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be glad to chime in with these notions, if laws and
custom were to favour their convenience ! I could
not help remarking that at any rate one thing was
better with us, namely, that nobody thought of
stealing books. An argunientum ad horninem I
left untouched. I was told that in a library in this
city where no books are lent out, and to which no
stranger is admitted, the books stand apparently
undisturbed and uninjured on the shelves. I say
apparently; for skilful anatomists have dissected
many of them, taken out and sold the insides, and
left nothing but the hog-skin backs behind.

Political grumbling at the course of public affairs
thrives here most luxuriantly, and the government
takes care that it shall not want the necessary ma-
nure. 'Jhis bitterness, however, seems to be
sweetened again by self-complacency. But this
last I say only to cloak my ignorance, because I am
not acquainted with many of the greatest and first-
rate men, who in the discharge of Italian super-
lative are fired off against other nations. The
expression now, thank God, fallen into disuse
among us, our Rabeners, our Ramlers, our Gleims,
our Klopstocks, &c. is here daily played off, and
sold at full value ; and if perchance a Frenchman
or an Englishman, (very rarely a German) has


the honour done him to be sent before as tirailleur
or enfant perdu, the Itahans, or rather Neapohtans,
invariably follow, as the deciding main army. It
is a fine thing to have forefathers who gained and
deserved many laurels, but a still finer to be a
novus homo or a nova nat'io and plant laurels, than
stuff pillows with old laurel leaves, or prefer ruins
to every new building. He only acquires who
perceives and knows that there is much which he
has not, nay, cannot have. In this way alone is to
be found the proper living career; whereas he who
has, or fancies that he has, reached the goal, goes
no further. But what has all this to do with my

On the 19th (Fridays when you probably re-
ceived my first letter from Naples of the 5th, I
dined at M. von K — 's, and he took me to the Flo-
ridiana, a villa in a beautiful situation near the Bel-
vedere, belonging to the widow of King Ferdinand.
More extensive pla«s were concerted for the next

On the 20th, about ten o'clock, I meant to start
with the steam -vessel for Sorrento, under the pro-
tection of the ever-obliging M. von K — . Punc-
tuality, however, is not the order of the day here
in manv things, and steam -vessels among the rest.
AS we did not choose to wait till two o'clock, we
took a boat, and, having a favourable wind, speedily
reached the beautiful opposite shore, and went up


into the Cucumella, the balconies and upper rooms
of which command an admirable view of the richly
cultivated vale of Sorrento, the sea, and Vesuvius.
This tract, the peninsula between Sorrento and
Amalfi, presents so many exquisite prospects, so
many variations of the grand theme of sky and
earth, land and sea, plants and stones, that one
might certainly feast upon them for weeks, and still
find in them something new and attractive. We
(that is to say, M. von K — , his sister G — the
painter, his wife, and I) did as much as it was pos-
sible to do in two days— and with the aid of asses
and mules a great deal was possible. But these in-
dispensable brutes constituted the dark side of the
undertaking, and not I alone, but many are unlucky
with them. — After dinner, then, we rode to the
Punta di Sorrento, hills covered on both sides with
wood, till we gained an extensive view of Capri and
the sea rolling beneath us.

On the 21st, Sunday, the thermometer stood, at
six in the morning in the sun at 36° (113^ F.) — a
fearful height. But as we were screened sometimes
by walls, at others by trees, and I asked permission
to take off coat and stock, in case of emergency put
up my umbrella, and a refreshing breeze blew the
greatest part of the time, the heat was not so into-
lerable as one supposes or apprehends. All these
favourable conditions, however, would not be suffi-
cient to render the trip from Berlin to Potsdam


tolerable in that temperature. The uninterrupted
series of grand and beautiful scenes animated body
and soul, and afforded a delight that caused every
inconvenience to be forgotten.

In the forenoon we ascended a height which
commands a view over both bays, those of Naples
and Salerno. I recognised the islands of the Syrens,
which 1 had once seen in a dangerous storm, and
admired the singularly shaped promontories piled
one upon another, the dark bays, the bright sea,
the steep declivities, the richly planted gentler
slopes, and the arco viaturale, a prodigious, arched
rock, through which you perceive the azure sea.

In the afternoon to what is called the deserto^ a
very lofty peak, which opens a boundless view
over St. Costanza, Capri, Campanella, Massa, &c.

Monday morning, the 22nd, upwards through
the vale of Arola, by way of change, of almost pre-
cisely German character. Somewhat like the country
about Schwarzburg, and if there was no running
water, yet the mountains were loftier, and among
the German trees (elms, oaks, poplars, limes) ap-
peared myrtles and olives. Then to what was
formerly a convent of Camaldulenses, whence we
overlooked at the same time the beautiful declivities
of Vico and Sorrento and Monte Chiaro by which
they are separated. Beyond these the sea, \'esuvius,
and the distant coast of Naples. In the after-
noon, by steam-vessel, along the coast to Cas-


tellamare ; then passed Vesuvius ; the most beauti-
ful sunset; arrived in brilliant moonshine on the
coast of Naples sparkling with thousands of lights.

To the numberless causes and signs of beauty
there is superadded in those parts a peculiar one,
rare even in Italy, namely the extraordinarily rich
and diversified vegetation, and the careful cultiva-
tion which it receives from great numbers of persons
who have settled there. Nevertheless, Avere I pos-
sessed with the Roman mania, I should say : Burn
the trees and shrubs, pull down the houses, let the
people perish, and you will then have a faint like-
ness of the Campagna di Roma. To be quite
equal to that Vesuvius must disappear, the sea be
dried up, the wholesome brown of the human com-
plexion be changed into the sickly yellow of foreign
day-labourers, &c.

What I here give you is not even a sketch or a
complete index, much less the coloured album of
the visible; but inflated phrases would not afford a
better idea of the objects, and besides T do not keep
those goods in my shop. A gentleman said that
the steam-vessel was so beautiful, so picturesque, so
enchanting, that he shed tears because he could not
shew it to a lady of his acquaintance !

On Sunday, a festival in honour of the Virgin
was held at Sorrento, with lamps and all sorts of
fireworks. A great number of people, and still
greater noise, otherwise nothing peculiar or worth


notice. Whether the country produces more garlic
or oranges it would be difficult to decide. I saw
here (perhaps for the first time in my life) a drunken
Italian, and the two-legged ass trod upon my toes
as the four-legged one did a few days ago on my

For the first time too during this excursion an
Italian was dissatisfied with what I paid him. This
man, who lived close by, demanded more, because
he had come a great way to shave me. I replied
that I had come much further to be shaved, (though
not in a figurative sense) but that I would shave
him for half as much, if he liked. The fellow
stared at me, pocketed the money, and went about
his business. With firmness, civility, and pleasantry,
you may do much more in Italy than with abuse
and airs of consequence.


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

Naples, July 25th.

My life here is very simple, and at the same time
extremely diversified. The literary labours, which
are the principal object of my journey, touch upon
so many subjects, opens so many points of view,
and make me acquainted with so many sensible and


Stupid measures and opinions, that simplicity and
diversity are the natural results. The same remark
applies to the beauties of nature and the treasures
of art.

Yesterday, I took a ride along that to me inevi-
table road to Nisita and Puzzuoli. I felt disposed
to find fault with the hitherto undisturbed serenity
of the blue sky as being too monotonous, when, on
looking around, I beheld a new spectacle. Beside
Vesuvius, a gigantic castle was built of black clouds,
and decorated with prodigious golden pinnacles.
Above it was spread a vast, white, glistening canopy,
which the moon, by its side, had richly encompassed
with silver radiance. Above these floated small
clouds of all sorts of colours, according as they were
turned more to the sun or to the moon. At the
other end of the new cut through the hill, the most
glowing sunset beyond Bajae and Puzzuoli ; the
islands lighter or darker in proportion to their dis-
tance, opposite to the placid blue sea — a sea of
verdure extending to the Camaldulenses and the
Vomero. On the return the castle gone, and only
a faint red ting-e in the west — the silver moon
reigning in majesty over sky and sea.

Can you wonder that, after such delicious enter-
tainments given by bountiful nature, I should take
little interest in a soiree, at which I should have to
exchange complimentary phrases and to decipher
the Neapolitan dialect ! How much more con-


venient to sit in the verandah in the grand costume
of a lazzaroni, to go to bed betimes and be up
before sunrise. In England, beautiful women and
distinguished men throng to the routs, which, it is
true, are annoying enough ; but here people appear
like mere accessories or supplements to nature.

It is said that in the next world men will meet
again ; shall we meet with nature again, or what
will become of it ? The idea of a migration through
all the worlds has been very often propounded, but it
has its difficulties. Why, as the eternity that awaits
one is of such prodigious length, be in such haste
to be removed into a new class, before one has duly
learned one''s task here ? In that world one may —
so much I can well imagine — associate with Plato
and Aristotle, with Alexander the Great and
Charlemagne, but will those heroes choose to asso-
ciate with me, as they lose in the same proportion
that I gain ? Nay, it is not always convenient for
myself to appear in grand paru?-e, and to be obliged
to look down at things. Besides, I am a great
deal too much attached to friends and acquaintance
who wear a great coat like myself, to exchange them
for that superfine prima sorte of universal history.
If, on the contrary, 1 am again to meet all the per-
sons of both sexes who have wearied me already
upon earth, and to sing Hosanna unisono with them
the whole live-long day, that prospect is, if any
thing, still more frightful. The whole division of


heaven, purgatory, and hell, separates, to be sure,
boxes, pit, paradise, and so forth ; but I should
almost rather solicit a place out of the whole divina
comedia. Here I am getting again into heresies
which I have once before played off in Dresden ;
but, at any rate, I had rather live in Naples with-
out Dante than in a desert island with him.

As particular nations have their own burial-places
on earth, have they their peculiar places of resur-
rection in the other world ? In this case the Babylo-
nian separation continues ; in the reverse, a scarcely
conceivable intermixture ensues. Upon what prin-
ciples ? — the number of heads, intellectual supe-
riority, order of time ? But a fool may ask more
questions on this subject than all the wise men put
together can answer.

A Calabrese of distinction, with whom I was con-
versing yesterday about the people of his country,
was also totally at a loss how to mix them with other
tribes : " Calabria," said he, " is a country abso-
lutely unique in its kind, incomprehensible. En-
closed by two seas, having in the middle a lofty
range of mountains, covered for several months in
the year with deep snow, no roads or communica-
tions between the two divisions, all the trees and
productions of the north and of the south, ice and
tropical heat at the distance of a few leagues. For
hundreds, nay, for thousands of years a culture of
a higher, nay, even of a profoundly philosophical,


kind, which in certain circles subsists undiminished
to the present day, and at the same time a popula-
tion rude in the extreme." — " If this rudeness," I
remarked, " consists only in this, that the people
have not learned to read and write, they have pro-
bably received other estimable qualities from an
originally bountiful Nature." He replied : " It is
not only the rudeness of ignorance, but likewise
ferocity of character, which, for instance, perpe-
tuates a bloodthirsty enmity in full force from
generation to generation, and regards revenge as
a right and a duty." — " This worse than heathen
disposition," I rejoined, " must be, if not extirpated,
at least softened, by education and by the influence
of the nobility and persons of note, who are pro-
bably absentees." — " In Calabria it is much more
common," he continued, " for people of rank and
wealth to reside upon their estates than in any other
part of Italy ; but they live wholly apart from the
people, and have no influence over them. They
compose two entirely distinct worlds. I myself,
when at Naples, contemplate with horror this fe-
rosity of my countrymen, a barbarism that is not to
be found in a like degree in Europe ; and again,
when I reside for a considerable time in Calabria,
kindred tonesvibrate in my own mind, and strengthen
alike the charge and the excuse."


Naples, Jul}- 26th.
Yesterday evening I duly received your kind
letters of the 11th, and at the same time one from

Rome, from , confirming what I have long

foreseen, namely, that the archives will not be
opened to me. The principal passage in the letter
runs thus : " With a truly heavy heart, I lake up
the pen to communicate the not unexpected but
not for that reason the less painful intelligence
that, under present circumstances, the opening of
the archives of the Vatican in behalf of your histo-
rical inquiries is not to be expected. Things may
after some time take a better form, but unfortu-
nately it is customary to draw particulars concern-
ing persons from sources the origin of which is im-
pure. Count shares this view and my regret.

This text is important enough to admit of a few
comments. For some years past the papal govern-
ment has relinquished the system of more liberal
communication adopted by Cardinal Consalvi, and
leturned to the old seclusion and exclusion. Whe-
ther the misunderstanding with Prussia has more-
over had any share in the above determination of
the court of Rome, I shall not pretend to decide,
any more than whether the condemnation of my

work originates with , or with the man who

^ or with Madame de . The court of

Rome is certainly unjust in classing persons of my
sentiments among dangerous or hostile opponents,


and to reckon upon all Protestants painting (like

H ) white upon white. I can assert without

presumption that my work has operated with more
effect and more benefit to produce right and just
notions of church and popes in the middle ages than
many a publication by over-zealous watchmen of

The Roman court is not itself capable of appre-
ciating the historical sources of those times ; it has
too little confidence in its interest and its right,
otherwise it would make no secret of those docu-
ments, but print and circulate them all over the
world. They are, it is true, succeeded by persons
and deeds of darker shades. But even there the
keeping secret is of no avail ; for though the world
knows the worst, yet, on account of this very se-
crcsy, it imagines that there is something still worse
behind ; whereas the whole truth explains matters
in which there frequently lies, if not a justification,
at least an excuse. Besides, the boasted consis-
tency of the court of Rome is not kept up in grant-
ing to me in 1817 (when I could adduce nothing
in my behalf but my goodwill) what is now refused
me, though three illustrious Catholic personages
have furnished me with favourable testimonials —

the prince-royal (and also the king) of B , Prince

John of S , and Prince M ^ . The Great

Unknown, be it he or she, has more weight than
these men and that which they represent. A sort


of the theological camarilla ! Of one thing I am
sure, namely, that this refusal will not cause me to
say one word more or more harsh against the court
of Rome than a feeling of duty and truth would
otherwise have suggested. Sine ira et studio be in
future my motto, as it has been hitherto.

I must now wait to see whether , as the

Protestant Cerberus, will continue to play the Pa-
roli. I have ah-eady told you why I believe that
those sources contain little that is really serviceable
for my Hohenstaufen, and that all the main points
may be left without alteration. I have done all I
could, and wash my hands in innocence.

If, after politely giving precedence to politico-
historical considerations, I pass to personal matters
and the interests of my tour, nothing more agree-
able could befall me than this refusal. It carries
me away from musty papers into the living present ;
it raises me to the rank of a baron ; it admits of my
return in the finest season of the year, and accele-
rates my wished-for return home, after seeing and
learning so much.

Besides, i shall save money by it, and that de-
serves some consideration, because my journey is
not performed at the expense of government, as
many have been pleased to say and even to pub-
lish, but must be paid for entirely out of my own
pocket. But I am very thankful that I was never
refused leave of absence, and that sufficient conli-



dence is placed in me to induce a belief that I shall
conscientiously employ the leisure which has been


Naples — Slimmer — Prostittitidn — Excursion to Ischia.

Naples, July 27th.

I AM this year enjoying, for the first time in my
life, a real summer ; for oppressively sultry days,
alternating with thunder-storms and cooler ones,
are but a substitute for, or a resemblance of, ge-
nuine summer. For the latter are required a long
equable temperature, a serene sky, a light respirable
atmosphere, notwithstanding the heat. You ask, if
I do not find the middle of the day too hot. Most cer-
tainly. But why should I shrink from this sun-bath,
or deem it more inconvenient or more dangerous than
the oft-extolled Russian vapour-baths ? Thus far
it agrees perfectly well with me, though I shall
come back brown and spare as an Arab. For one is
obliged to observe temperance and moderation in
an equal degree in regard both to mind and body ;
and the stomach here requires more time to digest
little than a great deal with us. But what one spares
in eating and wine is spent in ice and lemonade, and
the money for the theatre goes for coach-hire. Or


shall 1 shut myself up by lamplight, or perhaps even
amidst the perfume of garlic, while heaven, earth,
and sea, out of doors are performing pieces of a
totally different kind ? — or listen, out of patriotism,
to translated Kotzebueades, or, out of respect for
the Italian, to the declamation of the husky Fe-
derici ?

Drove out again yesterday to Nisita, that road
of inexhaustible beauty. A sunset beyond the bay
of Bajae could not have been more beautiful, more
brilliant, more splendidly coloured ; and to all those
lights of heaven, the earth furnishes her deeper
tones, the grave fundamental bass — I had rightly
calculated the time for returnino-. Between Cas-
tellamare and the hill of St. Angelo, the full moon
rose slowly and majestically. Not only were the
rays of light flung over the sea, but the vibrations
of the organ of the spheres by which old Haydn
seemed to prescribe measure and track to the moon
fell upon my ear.

I play you nothing but variations of one and
the same theme, but what else can I do ? In a few
weeks I shall be far away from this south, and then
I will put a different barrel into my organ. The
dissonances which you perhaps miss in these letters
you will find by and by plentiful enough in a longer
article on Neapolitan affairs.

For very many years, I have not dealt boxes on
the ear, but to-day I have dispensed a truly sound

G 2


one, namely to a boy, who thrust his hand into my
coat-pocket. He concluded from appearances that
it contained something worth his while, but found
only a large roll of paper — the money was gone to
pay for my passage by the steam-vessel. Some
days ago. I was well nigh involved in an affair of a
more serious kind. As I was going home in the
evening, in the most sober and quiet way, two fe-
males suddenly turned upon me and bawled at me
in the most startling manner. I understood not a
syllable of their Neapolitan prestissimo; till a man
interfered as tertms interveniens^ and intimated
that he was a champion of the innocence, of which
I, Don Juan, would fain have robbed the damsels.
Now, as I had neither accosted nor even seen the
said damsels, and consequently had complete inno-
cence on my side, I was not to be bullied, and told
them that they could not be in their senses, that I
was no minchione, and that, if they pleased, we
would go to the police to settle the matter. Before
I had finished speaking, ladies and champion had
scampered off different ways. On the following

day, a similar trick was attempted on M. von ,

probably by the same swindlers of both sexes.

The police has succeeded in clearing the streets
of prostitutes. With so much the greater impu-
dence do the pimps, the ruffiani, offer their goods,
selling a pig in a poke, and cheating buyers and
sellers as much as they can. This male interven-


tion, which is almost unknown in other countries,
has in it something excessively disgusting, and, as
dealing at second-hand in human flesh, is equally
repulsive to morality and good taste. Foundling
hospitals, street-beggary, and pimps, nevertheless,
find alike defenders, at least as minor evils. To me,
on the other hand, they appear to be the greater.

July 29ili.

Yesterday was a hot but yet a pleasant day.
Early in the morning I set out in the steam- vessel,
La Furia, for Ischia, and returned in the evening.
We coasted, of course, along the beautiful bay of
Naples, to Nisita, then passed the bay of Bajae,
with the prospect of Puzzuoli, Monte Nuovo, and
Bajae, left Cape Mi sen urn on one side, to the road
of Procida (where passengers are landed and taken
on board) lastly were set ashore near Casamiciola in
Ischia, and ascended the hill to the tavern of La
Sentinella. The noontide hours were intensely
hot in the narrow roads of Ischia, but the many
exquisite views of the carefully cultivated island,
and its summit, the Epomeo, as also of the distant
islands and coasts, afford some compensation. The
cooler return and its conclusion by moonlight
proved the more agreeable.

On the outward passage, I heard a lady speak-
ing German and accosted her. She was a Swiss
woman of prodigious size, who had been settled for
many years in Rome, but was not at all satisfied


with the Germans there. She declared that, in
fact, nothing but hatred and envy prevailed among
them, and that not a trace of the boasted qualities
of their nation was to be perceived.

When the men belonging to the steamer laid
hold of her in the usual way, and would have car-
ried her out of the boat to the shore, she plied her
fists so vigorously, that (though these fellows are
in general able to put up with a great deal) they
almost lost their temper. They were obliged, there-
fore, to bring an ass close to the gunwale of the boat ;
she turned her huge rotundity outwards, and, un-
touched by male hands, clapped herself down in the
appropriate saddle of her sex. Some other ladies

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