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next ball I went to was at Baron Rothschild's, the banker. This family, by their wealth and hospitality, font la pluie et le beau temps at Naples. The fête was perfect of the kind, the court was present, the dresses bright and elegant, and the supper, which the company did not seem to spare, magnificent.
I was then prevented by illness from going out for some days, and my first “ sortie” was for the court ball. The palace, as I had afterwards an opportunity of judging, by going over the whole, is one of the most regal in Europe, and is of surprising size.
Part of it has been rebuilt by the present king, but much remains to be done. Magnificence and taste are combined in every detail. Thick French velvets, carpets strewed with the brighest wreaths of flowers, damask and satin hangings from Lyons, of every colour and hue, gorgeous gildings and dazzling lustres, adorn the endless suites of splendid state apartments; while the private suites, with scagliola floors, and brilliant paintings, dore from designs at Pompeii, are equally to be noticed, though in a more simple taste. The altar-piece in the chapel is richly inlaid with lapis lazuli, agates and gold. The situation of this truly royal residence is well chosen, communicating with the St. Carlos Theatre. Masked balls are given at the latter on Thursdays and Sundays during the carnival; the pit is boarded, the house illuminated, and parties are formed to sup in the boxes, which are thrown together for the occasion. We availed ourselves of Baron Rothschild's box to view the novel scene, but when we arrived at eleven o'clock, not a candle was lighted. I afterwards learnt from the queen that her plan for the enjoyment of this gaiety was to go bed at seven, and get up at eleven or twelve o'clock. I ventured to ask her majesty how she had courage to leave her bed, and how she succeeded in waking herself up. She told me this was done by washing her face in vinegar and water, and that she was ready for her supper at one o'clock, and that from that moment till two or three, was the gayest and best part of the ball.
A fête was given by the French ambassador, the Duke de Montebello, an agreeable, gentlemanlike man, married to a handsome English woman, Miss Jenkinson ; it was in the Acton Palace, which is said to be one of the best houses at Naples. The garden was illuminated, and the ball-room had an inlaid purquet which appeared delightful for the dancers, after the carpetted, marble, stone, or tiled floors in other houses. The court, as usual, were here, the king often joining in the dance. I heard a curious circumstance respecting this house : it is for sale, but no one being rich enough to make the entire purchase, it was said it would be disposed of by rooms, and as it is all passage, I do not envy the persons who may inhabit it piecemeal, though as a whole it is a delightful residence.
On Sunday we attended church; the service is performed in a long room, and so well attended that it is difficult to obtain seats. During the afternoon the band plays in the Villa Reale, a garden by the sea, that is the great resort and public promenade of Naples. I went next day to a hall given at the Academy; it was remarkably well managed, although a public one. A fine room, supported by four pillars and brilliantly lighted, was filled with dancers, while double rows of seats were placed round the room for the chaperons.
Shrove Tuesday, being the last day of the carnival, was spent by the people in the Corso in pelting and being pelted, an amusement in which I own I never could see any fun. Having driven'there perfectly unconscious of what was going on, I had not taken the necessary precaution of putting down the glasses of the carriage, and in one moment they were smashed by the sugar plums, to the delight of the people, who seldom have so great a treat, or meet with any one so little initiated in carnival rejoicing. A fancy ball was given by the Russian minister, and a quadrille of brigands was well got up.
The gaieties being over, we had more time and strength for morning expeditions. We drove one day to Lady Blessington's lovely but deserted villa, the Belvidere palace. It is a little way out of Naples, situated on a height, and commands an extensive view of the farfamed bay. I have heard comparisons drawn between it and the Bosphorus, but I cannot go so far as to prefer it to the latter, where the two shores of Europe and Asia, the purple sea, the hills on either side covered with white minarets, graceful mosques, and tall cypresses, the three great cities, Pera, Galata, and Stamboul, seern all spread as on a map. In short Constantinople, à cheval sur la mer entre deux parties du monde, when aided by climate and the colouring of an eastern sun, certainly presents a spectacle so unrivalled as to defy comparison. Here, however, the bay and the magnificent range of mountains, the sinoking volcano, the islands of Capri, &c., and the extraordinary formation of the shore, no doubt claim their share of merit, which I am most ready to admit.
The museum is a building to which every day adds interest, as new discoveries are made, and fresh treasures excavated at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The library is a great room with a wonderful echo. The Severin chapel contains specimens of sculpture ; a veiled female representing Modesty is admirably, executed, and a man extricating himself from a net, emblematical of the struggle to get free from the toils of vice, is beautifully done in marble. A dead Christ is also worthy of note.
We one day visited a quarter of the city occupied by the Jews, and called old Naples. Here are alleys of small shops, principally filled with jewellery of an inferior description; but the scene is curious, and reminded me of the Bezensteins at Constantinople.
After a fortnight's residence at the Hôtel Vittoria, we were unable to bear any longer the discomfort of it, and at last determined to move to the Crocelli, a large and good hotel.
We visited Pompeii, a curious and interesting place, seen with tenfold pleasure after reading Sir E. Bulwer's novel. The baths pleased me particularly, and the freshness of some of the fresco paintings and mosaic pavements is wonderful, when one considers that eighteen centuries have passed over them. It is this reflection that gives so much interest to Pompeii, for I own I was disappointed at finding the houses in such complete ruin. Herculaneum is actually under Portici, but I was afraid of the cold and damp, and did not visit it.
At this time we received the distressing intelligence of the calamitous fire at Wynyard, and the destruction of every thing we had passed twenty years in collecting and constructing. We were overwhelmed with grief, and a severe illness confined me for three weeks to my bed, and prevented my seeing more of the wonders of Naples. We met with universal sympathy and kindness during this period of moral and physical suffering
THE EMIGRANTS OF SAN TOMMASO.
WRITTEN WHILE WAITING THE SOLEMNISATION OF A HIGH MASS, PER
FORMED FOR THE BELGIAN EMIGRANTS PREVIOUS TO EMBARKATION
By Mrs. GORE.
Give them your parting prayers !--not much to grant
To brethren banish'd from their native shore,
Cast forth like Ishmaël from the patriarch's door.
The desert's loneliness, and drought, and fear ;-
“KYRIE ELEISON !-Lord of Mercy-hear!"
Yours are the flocks, the herds, the fertile fields,
The pleasant pastures by their fathers trod;
The hallow'd hearths,-the temples of their God?
Mocking their labours with its threats of dearth ;
Their trembling children o'er that trackless earth.
When from the floating ark of refuge driven
The pilot dove flew forth across the main,
The weary wanderer sought its home again.
No homeward path across the opposing wave!
There, is their savage dwelling,—there, their grave !
Talk not of splintering masts or raging skies,
The troubled ocean of a tropic clime ;
Where war the maddening waves of want and crime
Man against man incensed in hungry strife ;
The fierce contentions of a lawless life!
Bright the effulgence of a southern sky,
Beauteous the blossoms with its verdure blent ; Strange birds on starry wings glance radiant by,
New stars adorn the Antarctic firmament. But on no kindred thing descends the ray,
No hearts they love those fragrant wonders bless, “Kyrie Eleison !- Lord of Mercy!—may
Thy hand be with them in the wilderness !"
The pristine curse still blights that hateful spot !
No legends consecrate its joyless home,-
With ages past, and ages yet to come! -
No tyrant perish'd there,--no hero bled !-
The daily struggle for their bitter bread!
Climb they the mountain !- From the vale beneath
Nor hum of men,-nor village chime ascends ;
The solemn pall of Solitude extends.
their eyes survey, Still-still-that vast horizon circleth round
But coiling serpents and the beast of prey!
Ye disinherited of earth and sea !
High in your Heaven of Heavens, a better land May yet be yours,—where no contentions be,
No trampling foot of pride, - no grasping hand. Raise, raise your hopes unto that brighter sphere,
Expand your sails, and seek that happier home. “ Kyrie Eleison !—Lord of Mercy, hear
The sufferers' fervent prayer,—Thy KINGDOM Come!'” DECLARATION OF WAR BETWEEN TWO OF THE GREAT
POWERS OF EUROPE.
Reader, did you ever hear the history of Zingarelli's journey to Paris?
No. Then listen,
The name, if not the man, must be familiar to you, as the master of Bellini and Mercadante, and director of the Conservatorio at Naples ; and as regards his musical works, those who will not plead guilty to having heard his glorious “ Ombra Adorata" from the lips of Madame Catalani, thirty years ago, at least, need not be ashamed of the admiration it excited in their bosoms when performed more recently by the far more exquisite genius of Malibran. The “Romeo e Giulietta” of Zingarelli is one of the few operas belonging to the early years of the present century, that retains possession of the stage,
Zingarelli was in the prime of life, and Chapel-master at the Duomo of Milan, when the death of that great master of harmony, Guglielmi, caused him to be elected to the grand mastership of his order,--and as first Chapel-master of the Vatican, the musician soon began to fancy himself endued with a portion of papal infallibility, and to fulminate his bulls against the heresies of the musical and all other worlds. While filling this important office, he composed some of the finest masses extant; and it is scarcely necessary to enlarge upon the beauty of his “ Miserere,” without accompaniments, or his celebrated funeral mass for the obsequies of Louis de Medicis, the foreign minister at the court of Naples.
But while occupying the papal chair of the world of Harmony, Zingarelli not only
Bore like the Turk no brother near the throne, but endured with some impatience that there should be other thrones and dominions to interfere with his authority. Italian to the heart's core, he could never persuade himself to regard Napoleon as other than a Corsican or half-breed ; and on the birth of his son by the Austrian archduchess, the nomination of the heir of the empire as King of the Romans filled him with disgust and indignation. From that day Zingarelli threw down the gauntlet and declared war, singlehanded, against Napoleon.
On occasion of the auspicious event of the birth of an heir, a Te Deum was sung in all the cities of the empire; and a notice preparatory to that effect having been issued by the Comte de Tournon, the prefect of Rome, the Sacred College and united clergy of the Holy See -cardinals, bishops, abbots, priests, deacons, sacristans--made their appearance duly in St. Peter's for the celebration of the solemn rite.
But when assembled,—where was the music?-The organs were there,—but where the organists ?-Where the Maestro di Cappella ?Where Zingarelli?--and the echoes of the Vatican answered in their most grumbling voices“Where?"