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tion in the intense feeling of the mild and lovely, which drops from the pen of Lamartine, to utter the sentiment and soul of this scenery of the south!
Mr. Cass showed me a painting of Neapolitan scenery in his gallery at Rome, which I pronounced an excellent Idealism of some genius who had glimpses of celestial shores, where rosetinted waters make melody on gems and gold. "You had better wait, sir, until you see such a heaven and such water at Naples, before you pronounce this ideal." So I have. I am content to believe the painter has failed to do justice to the original. I ordered, with his permission, a copy of the landscape by the same painter, to take home to my friends, as the evidence of my enthusiasm. "Oh! what a goodly earth is ours!" is the ready exclamation at each gaze from the window. There is music here full and tender; but like that in Hamlet's flute, it cannot be brought out unless one knows the stops. There is beauty in that bay, now glittering with pearl and ruby, amethyst and emerald, turquoise and diamond; but like those gems in the enchanted cave, they must lie unseen, unless some genius of magic would illumine my page with Aladdin's wonderful lamp. I neither know the flute, nor possess the lamp; still "sweet will be the dew of these memories, and pleasant the balm of their recollection."
The singular contrast to this beauty towers up above the bay, and holds within its molten heart the elements of Destruction. God has implanted amid this garden the mountain of Vesuvius, and opened to the view of the luxurious people the ruins of buried cities. Truly is it said, the dwellers here live upon the confines of paradise and hell fire! We bear evidence of both. Yesterday we visited Vesuvius and looked down its crater and saw there
Before I tell you what I saw, my reader had better ascend with us. After engaging the good guide Antonia, and preparing a basket of lunch, we drive around the shore, hugging the bay as long as possible. Palaces alternate with shops; fine vistas
of orange gardens through high portals, succeed to dirty houses, at whose doors pigs and donkeys are tied. We pass the king's palace, well guarded and frowning. He seldom comes forth, poor prisoner; for he is afraid of being shot. Well he may be. We enter some fine piazzas with colonnades; but " none to speak of," after seeing St. Peter's at Rome. It is the hour of noon; and every body is sleeping, except the ever-laboring donkeys. We observed at the great granary, the largest building in Naples, some hundreds of workmen, all lying prone upon the stones, asleep a strange group! Men in long brown woollen caps, driving cows, oxen and donkeys, sometimes all in one team, hold the reins--asleep; and we distinctly saw one strapping fellow, ahold of his donkey's tail—a common mode of guidance here, walking along asleep. The rumbling of our carriage disturbed his dream of paradise, which consists of apricots and maccaroni. There is one portion of the population still awake, that is, the beggars. Our carriage was thronged with them when we stopped; and as we moved, they ran for hundreds of yards, holding up withered arms, opening diseased eyes, and piping their theatrical anguish most piteously. Children, dressed in no gaudy, unnatural way, play in the sun, in primitive, Eden style. The famous Neapolitan curriculo dashes along, loaded to the top and bottom, with dozens, though seemingly no larger than a go-cart. The picturesque costume of the people lends an air of romance to the drive. The brass harness of the donkeys, from whose backs it' rises in queer shape some feet, flashes in the sun. These same donkeys perform other important functions for the lazy people, some of which are represented by our artist, in a happy style. It is no caricature either, as I can verify. Long lines of fruit venders are ranged along the streets. Still we drive and drive, occasionally looking upward, and finding Vesuvius just as near and just as distant in the clear air as The city seems a never-ending one. New-York is small compared to it in length. Its population is more than half a million, it being the third city in Europe.
At last we stop, after riding long miles. Our guide informs us that we are over Herculaneum! A door opens, torches are lighted, and our company (eight Americans) descend. We pass into the great theatre, which is only partially excavated. Unlike Pompeii, Herculaneum is buried deep, and is not so easily. displayed. The grand entrances to the theatre and niches between (wherein a marble statue was found), the long circle of corridors, the front of the stage, the place for the orchestra, the circled seats of stone, were all in perfect preservation. An impress of a mask or bust-the features finely marked in the solid lava above our heads, was seen by the aid of our torches. We passed into some of the houses, which were excavated. The old brick and mortar had withstood the besieging, burning lava, nobly; but the wood was charred. We were shown into the. garden where an old palace had been dug out. The floors were. finely tesselated, and the walls of yellow and red still revealed their quaintly painted figures. The walls of the city, at whose base the sea murmured as sweetly, as now to my ear it murmurs against the wall of Naples, were pointed out. Far different music it hissed and boiled, upon that fatal time, when the victorious molten elements of the mountain drove it inhospitably away. Plucking a flower from one of the gardens of the ancient city, which withered and fell, ere it could be pressed, we continued our drive through Portici, and up the mountain.
Vesuvius really extends down to the sea; but the ascent is so gradual that it is almost imperceptible. One may, however, trace the stream of lava and the stratum of scoriæ by the richness of the foliage and the sweetness of the bloom. For over an hour we wound around, amid walls overhung with fruit-trees and vines. Oranges, nectarines, apricots, big cherries, pomegranates. and figs, line our upward way. What genius of cultivation could equal this mountain side in prodigality? What peculiar element of fructification dwells in this volcanic soil, and over this burning erater? My knowledge of botanical chemistry fails me in these queries. The luscious fact, however, waters most tooth
somely in the mouth, as apricot, orange, and nectarine severally are victimized. The red and gold of the nectarine, and the melting glisten of its wounded side, wooing you to another indentation, brought forcibly to my mind the beautiful saying of WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR-that the best results of human hought spring from a clear head meditating over a burning heart, just as the richest fruits spring out of the sides of a volcano over its hidden fire!
We pass through a continuous succession of gardens, stopping to buy from the peasants some fruit,-meeting donkies laden. with their rich burdens, going down to the city under the guidance of boys, and women with baskets upon their heads, returning from the city, their fruit all sold. As we ascend higher by the good road, the hard iron cinders begin their domain of desolation, interspersing their barrenness amidst the smiling cultivation. As we followed the zigzag course, every now and then a view would open, disclosing, on either side, gorge in gorge, and chasm fearfully hid in chasm beneath. Two or three little houses are set away up, some fifteen hundred feet above the sea, perfectly unconscious of the slumbering Pandemonium beneath. The Hermitage," our carriage destination,-is still higher. It marks the summit of vegetation. Above it, there grow no more of the ever-blooming sweets of Nature. Near by, is a little cottage, prettily ensconced in the side-hill, against whose Gothic front, on which the Madonna is painted, the evening sun begins to pour his horizontal beams. Chestnuts and mulberries overhang the gorges around. We strike the level, and are in the midst of the guides and horses, and in front of the antiquelooking "Hermitage." An awful and a strange scene is this, verily. Such a devilish crew-fit ministers unto such a curiosity as this of Volcano-seeing! The mountain is half-way ascended, yet there it is above us, apparently just as high as ever. Its laborious ascent is not yet begun. All is thus far a world of pleasure. If Dr. CHEEVER were writing, he would moralize this upward way into a Bunyan pilgrimage, or an
allegory of some kind. We have passed through a region, upon which the Hours have pressed down to men the prodigality of Heaven. Wanton Spring and fruitful Autumn lead us with soft and downy steps so gradually upward, that we are rather allured than led by the "goodly prospect." The "Hermitage" marks the point where Paradise ends and fire begins to show its effects. It is not so bad a place either. It furnishes us a lunch of rare deliciousness and ponies of sure footing. After buying our canes, and some boxes of Vesuvian relics, we mount-a gleeful company. We ride Indian file, over and amid cragged, jagged, and ragged rocks-the result of more recent eruptions. Around and upward we wind-going over the great crater (now fireless) from whose heart Pompeii received its doom. So deep and large was its discharge, that it divided the mountain, so as to make it appear like two peaks. The right hand peak, which is nearest to the sea, is the grand one, and that which we must climb. A calcined world of desolation, with no murmur of cascades, no music of pine-trees, awaits our step. The smoke winds about its summit almost perpendicularly above us. Is the ascent practicable? Onward! The guides whip the ponies behind, steering them by their tails, and, with laugh and halloo we find ourselves at the pedestrian point. There are three ladies of our party, and they must mount the chairs. By the way, now that the ladies are out shopping, let me pilfer from the journal of one of them, her sensations upon the extraordinary, perpendicular, and peculiar romance of the ride. I give it verbatim: "Here, at the point of steepest ascent, were our palanquins in waiting; and then began a chattering among the guides. Some one said that they were quarrelling and scrambling to get the smallest lady. [The writer seemed to be a peculiar object of care.) Simultaneously we were hoisted on the backs of our bearers-four poles sustaining the chair in which we sat. Swartlooking fellows they were one at each pole. L led the way in our horseback cavalcade, and now came my turn to swing the veil of the foremost, when-short-lived triumph!—one