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So much has been said of the great
earthquake which occurred in the kingdom of
Naples in the month of December, eighteen
hundred and fifty-six, that the subject may
appear almost to have been exhausted. An
unexpected freshness, however, has been
communicated to it by the narrative of an English
gentleman, who, impelled solely by motives
of benevolence, visited the afflicted districts,
and lived and laboured amongst the poor
inhabitants for more than ten weeks. The
details which he gives are of such an interesting
and extraordinary character, afford so
much insight into the actual civilisation of
localities he visited, as well as into the
system of government pursued here, that I
shall not make any apology for giving them
as I heard them from his own mouth.

On Mr. Major's applying to Monsieur
Bianchini, the Minister of the Interior, he found
him rather put out by the indisposition which
the English had manifested to entrust their
contributions to the government for distribution.
Without, however, prohibiting him from
visiting the scene of the disaster, the minister
would do nothing more than promise that no
obstacle should be thrown in his way.
General Winspear, who is at the head of
gendarmerie, gave him an especial order to
be accompanied by gendarmes wherever
he went; and, with such guarantees, he left
Naples on the thirtieth of January, about six
weeks after the earthquake occurred.

From this time I shall conduct the narrative
as though Mr. Major were speaking, and
as nearly as possible in his own words:—

My first resting-place was Salerno, where I
visited the Intendente, Mr. Ajossa, who
received me with great kindness and attention,
giving me letters of recommendation to
the Sottintendente, and a circular letter to
all the gendarmes, which enjoined them to
assist me; and, moreover, sending one officer
to accompany me during the whole time of
my journey.

A lovely and a well- constructed road
leads to Auletta, where the ruin occasioned
by the earthquake is first apparent. A great
quantity of planks had been put together
for churches, barracks, and public offices.
So also was it in Polla; where a handsome
barrack had been erected for the Sottintendente,
of expensive deals, and had been lined
with blankets. It consisted of a saloon, ante-
chamber, sleeping apartments, and all the
other conveniences belonging to tranquil life.
At Sala, too, he had another temporary
house built of Petersburg timber. The
judge and all the principal people were
similarly accommodated; but, for the poor, only
a few barracks had been put up. Indeed,
wherever I went the same feature was
perceptible; the authorities took good care of
themselves; and it was obvious that they
endeavoured to prevent the people from
having access to me. I had means of making
the inquiry, however; and ascertained that
scarcely anything had been done for them.
The government had sent a few blankets,
articles of clothing, and deals, but they were
insufficient, and had been used principally
for the churches and authorities.

On my return in the month of March I
found that the temporary church in Polla
had been covered with zinc. Convinced
that I could do but little for humanity in
the province of Salerno, where, what had
been done was by the road-side for the sake
of show, in case any of the princes came
down, I hurried on to Basilicata, where I
arrived on the thirty-first of January in
Padula. The earthquake had not committed
so much injury here as in other places, but
little had been done to repair it, for it was
not on the high road. There was a fine old
monastery here, which had been broken all
to pieces. The Syndic of Padula received me
well, and, leaving with him sixty ducats for
the relief of poor, I went on the next morning
to Saponara.

There was no road to this place, and my
route lay over the mountains, a heavy snow
falling all the time. In some parts the earth
was cracked with deep fissures. Saponara I
found had been nearly destroyed. On the side
of the hill had stood a nunnery, which was
now in ruins; the very foundations had been
thrown up; of a large church not an atom
was left; beds for apartments below in
another story with men and children in
them, had been thrown into the rooms of
nuns; two such instances I observed in Saponara.
Dr. Mallet explained the phenomenon

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