Imágenes de páginas


flower is so small and so retiring that be understood by the term weeping. we pass over the spot where it grows But the excess of pathos in the above without seeing it. I have never heard five words is consummated by the any one speak of the “ Finding of choice of the word “wept,” in preMoses” as a story offering any pecu- ference to all others of the same class. liar beauty to the reader's contempla- Had the word-cried been used, it tion; yet I think I should have heard would perhaps have expressed the every one speak of it as such. I babe's little history as well ; but cannot account for this, inasmuch as there is a depth of woe, a gentleness to me the beauty contained in it is as and yet a bitterness of complaint, an clear as starlight; except in the sup- utter feeling of desertion and helpposition that as a little star, though lessness, indicated by the term — perhaps more intrinsically brilliant wept, as here employed, which no than the moon, is unobserved by rea- other word could convey. The parson of its littleness, so the beauty I ticular choice of this term may be allude to, though more exquisite than the merit of the translator ; but the that which glares in many a larger whole phrase is beautiful, and precircuit of words, has been left unno sents such an exquisite picture of inticed by reason of the exceedingly nocence, desertedness, and distress, small space it occupies on the page. as cannot but interest the finest feels In fact, though palpable when specie ings of the heart. I would have it fically contemplated, it is nearly im- observed too that the story would perceptible when surveyed at large have been complete without these with other objects. It is contracted five words; it is therefore to be coninto five words.

sidered as having flowed merely from And there went a man of the house of the spirit of poetry and tenderness in Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

the author's breast. It is sufficient to And the woman conceived and bare a son; redeem pages of barren chronicle.and when she saw him that he was a good. As a description of helpless innocence ly child, she hid him three months. the above passage from Exodus is

And when she could not longer hide unrivalled. There is however a dehim, she took for him an ark of hulrushes, scription of the same subject in the and put the child therein, and she laid it works of a profane writer which apin the flags by the river brink.

And his sister stood afar off, to wit what proaches its model more nearly than should be done to him.

any other I can now recollect. It And the daughter of Pharaoh came down also resembles its prototype in being to bathe herself at the river, and her nearly invisible to the general reader; maidens walked along by the river side: at least I have never heard it cited. and when she saw the ark among the flags, We find it in a strange book too, and she sent her maid to fetch it.

where we should by no means have And when she opened it, she saw the expected it to appear,—The History child : and behold !--the babé wept. And of a Foundling! The benevolent she had compassion on him and said, This Allworthy is described as listening to is one of the Hebrew's children.

the speech of his servant, who advises Exodus, Chap. II.

him to expose the little foundling to Here is a picture !-or rather a the inclemency of the night,-to let miniature, touched by the pencil of it (as she says) “ die in a state of a fairy. It would make a delicate innocence.” But the voice of Nature subject for Ariel to paint in the ten- in Allworthy's heart outpleaded this der leaf of a cowslip. No!--no ar sordid piece of eloquence : tist could possibly do it justice, but he who paints in words, to the soul

He had now got one of his fingers into not to the sense.

the infant's hand, which by its gentle A painter could never reach the whole beauty of the pressure seemed to implore his assistance. phrase" wept.” He could only Nothing can exceed the pathos and give the silent meaning of that word, beauty of this description, unless it which is but part of its true mean

be the combination of those same ing, and belongs as well to other less qualities in the “ Finding of Moses." piteous modes of distress than is to


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


(Concluded.) On leaving the monks of Capaccio, The approach to Acropoli is dewe descended to the Paestan plain, lightful: a considerable stream flows crossed the fiume salso, and passed before it, and irrigates a number of close to the walls of the ancient city, fine gardens, almost entirely hedged at Spinazzi, a farming establishment in with the Indian fig; the romantic which belongs to the Prince of Angri. little town, with an old castle, a diNear here we saw a great number of lapidated wall, and numerous small breeding mares, horses, and colts. towers in ruins, stands on a pleasant Beyond Spinazzi, we soon got among sloping green hill about a hundred the macchioni, immense thickets, and thirty feet above the sea; the chiefly of high myrtle bushes-places gentle cape of Tresina throws itself admirably adapted to robbers, and out beyond it, and the hills behind it which have often been illustrated by are exceedingly well cultivated, and their deeds. As we walked along speckled with neat white casini, and the narrow shady paths, buffaloes a spacious monastery. This Cecropea close by stuck out their ugly muz of Posidonia, for such it was aczles at us, as if in contempt; for cording to Mazzocchi and Pontanus, the way they elevate their black has long outlived its mighty parent; snouts, has certainly that expression; it was erected into a city by the they paid no attention to our shouts, Greeks, who found it a convenient but stood gazing at us unmoved. sea-port in the beginning of the sixth

From Spinazzi to Acropoli is about century, and in 599 it became the four miles; in that distance we pass see of a bishop: the Saracens took ed but three or four houses and a it and held it for some time, and a martello tower, and until close to flat on the outside of the walls is Acropoli, we did not meet a human still called Campo Saraceno. At prebeing. This space was covered with sent its population is inconsiderable, the Sybarite city of Posidonia; the it gives employment to only four soil is still rough and stony with its paranzelle (large open boats) that fragments; due examination might, carry produce to Salerno and Naples, as Mr. Eustace opines, bring forth and to a few fishing boats. Here

some monument of the opulence we took a guide for Leucosia; he and the refinement of its founders ;" was a smart jolly fellow that had but recourse must be had to excava served the English when in Sicily, tion, for the whole surface, which and had afterwards, without knowhas been “ duly examined,” offers ing two words of Greek, married a nothing more important than a mor Greek woman at Cephalonia, who ceau of a frieze, a perforated stone, did not know a word of Italian. On or a piece of a column. The cause leaving Acropoli, we immediately of malaria, all along the coast of ascended Monte Tresina; fine views Italy, is here found in perfection: of the mountains of the Cilento, a the water that descends from the beautiful and fertile district which mountains has not sufficient courses comprises several considerable towns to the sea; it deluges a great part of and many villages, presented themthe soil in the winter and spring, selves to us: on a lofty wooded point carrying off in its violence almost we saw Santa Maria la Tempatella, a every thing it finds in its way; and renowned monastery of the Cumaldoit stagnates in the summer, poisoning lesi, now deserted; and on a sepathe pure air that nature and climate rate hill, a Franciscan monastery, have given. Yet how easy would still occupied. Our guide pointed out it be to convert the fiumari into to us another monastery on a mountain canals, and render this desert plain still more distant, where is held weekly the seat of cultivation and prosperity! a great market, called Il Mercato di How easy, but how hopeless the ex Sabato dentro Cilento. Pier di Fiume periment, in a country where indi- is the nearest town to it, but it is frevidual spiritlessness and indolence qriented by the inhabitants of at equal the apathy of government ! least a hundred towns and villages.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Beyond Monte Tresina, we crossed falling to ruin, and a cottage, stand a loftier mountain, La Serra dell' near the shore, and about a dozen Alano, from whose summit the pros- cottages are spread about at the pect is superb; it includes the whole foot of the hill, the Enipeon Prosweep of the bay of Salerno, from montory. We found two custothCapo Campanella to the Punto di house soldiers, four sailors, and the Licosa, with its beautiful indented tarernaro and his wife, who all comcoasts, and the grand mountains that plained of the loneliness of the spot. look over them. The road or path The sailors conducted us to the is almost as bad as can be imagined; Syren Isle, which is now not above it was once paved, but like all the three hundred paces from the shore; works of public utility, in the pro- the strait between is very shallow, 'vinces, it has been suffered to go to not being more than six feet deep in decay, and the poor asses and mules the middle. Imagine a low reef, find it sad work indeed to cross it. based on rocks, three hundred paces As we descended the sides of La long and from forty to sixty broad, Serra dell' Alano, we got into a fine matted with robust weeds and myrtle fertile country, abounding with corn, bushes, a few detached masses of festooned vines, immense numbers of masonry, a choked up bath, some fig-trees and pear-trees, (the latter little hillocks of loose stone mixed beautifully in blossom), many white with pieces of marble-such is now farm-houses spread about, and a very the Insula Leucosia ! pretty one at the foot of the moun As we landed, the screams of some tain, with a large Italian pine-tree marine fowls that we startled, and overshadowing it. Here we saw not the enchanting voice of the some flocks of sheep of an uncom- Syren, saluted our ears; and as we monly fine breed, with very long advanced, instead of meeting the wool, silky and snowy white. beauteous form, the poetical crea

After a fatiguing walk of nearly tion of Greek fable, we saw a troop three hours, we arrived at La Marina of timid white rabbits retreating del Castello, a large village situated before us. on the sea-shore, just under Castel According to Antonini,* some lalabbate, an old town on the peak of bourers who were employed on the a steep mountain. A pleasant path, island to erect an hospice for the mostly along the margin of the sea, monks travelling to and from Sicily led us to the Marina of San Marco, and Calabria, discovered, in 1696, consisting of a taverna, a little chapel, several very ancient vestiges, some and one or two huts: we then wonderfully thick walls, and some ascended a hill, and continued our sepulchres in which were found huway on heights above the sea, some man bones, of enormous size of course. times close on their edge, sometimes In the evening we looked from our inward, leaving cultivated slopes dilapidated chamber; the little island between us and the precipices. The lay like an ocean monster sleeping hills that rose to our left were rich upon the rippling waters, a large and blooming in the extreme; there black cross spread out its broad arms were the pale olive, the flaunting on the still main-land shore, as if to vine, the rich orange-trees, the blue guard it from the approach of evil; rinded fig-trees, contrasted with the two or three boats were reverted on emerald green corn growing among the sands, some large fishing nets them, the pear-trees in blossom, and were spread on poles near the cotthe long defensive lines of the speary tage, and the moon shining brightly Indian fig.

on these simple objects and on the It was about half-past five on a , delicious evening in spring, when we

Chiare le onde faceva, tremule e crespe. arrived at the solitary Punto di As circumstances did not permit Licosa, which is about four miles us to extend our excursion along this from the Marina del Castello. A interesting coast, the next morning rude taverna, the remains of a little we turned our steps backward, confort blown up by the English during soling ourselves with the hope of the last war, a large white house crossing “the noble river Hales," of


Lucania, Part ii. Disc. 8.

[ocr errors]

visiting the ruins of the ancient Velia, round to the Sele Morto, on our way the country admired by Cicero * and back to Salerno; we threaded along Horace, and the classical Cape of macchioni, or thickets, like those we Palinuro, on some other opportunity. had passed on our way to Acropoli,

We returned to Acropoli by the but much thicker and of greater same road we had passed the day extent, being almost uninterrupted before, and having taken there a for four miles: a herd of buffaloes hearty breakfast of maccaroni and in one place, and a few cows in fish, we walked on to Paestum, another, were the only objects that which we reached about three o'clock broke the solitude of the scene. As in the afternoon. We passed the we advanced the sun shone down rest of the day there. We made in upon us in unmitigated splendour; vain an attempt to see the remains all around us was warmth, and odour, of the Port of Paestum, the sea and silence, except when a startled being rough and discoloured ; but snake or a lizard retreated through we were told by people on the the brake, or a bird sprang up on spot, as Bamonte had been before rushing wing. us, that when the water is clear, Shortly after emerging from this vestiges of a thick mole that ran a wood, we reached the reedy banks of considerable length, are seen at a the Sele Morto, a brackish stagnant few paces from the shore, just op- lake, which approaches very near to posite the modern coast-tower called the sea. Our guide took us to a little Torre di Pesto. Near the walls of village a few paces from the sea-shore, the city we stopped at a place, where consisting of a few straw cabins, the a shallow excavation, made a short houses of fishermen and herdsmen, time before, had exposed a couche of and a guarda-costa tower. We have small terra-cotta statues : there still seldom seen more strange looking seemed a large depôt, though many habitations; they are conical in shape, of them had been removed: they the frame-work is made of rough were packed together; in the course wood, and the bottom is defended of ages, exudation of nitre and earth, from a sudden influx of water, by a introduced by water, had formed a deep circular trench, and a low mud hard cement between them, and it wall. The hut we entered was that was difficult to separate without of the most important character of breaking them. We brought away the place, one of the King's Guardie three with us; they are about ten caccia, and moreover a tavernaro inches in height, the workmanship is when opportunities offered : the inteordinary, but the forms are exceed- rior presented a curious picture; ingly graceful; the figures (all we there was a fire-place in the middle have seen) are those of females, bear- dug in the floor, at which a woman ing under one arm a vase of flowers, was broiling some fish; the smoke and under the other a little pig. We hung over her head in clouds, and conceive them to be votive offerings gradually settling on the sides of the to Ceres that were to be hung up in cabin, shewed us a fine process of her temples,-as less pretty, and less black varnishing: part of the circle delicate objects, are suspended before was occupied by a miscellaneous Saints and Madonnas in Catholic collection of stores, fishing-tackle, churches.

birding-nets, tools, &c. ; in another Our quarters were again at O Si part was heaped up a store of fuel ; Pepe's taverna, and as our behaviour there was a bed on one side, raised on our first visit bad merited the ap- about two feet from the ground, and probation of the peasants on the spot, above it a display of various domestic they all came in the evening, and utensils. sang their songs, and played the When we had breakfasted and guitar and mandolino as before, not drunk a drop of wine, per cacciare la forgetting to humect their throats malaria, our host took us upon the with as much wine as we would lake in a punt. As the water was give them.

disturbed by the boat, we felt at The following morning we walked once a disagreeable smell: these ex

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

* Tu has paternas possessiones tenebis (nescio quid enim Velienses verebantur) neque Haletem nobilem amncm relinques.-Cic. Fam. Lib. vii. Ep. 20.

halations becoming more putrid and under the water, considerable masses more active in hot weather, extend of ancient masonry, supposed by their pestiferous influence to a great several accredited antiquaries to have distance, and are so adverse to hu- been part of the Portus Alburnus; man life, that if a stranger is ex- and here, or very near here, was posed to them, near their focus, for certainly that resort of industry and twenty-four hours, he rarely escapes commerce: here, where now livid without imbibing a mortal disease. pestilence breathes upon grave-like At these dangerous seasons, the wo- solitude, once echoed the gay shout men are sent off to the mountains, of the mariner; here was the ani. whence they only descend in the mating bustle of maritime trade; middle of the day, when the air is the spirit, the enterprize, the lifefulfreshened by breezes, and they take ness of congregated, prosperous men! care to retire before the sun declines. Alas the change! As we advanced Few constitutions can resist such a up the lake, the water-fowl rose and place, yet our host and his wife flew screaming over our heads, we saw were robust, ruddy, and healthy, but the fish darting about, and observed they had had seven children, only the enclosures of cane and wicker, one of whom survived, and he had where they are caught and preserved. a very sickly appearance.

The waters are dirty, and mostly The Sele Morto was originally the strangled with weeds; they lie fetid course of the river Silaris and the and still in the solitude they have channel by which it discharged itself made; the rushes on the shore are into the sea. The mouth of the very high, the myrtle thickets rise river became choked by sand, and close around, beyond them are seen the Sele of Silaris found a new the lofty mountains, and high among course ; thus a slip of water about them, Mount Alburnus, sung by two miles long and varying in Virgil; and Mount Paphlagon, in breadth, but generally narrow, was in wbose side the Sele has its original insulated by degrees, (the communi- source. + cation that now exists between the We were not sorry to leave this river and the lake is a mere ditch,) inauspicious spot. We continued our the waters became impregnated by journey along the banks of the Sithe salt springs, they stagnated, its laris, (which is, near the embouchure, shores became marshy and luxuriant a fine broad river flowing slowly and in rushes and weeds, wild fowls re-. majestically to the sea,) until we sorted thither, it nourished a quantity reached the bridge we crossed on of capitoni (large eels) and other fish, our way from Eboli to Paestum. We it became at length a royal fishery shall perhaps be excused for not and chase; and the evil, at first ac- having « attempted to explore the

cidental, seems now chartered and site of the temple of Juno Argiva ;” | reserved to perpetuity; fertile lands that temple, whose foundation was so

are left uncultivated, human beings remote, that it was attributed to the perish, and the Royal table is fur- Argonauts,-when it is considered in nished with fish and fowl perhaps what a delightful state of uncertainty some two or three times in a year! that point has been left: Strabo

At the end of the lake, not above places it on the Lucanian, or left bank three hundred paces from the sea, of the Silaris ; and Pliny on that of (whence however it is not visible, being Picenum, or the right bank: Cluscreened by sand banks,) are seen, verius & inclined to Strabo, but left

Cluverius was led astray by a name : he decisively fixes the situation of the Portus Alburnus at a spot vulgarly called Alfurno, where there are some slight ruins close to the banks of the Silaris, but this is more than three miles from the sea-shore.

+ The Aufidus (now Ofanto) that runs by Cannæ in Apulia, and that was tinged with Roman and Carthaginian blood, rises on the opposite part of Mount Paphlagon.

. Cluv. Lib. iv. Cap. 14. In another passage however, Lib. iv. Cap. 6, he speaks with greater certainty, and fixes the site of the temple of Juno Argiva at Marcina (Victri), that is at 20 miles from the Silaris, and on Pliny's side of the river. Mr. Eustace gives preference to the authority of Strabo, as being more circumstantial and less declamatory than Pliny. We respect Mr. Eustace, but think there is one of the aults of Pliny from which he cannot be esteemed exempt.

We had almost forgotten to mention the result of our enquiries concerning the asilo,

« AnteriorContinuar »