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has sustained it, who little dreamed that countless waves would sweep over it, and that monsters of the sea would banquet on it! What sharp agony may have shot through the brain it once contained, on seeing the approach of a death from which there was no hope of escape! The eye-balls that once filled these empty sockets had glared in the fearful throes of nature, shrinking from the presence of the king of terrors, and glanced in wild despair from the boiling, hissing surges that every instant threatened destruction, up to the frowning skies, that lowered, as if in anger, at the wretched mortals exposed to the fury of the elements beneath. How many thoughts of loved objects, never again to be beheld, rush into the mind at such an hour. The past is all crowded into the memory with a vividness that renders the present more appalling; and the prayers, rather shrieked than uttered, are wrung from the heart by the extremity of mortal agony and despair. Vainly, ah! how vainly has the return of this poor sufferer been expected and desired! Far from home, the victim's remains are scattered o'er the deep, and remote shores receive a portion of that frame which never can be gathered to its native earth. Little thought the fond mother who had watched the infancy of this luckless being, that a creature so loved would become the prey of the devouring deep; and that the limbs which had been kissed with all a mother's tenderness, would one day be rudely torn asunder, and driven by relentless waves to different lands. An all-wise Providence, knowing our weakness, has mercifully shut the book of fate from our sight; for who could bear to look forward,
and see in dread array the ills we are doomed to undergo!
The number of towns scattered along the coast add much to the beauty of the scenery; their sites are generally on some eminence commanding a prospect of the sea, and the whiteness of the stone, and the open colonnades of many of the houses, have a very fine effect. About a mile from Oneglia stands Port Maurice, which seems a flourishing place. On a high rock that overhangs the ocean, and with a long colonnade in front, a very handsome church has just been completed. Towns or villages of considerable size are to be met at every six or seven miles along this route ; but they have no inns where a traveller could remain for a night, although small albergas afford the means of refreshment for the mules and muleteers.
Noli, 29th.-Left Oneglia at seven o'clock yesterday morning, and arrived at Finalé at half-past five. It is a place of considerable extent and beautifully situated On entering, we met processions of white, red, and grey penitents; for this being passion week, religious ceremonies and duties occupy all monastic orders. A hood covers the head, with holes cut through it for the eyes; and the monks thus habited present a very extraordinary appearance.
The rooms at Finalé were so untempting that we determined to proceed on our route, and commanded our dinner to be served on a large balcony of the inn overhanging the sea. Dining in the open air at halfpast five on the 27th of March! How incredible this would appear in England ! and yet it is the simple truth. Although the dinner was not the most récherché, a long journey on our mules had given us appetites to enjoy it; and the view from the spot where we partook of it added to the pleasure of the repast. We beheld the sun sink into his ocean bed, while the waves were tinged with his last rays. Our host, who attended us at dinner, spoke so much in praise of the church of his native town, and seemed so desirous that we should see it, that malgré we had no great curiosity, and that the shadows of night had already descended, we yielded to his intreaties. The church was partially illuminated, which enabled us to perceive that its pillars and altars were of the richest marbles, and painting and gilding had not been spared in its decoration. There is, to say the truth, too much decoration in foreign churches, where the glare and glitter remind one more of a place dedicated to theatrical exhibitions than to the most solemn and important of all duties—prayer.
We left Finalé late in the evening and proceeded to Noli, where our courier had preceded us, to make the necessary preparations for our passing the night. We traversed a route presenting equally beautiful and romantic scenery to that which we had previously passed, and which, beheld by moonlight, lost none of its charms. Never had I seen this lustrous orb rise with such splendour. It seemed to ascend from the ocean, and when only half revealed, the effect was indescribably beautiful. But when arisen above its glassy surface, which was silvered all over with her beams, making the sea, as far as the eye could reach, appear one vast sheet of molten silver, and casting
a broad mellow light on the rocks and masses of wood, the scene was magical ; and rendered perfectly intelligible to me the Italian ambassador's declaration, that the moon in his favoured land was brighter than the sun in ours. How different was the glorious luminary that shed a radiance over our path, and whose beams infused a genial warmth through the atmosphere, to the cold pale orb we behold in our chilly climate, when not even warm cloaks can prevent our feeling the freezing blast, if we venture to brave the night air in March !
The variation in the scenery of the route along the Cornice is as striking as it is beautiful. In some parts the rich and fertile landscape is exchanged for one in which nought but the sea, the sands, and the lofty rocks that rise as a barrier to defend the land from its approach, are visible. These rocks are in many places above six hundred feet high; their colour is of a deep red mixed with black and light grey, and their ensemble looked magnificent by moonlight. No herbage or trees are to be seen for two or three miles to break the sublime grandeur of the scene; but a few wild aloes, that grow prodigiously high, spring among the clefts of the rocks and add much to the picturesque effect. No sound is heard in these deserted parts of the route, save the murmur of the waves, as they break upon
the shore, and the echo of the footsteps of the mules. I observed that not only our party, but the muleteers also, became silent as we traversed these solitary places. Their wild sublimity checked the cheerful loquacity in which at other times they were prone to indulge, and they, like us, seemed to feel the influence of the scenery.
Between Finalé and Varigotte we passed through a grotto or tunnel, formed by piercing a huge rock that protruded on the line of the road. It is of considerable height, and wide enough to admit of three or four horses travelling abreast. Farther on we traversed two other grottos, one about twenty feet in length and the other above three hundred. This last is an admirable proof of what may be achieved by the perseverance and industry of man, who has conquered what must have appeared an insurmountable obstacle to the formation of this route. On entering this grotto, we observed the light which was admitted by the other entrance, and which, seen at the distance, looked round and bright as the moon.
When arrived at the middle of the grotto we were nearly in obscurity; and there was something Radcliffish in the darkness and shadowy appearance of our party, the echo of whose voices sounded very sepulchral as they reverberated beneath the arched roof. Many of the chains of rocks that bound the coast of the Mediterranean between Finalé and Noli are of stupendous height; some large chasms on them resembling immense portals and windows, while the road, which is formed on a ledge, appears like a balcony overhanging the sea. Seen by moonlight, they give the idea of some gigantic palace, the residence of the genii of the place.
Noli is about a mile from the last and largest of the grottos, and is a long straggling village built on the beach, immediately fronting the sea.
The inn was crowded with guests, who were occupied in supping, singing, and smoking, and was redolent of the mingled odours of garlic, tobacco, and fried fish. At one