ROLLO IN NAPLES,
PUBLISHED BY TAGGARD AND THOMPSON.
M DCCC LXIV.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
ELECTROTYPED AT THE BOSTON STEREOTYPE FOUNDRY.
PRINTED BY H. O. HOUGHTON.
ROLLO'S TOUR IN EUROPE.
ORDER OF THE VOLUMES
ROLLO ON THE ATLANTIC. ROLLO IN PARIS. ROLLO IN SWITZERLAND. ROLLO IN LONDON. ROLLO ON THE RHINE. ROLLO IN SCOTLAND. ROLLO IN GENEVA. ROLLO IN HOLLAND. ROLLO IN NAPLES. ROLLO IN ROME.
PRINCIPAL PERSONS OF THE STORY.
ROLLO; twelve years of age. MR. and MRS. HOLIDAY; Rollo's father and mother, travelling in Europe. THANNY; Rollo's younger brother. JANE; Rollo's cousin, adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Holiday. MR. GEORGE; a young gentleman, Rollo's uncle.
I.—THE VETTURINO, 13 II.—CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS, 37 III.—THE JOURNEY, 57 IV.—SITUATION OF NAPLES, 76 V.—PLANNING THE ASCENSION, 91 VI.—GOING UP, 106 VII.—THE SUMMIT, 131 VIII.—POMPEII, 157 IX.—THE MUSEUM, 174 X.—THE STREETS, 188 XI.—AN EXCURSION, 194 XII.—THE ORANGE GARDENS, 213
THE ORANGE GARDEN, (Frontispiece.) TRAVELLING IN ITALY, 11 A CHURCH AT FLORENCE, 23 READING THE ARTICLES, 55 EMBLEMS ON THE CROSS, 63 ASCENDING THE MOUNTAINS, 67 SITUATION OF NAPLES, 77 VIEW THROUGH THE GLASS, 87 CALASH COMING INTO NAPLES, 111 THE ASCENT, 127 VIEW OF THE CRATER, 137 COMING DOWN, 153 THE MOSAIC, 183 THE PUBLIC GARDENS, 197
ROLLO IN NAPLES.
If ever you make a journey into Italy, there is one thing that you will like very much indeed; and that is the mode of travelling that prevails in that country. There are very few railroads there; and though there are stage coaches on all the principal routes, comparatively few people, except the inhabitants of the country, travel in them. Almost all who come from foreign lands to make journeys in Italy for pleasure, take what is called a vetturino.
There is no English word for vetturino, because where the English language is spoken, there is no such thing. The word comes from the Italian word vettura, which means a travelling carriage, and it denotes the man that owns the carriage, and drives it wherever the party that employs him wishes to go. Thus there is somewhat the same relation between the Italian words vettura and vetturino that there is between the English words chariot and charioteer.
The Italian vetturino, then, in the simplest English phrase that will express it, is a travelling carriage man; that is, he is a man who keeps a carriage and a team of horses, in order to take parties of travellers with them on long journeys, wherever they wish to go. Our word coachman does not express the idea at all. A coachman is a man employed by the owner of a carriage simply to drive it; whereas the vetturino is the proprietor of his establishment; and though he generally drives it himself, still the driving is only a small part of his business. He might employ another man to go with him and drive, but he would on that account be none the less the vetturino.
The vetturino usually takes the entire charge of the party, and provides for them in every respect,—that is, if they make the arrangement with him in that way, which they generally do, inasmuch as, since they do not, ordinarily, know the language of the country, it is much more convenient for them to arrange with him to take care of them than to attempt to take care of themselves. Accordingly, in making a journey of several days, as, for example, from Genoa to Florence, from Florence to Rome, or from Rome to Venice, or to Naples, the vetturino determines the length of each day's journey; he chooses the hotels where to stop, both at noon and for the night; he attends to the passports in passing the frontiers, and also to the examination of the baggage at the custom houses; and on arriving at the hotels he orders what the travellers require, and settles the bill the next morning. For all this the travellers pay him one round sum, which includes every thing. This sum consists of a certain amount for the carriage and horses, and an additional amount of about a dollar and a half or a dollar and three quarters a day, as agreed upon beforehand, for hotel expenses on the way. Thus, by this mode of travelling, the whole care is taken off from the traveller's mind, and he has nothing to do during the daytime but to sit in his carriage and enjoy himself, and at night to eat, drink, sleep, and take his comfort at the hotel.
It was at Florence that Mr. George and Rollo first commenced to travel with a vetturino. They came to Florence by steamer and railway; that is, by steamer to Leghorn, and thence across the country by railway. Florence is a very pretty place, with the blue and beautiful River Arno running through the middle of it, and ancient stone bridges leading across the river from side to side. The town is filled with magnificent churches and palaces, built, some of them, a thousand years ago, and all so richly adorned with sculptures, paintings, bronzes, and mosaics, that the whole world flock there to see them. People go there chiefly in the winter. At that season the town is crowded with strangers. A great many people, too, go there in the winter to avoid the cold weather which prevails at that time of the year, in all the more northerly countries of Europe.
There is so little winter in Florence that few of the houses have any fireplaces in them except in the kitchen. When there comes a cold day, the people warm themselves by means of a jug or jar of earthen ware, with a handle passing over across the top, by which they carry it about. They fill these jars half full of hot embers, and so carry them with them wherever they want to go. The women, when they sit down, put the jar under their dresses on the floor or pavement beneath them, and the men place it right before them between their feet.
You will see market women and flower girls sitting in the corners of the streets in the winter, attending to their business, and keeping themselves warm all the time with these little fire jars; and artists in the palaces and picture galleries, each with one of them by his side, or close before him, while he is at work copying the works of the great masters, or making drawings from the antique statues.
There is another very curious use that the people of Florence make of these jars; and that is they warm the beds with them when any body is sick, so as to require this indulgence. You would think it very difficult to warm a bed with an open jar filled with burning embers. The way they do it is this: they hang the jar in the inside of a sort of wooden cage, shaped like a bushel basket, and about as large. They turn this cage upside down, and hang the jar up in it by means of a hook depending inside. They turn down the bed clothes and put the cage in it, jar of coals and all. They then put back the bed clothes, and cover the cage all up. They leave it so for a quarter of an hour, and then, carefully turning the clothes down again, they take the jar out, and the bed is warmed.
But to return to Mr. George and Rollo. They engaged a vetturino for the first time at Florence. Mr. George had gone to Florence chiefly for the purpose of examining the immense collections of paintings and statuary which exist there. Rollo went, not on account of the paintings or statues,—for he did not care much about such things,—but because he liked to go any where where he could see new places, and be entertained by new scenes. Accordingly, while Mr. George was at work in the galleries of Florence, studying, by the help of catalogues, the famous specimens of ancient art, Rollo was usually rambling about the streets, observing the manners and customs of the people, and watching the singular and curious scenes that every where met his eye.
The reason why there are so many paintings and sculptures in Italy is this: in the middle ages, it was the fashion, in all the central parts of Europe, for the people to spend almost all their surplus money in building and decorating churches. Indeed, there was then very little else that they could do. At the present time, people invest their funds, as fast as they accumulate them, in building ships and railroads, docks for the storage of merchandise, houses and stores in cities, to let for the sake of the rent, and country seats, or pretty private residences of various kinds, for themselves. But in the middle ages very little could be done in the way of investments like these. There were no railroads, and there was very little use for ships. There was no profit to be gained by building houses and stores, for there were so many wars and commotions among the people of the different towns and kingdoms, that nothing was stable or safe. For the same reason it was useless for men to spend their money in building and ornamenting their own houses, for at the first approach of an enemy, the town in which they lived was likely to be sacked, and their houses, and all the fine furniture which they might contain, would be burned or destroyed.
But the churches were safe. The people of the different countries had so much veneration for sacred places, and for every thing connected with religion, that they were afraid to touch or injure any thing that had been consecrated to a religious use. To plunder a church, or a convent, or an abbey, or to do any thing to injure or destroy the property that they contained, was regarded as sacrilege; and sacrilege they deemed a dreadful crime, abhorred by God and man. Thus, while they would burn and destroy hundreds of dwellings without any remorse, and turn the wretched inmates out at midnight into the streets to die of exposure, terror, and despair, they would stop at once when they came to the church, afraid to harm it in any way, or to touch the least thing that it contained. Accordingly, while every thing else in a conquered town was doomed to the most reckless destruction, all that was in the church,—the most delicate paintings, and the most costly gold and silver images and utensils—were as safe as if they were surrounded by impregnable castle walls.
Of course these notions were very mistaken ones. According to the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, it must be a greater sin to burn down the cottage of a poor widow, and turn her out at midnight into the streets to die, than to plunder for gain the richest altar in the world.
From these and various other similar causes, it happened that, in the middle ages,—that is, from five hundred to a thousand years ago,—almost all the great expenditures of money, in all the great cities and towns of Europe, were made for churches. Sometimes these churches were so large that they were several hundred years in building. One generation would begin, another would continue, and a third would finish the work; that is, provided the finishing work was ever done. Great numbers of them remain unfinished to the present day, and always will remain so.
It is generally, however, the exterior which remains incomplete. Within they are magnificent beyond description. They are so profusely adorned with altars, chapels, crucifixes, paintings, vessels of gold and silver, and with sculptures and monuments of every kind, that on entering them one is quite bewildered with the magnificence of the scene.
There are a great many different altars where divine service may be performed, some arranged along the sides of the church, in the recesses between the pillars, and others in the transepts, and in various little chapels opening here and there from the transepts and the aisles; and so extensive and vast is the interior that sometimes four or five different congregations are engaged in worship in different parts of the church at the same time, without at all disturbing one another.
One of the most celebrated of these great churches is the cathedral at Florence, where Mr. George and Rollo were now staying. There is a representation of it on the next page, which will give you some idea of its form, though it can convey no conception of its immense magnitude.
The dome that surmounts the centre of the building is the largest in the world. It was a hundred years after the church was commenced before the dome was put on. The dome is about a hundred and forty feet wide from side to side, and almost as high as it is wide. It is more than a hundred and thirty feet high, which is enough for twelve or fifteen stories of a good-sized house. And this is the dome alone. The whole height of the church, from the ground to the top of the cross, is nearly four hundred feet. You will get a better idea of how high this is, if you ask of your father, or of some one that knows, what the height is of some tall steeple near where you live.
When the architect who conceived the idea of finishing the church by putting this dome upon it first proposed it, the other architects of the town declared that it could not be done. It was impossible, they said, to build so large a dome on the top of so lofty a building. But he insisted that it was not impossible. He could not only build the dome at that height, but he could first build an octagonal lantern, he said, on the top of the church, and then build the dome upon that, which would carry the dome up a great deal higher. At last they consented to let him make the attempt; and he succeeded. You see the dome in the engraving, and the octagonal lantern beneath it, on which it rests. The lantern is the part which has the round windows.
You see to the left of the church, at the farther end, a tall, square tower. This is the bell tower. There are six bells in it. It was designed to have a spire upon it, but the spire has not yet been built, and perhaps it never will be.
This bell tower alone cost an enormous sum of money. It is faced on every side, as indeed the church itself is, with different colored marbles, and the four walls of it, on the outside, are so profusely adorned with sculptures, statues, and other costly and elaborate architectural decorations, that it would take a week to examine them fully in detail.
The part of the church which is presented to view in the engraving is the end. The front proper is on a line with the farther side of the bell tower. The engraving does not show us the length of the edifice at all, except so far as we gain an idea of it by the long procession which we see at the side. As I have already said, the length is more than five hundred feet, which is nearly half a quarter of a mile.
The putting on of the dome was considered the greatest achievement in the building of the church; and the architect who planned and superintended the work gained for himself immortal honor. After his death a statue of him was made, and placed in a niche in the wall of the houses on one side of the square, opposite the dome. He is represented as sitting in a chair, holding a plan of the work in his hand, and looking up to see it as it appeared completed. We can just see this statue in the foreground of the picture, on the left.
And now I must return to the story.
While Mr. George and Rollo were in Florence, Rollo was occupied mainly, as I have already said, in rambling about the town, and observing the scenes of real and active life, which every where met his view in the streets and squares, while Mr. George spent his time chiefly in the churches, and in the galleries of painting and sculpture, studying the works of art. One morning after breakfast, Mr. George was going to the great gallery in the palace of the grand duke, to spend the day there. Rollo said that he would walk with him a little way. So they walked together along the street which led by the bank of the river.
"Uncle George," said Rollo, "how much longer is it going to take for you to study these paintings and statues till you are satisfied?"
"Five or ten years," said Mr. George.
"O uncle George!" exclaimed Rollo; "I have seen as much of them as I want to see already."
"You have not seen one of them yet," said Mr. George.
"Not seen one of them!" repeated Rollo.
"No, not one of them," replied Mr. George.
"I don't know what you mean by that," said Rollo.
"I'll show you what I mean some time or other," said Mr. George, "when you are in one of the galleries with me."
"I should like to have you," said Rollo; "but now I really want to know when you are going to be ready to go on towards Naples. I'd rather see Mount Vesuvius than all the paintings in the world, especially if there is a good blazing eruption coming out of it, and plenty of red-hot stones."
"The first question to be settled," said Mr. George, "is, how we shall go."
"Are there more ways than one?" asked Rollo.
"Yes," said Mr. George; "there are three or four ways. We are here at Florence, in the interior of the country, and Rome is also in the interior; but there is a seaport on the coast for each city. So we can go from here to Leghorn, which is the seaport for Florence, by the railroad, and there we can take a steamboat and go to Civita Vecchia, which is the seaport for Rome. There we can land and go up to Rome in some sort of a carriage."
"I like that way," said Rollo. "I like that best of all. There are a railroad and a steamboat both in it."
"Another way," continued Mr. George, "is, we can go by the malle post."[A]
[Footnote A: The malle post is a sort of despatch carriage, that takes the mails. It can take also two or three passengers. They change horses very often with the malle post, and drive very fast.]
"I should like to go by the malle post," said Rollo; "they keep the horses on the gallop almost all the way."
"Then again," continued Mr. George, "if we choose we can engage a vetturino."
"Yes," said Rollo; "there are plenty of them always standing out here by the bridge. They ask me almost, every day, when I go by, whether I want a carriage. 'Want a carriage, sir,' they say, 'to go to Rome, to Naples, to Venice, to Genoa?'"
Here Rollo repeated the words of the vetturini, imitating the peculiar intonations with which they spoke, in quite a skilful manner: "To Rome! Naples! Venice! Nice! Genoa!"
"Yes," said Mr. George, "those are the men."
"And, come to think of it," said Rollo, "I believe, after all, I would rather go with a vetturino. We ride along so pleasantly day after day, and go through all the towns, cracking our whip, and seeing so many curious things all along the road side!"
"Yes," said Mr. George; "but there is one difficulty. We are only two, and the carriages of the vetturini are usually large enough for four or six."
"And would not they go for two?" asked Rollo.
"O, yes," said Mr. George; "they will go for two; but then the men must have full price for their carriage and horses, and that makes it very expensive for two."
"What do people do, then," asked Rollo, "when there are only two to go?"
"They generally find some other people that want to go," replied Mr. George, "and make up a party, and so divide the expense."
"And can't we do that?" asked Rollo.
"We do not know any body here," said Mr. George.
Rollo did not know what to say to this, and so he was silent, and walked along, thinking what it was best to do. Presently, after a moment's pause, he added,—
"I mean to ask some of the vetturinos if they have not got a carriage for two."
"Vetturini is the plural of vetturino, in Italian," said Mr. George, "and not vetturinos."
"But I am not speaking Italian," said Rollo; "I am speaking English."
"True," said Mr. George.
At this stage of the conversation Mr. George and Rollo arrived at the end of the bridge across the Arno, which Mr. George had to pass over in going to his gallery. This bridge is a very ancient one, and is quite a curiosity, as it is built massively of stone, and is lined with a row of shops on each side, so that in passing over it you would think it was a street instead of a bridge, were it not that the shops are so small that you can look directly through them, and see the river through the windows on the back side.
These shops are occupied by jewellers, who keep for sale the mosaic pins, bracelets, and earrings, for which Florence is so famous, and great numbers of these mosaics, as well as various other kinds of jewelry, are exposed to view in little show cases that are arranged in a curious manner, on small counters before the windows, so that any one can see them all in passing along.
On reaching this bridge, Rollo concluded to stop, and look at the mosaics, and so his uncle left him and went on alone.
As Rollo was standing at one of the little shop windows a few minutes after his uncle had left him, a man dressed in a blue frock, and with a sort of woollen comforter of bright colors about his neck, came up to him, and asked him in French whether the party that he belonged to did not want a carriage to go to Rome. Rollo perceived at once that the man was a vetturino.
"I don't know but that we do," said he. "Have you got a carriage?"
"Yes," replied the vetturino; "I have got a large and very nice carriage, and four excellent horses."
"Then it won't do," said Rollo, "for there are only two in our party, and a large carriage and four horses will be more than we need."
"O, but that will make no difference," said the vetturino. "You see I'm a return, and I will take you about as cheap as you can go in a small carriage."
"For how much?" asked Rollo.
"Why, my price is three napoleons a day," said the vetturino, "for a full party; but as you are only two, I will take you for less. Have you got a great deal of baggage?"
"No; very little," said Rollo.
After some further conversation with the vetturino, Rollo concluded to make an appointment with him to come to the hotel that evening and see his uncle George.
"Come immediately after dinner," said Rollo.
"At what time?" asked the vetturino.
"Why, we dine at half past six," said Rollo, "and uncle George will be through at eight."
"Then I will come at eight," said the vetturino.
One reason why Rollo concluded to make this appointment was, that he particularly liked the vetturino's appearance. He had an open and intelligent countenance, and his air and bearing were such as to give Rollo the idea that he was a very good-natured and sociable, as well as capable man. In answer to a question from Rollo, he said that his name was Vittorio.
When Mr. George came home that evening, a short time before dinner, Rollo told him what he had done.
"Good!" said Mr. George. "We are in luck. I should not be surprised if we should be able to fill his carriage for him. I have found a party."
Mr. George further stated to Rollo that, in rambling through the rooms of the gallery where he had been spending the day, he had met with a lady of his acquaintance who was travelling with two children and a maid, and that he had been talking with her about forming a party to travel together to Naples.
"Are the children girls or boys?" asked Rollo.
"One of them is a girl and the other is a boy," said Mr. George; "but the girl is sick."
"Is she?" asked Rollo.
"At least she has been sick," said Mr. George. "She has had a fever, but now she is slowly getting well. Her name is Rosalie."
"I think that is rather a sentimental name," said Rollo.
"They call her Rosie, sometimes," said Mr. George.
"That's a little better," said Rollo, "but not much. And what is her other name?"
"Gray," said Mr. George.
* * * * *
Vittorio came at eight o'clock that evening, according to appointment. The first thing that Mr. George did was to propose to go and see his carriage. So they all went together to see it. It was in a stable near by. Mr. George and Rollo were both well pleased with the carriage. It had four seats inside, like an ordinary coach. Besides these there were two good seats outside, under a sort of canopy which came forward over them like a chaise top. In front of these, and a little lower down, was the driver's seat.
The inside of such a coach is called the interior.[B] The place outside, under the chaise top, is called the coupe.[C] Rollo generally called it the coop.
[Footnote B: In French, l'interieur.]
[Footnote C: Pronounced coopay, only the last syllable is spoken rather short.]
The chaise top in front could be turned back, so as to throw the two seats there entirely open. In the same manner the top of the interior could be opened, so as to make the carriage a barouche.
"It is just exactly such a carriage as we want," said Rollo, "if Mrs. Gray will only let you and me have the coop."
"We'll see about that," said Mr. George.
Mr. George then proceeded to discuss with Vittorio the terms and conditions of the agreement which should be made between them, in case the party should conclude to hire the carriage; and after ascertaining precisely what they were, he told Vittorio that he would decide the next morning, and he appointed ten o'clock as the time when Vittorio was to call to get the decision. Mr. George and Rollo then went back to the hotel.
"Why did not you engage him at once?" asked Rollo, as they walked along. "It was such a good carriage!"
"Because I want first to see what terms and conditions I can make with Mrs. Gray," replied Mr. George.
"Why?" asked Rollo; "don't you think she will be willing to pay her share?"
"O, yes," said Mr. George. "She says she is willing to pay the whole, if I will only let her go with us."
"And shall you let her pay the whole?" asked Rollo.
"No, indeed," replied Mr. George. "I shall let her pay her share, which will be just two thirds, for she has four in her party, and we are two."
"And so her portion will be four sixths," said Rollo, "and that is the same as two thirds."
"Exactly," said Mr. George.
"So then it is all settled," said Rollo.
"About the money it is," replied Mr. George; "but that was not what I referred to. When two parties form a plan for travelling together in the same carriage for many days, it is necessary to have a very precise understanding beforehand about every thing, or else in the end they are very sure to quarrel."
"To quarrel!" repeated Rollo.
"Yes," said Mr. George; "and generally the more intimate their friendship for each other is before they set out, the more sure they are to quarrel in the end."
"That's curious," said Rollo.
"They begin by being very polite to each other," continued Mr. George; "but by and by, a thousand questions begin to come up, and there is nobody to decide them. For a time each one professes a great readiness to yield to the other; but before long each begins to think that the other assumes too much of the direction. Mrs. A. thinks that Mrs. B. keeps the carriage too much shut up, or that she always manages to have the best seat; and Mrs. B. thinks that Mrs. A. takes the best room too often at the hotels; or that she is never ready at the proper time; or that she always manages to have what she likes at the hotels, without paying enough regard to the wishes of the rest of the party."
"Is that the way they act?" asked Rollo.
"Yes," said Mr. George; "that is the way exactly. I have heard the secret history of a great many travelling parties that began very brightly, but ended in heart-burnings, miffs, and all sorts of troubles. The only way to prevent this is to have a very definite and precise understanding on all these points before we set out. And that is what I am going to have with Mrs. Gray."
"And suppose she won't come to any agreement," said Rollo. "She'll say, 'La, it's no matter. We shall not quarrel.'"
"Then I won't go with her," said Mr. George.
CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS.
In arranging for a journey in Italy with a vetturino, there are three separate classes of expenditure to be provided for. First, the carriage and horses; secondly, the board at the hotels by the way; and thirdly, the buono manos.
As to the carriage and horses, the question, in the case of Mr. George's party, was soon settled. Vittorio said that his regular price was three napoleons a day for a full party. This is about twelve dollars, and includes the keeping of the horses, and all the tolls, tariffs, and way expenses of every kind. Mr. George had ascertained that this was about the usual price, and he did not ask Vittorio to take any less.
For the board of the party by the way, Vittorio said that they could themselves call for what they wanted at the hotels, and pay their own bills, or he would provide for them all the way, on their paying him a certain sum per day for each person. This last is the usual plan adopted when travelling in Italy, for the hotel keepers are very apt to charge too much when the travellers call for and pay the bills themselves. Whereas, when the vetturino pays, the hotel keepers are much more reasonable. They are aware that the vetturino knows what the charges ought to be, and they are afraid, if they overcharge him for his party, that then he will take his next party to some other hotel.
"And what shall you give us," asked Mr. George, in talking with Vittorio on this subject, "if you provide for us?"
"In the morning," replied Vittorio, "before we set out, there will be coffee or tea, and bread and butter, with eggs. Then, when we stop at noon, you will have a second breakfast of mutton chops, fried potatoes, fried fish, omelets, and other such things. Then, at night, when the day's journey is done, you will have dinner."
"Very well," said Mr. George. "I should think that that might do. And how much must we pay you?"
"It used to be eight francs a day," said Vittorio; "but the price of every thing is raised, and now we cannot do it well for less than nine francs. I will do it for nine francs apiece all round."
"But there are two boys," said Mr. George. "Don't you charge any thing extra for boys?"
"No, sir," said Vittorio, smiling. He thought at first that Mr. George was going to ask for some abatement on account of a portion of the party being young. "No, sir; we don't charge any thing extra for them."
"You would charge extra for them, I think," said Mr. George, "if you only knew how much they can eat."
Vittorio smiled and said that if the party would pay nine francs apiece all round, he should be satisfied, without asking for any thing extra on account of the boys.
The third item of expense in an Italian journey consists of the buono manos. In Italy, and indeed generally in Europe, though especially in Italy, nobody, in rendering you a service, is satisfied with receiving merely what you agreed to pay for the service. Every one expects something over at the end, as a token of your satisfaction with him. If you employ a guide in a town to show you about to the places and things that are curious there, under an agreement that he is to have a dollar a day, he is not satisfied at night if you pay him merely a dollar. He expects twenty cents or a quarter of a dollar over, as a buono mano, as it is called. This is the understanding on which the bargain is made.
In the same manner, when you pay your bill at the hotel, the waiter expects you to give him a buono mano. If any body renders the vetturino a service along the road, it is the vetturino who pays them, because it is in the agreement that he is to pay the way expenses; but then, after getting their pay from him, and also his buono mano, they generally come to the carriage and ask for another buono mano from the party of travellers. Some travellers get vexed and out of patience with this system, and always give, if they give at all, with scowling looks and moody mutterings. Others, seeing how poor all the people are, and how hard it is for them to get their living, are very willing to pay, especially as it is generally only a few cents in each case that is required. Still, unless the traveller understands the system, and prepares himself beforehand with a stock of small change, the buono mano business gives him a good deal of trouble. If he does so provide himself, and if he falls into the custom good naturedly, as one of the established usages of the country, which is moreover not without its advantages, it becomes a source of pleasure to him to pay the poor fellows their expected fees.
"Rollo," said Mr. George, "I am going to put the whole business of the buono manos into your hands."
"Good!" said Rollo. "I'll take the business if you will only give me the money."
"How much will it require, Vittorio, for each day, to do the thing up handsomely?" asked Mr. George.
Vittorio immediately began to make a calculation. He reckoned in pauls, the money which is used most in the central parts of Italy. The substance of his calculation was, that for the whole party about half a dollar would be a proper sum to pay to the domestic at the hotel where they stopped for the night, and a quarter of a dollar or less at noon. Then there were chambermaids, ostlers, and drivers of extra horses or oxen to help up the long hills, all of whom would like a small buono mano. This would bring the amount up to about six francs, or a dollar and a quarter a day, on the plan of doing the thing up handsomely, as Mr. George had proposed.
"You mean to be generous with them, uncle George," said Rollo.
"Yes," said Mr. George. "In travelling in Italy, pay out liberally to every body that renders you any service, but not a sou to beggars. That's my rule."
"Besides," he continued, "it is good policy for us to be generous in this case, for Mrs. Gray will pay two thirds of the money. So that you and I, sitting in the coop, as you call it, will have all the pleasure of the generosity, with only one third of the expense of it."
While Mr. George was saying this, he took his wallet out of his pocket, and opened to the compartment of it which contained napoleons.
"Let us see," said he; "we shall be ten days on the way in going to Naples, and Sunday makes eleven. Six francs a day for eleven days makes sixty-six francs."
So saying, he took out three gold napoleons, for the sixty francs, and six francs in silver, and handing the whole to Rollo, said, "There's the money."
"But, uncle George," said Rollo, "I can't pay the buono manos in gold."
"No," said Mr. George; "you must get the money changed, of course."
"And what shall I get it changed into?" asked Rollo.
"I don't know, I'm sure," said Mr. George. "That's for you to find out. We have three different kinds of currency between here and Naples. We are now in Tuscany. After we get through Tuscany we come into the Roman states, and after we get through the Roman states we shall come into the kingdom of the two Sicilies, where Naples is. You will require different money in all these countries, and you must look out and not have any left over, or at least very little, when you cross the frontiers."
"But how shall I manage that?" asked Rollo.
"I don't know," said Mr. George, "any more than you do. If I had it to do, I should try to find out. But that is your affair, not mine. You said that if I would give you the money you would take the whole business of the buono manos off my hands. I must go now and see about my arrangement with Mrs. Gray."
"Well," said Rollo, "I'll find out what to do."
Thus the buono mano question was disposed of.
As to the board, Mr. George made a verbal agreement with Vittorio that he would pay fifty-four francs a day for the whole party, and that, in consideration of that sum, Vittorio was to provide board and lodging for them all, at the best hotels, and in the best style. He paid for five days in advance. At the end of that time, the party were to be at liberty either to continue the system at the same rate, or to abandon it, and pay the bills at the hotels themselves.
In respect to the carriage and horses, Vittorio brought him an agreement, filled up from a printed form, which he and Vittorio signed in duplicate. It was as follows. There was a picture of a carriage and horses at the head of it. I give you the document in the original French. If you are studying French yourself, you can read it. If not, you must ask some one to translate it for you, if you wish to know what it all means.
VITTORIO GONSALVI, VOITURIER.
FLORENCE, le 22 Mars, 1857.
Par la presente ecriture, faite a double original, pour valoir et pour etre strictement observee, comme de droit, par les parties contractantes, a ete fixe, et convenu ce qui suit.
Le proprietaire de voiture, Gonsalvi, domicilie a Rome, promet et s'oblige de servir Monsieur George Holiday et sa suite dans le voyage qu'il veut entreprendre de Florence a Napoli, par la voie de Arezzo, Perugia, Rome, et Terracina, et etre conduit par un bon voiturier, pour le prix convenu de trois cents francs, pour la voiture et les quatre chevaux.
Moyennant ce paiement, qui s'effectuera moitie avant de partir, moitie a Napoli, le proprietaire de voiture, ou son conducteur delegue, est tenu des obligations ci-apres designees.
Tous les frais occasionnes pour le passage des fleuves, rivieres, ponts, et montagnes, ainsi que ceux des barrieres, seront a la charge du voiturier conducteur.
L'etrenne d'usage a donner au voiturier conducteur sera selon son bon service.
Le dit voyage sera fait dans dix jours complets.
Le depart de Florence est fixe dans le journee du 23 courant, a onze heures matin.
Pour tous les jours en sus, qu'il plairait a dit Monsieur Holiday de s'arreter dans une ville, ou qu'il y fut force par des imprevues, il est convenu qu'il payera cinq francs par jour par cheval pour la nourriture des chevaux.
Le voiturier devra constamment descendre dans de bonnes auberges, et partira tous les matins de bonne heure, pour arriver tous les soirs avant la nuit a l'auberge ou l'on devra coucher.
Et pour l'observance des conditions ci-dessus mentionnees, les parties interessees l'ont volontairement signee.
GEORGE HOLIDAY, VITTORIO GONSALVI.
The agreement which Mr. George made with Mrs. Gray was not so difficult to understand. Mrs. Gray did not, as Rollo had predicted, appear unwilling to make a definite arrangement in respect to the respective privileges and rights of the various members of the party in the carriage and at the hotels. She was a very sensible woman, and she saw the propriety of Mr. George's suggestion at once. Mr. George attributed the necessity of it, in part, to there being so many children in the party.
"When there are children," said he, "we must have system and a routine."
"That is very true," said Mrs. Gray.
"And the more formal and precise the arrangement is, the better," said Mr. George. "It amuses them, and occupies their minds, to watch the operation of it."
"Yes," said Mrs. Gray; "I have no doubt of it."
"Then," said Mr. George, "I will draw up some articles of agreement, and if you approve of them, Rosie shall make a copy of them. Rosie shall keep the copy, too, after she has made it, and shall see that the rules are all observed."
"But what shall I do," said Rosie, "if any body breaks any of the rules?"
"Then they must be punished," said Mr. George. "You shall determine what the punishment shall be, and I will see that it is inflicted."
So Mr. George drew up a set of rules; but before proposing them to Mrs. Gray and her children, he read them to Rollo. He read as follows:—
The interior of the carriage, all the way, shall belong to Mrs. Gray and her family, and the coupe to Mr. George and Rollo. Mr. George or Rollo may, perhaps, sometimes ride inside; but if they do so, it is to be understood that they ride there as the guests of Mrs. Gray; and in the same manner, if at any time any of Mrs. Gray's party ride outside, it will be as the guests of Mr. George and Rollo.
"Good!" said Rollo. "I like that regulation very much. I shall not want to get inside very often."
"You may sometimes wish to invite Rosie to take your place outside, when it is very pleasant, and you take her place inside," suggested Mr. George.
"No," said Rollo; "there will be room outside for her and me too. She can sit right between you and me."
"And, perhaps, sometimes I may invite Rosie and her brother to come outside and ride with you, while I go inside with Mrs. Gray," added Mr. George.
"That will be a good plan," said Rollo. "But now what is the second rule?"
On arriving at a hotel for the night, Mrs. Gray is to take her choice first of all the rooms shown, for herself and Rosie. Then from the other rooms Mr. George is to choose the bed that he will sleep in. Then the two boys are to choose from the beds that are left, each to have the first choice alternately, beginning with Josie.
"Why should Josie begin?" asked Rollo. "I am the oldest."
"True," said Mr. George; "but it is of no consequence at all which begins, and as we are drawing up the rules, it is polite and proper to give Josie the precedence in such a point."
"Very well," said Rollo; "go on. How about Susannah?"
"O, it is not necessary to make any rule about Susannah," replied Mr. George. "I suppose that Mrs. Gray will take her into her room, if there is a spare bed there. If not, they must make some other arrangement for her."
Every evening before the party separate for the night, Mrs. Gray shall decide at what hour we shall set off the next morning, and also at what hour we shall breakfast, after first hearing what Vittorio's opinion is as to the best time for setting out.
"Why can't we have a fixed time for setting out every day?" asked Rollo, "and agree about it once for all beforehand."
"Because we have different distances to go on different days," said Mr. George, "so that sometimes we shall have to set out much earlier than will be necessary at other times."
"Then why should not we consult together as to the time?" asked Rollo. "I don't see any reason for leaving it altogether to one of the party."
"Why, you see that Mrs. Gray is a lady," replied Mr. George, "and it takes a lady longer to dress and get ready than men. Besides, she has two children to look after."
"And Susannah to help her," said Rollo.
"True," said Mr. George; "still it seems proper that the time for setting out should be fixed by the lady,—of course, after hearing what the vetturino has to say."
"I think so too," said Rollo; "so go on."
Any person who is not ready to sit down to breakfast at the time which shall have been appointed by Mrs. Gray the evening before, or who shall not be ready to enter the carriage at the time appointed, shall pay a fine, except in the case hereinafter provided for. If the person so behindhand is one of the children, the fine shall be two cents, or the value thereof in the currency of the country where we may chance to be; and if it is one of the grown persons, the fine shall be three times that amount, that is, six cents.
"Yes; but suppose we don't wake up?" suggested Rollo.
"That contingency is provided for in the next article," said Mr. George.
It shall be Mr. George's duty to knock at all the bedroom doors every morning, three quarters of an hour before the time fixed for breakfast; and if he fails to do so, then he shall pay all the fines for tardiness that may be incurred that morning by any of the party.
"Very good!" said Rollo.
It shall be Rosie's duty to decide whether or not any persons are tardy any morning; and her mother's watch shall be the standard of time. Her decisions shall be without appeal; and no excuses whatever shall be heard, nor shall there be any release from the fine, except in the case of a failure of Mr. George to knock at the doors, as hereinbefore provided.
"But we might some of us have a good excuse some time," said Rollo.
"True," said Mr. George; "we doubtless shall. But if we go upon the plan of admitting excuses, then there will be a long debate every morning, on the question whether the excuses are good or not, which will cause a great deal of trouble. It is better for us to pay the fine at once. It is not much, you know."
"Well," said Rollo, "go on."
Josie is hereby appointed treasurer, to collect and keep the fines.
"And what is to be done with the money?" asked Rollo.
"You will see," said Mr. George.
Any one of the party who shall at any time make complaint of any thing in respect to the carriage, or the riding during the day, or in respect to the food provided at the hotels, or the rooms, or the beds, when we stop for the night, except when such complaint relates to an evil which may be remedied, and is made with a view to having it remedied, shall be fined one cent, or the value thereof in the currency of the country. Rosie is to be the sole judge of the infractions of this rule, and is to impose the fine, while Josie, as before, is to collect and keep the money.
"I wish you would make me the treasurer," said Rollo.
"No," said Mr. George; "you have the care of the buono mano fund. Josie shall be treasurer for the fines."
"Very well," said Rollo.
On the arrival of the party at Naples, the amount of the fine money shall be expended in the famous Neapolitan confectionery, and shall be divided equally among the three children.
"Good!" said Rollo. "But, uncle George, I don't think you ought to call us children exactly. We are almost all of us twelve or thirteen."
"True," said Mr. George, "you are not children; but what can I call you to distinguish you from the grown persons of the party. The regular and proper designation for persons under age, in a legal document, is infants."
"Hoh!" said Rollo, "that is worse than children."
"I might call you the young persons, or the junior members of the party."
"Yes," said Rollo, "that will be better; the junior members of the party."
So it was agreed to strike out the word children wherever it occurred in the document, and insert in lieu of it the phrase junior members of the party.
With this correction the document was read to Mrs. Gray in the hearing of Rosie and Josie. They all approved it in every respect. The draught was then given to Rosie in order that she might make a fair copy of it. When the copy was made, the nine rules were read again in the hearing of the whole party, and all agreed to abide by them.
Thus the arrangements for the journey were complete; and Mrs. Gray, after learning from Vittorio that the first day's journey would not be long, and that it would answer to set out at any time before noon, fixed the hour for departure at eleven o'clock. Vittorio said he would be at the door half an hour before, in order to have time to load the baggage.
The journey from Florence to Naples, as planned and provided for by the contracts and agreements described in the last chapter, was prosecuted from day to day, until its completion, in a very successful and prosperous manner. The various contingencies likely to occur having been foreseen and provided for by the contract and the rules, every thing worked smoothly and well, and none of those discussions, disagreements, and misunderstandings occurred, which so often mar the pleasure of parties travelling together in one company for many days.
Mrs. Gray was fined for not being ready for breakfast at the time appointed, on the very first morning after leaving Florence. It was at a place called Arezzo. The time appointed for the breakfast was at seven o'clock. Mr. George knocked at all the doors a little before quarter past six. About quarter before seven the two boys came into the breakfast room, and soon afterwards Mr. George and Rosie came. The breakfast was brought in and set upon the table by the waiter a few minutes before seven. The boys immediately began to set the chairs round.
"Quick! quick!" said Josie. "Let us sit down quick, and mother will be tardy, and have to pay a fine."
"Ah, but it does not go by our sitting down," said Rollo. "It goes by Mrs. Gray's watch."
"Yes," said Rosie; "I have got the watch. It wants a minute of the time now."
"I hope she won't come," said Josie.
"She will come," said Rosie. "She has been almost ready for some time."
The children all took their seats at the table. Rosie had the watch before her, and was closely observing the minute hand. Mr. George, who thought it not polite that he should take his seat before Mrs. Gray came, stood waiting by the fire. It was a cool morning, and so Mr. George had made a little fire when he first got up.
Notwithstanding Rosie's prediction, Mrs. Gray did not come. Rosie watched the second hand, and as soon as it passed the mark she said,—
"There! it is seven o'clock; now mother is tardy."
Josie clapped his hands, and even Rollo looked quite pleased. In about two minutes the door of Mrs. Gray's bedroom opened, and Mrs. Gray appeared.
"You are too late, mother!" said Josie, in an exulting tone. "You are too late!"
"It does not depend on you to decide," said Mrs. Gray; "it depends upon Rosie."
"Well, mother, you are really too late," said Rosie. "You are two minutes beyond the time, or a minute and a half, at the very least, when you opened the door. So you must pay the fine."
"Yes; and you must pay it to me," said Josie. "I am the treasurer."
"But you have not heard my excuse yet," said Mrs. Gray. "You don't know but that I have got a good excuse."
"Ah, that makes no difference, mother," said Josie. "Excuses go for nothing."
"Indeed!" said Mrs. Gray. "Is that the agreement? Let us see, Rosie."
So Rosie took the paper out of her pocket, and with Josie's assistance,—who looked over very eagerly all the time,—she found the passage, and Josie read as follows, speaking the words in a very distinct and emphatic manner:—
"'No excuses shall be heard, nor shall there be any release from the fine, except,' and so forth, and so forth. So you see, mother, you can't be excused."
"I see," said Mrs. Gray. "The language is very plain indeed; so I'll pay the fine. I pay it very willingly. It would be very dishonorable in any of us, after having deliberately adopted the rules, to manifest any unwillingness to abide by them."
So Mrs. Gray took out of her pocket a small silver coin called a paul, which Mr. George said was a good deal more than six cents, but which she said was near enough to the amount of the fine, and paid it into Josie's hands. Josie put it safely into a certain compartment of his wallet, which he had set apart for the purpose.
The truth was, that Mrs. Gray contrived to be tardy that morning on purpose, in order to set an example of exact and cheerful submission to the law, and to give a practical illustration, in her own case, of the strictness with which, when once enacted, such laws ought to be enforced. She knew very well that if she had once submitted to be fined, when she was only a minute and a half behind the time, and also to be refused a hearing for her excuse, nobody could afterwards expect any indulgence. The effect produced was just what she had intended, and the whole party were extremely punctual all the way. There were only a few fines assessed, and they were all paid at once, without any objection.
The road lay for a day through a small country called Tuscany. The scenery was very beautiful. Although it was so early in the spring, the wheat fields were every where very green, and in the hedges, and along the banks by the road side, multitudes of flowers were blooming. For a considerable portion of the way, where our travellers passed, the occupation of the inhabitants was that of braiding straw for bonnets; and here every body seemed to be braiding. In the streets of the villages, at the doors of the houses, and all along the roads every where, men, women, and children were to be seen standing in little groups, or walking about together in the sun, braiding the straw with a rapid motion, like that of knitting. They had a little bundle of prepared straw, at their side, and the braid which they had made hung rolled up in a coil before them. They looked contented and happy at their work, so that the scene was a very pleasing, as well as a very curious one to see.
After leaving the frontiers of Tuscany, the party entered the Papal States—a country occupying the centre of Italy, with Rome for the capital of it. The Papal States are so called because they are under the dominion of the pope. Of course the Catholic religion reigns here in absolute supremacy.
While passing through this country, the children, or rather, as Rollo would wish to have it expressed, the young people of the party, were very much interested in observing the crosses which were put up here and there by the road side, with the various emblems and symbols connected with our Saviour's death affixed to them. The first time that one of these crosses attracted their attention, Rosie was riding in the coupe with Mr. George and Rollo. There was room enough for her to sit very comfortably between them.
"See!" said Rosie; "see! Look at that cross, with all those images and figures upon it!"
The cross was pretty large, and was made of wood. It was set up by the road side, like a sign post in America. From the middle of the post out to the left hand end of the arm of the cross, there was a spear fixed. This spear, of course, represented the weapon of the Roman soldier, by which the body of Jesus was pierced in the side. From the same part of the post out to the end of the opposite arm of the cross was a pole with two sponges at the end of it, which represented the sponges with which the soldiers reached the vinegar up for Jesus to drink. Then all along the cross bar were various other emblems, such as the nails, the hammer, a pair of pincers, a little ladder, a great key, and on the top a cock, to represent the cock which crowed at the time of Peter's betrayal of his Lord.
Rollo and Rosie both looked at these things very eagerly, as the carriage drove by. Rosie seemed somewhat shocked at the sight.
"How curious that is!" said Rollo.
"I suppose it is all idolatry," said Rosie, speaking very seriously.
"No," said Mr. George, "it is not necessarily idolatry. These kind of contrivances originated in the middle ages, when the poor people who lived in all these countries were very ignorant, as indeed they are now; and inasmuch as they could not read, and there were no schools in which to teach them, they had to be instructed by such contrivances as these."
"They are very poor contrivances, I think," said Rollo.
"They would be very poor as a substitute for Sunday schools, and other such advantages as the children enjoy in America," said Mr. George; "but not very poor, after all, for the people for whom they were intended. Go back in imagination five hundred years, and conceive of a little child, born in one of these peasants' huts. His father and mother probably have never even seen a book, and are not capable of understanding any thing that is not perfectly simple and plain. The child, walking along the road side, sees this cross. He stops to look up at it, and wonders what all those little objects fastened upon it mean. After a while, when he grows a little older, he asks his mother, when she is coming by with him some day, what they mean. Now, she would not have been able, of herself, and without any aid, to give the child any regular instruction whatever, but she can explain to him about the cross, and the various emblems that are upon it."
"Yes," said Rosie; "I should think she could do that."
"The child," continued Mr. George, "in looking upon the cross, and seeing all those curious objects upon it, would ask his mother what they mean. Then his mother would tell him about the crucifixion of Christ. 'They nailed him to the cross,' she would say, 'by long nails passing through his hands and feet. Don't you see the nails?' And the child would say, 'Yes,' and look at the nails very intently. 'The soldiers climbed up by a ladder,' she would say. 'Don't you see the ladder? And by and by, when in his fever he called for some drink, they reached something up to him by a sponge fastened to the end of a long pole. Do you see the pole?' The child would look at all these things, and would get a much more clear and vivid idea of the transaction than it would be possible for so ignorant a mother to communicate to it in any other way."
"Yes," said Rosie; "I think she would."
"Thus you see," continued Mr. George, "there is a right and proper use of such contrivances as these, as well as a wrong and an idolatrous one. Unfortunately, however, pretty much all of them, though perhaps originally well intended, have degenerated, in Catholic countries, into superstition and idolatry."
The scenery of the country through which the journey lay was enchanting. The ground was every where cultivated like a garden. There were wheat fields, and vineyards, and olive orchards, and rows of mulberry trees for the silk worms, and gardens of vegetables of every kind. Here and there groups of peasants were to be seen at work, men and women together, some digging fresh fields, some ploughing, some planting, and some pruning the trees or the vines. In many places the vines were trained upon the trees, so that in riding along the road you seemed to see an immense orchard on each side of you, with a carpet of rich verdure below, and a monstrous serpent climbing up into every tree, from the grass beneath it.
The scenery was very much varied, too; and the changes were on so grand a scale that they made the views which were presented on every side appear extremely imposing. Sometimes the road lay across a wide plain, many miles in extent, but extremely fertile and luxuriant, and bounded in the distance by blue and beautiful mountains. After travelling upon one of these plains for many hours, the road would gradually approach the mountains, and then at length would enter among them, and begin to wind, by zigzags, up a broad slope, or into a dark ravine. At such places Vittorio would stop, usually at a post house at the foot of the ascent, and take an additional horse, or pair of horses, and sometimes a yoke of oxen, to help his team draw the carriage up the hill. Many of these ascents were four or live miles long, and as the road turned upon itself in continual zigzags, there was presented to Mr. George and Rollo, and also to Mrs. Gray's party within the carriage, as they ascended, a perpetual succession of widely-extended views over the vast plain below, with the road which they had traversed stretching across it in a straight line for ten or fifteen miles, like a white ribbon.
Sometimes Mr. George and the two boys descended from the carriage, and walked for a while, in going up these hills; but generally they remained in their seats and rode. Indeed the men who came with the extra horses or oxen often rode themselves. When oxen were employed, the man used to ride, sometimes sitting on the yoke between them, and facing backward, so that he could watch them and see how they performed their work. He kept them up to their work by means of a small whip, which he had in his hand.
After reaching the top of the ascent, Vittorio would stop, and the man would detach his oxen from the team. Vittorio would pay him for his services, and then the man would come and hold out his hat to Mr. George and Rollo for a buono mano from them. Rollo always had it ready.
The party stopped every day at noon for breakfast, as Vittorio called it. The coffee, and eggs, and bread and butter, which they had early in the morning, was not called breakfast; it was called simply coffee. The breakfast, which came about noon, consisted of fried fish, beefsteaks, or mutton chops, fried potatoes, all hot, and afterwards oranges and figs. With this there was always what they called wine set upon the table, which tasted like a weak mixture of sour cider and water. Every thing, except the wine, was very good.
Mrs. Gray, however, always called this meal the dinner, and all the rest of the party were very willing to have it called so; and when they stopped at night, all that they required was tea and coffee, with bread and butter.
The inns where the party stopped were very quaint and queer. They looked, Josie said, precisely as he had imagined the inns to look which he had read about in Don Quixote. The entrance was generally under an arched passage way, where the horses and carriage could go in. From this passage a flight of broad stone steps led up into the house. The lower floor was usually occupied for stables, sheds, and other such purposes, and the one above for kitchens and the like. Higher up came the good rooms.
The apartment which was used by the party for their sitting and eating room was usually a large hall, with a brick or stone floor, and a vaulted ceiling above, painted in fresco. The walls of the room were usually painted too. There was generally a small and very coarse carpet under the table, and sometimes one before the fireplace. The doors were massive; and the locks and hinges upon them, and also the andirons and the shovel and tongs, were of the most ancient and curious construction. The first thing which the children did, on being ushered into one of these old halls, was to walk all about, and examine these various objects in detail. Rollo made drawings of a great many of them in his drawing book, to bring home and show to people in America.
The bed rooms opened out from this great hall, on the different sides of it. There were generally, but not always, two beds in each. According to the agreement, Mrs. Gray had her first choice of these rooms. She chose one, if possible, which had one wide bed in it, and one narrow one. The wide one was for herself and Rosie; the narrow one was for Susannah.
Mr. George came next in the order of choice, and he generally took a room which had only one bed in it, leaving another room with two single beds in it for the two boys. They always had a fire in the great hall every evening. Mrs. Gray usually went to her room with Rosie and Susannah at half past eight, leaving Mr. George and the two boys in the hall. The first evening of the journey—that is, the evening of the night spent at Arezzo—Mr. George told Rollo, as soon as Mrs. Gray had gone, that he had some bad news to tell him.
"What is it?" asked Rollo.
"It is that I am going to make a rule for you, that every night, from and after the time that Mrs. Gray goes into her room, you are not to have any conversation with any body."
"Why not, uncle George?" asked Rollo.
"Because I want to have the room still, so that I can write. I have journals and letters to write, and so have you,—and so I suppose has Josie; and the evening, after Mrs. Gray and Rosie have gone to their room, will be the best time to appropriate to the work. You can do your own work of this kind at that time or not, just as you please; but if you do not do it, you must not interrupt me in doing mine."
"I suppose that is a rule for me and Josie too," said Rollo.
"No," said Mr. George, "it is for you alone."
"Why is it not a rule for Josie," said Rollo, "as much as for me?"
"Because I have no authority to make any rules for Josie," replied Mr. George. "I have no authority over him at all, but only over you."
"But, uncle George," said Rollo, "if you are busy writing, and I am not allowed to talk, and Mrs. Gray and Rosie have gone to bed, Josie will not have any body to talk to."
"True," said Mr. George.
"Then I don't see but that you might just as well make the rule for him too, at once," said Rollo. "You may just as well make a rule that he shall not talk himself, as to make one that cuts him off from having any body to talk to."
"Only," replied Mr. George, "that to do the one comes within my authority, while to do the other does not."
Here Rollo was silent a few minutes, and seemed to be musing on what Mr. George had said. Presently he added,—
"Besides, uncle George, this is not put down among the rules and regulations for the journey which you drew up. We all agreed to abide by those rules, and this is not one of them."
"True," said Mr. George. "But those rules and regulations are of force as a compact only between Mrs. Gray and me, as the heads respectively of the two divisions of the party. They are not at all of the nature of a compact between Mrs. Gray and her children, nor between you and me. Her authority over her children in respect to every thing not referred to in the compact, is left entirely untouched by them, and so is mine over you."
"Well," said Rollo, drawing a long breath, "I have no objection at all to the rule. Indeed, I should like some time every evening to write and draw. I only wanted to see how you would defend your rule, in the argument."
"And how do you think the argument stands?" asked Mr. George.
"I think it stands pretty strong," said Rollo.
Rollo further inquired of his uncle whether he and Josie could not talk in their own room; but Mr. George said no. If boys were allowed to talk together after they went to bed, he said, they were very apt to get into a frolic, and disturb those who slept in the adjoining rooms.
"And besides," said Mr. George, "even if they do not get into a frolic, they sometimes go on talking to a later hour than they imagine, and the sound of their voices is heard like a constant murmuring through the partitions, and disturbs every body that is near. So you must do all your talking in the course of the day, and when eight o'clock comes, you must bring your discourse to a close. You may sit up as long as you please to read or write; but when you get tired of those employments, you must go to bed and go to sleep."
The rule thus made was faithfully observed during the whole journey.
It was Monday morning when the party left Florence, and on Saturday afternoon at three o'clock, the carriage drew up at the passport office just under the great gate called the Porta del Popolo, at Rome. The party spent the Sabbath at Rome, and on the Monday morning after they set out again. On the following Thursday they arrived at Naples, and there they all established themselves in very pleasant quarters at the Hotel de Rome—a hotel which, being built out over the water from the busiest part of the town, commands on every side charming views, both of the town and of the sea.
SITUATION OF NAPLES.
Naples is situated on a bay which has the reputation of being the most magnificent sheet of water in the world. It is bordered on every side by romantic cliffs and headlands, or by green and beautiful slopes of land, which are adorned with vineyards and groves of orange and lemon trees, and dotted with white villas; while all along the shore, close to the margin of the water, there extends an almost uninterrupted line of cities and towns round almost the whole circumference of the bay. The greatest of these cities is Naples.
But the crowning glory of the scene is the great volcano Vesuvius, which rises a vast green cone from the midst of the plain, and emits from its summit a constant stream of smoke. In times of eruption this smoke becomes very dense and voluminous, and alternates from time to time with bursts of what seems to be flame, and with explosive ejections of red-hot stones or molten lava. Besides the cities and towns that are now to be seen along the shore at the foot of the slopes of the mountain, there are many others buried deep beneath the ground, having been overwhelmed by currents of lava from the volcano, or by showers of ashes and stones, in eruptions which took place ages ago.
Of course there is every probability that there will be more eruptions in time to come, and that many of the present towns will also be overwhelmed and destroyed, as their predecessors have been. But these eruptions occur usually at such distant intervals from each other, that the people think it is not probable that the town in which they live will be destroyed in their day; and so they are quiet. Of course, however, whenever they hear a rumbling in the mountain behind them, or notice any other sign of an approaching convulsion, they naturally feel somewhat nervous until the danger passes by.
Naples is built on the northern shore of the bay You will see by the map on the preceding page just what the situation of the town is, and where Vesuvius is in relation to it. Vesuvius, you observe, stands back a little from the sea, but the slope of land extends quite down to the margin of the water. You perceive, however, that there is a carriage road, and also a railroad, passing along the coast between the mountain and the sea.
Besides the villages and towns laid down on the map, upon this coast, there are many little hamlets scattered along the way, so that, as seen across the water from Naples, there seems to be, as it were, a continued town, extending along the whole line of the shore.
Among the places named on the map you see the sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii marked. Pompeii lies to the south-east from the mountain, and Herculaneum to the south-west. Of course the lava, in breaking out from the crater in different eruptions, runs down the mountain, sometimes on one side and sometimes on another. It is the same with the showers of stones and ashes, which are carried in different directions, according to the course of the wind.
Very near the site of Herculaneum you see a small town laid down, named Resina. This is the place where people stop when about to make the ascent of Vesuvius, and leave the carriage in which they came from Naples. If they come by the railroad, they leave the train at the Portici station, which, also, you will see upon the map, and thence go to Resina by a carriage.
At Resina they take another carriage, or sometimes go on in the same, until they get up to what is called the Hermitage, the place of which you also see marked on the map. The Hermitage is so called because the spot was once the residence of a monk who lived there alone in his cell. It is now, however, a sort of ruin.
There is no carriage road at all beyond the Hermitage, and here, accordingly, the party of travellers take mules or donkeys, to go on some distance farther. At last they reach a part of the mountain which is so steep that even mules and donkeys cannot go; and here the people are accordingly obliged to dismount, and to climb up the last part of the ascent on foot, or else to be carried up in a chair, which is the mode usually adopted for ladies. You will see how Mr. George and Rollo managed, in the next chapter.
The ruins of Herculaneum can be visited on the same day in which you make the ascent of Vesuvius; for, as you see by the map, they are very near the place, Resina, where the ascent of the mountain commences. Pompeii, however, is much farther on, and usually requires a separate day.
Besides, it takes much longer to visit Pompeii than Herculaneum, on account of there being go much more to see there. The reason for this is, that the excavations have been carried on much farther at Pompeii than at Herculaneum. Herculaneum was buried up in lava, and the lava, when it cooled, became as hard as a stone; whereas Pompeii was only covered with ashes and cinders, which are very easily dug away.
Besides, Herculaneum was buried very deep, so that, in order to get to it, you have to go far down under ground. The fact that there was an ancient city buried there was discovered about a hundred and fifty years ago, by a man digging a well in the ground above. In digging this well, the workmen came upon some statues and other remains of ancient art. They dug these things out, and afterwards the excavations were continued for many years; but the difficulties in the way were so great, on account of the depth below the surface of the ground where the work was to be done, and also on account of the hardness of the lava, that after a while it was abandoned. People, however, now go down sometimes through a shaft made near the well by which the first discovery was made, and ramble about, by the light of torches, which they carry with them, among the rubbish in the subterranean chambers.
The site of Pompeii was discovered in the same way with Herculaneum, namely, by the digging of a well. Pompeii, however, as has already been said, was not buried nearly as deep as Herculaneum, and the substances which covered it were found to be much softer, and more easily removed. Consequently a great deal more has been done at Pompeii than at Herculaneum in making excavations. Nearly a third of the whole city has now been explored, and the work is still going on.
The chief inducement for continuing to dig out these old ruins, is to recover the various pictures, sculptures, utensils, and other curious objects that are found in the houses. These things, as fast as they are found, are brought to Naples, and deposited in an immense museum, which has been built there to receive them.
You will see in a future chapter how Rollo went to see this museum.
Vesuvius, Herculaneum, and Pompeii are all to the eastward of Naples, following the shore of the bay. To the westward, at the distance of about a mile or two from the centre of the town, is a famous passage through a hill, like the tunnel of a railway, which is considered a great curiosity. This passage is called the Grotto of Posilipo. You will see its place marked upon the map. The wonder of this subterranean passage way is its great antiquity. It has existed at least eighteen hundred years, and how much longer nobody knows. It is wide enough for a good broad road. When it was first cut through, it was only high enough for a carriage to pass; but the floor of it has been cut down at different times, until now the tunnel is nearly seventy feet high at the ends, and about twenty-five in the middle. High up on the sides of it, at different distances, you can see the marks made by the hubs of the wheels, as they rubbed against the rocks, at the different levels of the road way, in ancient times.
On passing through the grotto in a carriage, or on foot, the traveller comes out to an open country beyond, where he sees a magnificent prospect spread out before him. The road goes on along the coast, and comes to several very curious places, which will be described particularly in future chapters of this volume.
On the afternoon of the day when Mr. George and his party arrived at the hotel, just before sundown, Rollo came into Mrs. Gray's parlor, where Mr. George and all the rest of the party, except Josie, were sitting, and asked them to go with him and see a place which he and Josie had found.
"Where is it, and what is it?" asked Mrs. Gray.
"You must come and see," said Rollo. "I would rather not tell you till you come and see."
But Mrs. Gray, being somewhat fatigued with her ride, and being, moreover, very comfortably seated on a sofa, seemed not inclined to move.
"Rosie may go instead," said Mrs. Gray, "and when she has seen it, she may come back and tell me, and if she thinks it is worth while I will go."
"Well," said Rollo; "come, Rosie."
So Rollo led the way, and Rosie followed out of the parlor into the hall, and from the hall along a sort of corridor which led to a narrow and winding stone stair.
"No," said Rosie, as soon as she began to ascend the stair, "I don't think mother will like to come. She does not like to go up long stairs, especially stone stairs, and more especially still, stairs that wind round and round."
"Wait and see," said Rollo.
After going round and round several times,—all the while ascending,—Rollo came out to a sort of open passage way, paved with glazed tiles of a very pretty pattern, where there was a door leading out to a balcony. From this balcony there was a narrow iron stair which led up on the outside of the house to the roof. Rollo led the way up this stair, and Rosie followed him, though somewhat timidly. They landed at length on a sort of platform among the chimneys, from which another stair led up to another platform, higher still, where Josie was.
"There!" said Rollo, as soon as he reached the first platform, "don't you think your mother would like to be here?"
Rosie looked around, and saw that a magnificent panorama presented itself to her view.
"She would like to be here very much, if she only dared to come," said Rosie.
On looking towards the east, Rosie could survey the whole shore of the bay in that direction, with the continuous line of towns and villages along the margin of the water, and the immense green slopes of Vesuvius rising beyond. Among the green fields and groves, far up these slopes, white hamlets and villas were scattered, and above, the double summit of Vesuvius was seen, with dense volumes of white smoke ascending from one of the peaks. The children, too, could look from where they stood far out over the bay, and see the ships and steamers in the offing, and great numbers of small boats plying to and fro nearer the shore.
Rollo had an opera glass in his hand, which he used as a spy-glass. He let Rosie look through this glass at the mountain, so that she might see the smoke coming out more distinctly. With the glass, besides the general column of vapor, she could discern several places, near the summit, where small, separate puffs of smoke were issuing.
Farther down the mountain, Rollo directed her attention to a white building, which was seen very distinctly in the rays of the setting sun. This building, he said, must be the Hermitage.
"How do you know it is the Hermitage?" asked Rosie.
"I know by the situation of it," said Rollo. "Look through the glass and you will see that it is the highest house on the mountain side. Besides, it stands on the end of a ridge or spur, projecting from the mountain, just as I know the Hermitage does, with a deep valley on each side of it."
"I should have thought that they would have built it in one of the valleys," said Rosie. "It would have been more sheltered then from the wind."
"No," said Rollo. "That would not have been a good plan at all, for then it would have been in the track of the streams of lava. The lava comes down through the valleys."
"I can see the zigzag road leading up to the Hermitage," said Rosie.
"Yes," replied Rollo; "and I think it probable we could see people going up or coming down, if there were any there now."
"I mean to watch," said Rosie.
Rosie watched, but she did not see any thing moving. The truth was, that the people who had been up that day had all come down. They usually come down early in the afternoon. And yet parties sometimes make arrangements to stay up there until after dark, so as to see the glow of the fires that are continually smouldering in the chasms and crevices of the crater, and sometimes breaking out there.
Mrs. Gray was so much pleased with Rosie's report of what she saw on the roof, that she went up herself immediately after Rosie came down. Mr. George went up too. As for Josie, he staid up there all the time.
When Mrs. Gray and Mr. George reached the first platform, Josie called to them. "Mother," said he, "come up here!"
"No," said Mrs. Gray; "this is high enough for me. I can see very well here."
Mrs. Gray was very much interested in the view of the mountain, and of the column of smoke issuing from the summit. She had not seen the summit before, as all the upper part of the mountain had been enveloped in clouds during the time while they were approaching the town.
She was also much pleased with the view of Naples itself, which she obtained from this platform. The hotel was built out over the water, so that from the lookout the town was spread out in full view, with all the great castles and towers which crowned the cliffs and headlands above, and the various moles, and piers, and fortresses, that extended out into the water below.
In coming up the iron stair, on the outside of the building, Mrs. Gray had been a little afraid; but in coming down she found the steps so firm and solid under her tread that she said she should not be afraid at all a second time.
"Then, mother," said Rosie, "let us come up here this evening after dark, and then on the top of the mountain, instead of smoke coming out, we shall see fire."
"Shall we, Rollo?" asked Mrs. Gray.
"I believe so," said Rollo. "At any rate they do sometimes see fire coming out; and I don't know why we should not to-night."
It was finally agreed that after it became dark, Rollo and Josie should go up alone first, to see if there was any fire, and if there was, then Mrs. Gray and Rosie were to go up.
Accordingly, about eight o'clock, Rollo and Josie went up. They very soon came running down again, and reported that there was quite a bright fire. So Mrs. Gray and Rosie went up. Taking their stations on the platform, and looking towards the mountain, they could see distinctly a bright glow playing over the summit, with brighter flashes beaming up from time to time. The sight impressed them all with an emotion of solemn awe.
PLANNING THE ASCENSION.
Rollo was very impatient for the time to come for the ascent of Vesuvius; but several days elapsed before Mr. George was ready. Then, after that, for two or three days, the weather was not favorable. The sky was filled with showery-looking clouds, and great caps of fog hung over the summits of the mountains.
"If we get up there when there are mists and fogs hanging about the mountain," said Mr. George, "we shall not be able to see the fire at all."
"Then I would rather wait for a fair day," said Rollo.
Rollo repeatedly asked Rosie if she was not going up.
"I don't know," said Rosie; "it depends upon my mother. I shall not go unless she goes, and she says she has not decided."
At last, after several days of uncertain weather, the wind came round to the westward, the clouds passed off, and the whole sky became serene. This was in the afternoon. Mr. George had been rambling with Rollo about the town that day; but when he found that the weather promised now to be good, he said he would go home and talk with Mrs. Gray about making the ascent. So he and Rollo returned to the hotel, and went up together to Mrs. Gray's room.
Mr. George told Mrs. Gray that the weather promised to be favorable the next day for the ascent of the mountain.
"And Rollo and I," said he, "think of going up. If you would like to go, we should be very happy to have you join our party."
"Can I go, do you think?" asked Mrs. Gray.
"O, yes," said Mr. George; "you certainly can go, for you can be carried up in a portantina from the place where we leave the carriage. But if you please, I will send for a commissioner, and he can tell us all about it."
"Very well," said Mrs. Gray, "I should like to have you do that."
"Ring the bell, then, Rollo," said Mr. George.
So Rollo rang the bell; a servant man soon came in. He was what Rollo called the chamberman. His business was to make the beds and take care of the rooms. This work, in Italy, is done by men generally, instead of by women.
"Is there a commissioner attached to this hotel," asked Mr. George, addressing the servant, and speaking in French, "who accompanies parties to Vesuvius?"
"Yes, sir, certainly," said the servant.
"What is his name?" asked Mr. George.
"Philippe," replied the man.
"Where is he?" asked Mr. George.
"He is below," said the man.
"Please ask him to come up," said Mr. George. "I want to talk with him about an excursion to the mountain."
The servant man went down, and pretty soon Philippe appeared. He was a very intelligent looking young man, neatly dressed, and with a frank and agreeable countenance.
"This is Philippe, I suppose," said Mr. George, speaking in French.
"Yes, sir," said Philippe.
"Take a seat," said Mr. George. "This lady wishes me to make some inquiries of you about going up the mountain. Do you speak English?"
"Yes, sir," said Philippe, "a little."
On hearing this Mr. George changed the conversation into the English language, so that Mrs. Gray might understand what was said, without the inconvenience and delay of having it interpreted.
"In the first place," said Mr. George, "when ladies ascend the Mountain, how far do they go in a carriage?"
"To the Hermitage," said Philippe.
"Can you go in a good, comfortable carriage all the way to the Hermitage?" asked Mr. George.
"O, yes, sir," said Philippe. "We take an excellent carriage from town. The road is very winding to go up the mountain, but it is perfectly good. A lady can go up there as comfortably as she can ride about town."
Philippe further said that ladies often went up with parties as far as the Hermitage, and then, if they did not wish to go any farther, they remained there until their friends came down.
"What sort of a place is the Hermitage?" asked Mrs. Gray. "Is it an inn?"
"Yes, madam," said Philippe. "It is an inn. It is a very plain and homely place, but a lady can stay there very well a few hours."