picturesfromitaly

advertisement
I
NEW AND REVISED
IN
EDITION OF "OLIVER TWIST,"
TEN MONTHLY PARTS.
Publishing in Monthly Parts, price One Shilling each, toith Two Illustrations
on Steel, (uniform with " The Pickwick Papers,")
OLIVER TWIST.
BY
CHARLES DICKENS.
ILLUSTKATED BY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK.
-
^*
This Edition has been carefully corrected by the Author thi-oughout, and
it will contain the whole of the original Illustrations.
A NEW ENGLISH STORY,
BY MR. DICKENS,
In Twenty Monthly Parts, price One Shilling each, uniform with
"Martin Chuzzlewit," &c.
IS
No.
I. icill be
NOW
IN PREPARATION.
published on the First of October.
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
PICTURES FROM
ITALY.c
BY
CHARLES DICKENS.
The Vignette
Illustrations
The
on Wood, ty Samuel Palmer.
Street of the
Tombs: Pompeii.
LONDON:
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR,
BY
BRADBURY &
EVANS, WHITEFRIARS.
iwncccxLvr.
LONDON
BRADBURY AND EVANS, PniNTERr, WHITErRIARS.
:
CONTENTS.
PAGE
THE reader's passport
.......
GOING THROUGH FRANCE
LYONS,
THE RHONE, AND THE GOBLIN OF AVIGNON
AVIGNON TO GENOA
GENOA AND
ITS
NEIGHBOURHOOD
.
.
5
.
17
.
30
.38
.
TO PARMA, MODENA, AND BOLOGNA
84
THROUGH BOLOGNA AND FERRARA
AN ITALIAN DREAM
1
.
.98
.
.
'
.
.
„
.
.
.
BY VERONA, MANTUA, AND MILAN, ACROSS THE
THE SIMPLON INTO SWITZERLAND
.
.
.
107
PASS OF
.
.
.
120
TO ROME BY PISA AND SIENA
144
ROME
165
A RAPID DIORAMA
TO NAPLES
233
NAPLES
237
POMPEII
— HERCULANEUM
243
P.ESTUM
247
VESUVIUS
248
RETURN TO NAPLES
255
MONTE CASSINO
261
FLORENCE
265
FTi
a
i^eatret^is
passport.
If the readers of this vokime
will be so
^^
(nl
¥\
^'
w
kind as to take their
t:
credentials for the different places
i^'id
^Yhich
are
the
of
subject
its
author's reminiscences, from the
Author
may
himself,
visit
perhaps
they
them, in fancy,
the
more agreeably, and with a better
understanding of what they are
to expect.
Many books
upon
have been written
Italy, affording
many means
of studying the history of that
ininteresting coimtn-, and the
numerable associations entwined
^^
m
^s^aj<
;'5rSJ
i
rii^^^
THE VILLA D\tSlE
^.m
&.J
IIVOLI
,i: -'?"-;
FROM THE CYPRESS AVENUE.
THE header's passport.
2
about
it.
I
information
;
sequence of
my own
for
make but
not at
my
little
all
reference to that stock of
regarding
lia\ing
as a necessaiy con-
it
had recourse
to the storehouse
benefit, that I should reproduce its easily
accessible contents before the eyes of
readers.
my
Neither will there be fomid, in these pages, any grave
examination into the government or misgovemment of
any portion of the country. No visiter of that beautiful
land can fail to have a strong conviction on the subject
;
but as I chose when residing there, a Foreigner, to
abstain from the discussion of any such questions with
any order of Italians, so I would rather not enter on the
inquiry now.
During
my
twelve months' occupation of
a house at Genoa, I never found that authorities constitutionally jealous, were distrustful of
me
;
and I should
be Sony to give them occasion to regret their free courmyself or any of my countrymen.
probably, not a famous Pictm'e or Statue in
tesy, either to
There
is,
but could be easily bmied under a mountain of
prmted paper devoted to dissertations on it. I do not,
therefore, though an earnest admirer of Painting and
all Italy,
Sculptm"e, expatiate at any length on famous Pictures
and Statues.
This Book
is
a
series
—
shadows in the water
of
of
faint
reflections
places to
—mere
which the ima-
ginations of most people are attracted in a gi'eater or
less degree,
on which mine had dwelt
which have some interest
the
for all.
to
and
greater part of
on the spot, and sent
I do not
time, in private letters.
descriptions were written
home, from time
The
for years,
THE EEADEr's passport.
mention the circumstance as an excuse
they
may
present,
for
for
any defects
would be none; but as a
it
Reader that they were at least penned
guarantee
in the fulness of the subject, and with the liveliest
to the
impressions of novelty and freshness.
If they have ever a fanciful and idle
perhaps the
reader will suppose them written in the shade of a Sunny
Day, in the midst of the objects of which they treat, and
air,
them none the worse
for having such influences
them.
upon
I hope I am not likely to be misunderstood by Professors of the Roman Catholic faith, on account of any-
will like
of the country
I have done my best,
thing contained in these pages.
in one of my former
productions, to do justice to them
;
and I
trust,
m this,
they will do justice to
mention any exhibition that impressed
disagreeable, I do not seek to connect
me.
me
When
as absurd or
or recognise
it,
I
it
as necessarily connected, with, any essentials of their
When
creed.
I treat of the ceremonies of the
I merely treat of their effect,
Week,
Holy
and do not
chal-
lenge the good and learned Dr. Wiseman's intei^retation of their meaning.
When I hint a dislike of
nunneries for young
girls
who abjure the world
before
they have ever proved or known it; or doubt the ex
I do no more
officio sanctity of all Priests and Friars
;
than
many
home.
I
conscientious Catholics both abroad and at
'
have hkened these Pictures
to
shadows in the
water, and would fain hope that I have, nowhere, stirred
the water so roughly, as to
mar
B 2
the shadows.
I could
THE READERS PASSPORT.
4
never desire to be on better terms with
all
than now, when distant mountains
once more, in
my
path.
For
I
rise,
my
need not hesitate to avow,
friends
that,
bent
on correcting a brief mistake I made, not long ago,
in disturbing the old relations between
myself and
my
and departing
readers,
old pm'suits,
I
in Switzerland
I can at once
am
for
about to
a
moment from my
resume them,
joyfully,
where, during another year of absence,
work out the themes I have now in my
:
mind, without interruption
and, while I keep
English audience within speaking distance, extend
:
knowledge of a noble country, inexpressibly
to me.
This book
it
is
made
among
who
described, with interest
reader
I
s
to
me
if
I could hope,
means, to compare impressions with some
its
the multitudes
And
attractive
as accessible as possible, because
would be a great pleasure
through
my
my
will hereafter visit the scenes
and
delight.
have only now, in passport wise, to slietch my
portrait, which I hope may be thus suppositi-
tiously traced for either sex
:
—
Complexion
Fair.
Eyes
Very cheerful.
Not supercilious.
Nose
Mouth
.
Visage
General Expression
Smiling.
Beaming.
Extremely agreeable.
THE COLOSSEUM OF ROMS.
GOING THROUGH FRANCE.
N
a fine Sunday morning in the
Midsummer time
and weather of eighteen hundred and
it
was,
my
good friend,
when—
forty-foui',
don't be alarmed;
not when
might have been observed slowly
making their way over that picturesque and broken ground
by which the first chapter of a Middle Aged novel is
two travellers
usually attained
—but
when an English
travelling car-
riage of considerable proportions, fresh fi'om the shady
halls of the Panteclniicon near Belgrave-square,
London,
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
6
was observed (by a very small French soldier; for I
saw him look at it) to issue from the gate of the Hotel
Memice
in the
am
I
Rue
PJvoli at Paris.
no more bound
to
why
explain
the English
family travelling by this carriage, inside and out, should
be starting for Italy on a Sunday morning, of all good
days in the week, than I am to assign a reason for all the
little
men
France being soldiers, and
which is the invariable rule.
in
postilions:
some
and
sort of reason for
what they
their reason for being there at
did, I
all,
that they were going to live in fair
all
the big
men
But, they had
have no doubt
;
was, as you know,
Genoa
for
a year
;
and that the head of the family purposed, in that space
of time,
to
stroll
about, wherever his restless
humour
carried him.
And
would have been small comfort
it
explained to
was
that
to
me
to
have
the population of Paris generally, that I
Head and
and not
Chief;
the
radiant
good-humour who sat beside me in
the person of a French Courier best of servants and
most beaming of men
Truth to say, he looked a
embodiment
of
—
!
great deal
more
patriarchal than
of his portly presence, dwindled
—
There was, of
as
Pont
The
we
down
who, in the shadow
to
no account
at all.
course, very little in the aspect of Paris
rattled near the dismal
Neuf—
I,
Morgue and over the
reproach us for our Sunday travelling.
wine-shops (every second house) were driving a
roaring trade
to
;
awnings were spreading, and chairs and
tables arranging, outside the cafes, preparatory to the
eating of ices, and drinking of cool liquids, later in the
DEPAETUEE FEOM
day
shoe-blacks were busy on the bridges
;
open
PAEIS.
and waggons clattered
carts
;
narrow,
up-hill,
were so
many
parti-coloured
boots,
;
fro
the
streets across
funnel-like
shops were
and
to
;
the
Paver,
dense perspectives of crowd and bustle,
blouses,
night-caps, tobacco-pipes,
and shaggy heads of hair
denoted a day of
rest,
unless
large
nothing at that hour
were the appearance,
;
it
here and there, of a family pleasure-party, crammed into
a bulky old lumbering cab or of some contemplative
holiday maker in the freest and easiest dishabille,
;
leaning out of a low garret window, watching the drying
of his newly polished shoes on the
little
parapet outside
a gentleman), or the airing of her stockings in the
sun (if a lady), with calm anticipation.
(if
Once
clear
of
the
never-to-be-forgotten-or-forgiven
pavement which surrounds
the
Paris,
three days
first
of travelling towards Marseilles, are quiet and monotonous
enough.
To
Sens.
ToAvallon.
A sketch of
To Chalons.
one day's proceedings is a sketch of all three and here it is.
We have four horses, and one postilion, who has a
;
yerj long whip, and drives his team, something like
the Cornier of Saint Petersburgh in the circle at
Astley
s or
Franconi's
of standing on him.
:
only he
sits his
The immense
these postilions, are sometimes a
own horse
jack-boots
centmy
instead
worn by
or two old
;
and are so ludicrously disproportionate to the wearer's
foot, that the spur, which is put where his own heel
The man
generally halfway up the leg of the boots.
often comes out of the stable-yard, with his
whip in
hand and
comes,
is
his
his shoes on,
and brings
out, in
both
8
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
hands, one boot at a time, which he plants on the ground
by the side of his horse, with great gravity, until
is
thing
When
ready.
noise they
make about
and
is
or
all,
it
it
!
is
—he
hoisted into
—and
gets into the boots, shoes
them by a couple
adjusts the rope-hamess, embossed
innumerable pigeons in the stables
and plunge
;
of friends
;
by the labom's of
makes
all
the horses
his whip like a madman
and away we go. He is sure
have a contest with his horse before we have
gone
kick
shouts
to
every-
oh Heaven! the
"En
very far
;
route
;
cracks
—Hi!
and then he
;
"
calls
him
a Thief, and a Brigand,
and a Pig, and what not and beats him about the head
as if he were made of wood.
;
There
is little
more than one
variety in the appear-
ance of the countiy, for the first two days.
From a
and from an
dreary plain, to an interminable avenue
;
interminable avenue, to a dreary plain again.
Plenty
of vines there are, in the open fields, but of a short
low kind, and not trained in festoons, but about straight
sticks.
Beggars innumerable there are, everywhere;
an extraordinarily scanty population, and fewer
children than I ever encountered,
I don't believe
but
we saw a hundred children between Paris and Chalons.
Queer old towns, draw-bridged and walled
the wall had put a
into the
and
:
with odd
towers at the angles, like grotesque faces, as
little
moat
fields,
;
mask
on, and were
other strange
and down
lanes,
little
and
staring,
if
down
towers, in gardens
m
farm-yards
:
all
and always romid, with a peaked roof, and never
used for any pm-pose at all
niinous buildmgs of all
alone,
;
TO CH.\LONS.
sometimes an hotel de
9
sometimes a guardhouse, sometimes a dwelling-house, sometimes a chateau
with a rank garden, prolific in dandelion, and watched
sorts
:
over
little
by extinguisher-topped
casements
;
and over again.
villa,
and
tm'rets,
hlink-eyed
are the standard objects, repeated over
Sometimes, we pass a
inn,
village
with a crumbling wall belonging to it, and a perfect
and painted over the gateway,
town of out-houses
"
Stabling for Sixty Horses;" as indeed there might
:
be stabHng for sixty score, were there any horses to be
stabled
or anybody resting there,
there,
or
anything
but a danglmg bush, indicative
which flutters idly in the wind,
stirring about the place
of the wine
inside
:
in lazy keeping with everything else,
and certainly
is
never in a green old age, though always so old as to
be dropping to pieces.
And all day long, strange little
narrow waggons, in strings of six or eight, bringing
cheese from Switzerland, and frequently in charge, the
whole
line, of
one
man
—and he veiy
or even boy
asleep in the foremost cart
—come
often
jinglmg past
:
the
horses di'owsily ringing the bells upon their harness,
and looking as
if
they thought (no doubt they do) their
great blue woolly furniture, of
immense weight and
thick-
ness with a pair of grotesque horns growing out of the
collar, very much too warm for the Midsummer weather.
Then, there
is
the Diligence, twice or thrice a-day;
with the dusty outsides in blue frocks, like butchers
the insides in white nightcaps
on the
and
its
roof,
;
nodding and shaking,
and
like
its
an
cabriolet
idiot's
;
and
head
head
;
Young-France passengers staring out of \Nindow,
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
10
with beards down to their waists, and blue spectacles
awfully shading their warlike eyes, and very big sticks
clenched in their National grasp. Also the Malle Poste,
with only a couple of passengers, tearing along at a real
good dare-devil pace, and out of sight in no time.
Steady old Cures come jolting past, now and then, in
such ramshackle, rusty, musty, clatteriug coaches as no
Englishman would believe in and bony women daudle
;
about in solitary places, holding cows by ropes while they
feed, or digging and hoeing, or doing field-work of a more
laborious kind, or representing real shepherdesses with
their flocks
and
—
to obtain
its followers,
an adequate idea of which pursuit
in any countr}'',
it is
only necessary to
take any pastoral poem, or pictm'e, and imagine to yourself
whatever
is
most exquisitely and widely unlike the
descriptions therein contained.
You have been
travelling along, stupidly enough, as
you generally do in the
ninety-six
bells
—have been
hour or so
;
last stage of the
upon the
horses
—
day
;
and the
twenty-four apiece
ringing sleepily in your ears for half an
and
it
has become a veiy jog-trot, monoand you have been
tonous, tiresome sort of business
;
thinking deeply about the dinner you will have at the
next stage when, down at the end of the long avenue
;
of trees through which you are travellmg, the first indication of a town appears, in the shape of
some straggling
and the carriage begins to rattle and roll over
cottages
a horribly uneven pavement. As if the equipage were a
great firework, and the mere sight of a smoking cottage
:
chimney had lighted
it,
instantly
it
begins to crack and
TO CHALONS.
splutter, as if the veiy devil
11
were in
Crack, crack,
it.
crack, crack. Crack-crack-crack. Crick-crack. Crick-crack.
Helo
Hola
!
r-r-r-r-r-route
children
Vite
!
Voleur
!
Brigand
Whip, wheels,
!
crack,
;
!
crack
crack,
!
Hi
hi hi
driver, stones,
;
helo
!
beggars,
hola
pour I'amour de Dieu crick-crack-crick-crack;
En
!
charite
!
crick, crick,
!
bump, crick-crack round the
comer, up the narrow street, down the paved hill on the
crick
;
bump,
other side
on the
crack,
;
in the gutter;
;
crick, crick
jolt,
;
hand
left
bump, bump;
crack, crack, crack
;
jolt, jog, crick,
into the shop-windows
side of the street, preliminary to
a
sweeping turn into the wooden archway on the right;
rumble, rumble, iiimble
crick, crick
clatter,
;
and here we
;
clatter, clatter
;
crick,
are in the yard of the Hotel
de I'Ecu d'Or;
exhausted
;
used up, gone out, smoldng, spent,
but sometimes making a false start unex-
pectedly, with nothing
the last
coming of
—
it
like a firework to
!
The landlady
of the Hotel de I'Ecu d'Or
the landlord of the Hotel de I'Ecu d'Or
is
here
is
here
;
;
and
and
the
femme de chambre
here
and a gentleman in a glazed cap, mth a red beard
a bosom friend, who is staying at the Hotel de I'Ecu
like
of the Hotel de I'Ecu d'Or is
;
walking up and
down in a corner of the yai'd by himself, with a shovel
hat upon his head, and a black gown on his back, and a
d'Or
is
here
;
and Monsieur
le
Cure
is
book in one hand, and an umbrella in the other
everybody, except Monsieur le Cm^e,
and open-eyed,
The
is
;
and
open-mouthed
the opening of the carriage-door.
landlord of the Hotel de I'Ecu d'Or, dotes to that
for
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
12
extent upon the Courier, that he can hardly wait for his
coming down from the box, but embraces his very legs
and boot-heels as he descends. "My Courier! My
brave Cornier
My friend
!
"
My brother
I
!
The
land-
femme de chambre blesses him, the
The Courier asks if his letter has
gar^on worships him.
lady loves him, the
been received?
They
they are.
are,
The rooms
Courier.
Are the rooms prepared?
The best rooms for my noble
It has, it has.
the whole house
other question to
at the service
is
He keeps his hand
my gallant Comder
of my best of friends
of state for
;
!
upon the carriage-door, and asks some
enhance the expectation. He carries
a green leathern purse outside his coat, suspended by a
The
belt.
idlers look at it
one touches
;
it.
It
is full
Murmm-s of admiration are heard
The landlord falls upon the Courier's
him to his breast. He is so much
of five-franc pieces.
the boys.
among
neck, and folds
fatter
than he was, he says
so well
The door
is
opened.
!
He
looks so rosy and
Breathless expectation.
Ah
The
The
sweet lady
Beautiful
sister of the lady of the family gets out.
lady of the family gets out.
lady
!
!
!
is charming!
Fkst little
what
a
beautiful
little
First
Ah,
boy
boy
little gui gets out.
but
this
is
an
cliild
Oh,
enchantmg
Second little girl gets out. The landlady, pelding to
Great Heaven, Ma'amselle
gets out.
!
!
the finest impulse of our
common
up in her arms
little
sweet boy
handed
!
out.
!
Second
Oh, the tender
!
out.
boy gets
little
Angelic baby
natm'e, catches her
family
!
Oh, the
The baby
is
The baby has topped
TO CHALONS.
Then
expended on the baby
tumble out and the enthusiasm
All the rapture
everything.
the two nui'ses
is
!
;
whole family are swept up
swelling into madness, the
stairs as
on a cloud; while the
carriage,
and look
For
it.
held
it
so
is
into
and touch
it,
touch a carriage that has
to
It
people.
idlers press about the
and walk round
it,
something
many
13
a legacy to leave one's
is
children.
The rooms
for the night,
are
on the
which
four or five beds in
first floor,
a great
is
except the nursery
ramblmg chamber, with
through a dark passage, up two
steps, down fom% past a pump, across a balcony, and
next door to the stable.
The other sleeping apartments
it
:
are large and lofty;
each with two small bedsteads,
tastefully hung, like the wuidows, with red
The
drapery.
laid
in
it
sitting-room
for three
much
already
furniture to speak of ; but
abmidance of looking-glass, and there are large
vases mider glass shades, filled with
and there are plenty of
motion.
is
w^hite
and the napldns are folded in
The floors are of red tile. There
are no cai'pets, and not
is
and
Dinner
famous.
;
cocked-hat fashion.
there
is
The brave
clocks.
artificial
The whole
Cornier, in particular,
flowers
;
party are in
is
everywhere
:
looking after the beds, ha^dng ^vuie pom'ed down his
thi'oat by his dear brother the landlord, and picking up
green
—always cucumbers Heaven
them —with which he walks
cucumbers
where he gets
;
Imows
about, one in
each hand, like tnmcheons.
Dinner
is
announced.
are very large loaves
There
—one
is
apiece
very thin soup
;
a fish
;
;
there
four dishes
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
14
afterwards some poultry afterwards a dessert afterwards ;
;
;
There
and no lack of wine.
is
not
much in the dishes but
;
When
they are very good, and always ready instantly.
it is
nearly dark, the brave Courier, having eaten the two
cucumbers, sliced up in the contents of a pretty large
decanter of oil, and another of vinegar, emerges from liis
retreat below, and proposes a visit to the Cathedral,
whose massive tower frowns down upon the courtyard
Off we go and very solemn and grand it
of the inn.
;
is,
m the
dim
light
:
dim
so
at last, that the polite, old,
lanthorn-jawed Sacristan has a feeble
in his hand, to grope
among
among
little bit
of candle
—and
the tombs with
the grim columns, very like a lost ghost
looks
who
is
searching for his own.
Underneath the balcony, when we return, the
servants of the inn are supping in the open
great table
smoking
air,
at a
the dish a stew of meat and vegetables,
;
and served in the iron cauldron
hot,
boiled in.
inferior
They have a
it
was
pitcher of thin wine, and are
merrier than the gentleman with the red
beard, who is pla3dng billiards in the light room on the
very merry
;
the yard, where shadows, with cues in their hands,
and cigars in their mouths, cross and recross the window,
left of
Cure walks up and down
And there he walks,
alone, with his book and umbrella.
constantly.
Still
and there the
the
tliin
billiard-balls rattle, long after
we
are fast
asleep.
We
are astir at six next
mornmg.
It
is
a delightful
shaming yesterday's mud upon the carriage, if anything could shame a carriage, in a land where carriages
day,
TO CHALONS.
15
Everj^body is brisk and as we finish
breakfast, the horses come jinghng into the yard from
are never cleaned.
Everj^thing taken out of the carriage
the Post-house.
is
is
;
put back again.
The brave Cornier announces
and looking
ready, after walldng into eveiy room,
round
that all
all
be certain that nothing is left behind. Eveiybody gets in.
Everybody connected with the Hotel de
I'Ecu d'Or is again enchanted.
The brave Cornier runs
it,
to
into the house for a parcel containing cold fowl, sliced
ham, bread, and
Imich
biscuits, for
hands
;
and rmis back agam.
What has he got in his hand now?
coach
into the
it
;
A long
No.
bers ?
strip of paper.
The brave Courier has two
one supportmg the purse
It
More cucum's
the
belts on, this
bill.
morning
another, a mighty good sort
:
of leathern bottle, filled to the throat with the
light
He
Bordeaux wine in the house.
bill till this bottle is full.
He
disputes
lord's brother,
it
Then he
disputes
He
now, violently.
him
as
landlord scratches his head.
best
never pays the
it.
the land-
is still
He
but by another father or mother.
not so nearly related to
:
is
last night.
The
The brave Cornier
points
he was
certam figures in the bill, and intimates that if they
remain there, the Hotel de I'Ecu d"Or is thenceforth
to
and
for ever
an hotel de I'Ecu de
cuivre.
tallvs
pen.
more rapidly than
The Courier
and a pen
ever.
smiles.
into his hand,
The
The
landlord
The brave Cornier
goes into a httle countmg-house.
follows, forces the bill
The
and
landlord takes the
landlord
makes an
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
16
The Courier
alteration.
affectionate,
He
man.
The
cuts a joke.
landlord
is
He bears it like a
but not weakly so.
shakes hands with his brave brother, but he
hug him. Still, he loves his brother; for he
knows that he will be returning that way, one of these
don't
fine days, with another family,
heart will yearn towards
him
and he foresees that his
The brave Courier
again.
traverses all round the carriage once, looks at the drag,
the
inspects
wheels,
jumps up,
away we go
It is market morning.
gives
the word, and
!
little
The market
is
held in the
square outside, in front of the cathedral.
crowded with
in white
chandise.
;
men and women,
with canvassed
in blue, in red, in green,
stalls
The country people
and
egg-sellers
there, the shoe-makers.
and
;
fluttering
mer-
are grouped about, with
their clean baskets before them.
there, the butter
It is
Here, the
;
lace-sellers;
there, the fruit-sellers
The whole
place looks as
;
if it
were the stage of some great theatre, and the curtain
had just run up, for a picturesque ballet. And there is
the cathedral to boot
:
scene-Hke
and mouldering, and cold
:
struggles
through
grim, and swarthy,
just splashmg the
in one place with faint pm^^le
smi, entering by a little
all
:
mndow
some stained
pavement
drops, as the
morning
on the eastern side,
glass
panes, on the
western.
In
a
five
little
minutes we have passed the iron
ragged kneeling-place of tmf before
outsldrts of the
town
;
and are again
cross, with
it,
in the
upon the road.
LYONS, THE RHONE, AND THE GOBLIN OF
AVIGNON.
Chalons
is
a fair resting-place, in right of
inn on the bank of the river, and the
little
its
good
steam-boats,
gay with green and red paint, that come and go upon it
which make up a pleasant and refreshing scene, after
:
the dusty roads.
But, unless you would like to dwell
on an enormous plain, with jagged rows of irregular
poplars on it, that look in the distance like so many
combs with broken teeth
and unless you would
:
like to
without the possibility of going up-hill, or
going up anything but stairs you would hai'dly approve
of Chalons as a place of residence.
pass yom'
life
:
You would probably
Lyons which you may
:
like
it
better,
reach, if
you
however, than
will,
in
one of
the before-mentioned steam-boats, in eight hours.
What
Talk about people feelmg,
at certain milucky times, as if they had tumbled from
the clouds
Here is a whole town that has tumbled,
a city Lyons
is
!
!
anyhow, out of the sky; having been first caught up,
like other stones that tumble down from that region,
out of fens and barren places, dismal to behold
!
The
two great streets through which the two great rivers
c
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
18
dash,
and
all
the
whose name
little streets
is
Legion,
were scorching, blistering, and sweltering. The houses,
high and vast, dirty to excess, rotten as old cheeses,
All up the hills that hem
and as thickly peopled.
the city
in,
houses swarm
these
;
and the mites
in-
and drjdng their
ragged clothes on poles, and crawling in and out at the
doors, and coming out to pant and gasp upon the paveside were lolling out of the wuidows,
ment, and creeping in and out among huge piles and
and living, or
musty, stifling goods
rather not dying till their time should come, in an
bales of fusty,
;
exhausted receiver.
Every manufacturing town, melted
into one, would hardly convey an impression of
as it presented itself to
me
Lyons
for all the imdrained, un-
:
scavengered, qualities of a foreign town, seemed grafted,
upon the native miseries of a manufacturing one
and it bears such fniit as I would go some miles out of
there,
;
my way
to avoid
In the
encomitering again.
cool of the
heat of the day
:
evenmg
we went
:
to see the Cathedral,
women, and a few
There was no
contemplation.
divers old
cleanliness,
streets
;
between
its
or rather in the faded
dogs,
where
were engaged in
difference,
in
pomt
of
stone pavement and that of the
and there was a wax
saint, in
a
little
a berth aboai'd ship, with a glass front to
box like
it,
whom
Madame Tussaud would have
nothing to say to, on any
and
which
Westminster
even
terms,
Abbey might be
ashamed of. If you w^ould Imow all about the architecture
of this
church,
endowments, and
or
any other,
history, is
it
its
dates,
not written
dimensions,
m Mr.
Murray's
19
LYONS.
Guicle-Book, and
him, as I did
to
may you
not read
it
there, with thanks
!
should abstain from mentioning
the curious clock in Lyons Cathedral, if it were not for a
For
this
reason, I
small mistake I made, in connection with that piece of
mechanism.
The keeper of
the church was very anxious
estapartly for the honom- of the
blishment and the town and partly, perhaps, because of
it
should be shown
;
;
demdng a per-centage from the additional consideration.
However that may be, it was set in motion,
Jais
and thereupon a host of
little
doors flew open, and
staggered out of them, and
jerked themselves back again, ^Nith that special unstea-
innumerable
little figm'es
diness of pm-pose, and hitching in the gait, which usually
attaches to figures that are
while,
the
Sacristan
moved by
Mean^
clock-work.
stood explaining these
wonders,
and pomting them out, severally, with a wand. There
was a centre puppet of the Virgin Maiy and close to
her, a small pigeon-hole, out of which another and a
;
veiy ill-looking puppet made one of the most sudden
instantly flopping
plunges I ever saw accomplished
:
back again at sight of her, and banging his little door,
violently, after him.
Taking this to be emblematic of
the \dctoiy over Sin
and Death,
and not
at
all
un-
show that I perfectly miderstood the subject,
in anticipation of the showman, I raslily said, " Aha
willing to
I
The E\dl
of."
polite
He
To be
sm'e.
Spirit.
veiy soon disposed
"
Pardon Monsiem'," said the Sacristan, -uith a
is
motion of his hand towards the
c
-2
door, as if
little
— " The Angel Gabriel
introducing somebody
"'
!
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
20
Soon
we were steaming
after day-break next morning,
down the Arrowy Rhone,
at the rate of
twenty miles an
hour, in a very dirty vessel full of merchandise,
and
with only three or four other passengers for our companions among w^hom, the most remarkable was a silly,
:
old, meek-faced, garlic-eating, immeasurably-polite
Che-
with a dirty scrap of red ribbon hanging at his
button-hole, as if he had tied it there, to remind himself
valier,
of something
as
:
Tom
Noddy, in the
farce, ties
knots in
his pocket-handkerchief.
For the
the
first
last
two days, we had seen great sullen
hills,
indications of the Alps, lowering in the distance.
Now, we were rushing on beside them sometimes close
beside them
sometimes with an intervening slope,
:
:
Villages and small towns hang-
covered with vineyards.
ing in mid-air, with great woods of olives seen through
the light open towers of their churches, and clouds
moving slowly
ruined castles
houses in the
upon the steep acclivity behind them;
perched on every eminence and scattered
on,
;
clefts
and
very beautiful.
The
trasted with the
brown
gullies of the hills;
made
it
great height of these, too, making
the buildings look so tiny, that they had all the charm
of elegant models; their excessive whiteness, as conrocks, or the sombre, deep, dull,
heavy green of the olive-tree and the puny size, and
little slow walk of the Lilliputian men and women on
There were ferthe bank; made a charming picture.
;
ries out of
number, too
;
bridges
;
the
famous Pont
Imow how many arches to^\•ns
where memorable wines are made
Vallence, where
d'Esprit,
with I don't
;
;
21
AVIGNON.
Napoleon studied
and the noble
;
river,
biinging,
at
every winding turn, new beauties into view.
There lay before us, that same afternoon, the broken
bridge of Avignon, and all the city baking
m the
sun
;
that
yet with an under-done-pie-crust, battlemented, wall,
never will be brown, though
it
The grapes were hanging
and the
The
brilliant
bake for centuries.
in clusters in the streets,
Oleander was in
full
bloom everywhere.
and very naiTow, but tolerably clean,
and shaded by awnings stretched from house to house.
Bright stuffs and handkerchiefs, curiosities, ancient
streets are old
frames of carved wood, old chairs, ghostly tables, saints,
virgins, angels, and staring daubs of portraits, being
exposed for sale beneath,
All this was much set
it
off,
was veiy quaint and
lively.
too, by the glimpses one
through rusty gates standing ajar, of quiet
sleepy courtyards, having stately old houses within, as
silent as tombs.
It was all veiy like one of the
caught,
in
descriptions
The
the Arabian Nights.
three one-
eyed Calenders might have knocked at any
those doors
who
till
one
of
the street rang again, and the porter
persisted in asldng questions
—the man who had the
delicious purchases put into his basket in the
—might have opened
it
morning
quite naturally.
After breakfast next morning, we sallied forth to see
the
lions.
Such a
delicious breeze
was blowing
in,
from the north, as made the walk delightful though the
pavement-stones, and stones of the walls and houses,
:
were
far too hot to
We
went,
first
have a hand laid on them comfortably.
of
all,
up a rocky height,
to
the
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
22
cathedral
:
where Mass was performing
to
an auditory
.
women,
who had marked
veiy like that of Lyons, namely, several
old
a baby, and a very self-possessed dog,
out for himself a little course or platform for exercise,
and ending at the door, up
and down which constitutional walk, he trotted, during
beginning at the
altar-rails
the sersdce, as methodically and calmly,
gentleman out of doors.
It
is
any old
a bare old church, and
as
the paintings in the roof are sadly defaced by time and
damp weather but the sun was shining in, splendidly,
;
through the red cmlains of the windows, and glittering
on the altar furniture ; and it looked as bright and
cheerful as need be.
Going apart, in this Chmxh, to see some painting
which was bemg executed in fresco by a French artist
and his pupil, I was led to obsei^ve more closely than I
might otherwise have done, a great number of votive
the different chapels
offerings with which the walls of
were profusely limig. I will not say decorated, for they
were very roughly and comically got up most likely by
:
poor sign-painters,
who eke out
their living in that way.
each representing some
siclmess or calamity from which the person placing it
there, had escaped, through the intei-position of his or
They were
all
her patron
saint,
to
them
little
pictures
or of the
:
Madonna
;
and I may refer
as good specimens of the class generally.
They
are abundant in Italy.
In a grotesque squareness of outline, and impossibility
of perspective, they were not unlike the woodcuts in old
books
;
but they were oil-paintings, and the
artist, like
AVIGNON.
23
the painter of the Primrose family, had not been sparing
In one, a lady was having a toe ampuof his colonics.
tated
—an operation which a
into the room,
upon a
saintly personage
cloud, to superintend.
had
sailed
In another,
a lady was l)^ng in bed, tucked up veiy tight and prim,
and staring with much composure at a tripod, with a
on
the usual form of washing-stand, and
the only piece of furniture, besides the bedstead, in her
slop-basin
chamber.
it
:
One would never have supposed her
to
be
labouiing under any complaint, beyond the inconvenience
of being miraculously wide awake,
hit
upon the idea of putting
all
if
the painter had not
her family on their knees in
one comer, with their legs sticking out behind them on
the floor, like boot-trees.
Above whom, the Virgin, on
a kind of blue divan, promised to restore the patient.
In another
was in the very act of being run
case, a lady
over, immediately outside the city walls, by a sort of
piano-forte van.
But the Madonna was there
Whether the supernatural appearance had
horse (a bay
I don't
griffin),
or whether
it
was
again.
startled the
invisible to him,
know; but he was gallopping away, ding-dong,
without the
smallest reverence
or
compunction.
On
every picture "Exvoto" was painted in yellow capitals in the sky.
Though
votive offerings were not
unknown
in
Pagan
Temples, and are evidently among the many compromises
made between the false religion and the true, when the
true was in
its
infancy, I could wish that all the other
compromises were as harmless. Gratitude and Devotion
are Christian qualities
and a grateful, humble. Christian
;
spirit
may
dictate the observance.
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
Q4
Hard by the
cathedral, stands the ancient Palace of
the Popes, of which one portion
is
now a common
jail,
and another a noisy barrack: while gloomy suites of
state apartments, shut up and deserted, mock their own
and
old state
glor}% like the
But we neither went
embalmed
see
there, to
common
bodies of kings.
state-rooms,
nor
though we
dropped some money into a prisoner's box outside,
soldiers'
whilst
quarters,
nor
a
jail,
the prisoners, themselves, looked through the
and watched us eagerly.
We went
see the ruins of the dreadful rooms in which the
iron bars, high up,
to
Inquisition used to
A
little, old,
black eyes,
sit.
swarthy woman, with a pair of flashing
that the world hadn't conjm'ed down
— proof
withm her, though it had had between sixty
and seventy years to do it in, came out of the Barrack
Cabaret, of which she was the keeper, with some large
the devil
—
keys in her hands, and marshalled us the way that we
How she told us, on the way, that she was
should go.
a Government Officer {concierge du
and had
liow she
been, for I don't
^jrtZazs
cqwstoliqne),
know how many
had shown these dungeons
years
to princes
she was the best of dungeon demonstrators
she had resided in the palace from an infant,
bom
there, if I recollect right,
such a
;
and
and how
—had been
I needn't relate.
But
fierce, little, rapid, sparkling, energetic, she-devil
I never beheld.
time.
—
;
;
and how
Her
She was
alight
and flaming,
action was violent in the extreme.
all
the
She
never spoke, without stopping expressly for the purpose.
She stamped her feet, clutched us by the arms, flung
herself into attitudes, hammered against walls with her
25
AVIGNON.
keys,
for
mere emphasis
now whispered
now shrieked as
:
as
if
the
if she were
Inquisition were there still
on the rack herself; and had a mysterious, hag-like way
with her forefinger, when approaching the remains of»
:
—looldng
some new horror
back and walking
—
grimaces
stealthily,
that might alone have
and making horrible
qualified her to walk up and down a sick man's counter-
pane, to the exclusion of
all
other figm-es, through a
whole fever.
Passing through the com't-yard, among groups of idle
soldiers, we turned off by a gate, which this She-Goblin
unlocked for our admission, and locked again behind us
and entered a narrow court, rendered narrower by fallen
:
choldng up the
mouth of a ruined subterranean passage, that once
stones and heaps of rubbish
communicated
castle
part of
;
have done
(or is said to
on the opposite bank of the
court-yard, is a
minute
—
dungeon
it
so)
river.
—we stood within
hi the dismal tower
cles oubliettes,
with another
Close to this
it,
in another
where Rienzi
was imprisoned, fastened by an iron chain to the very
wall that stands there now, but shut out from the sky
which now looks down into
it.
A
few steps brought us
to the Cachots, in wliich the prisoners of the Inquisition
hom'S after their captm'e,
without food or drink, that their constancy might be
were confined
for forty-eight
shaken, even before they were confronted with their
gloomy judges. The day has not got in there yet.
small
They
are
close,
hard walls
still
;
shut in by fom' unyielding,
profomidly dark ; still massively
cells,
still
doored and fastened, as of old.
Gobhn, looking back
as I
have described, went
softly
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
26
on, into a vaulted chamber,
now used
as a store-room
:
once the chapel of the holy office.
The place where
was
The
the tribunal sat,
plain.
platfoim might have
been removed but yesterday. Conceive the parable of
the Good Samaritan havhig been painted on the wall of
one of these Inquisition chambers
be traced there yet.
in the jealous wall,
High up
But
!
ai'e
was, and
it
may
niches where the
faltering replies of the accused were heard
and noted
them had been brought out
of the very-
down.
cell
Many
we had
of
just looked into, so awfully
stone passage.
We
had trodden
;
along the same
in their veiy footsteps.
am
gazing romid me, mth the horror that the place
inspires, when Goblin clutches me by the wrist, and
I
lays,
not her skinny finger, but the
upon her
her.
lip.
I do so.
She
invites
me, with a jerk,
She leads me out
—a rugged room, with
handle of a key,
into a
to follow
room adjoining
a funnel-shaped, contracting roof,
open at the top, to the bright day. I ask her what it is.
She folds her arms, leers hideously, and stares. I ask
She glances round,
agam.
company
are there
;
sits
to see
that all the little
down upon a mound
of stones
"
throws up her arms, and yells out, like a fiend,
"
Salle de la Question
;
La
!
The Chamber
Goblin, let us
Goblin
legs,
!
of Torture
!
And
the roof was
made
Oh
Goblin,
think of this awhile, in silence.
Peace,
of that shape to
stifle
the victim's cries
Sit with your short
upon that heap of
!
arms crossed on your short
stones, for only five minutes,
and then flame out again.
Seconds are not marked upon the Palace
Minutes
!
27
AVIGNON.
when, with her eyes flashing fire, GobHu is up,
in the middle of the chamber, describmg, with her sunclock,
Thus it ran round
burnt arms, a wheel of heavy blows.
Mash, mash, mash
cries Goblin.
See the stone trough
sufferer's limbs.
For the water
torture
deep down
swill,
Gm'gle,
!
!
!
upon the
Goblin.
says
burst,
bloat,
Suck the bloody
into yom* mibelieving body. Heretic, at
breath you draw
it
!
Redeemer s honour
for the
endless routine
Mash, mash, mash
hammers.
of heavy
An
!
!
And when
!
rag,
evei'}'
the executioner plucks
with the smaller mysteries of God s own
us for His chosen servants, true believers
out, reeking
Image, know
Sermon on the Mount,
in the
who never
elect disciples of
did a miracle but to heal
who never
:
Him
struck
man
with palsy, blindness, deafness, dumbness, madand never stretched
ness, any one affliction of mankind
a
;
His blessed hand
See
I
out, but to give relief and ease
cries Goblin.
There the fmiiace was.
they made the irons red-hot.
!
There
Those holes supported
the sharp stake, on which the tortured persons
hung
dangling with their whole weight from the roof.
"
"
"
But
and Goblin whispers this
Monsiem' has
heard of this tower ? Yes ? Let Monsieur look down,
poised
:
;
then
A
;
"
!
laden with an earthy smell, falls upon the
face of Monsieur; for she has opened, while speaking,
cold
air,
a trap-door in the wall. Monsiem- looks in.
Downward
to the bottom, upward to the
top, of a steep, dark, lofty
The Execuvery dismal, veiy dark, very cold.
tioner of the Inquisition, says Goblin, edging in her
tower
head
:
to look
down
also, flung those
who were
past all
28
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
further torturing,
down
here.
"
But look
!
sieur see the black stains on the wall?"
Mon-
does
A
glance,
over his shoulder, at Goblin's keen eye, shows Monsieur
and would without the aid of the directing-key
"
"
"
where they are. " What are they ?
Blood
—
—
!
In October, 1791, when the Revolution was at
height here,
sixty persons
men and women
:
("
its
and
"priests"): were murdered, and
hurled, the dying and the dead, into this dreadful
pit, where a quantity of quick-lime was tumbled down
priests," says Goblin,
Those ghastly tokens of the massacre were soon no more
but while one stone of the
their bodies.
upon
;
strong building in which the deed was done, remains
upon another, there they will lie in the memories of
men, as plain to see as the splashing of their blood upon
the wall
Was
is
it
now.
a portion of the great scheme of Retribution,
that the cruel deed should be committed in this place
I
That a part of the atrocities and monstrous mstitutions,
which had been, for scores of years, at work, to change
men's nature, should in
its last service,
tempt them with
the ready means of gratifying their furious and beastly
rage
Should enable them
!
to
show themselves, in the
height of their frenzy, no worse than a great, solenm,
No
legal establishment, in the height of its power
!
worse
!
Much
better.
Forgotten, in the
name
They used the Tower
of Liberty
—
of the
their liberty;
earth-born creature, nursed in the black
mud
an
of the
and dungeons, and necessarily betraying
many evidences of its unwholesome bringing-up but
the Inquisition used it in the name of Heaven.
Bastille moats
—
29
AVIGNON.
Goblin's finger
is
and she
lifted;
into the Chapel of the
She
waits for the rest.
who
is
Her
great
She darts
explaming something
;
She
Office.
Holy
certain part of the flooring.
steals out again,
stops at a
effect is
at hand.
at the brave Courier,
him a somiding rap
and bids him be silent.
hits
on the hat with the largest key
She assembles us all, round a little trap-door in the floor,
"
Voila!" she darts down at the
as romid a grave.
;
ring,
and
flings the door
energy, though
ettes
Black
"
Voila les oublino light weight.
oubliettes
Subterranean
Frightful
it is
Voila les
!
open with a crash, in her goblin
Terrible
!
!
!
Les
oubliettes de
1
Inqui-
blood ran cold, as I looked from Goblin,
down
!
Deadly
!
!
sition!"
My
into the vaults,
where these forgotten creatures, with
recollections of the world
brothers
children,
stones
ring
thrill I felt
:
starved
outside
to
:
of wives, friends,
death,
and made the
with their miavailing groans.
But, the
on seeing the accursed wall below, decayed
and broken through, and the sun shining in through its
gaping wounds, w^as like a sense of victory and triumph.
I felt exalted with the proud delight of living, in these
degenerate times, to see
some high achievement
it.
!
As
The
if
I were the hero of
light
in
the
doleful
was t}^ical of the light that has streamed in, on
persecution in God's name, but which is not yet at
noon
It cannot look more lovely to a blind man
vaults
all
its
!
newly restored to sight, than to a traveller who sees it,
calmly and majestically, treading down the darkness of
that Infernal Well.
AVIGNON TO GENOA.
Goblin, having shown
great coup was struck. She
and stood upon
it
les
let
oubliettes,
the door
with her arms
felt
fall
that
her
with a crash,
a-ldmbo,
sniffing
prodigiously.
Wlien we
left
the place, I accompanied her into her
house, under the outer gateway of the fortress, to buy a
little
history of the building.
Her
cabaret, a dark
low
—
room, lighted by small windows, sunk in the thick wall
the softened light, and with its forge-like chimney
m
its
little
;
comiter by the door, with bottles, jars, and
glasses on it; its household implements
dress against the walls
must have a congenial
at the door
—
;
and scraps
of
and a sober-looking woman (she
life
of
it,
with Goblin,) knitting
looked exactly like a picture by Ostade.
I walked round the building on the outside, in a sort
and yet with the delightful sense of having
awakened from it, of which the light, down in the vaults,
of dream,
had given me the assm^ance. The immense thickness
and giddy height of the walls, the enormous strength of
the
its
massive towers, the great extent of the building,
gigantic proportions, frowning aspect, and barbarous
31
AVIGNON.
irregularity,
The
awaken awe and wonder.
recollection
an impregnable fortress, a
of its opposite old uses
luxurious palace, a horrible prison, a place of torture, the
:
court of the Inquisition
and the same time, a
religion, and blood
gives to
at one
:
house of feasting, fighting,
every stone in its huge form a fearful interest, and im:
parts
little,
new meaning
I could think of
to its incongruities.
however, then, or long aftei*wards, but the sun in
The
the dungeons.
echo their rough talk,
from
its
dirty windows,
all
the
and something
and the sky for the roof of its
that was its desolation and defeat
of its state,
;
its cells,
—
felt that
not that
light,
nor
!
to rampart,
all
I
the light in
bmns, could waste it, like the sunbeams
and its prisons.
that
fire
was
to rejoice at
chambers of cruelty
If I had seen it in a blaze from ditch
should have
be the
soldiers,
their garments fluttering
but the day in
to
and being forced to
and common oaths, and to have
lounging-place of noisy
some reduction
commg down
palace
in its secret council-chamber,
Before I quit this Palace of the Popes, let me translate from the little histoiy I mentioned just now, a short
anecdote, quite appropriate to
connected with
itself,
its
adventm'es.
"
An
ancient tradition relates, that in 1441, a
of Pierre de Lude, the
some distinguished
ladies of A\dgnon,
in revenge, seized the
lated him.
within his
upon
its
For
own
Pope
s legate,
nephew
seriously insulted
whose
relations,
young man, and honibly muti-
several years the legate kept his revenge
breast, but
gratification
he was not the
at last.
He
less resolved
even made, in the
32
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
fulness of time, advances towards a complete reconciliation
;
and when their apparent
he invited
sincerity
had prevailed,
to a splendid banquet, in this palace, certain
families, whole families,
whom he
sought to exterminate.
The utmost gaiety animated the repast; but the meaWhen the dessert
sures of the legate were well taken.
was on the board, a Swiss presented himself, ^ith the
announcement that a strange ambassador solicited an
The
extraordinary audience.
for the
legate, excusing himself,
to his guests, retired, followed
moment,
Within a few moments
officers.
by his
afterwards, five hun-
dred persons were reduced to ashes the whole of that
whig of the building having been blown into the air
:
"
with a terrible explosion
After seeing the churches,
!
(I
\\'ill
not trouble you
with churches just now,) we left Avignon that afternoon.
The heat being veiy great, the roads outside
the walls were stre^^n with people fast asleep in ever)'
of shade,
little slip
half awake,
and with lazy groups, half asleep and
who were waiting
until the
sun should be
admit of their playing bowls among the
low enough
The han^est
bunit-up trees, and on the dusty road.
to
here,
was already gathered
in,
and mules and horses
were treading out the com in the fields. We came, at
dusk, upon a wild and hilly comitr}% once famous for
and travelled slowly up a steep
brigands
:
we went
on, until eleven at night,
when we
ascent.
town of Aix (within two stages of Marseilles) to sleep.
The hotel, mth all the blinds and shutters closed
keep the light and heat
out,
So
halted at the
to
was comfortable and aiiy
33
ItARSEILLES.
next moming, and the town -was very clean
and
so intensely light, that
when
but so hot,
;
I walked out at noon
was
coming suddenly from the darkened room
The air was so veiy clear, that
into crisp blue fii'e.
distant hills and rocky points appeared within an hour's
like
it
walk
:
while the town immediately at hand
of blue wind between
and
me and
—with a kind
—seemed
to
it
be white
be throwing
a fieiy air from its surface.
town towards evening, and took the road
to Marseilles.
A dusty road it was; the houses shut
hot,
We
to
off
left this
and the vines powdered white. At nearly all
the cottage doors, women were peeling and slicing onions
up
close;
into earthen bowls for supper.
So they had been doing
way from Avignon. We passed one
or two shady dark chateaux, surrounded by trees, and
embellished with cool basins of water which were the
last night all the
:
more refreshing
to
behold, from the great scai'city of
such residences on the road we had travelled.
As we
approached Marseilles, the road began to be covered
with hohday people.
Outside the public-houses were
parties smoking, drinking, playing draughts
and
(once) dancing.
We
went
But
on, thi'ough
and
cards,
dust, dust, dust, everywhere.
a long, straggling, dirty suburb,
thronged with people having on our left a dreaiy slope
of land, on which the countiy-houses of the Marseilles
;
merchants, always staring white, are jumbled and heaped
without the slightest order: backs, fronts, sides, and
gables towards
we entered
all
points of the compass
;
until, at last,
the tovm.
I was there, twice or thrice afterwards, in
D
fair
weather
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
34
and
foul
and I
;
and
dirty
am
afraid there is
disagi'eeable place.
no doubt that
But the
it is
a
prospect, from
the fortified heights, of the beautiful Mediterranean,
with
its
lovely rocks
and
islands,
is
most
delightful.
These heights are a desirable retreat, for less picturesque
as an escape from a compound of vile smells
reasons
—
perpetually arising fi'om a great harbour full of stagnant
water, and befouled by the refuse of iimumerable ships
with
all
sorts
of cargoes
:
which, in hot weather,
is
dreadful in the last degree.
There were foreign
sailors,
of all
the
in
nations,
with red shirts, blue shirts, buff shirts, tawny
streets
;
shirts,
and
shirts of orange colour; with red caps, blue
green caps, great beards, and no beards; in
Turkish turbans, glazed English hats, and Neapohtan
caps,
head-dresses.
There were the townspeople
sitting in
on the pavement, or airing themselves on the
tops of their houses, or walldng up and down the closest
and least airy of Boulevards; and there were crowds
clusters
of fierce-looking people of the lower sort, blocldng
the way, constantly.
In the very heart of
and uproar, was the common madhouse; a
tracted,
street,
up
all this stir
low, con-
miserable building, looking straight upon the
without the smallest screen or comt-yard
chattering
madmen and mad-women
;
where
were peeping
out,
through rusty bars, at the staring faces below, while the
sun, darting fiercely aslant into their little cells,
to
dry up their brains, and
wony them,
seemed
as if they
were
baited by a pack of dogs.
We
were pretty well accommodated at the Hotel du
MARSEILLES.
35
Paradis, situated in a nari'ow street of very high houses,
shop opposite, exhibiting in one of
windows two full-length waxen ladies, twirling round
with a hau'dresser
its
and round
:
s
which so enchanted the hairdresser himself,
that he and his family sat in arm-chairs, and in cool
undresses, on the
pavement
fication of the passers-hy,
had
outside,
The
with lazy dignity.
when we went
retired to rest
enjopng the
to bed, at
grati-
family
midnight
;
but the hahdresser (a corpulent man, in drab slippers) was
still sitting there, with his legs stretched out before him,
and evidently couldn't bear to have the shutters put up.
Next day we went down to the harbom*, where the
sailors of all
cargoes of
velvets,
all
nations were discharging and taking in
kinds
:
fruits,
wuies,
oils,
and every manner of merchandise.
of a gi'eat
number
silks,
stuffs,
Taking one
of lively little boats with gay-striped
awnings, we rowed away, under the
of great
sterns
under tow-ropes and cables, against and among
other boats, and very much too near the sides of vessels
ships,
that were faint with oranges, to the
Marie Antoinette,
a handsome steamer bound for Genoa, lyhig near the
mouth of the harbom\ By-and-by, the carriage, that
unwieldy
"trifle
from the Pantechnicon," on a
flat
barge,
bumping against everything, and giving occasion for a
prodigious quantity of oaths and grimaces, came stupidly
alongside
;
and by
five o'clock
we were steaming out
in
The vessel was beautifully clean; the
the open sea.
meals were sen^ ed imder an awning on deck the night
;
was calm and
clear
;
the quiet beauty of the sea and sky
unspeakable.
D 2
36
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
We
next morning, and coasted
along, within a few miles of the Cornice road (of which
more
were
in
its
off Nice, early
place) nearly all day.
hefore three
its
;
and watching
it
as
We
it
could see
Genoa
gradually developed
splendid amphitheatre, terrace rising above terrace,
garden above garden, palace above palace, height upon
height, was ample occupation for us, till we ran into the
stately harbour.
Having been duly
astonished, here,
by
the sight of a few Cappuccini monks, who were watching
the fair-weighing of some wood upon the wharf, we drove
off to Albaro,
two miles distant, where we had engaged
a house.
The way
lay through the
main streets, but not through
the Strada Nuova, or the Strada Balbi, which are the
famous
streets of palaces.
I never, in
my
life,
was so
The wonderful novelty of everything, the
dismayed
unusual smells, the unaccountable filth (though it is
!
reckoned the cleanest of Italian towns), the disorderly
jumbling of dirty houses, one upon the roof of another
;
the passages more squalid and more close than any in
Saint Giles's, or old Paris
vagabonds,
and great
:
in and out of which, not
but well-dressed women,
with white veils
were passing and repassing the perfect
absence of resemblance in any dwellmg-house, or shop,
fans,
;
or wall, or post, or pillar, to anything one had ever seen
before
;
and the disheartening
dirt,
discomfort,
and
I fell into a dismal
decay; perfectly confounded me.
reverie.
I am conscious of a feverish and bewildered
vision of saints
—
of great
and
numbers
virgins' shrines at the street
of friars, monks,
and
comers
soldiers
—of
GENOA.
37
vast red curtains, waving in the door-ways of the churches
—
of always going
up
hill,
and yet seeing every other
—
and passage going higher up of fruit-stalls, with
and oranges hanging in garlands made of
lemons
fresh
of a guard-house, and a drawbridge
and
vine-leaves
street
—
—
some
—
gateways and vendors
of iced water, sitting with
—
upon the margin of the kennel and this is
the consciousness I had, until I was set down in a
little
all
trays
weedy court-yard, attached
and was told I lived there.
rank, dull,
jail
;
to a
kind of pink
I little thought, that day, that I should ever
come
to
have an attachment for the very stones in the streets of
Genoa, and to look back upon the city with affection as
connected with
But these
are
many hom's
my
first
and how they changed, I
let
of
happiness and quiet
impressions honestly set
will set
down
too.
At
us breathe after this long-winded journey.
down
!
;
present,
GENOA AND
The
first
NEIGHBOURHOOD.
ITS
the
impressions of such a place as Albaro,
am
suburb of Genoa where I
friends would say,
"
my
now, as
located," can hardly
fail,
Americau
I should
It requires
imagine, to be mournful and disappointing.
a little time and use to overcome the feeling of depres-
sion consequent, at
first,
on so much ruin and neglect.
Novelty, pleasant to most people, is particularly dehghtI am not easily dispirited when I
fal, I think, to me.
have the means of pursuing my own fancies and occupations ; and I believe I have some natm*al aptitude for
accommodating myself
to circumstances.
But, as yet,
I stroll about here, in all the holes and comers of the
neighbourhood, in a pei^etual state of forlorn surprise
and returning to my villa the Villa Bagnerello
(it
sounds romantic, but Signer Bagnerello is a butcher
;
;
;
hard by,) have
sufficient occupation in
pondering over
my new experiences, and comparing them, very much
to my own amusement, with my expectations, until I
wander out
The
again.
Villa
Bagnerello
more expressive name
:
or
for the
the
Pink
mansion:
is
Jail,
a far
in one of
39
GENOA.
the
most splendid situations imaginable.
The
noble
bay of Genoa, with the deep blue Mediterranean, lie
stretched out near at hand; monstrous old desolate
houses and palaces are dotted all about; lofty hills,
with their tops often hidden in the clouds, and with
strong forts perched high up on their craggy sides, are
and in front, stretching from the
close upon the left
;
down
ruined chapel which stands
upon the bold and pictui-esque rocks on the sea-shore,
walls of the house,
to a
are green vineyards, where you
may wander
all
day long
in partial shade, through interminable vistas of grapes,
trained on a rough trellis- work across the narrow paths.
This sequestered spot is approached by lanes so very
narrow, that when we anived at the Custom-house, we
found the people here, had taken the measure of the
narrowest among them, and were waiting to apply it to
the cai'riage which ceremony was gi'avely performed in
;
the street, while
we
all
stood by, in breathless suspense.
It was found to be a very tight fit, but just a possibility,
and no more as I am reminded every day, by the sight
—
of various large holes which
either side as
am
it
came
along.
it
punched in the walls on
We are more fortunate, I
than an old lady who took a house in these
told,
parts not long ago,
and who stuck
fast in her carriage
was impossible
doors, she was obliged to submit
in a lane
;
and as
it
being hauled through one of the
like a harlequin.
When
you come
to
open one of the
to
the indignity of
little
front windows,
you have got through these nan'ow lanes,
to an archway, imperfectly stopped up by a
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
40
iiisty old
gate
—my
The
gate.
rusty old gate has a bell
which you rmg as long as you like, and
which nobody answers, as it has no connexion whatever
to correspond,
But there
with the house.
is
a rusty old knocker,
too-
—
round when you touch it
trick
of
if
learn
the
and
it, and knock long enough,
you
somebody comes. The Brave Courier comes, and gives
very loose, so that
slides
it
you admittance. You walk into a seedy little garden,
all wild and weedy, from which the vineyard opens;
cross it, enter a square hall like a cellar, walk up a
cracked marble staircase, and pass into a most enormous
roof aiid whitewashed walls: not
room with a vaulted
This
unlike a great methodist chapel.
has
five
windows and
five doors,
and
is
is
the sala.
It
decorated with
pictures wliich would gladden the heart of one of those
picture-cleaners in
London who hang
picture divided, like
death and the
up, as a sign,
a
lady, at the top of
the old ballad: which always leaves you in a state of
micertainty whether the ingenious professor has cleaned
The fumitm*e
one half or dirtied the other.
is
a sort of red brocade.
of this sala
All the chairs are immovable,
and the sofa weighs several tons.
On the same floor, and opening out of this same
chamber, are
bed-rooms
windows.
each with
:
Up
and a kitchen
which, with
drawing-room,
dining-room,
a
multiplicity
stairs are divers other
;
and down
all sorts
stairs
is
of
doore
and
gaunt chambers,
another kitchen,
of strange contrivances for burning
charcoal, looks like an alchemical laboratory.
also
and divers
some half-dozen small
sitting-rooms,
There are
where the
41
GENOA.
servants, in this hot July,
the
fire,
escape from the heat of
may
and where the Brave Courier plays
all sorts
own manufacture,
musical instruments of his
of
the
all
A
mighty old, wandering, ghostly,
echomg, grim, bare house it is, as ever I beheld or
evening
thought
There
long.
of.
a
is
little
vine-covered terrace,
openmg from
the drawing-room; and under this ten'ace, and forming
one side of the
It
stable.
little
now a
is
what used
is
garden,
to
be the
cow-house, and has three cows in
it,
so that we get new milk by the bucket-full.
There is
no pasturage near, and they never go out, but are
constantly lying down and sm'feiting themselves with
vine -leaves
—
perfect Italian cows
—
enjoying the
dolce
day long. They are presided over, and
slept with, by an old man named Antonio, and his son
two burnt-sienna natives with naked legs and feet, who
far niente
all
:
wear, each, a shirt, a
with a
relic,
or
paii'
of trousers,
some sacred chaim
and a red sash,
like a
twelfth cake, hanguig round the neck.
is
veiy anxious to convert
and exhorts
me
frequently.
bonbon
The
old
o£P
a
man
me
to the Catholic Faith;
We
sit
upon a stone by the
door, sometimes, in the eveniug, like Robinson Crusoe
and Friday reversed and he generally relates, towards
my conversion, an abridgment of the History of Saint
;
—
Peter
chiefly, I
beheve, fi'om the imspeakable delight
he has in his imitation of the cock.
The
view, as I have said,
is
charming
;
but in the
day you must keep the lattice-bhnds close shut, or
the sun would drive you mad and when the sun goes
;
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
42
down, you must shut up all the windows, or the mosquiSo at this
toes would tempt you to commit suicide..
time of tho year, you don't see much of the prospect
within doors.
As for the flies, you don't mind them.
Nor the
is
fleas,
whose
and whose name
size is prodigious,
Legion, and who populate the coach-house
to that
extent that I daily expect to see the carriage going oif
bodily,
The
drawn by myriads of mdustrious
kept away, quite comfortably, by scores of
who roam about the garden for that purpose.
rats are
lean cats,
The
fleas in harness.
nobody cares
lizards, of course,
The
the sun, and don't bite.
The
curious.
appeared
yet.
serve of
them
after night-fall,
women
beetles
The
are
little
for
;
they play in
scorpions are merely
rather late,
frogs are company.
and have not
There
is
a pre-
grounds of the next villa; and
one would think that scores upon scores
in the
up and down a wet
That is
stone pavement without a moment's cessation.
exactly the noise they make.
of
in pattens, were going
The ruined
sea-shore,
chapel, on the picturesque and beautiful
was dedicated, once upon a time,
the Baptist.
I
to Saint
John
believe there is a legend that Saint
John's bones were received there, with various solemni-
when they w^ere first brought to Genoa
When there
possesses them to this day.
ties,
;
for
Genoa
any imcommon tempest at sea, they are brought out, and
exhibited to the raging weather, which they never fail to
is
calm. In consequence of this connexion of Saint Jolm with
the
city,
great
numbers
common people are chriswhich latter name is pronounced
of the
tened Giovanni Baptista,
GENOA.
in the
Genoese
j^atots
43
"Batcheetcha,"like a sneeze. To
hear everybody calling everybody else Batcheetcha, on a
Sunday, or Festa-day, when there are crowds in the
streets, is
not a
The narrow
little
and amusing
singular
to a stranger.
lanes have great villas opening into them,
whose walls (outside
walls, I
mean,) are profusely painted
But time
subjects, grim and holy.
and the sea-air have nearly obliterated them and they
with
all
sorts of
;
look like the entrance to Vauxhall Gardens on a sunny
day.
The
court-yards of these houses, are overgrown
with grass and weeds
;
all sorts of
the bases of the statues, as
if
hideous patches cover
they were
afflicted
with a
cutaneous disorder; the outer gates are rusty; and the
iron bars outside the lower
down.
Firewood
is
windows are
all
tumbling
kept in halls where costly treasures
might be heaped up, mountains high water-falls are dry
and choked.; fountains, too dull to play, and too lazy to
;
work, have just enough recollection of their identity, in
make
their sleep, to
sirocco
wind
is
the neighbourhood
damp
;
and the
often blowing over all these things for
days together, like a gigantic oven out for a holiday.
Not long ago, there was a festa day, in honour of the
Virgins mother, when the young men of the neighbourhood, having worn green wreaths of the vine ui some
procession or other, bathed in them, by scores.
It looked
am bound
to confess
very odd and pretty.
knowing
and was quite
(not
to
Though
I
of the festa at that time), that I thought,
satisfied,
they wore them as horses do
keep the flies off.
Soon afterwards, there was another festa
day,
—
in
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
44
honour of a
St.
One
Nazaro.
young men
brealdast, and
of the Albaro
brought two large bouquets soon after
coming up-stairs into the great sala, presented them
This was a polite way of begging for a contribution towards the expenses of some music in the Saint's
himself.
and
we gave him whatever
so
honour,
may have
it
messenger departed:
o'clock in the evenmg we went
to
the
been,
At
well satisfied.
his
church—
six
close
—a very
gaudy place, hung all over with festoons and bright draperies, and filled, from the altar to
the main door, with women, all seated.
They wear no
at
hand
bonnets here, simply a long white veil
and
it
—the "mezzero;"
was the most gauzy, ethereal-looking audience I
The young women
ever saw.
are not generally pretty,
but they walk remarkably well, and in their personal
and the management of
much innate grace and elegance.
carriage
men
present
not very
:
many
:
their veils, display
There -were some
and a few of these
were kneeling about the aisles, while everybody else
tumbled over them. Innumerable tapers were burning
in
the bits of silver and tin about the
the church;
saints
brilliantly
altar
;
in
(especially
the
;
the
priests
Virgin's
necldace)
sparkled
were seated about the chief
the organ played away, lustily, and a full band
did the like
;
posite to the
him with a
while a conductor, in a
galleiy op-
band, hammered away on the desk
scroll
;
and a
The band played one
singer went a
little
tliird,
tenor, without
any
before
voice, sang.
way, the organ played another, the
and the unfortunate conductor banged
and banged, and flourished
his scroll
on some principle
45
GENOA,
of his
own
:
performance.
apparently well satisfied with the whole
I never did hear such a discordant din.
The heat was intense all the time.
The men, in red caps, and with loose coats hanging on
their shoulders (they never put them on), were plapng
bowls, and buying sweetmeats, immediately outside the
When half-a-dozen of them finished a game,
church.
crossed themselves with the
they came into the aisle,
for an instant, and walked
holy water, knelt on one knee
off"
again to play another
game
at
bowls.
They
are
remarkably expert at this diversion, and
on the most uneven and
stony lanes and streets, and
will play in the
for
disastrous ground
such a purpose, with as
much
But the most favourite
nicety as on a billiard-table.
game is the national one of Mora, which they pursue
with surprising
and
ardoui',
everything they possess.
men
which they
will
no accessaries but the ten
gamljling, requiiing
which are always
at
—
—I
fingers,
T^\X)
intend no pun at hand.
One calls a number say the
—
play together.
He
extreme one, ten.
stake
It is a destmctive kind of
marks what portion of
it
he
out three, or fom% or five, fingers
pleases by throwing
and his adversary has, in the same instant, at hazard,
;
and without seeing
fingers as will
make
and hands become
astonishing
would find
his
so
rapidity,
it
very
hand, to throw out as
used to
that
there
is
an
this,
uninitiated
bystander
not impossible, to follow
The initiated, however, of
difficult, if
the progress of the game.
whom
many
Their eyes
and act with such
the exact balance.
always an eager group looking on, devour
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
46
it
with the most intense avidity
;
and
as they are always
ready to champion one side or the other in case of a
dispute, and are frequently divided in their partizanship,
it
often a very noisy proceeding.
is
quietest
game
in the world
;
for the
called in a loud sharp voice,
It
never the
is
numbers are always
and follow as
close
upon
each other as they can be counted.
On a holiday
evening, standing at a window, or walking in a garden,
or passing through the streets, or sauntering in any
quiet place about the town, you will hear this
progress in a score of wine-shops at once
game
in
and looking
over any vineyard walk, or turning almost any corner,
will come upon a knot of players in full
It is
cry.
observable that most
out some particular
men have
number
;
a propensity to throw
and
oftener than another;
the vigilance with which two sharp-eyed players will
mutually endeavour to detect this weakness, and adapt
their
The
very curious and entertaining.
greatly heightened by the universal suddenness
game
effect is
to
it, is
and vehemence
of gesture
;
two
men
playing for half a
farthing with an intensity as all-absorbing as
if
the stake
were .life.
to
Hard by here,
some member
is
a large Palazzo, formerly belonging
of the Brignole family, but just
hired by a school of Jesuits for their
summer
now
quarters.
I walked into its dismantled precincts the other evening
about
smiset,
and couldn't help pacing up and down
for a little time, drowsily taking in the aspect of the
place
:
which
is
repeated hereabouts in
I loitered to and
fro,
all directions.
under a colonnade, forming two
47
GENOA.
sides of a weedy, grass-grown court-yard,
house formed a third
garden and
and a low terrace-walk, over-
neighbouiing hills, the
I don't believe there was an uncracked stone
looking the
fourth.
side,
whereof the
the
In the centre, was a melancholy
in the whole pavement.
statue, so piebald in its decay, that it looked exactly as
if it
had been covered with
sticking-plaster,
and
The stables, coach-houses,
wards powdered.
were all empty, all ruinous, all utterly deserted.
Doors had
lost their
after-
offices,
hinges, and were holding on
by their latches windows were broken, painted plaster
had peeled off, and was lying about in clods fowls and
;
;
cats
had
so taken possession of the out-buildings, that
I couldn't help thinking of the faiiy tales, and eyeing
them with
suspicion, as transformed retainers, waiting
One old Tom in particular
be changed back again.
a scraggy brute, with a hungiy green eye (a poor relation,
in reality, I am inclined to think)
came prowling round
to
:
:
and round me,
as
he half believed,
if
that I might be the hero
set all to-rights
come
to
for the
moment,
maiTy the lady, and
but discovering his mistake, he sud-
;
denly gave a grim snarl, and walked away with such a
tremendous
where he
that he couldn't get into the
tail,
lived,
little
hole
but was obliged to wait outside, until his
had gone down together.
In a sort of summer-house, or whatever it may be
in this colonnade, some Englishmen had been livuig,
indignation and his
like
gmbs
in a nut
notice to go,
too.
tail
;
but the Jesuits had given them
and they had gone, and
The house
:
tlio.t
was shut up
a wandering, echoing, thundering bar-
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
48
rack of a place, with the lower windows barred up, as
and I have no doubt
usual, was wide open at the door
:
and gone
and gone dead,
in,
and nobody a bit the wiser.
one
suite of rooms
Only
on an upper floor was tenanted and from one of these,
I might have gone
to bed,
;
the voice of a young-lady vocalist, practising bravura
lustily, came flaunting out upon the silent evening.
down
I went
into the garden, intended to be
prim
and
quaint, with avenues, and terraces, and orangeand everytrees, and statues, and water in stone basins
;
thing was green, gaunt, weedy, stragglmg, under grown,
or over grown, mildewy, damp, redolent of all sorts of
clammy, creeping, and uncomfortable life. There
was nothuig bright in the whole scene but a firefly one
slabby,
solitary firefly
—showing
—
against the dark bushes like the
speck of the departed Glory of the house
last little
;
went flittmg up and down at sudden angles,
and leaving a place with a jerk, and describing an irregular circle, and returning to the same place with a twitch
and even
it
that startled one
:
as if
it
were looking
for the rest of
the Glory, and wond^ering (Heaven Imows
what had become of
might!)
it.
In the course of two months, the
shadows of
it
my dismal
flitting
shapes and
entering reverie gradually resolved
themselves into familiar forms and substances; and I
already began to think that
when
the time should come,
a year hence, for closing the long holiday and turning
back to England, I might part from Genoa with anything but a glad heart.
GENOA.
49
"
a place that
grows upon you" eveiy day. There
it.
There are
seems to be always something to find out
It
is
m
the most extraordinaiy alleys and by-ways to walk about
in.
You can
you
are idle
way (what a comfort that is, when
times
and turn
a-day, if you like
twenty
lose your
!)
;
up again, under the most unexpected and sm^prising diffiIt abounds in the strangest contrasts
culties.
things
;
that are picturesque, ugly, mean, magnificent, delightful,
break upon the view at every turn.
would
know how beautiful the country imThey who
and
offensive,
mediately surrounding Genoa
Monte
weather) to the top of
romid the
city walls
:
is,
should climb (in clear
Faccio, or, at least, ride
No
a feat more easily performed.
prospect can be more diversified and lovely than the
changing views of the harbour, and the valleys of the
two rivers, the Polcevera and the Bizagno, from the
heights along which the strongly-fortified walls are
carried,
lilve
the great wall of China in
In not
little.
the least picturesque part of this ride, there
is
a
fair
specimen of a real Genoese tavern, where the visitor
may derive good entertainment from real Genoese
dishes, such as Tagliaiini
combs
and
sheep-kidneys,
mutton-chops and liver
part
of
a
calf,
served up in a
;
German
chopped
small shreds,
dish like white-bait
curiosities of that kind.
sausages,
up
figs
;
with
small pieces of some unkno\Mi
twisted into
gi'eat
;
and eaten with fresh green
strong of garlick, sliced
cocks'
Ra\ioli
;
They
;
fried,
and
and other
often get wine at these
subm'ban Trattorie, from France and Spain and Portulittle
gal, which is brought over by small captains
m
E
50
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
trading-vessels.
They buy
without asldng what
it is,
at
it
much
so
or caring to
a
bottle,
remember
if
any-
body tells them, and usually divide it into two heaps;
of which they label one Champagne, and the other
The
Madeira.
various
flavours,
op^^osite
qualities,
comitries, ages, and vintages that are comprised under
these two general heads
is
quite
most limited range is probably from cool Giniel up
Marsala, and down again to apple Tea.
The
The
extraordinary.
to old
as naiTOw as
great majority of the streets are
any thoroughfare can well be, where people (even Italian
people) are supposed to live and walk about being mere
;
lanes, with here,
and
The houses
place.
sorts of colours,
damage,
off
dirt,
m floors,
there, a Idnd of well, or breathing-
are
immensely high, painted in all
and are in every stage and state of
and lack of
or
They
repair.
are
commonly let
flats, like the houses in the old
There are few
Edinburgh, or many houses in Paris.
street doors; the entrance halls are, for the
looked upon as public property
clearing
them
As
out.
for coaches to penetrate into
most
part,
and any moderately
;
make a
enterprising scavenger might
now and then
town of
these
fine fortune
it is
streets,
by
impossible
there
ai'e
sedan chairs, gilded and otherwise, for hire in divers
A
places.
among
great
many
private
the nobility and gentry
trotted to
and
;
chairs
and
fro in all directions,
of great lanthorns,
made
are
also
kept
at night these are
preceded by bearers
upon a frame.
of linen stretched
The sedans and lanthorns
are the legitimate successors
of the long strings of patient
and much-abused mules.
GENOA.
that go jingling their
little bells
streets all day long.
51
through these confined
follow them, as regularly as
They
the stars the sun.
When shall
I forget the Streets of Palaces
Nuova and the Strada Balbi
or
!
the Strada
:
how the former looked
one summer day, when I first saw it underneath the
biightest and most intensely blue of summer skies which
:
naiTow perspective of immense mansions, reduced
to a tapering and most precious strip of brightness, lookits
A brightness
ing down upon the heavy shade below
not too common, even in July and August, to be well
!
esteemed
:
for,
the Truth must out, there were not
if
eight blue skies in as
many midsummer
weeks, saving,
when, looking out to
sometimes, early in the morning
sea, the water and the firmament were one world of
;
At other times, there were
deep and brilliant blue.
clouds and haze enough to make an Englishman giinnble
in his
The
of
own
climate.
endless details of these rich Palaces
some of them, within,
dyke
!
The
great,
:
the walls
by Vanstone balconies, one above
alive with masterpieces
heavj'-,
another, and tier over tier
with here and there, one
:
larger than the rest, towering high
up
—a huge marble
platform; the doorless vestibules, massively-barred lower
windows, immense public staircases, thick marble
pillars,
strong dungeon-like arches, and dreaiy, cbeaming, echoing
vaulted chambers among which the eye wanders again,
:
and again, and
another—the
succeeded by
terrace gardens between house and house,
again,
as eveiy palace
is
with green arches of the vine, and groves of
orange-trees,
E
-2
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
52
and blushing oleander in
feet above
and
the
street
full
—the
bloom, twenty, thirty,
halls,
painted
forty,
mouldering,
and rotting in the damp comers, and still
in
beautiful colours and voluptuous designs,
sliming out
where the walls are dry the faded figures on the outblotting,
—
sides of the houses, holding wreaths,
and crowns, and
and downward, and standing in niches,
and here and there looking fainter and more feeble than
flying upward,
elsewhere, by contrast with some fresh little Cupids, who
on a more recently-decorated portion of the fi'ont, are
stretching out what seems to be the semblance of a
blanket, but
is,
hill streets of
indeed, a sun-dial
—the
steep, steep, up-
small palaces (but very large palaces for
all
with marble terraces looldng down mto close byinnumerable Chm'ches and
that),
—
ways the magnificent and
;
the rapid passage from a street
into a maze of the vilest squalor, steaming with unof stately edifices,
wholesome stenches, and
swarming
children and whole worlds of dirty
altogether, such a scene of wonder
dead
so noisy, and yet so quiet
:
so
shy and lowering
asleep
:
that
it is
:
so
half-naked
—
people make
up,
and yet so
obtnisive, and yet
so lively,
:
:
with
so
wide awake, and yet so
fast
a sort of intoxication to a stranger to
walk on, and on, and on, and look about him.
A
bewil-
dering phantasmagoria, with all the inconsistency of
a dream, and all the pain and all the pleasure of an
extravagant reality
The
!
different uses to
applied, all at once,
is
which some of these Palaces are
characteristic.
For
instance, the
English Banker (my excellent and hospitable friend)
hiis.
53
GENOA.
his office in a good-sized Palazzo in the Strada
In the
which
hall (every inch of
but which
is
is
Nuova.
elaborately painted,
as dirty as a police-station in London), a
Head mth an immense quantity of
a man attached to it) sells walking-
hook-nosed Saracen's
black hair (there is
On the other side of the doorway, a lady with a
sticks.
showy handkerchief
for head-dress (wife to the Saracen's
Head, I believe) sells articles of her own knitting and
sometimes flowers. A little further m, two or three
;
blind
by a
men occasionally beg.
man mthout legs, on
Sometimes, they are visited
a Httle go-cart, but who has
and such a respectable,
well-conditioned bodv, that he looks as if he had sunk
into the ground up to his middle, or had come, but
such a fresh-colom-ed, lively
partially,
body.
A
up a
face,
speak to somefew
a
men, perhaps, lie
flight of cellar-steps to
further in,
little
asleep in the middle of the day
men
or they
;
waiting for their absent freight.
may
be chair-
If so, they have
brought their chah's in with them, and there they stand
also.
shop.
On the left of the hall is
On the first floor, is the
floor also,
first
residence too.
that
;
is
a
little
room
:
a hatter's
On the
English bank.
a whole house, and a good large
Heaven knows what there may be above
but when you are there, you have only just begim
And
to go up-stairs.
thhikmg
of this
;
yet,
coming down
stairs
again,
and passing out at a great crazy door
in the back of the hall, instead of turning the other
bangs behind you,
making the dismallest and most lonesome echoes, and
you stand in a yard (the yard of the same house) which
way, to get into the street again
;
it
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
54
seems
have been im\'isited
to
Not a sound
hmidred
years.
a head,
thinist out of
windows within
sight,
by human
foot,
for a
disturbs its repose.
Not
any of the grim, dark, jealous
makes the weeds in the cracked
pavement famt of heart, by suggesting the possibility of
there being hands to grub them up.
Opposite to you,
is a giant figure carved in stone,
reclining, with an urn,
upon a
piece of artificial rockwork;
lofty
and out of
the urn, dangles the fag end of a leaden pipe, which,
once upon a time, poured a small torrent down the
rocks.
But the
than this channel
uni, which
eye-sockets of the giant are not drier
He
now.
is
seems
to
have given his
tilt
and after
nearly upside down, a final
" All
crpng, like a sepulchral child,
gone
is
;
"
!
to
have
lapsed into a stony silence.
In the
streets of shops, the houses are
much
smaller,
but of great size notwithstanding, and extremely high.
They are veiy dirty quite undrained, if my nose be at
:
and emit a peculiar fragrance, like the
smell of very bad cheese, kept in very hot blankets.
all reliable
:
Notwithstanding the height of the houses, there would
seem to have been a lack of room in the City, for new
houses are thrust in everywhere.
Wherever
possible to
cram a tumble-down tenement
comer, in
it
has gone.
fmigus.
looking as
Against
the
into a crack or
nook or angle in
any other dead wall,
of any sort, there you are sure to find
:
has been
If there be a
the wall of a church, or a cre\dce in
habitation
it
some kind of
if
had grown there, like a
Government house, against the
it
old Senate house, romid about any large building,
little
GENOA.
shops stick
And
carcase.
steps,
like
close,
do\sii
for
all
D-)
look where you
this,
anpvhere, everywhere
steps,
the great
veniiin to
parasite
may
there
:
receding, starting forward,
irregular houses,
:
up
are
tumbling
down, leaning against their neighbours, crippling themselves or their friends by
one,
more irregular than the
and you
One
is
some means or
can't see
rest,
until
other,
choaks up the way,
any further.
of the rottenest-looking parts of the tovm, I think,
down by the
landing- wharf
:
it
though
may
be, that
being associated with a great deal of rottenness on
the evening of our arrival, has stamped it deeper in my
mind.
Here, again, the houses are very high, and are
its
of an infinite variety of deformed shapes, and have (as
most of the houses have) something hanging out of a
great many windows, and wafting its frowsy fragrance on
the breeze.
a carpet
sometimes,
it is
it is
a curtain
a bed
;
;
sometimes,
it is
sometimes, a whole
almost always some
Before the basements of these houses, is an arcade
line-full
thing.
;
Sometimes,
of clothes
over the pavement
old crypt.
The
;
:
but there
veiy massive, dark, and low, like an
stone, or plaster, of
all sorts
which
it is
made,
and against eveiy one of these
of filth and garbage seem to accu-
has turned quite black
black piles,
is
;
mulate spontaneously.
Beneath some of the arches, the
sellers of maccaroni and polenta establish thek stalls,
which are by no means inviting. The offal of a
market, near at hand that is to say, of a back
—
fish-
lane,
upon the gi'ound and on various old
bulk-heads and sheds, and sell fish when they have any
w^here people sit
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
56
—and of a vegetable
to dispose of
the same principle
this quarter
;
and
acted here, and
—
liiarket,
are contributed to the decoration of
busmess
as all the mercantile
it
constructed on
is
decided flavour about
crowded
it.
all
day,
is
trans-
has a veiy
it
The Porto Franco,
or Free
Port (where goods brought in from foreign coimtries payno duty until they are sold and taken out, as in a bonded
warehouse in England), is down here also and two portentous officials, in cocked hats, stand at the gate to
;
they choose, and to keep out Monks and
For, Sanctity as well as Beauty has been known
search you
Ladies.
if
smuggling, and in the
same way that is to say, by conceahng the smuggled
So Sancproperty beneath the loose folds of its dress.
to yield to the temptation of
:
and Beauty may, by no means, enter.
The streets of Genoa would be all the better
tity
for the
importation of a few Priests of prepossessing appearance.
Eveiy fourth or fifth man in the streets is a Priest or a
Monk
;
and there
is
pretty sure to be at least one itine-
rant ecclesiastic inside or outside every hackney carriage on
the neighbouring roads. I have no knowledge, elsewhere,
of more repulsive countenances than are to be fomid
among
these gentiy.
If Nature's handwriting be at all
legible, greater varieties of sloth,
deceit,
tual torpor, could hardly be observed
of
men
and
intellec-
among any
class
in the world.
Mr. Pepys once heard a clergyman
assert in his
sermon, in illustration of his respect for the Priestly
office, that if he could meet a Priest and angel together,
he would salute the Priest
first.
I
am
rather of the
57
GENOA.
Petrarch who, when his pupil Boccaccio
him in great tribulation, that he had been
opinion of
wrote to
visited
Friar
and admonished
who claimed
to
by a Carthusian
be a messenger immediately comfor his writings
missioned by Heaven for that purpose, replied, that for
his own part, he would take the liberty of testing the
commission by personal observ^ation of the
Messenger's face, eyes, forehead, behaviour, and discourse.
I cannot but believe myself, from similar observation,
reality of the
that
many unaccredited
celestial
messengers
may be seen
skulking through the streets of Genoa, or droning away
their lives in other Italian towns.
Perhaps the Cappuccini, though not a learned body,
are, as an order, the best friends of the people.
They
seem
to
mingle with them more immediately, as their
counsellors
and comforters
when they
;
and
to go
among them more,
are sick; and to pry less than
some other
orders, into the secrets of families, for the purpose of
a baleful ascendancy over their weaker
members; and to be influenced by a less fierce desire
establishing
to
make
soul
converts,
and body.
and once made,
They may be
in all parts of the
town
to let
them go
to ruin,
seen, in their coarse dress,
at all times,
and begging in the
The
Jesuits too, muster
markets early in the morning.
strong in the streets, and go slinking noiselessly about,
in pairs, like black cats.
In some of the narrow passages, distinct trades conThere is a street of jewellers, and there is a
gregate.
but even do^vn in places where
nobody ever can, or ever could, penetrate in a carriage,
row of booksellers
;
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
58
there are mighty old palaces shut in
and
closest walls,
among
the gloomiest
and almost shut out from the sun.
Very-
few of the tradesmen have any idea of settmg forth their
goods, or disposing them for show. If you, a stranger, want
you usually look romid the shop till you
then clutch it, if it be within reach and inquire
see it
how much. Eveiything is sold at the most unlikely
to
buy
an}i:hing,
;
place.
;
If you want coffee, you go
to
a
sweetmeat-
shop and if you want meat, you mil proba])ly find it
behind an old checked curtain, down half a dozen steps,
;
some sequestered nook as hard to find as if the commodity were poison, and Genoa's law were death to any
in
he that uttered
Most
it.
of the apothecaries' shops are great lounging
Here, grave men with sticks, sit down in the
shade for hom^s together, passing a meagre Genoa paper
places.
from hand
to hand,
about the News.
and
talldng, drowsily
and sparingly,
Two or three of these are poor physicians,
ready to proclaim themselves on an emergency, and tear
off with any messenger who may arrive.
You may know
them by the way in which they stretch their necks to
and by the sigh with which they
listen, when you enter
;
back again into their dull comers, on finding that
Few people lounge in the
you only want medicine.
fall
barbers'
shops
;
though they are very numerous, as
But the apothecary's
hardly any man shaves himself.
has its group of loungers, who sit back among the bottles,
with their hands folded over the tops of their sticks.
you don't see them in the
darkened shop, or mistake them as I did one ghostly
So
still
and
quiet, that either
—
59
GENOA.
man
for
in bottle-green, one day, with a hat
Uke a stopper
—
Horse Medicine.
On
summer
a
evening, the Genoese are as fond of
were of putting
putting themselves, as their ancestors
houses, in eveiy available inch of space witliin and about
In
the town.
little
all
the lanes and alleys, and up eveiy
and on eveiy dwarf
ascent,
on Festa-days) the
bells of the chmTlies ring
incessantly; not in peals, or any
but in a horrible,
dingle
irregidar,
known form
jerking,
of sound,
dingle,
dingle,
with a sudden stop at eveiy fifteenth dingle or
:
which
so,
every-
Meanwhile (and
like bees.
flight of steps, they cluster
especially
and on
wall,
is
maddening.
This performance
achieved by a boy up in the steeple,
the clapper, or a
little
who
rope attached to
is
usually
takes hold of
it,
and
tries to
dingle louder than every other boy similarly employed.
The
Evil
noise
is
Spirits
;
(and
seeing
supposed to be particularly obnoxious to
but looking up into the steeples, and
hearing) these young Christians thus en-
gaged, one might veiy naturally mistake
them
for the
Enemy.
Festa-days,
early
in the
autumn, are very numer-
All the shops were shut up, twice \\ithin a week,
for these holidays; and one night, all the houses in
ous.
the neighbom'hood of a particulai- church were illuminated, while the chm'ch itself was lighted, outside, with
torches
;
and a grove of blazing links was erected,
in
an
open place outside one of the city gates. This part of
the ceremony is prettier and more siiigular a little way
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
60
where you can trace the illummated
and where you
the way up a steep hill side
in the country,
cottages all
;
pass festoons of tapers, wasting away in the starlight
some lonely
house upon the road.
On these days, they always dress the church of the
saint in whose honour the Festa is holden, very gaily.
night, before
little
Gold-embroidered festoons of different colours, hang
from the arches the altar furniture is set forth and,
;
;
sometimes, even the lofty pillars are swathed from top to
bottom in
dedicated
went
into
tight-fitting
to
it,
St.
The
draperies.
Lorenzo.
On
St.
just as the sun was
cathedral
is
Lorenzo's day,
w6
Although
setting.
these decorations are usually in very indifferent taste,
the
effect,
just then, was very superb, indeed.
whole building was dressed in red
;
For the
and the sinking sun,
through a great red curtain in the chief
When the
doorway, made all the gorgeousness its own.
sun went down, and it gradually grew quite dark inside,
streaming
in,
except for a few tmnkling tapers on the principal altar,
and some small dangling silver lamps, it was very
mysterious and effective.
But, sitting in
any of the
churches towards evening, is like a mild dose of opium.
With the money collected at a Festa, they usually pay
for the dressing of the church,
band, and for the tapers.
and
for the hiring of the
If there be any left (which
seldom happens, I believe) the souls in purgatoiy get the
benefit of it. They are also supposed to have the benefit
of the exertions of certain small boys,
who shake money-
boxes before some mysterious little buildings like rural
turnpikes, which (usually shut up close) fly open on Red-
61
GENOA.
letter
days,
and
disclose
an image and some flowers
inside.
Just without the city gate, on the Albaro road,
small house, with an altar in
box
also
:
the
stimulate
to
a
and a stationary money-
of the
for the benefit
fm'ther
Still
it,
is
souls
in
charitable,
Purgatory.
there
is
a
monstrous painting on the plaster, on either side of the
grated door, representing a select party of souls,
One
of
head of
them has a grey moustache, and an
grey hair as if he had been taken out
dresser's
of a hair-
:
window and
cast
mto the
fi'}dng.
elaborate
There
furnace.
a most grotesque and hideously comic old soul
for ever blistering in the real sun, and melting in the
mimic fire, for the gratification and improvement (and
he
is
:
:
the contributions) of the poorer Genoese.
They
are not a very joyous people,
seen to dance on their holidays
:
and are seldom
the staple places of
entertainment among the women, being the churches and
the public walks. They are veiy good-tempered, obliging.
and
industrious.
for then-
Industiy has not
habitations
are
extremely
made them
filthy,
usual occupation on a fine Sunday morning,
their doors, hunting in each others' heads.
dwellings are so close and confined that
if
clean,
and their
is to sit
But
at
their
those parts of
the city had been beaten
down by Massena
of the terrible Blockade,
w^ould have at least occasioned
it
in the time
one public benefit among many misfortunes.
The Peasant Women, with naked feet and legs, are so
constantly washing clothes, in the public tanks, and in
eveiy stream and ditch, that one cannot help wondering.
PICTUKES FROM ITALY.
0'2
in the midst of all this dirt,
are clean.
The custom
who wears them when they
is to
lay the wet linen wliich is
being operated upon, on a smooth stone, and hammer
This they do, as
away at it, with a flat wooden mallet.
they were revenging themselves on dress
in general for being connected with the Fall of Manldnd.
It is not unusual to see, Ipng on the edge of the
furiously as
if
tank at these times, or on another
flat stone,
an unfor-
tunate baby, tightly swathed up, arms and legs and
in an enormous quantity of wrapper, so that
to
move a
see represented in old pictures)
common
unable
This custom (which we often
toe or finger.
A
it is
all,
is
universal
among
the
anywhere without the
possibility of crawling away, or is accidentally knocked
ofl" a shelf, or tumbled out of bed, or is
hung up to a
people.
child
hook now and then, and
is
left
dangling like a doll at an
English rag shop, without the least inconvenience to
left
anybody,
I was sitting, one Sunday, soon after
my
arrival, in
country church of San Martino, a couple of
I saw
miles from the city, while a baptism took place,
the priest, and an attendant with a large taper, and a
the
little
man, and a woman, and some others but I had no
more idea, until the ceremony was all over, that it was a
;
baptism, or that the curious
little stiff
instrument, that
was passed from one to another, in the course of the
was a
ceremony, by the handle like a short poker
—
—
child,
than I had that
it
was
borrowed the child afterwards,
my
o\mi christening.
for a
minute or two
was lying across the font then) and found
it
I
(it
very red in
63
GENOA.
the face but perfectly quiet, and not to be bent on any
The number of cripples in the streets, soon
terms.
ceased to sui'prise me.
There are plenty of
course
generally
;
favourite
memento
at
and Virgin's Shrines, of
The
comers of streets.
Saints'
the
about Genoa,
to the Faithful,
a
is
on his knees, with a
painting, representing a peasant
spade and some other agiicultm-al implements beside
him and the Madonna, Vvith the Infant Saviour in her
;
arms, appearing to
of the
Madonna
him
This
in a cloud.
della Guardia
within a few miles, which
is
:
is
the
Legend
a chapel on a moimtaiii
in high repute.
It
seems
that this peasant lived all alone by himself, tilling
some
land atop of the mountain, where, being a devout man,
he daily said his prayers to the Virgin ui the open air
;
for his
hut was a very poor one.
Upon
a certain day,
the Virgin appeared to him, as in the pictm'e, and said,
"
Why do you pray in the open air, and without a priest?"
The peasant explained because there was neither priest
nor church at hand a very micommon complamt indeed
—
in Italy.
"
"
I
should wish, then," said the
Celestial
have a chapel built here, in which the prayers
"
But Santissima
of the Faithful may be offered up."
Visitor,
to
Madonna,"
said the peasant,
"
I
am
a poor
chapels cannot be built without money.
man; and
They must be
have a chapel and not
supported, too, Santissima
a deadly sin." This
support it liberally, is a wickedness
;
for to
—
"
"
Go
sentiment gave great satisfaction to the visitor.
"
said she.
There is such a village in the valley on the
left, and such another \dllage in the valley on the right.
!
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
64
and such another
village elsewhere, that will gladly con-
Go
tribute to the building of a chapel.
what you have seen
;
to
them
and do not doubt that
!
Relate
sufficient
be forthcoming to erect my chapel, or that
All of
afterwards, be handsomely maintained."
will
money
it will,
which (miraculously) turned out to be quite true. And in
proof of this prediction and revelation, there is the chapel
Madonna
of the
and flemishing
della Guardia, rich
at
this day.
The splendom* and variety of the Genoese churches,
can hardly be exaggerated. The church of the Annunciata especially
many of the others, at the
and now in slow progress of
built, like
:
cost of one noble family,
repair
:
high cupola,
that
it
book on
utmost height of the
so elaborately painted and set in gold,
from the outer door
is
looks (as
to the
Simond describes
Italy) like a great
in his
charming
enamelled snuff-box. Most
of the richer chm'ches contain
it,
some
beautiful j)ictm'es,
or other embellishments of great price, almost miiversally
with sprawling
set, side
by
and the
veriest trash
It
may
side,
and
effigies of
maudlin monks,
tinsel ever seen.
be a consequence of the frequent direction of
the popular mind, and pocket, to the souls in Pm'gatoiy,
but there is ver}^ little tenderness for the bodies of the
dead here.
For the very
poor, there are, immediately
outside one angle of the walls,
and behind a jutting
point of -the fortification, near the sea, certain common
one for every day in the year which all remain
pits
—
—
closed up, mitil the tmii of each comes for
reception of dead
bodies.
Among
its
the troops in
daily
the
GENOA.
there
towTi,
65
some Swiss
are usually
:
more or
less.
When
any of these die, they are buried out of a fund
maintamed by such of their countrj^men as are resident
Their providing coffins for these men,
matter of great astonishment to the authorities.
Genoa.
in
Certainly, the effect of this promiscuous
is
and indecent
down of dead people into so many wells, is bad.
sun"ounds Death with revolting associations, that in-
splashing
It
approaching.
result
and
;
whom Death
become connected with those
sensibly
is
Indifference and avoidance are the natural
all
the softening influences of the great sor-
row are harshly disturbed.
There is a ceremony when an old Cavaliere or the
like, expires, of erecting
a pile of benches in the cathe-
dral, to represent his bier
pall of black velvet
top
;
making a
;
little
;
covering
them over with a
putting his hat and sword on the
square of seats about the whole
;
and sending out formal invitations to his friends and
acquaintance to come and sit there, and hear Mass
:
which
is
performed at the principal Altar, decorated
with an infinity of candles for that purpose.
When
the better kind of people die, or are at the
point of death, their nearest relations generally walk
retiring into the coimtry for a little change,
the body to be disposed
from them.
coffin
The
of,
off:
and leaving
without any superintendance
procession
is
usually formed, and the
borne, and the fimeral conducted, by a body of
persons
called
a Confratemita,
who,
as
a
voluntary penance, undertake to perform these
regular rotation, for the dead
F
;
Idnd
of
offices,
in
but who, mingling some-
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
66
thing of pride with their humihty, are dressed in a loose
garment covermg their whole person, and wear a hood
with breathing holes and aperconcealing the face
;
The
tures for the eyes.
ghastly
effect of this
costume
especially in the case of a certain
:
is very-
Blue Confra-
Genoa, who, to say the least of
them, are very ugly customers, and who look suddenly
encountered in their pious ministration in the streets
teniita belonging to
as if they were
—
Ghoules or Demons, bearing
off the
—
body
for themselves.
Although such a custom may be liable to the abuse
attendant on many Italian customs, of being recognised as
a means of estabhshing a current account with Heaven,
on which
to draw, too easily, for futm'e
an expiation
for past misdeeds, it
bad
actions, or as
must be admitted
to
be a good one, and a practical one, and one involvuig
A
unquestionably good works.
voluntary service like
this, is surely better than the imposed penance (not at
an infrequent one) of giving so many licks to such and
such a stone in the pavement of the cathedral or than
all
;
a vow to the
year or two.
above
Madonna
This
is
blue being (as
;
favourite colour.
to
wear nothhig but blue for a
supposed to give great delight
is
Women
well known) the
Madonna s
who have devoted themselves
to this act of Faith, are very
commonly seen walking
in
the streets.
There are three theatres in the
now
city,
:
the
—
The most important the Carlo
opera-house of Genoa is a very splendid,
rarely opened.
Felice
besides an old one
commodious, and beautiful theatre.
—
A company of come-
67
GENOA.
dians were acting there,
when we
is
and
:
not mitil the carnival
time —
after their
The
company came.
departure, a second-rate opera
season
arrived
great
in the spring.
Nothing impressed me, so much, in my visits here
(which were pretty numerous) as the uncommonly hard
and cniel character of the audience, who resent the
nothmg good-humouredly, seem
slightest defect, take
to
be always Ipng in wait for an opportmiity to hiss, and
But, as there
spare the actresses as little as the actors.
nothing else of a public natm'e at which they are
allowed to express the least disapprobation, perhaps they
is
ai'e
make the most
resolved to
of this opportunity.
There are a great number of Piedmontese
Officers too,
who
are allowed the privilege of kicking their heels in
the
pit,
for
next
accommodation
to
nothing:
for these
the Governor, in
all
gentlemen
or
cheap
being insisted on,
by
public or semi-public entertam-
ments.
They
infinitely
more exacting than
are
gi-atuitous,
in
lofty critics
if
they
consequence,
made
and
the mihappy
manager's fortune.
The Teateg Diueno,
stage in the open
air,
or
Day
Theatre,
is
a covered
where the performances take place
by daylight, in the cool of the afternoon commencing
at four or five o'clock, and lasting some three hours.
;
It is curious, sitting
among
view of the neighbouring
the audience, to have a fine
hills
and houses, and
to see the
neighbom's at their windows looldng on, and to hear the
bells of the chm'ches and convents
ringing at most
complete cross-pm-poses with the scene.
Beyond this,
and the novelty of seeing a play in the fresh pleasant
F 2
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
68
air,
with the darkening evening closing
there
in,
is
nothing very exciting or characteristic in the perform-
The
ances.
actors
are
indifferent;
and though they
sometimes represent one of Goldoni's comedies, the
staple of the Drama is French.
Anything like nationality is
dangerous to despotic governments, and Jesuit-
beleaguered kings.
The Theatre of Puppets, or Marionetti a famous
company from Milan is, without any exception, the
—
—
drollest exhibition I ever beheld
m my
I never
life.
saw anything so exquisitely ridiculous. They look between four and five feet high, but are really much
smaller
;
for
when a musician
in the orchestra happens
put his hat on the stage, it becomes alaimingly
They usually
gigantic, and almost blots out an actor.
to
The comic man
play a comedy, and a ballet.
in the
comedy I saw one summer night, is a waiter at an hotel.
There never was such a locomotive actor, since the
world began.
Great pains are taken with him. He
has extra jomts in his legs
and a practical eye, with
:
which he winks at the
insupportable
audience,
to
pit,
in a
manner
that
is
absolutely
a stranger, but which the uiitiated
mainly composed
of
the
common
people,
receive (so they do everything else) quite as a matter of
course,
digious.
is
he were a man.
His
spirits are pro-
continually shakes his legs, and winks his
there
down on the
is
a heavy father
mth
grey hair, who
regular conventional stage-bank, and
daughter in the regular conventional way,
No one would suppose it possible
tremendous.
blesses his
who
as if
He
And
eye.
sits
and
69
GENOA.
that anything short of a real
It
man
is the
triumph of art.
In the ballet, an Enchanter
could be so tedious.
nms away
her to his cave, and
tries to soothe her.
with the
He
Bride, in the veiy hour of her nuptials.
brings
sit
They
down
on a sofa (the regular sofa! in the regular place, O.P.
Second Entrance !) and a procession of musicians enter;
one creatm'e plajdng a diiim, and knocking himself off
These failing to delight her,
his legs at every blow.
dancers
Four
appear.
flesh-colom-ed two.
first
;
The way
then two
;
the
two
in which they dance
the
;
the
;
height to which they spring; the impossible and inhuman extent to which they pirouette the revelation of
;
their preposterous legs
on the veiy
;
the coming
tips of their toes,
when
the gentleman's retiring up,
turn ; and the lady's retiring up
it;
man's
tmn
going
off
down with a
pause,
the music requires
when
when
it
it
is
is
the lady's
the gentle-
the final passion of a pas-de-deux and the
with a bound
I shall never see a real ballet,
;
!
—
;
with a composed comitenance, again.
I went, another night, to see these Puppets act a play
"
called
St. Helena, or the Death of
Napoleon." It
began by the disclosure of Napoleon, with an immense
head, seated on a sofa in his chamber at St. Helena to
;
whom
ment
"
his valet entered,
:
Sir
Sir
Yew ud
se
on
Low
"
!
(the ow, as in cow).
Hudson
mentals
leon;
with this obscm'e annomice-
!)
(that you could have seen his regiwas a perfect mammoth of a man, to Napo-
liideously
ugly;
with a monstrously dispropor-
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
70
and a great clump for the lower-jaw, to
and obdurate nature. He began
tionate face,
express his tyrannical
"
by calling his prisoner Genewhich the latter rephed, with the
his system of persecution,
ral
Buonaparte
;" to
"
deepest tragedy,
Sir
Yew ud
se
on Low,
me not
am Napo-
call
I
Repeat that phrase and leave me
of
France
!"
Sir Yew ud se on, nothing
leon, Emperor
to
entertain
him with an ordinance
daunted, proceeded
thus.
!
Government, regulating the state he
should preserve, and the furniture of his rooms
and
of the British
:
"Four
limiting his attendants to fom^ or five persons,
"
or five for me ,'" said Napoleon.
One hundred
Me
men
thousand
this
English
were lately at
officer
Throughout the
piece,
my
of
talks
!
command; and
"
for me !
sole
foiu*
or five
Napoleon (who talked very
like
the real Napoleon, and was, for ever, ha"sdng small soli"
these English
loquies by himself) was veiy bitter on
officers,"
and " these English
satisfaction
lighted to
said
"
of
have
General
soldiers
who were
the audience,
Low
bullied
;
"
:
to
the great
perfectly de-
and who, whenever
"
Buonaparte
Low
(which he always did
:
always receiving the same correction) quite execrated
him.
It would be hard to say why; for Italians have
little cause to
sympathise with Napoleon, Heaven
knows.
There was no plot at all, except that a French officer
disguised as an Englishman, came to propound a plan of
and being discovered, but not before Napoleon
had magnanimously refused to steal his freedom, was
escape
;
immediately ordered
off
by
Low
to
be hanged.
In two
71
GENOA.
very long speeches, which
"
"
—
Low made
memorable, by
show that he was English
—
to
windrng up with Yas
of applause.
thunders
which brought down
Napoleon
was so affected by this catastrophe, that he fainted away
!
and was carried out by two other puppets.
Judging from what followed, it would appear that he
never recovered the shock for the next act showed him,
on the
spot,
;
in a clean shirt, in his
where a
two
while he
being
prematurely dressed in mourning, brought
children, who Imeeled down by the bed-side,
lady,
little
"
bed (curtains crimson and white),
made
a decent end
the last word on his lips
;
Vatterlo."
It was unspeakably ludicrous.
Buonaparte's boots
were so wonderfully beyond control, and did such marvellous things of their own accord
doubling themselves
:
and getting under tables, and dangling in the air,
and sometimes skating away with liim, out of all human
mischances
knowledge, when he was in full speech
up,
—
which were not rendered the
less absurd,
melancholy depicted in his face.
by a settled
to one
To put an end
conference with Low, he had to go to a table, and read a
book
:
when
it
was the
finest spectacle I ever beheld, to
see his body bending over the volume, like a boot-jack,
and
his sentimental eyes glaring obstinately into the pit.
He
was prodigiously good, in bed, with an immense
collar to his shirt, and his little hands outside the
coverlet.
So was Dr. Antommarchi, represented by
Puppet with long lank hair, like Mawworm's, who,
in consequence of some derangement of his wires,
hovered about the couch like a vultui'e, and gave medical
a
72
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
opinions in the
air.
He
was almost as good as Low,
though the latter was great at
and
brute
all
beyond
villain,
all
times
—a
possibility
decided
of mistake.
Low
was especially fine at the last, when, hearing the
"
"
he
The Emperor is dead
doctor and the valet say,
pulled out his watch, and wound up the piece (not the
!
watch) by exclaiming, with characteristic brutality,
ha
Eleven minutes
!
the
to six
"
spy hanged
"Ha!
The General dead
!
and
!
This brought the curtain down,
!
triumphantly.
There
is
a lovelier
not in Italy, they say (and I believe them)
Palazzo Peschiere, or
residence than the
Palace of the Fishponds, whither we removed as soon as
our three months' tenancy of the Pink Jail at Albaro
had ceased and determined.
It stands on a height within the walls of Genoa, but
aloof from the
of
its
own,
town
:
surrounded by beautiful gardens
adorned with
statues,
vases,
fountains,
marble basins, terraces, walks of orange trees and lemon
trees, groves of roses
and camelias.
All
its
apartments
but
are beautiful in their proportions and decorations
the great hall,
some
fifty
feet
in height,
;
with three
large windows at the end, overlooking the whole to^vn of
Genoa, the harbour, and the neighboming sea, affords one
of the most fascinating and delightfid prospects in the
world.
the
Any house more
cheerful
great rooms are, mthin,
it
and habitable than
would be
dijfficult
to
and certainly nothing more delicious than the
scene without, in sunshine or in moonlight, could be
conceive
;
73
GENOA.
more
an enchanted palace in an
Eastern story than a grave and sober lodging.
How you may wander on, from room to room, and
It is
imagined.
never
tire of
like
the wild fancies on the walls and ceilings,
had been
as bright in their fresh colouring as if they
painted yesterday
how one
or
;
floor,
or even the great
which opens on eight other rooms, is a spacious
promenade ; or how there are corridors and bed-chambers
hall
we never use and
above, which
know
the
way through
;
or
perfectly different character
the building
hall, is like
;
matters
rarely visit,
how
there
is
and scarcely
a view of a
on each of the fom* sides of
little.
a vision to me.
But
that prospect from the
I go back to
it, iji
fancy, as
hundred times a-day and
with the sweet scents from the
I have done in calm reality a
stand there, looking out,
garden risiug up about me,
;
in
a perfect
dream of
happiness.
There
lies all
Genoa, in beautiful confusion, with
its
many churches, monasteries, and convents, pointing up
into the sunny sky
and down below me, just where the
;
roofs begin, a solitaiy convent parapet, fashioned like a
gallery,
with an iron cross at the end, where sometimes, early
in the morning, I have seen a little
gi'oup of dark-veiled
nmis gliding sorrowfully to and fro, and stopping now and
then to peep down upon the waking world in which they
have no part. Old Monte Faccio, brightest of hills in
good weather, but sulkiest when storms are coming on,
is here,
upon the left. The Fort within the walls (the
good King built it to command the town, and beat the
houses of the Genoese about their eai'S, in case they
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
74
should be discontented) commands that height upon the
The broad sea lies beyond, in front there and
right.
;
that line of coast, beginning by the light-house,
and
tapering away, a mere speck in the rosy distance,
the
is
The garden
beautiful coast road that leads to Nice.
near at hand, among the roofs and houses all red with
roses and fresh with little fountains
is the Acqua Sola
:
—
:
a public promenade, where the military band plays
gaily,
and the white
veils cluster thick,
and roimd, and round, in
nobility ride round,
clothes
and coaches
sit
:
state-
at least, if not in absolute wisdom.
Within a stone 's-throw, as
Day-Theatre
and the Genoese
it
seems, the audience of the
But
their faces turned this way.
as
the stage is hidden, it is very odd, without a knowledge
of the cause, to see their faces change so suddenly from
earnestness to laughter; and odder
still,
to
hear the
rounds upon rounds of applause, rattling in the evening
air, to which the curtain falls.
But, being Sunday
night, they act their best
now, the sim
and most
attractive play.
And
going down, in such magnificent array
of red, and green, and golden light, as neither pen nor
is
pencil could depict; and to the ruiging of the vesper
bells,
darlmess
Then,
lights
country road
flashing, for
illuminates
at
once,
without a twilight.
m
;
Genoa, and on the
begin to shine
and the revohdng lantern out at sea there,
an
it
on this palace front and portico,
there were a bright moon bursting
instant,
as
if
from behind a cloud
And
in
sets
;
this, so far as I
Genoese avoid
it
then, merges
know,
after dark,
is
it
in deep obscurity.
the only reason
and think
it
why
haunted.
the
75
GENOA.
My
come;
Ghost
memory
haunt
will
many
it,
nights, in time to
but nothing worse, I will engage.
"will
occasionally sail
The same
away, as I did one pleasant
Autumn
evening, into the bright prospect, and snuff the
morning
air at Marseilles.
The
corpulent hair-dresser was
still
in his
sitting
slippers outside his shop-door there, but the twirling
ladies in the window, with the natm'al inconstancy of
their sex,
still,
had ceased
to twirl,
and were languishing, stock
with their beautiful faces addressed to blind corners
of the establishment, where
was impossible
it
for ad-
mirers to penetrate.
The steamer had come from Genoa in a delicious run
of eighteen hours, and we were going to run back again
by the Cornice Eoad from Nice not being satisfied to
:
have seen only the outsides of the beautiful towns that
rise in pictm-esque white clusters from among the olive
woods, and rocks, and
The Boat which
hills,
upon the margin of the Sea.
started for Nice that night, at eight
was very small, and so crowded \sith goods that
there was scai'cely room to move
neither was there anyo'clock,
;
on board, except bread nor to drink, except
But being due at Nice at about eight or so in
thing to eat
coffee.
;
the morning, this was of no consequence so when we
began to wink at the bright stars, in invohmtaiy aclniow:
ledgment of their winking at
us,
we tmiied
berths, in a crowded, but cool little cabin,
soundly
The
till
into
and
our
slept
morning.
Boat, being as dull and dogged a
ever was built,
it
was within an
horn* of
little
boat as
noon when we
.
76
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
•
turned into Nice Harbour, where we very little expected
But we were laden with wool.
anything but brealdast.
Wool must
not remain in the Custom House at Mar-
more than twelve months
seilles
at a stretch, without
paying duty. It is the custom to make fictitious removals
to take it somewhere
of unsold wool to evade this law
;
when
the twelve months are nearly out; bring
back again
;
and warehouse
twelve months longer.
originally
it,
as a
new
from some place in the East.
It was re-
moment we
Accordingly, the gay
full of holiday people,
straight
cargo, for nearly
This wool of ours, had come
cognised as Eastern produce, the
the harbour.
it
little
which had come
entered
Sunday
boats,
off to greet us,
were warned away by the authorities we were declared
in quarantine
and a great flag was solemnly nm up to
;
;
make
the mast-head on the wharf, to
it
known
to all
the town.
It was a very hot day indeed.
We
were unshaved,
unwashed, undressed, mifed, and could hardly enjoy the
absurdity of lying bUstering in a lazy harbour, with
the town looking on from a respectful distance, all
manner of whiskered men in cocked hats discussing our
remote guard-house, with gestures (we looked
very hard at them through telescopes) expressive of a
and nothing whatever the
week's detention at least
fate at a
:
matter
all
the time.
But even
in this crisis the
Brave
He telegraphed somebody
saw
either
[I
naturally connected with the hotel,
nobody)
Courier acliieved a triumph.
or put en rapport with the establishment for that occasion
only.
The
telegraph was answered,
and in half
NICE HAEBOUE.
an hour or
less,
was wanted.
captain
helped the captam into his boat.
we were
luggage, and said
77
came a loud shout from the
there
The
guard-house.
•
Everybody
Eveiybody got his
The captain rowed
going.
away, and disappeared behind a little jutting comer of
the Galley-slaves' Prison and presently came back with
:
something, veiy sulkily. The Brave Cornier met him at
the side, and received the something as its rightful
o^^'ner.
cloth
;
It
a wicker-basket,
w^as
and in
it
some
were two
in
a linen
bottles of
wine, a
folded
great
a great
loaf of bread, a dozen or so of peaches, and a few other
When we had selected om* own breakfast, the
trifles.
roast fowl,
salt fish
chopped with
garlic,
Brave Cornier invited a chosen party to partake of these
refreshments, and assured them that they need not be
deterred by motives of delicacy, as he would order a
second basket to be furnished at their expense. Which he
did
no one knew how
and by and by, the captain
—
—
being again summoned, again sulldly returned with
another something; over which my popular attendant
presided as before cai'ving with a clasp-knife, his own per:
sonal property, something smaller than a
The whole
sword.
made merry by these
none
more
but
so, than a loquacious
party on board were
unexpected supplies
little
Roman
;
Frenchman, who
got drunk in five minutes, and a
stm-dy Cappuccino Friar,
who had taken
fancy mightily, and was one of the best
eveiybody's
friars in
the
world, I verily believe.
He
open countenance and a rich brown,
flowing beard; and was a remarkably handsome man, of
had a
free,
;
78
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
'
He had come up to us, early in the morning,
fifty.
and inquu'ed whether we were sure to be at Nice by
eleven; sapng that he particularly wanted to know,
about
because
if
we reached
by that time he would have to
it
perform mass, and must deal with the consecrated wafer,
whereas, if there were no chance of his being in
fasting
;
time, he would immediately breakfast.
He made
this
commmiication, under the idea that the Brave Courier
was the captain and indeed he looked much more like
it than
anybody else on board. Being assured that we
should arrive in good time, he fasted, and talked, fast;
ing, to everybody, with the
answering jokes at
the
most charming good-humour;
expense of
friars,
with other
jokes at the expense of lajnnen, and saying that friar as
he was, he would engage to take up the two strongest
men on board, one after the other, with liis teeth, and
carry
them along the
opportunity, but
for
he was a
I
gallant,
dress,
Cappuccino
that can well
deck.
Nobody gave him the
say he could have done it;
noble figure of a man, even in the
dare
which
is
the ugliest and most ungainly
be.
All this had given great delight to the loquacious
Frenchman, who gradually patronised the Friar very
much, and seemed to commiserate him as one who
might have been born a Frenchman himself, but for an
unfortmiate destiny.
Although his patronage was such
mouse might bestow upon a lion, he had a vast
opinion of its condescension and in the warmth of that
as a
;
sentiment, occasionally rose on tiptoe, to slap the Friar
on the back.
NICE HARBOUR.
When
the baskets arrived
:
it
79
being then too late for
Mass the Friar went to work bravely; eating prodigiously
of the cold meat and bread, drinking deep draughts of
:
the wine, smoking cigars, taking snuff,
uninterrupted conversation with
sustaining
an
hands, and occasion-
all
running to the boat's side and hailing somebody on
shore with the intelligence that we must be got out of
ally
this quarantine
somehow
or other, as he
had
to take part
After
in a gi^eat religious procession in the afternoon.
this,
he would come back, laugliing
good-humom'
while the
:
from pm'e
lustily
Frenchman wrinlded
face into ten thousand creases,
and said how
his small
droll it was,
and what a brave boy was that Friar
At length the
heat of the sun without, and of the wine within, made the
!
Frenchman
sleepy.
So, in the noontide of his patronage
of his gigantic protege, he lay
down among the
began to snore.
It was four o'clock before we were released
Frenchman,
sleeping
were
dirty
when
free,
we
and woolly, and
hmiied away,
to
was
As soon
wash and
and
and the
;
snuffy,
the Friar went ashore.
all
wool,
still
as
we
dress, that
we might make a decent appearance at the Procession
and I saw no more of the Frenchman mitil we took up
;
our station in the main street to see
it
pass,
when he
squeezed himself into a front place, elaborately renovated threw back his httle coat, to show a broad-barred
;
velvet waistcoat
sprinkled
adjusted
himself
bewilder
and
appear.
and
transfix
all
his
the
over
cane
Friar,
with
so
as
when
stars
;
utterly
he
and
to
should
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
80
V
The
procession was a very long one, and included an
immense number
of people divided into small parties
each party chaunting nasally, on
its
own
;
account, without
reference to any other, and producing a most dismal
There were angels,
result.
flat
monks, nuns,
sals, infantry, tapers,
on
parasols
relics,
dignitaries of
green hats, walldng under crimson
and, here and there, a species of sacred street-
church
the
crosses, Virgins carried
boards surrounded by Cupids, crowns, saints, mis-
:
in
lamp hoisted on a pole. We looked out anxiously for
the Cappuccini, and presently their brown robes and
corded gu'dles were seen coming on, in a body.
I observed the little Frenchman chuckle over the idea
when
the Friar saw
him
in the broad-barred waist"
Is that my Patron
coat, he would mentally exclaim,
that
!
"
and would be covered with
That distinguished man
Ah never was the Frenchman so deceived.
confusion.
!
!
As
om* friend the Cappuccino advanced, with folded arms,
he looked straight
into the visage of the little
Frenchman,
with a bland, serene, composed abstraction, not to be
There was not the faintest trace of recogdescribed.
nition or
amusement on
his features
;
not the smallest
consciousness of bread and meat, wine, snuff, or cigars.
"
C'est lui-meme," I heard the little Frenchman say, in
some doubt.
Oh
yes,
it
was
liimself.
brother or his nephew, very like him.
It
was not his
It was he.
He
walked in great state being one of the Superiors of the
Order and looked his part to admiration. There never
:
:
was anj^hing so perfect of its Idnd as the contemplative
way in which he allowed his placid gaze to rest on us.
81
CORNICE ROAD.
his late companions, as if
and
life
he had never seen us in hjs
didn't see us then.
The Frenchman,
quite
hum-
bled, took off his hat at last, but the Friar still passed on,
with the same imperturbable serenity; and the broadbarred waistcoat, fading into the crowd, was seen no more.
The
womid up with a discharge
procession
ketry that shook
of mus-
the windows in the town.
all
Next
afternoon we started for Genoa, by the famed Cornice Road.
The haK-French,
with his
half-Italian Vetturino,
little rattling
thither in three days,
carriage
was a
and
who undertook,
pair, to
convey us
careless, good-looking fellow,
whose light-heartedness and singing propensities knew no
bounds as long as we went on smoothly. So long, he had
a word and a smile and a flick of his whip, for
peasant
all
and odds and ends of the Somnambula
the echoes.
little
village,
the
for
So long, he went jinglmg through every
with bells on his horses and rings in his
a very meteor of gallantry and cheerfulness.
But,
was liighly characteristic to see him under a slight
ears
it
girls,
all
:
reverse of circumstances, when, in one part of the jour-
we came
narrow place where a waggon had
broken down and stopped up the road.
His hands were
ney,
to a
twined in his hair immediately, as if a combination of
all the direst accidents in life had suddenly fallen on
his devoted head.
He swore in French,
and went up and down, beating
in
a
very
carters
ecstasy
of
despair.
prayed in Italian,
on the ground
There were various
his feet
and mule-drivers assembled round the broken
waggon, and at
some man, of an original turn of
mind, proposed that a general and joint effort should be
G
last
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
82
made
—
and clear the way
believe would never have presented
to get things to-rights again,
an idea which I
verily
our friend, though we had remained there until
It was done at no great cost of labour; but at
itself to
now.
wound
every pause in the doing, his hands were
hair again, as
if
in his
there were no ray of hope to lighten his
The moment he was on his box once more,
and clatteruig briskly down hill, he returned to the
misery.
Somnambula and the Peasant
girls,
as if
it
were not in
the power of misfortune to depress him.
Much
of the
romance of the beautiful to^ns and
vil-
when they are
The
very miserable.
lages on this beautiful road, disappears
entered, for
many
of
them
are
and
streets are narrow, dark,
dirty
;
the inhabitants lean
and squalid; and the withered old women, with their
wiry grey hair twisted up into a knot on the top of the
head, like a pad to carry loads on, are so intensely ugly,
both along the Eiviera, and in Genoa too, that, seen
straggling about in
dim
door- ways with their spindles, or
crooning together in by corners, they are like a population of Witches
except that they certainly are not to be
—
suspected of brooms or any other instrument of cleanhness.
Neither are the pig-skins, in common use to hold wine,
m
by any means
ornamental, as they always preserve the form of very
bloated pigs, with their heads and legs cut off, danglmg
and hung out in the sun
upside-down by their own
all
directions,
tails.
These towns, as they are seen in the approach, however
nestling, Arith their clustering roofs and towers,
:
among
trees
on steep
hill-sides, or built
upon the brmk of
83
CORNICE ROAD.
noble bays
:
are charming.
The
luxuriant and beautiful, and the
is,
Palm
makes a novel
tree
In one town, San
the novel scenery.
featui'e in
everywhere,
vegetation
Remo
—
a most extraordinaiy place, built on gloomy open arches,
so that one might ramble underneath the whole town
—
there are pretty terrace gardens
;
in other towns, there
the clang of shipwrights' hammers, and the building
In some of the broad
of small vessels on the beach.
is
In
the fleets of Europe might ride at anchor.
in
the
little
of
houses
group
presents,
every case, each
of
some
confusion
distance,
enchanting
picturesque and
bays,
fancifd shapes.
The road
—now
itself
liigh
above the glittering sea,
which breaks against the foot of the precipice
ing inland to sweep the shore of a bay
:
now turn-
:
now crossing the
stony bed of a mountain stream now low down on the
beach now winding among riven rocks of many forms
:
:
and colom's
now chequered by a
:
one of a chain of towers
solitary ruined tower,
coast from the invasions of the Barbary Corsairs
sents
new
beauties every
ing scenery
is
passed,
line of subm'b, l}ing
When
moment.
and
it trails
on the
its
new
—
own
pre-
strik-
on through a long
flat sea-shore,
to
then, the changing glimpses of that noble city
Harbom', awaken a
the
built, in old time, to protect
som'ce of interest
;
Genoa,
and
freshened by
eveiy huge, miwieldy, half-inhabited old house in
and coming to
reached, and all Genoa
outskirts
;
neighbouring
hills,
its
cUmax when
mth
its
bursts proudly
G Q
its
its
the city Gate
beautiftd harbour,
on the ^iew.
is
and
TO PARMA, MODENA, AND BOLOGNA.
Genoa on the 6th
I STROLLED away from
bound
but
of
November,
a good many places (England among them),
for Piacenza
for which town I started in the
for
first
;
coupe of a machine something like a travelling caravan,
company with the Brave Courier, and a lady with a large
dog, who howled dolefully, at intervals, all night. It was
in
very wet, and very cold very dark, and very dismal
we travelled at the rate of barely four miles an hour, and
;
;
At ten o'clock next
stopped nowhere for refreshment.
morning, we changed coaches at Alessandria, where we
were packed up in another coach (the body whereof
would have been small for a fly), in company with a very
old priest
;
a young Jesuit, his companion
their breviaries
—who
carried
and other books, and who, in the exertion
of getting into the coach, had
made a gash
of pink leg
between his black stocldng and his black Ivnee-shorts,
that reminded one of Hamlet in Ophelia's closet, only it
was
\isible
on both legs
—
a provincial
Awocato
gentleman with a red nose that had an
singidar sheen
human
upon
it,
subject before.
;
and a
uncommon and
which I never observed in the
In
this
way we
travelled on,
85
STR.ADELL.\.
until four o'clock in the afternoon
the roads being
;
still
To mend the matvery heavy, and the coach very slow.
ter, the old priest was troubled with cramps in his legs,
so that he had to give a terrible yell every ten minutes
or
and be hoisted out by the united
so,
efforts of
the com-
the coach always stopping for him, with great
This disorder, and the roads, formed the main
gravity.
pany
;
Finding, in the afternoon, that
the coupe had discharged two people, and had only one
a monstrous ugly Tuscan, with a great
passenger inside
subject of conversation.
—
purple moustache, of which no
when
lie
had
his
hat on—
man
could see the ends
I took advantage of
its
better
accommodation, and in company with this gentleman (who
was very conversational and good-humom'ed) travelled on,
until neai'ly eleven o'clock at night,
when
the driver
reported that he couldn't think of going any farther, and
we accordingly made a halt at a place called Stradella.
The inn was a series of strange galleries surrounding
where our coach, and a waggon or two, and a
of fowls, and firewood, were all heaped up together,
a yard
lot
;
higgledy-piggledy; so that you didn't know, and couldn't
have taken your oath, which was a fowl and which was
a cart. We followed a sleepy man with a flaring torch,
where there were two immensely
broad beds, on what looked like two immensely broad
into a great, cold room,
deal dining-tables
;
another deal table of similar dimen-
sions in the middle of the bare floor
two chairs.
;
fpur windows
Somebody said it was my room
up and down it, for half an hour or so,
;
;
and
and I walked
staring at the
Tuscan, the old priest, the young priest, and the
Aw-
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
86
ocato (Red-Nose lived in the town, and
who
sat
The
upon the beds, and stared
at
had gone home),
me
in return.
rather dreary whimsicahty of this stage of the
proceedings,
is
interrupted by an announcement from
the Brave (he has been cooking) that supper is ready;
and to the priest's chamber (the next room and the
The first dish is
counterpart of mine) we all adjourn.
a cabbage, boiled with a great quantity of rice in a
and flavoured with cheese.
full of w-ater,
tureen
and we are so
so hot,
The second
dish
pigs' kidneys.
two
little
and
truffles,
The
almost
cold, that it appears
some
is
little bits
third,
two
It is
jolly.
of pork, fried with
The
red fowls.
fourth,
The fifth, a huge stew of garlic
and this condon't know what else
red turkeys.
and I
;
cludes the entertainment.
my own
chamber, and
of the dampest, the door opens,
and the Brave
Before I
think
it
can
sit
down
in
in, in the middle of such a quantity of
comes moving
fuel that he looks
He
w'alk.
Bimam Wood
like
taking a winter
kindles this heap in a twinkling, and pro-
duces a jorum of hot brandy and water for that bottle
of his keeps company with the seasons, and now holds
;
nothing but the pm^est eau de
plished this feat,
him,
for
he
vie.
When
retires for the night
he has accom;
and I hear
an hour afterwards, and indeed until I
fall
maldng jokes in some out-house (apparently
under the pillow), where he is smoking cigars with a
asleep,
He never was in the
party of confidential friends.
house in his life before but he Imows everj^body every;
where, before he has been anywhere
five
minutes
;
and
87
STRADELLA.
is
certain to have attracted to himself, in the meantime,
the enthusiastic devotion of the whole establishment.
This
is
next morning, he
rose
is
up
making blazing
;
At
at twelve o'clock at night.
four o'clock
again, fresher than a
fires
new-blown
without the least authority
from the landlord; producing mugs of scalding coffee
when nobody else can get anything but cold water and
;
going out into the dark streets, and roaring for fresh
milk, on the chance of somebody with a cow getting up
While the horses are " coming," I stumble
to supply it.
out into the town too.
Piazza, with a cold
It seems to be
damp wuid blowing
in
all
little
and out of the
But
arches, alternately, in a sort of pattern.
one
is
it
pro-
foundly dark, and raining heavily; and I shouldn't know
Which
it to-morrow, if I were taken there to try.
Heaven
The
forbid
!
Pagan
:
begins
with
a long, compound
it is
Christianity
and
merges into
Various messengers are despatched not so
after the horses, as after each other
for the first
Paganism.
much
;
;
messenger never comes back, and
At length
him.
the messengers
them, and
priest,
and
interval,
sometimes Christian oaths, sometimes
Sometimes, when
oaths.
he
oath,
In the
horses arrive in about an hour.
the driver swears
the
;
all
the rest imitate
the horses appear, surrounded by all
some kicking them, and some dragging
Then, the old
shouting abuse to them.
young priest, the Awocato, the Tuscan,
all
all of us,
take our places
;
and sleepy voices pro-
ceeding from the doors of extraordinary hutches in
"
divers parts of the yard, ciy out
Addio coniere mio
!
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
88
Buon' viaggio, corriere !" Salutations which the courier,
with his face one monstrous grin, returns in like
manner
as
we go
and wallowing away, through
jolting
the mud.
At Piacenza, which was
from the inn at
company
four or five hours' journey
Stradella,
we broke up our
little
before the hotel door, with divers manifesta-
tions of friendly feeling
on
all sides.
The
old priest
was taken with the cramp again, before he had got halfway down the street and the young priest laid the
bundle of books on a door step, while he dutifully rubbed
;
the old gentleman's legs.
was waiting
for
him
The
client of the
at the yard-gate,
Awocato
and kissed him on
each cheek, with such a resounding smack, that I am
afraid he had either a very bad case, or a scantily-fur-
The Tuscan, with a
nished purse.
went
loitering
off,
might the better
moustache.
away
me
And
to look
cigar in his mouth,
carrying his hat in his
trail
up the ends of
hand that he
his dishevelled
the Brave Courier, as he and I strolled
about us, began immediately to entertain
with the private histories and family
affairs of
the
whole party.
A
brown, decayed, old town, Piacenza is, A deserted,
solitary, grass-grown place, with ruined ramparts; half
which afford a frowsy pasturage to tlie
lean kine that wander about them and streets of stern
filled-up trenches,
;
houses, moodily frowning at the other houses over the
The
and shabbiest of soldiery go wandering about, with the double curse of laziness and poverty,
way.
sleepiest
uncouthly wrinkling their misfitting regimentals
;
the
89
PIACENZA.
with their impromptu toys (pigs
and mud) in the feeblest of gutters and the gaimtest
of dogs trot in and out of the dullest of archways, in
dirtiest of children play
;
perpetual search of something to eat, which they never
seem
to find.
by two
A
mysterious and solemn Palace, guarded
Genii of the place, stands
and the king with
gravely in the midst of the idle town
the marble legs, who flourished in the time of the thoucolossal statues, twin
;
sand and one Nights, might live contentedly inside of
it, and never have the energy, in his upper half of flesh
and blood,
What
to
want
to
come
out.
a strange, half-sorrowful and half-delicious doze
ramble through these places gone to sleep and
Each, in its turn, appears to be, of all
basking in the sun
the mouldy, dreaiy, God-forgotten towns in the wide
it is,
to
!
world, the chief.
Sitting on this hillock
where a bastion
used to be, and where a noisy fortress was, in the time
of the old Roman station here, I become aware that I
have never Ivnown
till
mouse must sm^ely be
now, what
in very
it is
much
to
be lazy.
dor-
the same condition
before he retires under the wool in his cage
before he buries liimself.
A
I feel that I
am
;
or a tortoise
getting rusty.
That any attempt to think, would be accompanied with a
That there is nothing, anywhere, to be
creaking noise.
done, or needing to be done.
human
progress, motion, effort,
That there
is
no more
or advancement, of any
kind beyond this.
That the whole scheme stopped
here centmies ago, and lay down to rest until the Day
of Judgment.
Never while the Brave Courier
lives
!
Behold him
90
PICTURES FROJI ITALY.
in the
jingling out of Piacenza, and staggering this way,
tallest posting-chaise ever seen, so that he looks out of the
front window as if he were peeping over a garden wall
;
the postilion, concentrated- essence of all the
shabbiness of Italy, pauses for a moment in his animated
while
to touch
conversation,
hat to a blunt-nosed
liis
little
in a
Virgin, hardly less shabby than himself, enshrined
show outside the town.
plaster Punch's
In Genoa, and thereabouts, they train the vines on trellis-work, supported on square clumsy pillars, which, in
themselves, are anything but picturesque. But, here, they
twine them aromid trees, and let them trail among the
hedges; and the vineyards are full of trees, regularly
vine twining
planted for this pm^ose, each with its own
and clustering about it. Their leaves are now of the
and never was anythhig
brightest gold and deepest red
;
so enchautingly graceful
and
full of
Through
beauty.
miles of these delightful forms and colours, the road
winds its way. The wild festoons the elegant wreaths,
;
and crowQS, and
garlands of all shapes
;
the fauy nets
making them prisoners in
the tumbled heaps and mounds of exquisite
flung over great trees, and
sport
;
shapes upon the ground;
are
And
!
every
how
now and
rich
and beautiful they
then, a long, long line of
bound and garlanded together: as if
they had taken hold of one another, and were coming
dancmg down the field
trees, will
be
all
!
Parma has
town
;
places
cheerful,
and consequently
of
less
note.
stirring streets, for
is
an Italian
not so characteristic as
Always excepting
the
many
retired
91
PARMA.
Piazza, where the Cathedral, Baptistery, and Campanile
—ancient
buildings,
innumerable
with
of a sombre brown,
monsters
grotesque
embellished
and
dreamy-
looldng creatures carved in marble and red stone
in
clustered
a noble and magnificent repose.
—
are
Their
was only invaded, when I saw them, by
the twittering of the many birds that were flying in and
out of the crevices in the stones and little nooks in the
silent presence
where they had made their nests. They
were busy, rising from the cold shade of Temples made
with hands, into the smmy air of Heaven.
Not so the
architecture,
withm,
worshippers
drowsy chaunt,
who were
listening
or kneeling before the
to
the same
same Idnds
of
images and tapers, or whispering, v^ith their heads
bowed down, in the very selfsame dark confessionals, as
I
had
left in
Genoa and everywhere
The decayed and mutilated
church
else.
paintings with which
tliis
my thinking, a remarkably
momTiful and depressing influence. It is miserable to see
great works of ait
something of the Souls of Painters
is
covered, have, to
—
—
human
perishing and fading away, hke
forms.
This
odorous with the rotting of Coreggio's fresHeaven linows how beautiful they
have been at one time.
Connoisseurs fall into
cathedral
is
coes in the Cupola.
may
and
legs
:
them now
but such a labyrinth of arms
such heaps of foreshortened limbs, entangled
raptures with
;
and involved and jumbled together no operative surgeon,
gone mad, could imagine in his wildest delkium.
:
There
is
a very interesting subterranean church here
;
the roof supported by marble pillars, behind each of
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
92
be at least one beggar in ambush
From
to say nothing of the tombs and secluded altars.
every one of these lurking-places, such crowds of phan-
which there seemed
to
:
tom-looking men and women, leading other men and
women with twisted limbs, or chattering jaws, or paralytic
gestures, or idiotic heads, or
came hobbling out
some other sad
infirmity,
to beg, that if the ruined frescoes in
the cathedral above, had been suddenly animated, and
had
retired to this lower church, they could hardly
made a
greater confusion, or exhibited a
have
more confound-
ing display of arms and legs.
There
is
Petrarch's
Baptistery, with
there
is
its
Monument,
beautiful arches
too;
and there
is
the
and immense font; and
a gallery containing some very remarkable pic-
whereof a few were being copied by hairy-faced
artists, with little velvet caps more off their heads than
tures,
on.
There
is
the
Famese
Palace, too
;
and in
it
one of
the dreariest spectacles of decay that ever was seen
—a
grand, old, gloomy theatre, mouldering away.
a large wooden structure, of the horse-shoe shape
the lower seats arranged upon the Roman plan, but
It
is
;
above them, great heavy chambers rather than boxes,
where the Nobles sat, remote, in their proud state.
Such desolation as has fallen on this theatre, enhanced
in the spectator's fancy by
its
gay intention and design,
none but worms can be familiar with.
A
hundred and
ten years have passed, since any play was acted here. The
sky shines in through the gashes in the roof the boxes are
;
dropping down, wasting away, and only tenanted by rats
damp and mildew smear the faded colours, and make
;
MODENA.
93
lean rags are dangling
where there were gay festoons on the Proscenium
spectral
down
maps upon the panels
;
;
the stage has rotted
thrown across
it,
or
so,
it
that a narrow
wooden
would sink beneath the
galleiy is
tread,
themselves on
desolation and decay impress
The
and
The
bury the visitor in the gloomy depth beneath.
all
the
has a mouldering smell, and an earthy
taste any stray outer sounds that straggle in with some
and the worm, the
lost sunbeam, are muffled and heavy
senses.
air
;
;
maggot, and the rot have changed the surface of the
wood beneath the touch, as time will seam and roughen
a smooth hand.
on
If ever Ghosts act plays, they act
them
this ghostly stage.
It was
most delicious weather, when we came into
Modena, where the darkness of the sombre colonnades
over the footways skiiling the main street on either side,
was made refreshing and agreeable by the bright sky,
so wonderfully blue.
I passed, from all the glory of the
day, into a
feeble
dim cathedral, where high mass was performing,
tapers were burning, people were
all directions
priests
before all
manner
of shrines,
kneehng in
and officiating
were crooning the usual chaunt, in the usual low,
dull, drawling,
melancholy tone.
m
eveiy stagnant
Thinking how strange it was, to find,
with
this
same
Heart
the
same
monotonous
town,
beating
pulsation, the centre of the
same
toi'pid, listless
system,
I came out by another door, and was suddenly scared to
death by a blast from the shrillest trumpet that ever was
blown.
Immediately, came tearing round the comer, an
equestrian
company from Paris
:
marshallmg themselves
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
94
under the walls of the church, and floutmg,
horses'
heels,
the
griffins,
lions,
Tsith their
and
tigers,
other
monsters in stone and marble, decorating its exterior.
First, there came a stately nobleman with a great deal
and no
of hair,
hat, bearing
an enormous banner, on
which was inscribed, Mazeppa
Mexican
!
to-night
!
Then, a
with a great pear-shaped club on his
shoulder, like Hercules.
Then, six or eight Roman
chief,
each with a beautiful lady in extremely short
petticoats, and unnaturally pink tights, erect within:
chariots
:
shedding beaming looks upon the crowd, in which there
was a latent expression of discomposure and anxiety, for
which I couldn't account,
until, as the
chariot presented itself,
I saw the
open back of each
immense
difficulty
with which the pinl^ legs maintamed their pei*pendicular,
over the imeven pavement of the town: which gave
me
quite a
The
new idea
of the ancient
Romans and
Britons.
procession was brought to a close, by some dozen
indomitable warriors of different nations, riding two and
and haughtily surveying the tame population of
Modena: among whom, however, they occasionally con-
two,
descended to scatter largesse in the form of a few handbills.
After caracolling
among
the lions and tigers, and
proclaiming that evening's entertainments with blast of
trumpet, it then filed off, by the other end of the square,
and
left
When
a
new and
greatly uicreased dulness behind.
the procession had so entirely passed away,
that the shrill trumpet was mild in the distance,
tail
and the
of the last horse was hopelessly round the corner, the
people
who had come
out of the chm'ch to stare at
it,
MODENA.
95
But, one old lady, kneeling on the
pavement within, near the door, had seen it all, and had
been immensely interested, without getting up and this
went back again.
;
old lady's eye, at that jmicture, I happened to catch
:
to
She cut our embarrassment very
short, however, by crossing herself devoutly, and going
down, at full length, on her face, before a figure in a
fancy petticoat and a gilt crown; which was so like
our mutual confusion.
one of the procession-figures, that perhaps at this hour
she may think the whole appearance a celestial vision.
^
Anyhow, I must
certainly have forgiven her, her interest
though I had been her Father Confessor.
There was a little fieiy-eyed old man with a crooked
in the Circus,
shoulder, in the cathedral,
made no
effort to see
who took
it
veiy
ill
that I
the bucket (kept in an old tower)
which the people of Modena took away from the people
of Bologna in the fom'teenth century, and about which
there was war
made and a mock-heroic poem by Tasso,
Being quite content, however, to look at the outside of
the tower, and feast, in imagination, on the bucket
too.
and preferring to loiter in the shade of the tall
Campanile, and about the cathedral; I have no per-
within
;
sonal knowledge of this bucket, even at the
present
time.
Indeed,
(or
we were
at Bologna, before the little old
the Guide-Book) would have considered that
half done justice to the wonders of
such a delight to
still
go on,
me
to leave
new
Modena.
man
we had
But
it is
scenes behind, and
encountering newer scenes
—
and, moreover I
have such a perverse disposition in respect of
sights that
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
96
and
are cut,
and dictated
dried,
—
I fear I
that
against similar authorities in every place I
Be
sin
visit.
may, in the pleasant Cemetery at
Bologna I found myself walking next Sunday morning,
among the stately marble tombs and colonnades, in
this
as
it
company with a crowd of Peasants, and escorted by a
little Cicerone of that town, who was excessively anxious
honour of the place, and most solicitous to divert
attention from the bad monuments whereas he was
for the
my
:
never tired of extolling the good ones.
man
little
seemed
to
Seeing this
he was, who
good-humoured little man
have nothing in his face but shining teeth
(a
and
eyes) looking, wistfully, at a certain plot of grass, I
"
The poor people,
asked him who was buried there.
"
he said with a shrug and a smile, and stopping
to look back at me
for he always went on a little before,
Signore,
—
and took
"
off his*
Only the
very
poor,
of his
!
Signore
How
lively.
meadow
hat to introduce every
green
There are
right
hand
's
veiy
how
cheerful.
cool
It
!
—holding
Italian peasant will always do, if
pass of his ten fingers,
Well
!
It
's
like a
be within the com-
it
— "there
my
are five of
children buried there, Signore; just there; a
the right.
's
up all the fingers
express the number, which an
five,"
to
It
!
it is,
new monument.
Thanks
to
How green it is, how cool it is
He looked me very hard
God
It
!
It
!
's
's
little
little
to
very cheerful.
quite a
in the face,
meadow
"
!
and seeing
I was sorry for him, took a pinch of snuff (every Cice-
rone takes snuff), and made a
little
bow;
partly in
deprecation of his having alluded to such a subject, and
97
BOLOGNA.
partly in
saint.
little
memory
of the children
and of
his favourite
was as unaffected and as perfectly natural a
bow, as ever man made.
Immediately aftei'wards,
It
and begged to introduce
and his eyes and his teeth
he took his hat
off altogether,
me
monument
to the next
shone brighter than before.
;
THROUGH BOLOGNA AND FERRARA.
There was such
a very smart
the Cemetery where the
children, that
when
the
in a whisper, that there
little
little
ojfficial
in attendance at
Cicerone had buried his
Cicerone suggested to me,
would be no offence in present-
ing this officer, in return for some slight extra service,
with a couple of pauls (about tenpence, English money),
I looked incredulously at his cocked hat, wash-leather
and dazzling buttons, and reCicerone with a grave shake of the head.
gloves, well-made uniform,
buked the little
For, in splendour of appearance, he was at least equal to
the Deputy Usher of the Black Rod and the idea of his
" such a
thing as
carrying, as Jeremy Diddler would say,
;
"
tenpence
it
away with him, seemed monstrous.
in excellent part, however,
when
I
He
made bold
took
to give
him, and pulled off his cocked hat with a flourish that
would have been a bargain at double the money.
It seemed to be his duty to describe the monuments
it
to the people
—
at all events
he was doing so
;
and when
I compared him, like Gulliver in Brobdignag, "with the
Institutions of my own beloved country, I could not
refrain
from tears of pride and exultation."
He
had no
99
BOLOGNA.
pace at
all
;
no more than a
He
tortoise.
loitered as the
people loitered, that they might gratify their curiosity
and positively allowed them, now and then, to read the
;
inscriptions
He
on the tombs.
was neither shabby, nor
He
insolent, nor churlish, nor ignorant.
spoke his own
language with perfect propriety, and seemed to consider
himself, in his way, a kind of teacher of the people, and
a just respect both for himself and them.
would no more have such a man for a Verger in
to entertain
They
Westminster Abbey, than they w^ould
let the people in
they do at Bologna) to see the monuments for nothing.
Again, an ancient sombre town, under the brilliant
(as
with heavy arcades over the footways of the older
streets, and lighter and more cheerful archways in the
sky
;
newer portions of the town.
Again, brown piles of
sacred buildings, with more birds flying in and out of
chinks in the stones
;
and more snarling monsters
the bases of the pillars.
for
Again, rich chm'ches, drowsy
masses, curling incense, tinkling bells, priests in bright
vestments
:
pictm"es, tapers, laced altar cloths,
images, and artificial flowers.
There is a grave and learned
pleasant gloom upon
it,
air
that would leave
separate impression in the mind,
though
it
were not
still
about the
further
among
marked
it,
crosses,
city,
and a
a distinct and
a crowed of
cities,
in the travellers
remembrance by the two brick leaning towers (sufficiently
unsightly in themselves, it must be acknowledged), inclming cross-wise as if they were bowing stiffly to each
a most extraordinary termination to the per-
other
—
spective of
some
of the narrow streets.
H
2
The
colleges,
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
100
and churches
and palaces
and above all the
academy of Fine Arts, where there are a host of
too,
:
interestmg pictures, especially by Guido, Domenichino,
and LuDovico Caracci
:
give
it
a place of
its
own
in the
Even though these were not, and there were
remember it by, the great Meridian on
memory.
nothing else to
the pavement of the church of San Petronio, where the
sunbeams mark the time among the kneeling people,
would give
it
a fanciful and pleasant interest.
Bologna being very full of tourists, detained there by
an inmidation which rendered the road to Florence imwas quartered up at the top of an Hotel, in
conan out-of-the-way room which I never could find
passable, I
:
taining a bed, big enough for a boarding-school, which I
couldn't fall asleep in.
who
The
visited this lonely retreat,
company but the swallows
window, was a
man
chief
among the
waiters
where there was no other
in the broad eaves over the
of one idea in connection with the
English and the subject of this harmless monomania,
was Lord Byron. I made the discovery by accidentally
remarking to him, at breakfast, that the mattmg with
;
was covered, was very comfortable at that
season, when he immediately replied that Milor Beeron
had been much attached to that kind of matting. Observwhich the
floor
same moment, that I took no milk, he exclaimed
with enthusiasm, that Milor Beeron had never touched
ing, at the
it.
At
first,
I took
it
for granted, in
my
innocence, that
he had been one of the Beeron servants
but no, he
he was in the habit of speaking about my Lord,
He knew all about
English gentlemen that was all.
said no,
to
;
;
101
BOLOGNA.
In proof of it, he connected him with every
at dinner,
possible topic, from the Monte Pulciano wine
(which was grown on an estate he had owned,) to the big
him, he
bed
left
said.
which was the very model of his. When I
the inn, he coupled with his final bow in the yard,
itself,
a parting assurance that the road by which I was going,
had been Milor Beeron's favourite ride and before the
;
horse's feet
had well begun
he ran briskly up
other
on the pavement,
stairs again, I dare say to tell
EngUshman
the guest
to clatter
some other
in
who had
just departed,
living image.
solitary
some
room that
was Lord Beeron's
—almost midnight—
I had entered Bologna by night
and
all
along the road thither, after our entrance into the
Papal territory
:
which
is
not,
in any part, supremely
well governed, Saint Peter's keys being rather rusty now:
the driver had so worried about the danger of robbers
in travellmg after dark,
and had so infected the Brave
Courier, and the two
had been so constantly stopping and
getting up and down to look after a portmanteau which
was tied on behmd, that I should have felt almost
who would have had the goodness to
Hence it was stipulated, that, whenever
obliged to any one
take
we
it
left
away.
Bologna,
we should
start so as not to arrive at
Ferrara later than eight at night and a delightful
afternoon and evening jomney it was, albeit tln-ough a
;
which gradually became more marshy from
the overflow of brooks and rivers in the recent heavy
flat district
rains.
At
sunset,
when
I
was walking on alone, while the
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
102
horses rested, I arrived upon a
little
scene, which,
by-
one of those singular mental operations of which we are
all conscious, seemed
perfectly familiar to me, and which
I see distinctly now.
There was not much in
In
it.
the blood-red light, there was a momTiful sheet of water,
just stirred by the evening wind
girls
;
upon
its
In the foreground was a group of
trees.
over the parapet of a
leaning
looking,
now up at the
sky,
little
now down
margin a
few-
silent peasant-
and
bridge,
into the water
;
in
the distance, a deep bell; the shadow of approaching night
on eveiything.
former
life,
If I had been
I could not have
mm'dered
seemed
there, in
some
remember the
to
place more thoroughly, or with a more emphatic chilling
of the blood
and the real remembrance of it acquired
;
in that minute,
is
so strengthened
by the imaginary
recollection, that I hardly think I could forget
More
solitary,
it.
more depopulated, more deserted, old
Ferrara, than any city of the solemn brotherhood
grass so grows
up in the
silent streets,
might make hay there, literally, while
But the sun shines with diminished
grim Ferrara
;
that
!
The
anyone
the sun shines.
cheerfulness in
and the people are so few who pass and
repass through the public places, that the flesh of
its
inhabitants might be grass indeed, and growing in the
squares.
I
wonder why the head coppersmith in an Italian
town, always lives next door to the Hotel, or opposite
:
making the visitor feel as if the beating hammers were
his own heart, palpitating with a deadly energy!
I
wonder why jealous corridors surround the bedroom on
FERRAEA.
and
103
with unnecessary doors that can't
be shut, and will not open, and abut on pitchy darkness
I wonder why it is not enough that these distrustful
all sides,
fill
it
!
genii stand agape at one's
must
dreams
all night,
but there
round open portholes, high in the wall,
suggestive, when a mouse or rat is heard behind the
also be
wainscot, of a
somebody scraping the wall with his toes, in
endeavours to reach one of these portholes and look
his
wonder why the faggots are so constructed, as to
know of no effect but an agony of heat when they are
in
!
I
lighted and replenished, and an agony of cold and suffocation at all other times
is
I
!
wonder, above
all,
why
it
the great feature of domestic architecture in Italian
inns, that all the fire goes
smoke
The answer matters
portholes, smoke,
me
up the chimney, except the
!
and
little.
faggots, are
Coppersmiths, doors,
to me. Give
welcome
man
the smiling face of the attendant,
the courteous
to
be pleased;
so
many
manner
woman
the light-hearted, pleasant, simple air
jewels set
to-morrow
;
or
m
;
the amiable desire to please and
dirt
—and
I
am
theirs
—
again
!
Ariosto's house, Tasso's prison, a rare
old gothic
cathedral, and more churches of course, are the sights of
Ferrara.
But the long silent streets, and the dis-
mantled palaces, where ivy waves in lieu of banners,
and where rank weeds are slowly creeping up the longuntrodden stairs, are the best sights of all.
The
aspect of this dreary town, half an hour before
sunrise one fine morning,
when
I left
it,
was as
pic-
104
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
turesque as
it
seemed unreal and
spectral.
It was no
for if
matter that the people were not yet out of bed
they had all been up and busy, they would have made
;
but
difference in that desert of a place.
little
It
was
a
it, without a single figure in the picture
Pesticity of the dead, without one solitary survivor.
best to see
;
lence might have ravaged streets, squares, and market-
and sack and siege have ruined the old houses,
battered down their doors and windows, and made
places
;
In one
breaches in their roofs.
into the air
;
part, a great
tower rose
the only landmark in the melancholy view.
In another, a prodigious
Castle, with a
stood aloof: a sullen city in
itself.
moat about
it,
In the black dun-
geons of this castle, Parisina and her lover were beheaded
in the dead of night.
The red light, beginning to shine
when
I looked back
upon
it,
stained
its
walls without, as
a time, been stained within, in old days
they have, many
but for any sign of
life
;
they gave, the castle and the
might have been avoided by all human creatures, from
the moment when the axe went down upon the last of the
city
two lovers and might have never \'ibrated to another sound
:
Beyond the blow that to the block
Pierced through with forced and sullen shock.
Coming
to the Po,
which was greatly swollen, and
running fiercely, we crossed it by a floating bridge of
boats, and so came into the Austrian territory, and resumed
through a country of which, for some miles,
a great part was under water. The Brave Courier and the
our journey
:
soldiery had first quarrelled, for half an hour or more, over our
eternal passport.
But
this
was a daily relaxation with the
105
FERRA.RA.
when shabby
Brave, who was always stricken deaf
func-
tionaries in uniform came, as they constantly did come,
—
plunging out of wooden boxes to look at it or in other
words to beg and who, stone deaf to my entreaties that
—
man might have
given him, and we resume our
journey in peace, was wont to sit reviling the functionary
in broken Enghsh: while the unfortunate man's face was
the
a
trifle
a portrait of mental agony framed in the coach window,
from his perfect ignorance of what was being said to his
disparagement.
There was a
in the course of this day's
Postilion,
and savagely good-looldng a vagabond
you would desire to see. He was a tall, stout-made,
journey, as wild
as
dark-complexioned fellow, with a profusion of shaggy
black hair hanging all over his face, and great black
whiskers stretching down his throat.
His dress was a
rifle green, garnished here and there with
torn suit of
red; a steeple-crowned hat,
innocent of nap, with a
broken and bedraggled feather stuck in the band and a
flaming red neck-kerchief hanging on his shoulders.
;
He
was not in the saddle, but reposed, quite at his ease,
on a sort of low footboard in front of the postchaise, down
among
the horses' tails
—convenient
kicked out, at any moment.
Courier,
when we were
To
for
having his brains
this Brigand, the
at a reasonable trot,
whip about his head (such a whip
home-made bow);
flung
than the horses;
and
up
!
it
;
brandished his
was more
his heels,
disappeared,
happened to
He received the
suggest the practicability of going faster.
proposal with a perfect yell of derision
Brave
in
like
a
much higher
a
pai'oxysm,
106
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
somewhere in the neighbourhood
fully expected to see
but up
yards behind,
again, next minute,
sofa,
ha
!
him
of the axle-tree.
I
lying in the road, a hundred
came the steeple-crowned hat
and he was seen reposing,
as
on a
entertaining himself with the idea, and crying, "Ha
what next. Oh the devil
Faster too
Shoo
hoo — —
(This
!
destination
an inexpressibly
reach our immediate
last ejaculation,
Being anxious
defiant hoot.)
—
!
!
"
that night,
I
to
ventured,
by
and
by,
to
my own account. It produced
same effect.
Round flew the whip with
repeat the experiment on
exactly
the
the same scornful flemish, up came the heels, down
went the steeple-crowned hat, and presently he re"
appeared, reposing as before and saying to himself,
ha
!
what next
—hoo —0—0
"
!
!
Faster
too.
Oh
the
devil
!
Ha
Shoo
AN ITALIAN DREAM.
I
very
HAD been
little
travelling,
in the night,
some days
for
resting
;
The
and never in the day.
rapid and unbroken succession
of novelties
that
had
passed before me, came back like half-formed dreams
and a crowd of objects wandered in the gi'eatest confusion
:
mind, as I travelled on, by a solitary road.
At intervals, some one among them would stop, as it were,
my
through
in
at
its restless
it,
flitting to
quite steadily,
a few moments,
it
and
fro,
and enable
me
to look
and behold it in full distinctness. After
would
dissolve, like a
view in a magic-
and while I saw some part of it quite plainly,
and some faintly, and some not at all, would show me
lantern
;
another of the
behind
it,
many
places I
had
lately seen, lingering
and coming through it. This was no sooner
melted into something else.
visible than, in its turn, it
At one moment,
I was standing
again, before the
brown old rugged churches of Modena. As I recognised
the cmious pillars with grim monsters for their bases,
I seemed to see them, standing by themselves in the
quiet squai'e at Padua, where there were the staid old
University,
and the
figures,
demurely-gowned, gi'ouped
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
108
Then, I was
here and there in the open space about it.
strolling in the outskirts of that pleasant
admiring
city,
the unusual neatness of the dwelling-houses, gardens, and
In
orchards, as I had seen them a few hours before.
their stead, arose, immediately, the two towers of Bologna;
and the most obstinate of all these
its
objects, failed to hold
ground, a minute, before the monstrous moated castle
of Ferrara, which, like an illustration to a wild romance,
came back again
in the red sun-rise, lording
solitary, grass-grown,
withered town.
that incoherent but delightful jumble in
In
my
it
over the
short, I
brain,
had
which
and are indolently willing to
Every shake of the coach in which I sat,
encourage.
half dozing in the dark, appeared to jerk some new
recollection out of its place, and to jerk some other new
travellers are apt to have,
recollection into
it
;
and in
this state I fell asleep.
I was awakened after some time (as I thought) by the
It was now quite night, and we
stopping of the coach.
side.
There lay here, a black boat,
at
the
water
were
with a
little
house or cabin in
When
colour.
I had taken
it
of the
my seat
same mournful
in this, the boat
was
paddled, by two men, towards a great light, lying in the
distance on the sea.
was a dismal sigh of wind. It
the water, and rocked the boat, and sent the dark
Ever and
ruffled
again, there
clouds flying before the stars.
how
strange
it
I could not but think
was, to be floating away at that hour
:
leaving the land behind, and going on, towards this light
upon the
sea.
It soon
began
to
burn brighter
:
and from
being one light became a cluster of tapers, twinlding and
109
AN ITALIAN DREAM.
shining out of the water, as the boat approached towards
them by a dreamy kind of track, marked out upon the
sea by posts and piles.
We
water,
dark
floated on, five miles or so, over the
had
when
I heard
some obstruction near
it
rippling,
in
my
dream, against
Looking out attentively,
I saw, through the gloom, a something black and massive
^like a shore, but lying close and flat upon the
—
at hand.
—which
water, like a raft
we were
The
gliding past.
was a bmial-place.
Full of the interest and wonder which a cemetery lying
chief of the two rowers said
it
out there, in the lonely sea, inspired, I turned to gaze
upon
it
as
it
should recede in our path,
quickly shut out from
my
what, or how, I found that
view.
we were
when
it
was
Before I knew by
gliding
up a
street
—
a phantom street the houses rising on both sides, from
the water, and the black boat gliding on beneath their
;
Lights were shining from some of these casements, plumbing the depth of the black stream with
windows.
their reflected rays
;
but
all
was profoundly
silent.
So we advanced into
this ghostly city, continuing to
our
course
held
through narrow streets and lanes, all
filled and flowing with water.
Some of the comers
where our way branched off, were so acute and narrow,
that it seemed impossible for the long slender boat to
turn them
;
but the rowers, with a low melodious cry of
it
skimming on, without a pause. Some-
warning, sent
times, the rowers of another black boat like our own,
echoed the
we did
and slackening their speed (as I thought
would come flitting past us, like a dark
ciy,
ours)
no
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
Other boats, of the same sombre hue, were
shadow.
lying moored, I thought, to painted pillars, near to dark
mysterious doors that opened straight upon the water.
Some
of these were
asleep
;
empty in some, the rowers lay
towards one, I saw some figures coming down a
;
gloomy archway from the interior of a palace gaily
It was but a
dressed, and attended by torch-bearers.
glimpse I had of them; for a bridge, so low and close
:
upon the boat that
crush us
Dream
one of the
:
blotted
:
it
seemed ready
many
them out,
to fall
down and
bridges that perplexed the
instantly.
On we went,
—
floating
towards the heart of this strange place with water all
about us where never water was elsewhere clusters of
—
houses, churches, heaps of stately buildmgs growing out
of it
and, everj^^vhere, the same extraordinary silence.
—
we shot
Presently,
across a broad
and open stream
;
and
passing, as I thought, before a spacious paved quay,
where the bright lamps with which it was illuminated,
shewed long rows of arches and pillars, of ponderous con-
and great strength, but as
struction
light to the eye as
—
gossamer and where,
saw people walking—
a
garlands of hoar-frost or
first
time, I
arrived at
for the
flight of
steps leading from the water to a large mansion, where,
having passed through corridors and galleries innumerable,
I lay
stealing
water,
The
Dream
down
to rest; listening to the black boats
up and down below the window on the rippling
till
I fell asleep.
glory of the day that broke
;
its
upon
freshness, motion, buoyancy
the sun in water
;
its clear
;
me
in this
its spai'kles
of
blue sky and nistling air ; no
'
HI
AN ITALIAN DREAM.
I looked
waldng words can tell. But, from my window,
down on boats and barks; on masts, sails, cordage,
on groups of busy sailors, working at the cargoes
on wide quays, strewn with bales,
of these vessels
flags
;
;
casks, merchandise of
many
kinds
near at hand in stately indolence
;
;
on great ships, Ipng
on islands, crowned
with gorgeous domes and turrets: and where golden
crosses glittered in the light, atop of wondrous churches
Going down upon the margin
filrolling on before the door, and
springing from the sea
of the
gi'een
sea,
I
ling all the streets,
!
came upon a place
of such sur-
such grandeur, that all the rest
was poor and faded, in comparison with its absorbing
passing beauty, and
loveliness.
It
all
was a great Piazza, as I thought
the rest, in the deep ocean.
On
its
;
anchored, like
broad bosom, was
a Palace, more majestic and magnificent in
its
than all the buildmgs of the earth, in the high
fulness
of
their
Cloisters
youth.
and
old age,
prime and
galleries:
so
they might have been the work of faiiy hands so
wound
strong that centuries had battered them in vain
:
light,
:
round and round
this
palace,
and enfolded
it
with a
Cathedral, gorgeous in the wild luxuriant fancies of the
East.
At no
standing by
great distance from
itself,
and rearing
into the sky, looked out
its
porch, a lofty tower,
its
proud head, alone,
upon the Adriatic
sea.
Near
to
the margin of the stream, were two ill-omened pillars of
red granite one having on its top, a figure with a sword
;
and shield; the
other,
a winged lion.
these again, a second tower
:
Not
far
from
richest of the rich in all its
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
112
decorations: even here, where all was rich:
aloft,
sustained
a great orb, gleaming with gold and deepest blue
the Twelve Signs painted on
ing in
its
com'se
bronze giants
An
bell.
and a mimic sun
it,
them
around
hammered out
while
:
:
revolv-
above,
two
the hours upon a sounding
oblong square of lofty houses of the whitest
stone, surrounded by a light and beautiful arcade, formed
part of this enchanted scene and, here and there, gay
masts for flags rose, tapering, from the pavement of the
;
unsubstantial ground.
I thought I entered the Cathedral, and went in and
its many arches
out
traversing its whole extent.
among
:
A
grand and dreamy structure, of immense proportions
golden with old mosaics; redolent of perfumes; dim
;
with the smoke of incense
costly in treasure of precious
;
stones and metals, glittering through iron bars; holy
with the bodies of deceased saints
windows of stained
coloured marbles
out.
;
;
rainbow-hued with
dark with carved woods and
obscure in
its
vast heights, and length-
shining with silver lamps and winking
mireal, fantastic, solemn, inconceivable through-
ened distances
lights
;
glass
;
;
I thought I entered the old palace pacing silent
and council-chambers, where the old iiilers of
;
galleries
this mistress of the waters looked sternly out, in pictures,
from the
victorious
and where her high-prowed galleys,
on canvass, fought and conquered as of
walls,
I thought I wandered through
—
triumph bare
and empty now!
pride and might, extinct
heard a voice say,
"
Some
:
its
halls of state
—and
for that
tokens of
musmg
was past
its
;
on
all
still
old.
and
its
past
:
ancient rule, and
AN ITALIAN DEEAM,
some consoling reasons
for its
113
downfal,
may be
traced
"
here, yet
I
!
dreamed that I was led
some jealous
on, then, into
rooms, commmiicating with a prison near the palace
a narrow
separated from it by a lofty bridge crossing
;
street
But
dreamed, The Bridge of Sighs.
I passed two jagged slits in a stone wall
and
;
called, I
first
the lions'
mouths —now
toothless
—where,
;
in the distem-
pered horror of my sleep, I thought denunciations of
innocent men to the old wicked Council, had been dropped
through,
when
many
a time,
when the night was
dark.
So,
I saw the council-room to which such prisoners
and the door by which they
a door that
passed out, when they were condemned
never closed upon a man with life and hope before him
my heart appeared to die within me.
were taken
for examination,
—
—
It was smitten harder though, when, torch in hand,
I descended
from the cheerful day into two ranges, one
below another, of dismal, awful,
They were
quite
dark.
horrible stone cells.
Each had a
loop-hole in
its
massive wall, where, in the old time, every day, a torch
was placed I dreamed to light the prisoner within,
—
for half
—
an hour.
these brief rays,
The
by the glimmering of
had scratched and cut inscriptions in
the blackened vaults.
captives,
I saw them.
For
their labour
with a rusty nail's point, had outlived their agony and
them, through
One
many
cell, I saw, in
generations.
which no
than four-and-twenty
hom^s
before he entered
Hard
it.
I
;
man remained
being marked
by, another,
for
for
more
dead
and a dismal
JICTUEES FHOM ITALY.
114
one, whereto, at midnight, the confessor
brown-robed,
and hooded— ghastly
came—a
in the day,
bright air, but in the midnight of that
m^onfc
and free
murky
prison,
Hope's extinguisher, and Murder's herald. I had my foot
'upon the spot, where, at the same dread hour, the shriven
prisoner was strangled
guilty
;
and struck
door—low browed and
my hand
stealthy
the
—throughuponwhich
the lumpish sack was carried out into a boat, and rowed
away, and drowned where it was death to cast a net.
dungeon stronghold, and above some part
of it: licking the rough walls without, and smearing
them with damp and slime within stuffing dank weeds
Around
this
:
and refuse
into chinks
and bars had mouths
and
crevices, as if the very stones
to stop
:
fumishmg
a smooth road
for the
removal of the bodies of the secret victims of the
state
a road so ready that
—
ran before them, like
water that
filled this
went along with them, and
a cruel officer flowed the same
it
Dream
—
of mine,
and made
it
seem
one, even at the time.
Descending from the palace by a staircase, called, I
I had some imaginary recollection
thought, the Giant's
—
an old man abdicating, coming, more slowly and more
hi»
feebly, down it, when he heard the bell, proclaiming
of
successor
—
I glided
off,
in one of the dark boats, until
an old arsenal guarded by fom* marble lions.
To make my Dream more monstrous and unlikely, one
we came
to
had words and sentences upon its body, inscribed
at an unknown time, and in an unknown language ;
of these
there,
so that their pm-port
There was
little
was a mysteiy to all men.
somid of hammers in this place
for
AN ITALIAN DREAM.
building ships, and
il5
work in progress
little
;
for the great-
ness of the city was no more, as I have said.
seemed a very wreck fomid drifting on the sea
Indeed,
;
it
a strange
and strangers
splendid barge in which its*
flag hoisted in its honourable stations,
standuig at
its
A
helm.
ancient chief had gone forth, pompously, at certain periods,
to wed the ocean, lay here, I thought, no more
but, in
;
its
place, there was a tiny model,
like the city's greatness
(so are
;
and
it
made from
recollection
what had been
told of
the strong and weak confounded in the dust)
almost as eloquently as the massive pillars, arches, roofs,
reared to overshadow stately ships that had no other
shadow now, upon the water or the earth.
An armoury was there yet. Plundered and despoiled;
but an armoury. With a fierce standai'd taken from the
Kich suits
Turks, drooping in the dull air of its cage.
of mail worn by great warriors were hoarded there cross;
bows and
bolts; quivers full of
daggers, maces, shields,
and
of wi'ought steel
an-ows; spears; swords,
and heavy-headed
iron, to
make the
monster cased in metal scales
;
axes.
Plates
gallant horse a
and one spring- weapon
(easy to be carried in the breast) designed to do its office
noiselessly,
and made
for shooting
men
with poisoned
darts.
One
press or case I saw, fidl
ments of torture
and
grind,
:
of
accursed instru-
horribly contrived to cramp, and pinch,
and crush men's bones, and tear and twist
them with the torment
of a thousand deaths.
Before
it,
were two iron helmets, with breast-pieces made to close
up tight and smooth upon the heads of living sufferers
:
;
I
2
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
116
and fastened on
the
dkectmg
and
listen,
to each,
was a small knob or
where
anvil,
devil could repose his elbow at his ease,
near the walled-up ear, to the lamentations
and confessions of the wretch within. There was that
—
grim resemblance in them to the human shape they
were such moulds of sweating faces, pained and cramped
that it was difl&cult to think them empty; and terrible
—
distortions lingering within them,
to
when, taking
my
trees.
But
farthest brink
—
to follow
me,
boat again, I rowed off to a kind of
garden or public walk in the
and
seemed
I forgot
sea,
where there were grass
them when
I stood there, in
I stood upon
—and
my dream
along the ripple, to the setting sun
:
its
looked,
before me, in the
sky and on the deep, a crimson flush and behind me
the whole city resolving into streaks of red and purple,
;
on the water.
In the luxmious wonder of so rare a dream, I took
but
little
heed of time, and had but
little
understanding
But there were days and nights in it and
flight.
when the sun was high, and when the rays of lamps were
of
its
;
crooked in the running water, I was still afloat, I
plashmg the slippeiy walls and houses with
thought
:
the cleavuigs of the tide, as
it,
skimmed along the
my
black boat, borne upon
streets.
Sometimes, alighting at the doors of chm'ches and
vast palaces, I wandered on, from room to room, from
through labyrinths of rich altars, ancient
monuments; decayed apartments where the furniture,
aisle to aisle,
half awful, half grotesque, was
mouldermg away.
tm'es were there, replete with such enduring beauty
Pic-
and
AN ITALIAN DREAM.
expression
:
117
with such passion, tnith, and power
:
that
fresh realities among a
they seemed so many young and
I thought these, often intermingled
host of spectres.
of
the city with its beauties, tyrants,
with the old days
:
captains, patriots,
merchants,
courtiers,
:
priests
nay,
and public places all of
very stones,
which lived agam, about me, on the walls. Then, coming down some marble staircase where the water lapped
with
and
its
bricks,
;
and oozed against the lower steps,
again, and went on in my dream.
Floating
down narrow
I passed into
where
lanes,
my
boat
cai'penters, at
work with plane and
chisel in their shops, tossed the
light shaving straight
upon the water, where
it
lay like
me in
Past
a tangled heap.
weed, or ebbed away
open doors, decayed and rotten from long steeping in the
wet, through which some scanty patch of vine shone
before
green and bright, making unusual shadows on the pavement with its trembling leaves. Past quays and terraces, where women, gi'acefully veiled, were passing and
repassing, and where idlers were reclining in the sunshine,
on flag-stones and on flights of steps. Past bridges, where
there were idlers too
loitering and looking over. Below
:
stone balconies,
loftiest
erected at a giddy height, before the
windows of the
loftiest
Past plots of
houses.
garden, theatres, shrmes, prodigious piles of architecture
— Gothic—Saracenic—
fanciful
all
times and countries.
and low, and
mean and
black,
with
all
the fancies of
Past buildings that were high,
and white, and
straight,
and crooked;
Twining among a
gi^and, crazy and strong.
tangled lot of boats and barges, and shooting out at last
118
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
Grand Canal
into a
!
There, in the errant fancy of
my
dream, I saw old Shylock passing to and fro upon a
bridge, all buil1;,upon with shops and humming with the
tongues of
men
;
a form I seemed to
know
Desde-
for
mona's, leaned down through a latticed blind to pluck a
flower. And, in the dream, I thought that Shakespeare's
spirit
was abroad upon the water somewhere
through the
At
city.
night,
when two
of the
image
stealing
:
votive lamps burnt
Virgin, in a gallery
outside
before
the
an
great
cathedral, near the roof, I fancied that the great piazza
Winged Lion was
of the
a blaze of cheerful light, and
whole arcade was thronged with people
crowds were diverting themselves in splendid
that
its
while
;
—which
coffee-
were never shut, I
opening from it
but
all
When the bronze
thought,
open
night long.
giants struck the hour of midnight on the bell, I thought
houses
the
and animation of the
life
city
were
all
centered here
;
and as I rowed away, abreast the silent quays, I only
saw them dotted, here and there, with sleeping boatmen
wrapped up in their
cloaks,
and lying
at fuU length
upon
the stones.
But, close about the quays and churches, palaces and
prisons
sucking at their walls, and welling up into the
:
secret
places
of the
Noiseless and watchful
many
folds, like
thought,
for
town
:
crept
when people should
the
water always.
round and romid
coiled
an old serpent
any stone of the old
mistress.
:
it,
in its
waiting for the time, I
look down into its depths
:
city that
had claimed
to
be
its
AN ITALIAN DREAM.
Thus
it
floated
me
market-place at Verona.
away, until I awoke in the old
Venice.
if it lie
many and many
Dream upon the
I have,
thought, since, of this strange
half-wondering
119
there jet, and
if
its
a time,
water:
name be
BY VERONA, MANTUA, AND MILAN, ACROSS THE
PASS OF THE SIMPLON INTO SWITZERLAND.
I
HAD been
at all put
it
should
Romeo and
Juliet.
half afraid to go to Verona, lest
me
out of conceit with
But, I was no sooner come into the old Market-place,
than the misgiving vanished. It is so fanciful, quaint,
and picturesque a
place,
and rich variety of
formed by such an extraordinaiy
fantastic buildings, that there could
be nothing better at the core of even this romantic town
scene of one of the most romantic and beautiful of
:
stories.
It
was natural enough,
Market-place, to the
House
rated into a most miserable
to
go
straight
of the Capulets,
little
mn.
from
the
now degene-
Noisy vetturini
and muddy market carts were disputing possession of the
yard, which was ankle-deep in dirt, with a brood of
splashed and bespattered geese
;
and there was a grimwho would
visaged dog, viciously panting in a dooi'way,
had Romeo by the leg, the moment he put
over the wall, if he had existed and been at large in
certainly have
it
those times.
The orchard
fell
into
other hands, and
VERONA.
was parted
off
many
years ago
attached to the house
—
;
1'21
but there used to be one
or at all events there
—and
may have
the hat (Cappello) the ancient cognizance
of the family, may still be seen, carved in stone, over the
been,
the market-carts, their
gateway of the yard. The geese,
drivers, and the dog, were somewhat in the way of the
stoiy
must be confessed; and
it
it
would have been
the house empty, and to have
pleasanter to have found
been able to walk thi'ough the disused rooms. But the
hat was unspeakably comfortable and the place where
the garden used to be, hardly less so.
Besides, the
house is a distmstful, jealous-looking hoiLse as one would
;
desire to see,
though of a veiy moderate
quite satisfied with
it,
size.
So I was
mansion of old
as the veritable
in
Capulet, and was coiTespondingly grateful
my acknow-
ledgments to an extremely unsentimental middle-aged
on the
lady, the Padrona of the Hotel, who was lomiging
threshold looking at the geese and
;
who
at least
resembled
the Capulets in the one particular of being very great
"
indeed in the
Family
From
home,
Juliet's
"
way.
to Juliet's
tomb,
is
a transition as
natural to the visitor, as to fair Juliet herself, or to the
to bum
proudest Juliet that ever has taught the torches
to an old,
bright in any time. So, I went off, with a guide,
old garden, once belonguig to an old,
old convent, I
and being admitted, at a shattered gate, by a
went down
bright-eyed woman who was washing clothes,
suppose
;
some walks where fresh plants and young flowers were
of old wall, and ivyprettily growing among fragments
covered mounds
;
and was shewn a
little
tank, or water
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
122
trough, which the bright-eyed
"
her
upon
'kerchief, called,
With
sfortmiata."
—
woman drying her arms
La tomba di Giulietta la
the best disposition in the world to
no more than believe that the brightbelieved so I gave her that much credit,
believe, I could do
eyed
woman
;
and her customary
fee
pleasure, rather than
a
in
It
ready money.
disappointment,
was a
that Juliet's
was forgotten. However consolatory it
may have been to Yorick's Ghost, to hear the feet upon
resting-place
the pavement overhead, and, twenty times a day, the
repetition of his name, it is better for Juliet to lie out of
the track of tourists, and to have no visiters but such as
come
to
graves
in
spring-rain,
and sweet
air,
and
sunshine.
Pleasant Verona
With
!
its
beautiful old palaces,
and charming country in the distance, seen from terrace
walks, and stately, balustraded galleries. With its Roman
spanning the fair street, and casting, on the
sunlight of to-day, the shade of fifteen hundred years ago.
gates, still
With
its
marble-fitted
churches,
lofty
towers,
rich
and quaint old quiet thoroughfares, where
shouts of Montagues and Capulets once resounded,
architecture,
And made
Verona's ancient citizens
Cast by their grave, beseeming ornaments,
To
With
its
wield old partizans.
fast-rushing river, picturesque old bridge, great
waving cypresses, and prospect so
so cheerful
Pleasant Verona
castle,
In the midst of
delightful,
and
!
!
it,
in the Piazza di
Bra
—
a spirit of
123
VERONA.
old time
—
among the
familiar realities of the passing hour
Roman
So well preserved,
and carefully maintained, that every row of seats is there,
Over certain of the arches, the old Ptoman
unbroken.
is
the great
Amphitheatre.
numerals may yet be seen
;
and there are
corridors,
and
and subten'anean passages for beasts, and
winding ways, above-ground and below, as when the
fierce thousands hurried in and out, intent upon the
staircases,
Nestling in some of the
bloody shows of the arena.
shadows and hollow places of the walls, now, are
smiths with their forges, and a few small dealers of one
kind or other and there are green weeds, and leaves,
;
and
grass,
upon the parapet.
But
little else is
greatly
changed.
When I had
with great interest,
and had gone up to the topmost round of seats, and
turning from the lovely panorama closed in by the distraversed all about
tant Alps, looked
before
lie
me
like
plaited straw,
shallow crown
down
:
it,
into the building,
it
seemed
to
the inside of a prodigious hat of
with an enormously broad brim and a
the plaits being represented by the fom^-
and-forty rows of seats.
The comparison
a homely
and fantastic one, in sober remembrance and on paper,
but
it
was
irresistibly
is
suggested at the moment, never-
theless.
An
before
equestrian troop had been there, a short time
—the same
troop, I dare say, that appeared to the
old lady in the church at
a
little
—and had scooped out
Modena
ring at one end of the arena
formances had taken place,
where their perand where the marks of
;
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
124
their horses' feet were
still fresh.
I could not but pic-
ture to myself, a handful of spectators gathered together
on one or two of the old stone
seats,
and a spangled
Cavalier being gallant, or a Policinello funny, with the
Above
grim walls looldng on.
strangely those
all,
Roman mutes would
I
thought how
gaze upon the
favourite comic scene of the travelling English,
a British nobleman
stomach
(Lord John), with a very loose
dressed in a blue tailed coat
:
where
down
to his heels,
bright yellow breeches, and a white hat: comes abroad,
riding double on a rearing horse, with an English lady
(Lady Betsey) in a straw bonnet and green veil, and a
red spencer; and who always carries a gigantic reticule,
and a put-up parasol.
and through the town all the rest of
the day, and could have walked there until now, I tliink.
In one place, there was a very pretty modem theatre,
I walked through
where they had just performed the opera (always popular
In another, there was
in Verona) of Romeo and Juliet.
a collection, under a colonnade, of Greek, Roman, and
Etruscan remains, presided over by an ancient man who
might have been an Etruscan relic himself for he was
;
not strong enough to open the iron gate, when he had
it, and had neither voice enough to be audible
milocked
when he
see
them
described the curiosities, nor sight enough to
he was so very
:
was a gallery of pictures
quite
delightful to
in the
see
:
In another place, there
so abominably bad, that it was
old.
them mouldering away.
But
the palaces, in the
chmThes, among
anywhere
on
the
streets,
bridge, or down beside the
:
river: it
was
125
MANTUA.
always pleasant Verona, and in
my remembrance
always
will be.
Romeo and
I read
that night
—
there, before
Juliet in
of com'se,
—and
my own room
at the inn
no Englishman had ever read
set out for
Mantua next day
it
at sun-
rise, repeating to myself (in the coupe of an omnibus,
and next
to the conductor,
who was reading the Mys-
teries of Paris)
There
But
is
no world without Verona's
purgatory, torture, hell
Hence-banished
And
which reminded
me
is
that
and-twenty miles after
fidence in his energy
Was
banish'd from the world,
is
world's exile
walls,
itself.
death
Romeo was
all,
only banished
and rather disturbed
my
five-
con-
and boldness.
the way to Mantua, as beautiful, in his time, I
Did
wind through pasture land as green,
bright with the same glancing streams, and dotted with
Those purple mounfresh clumps of graceful trees
wonder!
it
!
tains
lay on the horizon, then, for certain
dresses
of
knobbed,
these
peasant
silver pin like
girls,
;
and the
who wear a
great,
an English " life-preserver
"
through their hsdr behind, can hardly be much changed.
The hopeful feeling of so bright a morning, and so
exquisite a sunrise, can have been no stranger, even to
an exiled
lover's breast;
and Mantua
itself
must have
broken on him in the prospect, with its towers, and
walls, and water, pretty much as on a common-place and
matrimonial omnibus.
He made
the same sharp twists
and turns, perhaps, over two rumbling drawbridges
;
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
126
passed through the like long, covered, wooden bridge;
and leaving the marshy water behind, approached the
rusty gate of stagnant Mantua.
If ever a
and
man were
suited to his place of residence,
his place of residence to him, the lean Apothecary
and Mantua came together in a perfect fitness of things.
If so,
It may have been more stirring then, perhaps.
the Apothecary was a man in advance of his time, and
Imew what Mantua would
forty-four.
He
hundred and
be, in eighteen
much, and that assisted him
fasted
m
his foreknowledge.
I put up at the Hotel of the Golden Lion, and was in
my own room
when
there
arranging plans with the Brave Courier,
came a modest
little
tap at the door, which
opened on an outer gallery surrounding a courtyard; and
an intensely shabby little man looked in, to inquire if the
gentleman would have a Cicerone to shew the town. His
was so very wistful and anxious, in the half-opened
doorway, and there was so much poverty expressed in
face
and
pinched hat, and in the threadbare worsted glove with which he held it not expressed
the less, because these were evidently his genteel
his faded suit
little
—
clothes, hastily slipped
on
—
that I would as soon have
trodden on him as dismissed him.
I engaged
him on
the instant, and he stepped in directly.
While I
finished
the
discussion
in
which I was
engaged, he stood, beaming by himself in a comer,
making a feint of brushing my hat with his arm. If his
fee had been as many napoleons as it was francs, there
could not have shot over the twilight of his shabbiness
MANTUA.
127
such a gleam of sun, as lighted up the whole man, now
that he was hired.
"
out
"
"
Well
!
said
when
I,
was ready, " shall we go
I
"
now ?
If the gentleman pleases.
It is a beautiful day.
but charming; altogether charming.
gentleman will allow me to open the door. This
little
The
courtyard of the Golden Lion
mind
will please to
gentleman
We were now in the
*'
The
fresh,
Inn Yard.
This
is
his footing
on the
A
is
the
The
!
stairs."
street.
the street of the Golden Lion.
outside of the Golden Lion.
The
This, the
interesting
window
up there, on the first Piano, where the pane of glass is
"
broken, is the window of the gentleman's chamber
Havmg viewed all these remarkable objects, I inquired
!
if
there were
"Well!
much
to see in
Truly, no.
Mantua.
Not much
!
So, so,"
he
said,
shrugging his shoulders apologetically.
"
"
Many
"
"
churches
'?
No.
Nearly all suppressed by the French."
"
Monasteries or convents ?
"No.
The French
again!
Neai'ly all suppressed by
Napoleon."
"
Much busmess ?
"
Very
"
"
little
Many
business."
"
strangers ?
Ah Heaven
I thought
"
"
"
!
he would have fainted.
Then, when we have seen the two large Churches
"
said I.
yonder, what shall we do next?
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
128
He
looked up the street, and down the street, and
rubbed his chin timidly; and then said, glancing in my
face as if a light had broken on his mind, yet with a
humble appeal
irresistible
"
(Si
We
to
my
forbearance
was perfectly
that
:
can take a
little
turn about the town, Signore!
"
far 'un piccolo giro della
citta).
puo
It was impossible to be anything but delighted with
we
the proposal, so
mom\
In the
set off together in gi'eat good-hu-
mind, he opened his heart,
and gave up as much of Mantua as a Cicerone could.
"
One must eat," he said " but, bah it was a dull
relief of his
!
;
place, without doubt
He made
—
as
"
!
much
as possible of the Basilica of Santa
—and
an inclosed portion of
the pavement, about which tapers were burning, and a
few people kneeling, and mider which is said to be preAndi'ea
a noble church
of
served the Sangreal of the old Romances.
disposed
Pietro),
"
It
was
much
of,
and another
we went
all
inside
This church
after it (the cathedral of
San
Museum, which was shut up.
the same," he said " Bah
There was not
to the
!
;
"
Then,
!
w^e
went
to see the
Piazza del
Diavolo, built by the Devil (for no particular pm'pose) in
a single night
;
statue of Vii^gil
up a
Poet,
my
little
;
then the
friend said, plucking
moment, and putting his hat a little
Then, we went to a dismal sort of farm-
spirit, for the
on one
yard,
then, the Piazza Virgiliana
—our
side.
by which a
moment
was approached. The
retreat was opened, some five
pictui'e-gallery
the gate of this
hundred geese came waddling round
us, stretching
out
129
MANTUA.
and clamouring in the most hideous manner,
as if they were ejaculating, "Oh! here's somebody
Don't go up!"
Don't go up
come to see the Pictures
their necks,
!
!
While we went up, they waited very quietly about the
door, in a crowd, cackling to
one another occasionally, in
but the instant we appeared again, their
necks came out like telescopes, and setting up a great
a subdued tone
noise,
"
which meant, I have no doubt, What, you would
How do you
do you think of it
and cast
they attended us to the outer gate,
would you
go,
"
like
;
it
!
!
What
!
us forth, derisively, into Mantua.
The geese who saved the Capitol, were, as compared
with these, Pork to the learned Pig.
was
What
a galleiy
it
I would take their opinion on a question of art,
!
in preference to the discom'ses of Sir
Now
that
we were standing
Joshua Pieynolds.
in the street, after being
thus ignominiously escorted thither, my Uttle friend was
"
of
piccolo giro," or little circuit
plainly reduced to the
But my suggestion
the Palazzo Te (of which I had
the town, he had fonnerly proposed.
that
we should
visit
heard a great deal, as a strange
^^ild place)
imparted
him, and away we went.
The secret of the length of Midas' ears, would have
new
life to
been more extensively known, if that ser\^ant of his, who
whispered it to the reeds, had lived in Mantua, where
there are reeds and nishes enough to have published it
The Palazzo Te stands in a swamp,
to all the world.
among this
sort of vegetation ;
and
is,
indeed, as singular
a place as I ever saw.
Not
for its dreariness,
though
K
it is
very dreory.
Nor
130
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
for its
it
dampness, tliough
desolate condition, though
as house can
But
be.
nightmares with which
is
it is
as desolate
chiefly for the
its
Nor
very damp.
for its
and neglected
unaccountable
interior has been decorated
(among other subjects of more delicate execution), by
Giulio Romano. There is a leering Giant over a certain
chimney-piece, and there are dozens of Giants (Titans
warring with Jove) on the walls of another room, so inconceivably ugly and grotesque, that
any man
it is
marvellous
can have imagined such creatures.
how
In the cham-
ber in which they abound, these monsters, with swollen
faces and cracked cheeks, and every kind of distortion of
look and limb, are depicted as staggering under the weight
and being overwhelmed in the ruins
masses
of
rock, and burying themselves beupheaving
neath vainly striving to sustain the pillars of heavy
of falling buildings,
;
;
roofs that topple
down upon
their heads
The
figures
are
and,
mad and
undergoing and doing every kuid of
destruction.
;
immensely
m a word,
demoniacal
colourhig
more
is
and
large,
utmost pitch of uncouthness the
harsh and disagreeable and the whole effect
exaggerated to the
;
;
like (I should
imagine) a violent rush of blood
head of the spectator, than any
before him by the hand of an artist.
the
real
tx)
pictm'e set
This apoplectic
performance was shown by a sicldy-looking woman, whose
appearance was referable, I dare say, to the bad air of
the marshes
;
but
it
was
difficult to
help feeling as
if
she
were too much haunted by the Giants, and they were
frightening her to death, all alone in that exhausted,
cistern of a Palace,
among
the reeds and nishes, with
131
MANTUA.
the mists hovering about outside, aiid stalldiig round and
round
it
continually.
Our walk through Mantua showed us,
street, some suppressed church now used
:
now
for nothing at all
they could be,
:
all as
m almost every
for a
warehouse,
crazy and dismantled as
short of tumbling
down
The
bodily.
was so intensely dull and flat, that the dirt
upon it seemed not to have come there in the ordinary
course, but to have settled and mantled on its surface as
marshy
to\Mi
And
on standing water.
yet there were
some business-
deahngs going on, and some profits realizmg for there
were arcades full of Jews, where those extraordinary
;
people were sitting outside their shops: contemplating
their stores of stuffs,
chiefs,
and
and tiinkets
business-like,
:
and woollens, and bright handkerand looking, in all respects, as wary
as their
brethren in
Houndsditch,
London.
Having selected a Vettmino from among the neighbouring Christians, who agreed to carry us to Milan in
two days and a half, and to start, next morning, as soon as
the gates were opened, I returned to the Golden Lion,
and dined luxuriously in my own room, in a naiTow
passage between two bedsteads confronted by a smoky
:
tire,
and backed up by a chest of drawers.
At
six
next morning, we were jingling in the dark
through the wet cold mist that enshrouded the to\vn
o'clock
;
and, before noon, the driver, (a native of Mantua, and
sixty years of age, or thereabouts)
ask the
way
little republic,
and
began
to
to Milan,
It lay through Bozzolo
:
formerly a
K 2
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
13Q
now one
most deserted and poverty-stricken of
of the
where the landlord of the miserable inn (God
it was his weekly
bless him
custom) was distributing in-
towns
:
I
finitesimal coins
a clamorous herd of
among
women and
whose rags were fluttering in the wind and
rain outside his door, where they were gathered to
children,
receive his charity.
It lay through mist,
rain, and vines trained low
and the next
the
and mud, and
upon the ground,
all
that day
sleeping-place being Cremona,
dark brick churches, and immensely
high tower, the Torrazzo to say nothing of its violins, of
memorable
which
days
;
;
first
for its
—
none in these degenerate
and the second, Lodi. Then we went on, through
it
certainly produces
more mud,
mist,
through such a
and
rain,
and marshy gi'omid
:
and
Englishmen, strong in the faith
of their o^vn grievances, are apt to believe is nowhere to
fog, as
be found but in their own country
paved
:
until
we entered the
streets of Milan.
The
fog was so dense here, that the spire of the far-
famed Cathedral might
as well have
been
Bombay, for
time.
But as
at
anything that could be seen of it at that
we halted to refresh, for a few days then, and retm^ned to
Milan again next summer, I had ample opportmiities of
seeing the glorious structure in all its majesty and
beauty.
All Christian homage to the saint
who
lies
within
it
!
There are many good and true saints in the calendar,
if I
but San Carlo Borromeo has
may quote Mrs.
"
Primrose on such a subject
my warm heart." A
—
—
charitable doctor to the sick, a munificent friend to the
133
MILAN.
not in any spirit of blind bigotiy, but as the
bold opponent of enormous abuses in the Romish church,
poor,
and
this,
I honoui' his
memoiy. I honom"
he was nearly slain by a
murder him
Carlo Borromeo as
in
:
false
Heaven
hood of monks.
less,
by
because
priests,
to
of his
acknowledgment
and hypocritical brother-
shield all imitators of
shielded
it
none the
priest, suborned,
at the altar
endeavom-s to reform a
it
him
!
A reforming
San
Pope
shieldmg, even now.
The subterranean chapel in which the body of San
would need a
little
and as
preserved, presents as strildng
as any place can show. The
ghastly a contrast, perhaps,
Carlo Borromeo
is
tapers which are lighted
down
there, flash
and gleam on
skilgold and silver, delicately wrought by
ful hands, and representing the principal events in the
alti-relievi in
life
Jewels, and precious metals, shine and
of the saint.
front of the altar
gold and
mummy
;
A
windlass slowly removes the
and, within it, in a gorgeous shruie of
sparkle on every side.
through alabaster, the shrivelled
the pontifical robes with which it is
silver, is seen,
of a
man
:
adorned, radiant \rith diamonds, emeralds, rabies
costly
and magnificent gem.
:
every
The shrunken heap
of
is more
pitipoor earth in the midst of this great glitter,
There is not a ray of
ful than if it lay upon a dunghill.
imprisoned light in all the flash and fii'e of jewels, but
seems
to
mock
Every thread of
the dusty holes where eyes were, once.
silk
provision from the
worms
m the
worms
rich vestments
seems only a
that spm, for the behoof of
that propagate in sepulchres.
In the old refectory of the dilapidated Convent of
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
134
Santa Maria delle Grazie,
better
is
known than any other
Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci
it
the work of
the world
in
—with a door
by the intelligent Dominican
art,
:
perhaps
the Last
cut through
friars, to facilitate their
operations at dinner time.
am
I
not mechanically acquainted
with the
art
of
and have no other means of judging of a picture than as I see it resembling and refining upon
nature, and presenting graceful combinations of forms
painting,
and
I am, therefore, no authority AYhatever, in
"
"
touch of this or that master; though I
reference to the
colours.
know very
well (as anybod}^ may,
who chooses
to think
about the matter) that few very great masters can possil)ly have painted, in the compass of their lives, one half
of the pictures that bear their names,
nised by
many
undoubted
and that are recog-
aspirants to a reputation for taste, as
originals.
But
this,
by the way.
Of the Last
Supper, I would simply observe, that in its beautiful
composition and arrangement, there it is, at Milan, a
wonderful pictm^e and that, in
;
its
its
original colouring, or in
original expression of any single face or feature, there
Apart from the damage it has sustained from
damp, decay, and neglect, it has been (as Bariy shows)
so retouched upon, and repainted, and that so clumsily,
it is
that
not.
many
of the heads are, now, positive deformities,
with patches of paint and plaster sticldng upon them
like wens, and utterly distorting the expression.
Where
the original artist set that impress of his genius on a
face,
which, almost in a line or touch, separated
him
from meaner painters and made him what he was, sue-
135
MILAN.
or painting across seams
to imitate his hand
imable
and cracks, have been quite
filling up,
ceeding bunglers,
;
and putting in some
scowls, or frowns, or wiinkles, of their
This is so
own, have blotched and spoiled the work.
well established as a historical fact, that I should not
repeat
it,
but for ha\dng
at the risk of being tedious,
obsen-ed an English gentleman before the picture, who
was at great pains to fall into what I may describe as
mild convulsions, at certain minute details of expression
which are not left in it.
Whereas, it would be comfortable
and
and
rational for travellers
a general understanding that
it
critics to
cannot
a work of extraordinary^ merit, once
:
fail to
amve
at
have been
when, with so few
of its original beauties remaining, the gi-andeur of the
general design
is
yet sufficient to sustain
replete with interest
We
and
it,
as a piece
dignity.
achieved the other sights of Milan, in due com^se,
though not so mnnistakeably Italian
as to possess the characteristic qualities of many towns
The Corso, where the
far less important in themselves.
and a
fine city it
is,
Milanese gentry ride up and down in carriages, and
rather than not do which, they would half starve themselves at home, is a most noble public promenade,
shaded by long avenues of trees. In the splendid
theatre of La Scala, there was a ballet of action per-
formed
after the opera,
under the
title
of
Prometheus
:
men
begmning of which, some hundred
and women represented our mortal race before the
refinements of the arts and sciences, and loves and
or two of
in the
graces,
came on earth
to soften
them.
I
never saw anv-
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
136
thing more effective.
Generally speaking, the pantomimic action of the Italians is more remarkable for its
sudden and impetuous character than
for its delicate
expression; but, in this case, the drooping monotony:
the weaiy, miserable,
passions and desires of
life
moping
listless,
human
creatures,
those elevating mfluences to which
we owe
:
the sordid
destitute
so
of
much, and
whose promoters we render so little were expressed
in a manner really powerful and affecting.
I should
to
:
almost impossible to present such an
so strongly on the stage, without the aid of
have thought
idea
it
speech.
Milan soon lay behind us, at five o'clock in the morning; and before the golden statue on the summit of the
cathedral spire was lost in the blue sky, the Alps, stu-
pendously confused in lofty peaks and ridges, clouds and
snow, were towering in our path.
Still,
nightfall
we continued
;
and,
to
advance towards them until
day long, the mountain tops presented
all
strangely shifting shapes, as the road displayed
different
points of view.
The
declinmg, when we came upon
the Isola Bella
in
beautiful day was just
Lago Maggiore, with
For however fanciful and fantastic
lovely islands.
its
them
may
be,
and
the
is,
it
still
is
beautiful.
Anything springing out of that blue water, with that
scenery around it, must be.
It
was ten o'clock
at night
when we
got to
d'Ossola, at the foot of the Pass of the Simplon.
the
moon was
Domo
But as
shining brightly, and there was not a cloud
in the starlit sky,
it
was no time
for
gomg
to bed, or
137
PASS OF THE SIMPLON.
on.
going anj^where but
after
some
delay,
It was late in
and began
November
five feet thick in the
new
the
parts
piercing cold.
So,
we
got a
little
;
and the snow lying four or
beaten road on the summit
drift
carriage,
the ascent.
was already deep,) the
(in other
air
was
But, the serenity of the night, and the
its impenetrable shadows,
grandeur of the road, with
turns into the shining
its
sudden
and
and deep glooms,
of the moon,
and
its
incessant roar of falling water,
rendered the journey more and more sublime at eveiy
step.
Soon leaving the calm Italian
villages
below
ing in the moonlight, the road began to
us, sleep-
wind among
time emerged upon a barer
the moon shone
region, veiy steep and toilsome, where
By degrees, the roar of water grew
bright and high.
dark
trees,
louder
;
and
after a
and the stupendous
track,
after crossing
the
torrent by a bridge, struck in between two massive
the
perpendicular walls of rock that quite shut out
moonlight, and only left
narrow strip of sky above.
a
few stars shinhig in the
Then, even this was lost, in
the thick darkness of a cavern in the rock, through which
way was pierced; the tenible cataract thmidering
and roai'ing close below it, and its foam and spray hanging,
tlie
Emerging from tliis cave,
and coming again mto the moonlight, and across a dizzy
in a mist, about the entrance.
it
crept and twisted upward, through the
Gorge
and grand beyond description, with
smooth-fronted precipices, rising up on either hand, and
bridge,
of Gondo, savage
almost meeting overhead.
Thus we went, climbing on
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
138
our nigged way, higher and higher, all night, -without a
moment's weariness lost in the contemplation of the
:
and depths, the
the clefts and hollows,
black rocks, the tremendous heights
fields of
smooth snow lying
and the
fierce torrents
in
thundering headlong down the
deep abyss.
Towards daybreak, we came among the snow, where a
keen wind was blowing fiercely. Having, with some
trouble,
awakened the inmates
of a
wooden house
in this
round which the wind was howling dismally,
catching up the snow in wreaths and hurling it away we
solitude:
:
got some breakfast
well
warmed by a
in a
room
built of rough timbers, but
and well contrived (as it had
stove,
keeping out the bitter storms. A sledge
being then made ready, and four horses harnessed to it,
we went, ploughing, through the snow. Still upward, but
need
to be) for
now in
<lesert
the cold light of morning, and with the great white
on which we travelled, plain and clear.
We
were well upon the summit of the mountain and
had before us the rude cross of wood, denoting its
:
greatest altitude above the sea
rising sun, struck, all at once,
:
when
the light of the
upon the waste of snow,
it a
The lonely grandeur of the
deep red.
was
then
at
its
scene,
height.
and turned
As we went
sledging
on,
there
came out
of the
Hospice founded by Napoleon, a group of Peasant
travellers, with staves and knapsacks, who had rested
there last night
:
hospitable entertainers,
them,
for
by a
Monk
or two,
trudging
slowly
foi'ward
with
It was pleasant to give
them
attended
company's sake.
their
GORGE OF THE SALTINE-
139
morning, and pretty, looking back a long way after
them, to see them looking back at us, and hesitating
horses stumbled and fell,
presently, when one of om*
goofl
whether or no they should return and help us. But he
was soon up again, with the assistance of a rough
and
waggoner whose team had stuck fast there too
;
when we had helped him out of his difficulty, in return,
we left him slowly ploughing towards them, and went
softly
pice,
and
s\\iftly foi'ward,
among
Taking
rapidly to
preci-
the mountain pines.
wheels again, soon aftei'wards, we began
descend passing under everlasting glaciers, by
to our
;
means of arched
icicles
on the brink of a steep
galleries,
hung with
clusters of dripping
under and over foaming waterfalls near places
and galleries of shelter against sudden danger
;
;
of refuge,
;
through caverns over whose arched roofs the avalanches
slide, in
and
spring,
gulf beneath.
bmy
themselves in the imknown
Down, over
lionible ravines
:
a
little
lofty bridges,
shifting
and through
speck in
the
vast
and snow, and monstrous granite rocks
down through the deep Gorge of the Saltine, and deafened by the torrent plunging madly down, among the
desolation of ice
:
riven blocks of rock, into the level country, far below,
by zig-zag roads, Ipng between an
and
a
do^vnward
upward
precipice, into wanner weather,
calmer air, and softer scenery, until there lay before us,
(rradually down,
thaw and sunshine,
green, yellow, domes and church-
glittering like gold or silver in the
the metal-covered, red,
spires of a S\\dss town.
The
business of these recollections
beinf]f
with Italv,
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
140
and
business, consequently, being to scamper back
my
thitlier as fast as possible, I will
how
sorely tempted)
not recal (though I
am
the Swiss villages, clustered at the
Giant mountains, looked like playthings or how
confusedly the houses were heaped and piled together
feet of
;
;
or
how
there were very narrow streets to shut the howling
winds out in the winter time
the impetuous
;
and broken bridges, which
suddenly released in spring,
Or how there were peasant women
torrents,
had swept away.
here, with great round fur caps
when they
looldng,
:
peeped out of casements and only their heads were seen,
like a population of Sword-bearers to the Lord Mayor of
London
how
town of Vevay, l}"ing on the
smooth lake of Geneva, was beautiful to see or how the
;
or
the
;
statue of Saint Peter in the street at Fribourg, grasps the
key that ever was beheld or how Fribourg is
illustrious for its two suspension bridges, and its grand
largest
;
cathedral organ.
Or how, between
that town and Bale, the road mean-
dered among thriving villages of wooden cottages, with
overhanging thatched roofs, and low protrudmg windows,
glazed with small romid panes of glass like crown-pieces ;
or how, in every little Swiss homestead, with its cart or
waggon
carefully stowed
away beside the house, its little
and groups of red-cheeked
garden, stock
of poultr}%
children, there
was an
pleasant after Italy
;
air of comfort,
or
how
very
new and very
the dresses of the
women
changed again, and there were no more sword-bearers to
be seen and fair white stomachers, and great black, fan;
shaped, gauzy-looking caps, prevailed instead.
141
STRASBOURG TO PARIS.
Or how
the country by the Jiu'a mountams, sprmkled
with snow, and lighted by the moon, and musical with
falling water,
was delightful
of the great hotel of the
or how, below the
;
Three Kings
swollen Rhine ran fast and green
it
was quite as
fast
foggy lower down
:
windows
the
at Bale,
or how, at Strasbourg,
;
but not as green and was said to be
and, at that late time of the year, was
:
a far less certain means of progress, than the highway
road to Paris.
Or how
Strasbourg
Cathedral, and
its
itself,
in its magnificent old Gothic
ancient houses with their peaked roofs
and gables, made a little gallery of quaint and interesting
\dews or how a crowd was gathered inside the cathedral
;
at noon, to see the
How, when
strildug twelve.
it
struck twelve, a whole
went through many ingenious evoluand, among them, a huge puppet-cock, perched on
of puppets
army
tions
famous mechanical clock in motion,
;
the top, crowed twelve times, loud and clear. Or how it
was wonderful to see this cock at great pains to clap its
wings, and strain
its
throat
connection whatever with
its
but ob\iously having no
;
ovm
voice,
which was deep
within the clock, a long way down.
Or how
thence
how
the road to Paris, was one sea of
to the coast,
a
little
better for a hard
mud and
;
frost.
Or
Dover were a pleasant
sight, and England was so wonderfully neat
though dark, and lacking
colom' on a winter's day, it must be conceded.
the
cliffs
of
Or how, a few days
—
afterwards,
it
was
cool, re-crossing
the channel, with ice upon the decks, and snow lying
pretty
deep in France.
Or how
the
Malle
Poste
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
142
scrambled through the snow, headlong, drawn in the
by any number of stout horses at a canter
hilly parts
how
;
or
there were, outside the Post-office Yard in Paris,
before daybreak, extraordinary adventurers in heaps of
rags, groping in the
snowy
streets with little rakes, in
search of odds and ends.
Or how, between
Paris and Marseilles, the snow being
then exceeding deep, a thaw came on, and the mail
waded rather than rolled for the next three hundred
breaking springs on Smiday nights, and
putting out its two passengers to warm and refresh themmiles or so
;
selves pending the repairs, in miserable billiard-rooms,
where hairy company, collected about
ing
cards
the
;
stoves, "were play-
being very like themselves
cards
—
extremely limp and dirty.
Or how there was detention
of weather
did not go
;
;
and steamers were advertised
or
how
at length put out,
threatened
the
to
and met such weather that now she
my
did neither,
declined to give
ran on into
but
where the familiar Bells rang
Or how there was a travelling
ear.
whom
one
member was
cabin next to mine, and being
ill
w^as cross,
very
ill
in the
and therefore
up the Dictionary, which he kept under
pillow; thereby obliging his companions
down
which
instead,
party on board, of
his
to go,
run into Toulon, and now into Nice, but,
Genoa harbom'
in
from stress
the good Steam-packet Charlemagne
wind moderatmg,
sweetly
at Marseilles
to
come
him, constantly, to ask what w^as the Italian for
a lump of sugar a glass of brandy and water what's
to
o'clock ?
—
and so forth
—
:
which he
alw^ays
insisted
on
RETURN TO GENOA.
looking out,
with bis
entrust the book to any
own
man
143
sea-sick eyes, declining to
alive.
might have told you, in detail, all
but to as little purpose were
this and something more
I not deterred by the remembrance that my business is
Like Grumio,
with Italy.
I
Therefore, like
die in oblivion."
—
—
Grumio's
story, it "shall
TO ROME BY PISA AND SIENA.
There
is
nothing in
Italy,
beautiful to me, than
Genoa and
the coast-road between
sometimes
more
Spezzia.
On
one
sometimes nearly on a level
with the road, and often sldrted by broken rocks of many
shapes there is the free blue sea, with here and there a
side
:
far below,
:
picturesque feluca gliding slowly on
;
on the other
side,
are lofty hills, ravines besprinkled with white cottages,
patches of dark olive woods, country churches with their
open towers, and country houses gaily pamted. On
every bank and knoll by the wayside, the wild cactus and
aloe flemish in exuberant profusion
and the gardens of
light
;
the bright villages along the road, are seen, all blushing
in the summer-time with clusters of the Belladonna,
and
ai'e
fragrant in the
autumn and winter with golden
oranges and lemons.
Some
of the villages are inhabited, almost exclusively,
by fishermen; and it is pleasant
hauled up on the beach, maldng
where they
sit
lie
asleep, or
nets
upon
the
little
patches of shade,
where the women and children
romping and looldng out
their
to see their great boats
shore.
to
sea, while
There
is
they mend
one town.
CAMOGLIA.
145
Camoglia, witli its little harboiir on the sea, hundreds
of feet below the road where families of mariners live,
:
who, time out of mind, have owned coasting-vessels in
that place, and have traded to Spain and elsewhere.
Seen from the road above,
it is
like a
tin}'-
model on the
margin of the dimpled water, shining in the sun.
Descended into, by the winding mule-tracks, it is a perfect miniature of a primitive seafaring town
the saltest,.
;
roughest,
most
piratical little place that ever
was seen.
Great rusty iron rings and mooring-chains, capstans, and
fragments of old masts and spars, choke up the way;
hardy rough- weather boats, and seamen's clothing, flutter
in the little harbour or are drawn out on the
sunny stones
to
dry
;
lookmg
on the parapet of the rude
pier, a
fellows lie asleep, with their legs dangling over
the wall, as though earth or water were
and
few amphibious-
all
one
to
them,
they slipped in, they would float away, dozing
comfortably among the fishes the church is bright with
if
;
trophies of the sea,
and votive
offerings, in
commemora-
from stoi*m and shipwi-eck. The dwellings
not immediately abutting on the harbom* are approached
by blmd low archways, and by crooked steps, as if in
tion of escape
darkness and in difficulty of access they should be like
holds of ships, or inconvenient cabins imder water and
;
everywhere, there
is
a smell of
fish,
and seaweed, and
old rope.
The
below,
coast-road
is
whence Camoglia
famous, in the
warm
descried so far
season, especially in
parts near Genoa, for
fii-e-flies.
dark night, I have seen
it
Walldng
made one
L
is
there,
some
on a
sparkling firmament
146
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
by these
beautiful insects
so that the distant stars were
;
pale against the flash and glitter that spangled eveiy
olive
wood and
hill-side,
and pervaded the whole
air.
was not in such a season, however, that we traversed
this road on our way to Rome.
The middle of January
It
was only just past, and it was very gloomy and dark
weather very wet besides. In crossing the fine Pass
of Bracco, we encountered such a storm of mist and
;
rain, that
we
There
travelled in a cloud the whole way.
might have been no Mediterranean in the world, for anytliing we saw of it there, except when a sudden gust of
wind, clearing the mist before
it,
for a
moment, showed
the agitated sea at a great depth below, lashing the
distant rocks,
and spouting up
rain was incessant
swollen
;
;
its
foam
The
furiously.
every brook and torrent was greatly
and such a deafening leaping, and
and
roaring,
thundering of water, I never heard the like of in
my
life.
Hence, when we came
we found
to Spezzia,
that the
Magra, an unbridged river on the high-road to Pisa, was
too high to be safely crossed in the Ferry Boat, and were
fain to wait mitil the afternoon of next day,
in
some degree, subsided.
place to tarry at
Spezzia, however,
by reason,
ghostly Inn
;
firstly,
its
the women,
who wear, on one
;
of
its
is
it
had,
a good
beautiful bay
;
thirdly, of the head-dress of
secondly, of
doll's
when
side of theii^ head, a small
straw hat, stuck on to the hair
;
which
is
certainly
the oddest and most roguish head-gear that ever was
invented.
The Magra
safely crossed
in
the Feriy Boat
—the
147
CAKBARA.
is
not by any means agreeable,
is
passage
swollen and strong— we
when the
current
arrived at Carrara, within a
In good time next morning, we got some
ponies, and went out to see the marble quarries.
few hours.
They
are four or five great glens, running
up
into a
they can run no longer, and
are stopped by being abraptly strangled by Nature.
range of lofty
The
so
hills, until
quarries, or "caves," as they call
many
of these
marble
:
openings, high up in the
them
hills,
there, are
on either side
passes, where they blast and excavate for
which may turn out good or bad may make a
:
man's fortune veiy quickly, or ruin him by the great
Some of
expense of working what is worth nothing.
these caves were opened by the ancient Romans, and
remain as they left them to this hour. Many others
are being worked at this moment; others are to be
begun to-morrow, next week, next month; others are
unbought, unthought of; and marble enough for more
ages than have passed since the place was resorted
lies
hidden everywhere
:
patiently awaiting
its
to,
time of
discoveiy.
As you
toil
and clamber up one of these
steep
(having left your pony soddening his girths
in water, a mile or two lower
down) you hear, every
gorges
now and
more
then, echoing
among
the
hills, in
a low tone,
than the previous silence, a melancholy
warning bugle, a signal to the miners to withdraw.
silent
Then, there
—
is
a thundering, and echoing from hill to
hill, and perhaps a splashing up of great fragments of
rock into the air
and on you toil again until some
;
L 2
148
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
otlier
directly, lest
new
new
bugle sounds, in a
direction,
and you stop
you should come within the range of the
explosion.
There were numbers of men, working high up in
these hills
on the sides clearing away, and sending
down the broken masses of stone and earth, to make
—
—
way for the blocks of marble that had been discovered.
As these came rolling down from unseen hands into the
narrow
not help thinking of the deep
glen (just the same sort of glen) where the Roc left Sinbad the Sailor; and where the merchants from the
valley, I could
down
heights above, flung
diamonds
great pieces of meat for the
There were no eagles here, to
darken the sun in their swoop, and pounce upon them
to
stick to.
;
but
it
was as wild and
as if there
fierce
had been
hundreds.
But the
road, the road
down which the
however immense the blocks
try,
and the
repair
it,
!
mai'ble comes,
The genius
of the coun-
pave that road
Conceive a channel
spirit of its institutions,
watch
it,
keep
it
going
!
:
of water running over a
rocky bed, beset with great
heaps of stone of all shapes and sizes, winduig down the
middle of this valley and that being the road because
—
;
was the road
hmidred years ago
Imagine the
clumsy carts of five hmidred years ago, being used to
this hour, and drawn, as they used to be, five hmidred
it
five
!
years ago, by oxen, whose ancestors were worn to death
hundred years ago, as their unhappy descendants
are now, in twelve months, by the
suffering and agony
of this cruel work
Two pau', four pair, ten pair,
five
!
149
CARRAKA.
one block, according to its size do-vvTi it
must come, this way. In their struggling from stone to
stone, with their enormous loads behind them, they die
and not they alone for their
frequently upon the spot
twenty
pair,
to
;
;
;
down in their
passionate drivers, sometimes tumbling
wheels.
to death beneath the
energy, are crushed
But
was good
it
be good now;
five
hundred years
and a railroad
ago,
and
down one
must
it
these
of
would be flat
steeps (the easiest thing in the world)
blasphemy.
When we
stood aside, to see one of these cars
drawn
by only a pair of oxen, (for it had but one small block of
marble on it) coming do\Mi, I hailed, in my heart, the
man who sat upon the heavy yoke, to keep it on the
neck of the poor beasts
before
him
—
loose
in his hand, with
screwed
it
it
:
an iron point
not
He
;
and
could plough and force their
bed of the torrent no longer,
he poked
faced backward
as the very Devil of true despotism.
had a great rod
when they
—and who
way through the
and came to a stop,
into their bodies, beat it
round and round in their
on their heads,
nostrils, got
them
on a yard or two, in the madness of intense pain
repeated
all
;
these persuasions, with increased intensity
when they stopped again; got them on,
once more; forced and goaded them to an abrupter
their wTithing and
point of the descent; and when
smarting, and the weight behind them, bore them
of purpose,
of scattered
plunging down the precipice in a cloud
water, whirled his rod above his head, and gave a great
whoop and hallo,
as
if
he had achieved something, and had
150
110
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
him
idea that they might shake
mash
his brains
and blindly
off,
upon the road, in the noon-tide of
his
triumph.
in one of the
Standmg
afternoon —
for
many
studii of Carrara that
a great workshop,
it is
full of beautifully
finished copies in marble, of almost every figure, group, and
bust,
we know
—
it
seemed, at
first,
so strange to
me
that
those exquisite shapes, replete with grace, and thought,
and delicate repose, should grow out of all this toil, and
sweat,
and torture
But I soon found a
!
and an explanation of
in miserable ground,
birth in sorrow
and
parallel to
it,
in every virtue that springs
up
and eveiy good thing that has
its
it,
And, looldng out of the
distress.
window, upon the marble mountains, all
red and glowing in the decline of day, but stern and
sculptor's great
solemn
to
quarries of
the
my God
I thought,
last,
human
beautiful results, are left shut
that conceal
and shudder
them
how many
more
up and mouldering away
while pleasm^e-travellers through
as they pass,
!
hearts and souls, capable of far
at the
life,
:
avert their faces,
gloom and ruggedness
!
The then reigning Duke
of
Modena,
to
whom
this
territoiy in part belonged, claimed the proud distinction
of being the
only sovereign in Europe
recognised Louis-Philippe as
King
of the
who had not
French
!
He
was not a wag, but quite in earnest. He was also much
opposed to railroads and if certain lines
contempla;
tion by other potentates,
m
on either side of him, had
been executed, would have probably enjoyed the satisfaction of having an omnibus plying to and fro, across
151
PISA.
his not very vast dominions, to foi*ward travellers from
one terminus
to another.
CaiTara, shut in by great
and
bold.
nearly
all
Few
is
hills,
tourists stay there
connected, in one
way
very pictm^esque
and the people are
;
or other, with
the
working of marble. There are also villages among the
It contains a beautiful
caves, where the workmen live.
little
Theatre, newly-built;
custom there,
to
and
it
fonn the chorus of
is
an interesting
laboui'ers in the
marble quarries, who are self-taught and sing by ear.
I heard them in a comic opera, and in an act of
"Norma;" and they acquitted themselves very
unlike the common people of Italy generally, who
well;
(with
some exceptions among the Neapolitans) sing vilely out
of tune, and have very disagreeable singing voices.
From
the summit of a lofty
hill
beyond Carrara, the
first view of the fertile plain in which the town of Pisa
lies
—with Leghorn, a purple spot in the
is
enchanting.
enchantment
Nor
is
it
only
flat
distance
distance
that
—
lends
to the view; for the fruitful country,
and
rich woods of olive-trees through which the road sub-
sequently passes, render
it
delightful.
The moon was shining when we approached Pisa,
and for a long time we could see, behind the wall, the
leaning Tower,
all
awiy in the uncertain light; the
in school-books,
original of the old pictures
"
of
the
World."
Like most
The
Wonders
setting forth
shadowy
things connected in their
books
keenly.
and school-times,
first associations
it
was too small.
with schoolI
felt
it
It was nothing like so high above the wall as
152
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
had hoped.
I
practised by
It
was another of the many deceptions
Mr. Harris, Bookseller,
at the
comer
of
Pauls Churchyard, London. His Tower was a fiction, but tliis was reality
and, by comparison, a short
Still, it looked very well, and very strange, and
reality.
St.
—
was quite as much out of the perpendicular as Harris
had represented it to be. The quiet air of Pisa too the
;
big guardhouse at the gate, with only two
little soldiers
the streets, with scarcely any show of people
in them
and the Amo, flowing quaintly tlirough the
in it;
;
centre of the town
malice in
his
good
and went
;
were excellent.
So, I
no
bore
heart against Mr. Harris (remembering
intentions) but forgave him before dinner,
my
out, full of confidence, to see the
Tower next
morning.
I might have
pected to see
it,
known
casting
better
its
me
but,
somehow, I had
ex-
long shadow on a public street
where people came and went
to
;
all
day.
It
was a sui^rise
from the
to find it in a grave retired place,
apart
general resort, and carpeted with smooth green turf.
But, the group of buildings, clustered on and about this
verdant carpet comprising the Tower, the Baptistery,
the Cathedral, and the Church of the Campo Santo is
:
:
perhaps the most remarkable and beautiful in the whole
world
and from being clustered there, together, away
from the ordinarv transactions and details of the town,
;
they have a singularly venerable and impressive character.
It is the architectural essence of a rich old
city,
with
out,
all its
and
common
life
filtered away.
and common habitations pressed
153
PISA.
SiSMONDi compares the Tower,
in
representations
Babel.
It is a
children's
happy
simile,
to the usual pictorial
books, of the
Tower
of
and conveys a better idea
of the building than chapters of laboured description.
Nothing can exceed the grace and lightness of the
structui'e; nothing can be more remarkable than its
In the course of the ascent
general appearance.
top (which
is
by an easy staux-ase), the inclination
to the
is
not
apparent but, at the summit, it becomes so, and
has
gives one the sensation of bemg in a ship that
ver}"
;
The
heeled over, through the action of an ebb-tide.
effect upon the low side, so to speak
looking over from
is
the gallery, and seemg the shaft recede to its base
—
very startling
the
Tower
;
and
I
—
saw a nervous traveller hold on
involuntarily, after glancing down, as if
had some idea of propping
the ground —looking
also very curious.
most sanguine
it
up.
The view
he
within, from
up, as through a slanted tube
It certainly inclines as
to
much
—
is
as the
The natural impulse
hundred, who were about
tourist could desire.
of ninety-nine people out of a
upon the grass below it, to rest, and contemplate the adjacent buildings, would probably be, not to
it is so
take up their position mider the leaning side
to recline
;
very much aslant.
The manifold beauties
and Bap-
need no recapitulation from me though in this
as in a hundred others, I find it difficult to sepa-
tistery
case,
of the Cathedral
;
my own
dehght in recalling them, from your weariThere is a pictm'e of
ness in having them recalled.
rate
Saint Agnes, by Andrea del Sarto, in the former, and
154
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
there are a variety of rich columns in the latter, that
tempt
me
strongly.
I hope, no breach of
It is
my
resolution not to be
tempted into elaborate descriptions, to remember the
Campo Santo where grass-grown graves are dug in
;
earth brought more than six hundred years ago, from
the
Holy Land
such
them,
shadows
and where there
;
with
cloisters,
falling
through
place,
On
forget.
surrounding
Hghts and
tracery on the
pla}dng
their delicate
stone pavement, as surely
never
such
are,
the dullest
memory
could
the walls of this solemn and lovely
are ancient frescoes, very
much
obliterated
and
As usually happens in
decayed, but very curious.
almost any collection of paintings, of any sort, in Italy,
where there are many heads, there
is,
in one of them, a
At one
striking accidental likeness of Napoleon.
time,
I used to please
my fancy with the speculation whether
these old painters, at their work, had a foreboding knowman who would
ledge of the
destruction
upon
of great pictures,
of architecture.
tiful
m
art
one day arise to wreak such
whose soldiers would make targets
:
and
stable their horses
among triumphs
But the same Corsican face is so plen-
some parts of
commonplace
Italy at this day, that a
solution of the coincidence
If Pisa be the seventh
its
Tower,
it
in right of
may claim
its
and
to be, at least, the
beggars.
lie
in wait
ments, at every door
for
miavoidable.
wonder of the world in right of
visiter at every turn, escort
at,
is
more
second or third
They waylay the unhappy
him to every door he enters
him, with
strong
reinforce-
by which they know he must come
LEGHORN.
grating of the portal on
The
out.
signal for a general shout,
he
is
hemmed
and
in,
its
the
The beggars seem
to
and
still
Nothing
Going through the
air.
else is
streets,
them,
They
and unlike houses with people
quiet,
that the
the
embody-
of the sleepy houses look like backs.
fi'onts
are all so
in
warm
but
stirring,
is
and the moment he appears,
by heaps of rags and
the trade and enterprise of Pisa.
all
hinges
fallen on,
distortions.
personal
155
of the city has
greater part
the
appearance of a city at daybreak, or duiing a general
Or
siesta of the population.
it
is
yet
more
like those
backgrounds of houses in common prints, or old engravings, where windows and doors are squarely indicated,
and one
by
figure (a beggar of course) is seen walldng off
itself into illimitable perspective.
Not
so Leghorn,
grave) which
place,
reference
The
free
trade
to
;
and
is
not
and
the
out of the
merchants, are
town,
of
justice
very
in
liberal
benefits
course,
name
there,
way
by
in connection with
must be allowed
it
;
years ago, there was an assassination club
many
members
there, the
in particular,
them)
Smollett's
by
observed
regulations
Leghorn
stabbers, and with some
for,
shouldered
has a bad
them.
illustrious
a thriving, business-like, matter-of-fact
is
where idleness
by commerce.
and
(made
in the
of which bore no
but stabbed people
streets
at night,
excitement of the recreation.
this amiable society,
for
ill-^\ill
(quite
the
to
anybody
strangers
to
pleasure and
I tliink the president of
was a shoemaker.
however, and the club was broken up.
He
was taken,
It would, pro-
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
156
bably, have disappeared in the natural course of events,
Leghorn and
before the railroad between
Pisa,
which
is
a good one, and has already begun to astonish Italy with
a precedent of punctuality, order, plain dealing, and
improvement
tonisher of
—
most dangerous and
There must have been a
the
all.
heretical
as-
slight sensa-
tion, as of earthquake, surely, in the Vatican,
when the
was thrown open.
Eetuming to Pisa, and liiring a good-tempered Vetturino, and his four horses, to take us on to Rome, we
first Italian railroad
travelled through pleasant
scenery
all
Italy are
The
day.
Tuscan
and cheerful
villages
roadside crosses in this part of
numerous and
curious.
There
is
seldom a
though there is sometimes a face ;
but they are remarkable for being garnished with little
models in wood, of every possible object that can be
on the
figure
cross,
connected with the
Saviours death.
The cock
crowed when Peter had denied his Master
usually perched on the tip-top
phenomenon he generally
tion.
Then, hung on
is.
;
that
thrice, is
and an ornithological
Under him,
is
the inscrip-
to the cross-beam, are the spear,
the reed with the sponge of vinegar and water at the
end, the coat without
lots,
the
hammer
them
dice-box
seam
for
which the soldiers cast
with which they threw for
it,
the
that drove in the nails, the pincers that pulled
which was set against the cross,
the crown of thorns, the instrument of flagellation, the
out, the ladder
lantern with which
Mary went
to the
tomb
(I
suppose),
and the sword with which Peter smote the servant of
the high priest,
—
a
perfect toy-shop
of little objects,
LA SCALA,
157
repeated at eveiy four or five miles,
along the high-
all
way.
On
the evening of the second day from Pisa,
we
There was what
reached the beautiful old city of Siena.
they called a Carnival, in progress but, as its secret
lay in a score or two of melancholy people walking up
and down the principal street in common toy-shop masks,.
;
and being more melancholy,
if
possible,
than the same
England, I say no more of it. We
betimes next morning, to see the Cathedral,
sort of people in
went
off,
wonderfully picturesque inside and out, espealso the market-place, or great Piazza,
cially the latter
which
is
which
is
tam
—
a large square, with a great broken-nosed foun-
and a high
a curious
square brick tower outside the top of which
in
feature
such views in Italy hangs an enormous bell.
in
it
:
some quaint gothic houses
;
:
—
It is like a bit of Venice, without the water.
some curious old Palazzi
ancient
;
Verona, or Genoa,
most
it is
There are
town, which
in the
and without ha^dng
—
is
very
(for me) the interest of
veiy dreamy and fantastic, and
interesting.
We
went on again, as soon as we had seen these
things, and going over a rather bleak country (there had
been nothing but vines until now mere walking-sticks
:
at that season of the
year), stopped, as usual,
one and two hom's in the middle of the day,
horses;
that being a part of eveiy
between
to rest
Vettmino
the
contract.
We
then went on again, through a region gradually
becommg bleaker and wilder, until it became as bare
and desolate as any Scottish moors.
Soon
after darlv.
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
158
we halted
for the night, at the osteria of
perfectly
lone
round a great
La
Scala
:
a
where the family were sitting
in the kitchen, raised on a stone
house,
fire
platform three or four feet
On
the roasting of an ox.
high, and big
enough
for
the upper, and only other
was a great wild rambling sala,
a by-comer, and four
window
floor of this hotel, there
m
with one very little
black doors opening into four black bedrooms in various
directions.
To
say nothing of another large black door,
opening into another large black sala, with the staircase
coming abruptly through a kind of trap-door in the floor,
and the rafters of the roof looming above a suspicious
and all the
little press
skulking in one obscure comer
:
:
knives in the house lying about in various directions.
The
fire-place
that
it
The
was of the purest Italian architecture, so
was perfectly impossible to see it for the smoke.
waitress was like a dramatic brigand's wife, and
wore the same style of dress upon her head. The dogs
barked like mad the echoes retumed the compliments
bestowed upon them
there was not another house
;
;
within twelve miles
;
and things had a dreary, and rather
a cut-throat, appearance.
They were not improved by rumours of robbers having
come out, strong and boldly, within a few nights and
;
of their having stopped the mail very near that place.
They were known to have waylaid some travellers not
long before, on Mount Vesuvius itself, and were the talk
at all the roadside inns.
ours,
however
we made
(for
As they were no
we had very
little
business of
with us to lose)
ourselves merry on the subject, and were very
159
EADICOFANI.
We
soon as comfortable as need be.
had the usual
dinner in this solitaiy house and a very good dinner it
There is something with a
is, when you are used to it.
;
vegetable or some rice in
it,
which
when you have
it
tastes very
with plenty of grated
and abundance of pepper. There
the half fowl of which this soup has been made.
cheese, lots of
is
flavoured
a sort of short-hand
and which
or arbitrary character for soup,
well,
is
There
salt,
a stewed pigeon,
is
mth
the gizzards and livers
of himself and other birds stuck all round him.
is
There
a bit of roast beef, the size of a small French
roll.
There are a scrap of Parmesan cheese, and five little
withered apples, all huddled together on a small plate,
and crowding one upon the other, as if each were tiying
to save itself from the chance of being eaten.
Then
there
is
coffee
brick floors
windows
;
;
and then there
is
bed.
You
mind
don't
mind yawning doors, nor banging
mind your own horses being stabled
you don't
you don't
under the bed and so
;
:
close, that
every time a horse coughs
or sneezes, he wakes you.
to the people about you,
word
If you are good-humoured
and speak pleasantly, and look
you may be well entertained in the very worst Italian Inn, and always in the
most obhging manner, and may go from one end of the
cheerful,
take
my
for it
comitry to the other (despite all stories to the contrary)
without any great trial of your patience anywhere.
Especially, when you get such wine in flasks, as the
Orvieto,
It
and the Monte Pulciano.
was a bad morning when we
we went,
left
this place
;
and
for twelve miles, over a comitiy as barren, as
160
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
stony,
came
and as
Radicofani, where there
to
England, until we
wild, as Cornwall in
a ghostly, goblin
is
once a hunting-seat, belonging to the Dukes of
Tuscany, It is full of such rambling corridors, and gaunt
rooms, that all the murdering and phantom tales that
inn
:
ever were written, might have originated in that one
house. There are some horrible old Palazzi in Genoa
:
one in particular, not unlike
windy, crealdng, wormy,
it,
outside
but there
:
is
a
rustling, door-opening, foot-on-
staircase-falling character about this Radicofani Hotel,
such as I never saw, anywhere else. The town, such
as it is, hangs on a hill-side above the house, and in
it.
The inhabitants are all beggars and as
soon as they see a carriage coming, they swoop down
front of
upon
it,
;
like so
When we
birds of prey.
many
got on the momitain pass, which lies beyond
this place, the
wind
they had forewarned us at the
that we were obliged to take my
(as
inn) was so terrific,
other half out of the carriage, lest she should be blown
over, carriage
and
side (as well as
going.
all,
and
we could
to
hang
it,
on the windy
for laughing) to
Heaven knows where.
this land-storm
to
For mere
prevent
its
force of wind,
might have competed with an Atlantic
gale,
and had a reasonable chance of coming
The
blast
off victorious.
came sweeping down great gulHes in a range
of mountains on the right so that we looked with
positive
:
awe
at a great
morass on the
left,
and saw that there
was not a bush or twig to hold by. It seemed as if,
once blown from our feet, we must be swept out to sea,
or away into space. There was snow, and hail, and rain,
LAKE OF BOLSENA.
161
and there were
and lightning, and thunder;
awful, and solitaiy to the last degree
;
rolling
It was dark,
mists, travelling with incredible velocity.
there were moun-
angry clouds; and
there was such a wrathful, rapid, \dolent, tumultuous
hurry, everywhere, as rendered the scene mispeakably
in
tains above mountains, veiled
exciting and grand.
It
was a
relief to get out of
notwithstanding
it,
;
and
even the dismal dirty Papal Frontier. After
in one of which,
passing through two little towns
"
"
in proCarnival
Acquapendente, there was also a
to
cross
;
consistmg of one man dressed and masked as
woman, and one woman dressed and masked as
gress
a
:
a man, walking ankle-deep, through the muddy streets,
in a veiy melancholy manner
we came, at dusk,
:
within
sight
bank there
is
of
a
the
little
celebrated for malaria.
Lake
upon
its
Bolsena,
on
whose
town of the same name, much
With the
place, there is not a cottage
or near
of
exception of this poor
on the banks of the lake,
nobody dare sleep there) not a boat
waters not a stick or stake to break the dismal
it
(for
;
;
monotony of seven-and-twenty watery miles. We were
late in getting in, the roads being very bad from heavy
rains; and, after dark, the dulness of the scene was
quite intolerable.
We
entered on a very different, and a finer scene of
desolation, next night, at simset.
We had passed through
Montefiaschone, (famous for its wine)
and Viterbo
(for its
fomitams) and after climbmg up a long hill of eight or
ten miles extent, came suddenly upon the margin of a
:
21
162
PICTUKES FROM ITALY.
solitary lake
wood
;
in one part very beautiful, with a luxuriant
:
in another, very barren,
Where
volcanic hills.
a
It
city.
and shut in by bleak
this lake flows, there stood, of old,
was swallowed up one day and in its stead,
There are ancient traditions (common
;
this water rose.
to
parts of the world) of the ruined city having
many
been seen below, w^hen the water was clear
that
may
be,
from this spot of earth
it
but however
;
vanished.
The
ground came bubbling up above it and the water too ;
and here they stand, like ghosts on whom the other
;
world closed suddenly, and who have no means of getting
back again. They seem to be waiting the course of
ages, for the next earthquake in that place;
when they
plunge below the groimd, at its first yawning, and
be seen no more. The unhappy city below, is not more
^vill
lost
and dreary, than these
fire-charred
hills
and the
The red sun looked strangely on
stagnant water, above.
them, as with the knowledge that they were made for
caverns and darkness
and the melancholy water oozed
and sucked the mud, and crept quietly among the marshy
grass and reeds, as if the overthrow of all the ancient
;
towers and house-tops, and the death of
people
bom
and bred
there,
were
all
the ancient
heavy on
yet
its
conscience.
A
a
short ride from this lake, brought us to Ronciglione
little
night.
town
like a large pig-sty,
Next morning
;
where we passed the
at seven o'clock,
we
stai'ted for
Rome.
As soon
the
as
we were out
of the pig-sty,
we entered on
Campagna Romana; an undulating
flat
(as
you
163
CAMPAGNA ROMANA.
know) where few people can
and
miles,
there
is
monotony and gloom.
by
possibility,
lie
live
;
and where,
for miles
nothing to relieve the terrible
Of all kinds of countiy that coidd,
Rome, this is the
the Dead City.
So
outside the gates of
for
aptest and fittest bmial-gi'oimd
so secret in
sad, so quiet, so sullen
;
its
covering up of
them so like the waste
great masses of ruin, and hiding
with devils, used to
places into which the men possessed
;
go and howl, and rend themselves, in the old days of
We
Jerusalem.
had
to traverse
thirty miles
of this
two-and-twenty we went on and on,
seeing nothing but now and then a lonely house, or a
villauous-looking shepherd with matted hair all over his
Campagna
;
and
for
:
face,
to the chin in a frowsy
and himself wrapped
brown
tending his sheep. At the end of that distance,
we stopped to refresh the horses, and to get some lunch,
mantle
in a
:
common
malaria-shaken, despondent little publicwhose
house,
every inch of wall and beam, inside, was
(according to custom) painted and decorated in a way so
miserable that every room looked like the wrong side of
wretched imitation of drapery,
daubs of lyres, seemed to have been
another room, and, with
its
and lop-sided little
plundered from behind the scenes of some travellmg
circus.
When we
fever,
to
were
strain our
eyes for
another mile or two, the
length,
in
the distance
afraid to write the
it
lay,
we began, in a perfect
Rome; and when, after
fairly off again,
;
word
Eternal
—
City appeared, at
looked like
it
like
—
LONDON
am
I
!
!
!
half
There
under a thick cloud, with innumerable towers, and
M
2
PICTUKES FROM ITALY.
164
and
steeples,
roofs of houses, rising
high above them
as I felt the
London,
shewn
it
glass,
and
it
was
you could have
I should have taken it for
at that distance, that if
me, in a
else.
one Dome.
into the sky,
seeming absurdity of the comparison,
so like
nothing
all,
up
I swear, that keenly
ROME.
We
entered the Eternal City, at about four o'clock
in the
afternoon, on the thirtieth of Januaiy, by the
Porta del Popolo, and came immediately
muddy
—
it
was a dark
and there had been heavy rain
day,
skirts of the Carnival.
We
did not, then>
—on
know
that
the
we
were only looking at the fag end of the masks, who were
driving slowly round and round the Piazza, until they
could find a promising opportunity for falling into the
stream of carriages, and getting, in good time, into the
of the
thick
abruptly, all
and coming among them so
travel-stained and wear}% was not coming
festivity;
very well prepared to enjoy the scene.
had crossed the Tiber by the Ponte MoUe, two
We
had looked as yellow as it
and hunying on between its wom-away
or three miles before.
ought to look,
It
and miiy banks, had a promising aspect of desolation
and ruin. The masquerade dresses on the fringe of the
Carnival, did great \'iolence to this promise. There were
no
gi'eat
ruins,
seen —they
;
seemed
to
all
no solemn tokens of antiquity, to be
lie on the other side of the
There
city.
be long streets of commonplace shops and
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
166
European town
houses, such as are to be found in any
;
there were busy people, equipages, ordinary walkers to
and
fro
a multitude of chattering strangers.
;
no more my Rome
:
Rome
the
was
It
man
of anybody's fancy,
degraded and fallen and lying asleep in the sun
among a heap of ruins than the Place de la Concorde
or boy
:
:
in Paris
is.
streets, I
A
cloudy sky, a dull cold rain, and
was prepared
for,
but not for this
:
muddy
and I con-
having gone to bed, that night, in a very indifand with a very considerably quenched
fess to
ferent humour,
enthusiasm.
Immediately on going out next day, we hurried
St. Peter's.
It
off to
looked immense in the distance, but
and decidedly small, by comparison, on a near
approach. The beauty of the Piazza in which it stands,
with its clusters of exquisite columns, and its gushing
distinctly
fountains,
—
so fresh, so broad,
The
nothing can exaggerate.
in all
its
Dome
—
free,
first
burst of the interior,
expansive majesty and glory
the looking up into the
and beautiful
and
:
is
and, most of
:
all,
a sensation never to
be forgotten. But, there were preparations for a Festa
the pillars of stately marble were swathed in some im;
pertinent frippery of red and yellow
entrance to the subterranean chapel
in the centre of the church
:
:
;
the
which
and
altar,
is
before
it
:
were like a goldsmith's
shop, or one of the opening scenes in a very lavish pan-
tomime.
And
though I had as high a sense of the
beauty of the building
tain, I felt
nitely
more
(I
hope) as
it is
no very strong emotion.
affected in
many English
possible to enter-
I have been
cathedrals
infi-
when
167
KOME.
organ has heen plapng, and in many English
country churches when the congregation have been sing-
the
I had a
ing.
much
in the Cathedral of
greater sense of mystery and wonder,
San Mai'k
at Venice.
When we
came out of the church again (we stood
nearly an hour staring up into the dome and would not
:
"
gone over" the Cathedral then, for any money),
we said to the coachman, "Go to the Coliseum." In a
have
quarter of an hour or
went
so,
he stopped
and we
at the gate,
in.
It is no fiction, but plain, sober, honest Truth, to say
so suggestive and distinct
moment—
is it
at this hour
actually in passing in
—they
:
who
:
that, for a
may
will,
have the whole great pile before them, as it used to be,
with thousands of eager faces staring down into the
arena, and such a whirl of strife, and blood, and dust,
going on there, as no language can describe.
its
awful beauty, and
its
Its sohtude,
utter desolation, strike
upon
the stranger, the next moment, like a softened sorrow.;
and never in his life, perhaps, will he be so moved and over-
come by any
sight, not
immediately connected with his
own affections and afflictions.
To see it crumbling there, an inch
a year
and arches overgrown with green
corridors
the day
;
;
the long grass growing in
trees of yesterday, springing
and bearing
fruit
:
up on
its
its
;
porches
its
walls
open
;
to
young
its
ragged parapets,
chance produce of the seeds dropped
there by the birds who build their nests witlnn its chinks
and crannies to see its Pit of Fight filled up with
;
earth,
and the peaceful Cross planted
in the centre
;
to
168
PTCTUEES FEOM ITALY.
climb into
its
upper
about
ruin, all
it
halls,
and look down on
ruin, ruin,
the triumphal arches of Constantino,
;
Septimus Severus, and Titus
;
the
Roman Forum
;
the
Palace of the Caesars; the temples of the old religion, fallen
down and gone is to see the ghost of old Rome, wicked
;
wonderful old
city,
haunting the very ground on which
It is the most impressive, the most
people trod.
stately, the most solemn, grand, majestic,
its
Never, in
conceivable.
its
moumfid sight,
bloodiest prime, can the sight
of the gigantic Coliseum, full and running over with the
lustiest
life,
have moved one heart, as
it
must move
all
who look upon it now, a ruin. God be thanked a ruin
As it tops the other ruins standing there, a mountain
:
!
ancient influences
outlive
:
among
graves
:
do
so
its
remnants of the old mythology and old
butchery of Rome, in the nature of the fierce and cruel
all
other
Roman
people.
The
Italian face changes as the visiter
and
approaches the city its beauty becomes de\'ilish
is
there
scarcely one countenance in a hundred, among
;
;
common people in the streets, that would not be
home and happy in a renovated Coliseum to-morrow.
Here was Rome indeed at last and such a Rome
the
;
at
as
no one can imagine in its full and awfiil grandem*
We
wandered out upon the Appian Way, and then went on,
!
through miles of ruined tombs and broken walls, with
here and there a desolate and uninhabited house past
:
the Circus of Romulus, where the course of the chariots,
the stations of the judges, competitors, and spectators,
are yet as plainly to be seen as in old time
tomb of
Cecilia Metella
:
past
all
:
past the
inclosure, hedge, or
169
HOME.
stake, wall or fence
away upon the open Campagna,
where on that side of Rome, nothing is to be beheld but
:
Except where the distant Apennmes bound the
\dew upon the left, the whole wide prospect is one field
Ruin.
Broken aqueducts,
of niin.
and beautiful
A
tombs.
all
left in
clusters of arches
the most picturesque
broken temples
;
;
broken
desart of decay, sombre and desolate beyond
expression
and with a history in every stone that
;
strews the ground.
On
Sunday, the Pope assisted in the performance of
at St. Peter's.
The effect of the Cathedral
High Mass
on
mind, on that second
my
was at
first,
and what
visit,
was exactly what
remains after many
it
it
It
visits.
not religiously impressive or affecting.
It is an
edifice, with no one point for the mind to
is
immense
rest
upon
;
and
The
and round.
with wandering round
very purpose of the place, is not ex-
it
tires
itself
pressed in anything you see there, unless you examine
its details
—and
all
examination of details
is
incompatible
with the place itself.
It might be a Pantheon, or a
Senate House, or a gi'cat architectm'al trophy, having
no other object than an architectural triumph.
There
is
a black statue of St. Peter, to be sure, under a red
canopy
;
which
is
larger than
life,
and which
is
constantly
kissed by good Catholics.
You
having
cannot help seeing that
it is so very prominent and
But it does not heighten the effect of the
popular.
its
great toe
:
temple, as a work of art; and
me
at least
—
it
of its high pm*pose.
is
not expressive
—
to
170
A
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
was
large space behind the altar,
fitted
up with
Opera in
England, but in their decoration much more gaudy. In
the centre of the kind of theatre thus railed off, was
boxes,
like
shaped
those
at
the
Italian
The
a canopied dais with the Pope's chair upon it.
of
the
brightest
pavement was covered with a carpet
intolerable
the
and
what
with
and
this
green;
green,
reds and crimsons, and gold borders of the hangings, the
On
whole concern looked like a stupendous Bon-bon.
either side of the altar, was a large box for lady strangers.
These were
filled
with ladies in black dresses and black
The gentlemen
veils.
leather
of the
and
Pope
s
guard, in red coats,
guarded all this
reserved space, with drawn swords, that were veiy flashy
in every sense
and from the altar all down the nave, a
breeches,
jack-boots,
;
broad lane was kept clear by the Pope's Swiss guard,
who wear a quaint striped surcoat, and striped tight
legs,
and carry halberds
like those
which are usually
shouldered by those theatrical supernumeraries, who
never can get off the stage fast enough, and who may
be generally observed to linger in the enemy's camp
open country, held by the opposite forces, has
split up the middle by a convulsion of Nature.
after the
been
I got upon the border of the green carpet, in
company
with a great many other gentlemen, attired in black (no
other passport is necessary), and stood there at my ease,
The singers were in a
during the performance of mass.
crib of wire-work (like a large meat-safe or
bird-cage)
in one corner; and sang most atrociously.
All about
the green carpet, there was a slowly moving crowd of
171
EOME.
people: talking to each other: staring at the
in
eye-glasses: defrauding one another,
partial curiosity, out of precarious seats
Pope through
moments of
on the bases of
and grinning hideously at the ladies. Dotted
here and there, were httle Imots of friars (Francescani, or
Cappuccini, in their coarse brown dresses and peaked
pillars
:
hoods) maldng a strange contrast to the gaudy ecclesias-
higher degree, and having their humility gi'atified
to the utmost, by being shouldered about, and elbowed
tics of
right
and
left,
on
Some
all sides.
of these
had muddy
sandals and umbrellas, and stained garments
having
from the country. The faces of the greater
part were as coarse and heavy as their dress ; their
dogged, stupid, monotonous stare at all the glory and
:
trudged in
splendour, having something in
it,
half miserable, and
half ridiculous.
and gathered round the
was a perfect army of cardinals and priests, in red,
purple, violet, white, and fine linen.
Stragglers
Upon
altar,
gold,
the green cai'pet
from these, went
to
and
itself,
iro
among the
crowd, conversing
two and two, or giving and receiving introductions, and
other functionaries in black
exchanging salutations
;
gowns, and other functionaries in com't-dresses, were
In the midst of all these, and
similarly engaged.
stealthy Jesuits creeping in
restlessness of the
Youth
and
out,
of England,
and the extreme
who were
pei'pe-
some few steady persons in
who had knelt down with their faces to
tually wandering about,
black cassocks,
the wall, and were poring over their missals, became,
unintentionally a sort of
humane man- traps, and with
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
172
own devout
their
legs
tripped
up other people's by
the dozen.
There was a great pile of candles lying down on the
floor near me, which a very old man in a rusty black
gown with an open-work tippet, like a summer ornament for a fireplace in tissue-paper, made himself very
busy in dispensing to all the ecclesiastics one apiece.
They loitered about with these for some time, under
:
their
arms
like walldng-sticks, or
truncheons.
At a
m
their
of
certain
hands
like
the
ceremony,
period
the
his
to
carried
candle
each
however,
up
Pope, laid it
across his two knees to be blessed, took it back again,
and
filed
off.
This was done in a very attenuated
procession, as you
time.
may
Not because
it
suppose, and
takes
to
long
occupied a long
bless a candle
through and through, but because there were so many
At last they were all blessed
candles to be blessed.
;
and then they were all lighted and then the Pope was
taken up, chair and all, and carried round the church.
;
saw anything, out of
November, so like the popular English commemoration
A bundle of matches and a
of the fifth of that month.
I
must
lantern,
say,
that
I
would have made
himself, at all
never
it
Nor
perfect.
did the Pope,
mar the resemblance, though he has a
pleasant and venerable face
;
for,
ceremony makes him giddy and
as this part of the
he shuts his eyes
when it is performed and having his eyes shut, and a
great mitre on his head, and his head itself wagging to
sick,
:
they shook him in carrying, he looked as if
The two immense
his mask were going to tumble off.
and
fro as
173
KOME.
fans which are always borne, one on either side of him,
As they
accompanied him, of com-se, on this occasion.
carried him along, he blessed the people with the mystic
sign
and as he passed them, they Imeeled down.
he had made the round of the chm'ch, he was
;
When
brought back again, and
I
if
am
not mistaken, this
performance was repeated, in the whole, three times.
There was,
certainly,
nothing solemn or effective in
it
;
But
and certainly very much that was droll and tawdiy.
remark applies to the whole ceremony, except the
this
raising
of the
Host,
when every man
in
the guard
dropped on one knee instantly, and dashed his naked
sword on the ground which had a fine effect.
The next time I saw the cathedral, was some two or
;
three weeks afterwards,
when
climbed up into the ball
and then, the hangings being taken down, and the carpet
taken up, but all the framework left, the remnants of
I
;
these decorations looked like an exploded cracker.
The Friday and Saturday having been solemn Festa
and Sunday being always a dies non in carnival
proceedings, we had looked forward, with some impatience
and curiosity, to the beginning of the new week Monday
days,
:
and Tuesday being the two
last
and best days of the
carnival.
On
the
Monday
afternoon at one or two o'clock, there
be a great rattling of carnages into the courta hm-rying to and fro of all the seryai'd of the hotel
began
to
;
vants in
it
;
and,
some dooi'way
now and
then, a swift shooting across
or balcony, of a straggling stranger in a
174
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
not yet sufficiently well used to the same,
with confidence, and defy public opinion. All
fancy dress
to
wear
it
:
the cai'riages were open, and had the linings carefully
covered with white cotton or calico, to prevent their
proper decorations from being spoiled by the incessant
pelting of sugar-plums; and people were pacldng and
cramming into every vehicle as it waited for its occupants, enormous sacks, and baskets-full of these confetti,
together with such heaps of flowers, tied up in little
nosegays, that some carriages were not only brimful of
flowers, but literally
running over scattering, at every
shake and jerk of the springs, some of their abundance
on the ground. Not to be behind-hand in these essential
particulars,
:
we caused two very
plums (each about three
basket
full
feet high)
of flowers to
barouche, with
all
speed.
ation, in one of the
respectable sacks of sugar-
and a large
clothes-
be conveyed into our hired
And from
our place of observ-
upper balconies of the hotel,
we con-
templated these arrangements with the liveliest satisfac-
The
now beginning to take up their
company, and move away, we got into oui's, and drove off"
too, armed with little wire masks for oui* faces
the
tion.
carriages
;
like
Falstafl"s
adulterated
sugar-plums,
lime in their composition.
The Corso is a street a mile long
;
sack,
having
a street of shops,
and palaces, and private houses, sometimes
opening
into a broad
There are virandas and balpiazza.
conies,
—not
of all shapes
and
sizes,
to
almost eveiy house
on one story alone, but often to one room or
another on every story put there in general with so
—
175
EOME.
order or regularity, that if, year after year, and
season after season, it had rained balconies, hailed ballittle
snowed balconies, blown balconies, they could
in a more disorderly
scarcely have come into existence
conies,
manner.
This
nival.
the gi'eat fountain-head and focus of the CarBut all the streets in which the Carnival is held,
is
being vigilantly kept by dragoons, it is necessary for
to pass, in line, down
carriages, in the first instance,
another thoroughfare, and so come into the Corso at the
end remote from the Piazza del Popolo
;
which
is
one
of its terminations.
Accordingly, we fell into the string
of coaches, and, for some time, jogged on quietly enough;
now crawlmg on at a very slow walk now trotting half
;
a dozen yards
altogether
;
now bacldng
fifty
;
and now stopping
If
as the pressure in front obliged us.
:
any
impetuous carriage, dashed out of the rank and clattered
forward, with the wild idea of getting on faster,
it
was
suddenly met, or overtaken, by a trooper on horseback,
who, deaf as his own drawn sword to all remonstrances,
immediately escorted
and made
it
Occasionally,
it,
back
to the very
end of the row,
dim speck in the remotest perspective.
we interchanged a volley of confetti with
a
the carriage next in front, or the carriage next behind
;
and errant coaches by
was the chief amusement.
but, as yet, this capturing of stray
the military,
Presently,
we came
into
a
narrow
where,
street,
besides one line of carriages going, there was another
line of carriages returning.
the nosegays began to
Here the sugar-plums and
fly about,
pretty smartly
;
and I
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
176
was fortunate enough
Greek
as a
to observe
one gentleman attired
warrior, catch a Ught- whiskered brigand on
the nose (he was in the very act of tossing up a bouquet
to a young lady in a first-floor window) with a precision
much applauded by
that was
As
the by-standers.
this
Greek was exchanging a facetious remark with
a stout gentleman in a door- way one-half black and onewho
half white, as if he had been peeled up the middle
victorious
had
—
him
offered
—
his congratulations on this achievement,
he received an orange from a house-top, full on his left
ear, and was much surprised, not to say discomfited.
Especially, as he was standing
up
at the time
and
;
in
moving on
same moment, staggered ignominiously, and buried him-
suddenly, at the
consequence of the carriage
among his flowers.
Some quarter of an hour
self
brought us
and
to the
lively as the
Corso
and anything
whole scene there,
From
to imagine.
;
of this sort of progress,
all
it
so gay, so bright,
would be
difficult
the innumerable balconies
:
from
the remotest and highest, no less than from the lowest
and nearest
hangings of bright red, bright green, bright
blue, white and gold, were fluttermg in the brilliant sun:
From
windows, and from parapets, and tops of
houses, streamers of the richest colom*s, and draperies of
light.
the gaudiest and most sparklmg hues, were floating out
upon the street. The buildings seemed to have been
turned inside out, and to have
literally
all their
gaiety
towards the highway.
Shop-fronts were taken down, and
the windows filled with company, like boxes at a shining
theatre
;
doors were carried off their hinges, and long
EOME.
hung
tapestried groves,
garlands of flowers and
-vvdlli
\N'itliin
displayed
evergreens,
177
builders'
;
scaffoldings
were gorgeous temples, radiant in silver, gold, and
crimson and in every nook and comer, from the pave;
ment
to the
chimney- tops, where women's eyes could
there they danced, and laughed, and sparlded,
glisten,
like the light in water.
Every
sort of bewitching
ness of
dress was
jackets
quaint old stomachers,
;
smartest boddices
Little
there.
Polish
;
as ripe gooseberries
clinging to the dark hair.
wild,
quaint, bold,
illustration in
forgotten by
if
shy,
preposterous
more wicked than the
j)elisses,
Greek
tiny
;
mad-
scarlet
strained and tight
awry, and
all
caps,
Heaven knows how; eveiy
pettish
madcap fancy had
its
and every fancy was as dead
owner, in the tumult of merriment, as
a dress;
its
the three old
that
aqueducts
still
remain
entii'e,
had brought Lethe mto Rome, upon their stmxly arches,
that morning.
The
now
carriages were
places four
;
three abreast;
in
broader
often stationary for a long time together
alwavs one close mass of variegated briohtness
;
;
showinsf,
the whole street-full, through the storm of flowers, like
In some, the
flowers of a larger growth themselves.
horses were richly caparisoned in magnificent trappings
in others they were decked
flowing ribbons.
Some were
enormous double faces
the other cocking
and both
its
from head
to
tail,
;
with
driven by coachmen with
one face leering
at the horses
:
extraordinary eyes into the carriage
:
:
rattling again,
under the hail of sugar-plums.
Other diivers were attired as women, wearmg long
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
178
and no bonnets, and looking more ridiculous in
any real difficulty with the horses (of which, in such a
concourse, there were a great many) than tongue can
ringlets
Instead of sittmg in the carnages,
upon the seats, the handsome Roman women, to see
and to be seen the better, sit in the heads of the
tell,
or
pen
describe.
barouches, at this time of general license, with their feet
dainty waists,
—and
oh the flowing skirts and
the blessed shapes and laughing faces,
upon the cushions
the free, good-humoured, gallant
figiu^es
that they
make
!
—
There were great vans, too, full of handsome girls
and the broadsides
thirty, or more together, perhaps
—
that were poured into, and pom'ed out
of,
these faiiy
fire-
ships, splashed the air with flowers and bonbons for ten
minutes at a time.
Carriages, delayed long in one place,
would begin a deliberate engagement with other carand the
riages, or with people at the lower windows
;
some upper balcony or window, joining in
and attacking both parties, would empty down
spectators at
the fray,
great bags of confetti, that descended like a cloud, and
in
an instant made them white as
riages
on
carriages,
dresses
millers.
Still,
car-
on dresses, colours on
crowds upon crowds, without end. Men and
boys clinging to the wheels of coaches, and holding
on behind, and following in their wake, and diving in
colours,
among
the
to sell again
pick up scattered flowers
maskers on foot (the drollest, generally) in
horses'
;
feet
fantastic exaggerations of
to
court-dresses,
surv^eying the
throng through enormous eye-glasses, and always transported with an ecstasy of love, on the discovery of any
179
ROME.
window
long strings of Policinelli, laying about them with blown bladders at the ends
of sticks; a waggon-full of madmen, screaming and
particularly old lady at a
tearing
to the
with their
life
;
hoi-se-tail
party of gipsy-women
a
shipful of sailors;
;
coach-ful of grave mamelukes,
a
a
standard set up in the midst
engaged in terrific conflict with a
;
man-monkey on a
by strange animals with
pole,
sm'romided
and
lions'
faces,
pigs'
tails,
carried under their arms, or worn gracefully over their
colours
end.
on dresses,
carriages on carriages, dresses
shoulders;
on
colours,
Not many
crowds
upon
actual characters sustained, or repre-
number
sented, perhaps, considering the
humour
its bright,
its
of the time
entire
and
infinite,
abandonment
—an abandonment
but
dressed,
the main pleasure of the scene consisting in
good temper; in
variety; and in
without
crow^ds,
its
perfect
and flashing
to
the
mad
so perfect, so con-
tagious, so irresistible, that the steadiest foreigner fights
up
to his
wildest
till
middle in flowers and sugar-plums,
Roman
of
them
all,
half-past four o'clock,
and
suddenly reminded
not the whole business
when he
this is
(to his great regret) that
like the
thinks of nothing else
is
of his existence, by hearing the trumpets
somid, and
seeing the dragoons begin to clear the street.
How it ever is cleared for the race that takes place at
how
go through the race,
without going over the people, is more than I can say.
But the carriages get out into the by-streets, or up into
five,
or
the horses
ever
the Piazza del Popolo, and some people
galleries in the latter place,
sit
in temporary
and tens of thousands
line
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
180
the Corso on both sides,
Piazza—
out into the
when
the horses are brought
to the foot of that
same cokimn
down upon the games and
Maximus.
which, for centuries, looked
chariot-races in the Circus
At
a given signal, they are started
off.
Down
the
whole length of the Corso, they fly like the
with shining
riderless, as all the world knows
live lane, the
wind
:
:
ornaments upon their backs, and twdsted in their plaited
manes and with heavy little balls stuck full of spikes,
:
The jingling
dangliug at their sides, to goad them on.
of these trappings, and the rattling of their hoofs upon
the hard stones
the dash and fury of their speed along
;
—
the echoing street; nay, the very cannon that are fired
these noises are nothing to the roaring of the multitude
their shouts
the clapping of their hands.
But it is
:
:
soon over
—almost
the town.
The
instantaneously.
More cannon shake
horses have plunged into the carpets
put across the street to stop them ; the goal is
reached the prizes are won (they are given,
part,
by the poor Jews, as a compromise for not running foot-
m
;
races themselves)
;
and there
is
an end
to that day's
sport.
But
the scene be bright, and gay, and crowded, on
if
the last day but one,
it
on the concluding day, to
colour, swarming life, and
attains,
such a height of glittering
frolicsome uproar, that the bare recollection of
me
giddy at this moment.
The same
it
makes
diversions, gi'eatly
heightened and intensified in the ardour with which they
are pursued, go on until the
^repeated
;
same hour.
the cannon are fired
;
The
race
is
the shouting and clap-
'
ROME.
ping of hands are renewed
the race
carriages
is
;
181
the cannon are fired again
over; and the prizes are won.
But, the
and so
anlde-deep in sugar-phims within,
:
;
be-
flowered and dusty without, as to be hardly recognisable
for the same vehicles that they were, three hours ago
:
instead of scampering off in
directions, throng into
all
the Corso, where they are soon wedged together in a
For the diversion of the Mocco-
scarcely-moving mass.
the last gay madness of the Carnival,
letti,
hand
and
;
is
now
at
sellers of little tapers, like w^hat are called
Christmas candles in England, are shouting lustily on
"
*'
Eceo Moccoli
a
Moccoli, Moccoli
every side,
!
new item
item of
"
—
in the tumult; quite abolishing that other
Ecco Fiori
!
Ecco Fior
been making itself audible over
the whole day through.
As
!
all
——
r
r
"
which has
!
the rest, at intervals,
the bright han^rincfs and dresses are
all
fading?
into one dull, heavy, uniform colour in the decline of
the day, lights begin flashing, here and there: in the
windows, on the house-tops, in the balconies, in the
little by
carriages, in the hands of the foot-passengers
:
little
:
gradually, gradually
:
more and more
until the
:
one great glare and blaze of fire.
Then, everybody present has but one engrossing object;
whole long street
that
his
is,
own
i^
to extinguish other people s candles,
a-light;
and
to
and everybody: man, woman, or
keep
child,
gentleman or lady, prince or peasant, native or foreigner
yells and screams, and roars incessantly, as a taunt to
:
the subdued, "Senza Moccolo, Senza Moccolo
out a light
!
Without a
light
!)
"
!
(With-
until nothing is heard
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
I'Sji
but a gigantic chorus of those two words, mingled with
peals of laughter.
The
most
spectacle, at this time, is one of the
extra-
ordinary that can be imagined.
Carriages coming slowly
with
on
the
seats or on the box,
by,
everybody standing
holding up their lights at arms' length, for greater
safety;
some
undefended
in paper shades;
little tapers,
blazing torches
foot,
;
it
of
some with
;
feeble little candles
;
men on
the wheels, watching their
among
make
a spring at some particular light,
out; other people climbing up into carriages,
opportunity, to
and dash
Idndled altogether
some with
creeping along,
some with a bunch
to get hold of
them by main
force
;
others, chasing
some
unlucky wanderer, round and round his own coach, to
blow out the light he has begged or stolen somewhere,
before he can ascend to his
them
hats
own company, and enable
to light their extinguished tapers
off,
;
others, with their
humbly beseeching some kindthem with a light for a cigar, and
at a carriage-door,
hearted lady to oblige
when she
is
in the fulness of doubt
whether to comply or
no, blowing out the candle she is guarding so tenderly with
her
little
hand
;
other people at the windows, fishing for
letting
down long
willow- wands with handkerchiefs at the end,
and flapping
candles with
them
his
lines
and hooks, or
out, dexterously,
triumph
;
when
the bearer
is
at the height of
others, biding their time in comers, with
immense extinguishers like
coming down upon glorious
halberds,
torches
;
and
suddenly
others, gathered
round one coach, and sticldng to it; others, raining
oranges and nosegays at an obdurate little lantern, or
ROME.
regularly storming a pyramid of
man among
183
men, holding up one
them, who carries one feeble
above his head, with which he defies them
Moccolo
!
Senza Moccolo
little
all
wick
Senza
!
Beautiful women, standing
!
in coaches, pointmg in derision at extinguished lights,
up
and clapping their hands, as they pass on, crying,
"
"
Senza Moccolo
Senza Moccolo
low balconies full
!
!
;
of lovely faces and gay dresses, struggling with assailants in the streets
;
up, some bending
—
—glowing
some repressing them as they climb
down, some leaning over, some
arms and bosoms
shrinking back
delicate
figures
lights, fluttering dresses,
colo,
Senza Moccolo, Senza Moc-co-lo-o-o-o
—
graceful
Senza Moc!
—when
in
the wildest enthusiasm of the cry, and fullest ecstasy of
the sport, the Ave Maria rings from the church steeples,
and the Carnival
is
taper, with a breath
over in an instant
—put
out like a
!
There was a masquerade at the theatre at night, as
and senseless as a London one, and only remarkable
dull
for the
summary way
in which the house was cleared at
which was done by a line of soldiers
forming along the wall, at the back of the stage, and
sweeping the whole company out before them, like a
eleven o'clock
broad broom.
:
The game of
the singular, Moccoletto,
and means a
little
is
lamp or
the Moccoletti (the word, in
the diminutive of Moccolo,
is
supposed by
be a ceremony of burlesque mourning for the death
of the Carnival
candles being indispensable to Catholic
some
candle-snuff)
to
:
grief.
But whether it be so,
or be a
remnant of the ancient
Saturnalia, or an incoi'poration of both, or have
its
origin
184
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
in anything else, I shall always
frolic, as
remember
and the
it,
a brilliant and most captivating sight
remarkable
for the
no
:
unbroken good-humour of
less
all con-
ccemed, down to the very lowest (and among those who
scaled the carriages, were
many
of the
commonest men
and boys) than for its innocent vivacity. For, odd as it
may seem to say so, of a sport so full of thoughtlessness
and personal display, it is as free from any taint of immodesty as any general mingling of the two sexes can
possibly be and there seems to prevail, dming its pro;
gress, a feeling of general, almost childish, simplicity
and confidence, which one thinks of with a pang, when
the Ave Maria has rung it away, for a whole year.
Availing ourselves of a part of the quiet interval
between the termination of the Carnival and the beginning
Holy Week when everybody had nm away from the
and fev7 people had yet begun to run back again for
of the
one,
:
the other
And,
:
we went
coming back
late every evening,
day, I believe
and
conscientiously to work, to see
Rome.
by dint of going out early eveiy morning,
particular, explored so
that part of the
finished, lest I
and labouring hard
we made acquaintance with every
pillar in the city,
and
all
post
and the comitry round and, in
many churches that I abandoned
;
enterprise at last, before
should never, of
my own
it
was half
accord, go to
church again, as long as I lived. But, I managed, almost
every day, at one time or other, to get back to the
Coliseum, and out upon the open Campagna, beyond the
Tomb
of Cecilia Metella.
185
EOME.
We often encountered,
of English Toiu-ists, with
in these expeditions, a
whom
I
company
had an ardent, but un-
gratified longing, to establish a speaking acquaintance.
They were one Mr.
It
Davis, and a small circle of friends.
was impossible not
Mrs. Davis's name, from
to Ivnow
her being always in great request among her party, and
her party being evei'j^iere.
During the Holy Week,they were in every part of every scene of every ceremony.
For a
fortnight or three
weeks before
it,
they were in
eveiy tomb, and every church, and eveiy ruin, and every
Picture Galleiy and I hardly ever observed Mrs. Da\ds
;
to
be silent for a moment.
in St. Peter's, out on the
Deep under-ground, high up
Campagna, and
stifling in
the
Jews' quarter, Mrs. Davis tm-ned up, all the same.
I
don't think she ever saw anvtlmm, or ever looked at
anything and she had always lost something out of a
straw hand-basket, and was trpng to find it, with all
;
her might and main, among an immense quantity of
English halfpence, which lay, like sands upon the seashore, at the bottom of
it.
There was a professional
Cicerone always attached to the party (which had been
brought over from London, fifteen or twenty strong, by
contract),
and
if
he so much as looked at Mrs. Davis,
she invariably cut him short by saying, " There, God
bless the man don't worrit me
I don't understand a
!
word you
W'as
black
say,
and shouldn't
m the
face
"
!
you was to talk 'till you
Mr. Davis always had a snuffif
coloured great-coat on, and cai'ried a great green umbrella
in his hand,
and had a slow curiosity constantly devoming
him, wliich prompted him to do extraordinaiy things,-
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
186
unis in tombs, and looking
and tracing out
they were pickles
such as taking the covers
in at the ashes as
if
off
—
and saying,
inscriptions with the ferrule of his umbrella,
"
with intense thoughtfulness,
Here 's a B you see, and
is it !"
tliere 's a R, and this is the way we goes on in
His antiquaiian habits occasioned his being frequently
;
in the rear of the rest; and one of the agonies of Mrs.
Davis, and the party in general, was an ever-present fear
This caused them to scream
that Davis would-be lost.
for him, in the strangest places,
and
at the
most im-
And when he came, slowly emerging
proper seasons.
out of some Sepulchre or other, like a peaceful Ghoide,
"
"
Here I am
Mrs. Davis invariably replied,
saying
"
You 11 be bmied alive in a foreign country Davis, and
"
it's no use trying to prevent you
!
!
Mr. and Mrs. Davis, and
their party, had, probably,
been brought from London in about nine or ten days.
Eighteen hundred years ago, the Roman legions under
Claudius, protested against being led into Mr. and Mrs.
Davis's country, urging that
it
lay beyond the limits of
the world.
Among what may
be called the Cubs or minor Lions
there was one that amused
of
Rome,
is
always to be found there
;
and
its
me
den
is
mightily.
It
on the great
from the Piazza di Spagna, to
In plainer words,
the church of Trinita del Monte.
flight of steps that lead
these steps are the great place of resort for the artists'
"
Models," and there they are constantly waiting to be
hired.
ceive
The
why
first
time I went up there, T could not con-
the faces seemed familiar to
me
;
why they
EOME.
187
appeared to have beset me, for years, in eveiy possible
and how it came to pass
variety of action and costume
;
that they started up before me, in
Rome,
in the broad
many saddled and bridled nightmares. I
soon fomid that we had made acquaintance, and improved
day, like so
it,
years, on the walls of various Exhibition
for several
There
one old gentleman, with long white
hair and an immense beard, who, to my knowledge, has
Galleries.
is
gone half through the catalogue of the Royal Academy.
This is the venerable, or patriarchal model. He carries a
m
and eveiy knot and twist
that staff I have
There is
seen, faithfully delineated, innumerable times.
long
staff
another
;
man
in a blue cloak,
who always pretends
asleep in the sun (when there
not say,
is
be
any) and who, I need
always very wide awake, and very attentive to
This
the disposition of his legs.
There
model.
is
to
another
is
man
is
the doles far' niente
in a
brown
cloak,
who
leans against a wall, with his arms folded in his mantle,
and looks out
visible
There
assassin model.
looks over his
own
to
should
them,
is
is
his eyes
:
another man, who constantly
shoulder,
This
but never goes.
As
comers of
which are just
beneath his broad slouched hat. This is the
of the
and
is
always going away,
the haughty, or scornful model.
Domestic Happiness, and Holy Families, they
come yevj
all
up the
cheap,
steps
;
for
there
are
lumps
and the cream of the thing,
of^
is,
that they are all the falsest vagabonds in the world,
especially
made up
comitei'parts in
globe.
Rome
for
or
the purpose, and having no
any other part of the habitable
188
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
My
recent mention of the Carnival, reminds
being said to be a
mock mourning
which
for
it
closes),
the
me
of it^
(in the ceremony with
and merry-makings
gaieties
me
before Lent; and this again reminds
of the real fmae-
and mourning processions of Rome, which, like those
in most other parts of Italy, are rendered chiefly remai'krals
able to a Foreigner, by the indifference with which the
mere clay
And
imiversally regarded, after
is
life
has
left
it.
from the survivors ha\ang had time to
dissociate the memory of the dead from their wellthis is not
remembered appearance and form on earth;
for the
interment follows too speedily after death, for that:
almost always taking place within four-and-tweuty hours,
and, sometimes, within twelve.
At Rome,
there
is
the same arrangement of Pits in a
great, bleak, open, dreary space, that I
scribed as existing in Genoa.
saw a
day, I
When
have already de-
I visited
solitary coffin of plain deal
any shroud or
pall,
and
so slightly
:
tumbled down,
one of the pits
and sunshine.
I asked the
"
How
all
on one
there
does
left,
it
side,
by
come
man who showed me
uncovered by
in
:
care-
on the door of
itself,
to
it
be
in the
left
the place.
wind
here
" It
"
?
was
half an hour
brought here
remembered
—and
at noon-
made, that the hoof
of any wandering mule would have crushed
lessly
it,
to
I
ago. Signer," he said.
have met the procession, on its return
:
"
When will it
stragglmg away at a good round pace.
be put in the pit?" I asked him.
"When the cart
"
and
it
is
he
said.
How much
comes,
opened to-night,"
does
it
cost to be brought here in this way, instead of
189
EOME.
in the cart ?
coming
"
"
I asked him.
Ten
he said
scudi,"
"
(about two pomids, two-and-sixpence, English).
other bodies, for
whom
nothing
is
The
are taken to
paid,
the church of the Santa Maria della Consolazione," he
"
and brought here, altogether, in the cart at
I stood, a moment, looldng at the coffin, which
continued,
night."
had two
initial letters
scrawled upon the top
away, with an expression in
much
my
face, I
liking its exposure in that
;
and turned
suppose, of not
manner
:
for
he
said,
shrugging his shoulders with great vivacity, and giving a
"
But he s dead, Signore, he 's dead.
pleasant smile,
Why
not?"
Among
the innumerable churches, there
Coeli,
Temple
one I must
It is the church of the
select for separate mention.
Ara
is
supposed to be built on the
site of
the old
and approached, on one
of steps, which seem incom-
of Jupiter Feretrius
;
by a long steep flight
plete without some gi'oup of bearded soothsayers on the
It is remarkable for the possession of a miraculous
top.
side,
Bambino,
wooden
or
Saviour; and I
legal phrase, in
We
had
first
doll,
saw
manner
representing
this miraculous
Bambino, in
following, that is to say
strolled into the
Infant
the
:
church one afternoon, and
were looldng down its long "sdsta of gloomy pillars (for all
these ancient churches built upon the ruins of old temples, are dark
and
sad,)
when the Brave came runnmg
in,
with a grin upon his face that stretched it from ear to
ear, and implored us to follow him, without a moment's
delay, as they were going to
show the Bambino
to a
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
190
We
select party.
according!}'-
hurried off to a sort of
chapel, or sacristy, hard hy the chief altar, but not in the
where the select party consisting of two
or three Catholic gentlemen and ladies (not Italians)
chui'ch
itself,
:
were already assembled and where one hollow-cheeked
young monk was lighting up divers candles, while an:
other was putting on some clerical robes over his coarse
brown habit. The candles were on a Idnd of altar, and
above
it
were two delectable
at any English
fair,
figures,
such as you would see
representing the
Holy Virgin, and
Saint Joseph, as I suppose, bending in devotion over a
wooden box, or
coffer
;
which was shut.
The hollow-cheeked monk, number One, having
finished lighting the candles, went down on his knees,
in a comer, before this set-piece
and the monk number
;
Two, having put on a pair of highly ornamented and
gold-bespattered
gloves,
great reverence, and set
many
lifted
it
down the
on the
with
coffer,
Then, with
altar.
and muttering certain prayers, he
down the front, and took off sundiy
genuflexions,
opened
it,
and
let
coverings of sathi
had been on
and
lace
from the
their knees from the
the gentlemen
The
inside.
ladies
commencement
now dropped down
;
and
devoutly, as he ex-
posed to view, a little wooden doll, in face very like
General Tom Thumb, the American Dwarf gorgeously
:
dressed in satin and gold lace, and actually blazing with
There was scarcely a spot upon its little
or neck, or stomach, but was sparkling with the
rich jewels.
breast,
costly offerings of the Faithfid.
of the box, and, canying
it
Presently, he lifted
it
out
round among the kneelers,
J
191
ROME.
set its face against the forehead of every one,
dered
chimsy foot
its
which they
kiss
to
who had walked
was done, he
this
them
and
ten-
ceremony
performed, down to a dirty
all
muffin of a boy
When
to
—a
little
raga-
in from the street.
box again
laid it in the
and
:
commended the
the company, rising, drew near, and
In good time, he replaced the
coverings, shut up the box, put it back in its place,
locked up the whole concern (Holy Family and all)
jewels
in
whispers.
behmd
a pair of folding-doors
took off his priestly
vestments and received the customaiy " small charge,"
;
;
while his companion, by means of an extinguisher fast-
ened
to the
end
of a long stick, put out the lights,
one
The candles being all
extinguished, and the
and so did the spectators.
after another.
money all collected, they retired,
I met this same Bambino, in the
afterwards, gomg, in great state, to the house of
sick person.
It
is
purpose, constantly
taken to
;
but, I
all
time
street, a short
parts of
Rome
understand that
always as successful as could be wished
;
for,
some
for this
it
is
making
not
its
appearance at the bedside of weak and neiTous people
in extremit}^ accompanied by a numerous escort, it not
unfrequently frightens
them
to
death.
populai' in cases of child-birth, where
it
It
is
most
has done such
a lady be longer than usual in gettmg
through her difficulties, a messenger is despatched, with
all speed, to solicit the immediate attendance of the
wonders, that
Bambino,
confided in
belongs.
if
It
—
is
a very valuable property, and
especially
by the religious body
to
much
whom
it
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
192
I
am
Iiappy to
Imow
that
it is
not considered immacu-
by some who are good catholics, and who are behind
the scenes, from what was tokl me by the near relation
late,
himself a catholic, and a gentleman of
This Priest made my inand
learning
intelligence.
formant promise that he would, on no account, allow the
of a
Priest,
Bambino
in
"
to
whom
be borne into the bed-room of a sick lady,
they were both interested.
"
For," said he,
they (the monks) trouble her with it, and intrude
themselves into her room, it will certainly kill her." My
if
informant accordingly looked out of the window when
it came
and, with many thanks, declined to open the
;
door.
He
endeavom"ed, in another case of which he
had no other knowledge than such as he gained as
a passer-by at the moment, to prevent its being carried
into a small miwholesome chamber, where a poor girl
But, he strove against it unsuccessfully, and
she expired while the crowd were pressing round her
was dying.
bed.
Among
leisure,
to
the people
kneel
who drop
into St. Peter's at their
on the pavement, and say a quiet
prayer, there are certain schools and seminaries^ priestly
and otherwise, that come in, twenty or thirty strong.
These boys always kneel down in single file, one behind
the other, with a
tall
bringing up the rear
:
grim master in a black gown,
like a
pack of cards arranged to
be tumbled down at a touch, with a disproportionately
When they have had
large Knave of clubs at the end.
a minute or so at the chief
they scramble up, and
filing off to the chapel of the Madonna, or the sacraaltar,
EOME.
down again
merit, flop
193
same order
in the
so that if
;
anybody did stumble against the master, a general and
sudden overthrow of the whole line must inevitably
ensue.
The
in
scene
the
all
is
chui'ches,
the
strangest
The same monotonous, heartless, drowsy
possible.
the same dark building,
chaunting, always going on
;
darker from the brightness of the street without
same
;
here
;
one altar or other, the same
priest's
embroidered on
same large
cross
ent in
size,
in shape, in wealth,
church
is
are the
from
same
prayers to
ing their
beg;
at
deformity
depositories
the
for
the
;
kitchen
still.
There
same blind
pepper-castors
:
the same preposterous
the
upon
painted heads of single
alms;
and Virgins in crowded pictm-es, so that a
figure on a mountain has a head-dress bigger than
temple in the foregromid,
landscape
ered with
;
:
differ-
in architecture, this
doors
pots like
crowns of silver stuck
like
however
it;
the same miserable cripples exhibit-
their
the
with the
dirty beggars stopping in their muttered
rattling little
little
back,
same thing
that, it is the
men,
saints
the
the self-same people
dimly burning
and there tm^ned towards you, from
lamps
kneeling
;
or
adjacent
miles of
the same favourite shrine or figure, smothlittle
silver
hearts
and
the staple trade and show of
crosses,
all
and
the
the jewellers
;
the same odd mixtm'e of respect and indecorum, faith
and phlegm
:
them, loudly
;
to
kneeling on the stones, and spitting on
getting up from prayers to beg a little, or
pursue some other worldly matter
o
:
and then kneeling
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
194
down
resume the
again, to
contrite supplication at the
In one church, a
was interrupted.
kneeling lady got up from her prayers, for a moment,
to offer us her card, as a teacher of Music
and in
point where
it
;
another, a sedate gentleman with a very thick walkingstaff, arose from his devotions to belabour his dog, who
was growling at another dog: and whose yelps and
howls resounded through the church, as his master
quietly relapsed into his former train of meditation
—
keeping his eye upon the dog, at the same time, nevertheless.
Above
all,
there
is
always a receptacle for the contri-
butions of the Faithful, in some form or other.
times,
it is
a money-box, set up between the worshipper,
and the wooden
times,
a
is
it
Some-
life-size figure of
little
the
Redeemer
;
some-
chest for the maintenance of the
sometimes, an appeal on behalf of a popular
Bambino sometimes, a bag at the end of a long stick,
thrust among the people here and there, and vigilantly
Virgin
;
;
jingled by an active Sacristan; but there
and, very often, in
many
doing pretty well in
—the
air
streets
shapes in the
Nor,
all.
and roads
—
is it
for,
it
always
is,
same church, and
wanting in the open
often as you are walking
along, thinking about anything rather than a tin canister,
upon you from a little house
"
For the Souls
top is painted,
that object pounces out
by the wayside
;
and on
its
"
an appeal which the bearer repeats a
great many times, as he rattles it before you, much
as Punch rattles the cracked bell which Ms sanguine
in Purgatory
disposition
;
makes an organ
of.
195
ROME.
And
this
me
reminds
that
some Roman
altars of
"
bear the inscription,
Every mass
performed at this altar, frees a soul from Pui'gatory."
I have never been able to find out the charge for one of
peculiar
sanctity,
but they should needs be expensive.
There are several Crosses in Rome too, the kissing of
these services,
That in
which, confere indulgences for varying terms.
the centre of the Coliseum, is worth a hundred days ; and
people
is
may be seen kissing
some
curious that
fi'om
it,
morning
of these crosses
seem
to night.
It
to acquire
an
In
very one among them.
arbitrary popularity
another part of the Coliseum there is a cross upon a mar;
this
ble slab, with the inscription,
shall be entitled to
"
Who
Two hundred and
kisses this
cross
forty days'
mdul-
But I saw no one person kiss it, though, day
scores
day, I sat in the arena, and saw scores upon
gence."
after
on their way to kiss the other.
To single out details from the great dream of Roman
Churches, would be the wildest occupation in the world.
of peasants pass
But
St.
it,
Stefano Rotondo, a
damp mildewed
old church in the outskirts of
uppermost in
my
Rome,
vault of an
will always
stmggle
mind, by reason of the hideous paint-
These represent
ings with which its walls are covered.
and such
the martyi'doms of saints and early Christians
could
a panorama of horror and butchery no man
imagine
;
in his sleep, though he were to eat a whole pig, raw, for
men
being boiled, fried, grilled,
crimped, singed, eaten by wild beasts, worried by dogs,
bulled alive, torn asunder by horses, chopped up small
supper.
Grey-bearded
with hatchets
:
women having
o 2
their breasts torn with
PICTUKES FEOM ITALY.
196
iron pincers, their tongues cut out, their ears screwed
off,
their jaws
the rack, or skinned upon
and melted in the
So
subjects.
that
fire
insisted
sufferer
eveiy
bodies
their
broken,
the
gives
as poor old
Duncan awoke,
when she marvelled
at his having so
wonder
at,
besides,
same occasion
you the
up
the mildest
among
and laboured
on,
upon
stake, or crackled
these are
:
stretched
for
in
Lady Macbeth,
much blood in him.
an upper chamber in the Mamertine prisons,
and very possibly may
over what is said to have been
There
is
have been
now
fitted
it lives,
—the dungeon
up
of St. Peter.
This chamber
as an oratory, dedicated to that saint
;
is
and
and separate place, in my recollecveiy small and low-roofed and the
as a distmct
It
too.
tion,
—
is
;
dread and gloom of the ponderous, obdm-ate old prison
are on it, as if they had come up in a dark mist through
the
Hanging on the
floor.
the clustered
among
walls,
votive offerings, are objects, at once strangely in keeping,
and strangely
at variance, with, the place
—
rusty daggers,
knives, pistols, clubs, divers instruments of violence
and
murder, brought here, fresh from use, and hung up to
propitiate offended
would drain
cry with.
Heaven
:
off in consecrated air,
It is all so silent
and
and the dungeons below, ai'e
and stagnant, and naked
that
like
upon them
and have no voice to
as if the blood
;
;
becomes a dream within a dream
great chm'ches which
come
so close,
so black,
stealthy,
dark spot
and in the vision of
rolling past
me
a small wave by itself, that melts mto
and does not flow on with the rest.
is
and
this little
:
and tomb-
like a sea, it
i^o
other wave*
197
ROME.
an awful thing to tliink of the enormous caverns
that are entered from some Roman churches, and underIt is
mine the
Many churches
city.
have crypts and subten-a-
nean chapels of great size, which, in the ancient time,
were baths, and secret chambers of temples, and what
not
;
Beneath the church
but I do not speak of them.
of St. Giovanni and St. Paolo, there are the jaws of a
range of caverns, hewn out of the rock, and said
have another outlet underneath the Coliseum
terrific
to
—
tremendous darknesses of vast extent, half-bmied in the
earth and unexplorable, where the dull torches, flashed
the attendants, glimmer down long ranges of distant
by
vaults branching to the right
city of the
dead
;
and
left, like streets
in a
and show the cold damp stealing down
the walls drip-drop, drip-drop, to join the pools of water that
,
lie
here and there, and never saw, and never will see, one
Some accounts make these the prisons
ray of the sun.
of the wild beasts destined for the amphitheatre
some,
;
the prisons of the condemned gladiators some, both.
But the legend most appalling to the fancy is, that in
;
the upper range (for there are two stories of these caves)
the Early Christians destined to be eaten at the
Coliseum Shows, heard the wild beasts, hungiy for them,
until, upon the night and solitude
roaring down below
;
of their capti\ity, there bm'st the sudden noon and life
of the vast theatre crowded to the parapet, and of these,
their dreaded neighbom's,
bounding in
!
San Sebastiano, two miles
beyond the gate of San Sebastiano, on the Appian way,
Below the chm-ch
is
of
the entrance to the catacombs of
Rome
—
quarries in
'^
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
198
but afterwards the hiding-places of the
These ghastly passages have been explored
the old time,
Christians.
for
twenty miles
and form a chain of labyrinths,
;
sixty
miles in circumference.
A
gaimt Franciscan
down
our only guide,
blotted out,
m
all
Good Heaven,
soon
air,
of us, any recollection of the track by
had come
w^e
and
hither
dead and hesLTy
coupled with the
thither,
"
and dreadful
into this profound
The narrow ways and openings
place.
which
with a wild bright eye, was
friar,
if,
and I could not help thinking,
in a sudden fit of madness he should
;
dash the torches out, or
if
what would become of us
he should be seized with a fit,
"
On we
!
wandered, among
passing great subterranean vaulted
roads, diverging in all directions, and choked up with
of stones, that thieves and mm^lerers may not
martyrs'
graves
:
heaps
take refuge there, and form a population under Rome,
even worse than that which lives between it and the
Graves, graves, graves; graves of men, of women,
of their little children, who ran crying to the persecutors,
sun.
"
We
are Christians
!
We
are Christians
might be murdered with their parents
;
"
!
that they
Graves with the
palm of martyrdom roughly cut into their stone boimdaries, and little niches, made to hold a vessel of the
martyrs' blood
;
Graves of some who lived down here,
and preaching
years
together, ministering to the rest,
tnith,
and hope, and comfort, from the rude
that
more
bear witness
roomy
liundreds,
to
graves,
being
then*
but
surprised,
fortitude
far
more
were
for
at
altars,
this
hour;
terrible,
where
hemmed
in
and
ROME.
walled up
:
199
buried before Death,
and
by slow
killed
starvation.
"
The Triumphs
of the Faith are not above
our splendid churches," said the
we stopped
friar,
ground in
looldng round
one of the low passages, with bones and dust surrounding us on every side.
"
"
He
They are here Among the Martyrs' Graves
upon
us, as
to rest in
!
!
was a gentle, earnest man, and said
it
from his heart
;
but when I thought how Christian men have dealt with
one another; how, perverting our most merciful religion,
they have hmited down and tortured, burnt and beheaded,
strangled,
slaughtered,
and oppressed each other
;
I
pictured to myself an agony surpassing any that this
Dust had
it,
suffered with the breath of life yet lingering in
and how these great and constant hearts would have
how they would have quailed and drooped
been shaken
—
—
a fore-lviiowledge of the deeds that professing Christians would commit in the Great Name for which they
if
died,
could have rent
them with
its
own miutterable
anguish, on the cniel wheel, and bitter cross, and in the
fearful fire.
Such are the spots and patches in
churches, that remain apart, and keep
identity.
my dream
of
their separate
I have a fainter recollection, sometimes, of the
of the fragment of the pillar of the Temple that
was rent in twain
of the portion of the table that
relics
;
;
was spread
Last Supper of the well at which
the woman of Samaria gave water to Our Saviour; of
for the
;
two columns from the house of Pontius Pilate
stone to which the Sacred hands were bound,
;
of the
when the
200
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
scourging was
performed; of the gridiron of Saint
Lawrence, and the stone below it, marked with the
frying of his fat
and blood
mark
these set a shadowy
;
on some cathedrals, as an old story, or a fable might,
and stop them for an instant, as they flit before me.
The
a vast wilderness of consecrated buildings
shapes and fancies, blending one with another
rest
of all
is
;
of battered pillars of old
Pagan temples, dug up from
the ground, and forced, like giant captives, to support
the roofs of Christian churches of pictures, bad, and
;
wonderful,
and impious, and
ridiculous; of
kneeling
people, curling mcense, tinklmg bells, and sometimes
(but not often) of a swelling organ
;
of
Madonne, with
their breasts stuck full of swords, arranged in a halflike a
circle
modem
fan
attired
saints,
hideously
velvets
trimmed with gold
of actual skeletons of dead
;
in
:
gaudy
satins,
and
silks,
their withered crust of skull
adorned with precious jewels, or
mth
chaplets of cinished
sometimes, of people gathered round the pulpit,
and a monk within it stretching out the crucifix, and
flowers
;
preaching fiercely
:
down through
stretched above him
the sun just streaming
some high window on the sail-cloth
and across the church, to keep his high-pitched
from being
tired
lost
among
the echoes of the roof.
memory comes out upon a
voice
Then my
flight of steps,
where
knots of people are asleep, or basking in the light and
strolls away, among the rags, and smells, and
palaces,
;
and hovels, of an old Italian
On
street.
one Saturday morning, (the eighth of March) a
man
ROME.
was beheaded here.
201
Nine or ten months
before,
he had
waylaid a Bavarian countess, travellmg as a pilgiim to
Rome alone and on foot, of course and performing, it
—
—
He
that act of piety for the fouith time.
is said,
saw
her change a piece of gold at Viterbo, where he lived
followed her; bore her company on her journey for some
;
forty miles or more,
tecting her
on the treacherous pretext of
lenting pui'pose, on the Campagna,
distance of
Rome, near to what
Tomb
not) the
pro-
attacked her, in the fulfilment of his unre-
;
of
Nero
;
is
withm a xerj
what
is
and beat her
to
called (but
robbed her
;
short
death with her own pilgrim's staff.
He was newly
married, and gave some of her apparel to his wife
:
saying that he had bought
it
at a fair.
She, however,
who had seen the pilgrim-comitess passing through their
town, recognised some trifle as having belonged to
Her husband then
her.
m
She,
confession,
withm
taken,
what he had done.
told her
told a priest
fom* days after
;
and the man was
the commission of the
murder.
There are no
tice,
or
its
fixed times for the administration of jus-
execution, in this unaccountable country; and he
had been in prison ever
the Friday, as he was
the other prisoners, they came and told him
be beheaded next morning, and took liim
It is veiy unusual to execute in Lent
but his
dining
"s\ith
he was
to
away.
On
since.
;
crime being a very bad one,
make an example
of
him
it
was deemed advisable
at that time,
bers of pilgrims were coming towards
parts, for the
Holy Week.
when
great
num-
Rome, from
I heard of this
to
all
on the Friday
202
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
evening, and saw the bills up at the churches, calHng on
the people to pray for the criminal's soul.
So, I deter-
mined
to go,
and see him executed.
The beheading was appointed
o'clock,
Roman
forenoon.
not
time
:
for fourteen
or a quarter before nine in the
I had two friends with
Imow but
me
;
and
as
we
that the crowd might be very great,
were on the spot by half-past seven.
cution was near the church of
(a doubtful
and a half
compliment
of the impassable back
to St.
The
did
we
place of exe-
San Giovanni
decollato
John the Baptist) in one
streets without
any footway, of
—
which a great part of Rome are composed a street of
rotten houses, which do not seem to belong to anybody,
and do not seem to have ever been inhabited, and certainly were never built on
any plan, or
for
any particular
and
and
have
no
are a little
window-sashes,
purpose,
like deserted breweries, and might be warehouses but
ha\dng nothing in them.
Opposite to one of these,
a white house, the scaffold was built.
An untidy, unfor
painted, uncouth, crazy-looking thing of course
some
:
seven feet high, perhaps: with a tall, gallows-shaped
frame rising above it, in which was the knife, charged
a ponderous mass of iron,
ready to descend, and
glittering brightly in the moming-sun, whenever it looked
out, now and then, from behind a cloud.
"svith
all
There were not many people lingering about and
these were kept at a considerable distance from the
;
Two or
by parties of the Pope's dragoons.
three hundred foot-soldiers were under arms, standing
at ease in clusters here and there
and the officers were
•
scaffold,
;
Q03
ROME.
down
walking up and
in
twos and threes,
chatting
together, and smoking cigars.
At the end of the street, was an open space, where
there would be a dust-heap, and piles of broken crockery,
and mounds of vegetable refuse, but for such things being
thrown anywhere and everywhere in Rome, and favouring
no particular sort of
locality.
We
got into a kind of
wash-house, belonging to a dwelling house on this spot
and standing there, in an old cart, and on a heap of cart
;
wheels piled against the wall, looked, through a large
grated window, at the scaffold, and straight down the
imtil, in
consequence of
turning off
abruptly to the left, our perspective was brought to a
sudden termination, and had a corpulent officer, in a
street
beyond
it,
cocked hat, for
Nine
its
o'clock
crowning feature.
struck,
nothing happened.
A
rang as usual.
its
and ten
o'clock
All the bells of
little
all
struck,
the churches
parliament of dogs assembled in
the open space, and chased each other, in and out
the soldiers.
and
Fierce-looking
Romans of
among
the lowest class,
and rags uncloaked, came
and went, and talked together. Women and children
One large
fluttered, on the skirts of the scanty crowd.
in blue cloaks, russet cloaks,
muddy
spot was left quite bare, like a bald place on a
man's head.
A
cigar-merchant, with an earthen pot of
charcoal ashes in one hand, went
his wares.
A
between the
scaffold
pastry -merchant
up and down, ciying
divided
and his customers.
climb up walls, and tumbled down again.
his
attention
Boys
tried to
Priests and
monks elbowed a passage for themselves among the people,
204
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
and stood on
away.
tiptoe for a sight of the knife
:
then went
Artists, in inconceivable hats of the middle-ages,
and beards (thank Heaven
!)
of no age at
them from
picturesque scowls about
all,
flashed
their stations in the
One gentleman (connected with the fine arts,
I presume) went up and down in a pair of Hessian-boots,
with a red beard hanging down on his breast, and his
throng.
long and bright red hair, plaited into two tails, one on
either side of his head
which fell over his shoulders in
;
front of him, very nearly to his waist, and were carefully
entwined and braided
Eleven
!
o'clock struck
and
;
still
nothing happened.
A
rumour got about, among the crowd, that the criin which case, the priests
minal would not confess
;
would keep him until the Ave Maria (sunset) for it
is their merciful custom never finally to turn the cru;
away from a man at that pass, as one refusing
be shriven, and consequently a sinner abandoned
cifix
to
of the
until
then.
People began to drop
off.
The officers shrugged their shoulders and looked
doubtful.
The dragoons, who came riding up below our
Saviour,
window, every now and then, to order an unlucky hackney-coach or cart away, as soon as it had comfortably
established itself and was covered with exulting people
became imperious, and quick-tempered.
The bald place hadn't a straggling hair upon it; and
(but never before)
the corpulent
officer,
crowning the perspective, took a
world of snuff*.
Suddenly, there was a noise of trumpets. "Atten"
tion
was among the foot-soldiers instantly. They were
!
205
ROME.
marched up
and formed romid
to the scaffold
The
The
it.
to their nearer stations too.
dragoons galloped
guillotme became the centre of a wood of bristling bayonets and shining
The people
sabres.
closed
round
A
nearer, on the flank of the soldieiy.
long straggling
stream of men and boys, who had accompanied the procession from the prison, came pouring into the open
The bald
space.
The
spot was scarcely distinguishable from
and pastry-merchants resigned all
thoughts of business, for the moment, and abandoning
the
rest.
cigar
themselves wholly to pleasure, got good situations in the
crowd. The perspective ended, now, in a troop of dragoons.
And
the corpulent
officer,
sword in hand, looked hard at
a church close to him, which he could see, but we, the
crowd, could not.
After a short delay, some
to the scaffold
from
this
monks were seen approaching
church
;
and above their heads,
coming on slowly and gloomily, the
effigy of Christ
the foot of the scaffold, to the front, and
the criminal, that he might see
hardly in its place,
bare-footed
;
neck of his
shirt, cut
—
yomig man
shaped.
brown
He
to the last.
;
It
was
platform,
collar
and
away, almost to the shoulder.
A
bound
;
and with the
—
six-and-twenty
Face pale
it
tmned towards
when he appeared on the
his hands
upon
This was carried romid
the cross, canopied with black.
vigorously made, and well-
small dark moustache
;
and dark
hair.
had refused
to confess, it
seemed, without
having his wife brought to see him
an escort
for her,
;
ffi'st
and they had sent
which had occasioned the delay.
206
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
He
immediately Imeeled down, below the knife. His
neck fitting into a hole, made for the purpose, in a
was shut down, by another plank above
Immediately below him, was a
cross plank,
;
exactly like the pillory.
And
leathern bag.
The
into
executioner was
ing with
round the
it, liis
head rolled
holdmg
it
instantly.
by the hair, and walk-
showing it to the people,
before one quite knew that the knife had fallen heavily,
and with a rattling sound.
it
When
it
scaffold, it
had
scaffold,
travelled round the four sides of the
—
was set upon a pole in front
a
little
black and white, for the long street to stare
The
flies to settle on.
at,
patch of
and the
eyes were turned upward, as
if
he had avoided the sight of the leathern bag, and looked
Every tinge and hue of life had left it
to the crucifix.
in
that
instant.
It
was
dull,
cold,
body also.
There was a great deal of blood.
window, and went close up to the
dirty; one of the two
over
it,
turning
li\dd,
When we
scaffold, it
men who were
The
wax.
the
left
was
very-
throwing water
body into a
to help the other lift the
A
picked his way as through mire.
strange
was
the
of
the
annihilation
neck.
appearance
apparent
shell,
The head was taken
knife
seemed
as
if
the
had narrowly escaped crushing the jaw, or shaving
and the body looked as if there were nothing
off the ear
left
off so close, that it
;
above the shoulder.
Nobody
cared, or
manifestation
sorrow.
My
of
was at
disgust,
all affected.
or
pity,
empty pockets were
or
There was no
indignation,
or
tried, several times, in
207
ROME.
the crowd immediately below the scaffold, as the coq^se
was being put into
less,
It
its cofi&n.
sickening spectacle
was an ugly,
filthy, care-
meaning nothing but butcheiy
;
beyond the momentaiy interest, to the one wretched
Such a sight has one meaning and one
Yes
actor.
!
Let me not forget it. The speculators in
warning.
the lotteiy, station themselves at favom^able pomts for
counting the gouts of blood that spirt out, here or
there
;
and buy that number.
a run upon
It is pretty sure to
it.
The body was
carted away in due time, the knife
cleansed, the scaffold taken down,
apparatus
have
The
removed.
and
executioner
all
:
the hideous
an outlaw ex
(what a satire on the Punishment !) who dare not,
for his life, cross the Bridge of St. Angelo but to do his
officio
work
:
retreated to his
At the head
lair,
and the show was
of the collections in the palaces of
the Vatican, of course, with
enormous
suites of
and
galleries,
Rome,
treasures of art,
its
staircases,
and
suites
its
upon
immense chambers, ranks highest and stands
foremost.
Many most
pictures, are there
is
over.
;
noble
nor
is
statues,
it
and wonderful
heresy to say that there
a considerable amount of rubbish there, too.
When
any old piece of sculptm-e dug out of the ground, finds
a place in a galleiy because it is old, and without any
reference to
the
its intrinsic
hundred,
because
reason on earth
:
merits
it
is
:
and
there,
fuids admirers
and
for
by
no other
there will be no lack of objects, very
indifferent in the plain eyesight of
any one who employs
208
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
SO vulgar a property,
when he may wear the
of Cant for less than nothmg,
man
mere trouble
of taste for the
I
mireserveclly
leave
my
spectacles
and establish himself
confess, for
of putting
myself,
natm'al perception of what
is
them
that
I
as a
on.
cannot
natm'al and true,
at a palace-door, in Italy or elsewhere, as I should leave
my
shoes
if
I were travelling in the East.
I cannot
forget that there are certain expressions of face, natural
and as unchangeable in their nature
I cannot
of a lion, or the flight of an eagle.
to certain passions,
as the gait
dismiss from
my
certain knowledge, such common-place
facts as the ordinary proportions of
and heads
violence to
;
where they may
think
it
be, I cannot honestly
best to say so
;
we have
it
legs,
admire them, and
in spite of high critical advice
we should sometimes
that
men's arms, and
and when I meet with performances that do
these experiences and recollections, no matter
feign an admiration, though
not.
Therefore, I freely aclmowledge that
when I
see a
young Waterman representing a cherubim, or a
Barclay and Perkins's Drayman depicted as an Evangelist,
Jolly
I see nothing to
however great
commend
its
or admire in the performance,
reputed Painter.
Neither
am
I partial
who play on fiddles and bassoons, for
sprawling monks apparently in liquor.
to libellous Angels,
the edification of
Nor
to those
Monsieur Tonsons of galleries. Saint Francis
and Saint Sebastian
very
micommon and
tify their
It
;
compound
seems to me,
both of whom I submit should have
rare merits, as works of art, to jus-
multiplication by Italian Painters;.
too,
that the
indiscriminate and
209
EOME.
determined raptures in which some
critics indulge,
is
of the really great
incompatible with the true appreciation
and transcendent works.
I cannot imagine, for example,
the resolute champion of undeserving pictures can
how
soar to the amazing beauty of Titian's great picture of
or how the
of the Virgin at Venice
the
Assumption
man who
is
;
truly affected
exquisite production,
or
by the
who
sublimity
of that
truly sensible of the
is
of
beauty of Tintoretto's great picture of the Assembly
the Blessed in the same place, can discern in Michael
Angelo's Last Judgment, intheSistine chapel, any general
idea, or one pervading thought, in harmony with the
He who
will
contemplate Raphael's
will go away into
and
the
Transfiguration,
masterpiece,
stupendous subject.
another chamber of that same Vatican, and contemplate
another design of Raphael, representing (in incredible
of a great fire by
caricature) the miraculous stopping
Leo the Fourth and who will say that he admires them
—
both, as works of extraordinaiy genius
—must,
as I
thmk,
be wanting in his powers of perception in one of the two
instances, and, probably, in the high
and
lofty one.
easy to suggest a doubt, but I have a great
doubt whether, sometimes, the rules of art are not
It
too
is
strictly
observed,
and
whether
it
is
quite
well
or agreeable that we should know beforehand, where
this figure will be tummg round, and where that figure
be lying down, and where there will be drapeiy in
When I observe heads inferior to
folds, and so forth.
will
the subject, in pictures of merit, in Italian galleries, I do
not attach that reproach to the Painter, for I have a
suspicion that these great men,
p
who
were, of necessity,
210
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
much in the hands of monks and priests, painted
monks and priests a great deal too often. I frequently
very
heads quite below the story
see, in pictures of real power,
and I invariably observe that those
heads are of the Convent stamp, and have their counter-
and the painter
parts
:
among the Convent inmates
of this hour
;
have
so, I
such cases, the lameness
settled with myself that, in
was not with the painter, but with the vanity and ignorance
on
of certain of his employers, who would be apostles
—
canvass, at all events.
The
and beauty of Canova's statues
the wonderful gravity and repose of many of the ancient
works in sculpture, both in the Capitol and the Vatican
exquisite grace
;
;
and the strength and
fire
of
many
others
;
are, in their
beyond all reach of words. They are
especially impressive and delightful, after the works of
Bernini and his disciples, in wliich the churches of
different
ways,
Rome, from
St. Peter's
are, I verily believe, the
downward, abound
most detestable
and which
class of produc-
I would infinitely rather (as
tions in the wide world.
mere works of
;
upon the three deities of the
and
the Future, in the Chinese
Present,
Collection, than upon the best of these breezy maniacs
art) look
Past, the
;
whose every
fold of drapery is
smallest vein, or artery,
finger
;
whose hair
is
is like
blown inside-out
as big as
;
whose
an ordinary
a nest of lively snakes
;
fore-
and
whose attitudes put all other extravagance to shame.
Insomuch that I do honestly believe, there can be no
place in the world, where such intolerable abortions,
begotten of the sculptor's chisel, are to be found in such
profusion, as in
Rome.
BOME.
There
'2\l
a fine collection of Eg}^tian antiquities, in
the Vatican and the ceilings of the rooms in which
is
;
they are arranged, are painted to represent a star-light
sky in the Desert.
It
The
very effective.
may seem an odd
idea,
but
it
is
giim, half-human monsters from the
temples, look more grim and monstrous underneath the
deep dark blue
on
;
it
sheds a strange imcertain gloomy air
adapted to the objects and
—
everything a mystery
;
you leave them, as you find them, shrouded in a solemn
night.
In the private palaces, pictures are seen to the best
There are seldom so many in one place that
advantage.
the attention need become distracted, or the eye con-
You
fused.
see
them very
and are rarely
There are portraits
leism'ely
;
by a crowd of people.
innumerable, by Titian, and Rembrandt, and Vandyke
heads by Guido, and Domenichino, and Carlo Dolci
interinipted
;
;
various subjects by Correggio, and Murillo, and Raphael,
—
and Salvator Rosa, and Spagnoletto many of which
would be difficult, indeed, to praise too liighly, or
enough
praise
;
such
is
their tenderness
their noble elevation, purity,
The
portrait of Beatrice
Berberini,
is
and
it
to
grace
;
and beauty.
di
Cenci, in the Palazzo
a picture almost impossible to be forgotten.
Through the transcendent sweetness and beauty of the
face, there is a
out, that
haunts me.
The head
now, as I see this paper, or my pen.
the light hair falling down
loosely draped in white
I see
is
something shining
it
;
below the linen
She has turned suddenly towards
an
you
although
expression in the eyes
are
of a
tender
if
the
and
as
wildness
they
very
gentle
;
and there
folds.
—
is
—
p 2
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
212
momentary terror,
or distraction, had been stmggled with
and overcome, that instant and nothing but a celestial
hope, and a beautiful sorrow, and a desolate earthly
;
Some
helplessness remained.
say that Guido
stories
the night before her execution
painted
it,
stories,
that he painted
it
fi'om
memory,
some other
;
after
having
seen her, on her way to the scaffold.
I am willing to
believe that, as you see her on his canvass, so she turned
towards him, in the crowd, from the
first
sight of the axe,
and stamped upon his mind a look which he has stamped
on mine as though I had stood beside him in the
The
concourse.
guilty palace of the Cenci
whole quarter of the town, as
grains
and
its
:
had that
it
Painting
The
galleries.
and
flitting
up and down
History
is
written
in
its
the
written, in the dying girl's face, by Natm*e's
;
And oh
own hand.
llight (instead of
be related
forgeries
stands withering away by
and growing out of the darkness of
stairs,
dreary
blighting a
fancy, in its dismal porch,
at its black blind windows,
ghostly
to
my
face, to
:
!
how
making
to
her,
in that one touch she puts to
kin) the
in right
puny world that claim
of poor
conventional
!
I saw in the Palazzo Spada, the statue of Pompey
the statue at whose base, Caesar fell.
stern, tremen;
A
dous figure
I imagined one of greater finish
of the
last refinement
full of delicate touches
losing its
:
!
:
:
distinctness, in the giddy eyes of
ebbing before
majesty as
upturned
it,
this,
face.
one whose blood was
and settling into some such rigid
as Death came creeping over the
213
ROME.
The
excursions in the neighbourhood of
Rome
are
charming, and would be full of interest were it only for
the changing views they afford, of the wild Campagna.
But, every inch of ground, in eveiy direction, is rich in
associations,
with
There
and in natural beauties.
is
lovely lake and wooded shore, and with
its
Albano,
its
wine,
that certainly has not improved since the days of Horace,
and
is
in these times hardly justifies his panegyric.
There
squalid Tivoli, with the river Anio, diverted from
its
course, and plunging down, headlong, some eighty feet in
search of
it.
With
its
picturesque
perched high on a crag
and sparkling in the sun
;
;
Temple
of the Sibyl,
minor waterfalls glancing
and one good cavern yawning
its
where the river takes a fearful plunge and shoots
low
down under beetling rocks. There, too, is the
on,
Villa d'Este, deserted and decaying among groves of
darkly,
melancholy pine and cypress
Then, there
state.
it,
is
trees,
where
Frascati, and,
it
seems
to lie in
on the steep above
the ruins of Tusculum, where Cicero lived, and wrote,
and adorned
house (some fragments of it
may yet be seen there), and where Cato was bom. We
saw its ruined amphitheatre on a grey dull day, when a
shrill
his favoimte
March wind was
blowing, and
when
the scattered
stones of the old city lay strewn about the lonely emi-
nence, as desolate and dead as the ashes of a long extin-
guished
One
fire.
day,
we walked
out,
a
Albano, fourteen miles distant
desire to go there,
;
party of
thi'ee, to
possessed by a great
by the ancient Appian way, long
and overgrown. We started at half past
the morning, and within an hour or so, were
since ruined
seven in
little
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
214
For twelve miles, we went
over an unbroken succession of mounds, and
out Upon the open Campagna.
climbing on,
heaps, and
hills,
of ruin.
Tombs and temples, overthrown
and prostrate small fragments of columns,
ments great blocks of granite and marble
friezes, pedi-
;
;
and decayed
arches, grass-grown
a spacious city from
came
min enough
;
lay strewn about us.
;
to build
Sometimes,
up from these fragments by the shep-
loose walls, built
herds,
mouldering
;
across our path
;
sometimes, a ditch between
two mounds of broken stones, obstructed our progress
sometimes, the fragments themselves, rolling from be-
;
neath our
but
it
feet,
made
was always
it
ruin.
a toilsome matter to advance
Now, we tracked a piece
old road, above the ground
;
now
traced
;
of the
underneath a
it,
grassy covering, as if that were its grave
but
;
all
the
In the distance, ruined aqueducts went
stalking on their giant course along the plain and every
breath of wind that swept towards us, stirred early flowers
way was
ruin.
;
and
grasses, springing up, spontaneously,
The unseen
ruin.
larks above us,
who
on miles of
alone disturbed
the awful silence, had their nests in ruin
;
and the
fierce
herdsmen, clad in sheepskins, who now and then scowled
out upon us from their sleeping nooks, were housed in ruin.
The
aspect of the desolate
where
prairie
it
;
was most
but what
level,
is
Campagna
in one direction,
reminded me
of an
American
the solitude of a region where
men
have never dwelt, to that of a Desert, where a mighty
race have left their foot-prints in the earth from which
they have vanished where the resting-places of their
Dead, have fallen like their Dead and the broken hour;
;
glass of
Time
is
but a heap of idle dust
!
Returning, by
EOME.
the road, at sunset
the course
(as I
had
and looking, from the
we had taken
when
felt
sun would never
night,
;
215
distance, on
in the morning, I almost felt
saw
I first
rise again,
it,
at that hour) as if the
but looked
its
last,
that
upon a ruined world.
To come again on Rome, by moonlight,
expedition,
a fitting close to such a day.
is
streets, devoid of footways,
after such
an
The narrow
and choked, in every obscure
corner, by heaps of dunghill- rubbish, contrast so strongly,
in their
cramped dimensions, and their
filth,
and dark-
ness, v^th the broad square before some haughty church
in the centre of which, a
hieroglyphic-covered obelisk,
:
brought from Egypt in the days of the Emperors, looks
strangely on the foreign scene about it or perhaps an
;
ancient pillar, with
honoured statue overthrown, sup-
its
ports a christian saint
:
Marcus Aurelius giving place
Paul, and Trajan to St.
Peter.
to
Then, there are the
ponderous buildings reared from the spoliation of the
CoHseum, shutting out the moon, like mountains while,
:
here and there, are broken arches and rent walls, through
which it gushes freely, as the life comes pouring from a
The
wound.
little
town of miserable houses, walled,
and shut in by barred gates, is the quarter where the
Jews are locked up nightly, when the clock stiikes eight
—a
densely populated, and reeldng
with bad odours, but where the people are industrious
miserable
place,
and money-getting.
In the day-time, as you make your
way along the narrow streets, you see them all at work
upon the pavement, oftener than in their dark and
:
frouzy
shops
bargains.
:
furbishing
old
clothes,
and
driving
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
216
Crossing from these patches of thick darkness, out into
the moon once more, the fountain of Trevi, welling
from a hundred
and
jets,
silvery to the eye
and
rolling over
mimic
In the narrow
ear.
rocks, is
little
throat
of street, beyond, a booth, dressed out with flaring lamps,
and boughs of
round
its
stew
its
;
is
Romans
smoking coppers of hot broth, and cauliflower
As
trays of fried fish, and its flasks of wine.
round the sharply-twisting coraer, a lumbering
rattle
you
sound
attracts a group of sulky
trees,
The coachman
heard.
stops abruptly,
and un-
van comes slowly by, preceded by a man
and a
who bears a large cross
by a torch-bearer
covers, as a
;
;
priest
the latter chaunting as he goes.
:
It
is
the
Dead
on their way to
burial in the Sacred Field outside the walls, where they
Cart, with
the
the poor,
bodies of
be thrown into the pit that mil be covered with a
stone to-night, and sealed up for a year.
will
But whether,
columns
forums
ever
it is
:
and made
structure,
for
it
stranger
it
how
ever}^ fragment,
to serve
some
modem
granary, a stable
purpose
—some
—a
use
never was designed, and associated with
cannot otherwise than lamely assort.
still,
when-
been blended into some modern
dwelling-place, a
which
which
strange to see,
possible, has
it is
wall, a
in this ride, you pass by obelisks, or
ancient temples, theatres, houses, porticoes, or
:
how many
to see
how many fragments
It is
ruins of the old mytho-
legend and
observance have been incorporated into the worship of
christian altars here
and how, in numberless respects,
logy
:
of
obsolete
:
;
the false faith and the true are fused into a monstrous
union.
EOME.
'217
From
one part of the city, looking out beyond the
a squat and stunted pyramid (the burial-place
walls,
of Caius Cestius)
makes an opaque
triangle in the
But, to an English traveller,
light.
it sei'ves to
moon-
mark the
grave of Shelley too, whose ashes lie beneath a little
garden near it. Nearer still, almost within its shadow,
"
whose name is writ in water,"
lie the bones of Keats,
that shines brightly in the landscape of a calm Italian
night.
The Holy Week
Kome
in
attractions to all visitors
supposed to
is
offer great
but, saving for the sights of
;
Easter Sunday, 1 would counsel those who go to
for
its
own
avoid
to
interest,
ceremonies, in
general, are
it
at that time.
Rome
The
most tedious and
of the
wearisome kind; the heat and crowd at eveiy one of
them, painfully oppressive the noise, hubbub, and confu;
sion, quite
distracting.
We
abandoned the pursuit of
these shows, very early in the proceedings, and betook
om'selves to the Ruins again.
crowd
But,
we plunged
for a share of the best of the sights
into the
and y?hat we
;
saw, I will describe to you.
At
we saw very
(though we were
the Sistine chapel, on the Wednesday,
little, for
by the time
early) the besieging
overflowed into
we reached
crowd had
the
it
filled it to
the door, and
adjoining hall, where
they were
and squeezing, and mutually expostulating,
and making great rushes every time a lady was brought
struggling,
out faint, as
if
at least fifty people could be
accommo-
dated in her vacant standing-room.
Hanging in the
doorw^ay of the chapel, was a heavy curtain, and this
218
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
curtain,
some twenty people nearest
to
it,
in
their
anxiety to hear the chaunting of the Miserere, were
continually plucking
it
might not
at,
in opposition to each other, that
down and
fall
The consequence
was,
stifle
that
the sound of the voices.
occasioned the
it
most
extraordinary confusion, and seemed to wind itself about
Now, a lady was wrapped up
be unwound. Now, the voice of a
the unwary, like a Serpent.
in
it,
and couldn't
stiflmg gentleman was heard inside
out.
Now, two muffled arms, no
it,
beseeching to be let
man
could say of which
was carried by a
rush, bodily overhead into the chapel, like an awning.
Now, it came out the other way, and blinded one of the
sex, struggled in it as in a sack.
Pope's Swiss Guard
who had
Now,
it
arrived, that
moment,
to
set things to rights.
Being seated
at a little distance,
among two or three
who were very weary and counting
we
perhaps His Holiness was too
the Pope's gentlemen,
the
minutes —
as
of
—
had better opportunities of observing
this
eccentric
entertainment, than of hearing the Miserere. Sometimes^
there was a swell of mournful voices that sounded very
pathetic
and
but that was
sad,
all
At another
and died away,
we
into a
low strain again
;
heard.
time, there was the Exhibition of the
Relics in Saint Peter's, which took place at between six
and seven
and was striking from
the cathedral being dark and gloomy, and having a great
many people in it. The place into which the relics
o'clock in the evening,
were brought, one by one, by a party of three priests,
This was the
was a high balcony near the chief altar.
only lighted part of the church.
There are always a
219
EOME.
hundred and twelve lamps burning near the altar, and
there were two tall tapers, besides, near the black statue
of St. Peter;
mense
but these were nothing in such an im-
edifice.
of faces to the
The gloom, and
balcony, and
the general
the
uptmning
prostration of true
on the pavement, as shining objects, hke
pictures or looking-glasses, were brought out and shown,
had something effective in it, despite the very preposbelievers
terous
manner
in
general edification,
they were
which they were held up for the
and the great elevation at which
displayed;
which one would think rather
calculated to diminish the comfort derivable from a full
conviction of their being genuine.
On the
Thursday, we went to see the Pope convey the
Sacrament from the Sistine chapel, to deposit it in the
—
a cereCapella Paolina, another chapel in the Vatican
mony emblematical of the entombment of the Saviour
;
before
We
His Resurrection.
waited in a great gallery
with a great crowd of people (thi'ee-fourths of them English) for an hour or so, while they were chaunting the
Miserere, in the Sistine chapel again. Both chapels opened
and the general attention was conon the occasional opening and shutting of
out of the gallery
centrated
;
the door of the one for which the Pope was ultimately
bound.
None
openings disclosed anything
more tremendous than a man on a ladder, lighting a
of these
but at each and eveiy opening,
rush made at this ladder and this
great quantity of candles
there was a terrific
;
should think) a charge of the
heavy British cavalry at Waterloo. The man was never
man, something
like (I
brought down, however, nor the ladder
;
for it
performed
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
2'20
the strangest antics in the world
where
all
among
man, when the
the crowd
—
was carried by the
candles were
lighted and finally it was stuck up against the gallery
it
;
wall, in a very disorderly
manner, just before the opening
of the other chapel, and the
commencement
chaunt, announced the approach of his Holiness.
crisis,
new
of a
At
this
who had been poking the
formed down the gallery
the soldiers of the guard,
crowd into
all sorts of
shapes,
:
and the procession came up, between the two
made.
There were a few
priests,
lines they
and then a great many
walldng two and two, and carrying the goodchoristers,
looking priests at least
—
—
their lighted tapers,
so as to
throw the light with a good effect upon their faces for
the room was darkened. Those who were not handsome,
:
who had not long beards,
and abandoned themselves
or
carried their tapers anyhow,
to
contemplation.
spiritual
Meanwhile, the chaunting was very monotonous and
The
dreary.
procession
passed on,
chapel, and the drone of voices
with
slowly,
went
on,
into
the
and came on,
it,
Pope himself appeared, walldng under
a white satin canopy, and bearing the covered Sacra-
ment
until the
in both hands
;
round him, making a
down
the guard knelt
bowed
;
and
so
cardinals
and canons clustered
The
brilliant show.
as he passed
;
all
soldiers of
the bystanders
he passed on into the chapel
the white
removed from over him at the door,
:
satin canopy being
and a white
satin
head, in place of
it.
parasol
A
hoisted
over his poor old
few more couples brought up the
and passed into the chapel also. Then, the chapel
door was shut
and it was all over
and everybody
rear,
;
;
ROME.
hurried off headlong, as for
thing else, and say
it
221
life
or death, to see some-
wasn't worth the trouble.
most popular and most crowded sight
(excepting those of Easter Sunday and Monday, which
are open to all classes of people) was the Pope washing
I think the
the feet of Thirteen men, representing the twelve apostles,
and Judas
office is
which
Iscariot.
performed,
all
sitting
place in which this pious
one of the chapels of St. Peter's,
gaily decorated for the occasion
is
"
is
The
particularly
;
of a row," on a very high bench,
imcomfortable,
the tliirteen
and looking
with the eyes of
Heaven
knows how many English, French, Americans, Swiss,
Germans, Russians, Swedes, Norwegians, and other foreigners, nailed to their faces all the time.
in white
;
and on their heads they wear a
They are robed
stiff
white cap,
EngHsh porter-pot, without a handle. Each
carries in his hand, a nosegay, of the size of a fine cauli-
like a large
flower
;
and two of them, on this occasion, wore spectacles
:
remembering the characters they sustained, I
There was
thought a droll appendage to the costume.
which,
a great eye to character.
a good-looking young man,
St.
John was represented by
by a grave-looking old gentleman, ^vith a flowing brown beard; and
Judas Iscariot by such an enormous hypocrite (I could
make
St. Peter,
whether the expression of his face
was real or assumed) that if he had acted the part to the
death and had gone away and hanged himself, he would
not
have
out, though,
nothing to be desired.
As the two large boxes, appropriated to ladies, at this
sight,
less,
left
were
full to
we posted
the throat, and getting near was hope-
off,
along with a great crowd, to be in
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
222
time at the Table, where the Pope, in person, waits on
these Thirteen and after a prodigious struggle at the
;
Vatican staircase, and several personal conflicts with the
Swiss guard, the whole crowd swept into the room. It was
a long gallery hung with drapery of white and red, with
another great box for ladies (who are obliged to dress in
black at these ceremonies, and to wear black
royal box for the
the table
King
of Naples,
and
veils),
a
and
his party;
which, set out like a ball supper, and
itself,
ornamented with golden figures of the real apostles, was
arranged on an elevated platform on one side of the
The
gallery.
laid out
counterfeit apostles' knives
and
forks were
on that side of the table which was nearest to
the wall, so that they might be stared at again, without
let or hindrance.
The body of the room was full of male strangers the
crowd immense the heat very great and the pressure
;
;
sometimes
;
frightful.
was at
It
its
height
when the
stream came poming in, from the feet-washmg and then
there were such shrieks and outcries, that a party of
;
Piedmontese dragoons went to the rescue of the Swiss
guard, and helped them to calm the tumult.
The
ladies were particularly ferocious, in their struggles
for places.
One
lady of
my
acquaintance was seized
round the waist, in the
ladies' box, by a strong matron,
and hoisted out of her place and there was another lady
(in a back row in the same box) who improved her position
;
by sticking a large pin into the ladies before her.
The gentlemen about me were remarkably anxious
see what was on the table
to
to
and one Englishman seemed
have embarked the whole energy of his nature in the
;
223
HOME.
determination to discover whether there was any mus*'
tard.
By
Jupiter there
"
's
vinegar
him say
an immense
I heard
!
he had stood on tiptoe
time, and had been crushed and beaten on all sides.
"And there's oil! I saw them distinctly, in cruets!
to his friend, after
!
Can any gentleman,
table ?
Pot
Sir, will
mustard on the
in front there, see
you oblige
me
!
Do
you see a Mustard-
"
?
The
after
and Judas appearing on the platform,
much expectation, were marshalled, in line, in front
apostles
of the table, with Peter at the top
;
and a good long
was taken at them by the company, while twelve of
them took a long smell at their nosegays, and Judas
stare
moving
his lips
very obtrusively
— engaged
—
in inward
Then, the Pope, clad in a scarlet robe, and
wearing on his head a skull-cap of white satin, appeared
in the midst of a crowd of Cardinals and other dignitaries,
prayer.
and took in his hand a
golden ewer, from which
water over one of Peter's hands,
little
he poured a little
while one attendant held a golden basin a second, a
a third, Peter s nosegay, which was taken
fine cloth
;
;
from him during the operation.
This his Holiness performed, with considerable expedition, on every man in
the
by
Ime
(Judas, I observed, to be particularly overcome
his condescension)
down
to dinner.
;
and then the whole Thirteen
Grace said by the Pope.
sat
Peter in
the chair.
There was white wine, and red wine
looked very good.
one for each apostle
The
;
;
and the dinner
courses appeared in portions,
and these being presented
Pope, by Cardinals upon their knees, were by
to the
him handed
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
224
to
The manner
the Thirteen.
more white-hvered over
his
in which Judas
grew
and languished,
he had no appetite,
victuals,
with his head on one side, as
if
Peter was a good, sound, old
defies all description.
"
"
man, and went in, as the saying is, to win
eating
;
everything that was given
first
him
(he got the best
and saying nothing
in the row)
being
:
The
to anybody.
dishes appeared to be chiefly composed of fish and vege-
The Pope helped the Thirteen
tables.
wine also
to
;
and, during the whole dinner, somebody read something
aloud, out of a large book
nobody could hear, and
—the
Bible, I
presume
—which
which nobody paid the least
The Cardinals, and other attendants, smiled
attention.
to each other, from time to time, as if the thing were a
great farce
;
and
if
to
they thought
so,
there
doubt
is little
His Holiness did what he
they were perfectly right.
had to do, as a sensible man gets through a troublesome
ceremony, and seemed very glad when
The
Pilgrims'
Suppers
:
it
was
where lords
all over.
and
ladies
waited on the Pilgrims, in token of humility, and dried
their feet
when they had been
were very
attractive.
But, of
well washed by deputy
all
the
many
:
spectacles of
dangerous reliance on outward observances, in themselves
mere empty forms, none struck me half so much as the
Scala Santa, or Holy Staircase, which I saw several times,
but to the greatest advantage, or disadvantage, on Good
Friday.
This holy staircase is composed of eight-and-tweuty
steps, said to have belonged to Pontius Pilate's house,
and
in
to
be the identical
stairs
on which Our Saviour
coming down from the judgment-seat.
trod,
Pilgrims ascend
ROME.
it,
is
only on their knees.
a
225
It is steep
chapel, reported to
be
;
and, at the summit,
full of relics
;
into
which they
peep through some iron bars, and then come down again,
by one of two side staircases, which are not sacred, and
may
be walked on.
On Good
Friday, there were, on a moderate computa-
tion, a hundred people, slowly shuffling up these stairs,
on theu' knees, at one time while others, who were going
;
had come down
up, or
—and a few who had
and were going up again
done both,
second time
for the
—
where an old gentleman in
loitering in the porch below,
a sort of watch-box, rattled a tin cannister, with a
the top, incessantly, to remind
money.
The
female.
There were four or
ever,
them
in
that he took the
Jesuit priests, how-
five
well-dressed
whole school of boys, twenty at
—
way up evidently enjoying
slit
comitry-people, male and
majority were
and some half-dozen
stood
women.
were about
least,
A
half-
They were
very much.
all
wedged together, pretty closely but the rest of the
company gave the boys as wide a berth as possible, in
it
;
consequence of their betraying some recklessness in the
management
I never, in
and
of their boots.
my
life,
saw anything
—
so unpleasant, as this sight
at once so ridiculous,
ridiculous in the absurd
and impleasant in its
There are two
senseless and unmeaning degi'adation.
broad
landing.
steps to begin with, and then a rather
incidents inseparable from it;
The more
rigid climbers
their knees, as well as
they
went along
up the
stairs
cut, in their shuffling progress
Q
this
;
landing on
and the
figures
over the level surface,
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
2 '2 6
no description can paint. Then, to see them watch their
opportunity from the porch, and cut in where there was a
place next the wall
!
And to see one man -with an
(brought on purpose, for
self,
was a
it
umbrella
fine day) hoisting
unlawfully, from stair to stair
!
And
him-
to observe a
demure lady of fifty-five or so, looking back, every now
and then, to assm*e herself that her legs were properly
disposed
!
There were such odd differences in the speed of
different people, too.
Some got on, as if they were
doing a match against time
prayer on every step.
his forehead,
all
the way.
This
and kissed
The boys
it
;
man
stopped to say a
touched every stair with
that
man
;
got on
others
scratched his head
brilliantly,
and were up
and down again before the old lady had accomplished
her half dozen stairs.
But most of the Penitents came
down, very sprightly and fresh, as having done a real
good substantial deed which it would take a good deal of
sin to counterbalance
;
and the old gentleman in the
watch-box was down upon them with his cannister while
they were in this humour, I promise you.
As if such a progress were not
its natm^e
inevitably
m
enough, there lay, on the top of the stairs, a wooden
figure on a crucifix, resting on a sort of great iron
droll
saucer
:
so
ricketty
and unsteady, that whenever an
with more than
enthusiastic person kissed the figure,
usual devotion, or threw a coin into the saucer,
more than common readmess
(for it
served in this res-
pect as a second or supplementaiy cannister),
great leap
and
rattle,
with
gave a
and nearly shook the attendant
it
227
EOME.
further down,
lamp out horribly frightening the people
and throwing the guilty party into unspeakable embar:
rassment.
Easter Sunday, as well as on the preceding
on the
Thursday, the Pope bestows his benediction
On
m
people, from the balcony
front of St. Peter
Easter Sunday was a day so bright and blue
s.
This
so cloud-
:
that all the previous
balmy, wonderfully bright:
bad weather vanished from the recollection in a mo-
less,
had seen the Thursday's Benediction dropbut
ping damply on some hundreds of umbrellas,
there was not a sparkle then, in all the hundred founand on
such fountains as they are
tains of Kome
ment.
I
—
!
—
running diamonds.
The miles of miserable streets through which we drove
this
Sunday morning,
they were
(compelled to a certain course by the Pope's dragoons
the Roman police on such occasions) were so full of
:
them was capable
The common people came
colour, that nothing in
faded aspect.
the richer people
gayest dresses;
vehicles
;
its
their state carriages
thread-bare liveries
requisition for
;
One hundred and
!
their
smartest
shabby magnificence
and tarnished cocked
;
and every coach
the Great Piazza of
hats, in the sun
least
out in their
Cardinals rattled to the church of the Poor
Fishermen in
flamited
in
of wearing a
in
Piome was put in
St. Peter's.
thousand people were there, at
Yet there was ample room. How many carfifty
riages were there, I don't
know
them
The
too,
and
to spare.
were densely crowded.
;
yet there was
room
for
great steps of the churcli
There were many of the Conta-
q2
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
228
from Albano (who deliglit in red) in that part of
the square and the mingling of bright colours in the
dini,
;
crowd, was beautiful.
Below the
steps, the troops
were
In the magnificent proportions of the place,
like a bed of flowers.
looked
Sulky Romans, lively
they
ranged.
peasants from the neighbouring comitry, groups of
grims from distant parts of
many
insects
Italy, sight-seeing foreigners
made a murmur
of all nations,
in the clear
and high above them
;
bubbling, and
maldng
pil-
all,
like so
air,
plashing and
rainbow colours in the light, the
two delicious fountains welled and tumbled bountifully.
A kind of bright carpet was hung over the front of
the balcony; and the sides of the great
bedecked
with
crimson
drapery.
An
window were
awning
stretched too, over the top, to screen the old
man from
As noon approached,
the hot rays of the smi.
were turned up to this window.
was seen approaching to the
was
all
eyes
In due time, the chair
with the gigantic
fans of peacock's feathers, close behind. The doll within
is very
it
(for the balcony
high) then rose up, and
stretched out
its
front,
tiny arms, while all the male specta-
tors in the square uncovered,
and some, but not by any
means the greater part, kneeled down.
The guns upon
the ramparts of the Castle of St. Angelo proclaimed,
next moment, that the benediction was given drums
beat; trumpets sounded; arms clashed; and the great
;
mass below, suddenly breaking into smaller heaps, and
scattering her^ and there in rills, was stirred like partycoloured sand.
What
a bright noon
it
was, as
we rode away
!
The
ROME.
*2'29
There was a blush
Tiber was no longer yellow, but blue.
on the old bridges, that made them fresh and hale again.
The Pantheon, with its majestic front, all seamed and
furrowed like an old
face,
had summer
Every squalid and desolate Hut
tered walls.
its bat-
upon
light
in the Eter-
nal City (bear witness every grim old palace, to the filth
and misery
of the plebeian neighbour that elbows
certainly as
Time has
on
laid its grip
its
it,
as
Patrician head!)
was fresh and new with some ray of the sun. The ver}'
prison in the crowded street, a whirl of carriages and
had some stray sense of the day, droppmg
through its chinks and crevices and dismal prisoners
who could not wind their faces round the barricading of
people,
:
the blocked-up windows, stretched out their hands, and
clinging to the rusty bars, turned them towards the
overflowing street: as
be shared
But,
in,
when
if it
were a cheerful
full
and could
that way.
the night came on, without a cloud to dim
the full moon, what a sight
Square
fire,
it
was
see the Great
to
once more, and the whole church, from the
cross to the ground, lighted with innumerable lanterns,
tracing out the architectm'e, and
all
winkmg and
round the colonnade of the piazza
sense of exultation, joy, delight,
bell struck half-past
it
was,
seven —on the
!
shining
And what
when
instant
—
a
the great
to
behold
one bright red mass of fire, soar gallantly from the top
of the cupola to the extremest summit of the cross, and
the
moment
it
leaped into
its
place,
become the
of a bm-sting out of countless lights, as
and blazing as
itself,
gi'eat,
signal
and
red,
from eveiy part of the gigantic
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
230
church; so that every cornice, capital, and smallest ornament of stone, expressed itself in fire and the black
:
groundwork of the enormous dome, seemed
transparent as an egg-shell
solid
!
A train of gunpowder, an electric
chain
—
to
grow
^nothing could
more suddenly and swiftly, than this second
illumination and when we had got away, and gone upon
be
fired,
;
a distant height, and looked towards
wards, there
calm night
wanting;
radiance
it still
like a
stood, shining
Jewel
!
and
Not a Ime
not an angle blunted;
lost.
it
its
proportions
not an atom of its
—Easter Monday—
there was a great
display of fireworks from
way
after-
glittering in the
of
The next night
We
two hours
the Castle of St. Angelo.
hired a room in an opposite house, and made our
to our places, in good time, tln*ough a dense mob
up the square in front, and all the
avenues leading to it; and so loading the bridge by
which the castle is approached, that it seemed ready to
of people choking
sink into the rapid
on
There are statues
Tiber below.
this bridge (execrable works) and,
vessels full of
among them,
bmning tow were placed
on the faces of the crowd, and not
:
great
glaring strangely
less strangely
on the
stone counterfeits above them.
The show began with
and then,
a tremendous
discharge
of
twenty minutes, or half an hour,
the whole castle was one incessant sheet of fire, and
cannon
;
for
labyrinth of blazing wheels of every colom', size, and
speed
:
while
rockets streamed into the sky,
ones or twos, or scores, but hundreds at a time.
not by
The
231
KOME.
concluding burst
into the
up
smoke
air,
—the Girandola—was
like the blowing
of the whole massive castle, without
or dust.
In half an hour afterwards, the immense concourse
had dispersed
the
;
moon was
looking calmly
down upon
her wTinkled image in the river and half a dozen men
and boys, with bits of lighted candle in their hands
moving here and there, in seai'ch of anything worth
;
:
havmg, that might have been dropped in the press
had the whole scene to themselves.
By way
of
contrast,
we rode out
into
old
:
ruined
Rome,
firing and booming, to take our
I had seen it by moonlight
leave of the Coliseum.
after all this
through a day without gomg
tremendous solitude, that night, is
before, (I never could get
back
to
past
all
it)
but
its
The
telling.
ghostly pillars in the
the triumphal arches of Old Emperors
;
Forum
;
those enormous
masses of ruin which were once their palaces
;
the
grass-grown mounds that mark the graves of ruined
temples the stones of the Via Sacra, smooth with the
;
tread of feet in ancient
Rome
;
even these were dimmed,
by the dark ghost of
and grim haunting the old
scene; despoiled by pillaging Popes and fighting Piinces,
but not laid wringing wild hands of weed, and grass,
in their transcendent melancholy,
its
bloody holidays, erect
;
;
and bramble
and lamenting to the night in every gap
and broken arch the shadow of its awful self, immovable
As we
day,
;
—
!
lay
down on the
on our way
to
Campagna, next
Florence, hearing the larks sing, we
grass of the
232
PICTUEES FKOM ITALY.
saw that a
little
wooden
cross
had been erected on the
spot where the poor Pilgrim Countess was murdered.
So, we piled some loose stones about it, as the beginning
mound
her memory, and wondered if we should
ever rest there again, and look back at Rome.
of a
to
A RAPID DIORAMA.
We
are
bound
for
Naples
!
And we
of the Eternal City at yonder
gate,
Giovanni Laterano, where the two
the notice of a depaiting
cross the threshold
the Gate of San
last objects that attract
and the two
\-isitor,
fii'st
objects
that attract the notice of an arriving one, are a proud
—good emblems
church and a decaying niin
Our way
lies
of
Rome.
over the Campagna, which looks more
solemn on a bright blue day
like this,
than beneath a
darker sky the great extent of iniin being plainer to the
eye and the sunshine thi'ough the arches of the broken
;
:
aqueducts, showuig other broken arches shining through
them
in the melancholy distance.
we have
"V^Taen
and look back from Albano,
tra-
dark midulating
smface lies below us like a stagnant lake, or like a broad
dull Lethe flowuig round the walls of Rome, and sepa-
versed
it,
rating
it
from
all
the
world
!
its
How
often have the
Legions, in triumphant march, gone glittering across
that pui'ple waste, so silent and unpeopled
now
!
How
often has the train of captives looked, with sinking hearts,
upon the distant
out, to hail the
city,
and beheld
retmn
its
population pouring
of their conqueror
sensuality and mm^der, have run mad
!
What
riot,
in the vast Palaces
234
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
now heaps
of brick
and shattered marble
What
!
glare
and roar of popular tumult, and wail of pestilence
and famine, have come sweeping over the wild plain
of
fires,
where nothing
is
now heard but
the wind, and where
the solitary lizards gambol unmolested in the sun
The train of Wine-carts going into Kome, each driven by
!
a shaggy peasant reclining beneath a
little
gipsy-fashioned
ended now, and we go toiling up
The next
into a higher country where there are trees.
day brings us on the Pontine Marshes, wearily flat and
canopy of sheepskin,
is
lonesome, and overgrown with brushwood, and swamped
with water, but with a fine road made across them,
shaded by a long, long, avenue.
pass a solitary guard-house
deserted,
;
Here and
we
here and there, a hovel,
Some herdsmen
and walled up.
there,
loiter
on the
banks of the stream beside the road, and sometimes
a flat-bottomed boat, towed by a man, comes rippling
A
horseman passes occasionally, carrying
a long gun cross-wise on the saddle before him, and
idly along
it.
attended by fierce dogs but there is nothing else astir
save the wind and the shadows, until we come in sight
;
of Terracina.
How
windows
and bright the sea, rolling below the
How
the Inn so famous in robber stories
blue
of,
!
picturesque the great
crags and
points
of rock over-
hanging to-morrow's narrow road, where galley-slaves
are worldng in the quarries above, and the sentinels
who guard them lounge on the sea shore
there
is
the
mm^mur
!
All night
of the sea beneath the stars; and,
in the morning, just at daybreak, the prospect suddenly
S35
FONDI.
—
by a miracle, reveals in the
far distance, across the Sea there
Naples with its
Within a quarter
Islands, and Vesuvius spouting fire.
becoming expanded, as
if
!
of an hour, the whole
is
gone as
—
were a vision in
if it
nothing but the sea and sky.
The Neapolitan Frontier crossed, after two hours'
travelling; and the hungriest of soldiers and custom-
the clouds, and there
is
with difiiculty appeased we enter, by a
Fondi.
gateless portal, into the first Neapolitan town
Take note of Fondi, in the name of all that is wretched
house
officers
;
—
and beggarly.
A filthy channel of mud and refuse, meanders down the
centre of the miserable street: fed by obscene rivulets
that trickle from the abject
houses.
door, a window, or a shutter
not a
;
or a pillar, in all Fondi, but
rotting away.
The
There
is
not a
a wall, a post,
roof,
decayed, and crazy, and
is
mth
\NTetched history of the town,
sieges and pillages by Barbarossa and the rest,
have
been acted last year. How the gaunt dogs
might
that sneak about the miserable street, come to be ahve,
all its
and undevom-ed by the people,
is
one of the enigmas
of the world.
A hollow-cheeked
beggars
;
but that
gather round.
nothing.
Look
at
them
Some, are too indolent to
stairs, or are too
to
's
and scowling people they are
as
!
All
they
come down
wisely mistrustful of the stairs, perhaps,
venture so stretch out their lean hands from upper win:
dows, and howl
;
others,
come
flocking about us, fighting
and jostling one another, and demanding, incessantly,
charity for the
love of
God, charity
for
the Blessed Virgin, charity for the love of
all
the love of
the Saints.
236
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
A
group of miserable children, almost naked, screaming
forth the same petition, discover that they can see them-
and begin
dance and make grimaces, that they may have the
selves reflected in the varnish of the carriage,
to
pleasm^e of seeing their antics repeated in this mirror.
A
crippled idiot, in the act of striking one of
drowns his clamorous demand
them who
for charity, observes his
angry comiterpart in the panel, stops short, and thrusting out his tongue, begins to wag his head and chatter.
The
shrill cry raised at this,
creatures wrapped in frowsy
awakens half a dozen wild
brown
cloaks,
on the church-steps with pots and pans for
scrambling up, approach, and beg defiantly.
Give
gry.
who
are lying
sale.
"
These,
am hunme Signor. I am
me
I
something. Listen to
Then, a ghastly old woman, fearful of being
comes hobbling down the street, stretching out
"
hungry
!
too late,
one hand, and scratching herself
all
the
way with the
and screammg, long before she can be heard,
I 11 go and pray for you directly,
Charity, charity
other,
"
!
beautiful lady, if
members
11 give
me
"
charity
!
Lastly, the
of a brotherhood for burying the dead
masked, and
skirts,
you
with
attired in
the
:
hideously
shabby black robes, white at the
splashes
of
many muddy
winters
:
escorted by a dirty priest, and a congenial Cross-Bearer:
come hmTying past. Surrounded by this motley conbad bright eyes glaring
course, we move out of Fondi
:
at us, out of the darkness of every crazy tenement, like
glistening fragments of
A
its filth
and putrefaction.
noble mountain-pass, with the
iTiins of
a fort on a
strong eminence, traditionally called the Fort of Fra
Diavolo
;
the old town of
Itri,
like a device in pastry,
237
NAPLES.
built up, almost perpendicularly,
by long steep
whose wines,
flights of steps
;
on a
hill,
beautiful
and approached
Mola
di Gaeta,
those of Albano, have degenerated
like
since the days of Horace, or his taste for wine was bad
which
is
extolled
Agata
;
not likely of one
it
so well
;
who enjoyed
it
so
another night upon the road at
a rest next day at Capua, which
is
:
much, and
St.
picturesque
but hardly so seductive to a traveller now, as the soldiers
of -Praetorian Rome were wont to find the ancient city
of that
name
a
;
flat
looped from tree to tree
hand
and
at last
its
!
—
its
among vines festooned and
and Mount Vesuvius close at
road
;
cone and summit whitened with snow;
smoke hanging over
it,
in the heavy atmosphere
So we go, rattling down-
of the day, like a dense cloud.
hill, into Naples.
A
funeral
is
coming up the
street,
towards us.
The
body, on an open bier, borne on a kind of palanquin,
covered with a gay cloth of crimson and
gold.
The
If there be
mourners, in white gowns and masks.
death abroad, life is well represented too, for all Naples
would seem
be out of doors, and tearing to and fro in
carriages. Some of these, the common Vetturino vehicles,
are drawn by three horses abreast, decked with smart
to
trappings and great abundance of brazen ornament, and
always going very
for the smallest of
fast.
Not that
them has
four in front, four or five
their loads are
Hght
;
at least six people inside,
more hanging on behind, and
two or three more, in a net or bag below the axle-tree,
where they lie half-suffocated with mud and dust. Exhibitors of
Punch, buffo singers with
guitai'S,
reciters of
238
PICTURES FROM ITALY,
row of cheap exhibitions with
clowns and showmen, drums, and trumpets, painted
cloths representing the wonders within, and
admirpoetry, reciters of stories, a
crowds assembled without,
ing
the
assist
and
whirl
Ragged lazzaroni lie asleep in doorways, archways, and kennels the gentry, gaily di'essed, ai^e dashing
up and down in carriages on the Chiaja, or walking in
bustle.
;
the Public Gardens
behind their
little
and quiet letter-writers, perched
desks and inkstands under the
;
San
Great Theatre of
Portico of the
in the
Carlo,
public street, are waiting for clients.
Here
a Galley-slave in chains, who wants a letter
written to a friend.
He approaches a clerkly-looldng
is
man, sitting under the comer
arch,
and makes his bargain.
He
has obtained permission of the Sentinel who guards
him who stands near, leaning against the wall and crack:
ing nuts.
The
letter- writer,
Galley-slave dictates in the ear of the
what he desires
to say;
and as he
can't
read writing, looks intently in his face, to read there
whether he sets down faithfully what he is
a time, the Galley-slave becomes discursive
told.
The
Secretary pauses and rubs his chin.
The
slave
is
After
—mcoherent.
voluble and energetic.
The
Secretary, at length,
catches the idea, and with the air of a
how
to
word
it,
sets it dov^ii
;
The
anytliing
more.
The
now and then, to
The Galley-slave is
Soldier stoically cracks his nuts.
more
Then
man who knows
stopping,
glance back at his text admiringly.
silent.
to say ?
is
Is there
inquires the letter- writer.
listen, friend of
Galley-slave
Galley-
mine.
No
He reads it through.
quite enchanted.
It
is
folded,
and
239
NAPLES.
The
addressed, and given to him, and he pays the fee.
in
his
and
takes
back
falls
chair,
indolently
Secretaiy
a book.
The
The
up an empty
Galley-slave gathers
a
throws away
Sentinel
handful of
sack.
nut-shells,
shoulders his musket, and away they go together.
do the beggars rap their chins constantly, with
their right hands, when you look at them ?
Everything
Why
is
done in pantomime in Naples, and that
tional sign for hunger.
another, yonder, lays the
back of his
left,
palm
and shakes the
of a donkey's ears
desperation.
A man who
—whereat
Two
is
is
the conven-
quarrelling with
hand on the
of his right
two thumbs —
expressive
his adversary is goaded to
people bargaining for
fish,
the buyer
empties an imaginary waistcoat pocket when he is told
the price, and walks away without a word having tho:
roughly conveyed to the seller that he considers it too
deal'.
Two people in carriages, meeting, one touches
his lips, twice or thiice, holds
up the
five fingers of his
and gives a horizontal cut in the air with the
palm. The other nods briskly, and goes his way. He has
been invited to a friendly dmner at half-past five o'clock,
right hand,
and
will certainly
come.
All over Italy, a peculiar shake of the right hand from
the wrist, ^^ith the fore-finger stretched out, expresses a
negative
—the only negative beggars
will ever understand.
But, in Naples, those five fingers are a copious language.
All this, and every other kind of out-door life and stir,
and maccaroni- eating at Sunset, and flower-sellhig all day
long, and begging and stealing ever}nvhere and at all
hours, you see
upon the bright
sea-shore,
where the waves
240
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
of the
Bay sparkle merrily. But, lovers and hunters
of the picturesque, let us not
keep too studiously out of
view, the miserable depravity, degradation, and wretchedness, with
which
associated
It
!
this
is
gay Neapolitan
life is
inseparably
not well to find Saint Giles's so repul-
and the Porta Capuana so attractive. A
pair of
naked legs and a ragged red scarf, do not make all the
sive,
difference between
what
is
interesting
and what
coaree
is
and odious ? Painting and poetising for ever, if
you will,
the beauties of this most beautiful and
lovely spot of
let
as
our duty, try to associate a new picearth,
us,
some
tui'esque with
and
capabilities
;
faint recognition of
more
hopeful, I believe,
man's destiny
among
the ice
and snow of the North Pole, than in the sun and bloom
of Naples.
rius
—
—once
made
odious by the deified beast Tibe-
Ischia, Procida,
and the thousand distant beauties
Capri
of the Bay, lie in the blue sea
yonder, changing in the
mist and sunshine twenty times a-day: now close at
The fairest countiy in
hand, now far off, now unseen.
the world, is spread about us. Whether we turn towards
the Miseno shore of the splendid watery amphitheatre, and
go by the Grotto of Posilipo to the Grotto del Cane and
away to Baige or take the other way, towards Vesuvius and
:
Sorrento,
named
it is
one succession of delights.
direction, where, over doors
countless
little
In the
last-
and archways, there are
images of San Gennaro, with
liis
Canute's
hand stretched out, to check the fmy of the Burning Momitain, we are carried pleasantly, by a railroad on the beautiful
Sea Beach, past the town of Torre del Greco,
built
241
NAPLES.
an einipupon the ashes of the former towu destroyed by
and
hundred
tion of Vesuvius, within a
past the
years
;
and maccaroni manufactories
flat-roofed houses, gi'anaries,
to Castel-a-Mare, with its ruined castle,
now
;
inhabited
of rocks.
by fishermen, standing in the sea upon a heap
Here, the railroad terminates but, hence we may ride on,
and beauby an unbroken succession of enchanting bays,
;
tiful scenery,
sloping from the highest
summit
Angelo, the highest neighbouring mountain,
water's edge
—among vineyards,
olive
trees,
of Saint
do^\^l to
the
gardens of
oranges and lemons, orchards, heaped-up rocks, green
and by the bases of snow-covered
gorges in the hills
—
and through small towns with handsome, darkand past delicious summer
haired women at the doors
heights,
villas
—
—
the Poet
SoiTento, where
to
Tasso drew his
him.
inspiration from the beauty surrounding
we may climb the
looking down among
heights above
Returning,
Castel-a-Mare, and
the boughs and leaves, see the crisp
water glistening in the sun and clusters of white houses
in distant Naples, dwindling, in the great extent of pro;
The coming back
by the
beach again, at sunset: with the glomng sea on one side,
and the darkening mountain, with its smoke and flame,
spect,
down
to dice.
upon the other
the day.
:
is
to the city,
a sublime conclusion to the glory of
•
That church by the Porta Capuana
fishermarket in the dirtiest
quarter
to the people,
and
is
the old
of dirty Naples
—
where the revolt of Massaniello began
for having been the scene of one of his
mations
—near
is
memorable
earliest procla-
for
particularly remarkable
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
242
nothing
else,
in a glass case,
number
waxen and bejewelled Saint
with two odd hands or the enormous
unless
it
be
its
;
of beggars
who
constantly rapping their
are
chins there, like a battery of castanets.
the
beautiful door,
The
cathedral with
and the columns of African and
Eg}^tian granite that once ornamented the temple of
blood of San GenApollo, contains the famous sacred
preserved in two phials in a
silver tabernacle, and miraculously hquefies three times
naro or Januarius
which
:
is
At
a year, to the great admiration of the people.
the same moment, the stone (distant some miles) where
It
the Saint suffered martyrdom, becomes faintly red.
is said that the officiating priests turn faintly red also,
sometimes, when these miracles occur.
The
men who
old, old
live in hovels at the entrance
of these ancient catacombs, and who, in their age
seem waiting here,
are members of a curious body,
who are the official attendants
infirmity,
to
and
be buried themselves,
called the Royal Hospital,
at funerals.
Two
of these
old spectres totter away, with lighted tapers, to shew the
as unconcerned as if they were
caverns of death
—
immortal.
They were used
as burying-places for three
hundred years and, in one part, is a large pit full of
skulls and bones, said to be the sad remains of a great
;
In the
mortality occasioned by a plague.
is
nothing but dust. They consist,
there
rest,
chiefly, of great
wide
and labyrmths, hewn out of the rock. At the
end of some of these long passages, are unexpected
corridors
glimpses
of the
It looks as ghastly
dayhght,
and
shining
as strange
:
down from
among the
above.
torches.
243
POMPEII.
and the
and the dark vaults: as
dust,
if it, too,
were
dead and buried.
hill
present burial-place lies out yonder, on a
The old Campo
between the city and Vesuvius.
The
Santo with
three hundred and sixty-five pits,
its
used for those
who
die in hospitals,
and
prisons,
is
only
and are
unclaimed by their friends. The graceful new cemetery,
at no great distance from it, though yet unfinished, has
already
many
graves
among
its
shnibs and flowers, and
It might be reasonably objected elseairy colonnades.
where, that some of the tombs are meretricious and too
feinciful
;
but the general brightness seems to justify
it
and Mount Vesuvius, separated from them by a
lovely slope of ground, exalts and saddens the scene.
If it be solemn to behold from this new City of the
here
;
dark smoke hanging in the clear sky,
more awful and impressive is it, viewed from
Dead, with
how much
its
the ghostly ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii
Stand at the bottom of the great market-place of
!
Pompeii, and look up the silent streets, through the
ruined temples of Jupiter and Isis, over the broken
houses with their inmost sanctuaries open to the day,
away to Mount Vesuvius, bright and snowy in the
lose all count of time, and heed
peaceful distance ; and
in
the
of other things,
strange and melancholy sensation
of
seemg the Destroyed and the Destroyer making
this
quiet picture in the sun. Then, ramble on, and see, at every
turn, the little famihar tokens of human habitation and
eveiy-day pursuits ; the chafing of the bucket-rope in the
the track of carriagestone rim of the exhausted well
;
r2
PICnjRES FEOM ITALY.
Q44
wheels in the pavement of the street
the marks of
vessels
on
the
of
the
stone
comiter
drinkingwineshop ;
the Amphorse in private cellars, stored away so in any
;
hundred vears
and undistiu-bed
ago,
to this
hour
—
all
rendering the solitude and deadly lonesomeness of the
place, ten thousand times more solemn, than if the
volcano, in
and sunk
its fuiy,
it
had swept the
city
from the earth,
in the bottom of the sea.
was shaken by the earthquake which preceded
the eruption, workmen were employed in shaping out, in
After
stone,
it
new ornaments
for
Here
that had suffered.
city gate, as if they would
In the
of
cellar
temples and other buildings
outside the
their work,
lies
retmn to-morrow.
Diomedes
where certain
house,
were found huddled together, close to the
door, the impression of their bodies on the ashes,
skeletons
hardened with the ashes, and became stamped and fixed
had shrunk,
there, after they
So,
in
floating
the
on the stream when
its
it
mimic features in
stamped
and now,
stone
inside, to
theatre of Herculaneum,
;
it
it
a
scanty bones.
comic mask,
was hot and
as
it
liquid,
hardened into
turns upon the stranger the fantastic
turned upon the audiences in that same Theatre,
two thousand years ago.
look
it
up and down the streets,
and in and out of the houses, and traversing the secret
chambers of the temples of a religion that has vanished
Next
to the
wonder
of going
from the earth, and finding so many fresh traces of
remote antiquity as if the coui'se of Time had been
:
stopped after this desolation,
and there had been no
HERCULANEUM.
245
nights and days, months, years, and centuries, since
:
nothing is more impressive and terrible than the many
evidences of the searching nature of the ashes, as
bespeaking their irresistible power, and the impossibility
of escaping them.
In the wine-cellai*s, they forced
their
into the earthen vessels
way
and choking them,
displacing the wine
:
In the tombs,
to the brim, with dust.
they forced the ashes of the dead from the funeral urns,
and rained new ruin even
eyes,
and skulls of
was of a
its
different
the skeletons, were stuffed with
In Herculaneum, where the flood
this tenible hail.
sea.
all
The mouths, and
into them.
and a heavier kind,
it
rolled in, like a
Imagine a deluge of water turned to marble, at
"
and that is what is called " the lava here.
height
—
Some workmen were
brink of which we now
came on some
digging the gloomy well on the
stand, looking down,
when they
of the stone benches of the Theatre
—
those steps (for such they seem) at the bottom of the
excavation
—and found the
Presently going down,
buried city of Herculaneum.
we
with lighted torches,
are
perplexed by great walls of monstrous thickness, rising
up between the
obtruding
their
benches,
shapeless
shutting
forms
in
confusing the whole plan, and making
out
the
absurd
it
stage,
places,
a disordered
"We cannot, at first, believe, or picture to
oui'selves, that This came rolling in, and drowned the
dream.
city;
the
and that
axe, like
all
that
solid
is
not here, has been cut away, by
stone.
But
this
perceived
undei-stood, the hoiTor and oppression of
are indescribable.
its
and
presence
PICTUKES FKOM ITALY.
246
Many
of the paintings on the walls in the roofless
chambers of both
museum
removed
to
the
plain, as if they
had
or carefully
cities,
at Naples, are as fresh
and
been executed yesterday. Here, are subjects of still life,
as provisions, dead game, bottles, glasses, and the like
;
familiar classical stories, or m}i:hological fables, always
forcibly
and plainly told
conceits of cupids, quarrelling,
;
sporting, working at trades
;
theatrical rehearsals
reading their productions to their friends
chalked upon the walls
;
;
everything to people and
restore the ancient cities, in the fancy of their
wondering
Furniture, too, you see, of eveiy kind
tables, couches; vessels for eating, drinking,
workmen's
tools,
poets
inscriptions
;
political squibs, advertisements,
rough drawings by schoolboys
visitor.
;
—lamps,
and cooking;
surgical instruments, tickets for
the
money, personal ornaments, bunches of
keys found clenched in the grasp of skeletons, helmets
little
household bells, yet
of guards and warriors
theatre, pieces oi
;
musical with their old domestic tones.
The
least
among
these objects, lends
and invest
aid to swell
its
with a perfect
fascination. The looking, from either ruined city, into the
neighbouring grounds overgrown with beautiful vines and
the
interest of Vesuvius,
and remembering
house, temple on temple, building
luxuriant trees
;
street after street, are still lyuig
all
it
that
house
after building,
upon
and
underneath the roots of
the quiet cultivation, waiting to be turned up to the
light of day
;
is
something so wonderful, so
full of
that
tery, so captivating to the imagination,
think
it
would be paramount, and yield
to
mysone would
nothing
else.
247
P^STUM.
To nothing
but Vesuvius
From
of the scene.
worked,
we
where
smoke
us, as
its
but the mountain
;
the genius
every indication of the ruin
look, again, with
is
is
up
rising
we thread the ruined
it
has
an absorbing interest
into the sky.
streets
:
It
is
to
beyond
above us, as we stand
upon the ruined walls we follow it through every yistSL
of broken columns, as we wander through the empty
com'tyards of the houses and through the garlandings
;
;
and
interlacings of every
Psestum yonder,
wanton
vine.
Tm'ning away
to
to see the awful structm'es built, the least
aged of them, hundreds of years before the birth of
Christ, and standing yet, erect in lonely majesty, upon
we watch Vesuvius as
the wild, malaria-blighted plain
—
it
disappears from the prospect, and watch for
on our
return, with the same
doom and
destiny of
it
thrill of interest
all this beautiful
:
again,
as the
countiy, biding
its
terrible time.
It is very
when we
shade
:
warm
in the sun, on this early spring-day,
retm'n from Psestum, but very cold in
insomuch, that although
the
we may lunch, pleasantly,
at noon, in the open air, by the gate of Pompeii, the
neighbouring rivulet supplies thick ice for oui" wine
But, the smi is shining brightly there is not a cloud or
speck of vapour in the whole blue sky, looldng down
;
upon the bay
to-night.
of Naples
No
;
and the moon
will
be at the
matter that the snow and ice
lie
full
thick
upon the summit of Vesuvius, or that we have been on
day at Pompeii, or that croakers maintain that
strangers should not be on the mountain by night, in
foot all
such an unusual season.
Let us take advantage
of the
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
248
fine
weather
little
;
make the
best of our
village at the foot of the
selves, as well as
Guide's house
can,
mountain
to Eesina, the
;
on so short a
prepare ournotice, at the
ascend at once, and have sunset
moonlight at the top,
way up,
down in
At
;
we
way
and midnight
to
half-
come
!
four o'clock in the afternoon, there
uproar in the
is
a terrible
stable-yard of Signior Salvatore the
little
recognised head-guide with the gold band round his cap
and
thirty
who
mider-guides
are
all
screaming at once, are preparing half a
and some stout
ponies, three litters,
;
and
scuffling
dozen saddled
staves, for the jour-
Every one of the thirty, quarrels with the other
twenty-nine, and frightens the six ponies and as much of
ney.
;
the village as can possibly squeeze itself into the
stable-yard, participates in the tumult,
on by the
would
starts.
and gets trodden
cattle.
much
After
little
violent skirmishing,
and more noise than
storming of Naples, the procession
The head guide, who is liberally paid for all the
suffice for the
attendants, rides a
little
in advance of the party
;
the
other thirty guides proceed on foot.
with the
litters that are to
Eight go forward
be used by and by and the
;
remaining two-and-twenty beg.
We
ascend, gradually, by stony lanes like rough broad
flights of stairs, for
some time.
At
length,
we leave
and the vineyards on either side of them, and
emerge upon a bleak bare region where the lava lies
these,
confusedly, in enormous rusty masses
:
as if the earth
had been ploughed up by burning thunderbolts.
And
249
VESUVIUS.
now, we halt to see the sun
The change
set.
that falls
upon the dreary region, and on the whole mountain, as
and the
its red light fades, and the night comes on
unutterable solemnity and dreariness that reign around,
—
who
that has witnessed
It
is
dark,
when
the broken ground,
can ever forget
it,
after winding, for
we
!
some time, over
arrive at the foot of the cone
:
extremely steep, and seems to rise, almost perThe
pendicularly, from the spot where we dismount.
which
is
is
only light
reflected
from the snow, deep, hard, and
white, with which the cone
is
tensely cold, and the air
piercing.
is
covered.
It
is
The
now
in-
thirty-one
have brought no torches, knowing that the moon will
we reach the
rise before
devoted
the
to
two
Two
top.
ladies
the
;
of the litters are
third,
to
a
rather
heavy gentleman from Naples, whose hospitality and
good-nature have attached him to the expedition, and
determined him to assist in doing the honours of the
The rather heavy gentleman is carried by
momitain.
men
fifteen
who
walk,
;
We
each of the ladies by half a dozen.
the best use of our staves and so the
make
;
—
whole party begin to labour upward over the snow, as
if they were toiling to the summit of an antediluvian
Twelfth-cake.
We
are a long time toiling
looks oddly about
up
;
him when one
and the head guide
of the
company
—
not an Italian, though an habitue of the mountain for
many years whom we will call, for our present pursuggests that, as it is
pose, Mr. Pickle of Portici
:
—
freezing hard, and the usual footing of ashes
by
the
snow and
ice,
it
will
sm'ely be
is
covered
difficult
to
250
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
But the
descend.
sight of the
litters
above, tilting
up, and down, and jerking from this side to that, as the
bearers continually slip and stumble, diverts our attention
more
:
especially as the whole length of the rather
moment, presented to us
alarmingly foreshortened, with his head downwards.
heavy gentleman
The
is,
rising of the
at that
moon soon
afterwards, revives the
flagging spirits of the Bearers.
Stimulating each other
with their usual watchword, " Courage friend
It is to
I
eat Maccaroni
they press on, gallantly, for the summit.
tinging the top of the snow above us, with a
From
band of
"
!
and poming it in a stream through the
valley below, while we have been ascending in the dark,
the moon soon lights the whole white mountain side, and
light,
the broad sea
tance,
down below, and
and every
whole prospect
is
tiny Naples in the dis-
upon the
Fire
an exhausted
gigantic cinders,
mendous
crater
waterfall, bmiit up
from
;
from
some
tre-
from every chink and
smoke
another conical-shaped
crater, rising abruptly
region of
formed of great masses of
blocks of stone from
like
crevice of which, hot, sulphurous
while,
when we come
in this lovely state,
—the
platform on the mountain-top
—
The
village in the country round.
is
hill,
pouring out:
the present
this platform at the end,
great sheets of tire are streaming forth
reddening the
it
vrith
with
flame, blackening
smoke, and spottmg
night
it with red-hot stones and cinders, that fly
up into the
air like feathers,
and
fall
down
:
like lead.
What
words
can paint the gloom and grandeur of this scene
The broken ground; the smoke; the sense of suffoca!
tion
from the sulphm'
;
the fear of falling
down through
25]
PORTICI,
the crevices in the ya-wning ground
now and
(for
then, for somebody
who
missing in the dark
obscui'es the moon); the
now
the dense smoke
intolerable noise of the thirty
make
the mountain;
it
we
the same time, that
ladies through
it,
to the foot of the
to
it
on
the
the stopping, eveiy
;
;
is
and the
hoai'se roaring of
a scene of such confusion, at
But, dragging the
reel again.
across another exhausted crater
and
we approach close
and then sit down among
present Volcano,
windy
side,
and look up in silence faintly
estimating the action that is going on within, from its
being full a hundred feet higher, at this minute, than it
the hot ashes at
was
its foot,
;
weeks ago.
There is something in the
an
six
off,
and
nearer to
irresistible desire to get
long, without starting
fire
roar, that generates
it.
We cannot rest
two of us, on om* hands and
knees, accompanied by the head guide, to
brim of the flaming
crater,
and try
chmb
call
to
Mean-
to look in.
while, the thirty yell, as with one voice, that
dangerous proceeding, and
to the
us to
it
is
come back
a
;
frightening the rest of the party out of their wits.
What
with their noise, and what
\rith
the trembling
of the thin crust of gi'ound, that seems about to open
underneath om* feet and plimge us in the binning
gulf below (which is the real danger, if there be any)
;
and what with the flashing of the fire in our faces,
and the shower of red-hot ashes that is raining down,
and the choking smoke and sulphur we may well feel
;
giddy and
irrational, like
trive to climb
moment,
up
drunken men.
to the brim,
But, we con-
and look
into the Hell of boiling fire below.
do^^1l, for
a
Then, we
252
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
three
all
come
rolling
down
;
scorched, and hot, and giddy
blackened, and singed, and
:
and each with his dress
alight in half a dozen places.
You have
read, a thousand times, that the usual
of descending,
is,
way
down
the
ashes
formwhich,
by sliding
:
ing a gradually increasing ledge below the feet, prevent
too rapid a descent. But, when we have crossed the two
exhausted craters on our way back, and are come to this
precipitous place, there is (as Mr. Pickle has foretold)
no vestige of ashes
smooth sheet of ice.
In
to
the whole being a
be seen;
dilemma, ten or a dozen of the guides cauof whom
tiously join hands, and make a chain of men
this
;
the foremost beat, as well as they can, a rough track
with their
sticks,
The way being
down which we prepare
fearfully steep,
even of the thirty: being able
to follow.
and none of the party
:
keep their feet for
six paces together, the ladies are taken out of their
litters, and placed, each between two careful persons
to
;
while others of the thirty hold by their sldrts, to prevent
their falling forward
a necessary precaution, tend-
—
ing to the immediate and hopeless dilapidation of their
The rather heavy gentleman is adjured to
apparel.
leave his litter too, and be escorted in a similar manner;
but he resolves to be brought down as he was brought
up, on the principle that his fifteen bearers are not
likely to
tumble
trusting to his
In
foot,
all at once,
own
this order,
and that he
is
safer so, than
legs.
we begin the descent: sometimes on
sometimes shuffling on the ice always proceeding
quietly and slowly, than on our upward way
much more
:
:
VESUVIUS.
25 3
and constantly alarmed by the falling among us of somebody from behind, who endangers the footing of the
whole
ankles.
and clings pertinaciously
party,
It
impossible for the litter to
is
as the track has to be
too,
overhead — with
behind us,
to anybody's
be in advance,
made; and its appearance
some one or other of the
bearers always down, and the rather heavy gentleman
—
with his legs always in the air is very threatening and
have gone on thus, a very little way,
frightful.
painfully and anxiously, but quite merrily, and regard-
We
ing
it
as a great success
—and
have
all
fallen several
been stopped, somehow or other,
when Mr. Pickle, of Portici,
sliding away
in the act of remarking on these uncommon circumtimes,
as
and have
all
—
we were
stances as quite beyond his experience, stumbles,
falls,
disengages himself, with quick presence of mind, from
those about him, plunges away head foremost, and rolls,
down the whole
over and over,
Sickening as
it is
to look,
surface of the cone
and be so powerless
—
!
to help
him, I see him there, in the moonlight I have had
such a dream often slamming over the white ice, like
—
a cannon-ball.
from behmd
;
Almost at the same moment, there is a cry
and a man who has carried a light basket
of spare cloaks on his head, comes
rolling past, at the
same
frightful speed, closely followed
by a boy.
At
this
climax of the chapter of accidents, the remaining
eightand-twenty vociferate to that degi'ee, that a pack of
wolves would be music to them
!
Giddy, and bloody, and a mere bundle of rags, is
Pickle of Portici when we reach the place where we
dismounted, and where the horses are waitmg; but, thank
PICTUBES FROM ITALY.
254
God, sound in limb
And never are we likely to be
man alive and on his feet, than to
!
more glad to see a
see him now
making light of it too, though sorely
The boy is brought into
bruised and in great pain.
the Hermitage on the Mountain, while we are at supper,
—
with his head tied up
hours afterwards.
and the man
;
He
heard
is
snow having,
covered all the larger blocks of rock and
rendered them harmless.
has broken no bones;
some
of,
and stunned, but
too is bruised
the
fortunately,
stone,
and
After a cheerful meal, and a good rest before a blazing
our descent
fire, we again take horse, and continue
Salvatore's
to
house
—very
by reason of our
slowly,
bruised friend being hardly able to keep the saddle, or
endure the pain of motion.
night,
it
is
so late at
or early in the morning, all the people of the
are waiting about
village
we
Though
the
little
stable-yard
arrive, and looldng up the road by which
Our appearance
expected.
is
when
we
are
hailed with a great clamour
and a general sensation
modesty we are somewhat at a loss
for
of tongues,
which in our
to account, until,
turning mto the yard, we- find that one of a party of
French gentlemen t^o were on the mountain at the
same time
is lying
;
stable,
"vsith
a
and suffering great
and that we were confidently supposed to have
broken limb
torture
on some straw in the
:
looking like Death,
encountered some worse accident.
So " well returned, and Heaven be praised
cheerful Vetturino,
way from
"
!
who has borne us company
Pisa, says, with
all his
his ready horses, into sleeping
heart
Naples
!
!
as the
all
the
And away with
255
NAPLES.
It wakes again to Policinelli and pickpockets, buffo
singers and beggars, rags, puppets, flowers, brightness,
dirt,
suit
and universal degradation; airing its Harlequin
in the sun-shine, next day and every day
singing,
;
starving, dancing, gaming,
all
on the sea-shore
labour to the burning mountain, which
and leaving
;
is
ever at
its
work.
Our English
would be very pathetic on the
subject of the national taste, if they could hear an Italian
dilettanti
opera half as badly sung in England as we may hear
the Foscari performed, to-night, in the splendid theatre
of
San
But, for astonishing tiiith and spirit in
Carlo.
seizing and embodying the
little San Carlino Theatre
real life about
—the
it,
the shabby
ricketty house one story
down among the
drums and trumpets, and the tumblers, and the lady
high, with a staring picture outside
—
:
without a rival anywhere.
one extraordinary feature in the real life of
Naples, at which we may take a glance before we go
conjuror
There
is
is
—
the Lotteries.
They prevail
in
most parts of
obvious, in their effects
Italy,
but are particularly
and influences, here.
They
are
drawn every Saturday. They bring an immense revenue
to the Government; and diffuse a taste for
gambling
among
the poorest of the poor, which
able to the
coffers of the state,
dred, inclusive
Those are the
of
very comfort-
and veiy ruinous
to
The lowest stake is one grain less than a
One hundred numbers from one to a hun-
themselves.
farthing.
is
them come
—
;
—
are put into a box.
prizes.
I
Five are drawn.
buy three numbers.
up, I win a small prize.
If one
If two,
some
256
PICTURES FEOM ITALY.
hundreds of times
my stake.
my stake.
can upon my
If three, three thousand
five
hundred times
I stake (or play as they
call
what I
numbers, and buy what
it)
numbers
The amount
I please.
lottery office,
where
stated on the ticket
the ticket; and
I purchase
lottery office keeps a printed book,
Every
and circumstance
For
it.
is
an Uni-
w^here every possible
provided
accident
and has a number
for,
instance, let us stake two carlini
On
sevenpence.
it is
itself.
versal Lottery Diviner,
against
I play, I pay at the
our way to the lottery
a black man.
"
The Diviner."
gravely,
against
When we
It
is
—about
office,
get there,
we run
we
say
handed over the counter,
We look at black man.
Give us that." We look at running
"
the street.
Give us that." We
as a serious matter of business.
*'
Such a number.
against a person in
look at the
name
"
of the street itself.
Give us that."
Now, we have our three numbers.
If the roof of the theatre of
San Carlo were
to fall
in,
many people would play upon the numbers
attached to such an accident in the Diviner, that the
so
Government
would
soon close
those
decline to run the risk of losmg any
This often happens.
fire in
run on
the
King
fire, and
s
Not long
ago,
numbers, and
more upon them.
when
there was a
Palace, there was such a desperate
and palace, that further stakes
on the numbers attached to those words in the Golden
Book were
long,
forbidden.
Every accident or
event, is sup-
posed, by the ignorant populace, to be a revelation to
the beholder, or party concerned, in connection with the
lottery.
Certain people
who have a
talent for di^eaming
NAPLES.
much sought
fortunately, are
who
priests
257
after
;
and there are some
are constantly favoured with visions of the
lucky numbers.
I heard of a horse
dashing him
running away with a man, and
down, dead, at the comer of a
street.
Pursuing the horse with mcredible speed, was another
man, who ran so fast, that he came up, immediately
He threw himself upon his knees
after the accident.
beside the unfortmiate rider, and clasped his hand with
an expression of the wildest grief. " If you have life,"
"
one word to me
If
he
have one
you
speak
gasp
of breath left, mention yom' age for Heaven's sake, that
I may play that number in the lottery."
said,
It
!
four oVlock in the afternoon,
is
see our lottery drawn.
The ceremony
and we may go
takes place, every
Saturday, in the Tribunale, or Court of Justice
smgular,
earthy- smelling room, or galler}^
as an old cellar, and as
is
damp
to
as
as a dungeon.
—
tliis
mouldy
At the
a platform, with a large horse-shoe table
upper end,
upon it ; and a President and Council sitting round all
Judges of the Law. The man on the little stool behind
the President,
—
is
the Capo Lazzarone, a kind of tribune
of the people, appointed on their behalf to see that all
is
attended by a few personal friends. A
ragged, swarthy, fellow he is with long matted haii' hanging down all over his face and covered, from head to foot,
fairly
conducted
:
:
:
mth most
the room,
people
:
dirt.
All the body of
with the commonest
of the Neapolitan
unquestionably genuine
is filled
and between them and the platform, guarding the
steps leading to the latter,
is
s
a small body of soldiers.
PICTUEES FKOM ITALY.
258
There
is
some delay in the
arrival of the necessary
during which, the box, in which the
numbers are being placed, is a source of the deepest
number
of judges
When
interest.
;
the box
the numbers out of
it,
He
the boy
is full,
who
becomes the prominent
is
to
draw
featiure of
already dressed for his part, in
a tight brown Holland-coat, with only one (the left) sleeve
to it, which leaves his right arm bared to the shoulder,
the proceeduigs.
is
ready for plunging down into the mysterious chest.
During the hush and whisper that pervade the room,
all eyes are turned on this young minister of fortune.
begm
People
lottery
to inquire his age,
with a view to the next
and the nimiber of his brothers and
;
the age of his father and mother
any moles or pimples upon him
;
;
sisters
;
and
and whether he has
and where, and how
judge but one (a little
old man, universally dreaded as possessing the Evil Eye)
makes a slight diversion, and would occasion a greater
many
;
when the
immediately deposed, as a soin-ce of
by the officiating priest, who advances gravely to
one, but that he
interest,
arrival of the last
is
by a very dirty little boy, carrj^ing his
sacred vestments, and a pot of Holy Water.
Here is the last judge come at last, and now he takes
his place, followed
his place at the horse-shoe table
There
is
a
murmur
!
of irrepressible agitation.
In the
the priest puts his head into the sacred vestThen
ments, and pulls the same over his shoulders.
midst of
it,
he says a silent prayer
pot of
;
and, dipping a
bmsh
into the
over the box and over
Holy Water, sprinldes it
the boy, and gives them a double-barrelled
blessing.
259
NAPLES.
which the box and the boy are both hoisted on the
The boy remaining on the table, the
table to receive.
box
is
now
carried round the front
by an attendant, who holds
all
is
the time
;
seeming
of the
platform,
up and shakes
it
it lustily
" There
to say, like the conjuror,
no deception, ladies and gentlemen
;
keep your eyes
"
you please
upon me,
At last, the box is set before the boy and the boy,
first holding up his naked arm and open hand, dives
if
!
;
down
into the hole
(it
is
which
pulls out a number,
made
is
like
a ballot-box) and
rolled up, romid something
This he hands to the Judge next
him, who unrolls a little bit, and hands it to the PresiThe President mirolls it,
dent, next to whom he sits,
hard, like a bonbon.
very
slowly.
The Capo Lazzarone
The President
slioulder.
cries
it
out, in a
shrill
over his
up, unrolled, to the
The Capo Lazzarone,
Capo Lazzarone.
eagerly,
holds
leans
looking at
loud voice,
"
it
Sessanta-
"
the two upon liis fingers,
due
(sixty-two), expressing
Alas the Capo Lazzarone himself
as he calls it out.
!
!
has not staked on sLxty-two.
His
face is very long,
and
his eyes roll wildly.
As
is
it
happens
to
be a favourite number, however,
pretty well received, which
They
ai'e
all
drawn
mth
is
it
not always the case.
the same ceremony, omitting
One blessmg is enough for the whole
The only new incident in the
multiplication-table.
the blessing.
of the
proceedings, is the gradually deepening intensity
change iu the Capo Lazzarone, who has, evidently, spe-
culated to the very utmost extent of his
s2
means
;
and who,
PICTUEES FEOM ITALY.
260
when he
and
sees the last number,
and
one of his, clasps his hands,
ceiling before
proclaimmg
it,
finds that it is not
raises his eyes to the
as though remonstrating,
agony, with his patron saint, for ha\dng
committed so gross a breach of confidence. I hope the
a secret
in
Capo Lazzarone may not desert him for some other
member of the Calendar, but he seems to threaten it.
Where
the winners
may
certainly are not present
filling
;
be,
nobody knows.
They look
one with pity for the poor people.
when we stand
They
the general disappointment
:
them, in their passage
through the court yard down below as miserable as the
prisoners in the jail (it forms a part of the building),
aside, observing
:
who
bars
still
down upon them, from between
are peeping
;
as the fragments of
or,
danglmg
old times,
human heads which
in chains outside, in
when
their
memory
their owners were strung
are
of the good
up
there, for
the popular edification.
Away from Naples
in a glorious sunrise, by the road
Capua, and then on a three days' journey along byeroads, tliat we may see, on the way, the monaster}^ of
to
Monte
Cassino, which
lofty hill
above the
is
little
perched on the steep and
town of San Germane, and
on a misty morning in the clouds.
So much the better, for the deep somiding of
is
lost
we go winding
which, as
convent,
nothing
is
is
up,
its bell,
on mules, towards the
heard mysteriously in the still air, while
seen but the grey mist, moving solemnly
and
slowly, like a funeral procession.
the
shadowy
pile
of
building
Behold, at length,
us
its
close before
:
MONTE CASSINO.
261
grey walls and towers dimly seen, though so near and
and the raw vapour roUmg through its cloisters
so vast
:
heavily.
There are two black shadows walkmg
to
and
fro
in
the quadrangle, near the statues of the Patron Saint
and his
sister
and hopping on behind them, in and out
is a raven, croaldng in answer to the
;
of the old arches,
bell,
like
and uttering, at intervals, the pm'est Tuscan. How
There never was a sly and
a Jesuit he looks
!
home
steal tliy fellow so at
as
is
at the refectory door, with his
this raven, standing
head on one
side,
now
and pre-
tending to glance another way, while he is scrutinizing
the visiters keenly, and listening with fixed attention.
What
monk
a dull-headed
parison
the porter becomes in com-
!
"He
speaks like us!" says the porter: "quite as
Quite as plainly. Porter.
Nothing could be
plainly."
more expressive than
his reception of the peasants
are entering the gate with baskets and burdens.
is
a
him
should qualify
of Ravens.
"
he
and a chuckle
roll in his eye,
says.
people.
How
He
We
Glad
was
in his throat,
who
There
which
be chosen Superior of an Order
Imows all about it. "It's all right,"
to
Imow what we know.
to see
Come
along, good
"
you
!
this extraordinaiy structure ever built in
such a situation, where the labom' of conveying the
stone, and iron, and marble, so great a height must have
been prodigious^
the peasants.
"Caw!"
How, being
says the raven, welcoming
despoiled by plunder,
fire,
and earthquake, has it risen from its ruins, and been
again made what we now see it, with its church so
262
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
sumptuous and magnificent? "Caw!" says the raven,
welcoming the peasants. These people have a miserable
appearance, and (as usual) are densely ignorant, and all
beg, while the monks are chaxmting in the chapel.
"
Caw " says the raven, " Cuckoo "
!
!
So we leave him, chuckling and rolling his eye at the
convent gate, and wind slowly down again, through the
cloud.
At
last
the village far
emerging from it, we come in sight of
below, and the flat green country inter-
sected by rivulets; which
after the obscurity
is
pleasant and fresh to see
and haze of the convent
—no
disre-
spect to the raven, or the holy friars.
Away we
go again, by muddy roads, and through the
most shattered and tattered of villages, where there is
not a whole window
garment among
all
among
all
the houses, or a whole
the peasants, or the least appearance
of anything to eat, in any of the wretched hucksters'
shops.
The women wear a
bright red boddice laced
before and behind, a white skirt, and the Neapolitan
head-dress of square folds of linen, primitively meant to
The men and children wear anything
The soldiers are as dirty and rapacious
The inns are such hobgoblin places, that
carry loads on.
they can get.
as the dogs.
they are infinitely more attractive and amusing than the
best hotels in Paris.
Here is one near Valmontone,
(that is
Valmontone, the round, walled
tovvTi
on the
mount opposite), which is approached by a quagmire
almost knee-deep.
There is a wild colonnade below,
and a dark yard full of empty stables and lofts, and a
great long kitchen with a great long bench and a great
long form, where a party of travellers, with two priests
ROADSIDE INNS.
are crowding round the
among them,
supper
is
to
in,
sit
263
Above
cooking.
with
very
fire
while their
a rough brick galleiy
windows with very small
stairs, is
little
patches of knotty glass in them, and
all
the doors that
open from
it (a dozen or
two) off their hinges, and a
bare board on tressels for a table, at which thiity people
might dine easily, and a fire-place large enough in itself
a breakfast parlour, where, as the faggots blaze and
crackle, they illuminate the ugliest and grimmest of faces,
for
drawn in charcoal on the whitewashed chimney-sides by
previous travellers. There is a flaring countiy lamp on the
table
;
and, hovering about
it,
scratching her thick black
woman, who stands
arrange the hatchet knives, and takes a
hair continually, a yellow dwarf of a
on tiptoe to
The beds
flymg leap to look into the water-jug.
in
There
the adjoining rooms, are of the liveliest kind.
is
Eot a solitary scrap of looking-glass in the house, and the
washing apparatus is identical with the cooldng utensils.
But the yellow dwarf sets on the table, a good flask of
excellent wine, holding a quart at least
among
and produces,
half-a-dozen other dishes, two-thirds of a roasted
smoking
dirty, which
hot.
kid,
life
;
She
is
as good-humoured,
too,
as
So here's long
sajing a great deal.
to her, in the flask of wine, and prosperity to the
establishment
Rome
is
!
gained and
left
who are now repairing
behind, and with
to their
with his scallop shell and
God—we
it
owa homes
staff,
and
the Pilgrims
again
soliciting
—each
alms
for
come, by a fair country, to the
Falls of Terni, where the whole Velino river dashes,
the love of
headlong, from a rocky height, amidst shining spray
PICTUEES FKOM ITALY.
264
Perugia, strongly fortified by art and
and rainbows.
nature, on a lofty eminence, rising abruptly from the
plain where pm-ple mountains mingle with the distant
on
sky, is glowing,
set
They
off
its
market day, with radiant colours.
sombre but rich Gothic builcUngs
its
The pavement
admirably.
of its market-place is strewn
All along the steep hill leading
with country goods.
from the town, under the town
fair
of calves,
wall, there is a noisy
mules, and oxen.
lambs, pigs, horses,
and turkeys, flutter vigorously among
their very hoofs
and buyers, sellers, and spectators,
clustering everywhere, block up the road as we come
Fowls, geese,
;
shouting down upon them.
Suddenly, there
The
is
a rmging somid
among our
horses.
Sinking in his saddle, and
driver stops them.
casting up his eyes to Heaven, he delivers this apo" Oh
Jove Omnipotent
here is a horse has
strophe,
!
lost his shoe
"
!
Notwithstanding the tremendous nature of this
acci-
dent, and the utterly forlorn look and gesture (impossible
in any one but an Italian Vetturino) with which it is
not long in being repaired by a mortal
Farrier, by whose assistance we reach Castiglione the
announced,
same
night,
it is
and Arezzo next day.
performing in
in
among
windows
figures
its fine
Mass
is,
of course,
cathedral, where the sun shines
the clustered pillars, through rich stained glass
:
half revealing, half concealing, the kneeling
on the pavement,
and strildng out paths
of
spotted light in the long aisles.
But,
on a
how much beauty
fair
of another kind
clear morning,
we
look,
is
here, when,
from the summit
FLOEENCE.
of a hill,
on Florence
J265
See where
!
in a sun-lighted valley, bright with
it
lies
before us
the winding
Amo,
and shut in by swelling hills its domes, and towers, and
palaces, rising from the rich comitiy in a glittering heap,
;
and shining in the sun like gold
Magnificently stem and sombre are the
!
streets
of
and the strong old piles of building
make such heaps of shadow, on the gi'ound and in the
river, that there is another and a different city of rich
beautiful Florence
;
fonns and fancies, always lying at our feet.
Prodigious
for
constructed
with
small distiiistful
defence,
palaces,
windows heavily barred, and walls of gi-eat thiclaiess
formed of huge masses of rough stone, frown, in their
In the midst of the
old sulky state, on eveiy street.
—
Grand Duke, adorned with
and the Fountain of Neptune rises
the Palazzo Vecchio, with its enormous overhanging
city
in tlie Piazza of the
—
beautiful statues
battlements, and the Great
In
whole town.
Otranto in
its
its
Tower that watches over the
—worthy
— a massive
gloom
of the Castle of
court-yard
is
ponderous
staircase
that the heaviest waggon and the stoutest team of horses
Within it, is a Great Saloon,
might be driven up.
and tarnished
faded
in
its
statelv
decorations,
and
mouldering by grains, but recording yet, in pictures on
its walls, the triumphs of the Medici and the wars of the
old Florentine people.
The
prison
adjacent court-yard of the building
—
is
hard by, in an
a foul and dismal
where some men are shut up close, in small cells
and where others look through bars and
ovens
place,
like
;
beg; where some are playing draughts, and some are
talking
to
their
friends,
who smoke, the
while,
to
PICTUEES FROM ITALY.
966
and some are bupng wine and fruit of
women- vendors and all are squalid, dirty, and vile to
purify the air
;
;
look
"
at.
"
Jailer.
are merry enough Signore," says the
They
They
are
blood-stained here," he adds,
all
indicating, with his hand,
three fourths of the whole
Before the hour
building.
is
out,
an old man, eighty
years of age, quarrelling over a bargain with a young
in the market-place
girl of seventeen, stabs her dead,
full
of bright flowers
and
;
is
brought in prisoner, to
swell the number.
the four old bridges that span the river, the
Ponte Vecchio that bridge which is covered with the
Among
—
—
is a most enchantshops of Jewellers and Goldsmiths
The space of one house, in the
ing feature in the scene.
centre, being left open, the ^dew beyond, is
a frame
;
shown
as in
and that precious glimpse of sky, and water, and
shining so quietly among the huddled
roofs and gables on the bridge, is exquisite.
Above it,
rich buildings,
the Gallery of the Grand Duke crosses the river.
It
was built to connect the two Great Palaces by a secret
passage
;
and
it
takes
its
jealous course
streets and houses, with true despotism
lists,
:
among
going where
and spuming every obstacle away, before
The Grand Duke
has
the
it
it.
a worthier secret
passage
in
his
the
black
robe
and
as a
streets,
hood,
through
member
of the
Compagnia
brotherhood includes
take place, their
him tenderly
all
della Misericordia,
ranks of men.
office is, to raise
to the Hospital.
which
If an accident
the sufferer, and bear
If a
fire
break out,
it is
one of their functions to repair to the spot, and render
their assistance and protection.
It is, also, among their
FLORENCE.
commonest
267
attend and console the sick
offices, to
;
and
they neither receive money, nor eat, nor drink, in any
house they
visit for this
Those who are on
purpose.
duty for the time, are called together, on a moment's
and
notice, by the tolling of the great bell of the Tower
;
it
is
said that the
Grand Duke has been
seen, at this
sound, to rise from his seat at table, and quietly withdraw to attend the summons.
In
this other large Piazza,
of market
is
held, and
where an irregular kind
and other small
stores of old iron
merchandise are set out on
stalls, or
scattered on the pave-
ment, are grouped together, the Cathedral with its great
Dome, the beautiful Italian Gothic Tower the Campanile,
and the Baptistry with
Stone of Dante," where
bring his stool, and
he ever, in his
sit
And
wrought bronze doors.
its
here, a small untrodden square in the pavement,
(so
is
"the
runs the story) he was used to
I wonder was
in contemplation.
bitter exile, withheld
from cursing the
very stones in the streets of Florence the ungrateful, by
any kind remembrance of
this old musing-place,
association with gentle thoughts of little Beatrice
The chapel
of Florence
Angelo
lies
;
of the Medici, the
and
its
!
Good and Bad Angels
the church of Santa Croce where Michael
buried,
and where
eveiy
stone
in
the
on great men's deaths innumerable
churches, often masses of unfinished hea\7 brickwork
cloisters is eloquent
externally, but
;
solemn and serene within
;
arrest our
lingering steps, in strolling through the city.
In keeping with the tombs among the cloisters, is the
Museum of Natural History, famous through the world
for its preparations in
wax; beginning with models of
PICTURES FROM ITALY.
"268
seeds,
leaves,
plants, inferior animals;
ascendiQg, through separate organs of the
up
to
as
presented,
monitions of our
in recent death.
frame,
home upon
so
Few
ad-
more solemn, and
mortality can be
frail
or strike
sad,
counterfeits of
upon
human
the whole structure of that wonderful creation,
exquisitely
more
and gradually
the heart, as the
Youth and Beauty that are lying
there,
their beds, in their last sleep.
Beyond the walls, the whole sweet Valley of the Arno,
the convent at Fiesole, the Tower of Galileo, Boccaccio's
house, old villas
interest, all
and
retreats
;
innumerable spots of
glowing in a landscape of surpassing beauty
steeped in the
richest
light
are
;
spread before
us.
Retmiiiug from so much brightness, how solemn and
how grand
the streets
again,
with their great, dark,
mournful palaces, and many legends not of siege, and
war, and might, and Iron Hand alone, but of the trium:
phant growth of peaceful Arts and Sciences.
What light is shed upon the world, at this day, from
amidst these rugged Palaces of Florence
Here, open
to all comers, in their beautiful and calm retreats,
!
the ancient Sculptors are immortal, side by side with
Michael Angelo, Canova, Titian, Rembrandt, Raphael,
Poets, Historians, Philosophers
history,
beside
warriors,
forgotten.
show
whom
its
—those
illustrious
men of
crowned heads and harnessed
poor and small, and are so soon
Here, the imperishable part of noble minds
sm'vives, placid
so
and equal, when strongholds of assault
and defence are overthrown
;
when
tyranny of the
but a tale when Pride
many, or the few, or both, is
and Power are so much cloistered
tlie
;
dust.
The
fire
within
269
FLORENCE.
the stem streets, and
among the massive Palaces and
Towers, Idndled by rays from Heaven, is still burning
of war is extinguished and
brightly, when the flickering
household
of generations have
as
decayed
thousands upon thousands of faces, rigid with the strife
and passion of the hour, have faded out of the old
the
fires
;
Squares and public haunts, while the nameless Florentine Lady, preserved from obli\ion by a Painter's hand,
yet lives on, in endm'ing gi'ace and youth.
Let us look back on Florence while we may, and
when
its
shining
Dome
seen no more, go travelling
is
through cheerful Tuscany, with a bright remembi^ice of
The
it
for Italy will be the fairer for the recollection.
;
summer time being come and Genoa, and Milan, and
and we resting at
the Lake of Como lying far behind us
:
:
Faido, a Swiss village, near the awful rocks and moimtains, the everlasting snows and roaring cataracts, of the
hearing the Italian tongue for the
let us part from Italy, with all
last time on this journey
Great Saint Gothard
:
:
its
miseries and wrongs, affectionately, in our admiration
of the beauties, natm^al
and
artificial,
of which
it is full
to overflowing, and in our tenderness towards a people,
naturally well disposed, and patient, and sweet tempered.
Years of neglect, oppression, and misrule, have been at
work, to change their nature and reduce their spirit
;
miserable jealousies, fomented by petty Princes to
whom
union was destruction, and dixision strength, have been
a canker at the root of their nationality, and have barbut the good that was in them
ever, is in them yet, and a noble people maybe, one day,
raised up from these ashes. Let us entertain that hope
barized their language
;
!
—
.•^'
X"'-rNr
'V-v
/
And
let
the
Italy
remember
not
us
less
regardfully,
because, in every fragment of
Temples, and
every stone of her deserted
palaces and prisons, she helps
her
fallen
the lesson that
inculcate
to
the wheel of
for
Time
is
rolling
an end, and that the world
is,
in
all
great
better, gentler,
ing,
essentials,
more
forbear-
and more hopeful, as
London
:
Bradbury
&
it
Evans, Printers, Whiiefriarf,
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