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they look up to as a kind of king, and that, by paying him a handsome bribe, a foreigner who visits Naples may free himself from being troubled by beggars. There is also what is called a Neapolitan sign, which is made by placing the ends of the fingers under the chin, with the palm of the hand down, and then withdrawing it in a direct line forward, and letting it fall down again by the side. This signifies that you belong to the city, and if one, who is not certainly known to be a foreigner, makes this sign, a beggar will leave him instantly.
The Lazaroni live almost wholly on macaroni, and drink very freely of iced water. Macaroni, in its best estate, is a kind of paste, made of flour, water, eggs, almonds, and sugar, and dressed with butter and spices. But the trash on which these poor wretches feed, is mere flour and water, drawn out into strings of the size of large twine, and two or three yards in length. A quantity of them are put into boiling water, and thus a kind of apology for soup is made. It is dipped out into small earthen dishes, when, taking the long strings of macaroni in their fingers, they hold them up at arm's length above the head, and let them drop into the mouth as fast as they can consume them. Portable stoves and furnaces are placed for the purpose of preparing it, in long rows, on a public square, which faces the water, and rude tables and stands are erected for the use of customers. Here, great numbers of beggars collect in the morning, and again between nine and ten in the evening; and a right droll and jolly crew they are too. I liave been extremely amused in passing around among these fantastic
groups, their dark faces, — their long untrimmed hair of jetty black, - their slouching and tattered hats and caps, and their ragged robes, flaunting loosely about them, all seen under the dim and Aaring light of the fires where their food was preparing ; — this, with the noisy mirth and revelry of some, the diverting tricks of others, the strife of tongues, like the jargon of Babel, — the clamor of women and children, and the recklessness, alike of the past and the future, with which all of them seemed to act, made one almost fancy that he saw before him a train of wild, unearthly spirits, from the vasty deep, or that old Pluto's realms were opened to his view. At such times, the beggars seem to forget their troubles, and to feel and act in the spirit of the old English ballad, in which they say,
“ Hang sorrow, and cast away care,
For the parish is bound to find us. It may be well here to speak of the Albergo Reale de Poveri, commonly called the Reclusorio. It is a kind of national poorhouse, or work house, and was first commenced in 1751, by order of Charles the Third, after a design by the Chevalier Fuga. Poor persons are received here, and taught a variety of trades. The building is four stories high, and contains four courts, 1630 feet in length, in the centre of which is a large church. The front upon the street is 1072 feet long. It has a noble appearance, and is adorned with a portico of three arches, to which is attached a fine double flight of steps. The centre arch forms an entrance to the church, which has five naves, with an altar in the centre, so that the reading of the mass can be seen from every side. Yes, seen, for where the service of God is in an unknown tongue, and consists mainly in prostrations, waving of incense, and showing off the robes of the priesthood, it is only to be seen, thus feeding the eyes at the expense of the soul. I have been in a vast cathedral, where two boys, sixteen or eighteen years old, were going through with their motions, as priests, and muttering their prayers in tones so low and inarticulate, that though I stood close by the railing of the altar, and carefully listened, yet I could not distinguish a single word. Still there was a large number of people in all parts of the church, looking on, or amusing themselves as best they might.
Of the five divisions of which the Reclusorio is to consist, three only are yet finished. These have cost about $ 800,000, and the institution has an annual income of near $ 200,000, of which more than $ 30,000 is given from the public treasury, and the rest proceeds from lands and other properties given by the late king Ferdinand, or bequeathed by private benefactions. It is under military discipline, and a note from Mr. F., a very wealthy, respectable, and pious English resident at Naples, introduced us to the commandant. He was a colonel in Bonaparte's armies, and wears the star of the Legion of Honor, conferred upon him as a mark of his bravery in battle, in the year 1809. He is a man of the most astonishing energy and force of character, and has business talents of the highest order. Every thing is done with perfect system, and the utmost neatness prevails in all parts of the establishment. Sentries are placed at such points as are required, in order instantly to detect and check any disorder, and the institu
tion is one of the largest and best conducted in Europe. Every attention was shown us, both as to seeing the buildings, schools, workshops, &c., and also as to giving us all desirable information. It was delightful to witness the vigor and despatch with which every thing was done, especially in the office of the commandant. He would talk with us, and still keep everybody about him in motion, in writing what he dictated, and in executing his orders; and when two or three young men were brought in, who had been guilty of some fault, such a reprimand as he gave them I certainly never heard before, nor do I expect to hear again. It was by far the most striking exhibition of physical power, as far as voice and manner were concerned, that I. ever witnessed; and still his eye was perfectly calm and cool, and so free was he from all passion, that he instantly turned from it to converse with us, just as if nothing had occurred, and he had made no effort. It was the scathing of the lightning, and the blasting of the thunderbolt, without either their light or their heat.
There are seven or eight thousand inmates of the Reclusorio, of whom a small majority are males. More than two thousand of these are under age, and were taken in as poor children. They are in school two hours each day, and work at some trade eight hours. They rise at four, eat breakfast at eleven A. M., and dinner at eight, P. M., and go to bed at half past nine. The boys wear a kind of military cap and undress, and from six to seven in the evening are drilled in marching, and martial exercises. They have small guns, and a large and fine band of music. Thus it is a kind of military school, and all the musicians of the king's army are trained there. They have also their hours of recreation, when they assemble in large rooms, and both there, and in the schools and workshops, it was truly delightful to see so many cheerful and happy beings, who, but for the hand of enlightened charity, had been beggars, outcasts, and vagabonds in the earth. The Report of the institution, now before me, gives the following classification and numbers of those who are in the schools, and who are learning different trades and arts. In the various schools of Belles lettres, including the common branches of education, 700. There is also a large school on the Lancasterian plan, for the younger children. Besides these, there is a school for the Deaf and Dumb, who are taught partly by pictures and signs; but the slow, tedious, and comparatively useless mode of teaching them to articulate, is also pursued. There are more than fifty of them, of whom thirty-seven are males. But neither here, nor at Rome, are the schools conducted with much system or science, compared with those in the United States. There are 114 engaged in works of design, including painting and engraving. of the musicians there are 290; of whom thirty are vocal, and the rest instrumental. Architects of various kinds, 210. Tailors, 130. Shoemakers, 110. Pinmakers, 104. Cloth manufacturers, 200. Armourers, 60. Smiths, 30. Weavers, 100. · There is also a type foundery, printing-office, glass factory, and a variety of other arts and trades. The bedsteads are of iron, with a hinge in the middle, so that by day they occupy but half of their full length. At the head of each, the name and number of the occupant is placed. I have been thus particular in hopes of furnishing some facts which may be useful to those at home, who are connected with the numerous institutions for the benefit of the poor, and also because it is truly cheering to the soul to meet such a fair and verdant oasis in the midst of such a moral desert of oppression, ignorance, and want.
In the war of our Revolution, the ground of our revolt was not the weight of our burdens; it was not that a tax of a few pence on tea was like to crush us; nor was it because we were entirely deprived of civil liberty ; for the charters granted by the English sovereigns to the different States, were in some cases their only constitution of government, for half a century after our independence was secured; nor was it because we supposed that the king and people of Great Britain were, like so many vampires, thirsting for our blood. On the other hand, the ties of respect, affection, and sympathy, which bound us to our mother-land, were peculiarly strong. Why, then, should we contend? I answer, that it was purely a war of principle. It was because political doctrines were avowed and enforced, which were opposed to liberty, and which, if admitted, might be used by ambitious and tyrannical men as engines of deep and bitter oppression.
I have presented the case above as an illustration of my views and feelings, as to the principles avowed, and the system of policy pursued, by the Roman Catholic church. In the United States, for instance, there can be little danger from Catholic influence, so long as the large and ascendant sects of Protestants are vigilant and active in promoting education, and especially in establishing Sabbath Schools, and circulating the Bible. Nor have I ever seen reason to believe, that (if we except immigration) the Catholics are increasing faster, or even as fast as other denominations ; so that, be their principles what they may, there is no immediate danger to our liberties from their influence. It is further true, that none but the most ignorant and bigoted think that the Catholic, as such, is deficient in the warmer sympathies, and in the higher, and purer social feelings of our nature; or that, as a matter of course, he wishes to persecute and destroy the Protestant and the herctic. And here it is with pleasure that I record the fact, that some of my best and most intelligent friends, and those, too, whom I highly esteem for their social and moral worth, are Catholics. And yet I have ever had most strong and decided objections to their creed; and these objections have acquired a tenfold force, since I have been on purely Catholic ground, and there seen the full and per. fect operation of the system. It is true, that the views of Augustine, and other early pillars of the church, as to the leading doctrines of the Bible, were sound and correct, and were in the main clearly explained, and ably defended. it is equally true, that the prominence that has since been given to the Virgin Mary, to the mediation of saints, and other kindred matters, have so obscured and brought into disrepute the doctrine of the merits of Christ, and of justification by faith, as almost entirely to have destroyed their practical influence. Indeed, for a long series of years, the Jansenists were bitterly reproached and persecuted, and were finally denounced, and suppressed as dangerous heretics, more from their zeal in holding and defending the peculiar views of Augustine, than from any other cause. As to the influence of the doctrines of absolution, and of indulgences on the morals of a community, I shall speak at some future time, in connexion with many important facts, which have come to my knowledge since leaving the United States.
It cannot be denied, that the practical influence of the Catholic system is, to keep men in a state of deplorable ignorance, as to their personal rights and duties, and also to prevent enlightened and independent views of their relations to God, and to their fellow-men. A church which is burdened with a large mass of rules, rites, and ceremonies, is much in the same condition, as to efficient action, with the soldiers of the old Romans; each of whom, in marching, carried a heavy load upon his back. On the other hand, a