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point of character and constitution, were thought to have a much stronger refemblance to Helen than to Penelope ; but as I have no great faith in the sudden operation of physical causes in matters of this kind, I never doubted of those ladies having carried the same disposition to Naples that they brought from it. Though there are not wanting those who affirm, that the inAuence of this seducing climate is evident now, in as strong a degree as it is described to have been anciently; that it pervades people of all ranks and conditions, and that in the convents themselves;

Even there, where frozen chastity retires,
Love finds an altar for forbidden fires.

Others, who carry their researches still deeper, and pretend to have a distinct knowledge of the effect of aliment through all its changes on the human constitution, think, that the amorous disposition, imputed to Neapolitans, is only in part owing

to

to their voluptuous climate, but in a far greater degree to the hot, fulphureous nature of their soil, which those profound naturalists declare communicates its fiery qualities to the juices of vegetables ; thence they are conveyed to the animals who feed on them, and particularly to man, whose nourishment consisting both of animal and vegetable food, he must have in his veins a double dose of the stimulating particles in question. No wonder, therefore, say those nice investigators of cause and effect, that the inhabitants of this country are more given to amorous indulgences, than those who are favoured with a chafter foil and a colder climate.

For my own part, I must acknowledge, that I have seen nothing, since I came to Naples, to justify the general imputations above mentioned, or to support this very ingenious theory. On the contrary, there are circumstances from which the opposers

of

of this system draw very different conclufions; for every fyftem of philosophy, like every Minister of Great Britain, has an opposition. The gentlemen in opposition to the voluptuous influence of this climate, and the fiery effe&s of this soil, undermine the fourdation of their antagonists' theory, by asserting, that, so far from being of a warmer complexion than their neighbours, the Neapolitans are of colder constitutions, or more philosophic in the command of their passions, than any people in Europe. Do not the lower class of men, say they, strip themselves before the houses which front the bay, and bathe in the sea without the smallest ceremony ? Are not numbers of those stout, athletic figures, during the heat of the day, seen walking and sporting on the shore perfectly naked ; and with no more idea of shame, than Adam felt in his state of innocence; while the ladies from their coaches, and the servantmaids and young girls, who pass along,

contemplate

II

contemplate this singular spectacle with as little apparent emotion as the ladies in Hyde Park behold a review of the horseguards?

As Sir William and Lady Hamilton are preparing to visit England, and the Duke feels no inclination to remain after they are gone, we intend to return to Rome in a few days.

LETTER LXVIII.

Rome.

E delayed visiting Tivoli, Frescati,

and Albano, till our return from Naples.

W

The Campagna is an uninhabited plain surrounding the city of Rome, bounded on one side by the sea, and on the other by an amphitheatre of hills, crowned with towns, villages, and villas, which form the finest landscapes that can be imagined. The ancient Romans were wont to seek shelter from the scorching heats of summer, among the woods and lakes of those hills; and the Cardinals and Roman Princes, at the same season, retire to their villas; while many · of the wealthier fort of citizens take lodge ings in the villages, during the season of gathering the vines. Vol. II. Y

On

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