Landing The Nets.
Here, also, after their interview, Cicero and Brutus parted from each other never to meet again : one to return to Rome, to perish by the emissaries of Mark Antony; the other to join Cassius at Phi-lippi, and there to fall upon his own sword after defeat upon the field of battle. It was on this island, too, that Brutus, with a premonition of approaching death, spoke the farewell to his wife, Portia, which Shakespeare has immortalized; and here, on learning of her husband's death, Portia committed suicide. Such are a few of the impressive memories of Nisida; and yet, to-day, it still floats smilingly upon the sparkling bay, unconscious now, as then, of all the scenes of human suffering of which it has been frequently the stage.
Not far from Nisida, we reached the limit of our northern drive, - the ruined town of Baiae. When one beholds the few poor fragments standing here, it is difficult to imagine how this must have looked nineteen hundred years ago. Then its enchanting beach was fringed with palaces. It was the most magnificent watering-place in the whole Roman world, and filled with admiration and surprise even visitors from Rome. All the great poets of that time speak of its luxury as something marvelous. "No bay in the world," writes Horace, "surpasses that of beautiful Baiae." Caesar, Pompey, Caligula, Nero, Hadrian, and many other famous Romans of antiquity had villas here; and where the emperors led the nobles followed fast. The wealthy families of Rome so crowded to this place, that the long Appian way approaching it was, in the season, thronged with chariots and gilded litters, and every nook of land was taken for their dwellings. In fact, so goroeous were these seaside villas, that Baiae's crescent beach was called the Golden Shore; but since those days both man and nature seem to have combined to make the place a scene of desolation. Repeated earthquake shocks, the sinking of the harbor's edge below the level of the sea, and the destruction wrought by Goths and Saracens have thoroughly effaced all proofs of Baiae's luxury, save such as I beheld in the clear sunlight, when, leaning over the gunwale of the boat, I caught a glimpse of blocks of marble and mosaic pavements lying far below like prisoners in an ocean cave.
The Quay Of Santa Lucia.
Ruins At Baiae.
The Square And Castle Of St. Elmo, Naples.
The environs of Naples form a Paradise, but Naples itself is, to put it mildly, a Purgatory. It is true that great improvements have been made here in the last few years. Many old and filthy alleys have been transformed into spacious thoroughfares. Upon the heights, especially, new streets, apartment houses, and hotels have been constructed, which lift the tourist far above the pandemonium below, and let him (while his other senses rest) feast his eyes only on the grand, incomparable view. In the heart of the city, also, there is one admirable structure of recent origin. It is a high-roofed, finely decorated promenade, the cost of which was about four million dollars. In some respects it is superior to the Gallery of Victor Emmanuel in Milan, which it resembles, and has the form of a gigantic cross with arms of well-nigh equal length. Roofed in with glass, its crystal dome rises two hundred feet above the marble pavement. Along its sides are cafes and attractive shops and, in the evening, music gives this brilliant passageway an added charm. Still, these new Neapolitan features do not wholly change the old and most conspicuous characteristics of the city, - noise, rags, dirt, and donkeys.
The New Gallery, Naples.
One appreciates this fact, especially, when standing on the famous quay of Santa Lucia and looking at two or three of the streets, if such they can be called, which here pour forth their torrents of humanity, as muddy streams discharge their contents into the sea. Some of these alleys are but six feet wide, and seem even narrower by reason of the gloomy tenements which rise on either side to an amazing height, and only stop where poverty itself will climb no higher. The windows in these swarming hives are always filled with unkempt heads. From one brink to the other, unwashed hands can almost meet across the dismal chasm. Ropes zigzag back and forth like trolley wires, and serve as clotheslines for the luckless beings who wait there, restless as caged animals, until their solitary indis-pensables are dry enough to wear again. Men, women, goats, cows, donkeys, and a host of children swarm here like flies around a sugar cask. During the day they live in the noisy streets, and at night most of them are huddledinto little rooms, some of which have no windows and no chimneys. Within these fetid cells, and often on one enormous bed, repose sometimes a dozen human beings of all ages and both sexes. The only heat they ever get is from a portable charcoal stove, which is frequently taken into the street for cooking purposes. Among these people women, as well as men, perform a great deal of their dressing and undressing in the open thoroughfares, with absolute indifference to the passerby. The women's hair is usually in wild disorder; but on Sunday or a festival day these Neapolitan females carefully arrange their thick, black tresses, and with a touching spirit of self-sacrifice spend hours in combing one another's heads.