The “Leopold,” a splendid Tuscan steamer plying between Marseilles and Naples, had just doubled Procida Point. The passengers, cured of their sea-sickness by the sight of land, most efficacious of all remedies, were all out on deck. On the part reserved for the first-class passengers, stood a number of Englishmen endeavoring to get away as far as possible from each other and to trace around themselves a circle none might venture to enter. Their splenetic faces were carefully shaven, their cravats had not a wrinkle, their shirt collars, white and stiff, looked like triangles of Bristol board, their hands were protected by brand-new Suede gloves, and their new boots shone with Lord Elliot’s blacking. They looked as if they had just emerged from one of the compartments of their dressing-cases, for in their correct get-up there were visible none of the little disorders of dress which are the usual consequences of travel.
There were noblemen, members of Parliament, city merchants, tailors from Regent Street, and cutlers from Sheffield, all proper, grave, motionless, and bored. Nor were ladies wanting, for Englishwomen are not sedentary like the women of other lands, and the smallest pretext suffices to justify their leaving their island. By the side of the great ladies and of the wives of commoners, somewhat ripe beauties, with blotchy faces, bloomed, their faces half concealed by their blue veils, maidens with complexions of milk and roses, with shimmering golden tresses, and long white teeth, recalling the favourite types of “Keepsakes,” and proving that english engravings are not so untrue to life as if often said.