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MERCY IN NAPLES.

The details which I throw together in
the following narrative are too true. Yet
it is not until after much hesitation that
I have yielded to my desire to give them to
the world, lest the unconscious and inoffensive
subject of them might be made responsible
for revelations which give another proof of
the caprice and cruelty of the Neapolitan
government. Not long since I found myself
ascending the heights of the Island of Capri.
Almost the only signs of humanity one sees
on this lovely spot, are donkey-girls and
fishermen, agricultural labourers and priests; so
that I was the more struck by meeting a
solitary person, of gentlemanly appearance,
whose face and manner deeply interested me.
As he passed us, he raised his hat, and went
on his way. "Poor lieutenant," said my guide,
who, with the usual quickness of his race,
seemed to read my thoughts; "his is a hard
fate to be shut up on this desert island. We,
signor, are accustomed to it. We were born
here, and have got all our families about us.
Above all, we can get out when we like: but
the poor lieutenant, may the Madonna help
him! has father, mother, brother, and sister,
whom he has not seen for several years. It
goes to my heart sometimes to see him
walking along so silent and so sad!"

The man could tell me little more; but
my curiosity so awakened my sympathies,
that I was resolved, on returning to Naples,
to sift out all the particulars. Fortune
favoured my wishes; and from those
who were well acquainted with the history
of the poor lieutenant I have gathered the
following undeniable facts:

No one will have forgotten the great
excitement which prevailed throughout the
kingdom of the Two Sicilies in eighteen
hundred and forty-eight. The hopes of
liberals were raised to the highest pitch, only to
be disappointed; and, when the summer of
that year had set in, it was but too evident
that, in spite of promises as to ameliorations
of despotic rule, a strong reaction had
commenced. On the sixth of July the lieutenant
was invited by his companions to join in
some enterprise which was to be executed
on that day–in fact, a number of officers,
under the direction of Captain Palmieri,
had combined together to beat several of
the deputies belonging to the liberal party,
and break some printing-presses. Such an
incident was by no means extraordinary at
a time when peaceable citizens were often
assaulted in the streets by a brutal soldiery
with impunity. The invitation, however, to
join this expedition was refused, and
the answer was quickly reported to the
colonel of the regiment, who severely
reproved him in the presence of many officers,
at the same time calling him infamous, and
unworthy of the uniform. After so public
a reproach, the lieutenant considered it to be
his duty to demand his dismissal; but, on the
persuasion of his colonel (who the day after,
for reasons best known to himself, had altered
his tone) he requested to be placed in the
second-class on account of health. On the
thirteenth of the same month he was put
on the retired list, and sent to the Island of
Ischia. On arriving, however, he was
surprised to find that an order had been sent,
prohibiting his leaving the island; and thus
began his long protracted exile.

During his brief residence on the island,
he made the acquaintance of another
companion in misfortune, Vincenzo di Vico, who
was a lieutenant on the staff; but, on February
the first, eighteen hundred and forty-nine,
they were both placed under arrest, and
put under an escort on board a small boat.
After a perilous voyage they arrived at
Naples, and were at once confined in the
Castello dell' Novo, that picturesque old
fortress, which stands on a tongue of land
between Santa Lucia and Chiatamone.
What secret influence controlled their
destiny was to them unknown. Why they
were in arrest was equally unknown. In
Naples, this information is considered
perfectly unnecessary; a man may be taken
from the midst of his family without
accusation or examination, and many years may
pass over his head before he returns,
himself an altered man, to seek for those who
perhaps have ceased to be. On the twenty-
third of February, another change came over
their lot. They were placed in a carriage
accompanied by an adjutant, a sergeant of the
guard, and a gendarme, followed by a soldier
of the lancers on horseback, to the arsenal,
and put on board a scorridojo, kept for the

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