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the no small entertainment of these wags) before we discovered the trick. They now insist upon it, that we are good Catholics, for all this morning we have been bowing to saints and angels.
A great silver box, containing the bones of St. Rosolia, closed the procession. It was carried by thirty-six of the most respectable burgesses of the city, who look upon this as the greatest honour. The archbishop walked behind it, giving his benedi&tion to the people as he passed..
No sooner had the procession finished the tour of the great square before the prætor's palace, than the fountain in the center, one of the largest and fineft in Europe, was converted into a fountain of fire ; throwing it up on all sides, and making a beautiful appearance. It only lasted for a few minutes, and was extinguished by a vast explosion, which concluded the whole. As this was altogether unexpected, it produced a fine effea, and surprised the spectators more than any of the great-fireworks had done.
There was a mutual and friendly congratulation ran through the whole assembly, which soon after parted; and this morning every thing has once more reassumed its natural form and order; and I assure you, we were not more happy at
the opening of the festival, than we are now at its conclusion. Every body was fatigued and exhausted by the perpetual feasting, watching, and dissipation of these five days. However, upon the whole, we have been much delighted with it, and may with truth pronounce, that the entertainments of the feast of St. Rosolia are much beyond those of the holy week at Rome ; of the Ascension, at Venice ; or, indeed, any other festival we have ever been witness of.
I believe I did not tell you, that about ten or twelve days ago, as the time we had appointed for our return to Naples was elapsed, we had hired a small vessel, and provided every thing for our departure: we had even taken leave of the viceroy, and received our passports. Our baggage and sea-store was already on board, when we were set upon by our friends, and solicited with fo much earnestness and cordiality, to give them another fortnight, that we found it impossible to refuse it ; and in consequence difcharged our veffel, and fent for our trunks. I should not have inentioned this, were it not to shew you how much more attention is paid to strangers here than in most places on the continent.
We reckon ourselves much indebted to them for having obliged us to prolong our stay; as, independent of the amusements of the festival, we have met with so much hospitality and urbanity, that it is now with the most sincere regret we find ourselves obliged to leave them. Indeed, had we brought our clothes and books from Naples, it is hard to say how long we might have stayed.
L E T T E R XXXI.
Palermo, July 19tb. We have now had time to enquire a little into some of the antiquities of this island, and have found several people, particularly the prince of Torremuzzo, who have made this the great object of their study. However, I find we must wade through oceans of fi&ion, before we can arrive at any thing certain or satisfactory.
Most of the Sicilian authors agree in deriving their origin from Ham, or, as they called him, Cham, the son of Noah, who, they pretend, is the same with Saturn. They tell you that he built a great city, which from him was named Camefena. There have been violent disputes about the situation of this city : Beroso supposes it to have stood, where Camarina was afterwards founded, and that this was only a corruption of its primitive name. But Guarneri, Carrera, and others, combat this opinion, and affirm, that Camesena ftood near the foot of Ætna, between Aci and Cattania, almost opposite to these three rocks that still bear the name of the Cyclops. Indeed Carrera mentions an inscription that he had seen in a ruin near Aci, supposed to have been the sepulchre of Acis, which he thinks pots this matter out of doubt. These are his words : “ Hæc eft infcriptio vetuftæ cujusdam tabellæ repertæ in pyramide sepulchri Acis, ex fragmentis vetustissimæ Chamesenæ, urbis hodie Acis,conditæ a Cham, gigantum principe, etiam nuncupato Saturno, Chamefeno, in promontorio Xiphonio, ubi adhuc hodie vifuntur folo æquata antiqua veftigia, et ruinæ di&tæ urbis et arcis in insula prope Scopulos Cyclopum, et retinet adhuc fincopatum nomen La Gazzena."
This fame Cham they tell you was a very great scoundrel, and that esenus, which signified infamous, was added to his name, only to denote his character. Fazzello says, he married his own Gfter, who was called Rhea ; that Ceres was the fruit of this marriage; that she did not inherit the vices of her father, but reigned over Sicily with great wisdom and moderation. That she taught her subje&ts the method of making bread and wine, the materials for which their island produced spontaneously in great abundance. That her daughter Proferpine was of equal beauty and virtue with herself. That Orius king of Epirus had demanded her in marriage, and on a refusal, carried her off by force ; which gave occasion to the wild imagination of Greece to invent the fable of the rape of Proserpine by Pluto king of