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only put it on for the honour of the ceremony, it was now become ufelefs fince that was ended; that, for his part, he had done all he had to do, and would now return to his hook and line." Being, however, made to understand that it would be very indecent to ftrip in the church, and in the fight of fo many perfons, he accompanied the viceroy; who, with all the nobility and gentry, went in proceffion through the moft public ftreets of the city, and then returned to the caftle. Mafaniello having there taken leave of his Excellency, retired to his houfe in the market-place, through all the acclamations and bleffings that were due from the people to the great reftorer of privileges.
Thus ended that happy day, which crowned all Naples with joy; and the next day, Mafaniello, as the author of this great change, was congratulated by, and received the compliments of, feveral of the nobility and gentry, the minifters of flate, and almoft all the ecclefiaftics and religious orders of the city.
Such were the honours beftowed upon this poor fisherman. But there is a certain point to which thefe fudden elevations are permit
ted to rife; a boundary which they feldom exceed. The more bright the glare of thefe political meteors, the fooner do they evapo
Of this, Mafaniello is a moft confpicuous proof. He, who from the feventh day of July to the thirteenth, had behaved himself with fo much wisdom and kingly authority, and in that short period had perfected a revolution as extraordinary as beneficial to his fellow-citizens, on a fudden, to the surprise of every one, exhibited figns of infanity. His late behaviour in the cathedral, where he was about publicly to difrobe himself, feems to have been the first visible prelude to it. It afterwards fhewed itself in various fhapes ;-fuch as, the moft ludicrous behaviour to the archbishop of Santa Severina, and fome others ;--by riding full fpeed through the streets of Naples, abufing, maiming, or kicking whoever had the misfortune to come in his way ;--and by many other pranks that too plainly indicated a mind deranged.
Numberlefs were the caufes to which this fudden alteration in Mafaniello has been attributed. Some were of opinion, that the ftupendous height of power to which he had
arrived as it were in an inftant, made him giddy, and overturned his reafon. Others would have it to have been occafioned by the great and continual fatigues he had undergone, as he fcarcely allowed himself to take the natural refreshments of food or fleep. But the most probable and most received opinion was, that the viceroy had caused an intoxicating draught to be given him, which, by inflaming his blood, fhould make him commit fuch extravagances as would oblige the people to defpife and forfake him.
About three o'clock in the afternoon, Mafaniello went to the palace, having a ragged coat on his back, only one stocking, and without either hat, fword, or band; and fhewing himself in this condition to the viceroy, told him that he was almoft ftarved, and would fain eat fomething: whereupon his Excellency commanded fomething to be brought and fet before the Lord Mafaniello; to which he replied, that it was no matter, for he did not then come to eat, but to defire his Excellency to accompany him as far as Pofilipfo, where they would take a collation together, having provided every thing neceffary for that purpofe. As foon as he had faid this, he gave a call, and immediately feveral mari
ners came in, laden with all forts of fruits and dainties.
But the viceroy, who was not in a humour to drink with a crazy fisherman, excused himfelf on account of a pain in his head, with which he faid he was that moment taken. He, however, ordered his own gondola to be made ready; and when it was prepared, Mafaniello went on board, forty feluccas attending him, filled with perfons, who used their utmost endeavours to divert him; some of them dancing, fome playing upon mufical inftruments, and others diving to pick up pieces of gold, which he threw from time to time into the fea.
This agreeable airing, instead of refreshing him, rather contributed to extinguish that fmall fpark of reason that was left in him, and wholly deprived him of his fenfes; for it is faid, that, in going and coming, he drank no less than twelve bottles of a strong-bodied wine, called Lachrymæ Chrifti, which fo dried up his brain, that he was never after seen to act or to speak in cool blood.
While Mafaniello was upon this excurfion, his wife went to vifit the vice-queen, in
a new coach, which the duke of Mataloni (whofe efcape we had before noticed) had bespoke for his wedding-day, and for which he was to pay eight thousand ducats. She was magnificently dreffed, and had about her a vast quantity of rich jewels, that had been prefented to her by his Excellency. The vice-queen gave her an honourable reception; and having treated her very fplendidly, and put upon her finger a ring of great value, the returned home, very well pleased. Her hufband's mother, and his two fifters, who had accompanied her in this vifit, likewise received tokens of her Excellency's kindness.
After Mafaniello's return from Pofilipfo, he committed fo many extravagant acts, that the citizens were greatly offended thereby, and came to a refolution to confine him; but none could find in his heart to take away the life of the deliverer of his country. This refolution was not, however, powerful enough to remove the fears of the viceroy, who trembled at his very name. He accordingly employed four confpirators, who difpatched him by a mufquet fhot from each, as he was playing his mad pranks in the church of Carmine.
The affaffins having cut off his head, fixed