Letter from Naples (1841).
,--I have borne very constantly in mind my promise, in London
, to write you, but have found nothing in my way which I thought would be of interest; and these late lines come not as a letter, but only as an excuse.
For I know nothing now of interest, except, perhaps, the loss of my “Liberators,” which the custom-house of his Holiness
--under the general rule, I believe, forbidding all which has not passed the censorship — took from me as I went up to Rome
, and which now lie at Civita Vecchia, waiting for me if I ever return that way.
'T is a melancholy tour, this through Europe
; and I do not understand how any one can return from it without being, in Coleridge
's phrase, “a sadder and a wiser man.”
Every reflecting mind at home must be struck with the many social evils which prevail around; but the most careless eye cannot avoid seeing the painful contrasts which sadden one here at every step,--wealth beyond that of fairy tales, and poverty all bare and starved at its side; refinement face to face with barbarism; cultivation which hardly finds room to be, crowded out on all sides by so much debasement.
I have been surprised to find so much faith in Catholicism as seems to exist among the Italians, even those who make what is called the higher classes.
Men and women