+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

sun was going down behind Santa Deca (the
hill of the Ten Saints, in Corfu), and the peaks
of the Pindus mountains glowed with rosy
hues, in the light shed upon the silver snows.
Groups of wild ducks, in sixes and sevens,
were continually passing overhead to their
evening feeding grounds; the Albanian fishing
boats were moving out of the bay, with
supplies for the market at Corfu; and Pietro,
in the dingey again, took the opportunity to
make a purchase of fish, this time, for our
dinner. Silvertop sat down, and mused with
himself on the day;—shooting, and yet no
keepers, no preserves, no game-laws, streams
to ford, holes to tumble into, and a health
officer dogging one's heels.

By way of finale, a huge eagle came sailing
by. Silvertop discharged his last barrel
at him; but, except a shake of the feathers,
and an extra flap of the wings, the
eagle took no notice of the insult; we were
then partly rowed and partly punted through
the shallows to the Scowler. Fifteen couple
of snipe, twenty of woodcocks, and eight brace
of et-ceteras, were the spoil we counted.

Once on board the yacht, a change of apparel
was quickly effected; and, as we sat down to
a snug dinner in the cabin, the rattling of the
chain told us that the anchor was up, and
the yacht sped on her return voyage to
Corfu. The night deepened quickly around
us; and when, later in the evening, I lighted
a cigar on deck, we were crossing the
Northern passage, and the only sound which
broke the silence was the howling of the
jackals on the Albanian shore. The wind
suited, and, at about eleven o'clock, the
anchor was let go in our former roadstead;
and, having resolved to sleep ashore, we
again landed in the citadel ditch. The
Guardiano touched his cap, and vanished in
the gloom.

Naples, Feb. 26.

IF our Ferdinand were King of England,
having his won way among you, doubtless
many Englishmen would think that Death
and Burial might form the happiest event in
their existence. Do not be surprised, therefore,
if I, living in Naples, and wishing to
write upon a cheerful topic, find Death and
Burial to be, at any rate, not the most gloomy
I could lay my pen upon.

There was a poor fellow to whom, one
evening, I sent a supper. Next morning, the
church-bell was tolling for his funeral. To
let him eat my supper over-night, and to bury
him in the morning, was to be very quick
with poor Giacomo. In his case the law,
which requires burial twenty-four hours
after death, had been evaded, as it often is, by
ante-dating the hour of decease. Quick
burial is commonly sought; "for, you know,
my dear fellow," said an Italian to me, "we
have none of those foolish prejudices which
you English have."

A lighted candle at the mouth distinguished
death from life; if death be its verdict, the
dead is dressed, and the chamber ornamented
as circumstances permit. It becomes a
reception chamber into which every one is free
to enter, according to the proverb of the
country, "from a marriage feast or a funeral,
drive no one away." I went a few days since
to visit a poor old pensioner of mine; but,
on coming to the cottage, found the door
wide open, and Costanziello lying with his
feet towards the threshold, on his funeral
bed. If the door be not left open, say the
country people, the body will tumble to the
ground. And, as for the direction of the
feet, "to be carried out feet foremost," is
only a periphrasis for death; and, if an
invalid were carried out of his house-door,
while alive, in that position, it would be
considered an event of fatal omen. So strong
is the prejudice, that I once laboured, in vain,
to make an Italian country-servant place my
bed opposite the chamber-door. The idea
lingers in Italy from the old Roman times:
Persius, in his Third Satire, expresses death
by saying, that a man "stretched his stiff
heels towards the door." Many tapers were
arranged about the body of poor Costanziello,
and his family sat silently in a circle, waiting
for sympathy and consolation. "A taper at
baptism, and a taper at death," say the poor
people of this country. The thought of the
old Roman used to be a torch at marriage,
and a torch at death. To "live between the
torches," is the expression with which
Propertius in one place indicates the interval
between a man's wedding and his funeral.

When the priests came to remove
Costanziello's body, the silence was at an end.
There arose a shouting and a screaming which
remind one strongly of the old Roman
"conclamatio." The violent outburst of passion
in these southern climes, at such a moment,
is sometimes terrific. The priests barely
escape personal violence now and then. I
rememberindeed, how could I forget?—one
funeral scene; a poor woman had lost her
son, a fine youth, drowned at sea. His body
had not been recovered. For many nights
the mother wandered alone by the sea-shore,
shrieking for her child, and carrying dry
clothes with her in the crazed hope that he
would come to land and need her tender
nursing. At the same time, there lay dying
in the village one of the political exiles, far
from home and friends, and suddenly all the
love of the distracted mother poured itself
out upon him. Her spirit, blind with grief,
saw her own son in him; and, for the few
last hours of his life, she lavished on the
friendless exile all the fulness of her mother's
heart. He died; and, in the quiet of my
own chamber, I was startled by the desolate
woman's shrieks. She had placed herself
upon a covered balcony, and as the youth was
carried out feet foremost, held out her son's
clothes towards him, urging him, in her

Profile Information

Application afterLoad: 0.000 seconds, 0.28 MB
Application afterInitialise: 0.016 seconds, 1.00 MB
Application afterRoute: 0.020 seconds, 2.05 MB
Application afterDispatch: 0.078 seconds, 3.65 MB
Application afterRender: 0.127 seconds, 3.98 MB

Memory Usage


21 queries logged

  1. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '04222327088fe480d1c54adc0daa5f33'
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE ( TIME < '1656319210' )
  3. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '04222327088fe480d1c54adc0daa5f33'
  4. INSERT INTO `jos_session` ( `session_id`,`time`,`username`,`gid`,`guest`,`client_id` )
      VALUES ( '04222327088fe480d1c54adc0daa5f33','1656321010','','0','1','0' )
  5. SELECT *
      FROM jos_components
      WHERE parent = 0
  6. SELECT folder AS TYPE, element AS name, params
      FROM jos_plugins
      WHERE published >= 1
      AND access <= 0
      ORDER BY ordering
  7. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-19'
  8. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-19'
  9. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id = '80'
  10. UPDATE jos_toc_pages
      SET hits = ( hits + 1 )
      WHERE id='80'
  11. SELECT template
      FROM jos_templates_menu
      WHERE client_id = 0
      AND (menuid = 0 OR menuid = 78)
      ORDER BY menuid DESC
      LIMIT 0, 1
  12. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-19'
      AND id_volume = 7
  13. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_volumes
      WHERE id = '7'
  14. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE id = '111'
  15. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE  id_volume = 7
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  16. SELECT id, DATE, id_page
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE  id_volume = 7
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  17. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  18. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  19. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 7
      AND ordering > 29
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
      LIMIT 1
  20. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 7
      AND ordering < 29
      ORDER BY ordering DESC
      LIMIT 1
  21. SELECT id, title, module, POSITION, content, showtitle, control, params
      FROM jos_modules AS m
      LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm
      ON mm.moduleid = m.id
      WHERE m.published = 1
      AND m.access <= 0
      AND m.client_id = 0
      AND ( mm.menuid = 78 OR mm.menuid = 0 )
      ORDER BY POSITION, ordering

Language Files Loaded

Untranslated Strings Diagnostic


Untranslated Strings Designer