I spent 8 days in London, 17 in Paris and 6 in Rome; doing to one city about as much justice as to the other, in those various periods of time; but if one would come to Rome first, he would not be able to tear himself away in less than a few weeks. No one should travel any other way than against the course of civilization, on his first visit to Europe. In my course from Liverpool to Rome I enjoyed new sights in a constant flow, like that of a steady rain. I do not believe that it would be well for an American to be abruptly transported to Rome and awake one morning there. The strange sights would assail him suddenly, like a flood of angry waters!
Rome to Brindisi.
From Rome I went to Pompeii, stopping long enough at Naples, however, to learn that the impudence of the pestiferous porters is quite unendurable. Italy throughout is much infested with porters, but in the southern section of the peninsula they are a regular pest, which at times becomes epidemic. During the traveling season it seems as if everybody was a porter. Sometimes they will surround the traveler and assail him on every side, asking him to let them carry his baggage. Sometimes I found them to be of great service in finding hotels for me, but at other times I was much inconvenienced by their attacks. I think it was at Naples, where a dozen or more of them yelled at me all at the same time, each desirous of carrying my satchel. As none of them could speak in a language that I understood, I declined to let any one have it. Each one evinced his earnestness by taking hold of my baggage while asking for it. After taking turns at their chances in this way for a while, at the same time crowding the path in front of me so that I could not proceed, one of them in his greediness almost tore my satchel out of my hands, I responded to his supplication with such a tremendous no, that the next fellow assumed a stooping posture and asked me in a whisper! These people deserve our pity rather than censure. Many of them are evidently sometimes in a famishing condition. But few who have not seen, can form an idea of the poverty which reigns in some sections of Southern Italy, especially between Naples and Brindisi. I saw children running about in this section, that had little of clothing save a shirt, which was generally torn in every part; some few, below the age of about six or eight years, had not even a thread of clothing upon their bodies. An elderly man that was plowing with a pair of oxen, as is the custom in Italy, was accompanied by his wife who was well dressed, but he wore only a shirt that reached to his knees, and a hat. I spent a Sunday at Brindisi, and observed that people keep no Sunday there. All the people wear old and tattered garments, and I could not see a hat, a coat or a pair of pantaloons on the person of one of the hundreds that thronged the market-place all Sunday, that looked as if it had been new at any time within the last few years!