Frances (Winckley) Shelley.

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between starvation within the blockaded forts, or the well-merited punishment


King seems to be now pursuing a fatal system of
government. The French had abolished the feudal
rights of the Neapolitan nobility, which caused a great
injury both to the reverence of the people for their
Government, and to its prosperity. When Murat
came, he gave pensions to all those who had suffered
under that law, and by his generosity, which was a
trait in his character, reconciled the nobility to their
losses. The abolition of their rights over the customs
receipts had raised the revenue of Naples from eight
to twenty-two millions. Of this large sum, Murat
gave five or six millions in pensions to the nobility as
a solatium for their losses. The King now keeps the
whole of the revenue, and thinks only of his shooting.
He neglects all the roads, except those upon which he
himself travels. The roads made by Murat are fast
going to decay. The only tolerable road is kept up by
General Nugent with the Austrian troops. In Murat's
time, ten thousand people were constantly employed
in making and mending roads, and in excavating
Pompeii ; now there are not two hundred. As a
natural consequence, there is much poverty amongst
the people. Fortunately for the King, the population
of Naples is naturally inclined to indolence. In summer
they can live for five grains a day, their only luxury
being ice ; and the wretch who eats nothing but
carrots will drink iced water two or three times a
day ! In the preservation of ice, and in that alone, the
Government shows some energy. Great store-houses
are prepared in the valleys above Castellamare, and
the supply is brought daily in boats, and is distributed
with the greatest regularity into every quarter of the

During the heat of summer, there are three or four

for treason. In October 1799, tne ^ r 'ti s h Government fully endorsed
Nelson's policy. Lord Spencer wrote : " I can only repeat that the intentions
and motives by which all your measures have been governed, have been as
pure and good as their success has been complete."


hours in the day, when neither threats, entreaty, nor
money will induce one of the lazzaroni to carry a
message for you. If you offer him a piastre he will
reply, without moving, " In quest'ora non si lavora,"
and there the matter must rest. There are sanctuaries
in some parts of the town of Naples where justice may
not pursue criminals. But we passed several chapels
on our way to Vesuvius, on which it is written : " Qui
non si gode asilo." During the French occupation,
these asylums were altogether abolished.

We passed La Favorita, a palace with lovely gardens
stretching down to the sea, beyond Portici.

I give the following for what it may be worth.

In 1805, the King was at Castellamare. The Russian
Fleet were there also, endeavouring to make him join
the Alliance against France. The King refused, and
decided to leave Castellamare. The night before they
set off, a torrent of lava descended from Vesuvius,
and completely blocked the road to Naples. During
the eight days that the King and his Court were
detained, negotiations were resumed, and the King
was induced to join the Alliance. This led to the
immediate occupation of Naples by the French
troops, and the flight of the King to Sicily.

Owing to Count Gonfaloniere's researches, it
appears certain that the city of Pompeii was not
ruined by clouds of cinders, as is generally sup-
posed, but by water-spouts which burst suddenly
out of the earth, and, forming into torrents, swept
everything before them. After forming a kind of
paste the flood overwhelmed the town. His opinion
is based on the discovery of flints and other materials
in the paste. Walls were pushed down, all in the
same direction and not squashed, as they would have
been if the pressure had been from above. Count
Gonfaloniere says that the distance of Pompeii from
the mountain is too great for the transit of so light
a body as cinders.

i8i7] A REVERIE 373

We entered Pompeii by the Street of Tombs.
About 1 50 people are now at work upon the excava-
tions. During the summer there were not more than
six or seven. In Murat's time 500 were constantly
employed. They told us that the Amphitheatre had
not been used for some years preceding the destruction
of the city, owing to a dispute between the inhabitants
of Pompeii and those of Nocera, which accounts for
the fact that many of the seats are wanting. In the
evening we went to the Fiorentino, a pretty theatre
for comic operas. " Paul et Virginie " delighted us.

The King has ploughed up the ground close to
the Palace of Caserta, for the birds to feed on. In
making the regular round of all that is worth seeing
in Naples and its neighbourhood, we have been
pestered by beggars. I could not help seeing how
miserable the people are. We went to the Belvidere,
with its lovely view over the town and bay. The
scene was gilded by an Italian sun, every tint of
the rainbow tinged the hills, the sea, the sky, and
the bright houses. In the distance little boats, no
larger than flies, lay like white lilies on a blue
ground. Two fine frigates are lying at anchor in
the bay, and another is waiting to catch the first
breeze. Here, undisturbed by the misery, poverty,
and clamour which infest the streets, I abandoned
myself to the luxury of the climate, and rejoiced
that we are only passengers in this: dangerous, though
entrancing spot.

January 24, 18 17. — It is a summer's day, such as
youthful poets fancy when they muse. We have
spent most of our evenings in society. The Carnival
is very dull this year ; there were numbers of
carriages, but no fun at all. Under the French,
Naples went mad during the Sundays of the Carnival.

We made an excursion to Baia with Count
Gonfaloniere. He is an agreeable and instructive
guide. The isles of Nisida, with the promontory of

374 CICERO'S VILLA [ch. xviii

Posilipo, and the distant isles of Procida and Ischia,
formed a complete panorama : while the mist which
rose from the glassy sea gave an effect which could
not fail to inspire a painter. As we drove along
the shore, annoyed by a strong sulphurous smell,
we noticed that the ground was volcanic. One can
form some idea of what its appearance must have
been in Homer's time. He peopled its mysterious
hills and valleys with beings of his own creation,
but with a good foundation of truth. Here dwelt
the Cimmerii, in their sombre caves. The present
inhabitants enable one to form some idea of their
ancestors, whose savage passions they have inherited.
It is evident, from the exactness of Homer's description
of this part of the country, that he had himself either
made the voyage or had conversed with those who
had done so.

Pozzuoli, which was formerly a fine city, is now
given up to filth and wretchedness. We crossed
over to the shore, near the Lago d'Averno. The
Bridge of Caligula, or rather the remains of the
mole to which his bridge was attached, and upon
which he passed triumphantly to Baia the day before
it was destroyed by the sea, lay on our left. On
the right stand the remains of Cicero's Villa, while
the Monte Nuova, which had been formed in one
night by a volcanic outburst, 1 gave me the idea that
possibly the whole of Italy might once have risen
from the waves. The sea is so clear here that,
at the depth of several hundred feet, the smallest
pebbles are visible. We were carried to the shore
on the backs of our boatmen, and landed by the
Lago Lacrino, where the ancients used to fatten
their fish for the market. The depth of this lake
was for centuries unknown. Some years ago an
English admiral caused soundings to be made, and
reached the bottom at fifteen hundred feet.

' Its upheaval took place on September 30, 1538.


After passing through a grove, we entered the
supposed cave of the Sibyl of Cumoe, which answers
so completely to Virgil's description of it. We
passed along a fine vaulted passage, without waiting
for our lights, as we saw in the distance the gleams
of torches, carried by a party who were slowly
approaching. It turned out to be a party of vulgar
English. One of the women screamed out : " La !
I am sure we have had trouble enough to see
nothing." The sight of these scenes of mystery
delighted me. We followed our guides through a
passage, which was barely wide enough to admit
a man. Here we came to some water, through which
we waded on the men's backs. Poor Shelley, having
dropped his legs into the water, complained bitterly.
I rode my horse better, and saw the whole scene
by torchlight ! Before me stood the Sibyl's bed, her
bath, and the different chambers in which she de-
livered those oracles upon which hung such por-
tentous events in that age of heroes and superstition.
These winding passages, with their deep echoes, must
have heightened the solemnity, and have given a
magical effect to the solemn voice of the Priestess.
As I beheld this spot, a light entered into my brain,
and I fancied that I understood the effect which
these oracles must have made in those ages of

We returned to our boat besmirched by the smoke
of torches. I had a fine pair of whiskers !

We crossed to the Baths of Nero, which were fed
by a hot spring. As we passed along its passages,
we burst into perspiration and were almost suffocated.
The water at that spring is so hot that an egg may
be boiled in it. 1 proved this by eating the egg
which Shelley boiled. In the chamber are the
remains of the rock sofa, where the Romans anointed
themselves after the bath. There is a fine view of
the outside world through the broken arches. We


then crossed the bay, and landed at Miseno. As
we passed through a wretched village, we were
tormented by beggars, old and young, and reached
the Campi Elysii Alas ! what disenchantment ! We
beheld a burnt-up, barren, treeless shore ; a stagnant
lake. We were worried to death by beggars, and
oppressed by the heat ; so we quitted the Elysian
fields with pleasure, and ascended the promontory
overlooking the Bay of Miseno, where the Roman
fleet lay at anchor when Pliny saw it, on the day
that he went to meet his death in the eruption of
Vesuvius. The bay is now very small, having been
blocked by a fall of the surrounding promontories.

We scrambled down, and noted where once the
plough had turned the soil, and we picked up on the
shore bits of marble and coloured glass which had
once decorated the villas of wealthy Romans. The
Piscina Mirabilis, or reservoir for fresh water, is still
entire, though the contents are destroyed. It is
encrusted with that wonderful cement which hardens
in the water. As there are no springs on these
shores, this great work was designed to supply the
Roman fleet and the inhabitants of these arid shores
with fresh water.

We returned by boat to Baia, and were tormented by
our dissatisfied boatman, who, having been paid more
than his usual fare, still asked for more. We joined
our carriage at Fusaro, and returned to Naples.

The whole of the next day was employed in
receiving visits of farewell, and it was with regret that
I parted from many, whom I could never hope to see


From Prince Metternich to Lady Shelley

"VlENNE, Fevrier 1817.

" J'ai recu vos deux aimables lettres de Naples, et je
vous en remercie. Votre voyage est si prompt que Ton
sait, a peu pres, toujours ou vous n'etes pas, sans


pouvoir calculer ou il faut vous ecrire. Je suis clone
a vos ordres, en faisant aller cette lettre droit a Paris.
Cette ville est connue ; la station est bonne, et je n'ai
pas pour rien des correspondans dans les capitales.

" Notre Ministre en France, qui n'est pas bien allant,
saura, je m'en flatte, faire arriver ma lettre jusqu'a
vous. Si je calcule la bonte que vous m'avez eu de
vous souvenir dans les lieux saints, et au pied du
Vesuve, de l'humble citoyen de Vienne, je compte un
peu sur le plaisir que vous aurez de voir que Ton ne
vous oublie pas non plus. Ce que vous me dites de
1S18 est tres bien; j'en accepte l'augure, et j'espere
que Vienne sera, pour le coup, le but de votre voyage.

"Je trouve que nous sommes si loin, que nous
valons si peu comme lieu de passage, qu'il y a de
l'ambition a vouloir nous traiter comme si nous
habitions le centre du monde civilise. Je ne sais si
notre position geographique influe sur notre moral,
mais je vous reponds que nous valons mieux a user
qu'a etre vu et juge a la hate.

" Rien n'est change ici que les pensees de l'homme
a Fecurie, ou plutot tout serait change s'il ne changeait
plus. 11 avait essaye de noyer ses peines dans les
charmes de M. Borgondio, que vous n'avez plus vu, et
que vous avez eu raison de ne plus attendre — il lui
avait jure un amour eternel. II a tenu parole et lisant
tort que je lui connoisse dans cette affaire, e'est celui
d'avoir oublie de la prevenir que l'eternite en amour
chez lui est synonyme de huit jours, moins quelques
heures. II a jure depuis de ne plus aimer qu'une
dame que vous ne connoissez, je crois egalement, pas.
La pauvre petite est au [5 itane jour, et je crois quelle
le trouve un peu plus froid que le premier jour.

" La cuisine ne va plus ; on la menage comme un
magasin a poudre, et il y fait un froid a mourir ! Le
salon blanc va toujours, parce qu'il se compose de tous
les numeros. Je ne vous cacherai cependant pas que
je trouve le change a la caisse ; les 5 sont de bonne
aubaine. On est, au reste, dispense encore poui
plusieurs jours d'avoir de l'esprit, et meme de se
donner la peine d'avoir l'air d'en avoir; on ne fait que
danser. L'esprit des jeunes personnes, et de nos
jeunes gens, est dans les jambes. Celui des hommes
d'un age mur se confond avec les regies du ; whist, et
les dames qui ne dansent plus, et ne jouent pas encore,


sont comme toujours, et a Vienne comme partout
ailleurs, tantot bonnes, tantot un peu mauvaises.

" Rentrerez-vous dans les seules voyes du salut,
depuis que vous etes charmee du Saint-Pere et un peu
eprise de son Cardinal secretaire d'Etat ? Je vous
promets de ne plus prier pour vous, le jour oil
j'apprends cette bonne nouvelle ; vous ferez alors bien
votre affaire a vous seule.

" Mandez-moi ce que le Pape vous a dit de si
extraordinaire. Le Saint-Pere est infaillible, mais il est
homme, et je comprends que, comme entache de ce seul
peche, il ait pu vous dire de droles de choses — pour un
rape. Si vous voyez Lord Wellington, dites-lui mille
choses de ma part. C'est l'un des hommes que j'aime
le mieux au monde, et si jetais femme je l'aimerais
plus que le reste du monde.

" Ne faites plus de politique entre femmes a
Londres. Apprenez a vos dames a causer de toute
autre chose, a faire de la tapisserie — fut-ce meme de
la peluche; enseignez-leur une demie douzaine de
patiences et de tours de cartes, et invitez-les a
prendre des mceurs et des habitudes un peu plus
continentales. Vous gagnerez visiblement a ce
marche, auquel les tribunaux, les avocats, et les cures
en Europe peuvent seul perdre !

" Mon train de vie est toujours le meme, mais ma
sante est tres bonne, malgre ce que Ton vous en a dit.
On est si habitue a me priver de l'un ou de l'autre de
mes sens, qu'on a pris un leger rhume pour la mort de
mon nez ! Mon ceil va tres bien ; vous le trouveriez a

Eeu pres comme l'autre, c'est-a-dire guere beau, mais
ien clair-voyant.

" Adieu, ma chere Lady ; milles choses a Shelley.
Le Prince de Schwarzenberg va tres bien : nous en
sommes quittes avec lui par beaucoup de frayeur, et,
heureusement, sans mal, et sans suites probables. Sa
paralysie a quasi disparu a l'heure qu'il est, et le reste
de sa sante vaut mieux qu'avant son accident. La
nature parait avoir fait une crise, mais a laquelle le
malade a manque succomber. La nature a souvent ce
genre de procede, de commune avec les medecins.

"Adieu! je vous dernande pardon d'une aussi
longue lettre, mais j'ai cru causer avec vous, et vous ne
me gronderez pas de cette erreur?



We left Naples at six o'clock, and after twenty-five
hours' travelling, we reached Rome on a fine moon-
light evening. As the letters we had written for
lodgings had not arrived, we were detained at the
douane. Angelique, my maid, was very ill, and I
passed two wretched hours wandering about the
streets of Rome.

On the day after our arrival at Rome, 1 called on
Madame Apponyi, who received me with every mark
of affection. In the course of the afternoon, we heard
at her house the most perfect music. Rossini, the
composer, Madame Vera, and five or six other voices.

While we were at dinner, Canova walked in, and
afterwards Cardinal Gonsalvo, Monsieur de Sommery,
the Comte de Blacas, and the ComteChotek ; the latter
stayed till midnight, and then set off for Vienna. The
sad news of Prince Schwarzenberg's attack of
apoplexy has hastened his departure from Rome. He
showed the deepest feeling, and is a most excellent
young man.

I went to Canova's atelier. He made me a present of
two busts, which he is to send to England for me. I
dislike the cast from the Mars and Venus. It is
heavy. After a visit to the tomb of Caius Cestius, I
went to the summit of the tower on the Capitol to bid
farewell to Rome.

I called on Madame Apponyi, and stayed an hour.
She talked Religion all the time, as she was going in
the evening to Confession, and thought it wrong to
see me.

After I left her, I mounted to the highest gallery in
St. Peter's. I had deferred this because I was told it
was not worth the trouble. Fortunately, the finest
evening in the world tempted me, and I never was
so enchanted. It is impossible to form an idea of the
magnitude of St. Peter's without ascending the Dome.
It was quite dark when we returned to dinner.

In the evening we went to Lady Westmorland's,


meaning to return early to bed. She happened to be
in a talking mood, and began the subject of Lady
Jersey, with whom she has quarrelled about Pauline
Borghese. It was impossible to get away before two
o'clock in the morning !

We reached Siena in the evening. As we
approached Florence, the setting sun gave place to the
silver moon. The scene reminded me of the land-
scapes of Gaspar Poussin. The grouping of buildings
and trees is very picturesque. On the following
evening we went to a ball given by the Grand Duke at
the Palazzo Pitti. The heat was intense, there were
too many people, and the rooms were full of flowers.
I was bored to death. The Grand Duke bears a very
strong likeness to the Emperor of Austria. He
talked to me about Vienna. The dancing here is
decidedly solemn, and society does not appear to be in
the least amused, although everybody spoke of the
gaiety of Florence! Count Spanocchi came next
morning to act as our cicerone. We went to the Cascine,
which is something like the Prater in miniature.
The gardeners presented us with flowers in pretty
baskets. In the evening we went to the Countess of
Albany, to whom Gonsalvo had given me a letter of
introduction ; she received me with the greatest
cordiality. She struck me as being a clever and
agreeable old lady. I met at her house a Monsieur
Bartely, who had served with Napoleon in all his
campaigns, inclusive of the Battle of Waterloo. He
seems to be much attached to him. He told me that
the qualification necessary for the Imperial Guard
consisted in five campaigns, three wounds, and ten
years of service. He said that all the army of the
Loire would have shed their last drop of blood for
Napoleon. I told him that the Emperor's abdication
had impressed everybody most unfavourably. To this
he replied, " I am quite certain that Napoleon was
forced to abdicate. He had no choice in the matter."

iSi7] FLORENCE 381

Monsieur Bartely, who is a pleasing young man, is
willing to serve under the King, as he did under
Napoleon, believing it to be a duty which he owes to
his country. He assures me, from his own knowledge
(though I doubt it), that Napoleon headed the last
charge of the Imperial Guard at Waterloo in person!

I may here mention that, in my opinion, Raffaele's
Fornarina, which I saw in the Tribune, is the finest
portrait in Europe. It has all the colouring of
Giorgione, with the soul of Raffaele. It forms such a
striking resemblance to Julie Zichy that it might have
been her portrait. The Niobe impressed me deeply.
I have never seen drawings of it, and therefore I had
a pleasing surprise on first beholding this chef ctceuvre
of expression and feeling. The tears that sprang into
my eyes were caused by maternal feeling, and by
those family sensations which this sad story awakens
in every breast. I was much struck by the strong
resemblance of the children to their mother, and, in a
less degree, to each other. One of the daughters
might be Niobe at fifteen, while the fine pose of the
mother, as she stands in all the majesty of pride
imploring the gods to spare her youngest child,
shielded by her own person from a shower of arrows,
portrays so much dignity and feeling as could only be
attained by the greatest master of plastic art. The
dead son is equally fine ; in short, the whole of the
children of Niobe are worthy of their mother.

The Pitti Palace contains the finest modern library
on the Continent. It is continually augmented by the
Grand Duke. He himself makes the catalogue and
classifies the works, which are divided into rooms
under the heads of Philosophy, Natural History, Art,
Poetry, etc. The catalogue is perfect. We saw the
Grand Duke's writing room, where he spends two or
three hours every evening.

It is the rule here, and also at the UiHizzi, never to
leave the visitor an instant unattended by the custode.

382 ARRIVAL AT PARMA [en. xyiii

This is very irksome, and occasions great loss of time,
as one has to wait until a party has finished a tour of
the rooms. Meanwhile, the doors are closed, and are
not again opened until the party emerges. This rule
is very annoying, as one may wish to move about and
to return to a favourite work of art. I have, however,
become bold and callous, and pursue my way without
scruple. I am obliged to visit these galleries alone, as
the cold is too great for Shelley.

I never saw anything so dull as these Carnival
amusements. As a rule the women in masks allow
themselves to be recognised ! It is at Carnival time
that they usually change their cavaliere servente. To
the uninitiated, nothing could be more dull, although the
noise and scenes in the streets are curious and gay

We rode to Fiesole ; Count Spanocchi accompanied
us. The old friars would not let me into the gardens
of the monastery on account of my sex. We were
much amused by an old man who showed us the
ancient amphitheatre, now entirely covered by earth,
with only a stone here and there to indicate what
it was. His description was in every respect as
pompous as that of the guide at the Coliseum. We
rode home through the Cascine, where we saw several
pheasants and hares.

The roads in the Pope's dominions are generally
bad. The great drawback to travelling in Italy is the
incessant stoppage by the douanicrs at the entrance of
each town. These officials are very difficult to deal
with, and are rarely satisfied.

We passed on to Parma, where, on sending my
letter to General Niepperg, we received an invitation
to dine with Marie Louise.

When we arrived at the Palace, servants plainly
dressed showed us to an ante-room, where a few
officers were waiting. We then passed through a
suite of rooms into a salon which was beautifully


furnished. Its white walls were bordered with gold,
and had no ornaments upon them whatever. The
only picture which hung upon the wall was a portrait
of the young Napoleon. Pier glasses were arranged
all round the room, and under each glass stood a table
bearing some of Canova's figures, and copies of
antique statues in alabaster. The apartment was
brilliantly lit by chandeliers.

I was most anxious to see Marie Louise, and to form
my own opinion of a personage about whom there has
been so much discussion. Presently a slight rustling
announced her approach, and then the Empress of the
French, very simply attired, walked into the room.
Her Majesty was preceded by General Niepperg, her
Chevalier d'Honneur, and was followed by her Lady-
in-Waiting. Marie Louise, though not regularly

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