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Ex Voto by Samuel Butler

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in the future as in the past. All that can be hoped for is that it
may perhaps become a trifle more easy through the work of the just
men made perfect through suffering that have gone before, and that he
who in bygone ages would have been burnt will now be only scouted.

I have in the last few foregoing pages been trenching on somewhat
dangerous ground, but who can leave such a work as the Sacro Monte
without being led to trench on this ground, and who that trenches
upon it can fail to better understand the lesson of the Sacro Monte
itself? I am aware, however, that I have said enough if not too
much, and will return to the note struck at the beginning of my work-
-namely, that I have endeavoured to stimulate study of the great
works on the Sacro Monte rather than to write the full account of
them which their importance merits. At the same time I must admit
that I have had great advantages. Not one single previous writer had
ever seen an earlier work than that of Fassola, published in 1670
[1], whereas I have had before me one that appeared in 1586 [7]. I
had written the greater part of my book before last Christmas, and
going out to Varallo at the end of December to verify and reconsider
it on the spot, found myself forced over and over again to alter what
I had written, in consequence of the new light given me by the 1586
[7] and 1590 [1] editions of Caccia. It is with profound regret that
though I have continued to search for the 1565 and 1576 editions up
to the very last moment that these sheets leave my hands, my search
has been fruitless.

Over and above the advantage of having had even the later Caccia
before me, I have seen Cav. Aless. Godio's "Cronaca di Crea," which
no previous writer had done, inasmuch as this work has been only very
lately published. Moreover, when I was at Varallo, it being known
that I was writing on the Sacro Monte, every one helped me, and so
many gave me such important and interesting information that I found
my labour a very light and pleasant one. Especially must I
acknowledge my profound obligations to Signor Dionigi Negri, town
clerk of Varallo, to Signor Galloni the present director of the Sacro
Monte, to Cav. Prof. Antonini and his son, Signori Arienta and
Tonetti, and to many other kind friends whom if I were to begin to
name I must name half the town of Varallo. With such advantages I am
well aware that the work should be greatly better than it is; if,
however, it shall prove that I have succeeded in calling the
attention of abler writers to Varallo, and if these find the present
work of any, however small, assistance to them, I shall hold that I
have been justified in publishing it. In the full hope that this may
turn out to be the case, I now leave the book to the generous
consideration and forbearance of the reader.


{1} "Uomini e Fatti," &c., p. 65, &c.

{2} "Uomini e fatti," p. 83.

{3} Fassola, p. 112.

{4} These chapels are grouped together in the 1586 edition as "la
nativita di N.S. nel Presepio," but they are separated, as they
doubtless should have been earlier, in the edition of 1590 [1591].

{5} English translation of the "Life of St. Charles Borromeo," with
preface by Cardinal Manning. Burns & Oates, London and New York,
1884, vol. ii. p. 47.

{6} "Storia a Guida," ed. 1857, Varallo, p. 68.

{7} In the register of the houses in Varallo, taken in 1536, his
house is thus described--"Magister Gaudentius pictor fqm Magistri
Franchini Vallis Ugiae habitator Varalli, tabet sedimen unum cum domo
una magna plodata et alia contigua peleis, et curte ante, et curteto
ad plateam putei, cui cohoeret Franciscus Draghettus sive de Boglia
et strata, et soror Catarina de Pioldo." (See Signor Tonetti's

{8} Parma, 1823.

{9} Munich, 1841.

{10} Torino-Tipografia S. Giuseppe--Collegio degli Artigianelli
Corso Palestro, No. 14. 1887.

{11} See Signor Galloni's first and tenth notes, pp. 175 and 180.

{12} Their words run thus;--"Il volto di quella Vergine Maria mirava
altre volte al Bambino Giesu, ma dall' anno, il giorno, ed hora, che
fu creato Pontefice Innocenzo X. al suono di Campane miracolosamente
si volto alli Visitanti. Dicono alcuni, che prima ancora staua
riuoltata al Popolo, e che accommodata, non accorgendosi del miracolo
in detto giorno, poi lo diede a conoscere." Fassola, p. 86.

"Si dice che la Vergine mirava il Bambino, e quando si sonarono le
campane per l'esaltazione d'Innocenzio X. torno il volto ai
Visitanti, che racconciata nuovamente voltollo al popolo come
invitante." Torrotti, p. 70.

{13} The projected Palazzo di Pilato blocks.

{14} A famous model of some five-and-twenty years ago.

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