The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8
Extracts from the Journal of an Englishwoman at Naples
Extracts from the Journal of an Englishwoman at Naples.
The writer of the letters in the form of a journal, from which the following extracts are, with her permission, made, has been for some years resident with her husband at Naples. She witnessed the entrance of Garibaldi; her graphic description of which has been already before the public. The date of the earliest letter from which the extracts are made is Oct. 16th, the latest, Oct. 27th. The subjects of the extracts are—1 and 2. Scenes in Hospital. 3. Garibaldi: his Character and Influence. 4. A Visit to St. Elmo.
The writer, having found great difficulty in dealing with the peculation, want of cleanliness, lying, and indolence of the hospital officials, has determined, in conjunction with her relatives and other residents, to provide some temporary accommodation for convalescents, who have in many cases left the hospitals as soon as ever their wounds were healed, but long before their strength warranted their joining the camp. Devotion to Garibaldi would inspire them with eagerness to present themselves at Caserta; but their enfeebled frames gave way. Many fainted in the streets, and others languished about at cafes, and in such shelter as they could obtain, unable to procure nourishing food, wine, and other necessary comforts, much less books or amusements suited to their weak health. It is hoped that the means for carrying out this benevolent design will not be wanting. It is believed that the extracts will tell their own story sufficiently, without further preface. G. B.
Extract 1.—Scenes in Hospital.
Oct. 8.—My sister has had a ward given up to her entirely in the Sant' Apostoli Hospital. We spent Sunday in it.
I am much impressed with the courage of the men in bearing pain; I think the courage required in battle is a trifle compared with it. S——only spoke to some; the others showed their native courtesy in scarcely giving her a sign of recognition as she passed, lest they should seem to put themselves forward, although their faces beamed with pleasure. There is a boy who had had a large ball, which went slantwise through both shoulders and back. He showed me the ball—thimble-shaped, as large as a small wine-glass, but solid. He is obliged to sit curled up forwards night and day. Another whom I was struck with was a young Lombard gentleman, serving in the ranks, very beautiful, like the St. Michael of the Louvre, with reddish hair flowing back in wavy curls from the smooth white forehead. He is mortally wounded, I fear. His fine chestnut eyes are glassy and vacant. There are many who are suffering great agonies, evidenced by the livid lips, the clenched hands, and the drawn features. Those poor faces haunt me in my sleep. page 153 One poor man was having a severe wound in the stomach dressed. It was the first time I had heard the deep hoarse scream of a man in great agony. It went through and through me. It was evident that he tried to repress it, but could not. Yet they are wonderfully cheerful, and are ready for smiles and jokes; and, if they suffer and die, is it not for "la Patria," and for "our general?" Oh! that word "Patria," it is like a trumpet call to new life for each of them! "What an elevating influence is the love of country! Even the Neapolitans are stirred by it. Yet there is a great difference between their characters and those of the northerns. In hospital they come around you begging, or claw the air with ten hooked fingers from their distant beds, to hasten your coming to listen to them, so little dignity they have; whereas the others ask you in the most beautiful Italian, which is like a chime of sweet bells, to allow them to pay for the letters you have brought them from the post. Yet I am full of hope for the Neapolitans, seeing that, after years of degrading oppression, one month of liberty has already called out stray and far-apart signs of nobleness.
Money has been given most liberally, but it gets shamefully thrown away, through the incorrigible thieving propensities of the Neapolitan officials. Baskets full of provisions come in at one door and go out at the other, and are re-sold; and the money goes into the pockets of the hospital start'. The same with donations of linen. The meat for their broth is passed through hot water, which is given to the soldiers; the meat itself being taken home by the cooks to feed their families to the fourth and fifth generation. One day we went at an unusual hour, and found their broth just as if you had washed dinner-plates in lukewarm water, and then sprinkled a little grease on the top: the poor men were leaving it. S——took a basin of it to the kitchen, called the governor, and showed it him before the cook. he just stood in the favourite attitude of Neapolitans, repeating, "Mais que voulez-vous? mais que ferai-je?" "Look after things; scold the cook," she replied. Still he only shrugged his shoulders, spread his hands, made ill-used eyelids, and left her to scold the cook. Everybody is afraid of everybody. Oh! for a little uncalculating manliness!
She one day went up to some of the higher floors not under our care, and found a long gallery full of blankets, sheets, shirts and shoes, and a man in it who, with many bows, protested he was there to give out all that was wanted. She then went to a higher sala, and found it in a horrible state. The wall opposite to the long row of beds was lined with thin old mattresses laid on the cold stone floor; and on them were rows of men tossing and wasted with fever, with woollen covers—not a sheet or a pillow among them. She gave one of them a glass of lemonade, and observed when he put out his arm that he had no shirt; he told her that, when their own red shirts were taken to be washed they never got them back again, and got no substitute. She went back to the linen-room, and, behold, the door was locked, and the key was said to be in the possession of the princess——, who had gone to Sorrento! She then told the head Sister of Charity that she would stand by the man until they brought him a shirt; and presently they did so. Another man in that room had only a few days to live, and was trying to pass the time, while his strength lasted, by reading a little dirty novel. S——gave him a new Testament, and his whole face brightened up. She showed him what parts to read, and told him it was about Jesus Christ, who suffered for us, and that it would comfort him in his sufferings: he said, "Ah, yes; it may help me in dying," and immediately began to devour it. Rejoice with me over this part of our newly-found freedom! If one had done such a thing six months ago, the king, the ministry, the College of Jesuits, and the Council of Cardinals would all have known of it in half an hour, and we should never have seen page 154 the inside of a hospital again, even if we had escaped prison.
Extract 2.—Scenes in Hospital.
Sunday.—When my sister was distributing her roast-beef to-day in her hospital, there was a cry outside that Garibaldi was coming. People rushed with brooms and swept the floors; and the governor sidled up and hoped she had found the broth better the last few days. Presently Garibaldi entered. A swarm of doctors and attendants immediately surrounded him, praising themselves and craving his notice. She could not hear what he said, but observed that he did not fail to speak to each of the fifty-two men in her sala. She waited at the upper end, beside the handsome likeness of St. Michael, whom I mentioned before. She felt it provoking that, when Garibaldi came up, the governor presented her to him with such a torrent of fulsome flattery that simple dignified Garibaldi could not possibly vie with it, and seemed at a loss what to say, but thanked her most heartily for the care of his men. Then she took the liberty to say that she wished she could do a great deal more—that she would like to see that they had proper food, &c. Then the governor burst out with a declaration that she was the mistress of the whole hospital, and that he lay at her feet, and that everybody, cooks and all, lay at her feet, and that she had only to order to be obeyed, &c., &c. She turned her back on him, and spoke to Garibaldi about the patience and courage of the men; and he went to the St. Michael and bent down and kissed him on both cheeks, and told those around how brave he had been; and the big tears rolled down his face on to that of the dying man. He made him an officer there. All the men, when they heard him coming, began to sit up in their beds and clap their hands, and shout "Papa nostro, papa nostro!" They long to be allowed coffee in the morning instead of their grease and water; so my sister said to one of them, "Now could you not ask the general to order that you have coffee?" The young man answered, "Oh, lady, how could I trouble him with that, when he has so much to see to, and when his very presence gives us new life?" I was glad my sister had this pleasure, for she works with all her heart and soul; and it was a better way of meeting Garibaldi than that of some ladies who sought an interview with him later at the Hotel d'Angleterre, and asked him for a kiss a-piece, and that each might cut off a lock of his hair. General Türr was with him, and looked somewhat out of patience, standing guard over Garibaldi with a comb, and raking down his head after each operation.
On Monday, we went to inquire about the fever cases—about three hundred. They are in the charge of the Princess——and the "ladies of the commission," who have the spending of the money subscribed. The ladies do not visit every day, and sometimes do odd things. There was a poor man, who had not a day to live, his lungs having been pierced. Some of them came running up, exclaiming, "Oh, how ill he looks! Here, dear man—hero are some bonbons!" emptying a lot of almond sugar-plums into his bed, which he regarded with a kind of patient amusement, but, of course, could not touch. The salas up there are not so good. They have a window at each end, and are nearly dark in the midst, and look cheerless; along behind them run rows of small rooms, with windows close up to a dead wall—six men crowded into each of these little holes! This was a barrack turned into a hospital; and the horrid arrangements, which satisfied the dirtiest of all animals (Neapolitan soldiers), still exist. The first of the row of rooms is the public place for the whole floor; but do not imagine that it has any kind of arrangement whatever—any pipes or drains. It has an immense doorway, without any door to shut; at the opposite end of it, a large window, which blows the draught of it all along the rooms, which have their open doorways all in a line with it. Accustomed as I am to the horrors of the streets of Naples, I never imagined page 155 anything like this. It seemed as if it would knock you down when you entered the sala; and it was only with a great effort of self-command that one could remain there. When I awoke in the night, after being there, my throat was sore from the effects of it; what must it be to those poor creatures, wasted with fever, with burning hollow cheeks and glazed eyes, lying without beds—only a thin mattress between them and the stone flags—with their heads up to the very door of this sink of putrefaction, some for thirty days, some for forty? How the human frame can withstand such a thing seems a miracle. We asked a doctor how he had the conscience to undertake to cure people in such a room? He replied, that it was very much against him—"Mais que voulez-vous?" with the usual rise of shoulders and eyebrows.
There are some of the worst cases in these rooms. One young man squints till you scarcely see his eyes, and is so deaf, that the old man who attends him is obliged to scream into his ears, and gets a word or two of answer in a hoarse, unnatural voice—all the effect of the fever. He did not squint, nor was he deaf, when brought in. S asked him if he should not like his friends to be written to; and, with great difficulty, he recalled and articulated his mother's name and address,—at which the others were astonished, as he had been raving for several days, he opened his mouth greedily to swallow the grapes which we gave him, with an expression like that of a famished beast. It was very sad to see. There was a pretty boy, with a complexion almost blue white, who thought he was better, and had got up in his flannel coat; but he swayed about, and then sank down again. His head was so weak that he could not remember where he lived, except "quattre Piano," neither the street nor the town. At last he remembered it was Turin. Another very pretty blue-eyed, yellow-haired boy of thirteen, from Lucca, wasted with low fever, begged S—to write to his mother that he was getting better, and hoped to come home soon. His delicate white face was covered over with great cold drops of perspiration. I wiped it with my fine cambric handkerchief, and gave it to him. He tucked it so affectionately into his neck, and added, very anxiously, "Don't ask father or mother to send me money; they are poor, and I would not be an embarrassment to them." One young fellow of eighteen was so completely paralysed with rheumatism as not to be able to put his hand to his mouth. Near him was one with a finely cut face, but, without doubt, the most dreadful thing we had seen; it looked like the face of a corpse many days dead—the blue lip stretched tight over the glittering teeth—the nostrils dilated, but quite stiff—the eyes wide open, but so turned up into the head, that nothing was seen but shining white, contrasting terribly with the dark, deadly clay-colour of the skin—and a deep hollow under each cheekbone, in which a walnut might have lain. I could hardly suppress a moan of horror and pity when his attendant shouted into his ear, and poked and shook him—which he did rather roughly. He turned down his eyes with an effort—great, brilliant, brown eyes they were—but I think they saw nothing; and immediately they turned up again, till the brown disappeared, without winking or closing. He had been taken prisoner by the Royalists on the 1st, and rescued again the same evening. They did not know if he had been beaten on the head with their muskets, or had been shown the fire he was to be roasted at. He had received a shock to his nerves. I asked what he got as nourishment; they said, a few spoonsful of lemonade squeezed between his teeth. A rather stupid young doctor came by, and I asked him if it would not be good to give him something nourishing, and if I might bring him some beef tea? He said, "Yes, certainly; it would be very good for him." Now, I wonder, if the strengthening food was good, why he had got nothing but spoonsful of lemonade for three weeks.
We next went to the Hospital Pelligrino, to ask if a young man was still alive, who was very ill from mortification of the arm up to the shoulder. He page 156 had begged to have his mother sent for from Florence, and S——had just been able to write to her by the same day's boat; otherwise a week would have been lost. She said it was touching to see him when she had written the letter—how he threw his head from side to side, crying, "Subito, Subito! Madre!" in a kind of despairing, entreating voice. We found him with a nice, gentle-mannered, elderly man by his side, who was his father, just arrived, having set off the same day that he got the letter. In the next bed lay a man with blood flowing from his breast, and face livid, and working in great agony: he was a Neapolitan, just brought in, who had been stabbed in a quarrel over cards and money. The knife had touched his heart, and he had not half an hour to live: two women stood wailing over him. All quarrels and stabbing here are about money; it is the one thing that rouses the Neapolitans to energy and passion. Is it not well that, in fault of a still higher object, they should learn even to worship a character like Garibaldi's? This shocked me more than all else I had seen: the power to look on pain and death seemed suddenly to desert me, when the holy cause was no longer there to sanctify them.
Tuesday.—We went at our usual hour. Madame B——accompanied me to the fever labyrinth; I went straight to the bed of the poor fellow who had fallen into the hands of the enemy, with strong beef tea for him. Alas! the bed was empty! I could have cried; I had so much longed to cherish him back to consciousness; it seemed hard for the light to go out from a nameless unknown cause, and not even to know who he was. He was not very young; perhaps his wife and children are waiting for him. He died in great agony at seven that morning; he seemed to be struggling hard to utter some word, but could not.
I had brought a quantity of the strongest chloride of lime from the English Pharmacy, and bought some common plates; and I set it all about the worst rooms, and gave a lump of camphor in muslin to each bed. None of them knew what chloride was: I begged them not to eat it, and to ask the doctor to let it remain until I came again.
Thursday.—I went with Dr. and Mrs. Strange to the hospital of San Sebastian, of the Jesuits, to see the English there. It is under the direction of Madame Mario, formerly Miss Jessie White. The English are in four little airy rooms very high up, with cheerful windows, whence they can look over the housetops to the green hill-side. They are attended by a Scotch doctor named McKenzie, who took his degree in Germany, and by a nice little Irish Sister of Mercy—such a blooming pretty little thing—who was very much delighted to find I had been at the convent of St. Stephen's Green, whence she was sent out to come here. Most of the men are Scotch, and very enthusiastic. Some of the ladies tell them that they were fools to come out. I have it very much at heart that they should be a credit to us; in fighting of course they will—but I wish that they should be well-behaved in every way; and I don't think it will encourage discipline and good behaviour to teach them contempt for the service they had entered. I therefore said all I could, to show them what a noble cause it is, and how proper for the English to help the Italians to secure what God has given them. I wish you could have seen how the faces of those young Scots brightened up at my few words. I think they had become, at the discouragement of some of the English ladies, a little ashamed of what they had done; but now they came out quite eagerly with what they had "thought"—that they must come out and lend a helping hand. I was very much pleased with the style of men they are; not at all the "ne'er-do-well" adventurers that some here pretend. Most are of the well-educated Presbyterian middle class, who use grand words when they talk. One was a watchmaker, another a "traveller to a house;" one an Edinburgh man, another a tall fair Cumberland man. There were two well-mannered Londoners—one a clerk in a merchant's office, and a Sunday-school teacher.page 157
Friday.—We had a long day in the hospitals—the first part with our own fifty-two patients. The only one of them who was worse was the nice young fellow who had the great wine glass shaped hall through his shoulders. He had been going on well; but, dear silly fellow, he lost his head with joy on Sunday to see Garibaldi, and jumped out of bed—he who was never allowed to change his position—and the wounds broke out bleeding. he has gone back, and the doctor thought very badly of him. Later we went to the Jesuits to see the English again. I gave to each of the rooms a packet of tea and sugar, and to each a spoon to keep, as they never have any; but the present at which their faces brightened the most was a great lump of brown soap for each little room; they exclaimed, "Now, won't we have a wash" The first since they came to Naples! I gave them plenty of books.
I must not forget to tell you of my triumph over the smells before leaving the Apostoli. After finishing with our own sala we went up to the fever wards. I ran along to find out how the smells were, and, behold, the rooms were not worse than ordinary fever rooms. I went to see if the cause was removed; but that was the same. S——had asked one of the men if anything had been done. He answered, "No; only three days ago a lady came and put white stuff in plates about the floors (where it still was), and since then we have not been tormented." He then broke out into an eloquent description of their former sufferings. I had no idea that chloride was so powerful to counteract an existing evil, and could have danced for joy. There are still two more floors higher up where we have never been. It dawns upon me that my true mission is to hunt up bad smells and try to cure them!
Extract 3.—Garibaldi: his Character and Influence.
The one fault Garibaldi has is in being too guileless and pure-minded for this world. He cannot disbelieve people's good professions until their dishonesty is brought home to him by disastrous proof. There must be a want in his intellect, through which he has not yet learned this lesson; though it only adds to the perfection of his heart, for which all love him so much. A week ago he had a sad disappointment about a wholesale robbery which had been committed by a number of his Calabrian volunteers. He had just been told of it, and had dismissed them from his service, and was breaking his honourable sensitive heart over it in his own little room, where a friend of his who told us the story went to inform him that the ministry here had put aside his measures and were about to substitute others. He told him rather timidly, thinking how it would vex him, to whom they owed everything, to have his authority set at nought: but he was already so cut to the heart about his men having been thieves, that he threw himself into his friend's arms, and said, "Let all be done for the good of Italy; do not give a thought to me."
Most certainly he is not a diplomatist; if he were he would not be Garibaldi. I daresay there may be five or ten diplomatists in the world, but there is only one Garibaldi. It is just his undiplomatic character which makes him the real hero, but which also unfortunately makes him have no sympathy with, but rather a repulsion against, the secret scheming, and long-laid half-avowed trains of Cavour. It is a pity they are not friends; but the nature of the two men precludes the possibility Cavour, with his worldly wisdom, regards Garibaldi as a fool, convenient to be used as a tool at fitting times. Garibaldi wants everything to be done openly, from an avowed principle, and for an avowed end; and he believes that the right will be protected by heaven. The one is the ideal of all that worldly wisdom and talent can effect; the other the ideal of all that is morally exalted, all that makes the beauty and soul of chivalry: and they cannot walk together, any more than stars and gas-lamps—the latter being much more practically useful for page 158 showing people through the bogs and puddles of man's world; the former more powerful to raise men's hearts and thoughts to a higher tone.
I wish you could hear thoughtful men hero speak of what the conception of such a character has even already done for the degraded Neapolitans. They are a people quick of apprehension and appreciation. Try to realise the disadvantages they have had. They were never taught about Christ; and to many of them the idea of right for right's sake, and of all that is true, noble, and devoted, has dawned upon them first through Garibaldi, and already worked a kind of regeneration in their feeling? and opinions. Do not think me irreverent—I do not give this more than its true weight; I only mean that such an example and influence as his, acting upon the inner character of the units which make up the vast population of the country, appears to those who are here and observe it, not a substitute for the Christian faith, but a treasure of greater worth than any shining statesman's qualities. "We believe that it will make the people more worthy to profit by what statesmanship may secure to them now; so that each will do his work. This part of Garibaldi's work, however, is not so widely understood as his generalship. Even the fighting could not have been successful without him. If Victor Emmanuel had invaded, he would have probably found much more opposition here. It is Garibaldi who represents the moral feeling, and embodies the longings which have stirred all hearts; and this gave him the power to carry all before him.
Extract 4.—Visit to St. Elmo.
Saturday, 27th.—We went to St. Elmo. You know from pictures that the fortress is built on a rock, three sides of which shelve steeply down; the fourth merges into the hill behind, still standing somewhat higher than the hill.
From the ramparts you see the whole of Naples like a map spread out. The huge walls of the fortress, growing straight out of the rock, look imposing enough; but none of us had an idea, till we were there, that they form only the fourth étage as it were of a four-storied building. we were taken about the great square which they enclose, with its barrack buildings, its mounds of shells, its great guns and big mortars. When we had seen the top part, which covers an immense space, they asked us if we would like to see the covered batteries. They opened a large gate in the middle of the enclosed square, and with a lantern we began to descend a wide paved road, almost as steep as a staircase. When we reached the lower level we found ourselves among immense tunnels, very wide and lofty, which follow, at a varying distance of from ten to thirty feet from the outside, the shape of the great rock on which the upper building stands. Wherever the tunnel approached near enough to the outside, the intervening mass was pierced with a great round hole, at which stood a cannon (they now have all got their noses turned inwards); and from the heavy mysterious gloom of these huge caverns you caught sight of the most exquisite little vignette views framed in black rock, sometimes fringed with maiden-hair fern—little pictures perfectly painted. The effect was wonderful, from the concentration of light caused by looking through a tube, perhaps fifteen feet long, with black darkness on our side. At one time it was the Red Palace with its arcades; at another a museum or church; then a bright bit of sea with men-of-war riding at anchor. The maiden's-hair was not growing at all; for some had been newly chiselled out, to enable the guns to be better pointed down into the street. There were, perhaps, thirty in all. Then they showed us the big ovens quite at hand to red-heat the balls that they might set fire to any building they struck, and balls standing near, waiting to be heated. Some of the guns swept the drawbridge and causeway by which one ascends from the outer wall; and there are all the necessaries for a body of troops to live down there, even if the outworks were taken—mills for grinding corn, bread-ovens, sleeping huts, page 159 &c. This place is perfectly bomb proof. They talked of destroying St. Elmo; but none of us could understand how they could destroy this place, except by blasting away the entire hill.
Here and there were trap-doors which led down to a lower étage just like the upper one: that makes three floors; and now come the dungeons.
These have no communication with the batteries. To reach them we went a long way down the sloping covered road which leads to the Castle from the drawbridge. I think the door we went in by was on a level with the mouths of those wicked gun-holes. After entering it we went still further down steps and sloping passages cut roughly in the rock, until we came to a large circular dome-shaped cavern, the light of which was very dim. At one side of this cave hall, there was a funnel-shaped opening, beginning wide and growing narrower, until it reached the face of the rock and open air, where it was heavily barred. I think it looked towards the sea and islands of the west, but we could not see anything distinctly. All around this hall were little huts of mason-work, detached one from the other, that there might be less chance of communication. They had heavy doors faced with iron, if I remember rightly, and in each door a little window with a heavy shutter and bolts; and it was only through this window that the cell could borrow a little light from the large cave which was already so dim, and from which not a speck of green or of sky could be seen. I imagine, from the shape of the bars in the little window, that the door was never opened even to give food. The windows had an opening into which you could have slid a soup plate, which will give you an idea of their size; and the people there confidently assert that the shutters were closed by day. Inside each hut was a bed made of two boards, fixed in the corner, a little sloping, to save a pillow; in one the bed was of stone, with a pillow cut in stone. They have been cleaned out and white-washed, but the stench is still overpowering; imagine what it was when inhabited by people who were never let out, who had no mattresses, and had to wear their clothes night and day! And, if so much cheating goes on about the food in the hospitals, which are open to every visitor, how may we imagine these people were fed!
There was one cell still worse than the others. A little winding staircase led up to it. Even with the door wide open you could not see the person at your elbow. Of course I had heard and read all about the prisons, as you will read this; but, standing there, it came upon me as it had never done before, as a new sense, what it would be to have that door shut upon one. Even when it was open, the darkness seemed to weigh like a year of midnight on my chest, and to crush the breath out. I don't think I should have courage to try to keep alive there; I should lie down on that plank bed and never move any more. A man was kept sixteen years in that hole! In that moment the last spark of pity I had felt for the Bourbons died out of me, and I could have clapped my hands for joy to think that it was over. In other countries a single abuse may arise; like that on which Charles Reade has founded his novel Never too late to mend; but this was the system, upheld by the Government, and known in all its details to Bomba at least, and made use of not against criminals, but against noble-minded men—against many even stupidly innocent, who had not an idea of being patriots, but in whose dusty book-shelves might have been found some book with a forbidden name or word in its pages, which had probably never been opened by its present owner. There is a good reason for never finding a library in the house of a Neapolitan.
But these are not the worst prisons. They are dry: there are others by the sea which drip night and day; and a gentleman who was with us had been informed by one of the released prisoners of a torture invented by his jailor—to dash on him, through an opening at the top, cold water at any time, night or day. He could not avoid it in any part of his cell, and never went to sleep page 160 without expecting it. It became a haunting terror to him, and he had to remain shivering in his wet clothes until they dried upon him. It was a way of extorting money from the friends of a prisoner, to torture him unless bribed not to do so. There were names and dates inscribed on the rock—one of a Spanish nobleman 200 years ago. Some told of very long imprisonments: it seemed as if the very rocks were impregnated with sighs and tears, and groans, and as if they weighed and crushed one's heart with misery.
But there is more to tell, very horrible and mysterious. In the middle of this large cave there was a great round hole, with a low parapet wall enclosing it; and, looking down into it, we saw another hall cut in the rock, like that in which we stood—larger because of not being filled with the cells, and very deep—lighted by a slanting shaft to the opening of the upper one. They. told us that this was the place in which they used to put a number of prisoners, whom they wanted to get rid of, together, and shoot them from above. There was an iron gate in the side of the upper hall which led down by a staircase cut in the rock to the under one—a wide staircase, the ends of the steps sharp, but in the middle worn into one continuous slope. Even if the story of the shooting is an exaggeration, it must have taken thousands of feet to wear the steps like this; and certainly those feet had not carried people there for their own pleasure. There is another gate at the bottom, and more cells opening upon the stairs. It is true that all around the sides of this cave, about the height of a man's head and chest, the walls are marked with round holes, which Captain said he could not imagine having been made by anything but a bullet. Supposing that this was used not for political prisoners, but in cases of military revolt, yet what a system to put men into a wild beast's hole and shoot them down, instead of having an open execution after fair trial! The best colour one can put upon it is horrible.
I took the children: it will not be my fault if they do not grow up haters of tyranny and dark dealing. I did not allow them, however, to go into the cells, lest they should be poisoned; but sent them up into the blessed light of day. When we came up again upon the huge ramparts, and saw the celestial looking sunset over the peaks of Ischia, and the rosy clouds mirrored in the bay, it made my heart ache the more for those who had spent years without being able to tell the winter from the summer, scarcely the day from the night. I hope many of them have it made up to them now in glories which the eye of man hath not seen, nor his ear heard.