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turned by the pigs that pass in and out of the house-louse the heads of their female companions, who kneel before them and rest their faces in their laps ; while their husbands, with red caps on their heads, and brown great-coats thrown carelessly over their shoulders, form themselves into circles, and make the streets resound with their noisy game of la mora ; near them, a post of ten or fifteen Austrian soldiers, all drest with the most minute cleanliness, some of whom lie asleep on benches, others play at bowls and mix their German exclamations with those of the Neapolitans ; and hard by, a sentinel, overpowered with ennui, pacing to and fro before his box, looking on the scene before him so different from those of his native country—and “wonder“ ing how the devil he got there :” such is the exact appearance of this village.
The tomb of Virgil—which all agree is not the tomb of Virgilmis situated above the Eastern entrance of the Grotta di Posilipo. It is curious how this monument could ever have been supposed the sepulchre of the Mantuan poet; it seems impossible not to be convinced, at first sight, that it was simply a family Columbarium ; for, in the interior, are several niches like those
seen in the tombs of Pompeii, and in which urns and ashes still remain. It is very improbable that Augustus should have erected to Virgil a family sepulchre of bricks.
The monument itself has no regular form, and is covered with brambles and creeping plants : a small laurel formerly grew on its summit, but the admirers of the poet have taken from it so many souvenirs, that even the root of the shrub is dead. Yet this ruin, covered with herbs and wild flowers, hung on the edge of a precipice, and shaded by the branches of an elm that shoots from the top of a rock that hangs over it, would form of itself a beautiful picture, and has indeed been often painted. But to those really present on the spot, the effect is enhanced by the rumbling echo of the carriages traversing the Grotta of Posilipo, and by the rough voice of a Capucin monk who, himself unseen, is. heard begging alms of all who pass before him.
In the neighbouring garden, covered with figs, elms, and vines, is a terrace from which I overlooked the bay, a part of the town with its flat roofs, the Island of Capprea, and the mountains of Sorrento and Vesuvius, shaded with the dark purple hue which the setting sun always casts upon them. On a marble bench, placed on this platform, a Frenchman has had engraved the following lines :
Près du chantre divin dont la lyre immortelle
Amants asseyez vous et resserrez vos neuds. The author of the excellent "Guida di “ Pozzuoli” pities beforehand the antiquarians of 2824, when, of all the inscriptions said to have originally belonged to the tomb of Virgil, this, of the French poet, will perhaps alone remain. If indeed such should be the case, what important inferences will not be drawn from the fact! How many good reasons will be found why a French inscription should have been fixed by Augustus on the sepulchre of Virgil !
Be that as it may, the situation of this tomb pleases so much the English, that two of these sentimental and melancholy countrymen have carried their spleen - which the French denominate the “ maladie Anglaise"-so far as to have caused themselves to be buried-bien entendu after their deaths-over the entry of the grotto of Posilipo. There they lie without any stone or sign whatsoever; the gardener alone calls on
them the attention of edified strangers : she told me,
two Englishmen buried “ therc."-But, where ?'_" There, exactly “ under your feet.”
On the other side of the garden some children are also buried; but, at least, the spot is marked by marble slabs, though the name of the child is seldom inscribed upon them. The parents were probably ashamed of thus depriving of its rights the Protestant burying-place. Adieu.
Naples, 18th June, 1824..
MY DEAR FRIEND,
The case of books we had sent by sea from Rome was arrived in the Neapolitan custom-house: we were able to procure from the Minister of Finance an order for their being delivered to us duty free; yet they were nevertheless to undergo an examination whether they contained any, principles contrary to religion and legitimacy; for, at present, both are classed together, and affirmed to be dependent the one on the other, and religion is made the touchstone of political opinions ; while, vice versa, all admirers of all courts are obliged to declare themselves the supporters and advocates