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only may change to the sultry, poisonous Sirocco, bringing on a lassitude and languor which no energy of mind or body can withstand. A few hours more may effect another change equally great, and usher in the soft, balmy breezes of the northwesi. It is only then, that the mind feels capable of exertion; and it is then, that travelers describe and poets paint.
Pompeii calls for a considerable share of the author's attention; and well it may. But it has been too fully and 100 persecily described by other pens to render any extract here necessary. We therefore choose to follow our traveler back to Rome, and then again to the verdant valley of the Arno, to Genoa, the city of palaces, and thence by Nice and Lyons to Paris, and modern Babylon, as he chooses to call the British metroplis. From this part of the work we merely subjoin one extract, giving a general view of Italy, wbich contains as much of truth as the extended antithetic will admit.
• The external physiogomy of Italy, as well as of her great citiesand even of her inhabitants, presents more prominent features and singular contrasts than any other country or people in the world. Bernadine de St. Pierre informs us that all contrasts produce harmonies—and bence, perhaps, it is, that Italy is the land of music and of song. There is poetry—or the materials of poetry, in every thing which meets the eye between the Alps and Mount Ætna. Her skies are azure and her bills are green-the sun-beams are ardent, the moon-beams mellow, the stars brilliant-the breezes are alternately delicious and malariousiced by the Alps, or ignited by the Sirocco—her mountains are lofty, and her streamlets are clear-her rivers are rapid, and her lakes are smooth-her shores are laved by tranquil seas, her hills are shook by hidden fires—the country is rich, and the people are poor-their fields are fertile, while their cultivators are squalid and unhealthy-men and women sow the seed; but saints and angels reap the harvest—the vines are graceful, the grapes luscious; but the wine is too often sourthe roads are magnificent, while the inns are wretched—the country swarms with priests, but is destitute of religion—teems with redundant population where celibacy is the CARDINAL VIRTUE-glitters with gems and precious stones in the midst of starvation-exhibits despots on the plains, and bandits in the mountains-abounds in all the materials of wealth and power, but possesses few flourishing manufactories, except those of monks, music, and maccaroni. In fine-the nobility is sunk in sloth, the church in plethora, the populace in pauperism.' p. 188.
The portion of Dr. Johnson's work, which, as we have before intimated, particularly commends itself to our notice, is, that relating to the influence of travel, and especially of travel and temporary residence in Italy. Our chief regret, while reading it, is, that the author has not seen fit to bestow more time and attention on this most interesting part of his volume, collected and embodied more information, studied more method, and given his own conclusions more clearly and more at length. But we are grateful for what he has done, and we hope that the subject will be pursued by himself or others until it is inore perfectly and more generally understood. We deen it one of great importance, especially at this time, when so many are suffering from the “ wear and tear” complaint, and when such a universal rage for foreign travel prevails. Very erroneous notions, we are persuaded, obtain in the community in regard to the effects of foreign travel and residence ; and as a guide to correct conclusions, upon this point, the observations, experience, and opinions of such men as Dr. Johnson, are much needed. In the hope of contributing to this end, we here present the results to which our author has arrived.
The first topic in this investigation, deserving of notice, is the climate of Italy. And here, if we mistake not, the popular opinion is widely at variance with truth. The common impression produced by our geographies, our histories, books of travels, and works of imagination, is, that it is the land of sunny skies, balmy breezes, and verdant soil,-a very Eden, where all physical causes conspire to prolong human existence, and crown it with happiness. If it is supposed, that men do not actually live longer than others of the same race elsewhere, or if the tables of longevity have convinced some few, that life there is even more frail and shadowy than in other parts of the world ; this fact is generally attributed to the operation of moral rather than of natural causes, to the ignorance, sloth, filthiness and corruption of the inhabitants, rather than to the defect of climate or the unhealthy influence of the soil. Whereas we apprehend it to be nearer the truth, that this very moral degradation is the effect and consequence of the pestilential action of physical agencies, and can be accounted for only on this ground. Let us look at the situation of Italy in respect to climate. We find it, then, stretching from the foot of the snow-clad Alps to within a short distance of the burning sands of Africa, and separated from the latter only by a sheet of water, which offers no obstruction to the free passage of iheir sultry, obnoxious blasts. It extends, “narrow and long," it is true, into the Mediterranean, and one might at first suppose, that the air would be tempered by the vicinity of the sea. But to counteract this salutary action, the Appenines stretch their high ridge through the whole length of the peninsula, and effectually bar the passage of both the eastern and western breezes; while themselves covered, during the wintry season, with ice and snow, they send down upon the plains below, their cold, shivering blasts, which come with the greater fury and violence, as the temperature of the plains and the mountains differs so widely. In point of fact,
it is the north westerly wind alone, of all that can sweep over Italy, which brings enjoyment and comfort. With this representation of the situation of Italy before us, we should be led 10 expect a great variableness in her climate. Such we find to be the fact. The deadly Sirocco, charged with the impalpable sands of Africa, and the vapors of the Mediterranean, sweeps unobstructed over her southwestern slope, prostrating the spirits, paralyzing the nervous energy, and relaxing the whole
system. In this unguarded, defenceless state, the pores all open, the energies all destroyed, the bleak Trainontane, with scarcely a moment's warning, often comes fiercely down from the icy Alps or Appenines, penetrating at once to the vitals, benumbing their powers, checking the circulation, and palsying the whole frame. But the climate of Italy is certainly a dry one.
Such is doubtless the general opinion. It is sufficiently hunnid, however, to maintain a constant verdure upon her fertile plains. But if it is more dry than some other countries, if the rains actually fall “more seldom ihere than in England, they make up for this infrequency by precipitating themselves in cataracts, ibat form mountaintorrents, and overflow their banks, flood the plains and saturate every inch of ground with humidity.” And the severity of the evil only commences when the deluge is over; for theu " a powerful sun bursts forth, and rapidly exhales into the air, not only the aqueous vapor from the soil, but the miasmata generated by the decomposition of all the vegetable and animal substances which the rains have destroyed, the floods carried down from the mountains, or the guiters swept out of the streets.” We ourselves have known a strong Levanter prevail for more than thirty days almost without intermission on the waters of the sunny Mediterranean, during which, with the exception of only two days, clouds almost uninterruptedly hid the heavens from view, and poured down upon us no inconsiderable quantities of rain and bail. We have known the rain to fall, under the cloudless sky of Naples, for a fortnight in succession; and how much longer the torrents continued to descend, our forced departure renders us unable to say. In Florence, too, fair, sunny Florence, we have known the clouds to descend, for an equal length of time, in incessant showers, not missing a day in the whole period.
We conclude, then, that the changes of climate, though less frequent, are more sudden and more violent in Italy than in most other countries. In confirmation and illustration of these remarks, we cannot forbear quoting, after Dr. Johnson, the following passages from the diary of Mr. Matthews, who traveled in Italy for the express purpose of benetting his health; and who was therefore led to make particular observations on atmospheric changes, so far as they affect the constitution :
• February 11th. The weather is beautiful (says Mr. Matthews) and as warm as a June day in England. We sit at breakfast without a fire, on a marble floor—with the casements open-enjoying the mild breeze.
February 12th. Oh this land of Zephyrs ! Yesterday was warm as July ;-to day we are shivering with a bleak easterly wind, and an English black frost. Naples is one of the worst climates in Europe for complaints of the chest.
March 14th, ÆGRI SOMNIA—If a man be tired of the slow liagering progress of consumption, let him repair to Naples; and the denouement will be much more rapid. The Sirocco wind, which has been blowing for six days, continues with the same violence. The effects of this southeast blast, fraught with all the plagues of the deserts of Africa, are immediately felt in that leaden, oppressive dejection of spirits, which is the most intolerable of diseases.'
p. 295. Let now a chilling Tramontane come in immediately after this "relaxing vapor bath of six days and nights duration," and we shall not be at all surprised at the consequences which actually result, as experienced a few days afier, and described on the same page of his diary.
“ Seized with an acute pain in my side. Decided pleurisy. Summoned an English surgeon. High sever. Copious bleeding. Owe my life, under heaven, to the lancet. I find pleurisy is the endemic of Naples.”
So much for the climate of sunny Italy. We pass to a more exciting topic. Were the dangers of a residence in Italy confined to the baleful influences of her climate, it might be enjoyed there with comparative safety. But there is another agency at work, more potent though more subtile and intangible, which slays its thousands where the deadly Sirocco and Tramontane carry away their bundreds or their tens. It is the horrible malaria. No part of Italy is free from the destructive reach of this inscrutable agency. It is revealed only in its effects; but these discover its presence in the luxuriant plains of Lombardy, and the still lovelier vallies of Tuscany, as well as in the campagna of Rome, and on the volcanic soil of Naples. That horrible disease, the pellagra, which prevails so extensively in the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, Dr. Johnson attributes, without hesitation, to “an emanation from the soil ;" and even where the malarious influence has not proceeded to this degree of severity, its presence is 100 plainly depicted in the sallow countenance and morbid aspect of the inhabitants. Particularly are those situations, which man bas chosen for his habitation, and which the traveler selects for his sojourn, exposed to this destructive agency. “ The fairest portions of this fair land,” says Dr. Mac Culloch, who has written at length on this subject, “ are a prey to this invisible enemy; its fragrant breezes are poison, the dews of its summer evenings are death. The banks of the refreshing streams, its rich and lowery meadows,
the borders of its glassy lakes, the luxuriant plains of its overflowing agriculture, the valley where its aromatic shrubs regale the eye and perfume the air,—these are the chosen seats of this plague, the throne of malaria."
We do not propose to follow Dr. Jolinson in all his interesting speculations on this invisible agency. We shall barely state the results of his investigations, and these only as they bear on the subject before us. He supposes it to be settled, that " generally speaking, it is the product of animal and vegetable decomposition by means of heat and moisture.” The physical formation of Italy, allowing of a luxuriant vegetation, and its situation under such a climate, it will at once be seen, is favorable to the extrication of this bidden power. The fiumari, also, be considers as very much contributing to its production ; and he is inclined to attribute much to the volcanic nature of the soil on the southwest coast of Italy. It is exbaled with the watery vapors by day, and falls with the dews of night. It yields to the force of the winds and currents of air, and is hence ofien impeded in its progress through a city by high walls and buildings. Open streets and areas, are therefore more exposed than narrow lanes and alleys. Deposites of rubbish, such as have filled up the Jews' quarter in Rome, seem to prevent entirely its escape from the earth; and where protected by high walls from its approach from abroad, such localities are exempted from its ravages. It does not generally rise to great heights; yet there are exceptions. Our author is of the opinion, that travelers do not exempt themselves from danger by keeping to elevated positions.
Now, wbat are the effects resulting from the operations of this mysterious but powerful agent? “The jaundiced complexion, the tumid abdomen, the stunted growth, the stupid countenance, the shortened life, attest, that habitual exposure to malaria, saps the energy of every mental and bodily function, and drags its victims to an early grave.” This the tables of longevity also confirm. In Rome, one in twenty-five dies yearly. In Naples, one in twenty-eight; while in London, only one in foriy ; and in England, one in sixty! But may not temporary residents escape? We will cite a fact, that will show with what degree of safety one may venture within the realm of this tyrant. During the winter and
part of the summer, numerous laborers come from provinces east of the Appenines exempt from malaria, to the Campagna for hire. “A gentleman high in office at Rome, assured us," says Sir T. C. Morgan, " that every year one in ten of these wretches dies of the fever; and those who escape carry the marks of the poison in their swoln and sallow countenances. Very few are able totally to throw off the disease; and repeated exposure to the malaria, in successive seasons, never fails to destroy.” The worst Vol. VIII.