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After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 by Major W. E Frye

Part 4 out of 8

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[70] Antoine Francis Gauthier des Orcieres (1752-1838) was elected to the
Etats Generaux in 1789, and, in 1792, to the Convention, where he
voted the death of Louis XVI. Later on, he was member of the Conseil
des Anoiena, juge au tribunal de la Seine and conseiller a la cour
imperiale de Paris (1815). Banished in 1816, he returned to France in

[71] Jean Baptists Michaud, a member of the Directoire du departement du
Doubs, and a member of the National Convention, voted the death of
Louis XVI and against the proposed appeal to the people.--ED.

[72] Jean Daniel Paul Etienne Levade (1750-1834), Protestant minister first
in England, then in Amsterdam, finally minister at Lausanne and
professor of theology at the _Academie_ of the same town.--ED.

[73] Countess de Boigne, in her interesting _Memoirs_ (of which there is an
English translation) abstained from describing her husband's career in
India; this lends additional interest to the information collected by
Major Frye,--ED.

[74] The manuscript has _Sennar_, a name quite unknown at Suza.--ED.

[75] Ariosto, _Orlando Furioso_, iv, 13, 5.--ED.

[76] This shield, now at the _Armoria Reale_, is not antique, but is
ascribed to Benvenuto Cellini.--ED.

[77] This statue of Cupid is not antique, and has been recently ascribed to
Michelangelo (Knapp, _Michelangelo_, p. 155.)--ED.


Journey from Turin to Bologna--Asti--Schiller and Alfieri--Italian
_cuisine_--The _vetturini_--Marengo--Piacenza--The Trebbia--Parma--The
Empress Maria Louisa--Modena--Bologna--The University--The Marescalchi
Gallery--Character of the Bolognese.

August ---- 1816

'Twas on a fine morning the 16th August that I took my departure from Turin
with a _vetturino_ bound to Bologna. I agreed to pay him sixty francs for
my place in the coach, supper and bed. When this stipulation for supper and
bed is included in the price fixed for your place with the _vetturino_, you
are said to be _spesato_, and then you have nothing extra to pay for but
your breakfast. There were two other travellers in the _vettura_, both
Frenchmen; the one about forty years of age was a Captain of cavalry _en
retraite_, married to a Hungarian lady and settled at Florence, to which
place he was returning; the other, a young man of very agreeable manners,
settled likewise at Florence, as chief of a manufactory there, returning
from Lyons, his native city, whither he had been to see his relations. I
never in my life met with two characters so diametrically opposite. The
Captain was quite a _bourru_ in his manners, yet he had a sort of dry,
sarcastic, satirical humour that was very diverting to those who escaped
his lash. Whether he really felt the sentiments he professed, or whether he
assumed them for the purpose of chiming in with the times, I cannot say,
but he said he rejoiced at the fall of Napoleon. My other companion,
however, expressed great regret as his downfall, not so much from a regard
for the person of Napoleon, as for the concomitant degradation and conquest
of his country, and he spoke of the affairs of France with a great deal of
feeling and patriotism.

The Captain seemed to have little or no feeling for anybody but himself;
indeed, he laughed at all sentiment and said he did not believe in virtue
or disinterestedness. When, among other topics of conversation, the loss
the French Army sustained at Waterloo was brought on the _tapis_, he said,
"_Eh bien! qu 'importe? dans une seule nuit a Paris on en fabriquera assez
pour les remplacer!_" A similar sentiment has been attributed to the great
Conde.[78] We had a variety of amusing arguments and disputes on the road;
the Captain railed at merchants, and said that he did not believe that
honor or virtue existed among mercantile people (no compliment, by the bye,
to the young fabricant, who bore it, however, with great good humour,
contenting himself with now and then giving a few slaps at the military for
their rapacity, which mercantile people on the Continent have now and then
felt, before the French Revolution, as well as after). The whole road from
Turin to Alexandria della Paglia is a fine broad _chausee_. The first day's
journey brought us to Asti. A rich plain on each side of the road, the
horizon on our right bounded by the Appennines, on our left by the Alps,
both diverging, formed the landscape. Asti is an ancient, well and solidly
built city, but rather gloomy in its appearance. It is remarkable for being
the birthplace of Vittorio Alfieri, the celebrated tragic poet, who has
excelled all other dramatic poets in the general _denouement_ of his
pieces, except, perhaps, Voltaire alone. I do not speak of Alfleri so much
as a poet as a _dramaturgus_. I may be mistaken, and it is, perhaps,
presumptuous in me to attempt to judge, but it has always appeared to me
that Voltaire and Alfieri have managed dramatic effect and the intrigue and
catastrophe of their tragedies better than any other authors. Shakespeare,
God as he is in genius, is in this particular very deficient. Schiller,
too, the greatest modern poetic genius perhaps and the Shakespeare of
Germany, has here failed also, and nothing can be more correct than the
estimate of Alfieri made by Forsyth[79] when, after speaking of his
defects, he says: "Yet where lives the tragic poet equal to Alfieri?
Schiller (then living also) may perhaps excel him in those peals of terror
which flash thro' his gloomy and tempestuous scene, but he is far inferior
in the mechanism of his drama."

To return to my first day's journey from Turin. It was a very long day's
work, and we did not arrive at Asti till very late, after having performed
the last hour, half in the dark, on a road which is by no means in good
repute. The character of the lower class of Piedmontese is not good. They
are ferocious, vindictive and great marauders. They make excellent soldiers
during war and they not unfrequently, on being disbanded after peace, by
way of keeping their hand in practise and of having the image of war before
their eyes, ease the traveller of his coin and sometimes of his life. Our
conversation partook of these reminiscences, and during the latter part of
our journey turned entirely on bandits "force and guile," so that we were
quite rejoiced at seeing the smoke and light of the town of Asti and
hearing the dogs bark, which reminded me of Ariosto's lines:

Non molto va che dalle vie supreme
De' tetti uscir vede il vapor del fuoco
Sente cani abbajar, muggire armento,
Viene alla villa, e piglia alloggiamenti.[80]

Nor far the warrior had pursued his best,
Ere, eddying from a roof, he saw the smoke,
Heard noise of dog and kine, a farm espied,
And thitherward in quest of lodging hied.

--_Trans_. W.S. ROSE.

We met on alighting at the door of a large spacious inn, two ladies who had
very much the appearance of the two damsels at the inn where Don Quixote
alighted and received his order of knighthood; but, in spite of their
amorous glances and a decided leer of invitation, I had like Sacripante's
steed more need of "_riposo e d'esca che di nuova giostra_." The usual
Italian supper was put before us, and very good it was, viz., _Imprimis: A
minestra_ (soup), generally made of beef or veal with vermicelli or
macaroni in it and its never failing accompaniment in Italy, grated
Parmesan cheese. Then a _lesso_ (bouilli) of beef, veal or mutton, or all
three; next an _umido_ (fricassee) of cocks' combs and livers, a favourite
Italian dish; then a _frittura_ of chickens' livers, fish or vegetables
fried. Then an _umido_ or ragout of veal, fish with sauce; and lastly, an
arrosto (roast) of fowls, veal, game, or all three. The _arrosto_ is
generally very dry and done to cinders almost. Vegetables are served up
With the _umidi_, but plain boiled, leaving it optional to you to use
melted butter or oil with them. A salad is a constant concomitant of the
_arrosto_. A desert or fruit concludes the repast. Wine is drank at
discretion. The wine of Lombardy is light and not ill flavored; it is far
weaker than any wine I know of, but it has an excellent quality, that of
facilitating digestion. A cup of strong coffee is generally made for you in
the morning, for which you pay three or four _soldi_ (sous), and in giving
five or six _soldi_ to the waiter, all your expenses are paid supposing you
are _spesato_, i.e., that the _vetturino_ pays for your supper and bed; if
not, your charges are left to the conscience of the aubergiste, which in
Italy is in general of prodigious width. I therefore advise every traveller
who goes with a _vetturino_ to be a spesato, otherwise he will have to pay
four or five times as much and not be a whit better regaled. The
_vetturini_ generally pay from three to three and a half francs for the
supper and bed of their passengers. As the _vetturini_ invariably make a
halt of an hour and half or two hours at mid-day in some town or village,
this halt enables you to take your _dejeuner a la fourchette_, which you
pay for yourself, unless you stipulate for the payment of that also with
the _vetturino_ by paying something more, say one a half franc per diem for
that. In this part, and indeed in the whole of the north of Italy not a
female servant is to be seen at the inns and men make the beds. It is
otherwise, I understand, in Tuscany.

The whole appearance of the country from Asti to Alexandria presents an
immense plain extremely fertile, but the crops of corn being off the
ground, the landscape would not be pleasing to the eye, were it not
relieved by the frequency of mulberry trees and the vines hung in festoons
from tree to tree. The villages and farmhouses on this road are extremely
solid and well built. We arrived at Alexandria about twelve o'clock, and
after breakfast I hired a horse to visit the field of battle of Marengo,
which is in the neighbourhood of this city, Marengo itself being a village
five miles distant from Alexandria. Arrived on the plain, I was conducted
to the spot where the first Consul stood at the time that he perceived the
approach of Desaix's division. I figured to myself the first Consul on his
white charger, halting his army, then in some confusion, riding along the
line exposed to a heavy fire from the Austrians, who cannonaded the whole
length of the line; aides-de-camp and orderlies falling around him, himself
calm and collected, "spying 'vantage," and observing that the Austrian
deployment was too extended, and their centre thereby weakened, suddenly
profiting of this circumstance to order Desaix's division to advance and
lead the charge which decided the victory on that memorable day, which,
according to Mascheroni:

Nell' abisso de' secoli, qual Sole_.

The whole field of battle is an extensive plain, with but few trees, and to
use Campbell's lines:

every turf beneath the feet
Marks out a soldier's sepulchre.

The Column, erected to commemorate this glorious victory, has been thrown
down by order of the Austrian government--a poor piece of puerile spite,
but worthy of legitimacy. Alexandria is, or rather _was_, for the
fortifications no longer exist, more remarkable for being an important
military post than for the beauty of the city itself. There is, however, a
fine and spacious _Place_, which serves as a parade for the garrison, and
being planted with trees by the French when they held it, forms an
agreeable promenade. The fortifications were blown up by the Austrians
before the place was given over to the Sardinian authorities, a flagrant
breach of faith and contract, since by the treaty of 1814 they were bound
to give up all the fortified places that were restored or ceded to the King
of Sardinia in the same state in which they were found when the French
evacuated them, and the Austrians took possession provisorily. The French
regarding (and with reason) this fortress as the key of Lombardy always
kept the fortifications in good repair and well provided with cannon. But
the Austrian government, knowing itself to be unpopular in Italy and
trembling for the safety of her dominions, being always fearful that the
Piedmontese Government might one day be induced to favour an
insurrectionary or national movement in the north of Italy, determined,
finding that it could not keep the fortress for itself, which it strove
hard to do under divers pretexts, to render it of as little use as they
possibly could do to the King of Sardinia; so they blew up the
fortifications and carried off the cannon, leaving the King without a
single fortified place in the whole of his Italian dominions to defend
himself, in case of attack, against an Austrian invasion.

On the morning of the 15th August we passed thro' Tortona, now no longer a
fortress of consequence. All this country may be considered as classic
ground, immortalized by the campaigns of Napoleon, when commander in chief
of the army of the French Republic in Italy, a far greater and more
illustrious _role_ than when he assumed the Imperial bauble and
condescended to mix with the vulgar herd of Kings.

We arrived at Voghera to breakfast and at Casteggio at night. The country
is much the same as that which we have already passed thro', being a plain,
with a rich alluvial soil, mulberry trees and a number of solidly built
stone farmhouses. The next morning at eleven o'clock we arrived at Piacenza
on the Po, and were detained a quarter of an hour at the _Douane_ of Her
Majesty the Archduchess, as Maria Louisa, the present Duchess of Parma, is
stiled, we being now arrived in her dominions. We drove to the _Hotel di
San Marco_, which is close to the _Piazza Grande_, and alighted there. On
the Piazza stands the _Hotel de Ville_, and in front of it are two
equestrian statues in bronze of the Princes Farnesi; the statues, however,
of the riders appear much too small in proportion with the horses, and they
resemble two little boys mounted on Lincolnshire carthorses.

I did not visit the churches and palaces in this city from not having time
and, besides, I did not feel myself inclined or _bound_ (as some travellers
think themselves) to visit every church and every town in Italy. I really
believe the _ciceroni_ think that we _Ultramontani_ live in mud hovels in
our own country, and that we have never seen a stone edifice, till our
arrival in Italy, for every town house which is not a shop is termed a
_palazzo_, and they would conduct you to see all of them if you would be
guided by them. I had an opportunity, during the two hours we halted here,
of walking over the greater part of the city, after a hasty breakfast.
Piacenza is a large handsome city; among the females that I saw in the
streets the Spanish costume seems very prevalent, no doubt from being so
long governed by a Spanish family.

On leaving Piacenza we passed thro' a rich meadow country and met with an
immense quantity of cattle grazing. The road is a fine broad _chaussee_
considerably elevated above the level of the fields and is lined with
poplars. Where this land is not in pasture, cornfields and mulberry trees,
with vines in festoons, vary the landscape, which is additionally enlivened
by frequent _maisons de plaisance_ and excellently built farmhouses. We
passed thro' Firenzuola, a long well-built village, or rather _bourg_, and
we brought to the night at Borgo San Donino. At this place I found the
first bad inn I have met with in Italy, that is, the house, tho' large, was
so out of repair as to be almost a _masure_; we however met with tolerably
good fare for supper. We fell in with a traveller at Borgo San Donino, who
related to us an account of an extraordinary robbery that had been
committed a few months before near this place, in which the _then_ host was
implicated, or rather was the author and planner of the robbery. It
happened as follows. A Swiss merchant, one of those men who cannot keep
their own counsel, a _bavard_ in short, was travelling from Milan to
Bologna with his cabriolet, horse and a large portmanteau. He put up at
this inn. At supper he entered into conversation with mine host, and asked
if there was any danger of robbers on the road, for that he should be sorry
(he said) to fall into their hands, inasmuch as he had with him in his
portmanteau 24,000 franks in gold and several valuable articles of
jewellery. Mine host assured him that there was not the slightest danger.
The merchant went to bed, directing that he should be awakened at daybreak
in order to proceed on his journey. Mine host, however, took care to have
him called full an hour and half before daybreak, assuring him that light
would soon dawn. The merchant set out, but he had hardly journeyed two
miles when a shot from behind a hedge by the road side brought his horse to
the ground. Four men in masks rushed up, seized him and bound him to a
tree; they then rifled his portmanteau, took out his money and jewels and
wished him good morning.

Before we arrived at Borgo San Donino we crossed the Trebbia, one of the
many tributary streams of the Po, and which is famous for two celebrated
battles, one in ancient, the other in modern tunes (and probably many
others which I do not recollect); but here it was that Hannibal gained his
second victory over the Romans; and here, in 1799, the Russians under
Souvoroff defeated the French under Macdonald after an obstinate and
sanguinary conflict; but they could not prevent Macdonald from effecting
his junction with Massena, to hinder which was Souvoroff's object. In fact,
in this country, to what reflections doth every spot of ground we pass,
over, give rise! Every field, every river has been the theatre of some
battle or other memorable event either in ancient or modern times.

_Quis gurges aut quae flumina lugubris
Ignara belli?[81]_

We started from Borgo San Donino next morning; about ten miles further on
the right hand side of the road stands an ancient Gothic fortress called
Castel Guelfo. Between this place and Parma there is a very troublesome
river to pass called the Taro, which at times is nearly dry and at other
times, so deep as to render it hazardous for a carriage to pass, and it is
at all times requisite to send on a man to ford and sound it before a
carriage passes. This river fills a variety of separate beds, as it
meanders very much, and it extends to such a breadth in its _debordements_,
as to render it impossible to construct a bridge long enough to be of any

This, however, being the dry season, we passed it without difficulty. Two
or three other streams on this route, _seguaci del Po_, are crossed in the
same manner.

The road to Parma, after passing the Taro, lies nearly in a right line and
is bordered with poplars. If I am not mistaken, it was somewhere in this
neighbourhood that the Carthaginians under Hannibal suffered a great loss
in elephants, who died from cold, being incamped during the winter. I am
told there is not a colder country in Europe than Lombardy during the
winter season, which arises no doubt from its vicinity to the Alps.

Opulence seems to prevail in all the villages in the vicinity of Parma, and
an immense quantity of cattle is seen grazing in the meadows on each side
of the road. The female peasantry wear the Spanish costume and are
remarkably well dressed.

We arrived at Parma at twelve o'clock and stopped there three hours.


After a hasty breakfast, Mr G-- and myself sallied forth to see what was
possible during the time we stopped in this city, leaving the Captain, who
refused to accompany us, to smoke his pipe. This city is very large and
there is a very fine _Piazza._ The streets are broad, the buildings
handsome and imposing, and there is a general appearance of opulence. We
first proceeded to visit the celebrated amphitheatre, called _l'Amfiteatro
Farnese_ in honour of the former sovereigns of the Duchy. It is a vast
building and unites the conveniences both of the ancient and modern
theatres. It has a roof like a modern theatre, and the seats in the
_parterre_ are arranged like the seats in an ancient Greek theatre. Above
this are what we should call boxes, and above them again what we usually
term a gallery. A vast and deep arena lies between the _parterre_ and the
orchestra and fills up the space between the audience and the _proscenium_.
It is admirably adapted both for spectators and hearers; when a tragedy,
comedy or opera is acted, a scaffolding is erected and seats placed in the
arena. At other times the arena is made use of for equestrian exercises and
chariot races in the style of the ancients, combats with wild beasts, etc.,
or it may be filled with water for the representation of naval fights
(_naumachia_); in this case you have a vast oval lake between the
spectators and the stage. It is a great pity that this superb and
interesting building is not kept in good repair; the fact is it is seldom
or ever made use of except on very particular occasions: it is almost
useless in a place like Parma, "so fallen from its high estate," but were
such an amphitheatre in Paris, London, or any great city, it might be used
for all kinds of _spectacles_ and amusements. A small theatre from the
design of Bernino stands close to this amphitheatre, and is built in a
light tasteful manner. If fresh painted and lighted up it would make a very
brilliant appearance. This may be considered as the Court theatre. At a
short distance from the theatres is the Museum of Parma, in which there is
a well chosen gallery of pictures. Among the most striking pictures of the
old school is without doubt that of St Jerome by Correggio; but I was full
as much, dare I be so heretical as to say more pleased, with the
productions of the modern school of Parma. A distribution of prizes had
lately been made by the Empress Maria Louisa, and there were many
paintings, models of sculpture and architectural designs, that did infinite
credit to the young artists. I remarked one painting in particular which is
worthy of a Fuseli. It represented the battle of the river God Scamander
with Achilles. The subjects of most of the paintings I saw here were taken
from the mythology or from ancient and modern history; and this is perhaps
the reason that they pleased me more than those of the ancient masters. Why
in the name of the [Greek: to kalon] did these painters confine
themselves so much to Madonnas, Crucifixions, and Martyrdoms, when their
own poets, Ariosto and Tasso, present so many subjects infinitely more
pleasing? Then, again, in many of these crucifixions and martyrdoms, the
gross anachronisms, such as introducing monks and soldiers with match-locks
and women in Gothic costume at the crucifixion, totally destroy the
seriousness and interest of the subject by annihilating all illusion and
exciting risibility.

Parma will ever be renowned in history as the birthplace of Caius Cassius,
the Mend and colleague of Brutus.

The Empress Maria Louisa lives here in the Ducal Palace, which is a
spacious but ornamental edifice. She lives, 'tis said, without any
ostentation. Out of her own states, her presence in Italy would be attended
with unpleasant consequences to the powers that be, on account of the
attachment borne to Napoleon by all classes of society; and it is on this
account that on her last visit to Bologna she received an intimation from
the papal authorities to quit the Roman territory in twenty-four hours. We
next passed thro' St Hilario and Reggio and brought to the evening at the
village of Rubbiera. At St Hilario is the entrance into the Duke of
Modena's territory, and here we underwent again &n examination of trunks,
as we did both on entering and leaving the territory of Maria Louisa.

Reggio is a large walled city, but I had only time to visit the Cathedral
and to remark therein a fine picture of the Virgin and the Chapel called
"Capella della Morte." Reggio pretends to the honour of having given birth
to the Divine Ariosto:

Quel grande che canto l'armi e gli amorl,

as Guarini describes him, I believe. The face of the country from Parma to
Reggio is exactly the same as what we have passed thro' already.

The next day (20 August) we passed thro' Modena, where we stopped to
breakfast and refresh horses. It is a large and handsome city, the Ducal
Palace is striking and in the Cathedral is presented the famous bucket
which gave rise to the poem of Tassoni called _La Secchia rapita._ An air
of opulence and grandeur seems to prevail in Modena.

At Samoggia we entered the Papal territory and again underwent a search of
trunks. Within three miles of Bologna a number of villas and several
tanneries, which send forth a most intolerable odour, announce the approach
to that celebrated and venerable city. On the left hand side, before
entering the town, is a superb portico with arcades, about one and a half
miles in length, which leads from the city to the church of San Luca. On
the right are the Appennines, towering gradually above you. Bologna lies at
the foot of these mountains on the eastern side and here the plain ends for
those who are bound to Florence, which lies on the western side of the vast
ridge which divides Italy. We arrived at Bologna at half-past seven in the
evening, and here we intend to repose a day or two; I shall then cross the
Appennines for the first time in my life. A reinforcement of mules or oxen
is required for every carriage; from the ascent the whole way you can
travel, I understand, very little quicker _en poste_ than with a
_vetturino_. We are lodged at Bologna in a very comfortable inn called
_Locanda d'Inghilterra_.

BOLOGNA, 22d August.

The great popularity of Bologna, which is a very large and handsomely built
city, lies in the colonnaded porticos and arcades on each side of the
streets throughout the whole city. These arcades are mightily convenient
against sun and rain, and contradict the assertion of Rousseau, who
asserted that England was the only country in the world where the safety of
foot passengers is consulted, whereas here in Bologna not only are
_trottoirs_ broader than those of London in general, but you are
effectually protected against sun and rain, and are not obliged to carry an
umbrella about with you perpetually as in London. This arcade system, is,
however, rather a take off from the beauty of the city, and gives it a
gloomy heavy appearance, which is not diminished by the sight of friars and
mendicants with which this place swarms, and announce to you that you are
in the holy land. At Bologna it is necessary to have a sharp eye on your
baggage, on account of the crowds of ragged _faineans_ that surround your
carriage while it is unloading.

The first thing that the _ciceroni_ generally take you to see in Italy are
the churches, and mine would not probably have spared me one, but I was
more anxious to see the University. I however allowed him to lead me into
two of the principal churches, viz., the _Duomo_ or Cathedral, and the
church of San Petronio, both magnificent Gothic temples and worth the
attention of the traveller. On the _Piazza del Gigante_ is a fine bronze
statue of Neptune. The _Piazza_ takes its name from this statue, as at one
time in Italy, after the introduction of Christianity and when the ancient
mythology was totally forgotten, the statues of the Gods were called Giants
or named after Devils and their prototypes believed to be such.

In the Museum at the University is an admirable collection of fossils,
minerals, and machines in every branch of science. There are some excellent
pictures also; the University of Bologna was, you know, at all times famous
and its celebrity, is not at all diminished, for I believe Bologna boasts
more scientific men, and particularly in the sciences _positives_, than any
other city in Italy.

In the _Palazzo pubblico_ (_Hotel de Ville_) is a Christ and a Samson by
Guido Reni; but what pleased me most in the way of painting was the
collection in the gallery of Count Marescalchi. The Count has been at great
pains to form it and has shown great taste and discernment. It is a small
but unique collection. Here is to be seen a head of Christ, the colouring
of which is so brilliant as to illuminate the room in which it is appended,
when the shutters are closed, and in the absence of all other light except
what appears thro' the crevices of the window shutters. This head, however,
does not seem characteristic of Christ; it wants the gravity, the soft
melancholy and unassuming meekness of the _great Reformer_: in short, from
the vivid fire of the eyes and the too great self-complacency of the
countenance, it gave me rather the idea

Del biondo Dio che in Tessalia si adora.

I passed two hours in this cabinet. I next repaired to the centre of the
city with the intention of ascending one at least of the two square towers
or _campanili_ which stand close together, one of which is _strait_, the
other a leaning one. _Garisendi_ is the name of the leaning tower, and it
forms a parallelipipedon of 140 feet in height and about twenty feet in
breath and length. It leans so much as to form an angle of seventy-five
degrees with the ground on which it stands. The other tower, the strait
one, is called _Asinelli_ and is a parallelipipedon of 310 feet in height
and about twenty-five feet in length and breadth. I ascended the leaning
tower, but I found the fatigue so great that I was scarcely repaid by the
fine view of the surrounding country, which presents on one side an immense
plain covered with towns, villages and villas, and on the other the
Appennines towering one above another. When on the top of _Garisendi_,
_Asinelli_ appears to be four times higher than its neighbour, and the bare
aspect of its enormous height deterred me from even making the attempt of
ascending it. When viewed or rather looked down upon from _Garisendi_,
Bologna, from its being of an elliptical form and surrounded by a wall and
from having these two enormous towers in the centre, resembles a boat with

From the great celebrity of its University and the eminent men it has
produced, Bologna is considered as the most litterary city of Italy.
Galvani was born in Bologna and studied at this University, and among the
modern prodigies is a young lady who is professor of Greek and who is by
all accounts the most amiable _Bas bleu_ that ever existed.[82] The
Bolognese are a remarkably fine, intelligent and robust race of people, and
are renowned for their republican spirit, and the energy with which they at
all times resisted the encroachments of the Holy See. Bologna was at one
time a Republic, and on their coins is the word Libertas. The Bolognese
never liked the Papal government and were much exasperated at returning
under the domination of the Holy Father. In the time of Napoleon, Bologna
formed part of the _Regno d'ltalia_ and partook of all its advantages.
Napoleon is much regretted by them; and so impatiently did the inhabitants
bear the change, on the dismemberment of the kingdom of Italy, and their
transfer to the pontifical sceptre, that on Murat's entry in their city in
1815 the students and other young men of the town flew to arms and in a few
hours organised three battalions. Had the other cities shown equal energy
and republican spirit, the revolution would have been completed and Italy
free; but the fact is that the Italians in general, tho' discontented, had
no very high opinion of Murat's talents as a political character, and he
besides _committed_ a great fault in not entering Rome on his march and
revolutionising it. Murat, like most men, was ruined by half-measures. The
last tune that Maria Louisa was here the people surrounded the inn where
she resided and hailed her with cries of _Viva I'Imperatrice!_ The Pope's
legate in consequence intimated to her the expediency of her immediate
departure from the city, with a request that she would not repeat her
visit. Bologna is considered by the Ultras, _Obscuranten,_ and _Eteignoirs_
as the focus and headquarters of Carbonarism.

In the evening I visited the theatre built by Bibbiena and had the pleasure
of hearing for the first time an Italian tragedy, which, however, are now
rarely represented and scarcely ever well acted. This night's performance
formed an exception and was satisfactory. The piece was _Romeo and
Giulietta_. The actress who did the part of Giulietta performed it with
great effect, particularly in the tomb scene. In this scene she reminded me
forcibly of our own excellent actress, Miss O'Neill. This was the only part
of the play that had any resemblance to the tragedy of Shakespeare. All the
rest was on the French model. I saw a number of beautiful women in the
boxes. The Bolognese women are remarkable for their fine complexions; those
that I saw were much inclined to _embonpoint_.

[79] And also to Napoleon, after the battle at Eylau.--ED.

[80] Joseph Forsyth (1763-1815), author of _Remarks on antiquities, arts
and letters in Italy_, London, 1813.--ED.

[81] Horace, _Carm._, II, I, 33.--ED.

[82] The young woman in question was Clotilda Tambroni (1768-1818). She
taught Greek at the University of Bologna and was in correspondence
with the great French scholar Ansse de Villoison.--ED.


Journey across the Appennines to Florence--Tuscan idioms and
customs--Monuments and galleries at Florence--The Cascino--Churches--
Theatres--Popularity of the Grand Duke--Napoleon's downfall not
regretted--Academies in Florence.

FLORENCE, 26th August.

The moment you leave Bologna to go to Florence you enter the gorges of the
Appennines, and after journeying seven miles, begin to ascend the ridge.
The ascent begins at Pianoro. Among these mountains the scenery is wild and
romantic, and tho' not so grandiose and sublime as that of the Alps, is
nevertheless extremely picturesque. One meets occasionally with the ruins
of old castles on some of the heights, and I was strongly reminded, at the
sight of these antique edifices, of the mysteries of Udolpho and the times
of the Condottieri. The silence that reigns here is only interrupted by the
noise of the waterfall and the occasional scream of the eagle. The wild
abrupt transition of landscape would suggest the idea of haunting places
for robbers, yet one seldom or never hears of any, on this road. In Tuscany
there is, I understand, so much industry and morality, that a robbery is a
thing unknown; but in his Holiness's dominions, from the idleness and
poverty that prevails, they are said to be frequent. Why it does not occur
in these mountains, in that part of them, at least, which belongs to the
Papal Government, I am at a loss to conceive.

Here the chesnut and olive trees salute the Ultramontane traveller for the
first time. The olive tree, tho' a most useful, is not an ornamental one,
as it resembles a willow or osier in its trunk and in the colour of its
leaves. The chesnut tree is a glorious plant for an indolent people, since
it furnishes food without labour, as the Xaca or Jack fruit tree does
to the Cingalese in Ceylon. On one of the heights between Pianoro and
Lojano you have in very clear weather a view of both the Adriatic and
Tyrrhene seas. We brought to the night at Scarica l'Asino and the next
morning early we entered the Tuscan territory at Pietra Mala, where there
is a _Douane_ and consequently an examination of trunks. At one o'clock we
arrived at an inn called _Le Maschere_, about fifteen miles distance from
Florence; it is a large mansion and being situated on an eminence commands
an extensive view. One becomes soon aware of being in the Tuscan territory
from the number of cultivated spots to be seen in this part of the
Appennines: for such is the industry of the inhabitants that they do
wonders on their naturally sterile soil. One sees a number of farms. Every
spot of ground is in cultivation, between _Le Maschere_ and Florence in
particular; these spots of ground, gardens, orchards and villas forming a
striking and pleasing contrast with the wild and dreary scenery of the
Appennines. Another thing that indicates one's arrival among the Tuscans is
their aspiration of the letter _c_ before _a_, _o_ and _u_, which is at
first extremely puzzling to a foreigner accustomed only to the Roman
pronunciation. For instance, instead of _camera_, _cotto_, _curvo_, they
pronounce these words _hamera_, _hotto_, and _hurvo_ with an exceeding
strong aspiration of the _h_. It is the same too with the _ch_ which they
aspirate, _ex gr._ instead of _pochino_, _chiave_, they say _pohino_,
_hiave_. The language however which is spoken is the most classical and
pure Italian and except the above mentioned aspiration it is delightful to
the ear; peculiarly so to those who come from the north of Italy, and have
only hitherto heard the unpleasing nasal twang of the Milanese and the
exceeding uncouth barbarous dialect of Bologna. Another striking
peculiarity is the smart appearance of the Tuscan peasantry. They are a
remarkably handsome race of men; the females unite with their natural
beauty a grace and elegance that one is quite astonished to find among
peasants. They express themselves in the most correct and classical
language and they have a great deal of repartee. As the peasantry of
Tuscany enjoy a greater share of _aisance_ than falls to the lot of those
of any other country, and as the females dress with taste and take great
pains to appear smart on all occasions, they resemble rather the
shepherdesses on the Opera stage or those of the fabled Arcadia than
anything in real life. The females too are remarkably industrious and will
work like horses all the week to gain wherewithal to appear smart on
holidays. Their dress is very becoming, and they wear sometimes jewellery
to a large amount on their persons; a very common ornament among them is a
collar of gold around their necks. Their usual head-dress is either a white
straw hat, or a black round beaver hat, with black ostrich feathers. I
prefer the straw hat; it is more tasteful than the round hat which always
seems to me too masculine for a woman. At the inn at _Le Maschere_ we were
waited on by three smart females. The whole road from _Le Maschere_ to
Florence is very beautiful and diversified. Vineyards, gardens, farm houses
and villas thicken as one approaches and when arrived within three miles of
Florence, which lies in a basin surrounded by mountains, one is quite
bewildered at the sight of the quantity of beautiful villas and _maisons de
plaisance_ in every direction.

Every thing indicates life, industry and comfort in this charming country.
We stopped at a villa belonging to the Grand Duke called _II Pratolino_,
seven miles distant from Florence. Here is to be seen the famous statue
representing the genius of the Appennines. The Villa is unfurnished and out
of repair and the garden and grounds are neglected: it is a great pity, for
it is a fine building and in a beautiful position. The celebrated Bianca
Capello, a Venetian by birth, and mistress of Francesco II de' Medici,
Grand Duke of Tuscany, used to reside here.

FLORENCE, 27th August.

I am extremely well pleased with my accommodations at the hotel where I am
lodged. Mme Hembert, the proprietor, was once _femme de chambre_ to the
Empress Josephine; she is an excellent woman and a very attentive hostess,
and I recommend her hotel to all those travellers who visit Florence and do
not care to incur the expence of Schneider's. There is an excellent and
well served _table d'hote_ at two o'clock, wine at discretion, for which,
and for my bedroom, I pay seven _paoli_ per day. This hotel has the
advantage of being in a very central situation. It is close to the _Piazza
del Gran Duca_, the post-office, the _Palazzo Vecchio_, the Bureaux of
Government, the celebrated Gallery of Sculpture and Painting and to the
Arno. It is only 300 yards from the _Piazza del Duomo_, where the Cathedral
stands, and 600 yards from the principal theatre _Della Pergola_ on the one
side; while on the other side, after crossing the _Ponte Vecchio_, stands
the _Palazzo Pitti_, the residence of the Grand Duke, at a distance of
seven or 800 yards.

The _Piazza del Gran Duca_ is very striking to the eye of the northern
traveller; the statues of the Gods in white marble in the open air would
make him fancy himself in Athens in the olden time. The following statues
in bronze and white marble are to be seen on this _Piazza_. In bronze are:
a statue of Perseus by Cellini; Judith with the head of Holofernes by
Donatello; David and Goliath; Samson. In white marble are the following
beautiful statues: a group representing Hercules and Cacus; another
representing a Roman carrying off a Sabine woman. The Hercules, who is in
the act of strangling Cacus, rests on one leg. Nearly in the centre of the
_Piazza_, opposite to the post office and in front of the _Palazzo
Vecchio_, is the principal ornament of the _Piazza_, which consists of a
group representing Neptune in his car or conch (or shell) drawn by
sea-horses and accompanied by Tritons. The statue of Neptune is of colossal
size, the whole group is in marble and the conch of Egyptian granite. This
group forms a fountain. There is likewise on this _Piazza_ an immense
equestrian statue in bronze of Cosmo the First by John of Bologna. The
_Palazzo Vecchio_ is a large Gothic building by Arnulpho and has a very
lofty square tower or _campanile_.

The Gallery of Florence being so close to my abode demanded next my
attention. The building in which this invaluable Museum is preserved forms
three sides of a parallelogram, two long ones and one short one, of which
the side towards the south of the quai of the Arno is the short one.

On the north is an open space communicating with the _Piazza del Gran
Duca_. The Gallery occupies the whole first floor of this vast building.
The _rez de chaussee_ is occupied, on the west side, by the bureaux of
Government, and on the south and east sides by shopkeepers, in whose shops
is always to be seen a brilliant display of merchandize. As there are
arcades on the three sides of this parallelogram, they form the favorite
meridian promenade of the _belles_ and _beaux_ of Florence, particularly on
Sundays and holidays, after coming out of Church. I ascended the steps from
a door on the east side of the building, to visit the Gallery.

The quantity and variety of objects of art, of the greatest value, baffle
all description, and it would require months and years to attempt an
analysis of all it contains. I shall therefore content myself with pointing
out those objects which imprinted themselves the most forcibly on my
imagination and recollection. In a chamber on the left hand of one wing of
the Gallery stands the Venus de' Medici, sent back last year from France.
In the same chamber with her are the following statues: the extremely
beautiful _Apollino_; the spotted Faun; the _Remouleur_ or figure which is
in the act of whetting a sickle. All these were in Paris, and are now
restored to this Gallery. In this chamber two pictures struck me in
particular: the one the Venus of Titian, a most voluptuous figure; the
other a portrait of the mistress of Rafaello, called "_La Fornarina_," from
her being a baker's daughter.

Returning to the Gallery I was quite bewildered at the immense number of
statues, pictures, sarcophagi, busts, altars, etc. Among the pieces of
sculpture those that most caught my attention were: the _Venus genetrix_
(which I had seen before at Paris); the _Venus victrix_; the _Venus
Anadyomene_; Hercules and Nessus, a superb groupe; a young Bacchus; and an
exquisitely chiselled group representing Pan teaching Olympus to play the
syrinx, tho' the attitude of the former is rather indecorous from not being
in a very quiescent state; a fine statue of Leda with the swan; a Mercury,
both worthy of great attention. I remarked also in particular a statue of
Marsyas attached to a tree and flayed. It is of a pale reddish marble, and
tho' I perfectly agree with Forsyth, that colored marble is not at all
adapted to statuary, yet in this instance it gives a wonderful effect and
is strikingly suitable, as the slight reddish colour gives a full idea of
the flesh after the skin is torn off. It makes one shudder to look at it.
In one of the halls are the statues of Niobe and her daughters, a beautiful
group. Then there is the celebrated copy of the group of the Laocoon by
Bandinelli, which none but the most perfect and skilful connoisseur could
distinguish from the original. But it is totally impossible for me to
describe the immense variety of paintings, historical, portrait and
landscape; the statues single or in groups; the sarcophagi, altars,
bas-reliefs, inscriptions, bronzes, medals, vases, baths, candelabra,
cameos, Etruscan and Egyptian idols with which this admirable Museum is
filled. In a line on each side of the Gallery near the ceiling is a
succession of portraits in chronological order of the Grand Dukes of
Tuscany, the Germanic Emperors, the Kings of France, of England, of Spain,
of Portugal, of the Popes and of the Ottoman Emperors. Among the
antiquities I particularly noticed a large steel mirror and a Roman Eagle
in bronze of the 24th Legion.

Having passed full four hours in this Museum, I descended the steps,
crossed the Arno and repaired to the building in which is preserved the
_Cabinet d'Histoire Naturelle_. In this Museum what is most remarkable are
the imitations in wax of the whole anatomy of the human body. It is the
first collection of its kind; indeed it is unique in Europe. These
imitations are kept in glass cases and are so true and so perfectly correct
as to leave nothing to desire to the student in anatomy. These imitations
in wax not only include all the details of anatomy, but also the progress
of generation, gestation, and of almost every malady to which the human
body is liable. They are of a frightful exactitude. There are likewise in
this Museum imitations in wax of various plants and shrubs exotic as well
as indigenous and the collection of stuffed birds, beasts and fishes and
that of insects, mineralogy and conchology scarcely yields to the
collection at the _Jardin des Plantes_ at Paris. Neither here nor at the
Florentine gallery are fees allowed to be taken; on the contrary a strict
prohibition of them is posted up in the French, Italian, German and English

On the _Ponte Vecchio_ on each side are jewellers' shops, who sell besides
jewellery, cameos and works in mosaic. The Quais on each side of the Arno
are very broad and spacious and form agreeable promenades in the winter
season. The buildings on the banks of the Arno are magnificent. The streets
of Florence have this peculiarity that they are all paved with large flag
stones, which makes them mightily pleasant for pedestrians, but dangerous
at times for horses who are apt to slip. Most of the houses in Florence
have walls of prodigious thickness; one would suppose each house was meant
to be a fortress in case of necessity.

FLORENCE, 29th August.

On the other side of the Arno, a little beyond the _Cabinet Physique_ and
Museum of Natural History stands the _Palazzo Pitti_, the residence of the
Grand Duke. It is a vast building and has a large and choice collection of
pictures; but its finest ornament in my opinion is the statue of Venus by
Canova, which to me at least appears to equal the Medicean Venus in beauty
and in grace. The magnificent and spacious garden belonging to the Palace
is called the garden of Boboli. These gardens form the grand promenade of
the Florentines on Sundays and holidays. The alleys are well shaded by
trees, which effectually protect the promenaders from the rays of the sun.
There are a great many statues in this garden, but the most striking is a
group which lies nearly in the centre of the garden. It is environed by a
large circular basin or lake lined with stone and planted with orange trees
on the whole circumference. In the centre of the lake is a rock and on this
rock is a colossal statue in white marble of Neptune in his car. The car is
in the shape of a marine conch and serves as a basin and fountain at the
same time. There are several other fountains and _jets d'eau_, among which
is a group representing Adam and Eve and the statue of a man pouring out
water from a vase which he has on his shoulder.

The _Corso_ or grand evening promenade for carriages and equestrians is on
a place called the Cascino, pronounced by the Florentines _Hascino_. The
Cascino consists of pleasure grounds on the banks of the Arno outside the
town, laid out in roads, alleys and walks for carriages, equestrians and
pedestrians. There is a very brilliant display of carriages every evening.
There are _restaurants_ on the Cascino and supper parties are often formed
here. This place is often the scene of curious adventures. Cicisbeism is
universal at Florence, tho' far from being always criminal, as is generally
supposed by foreigners. I find the Florentine women very graceful and many
very handsome; but in point of beauty the female peasantry far exceed the
_noblesse_ and burghers. All of them however dress with taste. The
handsomest woman in Florence is the wife of an apothecary who lives in the
_Piazza del Duomo_ and she has a host of admirers.

On the promenade _lungo l'Arno_ near the Cascino is a fountain with a
statue of Pegasus, with an inscription in Italian verse purporting that
Pegasus having stopped there one day to refresh himself at this fountain,
found the place so pleasant that he remained there ever since. This is a
poetic nation _par excellence_. _Affiches_ are announced in sonnets and
other metres; and tho' in other countries the votaries of the Muses are but
too apt to neglect the ordinary and vulgar concerns of life, yet here it by
no means diminishes industry, and the nine Ladies are on the best possible
terms with Mr Mercury.

I shall not attempt a description of the various _palazzi_ and churches of
Florence, tho' I have visited, thanks to the zeal and importunity of my
_cicerone_, nearly all, except to remark that no one church in Florence,
the Cathedral and Baptistery on the _Piazza del Duomo_ excepted, has its
facade finished, and they will remain probably for ever unfinished, as the
completion of them would cost very large sums of money, and the restored
Government, however anxious to resuscitate the _ancient faith_, are not
inclined to make large disbursements from their own resources for that
purpose. I wish however they would finish the facade of two of these
churches, viz., that of _Santa Maria Novella_ and that of _Santa Croce_.
_Santa Maria Novella_ stands in the Piazza of that name which is very
large. It is a beautiful edifice, and can boast in the interior of it
several columns and pilasters of _jaune antique_ and of white marble. But
they have a most barbarous custom in Florence of covering these columns
with red cloth on _jours de Fete_, which spoils the elegant simplicity of
the columns and makes the church itself resemble a _theatre des
Marionnettes_. But the Italians are dreadfully fond of gaudy colours. In
the church of _Santa Croce_ what most engaged my attention was the monument
erected to Vittorio Alfieri, sculptured by Canova. It is a most beautiful
piece of sculpture. A figure of Italy crowned with turrets seems fully
sensible of the great loss she has sustained in one who was so ardent a
patriot, as well as an excellent tragic poet. This monument was erected at
the expence of the Countess of Albany (Queen of England, had _legitimacy_
always prevailed, or been as much in fashion as it now is) as a mark of
esteem and affection towards one who was so tenderly attached to her, and
of whom in his writings Alfieri speaks with the endearing and affectionate
appellation of _mia Donna_. The beautiful sonnet to her, which accompanies
the dedication of his tragedy of _Mirra_, well deserves the monument; there
is so much feeling in it that I cannot retrain from transcribing it:

Vergognando talor, che ancor si taccia,
Donna, per me l'almo tuo nome in fronte
Di queste omai gla troppe a te ben conte
Tragedie, ond'io di folle avrommi taccia;

Or vo' qual d'esse meno a te dispiaccia
Di te fregiar; benche di tutte il fonte
Tu sola fosti, e'l viver mio non conte
Se non dal Di, ch'al viver tuo si allaccia.

Della figlia di Ciniro infelice
L'orrendo a un tempo ed innocente amore
Sempre da' tuoi begli occhi il planto elice;

Prova emmi questo, ch'al mio dubbio core
Tacitamente imperiosa dice,
Ch'io di Mirra consacri a te il dolore.

In this sanctuary (church of the _Santa Croce_) are likewise the tombs and
monuments of other great men which Italy has produced. There is the
monument erected to Galileo which represents the earth turning round the
sun with the emphatic words: _Eppur si muove._ Here too repose the ashes of
Machiavelli and Michel Angelo. This church is in fact the Westminster Abbey
of Florence.

To go from the _Piazza del gran Duca_ to the _Piazza del Duomo_, where
stands the Cathedral, you have only to pass thro' a long narrow street or
rather alley (for it is impervious to carriages) with shops on each side
and always filled with people going to or returning from the Duomo. This
Cathedral is of immense size. The architecture is singular from its being a
mixture of the Gothic and Greek. It appears the most ponderous load that
ever was laid on the shoulders of poor mother earth. There is nothing light
in its structure to relieve the massiveness of the building, and in this
respect it forms a striking contrast to the Cathedral of Milan which
appears the work of Sylphs. The outside of this Duomo of Florence is
decorated and incrusted with black and white marble, which increases the
massiveness of its appearance. The steeple or Campanile stands by itself,
altogether separate from the Cathedral, and this is the case with most of
the Churches in Italy that are not of pure Gothic architecture. This
_Campanile_ is curiously inlaid and incrusted on its outside with red,
white and black marble. The Baptistery is another building on the same
_Piazza_. It is in the same stile of building as the Duomo, but incloses
much less space, and was formerly a separate church, called the church of
St John the Baptist. The immense bronze doors or rather gates, both of the
Duomo and Battisterio, attracted my peculiar notice. On them are figured
bas-reliefs of exquisite and admirable workmanship, representing Scripture
histories. It was the symmetry and perfection of these gates that induced
Michel Angelo to call them in a fit of enthusiasm _The Gates of Paradise_.
At the door of the Battisterio are the columns in red granite, which once
adorned the gates of the city at Pisa, and were carried off by the
Florentines in one of their wars. Chains are fastened round these columns,
as a memorial of the conquest. The cupolas both of the Duomo and
Battisterio are octangular. There is a stone seat on the _Piazza del Duomo_
where they pretend that Dante used occasionally to sit; hence it is called
to this day _Il Sasso di Dante_.

You will now no doubt expect me to give some account of the theatres. At
the _Pergola_, which is a large and splendid theatre, I have seen two
operas; the one, _L'Italiana in Algieri_, which I saw before at Milan last
year; the other, the _Barbieri di Seviglia_ by Rossini, which afforded to
my ears the most delightful musical feast they ever enjoyed. The cavatina
_Una voce poco fa_ gave me inconceivable delight. The _Ballo_ was of a very
splendid description and from a subject taken from the Oriental history
entitled _Macbet Sultan of Delhi_. How the Mogul Sultan came to have the
name of Macbet I know not. On the _plafond_ of the _Pergola_ is an
allegorical painting representing the restored Kings of Europe replaced on
their thrones by Valor and Justice. The decorations at this theatre are not
quite so splendid as those of the _Scala_ at Milan, but living horses and
military evolutions seem to be annexed to every historical _Ballo_. Horses
indeed appear to be an indispensable ingredient in the _Balli_ in the large
cities of Italy.

In the _Teatro Cocomera_, comedies are performed, and very generally those
of the inexhaustible Goldoni. I saw the _Bugiardo_ very fairly performed at
this theatre. The story is nearly the same as that of our piece, _The
Liar_, which is I believe imitated from _Le Menteur_ of Corneille. The
actor who did the Liar was a very good one. The actresses screamed too much
and were rather coarse. Another night at the theatre I saw a piece call'd
_II furioso_, a _comedie larmoyante_ which was interesting and well given;
but the voice of the prompter was occasionally too loud. Tragedies are very
seldom played; the language of Alfieri could never, I will not say be given
with effect, but even conceived by the modern actors. It would be like a
tragedy of Sophocles performed by boys at school. There is another reason
too why these tragedies are not given; they abound too much in republican
and patriotic sentiments to be grateful to the ears of the Princes who
reign in Italy, all of whom being of foreign extraction and unshackled by
constitutions, come under the denomination of those beings called by Greeks
[Greek: Turannoi], I use this word in its Greek sense. Of the Tuscan
Government it is but justice to say that from the days of Leopold to the
present day it was and is a mild, just and paternal government, more so
perhaps than any in Europe; and the only one that can any way reconcile one
altogether to those lines of Pope:

For forms of Government let fools contest;
Whate'er is best administer'd is best.[83]

In the time of Leopold the factious nobility were kept in check, and the
industrious classes, mercantile and agricultural, encouraged. The peasantry
were, and are, the most affluent in Europe; and this is no small incitement
to the industry that prevails. On the elevation of Leopold to the throne of
the Caesars, the present Grand Duke succeeded in Tuscany; and he followed
the same system that Leopold did, and was equally beloved by his subjects.
Tuscany was the only country in Italy that did not desire a change at the
period of the French conquest, and the only state wherein the French were
not hailed as deliverers. The Tuscans exhibited a very honorable spirit on
the occasion of Buonaparte's visit to the Grand Duke in 1797. They went
together to the Theatre della Pergola, and on their entering into the Grand
Ducal box, the Grand Duke was hailed with cries of _Viva il Nostro
Sovrano_: now this proof of attachment at a period when Buonaparte was
all-mighty in Italy, when the Grand Duke was but an inferior personage, at
a time too when it was doubtful whether or not he would be dethroned, and
in the very presence of the mighty conqueror, reflects great honor and
credit on the Tuscan character. Buonaparte was much struck at this proof of
disinterested attachment on the part of the Florentines towards their
Sovereign, and told the Grand Duke very ingenuously that he had received
orders to revolutionize the country, from the French Directory; but that as
he perceived the people were so happy, and the Prince so beloved, he could
not and would not attempt to make any change.

The applause given to the Grand Duke at this critical period is so much the
more creditable to the Florentines as they in general receive their Prince,
on his presenting himself at the theatre, with no other ceremonial than
rising once and bowing. There is no fulsome _God save the King_ repeated
even to nausea, as at the English theatres. In fact none of the Italians
pay that servile adulation to their Sovereigns that the French and English

The changes projected in Italy at the treaty of Luneville by Napoleon then
first Consul, and his further views on Italy, induced him at length to
eject an Austrian Prince from the sovereignty of a country which he
intended to annex to the French Empire. The Grand Duke was indemnified with
a principality in Germany, where he remained until the downfall of Napoleon
in 1814; subsequent arrangements again restored him to the sway of the land
he loved so well, and he returned to Florence as if he had only been absent
on a tour, finding scarcely any change in the laws and customs and habits
of the country; for tho' Tuscany was first erected into a Kingdom by the
title of Etruria, and afterwards annexed to the French Empire, the
institutions and laws laid down by Leopold and followed strictly by his
successor were preserved; very little innovation took place, and the few
innovations that were effected were decided ameliorations; for the Emperor
Napoleon had too much tact not to preserve and protect the good he found,
tho' he abolished all old abuses. The improvements introduced by the French
have been preserved and confirmed by the Grand Duke on his return, for he
is a man of too much good sense, and has too much love of justice, to think
of abolishing the good that has been done, merely because it was done by
the French. Tuscany has now a respectable military force of 8,000 men well
armed, clothed and equipped in the French manner.

Tuscany is the only part of Italy where the downfall of Napoleon was not
regretted; the inhabitants of Leghorn indeed rejoiced at it, for the
commerce of Tuscany being chiefly maritime, Leghorn suffered a good deal
from the continental system. Leghorn in fact decayed in the same proportion
that Milan and other inland cities rose into opulence.

The character of the Tuscan people is so amiable and pacific that crime is
very rare indeed. Murder is almost unknown and the punishment of death is
banished from the penal code. Where the government is good, the people are
or soon become good. I know of no country in the world more agreeable for a
foreigner to settle in than Tuscany.

I omitted to remark that in the street called _Borgo d'Ognissanti_ is a
large house or _palazzo_ which belonged to Americo Vespucci. His bust is to
be seen in the Florentine Gallery. It is curious to remark the different
appellations given to the word _street_ in the different cities of Italy.
In Milan a street is called _vico_ and in Turin, _contrada_; in Florence
_strada_ and in Rome, I understand, _via_.

FLORENCE, 1st Sept.

I shall start in a day or two for Rome, being very impatient to behold the
Eternal City, a plan which I have had in view from my earliest days and
which I have not been able hitherto to effect; for like the Abbe Delille I
had sworn to visit the sacred spot where so many illustrious men had spoke
and acted, and to do hommage in person to their Manes. I was always a great
admirer of the "_Popolo Re_."

In Florence there are a great many literary societies such as the
_Infuocati, Immobili_, and the far renowned _La Crusca_.

Frequent _Academies_, for so a sitting of a litterary society in Italy is
termed, are held in Florence. There are likewise two Casinos, one for the
nobility and the other for the merchants and burghers; the wives and
daughters of the members attend occasionally; and cards, music and dancing
are the amusements. Florence abounds in artists in alabaster whose
workmanship is beautiful. They make models in alabaster of the most
celebrated pieces of sculpture and architecture, on any scale you chuse:
they fabricate busts too and vases in alabaster. The vases made in
imitation of the ancient Greek vases are magnificent, and some of them are
of immense size. Foreigners generally chuse to have their busts taken; for
almost all foreigners who arrive here are or pretend to be smitten with an
ardent love for the fine arts, and every one wishes to take with him models
of the fine things he has seen in Italy, on his return to his native
country. Here are English travellers who at home would scarcely be able to
distinguish the finest piece of ancient sculpture--the Mercury, for
instance, in the Florentine Gallery, from a Mercury in a citizen's garden
at Highgate--who here affect to be in extacies at the sight of the Venus,
Apollino, &c., and they are fond of retailing on all occasions the terms of
art and connoisseurship they have learned by rote, in the use of which they
make sometimes ridiculous mistakes. For instance I heard an Englishman one
day holding forth on the merits of the Vierge _quisouse_, as he called it.
I could not for some time divine what he meant by the word _quisouse_, but
after some explanation I found that he meant the celebrated painting of the
_Vierge qui coud_, or _Vierge couseuse_, as it is sometimes called, which
latter word he had transformed into _quisouse_. This affectation, however,
of passion for the _belle arti_, tho' sometimes open to ridicule, is very
useful. It generates taste, encourages artists, and is surely a more
innocent as well as more rational mode of spending money and passing time
than in encouraging pugilism or in racing, coach driving and cock fighting.

[83] Pope, _Essay on Man_, ep. III, 303-4.--ED.


Journey from Florence to Rome--Sienna--Radicofani--Bolsena--Montefiascone
wine--Viterbo--Baccano--The Roman Campagna--The papal _douane_--Monuments
and Museums in Rome--Intolerance of the Catholic Christians--The Tiber and
the bridges--Character of the Romans--The _Palassi_ and _Ville_--Canova's
atelier--Theatricals--An execution in Rome.

September----, 1816.

I made an agreement with a _vetturino_ to take me to Rome for three _louis
d'or_ and to be _spesato_. In the carriage were two other passengers, viz.,
a Neapolitan lady, the wife of a Colonel in the Neapolitan service, and a
young Roman, the son of the _Barigello_ or _Capo degli Sbirri_ at Rome. We
issued from the _Porta Romana_ at 6 o'clock a.m. the 3d September.

The road winds thro' a valley, and has a gentle ascent nearly the whole way
to Poggibonsi, where we brought to the first night. The soil hereabouts is
far from fertile, but every inch of it is put to profit. The olive tree is
very frequent and several farms and villages are to be met with. The next
day we arrived at 12 o'clock at Sienna. The approach to Sienna is announced
by a quantity of olive trees. The situation of this city being on an
elevation, makes it cold and bleak. We remained here three hours, so that I
had time to visit some of the places worthy of remark in this venerable
city, which is handsome and very solidly built, but has rather a sombre
appearance. The _Piazza Grande_ lies in a bottom to which you descend from
the environing streets. It is in the shape of a mussel shell and of very
large size. The Cathedral is Gothic and is a very majestic and venerable
building. Inside it is of black and yellow marble. The pavement of this
church contains Scripture histories in mosaic. A library is annexed to the
church. The librarian pointed out to me 80 folio volumes of church music
with illuminated plates; likewise an ancient piece of sculpture much
mutilated, viz., a group of the three Graces. In one of the chapels of this
Cathedral are eight columns of _verd-antique_. I observed a monument of the
Piccolomini family who belong to this city; one of which family figured a
good deal in the Thirty Years' War in Germany. I saw several women in the
Cathedral and at the windows of the houses. The greater part of them were
handsome. The Italian language is spoken here in its greatest purity; it is
the pure Tuscan dialect without the Tuscan aspiration. The Siennese
language is in fact the identical _lingua Toscana in bocca Romana_.

We arrived the same evening at Buon Convento, an old dismal dirty-looking
town formerly fortified; but the country in the environs is pleasing
enough. The inn here is very bad. On the road between Sienna and this place
I observed a number of mulberry trees.

The next morning, the 5th Sept., we arrived at Radicofani or rather at an
inn or post house facing Radicofani. This is a very ancient city, and from
its being on an eminence it has an imposing appearance. Above it towers an
immense conical shaped mountain, evidently a volcano in former times. In
fact, the whole country hereabouts is volcanic, which is plainly seen from
the immense masses of calcined stones, the exhalations of sulphur and the
dreary wild appearance of the country, where scarce a tree is to be seen. I
never in my life saw so many calcined rocks and stones of great magnitude
heaped together as at Radicofani. It gave the idea as if it were the
identical field of battle between Jupiter and the Titans, and as if the
masses of rock that everywhere meet the eye had been hurled at the Empyreum
by the Titans and had fallen back on the spot from whence they were torn
up. It is indeed very probable that this volcano which vomited forth rocks
and stones in a very remote age, gave rise to the Fable of the war between
Jupiter and the Giants; just as the volcanos in Sicily and Stromboli gave
rise to the story of the Cyclops with one eye (the crater) in their
forehead. But the mountain of Radicofani must have been a volcano anterior
even to Aetna; it presents the image of an ancient world destroyed by fire.

At Ponte Centino the next morning we took our leave of

_La patria bella
Di vaghe Donne e di dolce favella;_

in plain prose, we left the Tuscan territory, and re-entered the dominions
of His Holiness. After being detained half an hour at the _Douane_, we
proceeded to Acquapendente to breakfast. The country between Radicofani and
Acquapendente is dreary, thinly populated, little cultivated, and volcanic
steams of sulphur assail the nostrils. Before we arrived at Acquapendente
we had a troublesome river to cross, which at times is nearly dry, and at
other times the water comes down in torrents from the surrounding mountains
and precipices, so as to render its passage extremely dangerous. It is
always necessary previous to the passage of a carriage, to send on a man to
ford and sound it, from its meandering and forming different beds crossed
seven times, twice less than Styx _novies interfusa_, and it is a very slow
operation from the number of rocks and quicksands; so that, should the
torrent come down while you are in the act of crossing, you and your whole
equipage would be swept away by the stream and drowned or dashed to pieces.
Travellers going to and returning from Rome are frequently detained for a
day or two at Ponte Centino or Acquapendente during the rainy season; for
immediately after heavy rains, there is always a great risk and it is
better to halt for several hours to allow the waters to pass off. The
extent of ground that this river covers by its meandering and forming so
many beds nearly parallel to each other renders it impossible to construct
a bridge long enough; and it would be always liable to be swept away by the
torrent. Nobody ever thinks of crossing the river in the dark. There having
no rain fallen for several days we passed it without difficulty.

Within a mile of Acquapendente the landscape varies and the approach to
this town is exceedingly picturesque. Acquapendente is situated on a lofty
eminence from which several magnificent cascades descend into the ravine
below and which give the name to the town. There are a great number of
trees about this town and they afford a great relief to the eye of the
traveller after so many hours' journey thro' volcanic wastes. The town of
Acquapendente is very ancient; it is very large, but ill-paved and dirty;
the best buildings in it are, however, modern. The inhabitants appear lazy
and dirty. On entering into conversation with some soldiers belonging to
the Papal army, who were stationed at this place, I found that most of them
had served under Napoleon. They spoke of him with tears of affection in
their eyes, and I pleased them much by reciprocating their opinions of that
great man. To speak well of Napoleon is the surest passport to civility and
good treatment on the part of the soldiers and _douaniers_.

In the evening we arrived at Bolsena, the ancient Volsinium, a city of the
Volscians. It is an ancient looking town, not very clean, and inhabited by
indolent people. It is situated on the banks of a large lake, on which
there are three small islands. It is very aguish and unhealthy, and the
inhabitants appear sickly, with marvellous sallow complexions. The inn
where we put up was a pretty good one, and as this lake abounds in fish, we
had some excellent trout and pike for supper; among other dishes there was
one that was very gratifying to me, an old East and West Indian; and that
was the _Peveroni_ or large red and green peppers or capsicums fried in
oil. Some excellent Orvieto wine crowned our repast, and helped to restore
us from our fatigues.

On leaving Bolsena the next morning, the 7th, and within a very short
distance from that town we entered a thick and venerable forest, thro'
which the road runs for several miles. Fine old trees of immense height
covered with foliage and thickly studded together give to this forest an
aweful and romantic appearance. It is quite a _lucus opaca ingens_. This
forest has been held sacred since the earliest times and is even now held
in such superstitious veneration by the people that they do not allow it to
be cut. The Dryads and Hamadryads have no doubt long ago taken their
flight, but the wood, from its length and opaqueness, inspired me with some
apprehension lest it might be the abode of some modern votaries of Mercury,
people having confused ideas of _meum_ and _tuum_, and the _appropriative
faculty_ too strongly developed in their organization, and I expected every
moment to hear a shot and the terrible cry of _ferma_; but we met with no
accident nor did we fall in with a living soul. On issuing from this forest
we perceived on an eminence before us, at a short distance, the town of
Montefiascone. We stopped there as almost all travellers do to taste the
famous Montefiascone wine or _Est_ wine, as it is frequently called. This
wine is fine flavored, _petillant_ and wonderfully exhilarating. It is
renowned for having occasioned the death of a German prelate in the
sixteenth century, who was travelling in Italy and who was remarkably fond
of good wine. The story is as follows. He was accustomed to send on his
servant to the different towns thro' which he was to pass with directions,
to taste and report on the quality of the different wines to be found
there, and if they were good to mark the word _Est_ on the casks from which
he tasted them. The servant, on arrival at Montefiascone, was highly
pleased with the flavour of the wine, of which there were three casks at
the inn where they put up. He accordingly wrote the word _Est_ on each of
the casks. The Bishop arrived soon after and took such a liking to this
wine that he died in a few days of a fever brought on by continual
intoxication. He was buried in one of the churches at Montefiascone and the
monks of the Convent there, themselves _bons-vivans_, determined to give
him a suitable epitaph. They accordingly caused to be engraved on his tomb
the following Latin inscription commemorative of the event: _Est, Est, Est,
propter nimium Est, Dominus Episcopus mortuus_ EST. From the above
circumstance this wine is called _Vino d'Est_, and it affords no small
revenue to the proprietor of the _cabaret_ on the road side who sells it.

We arrived at Viterbo to breakfast and at Ronciglione in the evening.
Viterbo is a large and handsome city and contains several striking
buildings. It is paved with lava and contains a great variety of fountains.
There is some appearance of commerce and industry in this town and there
are several _maisons de plaisance_ in the neighbourhood. From Viterbo,
thro' Monterosi, to Ronciglione the road lies over a mountain of steep
ascent; here and there are patches of forest. There is not a house to be
seen on this route and from there being a good deal of wood, and no
appearance of cultivation, one fancies oneself rather in the wilds of a new
country like America, than in so old a one as Italy.

Ronciglione is an old rubbishing town half in ruins and contains no one
thing remarkable.

The next morning at four o'clock we started from Ronciglione and reached
Baccano to breakfast.

Baccano contains only two buildings; but they are both very large and
roomy; the one is the inn, and the other serves as a barrack for the
Military. There is always a strong military detachment here for the
security of the road against robbers, who occasionally infest this
neighbourhood. The inn is of immense size. Travellers, who arrive here
late, would do well to halt here the whole night, as not only the road is
dangerous on account of robbers, but because if they arrive at Rome after
five o'clock p.m., they cannot release their baggage and carriage from the
Custom house till next day. Every carriage public or private that arrives
in Rome is bound, unless a special permission to the contrary be obtained
from the Government, to drive direct to the Custom house (_Dogana_). In the
like manner, on travelling from Rome to Florence, people generally prefer
to start from Rome at twelve o'clock and bring to the night at Baccano, so
as to avoid the bad inn at Ronciglione and sleep in preference at Viterbo.
I here speak only of those who travel by short stages as the _vetturini_

Ariosto has given a celebrity to this wretched place Baccano in his poem of
the _Orlando Furioso_, in the story of Giocondo in the 28th Canto, as being
the identical place where Fausto, the brother of Giocondo, remained to
await the return of his brother from Rome, to which place he had gone back,
when half way between Baccano and Rome, to fetch the _monile_ which he had
left behind him, and found his wife not _alone_ and _dying with grief_ as
he apprehended, but _sotto la coltre_ with a servant of the family.

The country between Baccano and Rome is as unpleasing and even worse than
that between the former place and Ronciglione. It is hilly, but not a tree,
nor a house, nor a sign of cultivation to be seen except the two or three
wretched hovels at La Storta. There is nothing at all that announces the
approach to a capital city; and in addition to the dismal landscape there
is a sight still more dismal that salutes the eye of the traveller at
intervals of two or three miles and which does not tend to inspire pleasing
ideas; and this is the sight of arms and legs of malefactors and murderers
suspended on large poles on the road side; for it is the custom here to cut
off the arms and legs of murderers after decapitation, and to suspend them
_in terrorem_ on poles, erected on the very spot where they committed the
murder. The sight of these limbs dangling in the wind is not a very
comfortable one towards the close of the evening.

We left the _Sepolero di Nerone_, an ancient tomb so called, on the right
of our road and half a mile beyond it crossed the Tiber at the _Ponte Molle
(Pons Milvius)_, where there is a gate, bridge and military post. From this
post to the _Porta del Popolo_, the entrance into the city for those coming
from the North, the distance is one mile; there is a white wall on each
side of the road the whole way, and some farm houses and villas. Near the
_Ponte Molle_ is the field of battle where Maxentius was defeated by

We entered the _Porta del Popolo_, crossed the _Piazza_ of the same name,
where three streets present themselves to view. In the centre is the street
called the _Corso_, running in a direct line from the _Porta_ across the
_Piazza_. We drove along the _Corso_ till we arrived at a _Piazza_ on our
right hand, which _Piazza_ is called _della Colonna_ from the Column of
Antoninus, which stands on it. We then crossed the _Piazza_ which is very
large and soon reached the _Dogana_ or Custom house, formerly the temple of
Antoninus Pius, where vile modern walls are built to fill up the intervals
between eleven columns of Grecian marble. Here our baggage underwent a
rigorous research; this rigour is not so much directed against the
fraudulent introduction of contraband or duty-bearing merchandise, as
against _books_, which undergo a severe scrutiny. Against Voltaire and
Rousseau implacable war is waged, and their works are immediately
confiscated. Other authors too are sometimes examined, to see whether they
contain anything against Mother Church. As the people employed in
inspecting books are not much versed in any litterature or language but
their own, except perhaps a little French, it is not easy for them to find
out the contents of books in other languages. I had Schiller's works with
me, a volume of which one of the _douaniers_ took up and looked at; on
seeing the Gothic letter he seemed as much astonished as if he had got hold
of a book of _Cabbala_ or _Magic_. He detained the whole work, but it was
sent to me the next day, on my declaring that there was nothing damnable or
heretical in it; for there was no person belonging to the department who
could read German. When the _douaniers_ proceeded to the examination of the
books belonging to one of my fellow travellers, the Neapolitan lady, she
expressed great repugnance to the procedure; the _douaniers_ however
insisted and, behold! there were several _livres galants_ with plates
somewhat _lubriques_, the discovery of which excited blushes on her part
and considerable laughter on the part of the byestanders. These books,
however, not being contraband, were immediately returned to her, as was an
edition of Baffo, belonging to my other fellow traveller, returned to him.
Now this Baffo was a Venetian poet and his works are the most profligate
that ever were penned or imagined by mortal man. Martial and Petronius
Arbiter must hide their diminished heads before Baffo. The owner of this
book chose to read out loud, quite unsolicited, several _choice_ sonnets of
this poet for our edification during the journey; and this branch of
litterature seemed to be the only one with which he was acquainted.

When the examination was over I took leave of my fellow travellers, and
repaired to the _German Hotel_ in the _Via de' Condotti_, where I engaged
an apartment, and sat down to dinner at an excellent _table d'hote_ at five
o'clock. There was a profusion of everything, particularly of fish and
game. Mullets and wild boar are constant dishes at a Roman table. The
mullets at Rome are small but delicious, and this was a fish highly prized
by the ancient Romans. Game of all kinds is very cheap here, from the
abundance of it that is to be met with in wild uninhabited wastes of Latium
and in the Pontine marshes. Every peasant is a sportsman and goes
constantly armed with fire-arms, not only to kill game, but to defend
himself against robbers, who infest the environs of Rome, and who sometimes
carry their audacity so far as to push their _reconnaissances_ close to the
very walls of the city. At the _German Hotel_ the price of the dinner at
_table d'hote_, including wine at discretion, is six _paoli_, about three
franks. I pay for an excellent room about three _paoli_ per diem and my
breakfast at a neighbouring _Caffe_ costs me one _paolo_. A _paolo_ is
worth about five pence English. There are ten _paoli_ to a _scudo Romano_
and ten _bafocchi_ to a _paolo_, The _bafocco_ is a copper coin.

ROME, 12th Sept.

A great number of Germans dine at the _table d'hote_ of Franz's hotel.
Among them I distinguished one day a very intelligent Bavarian Jew. I
proposed to him a walk to the Coliseum the following morning, as
independent of the benefit I derived from his conversation I was curious to
see whether it was true or not that the Jews always avoided walking under
the Arch of Titus, which was erected in commemoration of the capture of
Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus, in the reign of Vespasian. On stepping
out of the _Hotel Allemand_, the first thing that met my eye was the
identical beggar described by Kotzebue in his travels in Italy, and he
gives the very same answer now as then to those who give him nothing, viz.,

We crossed the _Piazza di Spagna_, ascended the superb flight of steps of
the _Trinita de' Monti_, where there is a French church called the Church
of St Louis: near it is the _Villa Medici_, which is the seat of the French
Academy of the fine arts at Rome. We then filed along the _Strada Felice_
till we arrived at the church of _Santa Maria maggiore_, a superb edifice,
the third church in Rome in celebrity, and the second in magnificence. An
immense Egyptian Obelisk stands before it. We then, turning a little to the
right, made the best of our way to the Coliseum where we remained nearly
two hours. I had figured to myself the grandest ideas of this stupendous
building, but the aspect of it far exceeded the sketch even of my
imagination. In Egypt I have seen the Pyramids, but even these vast masses
did not make such an impression on me as the Coliseum has done. I am so
unequal to the task of description that I shall not attempt it; I will give
you however its dimensions which my friend the Jew measured. It is an
ellipse of which the transverse axis is 580 feet in length and its
conjugate diameter 480; but it is not so much the length and breadth as the
solidity of this building that strikes the traveller with astonishment. The
arcaded passage or gallery (on the _rez de chaussee_ between the interior
and the exterior wall), which has a vaulted roof over which the seats are
built, is broad enough to admit three carriages abreast: and the walls on
each side of this gallery are at least twenty feet thick. What a
magnificent spectacle it must have been in the time of the ancient Romans,
when it was ornamented, gilded, and full of spectators, of which it could
contain, it is said, 86,000! The Coliseum has been despoiled by various
Popes and Cardinals to furnish stone and marble to build their palaces;
otherwise, so solid is the building, Time alone would never suffice to
destroy it. At present strict orders are given and sentries are posted to
prevent all further dilapidations, and buttresses have been made to prop up
those parts which had given way. What a pity it is that the Arena has not
been left empty, instead of being fitted up with tawdry niches and images
representing the different stations of the Crucifixion! In the centre is an
immense Cross, which whoever kisses is entitled to one hundred days
indulgence. To what reflections the sight of this vast edifice leads! What
combats of gladiators and wild beasts! What blood has been spilled! Was it
not here that the tyrannical and cowardly Domitian ordered Ulpius Glabrio,
of consular dignity, to descend into the arena and fight with a lion? The
Christian writers mention that many of their sect suffered martyrdom here
by being compelled to fight with wild beasts; but even this was not half so
bad as the conduct of the Christians, when they obtained possession of
political power and dominion, in burning alive poor Jews, Moors and
heretics some centuries afterwards. Indeed the cruelty of the Pagans was
much exaggerated by the above writers and were it even true to its full
extent, their severity was far more excusable than that of the Christians
in later times, for the efforts of the Christian sect in the times of
Paganism were unceasingly directed towards the destruction of the whole
fabric of polytheism, on which was based the entire, social and political
order of the Empire; and they thus brought on themselves perhaps merited
persecution, by their own intolerance; whereas, when they got the upper
hand, they showed no mercy to those of a different religion, and Orthodoxy
has wallowed successively in the blood of Arians, Jews, Moors and

How many a poor Jew or Moor in Spain and Portugal has been burned alive for
no other reason than

_Pour n'avoir point quitte la foi de leurs ancetres._

No, no; no sect or religion was ever so persecuting as the Catholic
Christians! The Polytheists of all times, both ancient and modern, were
tolerant to all religions and so far from striving to make proselytes,
often adopted the ceremonies of other worships in addition to their own;
witness the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans of old, and the Hindoos and
Chinese of the present day. The Jews, ferocious and prejudiced as they
were, never persecuted other nations on the ground of religion, and if they
held these nations in abhorrence as idolaters, and considered themselves
alone as the holy people, the people of God (Yahoudi), they never dreamed
of making converts. The Mussulmans tho' they hold it as a sacred precept of
their religion to endeavour to make converts to Islam, do not use violent
means and only compel those of a different faith to pay a higher tribute.
At any rate, they never have or do put people to death merely for the
difference of religious opinions. Such were the reflections I made on
walking about the Arena of this colossal edifice so worthy of the _popolo

On leaving the Coliseum the first thing that meets the eye is the Arch of
Constantine, under which the Roman triumphal and ovationary processions
moved towards the Capitol. The Arch of Constantine stands just outside the
Coliseum. It is of immense size and extremely well preserved. The ground on
which it stands being much filled up and only half of the Arch appearing,
the rest remaining buried in the earth, it was judged adviseable to
excavate all around it in order to come to the pedestal; so that now there
is a walled enclosure all around it and into this enclosure it is a descent
of at least eighteen feet from the ground outside. Several statues of
captive Kings and bas-reliefs representing the victories of Constantine
adorn the facade of this triumphal arch. The inscriptions are perfect, and
the letters were formerly filled up with bronze; but these have been taken
out at the repeated sackings that poor Rome has undergone from friend and
foe. At a short distance from the Arch of Constantine is the Arch of Titus,
under which we moved along on our road towards the Capitol and my friend
the Jew was too much of a cosmopolite to feel the smallest repugnance at
walking under the Arch. Our conversation then turned on the absurd hatred
and prejudice that existed between Christians and Jews; he was very liberal
on this subject and in speaking of Jesus Christ he said: "Jesus Christ was
a Jew and a real philosopher and was therefore persecuted, for his
philosophy interfered too much with, and tended to shake the political
fabric of the Jewish constitution and to subvert our old customs and
usages: for this reason he was put to death. I seek not to defend or
palliate the injustice of the act or the barbarity with which he was
treated; but our nation did surely no more than any other nation ancient or
modern has done or would still do against reformers and innovators."

The Arch of Titus is completely defaced outside, but in the interior of the
Arch, on each side, is a bas relief: the one representing Vespasian's
triumph over the Jews, and the Emperor himself in a car drawn by six
horses; the other represents the soldiers and followers of the triumph,
bearing the spoils of the conquered nation, and among them the famous
candlesticks that adorned the temple of Jerusalem are very conspicuous.
These figures are in tolerable preservation, only that the Emperor has lost
his head and one of the soldiers has absconded.

On issuing from the Arch of Titus we found ourselves in the Forum, now the
_Campo Vaccino_: so that cattle now low where statesmen and orators
harangued, and lazy priests in procession tread on the sacred dust of

Ou des pretres heureux foulent d'un pied tranquille
Les tombeaux des Catons et les cendres d'Emile.

So sings Voltaire, I believe, or if they are not his lines, they are the
Abbe Delille's.[84]

The imagination is quite bewildered here from the variety of ancient
monuments that meet the eye in every direction. What vast souvenirs crowd
all at once on the mind! Look all around! the _Via Sacra_, the Arch of
Severus, and the Capitol in front; on one side of you, the temple of Peace,
that of Faustina and that of the Sun and Moon: on the other the remaining
three columns of the temple of Jupiter Stator; the three also of the temple
of Jupiter Tonans; the eight columns of the temple of Concord; and the
solitary column of Phocas. At a short distance the temple of Castor and
Pollux and that of Romulus and Remus, which is a round building of great
antiquity, whose rusticity forms a striking contrast with the elegance of
the colonnaded temples, and which was evidently built before the conquest
of Greece by the Romans and the consequent introduction of the fine arts
and of the Grecian orders of architecture.

You may wish to know my sensations on traversing this sacred ground. The
_Via Sacra_ recalled to me Horace meeting the _bavard_ who addresses him:
_Quid agis, dulcissime rerum_?[85] I then thought of the Sabine rape; of
Brutus' speech over the body of Lucretia; then I almost fancied I could see
the spot where stood the butcher's shop, from whence Virginius snatched the
knife to immolate his daughter at the shrine of Honor; next the shade of
Regulus flitted before my imagination, refusing to be exchanged; then I
figured to myself Cicero thundering against Catiline; or the same with
delicate irony ridiculing the ultra-rigor of the Stoics, so as to force
even the gravity of Cato to relax into a smile; then the grand, the heroic
act of Marcus Brutus in immolating the great Caesar at the altar of
liberty. All these recollections and ideas crowded on my imagination
without regard to order or chronology, and I remained for some time in a
state of the most profound reverie, from which I was only roused by my
friend the Jew reminding me that we had a quantity of other things to see.

The first object that engaged my attention on being roused from my reverie,
was the Arch of Severus at the foot of the Capitol which towers above it.
Excavations have been made around this Arch (for otherwise only half of it
could be seen) and a stone wall built around the excavated ground in the
same manner as at the Arch of Constantine. Round several of the columns of
the temples I have above enumerated, excavations have been also made;
otherwise the lower half of them would remain buried in the earth and give
to the monuments the appearance of a city which had been half swallowed up
by an earthquake. By dint of digging round the column of Phocas, the
ancient paved road which led to the Capitol has been discovered and is now
open to view. This ancient road is at least thirty feet below the surface
of the present road and the ground about it. This shows how the ground must
have been filled up by the destruction of buildings at the different
sackings of Rome and the consequent accumulation of rubbish. The French
when they were here began these excavations and the Duchess of Devonshire
continues them.[86] It is useful in every way; it employs a number of poor
people and may be the means of discovering some valuable remains of
antiquity and objects of art. At any rate it is highly gratifying to have
discovered the identical road to the Capitol on which so many Consuls,
Dictators and Emperors moved in triumph, and so many captive Kings wept in

We then ascended the steps that lead to the modern Capitol and mounted on
the _Campanile_ of the same, from whence there is a superb panoramic view
of Rome. On descending from the _Campanile_, we visited the Tarpeian rock,
which is now of inconsiderable height, the ground about it and heaps of
rubbish having filled up the abyss below. We then entered the court yard of
the Capitol. The Capitol and building annexed to it form three sides of a
rectangle, the centre or _corps de logis_ lying North and South, and the
wings East and West, the whole inclosing a court yard open on the South
side of the rectangle, from whence you descend into the street on the plain
below, by a most magnificent escalier or flight of steps. Of the Capitol,
the _corps de logis_ or central building to which the _Campanile_ belongs,
is reserved for the occupation and habitation of the _Senator Romano_, a
civil magistrate, corresponding something to the mayor in France or
_Oberbuergermeister_ in the German towns, and who is chosen from among the
nobility and nominated by the Pope. The wings contain the _Museum
Capitolinum_ of painting and sculpture. There is a great deal to call forth
the admiration of the traveller in the court yard of the Capitol. The most
prominent object is the famous bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius,
which cannot fail to rivet the attention of the least enthusiastic
spectator. I observed at each angle of the facade of the Capitol a colossal
statue of a captive King in a Phrygian dress; but still more striking than
these are the colossal statues of Castor and Pollux leading horses, which
stand a little in front of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, and
nearer the _escalier_, the one on the right the other on the left. Two
lions in basalt on each side of the _escalier_ are very striking objects,
and the _escalier_ itself is the most superb thing of the kind perhaps in
the world. This _escalier_ and the Marcus Aurelius, unique also in its
kind, are both the workmanship of Michael Angelo.[87] We descended this
_escalier_ and then fronted it to take a view of the Capitol from the
bottom; but the statue of Marcus Aurelius is so prominent and so grand that
it absorbed all my attention.

After dinner I walked a little in the gardens on the Pincian hill, and then
visited some friends belonging to the French Academy of Painting and
Sculpture, who were so good as to shew me their productions, and also a
copy of the superb folio edition of Denon's work on Egypt which to me, who
had been in that country, was highly gratifying. Oh! what a pity that the
French could not keep that country! What a paradise they would have made of
it! As it is (and to their credit be it said) they did more good for the
country during three years only, than we have done for our possessions in
India for fifty years.

ROME, 15th Septr.

The next morning, after an early breakfast, I repaired to the Pantheon, now
called _Santa Maria della Rotonda_, and appropriated to the Catholic
worship. It is easily recognizable by its rotundity and by the simple
grandeur of its facade and portico. The bronze has been taken out of the
letters of the inscription. This beautiful specimen of ancient architecture
is situated in a small _piazza_ or square called _Piazza della Rotonda_,
where a market of poultry, game, and vegetables is held. There are only now
three or four steps on the _escalier_ to ascend, in order to enter into the
portico; but as it is known that according to the descriptions of the
Pantheon in ancient times there was an immense flight of steps to ascend,
it is an additional proof how much the ground on which modern Rome stands
has been filled up, and consequently it is evident that the greater part of
this flight of steps remains still buried in the earth.

If I was so struck with the appearance of this interesting edifice outside,
how much more so should I have been on seeing the inside, were not the
niches, where formerly stood the statues of the Gods, filled with tawdry
dolls representing the Virgin Mary and _he_ and _she_ saints. The columns
and pilasters in the interior of this temple are beautiful, all of _jaune
antique_ and one entire stone each. How much better would it have been to
replace the statues of the _Dii Majorum Gentium_ which occupied the niches,
by statues in marble of the Apostles, instead of the dolls dressed in
tawdry colors, and the frippery gilding of the altars on which they stand,
which disfigure this noble building. The Pantheon was built by Agrippa as
the inscription shews. In the interior are sixteen columns of _jaune
antique_. The bronze that formerly ornamented this temple was made use of
to fabricate the baldachin of St Peter's. Of late years it has been the
fashion to erect monuments affixed to the walls of the interior of the
Pantheon to the memory of the great men and heroes of poetry, painting,
sculpture and music who were natives of Italy, or for foreigners,
celebrated for their excellence in those arts, who have died in Rome. Here
are for instance, tablets to the memory of Metastasio, Rafael Mengs,
Sacchini, Poussin, Winckelmann; the Phidias of modern days, the illustrious
Canova, has recommended the placing in the Pantheon of the busts in marble
of all the great men who have flourished in Italy, as the most appropriate
ornament to this temple. He himself with a princely liberality has made a
present to it of the busts of Dante, Petrarca, Ariosto, Tasso, Guarini,
Alfieri, Michel Angelo, Rafaello, Metastasio and various other worthies.
These busts are all the production either of Canova himself, or made by his
pupils under his direction; they are not the least remarkable ornament of
the place. In the centre of the _Piazza della Rotonda_ stands an obelisk
brought from Egypt, which belonged to a temple sacred to Isis in that

I next repaired to the _Piazza di Navona_, a large and spacious square,
where there is a superb fountain representing a vast rock with four
colossal figures, one of which reclines at the foot of the rock, at each
angle of the pedestal that supports it, and it is surmounted by an Obelisk
which was brought from Egypt and was found in the gardens of Sallust. The
four colossal figures represent the four river Gods of the four great
rivers in Europe, Asia, Africa and America, viz., the Danube, the Ganges,
the Nile, and the Plata. The statue of the Nile has his head half-concealed
by a cloak, emblematical of the source of that river not being discovered.
In the _Piazza_ are frequently held fairs, shews of wild beasts, theatrical
exhibitions and sometimes combats of wild beasts.

I crossed the Tiber on my way to St Peter's at the _Ponte di Sant' Angelo_;
directly on the other side of the river stands the castle of that name, an
immense edifice formerly the _Moles Adriana_ or Mausoleum of the Emperor
Adrian. It is of a circular form and is a remarkably striking object. From
here there is a spacious street as broad as Portland place, which leads to
the magnificent _Piazza_, where stands the Metropolitan Church of the
Christian world, the pride of Christendom, the triumph of modern
architecture, flanked on each side by a semi-circular colonnaded portico,
which constitutes one of its greatest beauties and distinguishes it from
all the other temples in the world. On the Piazza, considerably in front of
this wonderful edifice and nearly in the centre, stands an immense Egyptian
Obelisk, and at a short distance on each side of the Obelisk two
magnificent fountains which spout water to a great height and which
contribute greatly to the ornament of the _Piazza_.

Now you must not expect me to give you a description of this glorious
temple. I never in my life possessed descriptive powers, even for objects
of no great importance: how then could I attempt to delineate the
innumerable beauties of this edifice? Yet, vast as it is, the proportions
of the facade are so correct, that they, together with the semi-circular
colonnaded portico, serve to diminish its apparent size and to render its
mass less imposing, but perhaps more beautiful. On this account it appears
at first sight of less size than the Church of St Paul's in London. The
beauty of the architecture, viz., of the facade and of the colonnaded
portico would require days to examine and admire. What shall I say then of
the wonders of the interior, crowded and charged as it is with the finest
pieces of sculpture, columns of the most beautiful _verd antique_ and of
_jaune antique_; the masterpieces of painting copied in mosaic; the
precious, stones and marbles of all sorts that adorn the variety of
magnificent chapels and altars; the immense baldachin with its twisted
columns of bronze (the spoils of the Pantheon and of the temple of
Jerusalem); the profusion of gilding and ornament of all sorts and where in
spite of this profusion there seems _rien de trop_. At first entrance the
eye is so dazzled with the magnificent _tout ensemble_ as to be incapable
for a long time of examining any thing in detail. Each chapel abounds in
the choicest marbles and precious stones: in a word it would seem as if the
whole wealth of the Earth were concentrated here. Without impiety or
exaggeration, I felt on entering this majestic temple for the first time
just as I conceive a resuscitated mortal would feel on being ushered into
the scene of the glories of Heaven. The masterpieces of painting are here
perpetuated in mosaic, and so correctly and beautifully done, that unless
you approach exceedingly close indeed, it is impossible to distinguish them
from paintings. What an useful as well as ornamental art is the mosaic!
There are a great variety of confessionals where penitents and pilgrims may
confess, each in his own tongue, for there is a confessional for the use of
almost every native tongue and language in the Catholic world. The cupola!
What an astonishing sight when you look up at it from below! How can I
better describe it than by relating the anecdote of Michel Angelo its
constructor, who when some one made a remark on the impossibility of making
a finer Cupola than that of the Pantheon, burst out into the following
exclamation: "Do you think so? Then I will throw it in the air," and he
fulfilled his word; for the cupola of St Peter's is exactly of the size of
that of the Pantheon, tho' at such an elevation as to give it only the
appearance of one fourth of its real size, or even less. The sublimity of
the design can only be equalled by the boldness and success of its
execution. Till it was done, it was thought by every artist impossible to
be done. What an extraordinary genius was this Michel Angelo! Ariosto has
hot at all exaggerated in his praise when he speaks of him in punning on
his name:

_Michel_ piu che mortal, _Angel_ divino.[88]

Michael, less man than Angel and divine.

--Trans, W.S. ROSE.

Among the various splendid marble monuments with which this temple abounds
is one erected to the memory of Pope Rezzonico, constructed by Canova and
reckoned one of his masterpieces. The Pope is represented in his
canonicals. Behind and above him is a colossal statue of Religion with a
cross in one hand and rays in form of spikes issuing from her head. I do
not like these spikes. On the dexter side of this monument, is a beautiful
male youthful figure representing a funereal genius with an inverted torch.
The signal delicacy, beauty and symmetry of this statue forms a striking
contrast with the figure of an immense lion sleeping on the sinister side;
and this lion is an irrefragable proof that Canova excels in the
delineation of the terrible as well as the beautiful, for it is admirably

At another monument is a superb female figure of colossal size representing
Truth. It was formerly naked, but they have contrived to execute in
coloured marble a vestment to cover her loins and veil her secret beauties.
The reason of which is, that this beautiful statue made such an impression
once upon a traveller (some say he was an Englishman, others a Spaniard)
that it inspired him with a sort of Pygmalionic passion which he attempted
to gratify one night; he was discovered in the attempt, and since that
time, to prevent further scandal or attempts of the sort and to conceal
from profane eyes the charms of the too alluring Goddess, this colored
marble vestment was imagined and executed. This story is borrowed from

There is also here a fine statue of Pope Gregory XIII and a magnificent
bas-relief, the subject of which is the reform of the calendar by that
Pope. Here too is a monument to Christina Queen of Sweden, and a bas-relief
representing her abjuration of the Lutheran Faith.

But why should I attempt to detail all these monuments, while it would
require folios for the purpose; let me rather introduce you to the hero and
tutelary saint of this sanctuary. St Peter, a superb bronze statue
something above the usual size of men, is seated on a curule chair in the
nave of the church on the right hand side as you approach the baldachin. He
holds in his hands the keys of Heaven. He receives the adoration of all the
faithful who enter into this temple, and this adoration is performed by
kissing his foot which, from the repeated kissings, is become of a bright
polish and is visibly wearing away. The statue was formerly a statue of
Jupiter Capitolinus, but on the grand revolution among the inhabitants of
Olympus and the downfall of Jupiter, it was broken to pieces, melted down
and fabricated into an image of St Peter, so that this statue has lost
little of its former sovereignty and still rules Heaven and Earth if not
with regal, with at least vice-regal power, tho' under a different name.

In the Sistine Chapel is the celebrated painting al fresco of the day of
Judgment by Michel Angelo, an aweful subject and nobly and awefully

In the porch under the facade of St Peter's are two marble statues on
horseback, one at each end of the porch: they represent Constantine the
Great and Charlemagne, the two great benefactors of the holy Catholic
Church; the one, in fact, its founder, the other its preserver.

As the Palace of the Vatican stands close to the Church of St Peter's and
communicates with it by an _escalier_, I ascended the _escalier_ in order
to behold and examine the famous Museum of the Vatican, the first in the
world, and unique for the vast treasures of the fine arts that it contains;
treasures which the united wealth of all Europe and India to boot could not
purchase at their just price. Here in fact it may be said are preserved the
riches and plunder of the whole world, which was stripped of all its
valuables by those illustrious brigands the ancient Romans. And mark in
this point the good fortune of Rome; instead of losing them again as other
nations have lost their trophies, Superstition came to her aid and caused
them to be respected and preserved, 'till an enlightened age arose which
guided by Philosophy, Humanity and Science will for ever preserve them
secure against all attacks of barbarians in a sanctuary so worthy of them.

_Museum Vaticanum_[90]

A superb flight of steps leads into a hall of immense length filled on each
side with statues, busts, sarcophagi, altars, urns, vases and candelabra,
all monuments of antiquity and of the most exquisite workmanship. The walls
on each side of this hall are inlaid with tablets bearing inscriptions in
Greek, Latin and Etruscan. One is quite bewildered amongst such a profusion
of Gods, Semi-Gods, Heroes. I must single out a few of the most remarkable
for their workmanship. Here is a group representing the sacrifice of
Mithras. On ascending a few steps at the other end of this hall, in a small
octangular room, are the statue of Meleager; the famous Torso; the tomb of
Scipio with bas-reliefs. On leaving the chamber you come into an octangular
gallery, issuing from which are four circular chambers; each chamber
contains a masterpiece of art. In one is the Apollo Belvedere, in another
the Laocoon (both safely arrived from Paris); in the third Antinous; in the
fourth the Perseus of Canova, with Medusa's head and his famous group of
the two pugilists. Descriptions of the three first would be superfluous--
for of them

Mills altri han detto e con via miglior plettro,

and even with respect to the Perseus of Canova, I shall content myself with
remarking that the sculptor had evidently the Apollo Belvedere in his
ideal, and if he has not quite equalled that celebrated statue, it is
because it is impossible; but he certainly has given the nearest possible
approximation to its excellence.

In another hall and just at its entrance are the statues of Menander and
Posidippus in a sitting posture, one on either side. In this hall are
innumerable fine statues, but the further end of it, fronting you as you
enter, is a statue which at once engages and rivets your undivided
attention; it at once induces you to approach and to take no notice of the
statues on the right and left of the hall. And how should it be otherwise,
since it is the identical statue of the father of the Gods and men, the
famous Jupiter Capitolinus which adorned the Capitol in ancient Rome. He is
sitting on a throne with a sceptre in one hand and the thunderbolts in the
other, at his feet an eagle. It is a glorious statue and in every respect
characteristic; such grandeur, such majesty in the countenance! It is
impossible not to feel awe and reverence on beholding it. It was on
contemplating this venerable statue that an Englishman who was at Rome some
sixty years ago, stood wrapt for a time in silent veneration; then suddenly
breaking silence he made a profound obeisance before the statue and
exclaimed: "Recollect, O father of the Gods and men, that I have paid my
hommage to you in your adversity and do not forget me, should you ever
raise your head above water again!"

In the hall of the Muses are the statues of the tuneful Nine which were
found underground among the ruins of Hadrian's villa at Tivoli.

In the centre of a circular chamber of vast dimensions, is an enormous
circular basin of porphyry, of forty-one feet in diameter. A superb mosaic
adorns the floor of the centre of this chamber, and is inclosed.
Appropriate ornaments to this immense chamber are the colossal statues of
the _Dii majorum Gentium_. Here are Juno, Minerva, Cybele, Jupiter,
Serapis, Mars, Ceres, and others.

In another hall are two enormous Egyptian Gods in yellow granite; two
superb sarcophagi in red marble and two immense Sphinxes in granite. In
another chamber is an antique car drawn by two horses: the near one is
modern, the off one ancient. The wheels of this car are modern; both car
and horses are of exquisite workmanship. Several fine statues adorn this
chamber, among which the most remarkable are a Phocion, a Paris, an
Antinous, and a Triton carrying off a Nereid.

I must not omit to mention that in one of the halls is the famous group of
the Nile, represented by an enormous colossal River God, surrounded by
fourteen children playing with young crocodiles. Opposite to this group is
another equally celebrated, viz., the colossal statue of the Tiber, with
the she-wolf giving suck to Romulus and Remus by his side. The mosaic
pavements in this Museum surpass in richness any in the world. In one of
the halls, among the works of modern times, are two beautiful marble tables
richly inlaid with all sorts of stones of value, with bas-reliefs on them;
the one representing the visit of the Emperor Joseph II, and the other that
of Gustavus III of Sweden to Rome, and their reception by the Pope.

One of the halls of sculpture is appropriated to the figures of animals of
all kinds, from the lion and eagle down to the rat and crawfish in marbles
of all colors, and of all sizes; the best executed among them appeared to
me a group representing a greyhound bitch giving suck to her young. As for
the valuable cameos, coins, medals, and smaller remnants of antiquity in
this Museum, they are innumerable.

With regard to the paintings that belong to this Museum, there is only a
small, collection but it is unique. Here is the Transfiguration and some
other masterpieces of Rafaello.

In the _Stanze di Rafaello_ (so they are called) are several large fresco
paintings, viz., one representing the battle of Maxentius and Constantine;
another, the school of Athens and Socrates sitting among the other
philosophers; a third representing a fire; besides others.

In one of these _stanze_ is a work in tapestry representing Jesus Christ
bursting forth from the sepulchre, but he has a visage far too rubicund and
wanting in dignity; he looks like a person flushed with wine issuing from a
tavern; in the countenance there is depicted (so it appears to me) a
vulgar, not a dignified triumph.

The Palace of the Vatican is of immense size and is said to cover as much
ground as the city of Turin; and I am inclined to think that there is not a
great deal of exaggeration in this statement, for the vista along the
corridors and galleries appears to be endless. The Library of the Vatican
is of course very extensive and of immense value; but the books, as well as
the manuscripts, are kept in presses which are locked, and it is rather
awkward to be continually applying to the _custode_ to take out and put
back a book.

The Museum of the Vatican is open twice a week to the public, viz.
Thursdays and Sundays; but foreigners, on shewing their passports, may
obtain admission at any time.

ROME, 17th Sept.

My next visit was to the Capitol in order to inspect the _Museum
Capitolinum_. This time I ascended the magnificent _escalier_ of Michel
Angelo, having the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in front. On
arriving at the courtyard, I entered the building on my left (which is on
the right of the facade). Under the colonnaded portico of this wing are the
statues of Caesar and Augustus; here too is the naval column of the consul
Duilius, in commemoration of the first naval victory gained over the
Carthaginians; also a colossal statue of the Rhine called Marforio. In one
of the halls two large statues of the Egyptian Goddess Isis and various
other Egyptian divinities. In this Museum among other things is an altar
representing Claudia drawing to the land the Ship of Cybele; a magnificent
sarcophagus with a bas relief on its side representing the progress of
life; Amalthea giving suck to Jupiter; the God Anubis found among the ruins
of Adrian's palace at Tivoli. On ascending the staircase, I observed on the
right hand fixed in the wall a tablet with a plan of ancient Rome carved on
it. In one of the halls above stairs the most remarkable statue is that of
the dying gladiator (brought back from Paris); this is certainly a noble
piece of sculpture; the bodily pain and mental anguish are singularly well
expressed in the countenance; a superb bronze statue of Hercules; a Centaur
in black marble; a Faun in _rosso antico_; a group of Cupid and Psyche; a
Venus in Parian marble rather larger than the common size. One of the halls
in this museum contains the busts of all the philosophers; another those of
all the Roman emperors; there is also a colossal statue of Pyrrhus; a
superb Agrippina and the celebrated mosaic of the four pigeons. In
enumerating the above I have only to observe that they only constitute a
thousandth part of what is to be seen here. After passing three hours in
this wing of the building, I went over across the courtyard to the other
wing. Under the portico of this wing the following are the most remarkable
among the statues: a Roman _triumphans_, two Phrygian kings in black
marble. In one of the rooms above stairs is a very remarkable piece of
antiquity, viz., the bronze wolf giving suck to Romulus and Remus, which
was found in the temple of Romulus and which was struck by lightning during
the consulate of Julius: the marks made by the lightning are quite
distinct. There is in this wing a small but excellent collection of
paintings, and a great variety of statues, busts, sarcophagi, candelabra,
and antiquities of all sorts.

The front part, or _corps de logis_ of the Capitol is called _Il Palazzo
del Senato conservatore_, and is the residence of the _Senator Romano_ who
is chosen by the Pope. By the bye, I understand this dignity is generally
given to a foreigner, the Pontiffs being, rather jealous of the Roman

This wing of the Capitol employed me two hours; but I must visit this
Museum as well as that of the Vatican often again; for it would require
months and years to examine them duly.

ROME, 18th Sept.

On this side of the river which is called _Transtevere_, I had an
opportunity of observing the inhabitants, who are called _Transteverini_,
the most of whom pretend to be the descendants of the ancient Romans,
unmixed with any foreign blood. They certainly have very much of that
physiognomy that is attributed to the ancient Romans, for they are a tall,
very robust race of men having something of a ferocious dignity in their
countenance which, however, is full of expression, and the aquiline nose is
a prominent feature among them. They are exceedingly jealous of their
women, whom they keep within doors as much as they can, and if a stranger
on passing by their doors should chance to observe their wives or daughters
who may be standing there and should stop to admire them (for many of them
have an air of antique beauty and majesty of countenance which is
remarkably striking), they will instantly order the females to retire, with
an air of asperity.

Whether they really be the pure descendants of the ancient Romans is
difficult to say: but it is by no means improbable, since even to this day
they intermarry solely with one another, and refuse to give their daughters
in marriage to foreigners or to those of mixed blood.

Instances have been known of these families, who are for the most part very
poor, refusing the most advantageous offers of marriage made to their
daughters by rich foreign merchants and artists, on the ground merely that
the suitors were not _Romani_ but _Barbari._

As for the _bourgeoisie_ of Rome in general, they _have been_ for some
centuries back and _are_ a very mixed race, composed of all the nations of
Europe. Most of the foreign artists who come here to study the fine arts,
viz., Belgians, Dutch, German, French, English, Swedes, Danes, Poles and
Russians, as well as those from other parts of Italy, struck with the
beauty of the women, and pleased with the tranquility and agreeable society
that prevails in this metropolis, and the total freedom from all _gene_ and
etiquette, marry Roman women and fix here for life: so that among this
class you meet with more foreign names than Roman; and it is this sort of
colonisation which keeps up the population of Rome, which would otherwise
greatly decrease as well from the celibacy of the number that become
priests, as from the malaria that prevails in and about the city in July
and August.

ROME, 19th Sept.

I have been employed for the last two days in visiting some of the
churches, _palazzi_ and villas of modern Rome; but the number is so
prodigious and there are such a variety of things to be seen in each that I
shall only make mention of a few; indeed there are many that I have not
seen and probably shall not have time to see. As sacred things should
precede profane, let us begin with the churches.

The first that claims the attention of the traveller after St Peter's, is
the church of St John Lateran which is the oldest church in Christendom,
and was the metropolitan of Rome and of the Christian world before the
building of St Peter's. It lies very nearly in a right line with the
_Piazza di Spagna_, and on a prolonged line, forming an obtuse angle with
the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which, as I first visited, I shall
first describe and afterwards resume what I have to remark on the subject
of St John Lateran.

Santa Maria Maggiore is the third church in importance, but the second in
magnificence in Rome. Before its facade stands a single column of granite
of the Corinthian order. The facade of this church is beautiful but it
would be far better without the _campanile_, which I think always
disfigures a church of Grecian architecture; besides it is not in the
centre of the building. The church is richly adorned with mosaics and its
several chapels are admirable from the execution of their architecture and
sculpture and the value of the different rich marbles and precious stones
with which the monuments therein are made and incrusted. Among these
Chapels are those of Sixtus V, Paul V. The grand altar is of porphyry. But
the most striking beauty of this church and which eclipses all its other
ornaments, are the forty columns of beautiful Grecian marble on each side
of the nave. The ceiling, too, is superb and richly gilt; the gilding must
have cost an immense sum and was done, it is said, with the first gold that

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