may, to use their own words, vindicate and defend the “unsullied purity and spotless innocence of the Queen." All the officers of the companies are females, except the captains and chaplains, and their names are published in the army list, in the gazettes. They are supplied with arms, and meet for drilling and exercise. A military address, written by one of these heroines, and published in the papers, some time since, is really quite eloquent. Strange warriors, indeed, they must be, but such is the enthusiasm and ardor of the Spanish, when excited, and so strong is their attachment to their native land, fallen as she is, that I doubt not that on the field of battle they would show a valor which might put to shame the self-styled lords of creation. Still, there is something extremely revolting to the better feelings of our nature, in beholding that sex, in whose souls the purer and gentler affections alone should reign, yielding themselves up to the influence of the dark and malignant passions of war and bloodshed, and wielding in their hands the instruments of death. The poet is true to nature in the description which he gives of the feelings of the Corsair, when he saw the stain of blood upon the brow of her, who, by her valor and her devotion to himself, had been the means of saving his life.
“ He had seen battles, - he had brooded lone
O'er promised pangs to sentenced guilt foreshown;
But ne'er from strife, captivity, remorse, —
Voyage to Naples. — The Bay - The City.-
Vesuvius. – Eruptions. - Beg. gars; their Mode of Life, Sufferings, and Character. — Ecclesiastical Reform. – The Jésuits. — Suppression of Convents. — Salaries.— Number of the Clergy; their Income. - Lazaroni; their Number, Character, and Mode of Life ; treatment of them by the French. - Hospitals. - Maccaroni.— Massaniello.– A Night Scene. – National Workhouse ; its Form, and Expense of erecting it. - - Internal Police. - Schools. - Trades. Catholics; their Doctrines, Ignorance, Religious Rites, Books, Holydays, Bigotry, Law of Marriage. Persecution at Gibraltar. – The English ; their Character. - Lord W.
Mr. F. - Occurrence at Sienna. - English Chaplains. Rev. Mr.Vallette. Rev. Mr. Paxton. — Street Preaching. -Churches. - Scenery around Naples. Street of Toledo. - Cler. gy; their Dress. - Corpus Christi. - Morals of the People. – Grotto of Pausilipo. — Puzzoli. - Cumæ. – Lake Avernus. Cumæan Sibyl. – Temple of Jupiter. — Amphitheatre. — Solfaterra. Villa Reale.
From Barcelona we sailed to Gibraltar, and from thence to Naples, where we arrived near the close of May. The bay of Naples, and the beautiful scenery around, have been so often described, that there are few superlatives in the language which have not been used by travellers to express the feelings of delight excited by gazing on this richly varied panorama. The bay itself is about thirty miles in circumference, and in addition to the islands which it contains, whose names are connected with the history and the fame of the earliest Roman emperors, every point of the coast has been hallowed by the genius of the Latin historians and poets. As you enter the bay, on the left, and near its head, is the city of Naples, rising as it retires from the water, until the landscape, in that direction, terminates in a range of gentle hills, clothed with gardens, vineyards, and forest trees, except where the hill of St. Elmo, crowned by its mammoth castle, rears its head high above the surrounding region, and overlooks the city, the sea, and the rich and varied scenery, and the numerous towns and villages with which the coast of the bay, and the country inland are covered, as far as the eye can reach. To the right of the city, and seven miles distant from it, is Mount Vesuvius, for ever sending up from its vast furnace immense clouds of smoke, which now cover the whole face of the heavens with a dark and frowning aspect, and then, rising on the wings of the wind, and lighted up by the brightness of the morning sun, assume a thousand brilliant and fantastic forms. Again, you see a lofty and massive column of fleecy cloud, its base resting upon the mountain, and its topmost point far up in the sky, spreading out, as if crowned by a capital, and placed there as an airy and graceful pillar, at once to support and adorn the canopy of heaven. This mountain is thirty miles in circumference at the base, and between three and four thousand feet high. Its summit and its sides are little else than one unbroken mass of lava, stone, and ashes, which have been thrown forth from the crater during its various eruptions. These deposits, in some places, extend miles from the base of the mountain; and their effects, in connexion with the ravages of other volcanos and of earthquakes, traces of whose action may be seen in every direction, - all combined, present a strong, lively, and most deeply impressive picture of the power of God, in so wielding the elements as to awe or to destroy the creatures whom he has made. There is something peculiarly striking in the effect produced upon the mind, by gazing for the first time upon a living, acting volcano. Like a lofty mountain, or a foaming cataract, it is one of those things, with which, however familiar we may be by description, or by solitary reflection, it is still true, that we can form no adequate idea of their impressiveness, or their grandeur, until we have beheld them for ourselves. There is, too, so much that is grand, exciting, and mysterious in the causes, action, and natural history of volcanos, and in the connexion which facts seem to prove as existing between those of different continents, separated as they are from each other by oceans, thousands of miles in extent; and, withal, their early and fearful ravages, over which antiquity has now cast her mantle of dark and misty interest, — all these causes, when reflecting upon them, combine to give the imagination a wider field, and to send her forth on a bolder and more lofty Alight, than almost any other subject of mere earthly interest. The mineral waters, the boiling springs, and the tracts of heated earth, in the vicinity of the mountain, which show what a mass of liquid fire there is below, and how thin is the crust which separates myriads of human beings from the flaming billows, together with the earthquakes and the hollow rumbling of the ground,
which ever and anon gives warning that the raging element, like a mighty giant, chafed and fretted with his chains, is tossing and struggling for its release, -- all furnish themes of exciting and mysterious interest for the fictions of the novelist and the poet; and while we reflect upon them, we cease to wonder that Ætna and Vesuvius should have held so prominent a place in the fabled mythology of Greece and Rome.
The first eruption of Vesuvius, of which we have any record, was in the year 79, of the Christian era. then that Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried, — the former with stones and ashes, and the latter with flowing lava. Since that time, there have been about fifty eruptions, of various degrees of splendor and violence. The effects of some of these have been perceived hundreds, and even thousands of miles distant. That eruptions must have taken place from the earliest periods, is evident from the fact, that even Pompeii and Herculaneum are built on strata of lava, which had overspread their site before they were founded.
Further from the shore than Vesuvius, other mountains rise in the back-ground, which, though not of sufficient height and grandeur to give the greatest effect to the varied scenery which they enclose, still one forgets this, while gazing upon the rich array of beauty and of splendor, with which both nature and art have clothed this delightful and romantic landscape. But the highest interest of this scene is not upon the surface ; for you may move over buried towns and villages, where multitudes have perished, not by slow and lingering disease, but were arrested in the midst of health and vigor, and buried alive in their own dwellings, by the lava and ashes of the raging volcano. What a wide field is here opened for the action of both the imagination and the feelings, and what a train of reflections rush upon the mind, while viewing such striking exhibitions of the justice and power of the Most High.
Having sketched this brief and imperfect outline of the scenery around the bay of Naples, let us now return to the city. On first landing at the wharf, one is struck with the number of wretched and importunate beggars, who beset him on every side. Here is a drove of ragged urchins, whose tattered garments are a mere apology for clothes, while some of them have nothing but a scanty shirt. There, is a number of women, some bowed with age, decrepitude, and dis