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deed, smiles upon them; but they seldom know her frowns. Doubtless, there is much delight in the simple dolce far niente, much spontaneous joy in the social ex. citement of the scene, to which the Italians of every class are peculiarly susceptible. A festa in Italy, however, must ever be more or less of a mystery to one wed. ded to a cold philosophy. And yet I pity the man who can roam through such a village, at such a season, and not breathe more freely, and catch a ray of pleasure from the light-hearted triflers around him. He may be wise ; he must be heartless.
The festa of Pescia was ushered in, as usual, by a religious ceremonial. The principal church was arrayed . in crimson and gold, and illuminated with hundreds of tapers. Mass was performed, and, for several hours, a choir and an orchestra made the vaulted roof resound with sacred melody. No peasant seemed satisfied till his brow was moistened with the holy water, and his knees had pressed the steps of the altar. The responses once uttered, and the benediction received, they hastened again into the open air, to chat with their fellows from the ad. joining district, or treat some favorite maiden to an ice. In the afternoon, they flocked into the main street, to see
Three or four horses, without riders, decked out in gilt paper, and with briars shaking at their sides, are started from a certain point. The crowd part before them, and shout to quicken their career. No drunkenness is seen, and the only apparent excess, is that of harmless buffoonery. An illumination closed the festa. In the evening, every window was studded with lights, and
as they gleamed upon the throng below, the village lost every trace of its homely and every-day aspect, and seemed a spot consecrated to romance. Then, all the women appeared beautiful. The hum of conversation swelled upon the night breeze, Laughter echoed through the streets. Children danced over the pavement in transport. Old men walked slowly, smiling to their friends. Lovers side by side, grew bold in their endearments. Jokes were bandied freely. All deemed the hour one of those lapses in the monotonous tide of life, when the deep of existence ripples sportively, lulling to momentary oblivvion all bitter memories, and throwing nought but bright sparkles on the sands of time. Amid the surrounding hills, from the shadowy olive-woods, numberless lamps twinkled in fantastic groups. On their summits, lights were arranged in the form of crosses.
The sacred symbol glittered thus from afar, like the vision of Constantine in the sky. On the churches, the lamps followed the lines of the architect, making them appear like temples built of stars. And above all, in the midst of the solemn firmament, the full moon sailed in unclouded beauty, as if to smile upon and hallow the transient reign of human festivity.
LEAF FROM A LOG.
Once more upon the waters !
PICTURES of sea-life generally present the two extremes of truth. When drawn by the professional mariner, the shadows are often kept wholly out of view, and when depicted by one to whom the element itself and all the associations of shipboard are uncongenial, we have Dr. Johnson's summary opinion re-echoed with the endorsement of experience. Life at sea, as everywhere else, is a chequered scene. Nothing can exceed the melancholy of a cloudy day on the ocean, to the heart of one fresh from endeared localities. The grey sky, the chilly air and the boundless, dark mass of water rolling in sullen gloom, fill the mind with sombre images. And when night comes over the deep and the voyager retires to his cabin, to muse over the friends and sweet places of the earth left behind, -the creaking of the strained timbers, the swaying of the flickering lamp, and the gurgling of the waves at the stern, deepen the desolate sensations that weigh upon his heart. On the other hand, what can give more buoyancy to the spirits than a bright, clear day at sea, when with a fair wind and every sail filled, the noble vessel rushes gallantly through the water? It must be confessed, however, that there are few occasions of more keen enjoyment than going on shore, after a long voyage. Life seems renewed, and old impressions become fresh when the loneliness of the ocean is all at once exchanged for the busy haunts of men, the narrow deck for the crowded street, the melan. choly expanse of waves for the variegated garniture of earth. When naught has met the eye for many weeks but sea and sky, when the social excellencies of a party have been too largely drawn upon to be keenly relished, and the novelties of voyaging have become familiar, the hour of landing is anticipated with an eagerness only to be realized by experience.
It was with no little impatience that we awaited the dawn after casting anchor in the bay of Gibraltar. In this instance delay was more irksome, as our arrange. ments precluded more than a day's sojourn on the celebrated rock. We found the town in a state of unusual excitement from a report which was current, of the near approach of the troops of Don Carlos. The people of Saint Roque, the nearest Spanish town, were flocking into the gates, many of the poorer classes laden with their household effects. Never, to me, were the con. rasts between sea and land more striking. The wild cry of the mariners had scarcely died away upon our
ears, when they were greeted with the hum of commerce, and the enlivening strains of martial music. As we proceeded, groups of Jews were seen moving towards the synagogue, their dark robes and grey beards blending with the bright uniforms of the English officers who gravely trod the crowded pavement. A swarthy peasant with a steeple-crowned hat, was violently beating his mules in the middle of the street, while directly under the wall, a Spanish lady, with graceful steps, glided on to mass. But our attention was soon completely absorbed in a survey of the fortifications. Many hours were spent in clambering over the rock, now pausing to note the picturesque aspect of a Moorish castle, and now to admire the marvellous vegetation of a little garden, planted on a narrow shelf of the fortress. luxuriant aloe threw up its blue and spear-like leaves above the grey stone; and there, a venerable goat was perched motionless upon a projecting clitf. We wandered through the extensive galleries cut in the solid rock, one moment struck with the immense resources of na. ture, and the next, delighted by some admirable device of art. The light streaming the loop-holes, the large dark cannon, and the extraordinary number and extent of these galleries, fill the mind with a kind of awe. At one of the most central points, we paused and gazed down upon the bay. Our vessel seemed dwindled to the size of a pleasure-boat. Opposite, appeared the town of Algeciras, and immediately below, the neutral land between the Spanish and British territory. This is the duelling-ground of the garrison, and near by is a cluster