Our evening’s walk was directed towards the burying-ground appointed here to receive the bodies of our countrymen, and consecrated according to the rites of the Anglican church: for here, under protection of a factory, we enjoy that which is vainly sought for under the auspices of a king’s ambassador.—Here we have a churchyard of our own, and are not condemned as at other towns in Italy, to be stuffed into a hole like dogs, after having spent our money among them like princes. Prejudice however is not banished from Leghorn, though convenience keeps all in good-humour with each other. The Italians fail not to class the subjects of Great Britain among the Pagan inhabitants of the town, and to distinguish themselves, say, “Noi altri Christiani[Footnote: We that are Christians.]:” their aversion to a Protestant, conceal it as they may, is ever implacable; and the last day only will convince them that it is criminal.
Coelum non animum mutant[Footnote: One changes one’s sky but not one’s soul.], is an old observation; I passed this afternoon in confirming the truth of it among the English traders settled here: whose conversation, manners, ideas, and language, were so truly Londonish, so little changed by transmigration, that I thought some enchantment had suddenly operated, and carried me to drink tea in the regions of Bucklersbury.
Well! it is a great delight to see such a society subsisting in Italy after all; established where distress may run for refuge, and sickness retire to prepare for lasting repose; whence narrowness of mind is banished by principles of universal benevolence, and prejudice precluded by Christian charity: where the purse of the British merchant, ever open to the poor, is certain to succour and to soothe affliction; and where it is agreed that more alms are given by the natives of our island alone, than by all the rest of Leghorn, and the palaces of Pisa put together.
I have here finished that work which chiefly brought me hither; the Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson’s Life. It is from this port they take their flight for England, while we retire for refreshment to the
But not only the waters here are admirable, every look from every window gives images unentertained before; sublimity happily wedded with elegance, and majestick greatness enlivened, yet softened by taste.
The haughty mountain St. Juliano lifting its brown head over our house on one side, the extensive plain stretched out before us on the other; a gravel walk neatly planted by the side of a peaceful river, which winds through a valley richly cultivated with olive yards and vines; and sprinkled, though rarely, with dwellings, either magnificent or pleasing: this lovely prospect, bounded only by the sea, makes a variety incessant as the changes of the sky; exhibiting early tranquillity, and evening splendour by turns.