Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Leaving Malta

‘December 13, [Naples].--We left Malta on this day, and after a most picturesque voyage between the coast of Sicily and Malta arrived here on the 17th, where we were detained for quarantine, whence we were not dismissed till the day before Christmas. I saw Charles, to my great joy, and agreed to dine with his master, Right Hon. Mr. Hill, resolving it should be my first and last engagement at Naples. Next morning much struck with the beauty of the Bay of Naples. It is insisted that my arrival has been a signal for the greatest eruption from Vesuvius which that mountain has favoured us with for many a day. I can only say, as the Frenchman said of the comet supposed to foretell his own death, "Ah, messieurs, la comète me fait trop d'honneur." Of letters I can hear nothing. There are many English here, of most of whom I have some knowledge.

Naples is sounding pretty good right about now, with winter temperatures finally arriving.  Scott arrived on December 13, 1831 (per his journal), and did not leave until April 16th, the following year.  From Naples, the Scott tour headed to Rome.  Scott’s bid to regain health succeeded only so far, as he lived less than six months past April.

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