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bordered with lofty trees, running through them,
and having by its side a canal flowing rapidly
enough. The complexion of individuals, it is true,
proved that the bad character of these parts is not
undeserved. Near Terracina commences the new
world of Southern Italy : pomegranates, oranges,
aloes in flower, fantastically situated places hke
Fondi and Itri, all in the new light, to which,
however, beggary furnishes the usual shade. From
the Garigliano to St. Agatha, the richest cultivation
of various kinds: arable land, meadows, abund-
ance of trees, the glistening river winding among
them, and three-fourths of the circle of vision
bounded by swelling and sinking hills, crowned by
houses, hamlets, churches, and towers. Still further
off the mountains of the Abruzzos, rising one above


another in every diversity of lines and masses. At
first, everything lighted by the sun, then presenting
itself in every degree of coloured darkness, till the
earth disappeared, and the star-bespangled firma-
ment attracted the eye and changed the train of
thought. About two in the morning we reached

I have had again to listen, as I did twenty-two
years ago, to panegyrics on the exquisite beauty,
comprehending within itself every possible charm of
the Campagna di Roma. This superstition is pre-
served (like many another) intact at Rome, and a
man does not imagine himself to be d la hauteur
till he has worked himself up into a belief of it.
The Villa Borghese, the Villa Albani, and the like,
no more belong to the Campagna than Albano and
Tivoli. What now is a wilderness extending on all
sides, a zona deserta, was at first rich woodland,
then admirably cultivated arable and meadow land,
comprising villages, country-houses, villas, and
magnificent gardens. If the present aspect is the
most beautiful and not to be surpassed, the states
just described must have been the less attractive,
which, in truth, involves an absurdity. If the
negative can in this manner outdo the positive, then
is a woman handsomest when she is no longer hand-
some. If I am not mistaken, there is a passage in
Strabo, on the situation of Rome, which agrees


much better with my notion tlian with that of those
too easily inspired disciples of art. They may reply
that with me predominates the merely financial
point of view, which neither knows nor can com-
prehend anything of beauty. But let us set aside
whatever may be imagined, and confine ourselves
to what is to be seen : here are neither trees nor
shrubs, neither buildings, nor man, nor water, &c.,
consequently it is and must be no more than the
negative beauty of the desert. Driven thus into a
corner, ray adversaries lay particular stress on the
hues of hills beyond, and the individual ruins
within, the Campagna. But those hills do not
even belong to the Campagna, and the beauty of
a back-ground may well bear to be separated from
the ugliness of the fore-ground. Besides, there
are many finer and more diversified lines of hills :
as those near the Garigliano and Velino, near Naples
and Taormini, near Salzburg and Gemiind, in
South Wales, in the Pyrenees, &c.

Lastly, as for the ruins, they have their pictu-
resqueness and (like all recollections) their attnic-
tion. People have, however, carried their admi-
ration to the length of morbid refinement, according
to which things swept away, stricken, and deformed
by age and sin, calamity and misery, are to be pre-
ferred to that which still flourishes in vigorous
health. But the import, the tragic idea, ought not


alone to predominate in these regions ; and to see
the works of Phidias in all their splendour in the
glorious days of Athens, was a very different thing
from spelling them in the British Museum in scanty
relics. Numberless such instances might be ad-
duced. That the artist can select particular points
from the Campagna, and frame and hold them
forth to deserved admiration, I pretend not to deny ;
but, beside these framed scenes, the greater space
remains dreary and desolate. Whoever disputes
this may fix his abode between Rome and Civita
Vecchia, and secure for life the enjoyment of the
charms of nature. Such a one I should think, more
to be pitied than envied.

An ancient proverb says that Naples and the
environs are a paradise inhabited by devils. The
truth of the first part of this adage is generally ad-
mitted, at least more generally than that paradise
exists in the Campagna di Roma ; the latter half,
on the other hand, is disputed by the Neapolitans.
Were I to sit in judgment, I should be obliged to
censure, nay, to condemn much : but, as the devil's
advocate, I would strive to prove that the Neapo-
litans were created before the invention of the fuss
about the four cardinal virtues. These then we
ought not to require of them, but to measure them
by a totally different standard, which at last may
be as correct, and bring them quite as far as the


pedantically moral, to the authority of which, every
where out of paradise, people have been silly
enough to bow. Of what use is valour to those
who have raised themselves to the higher point of
love of peace ? of what use is wisdom, when the
essential ends of life may be attained with a dulce
desipere in loco ? Temperance again is only ex-
tolled there, where starvation is the order of the
day, and what the world calls justice consists es-
sentially in nothing more than upholding the unjust
monopoly of the rich against the poor.

Agreeably to the latter notion, a Neapolitan
yesterday picked my pocket of my handkerchief. I
caught him, however, in the fact, and was content —
not caring to punish him myself any more than to
call in the aid of the police — with giving him an
eloquent lecture relative to those cardinal virtues.
As a proof, however, that such sophistries cannot
invalidate an original Neapolitan right, or induce
any free inhabitant of paradise to submit to a silly
legislation of more recent date, the same fellow ac-
tually stole the same handkerchief five minutes
afterwards, and made off with it so precipitately,
that I was not able to enforce the usual doctrine
concerning property. An ultra-montane cry of
" Stop thief!" would only have drawn upon the fo-
reign crow the ridicule of the birds of paradise.



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

Naples, July 7th.

You will perhaps imagine that, from the beauti-
ful Naples, I must be able to write the most co-
pious and the most interesting letters : but this is
not the case for many reasons : in the first place,
because the very enjoyment of that beauty costs
much time, and it cannot indeed be described, or
at least not conjured up by words for the hearer or
reader. When I rise, about five in the morning,
and step out on my balcony, the sun is already
above the heights on the left of Vesuvius, and
lighting up the IVIolo as well as the curving shore
of St. Lucia. The now tranquil volcano, on the
other hand, with its two heads of nearly equal
height, is still enveloped in dark shade ; before it,
the rippling dark blue sea, above, the light azure
sky, lastly, to the right of Vesuvius, the coast of
Castellamare, Vico, and Sorrento, as far as the
promontory of Massa After I have refreshed and
invigorated myself with this view, heat and light
are shut out as much as possible, but the cool sea-


breeze Is admitted. About eleven, the sun is al-
ready to the right, and my balcony, as well as St.
Lucia, is in the shade. But now the coast, which is
dark during the forenoon, is gradually flooded with
the sun's rays. The white houses of the above-
mentioned places appear distinctly on the horizon,
above them the land clothed with verdure, and at
Vesuvius, this contrasts sharply with the dark head
of the mountain. The sun sinks by degrees, and
that radiance which was poured forth upon sky, and
earth, and sea, is succeeded by the play of colours,
through every shade of red, green, and blue, till the
stars, piercing through the dark mantle of night,
bring this succession of beauties to a satisfactory
close. On particular days, however, clouds piled
upon clouds enveloped even what lies near to you.
Amid thunder and lightning, and the echo of all
the hills, torrents of rain descended, till the curtain
became more and more transparent, and the wide
magic circle was again unveiled in renovated beauty
to the spectator. Of oppressive heat as yet no
symptom ; the air lighter and more refreshing than
in Rome, and no desert Campagna, no disciples of
art, to compose melancholico-critical dissertations on
the enjoyment of victorious natural beauties. The
people, ever gay, ever humorous, even in povert}',
are a perfectly appropriate accessory that disposes
me also to cheerfulness; while in Rome, ecclesi-
astics and monks, together with all the ruins, only



serve to confirm and to render more conspicuous
the grave contrast of the times.

You perceive from all this that I am not inclined
to follow the adage, See Naples and die. JSIuch
more justly might one say, See Rome and die ; be-
cause in the former every thing challenges you to
live, while in the latter every thing reminds you of
death. In Naples, too, admirable provision is made
for the most material life, from green peas and
oranges, through sea-fish and oysters, to wines.
Whoever makes the tour of Italy for pleasure
should hasten to arrive here ; indeed, the judgment
and suitableness of the plan of mine are confirmed
more and more every day. If I could but return
in the fine autumn to Germany, my cup of pleasure
would be full almost to overflowing. But those
who maliciously or enviously suppose that I am
giving myself up here to Capuan or Sybarite indul-
gences, shall for their punishment read some day
what I have here been collecting and committing
to paper concerning Joseph and Murat, soldiers
and taxes, cabotaggio and caricatojo, &c.

On the 4th I was admitted, through M. K 's

interest, to the exhibition, already closed to the
public. How far is Art here behind Nature ! Ex-
cepting two or three landscapes, some shepherds'
boys, and a few other pictures, most of them were
so indifferent, and many even so bad, that with us
thev would have been rejected. As the situation


of Berlin is to Naples, so is the state of art here to
that of Germany.

Ever since four in the morning (on the 6lh) the
guns have been firing from the ships and the bas-
tions, in honour of the birthday of the queen dow-
ager, who has lately married again. Every ship
decorated with streamers of all colours ; St. Carlo
brilhantly lighted up; Rossini's Othello; Pixis
nimbly galloping to and fro ,• nothing else worth

I was told to-day by a seaman, that the Neapo-
litans are so inordinately fond of peace, that they
hate the military profession, and are angry with
the king, who amuses himself with it; moreover,
that the Neapolitans would long since have starved
but for foreigners ; that these not only supply them
with bread but also with flesh, because the provider
of a good-natured girl always receives half of the
sum that is paid. I suffered all this to go in at
one ear and out at the other, confining myself to
that objectively which is required of an observer.
Not so my informant. In remarking on one of his
stories, he said, " The man was old, and had gray
hair, like you !"" This argunieiitum ad hominem
displeased ir.e, and I shall take care another time
to select a seaman who pays more respect to age
because he is old himself.

Sunday the 7th. — The Countess Lebzeltern had
kindly offered to play to me on the piano-forte.


That will be no great treat, you may perhaps
think. You are wrong : the countess plays not
only with great fluency, (which now-a-days is but
too common a qualification,) but with infinitely
more feeling and taste than the gentry who exhibit
their talents so confidently throughout Europe. I
can assure you with truth that she has not merely
fingers but a heart. On this subject I recollected
that the Capell-meister Fux once said to the empe-
ror Leopold, " What a pity your majesty was not
bred a musician!" He replied, "I am rather
better off as it is."" A composition of the countess's
had in it more of profound feeling and expression

than all T 's fantasias.

Dined again to-day at the City of Rome. The
cameriere placed a table for two Englishmen on the
best spot in the balcony, commanding the magni-
ficent view ; but they preferred a back room, where
they saw no more of the marvels of Naples than if
they had dined in Nova Zembla. The cameriere
shook his head, for which I gave him a few addi-
tional grani for himself. In travelhng, one may
play the great man on seasonable occasions at a
very small expence. When I have changed a
louisd'or, and have my pockets full of silver and
copper, I fancy myself richer than before ; but find
that, as far as Naples, my former experience is con-
firmed, that one needs and spends twice as much
money here as in Rome. The enjoyment of the


present is not to be had so cheaply at Naples as the
grave past which is served up in Rome as the prin-
cipal dish, and swallowed dry. In travelling-, a
decided purpose, a decided predilection, is almost
always manifested ; science, art, society ; in Naples,
on the contrary, it seems quite sufficient to be there,
and to indulge in all the pleasures that present
themselves. How long this way of life will please
and last, I shall soon learn from experience, and
not conceal from you. As an allopathic preservative
against mental vacuity, several heaps of books are
lying before me.

If any where, it can be said in Naples, " The
true beggar only is the true king." This, however,
is, one half of it, a mere phrase. With much
greater, much more profound truth, it may be
asserted that the true mendicant monk alone is the
true kino;. The mere havino- nothino; is but a mere
negation, and helps no further ; the deliberate re-
nunciation stands higher ; but when the sustine is
associated with the ahst'tne. the resignation is nothing
more than a stoic pis aller. It is the right (not
the common and justly censured) view and convic-
tion of the mendicant monk which transforms that
negation into an affirmation, and the greatest and
noblest riches of being then manifest themselves
when the having ceases to claim the faculties and
to interfere with their effi3rts. But how have I
fallen upon this Roman reflexion in Naples .'* Per-


haps in order to find the juste miliev, the proper
equihbrium. But this is forced upon me from
another side. Or, are there no spots, no shades, in
this Neapolitan sea of light ? To him who passes
rapidly over, it appears wondrously brilliant. But
if only one-half of the complaints made in this short
time to me by Neapolitans, concerning the defects,
failings, and crimes, in their country, and especially
concerning the system of government, is true, then
indeed would I rather be fixed for life amidst the
widest of the sandy plains of Brandenburg.

Whether one gets accustomed to minor evils, or
gradually finds them less intolerable, I cannot tell ;
for instance, that, in spite of daily hunts, one can-
not extirpate the game ; that the noise in the street
never ceases the whole night long, but that every
four and two-legged ass fancies he has a right to
bray to his heart's content. I mention these things
merely that those who stay at home may not envy
the traveller too much, or lest any one should say
that I paint without shades.

July 11th. — The sun is just rising to the left of
Vesuvius, and tinging sky, earth, and sea — an
orama unique in its kind. After the flood of light
has for some minutes shown every thing sharply
defined and in the utmost distinctness, its warmth
calls forth light vapours, which rest like a coloured
veil upon the landscape, and so temper the heat
and light, that the eye can feast itself on the view


so much the longer without beinop dazzled. One
gladly hstens to the assertion that there is no occa-
sion to travel far from Naples into the surrounding
country, as this part after all is the richest and the
most beautiful.

I have several times taken a ride in the evening
by Castell Uovo, through the Chiaja, to the grotto
of Virgil, near Nisita. In comparison with this
enjoyment of nature, all the collections of art appear
paltry and unsatisfactory. They are shut up in
houses and halls, with windows and doors — here is
the dark blue sea, bearing upon its bosom the w^hole
varied landscape, with the lighter sky for its roof.
Naples, Vesuvius, the coast of Massa and Capri,
form the back-ground on the other side : while the
fore-ground, as viewed from the road, is of a two-
fold kind. On the one side, namely, the hills rise,
and on the other they sink to the sea, here cut per-
pendicularly, there gently undulating, or having
deep clefts. At one place, the unlevelled rock,
with its natural curved lines, forms the foundation
of the houses, at another it has been levelled, at a
third heightened by masonry, at a fourth excavated,
and the dwellings built in it. Among the number-
less houses, not one stands upon the same level with
the other, but, from the margin of the sea to the
top of the hill, there they are, facing every point of
the compass, each differing from the rest, without
rule^ law, or fixed proportion for doors, windows.

104 RIDE TO Virgil's grotto.

stairs, roofs, piazzas, and decorations — all peculiar,
individual, romantic, grotesque, arbitrary, surpris-
ing — all varied, and all attracting attention. No-
thing waste, bare, withered, stunted — everywhere
the most luxuriant vegetation — trees, shrubs, vines,
pomegranates, oleanders, oranges, and single palms.
The great bay of the sea cut out and rounded into
many smaller ones ; and every curve, every point
of these bays adorned with buildings such as I have
already described, houses, loggie, lofts, staircases,
balconies, and plantations. Such is the road by
which you at length reach the new cut through the
ridge of the hill, which separates the bay of Naples
from that on the other side, and, the moment this
is passed, a new and equally beautiful world bursts
upon the spectator — the heights of the Camaldu-
lences, Puzzuoli, Rajae, Iscliia, Procida, Nisita, and
the promontory of Misenum.

You will think it natural that these sunrises and
sunsets, these beauties of sky, earth, and sea, should
attract me in preference, and that I should concern
myself but little about companies and soirees. Li-
terary employment and that dolcejhr nicnte fill up
satisfactorily the circle of wants and pleasures. Still
I do see men every day, and from them gain infor-
mation on points on which I have to treat, not in
fragments, but connectedly. I fall (in spite of my
contrary purpose,) owing to urgent occasions, into
descriptions of nature which are repetitions : the


same would be the case, only such repetitions would
be more tedious were 1 to write down every con-
versation, or to characterize every speaker. Besides,
I am obliged to read and refer to a great number
of books, pamphlets, tracts, &c. Thus one day
passes comfortably and yet busily after another,
and the thought of home intervenes by no means
to disturb but to tranquillize and cheer.

July 12lh. — The editors of // Frogresso, a re-
spectable journal, commenced eight years ago,
mostly members of tlie Accadevna pontiniana, meet
once a week to confer and consult together. 1
attended one of these meetings the day before yes-
terday, desirous to make the acquaintance of men
of considerable attainments, and I have been already
favoured with their literary assistance. With M.
Bl — , a clever writer on military subjects and poli-
tical economy, (who is particularly attentive to me,)
I got into conversation about Alfieri, His opinion
of the latter as a dramatic writer coincided unex-
])ectedly with mine, and he asserted that Alfieri
had in reality acquired influence and consequence
at first as a political pamphleteer, since he ventured
to say upon the stage what could not well have been
put forth through any other channel. This excite-
ment and effect, he observed, were now past, and
Alfieri is now considered only as a dramatist, in
which character his merit sinks the lower inasmuch
as in truth he alone speaks in all his plays. 1 find


myself supported in this heresy also, that the Nea-
politans of" preceding ages, such as Thomas of
Aquino, Bruno, and Campanella, stood much higher
and were greater geniuses than those of the immo-
derately lauded 18th century, Vico, Filangieri, Go-
novefi. It is a pity that with such mental powers
and activity as the literary men of Naples display,
science, government, and people, produce only a
dissonant chord, and it is difficult to say how it is
to be resolved into harmony. That on this point
the government is not wholly blameless I shall
endeavour to prove elsewhere.

I cannot feast myself enough on the beauties of
the way to Puzzuoli, which I have ah-eady noticed.
On emerging yesterday from the cut in the hill into
the world beyond it, the deep glow of evening
already tinged hills and isles, and the small crescent
moon peeped out of it like an eye which, dazzled
by the brilliance, dares not open entirely. From
the sea rose, not pestilential effluvia, as in the Ro-
man Campagna, but light vapours, which benignly
seek and refresh every lovely point of the coast.
So yesterday evening and this morning at sunrise
the continuation —



Naples— Political Ideas — Music.

Naples, July 18th.

In the morning I frequently form plans as to
what persons I will call upon, what churches and
works of art I will go to see, after I have finished
work. But the moment I set foot out of doors,
these plans are forgotten ; I turn, not to the left
towards the city, but to the right, to the Villa reale,
get into a carriage, and drive along the oft -praised
road to Puzzuoll and Nisita. Dolce Jar nicnte,
but I repeat, after I have finished work.

I take particular care not to get involved here in
general political conversations, because it is most
instructive for me to make myself acquainted with
Neapolitan matters ; but then it falls within the
sphere of my inquiries to ascertain the sentiments
of the Neapolitans on the subject of a general poli-
tical system. They seem still to lay more stress
than other Italians on certain French doctrines, for
instance on that of ihe political contract. I cheer-
fully agreed yesterday with persons of this way of
thinking that hereby a formal element of right is
recognised, and civil society raised above the posi-
tion of mere force and power; but asserted that
with this the end was not wholly accomplished in
regard to the state any more than iu regard to

108 MUSIC.

marriage. One desired me to give him a general
rule, by which all injustice and all error in state
and politics may be infallibly prevented. If I
could do that, I replied, I should have discovered
the political universal medicine, though, by the by,
1 do not believe there is such a thing. On this
point there was no doubt that right, morality,
religion, ought to have a regulating influence ; but
on this point I observed how little it avails to stop
short here at the abstract, because it is not till the
application to the living individuality that the
struggle commences.

A gentleman was speaking to-day of the great
Italian school of music. I wished also to show that
it was not wholly strange to me, when he extolled
Rossini's Tell as a masterpiece of grand old music.
I perceived that old and grand were relative ideas,
and contented myself with putting in a note from
time to time by way of ripieno


Naples — Libraries — Literary men — Excursion to Sorrento.

Naples, July 23rd.

I GOT yesterday into a long conversation with

the librarians on the lending, or not lending, of

books. One of them highly extolled the latter

course for all the well known reasons, especially


because formerly books were sometimes stolen ; our
method of proceeding was wrong, and so forth.
Who knows whether German librarians might not

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