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ITALY



THE ITALIANS



FREDEBIC VON EAUMER,

AUTHOR OF
' ENGLAND IN 1835,'' ILLUSTRATIONS OF HISTORY," &c.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

LONDON :
HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER,

GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

1840.



LONDON:
F. SHOBERL. JUN., PRINTER. 51 , RUPERT STREET, HA VMABtET.



CONTENTS



THE SECOND VOLUME.



LEISTER LX.
Florence — Environs — Italian Theatre — Libraries . 1

LETTER LXI.
Florence — Pictures ... . • 6

LETTER LXII.
Florence— The Pitti Palace .... 7

LETTER LXIII.

Reflections on Art, by One of the Uninformed. Second Con-
tinuation — Niobe — Alfieri ... .8

LETTER LXIV.

Florence — Bartolini — Cucumero Theatre — Becchi . 12

LETTER LXV.
Florence — Amici — Physical Cabinet — Fiesole . . 14

LETTER LXVI.

Tuscany — Leopold's Legislation — Agriculture — Halflings 16

LETTER LXVII.
Tuscany — Cadastre — Land Tax — Municipal Institutions 26



IV CONTENTS.

LETTER LXVIII.
Leghorn — Population — Commerce — Taxes — Customs . 33

LETTER LXIX.

Tuscany — Population — Army — Clergy and Monks — Uni-
versities . . . . .38

LETTER LXX.

Tuscany — Administration of Justice — Jews — Revenues and
Expenditure of the State — Public Debt . . 43

LETTER LXXI.

P'lorence — Income and Expenditure of the City — Municipal
Regulations . . . . . .47

LETTER LXXII.
Journey to Rome — Heat — Best Season for visiting Italy 50

LETTER LXXIII.
Rome — Argentina Theatre . . . .54

LETTER LXXIV.
Rome — Hunting — Remarks on the History of the Hohen-
staufen — Peyron . . . . .55

LETTER LXXV.

Rome — Nocturnal Concert — Feast of St. John — The La-
teran . . . . . .60

LETTER LXXVI.
Rome — Politics — Hanover — Etruscan Museum . 62

LETTER LXXVII.

Reflections on Art by One of the Uninformed. Third Con-
tinuation — Danger of Beauty — The Vatican — Torch-
light ....... 64

LETTER LXXVIII.
Rome — Illumination of St. Peter's-— Fireworks at the Castle
of St. Angelo . . . . .68



CONTENTS. V

LETTER LXXIX.
States of the Church — Government and People — Schools —
Universities . . . . . .71

LETTER LXXX.
States of the Church — Cultivation — Population — Poor 79

LETTER LXXXI.

States of the Church — Administration — Municipal Regu-
lations . . . . . .81

LETTER LXXXII.

States of the Church — Finances . . .86

LETTER LXXXIII.
Journey to Naples — Campagna di Roma — Ruins — Pick-
pockets in Naples . . . . .90

LETTER LXXXIV.
Naples — Beautiful Situation — The Exhibition — Music —
Ride to Virgil's Grotto— Alfieri . . .96

LETTER LXXXV.

Naples — Pohtical Ideas — Music . . . 107

LETTER LXXXVI.

Naples — Libraries — Literary Men — Excursion to Sor-
rento . . . . . .108

LETTER LXXXVII.
Naples — Nature and Society, here and hereafter — Calabria
and the Calabrese — Admission to the Archives of the Vati-
can refused . . . . .114

LETTER LXXXVIII.
Naples —Summer — Prostitution — Excursion to Ischia 122

LETTER LXXXIX.
Naples— The Studj— Pompeji , . 127



VI CONTENTS.

LETTER XC.
Passage to Palermo — Flora — Santa Maria di Gesu — Duke of
Serradifalco — Monreale .... 130

LETTER XCL
Palermo — Temperature — Portrait of Frederick Barbarossa —
Library — Antiquities — University — Ball — Cathedral —
Lunatic Hospital — Mendicants' Asylum . .134

LETTER XCII.
Palermo — Monte Pellegrino — St. Rosalia — The Observatory
and Botanical Garden — Evening Party . . . 142

LETTER XCIII.
Passage to Messina — Aspect of the City — Poverty of the
Nobles of Palermo — TraveUing Companions — Environs
of Messina .,..,. 145

LETTER XCIV.
Journey from Messina to Catanea — Attempted Ascent of
Etna — Syracuse ..... 151

LETTER XCV.
Malta — Palace of the Grand Master — Spirit of the English
Government — Heat — Musquitoes . . . 163

LETTER XCVI.
Return from Malta to Messina . . . 168

LETTER XCVII.

Messina — Farewell Concert — Return to Naples . 170

LETTER XCVIII.

Modern History of Naples — Charles HL — Ferdinand IV.

and Marie Caroline — Conquest by the French — Partheno-

pean Republic — Restoration of the King — His second

expulsion by the French .... 173

LETTER XCIX.

State of Naples during the reign of Joseph Bonaparte — Mu-
rat — His Quarrel with Napoleon — His Fall . . 185



CONTENTS. Vll

LETTER C.

State of Naples on Ferdinand's Return — The Carbonari —
Revolution of 1820 — Interference of Austria . 193

LETTER CI.

Naples —Constitution — Parliament — Clergy — Convents —
Concordat — Nobility — Agriculture . . . 203

LETTER CII.
Naples — Administration — Municipal Institutions . 218

LETTER cm.

Naples — Penal and Civil Laws — Statistics of Crime . 225

LETTER CIV.
Naples — Population — Military Establishment — Navy . 230

LETTER CV.

Naples — Schools — Universities — Lavf relative to Theatres —
— Borboni Society — Duty on Imported Books — Inadequacy
of Italian Universities .... 236

LETTER CVI.
Naples — Agriculture — Corn trade — Forests . . 248

LETTER CVII.
Naples — The Domains — The Tavoliere in Apulia — Roads
— Commerce — Prince of Cassaro . . . 256

LETTER CVIII.
Naples — Finances — Taxes; on Land; on Trades; on Con-
sumption — Revenues and Debts of the State — Revenue
and Expenditure of the city of Naples . . 266

LETTER CIX.

Naples — Relief of the Poor — Mendicity — Foundling Hos-
pitals . . . . . .277

LETTER ex.
Sicily — Constitution — Administration . . . 285



vm CONTENTS.

LETTER CXI.

Sicily — Population — Exemption from forced Levies of Soldiers
— Gendarmerie — Police .... 299

LETTER CXII.

Sicily — Decline of its Prosperity — Trade — Commerce . 304

LETTER CXIII.
Sicily — Sulphur Trade and Sulphur Monopoly . 310

LETTER CXIV.
Sicily — Corn Trade — Land-Tax — Revenues and Expenditure
of Palermo and Messina — Foundling Hospitals . 317

LETTER CXV.
Roman Archives — Relations between Church and State —
Religious Squabbles . . . • . 322

LETTER CXVI.
Journey from Naples to Florence . . . 327

LETTER CXVII.

Journey from Florence to Verona — Austrian Government —
Prohibition of Begging — School Examination — Passport
Annoyance ...... 329

LETTER CXVIII.
Journey from Verona to Miinich — Inspruck . 334

LETTER CXIX.
Miinich — Library — School of Painting — Religious Feuds —
Threatened Dissolution of the German Confederation 335

LETTER CXX.
General Survey of Italy — The Arts — Sciences — Music 337

LETTER CXXI.
Italy — Family Life — Cicisbeism — Foundling Hospitals —
Army — Spirit of Modern Catholicism — Classes — Con-
stitution ...... 344



CONTENTS. IX

LETTER CXXII.
Italy — Survey of the individual States — Sicily — Naples 353

LETTER CXXin.
States of the Church — Tuscany — Piedmont . . 359

LETTER CXXIV.

Lombardo- Venetian Kingdom — Unity of Italy — Revolutions
— Advances — Hopes and Wishes • . .365



LETTERS FROM ITALY.

LETTER LX.

Florence — Environs — Italian Theatre — Libraries.

Florence, June 7th.
Let every-day matter (what is worse .'') succeed
the reveries of the uninformed. If possible, I take
a daily walk in the beautiful environs. Thus, one
afternoon, I visited the Cascines. The woods and
meadows were most exquisitely illumined by the sun-
bright evening ; about midnight a shower of rain
fell on the cultivated hills ; and towards morning-
Florence, with its domes and towers, was sharply
defined upon a ground of black clouds. The whole
scene was as diversified as beautiful. Another time
to Poggio imperiale, a residence of the grand-
duke's, ascending through dark cypresses to cheer-

VOL. II. B



2 ENVIRONS OF FLORENCE.

ful heights and orange gardens. A third time to
Bello guardo, where, beyond a verdant slope,
covered with vines and olive-trees, all Florence lies
spread out before the eye ; the plain towards Pistoja
opens on the left ; and, on the opposite side, Fiesole,
with its ancient churches and buildings, crowns the
chain of hills. A fourth time to St. Miniato, dis-
tinguished by the like beautiful views.

It is, of course, become warmer than it was, but
as yet the heat is not oppressive, and it is not ad-
visable to change the warmer for lighter clothing,
as the mornings and evenings do not show a higher
temperature than 11 to 13 degrees {56^ to 60''
Fahrenheit).

Through Count Waldburg-Truchsess, I received
a French letter from Turin, in which Count Cosilla
informs me, that his Majesty the King has pre-
sented me with a copy of the Storia Metallica of
bis kingdom. In my answer to the Count, (like-
wise in French,) I have returned thanks for this
unexpected favour, touched upon some literary
points, and said, among other things, " J'ai par-
couru difFerens pays de I'Europe, mais la reception
que j'ai trouve a Turin, le nombre de personnes
d'esprit, de talens, et de science, qui ont bien voulu
m'instruire, I'energie du caractere qui m'a paru
plus grande que dans quelques autres pays de
I'ltalie, les progres de la monarchie sarde, princi-



THE THEATRE. 3

palement de la Sardaigne elle-meme, un Roi qui
tache de realiser un j uste-milieu positif- — tout cela
a rendu mon sejour a Turin extremement utile et
agreable, et s'est imprime dans mon cceur et ma
memoire pour toute la vie."

Do not criticise my French, but take notice that
all I here say is perfectly true, only that at this
passage some little doubt arose whether Charles
Albert may not listen too readily to clerical and par-
ticularly Jesuistical counsels. On this point I refer
to my former reports.

Of the theatre there is still but little to say. The
wretched operas and comedies have no attraction
for me J and such talent as Erminia Gherardi's I
have not since met with. But I should certainly
go more frequently to the play, if it commenced
earlier than half- past eight. As it is, I cannot
sacrifice either my night's rest or my hours for
work in the morning.

Among the laws here for the theatres, I shall
quote but one, to this effect : — All that is publicly
promised (new decorations, rich dresses, a numer-
ous company, military band) must be performed,
as the public cannot be allowed to be cheated and
deceived.

The sketches of my oft-mentioned and esteemed
friend, Czornig, contain very interesting informa-
tion concerning the Itahan theatre. I extract from

B 2



4 THE ITALIAN THEATRE.

them what follows : — The Italian theatre Is con-
sidered not merely as a treat of art, but rather
almost as a social amusement, cheaper, more con-
venient, more diversified, more intellectual, than
French soirees and English routs. It must, more-
over, be taken into account, that one neither can
nor desires to see finished works of art only from
year's end to year's end ; but people put up with
such as are of inferior merit, and chat till some-
thing worthy of notice bursts forth from the mass
of mediocrity. Hence, further, the frequent change
of companies, the brief engagements of the artists,
the necessity for the manager of beginning ever}'-
thing anew in every town and for every year. The
opera-texts are almost, without exception, wretched,
and cut out after one pattern, in order to comply
with the obstinate demands of individual singers.
Notwithstanding the fondness for the opera, most
managers and their companies are ruined, unless
they are supported by the government. Thus the
Scala receives annually 240,000 francs ; which
allowance, however, is loudly complained of by the
other cities of Lombardy. In the year 1832, there
were, in Upper and Central Italy, (without Naples
and Sicily,) 71 theatres; 18 for opera and ballet,
33 for the opera, 1 for the opera and plays, 1 for
plays and the ballet, 17 for plays, 1 for plays and
rope-dancing. In Florence only, there appeared a



LIBRARIES. 5

preponderance in favour of the drama. For the
year 1838, 20 new operas were composed, and of
these scarcely one outlived the second summer.
Donizetti wrote 60 operas : Gliick, Mozart, and
Spontini knew (as Voltaire says), " que ce n'est
pas avec un si grand paquetage qu'on va a I'eter-
nite." — I feel strongly disposed to fall foul, in my
uniiiformed way, of this musical and diamatic
system ; and, therefore, break off here, till I have
got and paid for a fresh stamped sheet for exercising
that prerogative upon.

Though the inspection of libraries is in general
a wearisome affair, it is nevertheless one of the
duties of a travelling man of letters to pay his
respects to the craft. For my part, this always
puts rae into an idle discontented mood, as though,
because it is, alas ! impossible to read all books, it
were not worth while to write any.

From the prevalence of pig-skin binding in some
of the libraries of Florence, we may perceive that
they do not keep pace with the spirit of the times.
Very different is the case with the grand-ducal
library in the Pitti palace. Though not founded
before the year 1815, an astonishing number of the
finest editions of ancient and modern classics, as well
as works on natural history and the arts, have been
procured for it, chiefly through the predilection of
the Archduke Ferdinand. Nor is there any want



6 LIBRARIES.

of manuscripts, (for instance, by Lorenzo di Medici,
Tasso, Galilei,) which are still partly unexplored
and unpublished : work enough for a man, who

(like ) wishes to throw new light on the history

of Florence.

Perhaps it would be advisable, for the sake of
general utility, and on account of the urgent neces-
sity for increasing the libraries of Florence, to unite
them into one great collection, and to sell the
duplicates. It would certainly be serviceable to
make an arrangement every year concerning the
expenditure of the yet very inadequate funds, and
to allot a particular department to each library.
As a very rare exception indeed, books are lent to
literary men, but never to students ; and this regu-
lation is of so much the worse effect, since the lec-
tures at the university and the hours for reading at
the library mostly happen to be the same.



LETTER LXI.

Florence — Pictures.

Florence, June 8th.

Because I cannot make up my mind to repeat

what has been said a thousand times concerning

individual statues and paintings, and because I can

as little suppress all my thoughts and feelings on



PICTURES— PITTI PALACE. 7

those subjects, I set aside the greater part of them,
and take leave to give free scope to my uninformed
heresies in regard to some few. I had nearly done
so yesterday, when a couple of Englishmen had a
great deal to say about the Medicean Venus, and
some others were extolling to the skies the pictures
of Carlo Dolce. Not one copyist, but two, and
even three, are seated before each of these pictures,
probably executing English commissions. In spite
of Tieck's Zerbino, what useless journeys are still
undertaken to the land of good taste !



LETTER LXII.

Florence — The Pitti Palace.



Florence, June 10th.
Would that, by the dry detail of daily life, I
could set before your eyes the splendour and the
colours of these scenes of nature and art, as I go
from the Boboli garden to the Pitti palace, always
visit afresh the Cascines for the sake of their cheer-
ful impression, and yesterday enjoyed, perhaps, the
very finest view over the surrounding country, at
the castle of Belvedere above Boboli. Eminences
and chains of hills of the most diversified kind, the
Arno and its bridges most beautifully illumined, the



8 REFLEXIONS ON ART — NIOBE.

whole city outstretched at one's feet, and the gay
white houses contrasting in a peculiar manner with
the dark and bright green of the sea. And yet
admirers of Rome will soon pretend to prove that
the desert Campagna is more beautiful than Flo-
rence and Naples ! Amidst such a nature and art,
the living Florentines can scarcely keep themselves
a la hauteur and at par.



LETTER LXIII.

Florence, June lltli.
REFLEXIONS ON ART, BY ONE OF THE UNINFORMED.

SECOND CONTINUATION.
NIOBE.

The greatest tragedy that was ever represented
by art. A simple idea, a simple feeling, a sublime
accord ; but broken and modulated through all the
shades and gradations of alarm, fear, grief, resigna-
tion, mortal agony, and death. A sublime, won-
derful, profound conception, which, precisely for
that reason, is most deeply moving and affecting;
whereas, Laocoon produces scarcely any other effect
than shocking me, and leading away to consider-
ations on the art displayed in this work of art,



REFLEXIONS ON ART — NIOBE. 9

which always are, and must be, of a subordinate
kind.

If Niobe was proud of her seven noble sons and
her seven beautiful daughters, it was a natui'al, ma-
ternal pride, a pride at any rate of a more dignified
kind than the mistress-pride of her sister Latona.
Apollo is not complete god, but only a demi-god,
because he too was filled with his mother's envy,
and his power was not elevated and glorified by
clemency, love, bounty. The Jewish Jehovah also
shews himself as a jealous God, but he saved Isaac ;
while Apollo is here no more than the slayer, the
destroyer, the Hellenic Sheeva. Hence Niobe has
had justice done her, through all ages, in the inmost
feelings as in outward representation. — She is the
conqueress of death, risen with her children, and
surrounded by sympathising friends. — Through
this deed alone Apollo lost his dominion ; Niobe
and her children overthrew paganism in their fall,
and were precursors of other times and of another
revelation.

ALFIERI.

What one wants one is glad to acquire, and still
more to get as a gift, without, as the proverb says,
examining the mouth of the given horse too closely.
The article tragedy was supplied in the literary his-
tory of Italy by certain substitutes only : Alfieri
appeared and offered genuine goods, surpassing the

b5



10 ALFIERI.

manufacture of Hellas and Co. Is it surprising
that all seized it with joy, and not only cut out
the stuff to the measure of their bodies, but crept
into the coat when made, or threw it over their
shoulders and advanced in buskin-step against
other dramatic tailors and clothiers. Our Alfieri,
cry the Italians, as though afraid to say in the
plural, as some other nations do. Our Alfieris.
But then is Alfieri a native Italian plant, indige-
nous to the soil and climate ? I am well aware that
he was born in Italy and wrote Italian ; but to me
he appears to be an entirely foreign production, an
exotic plant, which is tended and nursed, and is by
no means thoroughly Italian, like Dante and Mac-
chiaveli. When I made these, or similar observa-
tions to the Marchese M — , he replied that Alfieri
was popular, that his tragedies drew crowded
houses, and even the country people were moved to
tears by them. Abbate B — , on the contrary,
denied the popularity and the numerous attendance,
and moreover dried the tears of the country-people.
It is not my province tantas componere lites. The
second assertion, however, appeared to me more
favourable for the Italians than the first ; for it
would tend to prove that rhetorical hothouse trage-
dies are but little relished by unsophisticated tastes,
and that the admiration of them is confined to the
circle of assthelising literati.



ALFIERI. 11

When I stated as a fact, without entering into
the worth or worthlessness of the opinion, that the
other great poets of Italy were known and esteemed
in Germany, that Goldoni was frequently repre-
sented, and even Gozzi found acceptance, but
Alfieri no where excited admiration or even interest
— this fact of course served for a proof of the con-
tinuance of northern barbarism, and in-
sisted that in six hundred years the world will dis-
cover that Alfieri is as great a poet as Dante. What
I thought on this subject I said at another time to

B , and he agreed with me that Alfieri was no

poet, but only a rhetorician, who would fain have

screwed himself up to a poet. At length,

and his wife admitted that Alfieri certainly was
deficient in movimento (which I, in further dis-
cussing the subject, called the dramatic) ; but
asserted that the sublimity of the language and
sentiments, and the profundity of his works, much
more than compensated for that deficiency.

As the admirers of Alfieri find the sublime (and
as an accessory and supplement, the dramatic) in
his dry harsh rhetoric, so the admirers of the feeble
Marini conceived a hundred and fifty years ago
that through him beauty of very high degree was
born again and revealed. The first superstition
will pass away as the second has done.

There are distinguished writers whom it is ex-



12 ALFIERI.

tremely difficult for foreigners to understand, and
out of courtesy one might class Alfieri among
them. But how is it that among us the much
more difficult Dante is understood? — and have not
the Germans every where shown industry and versa-
tility in penetrating into what is most heterogeneous,
even the Indian and Chinese ? If our cultivation in
this point might be called too universal and ex-
tended, the reverse is seen among the Italians.
Whenever a German youth, after his school years
are over, turns away from Greek, there is still a
feeling for measure and beauty left behind, and the
knowledge of modern languages is added as a make-
weight. Most young Italians learn neither German
nor English ; either there are no translations, or
they affiard totally inadequate conceptions of the
poetical works of foreigners. I taly has already
sustained great injury from thus shutting herself up
in false self-conceit ; and this seclusion will daily
operate more and more prejudicially, unless more
serious and persevering attention be paid to the
hitherto slighted European productions of mind.

LETTER LXIV.

Florence — Bartolini — Cucumero Theatre — Becchi.

Florence, June 12Lh.
Notwithstanding that happy longing after
home (for a traveller without home is a sort of wan-



BARTOLINI. 13

dering Jew) my assertion concerning the richness
and the diversity of Italy is more and more con-
firmed, as you must have collected from my letters ;
though they are chiefly occupied with a single side,
and leave so much else wholly untouched. If
Florence is less remarkable for that side than
north Italy, nature and art afford double enjoy-
ment, and cause me to forget that I have not yet
been shown the estimates of the city. It would be
still worse if the Medicean Venus had been as mys-
terious as the privy-councillors.

Not a day passes but I see something of art or
nature. On the 9th, in the forenoon, I went, for
example, with Becchi to Boboli, which garden suc-
cessfully strives to unite nature and art. Thence
a second time to Bartolini, the sculptor, to feast my
eyes upon a series of exquisite works : Juno, the
monuments of Demidof and Alberti, Hector and
Andromache, and other beautiful female figures.
A large Napoleon is waiting unfinished for a pur-
chaser.

On the evening of the 10th, I saw Scribe's Ma-
riage de raison performed tolerably well by a
French company at the Cucumero theatre. The
audience shewed its taste in understanding and
applauding French. Yesterday I had my choice
between the theatre and a soiree at the house of



14 BECCHI.

. To do injustice to neither company, and to



avoid giving a preference to either treat, I renounced
both, and after a hot day, walked in the fine evening
alontj the Arno.

Not a day passes but I converse with some Ita-
lian or other, and learn something from him, as I
have done with Capponi, Fossombroni, Nicolini,
Ricci, and others. With great kindness and sacri-
fice of his time, M. Becchi, librarian of the Riccar-
diana, and secretary of the Accademia della Crusca,
pays me particular attention. He introduced me
to the president Puccini, accompanied me to Bello-
guardo and Belvedere, and is going with me this
evening to Fiesole.



LETTER LXV.

Florence — Amici — Physical Cabinet — Fiesole.

Florence, June 13th,
Yesterday Cavaliere Medici took me to Anti-
nori, the director of the physical cabinet, which
possesses not exactly what is the most modern and
most perfect of every kind ; but it is important for
the history of science and the manufacture of in-
struments. Thus the instruments employed by


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