Page images

although they are not the most fellion, as well as the family for. industrious people in the world, tune; and that the third geneyet, having some degree of occu- ration will acquire knowledge from, pation, and their time being di- the experience, as well as wealth vided between business and plea- from the industry, of the former sure, they probably have more two; whereas, in the cales alluded enjoyment than those, who, with- to above, the wheel of fortune out internal relources, or oppor- moves differently. A man, by affitunities of active exertion, país duity in a particular business, and their lives in sensual gratifications, by genius, acquires a great fortune and in waiting the returns of ap- and a high reputation; the son petite around a gaming table. In throws away the fortune, and ruins the most retpectable class of citi- his owu character by.extravagance; zens, are comprehended the law- and the grandson is obliged to reyers, of whom there are an incre- commence the bufinets, unaided dible number in this town. The by the wealth or experience of his most eminent of this profetlion ancestors. This, however, is pointhold, indeed, a kind of inter- ing out an evil which I thould be mediate rank between the nobility forry to see remedied; because it and citizens; the rest are on a certainly originates in the riches level with the physicians, the and prosperity of the country in principal merchants, and the ar- which it exists. tilts; none of whom can make The number of priests, monks, great fortunes, however industrious and ecclesiastics of all the various they may be ; but a moderate in orders that swarm in this city, is come enables them to support their prodigious; and the provifion aprank in society, and to enjoy all propriated for their use, is as anthe conveniences, and many of the ple. I am assured, that the clergy luxuries, of life.

are in poflession of considerably Englaod is perhaps the only above one-third of the revenue of nation in Europe where some indi. the whole kingdom, over and above

viduals, of every profession, even what some particular orders among · of the lowest, tind it poflible to them acquire by begging for the

accumulate great fortunes; the use of their convents, and what is cffed of this very frequently is, gotten in legacies by the address that the son despites the profession and alliduity of the whole. The of the father, commences gentle. unproductive wealth, which is inan, and dislipates, in a few years, lodged in the churches and conwhat coli a life to gather. In the vents of this city, amounts also to principal cities of Germany and an amazing value. Not to be Italy, we tind, that the ancestors compared in point of architecture

of many of those citizens who are to the churches and convents of - the moit eminent in their particular Rome, those of Naples furpass

bulinetles, have transmitted the them in riches, in the value of · art to them through leveral gene. their jewels, and in the quantity

rations. It is natural to imagine, of filver and golden crucitists, that this will tend to the improve. verlels, and implements of various iment of the art, or science, or pro. kinds. This wealth, whatever it


amounts to, is of as little use to both with the nobles and citizens. the kingdom, as if it still remained All of them, the monks not exin the mines of Peru; and the cepted, attend the theatre, and greater part of it, surely, affords seem to join most cordially in other as little comfort to the clergy and diverfions and amusements; the monks as to any other part of the common people are no ways community; for though it belongs' offended at this, or imagine that to their church, or their convent, they ought to live in a more recluse yet it can no more be converted to manner. I am informed, that a the use of the priests and monks of very considerable diminution in such churches and convents, than the number of monks has taken to the tradesmen who inhabit the place in the kingdom of Naples adjacent itreets. For this reason I fince the suppression of the Jesuits, am a good deal surprised, that no and since a liberty of quitting the pretext, or fubterfuge, has been cowl was granted by the late Pope ;. found, no expedient fallen on, no but still there is no reason to comtreaty or convention made, for ap- plain of a deficiency in this order propriating part of this at least to of men. The richest and moft the use of some set of people or commodious convents in Europe, other. If the clergy were to lay both for male and female votaries, their hands on it, this might be are in this city; the most fertile found fault with by the king; if and beautiful hills of the environs his majefty dreamt of taking any are covered with them; a small part of it for the exigencies of part of their revenue is spent in the state, the clergy would un feeding the poor, the monks diftridoubtedly raise a clamour; and if buting bread and soup to a certain both united, the Pope would think pumber every day before the doors he had a right to pronounce his of the convents. Some of the vote : but if all these three powers friars study physic and surgery, and could come to an understanding, practise these arts with great apand settle their proportions, I am plause.. Each convent has an apt to think a partition might be apothecary's shop belonging to it, made as quietly as that of Po- where medicines are delivered land. :

gratis to the poor, and sold to Whatever scruples the Neapo- those who can afford to pay. On litan clergy may have to such a all these accounts the monks in project, they certainly have none general are greater favourites with to the full enjoyinent of their the common people than even the revenues. No class of men can be secular clergy. less disposed to offend Providence. The Jazzaroni, or black-guards, by a peevith neglect of the good as has been already observed, form things which the bounty of heaven a confiderable part of the inhahas bestowed. Self-denial is a bitants of Naples; and have, on virtue, which I will not say they fome well-known occasions, had poffefs in a smaller degree, but the government for a short time in which, I am sure, they affect less their own hands. They are comthan any other ecclefiaftics I know; puted at above thirty-thousand; they live very much in fociety, the greater part of tbem have no

C 2


dwelling: houses, but sleep every others, they bear the infolence of night under porticos, piazzas, or the nobility as passively as peasants any kind of shelter they can find. fixed to the soil. A coxcomb of a Those of them who have wives and volanti tricked out in his fantastical children, live in the suburbs of dress, or any of the liveried Naves Naples near Pausilippo, in huts, of the great, make no ceremony or in caverns or chambers dug out of treating these poor fellows with of that mountain. Some gain à all the insolence and insensibility livelihood by fishing, others by natural to their masters; and for carrying burdens to and from the no visible reason, but because he is fhipping; many walk about thc dreffed in lace, and the others in streets ready to run on errands, or rags. Instead of calling to them to to perform any labour in their make way, when the noise in the pover for a very small recompence. ftreets prevents the common people As they do not meet with constant from hearing the approach of the employment, their wages are not carriage, a stroke across the fhoul. fufficient for their maintenance; ders with the cane of the running the soup and bread distributed at footman, is the usual warning they the door of the convents supply the receive. Nothing animates this deficiency. The lazzaroni are ge- people to insurrection, but some nerally represented as a lazy, li. very presling and very universal centious, and turbulent set of peo- caure; such as a scarcity of bread : ple; what I have observed gives every other grievance they bear as me a very different idea of their “if it were their charter. When we character.'. Their idleness is evi- consider thirty thousand human dently the effect of necessity, not creatures without beds or haof choice; they are always ready bitations, wandering almost naked. to perform any work, however in search of food through the laborious, for a very reasonable streets of a well built city; when gratification. It must proceed from we think of the opportunities they the fault of government, when have of being together, of comsuch a mamber of stout a&ive citi. paring their own destitute fituation Eens remain unemployed; and so with the affluence of others, opo far are they from being licentious cannot help being astonished at and turbulent, that I cannot help their patience. thinking they are by much too Let the prince be distinguished tame and submiflive. Though the by splendour and magnificence; inhabitants of the Italian cities let the great and the rich havé were the first who thook off the their luxuries; bat, in the name feudal yoke, and though in Naples of humanity, let the poor, who they have long enjoyed the pri. are willing to labour, have food in vilege of municipal jurisdiction, abundance to satisfy the cravings yet the external fplendour of the of nature, and raiment to defend nobles, and the authority they still them from the inclemencies of the exercise over the peafants, impose weather | upon the minds of the lazzaroni ; If their governors, whether from and however bold and resentful weakness or negle&, do not supply they may be of injuries offered by them with these, they certainly


have a right to help themselves. the stanza by his voice, which he Every law of equity and common could modulate to the key of any fense will justify them, in revolting paffion, from the boisterous bursts against such governors, and in sa. of rage, to the soft notes of pity or tisfying their own wants from the love. But, when he came to desuperfluities of lazy luxury. scribe the exploits of Orlando, he

trusted neither to the powers of his ,

own voice, nor the poet's genius; Of the poctical Rehearsers and Im but, throwing off his cloak, and prouvisatori.

grasping his cane, he assumed the

warlike attitude and stern coun. AS I fauntered along the Strada tenance of that hero; representing, A Nuova lately, I perceived a by the most animated action, how groupe of people listening, with he drove his spear through the much attention, to a perlon who bodies of fix of his enemies at harangued them in a railed, so- once; the point at the same time lemn voice, and with great gefti- killing a seventh, who would also culation. I immediately made one have remained transtixed with his of the auditory, , which increased companions. if the spear could every moment; men, women, and have held more than fix men of an children bringing seats from the ordinary size upon it at a time. neighbouring houses, on which, they placed themselves around the Il Cavalier d'Anglante ove pui spelle orator. He repeated stanzas from Vide le genti e l'arme, abbassò l'afta, Ariosto, in a pompous, recitativo Ed uno in quella, e poscia un altro mesle cadence, peculiar to the natives of

E un altro, e un altro, che sembrar di pasta,

E fino a sei ve n'in Glzò, e li resse Italy; and he had a book in his Tutti una lancia; e perche' ella non basta hand, to alli ft his memory when it A piu capir, lasciò id fecimo fuore failed. He made occasional com. Ferito si che di quel colpo muore, mentaries in prose, by way of bringing the poet's expreflion This stanza our declaimer had no nearer to the level of his hearers' occasion to comment upon, as capacities. His cloak hung loose Ariosto has thought fit to illustrate from one shoulder; his right arm it in a manner which seemed was disengaged, for the purposes

highly to the taste of this audience.

highly to the ta of oratory. Sometimes he waved For, in the verse immediately fol. it with a flow, smooth motion, lowing, Orlando is compared to a wbich accorded with the cadence map killing frogs in marshy ground, of the verses ; sometimes he prefled with a bow and arrow made for that, it to his breast, to give energy to

purpose ; an amusement very comthe pathetic fentiments of the mon in Italy, and still more so in poet. Now he gathered the hang

France. ing folds of the right side of his cloak, and held them gracefully

Non altrimente nell'estrema arena

Veggiam le rane de' canali e fofle up, in imitation of a Roman fe- Dai cau

Dai cauto arcier ne i fianchi, e nella schiena nator; and anon he swung them L'una vicina all' altera ello, percofle, across his left thoulder, like a ci- Ne dalla freccia, fin che tutta piena tizen of Naples. He humoured Non sia da un capo all'altero effe. siinoise:

C 3

I muft

I must however do this audience force; and had actually begun the the justice to acknowledge, that horrid attempt, when the thrieks they seemed to feel the pathetic and of this chaste maiden reached the sublime, as well as the ludicrous, ears of the Venetian hero; who, parts of the ancient bard.

ever ready to relieve virgins in This practice of rehearsing the distress, rushed into' the apartment verses of Ariosto, Taffo, and other from whence the cries issued. The poets, in the street, I have not brutal ravisher, alarmed at the observed in any other town of noise, quits the struggling lady, Italy; and I am told it is less at the very instant when her common here than it was formerly. strength began to fail; draws his I remember indeed, at Venice, to flaming sword; and a dreadful have frequently seen mountebanks, combat begins between him and who gained their livelihood by the christian knight, who per. amusing the populace at St. Mark's forms miracles of courage and adPlace, with wonderful and ro- dress in refifting the blows of this mantic stories in profe." Listen, mighty giant; till, his foot unfor“ gentlemen,” said one of them, tunately Nipping in the blood " let me crave your attention, ye which flowed on the pavement, he « beautiful and virtuous ladies : I fell at the feet of the Saracen ; “ have something equally affecting who, immediately seizing the ad" and wonderful to tell you; a vantage which chance gave him, “ strange and stupendous adven- raised his sword with all his might, “, ture, which happened to a gal. and H ere the orator's hat flew “ lant knight."-Perceiving that to the ground, open to receive the this did not sufficiently interest the contributions of the listeners; and hearers, he exalted his voice, he continued repeating, “ raised calling out that his knight was « his sword over the head of the uno Cavalliero Cristiano. The “ christian knight,”—“ raised his audience seemed still a little" bloody, murderous brand, to fluduating. He raised his voice a “ destroy your noble, valiant counnote higher, telling them that this “ tryman."-But he proceeded 90 christian knight was one of their farther in his narrative, till all own victorious countrymen, “ un' who seemed interested in it had " Eroe Veneziano." . This fixed thrown something into the bat. them; and he proceeded to relate He then pocketed the money with how the knight, going to join the great gravity, and went on to inchristian army, which was on its form them, that, at this critical march to recover the sepulchre of moment, the Lady, seeing the Christ from the hands of the in- danger which threatened her de fidels, loft his way in a vast wood, liverer, redoubled her prayers to and wandered at length to a castle, the Blessed Mary, who, a virgin in which a lady of transcendent herself, is peculiarly attentive and beauty was kept prisoner by a propitious to the prayers of virgins. gigantic Saracen, who, having Just as the Saracen's sword was failed in all h endeavours to gain descending on the head of the Vethe heart of this peerless damfel, netian, a large bee flew, quick as reiolved to gratify his passion by thought, in at the window, ttung

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »