Imagini ale paginilor

abode of the dismal, sunless Cimmerii, mentioned by Homer, (Odyss. XI.) Virgil, too, represents this as the scene of the descent of Æneas, conducted by the Sibyl, to the infernal regions (Æn. VI., 237.)" We drank of the water of this lake, which is of circular form and about one mile and a half in circumference. All this region round about is volcanic, but there was no taste in the water we drank to indicate that it came from other than a pure fountain. Our whole trip was novel and interesting, and we reached our lodgings in time and with keen appetites for our six o'clock dinner.

Like Turin, Venice, Florence, Rome, and we know not how many other Italian cities, Naples also has her Royal Palace, and this we visited on the 14th. It is not very remarkable for elegance, but the main staircase is grand and beautiful, adorned as it is with statues of the Erbo and Tagus, and the state rooms, which are furnished with many paintings and other objects of art, compare favorably with those of other palaces we have seen in our travels. There is here one unique piece of furniture, a Royal Cradle, which attracted our special attention. It is set up in the style of a swing, and stands in the center of the reception room. It is lined with white satin and has a pillow also covered with white satin. The outside is studded with coral, pearls, and lapis lazuli, and over it hovers a gilded angel. The view from this Palace is very fine. From the windows of the main salon you look out upon the Castle of St. Elmo and the Church and Monastery of St. Martin, high up on the hill in the southwestern part of the city. We have been to this famous Church and Monastery, and they are well worth a visit if only to enjoy the view from the garden and belvidere. This

[ocr errors]

view takes in the city, bay, and the country in one direction as far as the Appenines. Listening from this high eminence, it was curious to hear the mingled sound of carriage wheels, of the tread of man and beast upon the pavement and street, of the voices of the moving multitude, of all the noises of a busy city rising in one ceaseless hum, not unlike the distant moaning of the ocean. The Church contains many paintings, all possessing more or less interest.

We had a jolly time on the 17th in an excursion to Mount Vesuvius. Taking a double marriage, in company with Dr. Merriman, Mr. and Mrs. Lippincott, and Miss Lillian Parker, and being provided by our landlady with a generous lunch, including oranges, mandarins, and vin ordinaire in abundance, we were driven along the coast for a few miles through a succession of villages, inhabited principally, we should think, by the lower class of laborers and beggars.

Fishing and the manufacture of macaroni appeared to be the leading industries, judging from the number of persons mending their nets and the strings of macaroni hung out in every quarter to dry. The lovers of macaroni would be wise not to give special attention to the secrets of its manufacture. By this caution we are reminded of an incident in the life of Hawthorne, whose humorous side, Mr. James T. Fields says, was not easily or often discoverable, yet that he had seen him marvelously moved to fun, and that he remembers how he writhed with hilarious delight over Professor L---'s account of a butcher who remarked that “Idees had got afloat in the public mind with respect to sassingers." It was a sight to behold the crowd going to and from the city, especially the market people, some carrying their products on their heads, some with carts, and

others with donkeys completely covered all but their head and ears by. huge panniers, one on either side, reaching nearly to the ground and filled with whatever they had to sell. One of these interesting animals was almost entirely enveloped in golden carrots, impelling the punster of our party, Mr. Lippincott, to remark that “ that donkey was more than eighteen carrots fine.” That this pun may not be credited either to vin ordinaire, or to the genuine • Lachrimæ Christi," a bottle of which was purchased by one of our party at the Hermitage, it is due to our friend to say that he got it off before lunch. Our road took us through the villages of Portici and Resina, situated very near the sea. The latter village has been built over the buried town of Herculaneum, the excavated portions of which are reached by about one hundred steps. Only a small part of the town has been excavated; and having seen Pompeii, and not having sufficient time on this trip to take a look at Herculaneum, we concluded to forego any satisfaction we might have enjoyed in visiting the latter ruins, which, we are informed, present nearly the same general appearance of those at Pompeii. Both towns were destroyed by the same eruption. It is not probable that any part of Herculaneum will ever be uncovered to the sun. Turning now to the left, we were driven on a smooth zig-zag turnpike up the hill, through and over immense lava beds, to a point called the Hermitage, which is at the end of the carriage road. The only buildings here are a tavern, a small chapel, and the observatory. They are situated on a ridge so high that when there is an eruption from Mount Vesuvius the streams of lava flow down on either side. The distance from this point to the base of the cone is

about one mile, and persons wishing to ascend the cone ride on mules or walk to the foot thereof at their pleasure. Dr. Merriman was the only one of our party who ascended to the mouth of the crater, the rest of us contenting ourselves with a ramble over the lava beds at the base of the cone, with an examination of the instruments in the observatory used for determining the conditon of the cauldron. and with the splendid view of land and sea afforded by our elevated position. We had a near view, also. of the great clouds of smoke, which come rolling up continually from the mouth of the seething crater. We walked over the identical beds of lava by which a party of tourists were suddenly overwhelmed and lost their lives in 1871. Hard now and immovable, these broad fields of lava, nevertheless, have an angry look, seeming to warn us to beware of a similar catastrophe to ourselves. The lava is of a dark color, like the scoriæ from an iron furnace, and has taken crude shapes, sometimes like coils of ropes. again like roots of dead trees, and then again swelling up into huge heaps, and, in the process of cooling, splitting open on the surface, presenting deep seams, or separating into smaller pieces. Dr. Merriman, in his ascent to the crater, outstripped all others with him, making the ascent unaided in just fifty minutes and the descent in ten minutes. Between Resina and the Hermitage, wherever there is a spot of ground not covered with lava, if no larger than a flower bed, grape vines have been planted. and gardeners were engaged in trimming and nursing them. One pleasant incident of this trip was our first meeting with Professor S. F. Smith, author of the National Hymn, “My Country, 'tis of Thee,“ at the Hermitage. He is one of the Faculty of the

Baptist Theological Seminary at Newton, Massachusetts. We all returned to our lodgings well satisfied with the day's enjoyment.


OME, FEBRUARY 1.- Our former traveling com

panion, Mr. Stickney, having joined us again at Naples, he and Dr. Merriman took final leave of us, and embarked for Egypt on the 18th of January. Dr. Parker and family returned on the same day to Rome, while we remained another week to keep company with Mr. and Mrs. Lippincott and finish up a little shopping, as well as to have executed a likeness in shell cameo, which we had just learned we could have done here on very reasonable terms. Naples is the place to buy all kinds of shell work, coral jewelry, and fancy articles in wood; and one can usually make such purchases there for one half or one quarter of the asking price. Having nearly completed our sightseeing there, we devoted the week to rest. We should not, however, forget to speak of a very interesting visit we made to the Aquarium in the Villa Reale. It is said to be the best in Europe. We also spent an hour agreeably in the Church of San Francesco di Paola, and went a second time to the Royal Palace. The Church is built after the style of the Pantheon in Rome. Its high altar is entirely inlaid with jasper and lapis lazuli.

We began now to think about securing our passage home by the Cunard Line, and we sent the company

« ÎnapoiContinuați »