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d'Agnano; on whose margin is situated the famous Grotta del Cane, where so many dogs have been tortured and suffocated, to shew the effect of a vapour which rises &bout a foot above the bottom of this little cave, and is destructive of animal life. A dog having his head held in this vapour, is convulsed in a few minutes, and soon after falls to the earth motionless. This experiment is repeated for the amusement of every unfeeling person, who has half a crown in his pocket, and affects a turn for natural philosophy. The experiment is commonly made on dogs; because they, of all animals, show the greatest affection for man, and prefer. his company to that of their own species, or of any other living creature. The fellows who attend at this cave have always some miserable dogs, with ropes about their necks, ready for this cruel purpose. If the poor animals were unconscious of what was to happen, it would be less affecting ; but they struggle to get free, and show every symptom of horror when they are dragged to this cave of torment. I should have been happy to have taken the effect of the vapour for granted, without a new trial; but some of the company were of a more philosophical turn of mind than I have any pretensions to. When the unhappy animal found all his efforts to escape were ineffectual, he seemed to plead for mercy by the dumb eloquence of looks, and the blandishments natural to his species. While he licked the band of his keeper, the unrelenting wretch dashed him a blow, and thrust his head into the murderous vapour.

When the real utility of the knowledge acquired by cruel experiments on animals (a practice which has been carried to dreadful lengths of late) is fairly stated, and compared with the exquisiteness of their sufferings, the benefit resulting to mankind from thence will seem too dearly bought in the eyes of a person of humanity. Humanity! If language had belonged to other animals besides man, might not they have chosen that word to expresscruelty ? if they had, thank God, they would have done injustice to many of the human race. I have left the poor dog too long in the vapour ; much longer than he remained in reality. The duke of Hamilton, shocked at the fellow's barbarity, wrested the dog from his hands, bore him to the open air, and gave him life and liberty; which he

; seemed to enjoy with all the bounding rapture of gladness and gratitude. If you should ever come this way, pray do not insist on seeing the experiment; it is not worth while ; the thing is ascertained; it is beyond a doubt that this vapour convulses and kills every breathing animal. You come next to the favourite fields of fancy and

po. etical fiction. The Campi Phlegrei, where Jupiter overcame the giants; the solfaterra still smoking, as if from the . effects of his thunder ; the Monte Nova, which was thrown suddenly from the bowels of the earth, as if the sons of Titan had intended to renew the war ; the Monte Barbaro,

; formerly Mons Gaurus, the favourite of Bacchus; the grotto of the Cumæan Sibyl ; the noxious and gloomy lakes of Avernus and Acheron; and the green bowers of Elysium.

The town of Puzzoli, and its environs, present such a number of objects, worthy of the attention of the antiquarian, the natural philosopher, and the classic scholar, that to describe all with the minuteness they deserve, would fill volumes.

The temple of Jupiter Serapis at Puzzoli, is accounted a very interesting monument of antiquity ; being quite different from the Roman and Greek temples, and built in the manner of the Asiatics, probably by the Egyptian and Asiatic merchants settled at Puzzoli, which was the great emporium of Italy, until the Romans built Ostia and Antium.

Sylla having abdicated the dictatorship, retired and passed the remainder of his life in this city.

The ruins of Cicero's villa, near this city, are of such extent, as to give a high idea of the wealth of this great orator. Had fortune always bestowed her gifts with so much propriety, she never would have been accused of

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blindness. When the truly great are blessed with riches, it affords pleasure to every candid mind. Neither this villa near Puzzoli, that at Tusculum, nor any of his other country-seats, were the scenes of idleness or riot. They are distinguished by the names of the works he composed there ; works which have always been the delight of the learned, and which, still more than the important services he rendered his country when in office, have contributed to immortalize his name.

The bay between Puzzoli and Baia is about a league in breadth. In crossing this in a boat, you see the ruins called Ponte di Caligula, from their being thought the remains of a bridge which Caligula attempted to build across. They are by others, with more probability, thought to be the ruins of a mole built with arches. Having pass. ed over this gulf, a new field of curiosities presents itself. The baths and prisons of Nero, the tomb of Agrippina, the temples of Venus, of Diana, and of Mercury, and the ruins of the ancient city of Cumæ; but no vestiges now remain of many of those magnificent villas which adorned this luxurious coast, nor even of the town of Baia. The whole of this beauteous bay, formerly the seat of pleasure, and, at one period, the most populous spot in Italy, is now very thinly inhabited ; and the con

; trast is still stronger between the ancient opulence and present poverty, than between the numbers of its ancient and present inhabitants. It must be acknowledged, that we can hardly look around us, in any part of this world, without perceiving objects which, to a contemplative mind, convey reflections on the instability of grandeur, and the sad vicissitudes and reverses to which human affairs are liable: but here those objects are so numerous, and so striking, that they must make an impression on the most careless passenger.

LETTER LXVII.

Naples. As the court are not at present at Casserta, we have not seen that place in all its splendour ; we passed, however, one very agreeable day there, with Lady Hamilton and Sir Harry Featherston.

The palace at Casserta was begun in the year 1750, af- . ter a plan of Vanvitelli; the work is now carried on under the direction of his son. While the present king of Spain remained at Naples, there were generally about two thousand workmen employed ; at present there are about five hundred. It will be finished in a few years, and will then, unquestionably, be one of the most spacious and magnificent palaces in Europe. It has been said, that London is too large a capital for the island of Great Britain ; and it has been compared to a turgid head placed on an emaciated body. The palace of Casserta also seems out of proportion with the revenues of this kingdom. It is not, properly speaking, a head too large for the body ; but rather an ornament, by much too expensive and bulky for either head or body.

body. This palace is situated about șixteen miles north from Naples, on the plain where ancient Capua stood. It was thought prudent to found a building, on which such sums of money were to be lavished, at a considerable distance from Mount Vesuvius. It were to be wished, that the contents of the cabinet at Por. tici were removed from the same dangerous neighbourhood. That he might not be limited in ground for the gardens, may have been his Spanish majesty's motive for choosing that his palace should be at a distance from Na. ples; and that it might not be exposed to insult from an enemy's fleet was probably the reason that determined him to place it at a distance from the sea.

This immense building is of a rectangular form, seven hundred and fifty feet English, by five hundred and eighty; about one hundred and twelve feet high, comprehending five habitable storeys, which contain such a

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number of apartments as will accommodate the most numerous court, without any accessary buildings.

The rectangle is divided into four courts, each of about two hundred and fifty-two feet by one hundred and seventy. In each of the two principal fronts, are three corresponding gates, forming three openings, which pierce the whole building. The middle gate forms the entry to a magnificent portico, through which the coaches drive. In the middle of this, and in the centre of the edifice, there is a vestibule of an octagonal form, which opens into the four grand courts at four sides of the octagon ; two other sides open into the portico, one to the staircase ; and, at the eighth side, there is a statue of Hercules, crowned by victory, with this inscription,

VIRTUS POST FORTIA FACTA CORONAT.* The grand staircase is adorned with the richest marble ; the upper vestibule, to which you ascend by this noble stair, is an octagon also, and surrounded by twenty-four pillars of yellow marble, each of which is of one piece of eighteen feet high, without including the pedestal or capital. From this upper vestibule there are entries into

But I have a notion you are tired of this description, which I assure you is likewise my case.

I beg, therefore, you may take it for granted, that the apartments within, particularly their majesties, and that destined for balls and theatrical entertainments, correspond with the magnificence of the external appearance.

Among the workmen employed in finishing this palace and the gardens, there are one hundred and fifty Africans; for as the king of Naples is constantly at war with the Barbary States, he always has a number of their sailors prisoners, all of whom are immediately employed as slaves in the galleys, or at some public work. There are at present at Casserta about the same number of Christian slaves; all of these have been condemned to this servitude for some crime, some of them for the greatest of all crimes ; they are, however, better clothed and fed than

• Virtue crowns him after many great achievements.

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