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Nisida - Celebrated Crimes by Alexandre Dumas père
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If our readers, tempted by the Italian proverb about seeing Naples and
then dying, were to ask us what is the most favourable moment for
visiting the enchanted city, we should advise them to land at the mole,
or at Mergellina, on a fine summer day and at the hour when some solemn
procession is moving out of the cathedral. Nothing can give an idea of
the profound and simple-hearted emotion of this populace, which has
enough poetry in its soul to believe in its own happiness. The whole
town adorns herself and attires herself like a bride for her wedding; the
dark facades of marble and granite disappear beneath hangings of silk and
festoons of flowers; the wealthy display their dazzling luxury, the poor
drape themselves proudly in their rags. Everything is light, harmony,
and perfume; the sound is like the hum of an immense hive, interrupted by
a thousandfold outcry of joy impossible to describe. The bells repeat
their sonorous sequences in every key; the arcades echo afar with the
triumphal marches of military bands; the sellers of sherbet and
water-melons sing out their deafening flourish from throats of copper.
People form into groups; they meet, question, gesticulate; there are
gleaming looks, eloquent gestures, picturesque attitudes; there is a
general animation, an unknown charm, an indefinable intoxication. Earth
is very near to heaven, and it is easy to understand that, if God were to
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