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'Aunt, dear (the hypocrite!), you've got a
maniac in the carriage with you!'"

Now the fact is, Aunt Dorothy is as deaf
as a post, and invariably takes one word for
another, although I said nothing more then,
because, in her own words, "It is always best
to agree with this sort of people under any
circumstance." Only, next day, a letter
arrived from John, hoping she had had a
safe journey up to town—"I remembered
your aristocratic predilections, you see," he
wrote, "and I hope you found the old baronet
an agreeable travelling companion."


       "O! dearest mother, tell me, pray,
          Why are the dew-drops gone so soon?
       Could they not stay till close of day,
          To twinkle on the flowery spray,
       Or on the fields till noon?"

       "My child, 'tis said such beauteous things,
           Too often loved with vain excess,
       Are swept away by angel-wings,
              Before contamination clings
       To their pure loveliness.

        "Behold yon rainbow, brightening yet,
             To which all mingled hues are given;
        There are thy dew-drops, grandly set
               In a resplendent coronet
        Upon the brow of Heaven.

         "No earthly stain can reach them there,
              Woven with sunbeams, there they shine,
         A transient vision of the air,
             But yet a symbol, pure and fair,
         Of love and peace divine."

         The boy look'd upward into space
              With eager and inquiring eyes,
           And, o'er his sweet and thoughtful face,
               Came a faint glory, and a grace
           Transmitted from the skies.

           With the last odorous sigh of May,
                That child beneath the flowers was laid;
            Like dew, his spirit pass'd away,
                To mingle in eternal day,
            With angels perfect made.


VEDI Napoli e poi mori! (See Naples
and then die!) is the vain-glorious saying
of the Neapolitans. The proverb has been
considerably modified in our time. We
say: See Naplesthat God's own land of
beauty and boundless fertilitythat golden
treasury of God-taught art; and, also seeing
the filthy lazzaroni, the swarming sbirri, the
Ergastolo, the scowling priests, the blood of
St. Gennaro, and the million and one rascals
who infest this fairest of cities, then see
Naples, and die for shame and indignation.

See Capri, too. There is a page of Roman
history that needs no Niebuhr to dispute, no
Lewis to examine. Its annals are late enough,
accredited enough for us to see, in no shadowy
guise, but palpably in the records of the past;
the shrinking, trembling, gloomy, frivolous,
yet ferocious tyrant, Tiberius, flying from the
world to Capristriving to shut out the
demons his own bad passions had invoked
from the choicest fruits and flowers of life,
yet forgetting that he had at least a cavity
where he had once a heart, and finding, too
late, that vacuum-abhorring Nature had
filled that cavity with devils. See Capri.
The vestiges of the tyrant's palace are there
still. There are the same stones that walled
in sin and luxury, and that re-echoed to the
carousing shouts of decadent Romans and to
the cries of tortured slaves.

Not that I ever saw Capri, or Naples either.
My Italian travels have been made, hitherto,
with my feet on the fender, and my eyes on a

But I know of another place which I
choose to call Capri. Half a hundred miles
from London, on the south-eastern coast of
this kingdom, the booth-proprietors of Vanity
Fair set up, some half a hundred years ago, a
camp that has culminated into the gayest
and pleasantest watering-place in the world.
I myself have known it intimately full twenty
years, and I caught myself, the other day,
moralising upon the great palace of Chinese
gingerbread that smirks uponwell, I won't
be personalthe S. Upon how many thousand
work-boxes, toy dioramas, sheets of
note paper, Tunbridge-ware tables, pin-
cushions, have we seen the counterfeit
presentment of this pompous platitude? Where
were common sense, taste, fitness, decency,
when the thing was done? If George the
magnificent had said to Mr. Nash, prince of
architects,—"Mr. Nash, will you oblige me
by painting your face in parti-coloured
streaks, and then walk on your hands
into the middle of the S., where one of the
lords of my royal bed-chamber will provide
you with four and twenty yards of scarlet
ribbon, which you will be good enough to
swallow;"—would Mr. Nash have done this
thing, I wonder? Perhaps not. Yet the
prince of architects has been guilty of
buffooneries quite as gross, in building this pot-
bellied palacethis minareted mushroom
this absurditythis gilded dirt-piethis
congeries of bulbous excrescences, as gaudy
and as expensive as Dutch tulips, and as

We are accustomed to see and hear of
kings doing extravagant things in the building
line. It is their vocation. Cheops had
his pyramid, Cleopatra her needle, Nero his
golden house, James the First Nonsuch, and
Kubla Khan. Is it not written:—

          In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
              A stately pleasure dome decree,
           From which a sounding river ran
          Through caverns measureless to man,
             Down to a sunless sea.