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Ravenna, A Study by Edward Hutton

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When in the year 1438 duke Filippo Maria Visconti of Milan forced
Ostasio da Polenta, the fifth of that name, into an alliance and the
Venetians thereupon invited him to visit them, Venice had decided for
her own safety to annex Ravenna and Ostasio soon learned that the new
government had proclaimed itself in his old capital. He, as I have
said, presently disappeared, the victim of a mysterious assassination;
and Venice governed Ravenna by _provveditori_ and _podesta_, as
happily and successfully, it might seem, as she governed Venetia and a
part of Lombardy. For her doubtless the acquisition of Ravenna was not
a very great thing, nor does it seem to have changed in any very great
degree the half-stagnant life of the city itself, which, as we may
suppose, had for so long ceased to play any great part in the life of
Italy, that a change of government there was not of much importance to
any one except the Holy See, the true over-lord.

The Holy See, however, had no intention of submitting to the incursion
of the republic into its long established territories without a
protest. In the war of Ferrara, Venice had come into collision with
the pope and had in reality been worsted, though the peace of Bagnolo
(1484) gave her Rovigo, the Polesine, and Ravenna. But she had adopted
a fatal policy in appealing to the French, a policy which led straight
on to Cambray, which, as we may think, so unfortunately crippled her
for ever.

The descent of the French was successful at least in this, that it
aroused the cupidity and ambition of the king of Spain and of the
emperor. Italy was proved to be any one's prize at Fornovo, and when
Louis XII. succeeded Charles VIII. in 1498 and combined in his own
person the claim of the French crown to Naples and to Genoa and the
Orleans claim to Milan, Venice, instead of being doubly on guard,
thought she saw a chance of extending her Lombard dominions. She
refused the alliance Sforza offered and promised to assist Louis in
return for Cremona and its _contado_. In other words, she committed
treason to Italy and thus justified, if anything could justify, the
League of Cambray.

Sforza's first act was to urge the Turk, who needed no invitation, to
attack the republic, whose fleet in 1499 was utterly defeated at sea
by the Orientals, who presently raided into Friuli. Venice was forced
to accept a humiliating peace. It was in these circumstances that,
with all Italy alienated from her, the papacy began to act against

Its first and most splendid effort to create a reality out of the
fiction of the States of the Church was the attempt of Cesare Borgia,
who actually made himself master of the whole of the Romagna. Venice
watched him with the greatest alarm, but chance saved her, for with
the death of Alexander VI., Cesare and his dream came to nothing.
Venice acted at once, for indeed even in her decline she was the most
splendid force in Italy. She induced by a most swift and masterly
stroke the leading cities of the Romagna to place themselves under her
protection. It was a great stroke, the last blow of a great and
desperate man; that it failed does not make it less to be admired.

The rock which broke the stroke as it fell and shattered the sword
which dealt it was Pope Julius II.

Louis and the emperor had come together, and when in June 1508 a truce
was made they would have been content to leave Venice alone; it was
the pope who refused, and by the end of the year had formed the
European League for the purpose of "putting a stop to losses,
injuries, rapine, and damage which Venice had inflicted not merely on
the Holy See, but also on the Holy Roman Empire, the House of Austria,
the Duchy of Milan, the King of Naples and other princes, seizing and
tyrannically occupying their territories, cities, and castles as
though she were conspiring to the common ill...." So ran the preamble
of the League of Cambray. It contemplated among other things the
return of Ravenna, Faenza, Rimini, and the rest of the Romagna to the
Holy See; Istria, Fruili, Treviso, Padua, Vicenza, and Verona being
handed to the emperor; Brescia, Bergamo, Crema, and Cremona passing to
France, and the sea-coast towns in Apulia to the king of Spain;
Dalmatia was to go to the king of Hungary and Cyprus to the duke of

[Illustration: ROCCA VENIZIANA]

In the spring of 1507, Julius launched his bull of excommunication
against Venice; Ravenna, which was held by the podesta Marcello and by
Zeno, was attacked by the pope's general, the duke of Urbino, and
after the disastrous defeat of the Venetians by the French and
Milanese, at Aguadello, on the Adda, the republic ordered the
restoration of Ravenna to the Holy See, together with the other cities
of the Romagna.

The pope was now content, but France and the emperor were not, and
Venice was forced to ally herself first with one side and then with
the other.

In the brutal struggle of the foreigner for Cisalpine Gaul there were
two desperate battles, that of Ravenna in 1512, in which the French,
though victorious, lost their best leader, Gaston de Foix, and that of
Novara in 1513, which induced the French to leave Italy. As the first
of these battles concerns Ravenna we must consider it more closely.

At this time Venice was in alliance with Spain and the pope against
the French, who were commanded by Gaston de Foix, Duke of Nemours, a
nephew of the French king. The combined Spanish and papal troops,
about 20,000 strong, were led by Raimondo da Cardona. The French were
south of the Apennines when the Papal-Spanish force swung round from
Milan into the Ferrarese, seized the territory south of the Po, and
laid siege to Bologna. A Venetian force was hurrying to aid them.

Gaston de Foix did not hesitate. On February 5, he flung himself over
the ice-bound Apennine and hastened to relieve Bologna. Cardona
retreated before him down the Aemilian Way; but Brescia opened its
gates to the Venetians, and this, which hindered Gaston, so enraged
him that when he had taken the city he gave it up to a pillage in
which more than eight thousand were slain and his men "were so laden
with spoil that they returned to France forthwith to enjoy it."

Gaston was compelled to return to Milan to re-form his troops, for he
was determined both by necessity and by his own nature, which loved
decision, to force a battle with the allies. The truth was that the
position of France was precarious, her career in Italy was deeply
threatened by the allies, Henry VIII. of England contemplated a
descent upon Normandy, and until the enemy in Italy was disposed of
her way was barred to Naples.

So Gaston set out with some 7000 cavalry and 17,000 infantry, French,
Italian, German, to pursue and to defeat Cardona, who did not wish to
fight. The army of the allies was chiefly Spanish and it numbered some
6000 cavalry and 16,000 infantry of most excellent fighting quality.

As the French advanced along the Via Aemilia, Cardona withdrew to
Faenza. Gaston went on to Ravenna, which he besieged. Cardona was
forced to intervene and try to save the city. He, too, approached
Ravenna. Upon Easter Day, 1512, the two armies met in the marsh
between Ravenna and the sea; and, in the words of Guicciardini, "there
then began a very great battle, without doubt one of the greatest that
Italy had seen for these many years.... All the troops were
intermingled in a battle fought thus on a plain without impediments
such as water or banks, and where both armies fought, each obstinately
bent on death or victory, and inflamed not only with danger, glory,
and hope, but also with the hatred of nation against nation. It was a
memorable spectacle in the hot engagement between the German and
Spanish infantry to see two very noted officers, Jacopo Empser, a
German, and Zamudio, a Spaniard, advance before their battalions and
encounter one another as if it were by challenge, in which combat the
Spaniard went off conqueror by killing his adversary. The cavalry of
the army of the League was not at best equal to that of the French,
and having been shattered and torn by the artillery was become much
inferior. Wherefore after they had sustained for some time, more by
stoutness of heart than by strength of arms, the fury of the enemy,
Yves d'Allegre with the rearguard and a thousand foot that were left
at the Montone under Paliose and now recalled charging them in flank,
and Fabrizio Colonna, fighting valiantly, being taken prisoner by the
soldiers of the Duke of Ferrara, they turned their backs, in which
they did no more than follow the example of their generals; for the
Viceroy and Carvagiale, without making the utmost proof of the valour
of their troops, betook themselves to flight, carrying off with them
the third division or rearguard almost entire with Antonio da Leva, a
man of that time of low rank though afterwards by a continual exercise
of arms for many years, rising through all the military degrees, he
became a very famous general. The whole body of light horse had been
already broken, and the Marchese di Pescara, their commander, taken
prisoner, covered with blood and wounds. And the Marchese della
Palude, who had led up the second division, or main battle, through a
field full of ditches and brambles in great disorder to the fight, was
also taken. The ground was covered with dead men and horses, and yet
the Spanish infantry, though abandoned by the horse, continued
fighting with incredible fierceness; and though, at the first
encounter with the German foot, they had received some damage from the
firm and close order of the pikes, yet afterwards getting their
enemies within the length of their swords, and many of them, covered
with targets, pushing with daggers between the legs of the Germans,
they had penetrated with very great slaughter almost to the centre of
their battalions. The Gascon foot who were posted by the Germans on
the ground between the river and a rising bank had attacked the
Italian infantry, which, though they had greatly suffered by the
artillery, would have repulsed them highly to their honour, had not
Yves d'Allegre entered among them with a squadron of horse. But the
fortune of that general did not answer his valour, for his son
Viverais being almost immediately killed before his eyes, the father,
unwilling to survive so great a loss, threw himself with his horse
into the thickest of the enemies, where, fighting like a most valiant
captain and killing several, he was at last cut to pieces. The Italian
foot, unable to resist so great a multitude, gave way; but part of the
Spanish infantry hastening to support them, they rallied. On the other
side, the German infantry, being sorely pressed by the other part of
the Spaniards, were hardly capable of making any resistance; but the
cavalry of the confederates being all fled out of the field, Foix with
a great body of horse turned to fall upon them. The Spaniards,
therefore, rather retiring than driven out of the field, without the
least disorder in their ranks, took their way between the river and
the bank, marching slowly and with a close front, by the strength of
which they beat off the French and began to disengage themselves; at
which time Navarre, choosing rather to die than to save himself, and
therefore refusing to leave the field, was made a prisoner. But Foix,
thinking it intolerable that this Spanish infantry should march off in
battle array like conquerors and knowing that the victory was not
perfect if these were not broken and dispersed like the rest, went
furiously to attack them with a squadron of horse and did execution
upon the hindmost; but being surrounded and thrown from his horse, or,
as some say, his horse falling upon him, while he was fighting, he
received a mortal thrust with a pike in his side. And if it be
desirable, as it is believed, for a man to die in the height of his
prosperity, it is certain that he met with a most happy death in dying
after he had obtained so great a victory. He died very young, but
famous through the world, having in less than three months, and being
a general almost before he was a soldier, with incredible ardour and
expedition obtained so many victories. Near him lay on the ground for
dead Lautrec, having received twenty wounds; but being carried to
Ferrara he was by diligent care of the surgeons recovered.

"By the death of Foix, the Spanish infantry were suffered to pass off
unmolested, the remainder of the army being already dispersed and put
to flight, and the baggage, colours, and cannons taken. The pope's
legate was also taken by the Stradiotti and carried to Federigo da
Bozzolo, who made a present of him to the legate of the council. There
were taken also Fabrizio Colonna, Pietro Navarra, the Marchese della
Palude, the Marchese di Bitonto, and the Marchese di Pescara, with
many other lords, barons, and honourable gentlemen, Spaniards and
Neapolitans. Nothing is more uncertain than the number of the killed
in battles; but amidst the variety of accounts it is the most common
opinion that there died of both armies at least 10,000, of which a
third was of the French and two-thirds of their enemies: some talk of
many more, but they were without question almost all of them of the
most valiant and choice soldiers, among whom, belonging to the papal
forces, was Raffaello de' Pazzi, an officer of high reputation; and
great numbers were wounded. But in this respect the loss of the
conqueror was without comparison much the greater by the death of
Foix, Yves d'Allegre, and many of the French nobility, and many other
brave officers of the German infantry, by whose valour, though at vast
expense of their blood, the victory was in a great measure acquired.
Molard also fell with many other officers of the Gascons and Picards,
which nation lost all their glory that day among the French. But their
loss was exceeded by the death of Foix, with whom perished the very
sinews and spirits of that army. Of the vanquished that escaped out of
the field of battle the greater part fled towards Cesena, whence they
continued their flight to more distant places; nor did the Viceroy
stop till he came to Ancona where he arrived with a very few horse.
Many were stripped and murdered in their flight; for the peasants
scoured all the roads and the Duke of Urbino, who from his sending
some time before Baldassare da Castiglione to the King of France, and
employing some trusty persons as his agents with Foix, was supposed to
have entered into a private agreement against his uncle, not only
raised the country against those that fled, but sent his soldiers to
intercept them in the territories of Pesaro; so that only those who
took their flight through the dominions of the Florentines were by
orders of the magistrates, confirmed by the republic, suffered to pass

"The victorious army was no sooner returned to camp than the people of
Ravenna sent deputies to treat of surrendering their city; but when
they had agreed or were upon the point of agreement, and the
inhabitants being employed in preparing provisions to be sent to the
camp were negligent in guarding the walls, the German and Gascon foot
entered through the breach that had been made and plundered the town
in a most barbarous manner, their cruelty being exasperated not only
by their natural hatred to the name of the Italians, but by a spirit
of revenge for the loss they had sustained in the battle. On the
fourth day after this, Marcantonio Colonna gave up the citadel, into
which he had retired, on condition of safety to their persons and
effects, but obliging himself on the other hand, together with the
rest of the officers, not to bear arms against the King of France nor
the Pisan Council till the next festival of S. Mary Magdalen; and not
many days after, Bishop Vitello, who commanded in the castle with a
hundred and fifty men, agreed to surrender it on terms of safety for
life and goods. The cities of Imola, Forli, Cesena, and Rimini, and
all the castles of the Romagna, except those of Forli and Imola,
followed the fortune of the victory and were received by the legate in
the name of the council."

The site of this great battle is marked by a monument, a square
pilaster of marble, called the Colonna dei Francesi, adorned with
bas-reliefs and inscriptions, raised in 1557 by the President of the
Romagna, Pier Donato Cesi, on the right bank of the Ronco, some three
miles from the city. We may recall Ariosto's verses:

"Io venni dove le campagne rosse
eran del sangue barbaro e latino
che fiera stella dianzi a furor mosse.

"E vidi un morto all' altro si vicino
che, senza premer lor, quasi il terreno
a molte miglia non dava il cammino.

"E da chi alberga fra Garonna e Reno
vidi uscir crudelta, che ne dovria
tutto il mondo d'orror rimaner pieno."

The League of Cambray had succeeded in breaking the real security and
confidence of Venice; the death of Gaston de Foix, "the hero boy who
died too soon," destroyed the energy of her ally, the French army, in
Italy; and the battle of Novara, as I have said, in 1513, inducing
that ally to withdraw from the peninsula, left the republic to be
menaced by Cardona, who failed only to take Venice itself.

Nor was that great government more fortunate in the long struggles
which followed between Francis I. and Charles V. In 1523, seeing that
the French were failing, Venice came to terms with the emperor, by
that time the real arbiter of Italy. In 1527, though then in alliance
with pope Clement VII, she seized once more Ravenna and the Romagna,
but the emperor intervened, and by the peace of Cambray in 1529, which
on payment of a fine confirmed Venice in her Lombard possessions as
far as the Adda, she was compelled to restore Ravenna and the Romagna
to the pope.

The treaty of Cambray had so far as Ravenna was concerned a certain
finality about it. Thenceforth the popes ruled the city through a
cardinal legate, and an era of a certain social and artistic splendour
began; the city was adorned with at least one new church, S. Maria in
Porto, with many monuments and palaces, and some great public works
were undertaken.

So Ravenna in the arms of the Church slumbered till, in 1797, the
great soldier of the Revolution descended upon Italy in that
marvellous campaign which so closely recalls the achievement of
Caesar. Ravenna then became a part first of the Cispadan and later of
the Cisalpine republic. Then, as we know, came the Austrians who took
Ravenna from the French, but were in their turn expelled in 1800, when
the city was incorporated into the short-lived kingdom of Italy. But
it was again attacked by the Austrians, and later restored once again
to the pope. A period of uncertainty and confusion followed in which
various provisional governments were established for Ravenna, but at
last in 1860 the city and its province were, by a vote of the people,
included in the kingdom of United Italy.





The period of the Renaissance which saw the papal government
re-established in Ravenna in 1529, has left its mark upon the city in
many a fine monument, indelibly stamped with the style of that
fruitful period. Among such monuments we must note the beautiful tombs
of Guidarello Guidarelli, by Tullio Lombardi, erected in 1557, now in
the Accademia, and of Luffo Numai by Tommaso Flamberti in S.
Francesco, erected about fifty years earlier (1509). Above all,
however, must be named the great church of S. Maria in Porto (1553)
and the palaces of Minzoni, Graziani, and others, with the Loggia del
Giardino at S. Maria in Porto. And there is, too, the work of the
painters Niccolo Rondinelli, Cotignola, Luca Longhi and his sons,
Guido Reni, and others.

Later the papal government undertook many great public works. The
Venetians had, as we shall see, re-fortified Ravenna; these
fortifications the papal government enlarged, and in the middle of the
seventeenth century undertook the digging and construction of the
Canale Pamfilio, so named in honour of Innocent X., and in the
following century of the Canale Corsini. These works were necessary,
it is said, not only for the maritime commerce of the city, which one
may think was scarcely large enough to have excused them, but for the
preservation of Ravenna from inundation consequent upon the silting up
of the rivers.

But the earliest work done in Ravenna after the close of the Middle
Age was that undertaken by the Venetians. It was in 1457 that they
began to build the really tremendous fortification or Rocca, the ruins
of which we may still see. They were engaged during some ten years
upon this great fortress, the master of the works being Giovanni
Francesco da Massa. They employed as material the ruins of the church
of S. Andrea dei Goti, built by Theodoric, which they had been
compelled to destroy to make room for the fortress, as well as the
materials of a palace of the Polentani. The Rocca with its great
citadel played a considerable part in the battle of 1512, and the
subsequent sack of the city. But when Ravenna came again into the
government of the Holy See, though the fortifications of the city as a
whole were enlarged, the Rocca itself soon fell into a decay and was
indeed in great part destroyed in the middle of the seventeenth
century, the monastery and the church of Classe being repaired and
enlarged with its ruins and the Ponte Nuovo over the Fiumi Uniti,
according to Dr. Ricci, being also constructed from its remains, as
were other buildings in Ravenna. Then like the Rocca Malatestiana at
Rimini it came to be used as a mere prison, and when it failed to
prove useful for that purpose it was allowed to become the picturesque
ruin we see.

Upon the Torre del Ponte of old were set two great reliefs; on high
the Madonna and Child and beneath the Lion of S. Mark. The Madonna and
Child, a mediocre work, remains, but when Venice was turned out of
Ravenna the Lion was taken down and behind it were carved the papal
arms. Both Madonna and Lion would seem to have been the work of Marino
di Marco Ceprini.

Another work undertaken and achieved by the Venetians was the
enlargement and the adornment of the Piazza Maggiore. There in 1483,
when their work was finished, they raised two columns which still
stand before the Palazzo del Comune. They stand upon circular bases in
three tiers, sculptured in relief by Pietro Lombardi with the signs of
the Zodiac and other symbols and ornaments. The capitals of both the
columns are beautiful. Upon the northern column of old stood a statue
of S. Apollinaris, the true patron of the city, while upon the
southern column stood the Lion of S. Mark. But when in 1509 Ravenna
came into the hands of Julius II. the Lion was removed and in 1640 the
statue of S. Apollinaris from the northern column took its place,
while there, where of old S. Apollinaris had stood, a statue of S.
Vitalis was set as we see to-day. The Palazzo del Comune was entirely
reconstructed in 1681, while the Palazzo Governativo was built in 1696
by the Cardinal Legate Francesco Barberini and the Orologio Pubblico,
originally dating from 1483, was transformed, as we see it, in 1785 Of
the Portico Antico I have already spoken.[1]

[Footnote 1: See _supra_, p. 192.]

One of the most interesting and accessible fifteenth-century houses in
Ravenna is to be found in the Albergo del Cappello, with its fine
original windows in the Via Rattazzi, not far from S. Domenico; it may
stand as an example of many other old houses in the Via Arcivescovado,
but I must especially name that beautiful Venetian house in the Via
Ponte Marino--it is No. 15--the Casa Graziani with its lovely balcony,
the Casa Baldim (Via Mazzini, 31) with its double loggia in the
_cortile_, the Casa Fabbri next door (No. 33), the Casa Zirardini (Via
Belle Arti, No. i), the Casa Baromo (Via Romolo Gessi, Nos. 6 and 16),
and the Casa Ghigi with its lovely door and portico (No. 7 of the same


Undoubtedly the greatest monument which the sixteenth century has left
us in Ravenna is the church of S. Maria in Porto. This was built by
the Canons Regular of the Lateran, the most ancient community of
canons still extant, in the year 1553, when for about fifty years they
had been compelled to abandon the church of S. Maria in Porto fuori
outside the city, in the marsh. They not only furnished their new
church, but to a considerable extent built it, out of the materials of
S. Lorenzo in Cesarea, which they thus destroyed.

[Illustration: Colour Plate PORTA SERRATA]

S. Maria in Porto as we see it has suffered from restoration, and the
facade is a work of the eighteenth century, but the church itself
remains a noble sixteenth-century building divided within into three
naves by huge pilasters and columns and covered at the crossing with a
great octagonal cupola. There is, however, little that is very
precious to be seen, a few fine marbles and the beautiful marble
relief of the Madonna in prayer in the transept, called the Madonna
Greca, a Byzantine work probably brought to Ravenna, according to Dr.
Ricci, at the time of the crusades. It was originally in S. Maria in
Porto fuori. The noble choir should also be noticed and the beautiful

Close by the church is the Monastero of the Canons, within which there
remains the lovely cloister which should be compared with those at S.
Vitale and S. Giovanni Evangelista of the same period. This of S.
Maria in Porto, however, is the finest, having doubled storied logge.
Above all the exquisite Loggia del Giardino should not be missed. It
was built in 1508, and looks on to a piece of the sixth-century wall
of Ravenna.

Not far away in the Via Girotto Guaccimanni near the Hotel Byron is
the church of S. Maria delle Croci, founded in the tenth century, but
entirely rebuilt in the sixteenth. The rose in terracotta of the
facade is a work of this time, as is the exquisite baldacchino over
the high altar within, upheld by two pilasters and two columns of
Greek marble. The picture, too, of the Assumption over the altar is by
a master, perhaps Gaspare Sacch' of Imola, of the sixteenth century.
Of the same period is the massive Porta Serrata at the north end of
the Corso Garibaldi.

The best monument of later times left in Ravenna is the fine Palazzo
Rasponi in Via S. Agnese (No. 2) built in or about 1700.



Ravenna isolated in her marsh and altogether, both geographically and
politically, out of the Italian world that began to flower so
wonderfully in Tuscany, then in Umbria, and later still in Venice in
the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, is the last city
in which to look for pictures. Nevertheless a few delightful pieces
among much that is negligible are to be found in the Accademia delle
Belle Arti in the Via Alfredo Baccarini. The collection was begun
about 1827, and though what is to be seen there is never of the first
importance it is certainly more than we had the right to expect.

The first two rooms upon the upper floor are devoted to the Romagnuol
and Bolognese painters, the best of them here pupils or disciples of
the one master Ravenna can boast, Niccolo Rondinelli.

We have seen Rondinelli's organ shutters in S. Domenico, here we have
something better. This really fine pupil of Giovanni Bellini was born
it seems in Ravenna in the middle of the fifteenth century. Vasari
tells us that "there also flourished in Romagna an excellent painter
called Rondinello.... Giovanni Bellini, whose disciple he had been,
had availed himself to a considerable extent of his services in
various works. But after Rondinello had left Giovanni Bellini he
continued to practise his art and in such a manner that, being
exceedingly diligent, he produced numerous works which are highly
deserving of and have obtained considerable praise.... For the altar
of S. Maria Maddalena in the cathedral of Ravenna this master painted
a picture in oil, wherein he portrayed the figure of that saint only;
but in the predella he executed three stories, the small figures of
which are very gracefully depicted. In one of these is our Saviour
Christ appearing to Mary Magdalen in the form of the gardener; another
shows S. Peter leaving the ship and walking upon the waves of the sea,
and between them is the Baptism of Christ. All these representations
are executed in an exceedingly beautiful manner.[1] Rondinello
likewise painted two pictures in the church of S. Giovanni Evangelista
in the same city. One of these portrays the Consecration of the church
by S. Giovanni[2] and the other exhibits three martyrs, S. Cancio, S.
Canciano, and S. Cancianilla, all very beautiful figures.[3] For the
church of S. Apollinare also in Ravenna this master painted two
pictures, each containing a single figure, S. Giovanni Battista and S.
Sebastiano, namely, both highly extolled.[4] There is a picture by the
hand of Rondinello in the church of S. Spirito likewise; the subject,
Our Lady between S. Jerome and the virgin martyr S. Catherine.[5] In
S. Francesco, Rondinello painted two pictures, in one of which are S.
Catherine and S. Francesco; while in the other our artist depicted the
Madonna accompanied by many figures, as well as by the apostle S.
James and by S. Francesco.[6] For the church of S. Domenico,
Rondinello painted two pictures; one is to the left of the high altar
and exhibits Our Lady with numerous figures; the other is on the
fagade of the church and is very beautiful.[7] In the church of S.
Niccolo, a monastery of Augustinians, this master painted a picture
with S. Lorenzo and S. Francesco, a work which was most highly
commended, in so much that it caused Rondinello to be held in the
utmost esteem for the remainder of his life, not in Ravenna only, but
in all Romagna.[8] The painter here in question lived to the age of
sixty years, and was buried in S. Francesco at Ravenna."[9]

[Footnote 1: This picture would seem to be lost.]

[Footnote 2: This picture is now in the Brera at Milan, No. 452.]

[Footnote 3: This picture would seem to be lost. Milanesi says it was
taken to Milan. _Vas_. v. 254, n. 2.]

[Footnote 4: There is a Sebastian by this master in the Duomo at
Forli; the S. Giovanni panel seems to be lost.]

[Footnote 5: This is now in the Accademia of Ravenna, No. 6.]

[Footnote 6: This would seem to have disappeared; but cf. Brera, 455.]

[Footnote 7: The first of these remains in S. Domenico, the other is,
I think, now in the Accademia, No. 7.]

[Footnote 8: This picture, too, seems to be lost.]

[Footnote 9: Vasari (trs. Foster), vol. III. pp 382-384.]

In another place, Vasari tells us that the pupil who copied Giovanni
Bellini most closely and did him most honour was "Rondinello of
Ravenna, of whose aid the master availed himself much in all his
works.... Rondinello painted his best work for the church of S.
Giovanni Battista in Ravenna. The church belongs to the Carmelite
Friars and in the painting, besides a figure of Our Lady, Rondinello
depicted that of S. Alberto, a brother of their order;[10] the head of
the saint is extremely beautiful, and the whole work very highly

[Footnote 10: Now in the Accademia, unnumbered; it represents the
Madonna between S. Alberto and S. Sebastian.]

[Footnote 11: Vasari (trs. Foster), vol. II. pp. 171-172.]

Of all the works thus named by Vasari as painted by Rondinelli in
Ravenna only four remain, three in the Accademia and one in S.
Domenico. I have already spoken of the tempera pieces in S.
Domenico.[12] Of the three pieces in the Accademia, the Madonna and
Child between S. Catherine and S. Jerome (No. 6) comes from S.
Spirito; the Madonna and Child between SS. Catherine, Mary Magdalen,
John Baptist, and Thomas Aquinas comes from S. Domenico, and is, I am
convinced, the picture spoken of by Vasari rather than the
sixteenth-century work that still hangs there, which is, according to
Dr. Ricci, perhaps the mediocre work of Ragazzini. The third picture
by Rondinelli in the Accademia, the Madonna and Child between S.
Alberto and S. Sebastian, comes from the church of the Carmelites, S.
Giovanni Battista.

[Footnote 12: See _supra_, p. 246.]

Beside these three fine works of Rondinelli hangs the work of a man he
strongly influenced, Francesco Zaganelli da Cotignola. When Vasari
tells us that Rondinelli was buried in S. Francesco at Ravenna, he
goes on to say that "after him came Francesco da Cotignola, who was
also greatly esteemed in that city and painted numerous pictures
there. On the high altar of the church which belongs to the Abbey of
Classe, for example, there is one from his hand of tolerably large
size, representing the Raising of Lazarus with many figures[1].
Opposite to this work in the year 1548 Giorgio Vasari painted another
for Don Romualdo da Verona, the abbot of that place. This represents a
Deposition of Christ from the Cross, and has also a large number of
figures[2]. Francesco Cotignola painted a picture in S. Niccolo,
likewise a very large one, the subject of which is the Birth of
Christ, with two in S. Sebastiano exhibiting numerous figures[3]. For
the hospital of S. Caterina, Francesco painted a picture of Our Lady,
S. Caterina, and many other figures[4]; and in S. Agata, he painted a
figure of our Saviour Christ on the Cross, the Madonna being at the
foot thereof, with a considerable number of other figures; this work
also has received commendation[5]. In the church of S. Apollinare in
the same city are three pictures by this artist, one at the high altar
with Our Lady, S. Giovanni Battista, S. Apollinare, S. Jerome, and
other saints; in the second is also the Madonna with S. Peter and S.
Catherine[6]; and in the third and last is Jesus Christ bearing his
Cross, but this Francesco could not finish having been overtaken by
death before its completion[7]. Francesco coloured in a very pleasing
manner, but had not such power of design as Rondinello; he was
nevertheless held in great account by the people of Ravenna. It was
his desire to be buried in S. Apollinare, where he had painted certain
figures, as we have said, wishing that in the place where he had lived
and laboured his remains might find their repose after his death."

[Footnote 1: This is in the ex-church of S. Romuald in Classe in the
sacristy, now part of the Museo]

[Footnote 2: This is now in the Accademia, No 40]

[Footnote 3: The first of these is in the Accademia (No. 10), as I
suppose are the two other undescribed pictures]

[Footnote 4: Is this a Marriage of S. Catherine in S. Girolamo in

[Footnote 5: Now in the Accademia, No 13.]

[Footnote 6: Of these I know nothing]

[Footnote 7: Now in the canonica of S. Croce in Ravenna]

To-day in Ravenna there remain the three works described by Vasari,
one in the ex-church S. Romualdo di Classe, the other, as I think,
once in the Hospital of S. Catherine and now in S. Girolamo, and
another at S. Croce. In the Accademia there are nine of his works, of
which the S. Niccolo Presepio (No. 10) and the S. Agata Crucifixion
(No. 13) are the better. A S. Sebastian (No. 12) and a S. Catherine
(No. 11) should also be noticed. By his brother and assistant,
Bernardino, there is one picture in the Accademia, the Agony in the
Garden (No. 194).

Another master of the Romagnuol school, Marco Palmezzano, the pupil of
Melozza da Forli, a contemporary of Rondinelli, who influenced him to
some small extent, is represented in the Accademia by two works in
Sala II., the Nativity and the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin
(Nos. 189 and 190); in the Vescovado there is a Madonna and Child with
four saints from his hand. Vasari says nothing of him, but only
mentions his name, yet he has a good deal to tell us of perhaps a
lesser man, Luca Longhi (1507-1580), who was born in Ravenna.

"Maestro Luca de' Longhi of Ravenna," he says, "a man of studious
habits and quiet reserved character, has painted many beautiful
pictures in oil, with numerous portraits from the life in his native
city and its neighbourhood. Among other productions of Longhi are two
sufficiently graceful little pictures which the reverend Don Antonio
da Pisa, then abbot of the monastery, caused him to paint no long time
since for the monks of Classe; many other works have also been
executed by this painter. It is certain that Luca Longhi, being
studious, diligent, and of admirable judgment as he is, would have
become an excellent master had he not always confined himself to
Ravenna where he still remains with his family; his works are
accomplished with much patience and study; and of this I can bear
testimony since I know the progress which he made during the time of
my stay in Ravenna both in the practise and comprehension of art. Nor
will I omit to mention that a daughter of his, called Barbara, still
but a little child, draws very well and has begun to paint also in a
very good manner and with much grace."

There are five pictures by Luca Longhi in the Accademia besides three
portraits. In Sala I. we have an early work painted at the age of
twenty-two, the Marriage of S. Catherine (No. 14); a Madonna and Child
with S. Benedict, S. Apollinaris, S. Barbara, and S. Paul (No. 23). In
Sala II. the Dead Christ between S. Bartholomew and Don Antonio da
Pisa, abbot of the monastery of Classe (No. 17), and two pictures of
the Adoration of the Shepherds (Nos. 15, 16). Here, too, are the three
portraits from his hand which represent Raffaele Rasponi (No. 22),
Giovanni Arrigoni (No. 21), and Girolamo Rossi (No. 20). By Luca's son
Francesco there is a feeble Crucifixion (No. 29) in Sala I.;[1] and
happily in Sala II. three pictures by Barbara, Luca's daughter, of
whom Vasari speaks; a S. Catherine, which is really a portrait of the
painter (No. 81), a Madonna and Child (No. 27), and a Judith (No.

[Footnote 1: There is another work, an Annunciation, by Francesco
Longhi in S. Croce.]

[Footnote 2: Another work by Barbara Longhi, S. Peter visiting S.
Agata in Prison, may be seen in S. Maria Maggiore.]

Only one picture by a Bolognese master is really worthy of much notice
here; I mean the S. Romuald of Guercino (No. 33) in Sala I. In the
floor of this first room there is set a fine mosaic from S. Apollinare
in Classe which should be noted.

The third room in the Accademia, filled with various works of little
merit of the sundry schools of Italy, may be neglected. The fourth
room, however, is devoted to the beautiful tomb of Guidarello
Guidarelli, the very glorious work of Tullio Lombardi. Of old this
exquisite tomb stood in the Cappella Braccioforte at S. Francesco.
Guidarello of Ravenna was killed in battle at Imola in 1501, and
Tullio Lombardi, the son of Pietro, was employed to make his tomb. "I
doubt," says M. de Vogue, "whether, apart from the work of Donatello,
the early Renaissance produced anything more beautiful." Guidarello
the knight is represented in marble, a life-size figure, lying on his
back, his body encased in armour, his helmet on his head, his visor
raised, his gloved hands crossed over his sword which lies along his
body. He seems, weary of fighting at last, to be sleeping, but the
sweet expression upon the tired face makes us think rather of a monk
than a soldier. In truth he was a knight of the olden time.

We leave the room in which he sleeps for ever in his marble,
reluctantly, and, passing Sala V., which is full of late pictures of
no interest, come to Sala VI. where there are several delightful early
Italian works. One would not certainly expect to find in Ravenna a
picture of the most exquisite school in Tuscany, the school of Siena.
Yet here is a delightful Madonna and Child with S. Peter and S.
Barbara (No. 191) by Matteo di Giovanni (1435-1495); and a
fourteenth-century Annunciation (No. 176) from Tuscany. In the
Crucifixion (No. 225) we seem to have an early Venetian work, and
another Crucifixion (No. 181) might almost be from the hand of Lorenzo
Monaco. It is probable that we see a work of Antonio da Fabriano in
the S. Peter Damiano (No. 188), and certainly an Umbrian work in the
S. Francis receiving the Stigmata (216). But the most remarkable
Umbrian picture here is the Christ with the Cross between two angels
(No. 202), the work of Niccolo da Foligno. A few early works by the
mediocre masters of the Romagnuol school (Nos. 174, 171, 172, 182) are
to be seen here also.

Sala VI. is entirely devoted to an immense number of pictures in the
Byzantine manner, of considerable interest and much beauty, but not
yet to be discussed.

We leave the Accademia for the Museo close by. The building in which
the collections are housed is the old Camaldulensian monastery of
Classe built in 1515 by the monks of S. Apollinare in Classe, and
since S. Romuald, the founder of the order, was a Ravennese one may
think the monastery might have been left in the hands of the monks.
Even as it is it has considerably more interest for us than the
collections gathered within it. The beautiful seventeenth-century
cloisters, the old convent church of S. Romualdo in the baroque style
of 1630, and the convent itself are delightful. The collections are
mediocre. But here we may see all that is to be seen of the Ravenna of
Augustus and of the great years of the empire, fragments and
inscriptions and reliefs now and then of real interest, as in the
relief representing the Apotheosis of Augustus, in the eastern walk of
the cloisters, and in the remains of that suit of gold armour thought
to be Theodoric's in the old sacristy. But for the most part the
collection is without much attraction, yet certainly not to remain

[Illustration: THE PINETA]



Ravenna has so much that is rare and precious to show us that few
among the many who spend a day or two within her walls have the
inclination to explore the melancholy marshes in which she stands. No
doubt most of us drive out to S. Apollinare in Classe, but the road
thither does not encourage a further journey, for it is rude and rough
and the country over which it passes is among the most featureless in
Italy. Nevertheless he does himself a wrong who leaves Ravenna for
good without having spent one day at any rate in the Pineta which,
ruined though it now be, is still one of the loveliest and most
mysterious places in the Romagna.

But lovely though it is, and full of memories, what can be said of
this vast ruined forest of stone pines with its mystery of mere and
fen, its coolness and shadow, its astonishing silence? Only this I
think, that if once you find it, nothing else in Ravenna will seem
half so precious as this green wood. You will love it always and for
its own sake more than anything else in Ravenna, and in this you will
not be alone; every one who has come to it these thousand years has
felt the same, Dante, Boccaccio, Byron, Carducci, the Pineta knows the
footsteps of them all and they seem to haunt it still.

Dante would seem to have loved it best in the morning; out of it he
conjures his _Paradiso Terrestre_ in the twenty-eighth canto of the

"Through that celestial forest, whose thick shade
With lively greenness the new-springing day
Attemper'd, eager now to roam, and search
Its limits round, forthwith I left the bank;
Along the champain leisurely my way
Pursuing, o'er the ground, that on all sides
Delicious odour breathed. A pleasant air
That intermitted never, never veer'd,
Smote on my temples, gently as a wind
Of softest influence, at which the sprays,
Obedient all, lean'd trembling to that part
Where first the holy mountain casts his shade,
Yet were not so disordered, but that still
Upon their top the feathered quiristers
Applied their wonted art, and with full joy
Welcomed those hours of prime, and warbled shrill
Amid the leaves that to their jocund lays
Kept tenour; even as from branch to branch
Along the piny forests on the shore
Of Chiassi rolls the gathering melody
When Eolus hath from his cavern loosed
The dripping south. Already had my steps,
Though slow, so far into that ancient wood
Transported me, I could not ken the place
Where I had entered; when, behold, my path
Was bounded by a rill which to the left
With little rippling waters bent the grass
That issued from its brink. On earth no wave
How clear so'er that would not seem to have
Some mixture in itself, compared with this
Transpicuous clear; yet darkly on it rolled,
Darkly beneath perpetual gloom, which ne'er
Admits or sun or moon-light there to shine."

Well, is not it the very place? And did not Dante, who knew Italy as
few have known it, do well to remember it when he would describe for
us the Earthly Paradise? In the forest the morning is sacred to him
and there one should turn, with less misunderstanding than anywhere
else, the precious pages of that poem which is in itself a universe.

But if the clear morning there is Dante's, when we may still hear the
voice he heard pass by there, in the stillness, singing, _Beati quorum
tecta sunt peccata_, the long noon belongs to Boccaccio, for it is
full of the most tragic and pitiful of his tales.

[Illustration: THE PINETA]

"Ravenna being a very ancient City in Romania, there dwelt sometime a
great number of worthy Gentlemen, among whom I am to speake of one
more especially, named Anastasio, descended from the Family of the
Honesti, who by the death of his Father, and an Unckle of his, was
left extraordinarily abounding in riches, and growing to yeares
fitting for marriage, (as young Gallants are easily apt enough to do)
he became enamored of a very bountifull Gentlewoman, who was Daughter
to Signior Paulo Traversario, one of the most ancient and noble
Families in all the Countrey. Nor made he any doubt, but by his meanes
and industrious endeavour, to derive affection from her againe; for he
carried himselfe like a brave-minded Gentleman, liberall in his
expences, honest and affable in all his actions, which commonly are
the true notes of a good nature, and highly to be commended in any
man. But, howsoever Fortune became his enemy, these laudable parts of
manhood did not any way friend him, but rather appeared hurtfull to
himselfe: so cruell, unkind, and almost meerely savage did she shew
her self to him; perhaps in pride of her singular beauty, or presuming
on her nobility by birth, both which are rather blemishes, then
ornaments in a woman, especially when they be abused.

"The harsh and uncivill usage in her, grew very distastefull to
Anastasio, and so unsufferable, that after a long time of fruitlesse
service, requited still with nothing but coy disdaine; desperate
resolutions entred into his brain, and often he was minded to kill
himselfe. But better thoughts supplanting those furious passions, he
abstained from any such violent act; and governed by more manly
consideration, determined, that as shee hated him, he would requite
her with the like, if he could: wherein he became altogether deceived,
because as his hopes grew to a dayly decaying, yet his love enlarged
it selfe more and more.

"Thus Anastasio persevering still in his bootlesse affection, and his
expences not limited within any compasse; it appeared in the judgement
of his Kindred and Friends, that he was falne into a mighty
consumption, both of his body and meanes. In which respect, many times
they advised him to leave the City of Ravenna, and live in some other
place for such a while; as might set a more moderate stint upon his
spendings, and bridle the indiscreete course of his love, the onely
fuell which fed this furious fire.

"Anastasio held out thus a long time, without lending an eare to such
friendly counsell: but in the end, he was so neerely followed by them,
as being no longer able to deny them, he promised to accomplish their
request. Whereupon, making such extraordinary preparation, as if he
were to set thence for France or Spaine, or else into some further
distant countrey: he mounted on horsebacke, and accompanied with some
few of his familiar friends, departed from Ravenna, and rode to a
countrey dwelling house of his owne, about three or foure miles
distant from the Cittie, which was called Chiasso, and there (upon a
very goodly greene) erecting divers Tents and Pavillions, such as
great persons make use of in the time of a Progresse: he said to his
friends, which came with him thither, that there he determined to make
his abiding, they all returning backe unto Ravenna, and might come to
visite him againe so often as they pleased.

"Now, it came to passe, that about the beginning of May, it being then
a very milde and serrene season, and he leading there a much more
magnificent life, then ever hee had done before, inviting divers to
dine with him this day, and as many to morrow, and not to leave him
till after supper: upon the sodaine, falling into remembrance of his
cruell Mistris, hee commanded all his servants to forbeare his
company, and suffer him to walke alone by himselfe awhile, because he
had occasion of private meditations, wherein he would not (by any
meanes) be troubled. It was then about the ninth houre of the day, and
he walking on solitary all alone, having gone some halfe miles
distance from his Tents, entred into a Grove of Pine-trees, never
minding dinner time, or any thing else, but onely the unkind requitall
of his love.

"Sodainly he heard the voice of a woman, seeming to make most
mournfull complaints, which breaking off his silent considerations,
made him to lift up his head, to know the reason of this noise. When
he saw himselfe so farre entred into the Grove, before he could
imagine where he was; hee looked amazedly round about him, and out of
a little thicket of bushes and briars, round engirt with spreading
trees, hee espyed a young Damosell come running towards him, naked
from the middle upward, her haire dishevelled on her shoulders, and
her faire skinne rent and torne with the briars and brambles, so that
the blood ran trickling downe mainely; she weeping, wringing her
hands, and crying out for mercy so lowde as she could. Two fierce
Blood-hounds also followed swiftly after, and where their teeth tooke
hold, did most cruelly bite her. Last of all (mounted on a lusty
blacke Courser) came galloping a Knight, with a very sterne and angry
countenance, holding a drawne short Sword in his hand, giving her very
vile and dreadful speeches, and threatning every minute to kill her.

"This strange and uncouth sight, bred in him no meane admiration, as
also kinde compassion to the unfortunate woman; out of which
compassion, sprung an earnest desire, to deliver her (if he could)
from a death so full of anguish and horror: but seeing himselfe to be
without Armes, he ran and pluckt up the plant of a Tree, which
handling as if it had bene a staffe, he opposed himselfe against the
Dogges and the Knight, who seeing him comming, cryed out in this
manner to him. Anastasio, put not thy selfe in any opposition, but
referre to my Hounds and me, to punish this wicked woman as she hath
justly deserved. And in speaking these words, the Hounds tooke fast
hold on her body, so staying her, untill the Knight was come neerer to
her, and alighted from his horse: when Anastasio (after some other
angry speeches) spake thus unto him: I cannot tell what or who thou
art, albeit thou takest such knowledge of me, yet I must say, that it
is meere cowardize in a Knight, being armed as thou art, to offer to
kill a naked woman, and make thy dogges thus to seize on her, as if
she were a savage beast; therefore beleeve me, I will defend her so
farre as I am able.

"Anastasio, answered the Knight, I am of the same City as thou art,
and do well remember, that thou wast a little Ladde, when I (who was
then named Guido Anastasio, and thine Unckle) became as intirely in
love with this woman, as now thou art of Paulo Traversarioes daughter.
But through her coy disdaine and cruelty, such was my heavy fate, that
desperately I slew my selfe with this short sword which thou beholdest
in mine hand: for which rash sinfull deede, I was, and am condemned to
eternall punishment. This wicked woman, rejoycing immeasurably in mine
unhappy death, remained no long time alive after me, and for her
mercilesse sinne of cruelty, and taking pleasure in my oppressing
torments; dying unrepentant, and in pride of her scorne, she had the
like sentence of condemnation pronounced on her, and sent to the same
place where I was tormented.

"There the three impartiall Judges, imposed this further infliction on
us both; namely, that she should flye in this manner before me, and I
(who loved her so deerely while I lived) must pursue her as my deadly
enemy, not like a woman that had a taste of love in her. And so often
as I can overtake her, I am to kill her with this sword, the same
Weapon wherewith I slew my selfe. Then am I enjoyned, therewith to
open her accursed body, and teare out her hard and frozen heart, with
her other inwards, as now thou seest me doe, which I give unto my
Hounds to feede on. Afterward, such is the appointment of the supreame
powers, that she reassumeth life againe, even as if she had not bene
dead at all, and falling to the same kinde of flight, I with my Hounds
am still to follow her; without any respite or intermission. Every
Friday, and just at this houre, our course is this way, where she
suffereth the just punishment inflicted on her. Nor do we rest any of
the other dayes, but are appointed unto other places, where she
cruelly executed her malice against me, being now (of her deare
affectionate friend) ordained to be her endlesse enemy, and to pursue
her in this manner for so many yeares, as she exercised moneths of
cruelty towards me. Hinder me not then, in being the executioner of
divine justice; for all thy interposition is but in vaine, in seeking
to crosse the appointment of supreame powers.

"Anastasio having attentively heard all this discourse, his haire
stood upright like Porcupines quils, and his soule was so shaken with
the terror, that he stept backe to suffer the Knight to do what he was
enjoyned, looking yet with milde commisseration on the poore woman.
Who kneeling most humbly before the Knight, and stearnely seized on by
the two blood-hounds, he opened her brest with his weapon, drawing
foorth her heart and bowels, which instantly he threw to the dogges,
and they devoured them very greedily. Soone after, the Damosell (as if
none of this punishment had bene inflicted on her) started up
sodainly, running amaine towards the Sea shore, and the Hounds swiftly
following her, as the Knight did the like, after he had taken his
sword, and was mounted on horse-backe; so that Anastasio had soone
lost all sight of them, and could not gesse what was become of them.

"After he had heard and observed all these things, he stoode a while
as confounded with feare and pitty, like a simple silly man, hoodwinkt
with his owne passions, not knowing the subtle enemies cunning
illusions in offering false suggestions to the sight, to worke his
owne ends thereby, and encrease the number of his deceived servants.
Forthwith he perswaded himselfe, that he might make good use of this
womans tormenting, so justly imposed on the Knight to prosecute, if
thus it should continue still every Friday. Wherefore, setting a good
note or marke upon the place, he returned backe to his owne people,
and at such time as he thought convenient, sent for divers of his
kindred and friends from Ravenna, who being present with him, thus he
spake to them.

"Deare Kinsmen and Friends, ye have a long while importuned me, to
discontinue my over-doating love to her, whom you all thinke, and I
find to be my mortall enemy: as also, to give over my lavish expences,
wherein I confesse my selfe too prodigall; both which requests of
yours, I will condiscend to, provided, that you will performe one
gracious favour for me; Namely, that on Friday next, Signior Paulo
Traversario, his wife, daughter, with all other women linked in linage
to them, and such beside onely as you shall please to appoint, will
vouchsafe to accept a dinner heere with me; as for the reason thereto
mooving me, you shall then more at large be acquainted withall. This
appeared no difficult matter for them to accomplish: wherefore, being
returned to Ravenna, and as they found the time answerable to their
purpose, they invited such as Anastasio had appointed them. And
although they found it some-what an hard matter, to gaine her company
whom he so deerely affected; yet notwithstanding, the other women won
her along with them.

"A most magnificent dinner had Anastasio provided, and the tables were
covered under the Pine-trees, where he saw the cruell Lady so pursued
and slaine: directing the guests so in their seating, that the yong
Gentlewoman his unkinde Mistresse, sate with her face opposite unto
the place, where the dismall spectacle was to be seen. About the
closing up of dinner, they beganne to heare the noise of the poore
prosecuted Woman, which drove them all to much admiration; desiring to
know what it was, and no one resolving them, they arose from the
Tables, and looking directly as the noise came to them, they espyed
the wofull Woman, the Dogges eagerly pursuing her; and the armed
Knight on horsebacke, gallopping fiercely after them with his drawne
weapon, and came very nere unto the company, who cryed out with lowd
exclaimes against the dogs and the Knight, stepping forth in
assistance of the injured woman.

"The Knight spake unto them, as formerly he had done to Anastasio,
(which made them draw backe, possessed with feare and admiration)
acting the same cruelty as he did the Friday before, not differing in
the least degree. Most of the Gentlewomen there present, being neere
allyed to the unfortunate Woman, and likewise to the Knight,
remembring well both his love and death, did shed teares as
plentifully, as if it had bin to the very persons themselves, in
usuall performance of the action indeede. Which tragicall Scoene being
passed over, and the Woman and Knight gone out of their sight: all
that had seene this straunge accident, fell into diversity of confused
opinions, yet not daring to disclose them, as doubting some further
danger to ensue thereon.

"But beyond all the rest, none could compare in feare and astonishment
with the cruell yong Maide affected by Anastasio, who both saw and
observed all with a more inward apprehension, knowing very well, that
the morall of this dismall spectacle, carried a much neerer
application to her then any other in all the company. For now she
could call to mind, how unkinde and cruell she had shewne her selfe to
Anastasio, even as the other Gentlewoman formerly did to her Lover,
still flying from him in great contempt and scorne: for which, she
thought the Blood-hounds also pursued her at the heeles already, and a
sword of vengeance to mangle her body. This feare grew so powerfull in
her, that to prevent the like heavy doome from falling on her, she
studied (by all her best and commendable meanes, and therein bestowed
all the night season) how to change her hatred into kinde love, which
at the length she fully obtained, and then purposed to prosecute in
this manner.

"Secretly she sent a faithfull Chamber-maide of her owne, to greete
Anastasio on her behalfe; humbly entreating him to come see her:
because now she was absolutely determined, to give him satisfaction in
all which (with honour) he could request of her. Whereto Anastasio
answered, that he accepted her message thankfully, and desired no
other favour at her hand, but that which stood with her owne offer,
namely, to be his Wife in honourable marriage. The Maide knowing
sufficiently, that he could not be more desirous of the match, then
her Mistresse shewed her selfe to be, made answer in her name, that
this motion would be most welcome to her.

"Heereupon, the Gentlewoman her selfe, became the solicitour to her
Father and Mother, telling them plainly, that she was willing to be
the Wife of Anastasio: which newes did so highly content them, that
upon the Sunday next following, the marriage was very worthily
solemnized, and they lived and loved together very kindly. Thus the
divine bounty, out of the malignant enemies secret machinations, can
cause good effects to arise and succeede. For, from this conceite of
fearfull imagination in her, not onely happened this long desired
conversion, of a Maide so obstinately scornfull and proud; but
likewise all the women of Ravenna (being admonished by her example)
grew afterward more kind and tractable to mens honest motions, then
ever they shewed themselves before. And let me make some use hereof
(faire Ladies) to you, not to stand over-nicely conceited of your
beauty and good parts, when men (growing enamored of you by them)
solicite you with their best and humblest services. Remember then this
disdainfull Gentlewoman, but more especially her, who being the death
of so kinde a Lover, was therefore condemned to perpetuall punishment,
and he made the minister thereof, whom she had cast off with coy
disdaine, from which I wish your minds to be as free, as mine is ready
to do you any acceptable service."[1]

[Footnote 1: This translation is from the English version of _The
Decameron_, first published in 1620, but in 1569 had appeared _A
Notable Historye of Nastagto and Traversan_, or rhymed version of
Boccaccio's tale, by C.T., usually supposed to be Christopher Tye the
musician. Dryden used this story for his fable _Theodore and Honoria_.
It is curious to note that Anita, Garibaldi's wife, was actually
hunted to death here in the Pineta by the Austrians.]

To Dante and to Boccaccio belong of right morning and noon in the
Pineta; but the evening is ours for it belongs to Byron:

"Sweet hour of twilight' in the solitude
Of the pine forest, and the silent shore
Which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood,
Rooted where once the Adrian wave flowed o'er,
To where the last Caesarean fortress stood,
Evergreen forest I which Boccaccio's lore
And Dryden's lay made haunted ground to me
How have I loved the twilight hour and thee;

"The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,
Making their summer lives one ceaseless song,
Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine,
And vesper bells that rose the boughs along,
The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line,
His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the fair throng
Which learn'd from this example not to fly
From a true lover--shadow'd my mind's eye

"Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart
Of those who sail the seas, on the first day
When they from their sweet friends are torn apart.
Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way
As the far bell of vesper makes him start,
Seeming to weep the dying day's decay,
Is this a fancy which our reason scorns?
Ah, surely nothing dies but something mourns!"

That "sweet hour of twilight" in the Pineta is the most precious hour
of the day, when far off across the marsh softly, softly comes the Ave

"_O tu rinnovellata
itala gente da le molte vite
rendi la voce

"de ta preghiera, la campana squilli
ammonitrice, il campanil risorto
canti di clivo in clivo a la campagna
Ave Maria.

"Ave Maria! Quando su l'aure corre
l'umil saluto, i piccioh mortali
scovrono il capo, curvano la fronte
Dante ed Aroldo_"

[Illustration: TO PORTO CORSINI]

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