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[219]

Letter from Naples (1841).

Naples, April 12, 1841.
Dear Garrison,--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

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Helen Eliza Garrison (1)
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