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Italy, the more beauty and excellence increase in every
respect, and yet, according to the point of view, the
reverse might be as easily maintained. The Bri-
anza and the Lake of Como, for instance, are more
beautiful than the valley of Palermo, and the de-
clivities of the Alps infinitely finer than those of
Etna. Further, the Sicilian towns are not to be
compared with the more important cities of Italy.
For, setting aside Rome and Naples, Florence is
beyond comparison richer and more attractive than
Palermo, Genoa and Venice far more characteristic
than Messina, and Turin, without doubt, greatly
superior in splendour and importance to Catanea.
Syracuse does not surpass the defunct Ferrara, and
every thing Italian that is now conveniently accessible
must here be purchased with more time, money,
and exertion. Architects and m.ineralogists may
with reason adopt a different standard ; but their's
is as inapplicable for me as mine for them. That
there is nothing to be seen in the interior of Sicily
is admitted, as I have said, by Sicilians themselves;
and it is not denied even by architects, that on the
long south side nothing manifests life but the ruins.
Other points, state, administration, &c., I shall
discuss hereafter, and there, too, the order of rank
will be governed by a different standard from the
degree of latitude. Naples and its environs are, in
respect to nature, the splendid central point where


the northern and the southern are combined for the
last time : a greater preponderance of the latter
smacks of droughty Africa, in the same manner as
more to the north than Germany are to be found
only the characteristics of an opposite tendency and

I have just come from the INIuseum. It con-
tains much that is locally interesting ; little that is
of high value as productions of art. The celebrated
Venus (unfortunately without a head) is un-
doubtedly a beautiful woman, but only an image of
reality, such as is to be found in Nature, if one will
seek it, not an ideal surpassing Nature, and never-
theless real and existing.

Sicily, as every body knows, is an island, and
therefore the traveller is obliged to return to Italy
by sea. It is to be regretted that the posting system
by water by means of steam is not on so regular a
footing as it might be. To wait eight days at
Messina, or four days at Syracuse, for the slow
veloce, appeared equally tedious ; I have, therefore,
adopted with Du Prat a third, and we believe better
alternative ; we shall start this evening at six with
the veloce for Malta, arrive there in the forenoon of
the 18th, be back in Syracuse on the 21st, in Mes-
sina on the 22nd, and on the 25th (thank God) in
Naples — with joyous heart and a very light purse.

Modern Syracuse, any thing but a handsome or
thriving town, has suffered considerably since the


seat of the district administration was transferred to
Noto, and only a sub-intendant left there. This
change was made as a punishment, because at the
time of the cholera the deputy of the intendant
(who was himself absent) and a commissary of
police were searched for by the people out of the
town and put to death — most certainly a heinous
offence, and one that deserved punishment. On the
other hand, it is to be considered that the wealthy
and the persons in office had fled precipitately, in-
stead of fearlessly performing their duty. In that
time of terror and excitement, there were of course
no authorities whatever ; the military shut them-
selves up in the castles, and made no effort for the
preservation of order. Is it then surprising that
the populace, left to themselves, should have com-
mitted excesses ? Such is the account given to me
by a very well-informed man.


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

Malta (La Valetta) August 19th.

From the southernmost part of my tour I sin-
cerely wish Manni joy on his birthday.

On the 17th, at six in the evening, we started
from Syracuse for Malta. The sea was perfectly
calm. Syracuse is still a large city compared with

164 MALTA.

many others ; but, setting aside historical recollec-
tions, or rather, perhaps, keeping them more in
view, it appears lifeless, close, mean, monotonous,
and we were glad that we were not obliged to stay
there long. The sun set, as usual, without a cloud,
and the bright golden tint of the sky was reflected
in the magnificent mirror of the sea. In proportion
as this gradually became darker, the moon asserted
her claims, and gracefully danced upon the waves
raised by the vessel. I would fain have passed the
warm night upon deck, but was obHged to avoid
the damp deposited by the atmosphere. In the
morning the whole ship was wet. At sunrise I
descried Malta and Gozzo in the distance. As the
elevated town rose from the sea, its more southern
and half-eastern character struck the eye. Messina,
Catanea, Syracuse, exhibit in reality nothing, or
but very little, of that kind. Aspect and impression
were, therefore, wholly peculiar and new to me,
and this of itself was sufficient to repay the resolu-
tion to visit the island. Fortifications of great
strength and extraordinary number, a harbour, or
rather five harbours, all so defended, so safe, and
so deep, that the largest fleet would find room in
them. Owinff to the circumstance that England
obtained possession of the island, it has become an
intermediate point between the East and the West,
and the opposition formerly kept up has been changed
into a cordial accommodation. Look at those tall,

MALTA. 165

fair, ruddy descendants of Germans, striding with
stately step ; they appear hke a totally different
race of men, a race destined to command. But
respect for truth obliges me to confess that I have
seen more handsome women on the promenade here
in one quarter of an hour than in all Sicily. Their
costume, however, a black mantilla drawn up over
the head, is not handsome ; and it is rather surpris-
ing that in so hot a climate that colour alone should
be worn. Even I, enemy to cold as I am, find the
heat here too great ; yesterday morning began with
23" (84" E.y, and in the bright sunshine the ther-
mometer rose to 42" (126" F.)

After I had settled myself at the Clarence Hotel,
kept by Madame Goubau, I paid a visit to the go-
vernor, Mr. Bouverie, and then went to see the
former palace of the grand-masters. Fine spacious
apartments ; some good pictures, or copies of good
pictures, among them the three sisters (Graces, my
guide called them,) by Palma Vecchio ; an armoury,
which showed that several of the grand-masters
must have been of small stature, but have worn
very heavy armour. From the tower of the palace
you have a view of the whole town and the greatest
part of the island. All the houses with flat roofs,
scarcely a green thing, (especially at this season,)
the bare chalk rock predominating. On the other
hand, the greatest activity in every branch of agri-
culture ; thus, at Syracuse, 1 had Maltese potatoes


set before me, professedly because Sicily produces
no good ones !

Wherever the English come, idleness is driven
away ; but then they bring political views and par-
ties along with them. Thoughtless, passive obedi-
ence cannot maintain itself as the sole foundation of
human society ; among a variety of new errors are
also developed new and grand truths, and while the
one assumes, or at least strives to gain, a higher
position, the whole at last moves upward. Hence
at this moment in Malta so many questions con-
cerning the rights of the inhabitants, municipal
regulations, appointment of natives and foreigners,
grants of taxes, &c. Many may wish to consider
the English as merely a voluntarily admitted garri-
son of their fortress, but in other respects to main-
tain complete independence. England can and
will neither grant every thing nor refuse every
thing : without England, Malta would retrograde
in every respect. France possesses in Algiers a
first link ; whether many others will be added to it
(without the utmost efforts) appears extremely
doubtful. Malta is small, but more secure; it
answers the proposed ends.

Why have all close aristocratic governments gone
to ruin in modern times ? Look at Venice, Genoa,
Lucca, Berne, Malta. Among many reasons, there
is one of the greatest importance — because they
were close^ and consequently abstained far too much


from progression and renewal. The aristoi, there-
fore, were not the first and best ; there was no
community of feeUng between them and the peo-
ple ; the latter grew up above them, or placed
themselves in hostility to them. Just as little is
the separate element of the monarchical or demo-
cratical favourable in the long run to a higher
development. Solon and Servius Tulhus, by their
division of classes, poured a fresh stream of life into
the body-politic, and the Roman senate kept up its
importance so long only by not despising the people.
The same thing may be said of the English House
of Peers.

The 19th, Evening.

I have traversed the city in all directions. It is
regular, clean, full of signs of activity, and of (appa-
rently) increasing prosperity, only street beggary
prevails to the same extent as in Italy. The prin-
cipal church, St. John's, contains all sorts of monu-
ments, but neither pillars nor columns, merely a
long cellar-like roof, all in the style of the dege-
nerate age of art.

August 20th.

As the heat is too intense to make (like Baron
von Wolf) rational reflexions on all and every sub-
ject, I will avail myself of this forced leisure to
notice some minor matters. My intelligent hostess
says that she has never known so hot a summer in
Malta. On this account I keep three shirts in


constant motion. You must not drink, say over-
cunning people, that you may not perspire. This
is just as rational as if any one were to enjoin you
not to eat in order to prevent indigestion. Nobody
could bear up long against such a system with in-
creasing thirst and continual loss of humidity ; and
the stomach too requires incessant cooling, if one
would not be sea-sick, or risk the danger of inflam-
mation. From other ill effects of the heat, an
eruption like measles may perhaps protect me.

The saison (as affected reporters at German spas
are pleased to call it the saison of the fleas is past ;
but instead of them (in proof of the excellence of
our waters) we have some of their cousins, who,
though they dance less, sing more than the fleas.
Mathematicians might say that the fleas devote
themselves to planimetry ; the musquitoes to stereo-
metry ; for the flea-bite is confined to the surface,
while the musquitoes exemplify the theory of the
elevation of mountains. The flea-bite disappears
in a few hours, the bite of the southern musquito
not for many days.


Return from Malta to Messina.

Messina, Anwu'jt 22H.
Thus have I got in safety and without sea-sick-
ness two degrees and a half further northward, and
the heat too has decreased upon an average about


two degrees and a half. On the 20th, we left
Malta, saw the bare dry south-west coast of Sicily,
and arrived at Syracuse at nine in the mcrning of
the 21st. But the present city is tiresome, and,
during the prevalence of the oppressive sirocco, it
was not worth while to run a second time after the
scanty remains of antiquity. Excellent as the bread
is in Malta, so wretched, hard, and heavy is it in
Syracuse. The Moscato which we called for was
absolutely unfit to drink, so strongly did it taste of
rancid oil. Of course, said some one to me, because
the skins are oiled before the wine is put into them.
At our departure we wished ourselves in future the
more remote acquaintance with the renowned city.
From Taormina to Messina, the coast of Sicily is
more beautiful and diversified than before ; but
nothing is to be found here like the mountains of
Switzerland, Salzburg, and the Tirol, abounding
in wood and water ; and the numberless detached
hills flung beside and upon one another want, in
spite of their apparent diversity, harmonious con-
nexion and picturesque beauty.

August 23d.

We (Du Prat, Malherbe, and mvself,) have this
time taken up our quarters at the Hotel du Nord,
kept by Madame Miiller, a native of Hamburg,
and find ourselves quite comfortable there. On the
other hand, the passport and excise authorities in
the Neapolitan dominions cause more annoyance



and expence than in any country that I am ac-
quainted with. Thus we went yesterday, soon
after our arrival, to the passport-office, but were
told that, though provided with a general passport,
and two for Sicily, that is to say three in all, we
could not set foot on the coast of Calabria; and
that the permission requisite for this could not be
obtained before ten or eleven to-day. And so we
have been debarred of this excursion, on which we
meant to start at five in the morning.

Every thing in this world is relative ; so are heat
and cold. In Malta the thermometer stood regu-
larly at six in the morning in the shade at 24",
(86" F.) ; at Syracuse, yesterday, the sweltering,
oppressive sirocco was still blowing ; now> six in the
morning, my thermometer indicates only 16" (68°
F.) which induces me to make some change in my
dress, lest I should take cold. I dare say I shall
not in future find the Italian heat intolerable.


Messina — Farewell Concert — Return to Naples.

Naples, August 26th.
Because I do not sufficiently admire Sicily,*
an extraordinary honour was paid me in the night

* " In my last letters from Sicily, or the succeeding ones
from Naples, there must be something to show what a dis-
agreeable impression this idolized island has left behind upon
me. I wish to avoid repetitions on this point." — Gotlie to
Zelter, Correspondence, vi. 224.


before my departure, that between the 23d and
24th, which totally destroyed my rest. All the
animals of paradise seemed to have concurred, or
been directed, to treat me with a grand concert.
Horses and mules beat time in the court with their
hoofs. The hogs grunted, the asses brayed, the
cats mewed, the dogs barked, the cocks crew, and
the musquitoes trumpeted. I have not out of va-
nity named a single musician who was not there,
and all co-operated most actively, according to the
current phrase, in the performance of the opera.

I was up earlier than was necessary, gave the
begging custom-house officers (who had been paid
their fees the night before) nothing, in spite of their
importunities, and desired them to search, which
they wisely and conveniently declined. On the
passage I saw part of the generally naked coasts of
Calabria, touched at Tropea, and inquired the situ-
ation of Pizzo, where Murat was shot. " There
lies the cursed place," replied the captain of the
vessel. The weather was so favourable that, in all
my sea-trips from Naples to Malta and back, I had
not the slightest attack of sickness. Ecclesiastics
and monks were every where taken on board and
put ashore. Sometimes a sort of respect ^vas paid
them ; at others they were laughed at, or stories
told in ridicule of them. Thus, for instance, the
miracle of the feeding of five thousand persons was
related to a Capuchin ; he was astonished at it, but,



after passing some moments, as if in a brown study,
he observed that it would have been a much greater
miracle if our Saviour had given five thoiisand
loaves, fishes, and other food, to five persons, and
they had eaten the whole with a good appetite,
without overloading their stomachs or making them-
selves ill.

Had H — been on board with us he might have
given full scope to his dislike of foreign languages.
So mixed was the company that I had to speak
German, French, English, and Italian.

In the evening of the 24th, the sun set very beau-
tifully opposite to the moon, and on the morning of
the 25th I saw the scene reversed with equal plea-
sure. Soon afterwards I discerned Monte St. An-
gelo and the coast from Amalfi to Cape Campanella.
We passed between Massa and the fantastic Capri
into the magnificent bay of Naples, which, accord-
ing to my notions, surpasses all that I had seen in
Sicily. Others may perhaps be of a different opi-
nion. After I had happily got through the struggle
with the hundred- handed boatmen, porters, police,
and custom-house officers, land and sea guards, I
arrived at St. Lucia, took possession of my old
apartment, and again enjoyed the prospect, the
tints of sunset^ the moon, the sunrise. Fine pure
air into the bargain — no sirocco, no aria cattiva.


August 29th.
Yesterday I called on M. P — , Minister of Jus-
tice, to thank him for the statistics of Neapolitan
jurisprudence, with which he had presented me. The
attendants in the ante-room of his office received me
with that coarse condescension with which suppli-
cants are usually treated; and when, after sending in
my card, a message was brought to desire me to walk
in, I modestly sought a safe corner for my umbrella.
After our interview, as the minister accompanied
me to the farthest ante-room, the officious serving-
men pounced like birds of prey upon my umbrella,
and he who was lucky enough to seize it presented
it to me, after the minister had returned, with the
utmost humility, and saying that " he kissed my
hand a hundred times," His expectation that I
should in return put my hand into my purse was
disappointed ; I calmly told him not to trouble
himself, and went my way. The fees for passports
cannot be evaded in a similar manner, and still less
the impositions of the publicans and sinners.


Moderu History of JN'aples — Charles III. — Ferdinand IV.
and Marie Carohne — C'onques-t by the P'rench — Partheno-
pean Republic— Restoration of the King — His second
expulsion by the French.

Naples, Jul}' 5tli.

As the kingdom of the two Sicilies has never had

any decided influence on European affairs, its his-


tory is often neglected, or at any rate less known,
though it offers many attractive peculiarities. It is
by no means my intention in this place to fill up
that chasm, but only to premise so much of the
historical as may be necessary to render my commu-
nications respecting the present intelligible.

It may be justly asserted that this country, so
highly favoured by Heaven, has experienced a very
large share of historical misfortune ; for it not only
participated in the calamities which befel all Italy,
but has had to endure its own and perhaps the
severest of all besides. One would imagine that,
situated in the southernmost corner of Europe, it
had been least exposed to political storms and inva-
sions ; and yet, on the contrary, it exhibits the
greatest change of masters and of nations. Greeks,
Carthaginians, Romans, Goths, Lombards, Arabs,
Normans, Germans, French, Hungarians, Spani-
ards, English, have successively and simultaneously
exercised physical and political influence, and con-
tributed in such a manner to the fixing, or rather
to the change, of the national character, that one
scarcely knows upon what to found it, or what is
to be required of it.

The fall of the Hohenstaufen was a great mis-
fortune, and a long backward stride for Naples and
Sicily ; for, in the southern part of Italy, the last
sovereigns of this house were at the head of a
grand and beneficial development, which was for-


cibly obstructed, nay annihilated, by the An-

The union of Naples and Sicily under the Ara-
gonese introduced the Spanish dominion with all
the innumerable, incalculable evils, to which I have
already adverted in my article on Lombardy. It
was, therefore, a great gain when the country was
totally separated from Spain and obtained in Charles
of Bourbon (1734-1759) an independent king of
its own. Though he did not overturn every thing
in the violent manner of later times, yet he issued
many new laws, which chiefly aimed at diminishing
the spiritual and feudal authority. After many a
dispute, the papal investiture at length took place
on the V2ih of May, 1738; and in 1741 a con-
cordat was concluded with Benedict XIV., in vir-
tue of which the clergy were subjected to various
taxes, and the right of sanctuary and spiritual juris-
diction were abridged. As, however, little or no-
thing was fixed or stipulated relative to church
property, convents, the number of priests, and other
important matters, the government often construed
the concordat according to its own pleasure, regu-
lated ecclesiastical jurisdiction, limited the number
of priests and monks, rejected all bulls not con-
firmed by the king, forbade new accessions to church
property, abrogated all excommvuiications pro-
nounced against subjects because they had obeyed
the orders of the government, prohibited the foun-


dation of churches and Jesuits' colleges without the
royal approbation, &c. Notwithstanding all that
is here stated, the government acted rather from
necessity and instinct than upon fixed principles,
and in other respects the king showed himself bigoted
and superstitious. Though the people, too, were
in many respects highly superstitious, they frus-
trated the attempt, renewed even during the ponti-
ficate of Benedict XIV., to introduce the Inqui-

In other points, too, Charles's government dis-
played great and well-meant, though sometimes
mistaken, activity. He concluded, for instance,
many commercial treaties, founded a tribunal of
commerce, enacted rigorous laws against bankrupts,
restored order in the coinage department, instituted
a board for naval matters, protected the country
from the corsairs, promoted the arts and sciences,
built San Carlo and Caserta, embellished the Studj,
as it is called, &c. A new cadastre still favoured
the higher classes exceedingly ; but yet, in spite of
many faults, it corrected greater evils, especially for
the advantage of the lower classes.

When, in 1759, king Charles ascended the throne
of Spain, he was succeeded in Naples by his son
Ferdinand IV., then eight years old, under the
guidance of a regency, the principal person of
which was the Marchese Tanucci. Nay, it may be
asserted that, till his dismissal in 1777, this man


was virtually the sovereign of Naples ; while the
king learned nothing, attended to no business,
merely ate, drank, slept, hunted, fished, and liked
best to associate with uneducated persons.

Of a different disposition was Marie Caroline
(daughterof MariaTheresaand sister of Marie Antoi-
nette) who was married in her sixteenth year (1768)
to the king, and soon gained a powerful influence
over him. Her beauty, prudence, firmness, and
activity, are as highly extolled as her ambition,
severity, and cruelty, are censured. To describe
and portray upon the co-operating back -ground
of great political events, the joys and sorrows, the
victories and defeats, the loftiness and the arro-
gance of that mighty mind, in astonishing and at
the same time revolting combination, is a task
worthy of an historian who knows how to reconcile
impartiality and sympathy.

Tanucci's activity was more especially directed
to ecclesiastical matters. He enforced the levy of
spolie and regalie, suppressed several convents,
Hmited the tithes and the admission into the clerical
order, prohibited acquisitions in mortmain, sum-
monses to Rome without the king's permission, in-
terference of the pope in various ecclesiastical
concerns, and that of the bishops in the system of
instruction. He declared marriage a civil contract,
expelled the Jesuits, &c.

The financial system continued unreformed and

I 5


very oppressive for the lower classes, because the
higher enjoyed numberless immunities; the army
was neglected, and individual improvements — for
example in the administration of the law — were
rarely approved by the authorities, accustomed to
the old routine. Indeed, all was not of a piece,
but good and bad, liberality and tyranny, showed
themselves at once and in singular mixture. Thus,
for instance, the colonies of St. Leucio, near Ca-
serta, were founded on the philanthropic principles
of the so-called philosophers. All the members of
the settlement were to be perfectly equal, and elders

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