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trician down to the half-naked lazarone—the former lounging in his gloomy and mal-odorous palace—the latter basking under the canopy of heaven, and only working when hunger impels him to procure food.
Numerous moral and political causes, in fact, have conspired with the burning skies of an Italian Summer, and the mild atmosphere of Winter to relax the corporeal energy and intellectual vigour of the permanent inhabitants ;-and, that a portion of this inactivity-this vis inertiæ, is communicated, partly by the force of example, partly by the operation of climate, to all who reside for any length of time beneath the skies of Italy, there cannot be a shadow of doubt. This effect is not peculiar to that country alone, but is seen in all hot climates operating with more or less force, on those who migrate thither from northern regions. Among the consequences, then, of a protracted sojourn in Italy, this principle of inactivity infused into the vigorous minds and bodies of Englishmen, though devoid of culpability, is not to be considered as quite harmless. Idleness bas always been recognized as the moth of the mind--and it is so, in a great measure, from its injurious effects on the body.
The Sparta-poetic precept is illustrated by this subject as clearly as by any other. We are first surprised, and somewbat disgusted by the inactivity—or what we often designate by the coarser epithet, laziness of the Italians. But TIME and cĻIME reconcile us to the habits of the people among whom we sojourn, and not seldom lead to an adoption of them!
That the attachment, which man and all animals evince for the land that gave them birth, is an instinctive principle or propensity instilled into the first rudiments of their organization by the hand of Nature, I will not maintain. I rather think that it is the effect of various moral and physical causes acting on the plastic constitution of mind and body in early youth, fostered and confirmed by the precepts of education, and the inferences of reason, in manhood and age. Patriotism is probably only an
extended sphere of that local attachment which we feel for the spot where we first drew breath-or rather for the spot associated with all those youthful impressions and emotions so indelibly stamped on the memory, and so hallowed as well as mellowed by the lapse of years.
But however the sentiment of patriotism may be first generated, there can be no doubt that it is equally honorable to the individual and beneficial to society at large. As no private family ever prospered without concord and fidelity among its members, so no nation has ever acquired or maintained either happiness or power, without a strong sense of love of country diffused among its population.
That residence in foreign climes, and especially in Italy or France, undertaken for the selfish purposes of pleasure or economy, (for the latter resolves itself into the former, after all,) tends to sap the foundation, or, at least, to weaken the force of British patriotism, is as clear as the sun at noon-day. It cannot be otherwise ; nor do those who practise voluntary expatriation take much pains to question the inference, or rebut the accusation. With them, the INDULGENCE of the senses, in the halcyon days of peace, and the AFETY of their persons, in the iron times of war, form the Alpha and Omega of their creedthe compass and chart by which they steer!
That numerous heads of English and Irish families have domiciliated in France and Italy, for the laudable purpose of affording to their progeny a more extended sphere of education and accomplishments than was compatible with their means in England or Ireland, I am well aware. I revere their motives; but they must pardon me if I do not approve their judgment. I am ready to give them full credit for the honorable and parental solicitude of doing that which appears most likely to contribute to the happiness and prosperity of their offspring. But, if some knowledge of the world, and some insight into human nature, induce me to dissent from the conclusions which they have drawn, and to candidly state that dissent, they are bound, in return, to give me credit for honest intentions.
There is, however, a large class of individuals who have expatriated themselves, during the peace; and who can offer no other reason for so doing, except that of inclination-or rather self-gratification, untinctured by patriotism, or parental affection. This class, I well know, will laugh at the idea of " LOVE of COUNTRY,” as a term exploded from the cosmopolitan vocabulary-excepting as it indicates the wisdom of procuring posthorses between Paris and Calais, whenever the country in which they have been squandering their wealth, appears less calculated to afford them the means of securing the indulgence of the senses, than their native islands !
Frequent compositions with our creditors generally wind up in final bankruptcy. It is the same in morals as in commerce. That religion cannot offer very formidable checks to immorality, or even crime, which hangs up PLENARY INDULGENCE every chapel door. He who can easily clear the board of his conscience on Sunday, has surely a strong temptation to begin chalking up a fresh score on Monday or Tuesday.
I do not deny that there may be Catholic countries where morals are as rigid and continence as austere as in Protestant states—but, where this is the case, the skies must be cooler than those of fair Italy. As this favoured country can boast of more intercessors with Heaven than all Europe besides, it would be strange-indeed it would be somewhat ungrateful, if such inestimable advantages were to be thrown away. This certainty of salvation, therefore, in a land possessing the keys of Heaven, is one cause, at least, of latitude of conscience on earth. Two or three extracts from recent writers, will suffice as illustrations of the state of morality and virtue in Italy.
“Prisoners for life to etiquette, the unmarried women of rank,” says Lady Morgan, "are never seen in the Florentine circles, *
* “I have, however, seen a matron-mother enter a Florentine assembly between her cavaliere servente and her young and innocent bridal daughter,
MORALITY AND VIRTUE.
and their bloom and their hopes wither together in the cell of a convent, or the garret of a palace. The life of the young married dame is, however, as free from restraint, as that of the hapless victim of celibacy is enslaved. After the birth of the son and heir, who is to carry on a name registered in history, she legislates for herself, independent of her husband, as her husband is of her : she forms her social establishment-places her cavaliere servente at the head of it-and issues that great law of Florentine society to all her subjects--to Vivere senza suggezione.' To this vivere senza suggezione all yields-all submitseyen vanity and the toilette strike their labours; and mornings are passed, even by the most determined coquette, on a sofa or couche, in a deshabille, to which the senza suggesione is most perfectly applicable.* To this indolent indulgence, a walk in the Mercato Nuovo (the Bond Street of Florence,) or the LungArno, and most frequenly alone, or with the cavaliere servente, forms an occasional interruption : the robe de chambre and large wrapping shawl are then exchanged for the smart French douillette and large bonnet, which frequently shades such eyes and faces as are not always to be found under the chapeaux of the Rue Vivienne.”—Lady Morgan.
who was thus sent into the world with this fatal example before her eyes. No exposure, no reprobation is adequate to this shameless and unblushing li. bertinism; to such a mother as this, the hapless victim of circumstances, the libertine of necessity, is a respectable personage.”—LADY MORGAN's I'raly.
* I have been repeatedly accused of drawing unfavourable pictures of the Italians, though I have only quoted the words of authors who escaped all censure themselves. If I had characterized the Italian ladies in the language which Moore has used, they might have had cause to complain. Let us hear the poet of Love and Sentiment :
“ For, faithless in wedlock, in gallantry gross,
Without honour to guard, or reserve to restrain,
Moore. This, I think, is equally unjust and severe. In Italy, as in most, if not all other countries, infidelity of man is the primary cause of incontinence in
Speaking of the same fashionable residence of the English, Mr. Forsyth observes as follows :
“ Cecisbeism, though, perhaps, as general, is not so formally
legalized here as at Naples, where the right of keeping a gal“ lant is often secured by the marriage-contract ; yet here no
lady can appear in fashionable company, or before God, with« out such an attendant. She leaves her husband and children
at home, while her professed adulterer conducts her to church, “ as if purposely to boast before heaven the violation of its own 66 laws. Let no man tell me that Italian manners should not be “ tried by English laws. Virtue is of no country. Infidelity is
every where vice; nor will its frequency excuse individuals, « for individuals have made it universal.”
Let us now look to Naples, the other great rendezvous of the British, both male and female.
“Dancing, it would seem, is more unholy than singing or gambling ; for the gaming-hell, under the same roof with the
opera, and under the sanction of government, has been allowed “ to go on without interruption.
• Noctes atque dies patet atri Janua Ditis.' “ This is a very large establishment; it holds its daily session " in a house in the Corso ; and adjourns in the evening to a “splendid suite of rooms in the upper part of the opera house. “ The Neapolitans are devoted to play, and they pursue it with “a fatal energy, that hurries many of them to the last stage of “ the road to ruin.--The relaxation of morals, as you advance “ towards the south, is very striking.-I am afraid to believe all “ that I hear of the licentiousness of Naples; but I see enough “ to make me think nothing impossible.”-Forsyth.*
* The licentiousness of the male sex is well repaid by the loss of all connubial happiness.
• Of this-bear ye witness, ye wives every where,
By the Arno, the Po, by all Italy's streams,