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knives, whilst its acute odour drew tears from our eyes ; a dreadful suspicion came across my mind; I seized my hat and rushed into the yard, where, alas ! my worst fears were fatally confirmed. His hoary hide, half stripped from his aged body, his throat gashed by an un, seemly wound, with one of his
fore quarters missing, hung by his hind legs on the wall, the venerable patriarch who had so valiantly opposed our entrance. Overcome with sorrow, I hastened back to relate the melancholy tale to my companions, whose veneration for the departed was too great to allow them to continue their carnivorous attempts on his mangled members: one of us only, inattentive, like Ceres, from excessive grief when she devoured the shoulder of Pelops, applied a mouthful to his lips, which he pronounced, probably from respect to his deceased acquaintance, not so bad as he had anticipated, whilst another observed, that although our host had served us with moutone, he certainly had not given us castrato.
Having supped tolerably, after all, without our host's mutton, we retired to scratch, for I am convinced that the fleas, bugs, spiders, &c., of Randazzo were a colony from Calatabiano, so similar were their bites and their voracity; we slept, however, soundly on our flinty couches, in spite of our numerous bedfellows, till dawn, when we rose to resume our journey, after disbursing rather largely for our accommodation ; I venture to say, that no gourmand ever paid more for the best Southdown mutton than we for the unfortunate hircus which had been sacrificed in our honour. Near Randazzo is the singular “ Lago di Gurrita,” through which the river Giudicello is said to pass like the Rhone through the lake of Geneva. Eight miles from Randazzo is the monastery of “ Santa Maria detta Maniaci ;” a mile above the convent once stood the castle of Maniaci, built in the year 932, by George Maniaces, prefect of Sicily, in commemoration of a famous victory gained by him over the Saracens, but no vestige of it is at present remaining. Continuing our circuit round the mountains, through a country of great fertility and beauty, but inferior in both respects to the delicious plains on the other side, we arrived at the modern town of Bronte, which contains about seven thousand inhabitants, where they prepare an excellent wine, known by the name of Bronte Madeira. This is the place which gave the title of Duke to Lord Nelson. One of the least creditable passages in the life of this great man, was his interest and friendship with the Court of Naples; nor can we easily forgive him the execution of the brave, the liberal, the enlightened Caracciolo, when the admiral of a free nation consented to administer to the vengeance of a despot, and a British man-of-war was prostituted to the office of a Neapolitan scaffold.
But his lordship on this occasion yielded to softer solicitations than those of the king of Naples or his ministers. Nelson was so great a character, and his virtues so overbalance his defects, that we need not fear, in this instance, to give him up to the justice of history. England owes more to him than to any other man of the age; during his life. time he was the scourge of her enemies, and he died in the very act of securing her safety; until the last hope of the enemy's navy was crushed at Trafalgar, she was never safe from invasion : had that glo. rious action terminated differently, the torrent of those armies which afterwards overwhelmed and subdued the continent, would have been turned upon England.
Having dined at Bronte, and drank to the memory of the British hero, in a bumper of the wine of the place, we pushed on to Troina, which we had fixed on for our night's residence. It is a considerable town, containing a population of about six thousand souls, situated on a height in a magnificently wooded country; there are some ruins of the ancient place still remaining; the citadel is said to have stood on the site of the great church ; it was ruined by Count Roger, who recovered it from the Saracens. We found here what, in Sicily, may pass for a comfortable inn. Loquacity seems the vice of Sicilian landlords: our host related to us the story of the Countess Lwho a few years since was murdered by her husband at some place in the vicinity. It appears that the count had surprised his lady in a very suspicious situation with her paramour ; being armed, the latter fell an immediate victim to his fury, but the former contrived to effect her escape to the house of her relations, who, dreading the fiery temper and determined character of the count, under pretence of punishment, but in reality for the sake of security, had her placed in the public prison. One evening the count having gained admission, by pretending a wish for reconciliation, he murdered his unfortunate wife, as she vainly supplicated for mercy on her knees, with nine blows of a stiletto, in the presence of the terrified female who was in attendance upon her.
Next morning we proceeded down the beautiful Val di Troina, and crossing the Fiume Salso, arrived at Centorbi, the ancient Centuripæ, a town containing three thousand inhabitants, built on a steep and rugged rock, with five points, which have caused it to be compared to a star-fish. It is one of the oldest places in Sicily, and was founded by the Siculi: it was formerly of great size and renown, but was razed to its foundations A. D. 1232, by the Emperor Frederic III., for having rebelled against him. The country round is very fertile. Salt of a red colour is found in the vicinity.
Leaving Centorbi, we passed through the miserable village of Carcaci, situated in a swamp, and consequently subject to that dreadful visitation, the malaria. The few sickly objects, who came to the doors to see the strangers pass, from their deplorable appearance excited my commiseration. Poor as this hamlet is, it gives the title of duke to one of the most respectable families of Catania. Crossing the Semathus, by the “ Ponte di Carcaci," we again returned to the skirts of Ætna, from which we had diverged a little, to visit Troina and Centorbi. We passed the night at Aderno, the ancient Hadranum, which at present contains a population of five thousand souls. Plutarch mentions this place, in his life of Timoleon ; the inhabitants were famous for their peculiar worship of the god Adranus, whose fane, said to have been guarded by a thousand dogs, must have resembled a kennel rather than a temple.
At a short distance from Aderno is the neat town of Biancavilla, which lies at the foot of Ætna. Not far from this place is Paterno, from which one of the richest and most powerful princes of Palermo derives his title. It was this nobleman, who, by his dexterous management, allayed the passions of the armed populace of Palermo, at a time when the most dreadful excesses were apprehended, and procured the peaceable entry of the Neapolitan army into the capital in 1820, a most important service, for which he was neither properly thanked or rewarded. Many years since, this prince was captured on his passage from Palermo to Naples, by a corsair, and taken to Algiers; his ransom was fixed at one million of Spanish dollars, but was finally reduced to six hundred thousand, which enormous sum he was compelled to procure and pay, before he was permitted to depart. By prudent management he restored his estates, which this drain had somewhat involved; and is now, and has long been, accounted the richest proprietor in Sicily, although the estates of the Prince of Butera, the first peer of the realm, are more extensive.
Paterno, which is supposed by Cluverius to be built on the site of Kybla Major, lies on a beautiful inclined plain of Ætna, and is a place of some importance, with eight thousand inhabitants; the present town was founded by Count Roger to contain his stores and magazines during the siege of Catania. Bel Passo and Mal Passo are situated in the midst of dreadful lavas, which destroyed the beautiful country in their neighbourhood. Passing through Val-corrente, we came to “ Motta sant Anastasia,” a lovely village, from whence there is a superb view of the plain of Catania. The small town of Misterbianco, four miles from that city, is the Monasterio Bianco of Fazzello.
After an absence of eight days we re-entered Catania. Having thus made a complete tour of the mountain, I may be expected to say something of its circumference. That Gioeni and Ricupero should exaggerate a little in their description of this lovely mountain, of which they are natives, is excusable ; but it is surprising, that the generally accurate Spallanzani should copy their errors, as he does, when he makes the following comparison between Ætna and Vesuvius :
1 mile 14 mile 7 miles SO miles
Now I cannot see how any reasonable calculation can accord to Ætna the prodigious circumference of one hundred and eighty miles. I subjoin a table of the distances between the different places at the foot of the mountain, in round numbers; but it must be observed, that as we rather made a tour of the towns and villages at the base of Ætna, than of the volcano itself, the extreme point of which often lay considerably beyond our course, some extra distance must be allowed, which being pretty fairly set off against the turnings and windings of the roads, will leave the real circumference of the mountain as follows:
From Catania to the mouth of Cantara
Or about ninety-two miles. I confess I am ignorant to what points Ricupero carried his limits, when he extended the base to the extraordinary circuit of one hundred and eighty-three miles. The population of the mountain, including Catania, may be estimated at about one hundred and fifty thousand souls.
FROM THE GREEK ANTHOLOGY.
Ουκ έσθ' ούτως έρως, έι τις καλόν ειδος έχουσαν. κ. τ. λ.
WAEN dazzled by an eye,
That like a sunbeam blazes,
A glance from Beauty raises ;
But if with scarce a trace
Of beauty's form of light,
And madden at the sight;
For though an eye of light,
And lips of rich carnation,
To lisp their admiration;
• Τους κρίνειν είδος επισταμένους.
BY THE HON. MRS. ERSKINE NORTON
Botafogo Bay, Rio de Janeiro,
The evening was charming ; the sun had set; for here at this season, it is impossible to think of a walk, ride, or drive, until the sun has made, or is about making, that very convenient arrangement. He spared us for awhile, however, the beauty of his rays without their intensity; they still enshrined the light and graceful peak of the Cocavada, just glanced on the barren rock of the Sugar-Loaf, and darted here and there a vivid glow on the luxuriant foliage of the hills on the opposite side.
We strolled along the margin of the sea until we reached the farther. most part of the bay, where it is abruptly terminated by a woody hill : here I chose a sequestered seat, and told my young group to proceed on their walk, and to call for me on their return.
From my position I had a lovely glimpse of the entrance into Rio harbour: the light vessels scudding to and fro, the frowning forts, thebut I find I must check myself
when I begin to describe the scenery of Rio; although I may never tire of looking at it, my readers may tire of hearing about it.
Suffice it then to say, that on this particular occasion I felt perhaps more ardently than usual the effect of the grand, the beautiful, and the romantic, which here unite in such exquisite perfection.
I drew forth my pencil and paper-not to sketch; for I regret t say I am not in possession of that interesting art; but–O pardon reader! I confess—with blushes I confess—that with the above-named instruments I intended to commit-poetry !
I glanced my eye, as I was bound to do, “from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;" all was good—all was inspiring. I began to brandish my weapon, and without deigning to look at its mechanical process, traced
Thy gold and purple veil, O Eve!
Gemmed with diamond dew,
How gentlyHow gently what? rhyme for Eve? leave-reave-weave: well, weave, (beginning to nod,)
How gently do thy fingers weave ! Now for dew-I wish poetry had no mechanism in it—a yawn-dewstew-flew-drew-how tiresome! my pencil dropped, my eyelids closed; I just muttered something about “ view, adieu !'—and slept.
A strain of the softest music swelled on the air; the most fragrant odours breathed around. From behind a jutting rock a supernatural light burst forth, and a vision appeared. It was a female of far more than mortal beauty, grace, and dignity; she was arranged after the most approved fashion of celestial beings; draperies of dazzling white and ethereal blue floated like clouds around her; her zone and coronet were of starry brightness, her lovely tresses wantoned in the breeze, and beneath her delicate and lightly-sandalled foot, new-born flowers sprang up at every step.