Bois de Boulogne to see fashionable dressing, splendid equipages and stunning liveries, and to the Faubourg St.
Antoine to see vice, misery, hunger, rags, dirt–but in the thoroughfares of Naples these things are all mixed together.
Naked boys of nine years and the fancy-dressed children of luxury; shreds and tatters, and brilliant uniforms; jackass-carts and state-carriages; beggars, 1401 Princes and Bishops, jostle each other in every street.
At six o’clock every evening, all Naples turns out to drive on the ’Riviere di Chiaja’, (whatever that may mean;) and for two hours one may stand there and see the motliest and the worst mixed procession go by that ever eyes beheld.
Princes (there are more Princes than policemen in Naples– the city is infested with them)–Princes who 1402 live up seven ﬂights of stairs and don’t own any principalities, will keep a carriage and go hungry; and clerks, mechanics, milliners and strumpets will go without their dinners and squander the money on a hack-ride in the Chiaja; the rag-tag and rubbish of the city stack themselves up, to the number of twenty or thirty, on a rickety little go-cart hauled by a donkey not much bigger than 1403 a cat, and they drive in the Chiaja; Dukes and bankers, in sumptuous carriages and with gorgeous drivers and footmen, turn out, also, and so the furious procession goes.
For two hours rank and wealth, and obscurity and poverty clatter along side by side in the wild procession, and then go home serene, happy, covered with glory! I was looking at a magniﬁcent marble 1404 staircase in the King’s palace, the other day, which, it was said, cost ﬁve million francs, and I suppose it did cost half a million, may be.
I felt as if it must be a ﬁne thing to live in a country where there was such comfort and such luxury as this.
And then I stepped out musing, and almost walked over a vagabond who was eating his dinner on the curbstone–a piece of bread and 1405 a bunch of grapes.
When I found that this mustang was clerking in a fruit establishment (he had the establishment along with him in a basket,) at two cents a day, and that he had no palace at home where he lived, I lost some of my enthusiasm concerning the happiness of living in Italy.
This naturally suggests to me a thought about wages here.
Lieutenants in the army 1406 get about a dollar a day, and common soldiers a couple of cents.
I only know one clerk–he gets four dollars a month.
Printers get six dollars and a half a month, but I have heard of a foreman who gets thirteen.
To be growing suddenly and violently rich, as this man is, naturally makes him a bloated aristocrat.
The airs he puts on are insuﬀerable. 1407 And, speaking of wages, reminds me of prices of merchandise.
In Paris you pay twelve dollars a dozen for Jouvin’s best kid gloves; gloves of about as good quality sell here at three or four dollars a dozen.
You pay ﬁve and six dollars apiece for ﬁne linen shirts in Paris; here and in Leghorn you pay two and a half.
In Marseilles you pay forty dollars for a ﬁrst-class dress coat made by 1408 a good tailor, but in Leghorn you can get a full dress suit for the same money.
Here you get handsome business suits at from ten to twenty dollars, and in Leghorn you can get an overcoat for ﬁfteen dollars that would cost you seventy in New York.
Fine kid boots are worth eight dollars in Marseilles and four dollars here.
Lyons velvets rank higher in America than those of Genoa.
Yet 1409 the bulk of Lyons velvets you buy in the States are made in Genoa and imported into Lyons, where they receive the Lyons stamp and are then exported to America.
You can buy enough velvet in Genoa for twenty-ﬁve dollars to make a ﬁve hundred dollar cloak in New York–so the ladies tell me.
Of course these things bring me back, by a natural and easy transition, to the 1410 ASCENT OF VESUVIUS–CONTINUED.
And thus the wonderful Blue Grotto is suggested to me.
It is situated on the Island of Capri, twenty-two miles from Naples.
We chartered a little steamer and went out there.
Of course, the police boarded us and put us through a health examination, and inquired into our politics, before they would let us land.
The airs these little insect Govern1411 ments put on are in the last degree ridiculous.
They even put a policeman on board of our boat to keep an eye on us as long as we were in the Capri dominions.
They thought we wanted to steal the grotto, I suppose.
It was worth stealing.
The entrance to the cave is four feet high and four feet wide, and is in the face of a lofty perpendicular cliﬀ–the sea-wall.
You enter in 1412 small boats–and a tight squeeze it is, too.
You can not go in at all when the tide is up.
Once within, you ﬁnd yourself in an arched cavern about one hundred and sixty feet long, one hundred and twenty wide, and about seventy high.
How deep it is no man knows.
It goes down to the bottom of the ocean.
The waters of this placid subterranean lake are the brightest, loveli1413
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