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Views a-foot by J. Bayard Taylor

Part 6 out of 7

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turning our faces with much pleasure towards Florence, we commenced the
return walk. I must not forget to mention the delicious grapes which we
bought, begged and stole on the way. The whole country is like one
vineyard--and the people live, in a great measure, on the fruit, during
this part of the year. Would you not think it highly romantic and
agreeable to sit in the shade of a cypress grove, beside some old
weather-beaten statues, looking out over the vales of the Appenines,
with a pile of white and purple grapes beside you, the like of which can
scarcely be had in America for love or money, and which had been given
you by a dark-eyed peasant girl? If so, you may envy us, for such was
exactly our situation on the morning before reaching Florence.

Being in the Duomo, two or three days ago, I met a German traveler, who
has walked through Italy thus far, and intends continuing his journey to
Rome and Naples. His name is Von Raumer. He was well acquainted with the
present state of America, and I derived much pleasure from his
intelligent conversation. We concluded to ascend the cupola in company.
Two black-robed boys led the way; after climbing an infinite number of
steps, we reached the gallery around the foot of the dome. The glorious
view of that paradise, the vale of the Arno, shut in on all sides by
mountains, some bare and desolate, some covered with villas, gardens,
and groves, lay in soft, hazy light, with the shadows of a few light
clouds moving slowly across it. They next took us to a gallery on the
inside of the dome, where we first saw the immensity of its structure.
Only from a distant view, or in ascending it, can one really measure its
grandeur. The frescoes, which from below appear the size of life, are
found to be rough and monstrous daubs; each figure being nearly as many
fathoms in length as a man is feet. Continuing our ascent, we mounted
between the inside and outside shells of the dome. It was indeed a bold
idea for Brunelleschi to raise such a mass in air. The dome of Saint
Peter's, which is scarcely as large, was not made until a century after,
and this was, therefore, the first attempt at raising one on so grand a
scale. It seems still as solid as if just built.

There was a small door in one of the projections of the lantern, which
the sacristan told us to enter and ascend still higher. Supposing there
was a fine view to be gained, two priests, who had just come up, entered
it; the German followed, and I after him. After crawling in at the low
door, we found ourselves in a hollow pillar, little wider than our
bodies. Looking up, I saw the German's legs just above my head, while
the other two were above him, ascending by means of little iron bars
fastened in the marble. The priests were very much amused, and the
German said:--"This is the first time I ever learned chimney-sweeping!"
We emerged at length into a hollow cone, hot and dark, with a rickety
ladder going up somewhere; we could not see where. The old priest, not
wishing to trust himself to it, sent his younger brother up, and we
shouted after him:--"What kind of a view have you?" He climbed up till
the cone got so narrow he could go no further, and answered back in the
darkness:--"I see nothing at all!" Shortly after he came down, covered
with dust and cobwebs, and we all descended the chimney quicker than we
went up. The old priest considered it a good joke, and laughed till his
fat sides shook. We asked the sacristan why he sent us up, and he
answered:--"To see _the construction of the Church_!"

I attended service in the Cathedral one dark, rainy morning, and was
never before so deeply impressed with the majesty and grandeur of the
mighty edifice. The thick, cloudy atmosphere darkened still more the
light which came through the stained windows, and a solemn twilight
reigned in the long aisles. The mighty dome sprang far aloft, as if it
enclosed a part of heaven, for the light that struggled through the
windows around its base, lay in broad bars on the blue, hazy air. I
would not have been surprised at seeing a cloud float along within it.
The lofty burst of the organ, that seemed like the pantings of a
monster, boomed echoing away through dome and nave, with a chiming,
metallic vibration, that shook the massive pillars which it would defy
an earthquake to rend. All was wrapped in dusky obscurity, except where,
in the side-chapels, crowns of tapers were burning around the images.
One knows not which most to admire, the genius which could conceive, or
the perseverance which could accomplish such a work, On one side of the
square, the colossal statue of the architect, glorious old Brunelleschi,
is most appropriately placed, looking up with pride at his performance.

The sunshine and genial airs of Italy have gone, leaving instead a cold,
gloomy sky and chilling winds. The autumnal season has fairly commenced,
and I suppose I must bid adieu to the brightness which made me in love
with the land. The change has been no less sudden than unpleasant, and
if, as they say, it will continue all winter with little variation, I
shall have to seek a clearer climate. In the cold of these European
winters, there is, as I observed last year in Germany, a dull, damp
chill, quite different from the bracing, exhilarating frosts of America.
It stagnates the vital principle and leaves the limbs dull and heavy,
with a lifeless feeling which can scarcely be overcome by vigorous
action. At least, such has been my experience.

We lately made an excursion to Pratolino, on the Appenines, to see the
vintage and the celebrated colossus, by John of Bologna. Leaving
Florence in the morning, with a cool, fresh wind blowing down from the
mountains, we began ascending by the road to Bologna. We passed Fiesole
with its tower and acropolis on the right, ascending slowly, with the
bold peak of one of the loftiest Appenines on our left. The abundant
fruit of the olive was beginning to turn brown, and the grapes were all
gathered in from the vineyards, but we learned from a peasant boy that
the vintage was not finished at Pratolino.

We finally arrived at an avenue shaded with sycamores, leading to the
royal park. The vintagers were busy in the fields around, unloading the
vines of their purple tribute, and many a laugh and jest among the merry
peasants enlivened the toil. We assisted them in disposing of some fine
clusters, and then sought the "Colossus of the Appenines." He stands
above a little lake, at the head of a long mountain-slope, broken with
clumps of magnificent trees. This remarkable figure, the work of John of
Bologna, impresses one like a relic of the Titans. He is represented as
half-kneeling, supporting himself with one hand, while the other is
pressed upon the head of a dolphin, from which a little stream falls
into the lake. The height of the figure when erect, would amount to more
than sixty feet! We measured one of the feet, which is a single piece of
rock, about eight feet long; from the ground to the top of one knee is
nearly twenty feet. The limbs are formed of pieces of stone, joined
together, and the body of stone and brick. His rough hair and eyebrows,
and the beard, which reached nearly to the ground, are formed of
stalactites, taken from caves, and fastened together in a dripping and
crusted mass. These hung also from his limbs and body, and gave him the
appearance of Winter in his mail of icicles. By climbing up the rocks at
his back, we entered his body, which contains a small-sized room; it was
even possible to ascend through his neck and look out at his ear! The
face is in keeping with the figure--stern and grand, and the architect
(one can hardly say sculptor) has given to it the majestic air and
sublimity of the Appenines. But who can build up _an image of the Alp_?

We visited the factory on the estate, where wine and oil are made. The
men had just brought in a cart load of large wooden vessels, filled with
grapes, which they were mashing with heavy wooden pestles. When the
grapes were pretty well reduced to pulp and juice, they emptied them
into an enormous tub, which they told us would be covered air-tight, and
left for three or four weeks, after which the wine would be drawn off at
the bottom. They showed us also a great stone mill for grinding olives;
this estate of the Grand Duke produces five hundred barrels of wine and
a hundred and fifty of oil, every year. The former article is the
universal beverage of the laboring classes in Italy, or I might say of
all classes; it is, however, the pure blood of the grape, and although
used in such quantities, one sees little drunkenness--far less than in
our own land.

Tuscany enjoys at present a more liberal government than any other part
of Italy, and the people are, in many respects, prosperous and happy.
The Grand Duke, although enjoying almost absolute privileges, is
disposed to encourage every measure which may promote the welfare of his
subjects. The people are, indeed, very heavily taxed, but this is less
severely felt by them, than it would be by the inhabitants of colder
climes. The soil produces with little labor all that is necessary for
their support; though kept constantly in a state of comparative poverty,
they appear satisfied with their lot, and rarely look further than the
necessities of the present. In love with the delightful climate, they
cherish their country, fallen as she is, and are rarely induced to leave
her. Even the wealthier classes of the Italians travel very little; they
can learn the manners and habits of foreigners nearly as well in their
own country as elsewhere, and they prefer their own hills of olive and
vine to the icy grandeur of the Alps or the rich and garden-like beauty
of England.

But, although this sweet climate, with its wealth of sunlight and balmy
airs, may enchant the traveler for awhile and make him wish at times
that his whole life might be spent amid such scenes, it exercises a most
enervating influence on those who are born to its enjoyment. It relaxes
mental and physical energy, and disposes body and mind to dreamy
inactivity. The Italians, as a race, are indolent and effeminate. Of the
moral dignity of man they have little conception. Those classes who are
engaged in active occupation seem even destitute of common honesty,
practising all kinds of deceits in the most open manner and apparently
without the least shame. The state of morals is lower than in any other
country of Europe; what little virtue exists is found among the
peasants. Many of the most sacred obligations of society are universally
violated, and as a natural consequence, the people are almost entire
strangers to that domestic happiness, which constitutes the true
enjoyment of life.

This dark shadow in the moral atmosphere of Italy hangs like a curse on
her beautiful soil, weakening the sympathies of citizens of freer lands
with her fallen condition. I often feel vividly the sentiment which
Percival puts into the mouth of a Greek in slavery:

"The spring may here with autumn twine
And both combined may rule the year,
And fresh-blown flowers and racy wine
In frosted clusters still be near--
Dearer the wild and snowy hills
Where hale and ruddy Freedom smiles."

No people can ever become truly great or free, who are not virtuous. If
the soul aspires for liberty--pure and perfect liberty--it also aspires
for everything that is noble in Truth, everything that is holy in
Virtue. It is greatly to be feared that all those nervous and impatient
efforts which have been made and are still being made by the Italian
people to better their condition, will be of little avail, until they
set up a better standard of principle and make their private actions
more conformable with their ideas of political independence.

_Oct. 22._--I attended to-day the fall races at the _Cascine_. This is a
dairy farm of the Grand Duke on the Arno, below the city; part of it,
shaded with magnificent trees, has been made into a public promenade and
drive, which extends for three miles down the river. Towards the lower
end, on a smooth green lawn, is the race-course. To-day was the last of
the season, for which the best trials had been reserved; on passing out
the gate at noon, we found a number of carriages and pedestrians going
the same way. It was the very perfection of autumn temperature, and I do
not remember to have ever seen so blue hills, so green meadows, so fresh
air and so bright sunshine combined in one scene before. All that gloom
and coldness of which I lately complained has vanished.

Traveling increases very much one's capacity for admiration. Every
beautiful scene appears as beautiful as if it had been the first; and
although I may have seen a hundred times as lovely a combination of sky
and landscape, the pleasure which it awakens is never diminished. This
is one of the greatest blessings we enjoy--the freshness and glory which
Nature wears to our eyes forever. It shows that the soul never grows
old--that the eye of age can take in the impression of beauty with the
same enthusiastic joy that leaped through the heart of childhood.

We found the crowd around the race-course but thin; half the people
there, and _all_ the horses, appeared to be English. It was a good place
to observe the beauty of Florence, which however, may be done in a
short time, as there is not much of it. There is beauty in Italy,
undoubtedly, but it is either among the peasants or the higher class of
nobility. I will tell our American women confidentially, for I know they
have too much sense to be vain of it, that they surpass the rest of the
world as much in beauty as they do in intelligence and virtue. I saw in
one of the carriages the wife of Alexander Dumas, the French author. She
is a large, fair complexioned woman, and is now, from what cause I know
not, living apart from her husband.

The jockeys paced up and down the fields, preparing their beautiful
animals for the approaching heat, and as the hour drew nigh the mounted
dragoons busied themselves in clearing the space. It was a one-mile
course, to the end of the lawn and back. At last the bugle sounded, and
off went three steeds like arrows let fly. They passed us, their light
limbs bounding over the turf, a beautiful dark-brown taking the lead. We
leaned over the railing and watched them eagerly. The bell rang--they
reached the other end--we saw them turn and come dashing back, nearer,
nearer; the crowd began to shout, and in a few seconds the brown one had
won it by four or five lengths. The fortunate horse was led around in
triumph, and I saw an English lady, remarkable for her betting
propensities, come out from the crowd and kiss it in apparent delight.

After an interval, three others took the field--all graceful, spirited
creatures. This was a more exciting race than the first; they flew past
us nearly abreast, and the crowd looked after them in anxiety. They
cleared the course like wild deer, and in a minute or two came back, the
racer of an English nobleman a short distance ahead. The jockey threw up
his hand in token of triumph as he approached the goal, and the people
cheered him. It was a beautiful sight to see those noble animals
stretching to the utmost of their speed, as they dashed down the grassy
lawn. The lucky one always showed by his proud and erect carriage, his
consciousness of success.

Florence is fast becoming modernized. The introduction of gas, and the
construction of the railroad to Pisa, which is nearly completed, will
make sad havoc with the air of poetry which still lingers in its silent
streets. There is scarcely a bridge, a tower, or a street, which is not
connected with some stirring association. In the Via San Felice, Raphael
used to paint when a boy; near the Ponte Santa Trinita stands Michael
Angelo's house, with his pictures, clothes, and painting implements,
just as he left it three centuries ago; on the south side of the Arno is
the house of Galileo, and that of Machiavelli stands in an avenue near
the Ducal Palace. While threading my way through some dark, crooked
streets in an unfrequented part of the city, I noticed an old,
untenanted house, bearing a marble tablet above the door. I drew near
and read:--"In this house of the Alighieri was born the Divine Poet!" It
was the birth-place of Dante!

_Nov. 1._--Yesterday morning we were apprised of the safe arrival of a
new scion of the royal family in the world by the ringing of the city
bells. To-day, to celebrate the event, the shops were closed, and the
people made a holiday of it. Merry chimes pealed out from every tower,
and discharges of cannon thundered up from the fortress. In the evening
the dome of the Cathedral was illuminated, and the lines of cupola,
lantern, and cross were traced in flame on the dark sky, like a crown of
burning stars dropped from Heaven on the holy pile. I went in and walked
down the aisle, listening for awhile to the grand choral, while the
clustered tapers under the dome quivered and trembled, as if shaken by
the waves of music which burst continually within its lofty concave.

A few days ago Prince Corsini, Prime Minister of Tuscany, died at an
advanced age. I saw his body brought in solemn procession by night, with
torches and tapers, to the church of Santa Trinita. Soldiers followed
with reversed arms and muffled drums, the band playing a funeral march.
I forced myself through the crowd into the church, which was hung with
black and gold, and listened to the long drawn chanting of the priests
around the bier.

We lately visited the Florentine Museum. Besides the usual collection of
objects of natural history, there is an anatomical cabinet, very
celebrated for its preparations in wax. All parts of the human frame are
represented so wonderfully exact, that students of medicine pursue their
studies here in summer with the same facility as from real "subjects."
Every bone, muscle, and nerve in the body is perfectly counterfeited,
the whole forming a collection as curious as it is useful. One chamber
is occupied with representations of the plague of Rome, Milan, and
Florence. They are executed with horrible truth to nature, but I
regretted afterwards having seen them. There are enough forms of beauty
and delight in the world on which to employ the eye, without making it
familiar with scenes which can only be remembered with a shudder.

We derive much pleasure from the society of the American artists who are
now residing in Florence. At the houses of Powers, and Brown, the
painter, we spend many delightful evenings in the company of our gifted
countrymen. They are drawn together by a kindred, social feeling as well
as by their mutual aims, and form among themselves a society so
unrestrained, American-like, that the traveler who meets them forgets
his absence for a time. These noble representatives of our country, all
of whom possess the true, inborn spirit of republicanism, have made the
American name known and respected in Florence. Powers, especially, who
is intimate with many of the principal Italian families, is universally
esteemed. The Grand Duke has more than once visited his studio and
expressed the highest admiration of his talents.



I have seen Ibrahim Pacha, the son of old Mehemet Ali, driving in his
carriage through the streets. He is hero on a visit from Lucca, where he
has been spending some time on account of his health. He is a man of
apparently fifty years of age; his countenance wears a stern and almost
savage look, very consistent with the character he bears and the
political part he has played. He is rather portly in person, the pale
olive of his complexion contrasting strongly with a beard perfectly
white. In common with all his attendants, he wears the high red cap,
picturesque blue tunic and narrow trowsers of the Egyptians. There is
scarcely a man of them whose face with its wild, oriental beauty, does
not show to advantage among us civilized and prosaic Christians.

In Florence, and indeed through all Italy, there is much reason for our
country to be proud of the high stand her artists are taking. The sons
of our rude western clime, brought up without other resources than their
own genius and energy, now fairly rival those, who from their cradle
upwards have drawn inspiration and ambition from the glorious
masterpieces of the old painters and sculptors. Wherever our artists are
known, they never fail to create a respect for American talent, and to
dissipate the false notions respecting our cultivation and refinement,
which prevail in Europe. There are now eight or ten of our painters and
sculptors in Florence, some of whom, I do not hesitate to say, take the
very first rank among living artists.

I have been highly gratified in visiting the studio of Mr. G.L. Brown,
who, as a landscape painter, is destined to take a stand second to few,
since the days of Claude Lorraine. He is now without a rival in
Florence, or perhaps in Italy, and has youth, genius and a plentiful
stock of the true poetic enthusiasm for his art, to work for him far
greater triumphs. His Italian landscapes have that golden mellowness and
transparency of atmosphere which give such a charm to the real scenes,
and one would think he used on his pallette, in addition to the more
substantial colors, condensed air and sunlight and the liquid crystal of
streams. He has wooed Nature like a lover, and she has not withheld her
sympathy. She has taught him how to raise and curve her trees, load
their boughs with foliage, and spread underneath them the broad, cool
shadows--to pile up the shattered crag, and steep the long mountain
range in the haze of alluring distance.

He has now nearly finished, a large painting of "Christ Preaching in the
Wilderness," which is of surprising beauty. You look upon one of the
fairest scenes of Judea. In front, the rude multitude are grouped on one
side, in the edge of a magnificent forest; on the other side, towers up
a rough wall of rock and foliage that stretches back into the distance,
where some grand blue mountains are piled against the sky, and a
beautiful stream, winding through the middle of the picture, slides away
out of the foreground. Just emerging from the shade of one of the
cliffs, is the benign figure of the Saviour, with the warm light which
breaks from behind the trees, falling around him as he advances. There
is a smaller picture of the "Shipwreck of St. Paul," in which he shows
equal skill in painting a troubled sea and breaking storm. He is one of
the young artists from whom we have most to hope.

I have been extremely interested in looking over a great number of
sketches made by Mr. Kellogg, of Cincinnati, during a tour through
Egypt, Arabia Petraea and Palestine. He visited many places out of the
general route of travelers, and beside the great number of landscape
views, brought away many sketches of the characters and costumes of the
Orient. From some of these he has commenced paintings, which, as his
genius is equal to his practice, will be of no ordinary value. Indeed,
some of these must give him at once an established reputation in
America. In Constantinople, where he resided several months, he enjoyed
peculiar advantges for the exercise of his art, through the favor and
influence of Mr. Carr, the American, and Sir Stratford Canning, the
British Minister. I saw a splendid diamond cup, presented to him by
Riza Pacha, the late Grand Vizier. The sketches he brought from thence
and from the valleys of Phrygia and the mountain solitudes of old
Olympus, are of great interest and value. Among his later paintings, I
might mention an angel, whose countenance beams with a rapt and glorious
beauty. A divine light shines through all the features and heightens the
glow of adoration to an expression all spiritual and immortal. If Mr.
Kellogg will give us a few more of these heavenly conceptions, we will
place him on a pedestal, little lower than that of Guido.

Greenough, who has been sometime in Germany, returned lately to
Florence, where he has a colossal group in progress for the portico of
the Capitol. I have seen part of it, which is nearly finished in the
marble. It shows a backwoodsman just triumphing in the struggle with an
Indian; another group to be added, will represent the wife and child of
the former. The colossal size of the statues gives a grandeur to the
action, as if it were a combat of Titans; there is a consciousness of
power, an expression of lofty disdain in the expansion of the hunter's
nostril and the proud curve of his lip, that might become a god. The
spirit of action, of breathing, life-like exertion, so much more
difficult to infuse into the marble than that of repose, is perfectly
attained. I will not enter into a more particular description, as it
will probably be sent to the United States in a year or two. It is a
magnificent work; the best, unquestionably, that Greenough has yet made.
The subject, and the grandeur he has given it in the execution, will
ensure it a much more favorable reception than a false taste gave to his

Mr. C.B. Ives, a young sculptor from Connecticut, has not disappointed
the high promise he gave before leaving home. I was struck with some of
his busts in Philadelphia, particularly those of Mrs. Sigourney and
Joseph R. Chandler, and it has been no common pleasure to visit his
studio here in Florence, and look on some of his ideal works. He has
lately made two models, which, when finished in marble, will be works of
great beauty. They will contribute greatly to his reputation here and in
America. One of these represents a child of four or five years of age,
holding in his hand a dead bird, on which he is gazing, with childish
grief and wonder, that it is so still and drooping. It is a beautiful
thought; the boy is leaning forward as he sits, holding the lifeless
playmate close in his hands, his sadness touched with a vague
expression, as if he could not yet comprehend the idea of death.

The other is of equal excellence, in a different style; it is a bust of
"Jephthah's daughter," when the consciousness of her doom first flashes
upon her. The face and bust are beautiful with the bloom of perfect
girlhood. A simple robe covers her breast, and her rich hair is gathered
up behind, and bound with a slender fillet. Her head, of the pure
classical mould, is bent forward, as if weighed down by the shock, and
there is a heavy drooping in the mouth and eyelids, that denotes a
sudden and sickening agony. It is not a violent, passionate grief, but a
deep and almost paralyzing emotion--a shock from which the soul will
finally rebound, strengthened to make the sacrifice.

Would it not be better for some scores of our rich merchants to lay out
their money on statues and pictures, instead of balls and spendthrift
sons? A few such expenditures, properly directed, would do much for the
advancement of the fine arts. An occasional golden blessing, bestowed on
genius, might be returned on the giver, in the fame he had assisted in
creating. There seems, however, to be at present a rapid increase in
refined taste, and a better appreciation of artistic talent, in our
country. And as an American, nothing has made me feel prouder than this,
and the steadily increasing reputation of our artists.

Of these, no one has done more within the last few years, than Powers.
With a tireless and persevering energy, such as could have belonged to
few but Americans, he has already gained a name in his art, that
posterity will pronounce in the same breath with Phidias, Michael Angelo
and Thorwaldsen. I cannot describe the enjoyment I have derived from
looking at his matchless works. I should hesitate in giving my own
imperfect judgment of their excellence, if I had not found it to
coincide with that of many others who are better versed in the rules of
art. The sensation which his "Greek Slave" produced in England, has
doubtless ere this been breezed across the Atlantic, and I see by the
late American papers that they are growing familiar with his fame. When
I read a notice seven or eight years ago, of the young sculptor of
Cincinnati, whose busts exhibited so much evidence of genius, I little
dreamed I should meet him in Florence, with the experience of years of
toil added to his early enthusiasm, and every day increasing his renown.

You would like to hear of his statue of Eve, which men of taste
pronounce one of the finest works of modern times. A more perfect figure
never filled my eye. I have seen the masterpieces of Thorwaldsen,
Dannecker and Canova, and the Venus de Medici, but I have seen nothing
yet that can exceed the beauty of this glorious statue. So completely
did the first view excite my surprise and delight, and thrill every
feeling that awakes at the sight of the Beautiful, that my mind dwelt
intensely on it for days afterwards. This is the Eve of Scripture--the
Eve of Milton--mother of mankind and fairest of all her race. With the
full and majestic beauty of ripened womanhood, she wears the purity of a
world as yet unknown to sin. With the hearing of a queen, there is in
her countenance the softness and grace of a tender, loving woman;

"God-like erect, with native honor clad
In naked majesty."

She holds the fatal fruit extended in her hand, and her face expresses
the struggle between conscience, dread and desire. The serpent, whose
coiled length under the leaves and flowers entirely surrounds her, thus
forming a beautiful allegorical symbol, is watching her decision from an
ivied trunk at her side. Her form is said to be fully as perfect as the
Venus de Medici, and from its greater size, has an air of conscious and
ennobling dignity. The head is far superior in beauty, and soul speaks
from every feature of the countenance. I add a few stanzas which the
contemplation of this statue called forth. Though unworthy the subject,
they may perhaps faintly shadow the _sentiment_ which Powers has so
eloquently embodied in marble:


A faultless being from the marble sprung,
She stands in beauty there!
As when the grace of Eden 'round her clung--
Fairest, where all was fair!

Pure, as when first from God's creating hand
She came, on man to shine;
So seems she now, in living stone to stand--
A mortal, yet divine!

The spark the Grecian from Olympus caught,
Left not a loftier trace;
The daring of the sculptor's hand has wrought
A soul in that sweet face!
He won as well the sacred fire from heaven.
God-sent, not stolen down,
And no Promethean doom for him is given,
But ages of renown!

The soul of beauty breathes around that form
A more enchanting spell;
There blooms each virgin grace, ere yet the storm
On blighted Eden fell!
The first desire upon her lovely brow,
Raised by an evil power;
Doubt, longing, dread, are in her features now--
It is the trial-hour!

How every thought that strives within her breast,
In that one glance is shown!
Say, can that heart of marble be at rest,
Since spirit warms the stone?
Will not those limbs, of so divine a mould,
Move, when her thought is o'er--
When she has yielded to the tempter's hold
And Eden blooms no more?

Art, like a Phoenix, springs from dust again--
She cannot pass away!
Bound down in gloom, she breaks apart the chain
And struggles up today!
The flame, first kindled in the ages gone,
Has never ceased to burn,
And _westward_ now, appears the kindling dawn,
Which marks the day's return!

The "Greek Slave" is now in the possession of Mr. Grant, of London, and
I only saw the clay model. Like the Eve, it is a form that one's eye
tells him is perfect, unsurpassed; but it is the budding loveliness of a
girl, instead of the perfected beauty of a woman. In England it has been
pronounced superior to Canova's works, and indeed _I_ have seen nothing
of his, that could be placed beside it.

Powers has now nearly finished a most exquisite figure of a fisher-boy,
standing on the shore, with his net and rudder in one hand, while with
the other he holds a shell to his ear and listens if it murmur to him of
a gathering storm. His slight, boyish limbs are full of grace and
delicacy--you feel that the youthful frame could grow up into nothing
less than an Apollo. Then the head--how beautiful! Slightly bent on one
side, with the rim of the shell thrust under his locks, lips gently
parted, and the face wrought up to the most hushed and breathless
expression, he listens whether the sound be deeper than its wont. It
makes you hold your breath and listen, to look at it. Mrs. Jameson
somewhere remarks that repose or suspended motion, should be always
chosen for a statue that shall present a perfect, unbroken impression to
the mind. If this be true, the enjoyment must be much more complete
where not only the motion, but almost breath and thought are suspended,
and all the faculties wrought into one hushed and intense sensation. In
gazing on this exquisite conception, I feel my admiration filled to the
utmost, without that painful, aching impression, so often left by
beautiful works. It glides into my vision like a form long missed from
the gallery of beauty I am forming in my mind, and I gaze on it with an
ever new and increasing delight.

Now I come to the last and fairest of all--the divine Proserpine. Not
the form, for it is but a bust rising from a capital of acanthus leaves,
which curve around the breast and arms and turn gracefully outward, but
the face, whose modest maiden beauty can find no peer among goddesses or
mortals. So looked she on the field of Ennae--that "fairer flower," so
soon to be gathered by "gloomy Dis." A slender crown of green
wheatblades, showing alike her descent from Ceres and her virgin years,
circles her head. Truly, if Pygmalion stole his fire to warm such a form
as this, Jove should have pardoned him. Of Powers' busts it is
unnecessary for me to speak. He has lately finished a very beautiful one
of the Princess Demidoff, daughter of Jerome Bonaparte.

We will soon, I hope, have the "Eve" in America. Powers has generously
refused many advantageous offers for it, that he might finally send it
home; and his country, therefore, will possess this statue, his first
ideal work. She may well be proud of the genius and native energy of her
young artist, and she should repay them by a just and liberal



_Nov. 9._--A few days ago I received a letter from my cousin at
Heidelberg, describing his solitary walk from Genoa over the Alps, and
through the western part of Switzerland. The news of his safe arrival
dissipated the anxiety we were beginning to feel, on account of his long
silence, while it proved that our fears concerning the danger of such a
journey were not altogether groundless. He met with a startling
adventure on the Great St. Bernard, which will be best described by an
extract from his own letter:

* * * * *

"Such were my impressions of Rome. But leaving the 'Eternal City,' I
must hasten on to give you a description of an adventure I met with in
crossing the Alps, omitting for the present an account of the trip from
Rome to Genoa, and my lonely walk through Sardinia. When I had crossed
the mountain range north of Genoa, the plains of Piedmont stretched out
before me. I could see the snowy sides and summits of the Alps more than
one hundred miles distant, looking like white, fleecy clouds on a summer
day. It was a magnificent prospect, and I wonder not that the heart of
the Swiss soldier, after years of absence in foreign service, beats with
joy when he again looks on his native mountains.

"As I approached nearer, the weather changed, and dark, gloomy clouds
enveloped them, so that they seemed to present an impassible barrier to
the lands beyond them. At Ivrea, I entered the interesting valley of
Aosta. The whole valley, fifty miles in length, is inhabited by
miserable looking people, nearly one half of them being afflicted with
goitre and cretinism. They looked more idiotic and disgusting than any I
have ever seen, and it was really painful to behold such miserable
specimens of humanity dwelling amid the grandest scenes of nature.
Immediately after arriving in the town of Aosta, situated at the upper
end of the valley, I began, alone, the ascent of the Great St. Bernard.
It was just noon, and the clouds on the mountains indicated rain. The
distance from Aosta to the monastery or hospice of St. Bernard, is about
twenty English miles.

"At one o'clock it commenced raining vary hard, and to gain shelter I
went into a rude hut; but it was filled with so many of those idiotic
cretins, lying down on the earthy floor with the dogs and other animals,
that I was glad to leave them as soon as the storm had abated in some
degree. I walked rapidly for three hours, when I met a traveler and his
guide descending the mountain. I asked him in Italian the distance to
the hospice, and he undertook to answer me in French, but the words did
not seem to flow very fluently, so I said quickly, observing then that
he was an Englishman: 'Try some other language, if you please, sir!' He
replied instantly in his vernacular: 'You have a d--d long walk before
you, and you'll have to hurry to get to the top before night!' Thanking
him, we shook hands and hurried on, he downward and I upward. About
eight miles from the summit, I was directed into the wrong path by an
ignorant boy who was tending sheep, and went a mile out of the course,
towards Mont Blanc, before I discovered my mistake. I hurried back into
the right path again, and soon overtook another boy ascending the
mountain, who asked me if he might accompany me as he was alone, to
which I of course answered, yes; but when we began to enter the thick
clouds that covered the mountains, he became alarmed, and said he would
go no farther. I tried to encourage him by saying we had only five miles
more to climb, but, turning quickly, he ran down the path and was soon
out of sight.

"After a long and most toilsome ascent, spurred on as I was by the storm
and the approach of night, I saw at last through the clouds a little
house, which I supposed might be a part of the monastery, but it turned
out to be only a house of refuge, erected by the monks to take in
travelers in extreme cases or extraordinary danger. The man who was
staying there, told me the monastery was a mile and a half further, and
thinking therefore that I could soon reach it, I started out again,
although darkness was approaching. In a short time the storm began in
good earnest, and the cold winds blew with the greatest fury. It grew
dark very suddenly and I lost sight of the poles which are placed along
the path to guide the traveler. I then ran on still higher, hoping to
find them again, but without success. The rain and snow fell thick, and
although I think I am tolerably courageous, I began to be alarmed, for
it was impossible to know in what direction I was going. I could hear
the waterfalls dashing and roaring down the mountain hollows on each
side of me; in the gloom, the foam and leaping waters resembled
streaming fires. I thought of turning back to find the little house of
refuge again, but it seemed quite as dangerous and uncertain as to go
forward. After the fatigue I had undergone since noon, it would have
been dangerous to be obliged to stay, out all night in the driving
storm, which was every minute increasing in coldness and intensity.

"I stopped and shouted aloud, hoping I might be somewhere near the
monastery, but no answer came--no noise except the storm and the roar of
the waterfalls. I climbed up the rocks nearly a quarter of a mile
higher, and shouted again. I listened with anxiety for two or three
minutes, but hearing no response, I concluded to find a shelter for the
night under a ledge of rocks. While looking around me, I fancied I heard
in the distance a noise like the trampling of hoofs over the rocks, and
thinking travelers might be near, I called aloud for the third time.
After wailing a moment, a voice came ringing on my ears through the
clouds, like one from Heaven in response to my own. My heart beat
quickly; I hurried in the direction from which the sound came, and to my
joy found two men--servants of the monastery--who were driving their
mules into shelter. Never in my whole life was I more glad to hear the
voice of man. These men conducted me to the monastery, one-fourth of a
mile higher, built by the side of a lake at the summit of the pass,
while on each side, the mountains, forever covered with snow, tower some
thousands of feet higher.

"Two or three of the noble St. Bernard dogs barked a welcome as we
approached, which brought a young monk to the door. I addressed him in
German, but to my surprise he answered in broken English. He took me
into a warm room and gave me a suit of clothes, such as are worn by the
monks, for my dress, as well as my package of papers, were completely
saturated with rain. I sat down to supper in company with till the monks
of the Hospice, I in my monkish robe looking like one of the holy order.
You would have laughed to have seen me in their costume. Indeed, I felt
almost satisfied to turn monk, as everything seemed so comfortable in
the warm supper room, with its blazing wood fire, while outside raged
the storm still more violently. But when I thought of their voluntary
banishment from the world, up in that high pass of the Alps, and that
the affection of woman never gladdened their hearts, I was ready to
renounce my monkish dress next morning, without reluctance.

"In the address book of the monastery, I found Longfellow's 'Excelsior'
written on a piece of paper and signed 'America.' You remember the

At break of clay, as heavenward,
The pious monks of St. Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air:

It seemed to add a tenfold interest to the poem, to read it on old St.
Bernard. In the morning I visited the house where are kept the bodies of
the travelers, who perish in crossing the mountain. It is filled with
corpses, ranged in rows, and looking like mummies, for the cold is so
intense that they will keep for years without decaying, and are often
recognized and removed by their friends.

"Of my descent to Martigny, my walk down the Rhone, and along the shores
of Lake Leman, my visit to the prison of Chilian and other wanderings
across Switzerland, my pleasure in seeing the old river Rhine again, and
my return to Heidelberg at night, with the bright moon shining on the
Neckar and the old ruined castle, I can now say no more, nor is it
necessary, for are not all these things 'written in my book of
Chronicles,' to be seen by you when we meet again in Paris?

Ever yours, FRANK."

_Dec. 16._--I took a walk lately to the tower of Galileo. In company
with three friends, I left Florence by the _Porta Romana_, and ascended
the _Poggie Imperiale_. This beautiful avenue, a mile and a quarter in
length, leading up a gradual ascent to a villa of the Grand Duke, is
bordered with splendid cypresses and evergreen oaks, and the grass banks
are always fresh and green, so that even in winter it calls up a
remembrance of summer. In fact, winter does not wear the scowl here that
he has at home; he is robed rather in a threadbare garment of autumn,
and it is only high up on the mountain tops, out of the reach of his
enemy, the sun, that he dares to throw it off, and bluster about with
his storms and scatter down his snow-flakes. The roses still bud and
bloom in the hedges, the emerald of the meadows is not a whit paler, the
sun looks down lovingly as yet, and there are only the white helmets of
some of the Appenines, with the leafless mulberries and vines, to tell
us that we have changed seasons.

A quarter of an hour's walk, part of it by a path through an olive
orchard, brought us to the top of a hill, which was surmounted by a
square, broken, ivied tower, forming part of a storehouse for the
produce of the estate. We entered, saluted by a dog, and passing through
a court-yard, in which stood two or three carts full of brown olives,
found our way to the rickety staircase. I spared my sentiment in going
up, thinking the steps might have been renewed since Galileo's time, but
the glorious landscape which opened around us when we reached the top,
time could not change, and I gazed upon it with interest and emotion, as
my eye took in those forms which had once been mirrored in the
philosopher's. Let me endeavor to describe the features of the scene.

Fancy yourself lifted to the summit of a high hill, whose base slopes
down to the valley of the Arno, and looking northward. Behind you is a
confusion of hill and valley, growing gradually dimmer away to the
horizon. Before and below you is a vale, with Florence and her great
domes and towers in its lap, and across its breadth of five miles the
mountain of Fiesole. To the west it stretches away unbroken for twenty
miles, covered thickly with white villas--like a meadow of daisies,
magnified. A few miles to the east the plain is rounded with mountains,
between whose interlocking bases we can see the brown current of the
Arno. Some of their peaks, as well as the mountain of Vallombrosa,
along the eastern sky, are tipped with snow. Imagine the air filled
with a thick blue mist, like a semi-transparent veil, which softens
every thing into dreamy indistinctness, the sunshine falling slantingly
through this in spots, touching the landscape here and there as with a
sudden blaze of fire, and you will complete the picture. Does it not
repay your mental flight across the Atlantic.

One evening, on coming out of the cafe, the moon was shining so brightly
and clearly, that I involuntarily bent my steps towards the river; I
walked along the _Lung'Arno_, enjoying the heavenly moonlight--"the
night of cloudless climes and starry skies!" A purer silver light never
kissed the brow of Endymion. The brown Arno took into his breast "the
redundant glory," and rolled down his pebbly bed with a more musical
ripple; opposite stretched the long mass of buildings--the deep arches
that rose from the water were filled with black shadow, and the
irregular fronts of the houses touched with a mellow glow. The arches of
the upper bridge were in shadow, cutting their dark outline on the
silvery sweep of the Appenines, far up the stream. A veil of luminous
gray covered the hill of San Miniato, with its towers and cypress
groves, and there was a crystal depth in the atmosphere, as if it shone
with its own light. The whole scene affected me as something too
glorious to be real--painful from the very intensity of its beauty.
Three moons ago, at the foot of Vallombrosa, I saw the Appenines flooded
with the same silvery gush, and thought also, then, that I had seen the
same moon amid far dearer scenes, but never before the same dreamy and
sublime glory showered down from her pale orb. Some solitary lights were
burning along the river, and occasionally a few Italians passed by,
wrapped in their mantles. I went home to the Piazza del Granduca as the
light, pouring into the square from behind the old palace, fell over the
fountain of Neptune and sheathed in silver the back of the colossal god.

Whoever looks on the valley of the Arno from San Miniato, and observes
the Appenine range, of which Fiesole is one, bounding it on the north,
will immediately notice to the northwest a double peak rising high above
all the others. The bare, brown forehead of this, known by the name of
_Monte Morello_, seemed so provokingly to challenge an ascent, that we
determined to try it. So we started early, the day before yesterday,
from the Porta San Gallo, with nothing but the frosty grass and fresh
air to remind us of the middle of December. Leaving the Prato road, at
the base of the mountain, we passed Careggi, a favorite farm of Lorenzo
the Magnificent, and entered a narrow glen where a little brook was
brawling down its rocky channel. Here and there stood a rustic mill,
near which women were busy spreading their washed clothes on the grass.
Following the footpath, we ascended a long eminence to a chapel where
some boys were amusing themselves with a common country game. They have
a small wheel, around which they wind a rope, and, running a little
distance to increase the velocity, let it off with a sudden jerk. On a
level road it can be thrown upwards of a quarter of a mile.

From the chapel, a gradual ascent along the ridge of a hill brought us
to the foot of the peak, which rose high before us, covered with bare
rocks and stunted oaks. The wind blew coldly from a snowy range to the
north, as we commenced ascending with a good will. A few shepherds were
leading their flocks along the sides, to browse on the grass and
withered bushes, and we started up a large hare occasionally from his
leafy covert. The ascent was very toilsome; I was obliged to stop
frequently on account of the painful throbbing of my heart, which made
it difficult to breathe. When the summit was gained, we lay down awhile
on the leeward side to recover ourselves.

We looked on the great valley of the Arno, perhaps twenty-five miles
long, and five or six broad, lying like a long elliptical basin sunk
among the hills. I can liken it to nothing but a vast sea; for a dense,
blue mist covered the level surface, through which the domes of Florence
rose up like a craggy island, while the thousands of scattered villas
resembled ships, with spread sails, afloat on its surface. The sharp,
cutting wind soon drove us down, with a few hundred bounds, to the path
again. Three more hungry mortals did not dine at the _Cacciatore_ that

The chapel of the Medici, which we visited, is of wonderful beauty. The
walls are entirely encrusted with _pietra dura_ and the most precious
kinds of marble. The ceiling is covered with gorgeous frescoes by
Benevenuto, a modern painter. Around the sides, in magnificent
sarcophagi of marble and jasper, repose the ashes of a few Cosmos and
Ferdinands. I asked the sacristan for the tomb of Lorenzo the
Magnificent. "Oh!" said he, "he lived during the republic--he has no
tomb; these are only for Dukes!" I could not repress a sigh at the
lavish waste of labor and treasure on this one princely chapel. They
might have slumbered unnoted, like Lorenzo, if they had done as much for
their country and Italy.

_December 19._--It is with a heavy heart, that I sit down tonight to
make my closing note in this lovely city and in the journal which has
recorded my thoughts and impressions since leaving America. I should
find it difficult to analyze my emotions, but I know that they oppress
me painfully. So much rushes at once over the mind and heart--memories
of what has passed through both, since I made the first note in its
pages--alternations of hope and anxiety and aspiration, but _never_
despondency--that it resembles in a manner, the closing of a life. I
seem almost to have lived through the common term of a life in this
short period. Much spiritual and mental experience has crowded into a
short time the sensations of years. Painful though some of it has been,
it was still welcome. Difficulty and toil give the soul strength to
crush, in a loftier region, the passions which draw strength only from
the earth. So long as we listen to the purer promptings within us, there
is a Power invisible, though not unfelt, who protects us--amid the toil
and tumult and soiling struggle, there is ever an eye that watches, ever
a heart that overflows with Infinite and Almighty Love! Let us trust
then in that Eternal Spirit, who pours out on us his warm and boundless
blessings, through the channels of so many kindred human hearts!



_Valley of the Arno, Dec 22._--It is a glorious morning after our two
days' walk, through rain and mud, among these stormy Appenines. The
range of high peaks, among which is the celebrated monastery of
Camaldoli, lie just before us, their summits dazzling with the new
fallen snow. The clouds are breaking away, and a few rosy flushes
announce the approach of the sun. It has rained during the night, and
the fields are as green and fresh as on a morning in spring.

We left Florence on the 20th, while citizens and strangers were vainly
striving to catch a glimpse of the Emperor of Russia. He is, from some
cause, very shy of being seen, in his journeys from place to place,
using the greatest art and diligence to prevent the time of his
departure and arrival from being known. On taking leave of Powers, I
found him expecting the Autocrat, as he had signified his intention of
visiting his studio; it was a cause of patriotic pride to find that
crowned heads know and appreciate the genius of our sculptor. The sky
did not promise much, as we set out; when we had entered the Appenines
and taken a last look of the lovely valley behind us, and the great dome
of the city where we had spent four delightful months, it began to rain
heavily. Determined to conquer the weather at the beginning, we kept on,
although before many miles were passed, it became too penetrating to be
agreeable. The mountains grew nearly black under the shadow of the
clouds, and the storms swept drearily down their passes and defiles,
till the scenery looked more like the Hartz than Italy. We were obliged
to stop at Ponte Sieve and dry our saturated garments: when, as the rain
slackened somewhat, we rounded the foot of the mountain of Vallombrosa,
above the swollen and noisy Arno, to the little village of Cucina.

We entered the only inn in the place, followed by a crowd of wondering
boys, for two such travelers had probably never been seen there. They
made a blazing fire for us in the broad chimney, and after the police of
the place satisfied themselves that we were not dangerous characters,
they asked many questions about our country. I excited the sympathy of
the women greatly in our behalf by telling them we had three thousand
miles of sea between us and our homes. They exclaimed in the most
sympathising tones: "_Poverini!_ so far to go!--three thousand miles of

The next morning we followed the right bank of the Arno. At Incisa, a
large town on the river, the narrow pass broadens into a large and
fertile plain, bordered on the north by the mountains. The snow storms
were sweeping around their summits the whole day, and I thought of the
desolate situation of the good monks who had so hospitably entertained
us three months before. It was weary traveling; but at Levane our
fatigues were soon forgotten. Two or three peasants were sitting last
night beside the blazing fire, and we were amused to hear them talking
about us. I overheard one asking another to converse with us awhile.
"Why should I speak to them?" said he; "they are not of our
profession--we are swineherds, and they do not care to talk with us."
However, his curiosity prevailed at last, and we had a long conversation
together. It seemed difficult for them to comprehend how there could be
so much water to cross, without any land, before reaching our country.
Finding we were going to Rome, I overheard one remark we were pilgrims,
which seemed to be the general supposition, as there are few
foot-travelers in Italy. The people said to one another as we passed
along the road:--"They are making a journey of penance!" Those peasants
expressed themselves very well for persons of their station, but they
were remarkably ignorant of everything beyond their own olive orchards
and vine fields.

_Perugia, Dec. 24._--On leaving Levane, the morning gave a promise, and
the sun winked at us once or twice through the broken clouds, with a
watery eye; but our cup was not yet full. After crossing one or two
shoulders of the range of hills, we descended to the great upland plain
of Central Italy, watered by the sources of the Arno and the Tiber. The
scenery is of a remarkable character. The hills appear to have been
washed and swept by some mighty flood. They are worn into every
shape--pyramids, castles, towers--standing desolate and brown, in long
ranges, like the ruins of mountains. The plain is scarred with deep
gulleys, adding to the look of decay which accords so well with the
Cyclopean relics of the country.

A storm of hail which rolled away before us, disclosed the city of
Arezzo, on a hill at the other end of the plain, its heavy cathedral
crowning the pyramidal mass of buildings. Our first care was to find a
good trattoria, for hunger spoke louder than sentiment, and then we
sought the house where Petrarch was born. A young priest showed it to us
on the summit of the hill. It has not been changed since he lived in it.

On leaving Florence, we determined to pursue the same plan as in
Germany, of stopping at the inns frequented by the common people. They
treated us here, as elsewhere, with great kindness and sympathy, and we
were freed from the outrageous impositions practised at the greater
hotels. They always built a large fire to dry us, after our day's walk
in the rain, and placing chairs in the hearth, which was raised several
feet above the floor, stationed us there, like the giants Gog and Magog,
while the children, assembled below, gazed up in open-mouthed wonder at
our elevated greatness. They even invited us to share their simple meals
with them, and it was amusing to hear their goodhearted exclamations of
pity at finding we were so far from home. We slept in the great beds
(for the most of the Italian beds are calculated for a man, wife, and
four children!) without fear of being assassinated, and only met with
banditti in dreams.

This is a very unfavorable time of the year for foot-traveling. We were
obliged to wait three or four weeks in Florence for a remittance from
America, which not only prevented our leaving as soon as was desirable,
but, by the additional expense of living, left us much smaller means
than we required. However, through the kindness of a generous
countryman, who unhesitatingly loaned us a considerable sum, we were
enabled to start with thirty dollars each, which, with care and
economy, will be quite sufficient to take us to Paris, by way of Rome
and Naples, if these storms do not prevent us from walking. Greece and
the Orient, which I so ardently hoped to visit, are now out of the
question. We walked till noon to-day, over the Val di Chiana to
Camuscia, the last post-station in the Tuscan dominions. On a mountain
near it is the city of Cortona, still enclosed within its Cyclopean
walls, built long before the foundation of Rome. Here our patience gave
way, melted down by the unremitting rains, and while eating dinner we
made a bargain for a vehicle to bring us to this city. We gave a little
more than half of what the vetturino demanded, which was still an
exorbitant price--two scudi each for a ride of thirty miles.

In a short time we were called to take our seats; I beheld with
consternation a rickety, uncovered, two-wheeled vehicle, to which a
single lean horse was attached. "What!" said I; "is that the carriage
you promised?" "You bargained for a _calesino_," said he, "and there it
is!" adding, moreover, that there was nothing else in the place. So we
clambered up, thrust our feet among the hay, and the machine rolled off
with a kind of saw-mill motion, at the rate of five miles an hour.

Soon after, in ascending the mountain of the Spelunca, a sheet of blue
water was revealed below us--the Lake of Thrasymene! From the eminence
around which we drove, we looked on the whole of its broad surface and
the mountains which encompass it. It is a magnificent sheet of water, in
size and shape somewhat like New York Bay, but the heights around it are
far higher than the hills of Jersey or Staten Island. Three beautiful
islands lie in it, near the eastern shore.

While our _calesino_ was stopped at the papal custom-house, I gazed on
the memorable field below us. A crescent plain, between the mountain and
the lake, was the arena where two mighty empires met in combat. The
place seems marked by nature for the scene of some great event. I
experienced a thrilling emotion, such as no battle plain has excited,
since, when a schoolboy, I rambled over the field of Brandywine. I
looked through the long arcades of patriarchal olives, and tried to
cover the field with the shadows of the Roman and Carthaginian myriads.
I recalled the shock of meeting legions, the clash of swords and
bucklers, and the waving standards amid the dust of battle, while stood
on the mountain amphitheatre, trembling and invisible, the protecting
deities of Rome.

"Far other scene is Thrasymene now!"

We rode over the plain, passed through the dark old town of Passignano,
built on a rocky point by the lake, and dashed along the shore. A dark,
stormy sky bent over us, and the roused waves broke in foam on the
rocks. The winds whistled among the bare oak boughs, and shook the
olives till they twinkled all over. The vetturino whipped our old horse
into a gallop, and we were borne on in unison with the scene, which
would have answered for one of Hoffman's wildest stories.

Ascending a long hill, we took a last look in the dusk at Thrasymene,
and continued our journey among the Appenines. The vetturino was to have
changed horses at Magione, thirteen miles from Perugia, but there were
none to be had, and our poor beast was obliged to perform the whole
journey without rest or food. It grew very dark, and a storm, with
thunder and lightning, swept among the hills. The clouds were of pitchy
darkness, and we could see nothing beyond the road, except the lights of
peasant-cottages trembling through the gloom. Now and then a flash of
lightning revealed the black masses of the mountains, on which the solid
sky seemed to rest. The wind and cold rain swept wailing past us, as if
an evil spirit were abroad on the darkness. Three hours of such
nocturnal travel brought us here, wet and chilly, as well as our driver,
but I pitied the poor horse more than him.

When we looked out the window, on awaking, the clustered house-tops of
the city, and the summits of the mountains near were covered with snow.
But on walking to the battlements we saw that the valleys below were
green and untouched. Perugia, for its "pride of place," must endure the
storms, while the humbler villages below escape them. As the rain
continues, we have taken seats in a country diligence for Foligno and
shall depart in a few minutes.

_Dec. 28._--We left Perugia in a close but covered vehicle, and
descending the mountain, crossed the muddy and rapid Tiber in the
valley below. All day we rode slowly among the hills; where the ascent
was steep, two or four large oxen were hitched before the horses. I saw
little of the scenery, for our Italian companions would not bear the
windows open. Once, when we stopped, I got out and found we were in the
region of snow, at the foot of a stormy peak, which towered sublimely
above. At dusk, we entered Foligno, and were driven to the "Croce
Bianca"--glad to be thirty miles further on our way to Rome.

After some discussion with a vetturino, who was to leave next morning,
we made a contract with him for the remainder of the journey, for the
rain, which fell in torrents, forbade all thought of pedestrianism. At
five o'clock we rattled out of the gate, and drove by the waning moon
and morning starlight, down the vale of the Clitumnus. As the dawn stole
on, I watched eagerly the features of the scene. Instead of a narrow
glen, as my fancy had pictured, we were in a valley, several miles
broad, covered with rich orchards and fertile fields. A glorious range
of mountains bordered it on the north, looking like Alps in their winter
garments. A rosy flush stole over the snow, which kindled with the
growing morn, till they shone like clouds that float in the sunrise. The
Clitumnus, beside us, was the purest of streams. The heavy rains which
had fallen, had not soiled in the least its limpid crystal.

When it grew light enough, I looked at our companions for the three
days' journey. The two other inside seats were occupied by a tradesman
of Trieste, with his wife and child; an old soldier, and a young dragoon
going to visit his parents after seven years' absence, occupied the
front part. Persons traveling together in a carriage are not long in
becoming acquainted--close companionship soon breeds familiarity. Before
night, I had made a fast friend of the young soldier, learned to bear
the perverse humor of the child with as much patience as its father, and
even drawn looks of grim kindness from the crusty old vetturino.

Our mid-day resting place was Spoleto. As there were two hours given us,
we took a ramble through the city, visited the ruins of its Roman
theatre and saw the gate erected to commemorate the victory gained here
over Hannibal, which stopped his triumphal march towards Rome. A great
part of the afternoon was spent in ascending among the defiles of Monte
Somma, the highest pass on the road between Ancona and Rome. Assisted by
two yoke of oxen we slowly toiled up through the snow, the mountains on
both sides covered with thickets of box and evergreen oaks, among whose
leafy screens the banditti hide themselves. It is not considered
dangerous at present, but as the dragoons who used to patrol this pass
have been sent off to Bologna, to keep down the rebellion, the robbers
will probably return to their old haunts again. We saw many suspicious
looking coverts, where they might have hidden.

We slept at Terni and did not see the falls--not exactly on Wordsworth's
principle of leaving Yarrow "unvisited," but because under the
circumstances, it was impossible. The vetturino did not arrive there
till after dark; he was to leave before dawn; the distance was five
miles, and the roads very bad. Besides, we had seen falls quite as
grand, which needed only a Byron to make them as renowned--we had been
told that those of Tivoli, which we shall see, were equally fine. The
Velino, which we crossed near Terni, was not a large stream--in short,
we hunted as many reasons as we could find, why the falls need not be

Leaving Terni before day, we drove up the long vale towards Narni. The
roads were frozen hard; the ascent becoming more difficult, the
vetturino was obliged to stop at a farm-house and get another pair of
horses, with which, and a handsome young contadino as postillion, we
reached Narni in a short time. In climbing the hill, we had a view of
the whole valley of Terni, shut in on all sides by snow-crested
Appenines, and threaded by the Nar, whose waters flow "with many
windings, through the vale!"

At Otricoli, while dinner was preparing, I walked around the crumbling
battlements to look down into the valley and trace the far windings of
the Tiber. In rambling through the crooked streets, we saw everywhere
the remains of the splendor which this place boasted in the days of
Rome. Fragments of fluted pillars stood here and there in the streets;
large blocks of marble covered with sculpture and inscriptions were
built into the houses, defaced statues used as door-ornaments, and the
steppingstone to our rude inn, worn every day by the feet of grooms and
vetturini, contained some letters of an inscription which may have
recorded the glory of on emperor.

Traveling with a vetturino, is unquestionably the pleasantest way of
seeing Italy. The easy rate of the journey allows time for becoming well
acquainted with the country, and the tourist is freed from the annoyance
of quarrelling with cheating landlords. A translation of our written
contract, will best explain this mode of traveling:


"Our contract is, to be conducted to Rome for the sum of twenty
francs each, say 20f. and the _buona mano_, if we are well
served. We must have from the vetturino, Giuseppe Nerpiti, supper
each night, a free chamber with two beds, and fire, until we shall
arrive at Rome.

"I, Geronymo Sartarelli, steward of the Inn of the White Cross, at
Foligno, in testimony of the above contract."

Beyond Otricoli, we passed through some relics of an age anterior to
Rome. A few soiled masses of masonry, black with age, stood along the
brow of the mountain, on whose extremity were the ruins of a castle of
the middle ages. We crossed the Tiber on a bridge built by Augustus
Caesar, and reached Borghetto as the sun was gilding with its last rays
the ruined citadel above. As the carriage with its four horses was
toiling slowly up the hill, we got out and walked before, to gaze on the
green meadows of the Tiber.

On descending from Narni, I noticed a high, prominent mountain, whose
ridgy back, somewhat like the profile of a face, reminded me of the
Traunstein, in Upper Austria. As we approached, its form gradually
changed, until it stood on the Campagna

"Like a long-swept wave about to break,
That on the curl hangs pausing"--

and by that token of a great bard, I recognized Monte Soracte. The
dragoon took us by the arms, and away we scampered over the Campagna,
with one of the loveliest sunsets before us, that ever painted itself on
my retina. I cannot portray in words the glory that flooded the whole
western heaven. It was like a sea of melted ruby, amethyst and
topaz--deep, dazzling and of crystal transparency. The color changed in
tone every few minutes, till in half an hour it sank away before the
twilight to a belt of deep orange along the west.

We left Civita Castellana before daylight. The sky was red with dawn as
we approached Nepi, and we got out to walk, in the clear, frosty air. A
magnificent Roman aqueduct, part of it a double row of arches, still
supplies the town with water. There is a deep ravine, appearing as if
rent in the ground by some convulsion, on the eastern side of the city.
A clear stream that steals through the arches of the aqueduct, falls in
a cascade of sixty feet down into the chasm, sending up constant wreaths
of spray through the evergreen foliage that clothes the rocks. In
walking over the desolate Campagna, we saw many deep chambers dug in the
earth, used by the charcoal burners; the air was filled with sulphureous
exhalations, very offensive to the smell, which rose from the ground in
many places.

Miles and miles of the dreary waste, covered only with flocks of grazing
sheep, were passed,--and about noon we reached Baccano, a small post
station, twenty miles from Rome. A long hill rose before us, and we
sprang out of the carriage and ran ahead, to see Rome from its summit.
As we approached the top, the Campagna spread far before and around us,
level and blue as an ocean. I climbed up a high bank by the roadside,
and the whole scene came in view. Perhaps eighteen miles distant rose
the dome of St. Peter's, near the horizon--a small spot on the vast
plain. Beyond it and further east, were the mountains of Albano--on our
left Soracte and the Appenines, and a blue line along the west betrayed
the Mediterranean. There was nothing peculiarly beautiful or sublime in
the landscape, but few other scenes on earth combine in one glance such
a myriad of mighty associations, or bewilder the mind with such a crowd
of confused emotions.

As we approached Rome, the dragoon, with whom we had been walking all
day, became anxious and impatient. He had not heard from his parents
for a long time, and knew not if they were living. His desire to be at
the end of his journey finally became so great, that he hailed a peasant
who was driving by in a light vehicle, left our slow carriage and went
out of sight in a gallop.

As we descended to the Tiber in the dusk of evening, the domes and
spires of Rome came gradually into view, St. Peter's standing like a
mountain in the midst of them. Crossing the yellow river by the Ponte
Molle, two miles of road, straight as an arrow, lay before us, with the
light of the _Porta del Popolo_ at the end. I felt strangely excited as
the old vehicle rumbled through the arch, and we entered a square with
fountains and an obelisk of Egyptian granite in the centre. Delivering
up our passports, we waited until the necessary examinations were made,
and then went forward. Three streets branch out from the square, the
middle one of which, leading directly to the Capitol, is the Corso, the
Roman Broadway. Our vetturino chose that to the left, the Via della
Scrofa, leading off towards the bridge of St. Angelo. I looked out the
windows as we drove along, but saw nothing except butcher-shops,
grocer-stores, etc.--horrible objects for a sentimental traveler!

Being emptied out on the pavement at last, our first care was to find
rooms; after searching through many streets, with a coarse old Italian
who spoke like an angel, we arrived at a square where the music of a
fountain was heard through the dusk and an obelisk cut out some of the
starlight. At the other end I saw a portico through the darkness, and my
heart gave a breathless bound on recognizing the _Pantheon_--the
matchless temple of Ancient Rome! And now while I am writing, I hear the
gush of the fountain--and if I step to the window, I see the time-worn
but still glorious edifice.

On returning for our baggage, we met the funeral procession of the
Princess Altieri. Priests in white and gold carried flaming torches, and
the coffin, covered with a magnificent golden pall, was borne in a
splendid hearse, guarded by four priests. As we were settling our
account with the vetturino, who demanded much more _buona mano_ than we
were willing to give, the young dragoon returned. He was greatly
agitated. "I have been at home!" said he, in a voice trembling with
emotion. I was about to ask him further concerning his family, but he
kissed and embraced us warmly and hurriedly, saying he had only come to
say "addio!" and to leave us. I stop writing to ramble through Rome.
This city of all cities to me--this dream of my boyhood--giant,
god-like, fallen Rome--is around me, and I revel in a glow of
anticipation and exciting thought that seems to change my whole state of



_Dec. 29._--One day's walk through Rome--how shall I describe it? The
Capitol, the Forum, St. Peter's, the Coliseum--what few hours' ramble
ever took in places so hallowed by poetry, history and art? It was a
golden leaf in my calendar of life. In thinking over it now, and drawing
out the threads of recollection from the varied woof of thought I have
woven to-day, I almost wonder how I dared so much at once; but within
reach of them all, how was it possible to wait? Let me give a sketch of
our day's ramble.

Hearing that it was better to visit the ruins by evening or moonlight,
(alas! there is no moon now) we started out to hunt St. Peter's. Going
in the direction of the Corso, we passed the ruined front of the
magnificent Temple of Antoninus, now used as the Papal Custom House. We
turned to the right on entering the Corso, expecting to have a view of
the city from the hill at its southern end. It is a magnificent street,
lined with palaces and splendid edifices of every kind, and always
filled with crowds of carriages and people. On leaving it, however, we
became bewildered among the narrow streets--passed through a market of
vegetables, crowded with beggars and contadini--threaded many by-ways
between dark old buildings--saw one or two antique fountains and many
modern churches, and finally arrived at a hill.

We ascended many steps, and then descending a little towards the other
side, saw suddenly below us the _Roman Forum_! I knew it at once--and
those three Corinthian columns that stood near us--what could they be
but the remains of the temple of Jupiter Stator? We stood on the
Capitoline Hill; at the foot was the Arch of Septimus Severus, brown
with age and shattered; near it stood the majestic front of the Temple
of Fortune, its pillars of polished granite glistening in the sun, as if
they had been erected yesterday, while on the left the rank grass was
waving from the arches and mighty walls of the Palace of the Caesars! In
front, ruin upon ruin lined the way for half a mile, where the Coliseum
towered grandly through the blue morning mist, at the base of the
Esquiline Hill!

Good heavens, what a scene! Grandeur, such as the world never saw, once
rose through that blue atmosphere; splendor inconceivable, the spoils of
a world, the triumphs of a thousand armies had passed over that earth;
minds which for ages moved the ancient world had thought there, and
words of power and glory, from the lips of immortal men, had been
syllabled on that hallowed air. To call back all this on the very spot,
while the wreck of what once was, rose mouldering and desolate around,
aroused a sublimity of thought and feeling too powerful for words.

Returning at hazard through the streets, we came suddenly upon the
column of Trajan, standing in an excavated square below the level of the
city, amid a number of broken granite columns, which formed part of the
Forum dedicated to him by Rome, after the conquest of Dacia. The column
is one hundred and thirty-two feet high, entirely covered with
bas-reliefs representing his victories, winding about it in a spiral
line to the top. The number of figures is computed at two thousand five
hundred, and they were of such excellence that Raphael used many of them
for his models. They are now much defaced, and the column is surmounted
by a statue of some saint. The inscription on the pedestal has been
erased, and the name of Sixtus V. substituted. Nothing can exceed the
ridiculous vanity of the old popes in thus mutilating the finest
monuments of ancient art. You cannot look upon any relic of antiquity in
Rome, but your eyes are assailed by the words "PONTIFEX MAXIMUS," in
staring modern letters. Even the magnificent bronzes of the Pantheon
were stripped to make the baldachin under the dome of St. Peter's.

Finding our way back again, we took a fresh start, happily in the right
direction, and after walking some time, came out on the Tiber, at the
Bridge of St. Angelo. The river rolled below in his muddy glory, and in
front, on the opposite bank, stood "the pile which Hadrian retired on
high"--_now_, the Castle of St. Angelo. Knowing that St. Peter's was to
he seen from this bridge, I looked about in search of it. There was only
one dome in sight, large and of beautiful proportions. I said at once,
"surely _that_ cannot be St. Peter's!" On looking again, however, I saw
the top of a massive range of building near it, which corresponded so
nearly with the pictures of the Vatican, that I was unwillingly forced
to believe the mighty dome was really before me. I recognized it as one
of those we saw from the Capitol, but it appeared so much smaller when
viewed from a greater distance, that I was quite deceived. On
considering we were still three-fourths of a mile from it, and that we
could see its minutest parts distinctly, the illusion was explained.

Going directly down the _Borgo Vecchio_, towards it, it seemed a long
time before we arrived at the square of St. Peter's; when at length we
stood in front with the majestic colonnade sweeping around--the
fountains on each side sending up their showers of silvery spray--the
mighty obelisk of Egyptian granite piercing the sky--and beyond, the
great front and dome of the Cathedral, I confessed my unmingled
admiration. It recalled to my mind the grandeur of ancient Rome, and
mighty as her edifices must have been, I doubt if there were many views
more overpowering than this. The facade of St. Peter's seemed close to
us, but it was a third of a mile distant, and the people ascending the
steps dwindled to pigmies.

I passed the obelisk, went up the long ascent, crossed the portico,
pushed aside the heavy leathern curtain at the entrance, and stood in
the great nave. I need not describe my feelings at the sight, but I will
tell the dimensions, and you may then fancy what they were. Before me
was a marble plain six hundred feet long, and under the cross four
hundred and seventeen feet wide! One hundred and fifty feet above,
sprang a glorious arch, dazzling with inlaid gold, and in the centre of
the cross there were four hundred feet of air between me and the top of
the dome! The sunbeam, stealing through the lofty window at one end of
the transept, made a bar of light on the blue air, hazy with incense,
one-tenth of a mile long, before it fell on the mosaics and gilded
shrines of the other extremity. The grand cupola alone, including
lantern and cross, is two hundred and eighty-five feet high, or sixty
feet higher than the Bunker Hill Monument, and the four immense pillars
on which it rests are each one hundred and thirty-seven feet in
circumference! It seems as if human art had outdone itself in producing
this temple--the grandest which the world ever erected for the worship
of the Living God! The awe felt in looking up at the giant arch of
marble and gold, did not humble me; on the contrary, I felt exalted,
ennobled--beings in the form I wore planned the glorious edifice, and it
seemed that in godlike power perseverance, they were indeed but "a
little lower than the angels!" I felt that, if fallen, my race was still
mighty and immortal.

The Vatican is only open twice a week, on days which are not _festas_;
most fortunately, to-day happened to be one of these, and we took a
_run_ through its endless halls. The extent and magnificence of the
gallery of sculpture is perfectly amazing. The halls, which are filled
to overflowing with the finest works of ancient art, would, if placed
side by side, make a row more than two miles in length! You enter at
once into a hall of marble, with a magnificent arched ceiling, a third
of a mile long; the sides are covered for a great distance with
inscriptions of every kind, divided into compartments according to the
era of the empire to which they refer. One which I examined, appeared to
be a kind of index of the roads in Italy, with the towns on them; and we
could decipher on that time-worn block, the very route I had followed
from Florence hither.

Then came the statues, and here I am bewildered, how to describe them.
Hundreds upon hundreds of figures--statues of citizens, generals,
emperors and gods--fauns, satyrs and nymphs--children, cupids and
tritons--in fact, it seemed inexhaustible. Many of them, too, were forms
of matchless beauty; there were Venuses and nymphs, born of the loftiest
dreams of grace; fauns on whose faces shone the very soul of humor, and
heroes and divinities with an air of majesty worthy the "land of lost
gods and godlike men!"

I am lost in astonishment at the perfection of art attained by the
Greeks and Romans. There is scarcely a form of beauty, that has ever met
my eye, which is not to be found in this gallery. I should almost
despair of such another blaze of glory on the world, were it not my
devout belief that what has been done may be done again, and had I not
faith that the dawn in which we live will bring another day equally
glorious. And why should not America, with the experience and added
wisdom which three thousand years have slowly yielded to the old world,
joined to the giant energy of her youth and freedom, re-bestow on the
world the divine creations of art? Let Powers answer!

But let us step on to the hemicycle of the Belvidere, and view some
works greater than any we have yet seen, or even imagined. The adjoining
gallery is filled with masterpieces of sculpture, but we will keep our
eyes unwearied and merely glance along the rows. At length we reach a
circular court with a fountain flinging up its waters in the centre.
Before us is an open cabinet; there is a beautiful, manly form within,
but you would not for an instant take it for the Apollo. By the Gorgon
head it holds aloft, we recognize Canova's Perseus--he has copied the
form and attitude of the Apollo, but he could not breathe into it the
same warming fire. It seemed to me particularly lifeless, and I greatly
preferred his Boxers, who stand on either side of it. One, who has drawn
back in the attitude of striking, looks as if he could fell an ox with a
single blow of his powerful arm. The other is a more lithe and agile
figure, and there is a quick fire in his countenance which might
overbalance the massive strength of his opponent.

Another cabinet--this is the far-famed Antinous. A countenance of
perfect Grecian beauty, with a form such as we would imagine for one of
Homer's heroes. His features are in repose, and there is something in
their calm, settled expression, strikingly like life.

Now we look on a scene of the deepest physical agony. Mark how every
muscle of old Laocoon's body is distended to the utmost in the mighty
struggle! What intensity of pain in the quivering, distorted, features!
Every nerve, which despair can call into action, is excited in one giant
effort, and a scream of anguish seems just to have quivered on those
marble lips. The serpents have rolled their strangling coils around
father and sons, but terror has taken away the strength of the latter,
and they make but feeble resistance. After looking with indifference on
the many casts of this group, I was the more moved by the magnificent
original. It deserves all the admiration that has been heaped upon it.

I absolutely trembled on approaching the cabinet of the Apollo, I had
built up in fancy a glorious ideal, drawn from all that bards have sung
or artists have rhapsodized about its divine beauty. I feared
disappointment--I dreaded to have my ideal displaced and my faith in the
power of human genius overthrown by a form less than perfect. However,
with a feeling of desperate excitement, I entered and looked upon it.

Now what shall I say of it? How make you comprehend its immortal beauty?
To what shall I liken its glorious perfection of form, or the fire that
imbues the cold marble with the soul of a god? Not with sculpture, for
it stands alone and above all other works of art--nor with men, for it
has a majesty more than human. I gazed on it, lost in wonder and
joy--joy that I could, at last, take into my mind a faultless ideal of
godlike, exalted manhood. The figure appears actually to possess a
spirit, and I looked on it, not as on a piece of marble, but a being of
loftier mould, and half expected to see him step forward when the arrow
had reached its mark. I would give worlds to feel one moment the
sculptor's mental triumph when his work was completed; that one exulting
thrill must have repaid him for every ill he might have suffered on
earth! With what divine inspiration has he wrought its faultless lines!
There is a spirit in every limb which mere toil could not have given. It
must have been caught in those lofty moments.

"When each conception was a heavenly guest--a
ray of immortality--and stood
star-like, around, until they gathered to a god?"

We ran through a series of halls, roofed with golden stars on a deep
blue, midnight sky, and filled with porphyry vases, black marble gods,
and mummies. Some of the statues shone with the matchless polish they
had received from a Theban artisan before Athens was founded, and are,
apparently, as fresh and perfect as when looked upon by the vassals of
Sesostris. Notwithstanding their stiff, rough-hewn limbs, there were
some figures of great beauty, and they gave me a much higher idea of
Egyptian sculpture. In an adjoining hall, containing colossal busts of
the gods, is a vase forty-one feet in circumference, of one solid block
of red porphyry.

The "Transfiguration" is truly called the first picture in the world.
The same glow of inspiration which created the Belvidere, must have been
required to paint the Saviour's aerial form. The three figures hover
above the earth in a blaze of glory, seemingly independent of all
material laws. The terrified Apostles on the mount, and the wondering
group below, correspond in the grandeur of their expression to the awe
and majesty of the scene. The only blemish in the sublime perfection of
the picture is the introduction of the two small figures on the left
hand; who, by-the-bye, were Cardinals, inserted there by command. Some
travelers say the color is all lost, but I was agreeably surprised to
find it well preserved. It is, undoubtedly, somewhat imperfect in this
respect, as Raphael died before it was entirely finished; but "take it
all in all," you may search the world in vain to find its equal.

_January 1, 1846._--New Year's Day in the Eternal City! It will be
something to say in after years, that I have seen one year open in
_Rome_--that, while my distant friends were making up for the winter
without, with good cheer around the merry board, I have walked in
sunshine by the ruins of the Coliseum, watched the orange groves
gleaming with golden fruitage in the Farnese gardens, trodden the
daisied meadow around the sepulchre of Caius Cestius, and mused by the
graves of Shelley, Keats and Salvator Rosa! The Palace of the Cassars
looked even more mournful in the pale, slant sunshine, and the yellow
Tiber, as he flowed through the "marble wilderness," seemed sullenly
counting up the long centuries during which degenerate slaves have
trodden his banks. A leaden-colored haze clothed the seven hills, and
heavy silence reigned among the ruins, for all work was prohibited, and
the people were gathered in their churches. Rome never appeared so
desolate and melancholy as to-day.

In the morning I climbed the Quirinal Hill, now called Monte Cavallo,
from the colossal statues of Castor and Pollux, with their steeds,
supposed to be the work of Phidias and Praxiteles. They stand on each
side of an obelisk of Egyptian granite, beside which a strong stream of
water gushes up into a magnificent bronze basin, found in the old Forum.
The statues, entirely browned by age, are considered masterpieces of
Grecian art, and whether or not from the great masters, show in all
their proportions, the conceptions of lofty genius.

We kept on our way between gardens filled with orange groves, whose
glowing fruit reminded me of Mignon's beautiful reminiscence--"Im
dunkeln Laub die Gold Orangen gluhn!" Rome, although subject to cold
winds from the Appenines, enjoys so mild a climate that oranges and palm
trees grow in the open air, without protection. Daisies and violets
bloom the whole winter, in the meadows of never-fading green. The
basilic of the Lateran equals St. Peter's in splendor, though its size
is much smaller. The walls are covered with gorgeous hangings of velvet
embroidered with gold, and before the high altar, which glitters with
precious stones, are four pillars of gilt bronze, said to be those which
Augustus made of the spars of Egyptian vessels captured at the battle of

We descended the hill to the Coliseum, and passing under the Arch of
Constantine, walked along the ancient triumphal way, at the foot of the
Palatine Hill, which is entirely covered with the ruins of the Caesars'
Palace. A road, rounding its southern base towards the Tiber, brought us
to the Temple of Vesta--a beautiful little relic which has been
singularly spared by the devastations that have overthrown so many
mightier fabrics. It is of circular form, surrounded by nineteen
Corinthian columns, thirty-six feet in height; a clumsy tiled roof now
takes the place of the elegant cornice which once gave the crowning
charm to its perfect proportions. Close at hand are the remains of the
temple of Fortuna Virilis, of which some Ionic pillars alone are left,
and the house of Cola di Rienzi--the last Tribune of Rome.

As we approached the walls, the sepulchre of Caius Cestius came in
sight--a single solid pyramid, one hundred feet in height. The walls are
built against it, and the light apex rises far above the massive gate
beside it, which was erected by Belisarius. But there were other tombs
at hand, for which we had more sympathy than that of the forgotten
Roman, and we turned away to look for the graves of Shelley and Keats.

They lie in the Protestant burying ground, on the side of a mound that
slopes gently up to the old wall of Rome, beside the pyramid of Cestius.
The meadow around is still verdant and sown thick with daisies, and the
soft green of the Italian pine mingles with the dark cypress above the
slumberers. Huge aloes grow in the shade, and the sweet bay and bushes
of rosemary make the air fresh and fragrant. There is a solemn, mournful
beauty about the place, green and lonely as it is, beside the tottering
walls of ancient Rome, that takes away the gloomy associations of death,
and makes one wish to lie there, too, when his thread shall be spun to
the end.

We found first the simple head-stone of Keats, alone, in the grassy
meadow. Its inscription states that on his death-bed, in the bitterness
of his heart, at the malice of his enemies, be desired these words to be
written on his tombstone: "_Here lies one whose name was written in
water_." Not far from him reposes the son of Shelley.

Shelley himself lies at the top of the shaded slope, in a lonely spot by
the wall, surrounded by tall cypresses. A little hedge of rose and bay
surrounds his grave, which bears the simple inscription--


"Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange."

Glorious, but misguided Shelley! He sleeps calmly now in that silent
nook, and the air around his grave is filled with sighs from those who
mourn that the bright, erratic star should have been blotted out ere it
reached the zenith of its mounting fame. I plucked a leaf from the
fragrant bay, as a token of his fame, and a sprig of cypress from the
bough that bent lowest over his grave; and passing between tombs shaded
with blooming roses or covered with unwithered garlands, left the lovely

Amid the excitement of continually changing scenes, I have forgotten to
mention our first visit to the Coliseum. The day after our arrival we
set out with two English friends, to see it by sunset. Passing by the
glorious fountain of Trevi, we made our way to the Forum, and from
thence took the road to the Coliseum, lined on both sides with the
remains of splendid edifices. The grass-grown ruins of the Palace of the
Caesars stretched along on our right; on our left we passed in succession
the granite front of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the three
grand arches of the Temple of Peace and the ruins of the Temple of Venus
and Rome. We went under the ruined triumphal arch of Titus, with broken
friezes representing the taking of Jerusalem, and the mighty walls of
the Coliseum gradually rose before us. They grew in grandeur as we
approached them, and when at length we stood in the centre, with the
shattered arches and grassy walls rising above and beyond one another,
far around us, the red light of sunset giving them a soft and melancholy
beauty, I was fain to confess that another form of grandeur had entered
my mind, of which I before knew not.

A majesty like that of nature clothes this wonderful edifice. Walls rise
above walls, and arches above arches, from every side of the grand
arena, like a sweep of craggy, pinnacled mountains around an oval lake.
The two outer circles have almost entirely disappeared, torn away by the
rapacious nobles of Rome, during the middle ages, to build their
palaces. When entire, and filled with its hundred thousand spectators,
it must have exceeded any pageant which the world can now produce. No
wonder it was said--

"While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand;
When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;
And when Rome falls, the world!"

--a prediction, which time has not verified. The world is now going
forward, prouder than ever, and though we thank Rome for the legacy she
has left us, we would not wish the dust of her ruin to cumber our path.

While standing in the arena, impressed with the spirit of the scene
around me, which grew more spectral and melancholy as the dusk of
evening began to fill up the broken arches, my eye was assailed by the
shrines ranged around the space, doubtless to remove the pollution of
paganism. In the middle stands also a cross, with an inscription,
granting an absolution of forty days to all who kiss it. Now, although a
simple cross in the centre might be very appropriate, both as a token of
the heroic devotion of the martyr Telemachus and the triumph of a true
religion over the barbarities of the Past, this congregation of shrines
and bloody pictures mars very much the unity of association so necessary
to the perfect enjoyment of any such scene.

We saw the flush of sunset fade behind the Capitoline Hill, and passed
homeward by the Forum, as its shattered pillars were growing solemn and
spectral through the twilight. I intend to visit them often again, and
"meditate amongst decay." I begin already to grow attached to their
lonely grandeur. A spirit, almost human, speaks from the desolation, and
there is something in the voiceless oracles it utters, that strikes an
answering chord in my own breast.

In the _Via de' Pontefici_, not far distant from the Borghese Palace, we
saw the Mausoleum of Augustus. It is a large circular structure somewhat
after the plan of that of Hadrian, but on a much smaller scale. The
interior has been cleared out, seats erected around the walls, and the
whole is now a summer theatre, for the amusement of the peasantry and
tradesmen. What a commentary on greatness! Harlequin playing his pranks
in the tomb of an Emperor, and the spot which nations approached with
reverence, resounding with the mirth of beggars and degraded vassals!

I visited lately the studio of a young Philadelphian, Mr. W. B.
Chambers, who has been here two or three years. In studying the legacies
of art which the old masters left to their country, he has caught some
of the genuine poetic inspiration which warmed them. But he is modest as
talented, and appears to undervalue his works, so long as they do not
reach his own mental ideal. He chooses principally subjects from the
Italian peasant-life, which abounds with picturesque and classic beauty.
His pictures of the shepherd boy of the Albruzzi, and the brown maidens
of the Campagna are fine illustrations of this class, and the fidelity
with which he copies nature, is an earnest of his future success.

I was in the studio of Crawford, the sculptor; he has at present
nothing finished in the marble. There were many casts of his former
works, which, judging from their appearance in plaster, must be of no
common excellence--for the sculptor can only be justly judged _in
marble_. I saw some fine bas-reliefs of classical subjects, and an
exquisite group of Mercury and Psyche, but his masterpiece is
undoubtedly the Orpheus. There is a spirit in this figure which
astonished me. The face is full of the inspiration of the poet, softened
by the lover's tenderness, and the whole fervor of his soul is expressed
in the eagerness with which he gazes forward, on stepping past the
sleeping Cerberus. Crawford is now engaged on the statue of an Indian
girl, pierced by an arrow, and dying. It is a simple and touching
figure, and will, I think, be one of his best works.

We are often amused with the groups in the square of the Pantheon, which
we can see from our chamber-window. Shoemakers and tinkers carry on
their business along the sunny side, while the venders of oranges and
roasted chesnuts form a circle around the Egyptian obelisk and fountain.
Across the end of an opposite street we get a glimpse of the
vegetable-market, and now and then the shrill voice of a pedlar makes
its nasal solo audible above the confused chorus. As the beggars choose
the Corso, St. Peter's, and the ruins for their principal haunts, we are
now spared the hearing of their lamentations. Every time we go out we
are assailed with them. "_Maladetta sia la vostra testa_!"--"Curses be
upon your head!"--said one whom I passed without notice. The priests
are, however, the greatest beggars. In every church are kept offering
boxes, for the support of the church or some unknown institution; they
even go from house to house, imploring support and assistance in the
name of the Virgin and all the saints, while their bloated, sensual
countenances and capacious frames tell of anything but fasts and
privations. Once, as I was sitting among the ruins, I was suddenly
startled by a loud, rattling sound; turning my head, I saw a figure
clothed in white from head to foot, with only two small holes for the
eyes. He held in his hand a money-box, on which was a figure of the
Virgin, which he held close to my lips, that I might kiss it. This I
declined doing, but dropped a baiocco into his box, when, making the
sign of the cross, he silently disappeared.

Our present lodging (Trattoria del Sole) is a good specimen of an
Italian inn for mechanics and common tradesmen. Passing through the
front room, which is an eating-place for the common people--with a
barrel of wine in the corner, and bladders of lard hanging among orange
boughs in the window--we enter a dark court-yard filled with heavy
carts, and noisy with the neighing of horses and singing of grooms, for
the stables occupy part of the house. An open staircase, running all
around this hollow square, leads to the second, third, and fourth

On the second story is the dining-room for the better class of
travelers, who receive the same provisions as those below for double the
price, and the additional privilege of giving the waiter two baiocchi.
The sleeping apartments are in the fourth story, and are named according
to the fancy of a former landlord, in mottos above each door. Thus, on
arriving here, the Triester, with his wife and child, more fortunate
than our first parents, took refuge in "Paradise," while we Americans
were ushered into the "Chamber of Jove." We have occupied it ever since,
and find a paul (ten cents) apiece cheap enough for a good bed and a
window opening on the Pantheon.

Next to the Coliseum, the baths of Caracalla are the grandest remains of
Rome. The building is a thousand feet square, and its massive walls look
as if built by a race of giants. These Titan remains are covered with
green shrubbery, and long, trailing vines sweep over the cornice, and
wave down like tresses from architrave and arch. In some of its grand
halls the mosaic pavement is yet entire. The excavations are still
carried on; from the number of statues already found, this would seem to
have been one of the most gorgeous edifices of the olden time.

I have been now several days loitering and sketching among the ruins,
and I feel as if I could willingly wander for months beside these
mournful relics, and draw inspiration from the lofty yet melancholy lore
they teach. There is a spirit haunting them, real and undoubted. Every
shattered column, every broken arch and mouldering wall, but calls up
more vividly to mind the glory that has passed away. Each lonely pillar
stands as proudly as if it still helped to bear up the front of a
glorious temple, and the air seems scarcely to have ceased vibrating
with the clarions that heralded a conqueror's triumph.

"--the old majestic trees
Stand ghost-like in the Caesar's home,
As if their conscious roots were set
In the old graves of giant Rome,
And drew their sap all kingly yet!"

* * * * *

"There every mouldering stone beneath
Is broken from some mighty thought,
And sculptures in the dust still breathe
The fire with which their lines were wrought,
And sunder'd arch and plundered tomb
Still thunder back the echo--'_Rome!_'"

In Rome there is no need that the imagination be excited to call up
thrilling emotion or poetic reverie--they are forced on the mind by the
sublime spirit of the scene. The roused bard might here pour forth his
thoughts in the wildest climaces, and I could believe he felt it all.
This is like the Italy of my dreams--that golden realm whose image has
been nearly chased away by the earthly reality. I expected to find a
land of light and beauty, where every step crushed a flower or displaced
a sunbeam--whose very air was poetic inspiration, and whose every scene
filled the soul with romantic feelings. Nothing is left of my picture
but the far-off mountains, robed in the sapphire veil of the Ausonian
air, and these ruins, amid whose fallen glory sits triumphant the spirit
of ancient song.

I have seen the flush of morn and eve rest on the Coliseum; I have seen
the noon-day sky framed in its broken loopholes, like plates of polished
sapphire; and last night, as the moon has grown into the zenith, I went
to view it with her. Around the Forum all was silent and spectral--a
sentinel challenged us at the Arch of Titus, under which we passed and
along the Caesar's wall, which lay in black shadow. Dead stillness
brooded around the Coliseum; the pale, silvery lustre streamed through
its arches, and over the grassy walls, giving them a look of shadowy
grandeur which day could not bestow. The scene will remain fresh in my
memory forever.



_Jan. 9._--A few days ago we returned from an excursion to Tivoli, one
of the loveliest spots in Italy. We left the Eternal City by the Gate of
San Lorenzo, and twenty minutes walk brought us to the bare and bleak
Campagna, which was spread around us for leagues in every direction.
Here and there a shepherd-boy in his woolly coat, with his flock of
browsing sheep, were the only objects that broke its desert-like

At the fourth mile we crossed the rapid Anio, the ancient Teverone,
formerly the boundary between Latium and the Sabine dominions, and at
the tenth, came upon some fragments of the old Tibertine way, formed of
large irregular blocks of basaltic lava. A short distance further, we
saw across the plain the ruins of the bath of Agrippa, built by the side
of the Tartarean Lake. The wind, blowing from it, bore us an
overpowering smell of sulphur; the waters of the little river Solfatara,
which crosses the road, are of a milky blue color, and carry those of
the lake into the Anio. A fragment of the old bridge over it still

Finding the water quite warm, we determined to have a bath. So we ran
down the plain, which was covered with a thick coat of sulphur, and
sounded hollow to our tread, till we reached a convenient place, where
we threw off our clothes, and plunged in. The warm wave was delightful
to the skin, but extremely offensive to the smell, and when we came out,
our mouths and throats were filled with the stifling gas.

It was growing dark as we mounted through the narrow streets of Tivoli,
but we endeavored to gain some sight of the renowned beauties of the
spot, before going to rest. From a platform on a brow of the hill, we
looked down into the defile, at whose bottom the Anio was roaring, and
caught a sideward glance of the Cascatelles, sending up their spray
amid the evergreen bushes that fringe the rocks. Above the deep glen
that curves into the mountain, stands the beautiful temple of the
Sybil--a building of the most perfect and graceful proportion. It crests
the "rocky brow" like a fairy dwelling, and looks all the lovelier for
the wild caverns below. Gazing downward from the bridge, one sees the
waters of the Anio tumbling into the picturesque grotto of the Sirens;
around a rugged corner, a cloud of white spray whirls up continually,
while the boom of a cataract rumbles down the glen. All these we marked
in the deepening dusk, and then hunted an albergo.

The shrill-voiced hostess gave us a good supper and clean beds; in
return we diverted the people very much by the relation of our sulphur
bath. We were awakened in the night by the wind shaking the very soul
out of our loose casement. I fancied I heard torrents of rain dashing
against the panes, and groaned in bitterness of spirit on thinking of a
walk back to Rome in such weather. When morning came, we found it was
only a hurricane of wind which was strong enough to tear off pieces of
the old roofs. I saw some capuchins nearly overturned in crossing the
square, by the wind seizing their white robes.

I had my fingers frozen and my eyes filled with sand, in trying to draw
the Sybil's temple, and therefore left it to join my companions, who had
gone down into the glen to see the great cascade. The Anio bursts out of
a cavern in the mountain-side, and like a prisoner giddy with recovered
liberty, reels over the edge of a precipice more than two hundred feet
deep. The bottom is hid in a cloud of boiling spray, that shifts from
side to side, and driven by the wind, sweeps whistling down the narrow
pass. It stuns the ear with a perpetual boom, giving a dash of grandeur
to the enrapturing beauty of the scene. I tried a footpath that appeared
to lead down to the Cascatelles, but after advancing some distance along
the side of an almost perpendicular precipice, I came to a corner that
looked so dangerous, especially as the wind was nearly strong enough to
carry me off, that it seemed safest to return. We made another vain
attempt to get down, by creeping along the bed of a torrent, filled with
briars. The Cascatelles are formed by that part of the Anio, which is
used in the iron works, made out of the ruins of Mecaenas' villa. They
gush out from under the ancient arches, and tumble more than a hundred
feet down the precipice, their white waters gleaming out from the dark
and feathery foliage. Not far distant are the remains of the villa of

We took the road to Frascati, and walked for miles among cane-swamps and
over plains covered with sheep. The people we saw, were most degraded
and ferocious-looking, and there were many I would not willingly meet
alone after nightfall. Indeed it is still considered quite unsafe to
venture without the walls of Rome, after dark. The women, with their
yellow complexions, and the bright red blankets they wear folded around
the head and shoulders, resemble Indian Squaws.

I lately spent three hours in the Museum of the Capitol, on the summit
of the sacred hill. In the hall of the Gladiator I noticed an exquisite
statue of Diana. There is a pure, virgin grace in the classic outlines
of the figure that keeps the eye long upon it. The face is full of cold,
majestic dignity, but it is the ideal of a being to be worshipped,
rather than loved. The Faun of Praxiteles, in the same room, is a
glorious work; it is the perfect embodiment of that wild, merry race the
Grecian poets dreamed of. One looks on the Gladiator with a hushed
breath and an awed spirit. He is dying; the blood flows more slowly from
the deep wound in his side; his head is sinking downwards, and the arm
that supports his body becomes more and more nerveless. You feel that a
dull mist is coming over his vision, and almost wait to see his relaxing
limbs sink suddenly on his shield. That the rude, barbarian form has a
soul, may be read in his touchingly expressive countenance. It warms the
sympathies like reality to look upon it. Yet how many Romans may have
gazed on this work, moved nearly to tears, who have seen hundreds perish
in the arena without a pitying emotion! Why is it that Art has a voice
frequently more powerful than Nature?

How cold it is here! I was forced to run home to-night, nearly at full
speed, from the Cafe delle _Belle Arti_ through the Corso and the Piazza
Colonna, to keep warm. The clear, frosty moon threw the shadow of the
column of Antoninus over me as I passed, and it made me shiver to look
at the thin, falling sheet of the fountain. Winter is winter
everywhere, and even the sun of Italy cannot always scorch his icy

Two days ago we took a ramble outside the walls. Passing the Coliseum
and Caracalla's Baths, we reached the tomb of Scipio, a small sepulchral
vault, near the roadside. The ashes of the warrior were scattered to the
winds long ago, and his mausoleum is fast falling to decay. The old arch
over the Appian way is still standing, near the modern _Porta San
Sebastiano_ through which we entered on the far-famed road. Here and
there it is quite entire, and we walked over the stones once worn by the
feet of Virgil and Horace and Cicero. After passing the temple of
Romulus--a shapeless and ivy-grown ruin--and walking a mile or more
beyond the walls, we reached the Circus of Caracalla, whose long and
shattered walls fill the hollow of one of the little dells of the
Campagna. The original structure must have been of great size and
splendor, but those twin Vandals--Time and Avarice--have stripped away
everything but the lofty brick masses, whose nakedness the pitying ivy
strives to cover.

Further, on a gentle slope, is the tomb of "the wealthiest Roman's
wife," familiar to every one through Childe Harold's musings. It is a
round, massive tower, faced with large blocks of marble, and still
bearing the name of Cecilia Metella. One side is much ruined, and the
top is overgrown with grass and wild bushes. The wall is about thirty
feet thick, so that but a small round space is left in the interior,
which is open to the rain and filled will rubbish. The echoes pronounced
hollowly after us the name of the dead for whom it was built, but they
could tell us nothing of her life's history--

"How lived, how loved, how died she?"

I made a hurried drawing of it, and we then turned to the left, across
the Campagna, to seek the grotto of Egeria. Before us, across the brown
plain, extended the Sabine Mountains; in the clear air the houses of
Tivoli, twenty miles distant, were plainly visible. The giant aqueduct
stretched in a long line across the Campagna to the mountain of Albano,
its broken and disjointed arches resembling the vertebrae of some mighty
monster. With the ruins of temples and tombs strewing the plain for
miles around it, it might be called the _spine_ to the skeleton of Rome.

We passed many ruins, made beautiful by the clinging ivy, and reached a
solemn grove of ever-green oak, overlooking a secluded valley. I was
soon in the meadow, leaping ditches, rustling through cane-brakes, and
climbing up to mossy arches to find out the fountain of Numa's nymph;
while my companion, who had less taste for the romantic, looked on
complacently from the leeward side of the hill. At length we found an
arched vault in the hill-side, overhung with wild vines, and shaded in
summer by umbrageous trees that grow on the soil above. At the further
end a stream of water gushed out from beneath a broken statue, and an
aperture in the wall revealed a dark cavern behind. This, then, was
"Egeria's grot." The ground was trampled by the feet of cattle, and the
taste of the water was anything but pleasant. But it was not for Numa
and his nymph alone, that I sought it so ardently. The sunbeam of
another mind lingers on the spot. See how it gilds the ruined and
neglected fount!

"The mosses of thy fountain still are sprinkled
With thine Elysian water-drops; the face
Of thy cave-guarded spring, with years unwrinkled,
Reflects the meek-eyed genius of the place,
Whose wild, green margin, now no more erase
Art's works; no more its sparkling waters sleep,
Prisoned in marble; bubbling from the base
Of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap,
The rill runs o'er, and 'round, fern, flowers and ivy creep,
Fantastically tangled."

I tried to creep into the grotto, but it was unpleasantly dark, and no
nymph appeared to chase away the shadow with her lustrous eyes. The
whole hill is pierced by subterranean chambers and passages.

I spent another Sunday morning in St. Peter's. High mass was being
celebrated in one of the side Chapels, and a great number of the
priesthood were present. The music was simple, solemn, and very
impressive, and a fine effect was produced by the combination of the
full, sonorous voices of the priests, and the divine sweetness of that
band of mutilated unfortunates, who sing here. They sang with a full,
clear tone, sweet as the first lispings of a child, but it was painful
to hear that melody, purchased at the expense of manhood.

Near the dome is a bronze statue of St. Peter, which seems to have a
peculiar atmosphere of sanctity. People say their prayers before it by
hundreds, and then kiss its toe, which is nearly worn away by the
application of so many thousand lips. I saw a crowd struggle most
irreverently to pay their devotion to it. There was a great deal of
jostling and confusion; some went so far as to thrust the faces of
others against the toe as they were about to kiss it. What is more
remarkable, it is an antique statue of Jupiter, taken, I believe, from
the Pantheon. An English artist, showing it to a friend, just arrived in
Rome, remarked very wittily that it was the statue of _Jew-Peter_.

I went afterwards to the Villa Borghese, outside the Porta del Popolo.
The gardens occupy thirty or forty acres, and are always thronged in the
afternoon with the carriages of the Roman and foreign nobility. In
summer, it must be a heavenly place; even now, with its musical
fountains, long avenues, and grassy slopes, crowned with the fan-like
branches of the Italian pine, it reminds one of the fairy landscapes of
Boccaccio. We threaded our way through the press of carriages on the
Pincian hill, and saw the enormous bulk of St. Peter's loom up against
the sunset sky. I counted forty domes and spires in that part of Rome
that lay below us--but on what a marble glory looked that sun eighteen
centuries ago! Modern Rome--it is in comparison, a den of filth, cheats
and beggars!

Yesterday, while taking a random stroll through the city, I visited the
church of St. Onofrio, where Tasso is buried. It is not far from St.
Peter's, on the summit of a lonely hill. The building was closed, but an
old monk admitted us on application. The interior is quite small, but
very old, and the floor is covered with the tombs of princes and
prelates of a past century. Near the end I found a small slab with the


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