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meetings repay the hardships and sacrifices by which they are bought, and constitute the brave and hardy sailor's reward for all his toils and perils.
27th.—The most kind and hospitable of men is our minister to the Sardinian court; a gentleman
; equally popular and esteemed by the Genoese as by his own compatriots. He leaves nothing undone to render a residence here agreeable to the English, and I am only surprised that more of my migrating countrymen do not take up their abodes in a place that offers so many attractions. House-rent is peculiarly cheap: a good suite of apartments, containing from sixteen to twenty rooms, may be rented at Genoa for fifty or sixty guineas a-year, and a very splendid suite for about double that sum. Provisions are of an excellent quality and very moderate price; and the government affords protection and encouragement to strangers, unless they forfeit it by an interference in politics, which too many are prone to do. The climate is good, though not free from the excessive heat of summer found so troublesome all over the south; and is exempt from the rigour of winter, which is the general objection to towns situated so near high mountains. The narrowness of the streets is the worst feature of this city, and would, in case of epidemic diseases, render it peculiarly liable to retain and extend the malady. Few English pass through Genoa, and still fewer make any stay here. This circumstance, Byron says, was its chief recommendation to him in selecting it as a residence; and it might also offer an inducement to persons with
limited fortunes, by preventing the advance in houserent and provisions, which never fails to follow the settlement of English families in any continental town, rendering many of them as expensive as London,
29th.—Byron dined with us to-day—our last dinner together for Heavens know how long-perhaps, for ever! We were none of us in a gay mood, and Byron least of all. He talked despondingly of his expedition to Greece, wished he had not pledged himself to go; but added, that having promised, he now felt bound to fulfil his
engagement. His state of health is certainly not such as would warrant a man to undertake an expedition likely to expose him to personal hardship. He looks paler and more attenuated than when I first saw him, and his nervous system is still more deranged; a fact which is evinced by the frequency of his rapid transitions from deep depression to a reckless gaiety, which as quickly subsides into sadness. He cannot break through the ties that bind him to Italy without deep regret ; and it is evident that his thoughts, even in society, are often dwelling on this point. His parting with the Countess Guiccioli will be a severe trial to his feelings; for though the fervour of passion may have subsided, the devotion and disinterestedness which this lady has displayed towards him, have excited a sentiment of attachment that will never be effaced from his heart, and which must render the hour of separation ineffably painful. I have never seen her, and am told she seldom goes beyond the garden of the Saluzzi - Palace, and never enters Genoa. This total seclusion in one so young and fair, and in her own country where liaisons similar to hers with Byron meet with no reprehension, and entail no exclusion from society, argues the existence of a deep sentiment of affection on her part, which cannot fail to have created a lively gratitude in its object; notwithstanding he may not always have been able to vanquish that waywardness, which in some degree unfits him for insuring the happiness of domestic life. Byron has offered to pay us a visit at Naples, if, before we leave it, he can get away from Greece. He wishes to see Pompeii and the environs, of the beauties of which he has formed a high notion, and talked with pleasure of sailing in the bay in the Bolivar.
31st.-Captain Doyle and some of his officers dined with us to-day. They sail on the 2nd, the day on which we too leave Genoa. My heart yearns for home, although I am anxious to see Italy; and when I look from my window at the brave ship that will soon glide over the sea to its native shore, I almost wish I was to be one of its
June 1st.-Genoa is dressed for a religious festival to-day : the fronts of the houses through which the procession is to pass are hung with draperies of velvet, damask, and silk of the richest and most varied dyes. The images of Madonnas and saints, placed in niches in the streets, are apparelled in the gayest dresses, in honour of the day, and are as fine as bright-coloured
silks, gauzes, tinsel, false stones, and flowers, can make them. I have seen the procession go to the church. The royal family, in full dress, formed a part of it; and the priests, with vestments and surplices stiff with gold and silver embroidery, and with ric canopies held over their heads, followed, attended by boys clothed in snowy white, bearing silver censers, from which ascended blue wreaths of smoke, impregnated with sweet odours that filled the air with perfume.
All the insignia of the Roman Catholic religion were borne along in this numerous train; and
among the most conspicuous was an ark of solid silver, ornamented by beautiful carving, and sparkling with a profusion of precious stones with which it was studded. This ark was placed on a platform or pedestal, and had a very rich effect. The whole coup-d'æil reminded me of the antique alti-relievi which I have seen, representing the triumphant entry of a Roman conqueror with the spoils he had taken, or some of the processions in Pagan worship represented on medals. The windows were filled with ladies richly habited, and the scene was gorgeous and picturesque.
Having been told that a religious celebration in a neighbouring village on the sea-shore was well worth seeing, we drove there, and were repaid by a display of a totally different and far more interesting kind. A vast number of peasants, male and female, attired in their fête-day dresses, formed of such varied and bright colours that at a distance they looked like a moving parterre, filled with tulips, first attracted our attention. The women wore richly embroidered bodices and white petticoats; their hair braided exactly as I
have seen that of an antique statue, and crowned with flowers and large combs, or bodkins of gold filagree. Their earrings, of the same costly material, nearly descended to the shoulders ; and around their necks were chains, from which hung crosses and medallions with the images of Madonnas and saints. They wore large rings, resembling the shields used by ladies to preserve their fingers when employed at needlework, and shoes of the most brilliant colours, with silver buckles that nearly covered the fronts of them. These gay dresses formed a striking and pleasing contrast with the sombre black and brown robes of the monks ; and the gold brocaded vestments and stoles of the priests were as admirably relieved by the snowy surplices of the boys who attended them.
The processiom moved along under an arcade of green foliage erected for the occasion on the sea-shore, the waves approaching to its very limit, and their gentle murmur, as they broke on the sand, mingling with the voices of the multitude as they chanted a sonorous hymn. The blue sky above, and the placid, azure sea, by the side of which the procession advanced, with the sunbeams glancing through the open arches of foliage on the bright colours of the dresses of the priests and women, formed a beautiful picture, from which not even the deaths' heads nor grotesque images of saints and martyrs could detract. The monks, bearing these sad mementos of mortality, wore cowls, with holes cut for the eyes, and cross-bones painted on their breasts. Some of them held banners on which were represented various insignia of death-the whole scene reminding one of the old mysteries of the middle